Monday, November 26, 2012

Delight in the Little Things:: Monday Musings

"Delight in the little things" Rudyard Kipling quote. gratitude, thankfulness, simple pleasures

I took a little walk the other day. I was in a contemplative mood and the weather was glorious, and I found myself downtown with a little bit of time on my hands so I took a stroll. As I was walking I realized that the littlest things can bring me such great joy - something as simple as these beautiful little leaves on a rusty grate could bring a sense of happiness to my heart and a smile to my lips. I had to capture that moment, put a frame around that feeling to keep and remember forever. 

These simple yellow leaves so sweetly arranged as if posing for a painter and resting while he mixes his colors - French grey, vermilion, violet, and ochre - are now frozen in time as a reminder to keep my eyes and heart always open to make sure I don't ever miss another perfect moment just like this one. 

"Delight in the little things." ~Rudyard Kipling

Friday, November 23, 2012

Green Clean: How to clean a pot with baking soda

green cleaning tip: how to clean a pot with baking soda (no soaking or scrubbing!)

I love to cook...but I despise doing dishes. And it always seems that the things I like to cook the most leave behind the most terrible pots and pans to clean; like the kind that require soaking for days and still somehow take a 30-minute scrubbing. Well, I have a trick to share with you that will save you a ton of hassle; no soaking and no harsh chemicals required, and only a teensy bit of 'scrubbing' (which is actually more like just wiping with a sponge, you'll see).

The last time I made my Homemade Maple Pumpkin Butter (yes, you're gonna want that recipe) was when I really put this trick to the test. The process of cooking it on the stove and then baking in the oven in the same pan really left behind a horrible caramelized burnt pumpkiny maple sugary mess. This technique worked like a charm as you can see from the photo! 

I thought this might be a timely post, knowing there are probably tons of you putting off doing that pile of dishes you have soaking in the sink after your Thanksgiving feast - which I hope was amazing by the way!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

DIY Wine Cork Stamps - Mustaches for Movember

Thankfully, I am unable to grow a mustache of my own. But I can support Movember in other ways... I just made a donation and now I'm spreading the word! I hope you'll consider making a donation as well. Here's a peek at what Movember is all about:

During Movember, men (called "Mo Bros") grow mustaches for the month of November to raise money and awareness for men's health - very serious but generally un-talked-about issues such as prostate and testicular cancer. Read more about Movember here. You can sponsor a particular Mo Bro and his 'stache, or you can make a general donation to the cause.

DIY handmade stamps using wine corks - mustaches for movember

Now, let's make some mustache stamps!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Etched Glass Mugs {Tutorial}

How to Etch Glass (tutorial) - make your own etched glass mugs!

I've been collecting these glass jars for a while now. I love them! We use them as mugs for everything at our house: water, tea, beer, wine, and even my famous homemade Sangria (that's the beautiful berry-hued beverage in the photo). 

I always thought, they're jelly jars but they have handles on them. Surely I'm supposed to save these and reuse them, right? In fact, I think the only reason I tried the jelly in the first place is because I wanted the jars...but it turns out the jelly was pretty good, so now I have a full set of least. (BTW, if you can't find these jars of jelly in the store, you can buy the empty jars online here, at Amazon of course.)

And I've always wanted to try etching glass, but I was always a little scared by the warnings on the bottle of etching cream. Seriously...the whole side of the bottle is dedicated to hinting that terrible things can happen if you don't follow the warnings. "Call poison control immediately if"...and "seek medical attention immediately when"...and "wear gloves" and "wear goggles" and "use in a well-ventilated area". That's enough to scare off a clumsy dummy like least for a bit.  

I finally got brave and bought a bottle of Armour Etch and tried it, and I'm happy to report that there were no injuries. Now, if you're going to try this at home boys and girls, PLEASE read all the info on the container before using this extremely harsh chemical. And be aware that the chemicals can also etch aluminum sinks and metal faucets, so have a plastic bucket of water ready for clean-up and be careful what you touch with your messy gloves.

NOTE: this is my experience with Armour Etch, and instructions may be different for other brands or products so do your research before you get started! In fact, I'll share my original failed attempt at this project using a different (horrible, awful) product that I urge you to stay away the bottom of the page.

Now that I have those disclaimers out of the's how I etched the glass mugs!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pyrite Stone Swing Necklace in 14k Gold Filled or Sterling Silver

This precious necklace is one of my new styles, and features 14 gorgeous natural faceted metallic pyrite nuggets and a lovely, delicate cable chain. It is part of my Yoga Inspired Jewelry collection, because Pyrite has so many wonderful healing properties:

Pyrite makes a wonderful energy shield, blocking out negativity and fortifying and strengthening the mind with positive, energized thoughts. It enhances mental capacity and protects on a physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. This wonderful stone activates the 3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus).

~ *Centerpiece measures 1.5" long*.
~ Necklace is 16" long and fastens with a handmade s-hook and eye clasp. 
~ All metal is your choice of 14k gold filled (shown) or sterling silver.

*PLEASE NOTE sizes described above, as close up photos may make items seem larger than real life*. Questions? Don't hesitate to ask!
All Bespangled Jewelry comes wrapped in a sweet organza bag tucked inside a handmade pillowbox, tied with a lovely ribbon. Your items are always ready for gift-giving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Funky Finds: A Holiday Shopping Experience (Fort Worth, TX)

Well, I'm sad to say I won't be at this craft show after all. VERY sad, since I have been looking forward to this event since last March. It was a tough decision, but after a full day of random dizzy spells and light-headedness, it doesn't seem like the smartest idea to spend the weekend away from home and on my feet for 2 days. The idea of even loading up the car makes me slightly queasy, so as unhappy as I am to have to miss the Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience, I think it's best.

BUT... I hope that if you're in the DFW area you'll still stop by and see all my amazingly creative friends & get a jump on your holiday shopping while supporting handmade!

The Artful Bead
Barefoot in the Glass

Here's the scoop:

Funky Finds is held at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Center and is always FREE admission, family & pet friendly. This is a 2-day event that you won't want to miss! Dates and times are as follows:

Saturday November 10th, 10am-5pm
Sunday November 11th, 11am-4pm

I know my friends would love to see you there to kick off your Holiday Season!

❋ Thank you for supporting handmade! ❋

Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Pillow Boxes - Make your own handmade gift boxes (video tutorial + free printable)

I am so very excited to share this tutorial with you for several reasons...

✧ This is my very first YouTube video EVER! (Mini backstory: I graduated with a filmmaking degree 12 years ago and this is the first time I have made a video since then...and it feels great!)

✧  This marks the first time I've told anyone about a very super duper secret project I've been working on for several months now...a brand new website dedicated to jewelry making tutorials! (still very much a work in progress, but this is a huuuuuge step!)

✧ I love to share my DIY tips & tricks! Enjoy :)
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