Friday, July 23, 2010

Bracelets Binge

I've been trying to use up beads from previous projects, and my fav way to do that is to make bracelets! (Because if I use up my left-overs, I can go shopping for new supplies. Right!?!?!?) :)

All bracelets are $3.00 each, if you're interested.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pendant Necklaces - Country Couture

I love simple necklaces for everyday wear. These go great with jeans and a tee or can make a statement with a printed day dress. I got these fun cord and ribbon necklaces at a recent bead show and found some of the stone pendants there too. (I don't have an Etsy shop yet so if you see something you like, I can send a Paypal invoice.)

Summer Wave Necklace - (SOLD)

Burgundy Asian Charm Necklace - (SOLD)

Burgundy Charm Necklace - (SOLD)

Pink Wildflower Necklace - $5.00

Pink Drop Necklace - (SOLD)

Moss Wrapped Stone Necklace - (SOLD)

Soft Green Stone Necklace - $5.00

Soft Pink Stone Necklace - (SOLD)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wherever You Are

This morning, I had the great privilege of singing with 2 dear friends. (I begged them to sing this song with me and they agreed!) This was the last week Tom will be on stage and the last time for a long while that I'll get to sing with him. Next Sunday, the Fords will be around and then they're off to China for 2 years. This song, sung by The Martins, has always been a favorite and was quite appropriate for different things that we are each going through right now. I'm thrilled I could sing it with Tom and Sharon!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Varied Interests (ie. I'm Complicated)

I hear this question way too often... "Is there anything you can't do?" Ummm... juggle?
Seriously though there's plenty of things that I can't do but I have a lot of different interests and love to try new things and take on new projects. They don't always turn out the way I first envision them but I get excited when I find a new hobby or get excited about a new use for an old one. So as far as artsy-craftsy stuff, here's what I do:

My first foray into actual handiwork: sewing!
Other than little crafts in art class at school or in Brownies (Girl Scouts), I didn't do much when I was young other than coloring. I loved to color. I even won a coloring contest when I was in 2nd grade. Somewhat reflective of my type A personality, I always colored in the lines. :) Anyway... I grew up close to both of my grandmothers. Both extremely talented women! My dad's mother was a china painter and doll maker. She painted florals and birds on ceramic decor items and jewelry. Her roses and pansies are just beautiful! She passed away a few years ago but I still have earrings and pendants she painted for me when I was young. A fruit clock she painted as a wedding gift hangs in my kitchen. And I have precious paintings for each of my children that she made for us. I gave ceramic painting a try around 6th grade but let's just say I didn't inherit the painting gene. My mom's mother is a quilter and sewer. She made clothes for us all my growing up (complete with matching outfits for my lovey 'Honey Bunny'.) I think it was the summer I was 12, my grandmother took my younger sister and I to a fun little sewing store for lessons. We made a pillow and a T-shirt/shorts outfit. I learned a lot and while most of my clothing projects now are major 'fails', I can do some basic home sewing like pillows, curtains, table runners, etc. I also used to do counted cross-stitch quite a bit and can do basic embroidery stitches. When I sit down with a hoop, I feel very Jane Austen-y. Maybe I should start stitching project and put in 'Pride & Prejudice'?

My next love and first real 'grown-up' craft also was started by my maternal grandmother. After my grandparents moved to Florida for their retirement years, she got involved in a Creative Memories scrapbooking group. I think as a birthday gift when I was in junior high school, she gave me a box of supplies to get started. I wasn't terribly interested and set it aside for a year or two. But then I learned that my best friend from high school was a scrapbooker and after seeing her albums, I dug out that box and got started! Oh those first pages..... *ouch*! I can't even show them to you because they were so wretched, I went back and redid them! (I know, I know, you shouldn't go back and redo but I wanted to do a more complete scrapbook of my childhood and I only had about 3 pages worth in that first album. Now I have 4 full --and finished-- albums that go from my birth up until our wedding.) I'm not a big photo album person so everything goes in the scrapbook. I have our chronological albums, a Christmas album, and a home album. I also put together 2 albums for my husby about his 3-week trip to the Holy Lands. (They still need journaling and embellishments but the pictures are in!) I'm about 6 years behind but it's a process and I love working on them when I have the time.

