Saturday, February 2, 2013

 A New Year And A New Beginning

It's time to dust off the blog and take the time to share new pieces on my website, some of my new ideas, and daily, maybe I should say weekly, reflections.  I plan on making several new items this year, weeding out older items, and focusing more on jewelry listings that have been very popular on my website.

Here are a few of my latest creations:

Sweet Pea Etched Leather Cuff

Here are a couple of new items for Valentine's Day; a chance to tell your special someone how much they mean to you:

Love Is In The Air Bracelet

Two Owls (Love Birds) - with a stamped heart in the back

And how about a ring for your true love with a little heart:

Mike loves Nancy (still after 32 years together)
And how about this lovely bracelet with the name Memere and a little flower and birthmonth crystal representing a little grandchild?  It could also say Nana, Grandma, Grandmother, or any special name you use.  It could also be stamped with Mom and her children or as a identification bracelet with your own name and birthstone.  The possibilities are endless...

Memere's Flower Garden Bracelet

There will be more to come so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jewelry For A Very Special Day - 9/10/11

Do you remember your special day - your wedding day? Did you have butterflies or were you completely at ease?

My special day was August 9, 1980. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect, and my butterflies were the size of giant birds! I knew that I had found the perfect person, my soulmate, and that everything had been well thought out, but I was so nervous that all the details wouldn't come together.

I attempted to eat breakfast that morning; my mother had made her wonderful homemade banana bread, but for once, I couldn't eat any. It just kind of got stuck somewhere between my throat and my stomach. I sat there with my parents, and it hit me that this would be the last time that I would share this special time with them. I think that they were feeling the same because the conversation was not flowing as it always had before. I was the first one of their children to get married and as I now know the feeling, they realized that things were going to be different; still special but different.

I remember getting dressed, having pictures taken, the drive to church, the walk down the aisle with both parents, and then staring into the eyes of the person that I had totally fallen in love with and wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The ceremony went off without a hitch and then we were having more pictures taken, walking into the reception as a newly married couple, having our first dance, sharing a father/daughter dance with my father, and throwing the bouquet. The day went by so quickly and before we knew it, we were heading off on our honeymoon to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Well now, there is a special day being planned for another special couple, Matt and Audra! They are friends of my son and daughter in law and we have come to know them quite well. Awhile back, Audra asked if I would make the jewelry for her wedding and I was so touched and honored to be a part of their special day. She had decided on a vintage wedding and wanted jewelry that had a vintage feel to it in a dusty rose color with antique brass components. She also wanted the necklaces to have similiar components but each one to be a little different to match the three similar but lovely, each a different style, vintage dresses that she had chosen for her bridesmaids.

I love a challenge and this one really appealed to me. I began the hunt for the right color pink and cream pearls and antique brass pieces. I made up one demo and sent a couple of pictures to Audra to see what she thought of it. By the time I had talked to her about it, I had already decided to make a slight change to it, she agreed, and I remade necklace #1.
The hunt was then on to make necklace #2. I had found a beautiful pink crystal rhinestone brooch on Etsy and sent her a picture to see what she thought. She loved it; I bought it, and once it arrived, began making the second, different but similiar necklace.
Now the pressure was on, two necklaces done and one to go. I hit a designer's block, which I am assuming compares to a writer's block.
Audra, being very familiar with Etsy as she and her future husband have an Etsy website, who had been searching for necklaces that she thought were pretty and in her color choices, sent me a link for a necklace that had a lovely resin rose as the focal point. Now knowing more of what Audra liked in jewelry, I got searching for the perfect rose from one of my favorite Etsy supply sites. Once that arrived, the rest was easy. The necklace kind of put itself together at that point, if that makes any sense and necklace #3 was complete.The next step is to make matching earrings for these necklaces, a necklace and earring set for the mother of the bride, and Audra's jewelry!
I love a challenge and a happy story!
Stay tuned for another blog posting when the final pieces are done!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dusting Off The Blog

It's that time again; to dust off the blog and start posting! I feel bad that I've been so negligent but I've just gone through that time of year again, the time that I have come to dread the most - year end in accounting.....

