Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thoughts at 2:00 am

One of those nights, or rather very early morning. Wide awake at 2:00 am. Here are a few of my 2 am ponderings ...

Create Joy is a tag line for my life. I love to create with my hands. I get great satisfaction of creating, designing, puttering, doodling, drawing, hammering, finding little treasures and making something new. I am most fulfilled when I can give to others and share a little joy in life.

Building from the "Create Joy" tag line, I wandered down the road a bit and came up with a few more mantra's to live by:

Love Kindness. Totally stole this one from a book (I don't remember the name). But I think we would all be better off if we loved kindness in this word. Appreciated kind acts, gave kindly, spoke kindly, acted kindly. Yes, I like this one too.

Cherish Wisdom. This doesn't necessary relate to the 'elderly' - although we should all do a better job of cherishing our elderly in this world (people and animals alike). No, not just the elderly - but childlike wonder can often be very wise. Wisdom is usually gained through growth and often painful times in our lives. But without this growth, how do we move forward - learn and adapt to greater things in our lives? I belive we should all cherish wisdom in our lives and be willing to share it with others.

Today is the last day of 2008. I am not going to miss this year. It's been one of too many ups and downs. I am eager for 2009 and ready to move forward in life, to grow spirtually and creatively, to be relieved of very heavy burdens and to open the windows and doors in my soul to allow the fresh air and sunshine in! Yes, I am looking forward to 2009 and the positive changes it will bring.
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Post Christmas!

It's December the 26th and I'm hitting the post-Christmas blues. I am ready to start planning for next year already. It has been such a busy, crazy, stressful year that I really don't feel like I was able to enjoy the holiday -- totally.

Actually, it was a beautiful Christmas. The simple gift giving was actually a hit. We focused on the grandchildren and really enjoyed watching them play with their haul. I do miss our Sweet Lily (*sniff). I simply must save my pennies and go see my girl out in Washington.

On the Jewelry Sales Front ....
I now have shops (studios) on both Etsy and ArtFire! All the more to get noticed on the world wide web universe. If you have a chance, check them out ....

Kenny is now featuring his photography on etsy ( - I am so pleased he is finally taking some of my advise on how to market his photography. Now, I just hope he sells some prints and we all live happily ever after ....
Blessings to you ~ Create Joy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Caves and Family

I've been a bit of a slacker on updating this blog 8}

The week before Christmas and I've been busy, busy, busy updating my Etsy shop (please visit! !) Taking new photos, cropping and posting, etc has taken up most of my time.

Christmas shopping has been a joy this year! We have chosen to purchase only for the little ones and it has dramatically simplified our lives. I finally got Lily's gifts shipped on Friday and nearly fell over at the price for shipping UPS. My own fault.

Lily called the other day and informed me they got "a bunch of snow"! It looks like Spokane got 26+ inches of snow in just over 1 day. Good thing daddy is an ol' SERE Instructor/Trainer! He made Lily a 'snow cave' and apparently Lily thinks it's pretty good!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Simple White Envelope

I clearly stated up front that I am a fool for Christmas. I love everything about Christmas ~ the anticipation, thinking of others, giving, the songs, the sappy TV specials ("A Charlie Brown Christmas" still makes me cry!) The "economic crisis" is not new at our house, but it has gotten deeper and has put a damper on my usual Christmas plans. In fact, this is the first year that I will not put gifts under the tree for my two children. They are grown and children of their own, so we are only purchasing gifts for the grandchildren. Logically, I know that both Stacy & Josh understand and have no hurt feelings - but I am still their Mom and want so much to give them something special. Anyway ...
My sweet sis-in-law sent me this story. It hit home for me and I just wanted to share it with you.

The Simple White Envelope

It's just a small white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas --oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties, and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike . The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son Kevin , who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended.

Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
Mike , seated beside me, shook his head sadly, 'I wish just one of them could have won,' he said. 'They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.' Mike loved kids -- all kids -- and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball, and lacrosse.

That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition --one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toy s gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike 's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember Christ , who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always.

Blessings to you ~ Create Joy!

Friday, December 5, 2008


The morale in our office is pretty flat these days. To give ourselves a boost, we decided to dust off ol' Secret Santa. Even with the short notice (we didn't even get started until after Thanksgiving), we are all having a hoot! Our Secret Santa rules are pretty simple -- keep it very cheap and have fun!

My Secret Santa totally rocks! I have received at least one gift every day -- often two. Some really fun stuff (a backscratcher) and some very pretty things (crystal rooster ~ gotta see it to really appreciate it). Anyway ....

