Etsy Project Embrace IMAGINE treasury challenge

I am grateful to be part of Etsy Project Embrace. I was shocked and excited to have recently won the EPE treasury challenge. I mean, I am a total noob (as my teenager would say) ha ha! No, but seriously, I am a big time newbie with this team! But having been voted as the winner has given me an even greater glimpse of how amazing this team is. I have organized a treasury challenge on a small scale for my local team, so I know that organizing a treasury challenge with the amount of entries EPE receives is a pretty big project. But EPE is a true team! Everyone volunteers to help out to make things happen. It is pretty awesome! I like to see people working together for a common goal. The EPE goal is to increase awareness and support for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Through our treasuries, blog posts, Etsy shops, social media postings, etc our team gains exposure so we can further spread this message. It is great to see people work together and so many Etsy shop owners donating to American Cancer Society and other cancer awareness and support related organizations.

I have been appointed one of three judges for the current treasury challenge round, along with the other winners of the JOY treasury challenge. For this round, I selected the theme Imagine. I have been looking through all the Imagine treasuries and am awed by the wonderful eye some of our team members have, however most of them ARE artists. And very talented ones at that. So why should I be surprised? Maybe, more like, overwhelmed with thinking I have to pick three favorites and an alternate (sigh). That is going to be tough.

These next two treasuries feature items created by Tricky Fox Designs. I am very honored to be part of such wonderful collections. Thank you, Suz, of simplysuzula, for including my shell and stone bracelet.


And thank you, Mollie, of RoughMagicCreations, for including one of my dichroic fused glass pendants in her gorgeous collection. Can you find IMAGINE in this trej?


Weekend Blog Hop

Graphic Design by Tara is hosting a Weekend Blog Hop. Anyone can join in on the blog hopping! Click on the graphic to visit her blog and join in on the fun! And while you are here, let me know you stopped by so I can visit you back! Have an amazing weekend everyone!


No alarms and no surprises ...

I feel a bit more like a hipster putting my baby to bed the past two days. I have been looking for a nightly lullaby collection for a long time. I wanted something I would remember as the CD I listened to as I rocked Eldon to bed every night. And also something we could appreciate musically. Well, thus far we have seen songs by Jewel and Johnson & Johnson and Disney. I loved the Disney collection of lullabies when my teenager was tiny, but now when I hear it, it sounds so 90s. I never thought in the 90s there would be a sound that sounds 90s, but there is. Jewel is just too dumb and passé and everything else a bit too mainstream, which is not something we Naylor's are known for. What I ended up getting is "Rockabye Baby - Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead CD." 
So, we are listening to "serene interpretations" of No Surprises, Karma Police, and Paranoid Android without vocals. Gotta love that! And these Rockabye Baby people have also put out lullaby versions of Bjork, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Journey, Guns and Roses, U2, Queen, Pink Floyd, No Doubt, Metallica, Tool, NIN, The Pixies, Elvis, Black Sabbath ... and the list goes on and on and on! I think I just might get the Journey album for when my dad babysits! And nevermind that there is Hushabye Baby with songs by Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Let's keep that under our hats. I must not let my peddle steel playing in a country band husband know about that. :o) 


Treasury Love

I was featured in an amazing treasury tonight by fellow Etsy Project Embrace member, AudreyGardenLady, on Etsy.
The collection is very beautiful! Thank you, Audrey, for featuring my pendant in this very meaningful treasury. Audrey's store on Etsy has beautiful jewelry and bath items! I think this bracelet is especially pretty!

Bikini Body

Some people may know that after having my second child, I am on a mission to have a bikini body! I am not sure at what weight I will be at that point or how much working out it will take. I will have to keep trying on that suit until I feel good in it. So at this point, all I know I want to reach my goal weight by Christmas! The total is a 40 pound weight loss. Occasionally, I am going post here about my progress.

I often question what got me to where I am at with my weight. I do know that prior to the birth of baby Eldon in January, I had two consecutive unsuccessful pregnancies. I think after not having a baby for 15 years, my body didn't know how to be pregnant, but it learned! :o) After three pregnancies in 2 years, I was up to 167 pounds. In addition to that, I had quit smoking several years ago, and it didn't help that I had a job sitting in a cube for 8 hours a day pretty much chained to my desk. All the weight that accumulated was not flattering on my 5'3" frame. Eight weeks ago I told my husband I was fed up with being Mrs. Stay-Puft and WE had to do something (he gained weight with me during my pregnancies and was just over 200 pounds at 5'9"). I am still nursing my baby son and needed to find a way to lose weight without compromising my milk supply. After a lot of research I found that Weight Watchers has a plan that accounts for lactation. I told my husband about it and explained how the program worked. We liked that it was based on portion control and that we didn't have to buy food from them, but we would buy whatever kind of foods we wanted in our regular grocery store. Then we made the biggest first step for us ... We had to swallow our pride and decide that we were not too cool to attend meetings. At 40 pounds overweight and feeling like a giant blob, I decided I was not too cool for anything.

