Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New stuff abounds!

I know it's traditional to bring out new things as the new year rolls in, but I just didn't want to wait that long! For the past week I've been very busy revamping my craft fair table design for the Assumption Regional Catholic School craft fair. I'm pretty happy with the results and like the way the jewelry cards make each piece distinct from those around it. My pieces are all very different from each other, so the hardest thing about making a display is giving it a sense of cohesiveness. I think this set up works very well. Here's a photo of me and my table:
The other exciting news is that I have a new website! I'd like to claim that I've been slaving away over that as well, but I'd be lying. My husband did all the work on it and I think it looks just fantastic! You can see it here. I hope to make it a stand alone site soon where you can both browse and buy merchandise, but for now it links to my Etsy store.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm still alive!!

No, I didn't get mauled by bears in the great North! I just got home and wrapped up in a billion little things and time got away from me. Oy!

We had a great trip and we took nearly 3000 photos - yipes! I've posted many of them on my Facebook account here: http://www.facebook.com/ceridwenl. Here are some to pique your interest:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Hi everyone! Just wanted to let you know that I will be gone until June 23. We're taking a long vacation to Alaska and I'm so excited. We've been planning it forever and now it's finally upon us. I'm sure when I get back I'll have tons of exciting new things to share, including Wellness Wednesday features and a new feature, Photo Phridays!

Have a great few weeks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wellness Wednesday

Ah, it's Wednesday again! Time to discuss fitness, health and general wellness. This week I'll be addressing Beaded Tail's concern about fitting exercise into an already packed schedule. This topic is extremely important, because heaven knows we all have enough going on every day to pack a week. So here are my tips:

Break it up:
Exercise can be split up throughout your day. Just because you don't have the time to hit the gym for a solid hour doesn't mean you don't have time to exercise. Try a ten minute walk in the morning, another at lunch and another after dinner. You will have gotten the recommended 30 minutes without a huge intrusion on your life. Plus, these breaks give you a much needed "time out" to sort through the events of the day and refocus.

While you wait:
Here's a little trick I like to do. Weight training while I'm waiting. Say I pop something into the microwave for one minute. During that minute, I do a wall sit. This great exercise works your glutes and thighs. To do it, stand with your back to a wall and slide down it until you feel your muscles engage. Go no lower than a 90 degree bend in the knee. Hold until the microwave beeps. Some other ideas:
-Bicep curls while you wait for your Etsy listing photos to upload.
-Calf raises while your kids (or husband) find their shoes.
-Push ups while your computer boots up (sorry, Mac users, no push ups for you!)
These possibilities are pretty limitless. Once you get used to tossing a little exercise into your "down times" it will become second nature.

Running Errands:
This one may require an adjustment for some, but I find it second nature because I get very impatient when I'm not in control of how long things are taking. The next time you run errands, park as far away from the entrance to the store as you can. At first, you may think you're wasting time walking all that way, but if the store is really busy, you may find yourself walking through the doors ahead of all the people who were cruising the front rows and jockeying for position. Plus, you'll be upping your activity level. The same goes for taking the stairs instead of the elevator. In some buildings, the elevator is slow and stops on every floor. By taking the stairs, you'll really get your heart rate up and get to skip being crushed between that guy who's wearing WAY too much cologne and that seasick looking baby. Caveat: don't walk up 38 flights on your way to a job interview - you'll look a bit wilted!

I hope these help! Don't hesitate to offer more suggestions.

Have a healthy day!

The not-so-fine print:
All the information presented on Wanderlust Bling is for educational and resource purposes only. It is there to help you make informed decisions about fitness training. It is NOT a substitute for or an addition to any advice given to you by your physician.

Monday, May 18, 2009


This weekend we took a little shake down trip with our new camping equipment to make sure it all functioned properly. It all worked beautifully, so I'm pleased about that. But I find this picture troubling:

You may not see anything wrong with it, but look closer. Doesn't it look like the photo the police find on the camera of the couple who disappears into the woods, never to be seen again? It has a nostalgic, so-happy-and-carefree-it's-melancholy-and-foreboding feel to it. Or am I just twisted?! ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wellness Wednesday

Hello and welcome to the inaugural edition of Wellness Wednesday in which I will be addressing health, fitness and wellness issues. I used to have a blog that I devoted solely to this topic, but my attention span is short and I need to vary my writing topics!

Today's topic: Exercising with asthma. This issue was raised by LillyShayStyle, whose husband has asthma but wants to get in shape this summer.

The most important thing to remember about this topic is this: See your doctor! Get your asthma under control! I cannot stress this enough. Asthma is a serious health condition and while it can be controlled, monitored and lived with, it is not to be taken lightly. If you're on a daily controller medication, make sure you're taking it appropriately. If you have an inhaler, be sure you have it with you when you're exercising. So see your doctor and discuss exercising with her/him. You should actually consult a physician before you begin an exercise program no matter who you are, just to be sure you're healthy enough for the activity. OK, I'll get off my soap box now.

