Saturday, April 4, 2009

CreateJoyStudios.Com Now Open!

Golden Freshwater Pearl Collar

The trials and errors (oh, the many, many errors) of building a website have been educational if nothing else. My desire to have a perfect site has been dashed by the practicality of simply Having a Website - ANY website!

I found a a terrific tool on godaddy - website tonight which provided me with a simple template. With such a magical tool, life has now been given to my website. Please feel free to roam and explore the pages. Visit often!

Until next time ... Blessings to you all ~

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cancer Sucks - So Go Row A Boat!

The big fundraiser for Reel Recovery Retreats has launched ... Yeah! Hubby Darling has worked so very hard on this for the past year. His friend Kevin Calhoun stepped up and volunteered to row the Buffalo River with Ken over the next 132 miles. All for a good cause - helping men with life-threatening cancer.

Cancer sucks. So when Ken finally survived his Stage 4 Tongue and Throat cancer, a stroke AND emergency surgery for a detached retina, he needed to find something to make his life more 'normal'. He took it upon himself to bring Reel Recovery Retreats to our area - and he is making it happen. This is just the beginning of his trip - I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Row, row, row you boat ....
Until next time ... Blessings to you all ~

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sweet, Soft Rainy Saturday

I awoke this morning to sound of soft, sweet rain. I love the sound of rain in the morning. My puppies snuggeled up and allowed me to sleep in this morning - a rarity. Lovely, lovely morning.

I have decided to make a Yo-Yo quilt for baby Laurelye Claire (due to arrive in late May). I have managed to make a blanket of some type for each of the grand children. I am the sappy, sentimental one of the family. Perhaps one of the grandchildren will inherit my sappiness and appreciate the effort.

Speaking of Yo-Yo quilts, there is an Etsy seller that specializes in yo-yo's (the quilting kind - not the toy). I continue to be amazed at the imagination of the etsy-community. I would never have thought to make fabric yo-yo's and sell them. What a great idea!

Hubby Darling just called and he will be home tomorrow - yeah! He did a good job of promoting Reel Recovery Retreat to the Sow Bug Round-Up attendees. He was able to share good information with an Oral Cancer Caregiver. Speaking of Reel Recovery Retreats brings me back full circle to the Sweet, Soft Rain ... I hope the Buffalo River is getting a good soaking. To complete his fund-raising float trip, Hubby Darling needs the Buffalo River to get some good water. Keep your fingers crossed!

Well, Max and Daisy are snoring on the coach and I've got a ton of marketing to get done for Creat Joy Studios before I snuggle up!

Until next time ... Blessings ~ Carol

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring!

Spring is here! Today is the first day of spring, which is a lovely time of year here in Northwest Arkansas. The flowering trees are in full bloom and the daffodils are all over the place. Tulips will be popping up soon and then followed by the Iris and Lillies.
My 'day job' work schedule has changed and I will now be enjoying 3 day weekends. I am going to look at this as a positive and apply this newly 'found' time to my jewelry designs. I am itching to get into the studio and try out some new techniques and designs. I am finding inspiration from so many talented artists. I am a new fan of "Lisa's Lovelies". Lisa is a gifted metalsmith and her designs are simply gorgeous! Check her out at

Hubby Darling has traveled to Cotter (a.k.a. "The Far Side of The Earth") to attend the annual "Sow Bug Roundup" -- a big deal to the fly fisher/fly tiers out there. He has managed to spend at least one day on the river (yeah) and I am praying he is bombarded with clients wanting to go fishing during the next few days. The River has always been Hubby Darling's source of peace. He has been working so hard to raise funds for the Reel Recovery Retreat. He deserves to see his guide business prosper.

Well -- more later. Until next time - Blessings ~ Carol

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finding My Path

Yesterday - St. Patrick's Day - was my birthday ... *cue in the "Happy Birthday" singers please! During my life, I have not been one to get hung up on the 'numbers game'. I thoroughly enjoy birthdays! Bring on the candles and birthday cake with ice cream on the side, please!
This one, however, was a slightly different. During the past couple of weeks, I have be in a Great Big Funk (*GBF*). A full blown, all out head spinning (exorcist style so to speak), crying in my pillow Mid-Life Crisis!