The meetings keep you accountable and that really does work for us. Plus we get little ribbons and stickers when we reach goals. At last weigh in, I had lost 17 pounds and my husband is down a little over 20. We had lost 10% of our body weight and were rewarded little brass keychains. This is only after 2 months! And I have 4 months to go. We are very happy with the program thus far. It is a lifestyle change that we can easily live with. I still eat ice cream every night or have popcorn with M&Ms mixed in while watching a movie.

At first, it was hard. I won't make you think it was completely easy. I think the first two weeks I thought I was starving and trying to figure out what we could eat in a day was a challenge. I was told it got easier and it most certainly did. Now I feel like I have to eat all day just so I don't lose weight too fast and stop making milk. We also know what we can eat each meal to stay within our daily POINTS. Menu planning has become easy and we know what we can have when we go out to eat. Our teenager even eats whatever we eat, but in larger portions because he is growing and working out a lot. He doesn't complain, at all, and likes that we eat at home a lot more.

Keep in mind that I get more calories than most women as long as I am nursing ... which only helps me stay on track with my other goal of nursing for a full 12 months. As baby Eldon is getting more and more wiggly while nursing and teeth are coming in, I need all the motivation I can get for sticking that out. Nursing is not completely convenient or always enjoyable.

17 pounds lost and I don't miss them. I have to agree that "No food tastes as good as being thin feels." 


Custom items

A friend of mine asked me to create a charm for her based on her daughters school colors and mascot. It had to have a lion and be maroon and gold. I found a cute little lion and centered it on the maroon paper. Then I used a star punch to make some gold stars and glued them on. Next came the all important glitter and swavroski bling to add a bejeweled touch.
She also asked me to make her a butterfly charm on red. I have two in my shop currently, on turquoise and purple, but red is her favorite color. The butterfly looks really nice on the red.

In addition to making more charms, I made my first necklace with letter stamped tags. It is for my God-daughter who had he sweet 16 this past week. I still haven't got to see her to give it to her, but I think she will love it. The stamping was actually easier than I thought. I still didn't get it perfect, but I expected more of a disaster and frustration. Not so, whatsoever. I am quite happy with the results.

It is a busy birthday week!!! I also made three charms for parties for today. We had a birthday lunch for my friend, Jill, and it was also her mom, Janet's, birthday. I made them both charms using print-outs of photographs that Jill took. She is a very talented photographer! It is also Rachel's birthday today and I made her a charm with her boyfriend, Shea's, photograph in it. I am excited to see what she thinks of it. In addition to the birthday charms, I made a dichroic fused glass pendant and a HOPE cancer awareness charm that I am putting in my shop tonight. 10% of the proceeds for all the items in Tricky Fox shop are donated to American Cancer Society.


Hooray! I am a finalist!!!

I am so excited ... Excited like a little girl or something! Haha! I am a finalist in Etsy Project Embrace's Treasury Challenge! It is exciting because I have seen all the submissions and there were so many ... and so many gorgeous ones! Click here to vote for your favorite! (Voting is over. P.S. - I won!!! Thank you if you voted for me!)

And also ... my custom soldered photo frame was featured in another curator's trej! Yay! This Keat's inspired treasury is super sweet!


Beautiful Purple and Yellows

Our newest EVA member, MudHandChan, included my butterfly pendant in her treasury for our EVA treasury challenge. It is gorgeous! Thank you, Channin, for including my item. If you want to enter the challenge, follow the link. It ends Sunday!

Channin, is a ceramic artists and makes some VERY cool platters, vases and whatnot ... but I am really stoked on these plates.

More Treasury Love. :o)

Shannon of inthewineroom on etsy included my custom photo pendant in her treasury today! Now Patrick (Tricky) and Eldon Fox are famous on etsy. It made my day to see my kids and pendant in her gorgeous treasury with the beautiful Keat's quote title.

Shannon is the creator of various things. Her shop has felt items, jewelry, and cards. I especially love this Alice note card set. Thank you Shannon for including me! :o)


Treasury Love

Etsy seller dbabcock is the curator this treasury and included my butterfly shadowbox pendant. Yay! Thanks for the trej love. I am thrilled! You really should visit Deb's shop, Blue Sky Pottery. It is full of wonderful ceramic items. I am quite fond of this swan teapot.

EVA is awesome!

