Sunday, November 30, 2008

Busy Bee

I've been a busy little bee today - or more like a little elf up in my studio working away! The first day of my first official sale was pretty successful and I've still got a few pending orders to take care of before I can call it night. But it seems as though all my planning is paying off! And it was a cold, rainy day so it was the perfect setting to work away in my warm little upstairs studio. Glad I had some work to keep me busy! Here's to hoping tomorrow brings more of the same!

Hope you had a wonderful Sunday! =)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sneak Peek!

Here's a little preview of some of the goodies I'll be offering at 50% off to celebrate my first official "SALE" which starts tomorrow! These won't be listed until then but you're getting the first peek! These little pearl danglies are entitled "Mellow" and will be just $9.50! These are the perfect danglies for that hard to buy for younger girl on your list or anyone who prefers petite earrings! They are the "Solitude" earrings and I'll be listing them in Garnet shown below with the polished/oxidized finish, Smoky Quartz and Citrine and Labradorite with a heavily oxidized finish. They will be $8.50 for 3 days only!
In addition to the deals listed above I'll also be offering this special:
Spend $30 – 49.99 take $5 off*
Spend $50 – 99.99 take $10 off*
Spend $100 + take $15 off *
* Does not include shipping fees
Hope to see you soon! And happy shopping! =)

Friday, November 28, 2008

My kind of Black Friday Shopping

This was definitely my kind of Black Friday shopping today =). After we spent the first half of Thanksgiving day with Dan's family in Sandy Cross we hopped in the car and drove 2 hours to the north Georgia mountains to my Aunt and Uncle's log cabin in Blue Ridge to spend the second half of the day and the night with my family. We got up this morning had some pancakes, blueberry muffins, coffee, fed the fish in my uncle's pond and then took a stroll around downtown to do a little shopping. My uncle knows me all too well because he couldn't wait to take me to the local feed and seed store and now I hate to say it but I think I have a new favorite feed store! It's too bad it's a 2 hour drive away! But this little lady, Baby, was their "desk clerk" and yes that is a blue bow in her "hair". How stinking cute is she?
And this little man was their "security guard". He sat perched up high watching everyone come and go. He would occasionally hop down to take a little stroll to make sure everything was in place but every now and then I'd catch him slacking and dozing off. Kinda reminded me of the little old security guard that we had at the local mall back home ;).
But finally some more folks who get my obsession with chickens!

And of course I couldn't leave empty handed and who could resist these little cuties?! So please meet Thelma and Louise (which also happens to be my mom's name - although she wasn't quite as amused as I was that I honored her by naming one of my "kids" after her ;) . These little sweeties rode all the way back home with me in my lap and they'll be my new studio helpers for the next several weeks cause it's just too darn cold outside for little babies right now!
Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inside Scoop

Today is all about finishing up some new pieces I'm working on and making pecan pies for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner! Yummy!

I'll be listing a couple of new pieces at special prices ($8-$10) valid for 3 days only starting this Sunday - then the prices go back up on Wednesday! In conjuction I'll be having my first official "Sale" in my jewelry shop. Stop by Sunday to see what the sale is!

In the meantime here's my recipe for Pecan Pies if you'd like to try it!

Happy Turkey Day everyone since I won't see you tomorrow! I'll be traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains w/ my pecan pies to visit the family =).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day

Bright, clear blue skies - the perfect back drop to the plump little yellow berries on my China Berry tree. It's too bad I don't feel up to enjoying it. I think I'm trying to come down with the flu or a cold =(. So instead of enjoying the beautiful weather outside I think I'm going to curl up in my big chair next to the window and enjoy it inside with a couple of books, a big glass of orange juice and a bottle of Nyquil. And hopefully nip this thing in the bud - I've got pecan pies to make tomorrow gosh darn it! And I'm trying to get several new pieces listed in my jewelry shop before this weekend. I refuse to be sick!
Hope you're enjoying lovely weather!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The City of New Orleans

Dan and I get wild hairs sometimes and just decide to hop in the car and go places (depending on if we can get a sitter for the furry "kids" too of course ;) . We have a few favorites and New Orleans is one of them. I LOVE that city! It's just full of history, entertainment, great food, interesting people, beautiful art.. I could go on and on. So we hopped in the car, drove 7 hours and spent this past weekend there.
We strolled around town, did a bit of shopping in the French Quarter and stopped off at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee. I highly recommend not wearing black there! Lesson learned.

