Tag Archives: fashion

Season’s Greetings

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Hello Friends! I’m sure you have been anxiously waiting for me to blog again. Right? (If not, just lie to me and say you were.)

I haven’t posted in a while (SHOCKER!) so why don’t I give you a quick run-down on what I’ve been up to since I posted last.

The main thing that has kept me busy the last 4 months *cringe* is that I got a job. Like the for-real, comes-with-a-paycheck kind. I’m just a substitute paraeducator, so I have a bit of freedom with when I want to work, but honestly, I have worked a lot more than I had expected to. Which is so great on so many levels, but it has also made the transition a bit harder. I haven’t had a job in 13 years. Boy, let me tell you, that interview was SCARY. Plus, you know, the sad little resume that I had to compile. And then there’s that whole “when do I do laundry?” thing, and all those other little things that I used to be able to do during the day. Well, I had the option of doing them, anyway. I can’t honestly say I kept up on housework THAT much better. I’m lazy. It’s one of my special gifts. But anyway, that’s the basic gist of what my biggest time-sucker has been. I must say, though, that I really enjoy hanging out with those kids, even with the behavior obstacles. It’s been a lot of fun.

We also had a couple rounds of company come through, plus a couple of ho-hum fall events. Then a family trip for Thanksgiving. THAT is always a blast. My whole family gets together, the cousins play, the adults adult, and we just have a wonderful time. I tend to unplug as much as I possibly can during those days. There’s just not really anything that important that I need to keep up with that trumps family time.

But. The day we got back. Things got real.

You see… my youngest child’s school hadn’t had a book fair in 4 years. We’ve been here for 2, and it took about a year of me waiting and waiting for the book fair to come before I asked when it usually is. Which is how I found out we hadn’t had one in a while. And let me tell you… that bothered me. A bunch. Which also says that it was my job to make one happen. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t like something, and have the ability to change it, then it is YOUR job to do so. I don’t agree with sitting on the sides and grumbling about how much you don’t like something. Nope. That doesn’t sit well with me. So, this fall, I started the process of putting together a book fair. It was set for Parent/Teacher conference week, which just happened to be the week after Thanksgiving. Yippee!!! (please read that with plenty of sarcasm)

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There are so many things I learned, and even though it went far better than I thought it would, I have a lot of things to adjust and do differently. It definitely consumed an entire week, plus all the prep, so it was a lot of work, but it was so completely worth it to see how excited those kids were. Most of them had never seen a book fair. So even if it hadn’t been a huge success, it still would have been worth it.

But once that was done, I had what was supposed to be my biggest vendor event of the year. Last year it was my best event to date, so while I tried to not get my hopes up too high, I figured it would be a decent event. Well, it didn’t work out that way. In fact, it was really pretty lousy. But I had several custom orders come in, so sad, pathetic event aside, the holiday season went very well for me. And the orders keep coming in! I feel so so blessed. There have been so many times that I have wondered if it’s just time to sell the bulk of my supplies, and shut B.Accessorized down. But then I have a stretch like I have had the last 6 weeks or so, and it gives me a lot of hope.

Now, toss in a giant amount of running all of my kids to their various events/games/church/friend’s houses plus having friends over here, and Christmas, and all the other family type things, it’s been a busy few months. My days run from 6am until 8:30pm most days. It has made it hard to build much inventory. But I’m making it work.

Now, what are my plans for the near future?

Well, my main goal right now is to give Etsy another big push, and see if I can find more success there. We’ll see if I can really buckle down and get a lot of things up and on the site. I need to re-photograph pretty much everything, organize everything, and then there’s the dreaded description of everything. I’m hoping I can get into a good groove with it, and it’ll start to feel easier.

Here are a few of the pieces I have made recently…

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Stamped Cuffs
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My Challenge Entry!
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This is my most requested piece. And one of my personal favorites!
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These were a custom order. They are horse bridle charms stamped with each horse’s name.
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Custom order, in memory of a loved one.

 

Thanks for sticking with me! As always, follow me here, there, and everywhere!

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Facing a Fear

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A big thing that I struggle with in the world of jewelry making is messing too much with my plated brass findings. Plain ol’ brass, no problem. Add the super amazing finishes to them, and I have a hard time committing to actually using them. Sure, I pick them up and fiddle with them, dream a little about what they could be. But taking that next step and actually starting… umm, no. I think it’s because they are #1  so pretty already, and #2  that they cost more, so I want to make sure I use them right, and don’t waste or ruin them.

I. am. a. chicken.

Let’s take my current project as an example.

