Thursday, December 17, 2009


To most Americans fruitcake conjurs up images of sticky raisins, sickly sweet cherries and general reactions of "YUK" or more kindly "No thanks". Most of my American comrades react this way, however I do have a couple of friends, bless their hearts, that like my fruitcake; at least they say they do and even agree to take some home with them. What they do with it, I really don't want to know!

Fruitcake brings back memories of my childhood growing up in Canada, when my British mother would enlist the help of me and my sisters for the yearly baking task. I remember having to line the tins with paper, making sure that both sides were generously coated in butter so they would "stick" to the pans. I also recall her taking the cakes out of their aluminum tins every week to pour some more rum or brandy on the top. I remember the gooey stickiness of cutting the red and green candied cherries in half, (how do they get those cherries so green anyway?) and the sweet aroma filling the house that only cakes made with real butter can do!

Last year, for the first time in my adult life, I decided to pull out the "ole" recipe and give it a try. It was a little difficult to find all the ingredients here in the United States that matched my Canadian recipe. I also think by the time I started shopping, a lot of the ingredients had been snatched up already. Now wait a minute. There must be some Americans here buying all the mixed fruit peel, glazed cherries and such! I also couldn't believe how much it costs to make these cakes! This year, I decided to cut the recipe by 1/3; it just made way too much. I still ended up with 2- loaf pan size cakes and 1- 6" round.

My version is a LIGHT fruitcake, which means that you can still see white cake in between the fruit. There are some fruitcakes that are so heavy that they really don't contain much flour at all. The DARK Fruit cake recipe in my book has only 1/4 cup of flour for 1 cake. I have to admit I'm not really a fan of those.

For some inspiration or perhaps a chuckle, I've included a link to an old 1975 video I found of a British cook named Fanny Cradock. My favorite line from Part One is:

"Prices are so terrible these days, but you have to be allowed ONE piece of decent cake a year."

I'm not sure about Fanny's recipe but this version is very DECENT indeed and not too heavy on the fruit, so that most people will at least be willing to give it a try!


(Adapted from Five Roses Cookbook 1983)
This recipe represents 2/3 of the original, sorry about all the 1/3’s!

2 2/3 cups chopped mixed peel
2 1/3 cups raisins (dark or sultana, I prefer dark)
1 cup glazed red cherries, cut in halves
1 cup glazed green cherries, cut in halves
2/3 cup orange juice
2 cups sliced or slivered blanched almonds
Juice & rind from 1 lemon (2 Tbsp. juice, 1.5 Tbsp. rind)
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
2/3 lb. butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 eggs (warm to room temp.)
*Combine fruits and soak overnight in orange juice.

Preheat oven. Grease and line 2 loaf pans with greased waxed or parchment paper. Add almonds, juice and rind to fruit mixture; sprinkle with a little flour (from measured amount) and mix well. Combine balance of flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside. Cream butter; gradually add sugar, beating between additions. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Fold in fruit mixture. Fill prepared pans, ¾ full. Place a shallow pan of hot water on bottom rack of oven. Place cake pans in center of oven. Bake in a slow oven about 1 hour. Remove pan of hot water and bake about 1 ¼ hours longer or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack before removing cakes. Wrap well (plastic and then foil) and store in a cool dry place. Let cakes ripen at least 3 weeks.

Loaf pans: 2 - 8” X 4.5”
1 - 6” diameter spring form pan
Cooking time: about 2 ¼ hours
Temperature: 275° F.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am excited to let you know about a sale this weekend in my online shops on Etsy and Artfire.

As a thank you to all of my blog readers, previous customers, family and friends I'm offering FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE all weekend. What a great way to jump start your Christmas shopping or treat yourself to something you've had your eye on!

The sale starts November 27th and goes through midnight (PST) Monday, November 30th. When checking out, type in "FREESHIP" in the notes to seller and I will refund the amount through Paypal.

If buying through Artfire, the savings will be deducted automatically with the coupon code.

