Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the garden

Just a quick note to say hi, hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Would like to share my Flickr photostream of daylilies with you.
Blessings and happy trails, all :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Trip to the San Francisco Bay Area

Poolside at the Fairmont, that was luxury!

It was a whirlwind, five-day, vacation with my daughter, Samantha!! Jesse's mother, Jill, invited me into her home and was a wonderful host and guide. We did a walk-about of their hometown, Petaluma, just north of the bay area off Hwy 101. It's a big town with small town ambience, very nice! Also took in the American Graffiti Road Rally on Sat., portions of the movie were filmed here! Alot of cars, I had to take at least one pic, a '58 Thunderbird:

While Samantha worked on Friday(what a cutie ;),

and after our walk in Petaluma, Jill and I ventured to Napa Valley, visiting the Caneros Vineyard, enjoying a "flight of three" and red wine cheese plate ;)Sam met up with us mid-afternoon at the Fairmont Hotel in Sonoma, where Jill's beau, Keith, was staying overnight. The pool(& killer Mia ti!) and full spa were an unexpected fun treat!

On Sunday, we ferried to San Francisco in the morning haze, a view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge(and blimp):

We planned our visit to take in the 96th Bay to Breakers '09, a 12K run/walk. It's quite the event, beginning downtown and ending at the bay, which draws a tremendous crowd of people ranging from the athletic to the costumed and also the not so clothing donned, lol! Here's Jill and Sam as we arrived after the customary opening ceremony, the tossing of tortillas:

A very "colorful" group of the clothed variety ;)

A shot of the masses from above at Howard & 3rd, I believe. I'm still wondering how some of the push carts made it up the hill further down the stretch!:

From here, we headed to Union Square:

Rather than taking the trolley car, we opted to "hike" up Powell St. to reach the bay. Along the way- two of the Hearts in San Francisco:

A trolley going down Powell and our descent toward Chinatown:

As we close in, this great graffiti to welcome you to North Beach:

Love the architecture of these apartments:

We made it! Fisherman's Wharf:
Took a leisurely stroll, enjoyed the restaurant smells and the street acts, Samantha got a caricature drawing, and we relaxed in the Market before heading back over the bay.

A lovely view of the sailboats in the bay, the weather was beautiful:

Hiking trails to see the redwoods topped my list of things to do. On the north side of the bay lies Mt. Tamalpais, once home of the "crookedest railroad in the world". Go to OpenRoad w/ Doug McConnell for spectacular video views and railroad history.

Driving up the mountain, this beautiful view overlooking the bay:

Half-way up the mountain where our hike began:

A pic of Jesse & Sam along the way:

Jill, Jesse, & Sam dwarfed by the redwood growth:

The Old German Brew House, built into the side of the mountain, unfortunately closed for the day for pest control :(. We decided not to make the trek to the valley floor, which was a good idea as the walk back up proved a challenge for unaccustomed hips! The young ones ran the distance back!!

Venturing 75 miles north of SF in the Russian River region, Sam, Kali, Julie, and I took in the amazing Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. The estimated age of some growth to be 1300 yrs! The plates on the redwood slab are a timeline of historical world events:

Relics: Standing remnant of a fire-ravaged tree and huge moss covered stump!


More bars in more places?

Finally, we did squeeze in a couple of bead shops :) I swooped up these beauties in Mill Valley at Beads of Marin, a jewelry beader's paradise!!

It was an awesome trip; being with Samantha in her world, meeting Jesse's family and their friends, the sites, the food, the wine taste, the spa, my first flights(really!). It was all terrific and I can't wait for my next visit to see everyone and everything in sunny California!!! Oh, did I mention the mammoth roses everywhere? Gorgeous!!

Thanks, Jill!

Thank You, Samantha!
X's & O's, Mom

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Spring!

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm very blessed to be the mother of three, wonderful, young adults. To proudly watch this time of their individual personal growth in life is an amazing experience. I thank God for the time we have together and pray angels watch over them and their families, always.

My oldest daughter's family, Tezra, Mike, and granddaughters, Kara & Monica, in front of their blooming apple tree :)

Senior portraits of Grady and Samantha, which reminds me to take some new posed photos of them both ;)

I'll be flying to California in a few days, a very special Mother's Day gift from Samantha. I'm very excited to meet Jesse's(her beau) family and spend time with Sam, meet her new friends, and sight-see the San Franciso Bay area!!!

A poem for all to appreciate:


I think God took the fragrance
of a flower,
A pure white flower, which blooms
not for world praise
But which makes sweet and beautiful
some bower;
The compassion of the dew,
which gently lays
Reviving freshness on
the fainting earth,
And gives to all the tired things
new birth;
The streadfastness and radiance
of stars
Which lift the soul above
confining bars;
The gladness of fair dawns;
the sunset's peace;
Contentment which from trivial rounds
asks no release;
The life which finds its greatest joy
in deeds of love for others...
I think God took these precious things
and made of them...mothers.

