Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dangle Shell Earrings

Shell Dangles

I wanted to feature these dangle shell earrings because I think they’re pretty great! They’re the only pair I’ve ever made this way, using split rings to give the earrings great movement and true dangle. And the Golden Lip Shell matches anything! Did I mention they’re under $10? Visit my etsy store to see more!

Looking for my GIVEAWAY?? Click here http://boutiquebybonnie.blogspot.com/2009/03/tax-relief-giveaway.html

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award!


It’s time to take care of some lingering blog business. Back on March 6th I was tickled to receive the Kreativ Blogger Award from Works of Art By Sara. Thanks so much! Sara is a wonderful artist and she’s hosting a giveaway that ends March 31st. Visit her blog to enter http://worksofartbysara.blogspot.com/ and be sure to visit her Etsy shop while you’re at it www.artbysara.etsy.com.

Now for the hard part. As a recipient of this award I need to nominate seven other bloggers to receive it. Here’s my list of creative bloggers:

1. Behind the Mask
2. Ornamental
3. Buttons and Pears
4. Maya*Made
5. As the Wood Turns
6. Artisan Clay
7. If I Had a Hammer

Whew! To claim your award, just post a link back to my blog and nominate seven other deserving blogs!

Looking for my GIVEAWAY?? Click here http://boutiquebybonnie.blogspot.com/2009/03/tax-relief-giveaway.html

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Back to the past

Life has a way of taking you in strange circles. Back in 1991 I was one year out of college and had just suffered the loss of my mother, my last surviving parent. After a painful good-bye to my now empty childhood home in Wisconsin, I moved to Red Wing, MN where my boyfriend lived. It was a time of transition for me. I was an adult orphan struggling to make the right decisions, knowing I had not yet developed the proper life skills to do so. I got a part-time retail job and waited for the next phase of my life to begin, which it did about a year later when we moved to Colorado, got engaged and finally married in 1993.

Now fast forward through the gain and loss of jobs, friends, weight and dreams to Monday, March 23, 2009. My boss walks over and says he needs to send me to Minnesota to help out with a project South of the cities. Where? Red Wing! I couldn’t believe it! After more than 15 years I was going back to the little town on the Mississippi. The next day I was on a plane and by Wednesday I was here, in my old stomping grounds. Strangely enough, the town seems to hold little emotional connection for me. It’s familiar, but that’s all.

Red Wing

I needed a map to find my old apartment. It was kind of a dump when we lived there and it hasn’t changed a bit. My strongest memory was our U-Haul sitting in the parking lot with my car hooked up behind, ready for the drive to Colorado. And I remembered trying to hide our hideous old couch behind the dumpster before taking off. A smile did come over my face when I drove across the bridge to the Wisconsin side of the river and saw that our two favorite bars were still there, going strong. I wouldn’t step in them now, but for a young 20-something they were the only entertainment around. These days, the pottery and antique mall is more my style!

Tomorrow I head back home and I must say I’m glad. I’m a homebody.  I miss my house and my cats and my daily routine. Red Wing was not and is not home, it’s just a place I floated in and out of once. The person I was back then is almost gone, buried under layers of life experiences. I belong back home - in Colorado.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tax Relief Giveaway!

I think we can all use some relief this year, so I’m hosting another giveaway! This giveaway will run through April 15th (tax day) and you get to pick your prize from the two pairs of earrings pictured here (ok, only one of each is shown). Please write the number in your comment for which pair you'd like to receive! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only – sorry.

April Earrings


1.) Visit my Etsy store and leave a comment on this post about a favorite item = one entry.

2.) Become a new Follower of my blog and leave a separate comment on this post to let me know = one entry.

3.) Post a link to this giveaway on your blog and leave a separate comment on this post to let me know = one entry.


Buy anything from my Etsy store and I’ll include a free pair of earrings! Just write “blog” in the Note to Seller. Earrings will be my choice (not the ones pictured). This offer is also good through April 15th!

THE WINNER will be chosen on April 16th by random number generation (that’s why I need you to leave separate comments for each entry). I’ll notify the winner by email and post it on my blog. Please be sure I have a way to contact you through your blog or Etsy store, or leave your email in your comment.

Good Luck, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blues in the dark

Night can take a sudden turn. Suddenly, I find myself in the dark. TV – gone. Lights – gone. Computer – gone. Power outage. Within two minutes I was declaring to the darkness, “I’M BORED!” There was nothing left to do but write.

I have eight candles lit and still the glow is barely enough to illuminate the words on the page. I cranked up my hand-powered emergency radio and found a community radio station doing a Blues show. I have a bottle of red wine open and suddenly this evening has turned from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I have to say, it would be downright romantic if I weren’t alone. I realize all over again how the unexpected often leads to the most treasured of experiences. I realize that I’m happy as a clam! In fact, I’ll be disappointed if the lights come back on before I go to bed. My only worry is my alarm clock, which doesn’t have a battery back-up. Other than that, this if fun! It’s like camping but in a really big, comfy tent. My world has shrunk down to this one room that I can illuminate with my candles. Just me and the night. Of course, now that I’m done writing this I have no idea what I’m going to do next. Karaoke?


Stay tuned – A new giveaway starts soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forest and Sea

Last weekend I returned to my roots and made this 100% beaded necklace. Lately I've had the n082dNorthern California coast on my mind and this necklace fits right in with those thoughts. I visited Redwood National Park last year and my memories are stained with greens, grays, blues and browns from the forest, sea and beaches. I stayed in a cabin under the giant Redwoods in Trinidad, which also has a gorgeous rocky Redwood-trunk-Ladybird-Grovbeach that was almost deserted in April. There's another beach close by where you can hunt for agates, but I didn't get a chance to try my luck as a rock hound.