Thanks so much for helping me make my business a success this year and choosing to BUY HANDMADE.

Feel free to forward this blogpost to friends and family so they can take advantage of the savings too!

All the best to you and your families....Debora

PS. To shop just click on one of the links above.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Autumn Inspiration...

We had a lot of wind last night, and so once again the ground is covered in leaves, mostly maple from the huge tree I've photographed above, mixed in with various others from our backyard greenbelt. Piles and piles of them in hues of yellow, russet, green and orange. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of bright red color, as oak trees are not very common here in the Pacific Northwest.

Seeing this sight makes me stare in awe at the symphony of color around me, while others make a mad dash for their rakes! You can see that Fall color is my inspiration in the few pieces of jewelry I've scattered throughout my collage. Thankfully, my husband is the one who is inspired to grab the rake!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's my birthday...and I'll have a sale...

if I want to! Yes, I'm back and feeling so much better. I thought I'd share some new designs that have been added to my shop in the last week.

and... to celebrate feeling well again AND my birthday I'm going to have a FREE SHIPPING sale to all my US and Canadian blog followers and Facebook fans. This will only be advertised here so here's your chance for some exclusive savings.

Just type in FREESHIP in the notes to seller on either my Artfire or Etsy shop and I will refund the shipping amount through Paypal. Sale starts today October 24th and ends Sunday midnight Oct 25th, 2009.

Happy Shopping...and Happy Birthday to Me...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I've been fighting a case of the flu this week and unable to post anything new on my blog. I just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about you!

Our typical rainy Fall days are starting to appear with more frequency here in Washington state and we are beginning the "big gray" as my husband called it this morning .Meanwhile keep healthy everyone, see you soon!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Recently I was asked by an representative if I would like to do a review on my blog of their Swarovski Crystallized Elements Line. Of course I didn't hesitate. I have been a happy customer of Artbeads since I began making jewelry several years ago and everyone knows that Swarovski crystals are known to be the very best in terms of quality, availability of shapes, finishes and colors.

Artbeads is located in Gig Harbor, WA, just south of where I live in the NW corner of Washington state, so I get my items quickly and when I was just starting out and buying a few things at a time, I loved the free shipping with no minimum order.

After browsing through their extensive selection of Swarovski crystal I decided on a couple of "glam" pendants, some shapes and colors that I wanted to check out, and some old standbys that I have used for years- mainly their 4mm bicones.


  • I call this one... Black Beauty. It is simply wire wrapped Swarovski Rounds in Black Diamond and Jet Bicones gracefully interrupted with short links of sterling silver chain. It is a versatile piece that can be worn for everyday or dressed up. Because of the wide variety of sizes available, I was able to gradually decrease the sizes of the beads from 8mm in front to 4mm in back. The back has a 2" extender chain with a fine silver disc to finish it off.

  • "Romancing the Bride" ... Lovely baroque pendants wire wrapped to 4mm bicones and 6mm rounds all in Crystal AB (aurora borealis) make a classic and very stunning pair of earrings for the bride or any special occasion.

  • "Romantic Glam"... I literally gasped when I pulled this teardrop pendant in light vitrail out of the package along with its sister in Vitrail Medium (below). I decided these didn't need a lot of dressing up, so I simply wire wrapped them in sterling silver wire and attached them to a cable chain. These would be fabulous for any upcoming Christmas/Holiday party when you want to make a statement. I would be shocked if you didn't get at least one compliment while wearing either one of these beauties! for my favorite..."Mysterious". The sterling chain and all the findings have been oxidized. I wire wrapped a couple of 4mm vitrail medium bicones at the clasp end for a nice finishing touch.

  • And here are a couple of projects below that are "in the works". I don't have all the components I need to finish these off but I wanted to show you a few more of the Swarovski elements I received. Below are Graphic beads in Crystal Copper, Helix beads in Purple Velvet, 4mm bicones in a new color called Mocca, more Purple Velvet and Swarovski Asymmetrical Pearls in Powder Almond waiting to be made into a triple strand bracelet.