Warm up: A warm-up before you begin your more intense work out is essential for anyone, but especially those with breathing issues, including asthma. This means starting off slowly to allow your body to acclimate to the activity. Walk before you run or jog, cycle at a slow tempo before revving up those hills. Five to ten minutes of warm-up will let your heart and lungs adjust to the larger demands being made on them.

Environment: Pollution and air quality affect everyone when they exercise because their lungs are pulling in a larger volume of them as your breathing becomes more rapid. People with asthma should avoid exercising when there is heavy pollution. To avoid pollution, you can exercise indoors, away from roads and in the early morning. For those with asthma, exercising in the cold is also problematic and should be avoided.

Activities: Swimming can be a very beneficial exercise for those with asthma. Swimming is great exercise and perfect for summer. If you can't swim, check your local pools or Y for lessons. Not only can you get in shape, but it's a great skill to have.

Intensity: If you have asthma, you need to monitor your intensity. You may need to curtail your intensity, working at a more moderate level. You want to keep your intensity below the point of breathing difficulty. If your breathing becomes labored, slow down and let your breathing return to normal.

Cool down: When you've completed your workout, don't just stop cold. Make a five minute cool down during which you lower your intensity part of your routine.

Start slow: If you've just begun exercising, start off with 15-20 minutes of cardiovascular work. This goes for everyone, not just those with asthma.

Strength training is important for everyone, and especially for people who are trying to lose weight. Muscle torches fat even when you're sleeping, so the more you have, the more weight you'll lose. Start off with a full body work out that works all your muscle groups. It is very important to perform strength exercises with proper form and I highly recommend getting a routine from a Personal Trainer in your area. Many gyms offer one time consultations with a trainer for free or a very reasonable fee. This is invaluable as they will be able to assess your current fitness level and provide you with an appropriate work out for that level. They can also correct your form to prevent injury and maximize results.

Okay, that's it for this week! Next week: Fitting exercise into packed schedules and healthy snacks.

Have a great and well day!

The not-so-fine print:
All the information presented on Wanderlust Bling is for educational and resource purposes only. It is there to help you make informed decisions about fitness training. It is NOT a substitute for or an addition to any advice given to you by your physician.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I Need Your Thoughts!

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. We ran yet another race - the Re-Run Run. It's a benefit for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and all the t-shirts, medals, food, etc. is donated from other races so that all the money from race registrations goes to the Society. The fun side of this is that you don't know from which race your goodies will come. We ended up with the Chicago Distance Classic t-shirts and finisher's medals - luck of the draw and very exciting since most 5Ks don't have finisher's medals! We both won our age group, so so both also got a very nice medal from the Catalina Island EcoMarathon, which looks like a great race! It's partially on trails, which is so much more interesting (albeit challenging) than a purely road race.

Here's where I need your thoughts: I'm planning on starting a feature on Wednesdays called Wellness Wednesdays (I'm a sucker for alliteration.) I want to provide the crafting community with health and wellness tips specific to our needs. In case you're wondering, I'm also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, though I should take this opportunity to point out that nothing on my blog counts as medical advice and I assume no liability should you attempt anything you read here. ;-) So does anyone out there have any diet/exercise/fitness/wellness problems they'd like to see discussed here? I'm open to suggestion and welcome your input! Thanks!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Well that was interesting.

I had an eventful weekend. On Saturday I did my first ever craft show. It was at the Waldorf School in Eugene, and it was fine, except for the weather. At first the rain was just a slow, steady drum on my canopy, but in the afternoon, it turned into a lashing, blowing storm that soaked my displays. The teachers and parents started moving their face painting, bag toss and food booths inside and all the vendors started to pack up. Sure, the fair was supposed to go until four, but no one was sticking around that long. Just as we were about to take the canopy down, a huge gust blew it up and over and it landed on a fence. Good from a containment standpoint, bad from a non rip standpoint. It tore a hole right in the thing. Glad I bought it used. Of course, Eugene being Eugene, once all the vendors were packed up, the sun came out. No one made moves to unpack, though. I did make some sales and handed out some cards, and while I didn't sell any of my Tile pendants, they were a huge hit. Everyone read the blurb I posted and asked lots of questions and told me it was a wonderful, creative idea, so that was nice. All in all I think I'll count it as a success and a good learning experience. I had a great time and it's so nice to interact with customers, rather than only having an internet transaction. Definitely something I plan on doing in the future.

On Sunday I ran the Eugene Half Marathon while K ran the Marathon. It was great fun. Okay, it was fun for awhile and character building the rest of the time. I ran the exact same pace I did for the last half I ran last November. While it may look like that means no progress, it actually means I was in better shape, as this time I was still battling a chest cold. My legs were killing me yesterday and I was hobbling around like an old lady. Every time I got up I screamed like a warrior going into battle, since my quads felt like they were going to explode with each exertion. Good times!