-Author Unknown

Blessings to all,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wire-Wrap Jewelry Artist :)

One of the first jewelry designers I was inspired by is Kim Miraglia, her handcrafted jewelry at ebay became a favorite shop to visit. She has a signature style in wire-wrapped cabs that often feature flowing spirals and open wraps that accentuate the beauty of the stone. I have purchased several of her silver wire-wrapped cabochons AND in celebration of my "50th", a gorgeous intarsia earrings and pendant set ;) All are of fabulous workmanship! In appreciation of Kim's artistry, I asked her if I may feature her work and she graciously consented. Here is an excerpt from Kim's Etsy store:

"I specialize in customizable sterling silver wire and gemstone jewelry. I also have a website at Kim's Jewels if you would like to take a look to see more about what I do, and I'm loving it here on etsy! I've been an eBay seller since 1999 under the ID kmitch747, but while eBay is a business for me, I'm finding Etsy to be way more fun! I've got a BFA in Graphic Design, but found that silver wire jewelry was my calling. I'm excited about my new Etsy venture!"
~Kim's Jewels

I have many, many, kind, inspiring artists to thank on this journey, but I will always remember how the spark was ignited by Kim's Jewels. Thank you, Kim!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Artists Among Us

Don't you love receiving emails of breathtaking landscape pictures, amazing works of art, exceptional performances, things that you'd have to travel the world over to discover, I do! Dee, a dear friend and co-worker, forwarded an awesome slide show to me last night of Bruno's Art & Sculpture Garden in Australia. At work today, we learned that it burned in a bushfire in February which also took lives of those in the township. I knew I had to do something to bring these extraordinary images to more people, hence, I am opening a new link list, Facets Of Artistry. A tribute to the creatively imaginative minds of gifted, talented, and hard-working artists of our time. You will find my list of links at the bottom of this blogspot. Please join me in celebrating these marvels of ingenuity. Visit Bruno's Art to be truely inspired. I'd love to see alot of additions so feel free to contribute with your comment. Many thanks, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dreamin' of Summer

With the temperature finally warming here in West Michigan, visions of colorful blooms are racing through my head. The crocuses have come and gone, saw the first forsythia in blossom two days ago, I hope the little daffodil buds haven't been harmed by this week's overnight frosts! Added some photos of last year's new daylilies at My flickr. I'm anxious to greet the newest varieties that bring the garden assortment to nearly 30 :) July is the happiest time to linger in thrall of their delight. Each morn brings the excitement of knowing I have only this day's light to photograph, smell, taste, and revel in it's short life. I live for color, my garden themes include a full array of peach, pink, rosy pink, purple, orange, yellow, white, and even some blue. I believe that pretty much covers the rainbow except for red, oops, I have a little of that, too. Ready to set off to tackle the first of the overwintering weeds, hmm...the smell of fresh worked soil. Now if I can find my flower garden design lay-out, I'll be all set!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Most Recommended Websites

My favorite website was created by Eni Oken, a jewelry artist with a great passion to share her knowledge and talent and that of many other jewelry designers who contribute tutorials, articles, and photos of their work. I am tremendously inspired by the creativity of these independant artists from all over the globe. It is the most helpful and welcoming website for jewelry designers and there is no cost for membership. Here's the link, enjoy your visit:
Jewelry Lessons

I also participate in the Rock Tumbling Hobby website and forum, all about rocks and their use in jewelry design!

I've included some awesome sites for inspiration and getting started with this craft under my Fave's links :) My most recommended sites are triple starred*** Mind you, I've only purchased from a short list of all the sites I have posted and cannot attest to the reputation of the rest. I have come by them through blogs, forums, and searches and find them of interest. Placing them here REALLY freed up my bookmark list!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Precious ;)

Way past time for an update! Thought I'd share pics of the many semi-precious stones I've been collecting that are anxiously awaiting inspiration and wire. Many have been purchased online and the rest have come from local shops and rock & gem shows. There are focal beads (drilled), designer cabochons (to be wire-wrapped), and many strands of beads. Also included in my stock are natural and dyed pearls, mother-of-pearl, coral, shells, tree nuts, and a few glass beads. One of my favorite stones are the jaspers. In fact, I thought it would be a pretty name for my last granddaughter, but her mother said it reminded her of Casper "the friendly ghost" lol!

I hope you enjoyed browsing my little shop, now off to create...
Sheree :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New project

Welcome to my first blog and post!
My most recent passion is delving into designing jewelry, which came about after paying too much for a necklace that I knew I could make for myself, given the access to the materials. After accumulating alot of strands of stones and pendant beads and basic tools to begin, I've made several necklaces for family and friends. I focus on the uniqueness of the focal bead in my design and what I think the wearer will enjoy most. I'm currently learning to wire-wrap cabochons for my next piece. I'll let you know how it turns out!