By day, I work in an accounting department of a local paper company. By night and weekends , I make jewelry; when I'm not exhausted from the day job! January is usually a blur for us in the accounting field with forms, calculations, and explanations to auditors, owers, etc. This year end was no exception and I'm glad to say that it is behind us!!

I'm gearing up for a new semester of jewelry classes, so I have been busy designing and making up the class projects. We have a full class again, which is very thrilling. It means that I haven't scared everyone off in past classes and I've "hooked" several into the addiction of jewelry making!

I've also been adding new pieces to my Etsy website and have plans for additional pieces still churning around in my head.

Right before Christmas, I had a wonderful interview by Carmen Merry from a small local paper, The Townline. We had met at the Etsy craft fair in December and she wanted to do a story on some local crafters and asked if I would be interested. She was so pleasant and immediately put me at ease during the interview. Those of you that know me, know that if I am comfortable with the subject matter, I can be quite chatty - lol! The interview went by rather quickly and we crammed alot of information into 90 minutes!

Here is that interview!

Crafting Jewelry: All Strung Out

For Nancy Desrosiers of Winslow, what began as a stress relieving past-time has grown into an enterprise which is financially, socially, and emotionally rewarding. She is the owner of an Etsy online company called All Strung Out1: Handcrafted Jewelry by Nancy.

A full-time employee at Madison Paper in the accounting department, Desrosiers originally began crafting jewelry 7 years ago as a fun and healthy way to deal with job stress from accounting. She soon began offering workshops and jewelry parties and became a teacher at Winslow Adult Education.

She has been teaching jewelry making every semester since then and has a core group of 6 or 7 students that keep returning to learn more skills and enjoy fun and laughs. This motivates her all the more to pour through magazines to stay current with the latest tools and techniques.

Desrosiers also welcomes new students each semester, including the occasional gentleman. Classes run about two hours and usually end each week with a finished product. She said it is a great way to take up a new hobby, get a loved one out to increase socialization, or meet new friends. Her next semester begins February 15.

She said of her students, “By the third week, if they’ve gone out and bought their tools, I know they’re hooked!…It’s a sickness - but I figure there are worse things you could be addicted to!”

Some of her own work has been on consignment at a clothing shop and at local beauty shops. She was starting to accumulate quite a lot of jewelry so she decided to start a website a year ago. She had heard of “Etsy” as an affordable way to begin. Etsy has a set of instructions on how to get started, and, said Desrosiers, “This is the way to go if you want to test the waters without a huge investment.”

In addition to the obvious financial benefit, she said it is very satisfying to meet people from all over the country and the world with a common interest. One of the things she finds most rewarding about her business is making friends and memories.

In addition to a full line of nature inspired jewelry, Desrosiers has specialized in custom orders. She has four types of jewelry which are especially life affirming.
The first are her “peapod” earrings and necklaces. These can signify the number of children a mother has or can signify a couple as “two peas in a pod.” The number of peas can be from one to five, and a dangle of stones can be added to signify birth months as well as a charm added to indicate “Mom” or “xoxo.”

The second type is the “birdnest” necklaces. Similar to above, these can signify the number and birth months of a mother’s children as well as her favorite color. Additionally, an “empty nest” necklace is available with a “celebrate” charm.

She also makes personalized baby bracelets to celebrate new births.

Finally, comes an original design by Desrosiers which she calls the “Positive Energy” bracelet. She designed this for 3 friends who were all diagnosed with different types of cancer at the same time. The stones are the colors of the 7 chakras of the body, and there are four charms for love, laugher, faith, and courage. Along with the bracelet comes an informative page explaining the significance of the colors and the reasons for the charms.

Her designs are especially made to reflect the recipient’s taste and favorite things, such as colors or stones or something that has meaning for them. Said Desrosiers, “I want my pieces to have meaning, not just to be another piece of jewelry.”

She does other custom orders, including jewelry for wedding parties. For information and pictures, see her work at or call her at 314-0740.