I took yesterday off and just sat around and read. Oh, alright, I also listed some cuff links. I'm kind of bad at taking a day completely off!

Have a great day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Booth

I finally got my booth all figured out. I spent a lot of time at local thrift shops getting table cloths for my tables and other display pieces. My items are priced, my layout is planned and I have a box filled with essentials like tape, scissors, markers, pens, etc. I'm quite happy with my layout. It's been a cramped few days as I've had the tables set up in the middle of the living room so I could make sure I liked how it was set up and to make sure I had all the signage I needed. Here I'll take more tomorrow once I have it set up under my new blue canopy.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Countdown to Craft Faire

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. I spent the weekend sick and miserable, but at least K is the best husband ever and took wonderful care of me. And no, I do not have swine flu, thankfully. I have no fever, just a hideous cold. On to better topics!

Next weekend is a huge one for me. On Saturday I'll be selling live for the first time at the Craft Faire at the Eugene Waldorf School. It sounds like a great school that emphasizes art for K-8 kids, which is great. The "fee" for a booth is a percentage of sales given directly to the school. Definitely a good cause. I'm excited, but I have so much to do. I got a small table and now I'm playing with display ideas. I plan on hitting the second hand shops for fun and unique tabletop fixtures. If any craft fair mavens have advice for a newbie, I'm all ears!

On Sunday I'll be running the Half Marathon in Eugene. I've been training for two months, but of course, this past week I've been unable to run. I tried on Wednesday and made it only two wheezy miles before I had to stop. We'll see how I do. I did one last year in November in Philly, and I was surprised that I was able to run the whole thing, since I had spent the week before in Las Vegas. Enough said there, really. Hopefully I'll do even better this time. And by "better" I mean under 2 1/2 hours - I'm not a fast runner! I can sprint very fast, but over any distance, I'm quite slow.

Hope you're all well and have a great day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Etsy Day!!

Etsy Day is a fun holiday to explore all the fun handmade goodies at Etsy. A lot of people have never heard of Etsy and the aim of Etsy Day is to remedy that. So, off you go; see the fun sweaters, handbags, jewelry, skirts, crockery, ACEO's, art, furniture, etc, etc!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mother's Day

Hi everyone! Just a quick note to let you all know I'm having a Mother's Day sale from now until May 1. Of course, I can't guarantee that your shipment will get to your mother by the big day if she lives in Timbuktu, but I'll get orders out pretty much the moment I get them. So check out a huge variety of one-of-a-kind jewelry for your one-of-a-kind mom!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Portuguese Tile Pendant in Silent Auction

A few days ago I wrote about The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY. I donated one of my Portuguese Tile Pendants to their silent auction. You can support this great Center, which provides a variety of support systems for those with disabilities by bidding on the tile pendant here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Class Part II

Last night was jewelry making class night. We did some awesome stuff: pressing patterns into metal (did not know this was possible) and riveting. I pressed some leaves into a piece of copper, but because I had cut my piece bigger than the rollers, the pieces of metal bound up and I wound up with a mangled mess. The leaves came out fairly well, but not great. Since the metal had been annealed (softened with a torch) I was able to bend it into a flower around a bead. It did not turn out quite the way I had hoped, mostly because I didn't take the folding into consideration when I cut out my shape. That's what I get for going by the seat of my pants. It's something I want to try again, and now I know how to go about it. The riveting was very cool, but involved very tiny pieces of wire that I knew would frustrate me to no end and I couldn't think of an immediate application, so I learned the technique, but didn't try it out. Instead I worked on this pendant that I made myself from silver. A big step up from my lopsided star, huh? Oh, and a side note: it is REALLY hard to photograph large pieces of metal. I had a hard time getting the texture I worked so hard on to show up, as you'll see from the photo, which shows no texture whatsoever. You'll just have to take my word on it - there's a fun, buttery texture from a lot of sanding and some baking soda paste applied with a toothbrush. The two white stones are moonstones, and the center purple stone is a lovely amethyst. I can't wait to attach it to something so I can wear it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Something for the Guys!

Woohoo! It's my first Bling for Boys and just in time for Father's Day. Okay, so I haven't listed any yet, but I've started making some cufflinks for the guys in your life. This is a pair I made for K from one of the Portuguese Tiles. Very manly, dontcha think? Check back soon and I'll let you know the moment I begin listing these beauties.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jewelry and Easter Eggs

Yesterday I took a posted an accidental photo of my wedding ring and promised to post about it, so here we are. When my husband and I were dating and fairly sure we were getting married, we were in college in Lancaster, PA. One day while we were off doing something in the farmlands of Lancaster County, we wandered in to store that had a ton of silver jewelry, as well as leather clothes and an assortment of other things. Amid the silver jewelry was a beautiful basket setting ring with a piece of glass set in it. Now we had been going around to jewelers in town, but hadn't found anything I liked very much. But this silver ring was just gorgeous and what I wanted. The woman who owned the store told us that the company had found old ring molds and recasted them in silver. We didn't end up buying the ring because it was huge and I had no need for more silver rings. Oh, and we were on a rather tight college student budget.

