Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Introducing some NEW pieces!

I have just posted 4 totally new pieces of beadwork to my CindyCaraway shop on Etsy. Here they are (trumpets, please...)


TED Conference

I know lots of people like to watch Hulu and such while they work. My site of choice is What is TED? I'm so glad you asked!! I have collected a few snippets from the TED website to help illustrate who they are:

"TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design."

"The TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend -- indeed, the event sells out a year in advance -- and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn't work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole."

Their mission is to spread ideas. Here's what it states on the TED website:

"We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."

Anyway, I love this site! I have spent many, many hours watching presentations from some of the world's greatest thinkers and innovators. Some are funny, some are intriguing, some are frightening but all will change how you look at the world around you. It's free and it's inspiring - what more could you want? Here's one of my favorites:

Many Thanks and Much Ado

Last night I made a treasury collection to say a little "Thank you" to those who have included my work in a treasury. I spent an hour putting it together and when I hit the "SAVE" button, I got an error message. "Oh, crap..." was my fist reaction and, since it was late, I went to bed saying "I'll give it another try tomorrow..." So, imagine my surprise when I found a convo from thelogchateau letting me know she had seen my treausry!! It seems it went through, after all - YAY! The collection is called "Many Thanks and Much Ado" with the message saying:

Here is a treasury to thank all those
who have included me in one in the past few weeks.
It was much appreciated and I hope this little collection brings lots of visits
and much ado (in the way of SALES) to your lovely shops! :)

I hope you will go to the treasury page, make a visit to the featured shops and leave a comment. You might notice that I've included 4 items from trinitydj. Please be sure to see her shop! She is a fantastic artist and a lovely person to boot - selfless and always ready to do her best for other artists.

Here's a full list of the items and shops included in "Many Thanks and Much Ado"

I AM LOVE-26x26cm,signed print by bewonder 

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Butterfly in my Garden

Last year Dan & I got a Butterfly Bush from his mom. It was doing quite well until one day, during a wind storm, a large branch fell from our tree and squashed it flat! I sadly figured it was the last of the butterfly bush.

Much to our amazement, it sprouted out of the broken remnants this Spring and has flourished - it's over 6 feet tall and loaded with flower heads!! We have had several winged visitors - butterflies, bees and the odd hummingbird - and I finally got some photos of one today. This little pretty was such a good model and didn't seem to mind me snapping away so close.

Morning Coffee - Quotes to start your week

"The slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things."
- St. Thomas Aquinas

"Comparisons of one's lot with others' teaches us nothing and enfeebles the will."
- Thornton Wilder

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
- Sun Tzu

"If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path."
- Buddhist Proverb

"All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."
- Sean O'Casey

"Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain."
- Helen Keller

"Fatigue makes cowards of us all."
- Vince Lombardi

"Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make."
- Stephen R. Covey

"I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note--torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one."
- Henry Ward Beecher

"It takes time to save time."
- Joe Taylor

"It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not."
- Alfred Whitney Griswold

"Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure."
- George Gordon Noel Byron (Lord Byron)

"The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!"
- Marvin Phillips

"Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow is too lazy to form an opinion."
- Will Rogers

"A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work."
- Geoffrey Norman

"Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change."
- Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm... As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others."
- Audrey Hepburn

"An idealist believes the short run doesn't count.
A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter.
A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run."
- Sidney J. Harris

"Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become."
- Jim Rohn

Friday, July 23, 2010

Morning Coffee - This is Where We Live

I found this video on a blog I just started following - annekata. She really has a beautiful blog and I hope you will stop by to check it out.

Anyway, I found this video in one of her posts and I thought it was so cool. Here's the explanation she had on her blog:

"This incredible movie was made for the 25th anniversary of the British Publishing House "4thEstate", produced by Apt Studio and Asylum Films in stop-motion over 3 weeks. Each scene was shot on a home-made dolly. If you are interested how the movie is prepared and shot, you can see time-lapse films of the different scenes here. I'm fascinated by the way these stop-motion movies are done, and I love that the concept is simple and the result very complex."

In it I hope you will find inspiration, as I did! Enjoy :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cindy singing "Lucky One"

Every once in a while I do a Google search for myself just to see where my online self turns up. Today I found a little surprise! Dan & I performed with some friends of ours at a Bluegrass Jam that takes place every Fall at Eden Valley Park by Baldwin, IA. I guess I knew that someone was videotaping the thing but I didn't expect to find it on a guitar tab website!! Ha!! Anyway, here it is, if you're interested in hearing my hubby and me perform the song "Lucky One" -

Lucky One

Derriere | MySpace Video

More Mycophilia Musings :)

OK, so yesterday I told you bit about my interest in mushrooms. Ever since I can remember I have also enjoyed decorative items featuring mushrooms. My mom had a set of glazed ceramic mushrooms back in the 70's and they sat on whatever coffee table we happened to have. Those were around FOREVER! They might still be, in some dark cupboard somewhere, where a fungus would rather live than out on in a bright living room. Anyway, I remember thinking they were pretty cool...