My *GBF* has caused me to examine my life in drastic measures - an activity I normally avoid. I even asked hubby darling "What am I good at"? Apparently, in hubby darling's opinion I am an excellent provider. Not a bad thing to be - however not Exactly the type of answer I was seeking. Of course, we've been married 30+ years and I should know better than to ask him a question like this out of the blue.

To find a detailed, descriptive answer to my own question, I have just completed an "Abilities Battery" and should receive the results tomorrow afternoon. I have never taken an apptitude test and this was honestly very enlightening. I can quicky tell you that I am NOT good at memorization. The test was administered on-line and involved a series of timed drills. So - I anxiously await to see where my strengths lie and determine if I have taken the wrong path in my professional life over the path 30+ years.

Until next time, blessings to you all ~ Carol

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Paying it Forward: Reel Recovery

I am thrilled to have made contact with a travel writer that covers the area around the National Buffalo River. Jennifer has been such a great source of information for tweaking my PR pieces supporting the Reel Recovery Retreat.

Getting the media behind the fund-raising events for this retreat has been a challenge. I would think the news organizations would be thrilled to cover something that is positive for a change. It seems that they have been sucked into the vortex of negative news cycle.

Ken is getting ready for the big float down the ENTIRE Buffalo River. That's 132 nautical miles! He is so pumped. I have not seen him this excited since before he was diagnosed with cancer. My heart is so full!

Until next time: Blessings to you all ~

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Marketing, Schmarketing - It better be Fun!

I have a creative soul - which when neglected or under-nourished can cause me to get, well .... cranky. With a marketing day job I am able to feed my creative self on a regular basis - but it better include the occasional dose of fun as well!

Switching my brand from "Shamrock 3.17" to "Create Joy Studios" has been a push, but I feel very good about the results. I have started to create my marketing collateral for Create Joy Studios, which includes these two rack cards.

My goal is to develop additional pieces highlighting other semi-precious stones I use in my designs.

What do you think?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pearls, pearls, pearls

Several new items are now listed on Three new pearls necklaces listed.

After doing my homework, I've fashioned a golden freshwater pearl and gold plated necklace after the 'dog collars' that were all the rave in the Victorian era. I love the way this design came out and already working on several other designs. Collars (a.k.a. Chokers) are not for everyone -- I know several ladies that hate to wear anything too tightly around the neck. But for me, I love them!

One other item I added is this gorgeous Tahitian colored Swarovski Crytsal pearl necklace. The quality and color of these beads is simply beautiful! They simply glow. The Tahitian color is different - green/blue/grey/silver - ish. The beads graduate from a 3 mm up to a center of 10 mm. Classical in design, but the color makes it very unique.

I've joined an Etsy team - eSMArts. I am very excited to be a part of a team and looking forward to sharing and learning for other artisans.

Until next time - Blessings to you all

Sunday, March 8, 2009

DST means allergies are on their way!

I'm always a bit sad when we 'spring forward'. First, I feel cheated out of an hour (mainly of sleep). Let's face it folks, I need my beauty sleep and a hour is a lot of beauty!

Daylight savings time hearlds in the beginning of spring, which I loath simply because of allergies. Once we move past the heavy pollen of spring here in the Ozarks, I can enjoy the beauty of the flowers and green everywhere. My enjoyment is short lived around here as muggy, humid summer slams us during early June. ugh...

I've been busy, busy helping Ken promote his fundraising float trip down the Buffalo River here in Arkansas. This trip benefits Reel Recovery Retreats. Ken is a stage 4 cancer survivor and was lucky enough to participate in a retreat during his recovery. Unfortunately he had to travel to Indiana, as this was the closest retreat to Arkansas. Ken's determination to bring Reel Recovery Retreats to other men surviving life-threatening cancer is admirable. I love his enthusiasm.

I've added some new items to my etsy shop today. Along with renewing a few items, I am looking for more views that I've seen in the past couple of weeks.

Until next time - Blessings to you all!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Changing Gears

I've made the transition from Shamrock 3.17 to Create Joy Studios! I am still putting the finishing touches on a new logo, but otherwise things are good to go for now! I am excited!