Stayed out a bit too late on Bourbon Street and now I'm downing my 3rd cup of coffee this morning trying to make up for it ;).
Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Morning Meeting

Apparently we're having a meeting this morning. Not sure what's being discussed between my horses, Mr. Norman's horses and Buster but Buster has alot to say as usual. You can't really see his little self in this photo but trust me he's there. Right behind that big cedar tree on the other side of the road. I'll let you know if I hear anything good though ;).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Daily Scoop - Wednesday

It is down right cold here today! In the 20's which is unheard of this time of year so I had to dig out my big wooly socks and flannel pj's last night and I've already had 2 huge cups of hot coffee this morning. But I have to admit I love it! I'll take the cold over the sweltering heat of the summer any day. You can always put more clothes on but there's only so many you can take off without having someone call the police on you ;).

Today is errand day for me. I've got to head into town to the feed store to pick up horse feed, chicken feed and a salt block. Stop by our little post office, say hi to Andrea and get some packages on their way (thank you!=) and pick up some packaging to wrap my mom's birthday gift which is Monday (happy early birthday mom!). Oh and go trade my cell phone in which I think may be older than me ;). I'm crossing my fingers my old truck will crank in this cold! It's been awhile since either one of us has had to deal with temperatures this cold!

Another little tid bit you might be interested in - because what could be more interesting than our weather and my errands ;) - is that I am contemplating running after Thanksgiving sales in my little shops. I very very rarely run sales so this may be my first "official" sale ever. I'll have another posting here early next week with the details.. until then I hope you're staying warm!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Neck of the Woods - Part 2 - The (Neigh)bors

I'd like to introduce you to Buster (at least that's what I've nicknamed him) and his exercise partners (but not by their choice). They live directly across the road from me on Mr. JB's (I'll refer to all my neighbors by their first names only - you know, for privacy's sake;) farm which consists of about 500 acres, a couple of barns, a pond or two, a few broken down tractors, a few working tractors and a truckload of firewood that is always for sale at the entrance road.

Buster just sort of appeared here one day running down the side of the road so Mr. JB corraled him into his pasture and posted "Found Pony" signs up and down the road and in alot of the local businesses around town. No one ever responded. So we speculated that either Buster's owners couldn't care for him any longer and just turned him out or he was so darn mean and onery they ran him off and didn't want him back. Now Buster spends his days chasing the poor cows (who seem to be in much better shape) up and down the hills and speaking incessantly to my horses who don't seem to have much to say in return. My horses are like an old retired couple and I don't think they have much use for his nonsense.
Next week I'll see if I can introduce you to my next door neighbors - Mr. Norman (not to be confused with the previously mentioned Mr. Norman who is the county extension agent - funny how both my neighbors on each side are named Norman) and Mrs. Linda. They own the old southern plantation home that they've been working on restoring for the last 8 years.
Until then happy trails!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pieces of me

It’s often assumed that I grew up on a farm but actually I grew up in a subdivision surrounded by houses on every side. I think I was born with an affinity for living on a farm though and I probably inherited that from my mom’s parents. They had a little 5 acre farm where my grandfather raised goats, a garden where they grew most of their produce for the year, pear and apple trees, a little creek that ran through their property where I’d collect crawdaddies (crawfish as most people know them), seemed they always had at least one cow and he always had 5 or 6 Beagles. Running rabbits, as he called it, was a favorite past time even though it did not meet my approval. I remember having "talks", or more like lectures, with his dogs and telling them they absolutely could not/should not harm any bunnies. There were times when they had chickens and the occasional pig but my grandfather had a fondness in particular to goats. I spent nearly every weekend there and most days during summer vacation preferring that to staying home and playing with all the kids in the neighborhood. I’d call my granddaddy and ask if I could come over and even though my mom would say “They may have other things to do today” his answer was always the same – “Sure little buddy!” I was his corn shucking, bean shelling, tomato picking, dog feeding, goat herding buddy and I loved every minute of it. My grandfather passed away in 1997 but I know he’d be right at home here (and sometimes I think he is) on Wolf Skin Road helping me collect all the pecans that have made their way to the ground.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cluck Cluck