So, in honor of fellow mycophiles (and those sweet ceramic mushrooms, wherever they may be), I put together a little group of handmade and vintage Etsy finds in a treasury called "Mycophilia Musings (aka. I love mushrooms!)"
You may click on the photo above to visit the treasury page and leave a comment.
Featured artists/sellers are:

mayvar, WaveSong, BettysFantasy, franscrafts
CritterJitters, PepperPi, jennieorr, leearthaus
mitchellgracedesigns , 26Seven, TheGinghamOwl, petalpusher
LaBellaVitaBoutique, MyGrandmasAttic, TamlinSky, penorus

Be sure to visit their shops and see what other goodies they have available!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I am a Mycophile. Not to worry - it's nothing dirty or obscene - it simply means I am intrigued by mushrooms. In actuality, even though I don't have any in-depth knowledge about mushrooms, I am a bit of a mushroom geek. When I see a mushroom I immediately want to know what type it is and whether or not I can eat it!

I have a book about edible wild mushrooms...
 ...which has been a great aid for introducing me to other fungal culinary delights besides morels. I haven't been brave enough to try too many others (which also makes me a bit of a mycophobe) but I'm eager to try provided the chances of dying from eating the little bugger is "nil". If you are interested, you might enjoy this book, too. What I like about it is that it not only helps you identify the mushroom but also shows any dangerous mushrooms it resembles and then has a very nice section covering ways to preserve and/or prepare your finds. We've tried a couple of the suggested recipes and they were quite tasty!

Anyway, This brings me around to our recent trip to the north woods of Wisconsin. The cabin we stayed in was surrounded by mushrooms of all sorts - large and small, sublime and stinky, unique and common - and I tried to take pictures of them all! I'm pretty sure everyone was tired of me exclaiming "Ooooh, look at this!" and having it be... yes... another mushroom... Unfortunately, I had to also delete some of the fungi photos I took since I needed the space on my camera for boating trips, sunsets and the like.

The photo below isn't mine but it looks EXACTLY like the mushroom I saw in Wisconsin but missed getting a picture of. It's called a Stinkhorn. And PHEW! Does it ever STINK!!

Here are a few shots I did take that made the cut (click any photo to see the larger version):
Here is the strangest mushroom I found - a type of coral mushroom
And here are the largest, which measured about 6" across the cap, and the smallest, which measured just under 1/8" across the cap.

I was able to figure out what some of them were but others are still a mystery. If we get invited up again, I'll be sure to take my favorite mushroom book!! Won't that make everyone sooooo happy? :)

Brown Bead Soup

Here is a bead embroidered cuff made using a bead soup in shades of brown. It's still in-progress but I thought I'd share some photos with you :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunset over Lake Irving

I'm pretty happy to say that I haven't been around much lately :) That's because Dan & I were lucky enough to be invited to Northern Wisconsin to stay in a beautiful cabin on the shores of Lake Irving. What a wonderful trip!! The cabin (if you can call it that) is a sprawling abode on 4 wooded acres overlooking the lake.

It boasts an incredible screened porch which we practically lived on (if we weren't down by the lake or on it in one of the available boats - I liked the paddle boat the best, but more about that later).

One day was particularly stormy - nothing too scary. Although the clouds were fairly foreboding, the rain was gentle and the breeze was nice and cool - it was the perfect day to sit on the porch and watch the storm roll through. The sky began to clear around sunset and we ran down to the dock, cameras in hand, hoping to get some nice sunset shots. We weren't disappointed! I hope you will enjoy these shots I took that evening:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm still here and have a new project to show you!

Well, it has been a crazy few weeks!! We had a death in the family and then house guests so life has been a bit of a whirl-wind - a mix of the good and the bad - but life is slowly getting back to normal after all of the activity and holiday celebrations.

I have lots to blog about! The list just keeps getting longer - my Florida vacation, treasuries, new projects (yes, you read that correctly!! NEW projects! Yay!) - so let's get started, shall we?

A while back I told you about a lovely little bundle of pretties I got from my friend Cenya of EmeraldWindow (she has a fabulous shop on Etsy which you MUST stop by to see!!). Great collection of goodies, right?? I'm a lucky girl... :) She felt compelled to send me a this sweet kit for inspiration as I was feeling a bit drained creatively. She really is a sweetheart! Well, her bead-y medicine finally worked! Here is the finished product: "Heavenly Shades of Night". Despite the fact that I do have it listed on Etsy, it's reserved... for ME!! :)

It's my entry for the Etsy BeadWeavers monthly challenge. This month's theme is "Secret Garden" and was picked by Ileana of EnchantedBeads as she was the winner of the May challenge. The entry deadline has passed and all of the entries are posted! Click here or do a search on Etsy for "EBWC" to see them. If you'd like to get involved in the voting, just stop by the Etsy BeadWeavers blog anytime from July 9th through the 15th and vote for your favorite.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Morning Coffee - Quotes for the 4th of July

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."
- George Washington

"Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one."
- Benjamin Franklin

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."
- Thomas Jefferson

"Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike."
- Alexander Hamilton

"Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error."
- Benjamin Rush

"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value."
- Thomas Paine

"A chip on the shoulder is too heavy a piece of baggage to carry through life."
- John Hancock

"Error is discipline through which we advance."
- William Ellery

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
- James Madison

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."
- John Adams

"I mistrust the judgment of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned."
- Daniel Webster

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them."
- Patrick Henry

"No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent."
- John Jay

"Mankind are governed more by their feelings than by reason."
- Samuel Adams

"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character."
- Noah Webster