So we all know what happens when scrapbookers have extra bits of paper and supplies lying around.... they start making cards! And we all know you can't make cards without rubber stamps!
 Introduce the next hobby: rubber stamping! So this hobby happened by accident! (Honest, honey!!!) A friend invited me to tag-along to a Stampin' Up home demonstration. I hadn't seen her in awhile and figured I'd go just for the fellowship. I did not 'do' rubber stamping; I was not good at rubber stamping (as evidenced by previous attempts); I did not want the expense of buying rubber stamps; etc, etc, etc. Well, I loved the party! I learned how to stamp and it actually looked good! I left that evening and immediately started looking into signing up to become a demonstrator (so I could get the discount, of course!) In my research, I was introduced to The Angel Company and loved their images, loved the unmounted cling system, and loved their low sales quotas. So I signed on and jumped in with both feet. (Honey, if I make all the cards we send, I can save us money. *giggle*)

Well, having all sorts of papercrafting supplies and tons of rubber stamps, I started altering things. I love making everyday things a little more beautiful and creating pretty packaging for gift-giving.

A couple of years ago I hosted a craft show in our living and dining room and invited about 10 friends to participate. We had a great time selling together and I loved the opportunity to try lots of different craft ideas that had been in my 'idea' folder. I made altered picture frames, stitched prim style sayings, decoupaged decorative Christmas blocks, made bath products like soap, milk bath, and bath salts, made card sets, and more.

My newest love: beading! My great-grandmother was a beader. She made little beaded dolls and bells and some jewelry, I think. I have a collection of her bells that I put on their own little tree at Christmas time. Jewelry making was a hobby that I was again determined not to get into. I knew if I started that I'd get sucked in. (I was right!)

Even though my kids are both past the age for me to participate in a MOPs program, the gals at church invited me to their 'Mom's night out: Jewelry night'. We made a pair of earrings and a couple of necklaces. I wasn't very adept at finishing the pieces off which just cemented my feelings about not starting a new hobby. But.... I had a dress that I wanted to wear to church and I didn't have any coordinating jewelry. I couldn't find anything in a store (at a reasonable price) that would work so hmm.... I'm crafty, I think to myself, I'll just make something. Thus a new *cough, cough* obsession has begun. The only problem... a woman can only wear so much jewelry at once and one can only give away so many gifts. I'm hoping that I can maybe sell some pieces at local craft shows or flea markets. Simply to make room for new projects!

So that's what I do! I've tried basket making, ceramic painting, quilting, and tie dye. I don't knit, crochet, sew clothes, do fine painting, draw, make dolls or teddy bears, altered collages, or woodworking. I'd love to try felting and making purses. But I've already got a lot going. :)
(And I certainly don't juggle!)
I hope you find time today to 'do' what you do!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why Hydrangeas and Harmony?

Naming a blog has got to be one of the most difficult things ever! I told my husby that creating this thing would be so much easier if I had just one main interest or hobby. But... I have so many things that I love to do, so many crafts that I like to dabble in, and so many things that inspire me, it was hard to narrow it down.

I decided on Hydrangeas and Harmony because I want this blog to be about my whole life, not just the craft aspect, not just family news, not just being involved in our church. At church, I have the great privilege of being part of the Worship and Arts Ministry Team -- I get to sing on the praise team, with the mixed ensemble, with the adult choir, sometimes with the ladies ensemble; I get to play the piano and keyboard (and sometimes handchimes and even the djembe!); I get to co-direct the children's choir and the youth ensemble; I get to just be super involved with all things music! I love to sing and am so blessed that I get to use the gifts the Lord has given me on a regular basis. So that's the 'Harmony' part.

The 'Hydrangea' theme sort of represents our home. I'm not quite sure why we chose it, but we used hydrangeas for our wedding flower. The funny thing is I didn't even like hydrangeas all that much back then. In honor of our special day, we've ended up with 5 hydrangea bushes in our gardens. (4 are blue; 1 is pink.) We have wedding decor leftovers dressing up our master bedroom and in season, I love to have a fresh arrangement on our dining room table. So to illustrate home and family, I came up with 'Hydrangeas'. And now my blog name is alliterated. I love alliteration. It just flows. Ya' know? 

(My blue hydrangeas are really droopy because of the oppressive heat. But my little pink bush --see above-- is doing okay. It has just a few blooms but they're so pretty.)
So there you have it.... why I went with 'Hydrangeas and Harmony'. (And about 10 other names I tried were already taken. *giggle*) Thanks for stopping by!
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