This necklace reminds me of that trip. The tumbled pebbles of moss agate represent the forest and the beach while the large seaweed quartz pendant evokes the cool April sea. The pendant was pretty, but plain, so I added just a touch of wire wrap to give it a more artisan look. I hope the wearer of this necklace will think of smooth stones under bare feet and the cool breeze of a shaded forest or a deserted beach in April.Seabirds-with-Rocks

Morning Seabirds,Trinidad, CA

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New- Vintage Camera Pendants!

I love photography and I have a small vintage camera collection. I’ve been wanting to bring thisN079a part of myself into my Etsy store so I’ve created a series of pendants featuring vintage cameras. I cut the photos out of books from Christie’s auction house that featured all sorts of great antique cameras. I received the books as an un-expected surprise with an eBay auction that I won few years ago. I loved the photos so much I cut the covers off to frame and hang in my guest room (I keep most of my old cameras in the guest room, so it kind of has a theme). There will be five of these necklaces when I N078aget done listing them – I kept the sixth one for myself. The pendants are less than an inch square so they’re not chunky at all, and I figure black and white looks good with wide range of outfits. This was my first attempt at making glass pendants and the process was quick and easy, although I’m sure I can do better next time. I bought the clear, kiln-fired glass already made and just had to cut out the graphic, adhere it to the back, seal it, and attach the bail. I like the idea of wearing jewelry that really says something about who I am, and I had fun deciding which photos would look the best as pendants.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Three Generations

My mother, grandmother and great grandmother around 1942.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The “E” Word

We’ve all heard it countless times in the last week… month… year… the economy. I’ve been resisting the idea that it’s as bad as everyone says, even though I work in a real estate related field and have watched things get worse and worse. Maybe it’s like the frog in a pot that boils to death because the temperature rises gradually. I’ve gotten used to bad news, and hey, I still have MY job. Every time someone on TV mentions the Great Depression, I blow it off as grandstanding.

But that was before the last two days. After all the bank failures and store closings and stock crashes, it was the tent cities that got through to me. In the Great Depression there were shanty towns and bread lines. I thought things could never get that bad again. Then I saw the Sacramento tent city on the news and heard that they’re springing up in many major cities. The next night I saw the lines of average looking families lining up for free food boxes in Indiana. And all this is happening even WITH the safety nets that were put in place after the Great Depression.

So yes, the comparisons may be valid, but we are still better off than in the 30’s. The displaced are living in manufactured tents, not under plywood and tin. The food line in Indiana was a drive-through for a week’s worth of boxed food, not an endless depresswait on the sidewalk for a cup of soup and a slice of bread. Most families are staying together, not sending their children off to live with relatives that can support them.

Obviously this is an extremely difficult time for so many. My heart goes out to those looking for work and losing their homes. Those who hear of every new layoff and know there will be that much more competition for jobs out there. We seem to be in a time of black and whites – either you’re still ok or you’re not. Either you still have your job/your house or you don’t. Things WILL get better. It’s going to be a long haul, but we have no choice but to keep moving forward. Day by day, week by week, month by month. Maybe before we realize it, we’ll start hearing more good news than bad.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My typical American Saturday

I feel like I’m having a real all-American typical Saturday today. This morning I processed some phoN074ctos and uploaded a new listing to Etsy.  Then I went out and did some yard work, mostly raking. Someone flushed out the culvert at the side of my house and it left a swath of lovely debris in my back yard.  Plus the ever-present pine needles and pine cones. And I will for sure call this a Spring clean-up! The long winter is almost over!

Back inside, I watered the plants, vacuumed the living room and, of course, updated my blog!  The cherry on top is that I plan to visit Walmart this afternoon and look for a new microwave oven. I’m just wearing jeans and a T-shirt, but I figure it’s “good enough for Walmart.” (How sad).

I supposed my day would be more typical if I had kids and a husband to juggle at the same time, but then, if I had a husband and kids I probably wouldn’t have had to rake the yard by myself!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shop Feature: The Felted Chicken

I wanted to share some items today from a new Etsy shop I discovered, The Felted Chicken.


These colorful reusable gift bags immediately caught my eye. She has them for baby, weddings or any occasion (like the octopus ones!) The best news is, not only are these bags reusable, but they’re made our of Eco-spun - a synthetic felt that’s made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.




If gift bags aren’t your thing, take a look at some of her “sculptured” felt creations like this scrumptious looking cupcake with sprinkles! She even has felted sushi.  Felted’s photos are great and so are her prices. I think she’s got a great future ahead of her at Etsy!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Jewelry for MEN!

I took an “offline” weekend for myself – did you miss me? I did manage to make some jewelry, and for the first time I specifically set out to make Men’s jewelry. Here’s what happened. In my last big bead order I guess I didn’t pay close attention to the description of these blackstone beads. I ended up getting several strands of beads that were WAY too big to use in any of my usual jewelry. My only way out was to make them into Men’s necklaces and hope they would sell. Now, I see guys wearing necklaces all the time, but I don’t know their shopping habits. Do they buy their own? Do their girlfriend’s or wives buy them? Do they buy online?


So the great experiment begins. I will be listing six necklaces at a special price in my shop and have even given them their own Section. I made them in simple, masculine patterns and all of them are 18” or larger to accommodate those burly necks! Of course, any necklace can be unisex in my opinion, but these will be aimed specifically at men. The stone beads are fairly heavy, so the accent beads are all lightweight wood or nut beads. I think the weight can be an advantage in Men’s jewelry so they don’t feel they’re wearing something dainty.

I’m not expecting these to fly off the shelves (February was a very slow month for me). But I’m happy to offer a new line in my Etsy store that that not every jewelry shop will have.