I ordered what is called a muse package from B’SueBoutiques. This one was focused on the current 2-month challenge, which was using what is called chocolate brass,

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Gosh… look at all the pretty things!!! And doesn’t it seriously look like chocolate?!?!?

mixed with this color palate:

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So, I of course procrastinated a bit, but eventually I came up with an idea. It was a pretty decent idea, if I do say so myself. BUT it involved messing with the beautifully plated choxie, which, as I mentioned before, scares the living daylights out of me.

I decided I wanted to play with these flowers:

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the little ones for sure. I wanted to start with earrings, and see how it went.

Now, this is going to seem a little silly, but the scary thing I had to do was punch a hole. No joke. (No laughing! Well… maybe a small chuckle. I deserve it.)

It seems like a little thing, that’s not really a big deal, right? Well, here’s the thing… That one, single, itty bitty hole that I had to punch would tell me if these would hang well or not. So if it worked, great. No big deal. BUT WHAT IF IT DIDN’T WORK? Then what? What do I do with this flower that has a random hole on one of the petals?

Now do you see my dilemma?

Yes. I know. It’s still pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. But it stresses me out. I made myself punch the first hole, tossed a jump ring in, and it hung just fine and dandy. So we’re cool. The project can continue!

 

Well, once that stress was over, it came together fairly quickly. I had more holes to punch, then a dangly doodad to assemble for each. I actually took the time to google methods for creating the dangle, and I’m glad I did. I usually make them look okay, but this was way better, with far less time on trial and error. I don’t make them very often, so I think that’s why it usually takes me so much time. (And time-saving on my end = $ saving on yours!)

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And since the earrings went pretty well, I decided to go ahead and make a matching necklace. I don’t do actual sets very often, so this was another small stretch for me on this challenge, which, in my opinion, is part of the point of a challenge.

So. Mission accomplished.

Here’s the finished set:

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I’ve had some great feedback so far on this color combination, so let me know if you agree!

As always, thank you for stopping by, taking a look, and supporting me and my fellow artisans. We appreciate you so very much!

PS: I just created a separate Instagram just for B.Accessorized, so be sure to give me a follow!

PPS: My Etsy shop is in vacation mode. I’m hoping to get it back up and running very soon. Facebook is the best place to shop right now. Thanks!

 

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Etsy.

Finding What Works

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See that? No mountains like Western Montana, but Eastern Montana is still gorgeous!

We were on vacation last week. We went to my hometown, where we haven’t been in 4 years. It was so much fun. But I was itching to get back to work today. It’s harder to carve out time when the kiddos are home during the summer. But it was Work Table Wednesday today, so it was a great excuse to take some time to work.

When I head to my closet workshop to work, sometimes I have a plan, and sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, it usually means a lot of fiddling, but not actually getting much done. Occasionally, though, it leads to something amazing, and usually more creative. I’m at the point, too, that when I do finally get an idea, I usually have a good idea of what tools and techniques I need to make the magic happen. And then I have a plan, and the thing gets made, and life is grand.

But (as my 10 year old currently says) NOT today, Son.

I had my plan, but part of it wasn’t working. Here’s my problem:

See this sunflower?

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Isn’t it pretty?

I am going to attach it to this spider webby thingy.

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Spider web thingy. =D Official terms only, of course. 

But the center of the sunflower is domed. The web thing is not. But I need them attached at the center.

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See the domed center?

Sooooo… I dapped the web a bit, which helped a smidge.

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Dapped… and not dapped (aka: flat)

But there was still a pretty large gap between the two pieces. So I dug around on my bench, and in my little drawer deals. After a few minutes, I came across package of brads that I had bought a few years ago, thinking I needed them, but never did use.

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And the little prong deals are long enough that there is enough to fold over.

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I don’t LOVE the way the top looks with the whole deal, so I am going to go look for some alternatives. But I think the idea just might work. I really hope so, because the piece this is for will be really cool when finished.

Well, in theory anyway.

Anyone have a suggestion for how to do it differently? I’m all ears eyes!!!

Thanks for stopping by! My Etsy shop is still in vacation mode, until I get some things squared away, but please give me a follow there, and on Facebook (where things are always for sale), Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Look What I Got!

 

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Is anyone else out there their own worst enemy? At least part of the time? I know I am.

Remember how I told you last time that we had company for two weeks recently? Well, being a total glutton for punishment, just before they were scheduled to arrive, I decided it would be a fine time to place an order from my favorite supplier. I had a purpose for part of my order, but the timing couldn’t have been much worse.