  • Classic 4mm bicones in this fun mix of indicolite, silk, smokey topaz, burgundy and lime ready to be wire wrapped into a simple 2 strand necklace with oxidized sterling chain.

Make sure to check out for a huge selection of Swarovski Crystallized Elements products. I'm sure you won't be disappointed when you see their competitive prices and experience their excellent customer service!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Will they come? I know there is a movie that says so.

After you create wonderful products into which you pour our heart, skill, capital and time...

After you take fabulous photographs because you know that great PHOTOS are THE most, if not most important element to online success...

After you work on SEO (search engine optimization), descriptions, eye catching titles...

After you work further on branding, banners, avatars, shop policies, artist's bio's, etc...

Do you just sit there and wait?

Ha, if only it were that easy!

The single biggest surprise I had in starting an online jewelry business Beadin By The Sea was the startling realization that the "If you build it, they will come" mentality is simply not true! You can have the most awesome products, great photos, slick website but if no one sees it, you are doomed!

After a year and a half of selling online I am still (and always will be I suspect) trying to figure out how to draw customers to my shop. Of course there are the traditional ways to promote a business that work, like advertising (web based or traditional), passing out business cards, promotions, give aways and networking with other artists and business owners. And then there is the whole mysterious social realm of marketing of which I'm still exploring. Yes, I am twittering, facebooking, blogging, and, participating in forums.

Whew! This all reinforces the fact that, after we build it, we need to promote it, maintain it, tweak it, add to it and promote it some more!

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be a "how to" market your online business, because I'm no expert! I would, however, appreciate your thoughts how you attract customers to your shop, or how you get noticed in the World Wide Web and maybe we can help each other.

Credits: I must give thanks to this spider which I found yesterday morning spinning his web along our front driveway. I was mesmerized by the way he worked, so deftly spinning his silk, determined to finish the task at hand, totally oblivious of my camera flashes. Of course, I would be this focused too, if I depended on my web for my food supply. Oh, maybe there's a lesson in there too!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Darker mornings, crisper days, and back to school... I think it's finally time to say goodbye to summer and get excited about Fall! I was going to share a new treasury with you this morning, but after snagging it at 6:00 am, it developed some glitches and I had a big hole in the middle! I deleted it and I'll try this afternoon when the Treasury opens up again.

In the meantime, here are some items from my shop that give me that Fall feeling. Greens, golds, yellows and browns are all colors that we see alot of in the Pacific Northwest as summer gradually turns into Autumn.

Are you seeing signs of Fall in your part of the world?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am now finally the owner of an "UN-broken hearts" Starbucks mug. Remember I wrote a post about the one that I broke? Here is the link to Part 1 to get you up to date. It took 17 days for it to get here even though it was shipped using Priority Mail which takes 3-5 days. Of course when you don't mail the package for 2 weeks it takes a little longer. Yes, I'm happy with my purchase but the whole transaction really reinforced in me how critical communication is to providing excellent customer service. I feel that this is particularly important in an online shop because you can't feel and touch the product and talk to the owner face to face.

Apparently the Ebay seller had to have surgery (that I believe was scheduled) and wasn't able to mail her packages out. A quick note to tell me there would be a delay would have alleviated any doubts, negative thoughts and impatience I felt. After finally writing an email after 2 weeks, I did get an apologetic phone call explaining the circumstances. As a customer, don't you just want to know there is someone there working or making progress to getting your product out the door?

Every sale that I receive, I send an email to my buyer to thank them for their order and let them know when I plan to ship. There are days when I'm busy and it feels like an extra burden I'm tempted to shrug off. After all, they do get an automated one from Etsy or ArtFire but a personalized messsage is something that I really value and want to pass on to my customers. It is what sets apart a small one woman operation from the big guys. I realize there are some shops that have many sales a day (much more than me) and this could get time consuming. It is my wish that I'm never too busy to show appreciation to my customers in this way because without them I would have no business!

