Sunday, December 30, 2007

My wishes for the new year

I haven't been as good about blogging as I have been in the past. I am taking some time to regroup and figure out some new plans for the new year. I feel really excited about having a website to send people to. Now I have to let everyone know that I am here! It is the hardest part of this journey for me. I have never been the "center of attention" kind of person. I have always been the kind of person who treasures quiet, quality time. That is one of the reasons I have such a passion to create. This year, I will learn how to make other people want to share in my passion.

This past week, I met with a Bride and her Matron of Honor. This particular consultation reminded me of just how much I love what I do! It is so gratifying to me to design just what a bride is dreaming of for her wedding day. I am given the chance to create pieces for her bridesmaids' that will always remind them of their friendship. And I take part in traditions that have been around for hundreds of years. What more could I ask for? Thank you for including me in your very special moments.

And the same sentiments go for my fashion jewelry customers! I feel so lucky every time I fill an order for you. I have had the honor of sharing a moment in your busy day to design a piece that fills a certain desire. Whether the piece is for your mom or your best friend, or just a special gift for yourself, I have participated in creating the exact piece that brings a smile to your face as you wear it or give it as a gift.

I am ending the new year with some heartfelt sentiments and hoping the new year is filled with good health and peace and lots of love!!! And weddings!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back from the holidays

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas. I visited with special friends that I haven't seen in two years, so mine was wonderful! It was so relaxing and I feel rejuvenated and ready to make jewelry, which is a good thing, because I met with a bride today who ordered all of her accessories and her 7 bridesmaids' jewelry! I love the selections she made and am excited to get started on her order. I just love working with brides! It is so gratifying and sparkly! I'm going to make this style with swarovski crystals of various sizes and shades. It will be beautiful.


So, have any of you got this going on in your homes?! My boys and their friends have been doing marathon Guitar Hero sessions! It really is funny to watch. They are soooo serious and they look like they know what they are doing! My sons have never played the guitar before. Yet they look like pros! I get such a kick out of it!

guitar hero

Maggie is so funny! She stole Colby's cookie. It is almost too big for her mouth and yet she runs around and looks for the best place to hide it, over and over again! It can take her two days until she actually eats it! The big dog, Colby, is such a good sport! Here he is eating. We think it is hillarious that he lays down to eat! He usually has his paws on each side of his bowl. son eats in the same way!!!!

Milkbone Maggie

Too lazy to stand

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Lightning Bug Designs

I wanted to take some time to officially thank Leila and Lauren of Lightning Bug Designs for their tireless work in creating my long awaited website! Before I signed on to have them build me a site, I researched endlessly to find a reputable company. I had been very disappointed by two other web designers who really knew nothing about working with people. At the time, I was very let down by their lack of dedication and enthusiasm, but looking back, I realize how lucky I really was!

LBD runs their company with extreme professionalism. I have never experienced a business that performs with such competence and organization! It was a pleasure to do business with them and I wanted to share that with you!

My website was developed using a template based program called Zen Cart. Not knowing what zen cart even was, put me in quite a bind! My friends at The Switchboards all highly recommended LBD. I trusted their word and dove right in, attaining a start date. I had one problem. My assumed understanding of the process was nothing like what was actually about to happen! I guess I should have researched zen cart beforehand. I thought that zc was the shopping cart part of my site. I spent so much time just trying to decipher the information that was coming my way! It was like taking a college course! I feel sorry for Leila, but thank goodness, she held my hand and led the way!

Looking back, I realize how lucky I am. In learning zc, I now have full reign over the day-to-day happenings of my site. Before, I would have had to hire my web designer to change every picture, every word, and every detail. That would have driven my crazy. I love the fact that I am free to update my pictures as better ones are available. And I am free to add merchandise as I want.

To my customers, please know that I am always working at bettering my computer abilities. There is so much more for me to learn about. Bear with me and thanks for taking this journey along with me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Geneseo bound!!!!

The holiday season has brought our family a wonderful gift! My oldest son, Joshua, has been accepted to the college of his choice! And to make it even more of an accomplishment, he was accepted on early admission! He will be going to Geneseo in upstate NY. He is beaming, as are we!! We are so very proud of him. He put his mind to this accomplishment and made it happen.