I've had a couple of requests to share more chicken mugshots so here you go! Say "hi" to Mona =)

A (breakfast) Room with a View

It has finally stopped raining here after 3 days. Although I quite enjoy the rain it puts a bit of a damper (pun intended ;) on my schedule of photographing some of my new work. So I should finally be able to get my Silent Night earrings listed on Monday barring any other unforecasted surprises from Mother Nature.
But today the sky is blue and the sun is peaking through white fluffy clouds and I think it's a great day for some pancakes, eggs and coffee. So come join us. I've saved you a seat right across from the window =).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Neck of the Woods - Part 1 - The big city of Arnoldsville

I thought I might share with you each week little nuggets about where I live, my neighbors and any other little interesting tid bits that happen, have happened or will happen in "my neck of the woods". But before I introduce you to the neighbors I'll give you a little bit of insight about where we call home. I'm in one of the more rural (and older) counties, Oglethorpe, in the state of Georgia in a tiny little town called Arnoldsville. Population 336. I know our post master by name - Andrea, our mail carrier, Peggy, who has an affinity for my fresh eggs and takes extra special care to be sure my packages get to where they're going =), the county extension agent, Mr. Norman, is one of our neighbors and I think you get the idea.
The county itself was founded in 1793 and named after James Edward Oglethorpe, who as you may know was the founder of the colony of Georgia back in 1733. There are 5 little towns in Oglethorpe county - Arnoldsville, Crawford (our neighboring town which actually has a bank, gas stations, a Chicken Express and my favorite feed store ;), Lexington (the county seat), Maxeys and Stephens. We're about 75 miles east of Atlanta and about 15 miles east of Athens, where Dan commutes to work each day and home of the University of Georgia, where we both graduated college. We have no red lights, no gas stations, no banks. The one little restaurant we did have, Momma's Place, closed down about 8 months ago. We do have a little post office, a volunteer fire department, a few very lovely pre-civil war historic homes (one which happens to be our next door neighbor), lots of lovely scenery and that brand new water tower you see above. If I remember correctly the water tower was erected about a year and a half ago but the pipelines haven't quite made it out to where we are yet. We still use a well for our water. But don't worry - it's electric ;).
Now that you have a bit of background on my neck of the woods I look forward to introducing you to some of the goings on around here in the next few weeks ;).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Daily Scoop - Friday

After quite a few loud Journey and REM songs, two huge glasses of iced tea, a basket of fried pickles and some chips and queso you are looking at the Thursday night World of Wings Trivia champions! So my wealth of useless knowledge helped to pay off in the form of a $50 gift certificate... looks like more fried pickles and iced tea coming soon. We had to battle it out against "Your Momma" and "The Buttery Elvis's" or should that be Elvi? ;) but we ended up pulling out the win by 24 points. The other 6 teams didn't pose much of a threat... those college kids are gonna have to study up on their useless facts before next time ;).

Oddly enough one of the questions was "what is the Moh's scale used to measure?". I wouldn't really classify that as useless knowledge since it measures the hardness of minerals and that little tid bit of information comes in quite handy to me almost on a daily basis!

Another random question was "if bovine refers to cattle what does ovine refer to?"... of course everyone at the table turns to me for the answer (they're all city folk ;)... if you don't know it I'll let you guess or you can cheat and see the answer in the comment section below =).
It's another cold, rainy day here - perfect for staying indoors and getting the creative juices flowing, my coffee is gone and the "kids" are waiting on their breakfast so until next time...
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Daily Scoop - Thursday

Today is one of those rainy, cloudy, lazy days that I really enjoy. Except I can't be lazy. But that's ok because these are the perfect days to sit up in my studio and create and not feel guilty for not being outdoors. But before I can do that I've got to make a run to our little post office, order some packaging supplies, finish up the earrings for the Silent Night Collection I'm debuting this week, polish up the bracelet and necklace in the same collection and hopefully get them photographed and listed this afternoon. I'm going to need the cooperation of the weather though to get my photos done - I'll have to see what Mother Nature says about my request ;). And then later this evening it's out to meet Dan and some of his co-workers for a birthday dinner and trivia. I usually do pretty well at trivia because apparently I'm full of useless information - did you know that a group of geese on the ground is a gaggle and a group of geese in the air is a skein? See. I have no idea how or why I know that.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall, falling, fell..