Carmen E. Merry is a freelance writer focusing on human interest and slice of life observations. A former social worker, she is currently working on a project about the mental health field.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Etsy Maineteam Shopping Guide for Dec. 4th Craft Fair

Are you one of those ambitious types that gets your holiday shopping done way in advance of the Christmas season? Good for you!!! Unfortunately, I fall into the category of last minute shopper - but hopefully not this year!!!

I have passed my one year anniversary with Etsy and have discovered so many wonderful Etsy websites over this past year. The possibilities are endless and the selection is amazing. I am sure you can find something even for that "hard to buy" for person on your list! There are things in every price range, even for these tough economic times and specials constantly.

I have also become a member of the Etsy Maineteam and decided after a group gathering a month or so ago, to try and put together a craft fair this year made up entirely of the Etsy Maineteam. We are going to make this idea a reality on December 4th, 2010 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the former John Martin's Manor Restaurant, Waterville, Maine, which has been turned into event central!!

This shopping guide is made up of the participants of that upcoming craft fair so that you can have a head start in making your shopping list by checking out their websites before the actual fair. It is to whet your appetite with all the amazing items that are made from the talented people of Maine!

Where this is on-line - you have to use your imagination for a wonderful craft fair experience, until you can actually attend the real thing on Dec. 4th!! Imagine the scents of Balsam and hot mulled cider as you stroll leisurely around a room beautifully decorated with memorable Christmas decorations. Soft Celtic music relaxes you, putting you into the holiday spirit as you move slowly from table to table, totally enjoying the sights of the beautifully handcrafted items.

Now that you are in a relaxed shopping mood....

Many of the shops below have their visual displays listed down the left hand side of the blog. You can click into each website from there or click their link below and you will be brought into their website. Leave comments if you would like about any of the wonderful items you find along the way! I am sure you will find items that will satisfy many of the people on your shopping list or simply treat yourself!

On line shopping benefits, if you can't make it to the fair - no crowds to fight or parking places to hunt for - all in the comfort of your own home!!

December 4th craft fair benefits - get to meet wonderful, talented people, who will have oodles of things for you to check out in person and buy to your hearts or wallets content! Plus you will be invited to participate in a fun game and enter to win a fabulous gift basket full of goodies!!

Mark the date and time down on your calendar so that you can join us for a wonderful experience and find items for everyone on your list!! December 4th, 2010 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Another benefit to attending this wonderful craft fair will be to help out someone who is going through some really tough cancer treatments at the moment, with his toughest one to face in a couple of weeks in a month long stay in Boston for stem cell replacement. The husband of a friend and co-worker has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and been dealing with the whole scariness of the news, the game plan, and the awful side effects of the chemo treatments. To help with some of the costs that they have incurred, my co-workers will be at the craft fair selling food, drinks, and raffle tickets. All proceeds will assist with the addtional costs for his treatments. So come to the fair with an empty stomach because there will be plenty of goodies for breakfast, lunch, and snacks!

1. CountryFolkSoap - - luxury handmade natural soap and fragrance products with twisted names.

2. Magentaskystudio - - uniquely designed handknit accessories for you and your home!

3. DreaBunny - - - jewelry and hair accessories for girls and woman of all ages for all occasions.

4. Moondogfarm - - natural creations from wool, wood, and stone.

5. Lizzyoos - - y0ur one stop for hand dyed silk and more.

6. PurpleBeanBindery - - unique, one of a kind, hand bound journals.

7. GlassBeadExpressions - - handcrafted, lampwork glass jewelry.

8. LoveMyCoasters - and Cassylaintotes - - washable, functional, beautiful coasters and original business card/credit card holder /keyfob.

9. Willowandme - - unique handcrafted precious metal clay jewelry and beaded bouquets.

10. SpruceCottageKnits - - quality handknit socks, hats, and mittens with over 35 years experience.

11. OhSewFun1 - - beautiful tote bags, hand bags, and baby bags - a little bit of everything.

12. Karhumoon - - beautiful ornamentation for you, your home, your car, your lawn - wherever you need it.

13. FloDoDesigns - - creates quality embroidered gift items, right here in Maine. We feature a whimsical line of Maine-themed baby items and custom orders are welcome.

