Monday, October 31, 2011

Wire Willow Goes Pearly!

I mentioned on my last post that I had gotten in a large shipment of pearls that will be popping up on my site throughout November.  I wanted to take a second today to share some of the new items and my favorite ways to use these fantastic beads.  So here are ten of my favorite new pieces that will be released in November for my Grand Opening.  
With Hematite Chips

Coin Pearls

Baroque (this set can be found at my husband's site by clicking here)

With Swarovski Crystals

Tiny Bundles

Wire Wrapped

Gorgeous Victorian Style

Hand Knotted on Silk Thread
Coin Pearls

You can go to my etsy site now by clicking here.  Want one of these that hasn't been posted yet?  Send me a message here or through my etsy account.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Pearls?

Fun Fresh Water Pearls!
Okay that's kind of a silly question.  But while some people go gaga for the standard white salt-water variety, my passion lies with freshwater pearls.

They are usually dyed to achieve a wide array of colors.  The styles range from perfectly round to the strange world of 'baroque'  and coin pearls.  I love the textures and varieties that you get from fresh water pearls.  I like to mix them with other beads, like hematite. They add a fresh twist to the old classic.

Recently I was able to get my hands on a large batch of freshwater pearls that have now been made into beautiful necklaces and earrings that will be popping up on my WireWillow site during the month of November for my Grand Opening sale (more on that next time!).

Fresh water pearls really are my passion.  I try to limit the amount of jewelry that I make for myself, otherwise I'd keep everything.  So I only have about 30 sets that I've kept over the past 6 years, 20 of them are different pearl necklaces with matching earrings!

Some fun facts about pearls: 
They are graded from A-F based on flaws and irregular shapes.
The really pricy ones are the perfectly round A grade because they are so rare.
I work mostly with B-D grade because I love the surprise that 'flaws' can bring to the piece.
The F grade pearls aren't sold for jewelry, they get ground up and are then used in most types of eyeshadow!  How many women realize that they are putting on a bit of pearl every day?

Want to see more pearls?  Check out my etsy shop during the coming of November!  Use the code GRAND and receive 15% off!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wire Willow Update

I haven't been very good about sharing pictures of my newest pieces for sale on my etsy shop, Wire Willow.  For the past couple of months my collection has continued to grow and now has over 60 items up for sale!  Now that it is fully functional I have decided to host a Grand Opening sale.  The sale code will be GRAND for Grand Opening and it will earn you a 15% discount!  It will run for the entire month of November so that you can get your Christmas shopping done in time for gift wrapping.  There will also be over 60 new items by the end of the Grand Opening sale, with new postings daily, so check back often!

And check out a few of my most recent items.  Or visit my shop by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preping for NaNoWriMo

You can imagine the kind of upkeep these two require
November is nearly here which means that it is time to prep for NanoWriMo.  My husband and I have decided to participate again.  Last year it was so helpful for us to dive into new projects and get something done.  The editing of those books has been a little drawn out, since we are both still working on them.  But it is time to set those aside and get a fresh burst of air into our writing.

I've worked a little bit on an outline and some ideas for characters but I really want to hold off on writing anything until midnight on November first when the event begins in earnest.  I'm excited to find out if there is a local group of authors here in Bangor and possibly try to meet up with them for a write in once or twice.

The real prep work for all of this is completely non-writing related.  I have so many other commitments in my life.  There is my WireWillow shop on etsy, my pets, my housework, and various other projects that need my attention.  In November they could all become distractions that lead me away from my writing goals which is why I've decided to prep.  I'm going to get everything done in the next couple of weeks that I've been putting off.  I need to photograph and post my christmas jewelry.  I need to paint my room before winter.  I need to fix shelves and give my dogs a thorough brushing...well you get the point.  My hope is that this way I won't feel bad when November rolls on through and I've gotten nothing done except for work on my book.

So how about it Randy?  Do you still have NaNoWriMo written on your calendar for this year like you said you would last year?  Has anyone else decided to take up the challenge?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Days Off

 The days off for our anniversary were pretty well spent. We went to Acadia with our dogs on the first day.  It was their first time at the ocean but there were too many people around for them to really process much.  The only thing that they really noticed was that they didn't like the taste of the water.

After that we did a full day of shopping for supplies.  Since we live a half hour away from town it is a bit difficult to drop by a store and pick up something especially when I go to work after the stores are closed and get home before they open again, ah the joys of overnights!

