Friday, October 29, 2010

We have a winner!!!!

But first, one last peek at the necklace, made by Robin (http://anestwithaview) and the earrings made by Suz (

The winner of the necklace and earrings is Patty S. of Magpie's Nest. Patty is gift to many is blogland and shares her art and her kindness so effortlessly. Patty, please send your address to Suz at so we can get this off to you in the mail.

Robin, Kat and I would like to thank you all for participating and for your nice comments. We had a wonderful time collaborating on this project. 

Kat and I will soon be hitting 100 posts and will be having another give-away so come back and visit us soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Sweet Gift from France and Our Giveaway...

I love international vintage and craft blogs. Sometimes there is English as well as the native language, sometimes there is not. Sometimes there is a translator, sometimes there is not. It doesn't matter. I love the photography, especially at Christmas time, when things look so fresh and unique. They are so charming and a chance to see decorations and holiday crafts with a bit different look.

Last week, I connected with Miette at La Miette Bricole. I was so pleased to get a lovely note from Miette and this gift she made for me:

Isn't that an awesome piece of work? Thank you so much, Miette, thank you for your sweet comment and for entering our giveaway!

Robin, Kat and I are getting a lot of responses to our giveaway. People have left some very kind and thoughtful comments. I am still laughing at my "peace and love" post about the giveaway and Robin's "I Hooked Up "Cause I Give It Away." She is one funny lady (and I am an aging hippie!). Go and read it if you haven't already. It made some of us chuckle (actually there were loud guffaws and a few snorts). 

Sign up if you haven't already and pass the word around. We will draw the name for the lucky winner on Friday!

Kat and I have made two jewelry donations this month. One to Park Nicollet Medical Foundation and the other to Free Arts, a group that does art work with children and teens in residential and therapeutic settings. Kat is doing an internship there. Donating our jewelry is a nice way to contribute to causes we believe in (and also gets our name around!). We notice our stock is getting low (though we have more than is listed in our store). As soon as Silver Bella is over, we begin a busy month of creating jewelry, culminating in our Holiday Home Show and more things on the blog.

Keep your eyes peeled for new pieces of unique jewelry!

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's A Two Friend Giveaway!!!

We have a giveaway...just for fun...and because we really enjoy our friends and readers and this warm and friendly place known as Blogland. A couple of months ago, my friend, Robin (A Nest With a View) was making beautiful soldered pieces and suggested we have a joint giveaway. She would make the necklace and I would make earrings to match. Then we would give them away together. So here we are!

Here is a picture of both the necklace and the earrings, draped over a cup from my Maternal Grandmother, Carol, and a sugar bowl from my Paternal grandmother, Helen. The necklace has a sterling silver cable chain and is decorated with three white Baroque pearls on each side You can see them on the side of the cup. Look closely. The tea pot set is one of my favorites. The Haviland china cup and saucer are beautiful and simple. Have you ever noticed that plates from the early twentieth century are so small? Hardly suitable for Thanksgiving!

Back to the point. Here is a picture which shows one side of the necklace. Robin, being Robin, does not do things half way. Her pendants have two sides and she collages them by hand, this one with vintage rose wallpaper and "peace" in old type. When I made the earrings, I matched the color of the rose with Czech flowers and used a tinier white Baroque bead as the center for each flower (you can kind of see them through the bead).  I chose a sterling silver cable that was similar to Robin's but much tinier and more delicate, since the necklace has a delicate feel. The earwires are also sterling. 

Here is the other side...a dove flying into the blue sky, then collaged on pink vintage wallpaper. Robin often puts birds in her art. I like that so much. They are "vintage Robin." The necklace chain clips into a larger ring on the front. Classic, and yet, trendy. I know you would like it. 

A special giveaway and a special message as we who create begin to enter the holiday season...peace. I truly believe this is something we all long for, peace within and peace without. We may sometimes differ in how we think we should go about it, but we all long for it. This is only one thing that draws us all together.

So, to all of you in Blogland, a symbolic and a tangible gift. We are so excited to do this and share something of us with you. Your gift will come wrapped in the coolest linen envelope with a handmade bird tag at the top (both hand made by Robin). You can see them both in the top picture!

Sign up soon! You can sign up at either blog, but do visit both. Robin will probably have something funny to say and you won't want to miss it. You don't have to be a follower. On the other hand, we would love to have you be a follower. It is heartening to look at all those little faces each day.

We will be drawing the winner this Friday! Maybe it will be you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I won!!!

Natalea Kandefer of Kandeland had a Halloween giveaway last week. The winner was to receive this darling Halloween pendant. I woke up this morning, stumbled to my computer and found out that I won!

How cute is that!

Nat is someone I have followed since I first found out about blogs. She has a great blog and is a warm and funny woman. Nat is also one of the "Niagara Crafting Sisters" (I hope I have that right), a group of women who all make some creative and fabulous things and have incredible get-togethers, with lots of caring touches. They are also one of the nicest bunch of women and have been kind and supportive of my blogging and creating. (I know I am speaking in superlatives but these women are really something). They are some of the people who make this blogging world so rewarding. 