So, with that I think I will go have another cup of tea in my new coffee mug (yes tea) and get ready for my day. I would also like to thank all of you who read my blog, visitors and customers, who leave your wonderful comments of encouragement and support!

Have a great day...Debora
Disclaimer: I am not and do not claim to be an expert in online selling. These are just my views and please don't take them as an attack if you do not agree or practice them, thanks...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


What does one do when sales are slow? August started out with a flurry of sales. After being featured in an Etsy Storque Article Top Ten Monogram Pendants (first time for me) the extra traffic pushed me up to my 200th sale. Whoo Hoo! Things this week have really slowed down and I'm taking the advice that I so often hear in the Etsy forums. I've turned my attention to retaking some photos that were mediocre and sprucing up my shop with a new mannequin.

I ordered this gal and she arrived last week. I really wanted a mannequin that was life size and flesh colored. I have decided to call her "Emma" because if I had had a girl that's what I would have named her. Anyway, when I was unpacking Emma from her box, my son was in the room and I jokingly told him he must not look as she was very naked. Yes, he complied! Hee, hee! Isn't she lovely dressed in my lilac and blue handknit sweaters?

In my research, I have noticed that there seems to be an ongoing debate as to whether customers like to see jewelry modeled. Many people are turned off by the "ick" factor of knowing that the jewelry they are considering buying has been worn and this seems especially true of earrings. But many like to be able to get the sense of scale that a model offers, since jewelry photos are so often magnified to show details. Personally, I enjoy looking at shops that use a model or mannequin especially when they show how the necklaces can be worn with different clothing. They are great because they can give us a sense of scale that cannot be achieved by lying the piece of jewelry on a flat surface.

I have to say that I've had an item or 2 returned because the customer didn't read the measurements in the description and realize how small it is. What do you think? Are you more likely to buy a necklace because you have seen how it looks on a "person"?

I really appreciate you taking the time to leave your comments below. I read each and every one!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Is there a name for a fear of emptying the dishwasher,"Emptydishwasherphobia" perhaps? I think I'm starting to dread this job more and more. I've had my share of broken plates and glasses that have slipped out of my hands and landed on my merciless granite countertop, but now I've broken my very favorite coffee cup! I'd love to tell you that it was a surprise gift from my hubby on Valentines Day and you could all feel extra sorry for me, but I have to be honest and admit that's not the case. It does have sentimental value though, because there is a story behind how I came to have it. Would you like to hear it? I will apologize for the long story. You may opt to skim this part, but men take particular note.

My husband always asks me what I want for Valentines Day expecting me to pronounce some lavish wish like a dozen red roses, a romantic dinner for two or perhaps some fine jewelry. As you know I have plenty of beads and baubles, so much so, that I have to sell it online!. Sorry, I digress!

I replied that year, that I simply wanted a special cup I had seen at Starbucks that had a stainless steel bottom with floating red hearts. Well, Valentines Day rolled around and my sweetheart did not produce the cup! Yes, I was disappointed, but he couldn't figure out why I wanted something so ordinary like a coffee cup. Oh, yes, he had gone to the Starbucks near work and they didn't have any such mug. Oh men, ye of little resourcefulness! So guess what did? I called all the local Starbucks shops in the Kansas City area and lo and behold there was one left which I promptly went to buy (which was half price by then because the special day had come and gone). And that is the story of how I came to own this cup... and now it's broken.

Where do you go when you need to find a rare collectible? Ebay of course! Even my preteen son knows this. I did find one, bought it, and I'm waiting patiently for it to arrive on my doorstep. The reason I'm calling this Part 1 is because I ordered it almost 2 weeks ago and I haven't received it yet. The saga continues...

All of this may seen trivial but it has taught me something. For a broken cup to be the worst part of my day, I would say that I am hugely blessed and life is very good!

Have a great day, and be careful when you empty that dishwasher!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I'm having a free shipping sale! All paid orders made between 08/01/09 thru midnight 08/02/09 PST will receive FREE SHIPPING WITHIN THE USA on both my ArtFire and Etsy shops.

