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, December 17, 2013

Chinese Lantern - A New Woven Neckpiece

The holiday season seems so busy for me this year - not that it actually IS busier than usual, it just seems that way! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever finish the necklace project I had started a couple of weeks ago. But I did, finally, almost, last night... it is still lacking a neck strap and so not entirely "finished" but we're getting there.

For now, I am calling this piece "Chinese Lantern" as the inspiration came from a bright red, embroidered silk jacket I have and then from the lovely vintage necklace pendant once for sale in my vintage shop on Etsy - it never sold and I was secretly glad of that! Originally, It had some faux pearl drops but I replaced them with freshwater pearls, gold-plated chain fringe and gold-plated bead caps. Matching earrings are in the making, as well. A more exotic moniker may come to me and the name will change but for now... it's "Chinese Lantern".

Here are a couple of photos I wanted to share - more to follow... Please feel free to comment - I would love to know what you think! :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Weavings

I have two new projects under-way right now... I'm really happy with my pinweaving jewelry but have started to become interested in tapestry weaving (and investigating methods for incorporating macrame into tapestry weavings) and coiled basket weaving. ALthough I haven't started on a basket yet, I have started a tapestry sampler in a handmade frame loom - made using a cast-off picture frame and small nails - and have a new necklace project underway.

Here are some photos of things I'm working on now... I hope you enjoy seeing them! Please leave a comment - I'd love to know your thoughts :)

New necklace in the planning...
... and in-progress!
A sampler of tapestry techniques on my homemade frame loom using a variety of found fibers

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Morning Coffee Quotes

Sailing - photo by Cindy Caraway

"You can do anything, but not everything."
- David Allen

"Expectations are premeditated resentments."
- Unknown

"A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake."
- Confucius

"It's sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew."
- Henry Rollins

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
- Oscar Wilde

"In the long run people hit only what they aim at."
- Henry David Thoreau

"Faith is not a shelter against all difficulties,
but a belief in the face of all contradictions.
- Unknown

"There is no need to fasten a bell to a fool."
- Danish Proverb

"He, who fears he will suffer, already suffers from his fears."
- Michel Eyquen

"The trouble with you gringos is that you think manana means 'tomorrow'.  What it really means is 'not today'."
- Unknown

"You manage things; you lead people."
- Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

"Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting."
- Bernard Meltzer

"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity."
- Albert Schweitzer

"Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning."
- Robert Kiyosaki

"We tell our triumphs to the crowds, but our own hearts are the sole confidants of our sorrows."
- Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

"A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts."
- Herbert V. Prochnow

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sonoran Skies 2

If you know me, you know that I REALLY like big statement jewelry! Not everyone does. Go figure... right? So, I decided to try making a smaller version of "Sonoran Skies", one of my needleweaving jewelry pieces. The pendant section measures 3 1/2" x 2" (instead of the 8" x 4 1/2" of the original). It can be worn in lengths up to 30". Here is "Sonoran Skies 2" - more compact in size but not in punch! I hope you'll agree...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Morning Coffee - A Bird Ballet

I thought this was cool and wanted to share it! Happy Autumn!

More of my work on
An incredibly poetic murmuration of starlings.
We were shooting for a commercial, waiting for an helicopter flying into the sunset, when thousands and thousands of birds came and made this incredible dance in the sky. It was amazing, we just forgot our job and started this little piece of poetry... Enjoy !
Directed by Neels CASTILLON
Shot by Mathias Touzeris
Producted by Masterfilms.
Music: Hand-made - Alt J

Friday, October 25, 2013

Something New - Freeform Crochet

Not that I'm planning on becoming an avid crocheter but... I have really enjoyed trying my hand at freeform crochet! Here's my first "scrumble" (aka. a small piece of freeform knitting or crochet) made with yarn that I bought at a garage sale. It's not really my typical color palette but I bought a gallon zip-lock full of partial skeins and small balls of yarn - the perfect stuff for trying out a new technique. With the help of YouTube videos (most in Russian or German!) I had great fun exploring freeform crochet! :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sonoran Skies Cuff

After finishing my latest neckpiece, Sonoran Skies, I decided to try to make a woven cuff to match. Here is the final product! -
Sonoran Skies Cuff by Cindy Caraway
I am quite proud of it but really wasn't too sure while I was making it....

Everything started as usual: a design was drawn up, colored, pinned to the board, warped with Irish waxed linen and off I went. Once the weaving was finished, though, I realized a couple of things: since I was used to sizing cuffs made with bead embroidery (which tend to be bulky), it was too long for being so thin and it felt too delicate to stand up to being worn on the wrist - I was afraid it would stretch out-of-shape too easily or snag on something.  
**That being said, please realize that I am a worrier and am always thinking about what could go wrong with a design or whether it can withstand being out in the "real world".