Do you have a website you love to shop at? One that once you start looking, you can’t stop? Yeah? Well, that’s B’Sue Boutiques for me. I made myself keep my order small, but I also needed to order from her back room at Etsy. (double torture…) I ordered the couple of things I actually had intended to buy, plus a few other small add-ons. Because shopping.

So on day 2 of my in-laws’ visit, my package showed up. Day 2 of 14. *sigh* I made myself wait until they left to open it, as the consequence of my stupidity. The timing of the order was terrible. If you read my last post, and some of my others, you know that it’s not the fact that I had visitors. They would have been totally fine with me taking time to work. But since my workshop is in the guest room closet, it was all packed up, and I had no access to it. Please feel free to roll your eyes at my decision on ordering when I did.

But, the day did come when I could open my package and admire my purchases. I was completely giddy, no joke. I have yet to receive something from B’Sue that I don’t absolutely love. Everything they sell is wonderful.

This is my order from the B’Sue Boutiques website.

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This is my order from the backroom at Etsy. The bracelet bar was intentional. The vintage hearts… couldn’t resist. I’m really excited to add some color to them, though they are gorgeous as they are.

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And these are my freebies from Etsy. Because B’Sue Boutiques rocks my world. They are so generous, all the time.

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So my orders were totally worth the wait. But man was it hard to stare at that package for nearly 2 full weeks.

Now, it’s time to play with my new pieces, and my old pieces, and do some makering. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you for stopping by! And please give me a follow on Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter!

Back in Action

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Hello hello! I’ve been gone for a while (again…) but I’m hoping to be back in action regularly for a while to come. The last 6 months or so have been a little on the crazy side. But I THINK most of the crazy is over.

I’m sure you are all on the edge of your seats, wondering what on earth has kept me away. Well, you can sit back and relax, and I’ll tell you. I’ll try to keep it short though.

After the holiday madness, including my best show to date, we had a couple of weeks off. Then, insanity began. We took a 9 day trip to Disney, which included getting snowed in on our way home. About a week after we got back, I had knee surgery. I had fully intended to keep up on blogging, etc., while I recovered. But I didn’t. I binge watched NCIS instead. And napped. There was a lot of napping. It was amazing.

For week 3 of my recovery, my better half had to go out of town for the week, so my Mom came to hang out with me. THAT was amazing. We had so much fun, even doing basically nothing. We played with polymer clay a bit, and might have had a few cups of hot chocolate… I don’t get to hang with my mom very often, so I really enjoyed having her here.

A few weeks later, we had company for Easter.

Then 2 weeks after that, we had more company.

I had a vendor event in there somewhere.

And my in-laws just came for two weeks.

I love having company. I really really do.

However… My workshop is in the guest room closet.

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This is what my workshop looks like when I have to pack everything into it. It’s a little scary.

So, as you can imagine, my things have spent a LOT of time packed away over the last several months. I did manage to make some newer pieces, and I also took some time to purge a LOT of stuff. When we moved from Ohio to Iowa, I did an initial purge, but it wasn’t enough. I went from a huge, for-real workshop to a closet. I really needed to scale back. I still have more I could probably get rid of, but for now, I’m just happy to have removed a significant amount of extra stuff I wasn’t using.

Now we just have baseball, the summer musical and all the rehearsals that go with it, swimming (at 6:45am. Super fun!!!), athletics camps, a mission trip for one of the kiddos, a family trip to Montana to see my folks (YAY!), and a trip to MSP to babysit my niece and nephews for a week. You know, a nice relaxing summer. There will be as many afternoons at the pool, friends staying over, and fire pit nights as we can manage. Most of the busy stuff is for the soon-to-be 13 year old. The boys have it pretty easy.

So, now I am hoping to get into a bit of a groove, and carve out some dedicated time for working.

I have an event coming up this fall that I have some ideas for. I will be making some fairly specialized pieces that I hope will really go over well. However, it’s my first outdoor event. I’m a bit nervous about it. If any of you out there in cyberspace have any tips for me, or recommendations for a canopy, I am all ears (or is it eyes?)

I’m really sorry I have been missing in action lately. I hope each and every one of you is doing well, and enjoying life. I know I am.

And feel free to nudge me if I’m not keeping up! And tell me what plans you have for the summer. =D

May God bless you all. Thanks for reading!

 

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Best Dad EVER!

It just so happens that I have the best dad ever. Well, the best dad for ME anyway. He’s a mechanic, so he knows all the ins and outs of tools. And considering my love and use of tools, this comes in handy.