Just type in the code "WEEKEND DEALS" in the message to seller upon checkout and I will promptly refund the amount through Paypal. If you've been "on the fence" about something now may be the time to treat yourself!

Click Here for my Etsy shop
Click Here for my ArtFire Shop

And... Have a great summer weekend!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


the more trouble I have making up my mind! Just ask my husband. After much deliberation, here it is... my new mountain bike! It is the 2010 version of the one below. I can check this off on the ole wishlist!

I have to say that choosing just the right bike was quite the dilemma for me, but mostly because the aqua blue color I really wanted (shown below) was no longer available. So it's really not an age thing, it's an availability issue! When you have to alter course, that's where it gets tough and you have to weigh all your different options. This applies to everything, not just bikes, don't you think?

Here's my method of choosing a bike:

1. Color
2. Price
3. Color
4. Size
5. Color
6. Availability
7. Lastly COLOR!

Now given the time of summer and the fact that the Tour De France just ended, availabililty should probably be first on the list. Bicycles aren't something that you can buy over the internet and have delivered to your house. I'm so used to finding what I want/need online and just ordering it. I did find the color I wanted but it was in San Diego California, just a little too far down the road to say "Hang on, I'll be right over to pick it up".

And you guessed it, color is very important to me. Not so surprising for one who has a creative mind! This is what drove my husband crazy because he didn't understand how high it rated on the scale.

Well, in the end I didn't get the color I really wanted but I do love the silver and red. The colors are more classic and will be better in the long run. Now I need to buy a helmet and some clothes to match though. Good grief did I just say that? At least those can be delivered... and the world is my marketplace, Yea.

Monday, July 27, 2009


With all the seasonal blooms surrounding me with vibrant color this summer, I was beginning to think that my jewelry shop needed some splashes as well. I love sterling silver jewelry because it just GOES with everything you could possibly wear, but there's nothing like color to perk up your spirits! Sorry for the self promotion here today, but I wanted to share a few brand new pieces I've just added to my shop. My favorite color is blue so it's only fitting that this is where I start! The first photo above is a lariat necklace with Aqua blue (my favorite shade of blue) chalcedony briolettes called "Sea Breeze".

Dreamy Blues... AAA London Blue Topaz Earrings

And for those that love soft pastels...Hopeless Romantic Coin Pearls

Thanks for letting me share. I'm off to dig through my stash of gemstones for some more colorful additions to my jewelry shop. Next is a necklace to match the pearl earrings.

Have a great day and enjoy seeing all the summer colors because they only last for so long!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


... by these innocent faces! Papa and Junior you have been caught!

We've just had alot of landscaping done in our yard, including tearing down a fence around our property to expose the natural green belt behind us and planted lots of new shrubs. I wish I could show you the before pictures because it was quite the transformation!

Now that we have no fence however, we have discovered that the deer that I so often admire with their seemingly sweet little faces are actually menaces in disguise. They really love the new dogwood trees that we planted along the perimeter of the garden and have taken to eating the leaves for snacks. I couldn't resist getting out my camera to catch them in the act before I shooed them away.

Here they are looking a little guilty now.

Great photo you guys. Okay you can go now and eat someone else's yard!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Do you have them? Wishlists, I mean? You know the sites where you can save your favorites or make a wishlist?

I don't know about you but the internet has really revolutionized my way of shopping. This year marks the 10 year anniversary since we bought our first computer. I would say that my internet buying has increased exponentially since then! I never would have thought that I'd be selling jewelry via the web and shipping it all over the world either.

I live in a small town with a VERY limited selection of shops and it's exciting to know that the world is my shopping mall! Many of you reading this may have grown up in the era when you knew of no other way, but I remember having to thumb through catalogs and spending hours driving all over town looking for something specific I needed. Most of my purchases arise from careful thought, planning AND necessity. So why am I writing about wishlists?