Even though it's cloudy, cold and a bit windy here today I just couldn't help but notice how beautiful the leaves looked against the grey skies. So I grabbed my little camera and took a few photos... here's one of my favorite places and where you'll find me every morning - my barn =).
It seems like a great day to wander off and munch on a grill cheese and sip a bowl of soup...
see you next time!

Inside Scoop

More sterling silver coming to the little Loft shop next week! Including square lobster clasps, satellite chain, larger size spring rings (which are hard to come by), rubber earring back clutches and the ever elusive disc chain. I had the toughest time finding a supplier that kept the sterling disc chain in stock on a regular basis but I found one at my last wholesale show so I just ordered a ton - and at a really good price too!

If anyone ever has any requests for gems or sterling supplies I always welcome them!

Have a happy Wednesday! =)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Naked Chicks

Well not entirely! My little ladies are molting so they look like vagabond chickens at the moment. I think they get a complex about it too because they stop laying during this process and me telling them they look like little hobos probably doesn't help either ;).

But I have quite the collection of feathers now... I've been thinking about listing them but I have no idea what the going rate on vagabond chicken feathers is these days.
Happy Veteran's Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stuff your Stocking!

I've been working like a little elf all weekend (well Saturday anyway;) at my bench on some new pieces that would make great little stocking stuffers with prices coming in under $23. I'll be listing a few of these today with more to come this week!

I'm also working on a new little collection I've entitled "Silent Night" which features a soothing, softly romantic combination of silvery white keishi pearls, seed pearls, Moonstone and oxidized sterling silver. The photo above is the bracelet in the collection which is still a work in progress... he still needs oxidizing, polishing and a few other finishing touches but look for this collection to debut this week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Newest new member..

Hanna. This little wild ball of grey was found meowing like there was no tomorrow under my deck one stormy Saturday afternoon in late August. We decided to name her after one of the two tropical storms/hurricanes that had been brewing in the Gulf of Mexico that weekend. If she was a girl obviously she would be Hanna and if a boy we were going to name him Gus after Hurricane Gustav. A trip to the vet that Monday confirmed my suspicions that we had a little girl on our hands - I don't try to guess any more because the last few times I did that I ended up with a girl kitty named Howard, a male duck named Lilly and a female goat named Norman ;).

But I'm guessing someone decided I needed another kitty (I already had 2 - Jackson and Alley) and dumped her out here. I haven't seen an adult cat outside around here in months - probably a year - because they seem to be a favorite meal of the coyotes that live on the 500 acres across the road. Needless to say my kitties spend all their time indoors although I could desperately employ a barn cat!

Almost time..

For PECAN PIE! Yum! Yum! Yum! We have 10 pecan trees here on the little farm with 8 of them producing nuts this year (sometimes they decide to take a year off for vacation I think ;). So plenty to share!

It has become a tradition that I bring pecan pies made with our home grown pecans and fresh eggs from my little chickies to Thanksgiving dinner.. my whole family looks forward to them!
Here's the recipe if you'd like it try it - I typically double it for 2 pies:
3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup of butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups of pecan halves
Beat eggs lightly w/ a fork. Stir in corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in pecan halves.
Place a pastry lined 9 inch pie plate on the oven rack (you can make your own pie crust which I do sometimes or if I'm feeling lazy the frozen ones at your local grocery work well too - just be sure to get the deep dish variety!). Pour filling into pie plate. Cover edges of the pie crust with foil and bake in oven at 350 for 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and then enjoy!

* As a little side note if you mention "pecan" in the notes to seller in either of my shops I'll refund the shipping to you now through Thanksgiving (Nov. 27)! =)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Or so they say ;) ... Stay tuned for updates about both my Etsy shops and a little bit about me thrown in here and there =).
The first little piece 'o news is I will start offering commercial sterling silver findings and chains in my little Loft. I have got a couple of pieces listed already with more to come in the upcoming weeks. I'm also thinking of adding a small collection of some of my hand crafted findings starting with the earwires you see in the pair above. So stay tuned!