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Archive for October, 2009

The Gift of Re-Gifting: heavenlyflower.com’s Holiday Promotion

Re-gifting. You can’t tell me the thought has never popped into your head. You receive a gift that really, is perfectly fine but just not your personal taste or style.

So, I decided to give you my re-gifting blessing! Every purchase from my Etsy Shop or Artfire Studio will receive a gift from me.: A free pair of earrings. You can keep these handmade artisan earrings as a gift from me to you, or use as a gift for someone on your holiday shopping list.

The earrings will be made of good quality materials: either sterling silver or gold-filled ear hooks, hand-painted cloisonné beads or semi-precious gemstones.  ANY PURCHASE qualifies. Just my way to say thank you and to give back. I know there is always someone on that list you’d like to give a little something to that maybe the budget doesn’t allow.

As always, there is free shipping worldwide on all items! 🙂

The promo is currently on and will continue until January 11th, 2010. You will automatically receive a pair with your purchase.

SATeam Wrist Candy Holiday Giveaway!

See this charm bracelet…

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Want to win it?

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This bracelet is the collaborative effort of members of the SATeam – Starving (Jewelry) Artists Team on Etsy. You can see my own pewter/sterling  silver and Swarovski angel charm poking out at the bottom left in the top photo.

Basically, for every item purchased at participating shops, you get an entry to win this beauty. We can’t even start to guess what kind of price tag to put on this. We’re talking high quality handmade charms from fellow artists.

You can check out each shop to see more savings and deals. The list of participating Etsy Shops can be found here:

http://starvingartiststeam.blogspot.com/2009/10/sateam-wrist-candy-holiday-giveway.html

Take note as per the above post you can enter this contest without purchasing. Simply follow the directions indicated on the starving artists blog. 🙂

You can also do a search on Etsy for “SATEAMWRIST”. This will bring up the available items for sale in all participating shops.

The sale is running starting today, October 26, 2009 to December 6th, 2009.

Good luck!! I can’t wait to see who wins!!

Jewelry Inspired: Tribute Charms ~ In Memory of My Mother ~ Blue Zircon Dragon Flies

As the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20”. Something that may not make sense at the time will become crystal clear in the future. You have that, “Ah-ha”  moment, as Oprah would say.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was browsing Artbeads.com, looking for an item to try & review. I had no idea what to get, only that I wanted something new to me that I had not seen before in person. So I decided to start browsing their jewelry making kits. Mind you, I am not a fan of anything that comes with directions. I would rather just figure things out for myself, like putting together a puzzle. Ikea is a nightmare for me. 😉

I started browsing the different Swarovski crystal charm kits, and kept getting stuck on these dragon fly pendants. At the time I wasn’t 100 percent sure why, just that they felt “right”. So I went ahead and ordered them.

So fast forward to last Friday, when the kit came in the mail. I remember thinking, “wow, this took awhile to get here”. I was anxious to get working on it but was delayed until tonight.

Today holds a very big significance for me. One year ago today, at this very hour, I was on my way home to Nova Scotia; feeling emotionally numb…sitting next to my then 13 month old daughter in the van, 4 months pregnant again, which at the time was not yet common knowledge. My mother had passed away suddenly earlier that day. She was only 54.

It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by already. I’d like to say today was hard, but really it was okay. It’s hard to be sad with my beliefs on the afterlife, and particularly when you have two little gems to keep you occupied. My eldest daughter is now 2 and my youngest daughter is 7 months.

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So when I sat down tonight to put this kit together, it immediately had a meditative quality for me. The first thing I realized, is that one charm was made with smaller beads than the other: 4mm bicone crystals versus 3mm bicone crystals. That reminded me so much of my daughters, as one is slightly older than the other.

I was also reminded of my mother’s casket. When we went to pick one out, my eyes immediately went to this particular casket. I knew that was the one. Just something about it. There was an embroidered insert in the display, and it reminded me of my mother. I can’t remember exactly all the detail, but that there was a dragonfly. My Dad did not purchase the insert, but I thought how interesting that I would remember this detail, while I sit and put together these dragon flies.

