Saturday, November 12, 2011

Something to think about for Christmas

My friend, Larry sent this to me in an email and I felt it was worth sharing:

Something to think about for Christmas

This is GREAT "people power" advice as shared by Doris Bowen....great thoughts for Holiday gift giving...really something to think about....

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre? Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion groups -- throw up a post on Craigslist in the Rants and Raves section in your city -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintaj Giveaway

I want to win the @vintajco & @beadaholique Crystal Copper Giveaway! #ilovevintaj

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Latest Creation in Metal Clay

This was created with a sea urchin shell and amethyst cubic zirconia.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

England Part One

Blogging is not my forte. I would rather do many other things than write...such as visiting with friends, sampling local cuisine, finding amazing chocolate, and acquiring new skills in jewelry making. So, that is what I did for four weeks in England. I arrived in London on July 11. After checking into my hotel and taking a very short nap, I went exploring. I was staying in the "jewellery" district of London and thought I should take a look around. I found my way to the Orange cell phone store to pick up a local phone. I also found out I could not get a SIM card for my iPad without a local address. Oh well. On the way back to my hotel, I twisted my foot while crossing the street. It hurt, but I could walk. Four weeks later after arriving home, I learned that it was a slight fracture instead of a sprain. So I am now sporting a lovely boot!

The next day I began my summer of learning at the London Jewellery School. I took a class with Chu-Mei Ho I had experimented with the paper clay a little, but really wanted to learn the technique of origami. It is harder to manipulate the paper clay than traditional origami paper. It was totally worth taking this class. I now feel much more confident in working with the paper clay.

My husband, Todd arrived from Germany that evening and we headed up to the Lake District with our friend Val the next day. We had been to the lake district 25 years ago and have always wanted to go back. We went sightseeing everyday and enjoyed Lake Windermere and many other lovely sights. These included a Beatrix Potter Museum, seeing the latest Harry Potter Movie, a short hike to a lovely waterfall, and a visit to the Carnforth Train Station where the 1940s movie "Brief Encounter" was filmed. We also enjoyed an outdoor production of "Merlin and the Legend of King Arthur" at Williamson Park, in Lancaster. The trip was topped off with a trip to the Preston LDS Temple in Chorley, England on Saturday.

Sunday afternoon we headed back to London. On Monday, Todd flew back to Germany for a few days, Val went to meet her sister for a day of sight seeing, and I headed off to my Soldering Masterclass with Elizabeth Bone:

I saw a taxi outside the hotel and stepped off the curb without find myself sprawled on the drive in front of the hotel with a new injury. I had sprained my left ankle so badly, I could not put my foot down. On the upside, I could feel no pain in my right foot anymore. I hobbled on my toes to the taxi and somehow made it to class. Fortunately we sat most of the time. After class, I took a taxi to Harrods to meet Val and her sister, Elizabeth. We met in the chocolate room of the Food Hall where you can find many of your favorite European chocolates in one place. After that we went to a favorite cafe for a lovely salmon dinner. It was raining buckets when left the cafe, so everyone wanted a cab. Val finally ran down the street to catch one before it got to the crowd at Harrods. After returning to the hotel, Val helped me ice the foot and then I took a warm bath. The next morning I could put my foot down flat. Val and I headed to Paddington Station for our train to Cornwall.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

England Here I Come!

Tomorrow I am off to England to visit with our friend Val and take a few more Jewellery courses. What a perfect combination. I will try and post more frequently while over there to share my adventures.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Time Creations

We have been busy since Christmas getting our new creations ready for Etsy. You can find our new store at:
Ami has already begun listing a few of our designs. We plan to have a bountiful selection online by May 1st. You can still find photos of our Jewelry at

I have also developed a line of Autism Awareness Jewelry. Three of the designs were created from drawings by students with autism from Tempe High School. Half of the profits from this line will be donated to SHADES which stands for Students Helping Access Doors Educationally & Socially. You can read more about this program on Jennifer Laurence's home page

I plan to head north soon to find new maple leaves for my precious metal clay designs. Please look for some new leafy creations later in May.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kathleen's Summer Creations

The summer of 2010 has taken me on the most amazing journey. I grew up believing that although there were many artistically talented people in my family, my talents lied elsewhere. That was until I found my medium, precious metal clay.

I first learned about PMC in May 2009. While traveling in England, I found a simply elegant strand of pearls with a beautiful heart pendant and matching earrings at Vinegar Hill, a boutique in Bath, England. I purchased the set with the hope of finding out how the artist had created such texture in the silver. I found the answer in a beading magazine I purchased while in England. It was made from precious metal clay! An online search led me to the PMC Guild. I took my first class in August 2009, and the rest is history. The International PMC Conference, held at Purdue University, was the high point of my summer of learning. There I was able to meet many of the people I have read about and done business with. I also reconnected with all of my previous PMC instructors. PMC Connection offered many pre-conference classes. I chose three:Level I PMC Certification – Ruth Greening, Pine Needle Casting – Sharon Gillespie, and Figure Sculpture – Vera Lightstone.

I learned so many new things from these classes, that there is not enough time to do them all. I met many new friends, including Mia Zoll, who took me under her wing and shared her knowledge, contacts, and experience. She lives across the country in Florida, but we plan to keep in touch and share our jewelry making experiences. Mia also makes beautiful glass beads.

The PMC Conference was beyond my expectations! I learned more in a few days than I would have in a year. I met many talented artists who work in this medium and hope to take classes from them in the future. I also purchased several pieces of art to wear from renowned precious metal clay artists.

My summer of learning has not ended. I am traveling to Cornwall, England at the end of August to visit with our friend Val Hawkins. While in England, I plan to work on new creations and reconnect with a few of the artists I met at the PMC Conference. I would also love to meet the creator of the elegant necklace that inspired me to try precious metal clay.