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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Is it a sin??

Here is a beautiful beaded tiered necklace...
...yes, it's vintage, probably from the 50's or so. Made in Japan and fashioned from a wonderful collection of beads, most are glass.

It's really pretty, right? I think so, too! I thought so when I bought it many moons ago. Since then I have tried to sell it in my vintage shop. It has been listed 5 times - one more time than most items get. I will try 4 times to sell something and after that, it has to go away. So, this piece, according to my rule, must go away. The only way I can justify "keeping" it is to harvest the lovely beads and findings from it for use in new jewelry pieces. I have no problem harvesting vintage jewelry - usually the plating is faded or a bead or two are chipped or the stringing material is degrading or half a clasp is missing - there's always something that renders the piece "harvest-able". None of these apply to this necklace. It is in perfect condition! I have never had a beaded tiered necklace in such wonderful condition and have it not sell. Is it a sin to tear it apart for the beads?? What do you think?

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Victorian Romance Upcycled Beaded Necklace

The piece I have been working on is finally finished! Actually, it was finished days ago but it's taken me some time to get my poop in a group and photos taken. I love how this piece turned out!

Victorian Romance Upcycled Beaded Necklace

Featured is a bead embroidered focal which incorporates lots of vintage treasures: a resin cameo, an enamel cabochon, a pretty daisy which used to be an earring, nailhead beads and Czech glass crystals in delicate green (all of which were rescued from vintage jewelry). It's even backed with reclaimed leather. Only the seed beads are new!

Victorian Romance Upcycled Beaded Necklace

Opposite the bead embroidery is a vintage brooch (still with the original pin back) in gold with pearl flowers. These are tied together with 3 tiers of beads and chain (also upcycled from vintage jewelry). The clasp is a vintage pearl and sterling silver box clasp.

Victorian Romance Upcycled Beaded Necklace

The length of the necklace is 24". While this necklace is very well balanced, I opted to leave the pin back on the brooch. If you pin the brooch to your shirt, it keeps the necklace from swinging around and shifting. It also lets you decide at what angle you'd like the focals to rest.

So, I hope you like her! She's for sale on Etsy if you REALLY like her! :)

Things to make you happy!

Here is a very cheerful treasury collection put together by anthropolotique on Etsy. It made me happy - I hope you will enjoy it, too! :) 

'Happiness' by anthropolotique

Things that make me happy

Tropical Paradise Driftwood ...

Rain Cloud Necklace

1970s or 1980s Sneaker Rolle...

Looking for Love - Fine art ...

Vintage Patti Originals Flor...

Color Me Rad Stilettos

Hollywood romantic birdcage ...

Magic lanterns - fine art ph...

Pure Raw Ohio Fall Honey -8 ...

VIntage 60's PAGODA Tass...

White Bling Flower ring

Lotus Reverse Knot Dress

Vivid Carnival Glass Plate

Blue Bird Nest Soap Set

Aquamarine Rhinestone Neckla...
Treasury tool is sponsored by

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Morning Coffee Quotes

"Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."
- Milton Friedman

"Not being able to govern events, I govern myself."
- Michel de Montaigne

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."
- Jim Rohn

"An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for years or months.
A competent attorney can delay one even longer."
- Evelle J. Younger

"Beware of a man of one book."
- English Proverb

"If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants."
- David Ogilvy

"And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department."
- Andrew Carnegie

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
- Albert Schweitzer

"Any fact is better established by two or three good testimonies than by a thousand arguments."
- Nathaniel Emmons

"Reasonable argument is impossible when authority becomes the arbiter."
- Orson Scott Card

"All married women are not wives."
- Japanese Proverb

"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away."
- Elvis Presley

"Most people want to be delivered from temptation, but would like it to keep in touch."
- Robert Orben

"A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently."
- St. Augustine

"Good is not good, when better is expected."
- Thomas Fuller

"Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible."
- Doug Larson

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Look for me in Super Beadwork!

Well, I got the first glimpse of my "Roller Rink Bracelet" project in the Feb/Mar 2011 issue of "Super Beadwork" magazine. Woo hoo! Look for it in the new "Quick and Easy" section.

It's kind of weird to see your stuff in print. I was standing in front of the craft magazine section at Borders, casually leafing through the magazine (successfully resisting the urge to show the guy in the Automotive section next to me) and there it was - my name next to a design I dreamed up "all by me onesie" (a la Jack Sparrow). No link to the project yet on the site but here's a shot or two of the design:

Photos by Cindy Caraway
Pretty cool, huh?? :)

Sneak Peeks of a New Project

I have been working on a new necklace project for a while now. While I think it is going to be a very nice piece when I get it all put together, my momentum has not been strong. Perhaps a little dose of "Pride and Prejudice" (the BBC version with Colin Firth) will do the trick!! Here are some peeks into what I've gotten done so far - I hope you like it! :)

She started out as just a pile of pretty bits and beads...
... it will be fun to see how she turns out!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Morning Coffee Quotes