This summer, my tumbler bit the dust. I use my tumbler a LOT, so I was really bummed. I hadn’t had it very long either, but it was past the warranty date, so I was out of luck. I had just started to hit my groove with a new style of jewelry, and, unfortunately, that style was much more easily made with the use of a tumbler. I make these discs that I have shown you before:

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For the Copper Dreams Collection

Well, I’m sure you can imagine how much fun it is to file the edges of each and every one of those suckers. Yup, that’s right. It’s not. fun. at. all. So I had a handy-dandy tumbler to do it for me (it saves me a lot of time, and therefore saves $ for the buyers!) Until it pooped out.

So of course I talked to my dad about it the next time I spoke with him. I just like to discuss tools with him. I was certainly not expecting anything from him when I mentioned it. But he just happens to casually mention that he has a spare tumbler that he doesn’t use anymore. Well, shoot. Of course he does. Who doesn’t have a spare tumbler, or anvil, or vise, or wire-twister, or… (a large portion of my tools have come to me courtesy of my father) At some point who knows how many years ago, he needed a bigger one. He tumbles rocks and such all the time. (Eastern Montana is an amazing place to find cool stuff. Moss Agates, petrified wood, etc) So, he said I could have his smaller one.

I had to wait until Thanksgiving to get it, but it was so very worth the wait! I have already tumbled a set of discs, and turned them into pretty things. I was practically giddy the first time I used it. And the creative juices were just flowing. What an amazing gift!

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BOOM!

It’s not pretty, but I’m of the opinion that if your tools look pretty, you haven’t used them enough. At least with some tools.

Also, I noticed something when I picked up one of the barrels. There was some stuff rolling around inside. So I open it up and what do I find but a bunch of chips, with a few larger bits of rock, all polished up. I’m thinking some of them are destined for a resin piece. But we’ll see.

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Look at those pretties! Most of them are Montana Moss Agates. My favorite!

I am one lucky girl!

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to follow me on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I looove new friends. 😉

Decorating Celebs (part 2)

Just for fun, I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about another 5 celebs that I would love to see wearing some B. Accessorized pieces. Why do I think of these things? Because HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE? to have someone famous wearing something that I made? Holy buckets. If you’re going to dream… might as well dream big, right?

Okay, so let’s get down to it. In my last blog, I mentioned Zooey Deschanel, Carrie Underwood, Ree Drummond, Meryl Streep, and Courtney Cole. All super cool chicks.

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Chalene Johnson is amazing. She is a motivational speaker, life coach, and fitness instructor all rolled into one. She is someone that is incredibly positive and uplifting, and I don’t even get the urge to punch her (not that I could… I could punch the tv screen, but that would hurt, and make for a very unhappy husband) I get to see her most mornings as she helps me start the day off right with one of her many Beachbody workouts. She really is amazing.

 

 

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Ellen is kind of obvious. She totally tops my list of celebrities I would love to spend a day with. She is so funny and just seems to be an amazing person. It really comes across that she is a very kind person that has things she is passionate about and does something about them.

 

 

 

 

 

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Maureen O’Hara. Good golly she is amazing. Even as a kid I knew she was one of the most stunning women in the world. I always felt she was classy, but could laugh at herself, too. Or that’s the impression I got from watching her movies. She is just amazing.

 

 

 

 

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Who doesn’t love Tina Fey? She has made a successful career out of being a regular chick. I want to be her friend. I’m sure we could be besties. (I can’t believe I just used that word.)

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P!nk is just so. darn. cool. Am I right? I love her jams, but I think SHE is just cool. I will never be even half as cool as she is. She makes being strong and powerful seem attainable and typical, which is where her coolness stems from, at least from my point of view. And she makes “edgy” pretty. Which is not always the case.

So there you have it, friends. Tell me… who would you pick to spend time with and/or make something for?

The Beauty of Downsizing

When I lived in Dayton, I had a workshop. The for-real kind. Pegboard galore, a huge workbench, a concrete floor I couldn’t ruin, and plenty of space. It. Was. Awesome. I had things sorted and organized. (At least until I used it and forgot to put it away.)

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Here it is. My beloved.

And there might have been a wall of shelves behind me there… Maybe. I’m probably not remembering right. 😉

And… here is my new *cough* workshop.

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Yup. That would be a closet. Needless to say, I have seen a significant reduction in production space. *sigh*

But you know what, I think this can be IS a good thing for me. If you read my previous post, you know I am trying to focus more. I can hear you yelling at your screen “HOW does a smaller space help you focus your creativity into a more concise line of jewelry?!?”