Fast forward about 9 months. Now we live in New Hampshire. We have just gotten our first apartment out of college after having lived with my parents for a month. I get home from my crappy job as a receptionist for a car dealer and am greeted by a set of tasks to complete to find my ring. I opened the box, and there it was: the ring from the little jewelry store in PA. Only it's now white gold and has three diamonds in it instead of one piece of glass. K had gone back, bought the silver ring, brought it to a jeweler and had them make a mold, recast it in gold, then fiddle with the design to make the two flowers on the sides of the stone into little diamonds. Gorgeous, and so thoughtful. Clearly, I said yes. The band on top is my wedding band which had to be soldered to the engagement ring so the thin metal of the design didn't get worn away from years of clanking.This ring is the reason I have a thing for vintage basket settings in the first place. There's no casting and recasting here. This ring has been handed down in my family for many years, and will continue to be. It's also white gold, and the stone is very tiny and hand cut, rather than precision laser cut, so it has fewer facets than a modern stone. But I adore the setting. That's the extent of my pretty ring collection!I got my Easter package from my parents in the mail today. Yes, I'm 31 and my mother sends me Easter packages, what of it? ;-) Easter eggs are always fun to get in my family, because my dad draws little pictures on them that are relevant to our lives. One year we got Vantom on an egg. When we bought our house we got eggs with pictures of us gardening. This year: A white motorhome and a green car! So cute! Thanks, Dad!Have a great day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Last night I had my first class in Beginning Jewelry Fabrication at The Craft Center and it was a blast! There are only nine people in the class, which makes it super hands on. The Center is located in the Union building of the University of Oregon and it's chock full of crafty goodness, as you might have guessed from the name. We were all set up at benches with really low stools so our work would be close to our eyes and we wouldn't have to hunch over. If you've ever made jewelry, you know that this is a good thing. I have a tendency to slouch down and hold things in my hands rather than resting them on the table, but that isn't a very good idea when you're wielding a saw. We also each had a baggie full of supplies to use during class. There are three tiny sizes of saw blades that break on a whim, some solder, three grits of sand paper and a sheet each of brass and copper metal. You can see outline of what I cut from the copper piece.

For our first class our teacher, Kerri, demonstrated cutting shapes out of sheets of metal and then we returned to our benches to trace and cut our own pieces. I free drew a star on a piece of copper which has a sort of unintentional primitive look to it because I don't free hand draw very well. Cutting was much easier when the lone guy in the class suggested longer, slower strokes with the saw, rather than the jagged little sweeps most of us had been using. When he suggested that, the sound in the room changed dramatically. I wish I could give you the sound effects I gave K when I got home!

Then we got down to the finishing and clean up work of filing and sanding the edges and the faces of our pieces. I thought this would be my least favorite thing, since I have a tendency to get impatient with clean up, but I found it incredibly soothing. Then I remembered that I dislike clean up on a large scale, such as picking up clothes off the floor, but I like cleaning on a small scale and will happily clean dust from heat vents for an hour. Filing the metal edges is like cleaning heat vents. I took great pleasure in finding the little nicks and gouges in the metal and replacing them with the buttery smoothness of a well filed edge. Kerry told us that clean up work is what separates metalworkers from dabblers. I'm going to be optimistic and think that my love for clean up portends a successful run at metalworking. I ran out of time to finish the clean up work on the faces, but I'm going to go into the studio tomorrow and finish it, and perhaps cut out and file something else.

When I got home I felt like a little kid showing my work to my mommy, except I was showing it to my husband. This feeling was reinforced by the fact that my star was all lopsided, um, I mean primitive. My wedding ring was all twisted when I took this photo, so now those of you who don't know me in person can see the lovely ring K had made for me! Pretty, huh? Okay, it's not the best photo of the ring. Maybe tomorrow I'll use my new found photography skills and tell you the rather long story of my ring and my family ring as well. They're both lovely and will make you vintage jewelry folks go batty. ;-)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A little altruism

Good morning! I recently came across a request for donations for a silent auction for The Center for Discovery. The Center is in Harris, NY and here's what they do, in their own words: "The Center for Discovery offers individuals with a range of disabilities and medical frailties - and their families -innovative educational, clinical, residential and social and creative arts experiences designed to enrich their lives through personal accomplishment."

I donated this Portuguese Tile Pendant to the silent auction and it should be posted soon. I'll update this with a link when it gets posted so you can help this wonderful cause if you are so inclined.

Have a great day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Monday!

