Saturday, September 26, 2009

The most beautiful roses!

My mother used to be a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, a group of women who met on a weekly basis to plan fund raisers for charity, hosted the wackiest theme parties and led the ever-so-social life. And just as each of our US states has its own representative flower, each of these sorority groups did as well. The Beta Sigma Phi sorority flower was the yellow rose.

One of the ladies in this group lives around the corner from my parents house (where I grew up) and although neither her nor my mother are still active in the sorority, the symbol of the yellow rose has remained an important part of each of their lives. As the upcoming birthday of this neighbor approached, my mother contacted me regarding possibly making a piece of jewelry and incorporating the yellow rose. I had just started a huge project and quite frankly, did not have enough time to make anything, so I began my internet search for something I could purchase for my mother to give as a gift.

There it was. The most perfect and beautiful rose I had ever seen. It looked amazingly real, yet according to the website was hand crafted out of a special formula synthetic clay, produced exclusively for the artist. Items created out of it have the delicate look of unglazed china but are very light, yet strong. I purchased it and when it arrived I was even more amazed at the intricate details of this rose. The petals weren't thick like most polymer clay roses and were finely detailed including having "veins" in the petals, like a real rose. The leaves were multi-dimensional and the color was the softest yellow with hints of an even paler yellow in each petal. It was perfect. So perfect in fact, that I almost didn't want to let my mother take it.

The artists' name is Maria Gower. She owns and operates Rose Paradise in the UK. Her work is brilliant and unique and -- well -- here...

...just look at the pictures. And I must say, the pictures really do not do these pieces justice at all.

And here's the one I purchased. With shipping it was only around $18.00 and came with the silver snake chain:

Check out Maria's other unique pieces on her website at:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I was tagged by Pink Clouds and Angels and BEBs Treasures

It's my turn to share ten facts about me and to tag 10 others to do the same. This is a great way to get to know about each other and further develop our friendships, even though most of them are long-distance.

So... without further a-do, here's 10 facts about me:

1) I'm married (for the third time) to a wonderful man who believes that I am the most important part of his life. It's a great quality in a man, I must admit. This is his third marriage as well. We both thought we would keep trying until we got it right. I'm pretty confident that we did this time. Larry and I met while playing darts in the local league, 14 years ago.

2) Together we have four adults (they hate being called children)- 3 women and 1 man, and three beautiful grandchildren ages 15, 2 and 6 months.

3) We were not wealthy growing up and made most of our own toys -- from cereal box guitars to cardboard canoes. We were forced to use our imaginations to keep us occupied (Imagination: something that has become lost with the invention of video games). I can't thank my parents enough for helping us embellish our creative minds.

4) I was as tall as my kindergarten teacher and reached my full height of 6 feet by the 7th grade. I am the second shortest in my family.

5) I've always been involved in the arts of some sort. I began playing the upright bass at the age of 7 and was playing professionally in a pub with a jazz group by the age of 14. My parents had to drive me to my gigs until I was old enough to drive myself. Even then, they had to chaperone me because I was too young to be in the pub. I was with that same jazz group for the next 30 years.

6) I have performed with many great musicians, including David Baker, Todd Coolman, Jon Faddis, Buddy Montgomery, Willard Dyson, John Patitucci, Rodney Franklin, Will Kennedy, Sarah Vaughan, Peter Horvath, Jeff Hamilton, Sheila E. and songwriter Paul Williams, just to name a few.

7) In 1996 I became a professional darts player, traveling the US and Canada for competition and representing Northern California -- and was inducted into the National Darts Hall of Fame in 2001. I was nationally ranked in the top 15 and world ranked in the top 30 at the height of my career.

8) Due to a severe shoulder injury, surgery and then re-injury, I had to retire from playing darts in 2007. Currently in my spare time, I bowl in two leagues and compete in local bowling tournaments.

9) I am a 18 year ovarian cancer survivor; however with the cure of cancer came the onset of Lupus. To date, there is no cure for Lupus.

10) I began my current hobby/career of making jewelry after searching online for magnetic bracelets for therapeutic purposes. After noticing that all that was offered looked dull, drab and virtually the same, I decided to make my own using colorfully painted magnetic beads. Several people in the building I work in noticed my bracelets and asked if I could make some for them. My business today has evolved from these requests.

OK, There's my 10 fun-filled facts! Now... what are yours?

1. Butterfly Crafts
2. Almondtree Designs
3. Bei Creations
4. Bijoux Designs For You
5. Blue Betty
6. Haffina Creations
7. Risky Beads
8. Silver River Jewelry
9. Jewelry By Fyfe
10. Huckleberry Arts

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Those Amazing Sugar Scrubs!

I was watching a T.V. show last Wednesday (while babysitting my grandson) called "She's Crafty". While we don't have cable television, I'm not sure whether this is a nationally broadcast show or just something local; but nonetheless, it was quite entertaining.

The host of the show made several simple crafty things, such as an accordion-style photo album using 8-1/2x11 sheets of paper, a tea tray using a wooden-framed picture frame, some fabric and drawer pulls -- and she closed the show by making some wonderful sugar scrubs.

Now I've heard of sugar scrub before, but have never used any myself. But listening to her talk on and on about the wonderful effects these sugar scrubs had on her face and skin, and how people were telling her how much younger she looked after a few weeks of using it, I decided that yes...I wanted to look younger too.

I raced into the kitchen to get a piece of paper and pencil to write down exactly how to make this sugar scrub, and as I began writing down the ingredients, I realized that not only was it a very simple item to make, but I had all of the ingredients to make it too! :)

So off to the kitchen I went -- to make my first batch of sugar scrub.

The recipe called for 2 cups of sugar, 2TBSP. of extra virgin olive oil and enough Green Tea Tree oil to make the scrub not too flaky, but not too liquidy. This was the only part that didn't have an exact measurement.

After putting the sugar in a bowl and mixing the two oils in, I added 1TBSP. of pure vanilla extract and 4 TBSP. of sweetened cocoa powder. This gave the sugar scrub a wonderful chocolate/vanilla aroma, plus the cocoa added coloration.

I scooped the scrub into a small glass jar with lid, and voila! It was done!

It smelled wonderful! I tried it this morning just on my face. The granulation of the sugar is an excellent exfoliator, and the oils made my skin feel as soft and smooth as a baby's behind.

I'm going to be trying some other scents real soon! Can't wait!