First of all, please calm down. I’ll let you do the count down from 10 thing…

Good to go? Great. What this much smaller space forced me to do was get rid of a lot of my supplies. I went through every container and strand of beads and asked myself if it would help me get to where I want to go with my jewelry. Some of them were really easy to let go, but others were really tough. (have great taste, and beads are so much FUN) But boy did it feel so great to purge so much. And really, I didn’t have room for it all anyway.

Here’s the main box of stuff that I’m getting rid of. That tin is filled with cross-stitch supplies that I have had for eons. So I’m not just getting rid of jewelry supplies, but other craft items as well. The bulk is definitely jewelry though. A lot of beads, plus some chain, wire, stringing materials, storage containers, and even tools and displays. So basically, a bit of everything.

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It’s hard to tell, but that’s a good sized moving box (I have a LOT of moving boxes..) and it is filled close to half way with just packages of beads. The other containers are on top of the beads. I had a lot to purge. =D
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Pearls that will be sold separately

I’m not at the point where I am excited to head down to the messy workshop, but I’ll get there. Eventually it will be comfortable and functional, and knowing I made that space work makes me feel pretty good. Is it ideal? Of course not. But will I make it work? You betcha.

PS: I found my stash of scarves. It’s not all of them, but the majority. If your neck is cold these days… I’ll hook you up. (Get it? Crochet hook? bwahahahaha)

A Discount with a Purpose

I have a problem. A problem that I have been mulling over, considering, and pondering for a while now. But I’m finally getting to a point where I’m moving beyond said mulling.

What it comes down to is:

I lack focus.

Not so much on individual projects, but on style, medium, and technique. You know, those things that cause cohesiveness and make things look like they belong together. I am the queen of seeing a new (to me) technique and wanting to try it. Forget the 37 projects I have started or prepped or thought of. This is something NEW. Which means I must learn to do it.

All this leads to a mish-mash of jewelry styles, like:

Collage!

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And an elephant with a crystal

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And a SPOON!

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Need a bib?

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And it makes me wonder if I would sell more if people knew better what to expect from me.

Another side effect of this problem, and the lack of sales, is I have a LOT of inventory. I will probably re-purpose some of the pieces, but before I do… I want to give you all the chance to grab some pieces that you have had your eye on, and at a nice discounted price. (I’ve been meaning to do a holiday shopping sale anyway…)

Buy 1 item, get 10% off.

Buy 2, get 20% off.

Buy 3, get 30% off.

Buy 4 or more, and get 40% off your ENTIRE ORDER.

This sale is through Facebook ONLY. Simply comment on each picture that you wish to purchase, and PM me when you are ready to complete your order.

So, you get to buy gifts for yourself or someone else, and I get to move some inventory. Everybody wins. =)

***While I believe my inventory is up-to-date, there may be things that I have missed. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

My Favorite Things

These are a few of my (current) favorite things (please tell me you sang that too) that I love to wear. I love each of them separately, but I have been wearing all three things together a lot of the time. None of them “match” but they are all fairly simple so they work well together. Well, in my opinion at least… And if we’re being honest, my opinion is not ALWAYS reliable when it comes to fashion. But you guys don’t know me, so you don’t know that. So we’ll stick with the theory that I know what I’m talking about…  

Let’s start with this one:

Look, an elephant!
Look, an elephant!

I love elephants. They are one of my favorite animals. The Swarovski crystal link is just pretty and simple, and to me works really well with this style of charm.

I love pairing it with this:

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I love this color of green. It’s bright(ish) but not in-your-face-neon bright, and earthy, too. And mixed metals make me happy. I have a friend that doesn’t understand mixed metals, and thinks they don’t “go” together. I’m pretty sure she’s broken. She needs to get that checked out… or maybe find a support group. Or something. But I love her anyway. 

And these earrings:

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 Boy do these puppies go with everything. I am typically a stud earring kinda gal (pretty much every day I wear a pair of stud pearls that my beloved husband (he puts up with SOOOO much) gave me many moons ago), so these feel a little big at first. But I absolutely love them. They are hand cut and filed (by me, duh) enameled (again by me) and drilled. By me. I’m sure that seems obvious to some people, but not everyone gets how much work goes into these pieces, so I want to make sure I point it out enough time that it sinks in for everyone. I figure I’ll know I have said it enough when that one person, you know the one, that is the last to catch on to anything and everything, tells me to shush about the hand-made mumbo jumbo.

Oh, and I love the little bit of silver on the copper. Did I mention that mixed metals make me happy? They really really do. 

If you have any desire to remove these items from my wardrobe, and add them to yours, be sure to keep an eye on Facebook and Etsy.  

Thanks for reading. 

*Honk if you love sarcasm and snarky comments*