I stopped by and a few blogs along the way today and was put into a very nostalgic mood. I'm longing to be 9 years old again and roaming the 'woods' near the house. Our neighborhood was lucky enough to have a 'square' behind the block that was left untouched. These "woods" were a wonderland for the 2nd and 3rd graders on the block! I miss the adventures and actually using our imagination. Ah... the simple times.
Do we all feel this way, regardless of our generation?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Create Joy Studios

I am working on switching my brand from "Shamrock 3.17" to "Create Joy Studios". I am building my brand around my life mantra of : "Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly, Create Joy". These 4 statements pretty much describe me - or at least how I strive to live.

I am in the midst of designing the logo for C.J.S. I need to get it in gear! I have a show in May that I want to have time to print new biz cards and brochures. Between new logo's, writing and designing new collateral pieces, helping to promote Reel Recovery and needing to beef up my jewelry inventory, I have been very, very busy! I love it!

The Valentine Weekend Sale ends at 11:00 central time tonight. I hope you've had a chance to take a look at the items I had marked down for this weekend only.

Until next time ~ Blessings to you all!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cancer Survivor Retreat

The push to bring a Reel Recovery Retreat to Arkansas has been steady for nearly a year now. The owners of Cedarwoods Lodge on the White River have stepped up to provide an amazing location for our first retreat! Yea!

Now we have to raise the money. To keep the retreat free for the participants we need to raise about $850 per person -- that's about $8,500 for 10 to 12 men surviving life-threatening cancer. Daunting in today's wicked economy. But then again, I believe in miracles!

More info to come ... Blessings to you all ~ Create Joy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Creative Urges

I have spent the last 2 days in class trying to cramming as much Photoshop tips and tricks that I could possibly fit into my brain. Can I just say here that I love, love, love Photshop! The creative urges are bubbling up from the depths of my soul now that I have some new tools to use. I have a clear calendar this weekend and I hope to get into the studio and crank out some really cool jewelry.

Along with my photoshop classes, I have been exploring the world of healing Chakras - a new world for me. I have always love rocks, stones, crytals, etc. Now I am tying together the stones and their meaning as it relates to the 7 Healing Chakras. Additionally, I am working on learning more about the folklore and legends about stones and their healing properties.

Tiger's Eye is one of those stones that speaks to me. I love the mingling of the colors and the depth of the colors when the stones are polished. There are many legends about Tiger's Eye (which is a form of quartz) for benefitting health and spiritual well being. Legends say Tiger's Eye is a pychic protector, great for business and an aid to achieving clarity. Until next time ~ Blessings to you all

P.S. I just opened a new shop with Check it out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby!

This has been a wild, wacky week. We finally received some seasonally cold, winter weather ...but not in the form of my wishful thinking (snow) ... we received 2 inches of ICE! While I do love winter, ice storms really are not my favorite. I do not want anyone to be without power and struggling to stay warm and survive.

The ice storm started Monday evening and persisted until Wednesday morning. I worked in the office Monday and managed to get back to the office Wednesday afternoon for just a couple of hours. Thursday was better and Friday fine. Now the ice is melting and creating a crazy world of 'puddles'.

During my time at home I managed to complete my copywriting assignments and squeezed in some time on Etsy. Today I built a new shop on! I am waiting for approval for my shop (personally, I like the review process). Once I receive the green light I will work my patootie off to market both the shops: and

In the mean time, I need to work on some valentine jewelry and promote accordingly.
Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

25 Random Things About Me ... As noted on my facebook page...

1. I love winter! Snow, sweaters, warm socks and fireplaces ...
2. I am a lonely, only child
3. My Sugar cookies totally rock
4. My biggest regret is not finishing college
5. I am a frustrated artist
6. I can tear down and rebuild a carburator
7. I used to play the accordian ... and was very good :D
8 I was in Who's Who Among American High School Students
9. I married my high school sweetheart ... even though he was in college
10. I am claustrophobic
11. I have been fingerprinted and cleared by the Secret Service
12. I love old hollywood muscials
13. I sell jewelrly on etsy ( ...shameless promo
14. I am most at home in the mountains
15. I got my first tattoo when I was in my fourties
16. I have 3 grandchildren (ok, 3.5!)
17. For each of my grandchildren I have a special song
18. I did not name my daughter
19. I have lived in five different states (some more than once)
20. I attended school in four of those states
21. I think Keith Oberman rocks!
22. I am allergic to shellfish
23. Cubs fan ... need I say more?
24. I have been married for 30 years
25. I still watch "It's A Charlie Brown Christmas" every single year!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Deafening Applause!