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To me, this final detail is validation to me, that it is no coincidence that I chose this kit. As I went to look up the details on this product for this blog post, I realized that I chose the blue zircon dragon flies. Blue Zircon was my mother’s birthstone.

Call it the power of our subconscious or something deeply spiritual ~ it really put a smile on my face tonight. Regardless of the reason, it was nice to do something this evening that turned into a tribute to my mother.

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In light of this, I have decided to put these charms aside and give them to my girls when they are older. Someday I will tell them all about their Lola and give them these charms in remembrance.

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Now here’s the technical stuff:

The kits are done by Creations by You, LLC and are copyrighted

They come with all the Swarovski Crystal & seed beads needed, stringing material (monofilament) and components to make these cell phone charms, if you so choose.

(Unfortunately – both charms were missing the amount of seed beads required to make the loops: one was missing one, and the other two. This is no big deal, you can easily modify to make a smaller loop).

If you have a basic knowledge of bead stringing, this project will not be challenging at all. They also work up very fast, great if you want that instant gratification feeling. I recommend a pair of tweezers, to help pull the stringing material through the tighter spots. The directions and photos are basic, I admit that sometimes I was a bit confused, but with my knowledge of beading I got the jist of what was being explained.

True to me putting my own creative flair on everything, I modified the patterns/beads slightly. I used Beadalon beading wire rather than monofilament. It’s tougher and I prefer to work with it. I also decided to skip the last step, as I thought it was unnecessary & a pain to get the beads to “lay down” properly. This resulted in extra beads that I then used to modify the pattern of the smaller charm.

The charms are very pretty, feel solid in my hands (probably because of the Beadalon) and sparkle wonderfully as Swarovski crystals do. The photos do not do them justice.

However, at $26.97 per kit I think an investment in loose crystals that can be used to develop one’s own creativity would be a better investment. But that’s just my humble opinion. 🙂

Artbeads carries a variety of jewelry making kits, perfect for the hobbyist or beginner beader.

Artist Inspired: Inspired by Nature ~ Handmade Card by Hanway, Ink

I’ve been thinking of cards lately. Cards Cards Cards. I’ve been hitting all the stationery/crafty places: Omer DeSerres (DeSerres, Loomis…Loomis & Toles…whatever their name is now in whatever official Canadian language ;)), Staples, Libraries Boyer…even took a trip to Ottawa to Michael’s for inspiration. I have the honour of making wedding invitations and all things stationery for my dear friend who is tying the knot next year (note to self: should do a blog post on *my* wedding invites…*giggle*).

So my mind lately has been drawn to the work of this very crafty chick who knows a thing or two about embellishing paper: Michelle Hanway, author of the Hanway, Ink Blog.

Check out this snazzy card “Inspired by Nature”  ~ her own garden of echinacea being its inspiration:

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Michelle has been crafting since 2007. She says, “I’ve always had crafty aspirations, but never stuck to something…”. Her creative preferences are card making & photography. Being a woman after my own heart, she does not scrapbook. 😉 Her favourite paper technique is heat embossing…something I hope to try my hand at later this week (Omer DeSerres was having a sale. Ahem.). She gathers her inspiration from many blogs, her garden, “whatever pops into my weird lil’ head”. Ribbon is her admitted favouirte embellishment. You will find Michelle’s crafty aspirations contained in a storage room in her home she has nicknamed the “Craft Cave”.

Michelle has been demoing for Stampin’Up! since Aug 11, 2008. (*Drool*…good thing Michelle lives in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia…otherwise, I would be *broke*!) The “Inspired by Nature” card uses stamps from the company by the same name.

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Above: ‘Wings of Friendship” Hostess set Stampin’ Up ~ as constructed by Michelle Hanway

Announcing: The Official WINNERS of the Great Jewelry Giveaway Contest!