These earrings that I made for my online shop Beadin By The Sea at the request of a customer... have reinforced something I already knew. That I need a really good pair of flush cutters. By the way I love suggestions from my customers. They have the best ideas! To make 8 nicely formed rings for these earrings I probably had to fuse twice that many. Wire and money wasted because I could not achieve a good cut with my current cutters. I've had these Tronex cutters on my wishlist for about 6 months and I finally coughed up the $60 for them and ordered them this morning. I can't wait to get them and try them out. Liz Jones recommends using them for fine silver wire fusing in her book "Silver Wire Fusing". I'll be sure to write a review when I get them since alot of you who read my blog are jewelry artists.

So, since we are talking about shopping and wishlists I'll share with you some other items on my wishlist. Here we go...

Paragon SC2 Digital Kiln for PMC: Approx. $600

Big ticket item here. This kiln would allow me to fire many PMC pieces at one time. I could also make larger pieces even 3 dimensional ones.

Or perhaps the Ultra Lite Beehive Kiln: Approx $200

A lower price tag makes this more affordable but it does not have a digital thermometer. It's also very small, that plate is about 3 inches across!

And then there is the issue of a new bicycle. I gave away my mountain bike when we moved 2 years ago and I haven't replaced it yet. My wishlist includes getting a "Giant" mountain bike since both my husband and son have one. Which one do you like? I like the price of the Boulder but the color of the Rincon. Oh, what to do!

Rincon Women's: MSRP $540.

Boulder SE W: $350

As you can see, I won't be asking my husband for baubles and clothes this Christmas. Bring on the tools Honey!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Apple Pie! You thought I'd put a picture of fireworks on my blog today didn't you? Well, July 4th means parades, fireworks and food as well as celebrating the freedoms in our country.

I had a craving for homemade apple pie yesterday with fresh apples using my mother's family pastry recipe. Yes, it was delicious...and... I'm not even American!

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Makes for a lazy blogger! Yes, I admit it, that's me. I haven't blogged for over a week and I don't know where the time went!

Well, let's see... I've been enjoying these schedule free days by catching up on sleep (very important), lounging around with my son and eating the occasional ice cream treat, shopping, reading news on the internet, going for walks, etc. If it weren't for filling jewelry orders in my Etsy shop, I would be positively brain dead!

I must say after 2 weeks of school being out, I'm going a little stir crazy. My son is a homebody, but I think it's time to get out and enjoy this beautiful summer we've been having. We've done so much work on our house that a major vacation is out of the question this year, but a little trip to somewhere hot might be in order, perhaps Leavenworth, WA. I'd also love to buy myself a bike and get out on some of the trails around here again. I regret that I gave away my old mountain bike a couple of moves ago and haven't replaced it. I really love to play tennis and need to pick up my racquet again. And finally yesterday, I received some more metal clay in my mailbox that is ready to be rolled and shaped into some new designs for my jewelry shop.

Here's a collage of things I could be doing:

1. Ahh, the days when my son loved to get out on his bike, taken 5 years ago.

2. Family tennis, taken recently at the local courts.

3. A beautiful 18 hole mini golf course in Leavenworth WA, very fun!

4. Metal clay in the process of drying on my hotplate.

Okay, I'm off to get something done, but first maybe another cup of tea and catching up on the news in the local paper first... lazy, lazy, I tell you!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Yes, it is officially summer, although it doesn't feel much like it here today with our overcast skies. I'm going to make strawberry jam, so I thought I'd snap a picture of these red beauties before I smash them into a pulp! I've already eaten way too many but it's so hard to resist the sweetness and juiciness of freshly picked strawberries. Along the main street of our small town there are fruit stands that beckon you to partake of this local fare.