Okay, I realize that Monday is nobody's favorite day, but I'm just excited to be getting back on the blogging wagon. It's been awhile since I had a non-contest related post that I'm a little unsure of what to write about. The contest was a clever ruse on my part to cover up that I didn't have time to blog the past few weeks, since we were moving from our trailer into our new motorhome. The process has been longer and more messy than you might expect. I still can't figure out how we had so much stuff in a 24 foot trailer, even though we did use the van as one big storage unit on wheels. Not good for the gas mileage, that's for sure! So now that we're all moved in, I'll share some fun photos of the new home.

There's a lot more space inside to work and more storage space outside where I can stash all my smelly resin supplies, which is probably a much healthier air quality situation. Once I start my class on Wednesday, I'll probably add a whole host of other fun stuff to my arsenal - torches and solder and sheet metal, oh my!

I made some new pendants as well, and I'm loading them as we speak. At least trying to; the Etsy upload is really slooooooooow. here's a collage of the newbies:

Apparently my collaging skills need some work, bsince one of these showed up twice. Ah, well. Hope you enjoy looking at them!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Winner!

Well, after a snafu or two of unreachable winners, we have a new winner - Janetfaye! Thanks, Janet! I will be in touch shortly! I will return tomorrow with your regularly scheduled blogoliciousness!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And the winner is...

MICKEYFAN!!! Congratulations! Since you gave me no way to contact you, I sure hope you check back to see that you've won. If you do, leave a comment with your e-mail address! If I don't hear from Mickeyfan by Friday, April 3rd, I'll choose a back up winner.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered - I'm enthused and honored by all the attention these pendants have garnered. I hope to see you all again soon! I've cast a new set of tiles, including 6 designs that I will post for the first time in coming days.

Thanks again for playing and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Portuguese Tile Pendant Give Away!

Last day to enter! The giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 PDT! I just made a batch of pendants with some new patterns I hope to list this week. Thanks for all your support - I'm overwhelmed by the response and all the kind words! THANKS!

UPDATE! I've begun listing tiles on my Etsy shop! I'll list throughout the day. Check here for newest additions.

I'm so excited I'm leading with a photo!
These are images of the long awaited Portuguese tile pendants! These are large, 1 1/2 inch square pendants with quality glossy photos embedded in crystal clear resin. I took each photo, cut each photo and embedded it in resin. Metal tags are attached firmly to the back to hang these beauties to a cord or chain. That's the fun part! Below is a mere sampling of the nearly infinite variety of coordinating cords I can make for each pendant. The colors pop and look simply lovely!

I will be offering Kumihimo braided cords, as well as traditionally braided cords. If you prefer a simpler look, I will include a chain instead. Don't like the cord I've shown the pendant with? No problem! Contact me and I'll make one just for you! Prices to be determined before I list these on Thursday.

These are conversation starters because they are so different and fun. The houses in Ovar are so beautiful and colorful, robed in these tiles. These are a little piece of Portugal!

I'm running a giveaway until next Tuesday, the 31st. One lucky winner will win their choice of one of the pendants from the above collage and their choice of cord, either one of the ones pictured or a style and color of their choice. Wow! The winner will be chosen using Random.org.

For one chance to win:
Go check out my Etsy shop or my ArtFire studio and then come back here and leave a comment with the title of your favorite piece(s).
For a second chance to win:
Follow my blog and leave a comment that says "follow."

That's it! Good luck everyone! And be sure to check out my Etsy shop on Thursday for the Grand Launch!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Line and Giveaway Announcement!

Hi all! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was okay though we did have our hearts torn a bit when it turned out the car we really liked and were able to get for a price we could afford turned out not to be dinghy towable - dang it! So the car search continues. But enough of that - onto the fun, crafty stuff!

You may remember a few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Portuguese tile pendants. If not, I'll summarize by telling you that in December we visited Keath's family in Ovar, Portugal. I was taken with the wonderful tiles that cover the outsides of the houses and I took tons of photos with no idea of why. In the end, I decided to make some resin pendants out of the photos. I'm very pleased with how they came out. The pendants are large, about an inch and a half square. They need to be this large so that the details of the paintings can be seen easily. These pendants are striking and definitely a conversation starter!

I'm planning on selling these lovely pendants at my Etsy shop on Thursday. Today I went shopping for different colored floss, yarn and ribbon to make the cords for the pendants. I'll actually be selling each one with a choice of cord or chain in order to maximize people's enjoyment of the necklaces. Below are some photos of the results of my shopping - I went a little crazy! There's also some photos of one the process of one of the kumihimo braids I'm making. This one's for a blue and white tile pendant and I'm making it with yarn.

Did I mention there's a give away? It starts tomorrow, so I have time to take photos of the first batch of pendants. The winner will win a pendant of their choice with the cord/chain of their choice - woohoo! So be sure to come back tomorrow to learn how to win! These tile pendants are different and fun, and even though I'll be making multiples from each tile photo, each necklace will probably be one of a kind, due to taste variations in cord type or chain. So come back tomorrow and enter to win it before you can buy it!

