Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Well, the Thanksgiving holiday was a lot of fun. We went to the mountains here in CO with two other families. Utter chaos with 8 kids running around - but no one was surprised by that! We got home in time to relax on Saturday & Sunday. I was all prepared to have a productive week making & posting jewelry & getting ready for Christmas. Then it hit!! The stomach flu is making the rounds at my house. It started with my little boy letting loose all over himself and me yesterday - - in a store. Yuck! Poor little guy is still sick. Not my big girl is getting it too. So, no good jewelry news today I'm afraid. Maybe I'll be able to sneak downstairs and have something for you tomorrow. Stay well!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Ideas

Finished 3 necklaces for my nice neighbor this weekend. Two of them are new designs that she and I came up with together. I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Look for them on the website soon. I really like the "washer" style of charm. Not too chatty today. Much to do before the holiday Thursday. Later!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stuff I Like

If Oprah can do it, why not me? I'm calling this post "Stuff I Like". Do you have little things in your everyday life that consistantly make you happy? Sometimes it's nice to have just one little thing in your day that you can count on to work. I'm trying to make an effort to recognize and appreciate these little pleasures.
Today, I'm writing about Amy's Organic frozen meals. I have a bad habit of not eating lunch, or just snacking on whatever junk is handy. Consequently, when the daily 4:00 onslaught of children, dinner, homework begins - I'm in a horrible, low blood sugar mood. I'm not a real fan of leftovers and I know from experience that I won't take the time to make a decent lunch for myself. Amy's have been a great solution. Let me say that in all honesty, I'm far from a health food nut. Like most of us, I'm trying to eat better. But if it doesn't taste good, I won't eat it for long. Amy's meals are EXCELLENT. I've tried most of them and have never been dissapointed. They're also filling and nutritious with lots of fiber - which helps keep you full longer and helps cure the 4:00 energy drop.
My current fav is the one pictured above, the Indian Mattar Paneer. I probably wouldn't have picked this out on my own - my DH bought it on one of his rare trips to the grocery store. Isn't it funny how other people sometimes know your tastes better than you do? It's fabulous! Very tasty and not too spicy. The indian cheese pieces in it are cool and calm down the other flavor. Give it a try! (The mexican bowls are great too!!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

1st Snow

Well we've finally gotten our 1st Snow of the season here in Denver. This is late for us. Late by about a month. This was the 1st year my kids went trick or treating without parkas on!! It's nice to see the white stuff, although I'm sure we'll be cursing it soon enough.

It's funny to me how differently we act about snow here than where I grew up in the south. When I was growing up, if there was even the threat of snow they postponed or cancelled school. My Mom calls me almost everytime it snows here to ask if my kids have the day off. We have a running joke that the crawl on the bottom of the TV screen here says "It's snowing kids. Get your butts out of bed and go to school!!!"

I've got more necklaces to do today & both of my little kids are home. Not sure how productive I'll be in terms of jewelry making. I have some really cool new ideas I'm just dying to get produced and posted. It's going to be a challenge with the holidays coming up.

Tonight is my book club. The selection was "Breakfast at Tiffany's". I never finished it, but I think I'll go to book club anyway. I did see the movie. . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I am over run with necklaces! Stamped name necklace orders that is. I've done little else since my jewelry show last month. It's a wonderful problem to have, but I'm getting anxious to work on some more creative ideas. If only there were more hours in the day and fewer children unerfoot! Just kidding, I wouldn't want it any other way, but it's hard to strike a balance some days - OK most days. If you have any great tips on how to balance kids and working from home - please post a comment. I'd love to hear it and I'm sure lots of other parents would too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Photos from show

Here are some photos from the craft show I was in last weekend. Wow, my stock was really low! The tables look bare now that I see them in photos. Hard to say if that hurt or helped me. I think sometimes if you over stock your displays it looks too cluttered.

The best seller was definitely the custom stamped name necklaces. I'm so glad I made an order form at the last minute to take with me. I had originally planned to just refer folks to the website. Now I have get down to work and all those orders!!

It's a bit of a strain on the family when I'm busy all weekend. Not to mention all the work leading up to the show. I couldn't have done it without the support of my husband. We'll have to work on how to juggle his busy career, the kids and my growing business. If anyone has any tips or advice let me know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Great Show!

