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!