I created a collage in Picasa for our East Valley Artisans Meetup page. I think it turned out pretty nice. We have some great artists and crafters in our little group. By next Wednesday we should have a few more. I am going to start blogging all about them here on my personal blog. Until I cover them all, I will feature one per week, and then start again. I am really looking forward to our Meetup meeting next week. It is always so exciting to see who is going to show up. I imagine scenarios in my head that never actually take place (uh, no, I don't claim to be psychic). Then when the real event happens I can never bring back the mental images as they were before I knew what was going to take place. Strange how that works. Well, I better go to sleep. My sleep window is closing in on both sides. I have a musician husband that gets home at 2am, a baby who wakes up between 4 and 5am and goes back to sleep until 9am after he eats, but a teenager who needs to leave for school by 7am. My husband and I are going to be walking around like zombies pretty shortly. Actually, he might be already. A local photographer, Bill Goodman, snapped a shot of him recently. So, you tell me ... is he feeling the music or sleeping???



I am seriously O.C. and A.D.D today. My brain feels like it is constantly firing in various directions. Same themes over and over, but different ideas. First off, I am trying to figure out how to grow our arts group with a bunch of interested, active, fun, creative people. I started a Meetup and our next meeting will be an open house for new applicants. Hopefully we will get some new artsy people with common interests.

The other obsessive thought is marketing my jewelry or etsy shop or whatever. I am getting a lot more views in my etsy shop. I had all 4 of my sales in one week and then it stopped. Dumb!

I think I am going to feed the baby and then go to the gym. That usually clears my head. I have lost 13.5 lbs in 5 weeks. We go to Weight Watchers tonight and weigh in. We will see how I did this week. I am a total advocate for Weight Watchers since starting. It is easy. I have not had to sacrifice beer, ice cream, tacos or hamburgers. We can still eat Chili's and Taco Bell. You just cook different and stay aware of what menu items to eat at restaurants. My eyes have been opened to the amount of fat in restaurant food. The first couple weeks are stressful with menu planning and figuring out the points, but by week three you get it down and can count your points in your head. Now I have been to the gym a couple times and am about to go again. I am loving running on the treadmill. At some point my schedule will allow for me to get to a yoga or spinning, maybe Zumba class. Just haven't got there yet. The past few weeks have been crazy. I feel like there are a lot of interruptions with vacation, birthdays and now picking my son up from camp this weekend. None of it is bad interruptions, just off the usual schedule which throws me for a loop.


This is Your Life

I have been weeding through old photos of my family. It is like my own personal episode of "This Is Your Life." Some of it was disturbing. There are tons of pictures from when my parents pastored a church. I was in middle school and realized by looking at the photos that the experience was traumatizing. There were people in and out of our house all hours of the day and night. They were tortured souls with horrible sob stories of their checkered pasts and they dragged my parents into all of their drama. They would call or come by with terrorized looks on their faces and cry and pray and speak in "tongues." I was a quite child, as I am a quiet adult. I like peace and order and keeping on the down-low, thank you. I loathe noise, static, chaos and drama. I seriously feel emotionally disturbed from that whole church days experience. Yuck!

On a brighter note, I found many seriously cute photos of me and my big brother. I loved the 70s. What a great time to live. Green shag carpet, wicker furniture, turtle necks and bell bottoms. I really wish I were born in the mid-sixties so I have more clear memories from the 70s. I was born in '73. My first real awareness was in '76, about the time this photo was taken. I have true memories from when I was three years old and we lived in this apartment. However, I do not remember this moment.

Now, this is the strangest photo ever. I do not know what Kelly and I were up to. That was my grandpa's poodle. I was obviously wearing grandma's rubber kitchen gloves and Kell has some one lensed pair of sunglasses on. No telling, but it was a great photo-op for whoever took the picture.
And I am not posting the photo of my brother, mom, dad and I at the park when I was three because my mother would seriously hate me. She was wearing aviator sunglasses and had an afro. It is a sight to see. Maybe one day, when I can easily outrun her walker, I will share it. Until then I will keep it safe so she doesn't come to my house and destroy it once she knows it still exists. :o)


Paper and Pots

So recently my local arts group, EVA, had a tutorial on ATCs. ATCs are artist trading cards for anyone who may not know. I have made two sets so far and really like the look of them. I enjoy making them, as well. We did a Rockabilly theme last month. I am not all that into Rockabilly so I did a Sailor Jerry tattoo series. We also did butterflies in June. I would like to keep working on these and maybe exchange with people in other countries. Not sure how to go about doing that, but eventually I will search the web and see if I can find international exchanges.

My husband and I got a potter's wheel while we were in Nebraska. I have always had my jewelry and he has music, so now we have found a common hobby. He took classes in college and I have always liked the idea of throwing pots. I had a toy potter's wheel when I was in third grade. You could make real pots out of clay, but it was definitely a kiddie version. I was telling my husband about it and then found a photo of me with the wheel last night. Too funny!

Posted by Picasa