It is Sunday night and my show is over! I am so pleased with how it went. It was a long weekend, but well worth it. Quite of few friends dropped by to say hello or help in the booth. I saw friends I haven't seen in years. Maybe that's the way to keep up with my girlfriends - do more craft fairs!!

Most satisfying was the positive feedback I got from visitors to the show and other vendors. It's sometimes difficult to know if what I'm doing is really any good when I'm working alone day after day. People were very generous with their kind words. It inspires me to keep going.

Now I have to buckle down and make the custom orders I took, as well as tend to all the home chores I've ignored lately. In the words of Lewis Robinson (of Meet the Robinsons) "keep moving forward".

Friday, October 10, 2008

On The Floor

I'm getting ready for my show, which means I have to deal with all the business stuff that I avoid. Credit card processing, pricing, sales liscense, etc. I have a nice new big desk I bought a few months ago just for this kind of stuff. Why am I still sitting on the floor with my laptop and papers all around me? Hopeless!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Things Coming

I'll have some cool new designs coming soon! Awhile ago I bought a torch & supplies to start fusing and welding. OK, a long time ago. Well, I finally started last weekend. It's awesome!! Fire, melting stuff, what's not to like? Look for pictures very soon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finally Finished ! for now. . .

Well I've finally figured out and completed adding the "mommy necklaces" to my website. Now you can easily order them directly from my site. This turned out to be a TON of work. Who knew? Adding an option for each charm and figuring out a way to let the customer enter the names they wanted for each charm was way over my head. But I think I finally got it! Now who wants to be the guinea pig to place the first order and test it out??

Next step - this may be awhile - add products to the earring/bracelet/necklace pages. . .

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wow! It's been a crazy week and I still have to get through Friday!!! I'm still trying to finish the web site update when I can grab a few minutes here and there. Must get some jewelry made this weekend!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

How was your Labor Day? Ours was relatively quiet. The kids were tired from starting back to school & they all had some kind of little cold going. Truth be told, the grown-ups were a little run down too! So we mostly stayed close to home.

I didn't make any jewelry this weekend, but I did do a TON of work on my web-site. Within a few days you should be able to order the Mommy Necklaces straight off the site. I'n really excited. People ask about them all the time and it will be great to give them an easy ordering option. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wrap It Up

As promised, here is a pic of the wrapped stone technique I've been working on. I did this one last week, but had to put it aside for other things. The process was actually pretty simple, once I figured it out. The bezel wire can be textured - or not - however your want. I happen to be partial to spirals! Now, what else can I do with this cool new trick??? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I was very excited today to get an email saying I'd been accepted to the Highlands Ranch Fall 08 Craft Show! This is a juried show (meaning a committee of craftpeople and artists judge your work - see link ) that I applied to a couple of years ago and was not accepted into then. (Looking back at the stuff I was doing then, I can see why!!)

Now the hard work begins. I need a lot of inventory!! Dates for the show are Sat and Sun, October 11 & 12. More inf. to come.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bezel Wire

I got some new supplies yesterday. Fun, fun, fun. Hoping to figure out how to make some "wrapped beads" later today. Will post some pics if they're not too horrible!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

While I'm Working

Explanation for why I have been so unproductive this summer! All 3 kids home most days!! I was trying to get my show application finished and looked up to see Jess wearing this crazy mask. When you talk it changes your voice! It's good to be 5. . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mad Scientist?

I've been experimenting with oxidizing silver and thought you might want to see the process. It's pretty cool.

I use Liver of Sulfur to artificially age (oxidize) the jewelry. Picture #1 shows what is looks like. It's very smelly stuff (like rotten eggs) that you dissolve in water. Gross green huh?

Picture #2 shows before and after the oxidation. Drop the silver in, wait a few minutes, then watch the magic happen! It comes out black and dingy, but after a little polishing - very cool!

Picture #3 - finished product!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back To The Blog

I have neglected the poor blog for far too long! Not to mention jewelry making! The kiddos are going back to school in a couple of weeks, so it's back to work for me. Look for more posts and jewelry pics.