Visit Sweeties Sweeps to get your daily dose of sweepstakes, contests, and blog giveaways.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Temptations

I have some lovely things for you today! Before we get to them, I have to share my excitement at our impending huge purchase. We're going to be upgrading our rig to a Class A motorhome before the end of the week (if all goes well!) I can't wait! I love our little trailer and we've been in it for the past three years, but now that it's clear our full time lifestyle is more than a passing fancy, it's time to go slightly bigger so we stop having nervous breakdowns due to the lack of space (current count: K-3; me-2.) I'll no doubt post a ton of photos when we get it, so be forewarned!

Onto the main event!

I have the work of two artists today.

First up: A gorgeous pillow from Mireio. This pillow features a vintage Burmese flag and other vintage fabrics. I simply love the peacock on the front of this, and I wish I could smell the lavender inside! Mireio has tons of lovely items in her shop - it's a nice shop to virtually poke around in.

Next is this very cool painting by Maria Kitano:I feel very unqualified to discuss painting, but this really grabs me. The bright orange is so striking and the little crack so intriguing that I just can't help but look at it, even on a computer screen. Maria's DaWanda shop had a great variety of artwork, including ACEOs and other very affordable works. Definitely worth checking out.

Thanks for looking and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

A tasty, healthy vegetarian recipe is what's on tap for today. The recipe is tofu tacos, and they're what we have for lunch pretty much every day. A few years ago, both K and I went on NutriSystem to take off the pudge we had put on traveling around the country and eating local delicacies. It worked very well, but the limited vegetarian menu kind of got to us. That and the processed nature of the food. So we worked out the nutritional guidelines and caloric counts of the meals and started following those guidelines when making our own meals. It has worked great and as long as we've been on it, we haven't yoyoed more than a few pound (okay, five when we went to Portugal and tossed reason out the window!) This lunch is about 175 calories and super yummy.

For each person you need:
One corn tortilla - Trader Joe's has good ones; these are Don Pedros. They have 50 calories each.
Tsp Tomato paste - seasoned with whatever you like - I use oregano and cumin
Tbs of refried beans - the ones here are black refried beans
3 oz slab of super firm tofu - I use Trader Joe's high protein tofu for these - 100 calories per 3 oz
Tsp of jarred garlic

To start, spray a pan with a little cooking spray and get the garlic going in the pan over medium high heat. Cut the slab of tofu in half and put it on top of the garlic.

While that browns, slather the tomato paste onto your tortilla, then put the beans on top of that.
I realize this look unappetizing in the extreme.
When the tofu has browned on one side, flip it and put the slathered tortillas next to the tofu on the pan. A minute or two later and you can put the tofu in the tortilla, fold it in half and have a yummy meal.I think it takes five minutes start to finish. Super yummy!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Do you think....

that the script for the new Wolverine movie explicitly states that the young Cyclops should look like Andrew Eldritch circa 1987? Not that the actor, Tim Pocock, has Eldritch's ow-I-just-sliced-my-finger-off-on-your-face cheekbones, but who does? Look at them side by side though, and tell me they didn't do this intentionally. Or did everyone look like this in 1987 and I was just two young to notice?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Temptations

Oy, it's late to be posting this! But I had to wait for the library to open before posting, since for some reason anything involving Google does not work on the network in the park. Any techies who have ideas why this might be, feel free to shoot me a note! Onwards!

It's Thursday again! Do the weeks just seem to be flying by - they do to me! Since it's Thursday, it's time to see some wonderful splurge items by handmade artists. This week we have something for everyone in an array of styles.

First up:
A beautiful wall sculpture by PoodleBreath on Etsy. I simply love this piece. It's called Little Helping Hands, and it's just that - 3D hands that come out of the wall to hold your jewelry or whatever else you'd like to hand over. Poodlebreath's shop is filled with items that evoke (to me, anyway) the mysterious, not-quite-dark side of fairy tales and fantasy. Looking at her shop is a little like walking through a dream.

Next up:
A lovely handbag by InkiMade at Etsy. I love that blue pattern on this bag and its wealth of pockets to stash all your stuff. I don't usually carry a purse, because I can stash everything I need for short jaunts into my pockets, so for me this would make a lovely bag for a day jaunt into a city, with enough room to carry lunch and a book as well as a wallet and cell. Inkimade's shop is chock full of a fun variety of items, including stationary and sachets.

On to:
A quirky laptop and accessory pouch set from Brokesy at Etsy. I adore this because it makes me giggle every time I look at it. The poor petrified squirrel looks like he'd like to hide in the pouch with your accessories. Brokesy's shop features cute, humorous ways to safely carry your laptop and other gadgetry. I love that the opening scene to The Crow (I'm pretty sure) is featured in one of the product photos - clever.

Last but not least:
A cozy lap afghan by PrimitiveJunkie on Etsy. This color palette is so soothing it makes me want to curl up and drink tea under it, which I'm pretty sure is the main goal in the life of a lap blanket. I love the look of crochet because my grandmother used to crochet things for me all the time. PrimitiveJunkie also features jewelry, hand stitched pillows and an assortment of other fun goodies.