Every year during this time, childhood memories of picking strawberries come floating back to mind. I reminisce of my 2 sisters and me, many years ago in BC, Canada, deciding that we were going to make lots of money picking strawberries in the fields. We responded to an ad in the paper looking for pickers, where they drive you by bus to the fields, about 45 minutes away. We picked all day in the summer sun, probably ate too many strawberries, (seems to be a pattern here) and came home hot, dusty, sweaty and with only a few dollars in our pockets. Yes, our hopes of loaded bank accounts were dashed and we didn't make it back the next day. I remember coming home and my Mom had fixed strawberries for dessert! At that point we didn't want to look at another strawberry! I guess that's why to this day I just buy the berries already picked. They just seem to taste better that way!

One more thing. Here is a treasury I made that reminds me of those strawberry picking days. If you click on it, it will take you to the treasury room where you can comment. It's only there for 2 days so don't delay!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Hope for tomorrow. I took this picture tonight of the gorgeous pink sunset that was painted across the sky in front of our house. Not only was it beautiful, and fleeting, but it got me to thinking how, as a Christian, I have a bright hope for tomorrow.

I have peace in my heart knowing that the Lord who made me knows me and loves me and even when I leave this place I have faith in the knowledge that I will live with Him forever.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I know a lot of you who read my blog are sellers on Etsy. So pardon me, Non Etsians, while I share some good luck I had yesterday with my fellow sellers. If this can happen to me, I know it can happen to any of my Etsy blog friends!

You know how you look at the front page when Admin picks the items and you see that they've used a certain search word like "woodland" or "weddings" or "Spring"? Well, I have many a time and I silently yell and wave my arms in the air "Pick Me, Pick Me"...Hello over here!!!

Well, yesterday it finally happened to me! They used the search term "rustic" and lo and behold my "Organic Hoop Earrings" were included on the Front page Admin Picks. They are in the center of the 3rd row. They were there for about 20 minutes before they sold. Again, I did not get to see it, but found out about it from CraftCult and got a screenshot thanks to Etsy Front Pagers on Flickr.

Now if only I HAD seen it and I could have increased the quantity to 2. I'm being greedy though aren't I...20 minutes on the Front Page is certainly lucky indeed and I'll take it thank you very much!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Latest Treasury

Excuse me for sharing this with you but I love this treasury I put together yesterday. I hadn't made one in such a long time and I had fun selecting all these items for a blue, yellow and white theme. It all started when I discovered that sweet little sachet pillow that is front and center.

Since there are over 600 treasuries at the moment, I know that mine has a very slim chance of making it to the front page, so I thought I'd give it a little more exposure here- one of the advantages of having your own blog!

Why we Etsy people make treasuries is still a mystery to me. After taking the time to select all the items from the thousands of them on the site, copying and pasting the numbers into poster sketch and then again once that little box shows up (after you wait some more) is beyond me. And then to have no one look at it is disappointing to say the least!

But continuing making them I will because it's like filling a blank canvas with little bits of art to make a cohesive, colorful picture. I guess that's why they call us "curators". Oh, well, at least I can post it here and hopefully it will get some "love"! If you click on it, it will take you to the treasury room but just for a couple of days until it expires! The more clicks it gets and the more comments, my chances of getting on the front page go up.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


"So what does that mean?" you may ask. Yes, I know it's a strange title that probably needs a little explanation for Non-Etsians.


So there you have it. I've decided to participate this year in this Etsy wide sale. There are many shops offering special deals between June 10th and 14th, 2009. I realize I'm a little late starting and letting you know, but what else is new!

Go to and you can type in the word YART in your search. This will bring up many shops having a sale.

Of course, I'd prefer if you visit my shop Beadin By The Sea first (I know I'm shamelessly self promoting) by clicking here. I have a YART sale section with 10% off selected items. And if you leave BLOGFREESHIP in the notes to seller upon checkout, I'll even throw in free domestic shipping on all items. (that's within the USA). But just until midnight June 14, 2009!

See you there!

Friday, June 5, 2009


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

from "All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil F. Alexander 1848

A friend of ours treated us to a boat ride last night around Fidalgo Island, Washington state, where we live. It was a beautiful evening as our "heatwave" continues- just perfect for boating. I took many photos, which I may post at another time, but this one of the sea lion was by far the most intriguing.