I cleaned, reorganized and added to the workbench space last month. Hopefully this will spark more productivity and creativity. I have all sorts of cool ideas just waiting to be "brought to life". Right now I'm trying to get some new work and good pictures taken to use in a show application due this Thursday. The clock is ticking!!

"If you want to see the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Teacher Gifts

I made a couple of teacher gifts last week that I'm really happy with. Here's some pics. I'll have them posted on Etsy soon. Two doctor appts. today - hope I'll get some jewelry making in!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Humming Along

Life keeps humming along here. My 2 youngest kids finished preschool last week. My oldest is done with 3rd grade on Friday. End of the school year is always hectic.

I have some ideas in mind for teacher gifts. (Which have to be done by Friday!!! EEEK!) It's always hard to come up with an original idea for teacher gifts. Do they really want another scented candle?? I think probably no!

I'll take some pics and post them in the Etsy store. Some of you whose kids get out for the summer later might be interested.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'll Be Back Soon

Sorry I have not posted for SO LONG! I had surgery this week and jewelry has been put on the back burner. Everything went well and I hope to be productive again by the weekend. Stay tuned! All this down time has me itching to create new stuff!!!

Side note: I just finished reading a great book for my book club: The Red Tent. Has anyone else read it? What did you think?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Website Finally Updated!!

My website, www.mjanedesigns.com , is finally updated and working!! The Etsy store and new email are both in place too. Time to focus on making jewelry and taking pictures so I can post more items for sale. Look for custom pendants soon as well as more fun stuff!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Stamping!

Still trying to perfect stamping on silver. It's so much fun! Here's some pics of what I've been working on:

Still working on revamping the website and setting up my Etsy store. A very long story that it's much too late to tell tonight!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Already??

Wow, this week is flying by! I finally got my business bank account straightened out. Not too exciting - but a necessary evil. What happened was, that when I originally set up my accounts, the bank used my social security number instead of my federal tax payer ID. This can cause all kinds of problems down the road. So, I had to close my accounts and open new ones. Why did I put off taking care of this since December?? Once I got started it didn't take long to get everything organized. The trip to the bank was pretty quick and painless too. So cross that off the list. Finally. . .

I'm really enjoying the stamped silver jewelry I've started making. The reaction from other people has been very positive too! I ordered more silver blanks and a 2nd smaller set of number stamps. More new designs to see soon.

Also, a major redesign of the long ignored website is coming. Look for a link to Etsy to purchase jewelry and a link to the blog too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Toys!

I haven't posted in the last few days. Unfortunately, I've spent a good bit of my time at various doctor's appointments. It's amazing the torture you have to endure for good health!

We had a weekend packed full of activities. Bought a new patio table - our old one blew over and shattered a few weeks ago. DH had his weekly soccer game, which he left early to pick up above table. After assembling we found out it was cracked! The new (hopefully undamaged one) is being delivered Thursday. Dave refuses to go out there again! Jessica went to a bowling birthday party on Sunday. I took Molly and one of her friends shopping for new clothes. Old Navy and a shop called Justice For Girls - little girl heaven I must say!

Finally today everyone was out of the house for a little while and Mom had a chance to make some jewelry! I just got supplies to start stamping on silver. I've been wanting to do this for a while so I'm really excited about it. So fun!! Here are pics of my supplies and first attempts. Not too bad. My mind is racing with ideas for all the fun things I can make. Molly already has several requests. The bad news is that I have no room on my already cluttered desk for the new supplies. Tomorrow may have to be an organizing day. . .

Friday, April 11, 2008

Snowy Friday

I'm not sure I'll ever get used to snow this time of year! Spring in CO is really a toss up. It might be 65 & sunny on Monday then 35 & snowing 2 days later. The last few days have been full of wet nasty show - but now the sun is shining. Maybe we'll still have a nice weekend!

Molly was home sick today, so she watched TLC while I worked on getting the blog together. This is new to me. I read several blogs on a regular basis, but have never tried to do one myself. Let me know what you think!

I'm posting pics of a couple of bracelets I made recently. They are charm style bracelets with Kazuri focal beads from Africa. One of them went with my mother-in-law to Spain. So its' Kazuri bead is a now a true world traveller!