Hiya everyone! Just popping in for a moment to say hi from "Nawlins!"
We had a big rain with thunder and lightening all day yesterday, and subsequently all gotten eaten by mosquitos. Our first day here was awefully humid, but I think Im starting to get used to it ( although today looks like a hot one!) Yesterday was drove through the Lower 9th Ward, its just amazing how bad it still is down there. I didn't take any pictures, I felt it would be really disrespectful. Its really amazing how many houses all over New Orleans still have spray paint "X's" on them - very sad. Many of the homes in the lower 9th were just shells of a home, no doors, windows, half of a roof, spray paint on them saying "help!". Im a bit of a bleeding heart, so I struggled with the thought that so many people are still unaccounted for, four years later.
On a bit more of a happier note, we had beers at LaFitte Blacksmith Shop which is reported to be the oldest bar in the US. It still runs with no internal electricity or plumbing. It was built sometime before 1772. It was really cool, and was covered in pics of celebrities that had drank there, but really really grungy. Not for the weak lol.
We also indulged at Cafe Du Monde - its dangerous there with the Beniets!
More to come in the next days - we will be visiting the coast guard base, doing the war museam, gator tour on a fan boat, and a plantation tour.
Im off to shower ( the weather is 2 showers daily kinda heat) and then off to the French Quarter again! I could drool over the art for days!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Hello Everyone! Today is my last day home before I leave for New Orleans! Im spending the day shipping out my last orders, packing, exchanging Can$$ for US$$ etc. I am fanatic list writer, so there are notes all over the house right now - "remember toothpaste" " don't forget ipod charger" etc. We've been told that the first few days we are there there are supposed to be thunder and lightening storms, so I hope I can get some good pics ( wow can you tell I work in the photography business ?)
I did manage to list one new pair of earrings before my shop went into sad ole vacation mode. You should see my sketch book though - I will have LOTS of inspiration by the time I get home!!
Oh and how could I forget for my list today : spend some time with Tucker and my parents place - Im gonna miss my little guy!!
I will pop in sporatically - but will miss you all!!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
This ring is inspired by the stars. City lights outshine the stars sometimes, but when I was a kid I would park myself in the backyard and watch them appear in the sky as the night came.
There's just something about pearls - I adore them. They are my birth stone (June) and as a child I always wished it were something more sparkly or coloured, like Amethyst, Peridot, or Emerald. However as an adult I find pearls so endearing, classic, and glamourous.
Lately, I've also had a couple clients inquire about having custom pieces made. Since I've photographed many of my stones, I thought I would post here, since there is something so drool worthy about clusters of gemmy stones together :-) Heres a sampling of some of the pretties I've been collecting...
I'll leave you all with that - Only 4 more days before my shop goes into vacation mode!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Hey Everyone - just an update, I have added a few more goodies to my 25% off Clearance Sale. These items are marked down so they can find new homes, and may not be relisted into my shop after I return from vacvation ( my shop will close May 21st!) Soooo if you have had your eye on something, now is the time!
Here are some of the lovely items I have discounted :-)
Just to tempt you...
Its a long weekend here - so I will be working away on a couple new ideas before I put my shop in vacation mode next week. Sales have been slow the last week or so, but Im hoping to bring in a few sales before its time to shut down shop. It will be hard, but I can guarantee I will spend a good portion of my time away thinking up new ideas and searching for inspiration! I will most definitely be bringing a sketch book with me!
Ciao for now!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Not this weekend, but next we leave on our trip to New Orleans to visit Dan's sister and hubby. I'm struggling with the though of closing down my shop for 10 days! I've never had to close it for that long, and am a bit concerned about it will slow down sales upon my return. You see, the last few months have been the best months I've had, and Bella-Bijou Jewellery is starting to sell more. Will closing shop for a vacation ruin all this ?
I've also been really mentally struggling with feeling comfortable in my own skin. Its going to be really hot there, in a humid way. The thought of having to wear shorts and tanks everyday actually makes me a little sick to my stomach. You see, I've gained some weight since I last saw them, and I'm feeling pretty crummy about it. Dan and his sis/hubby are all gym rats - this is something I just am not. I hate working out in front of people, and can't afford the $55/month to go. Besides that, with a full time job, plus jewellery, I rarely had time to get into the gym while they were open when I was going!
I went through my closet the other day to pull out the summer clothes from last year - not a single pair of shorts fit. I've gotten myself into this stupid little rut where I don't allow myself to buy new things either. Firstly, I can't afford it, but secondly and most importantly, part of me still believes that I may lose some weight and fit back into my old clothes !?!?! I think Im losing it!
Of course, I am a stress eater, and even worse, I reward myself with food. " I had such a long day today - I deserve it" I picked up a Weight Watchers magazine on my way home yesterday, and would love to try it out ( my mom lost 50 lbs two years ago on it) but I can't afford it!! Wowzers I had no idea how $$ it was! I thought of trying it online, but everyone I've talked to has said its the meetings that really help. Is it weird that the idea of meetings actually scares me a little ? I am notoriously shy, and a little tentative. What if I didn't fit in ? What if everyone else was REALLY overweight and didn't think I should be there ? Oh lordy, now I am just rambling.
Lisa- I would love some input from you, since you are the most recent person I know of that has joined. Anyone else that has any insight on becoming a member ( online or meetings) it is more than welcome!
Thank you all out there that listen, my blog is a great way to get out what I need to say but don't necessarily think I have anyone to say it to. It is truly appreciated and means so much.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I just wanted to give all you lovely people out there the heads up - I have just marked down a bunch of items in my shop by 25% off. I am trying to do some spring cleaning, and thought it would be good to get some of these pieces into their new homes!! I wont be renewing them, so if there is something you like - grab it!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Well folks - I finally completed all my projects I was working on! After a pretty crappy week of dealing with work issues and complete lack of motivation, I finally was able to get into the groove in the last two days.