Speaking of give-aways, there is a special and different one coming up very soon! Robin Thomas (A Nest with A View) and I decided to create a "joint project" and have each created a part of something that we hope you will really enjoy. Robin is one of my very favorite people in Blogland. I met Robin and her sidekick, Jem, at Kaari Meng's class at Silver Bella last year. They were so funny that I almost...well...wet my pants. Robin would say that, why not me?! She and I have gotten to know each other much better over the last year and I consider her a very special friend. I am really looking forward to seeing Robin again in a week and a half! 

Watch for the announcement of our give-away within the next few days!

Correction...Silver Bella is in two and a half weeks! Sorry!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Almost as smashing as the mothers...

Some of our beautiful children. Kat, at left, was a bridesmaid. Carrie is the gorgeous bride. I have known her since she was born. Kat made Carrie's earrings and belt. The belt was especially pretty. It was taupe velvet with handmade chiffon flowers. The flowers had some nice antique rhinestone "bling" in the middle. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One of the children...

...of the Committee of Mothers was married this weekend. She looked just beautiful. Really. I cried tears of joy.

And the mothers, themselves, looked simply smashing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our house is haunted!!!

I just went to Kat's bedroom to say, "good morning." 

My Kat had changed!!!!

Into a Ghoul!!!!

At least, she is a pretty ghoul!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I love to do this...

* Spoiler for Donna, Maija, Merry and Julie*

I love a good surprise and I love making a good surprise! One of my favorite things to do is to buy one of those sturdy photo boxes from JoAnn's or Michaels and fill them with little treats. They are often on sale and almost cheaper than a mailing envelope! I buy tissue paper and ribbon to match and, lately, even some of that colored packing tape from the dollar bin at Michaels. Then I start gathering "treats" that I think would be appropriate for the person. It might be crafts supplies or candy or little rummage sale items. Often I put in a few things I have made. This Halloween, I made boxes for several lovely people: for Maija, who had a fiftieth birthday and it one of the sweetest people in blogland; for my dear friend, Donna, who has been the best of friends for many years; and for Merry and Julie, my Little Sisters for Silver Bella (and sisters, themselves, in real life!)

The outside of the box is "decorated" with an Ugly Doll who is tied up. The little sign says, "Help me, Donna." Donna then knows she is to free the doll!!!! Bizarre? I know. I think I have a rather quirky sense of humor but I thought is was funny. 

The box is filled with treats that I hope she will enjoy. I try to wrap about half of them because, unwrapping presents, even if it Halloween napkins, is FUN, right? You can pack a whole lot of stuff in these boxes! 

I also put a composition book and a whole bunch of Halloween graphics to embellish the book in a couple of the boxes. Each box is a little bit different. Usually, I make several things but this time, I just didn't have enough time. 

Always, always, there is chocolate. 


Sunday, October 10, 2010

This weekend...

Jud and I spent the weekend at the Mayo Clinic with our very dear friend, Iver and Di. Iver is currently fighting cancer. Di and Iver have been friends for the last thirty-five years. Jud and Iver were young doctors in Rapid City, South Dakota who were determined to put humanity back into medicine and still have a family life, while Di and I were renegade doctor's wives who refused to join medical auxiliary in order to make a point that we were "women in our own right who also had career goals!" They have two special daughters, Megan and Kirsten. Megan was born six days before Kat and they are still very connected. They are all people whom we love them very much.

If you would, please send prayers and good thoughts to their family as Iver begins an especially difficult part of his treatment.

The picture above is not Jud and Iver. It is the "Brothers Mayo" who started this outstanding medical facility. These Mayo guys have more of that funny stuff on their heads and are not handsome bald-headed men like our guys!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Our Final Adventures...

We had a wonderful time at the wedding party. The men huddled together in a circle, drank Meditza, and hugged and kissed each other on the cheek. They are such a handsome lot! In fact, both the men and women are a beautiful people. The women danced and the children joined them until they fell asleep on chairs pushed together.

 There were three courses of food, seafood, meat and pasta, all on a huge buffet, homemade cookies and an incredible cake baked by Ana, Petar's sister. It was a fabulous party.  

We had many more fun times in Croatia. We went shopping in Downtown Rijeka, a very elegant place to shop (especially considering this is a city with only 150,000 people) that has many designer stores. We again saw the National Theater, where Petar's mom, Zrinka, has been an actress for thirty-five years (the yellow building to the right).

Jud and Kat joined Petar in Trogir, a Roman ruin, with a castle on it's shore. Kat says this was her favorite way. The group ate several platters of the freshest fish. 

They got chewed out by the vegetable and fruit lady, who told them, "Why don't you just buy something instead of taking my picture?" She didn't know they understood Croatian! Actually, Petar translated later.

We went to one of my favorite places, Trsat, the medieval castle above Rijeka. 

From there you can view the river which divides Rijeka, that used to separate Yugoslavia, on the left from Italy, on the right. Rijeka actually means "river."