We spent the final two days working on my husband's new shed.  We insulated it and then painted the new walls, although I still need to go in and do some touch ups.  I know, not really romantic but it needed to get done and we finally had the time.  Overall it was a nice time for the two of us to unwind.  Now it is back to work!
Icky itching insulation!
Mostly completed and much nicer than before!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Candle of the Week-Cider

Smell it!
Fall is not complete without the wonderful scent of apple cider filling my house.  I love making the bevearge (even if it is with store bought cider and a few spices) by throwing all of it into a crockpot for the day on warm and letting the scent and flavor fill my house.  But when I don't have the ingredients, or the desire for a quart of cider to drink, I turn to my cider candle instead.  Spicy with the right amount of sweet apple and crisp fall leaves.  When fall leaves are starting to touch the road and fall in heaps around the yard this is my go to candle!
Get it!
Cider is a seasonal candle through WoodWick that regularly goes on clearance at their online store in spring, which is the best time to buy and then you can store it away for the next season.  Just be careful that you don't miss the sale because they go quickly!
Why I love Woodwicks
If you've owned one, then you understand.  At first I said that I'd never pay so much for a candle.  I had no idea how wonderful a well designed candle could be.  I often get over 120 hours of burn time out of the large ones.  The wicks are much easier to keep trimmed than I would have imagined.  More important than all of that, the scents fill large rooms and can truly create an atmosphere with their flickering light and the wonderful crackle of burning wood.  This is the prefect kind of candle for cold nights while reading a book.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our Anniversary

This was our wedding site, perfect!
My husband and I are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary today.  Although he has to work in the morning for a little while we will then have four wonderful days off together.  We plan to go out leaf peeping near Acadia and also venture a bit further north than we have so far.  I expect that there will be wonderful pictures to share with all of you by the time that we get back.

This is a real treat for us because we have never been able to celebrate our anniversary.  October is always a busy time for Walgreens and it is too hard to get away.  Plus we never had a honeymoon after our wedding.  I drove from Missoula to Pocatello on a Thursday, did bridal parties on Friday, the wedding on Saturday, and was driving back to Missoula on Sunday morning with a text book in my hand studying for a midterm for the next day.  But I wouldn't have changed a thing about our timing, our fall wedding was gorgeous.
Ludo at about 4 months old
I think that the strangest thing when I look back at those pictures is when I see my little Ludo as a puppy.  The first year and a half that we had him I was still going to school in Missoula so when I did come home to visit he would get very excited and show off for me with all of his new tricks.

My only regret is that almost every one of the pictures turned out blurry.  I've collected a few good shots from some friends and didn't find out until afterwards that no one was recording it.  Oh well what really matters is the marriage that came out of it.  Oh and the cake, lemon and yummy!
No fancy filter and this is one of the better ones we've found.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quiet Nights

Note: The above is not me, I'm brunette.
I honesty tried to give up night audits.  When I left my last job and moved further up north I told myself that I would stop them all together.  I don't spring back as well as I used to between sleeping days and sleeping nights.

So how is it that I've just agreed to take on a full-time night audit position?  The writing.  I have to make a buck (don't we all?) and what better way than working a few hours each night and spending the rest of my time with a latte and my laptop.  The upcoming NaNoWriMo should be a breeze now that I'm going to have so many audit hours again.  I can work on postings for my WireWillow shop on etsy.  I can work on my blog.  I can write the next great American novel, or at least something cheesy and fun.

Now if I can find some way to be getting better amounts of sleep so that I'm awake enough to be efficient at all of those things, I'll be set!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Candle of the Week-Spiced Cake

Want to know more about my candle obsession?  Well good because you were going to find out anyway.  Every day that I burn a candle, which is most days, I like to open up my cupboards filled with candles and sniff out the specific one that fits that day.  My mood, the weather, what I plan to do that day all fits into choosing the perfect candle.  My husband laughs at me, but often asks me to help him pick out one too when he goes off into his "fortress of smallitude".  When you pick the right candle it can emphasis a mood, just like music.
A daily update is a bit too much (even for me).  Instead I want to sum up the week that was with the candle that helped set the mood.  I'll make sure that you know why I love it and where to find it.  Unfortunately there will be times when it is a discontinued candle or one that is very hard to find.  Sorry but I have too many like that to exclude them from my choices.  Instead you might be able to find something similar from another company.
Such is the case with this week's candle. 
Smell it!
Spiced Cake is kinda like Carrot Cake but without the carrots or nuts.  Instead it is all about the exotic fall spices like nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon.  Not too sweet but certainly a treat!  I enjoy it during the early fall season because it isn't as musky and dark as some of my later fall scents.
Get it!
Spiced Cake is no longer available through Patriot Candles (a surprisingly good but cheap brand that can only be found at Walgreen's).  However I've heard that many other companies have this scent too.
Why I recommend Patriot Candles
Well it seems to only be the generic jar candles, not the pillars or anything fancy, that works the best.  But if you get the ones pictured above in their two largest sizes you will be pleased with your purchase.  They burn well, especially for a cheap candle.  Most of their scents fills up a medium sized room and even when left alone for a long time they rarely develops large flames.  I have found the occasional bad scent or a wick that just won't burn right but nine out of tens times I'm shocked that they are so cheap.  The best time to get them is when they go on sale.  The very best time is during their Black Friday sale when I've seen them for as cheap as buy one get two free!