Yesterday I spent the day with Dad - we went tool shopping ( our favorite pastime of course!) ate the tastiest burger I've ever eaten, and then made dad and my brother Jason kabobs for dinner! It was a great day - the sun was shining warm and I feel like I got plenty accomplished ( don't you love that?)
I will be adding these new pieces to the shop *soon*. I've used some new techniques, as well as some super yummy new stones!!
GRAPE SODA - Sterling Silver and Stichtite
ARROWHEAD - Crow Springs Turquoise
BEACH HOUSE - Bangle (can you see the sparkly texture I have the metal?)
GARDEN GROW - Rose Quartz and Crow Springs Turquoise
STARS IN THE SKY - Lapis Lazuli With Chrysocolla
(can you see the tiny sparks of gold through out?)
Keep an eye on my shop to see these soon - I will be adding then tonight/tomorrow!
ALSO A REMINDER - I will be going on vacation soon! My shop will close May 20th and reopen June 2nd - so if you have your eye on anything purchase soon!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I am still here anyone that may possibly be wondering ( anyone out there today ?) It has been an extra long week, and I have been dealing with some difficult stuff at work. Quite frankly, I have been zonked, no with little to no energy. The day job was just killing my creativity all week too - I had ideas and just couldn't get them from paper to fabrication point.
Thankfully I only worked a morning shift yesterday and was able to come home and kick my ass into gear! I have a bunch of pieces lined up for the tumbler today, as well as some pickling!
Last night we went bowling with one of Dan's friends and his new girlfriend. Bowling is just something that we never get to do anymore - its so much fun! The nearest set of lanes is about 25 minutes away on the highway in no traffic, so we don't get out there as much as I'd like ( and its really expensive!!! It cost $47 for us to play 3 games each, just Dan and I!!!). Of course, I am a TERRIBLE bowler lol but its social. Lately I feel like I rarely get out an do anything anymore. Dan and I work different schedules, so we only get to eat dinner together anywhere from 1-3 nights a week. He often works late, and I often work early, so sometimes we can't even get time to fit in a walk together. I wish I was one of those creative people that always thought up fun and different things to do, but I just am not. Dan loves to play golf, tennis and rollerblade - all things I dont do/know how! I wish there were things we could do together. The last time I was on blades I was 13, and had a really bad fall ( the scare *just* finally disappeared and Im turning 26)
What can I say ? There has been ALOT on my mind lately, and the sales have trickled to a stop.
In other news, its my wonderful mothers birthday today - Happy Birthday Mom!! She frequently shares mothers day with her birthday, of course this year they are back to back (May is expensive for dad, dog, brother and I lol) She is off in Reno with my grandmother having a girls weekend- and hopefully winning some $$, so she wont even be home for Mommy's day. In lieu I have a BBQ dinner date planned with Dad and Tuckie, after some serious tool shopping ( with just Dad, the dog isn't nearly as interested, unless of course the tools were made of food)
Enough outta me - im gonna get the tumbler going so I can post pics tomorrow for you all!
Happy Mommy's Day to all you mothers out there!!
Monday, May 4, 2009
.... but doesn't it suck waiting for something you really want??? My shop was dead all week, to the point where I was a little worried ( after all I am trying to save for our trip to visit the BF's family). Thankfully the weekend brought me some sales! All were small items, but it was the positive boost I needed and I am so very grateful to have them! I always feel a little pressure when Im not selling any of my one of a kind pieces, like I need to sell them to justify filling my shop with more ? Anyone else feel this way ? Of course, Im not letting these thoughts stop my creative process ;-p I did have time to create some new earrings this weekend - check em out!
SLICE OF SKY Earrings
These are for Limited Edition for the Summer and are listed individually by colour in my shop
Last night we went to dinner at Dan's aunts for his cousins birthday - yummy turkey, salad and the most scrumptious cheesy mashed potatoes (Im sure they were full of butter but too good to pass up!) and we even had ice cream cake for dessert (he was turning 17 - still young enough to justify ice cream cake he he)
The cake reminded me that I haven't made my Weight Watchers approved 1 point per piece cake in a long time - so I thought id post about it since its so tasty and EASY.
I take any chocolate cake mix store bought to make this, and it always comes out well.
1 store bought choccy cake mix ( i use the better crocker)
1 cup skim milk ( or water, but I think the milk helps the moistness personally)
1 package of dessert tofu ( any flavour - it doesn't come through into the cake)
Now before you all go TOFU!!?!?!? Honestly, I am not a tofu lover, and I successfully served this cake to my father - who will only eat the moistest chocolate cake, and wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole if he knew there was tofu in it. He had no idea, and neither has anyone else I've served it unknowingly to lol. The tofu takes place of the oil and the eggs (fat contributors ) in the cake mix instructions, and produces a denser, more brownie like cake. I do find it needs to bake just a tad longer than the instructions, and it keeps moist for days so you can definitely prepare in advance. The best part is it serves 12 and is only 1 point a piece!! ( anyone who has ever tried WW will know this is a good thing!) Now of course you could frost it a wee bit, and up the points, but because of the brownie like consistency, you don't really need to! Also makes great cupcakes!!
** side note - I have tried this with lemon cake and vanilla, and it really works best with chocolate in my opinion :-)
Seriously - If my father loved it ( he has a hate for dry chocolate cake as do I) and had no idea there was anything different ( the tofu) then I challenge you all to try ( unless of course you have soy allergies!!)
Friday, May 1, 2009
Hey Everyone! Please check out this contest we ( The MetalSmiths In Action) are hosting! The prizes are awesome!!