"Deliberation. The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on."
- Ambrose Bierce

"To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved."
- George MacDonald

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way."
- John Maxwell

"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."
- Xenocrates

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't."
- Henry Ward Beecher

"A thick head can do as much damage as a hard heart."
- Unknown

"Worldly wisdom has a way of reducing heaven’s wisdom to an afterthought."
- Boyd Bailey

"If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
- Tom Stoppard

"There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order."
- Ed Howdershelt

"Worriers spend a lot of time shoveling smoke."
- Claude McDonald

"If you want to be successful, you must either have a chance or take one."
- Unknown

"It is better to wear out than to rust out."
- Theodore Roosevelt

"The foolish and the dead never change their opinions."
- James Russell Lowell

"Maturity begins when we’re content to feel right about something without feeling the necessity to prove someone else wrong."
- Sydney J. Harris

"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I am thankful that I am not a Republican."
- H.L. Mencken

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."
- Unknown (although commonly attributed to Mark Twain)

"The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt."
- Bertrand Russell

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bunny With a Tool Belt

While attending the One-of-a-Kind Show in Chicago last month, I happened upon a booth selling THE cutest carved wood, hand painted figures - it was "Bunny With A Tool Belt".

They have a super cute blog and use their figures to create wonderful stop-motion animations (like the one below). Be sure to visit their blog and check out their Etsy shop - you'll be glad you did! Enjoy! :)

What's Your Sign? from Hilary Pfeifer on Vimeo.

World Traveler cuff bracelet

"World Traveler" cuff bracelet

"World Traveler" is my latest creation. My husband thinks it has the look of something very old - which I love the idea of. Organic textures are perfect in their imperfection and, I may be biased here, but that's how I feel about this cuff. This I say even though the German part of my psyche longs for order and symmetry.

I feel the need to explain what I mean by that last statement:
There are many ways in which my German ancestry (75%) influences my daily life. First and foremost: I like rules and actually thrive in environments of regimentation. I honestly feel that the world runs better when we all follow the rules. I stay to the right when walking through a doorway, down a staircase, traveling along a hallway or aisle at the grocery store. I use my turn signal ALL THE TIME - even in parking lots because it's important other drivers and those intrepid pedestrians know what I intend to do next. These (and others but you don't want to get me going!!) were the rules I was raised with and, I have to tell you, honestly, they work (if you can get people to put down their cell phones long enough to actually care what else is going on in the world around them)!

**Ooops... sorry about that little rant...**

Where was I? Oh, yes! Order! Symmetry!... but then I get these visions which eerily resemble scenes from "The Wall" of people in lifeless masks marching in straight lines - endless conformity, no personality, no beauty, no art. So, luckily, the Irish in me (the other 25%) says bring on the Guinness and let's get a little sloppy!! :) Thank goodness! If it weren't for that bit o' blarney in my make-up I would still be working in education... or banking... yuk.

Anyway.... this cuff hails from the Irish side of my brain. Fashioned from vintage buttons and a mixed up bunch of glass beads held together by sturdy cotton string, I have decided to call this one "World Traveler". It's also comfy to wear! I hope you like it. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Morning Coffee - The Secret Powers of Time

Wow... nothing more to say on that. Watch it and marvel at the artwork and the message. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Morning Coffee Quotes

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right."
- Isaac Asimov

"I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom."
- Anatole France

"It hurts to be on the cutting edge."
- Unknown

"Beware the fury of a patient man."
- John Dryden

"Better to burn out than rust out."
- Neil Young

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

"Before you can break out of prison, you must first realize you're locked up."
- Unknown

"Intolerance is the most socially acceptable form of egotism, for it permits us to assume superiority without personal boasting."
- Sydney J. Harris

"The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose."
- Richard Leider

"Fools live to regret their words, wise men to regret their silence."
- Will Henry

"If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool."
- Carl Jung

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before."
- Kurt Vonnegut

"How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America?"
- Unknown

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things."
- Winston Churchill

"An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind."
- Walter Bagehot

"And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."
- Thomas Jefferson

Bibs - not just for babies anymore!

This treasury just brought a smile to my face! If you love big jewelry, like I do, you will certainly appreciate this collection of beauties curated by "essentials". Enjoy!

'Bibs are not only for babies.' by essentials

Bib necklaces - love them or hate them, they just have that touch of drama that can't be beat!


Multi Gemstone Gold Wire Wra...

Chainmaille Red Scale Collar...

Long Gold Pearl Multi Layer ...

Red and Gold Zipper Neckpiec...

Draped Bib Necklace

Lace Bib Necklace with Black...

Harley- Chunky Chain and Rh...

Heart of a Tiger- Statement ...

Ophelia Necklace

On Sale THE DUCHESS Beaded S...

Necklace Green Roses Bib Sty...

Artlab's Couture Harness...

Verano - Crocheted Statement...

Barnacle Coiled Necklace in ...

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