14. WSDreams - - the traditional sachet just had a makeover and is ready to give you a peaceful experience anytime and anywhere.

15. Beckyrose - - felted soap, jewelry, and colorful handwoven creations.

16. PsAndQs - - unique gifts for your quirky loved ones - featuring Robot Nativity Sets and Pocket Ninjas to name a few.

17. WildEdenWorkshop - - soaps designed to do more than get you clean.

18. Patania - - felted hedgehog toys, fancy pin cushions, hats, and totes.

19. Indigotwin - - twins from small town Maine offering unique and one of a kind folk art sculptures and ornaments.

20. SpiritBearCreations - - offering balms for the spirit - medicine bundles, herbal teas, Ohio star bags, and decadent Swiss and German cookies.

21. Claypatties - - unique, one of a kind clay pieces inspired by nostalgia.

22. Littlemoosediapers - - cloth and fitted diapers, wool longies - covering your little moose's rump one cloth at a time.

23. Pinetreeart - - affordable, original watercolor and oil paintings for the holidays.

24. EleventeenApparel - - ready to wear and custom made garments for fabulous females.

25. Craxy - - extra, crazy, good beadweaving.

26. WhimsicalThoughts - - whimisical ideas transformed into clay, felt, and paper crafts.

27. Allsey - - handmade charm jewelry inspired by her nieces Kendall and Kelsey.

28. Harvestgoldgallery - - handmade jewelry in the mountains of Maine for over 25 years - featuring their special Tree of Life design.

29. Silentlanguages - - maps of all sorts, created with watercolor, encaustic, and embroidery.

30. GlassOrchids - - handcrafted, fused glass jewelry, dishes, and accessories.

31. Maine Art - - beautiful Maine nature scenes captured in paintings and holiday cards.

32. MaineWoodsYarn - - handpainted rovings, yarns, spindle and knitting kits are our speciality.

33. Maine Girl Creations - - with the help of fabulous, funky, and colorful fabric, I create unique wares for your little one, including sweet onesies, stylish burp cloths, and personalized blankets...all from cute little craft studio in Maine.

34. Allstrungout1 - - nature inspired, fun and functional, dressy to casual jewelry plus peapods, kumihimo, glass pendants, and a new Vintage line.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ladies Night Out - Fall Semester

As you can see it's been awhile since I've posted to my blog. I dusted it off and decided to write about my new fall jewelry classes, seeing that we've already had four of them!

This fall's semester compared to last years in the number of people that signed up for the class. We had 20 people initially sign up for the class, forcing me to sign up to teach another night, offering the same projects both nights. Like it was a sacrifice!!
It has been hectic as usual but I still enjoy it. The ladies, and this semester, one man, are fun and I enjoy watching some of them fall prey to the harmless but addictive obsession known as jewelry making! They are always hesitant at first if they have never done it before, but halfway through, they really start to enjoy it and love it when they actually finish a piece the night of class and can show it off the next day.

In this weeks classes, some of them were actually planning what they were going to wear the next day that would truly show off their latest creation! This weeks creation was the Autumn Jasper Lariat Necklace, done in true falls colors from the gemstones, to the Swarovski crystals and the copper leaf accents throughout the piece. They learned a new technique at the same time with the attached digital image behind glass pendant.

The third week was devoted to working with jump rings and links to create this lovely Metal Mania Necklace and matching earrings or bracelet in copper, brass, and silver pewter triangle links and two kinds of chain.

Week two involved making this Positive Energy Bracelet, which has special meaning to me. It has wire wrapped links using Swarovski crystals in the colors of the seven chakras and charms with special messages.
In the very first week, I alway's like to start with basic stringing and crimping; essential in most jewelry projects. Where the vintage look is really big this fall, I decided to add a little twist to the project by bending a lovely vintage filigree piece over the front of the Crazy Horse Stone Pendant. I love the end result. I decided to accent the grey and mauve gemstones with Swarovski Bordeaux pearls, which made the necklace pop with their gorgeous, dark red color. Several of the ladies made matching earrings, because we all know that "it's all about the set"!!