I have been prepping the emails, the blog post, the newsletter…and fretting excitedly awaiting the 11th hour…so that I could draw the winners of the Great Jewelry Giveaway Contest! Three prizes: $100, $50 & $25 in chosen jewelry from my Etsy & Artfire Shops was up for grabs!! Here’s the original post:

https://creativityinspired.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/the-great-jewelry-giveaway-contest/

So I waited…tick tock, tick tock…and even as the time drew near, the entries still came in…I am absolutely over the moon at the response. It makes me so happy to see so many people support & appreciate my creativity…remember this creative outlet saved MY LIFE…does that sound dramatic? Well, it’s true. Out of the depths of depression 11 years ago, I found a way to create & express & share…

Anyway, enough chit chat. Who won, right? We didn’t get 1000 entries, but it was so close! Probably in another couple of days we could have gotten there…but the anticipation was killing me too so…the winners, chosen at random (thanks to random.org)….

CONGRATULATIONS

Linda Kish of Winchester, CA~ Our Third Place Winner

Kim Powell of Sharon, PA ~ Our Second Place Winner

…and…drum roll please…

Kathy van Herk of British Columbia, Canada!!!!

OUR GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF A $100 SHOPPING SPREE OF HEAVENLY FLOWER JEWELRY!!!!

I am so excited for the winners, I am shaking while I type this…hopefully there won’t be too many typos… 😉

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and although we didn’t make our 1000 entry goal, I am feeling festive. Therefore, I randomly drew 5 more names. These lucky winners will get a $10 Gift Certificate to spend in my Etsy & Artfire Shops:

Tia Barton of Derry, NH

Rachel Abugov of Montreal, Qc

Alicia Chandler of Norman, OK

Sarah Reed of Green Bay, WI

Linda Chen of Australian Capital Territory, Australia

I will be in touch shortly as to how to redeem your prizes. Congratulations all, thanks to all who entered, and stay tuned for future giveaways!!

Jewelry Inspired: Fire Agate in Sterling Silver ~ Finding Creativity Again…

I sold my “Day of the Dead” earrings,  so I wanted to make something in replacement. I was drawn toward these faceted fire agate beads that I picked up at a Gem & Mineral Show this summer. Not exactly falling into the category of, “leftovers” but  I have been jonesing for some true creativity & inspiration lately, so I’ll take it wherever it appears!! 🙂

This always happens when I go away. While on vacation, my mind is turned on. I get lots of ideas for marketing, photography backgrounds…what I would like to make and designs…however when I sit back down at the bench my head and hands just don’t seem to be communicating. What we got here is (a) failure…to communicate… 😉

So earlier this week I sat down with the beads and some sterling silver wire. I knew that I wanted them wire wrapped, that I wanted them to be somewhat free formed and more rugged/edgy than elegant, certainly not  “perfect” – but would have a universal appeal and style. I tried a heavy gauge square wire. Then a  heavy gauge round wire. Both attempts ended up in the scrap pile. I found myself digging out the bead caps and making a simple yet beautiful pair of fire agate earrings…

The only problem is, it nagged me all night and into the morning. It’s not what I wanted to do – at all! Although they looked great it wasn’t what I was going for. So out came the nippers and cut cut cut…I dismantled them. I could have gotten two more beads out of the stash but – these were the ones I wanted to work with. So with determination I sat down again. This time with a 20 gauge round sterling wire. I was amazed at how fast and easy these worked up:

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These earrings were such a joy to make. They were truly meant to be. They also reminded me to never give up – and to never settle. The creativity will come back…it always does… 🙂

$175 in Jewelry to Give Away…the Final Countdown is on….NOW!!

ARE YOU READY?! This is the official announcement: we will be drawing the $100 Jewelry Giveaway NEXT SUNDAY (Oct. 11th) at 11pm EST!  This is your final chance to get your entries in to win this fabulous prize. Three lucky winners will get to choose $100, $50 and $25 in FREE jewelry from my Etsy & Artfire shops! The response has been AMAZING and  will be drawing next Sunday whther or not we reach 1000 entries: but we are going to come pretty darn close!

Go here for the official rules and announcement: The Great Jewelry Giveaway Contest

I am so incredibly touched and pleased by your responses and support! Best of luck to all and I am so excited to see who wins next week!!