That's all, kidlets! I think that my blog posts may be fewer in the next few weeks while I get my behind in gear and order an Express card so I can get reliable Internet wherever I am. Until that happens or the mystery of the nonresolving Google is solved, chances are good that I'll be updating twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'll still do the Thursday Temptations because I love it so.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Here's my entry for this week's Thursday Sweet Treat:

I'm very pleased with it. I made the cord with the kumihimo technique I wrote about yesterday and I love the results. I think this will be one of my new favorites!

Also today, I'd like to take a minute to solicit submissions for tomorrow's Thursday Temptations.

Here are a few guidelines:
-Send a link to specific item(s) you would like considered to wanderlustbling@gmail.com
-Items can be on any handmade venue. If you are on ArtFire, I will give preference to Verified members.
-I'm looking for items listed for at least $50.
-I will notify you when/if your items will be featured. Following my blog, tweeting, blogging and/or Facebooking about your presence here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday Techniques

This past week I heard of the Japanese art of Kumihimo. I no longer remember where I heard of it, but when I Googled it, I found a website called Primitive Originals that sells every type of tool for this craft that you might need, including the portable Kumi Loom (tm) which is much preferable for me to the large wooden marudai would be.

While it's a beautiful piece of equipment, it would take up way to much room in my tiny abode. Besides, I've been looking for something that is relaxing and portable, like knitting and this fits the bill. The learning curve was a lot less steep than that of knitting (at least for me) and the end result is something I can use in my jewelry making. Plus it allows me to indulge my nearly unhealthy addiction to embroidery floss.

This is the Kumi Loom kit I bought. It really does have everything you need to get started and the book is well written and very helpful. I didn't read it all the way through, but every time I needed guidance the info I needed was easy to find.

Here's the first piece I made with my Kumi Loom and the practice yarn that comes with the kit. Not something I'd use for a jewelry project, obviously, but it's definitely a fun, easy technique with plenty of room for variations and creativity. I've already incorporated the technique into my jewelry, making a necklace cord for this week's Thursday Sweet Treat piece. I'm very happy with the results, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I've done with my new toy.

If you're interested in trying Kumihimo, I highly recommend the Kumi Loom and the starter kit available at Primitive Originals. As you can see from the photo of the loom, the quick start instructions are printed right on the back of the loom. That was all I read before starting my yarn practice piece and it came out wonderfully. The foam loom is sturdy and holds the fibers firmly but gently. I have not used any other type of portable Kumihimo device, but the plastic ones I've seen online don't seem as comfortable to use. The bobbins that come with the kit (or are sold separately) are ingenious as well. Two simple pieces of plastic hold the fiber to keep it from tangling and only require a little extra tension to release more length as you work. And they make a lovely windchime-y sound as the bump against each other while you work. I think I'm going to become some sort of Kumihimo addict!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Hello all!

On Saturday we ran our last race in Redding, the NorCal 10 and 3 mile. K ran the 10, I ran the 3. I had been sick for a week, so I wasn't expecting much for myself, but I did well. Well enough to get 2nd place for my age division - if I was a guy, which they thought I was . After straightening that out, I still wound up with a medal, albeit for fourth. I did manage to sprint ahead of someone at the finish line, which is always fun. Not that my sprint affected my age group ranking, since the girl I got ahead of was 16 and I'm, well, not.

Cute, huh?

We moved from Redding, CA to Eugene, OR on Sunday and I'm a little peeved that the weather decided to welcome us with snow. Uck. It didn't help that the weather in Redding was gorgeous when we left! But such is the life of a nomad. Sun is in the forecast for the end of the week, so I shouldn't complain. Eugene looks nice and we're looking forward to pub trivia tonight, a diversion we missed while in Redding. Not that we're particularly good at it, but we like to try!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Time to Wander

Well, we've thoroughly enjoyed our time in Redding, CA, but it's time to wander once again. This weekend we're heading to Eugene, OR. This will be the first time in many months that we've changed states. It seems like we've been in CA forever! We're looking forward to a change in scenery, since we tend to get a little antsy after a few months in one place. We've definitely been noticing that the past week or so.

So thanks to Redding and all Reddingites for the great time - see you on our next trip through! Eugene - here we come! Fellow RVers, now you know where to find us!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thursday Temptations

Welcome to Thursday Temptations! It's the day when we take a look at some of the splurge-worthy handmade items available from various venues. Today we have one item from Etsy and two from ArtFire. Let's get started.