Next week, we will be having fun and relieving stress with some hammering and stamping!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Miracle of Life

God was at work again this week with one of his many miracles. This lovely child, Haven, was born on Friday to two wonderful people; my son, Adam and my daughter in law, Amber. She weighed 6 lbs, 12.6 oz and was 19 1/2 inches in length; a picture of perfection. She arrived 9 days early, much to our delight, after 13 hours of steady labor.

I thought that the experience of having my own children had to be the greatest moment in my life. I found out that the arrival of my 1st grandchild also fit into that category! I think I was more nervous this time around than when I was experiencing childbirth myself. I remembered, even though it has been almost 25 years since I delivered a baby, the process quite vividly. I kept getting these flashbacks of the painful contractions, the pushing, blowing out those non-existent candles when you weren't supposed to push, the exhausted feeling when you think you can't possibly push anymore, the excitement when the head and shoulders finally surfaced, and the unbelievable moment when you stare into that precious little face for the very first time.

The process seemed to be moving at a normal pace up until the pushing began and then Amber pushed for over two hours. She had insisted that she didn't want any pain medication during the delivery and she succeeded. I had told her that way back in the old days, when I had my babies, we weren't even given that option. Times have changed, but being a strong believer in all things natural, Amber wanted to deliver her baby the same way. There was a hint from her doctor that if the baby wasn't moving any further within the next 15 minutes, she would have to give her something to help her finish. That was all the incentive that Amber needed and she found the strength to give a few more successful pushes.

When we heard the music playing over the loudspeaker that indicated a new baby had been born, we went crazy! I couldn't control the happy tears that started and they surfaced once again when my son Adam came out to share the first pictures of his new little girl that had just been born on his birthday! I could see the pride on his face, both in what he had just experienced with his wife and in the greatest gift that they had just been given.

I've been to see Haven several times since then and she is coming home today! We have been dog-sitting for our granddog, Ella, who can't wait to see them and meet her "little sister"!! Adam brought over a baby blanket yesterday that smells like Haven for Ella to get used to so that the first meeting of the two goes well. I had a talk with Ella this morning and explained her important role in Haven't life as friend and protector. I think she got it because I proceeded to get a huge slobbery tongue lick afterwards.

I had a talk with Haven yesterday while holding her at the hospital. I introduced myself as she opened her eyes and listened to my voice, like she was really trying to understand who I was and what my role was in her life; she seems to be very smart already!! (I will try and not be as braggy in my future "Haven" posts, but I can't promise it - lol). I told her that I have alot of plans for the two of us in the future and how I plan on teaching her how to make all kinds of wonderful things like my grandmother had done with me. She seemed quite interested until her little belly reminded her that it was time to eat once again and I wasn't the one who was going to be able to fulfill that need!!

I can't wait for her to arrive at her new home and check out her beautiful bedroom! She is in for a wonderful life and Adam and Amber are in for a wonderful experience in theirs!

Here is a lovely little saying that I had seen once that says it all!

Before you were conceived, I wanted you.
Before you were born, I loved you.
Before you were here an hour, I would die for you.
This Is The Miracle Of Life!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer & Beach Theme Contest - Cast Your Vote - Win A Prize!!

Come cast your VOTE!!! Summer and Beach Theme Contest! Chances at many fabulous prizes just for posting and voting!

♥ ♥ Click here for a full view and to vote -


from beje -

from ara -

from luster - she did some cool soap - lets see if you can see these pics...

from knitbrit -

from RRR -

from calista -

from missknits (me!) -

from wren -

from sandy -

from bnw -

from bits -

from countrysoaps -

from allstrungout -

from tanyaw -

from sarah -

from mich -!/photo.php?pid=5777099&id=49273025599&fbid=421044530599

from liz -

from susan -

from frog -

plb - (due to late entry, please heart this hat to vote for it or post in the thread to count as your vote)

Happy Voting and Good Luck!!!