Friday, March 29, 2013

Flower Jewelry! :)

Hi all!

Well! I'm going to the GHEA homeschool convention this year and making up some lovely fresh jewelry designs in preparation for it...

My etsy order arrived - beautiful plastic flowers!

These will be incorporated into headbands, necklaces, cuff bracelets, rings, and stud earrings. 

One of the cuff bracelets I'm designing...

Another cuff bracelet... 

And here are all the teensy stud earrings I glued together today! Whew!

I have not the words to describe their adorableness. 

These peach ones are my faves. And those silver studs will have sparkly peach crystals dangles on them, by the way. :)
What have you been up to recently?

Have a happy Easter Sunday!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My New Blog - Resourceful Gals! 
I am beyond excited to announce the birth of a brand-new blog, Resourceful Gals! Written by my mother and I, it is an endeavor to share basically anything and everything we know about crafts, cooking and baking, DIY, managing a home efficiently, home decor, finding free stuff, and much more. :)

You're going to want to follow it, I just know it. (Besides, I'll be thrilled if you do!) Even if it's just for the absolutely AWESOME recipes. Because we're the best cooks I've ever seen, if I do say so myself. :D

So what are you waiting for? Hop on over there and take a look! (Oh, and do you like the design I created for it?) I think it looks fresh and happy, but calming. :D

Monday, March 25, 2013

Well, Time Slips By...

Hi friends! I have been meaning to post for a good while now and it hasn't happened until now. :D

First, to address the elephant in the room so I can think about something else - my mom and I are planning a huge, amazing, special project that I can't tell you about yet because it's not ready. "Mmmmph!"- that is me biting my tongue. :D I can't wait to share it!! So stay tuned. :)

Spring is on its way, although the temperatures have been chilly the past week....

I spied this lone azalea blossom on my walk down the driveway.  Soon it will be joined by many others as the bushes burst into bloom!

I made a bouquet of sorts from wild violets and pretty purplish weeds. :D 
It is so exciting to see bunches of these bright little flowers popping up here and there in the woods!  Oh spring,  I love you, please come faster! :D
 So, the other day, I got all productive in the kitchen and made two special yummy things...

Creamy ham and potato soup (sans ham) for lunch. YUMMMMM. My fave. It's better with ham but will do without it if it's just for lunch.
Q: What do you do when you don't have enough bananas for a loaf of bread?
A: Add blueberries. :D
Behold, the Blueberry-Banana-Bread! It was delicious. Recipe to follow shortly. :)
I tried a Pinterest technique on my nails this week - I punched a flower shape out in some blue painter's tape (masking tape will work too), painted my nails peach, and stuck the punched tape on top and painted white over it... making cute little flowers on my nails!

Sadly, this is the only photo I have of both hands. And it's too orangey. But you get the idea. They were very cute. :D

Oh, and just now having realized I never shared pics of the bonfire we went to after Ultimate Frisbee, I made a quick collage. :)
Smores. Hiding behind chairs to roast the marshmallows because some of us *cough* were too impatient to wait for the fire to burn down lower. Fun friends. Plenty of food and soda. Using a small sapling as the perfect roasting stick.
Good times. :D

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

eShakti Contest!

Ooooooh, do I have some fab news for you all. :)
Remember The place I've been getting these beautiful dresses from to review? Yeah - them.

They are having a wonderful contest and the prize is pretty awesome...

I am definitely going to enter this as soon as I can come up with 45 perfect words to describe what women desire. :) It's really quite easy - all you have to do is email your entry to!

Monday, March 11, 2013

What a Weekend! :D

Oh good grief, Monday, why did you have to sneak up on me so fast? With the added double-whammy of Daylight Savings (A.K.A. "Spring Forward") ??? That's not very nice. And look how much stuff I didn't get done last week that rolled over to this week... *shakes head disapprovingly*

Oh well. There's still plenty of hours left in this day to make it a wonderful and productive one! I've got a few ideas on how to jump-start and motivate myself...

1. Happy Music
2. A glass of cran-grape juice
3. Opening the windows (once it warms up a little, and before the rain we're supposed to get around 4:00)

Even though I'm tired ... almost worn-out... today, it was very worth it. We had. a. blast. playing Ultimate Frisbee on Saturday afternoon, and thoroughly enjoyed the bonfire afterwards. Sunday morning brought us to Trinity Fellowship Church again and it was amazing, as it always has been. I keep expecting a mediocre or sorta stale service to pop up now and then between these heart-lifting, soul-inspiring ones - but it has not happened yet! Even though church is an hour away right now, it's definitely worth the trip. I'm looking forward to moving up there so we can be more involved with the Bible study groups and get to know the people better.

