Monday, December 31, 2012

A Jewelry Journey....

As I bid farewell tonight to 2012, I'm looking forward to embracing 2013 with OPEN arms!!  Not that 2012 wasn't a great was...on many different levels, almost always involving family and friends.

My first trip to Winter CHA...

A few of the blog and Swap Queens treasures...

Not to mention, babies born...

Friends wed...

A flea market "first"....

3 Trunk Shows and a sister visit....

 Many of you know that my resolution this year was to really grow as a jewelry artist.  My first goal was to tackle the soldering iron which I had purchased in 2011, and was growing cobwebs ~ I mean to say, the seal on the box wasn't even broken!

While my original goal was pretty tame, my goals became loftier and I set the bar higher as I hungered and searched for more...etching metal, cold connections, flame soldering, incorporating elements, enameling...just to name a few

Online classes and retreats opened up in front of me...

And I took classes from the best...

My journey has been amazing this year.... 
a metamorphosis from sweet simple charms like this....

to vintage perfume bottles with soldered caps embellished with rhinestones, hand forged chain and closures....

and all the beauty in between!

I look forward to February when I will be learning, once again, from old friends and new friends.

My cue word for 2012 was "Shine," and I'm happy to say that was accomplished.  Thank you for your unsung loyalty to my blog musings, your love and support and encouragement ~ you make me want to be a finer artist.  

My cue word for 2013 is "Faith."  My faith is ever strong, but I also see faith in being there for others ~ serving my fellow man ~  faith to know what the Lord desires of me, and faith to follow His direction.

May 2013 bring the answer to your dreams!  
Happy New Year!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Have Struggled and Mourned....

I have struggled and mourned this past week following the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook.  I offer you this little prayer, with personal references, that is helping me find peace.

Our children are loaned to us.  Some return home as infants ~ our Amy Kara;  Some return home as little children ~ the 20 of Sandy Hook; Some return home as teenagers ~ John Thomas; Some return home as young parents ~ my dearest Carol Parry; Others live to bury their own parents, as we have done.
Oh Lord, place your Peace in the hearts of all, that no matter what their calling may be, they will accept Your Will, and with your Peace and Grace will find healing.
Let us follow Hannah's example in 1Samuel 1:24-28.

I will be taking a break this coming week to spend time with my loved ones.  

My dear friends and family, I wish you and yours the most blessed Christmas.
xoxo Karen

"Oh God, there is a joy that is granted to those who worship you for your own sake and for whom you yourself are joy.  This is the happy life, to rejoice over you and because of you."
-St. Augustine of Hippo

Monday, December 17, 2012

8 Days!

Yes, dear ones, just 8 more days ~ Are you ready? I'm not!!  
In fact, our tree isn't up yet....

But, I'm on it and hope to have all in order by tomorrow.  

The main reason for this is I've been blessed with wonderful friends who, although unable to attend the Holiday Trunk Show last Sunday, stopped by this week ~ 
Thank you so much Sandy, Sharon, Roxanne, Val, Pat, Kathy, Jenn, Selena, and Evangelina ~ I appreciate your love and support!  My last visitors came by Saturday morning....

Saturday had just begun for me...

Ron and I were soooo lucky to see our basketball Wildcats beat the #5 team in the nation, Florida, at McKale ~ PANDEMONIUM!!!
I'm tellin' ya, it was every bit as sweet as an ASU victory!

Oh, and lest I forget, our Football Cats beat Nevada 
in the New Mexico Bowl just hours before!

Our Saturday just kept getting sweeter as we joined Kiki, Schotzie, and their awesome friends for the girls' Christmas Party.

The refreshments were delectable...

It wouldn't be a Hess girls party without the  photo booth!

We had SO much fun visiting with this amazing group of young adults!

We topped off our weekend on Sunday by celebrating sweet hubs/pop's Birthday.

I assured Ron that "I will still need you, I will still feed you" now that you're 64!

Another milestone happens today as baby bro celebrates 6-0! Happiest of Birthdays, Erik!

As I leave you today to get our home ready for next week, 
and finish shopping, wrapping, baking, & planning ~


  • love the ones you're with
  • take care of one another
  • be safe 
  • may God bless you and yours


Monday, December 10, 2012

Ho Ho Ho! What A Jolly Good Show!

My final Trunk Show for 2012 was yesterday ~ in our home ~ amidst the season's decor ~ scrumptious food ~ fabulous weather ~ and priceless FAMILY & FRIENDS!

Yep, you've made it all possible my dear ones...

This show surpassed all expectations and all I can say is "Thank You,"  ~ for loving me, supporting me, believing in my art, and seeing me through to the next phase of this amazing journey.

For all who were not here, but were sending me "love and spirit," "Thank You"....

And my amazing family, who made EVERYTHING possible for me...How blessed am I!!

There are still custom orders to fill before Christmas, a tree to decorate, cookies to bake, gifts to buy, and a deep breath to take!  It will all happen because it's all good.

Have a lovely week, this second week of Advent.  Blessings to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Just Time To Catch My Breath...

Just time to catch my breath before finishing up that DAUNTING task of Holiday Decorating!!  Normally, I wouldn't be racing the clock, but my Holiday Trunk Show is this Sunday and a home has to be wearing it's Christmas best if it's welcoming company, right?

This is how it went down this year....
Saturday I spent the better part of the day switching out my everyday dishes for my Christmas dishes.

Stopped for a short visit with friend Shann, and then finished up.  Doesn't look like much, but remember....everyday dishes and glassware have to be wrapped and put away, since no elves showed up to help!

Sunday dawned and after a morning with the girls and hubs, I dug in and managed to get this much done....

Vintage Junk Drawer Advent Calendar

my favorite German carousel residing in the entry way

Nativity and Nutcrackers (the nutcrackers live there year-round)

the Belsnickels

the Santas
So, the dining room and most of the living room is finished.  Yay!
But tomorrow brings the angels in the breakfast room and the doo-dads in the kitchen.  Should be pretty easy.

You may have noticed the absence of a Christmas tree...that won't go up 'till after the Trunk Show, in the interest of foot traffic and "flow."

While I toiled away inside, Mr. Man was toiling outside and here's the pretty picture in waning daylight ~

and as the sun was setting ~

In between, dear old dad also finished up the outside decorating for Kiki and Shotzie (no pix, sorry!)

It's going to be a pretty busy week as I've got last minute things to do for the Trunk Show on Sunday.  I'll be sharing all of that with you next week!

Advent has begun... One of the loveliest things to mark the start of this glorious season is the lighting of the Advent wreath each week at Mass.  It was exciting to see the new wreath last night and watch as Fr. Paul blessed it and lit the first candle.

Blessings and love to you this week, and always.  May your holiday preparations be stress-free!