So... having a fabulous selection of very nice leather remnants thanks to my custom boot-maker friend, Paul (be sure to visit his site here), lining it with leather was my best option. And that's exactly what I did!

The top weaving is lined with one piece of leather and secured with embroidery (chain stitch) around the edge.

Then I padded the inside with some soft eco-felt and backed it with another piece of leather. The edge was finished with more embroidery (button-hole stitch).

I also added a clasp - two antique shell buttons and a wrap so the fit is completely adjustable.

Anyway, it's lovely (IMO) and super comfy to wear! My hubby even asked if I would make one for him (more masculine in it's design, of course!). Look for it soon in my shop on Etsy -

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Morning Coffee Quotes

St. Ulrich's Priory - Black Mountains, Germany - photo by Cindy Caraway
"Of all the people on the planet, you talk to yourself more than anyone. Make sure you are saying the right things."
- Martin Rooney

"The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Forgiveness is not a matter of exonerating people who have hurt you. They may not deserve exoneration. Forgiveness means cleansing your soul of the bitterness."
- Harold S. Kushner

"We gather our arms full of guilt as though it were precious stuff. It must be that we want it that way."
- John Steinbeck

"Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail."
- John R. Wooden

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong."
- Ecclesiastes 9:11

"People are attracted to you by what they see in you; they remain attracted to you by what you see in yourself."
- Mark Amend

"Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof."
- Kahlil Gibran

"Neither situations nor people can be altered by the interference of an outsider. If they are to be altered, that alteration must come from within."
- Phyllis Bottome

"The more you know the less you need to say."
- Jim Rohn

"Poor God, how often He is blamed for all the suffering in the world. It’s like praising Satan for allowing all the good that happens."
- E.A. Bucchianeri

"Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it."
- Albert Camus

"Our lives change in two ways: through the people we meet and the books we read."
- Harvey MacKay

"He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration."
- Michael Pollan

"The weak makes excuses, the strong makes changes."
- Habeeb Akande

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sonoran Skies

Here's the latest of my woven neckpieces - - -
Sonoran Skies! 

This piece was inspired by the vintage copper brooch and built from there in a lovely color palette of turquoise, coral pink, rusty red and silver grays. The beads include copper prayer beads from Ethiopia, Czech glass, pink shell heishi and one beautiful Chinese cloisonne bead. The fibers used are perle cotton, silk and silver metallic threads woven over waxed Irish linen. I hope you like it! I will be posting it on Etsy later today but here are some other shots for you to enjoy in the meantime... :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Morning Coffee Quotes

Christmas Lights Chicago - photo by Cindy Caraway

"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life."
- Baruch Spinoza

"Pay your people the least possible and you'll get from them the same."
- Malcolm S. Forbes

"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also."
- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
- Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"With most people, unbelief in one thing is founded upon blind belief in another."
- Georg C. Lichtenberg

"It’s a wonderful feeling when you discover some evidence to support your beliefs."
- Unknown

"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus

"We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine."
- Dwight L. Moody

"No one’s happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy."
- Ayn Rand

"When ability exceeds ambition, or ambition exceeds ability, the likelihood of success is limited."
- Ralph Half

"Self-worth comes from one thing -- thinking that you are worthy."
- Wayne Dyer

"Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses."
- James Baldwin

"We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school."
- Bruce Springsteen, No Surrender

"While we pursue happiness, we flee from contentment."
- Hasidic Proverb

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tree of Life is finished!

I finished "Tree of Life" today and really like how it turned out! It's available to purchase at CindyCaraway on Etsy - let me know what you think! :)

Morning Coffee Quotes

Hummingbird Having Lunch - photo by Cindy Caraway

"When chasing dreams, be certain you don't have the blankets pulled over your head."
- A.F. Raud

"To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it."
- Churton Collins

"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence."
- Eric Fromm

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
- Thích Nhất Hạnh

"Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition."
- Marilyn Monroe

"Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math."
- Ambrose Bierce

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"College was to teach me that I was one of life's journeymen, eager to excel but lacking the requisite gifts."
- Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

"Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different."
- J.K. Rowling

"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread."
- Mother Teresa

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
- Marianne Williamson

"Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious things."
- Randolph Bourne

"There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor."
- Oscar Wilde

"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful."
- C.S. Lewis

"It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is."
- Henri-Frédéric Amiel

"No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong."
- François de La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cool Vintage Stuff!

Some very cool vintage stuff came my way via a family member the other day. I was going to take lots of pics as I sorted and cleaned but got excited and completely forgot after the first few items... sorry.

So, here are the few photos I took to whet your appetite. I'm hoping to add some new listings to TwoDogVintage - my vintage shop on Etsy - soon!