Apparently this big fella is often seen suntanning on this buoy and is quite used to boats getting close for a better look. It certainly reminded me that God made all creatures, big and small, , swift and slow, beautiful and beautifully challenged in all sizes and shapes! We also saw a pod of dolphins, but well, they are too swift for my camera! I'm also thankful for the generosity of our friend to give of his time to show us around the beautiful place we live from a different perspective.

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Here in the Pacific Northwest we've been having a heatwave. Well, for us it's a heatwave. While this is standard fare for much of the United States, we in our little NW corner of our country are not used to (or prepared for) temperatures in the high 70's in early June. Our average high summer temperature in July and August, our hottest months, are a humorously low 67°F, yep you read that right!

We do not have air conditioned houses, outdoor pools, and many of us do not have basements (although we do) so many lack a sanctuary in which to "cool off". Thankfully, temperatures do lower at night and it never lasts for more than a few days. After being in Kansas for the last 2 summers, I'm not complaining though. At least I can open every window of my house for some cool ocean breezes (our version of AC) and feel somewhat of a respite.

I thought I'd share a few photos of "Signs of Summer" in a collage. From left to right starting at the top:
1. Shorts and sandals
2. Fans are our AC
3. Planted pots
4. Backyard squirrels
5. Ahh, pink lemonade
6. Short sleeves
7. Rockrose
8. Sunshine
9. Beaded jewelry of course!

Are you seeing signs of summer in your part of the world or are you in the dog days already? Our kids aren't even out of school until the middle of June!

Friday, May 29, 2009


I apologize for the amateur photography here, but last night the sky was so breath taking, I attempted to take a picture of the quarter moon. It was about 10:15 at night, and because our days here are quite long now, it looked like a blue sunset. I'll try to take one again tonight, and use my tripod. I'll post it tomorrow if it's any better, but I thought it would look kind of strange if I titled this FINGERPRINT SATURDAY instead of Fingerprint Friday!

I was reminded of the verse:
Genesis 1: 14
"And God said, "let there be light in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years...And God saw that it was good."

Yes, God, very good indeed!!

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them? Thank you to Pampering Beki for hosting this each week! Everyone is welcome to join. To see how to join, as well as find links to other Fingerprint Friday posts, visit Pampering Beki's blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I know I've been scarce lately. I can't really explain why except that we have a lot of projects going on around the house inside and out and ,well, the weather has been so nice! I've noticed a few of you have visited and I'm sorry there hasn't been anything new to read. We've been having some landscaping done in our yard, new carpet installed and while I'm not doing the work, of course I need to supervise!

Track season is also winding down so I'm looking forward to seeing more of my son, not driving everywhere for meets and and more importantly not standing out shivering in the rain for 3 hours anymore. We have the finals today and I'm elated to say that it is actually sunny!

The quilted pillow sham project for my son's bed is now finished, you remember the one that I told you about a few weeks ago where I had to rip out all my quilting stitches? Please tell me it looks like Pottery Barn because that was my inspiration. Now I'm feeling motivated to finish a sweater I started knitting last year. When I finish one project I always seem find another one that's incomplete! The disadvantages of being crafty I suppose!

Sales in my shop have been pretty steady this month, and while I won't be paying the mortgage with my profits anytime soon, I'm feeling good about the way it's going. I just added these necklaces to my shop which I've called "Alpha Pendants". The initial is stamped while the Metal clay is in the "wet stage", dried, filed and then fired. I dug through my old scrapbooking supplies for the rubber stamps that I'm using, how fun (and practical) is that? I sold my first pendant within a few days so that's always a plus! Here's a photo of the pendants I've made so far, with the first one being shipped today.

Sorry about my randomness, but that's a little how I'm feeling right now! How have you been in your part of the world? Are you getting out to enjoy the warmer weather, or finishing some projects as well?

PS: Don't you just love my new shoes. I resisted buying Mary Janes for so long but now I think I'm going to live in flats from now on!