I am trying to be creative for my person ~ she collects hedgehogs! I have been challenged to find cool hedgehog stuff and have to admit that I was not aware that there is a large market for hedgehog collectables! Hmmm, perhaps I need to make some hedgehog jewelry ....

Blessings to you ~ Create Joy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Color of Faith, Hope and Joy

Sometimes I think my life was much easier before I learned to read. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting we have an illiterate nation - so get your panties out of a wad. I am thinking of how fun life was when my life was centered around color, textures and imaginative play.
For example, Pre-K Sunday School rocks! When I was young (back in the dark ages), the songs had hand movements - "This little light of mine". The hour was filled with great stories and arts and crafts. One of the best tools our Sunday School teacher gave us was a small book of colors. I remember looking through this little book, page by page when I had to be quiet and sit in 'big church'.

There were just four colors in the book: Black, Red, White and Gold. They represented the story of salvation: Black = sorrow/our sin; Red = Blood of Christ; White = Cleansing/Baptism; Gold = Heaven/Glory of God. So very simple and so very, very effective.

Expanding on this idea, I have started making Salvation/Prayer Bracelets with beautiful Swarovski Crystals. I have one featured on my Etsy shop - . I am developing more designs that incorporate gold or silver beads as well as wood (representing The Cross).

I want to give a big shout out to all the Sunday School teachers out there. You are making a difference and have an impact on your students lives. While I can not recall the name of my Sunday School teacher that gave me my little book, I would love to tell them how much they blessed me and I still carry them in my heart.

Blessings to you all ~ Create Joy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Boxers, Snow and Faith

I awoke this morning to complete and utter silence. A rarity in a house with two boxers and hardwood floors! I quickly realized that Daisy and Max were snuggled up, keeping each other warm. It was snowing lightly and my whimpy boxers wanted nothing to do with the cold, wet flakes drifting around the backyard.

I LOVE SNOW! I love to spend the day cocooned and cozy in the house. I love the way snow insulates and muffles sounds. I love to wear warm wool socks and sweats all day. I LOVE SNOW!
With the quiet snowy morning, I gave myself permission to sit in the recliner all morning and work on art. I designed a card to include with my prayer bracelets. I titled it "Faith" and pray those that receive the prayer bracelets and card are blessed by them both.
I will be working on two additional prayer bracelet designs today. I am very focused on creating my jewelry and getting each piece posted on my etsy shop - check it out at:

It has stopped snowing, but I think I will indulge in another cup of coffee and snuggle up with a couple of warm boxers a little longer

Blessings to you ~ Create Joy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Survived!

Well, I survived Thanksgiving!
Cooking the holiday meal for my family is truly a joy ... seriously ... however by the end of the day, I am ready for the family to go home so I can crash in front of the TV and just 'veg out'.
I have used my week of vacation to create some new pieces and got them posted on my Etsy shop -- check it out! . I have been busy, busy, busy. I am very pleased with the new pieces - including this little jewel -- "Strawberry Bling". The faceted quartz remind me of strawberries -- just starting to ripen. The sterling beads give it a very 'rich' look and it is just fun to wear!
Now, I am working on some new designs for my "Prayer Bracelets". I have just a basic design listed on the Etsy shop -- but have some great ideas I need to make. I really love the "Prayer Bracelet" basic design - the beautiful Swarovski Crystals really make it even more special to wear.
My mom has arthritis in her hands and I am designing several bracelets that are stretch - so my clients do not have to fumble with a clasp. So many of the stretch bracelets are quiet simply 'cheap' looking - so it is very important that my designs still have the high quality stones and metals and look just as 'rich' as a bracelet with a clasp.
Well -- better get back to the design desk so I can get these ideas out of my head and onto paper.
Blessings to you all ~~

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I've taken another step to launching Shamrock 3.17 - I just listed my first items for sell on While I am still working on getting operational, Etsy is an awesome resource for those designing and creating handcrafted art.

I decided to feature a gorgeous (if I say so myself) turquoise and silver necklace. Definitely a 'statement piece', this necklace is a good example of my style. The turquoise is a muted green-blue, a color that will blend and compliment instead of shock. While the nuggets are large, they make a good setting for a fabulous hand crafted Hill Tribe Silver Orchid pendant -- wow!
Unfortunately "Shamrock 317" was not an available user name -- so I created my shop under the name "Create Joy". Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Jill, a gifted artist in her own right, was kind enough to build the first page of Check it out! Now that the foundation is built, I am ready to hunker down and build the remaining pages. I am a fairly intelligent individual and will attempt to conquer the website over the next few days.

In the mean time, check out my jewelry on -- Create Joy!