Got in04

Got in01

Josh has always been a great student and when he decided to look into Geneseo, my only opinion of the school was that it was going to be VERY cold and far away. After researching and visiting this beautiful school, I, too, fell in love with it. This college is extremely competitive and very highly thought of. Not many of the applicants are accepted. My Josh was though!

Got in02

So, we went out for dinner to celebrate and I made sure to tell everyone that I could! We had lots of fun. And my mother-in-law and I tried to take it all in.

Then, I went to bed and reality started to set in. I began, for the first time, to really realize that my baby is going to go away. I was up all night thinking. I am feeling so happy for him, but I don't know how I am going to deal with it. I know that all parents have to deal with this, but I really I guess I will concentrate on the time we still have left and worry about next September in August! Who am I kidding?!!

I better get going with knitting his blanket! I have been making him a great heavy "college blanket". I have been knitting for so long and my boys have never let me make them anything! I have always been so disappointed about that! But now Josh has an interest and he picked out the colors. I've been working on it here and there knowing that I had time. Now, the time is coming closer!. He told me to get going with it! Off to get my project started!

Josh's college blankie

Josh's blankie

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fingerless gloves

I always wanted to knit a pair of fingerless glove. Here on Long Island, it gets very cold. Having kids to tote around, I never had the patience to wear gloves. I couldn't feel what I was doing and so I couldn't be bothered! You know how it is..."Boys. PUT YOUR GLOVES ON THIS MINUTE. IT IS FREEZING OUT!" And then you run out with no coat on yourself!

When I realized that I could use gloves AND feel what I was doing, I went right to knitting myself a pair! I love them and they really suit my needs! I highly recommend them.

Fingerless gloves

I actually made these from my own design. I like to challenge myself with designing my own patterns. I can't create complicated patterns, but I am able to copy shapes of other pieces. I made these with scraps of leftovers. The arm part is chenille yarn while the pattern and hand part is wool. I wanted the arm parts to be long so that they covered my arm up under my coat sleeve!

Tomorrow, I have a craft show to do at Josh's high school. I haven't done one in awhile. I don't usually sell much because people are generally looking for $5 items, but I need to start working more and I figured that this would be a good place to start. I'll let you know how it went!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No shabby chic mood today!

I usually LOVE working on my bridal line. The colors are soft and romantic and very soothing, to say the least. Truthfully, that is really my style. I love to work with tone-on-tone and texture in everything I do. My home is cozy and very neutral, my knitting is usually soft looking, and my studio is shabby chic. I am all about cozy and soothing.

Yesterday, I woke up and decided to go bright and bold. I have been seeing many designers working with heavily darkened sterling silver and I felt inspired. I decided that I love the stark contrast of the bright colors and black. I set out to find my brightest beads from my extensive collection and went to work. Funny thing is that I have always been very drawn to natural stones. I felt like it was pure heracy to dye innocent quartz a screaming pink or turquoise color! I only bought these dyed beads to satisfy orders. I NEVER thought that I would ever come back to them! It always works that way, doesn't it?!

Well, I mixed and matched and bended and twisted and here are the results! These earrings are part of my Eye Candy Line. I decided to introduce a fun, less expensive line that I hope will attract customer's who are looking for a quick, inexpensive, handmade gift. Hope you like them as much as I do. Fun, fun, fun!!!!

Eye Candy0101 - E489

Eye Candy02 - E489

Eye Candy03 - E489

Eye Candy04 - E489

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nikon D40X for L. Stone Designs

Chanukah really paid off for me this year!!! I got a present that I REALLY really wished for. Remember the Nikon D40X that I was freaking out over a few weeks ago? My wonderful, amazing, super, duper honey surprised me with one! I am jumping out of my skin over this! I didn't think that I could ever treat myself to that camera. It takes such clear pictures. I will have to retake all of my jewelry pictures for my website. That is a HUGE undertaking, but worthwhile. Thank you my sweetie! I love you.

Jacob wins the prize for the strangest/funniest gift request this year! He said he always wanted a metal briefcase like James Bond! You should have seen the grin on my husbands face when he walked out of the store with one of these in his hand! I guess it is a boy thing! Jake had the cutest reaction to it...he said that he wasn't going to tell his friends about this gift!