From Holmes Wilson Tables we have the fantastic Pliny End Table. I love the impressions of the leaves on this piece and the way it seems to glow. This, and many other pieces in their shop, makes me wish I had room in my RV for real furniture. Next up is this gorgeous necklace from Shiny Adornments on ArtFire. The Shara Necklace would be a lovely and unique bridal piece. The cluster is just stunning and you can see a single pearl is attached to the clasp. I love that kind of detail. Last but not least, The Jewelry Shop at ArtFire has this stunning Reconstructed Vintage Garnet And Glass Necklace. This necklace is so regal and it hangs so uniquely. It has a Crown Jewel feel to it that would make anyone feel like royalty.

Thanks for looking! I hope you've enjoyed this week's Thursday Temptations!

If you would like to be considered, please read the following:
-Send a link to specific item(s) you would like considered to wanderlustbling@gmail.com
-Items can be on any handmade venue. If you are on ArtFire, I will give preference to Verified members.
-I have no hard and fast guidelines, but in general, I'm looking for items listed for at least $50.
-I will notify you when/if your items will be featured. Following my blog, tweeting, blogging and/or Facebooking about your presence here would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great day!

I'm back!

Ugh, what a long beginning of the week. My husband and I went to Trinidad, CA for my birthday over the weekend. We stayed at a lovely house we found on Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), a site I highly recommend checking out if you're not already familiar with it. The house was set in the Redwoods and came complete with a hot tub - sweet! K made me the best Red Velvet Cake ever from a recipe he found on a high school friend's blog, Smitten Kitchen. Yum! It was fun watching him bake while I sat on the couch drinking wine and watching What Not to Wear. Yes, this is what I did on my birthday and I loved it!

The next day, we went for a hike at Patrick's Point State Park. It was a great, easy hike and we got to see a lot of fun ocean views. We spent a lot of time on Agate Beach, enjoying the surf and searching for sea stones. There are a lot of agates on the beach (duh!) but I'm not sure if I got any or not. I should get better at identifying stones, since I plan on getting a Dremel and making jewelry out of fun stones I find!

We drove home through the rain on Sunday and by Sunday night I knew I was sick. Glorious. The hot tub I had spent so much time in had done me wrong and I had to get myself some Cipro on Monday. I'm still not quite right, since UTIs throw me for a loop for some reason, but at least now I'm functional. Yesterday I was just a whiny lump and Monday I slept a lot.

On to the future!
Tomorrow is Temptation Thursday - be sure to swing by and see the fun, handmade splurge items from great artists. I think you'll find some drool-worthy goodies! Check out last Thursday's post for last week's featured pieces.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Business cards and ads and sales, oh my!

So last night (or rather early this morning) while I was waiting for UTI meds to kick in so I could sleep, I redesigned my Project Wonderful ads and my business cards. I've learned so much in the past few months that my old ones seemed horrid looking. So I took a simple photo and added simple black text. Here are the results of my PW ad reformat:
And the previous ad:
I think the new one is cleaner and crisper, important because the size is so small. We'll see how it does click-wise, but I much prefer it on a purely aesthetic basis. It also shows a whole piece of jewelry as opposed to a bead strand, which I think is more indicative of my shop.

I also have a new design for my business cards and I'm getting rid of my old ones by slapping coupon codes on the back and sending them to the lovely DirtyAss Soaps (love the name!) so she can put them in goodie bags at the Indie Garage Sale next month. That will drain me down to less than 20 cards left, which should really get my butt in gear to get the new ones printed!


I had a wonderful weekend away with my husband... now I'm sick! Yuck. But at least I had a great time before. I'll write more when I don't feel dreadful.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday!

It's my birthday today! My 31st, in fact. Not that I feel 31. I feel better than I did when I was 20. Of course, when I was 20 I smoked 2 packs a day of Marlboro 100s rather than eating and regulated my sleep and wake cycle with a combination of caffeine and cold medicine. Now I run almost daily, strength train, am a Certified Personal Trainer and eat ridiculously well 80% of the time. Go figure. But 31 I am and as a present to myself I bought CoverGirl lip stain. Oh, so pretty. I hate the way lipstick feels so I rarely wear it, but this literally stains your lips like berries do. The only weird thing is that because it looks so natural, it looks like I have naturally fuchsia lips. I love it anyway.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Temptation Thursday

I'm starting a new feature here called Temptation Thursday. I will be showcasing some special "splurge" items from artists on Etsy, ArtFire and any other handmade venues. If you want to be included in a later edition, please email me at wanderlustbling(at)gmail.com! Now, let's get started!

From Etincelle Design:

This necklace is lovely! It looks substantial and so special. I love the different textures. This necklace can be found here.

Looking around her shop I was intrigued by all her jewelry - definitely some covet worthy pieces here!

Next up: Marina's Knittery

This can be worn so many ways. And I love the pop of color it would bring to a somber jacket. This cowl can be found here.Marina has tons of other fun items in her shop, and her models look so happy and cozy!

Thanks for looking! I know we're in the middle of that big R word, but I've always enjoyed splurges rather than letting my money slowly dribble away. Hope this gave you some ideas! Come back again next week to see more temptations.

Have a great day!