Oh yes, and there's a fun little giveaway happening over at Young Homemakers, a blog written by some of my very good friends, Rachel and Jessica! Hop on over there for your chance to enter for a $15 Shabby Apple gift certificate!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Things

Sunshine streaming through window over the kitchen sink and sparkling on the soapsuds - thinking about going to the bonfire tomorrow night after playing ultimate frisbee - precious, sound words in the pages of my Bible - fresh soft-pretzels right from our oven - the cheerful yellow faces of the daffodils - my apron made from cute ice-cream-cone fabric - spending time with my brothers, even if we're just watching a movie - having Daddy home for the day because it's Friday and he has Fridays off - happy music playing.

These are some of the things that have brought a smile to my face today.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 Product Review - The Aurora Dress

I contacted last month about reviewing another of their items, perhaps from their spring line ... And I was delighted when they said yes and told me to choose any item I wanted from their spring line.

It was a difficult choice to pick out my favorite dress from all the beautiful ones eShakti has to offer! I finally settled on the Aurora Dress with the Dahlia crinoline.

I chose to customize mine with a higher scooped neckline than the original style, and short raglan sleeves.

The original Aurora Dress...

I am so impressed with the quality of eShakti's clothing! Their dresses are gorgeously designed and well-made. I would highly recommend their clothes to any of my friends, and with eShakti's custom-fit option, they would be assured of clothes that fit perfectly no matter what shape they are.

For this photo shoot, I chose to dress it up with my retro-glam pearls (an estate sale find, $5!) but the dress could be worn without the crinoline and with a cozy cardigan and flats for a casual occasion. :)

I threw my hair into the messiest fastest bun ever as I dashed outside to get a few pictures in the glimmering light...

I think this angle makes me look like a lady from an old painting or statue... So funny!

I was surprised to find a pretty yellow jonquil blooming right next to the spot I wanted to take the photos for this post! And it matched my dress! Just another little love-note from God to tell me I'm special to him. :D

So head on over to and find YOUR dream dress, and don't forget the special deal they are offering my readers until March 20th! Enter the coupon code JEWELSBYJL for a 20% discount!

Monday, March 4, 2013

eShakti Update

Hi Readers,

I got an email from eShakti this morning that said they've been having technical glitches, so the discount code wasn't working for March 1, 2 & 3. They apologized profusely for any inconvenience this may have caused me or my readers and have extended the 20% off discount until March 20, 2013.

In other news... MY NEW DRESS ARRIVED! :D I will have myself a merry little photoshoot here soon, and the review will be posted shortly thereafter. Stay tuned! :D

Dashing Through the Snow

I can now say that I've played Ultimate Frisbee in the snow! :) 

Granted, it was just a light flurry, but it was there. We had a couple of fun games of Frisbee on Saturday evening. We started over half-way through the game time to switch up the players a little. Everybody was bundled up in coats and mittens (I brought two extra pairs of gloves which were put to use!) and we played hard despite the weather. I don't think it could have been warmer than 35 degrees. Whew!

After the game we drove over to a house belonging to some of the Frisbee players and had a crackling campfire around which we roasted hot dogs and made S'mores. (I stayed away from the marshmallows till the very end when I sampled an expertly-made S'more.) Everyone had a great time and we laughed and chatted 'round the fire while country music twanged in the background. We played a round of the Name Game, which is a really fun group game. The rules are as follows:

Everyone writes a name down on a slip of paper. The names are then read out loud, then everyone takes turns trying to guess who wrote down what name. Whoever guesses someone's name gets to add them to their 'team' and becomes the 'team captain'. The last surviving un-guessed team captain wins. :)

We've played this game over and over again and always enjoy it. :)

It was just so nice to spend some time with friends doing wholesome outdoorsy activities! I can't remember the last time I've sat around a campfire, although we often burn a fire in our wood stove in the living room.

What were you up to this weekend?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Cascading Pearl Earrings

Welcome to the first installment of "Pinterest for Real" or "In Which I Created Something Inspired by a Picture I Pinned" - meh. The first one was better. ;)

So here's what happened.

Scene: Julia is sitting at her laptop scrolling through her Pinterest feed.
Julia's Eyes: are caught and held by a lovely photo of some beautiful pearl earrings.
Julia's Finger: clicks to save the image for future reference.

Exhibit A:
They're very pretty. But they're also $48.00. Wowzers. 

And then a wondrous thing happened.

Julia: wanted to make something fresh and beautiful after getting out her beads again.
Julia's Brain: remembered the picture of the pearl earrings.
Julia: looked up the photo (see exhibit A) and proceeded to recreate the design using her own materials that she had on hand.

Behold the result! (or Exhibit B:)

I think they came out quite well. The pictures don't really do them justice because I didn't bother setting up a photoshoot station, I just quickly took a few shots - but you get the idea. :) I made mine just a little shorter and with less pearls than the original because I was concerned about the weight, and I'm glad I did... any heavier and I don't think they would have been wearable!

I love them. :D Now to make a few more pairs to sell!