Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Home to Yours Feature

This week's feature is a shout out to the Mother/Daughter team at Our Home to Yours on Etsy! They live in Stony Point, North Carolina and both use art and crafting as a way to relax and unwind from their sometimes hectic days. Debbi (mom) and Amanda (daughter) have independent lives (Debbi loves staying home and raising her own children, foster children and a newly adopted child while Amanda has her hands full with a full time job and a toddler!), but they stay connected through the creations they offer at Our Home to Yours.

Check out this bright necklace! It still feels like summer where I live, and the colorful piece would go great at any outdoor event. I'm not sure if it's the flowers or the fun colors, but I feel like going to a luau every time I look at this picture :)

I also absolutely love this memory wire bracelet. It's described as having bohemian style, and I think that's just about right! The colors feel earthy and could be worn with anything from a pair of jeans and white t-shirt to a long skirt ready to go dancing.

And finally, this hat is just too cute! While I may still be living the summer dream, parts of the world are getting ready for autumn or coming out of winter. Wouldn't this make a great way to change seasons in style?

I hope you take this opportunity to discover the other great jewelry and accessories that Debbi and Amanda have in their shop!

Find them here:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bits 'n Beads by Gilliauna

Hey, everyone! Here's another fun feature for you: Bits 'n Beads by Gilliauna on Etsy! Bits 'n Beads is a partnership shop with the more vocal Leal at the helm. Leal (a 23-yr-old college student) lives in Washington State and has partnered up with good friend Gilliauna (also of Washington State) to bring you quality handcrafted jewelry. I have to say, I'm a little partial to those WA people, of my home state!

I just love the colors on this pretty charm, which could be used on a cell phone, zipper, or wallet.

How about this neat necklace? Anything with a lock and key motif is popular right now! The accent beads on this piece just seem to give it that something extra special.

One of the most popular items in this shop is the wire wrapped earrings. The ear wires are hand shaped, and the teardrop briolettes hand wrapped. These go with anything and have a sparkle that can't be beat. Not to mention the fabulous color! I love anything amber! (Although they do come in many other colors.)

Don't forget, Bits 'n Beads strives to be environmentally conscientious by cleaning and reusing as many parts as they can from older vintage pieces.

There are lots of places you can find the owners of Bits 'n Beads:

Website -
Facebook -
Blog -
Twitter -
Flickr -
deviantArt -
Tumblr -
The Meandering Musings Blog -

Etsy Accounts associated with this Shop:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Clean Workspace

This post is about the first of two similar ideas: the fact it's easier to be creative in a clean workspace and the fact that sometimes you just need to get rid of things and de-clutter a space. I'll talk about de-cluttering and my struggles and successes in the coming days, but today I want to talk about a clean work environment.

Here is how my work desk has looked:

I know! The question is, where did I work, then? Well, the answer would often be balancing a bead board on my lap (do you like the alliteration in that sentence?). I could hardly find the tools and beading materials after I'd just laid them down on the table (this mess actually isn't too bad compared to how it has been). Sad. This sort of set up is unproductive for me for two reasons: I can't find anything and I don't feel creative. Both reasons make me not want to work, and this is what I do for fun!

Now check this out:

The desk may be kind of old, but having a clean space with only one project on it at a time (okay, maybe two!) works so much better. The problem I have is keeping it clean! I'm making a commitment now to cleaning my desk every time I finish a project, and I now have several things on my desk, not shown here, which help keep me organized. For example, I used to keep all my tools in a drawer with my supplies, but I'd start with two tools and end up having to get up every five minutes until I ended up with five or six tools to complete a project. I now have a cute basket that holds all my tools and stays on the desk all the time. It doesn't take up much space, it looks nice, and I can find what I want easily, therefore saving myself a lot of time.

I also moved the desk closer to the window and found an actual chair. While I love my little chaise lounge, it was too easy to just move things from the desk to the part I wasn't sitting on, thus creating even more clutter. Now I have better light and more incentive to put things away.

This is getting long and I have lots to say, so I'll continue the conversation next time! Now, what are some of the things you do to keep yourself organized?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Off the Wall Expressions

Hey, all! I have another fantastic shop to feature for you :) Mick and Tina are a husband and wife team on Etsy, and they have a totally awesome shop called Off the Wall Expressions. They create vinyl graphics, coming up with all their own original designs. Here are some things I fell in love with right away!

I just love geeky things, and the word "Think" spelled out using the Periodic Elements Table is a great example. I've been looking for some great vinyl decals, and I'm putting this shop on my favorite list!

How about this neat "Just Married" lettering? I don't know about you, but I can attest to shaving cream totally destroying a paint job on a car. Why not use this easy clean up solution?

And then there's nature! This Cherry Blossom Branch looks just like a picture above the sofa, but at a much more reasonable price. You also don't have to worry about ever knocking it down when the kids roughhouse!

Finally, here are some whimsical flowers that could go anywhere in your home! I think this shop has so many different kinds of designs, no matter what your personality, you can find something you'll like.

There are over a hundred different vinyl decals to choose from, with lots more in the wedding, word/saying, and nature categories. Tina and Mick live in Indiana, and are dedicated to bringing their customers high quality products and unique designs. These decals would look great in your own home, in a classroom or office space, or how about giving one as a housewarming gift to a friend? The possibilities are endless!

Find Off the Wall Expressions here!

Off the Wall Expressions is also a member of the BESTeam on Etsy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

KC Dragonfly

Good morning, everyone! I've decided as part of my blog expansion project to start doing a few regular features of other neat online stores. The first one is KC Dragonfly on Etsy!

KC Dragonfly is run by Kristine, who currently lives in Tarzana. What I love best about her shop are the fun ear cuffs and super-cute goth/steampunk embellished parasols. She also makes deck of card holder bags, earrings, cell phone charms, and more. Click on any of the images to be taken directly to that item in her shop.

Take this example of a gold-filled extra-wide cuff with pretty dangles of the lady and the moon on the left. I remember when ear cuffs first came out, and how novel they seemed, although they've certainly gotten a lot fancier!

The example on the right is a fun Celtic design with tiger's eye beads hanging down. I love how it is a cuff on top and a post lower with a chain to connect them.

Finally, I just have to show off one of Kristine's parasols! I think parasols need to make a real comeback. In fact, I used a regular umbrella to ward off the sun during our local Forth of July parade, and it worked as good as sunscreen. This fancy black and white version sure would have been nicer, though! It would be a perfect gift for the girl who likes things a little bit different, or even used in a wedding.

Here's where you can find KC Dragonfly:

Check back next week for another feature, and in the meantime to see what else I've been up to!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Okay, this has nothing to do with crafting (well, I guess it does), but I just had to mention that it's my birthday! As I mentioned a few days ago, my sister bought me those awesome photography lights, and I should also mention that my husband got me a new set of really fancy letter stamps! I'll try to update this post a little later with a picture of the font :) My mom and dad also got me some wire gauge tools, so now I'm really set!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I'm helping to sponsor a giveaway! The giveaway is a 2500 fb fan celebration hosted by J-Man and Miller Bug. Click HERE to read the rules and enter! I've contributed a set of letter wine charms on bright, rainbow beads :)

If you'd like to win this set (choose whichever 6 letters you want!) check out the link above and follow the directions to enter :) Say that Absolutely Kismet sent you!
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