December 24, 2013

All is calm, all is bright...a humble holiday

Wishing you a celebration filled with peace, joy and love.

December 16, 2013

Crocheted Ribbon Gift Packaging

I've been a crocheting fool lately, making scarves and cowls for Christmas gifts.  Being a jewelry designer and a family of mostly girls and women, I give quite a few pieces of jewelry during the holidays too.  For my smaller gifts I've been crocheting 'ribbons' to embellish printed craft paper.  (The craft paper is a dollar store find!) 

 This is a simple single chain crochet using a sparkly silver cotton thread and a small hook.  (size b)

 The larger present I used a larger hook (size f)

The tags are stamped with a few of my favorite themes and a holiday messages.  A little sprig from our evergreen tree adds a festive touch.  (Wait the day of the gift-giving to add the greens.) 

My assistant Antoinette and I have been putting together the mother of all Holiday Pinterest Boards.  It's amazing and you should go check it out right now!!!  I will be posting round ups of my favorite holiday ideas all week. 

Gift Tags from the Graphics Fairy 
These are a beautiful alternative to stamped tags and ones I plan on using too.

December 13, 2013

Holiday Prep: Cookies, Pomergrantes and Crocheted Snowflakes

A few snap shots from Instagram.
Cookies made and ate - check.
Perfect tree found and imperfectly decorated - check
Enjoying the start of winter and the beauty of nature - check
Sampling the tastes of the season - check
More decorating and gifts to make this weekend - check and check

Those cookies on the bottom right are so yummy and not too bad for you! Prepare a Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie mix with a 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin instead of butter.  Add a little bit of frosting on top and a dried cranberry.  They were scarfed up in moments at my party last weekend!

Let's talk pomergrantes - they were a new to me food last weekend.  So with a little help from my Facebook friends and Pinterest I gave it a try.  Yum, you need to go pick one up today.

Here is an easy way to get the seeds from a pomagrante.

Three tasty pomegranate recipes to try:
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Pomegranate (I might skip the greens and eat this as a side dish)
Chocolate Pomegranate-Ginger Bark
Pink Swirl Meringues with Pomegranate Sauce

You are digging the crocheted snowflakes, right?  Me too! My mom showed me how to make them a few weeks ago.  I barely know how to crochet, so I can't offer much advice other than find someone to teach you! Looking for snowflake patterns - here you go. I'm going to make my collection into a garland to hang in our dining room windows.

This weekend I'm looking forward to decorating the rest of my home for the holidays.  Making jam and crocheting with my mom for the weekend.  We are going to watch Christmas movies, drink coffee and tea and find a little peace and joy from now until Monday. 

What's on your plate for the weekend?  Whatever it is, take time for you and just being with the ones you love. 

December 12, 2013

Ornament Blog Hop

Welcome today!  I'm hosting an Ornament Blog Hop on the Art Bead Scene and wishing you peace and joy during this holiday season. 
We love making ornaments in my house.  In fact, we make it a party every year!  My tree is decorated with treasures we've made through the years and I love giving ornaments as gifts.  I've been making ornaments every year since high school, although most of the early ones have disappeared.   When Jess and I first got married we would pick a theme for our tree every year and make crazy artsy ornaments together.  We still make ornaments although our tree has morphed into a hodge podge of anything woodland. 

Which brings me to my ornaments for the hop, these woodland inspired birds. At a local craft show this year I happened upon a talented Michigan ceramic artist who had these beautiful bird ornaments.  As soon as I saw them I know they would make amazing gifts this year with just a little extra work put into them.

I paired these up with lampwork and polymer disk beads.  Wire and seed beads were fashioned into a clever hoop for hanging on the tree. The lampwork is from Sue Beads and the polymer clay are Humblebeads, of course!

This is a great way to use up orphaned beads, embellish simple ornaments to create a treasured new piece to add to your collection!

I'd like to invite you to visit the other particpating creative artists who have made ornaments today.  Fix yourself a cup of cocoa, turn on some holiday music and enjoy:

Click here to see more ornaments!

December 8, 2013

Limited Edition Pet Ornaments

Deck the halls...

So after I was playing around with woodland ornaments the other day, I was struck by the genius idea of pet ornaments.  Because uh, hey that's a whole lot of cute and I'm on an all-cute-all-the-time kind of holiday diet at the moment!

Westie, Scotty and Schnauzers Dog Ornaments

I started out with a few pets that were part of our family and then I shared them on Instagram and Facebook and you all know how we love our pets!  So I had lots of ideas requests and ideas rolling around and photos being shared that inspired some of my collection.

 Pug, English Bulldog and Boston Terrier

 Pit Bull and Lab

 Yorkie, Beagle and Doxie (Dachshund)


 There was a request for a lop eared bunny, how could I pass that up!

And then I thought, oh well why not have a few ways these can be customized, like a name or year or holiday saying.

 Or even one painted in the same colors as your furry friends.  This is my little Oliver. 

It's been interesting to learn about the different breeds. I have a German Shepherd and a few other cats coming soon.

This shows the size difference from the little woodland ornaments.  The pet ornaments are just ornaments where the other ones can also be pendants.

You can find all these sweet holiday goodies in my Etsy shop. They are made to order and you'll need to order before December 15th to get these before Christmas.  I can't accept any more requests for breeds or any customizing other than a name or coloring. 

December 7, 2013

Owl Calendar and Gift Ideas

Today my Merry Owl Ornament is featured on the adorable blog, My Owl Barn.  Shivana puts together a stellar line up of artists who offer their images for a yearly calender.  You get to customize your calendar picking from 50 artist's owls. Unbelievable, it's totally free - so you should hop on over there and download your owl calendar right now.  Be sure to share the love and spread the word on Facebook and Pinterest.

Owl Gift Ideas from the Powers' Sisters:

I have to give a special shout out to my very talented sister, Gretchen Powers, who has her owl print included in the calendar.  I just love this painting, the sweater just makes me happy right down to my toes! Check out Gretchen's shop here: The Blooming Hare.

And to go along with the theme today, here are some Owl pieces from my jewelry collection. 
Humblebeads Jewelry.

December 3, 2013

Woodland Friends Pendants

I was doodling the other day and these two fellows showed up.  If you don't know much about me, you might be surprised to know that one of my life's ambitions is to illustrate children's books.  It's a difficult career to break into and all my hustling goes towards beads and jewelry right now.  One day I'll have the freedom to follow that path, but for now those dreams turn up in my beads. I may end up painting Christmas cards and gift tags to match if I can get caught up on a few pressing projects. 'Tis the season for sneaking in extra creative sessions instead of going to bed early, right?

These will make fun and whimsical pendants but darn if they aren't just the sweetest ornaments in the world too.
 Here is the sketch.

I love making beads, but if I could spend a few days a week painting and creating stories with charmers like these guys I would be quite thrilled. 

I love the holidays and tapping into the joy of childhood, the mystery of the season and whimsical spirit that abounds during this time of year. 

You can find these cutie pies in my Etsy shop.

The start of December has included hot chocolate treats, walks in snowy woods finding tiny hoof prints and hunting for the perfect Christmas tree.  I'm impatiently waiting the next snow fall, more time to decorate, baking cookies and lots of gift making between now and the big day.

How is the beginning of December looking for you?  Take time to enjoy those tiny moments that connect you to feeling joy and peace!