We went to my favorite church, the Church of Our Lady of Trsat, where people create pieces of art to thank Our Lady of Trsat for interceding on behalf of their prayers. There are hundreds of pieces, ranging from carving to oil painting to embroidery. 

We were able to see this beautiful photograph of the Pope John Paul II, now enlarged and hanging on the outside wall of the church. The picture was taken by Jani, Petar's father, who died several years ago. He was a lovely man and we are so happy that we got to know him on our last trip there. Petar, now a photographer, also had several pictures of the Pope's visit permanently exhibited. We are so proud of him.

We dined at Zrinka's house again. She spoiled us with wonderful, fresh food. She made the most fabulous dessert of a rolled custard-filled cake, covered with chocolate. She does not speak English (and I don't speak Croatian) but we have been able to share our love for each other and our respective children through letters translated by interpreters. 

Jud went to work with Igor, Petar's brother in law, who manufactures boat covers for yachts and sailboats. He works at the seaside town of Krk and introduced Jud to a friend who was building his own boat. 

And I mean, really building his own boat. This was all done by hand!

Igor and Petar's sister, Ana, took us out for a wonderful day of eating, shopping and hiking in beautiful Rovinj. We trudged up the windy, cobblestone trails to the Church of St. Eufemia, named for a Sister who was eaten by a lion. 

There we were scolded by a crabby Nun for making too much noise.

Kat went home a day before us, in order to get back to school. Jud and I spent the last day of our trip in Venice. This is a picture of the buildings, taken from the water cab. 

Isn't this one unbelievable? I love those paintings on the front.

All too soon, it was time to go. We were sad but filled to the brim with feelings of love, happiness, gratefulness and a sense of enrichment from our trip. We love Croatia and we love our Croatian friends and family. We hope that someday, Kat will have a little "Petar" who will come and live at her house and go to school in the USA. Then, in turn, her child will go back and visit the beautiful country of Croatia. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Wedding...

The wedding was held at the Church of St. Nikolas which was a beautiful old church located by the shore of the Adriatic Sea, The wedding was at 7:00 p.m. We all arrived at 7:00 p.m.! Another wedding party was coming out the door as we came in. This is clearly a popular place for weddings. 

Jelena was walked down the aisle by her very distinguished-looking father. Jelena is a member of a jazz/gospel group, Rivers, who sang at the service. You will never guess the song as she went down the aisle (this should be a giveaway!)


It was "Chapel of Love"! It was delightful!

Jelena and Petar sat in front of the congregation in satin chairs during the first part of the service. The priest looked like a cherub and smiled during the entire service. We didn't have a clue what was being said but, as one of our new bilingual friends, Ivana, said, we definitely felt the energy. 

Petar told us that, at one point, he chuckled because the face of Saint Nikolas, at the front of the church, looked just like Jud! This is not news. He has been told before that his face looks like Santa Claus!

I forgot Kleenix. Zrinka, Petar's mom, gave me a whole pack! I needed them. Every one of them. 

The music ranged from traditional (Ave Maria played beautifully by a violin soloist) to rock to gospel. I was tickled to see Jelena sing and dance a little to the music! Many guests told us that they have never seen a wedding like this before in Croatia. 

The flower girls were so precious and and well-behaved during the entire service. The priest called them "little angels." They were! There were rose petals inside the bottom of their dresses. 

The recessional was "Oh Happy Day", sung by Jelena's group. Jud, Kat and I started clapping along, as instructed before by Jelena. People looked at us a little oddly, then began to clap along.

Petar and Jelena walked out of the church in a flurry of rice and confetti. It looked like snow in the early evening. They had huge smiles on their faces.

It was a beautiful, joyful service, but the fun was not over.

Stay tuned for Part Three, The After Party.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wedding Story, Part One-The Before Party

The Before Party was held at the home of Petar and Jelena. There was a ton of food (we have a theme here...our Croatian friends eat very well) and wine and drinks. The rain stopped and people were able to stand on the porch and talk. 

There was a lot of hugging and kissing. We have another theme here! This is Petar's mom, Zrinka, and sister, Ana. They both showed us such a wonderful time. 

Here is Zrinka and her handsome son, the groom. Notice the interesting wall colors. They have really done some fabulous things with color. Let's take a quick peek...

Isn't that a cool wall and shelf?

Check out this couch...and the parquet floor...and the yellow door going to the next room.
Nice place for the new couple, huh?
OK...back to Wedding Story, Part One.

Igor and Ana's children, Ema and Sven, flower girl and ring bearer, respectively,  looked very happy and were totally adorable.

A half hour before the wedding, Petar and Jelena got into their decorated limousine (note the chile peppers hanging from the bouquet) and drove out to the Church of Saint Nikolas in a small town by the sea. They were followed by all their friends who honked their horns all the way to the wedding. When they got to the church, the men all got in a circle and had a convivial drink of Meditza (honey liquor) from the same bottle...
To be continued.