My oldest son's girlfriend, Melody, enjoyed a pair of sterling and jade earrings. I made them to go with the necklace that Josh gave her last year.

I am down to the last few bits of finalization for my website. I'll let you all know when my launch is! I will be having a great sale as soon as it opens- just in time to spend all of the cash gifts and checks you received as gifts for yourself!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jake the wrestling god!

One of the ultimate joys of being the mother of boys is that I get to go to wrestling matches. I mean, who wouldn't want to see 8th graders grabbing each other and throwing the other to the floor as hard as they can? It goes against every grain of the mommy part of me! I have to contain myself from yelling to them to get off of each other and to stop fighting...that someone is going to get hurt. I have to sit on my hands and remember not to be mad at the other kid for grinding my son's face into the mat for as long as he can! Wrestling...I love it! Oh, and they do get hurt. A lot. And by, the way, mother knows best!!!

Jacob is large. He has always been one of the largest in his class, even when he was in pre-school. He only wrestles when there is a match for him on the other team. Today there was. After they took a child away in the ambulance (he broke his wrist), Jake started to limber up and get psyched for his match. He was really uptight. You could see it as he paced. Ira gave him some words of wisdom and off he went. I don't think he won any of his matches last year. It was his first year last year. Jake PINNED the kid! I was screaming like a wild woman! Secretly, I was mostly relieved that he didn't get hurt! Shh, don't tell him! It was amazing to see his feeling of accomplishment! Love you Jake. MWAH!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Chanukah Menorahs and Traditions

I wanted to wish everyone who celebrates this holiday a Happy Chanukah ! It is already the fourth night! Boy how time flies! This year, I am having a hard time getting in the spirit because it is so early. I like it better when Chanukah and Christmas fall out closer together.

Chanukah is filled with family traditions. I grew up singing our traditional prayers and lighting the most beautiful antique menorah. I love my mom's menorah. My dad bought it for her many, many years ago in an antique shop. When I got married, my parents bought Ira and I a beautiful sterling menorah that is more modern. We have used it every year for 20 years and now my children will grow up remembering lighting it.

My kids are chomping at the bit to open their gifts! When they werE younger, they received a bunch of little gifts each night and it was exciting. Now that they are older, there are much fewer gifts, but the gifts are bigger. They have to wait for the nights that we are getting together with family to open their presents and they are having a hard time being patient! Isn't that just what it is like to be grown up?! It isn't always easy! And so it goes...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Feminine bridal jewelry

I am so so so so excited! My website is set to launch on Monday! Please stop by and tell me what you think! I have been waiting for (I'm embarrassed to say)5 years for this to actually happen! I have attempted this 2 other times and have had bad luck finding responsible people. This time, I am thrilled with the results and can't wait to share my jewelry with you!

I was making a really pretty, feminine piece yesterday for my mother-in-law. I am so happy with it that I decided to make a bridal version, too. See what you think. The beads are all Swarovski crystal and light up the room. I can just picture this delicate necklace on a gorgeous bride's neck. I hope it will have the perfect home soon. And since Swarovski is available in every color under the rainbow, I am able to match it to Mother-of-the-Bride dresses or bride's maid dresses. If you know of someone who is getting married, be sure to tell them about my website!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Herringbone stitch sweater

Be patient with me as my quest for a website is slowly coming to it's end! I seem to have no time for extras. My time is spent either typing of knitting to unwind. And the rest is laundry and cleaning and loving my boys!

My mother-in-law asked me to knit her a sweatercoat. It is made with a beautiful stitch that we both had never seen and believe me...we have seen a lot of stitches! Between us, we have knit everyday for 60 years (combined I remind you)! We both carry our projects everywhere we go. She was my mentor 25 years ago. I loved what she made and couldn't believe what knitting could actually produce. From the first stitch, I was hooked. Being in college and knitting didn't go well together. Back then, the only cool thing to do was watch Wheel of Fortune and drink. I watched Wheel of Fortune and dreamed of knitting in the open. Only grandmas did that and I was in college. Well, I'm proud to say that I am now out of the knitting closet and proudly knitting on the train, during my son's football games, and everywhere I feel like it! I even make many friends who are interested in what I am doing!

Each sleeve is 27" across and this stitch is a very slow stitch! That's why I call this a labor of love! Until tomorrow!