A few people doing good works, good ideas and just good to know stuff!

For the folks sponsoring free pet adoption this week (as noted in USA Way cool! Supporting our animal shelters is not an option folks .... we all need to do a better job!

To the tech guys and gals that help me through the simpliest of tasks without smaking me on the back of the head, pointing & laughing or walking away shaking their heads ... I tip my hat to you all!

For Google Analytics. OMG! Awesome stuff! Thanks guys!

To the Etsy sellers that are willing to share their wisdom to this newbie. I promise to pay it forward someday.
And finally, for the 2 year olds' "Happy Dance" -- just makes me smile 8D

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ready for a change of pace

The new year has put me in the mood for change. I ended the year using up about two weeks worth of unused vacation days, so I found that I have the perfect personality to stay home and continue to receive a regular weekly paycheck. Now I just have to figure out how to make this happen !

In the mean time, I will continue to get up and go to work each day plus come home and work on jewelry in the evenings and weekends (and lunch, and pretty much any spare moment I can find!).
I am currently working on designing new pieces for Valentine's day. I hope to have them completed and listed on my shop within the next week.
In between 'the day job' and the jewelry gig, I am helping my hubby Kenny build a fund raiser for "Reel Recovery" for Arkansas. This amazing organization provide retreats for men surviving cancer at a fishing lodge. Kenny has been working so very hard to make this a great retreat for the cancer survivors. More on that later.
Blessings to you all ~ Create Joy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I hate 70 degree days!

Mother nature is driving me nuts! I hate 70 degree days January. They just make me darn grumpy. I'm a 'seasonally correct' kind of gal :0)

A strong cold front has finally hit us here in NW Arkansas. I'm snuggled up in my chair with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa listening to the great Nat King Cole ... ahhhh, I love winter! While others complain about the cold bit of the wind, the gray skies and snow -- I am invigorated by it all! Must be the "Northern" Alabama blood in my vein ( lol!). Seriously -- I'm a southern gal longing for the long cold winters of the north ... some day maybe *sigh*

Along with everyone we have been stressed about the possibility of layoffs. This has opened the door to a bit of day dreaming -- if we could move anywhere ..... I choose Leavenworth, Washington. I think it would be like living in a snow globe ... perfect for this winter loving gal. I have to give their tourism/chamber of commerce team extra credit for providing a fabulous website. *** Gold Stars for You All ****

In between complaining about the 'unseasonable' warm weather and daydreaming about living in a snow globe, I have dug into promoting my jewelry through some very concentrated social marketing. I am seeing a good increase in the view of my etsy shop - but still waiting (impatiently) for that first sale. .... Anyone??

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blessings for a New Year!

2009 - I am so ready for the new year, new beginnings, outwith the old - in with the new! I am working on some new jewelry designs and have incorporated 'Blessings' for each piece. I have found some great resources to align desired physical and emotional attributes to the stones and metals I use in my jewelry. For example:

Turquoise - an ancient stone for health and healing. Turquoise is an excellent stone for spiritual attunement because it aligns all the chakrs bringing one into the remembrance of original cause.

For the physical body, turquoise exudes these qualities: tissue regenerator, restores original DNA patterns and assists one in seeing clearly.

For the emotional body, turquoise assists one in looking at the past with an unbiased eye and allowing for the leassons to be learned and the decisions honored. Heals the spirit and brings a calm state of mind to the user.

Silver allows one to be more receptive to the good in life. Usually chosen by those in service in life, silver is reflective and moon oriented in its energy.

For the physical body, Silver helps the body to eliminate toxins, helps to stabilize vision by assisting the body in the assimilation of vitamines A&E it assists the body in absorbing helpful trace minerals from stones that it is used with.

For the emotional body, silver assists one in showing a more reserved cultured response to one's surroundings. It enhances one's ability to articulate information concisely and clearly with a smoothness that is readily acceptable in all situations.

With this type of in-depth, valuable information - designing and crafting jewelry is so much more rewarding. I feel like I can create custom designs that relates to my customers needs and desires and not just their 'fashion sense'. Too cool!

Blessings to you all in this new day and new year ~ Create Joy!