Aaah the Palazzo…Pants Perfection

I seriously could live in palazzo pants. They are comfortable, stylish, comfortable, versatile, comfortable, flattering for all body types and did I mention that they’re comfortable? Also they come in amazing patterns that make you feel like you’re wearing a work of art. A super comfy work of art.

The best thing about palazzo pants is that there are so many ways to wear them from casual to dressy. Here are some of my favorite looks.

PicMonkey Collage

Teal and pink retro palazzo pants from Southern Stitch Gifts on Etsy         Teal sleeveless crop top from  Silver hammered hoop earrings from Metal Rocks on Etsy  Neptune bracelet from Free Spirit Handmade on Storenvy       Clarks Mimmey Anne thong sandals from Online Shoes

chevron palazzo pants collage

Black and white chevron palazzo pants from Kelly Brett Boutique      Cropped zip back tee from Express     White statement necklace from Hot Décor on Etsy         Floppy brim hat by JCPenney
Steve Madden platform wedge sandals

Palazzo pants 1
Palazzo pants from Zac & Rachel      White crop top by Wet Seal     Floppy sun hat at Sears     By Aqua Luna spike long necklace        Rainbow wide strap thong by Nordstrom

PicMonkey Collage


Peach palazzo pants from Sweet and Sassy Us        Peach Dragonfly Necklace by Free Spirit Handmade         Love Infinity Cross Bracelet by Ribbit Gifts      Chunky Heel Peep-toes from East Clothing

Mondays Don’t Have to Suck


“Every other day of the week is fine, yeah / But whenever Monday comes you can find me cryin’ all of the time,” sing The Mamas and the Papas. Poor Monday. Everyone seems to dread them; many profess to outright them. So many people are living for the weekend and Mondays mean the fun is over and it’s back to the grind.  But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you hate Mondays, here are some tips to help change that.

First of all, figure out why you hate Mondays if you really do. It’s almost a requirement in our society to hate Mondays, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Just because everyone else is miserable doesn’t mean you have to be too. Dare to be different. There are far worse things in life  than Mondays. Like stepping into water while wearing socks for instance. This happens to me frequently at my house and I hate it!


Preparing for Monday morning ahead of time can help ease the transition from weekend play mode into weekday work mode. Lay out your favorite outfit Sunday night so you don’t have to spend time in the morning making fashion decisions. Pick Monday to wear your favorite clothes because everyone feels better when they are looking their best. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast also. I don’t know about you but if I don’t get a full night’s sleep I’m as cranky as a 3 year-old who doesn’t want to leave Chuck E. Cheese.

Remember to have an attitude of gratitude. If you hate Mondays because it’s back to work or school, try to change your perspective by being grateful that you have a job. Lots of people would love to have a job to complain about. If it’s because you have to go back to school, be grateful for the education you’re getting and the positive impact that will have on your future.


Mondays can be a fresh start, and who doesn’t love those? Take a moment to decide what you want to accomplish for the week and focus on reaching these goals. Appreciate the opportunities a new week presents. Do you want to be more productive at work? Do you want to get along better with your co-workers? Decide how you want to spend your energy for the week, and then keep your focus on that.

Do something nice for someone. Doing nice things for other people is a great way to feel better, even on a Monday. And mean people suck, that’s why nobody likes them.


Just pretend you like Mondays until you really do. Happiness is a choice. That’s right, you can just choose to be happy. Many people don’t realize this, and that’s a shame because being miserable for no reason is a huge waste of time.

So are you one of those people who hate Mondays?


Art is something that I need in my life like oxygen, food and water. It soothes my soul, it stimulates my mind, it inspires me, it gives me hope when I need it.  Art allows us to look at the world through someone else’s eyes and the view is often quite different from there. That is why art expands the soul. Most of all art is meant to be shared so today I am going to share an artist whose paintings I could stare at for hours and continue to see new things in.

Sometimes an artist can bring attention to a period of history or a social issue that may be otherwise ignored or forgotten. Asad Faulwell’s latest series “Les Femmes D’Alger” spotlights the Algerian women who were involved in the War of Algerian Independence between 1954 and 1962. Many women served as nurses, cooks and fundraisers in the war to liberate Algeria from French occupation. But some served as combatants and spies quite effectively as they were able to get past checkpoints without suspicion.

Many of these women were instrumental in deadly attacks on the French and many of them were arrested, tortured and sentenced to death before the war ended and they were pardoned. After the war, these women returned to Algeria to fight for women’s rights in a new independent Algerian government that left them out.

Asad Faulwell’s own words about this series: “Many of my works reference Islamic, Jewish and Christian art as well as more contemporary methods of painting, digital media and collage. My works combines digitally manipulated photographs of historical figures cut out into geometric and organic patterns with carious elements of abstract painting. Some of the collage elements are flat others have dimensionality. Some of the paint is applied in layers of flat thin washes or opaque line work while other elements are applied with texture and dimensionality. Through my work I hope to re-examine history while also touching on the broader social, religious and politics issues related to these historical events that still effect our lives today.”



Les Femmes D Alger 1, 48×36 inches, 2012


Les Femmes D Alger #27, 40×30 inches


Les Femmes D’Alger #11, 84×60 inches, 2011


Les Femmes D Alger #39, 40×30 inches

Les femmes D'Alger #14, 48x36 inches, 2011

Les femmes D’Alger #14, 48×36 inches, 2011

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these paintings. I will be sharing other artists in the future. And I would love to know: What does art mean to you? Is it a part of your life that you notice or is it just kind of there?

How to be Happy in One Simple Step


People follow a lot of different paths in their pursuit of happiness. They buy things they don’t need, they eat and drink too much, they have sex, they work, work, work to have more money, they hang on to relationships, they push themselves at the gym to have the perfect body…and so on and so on. The more they have the more they want. And somehow it never seems to be enough. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it?

The truth is you don’t have to chase happiness. You can find it right now, wherever you are. And it’s easier than you think. Are you ready to hear the secret? Here it is: Be grateful. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. See, I told you it was easy.

What do all the things I listed above have in common? They all come from external sources. Which means they are not authentic or lasting. You eat a big meal and what happens? You get hungry again. You spend half the rent money on those fabulous shoes and what happens? People compliment your shoes and then forget all about them. You meanwhile now have to figure out how to get rent and keep those expensive shoes. If you chase happiness, you will never catch it. If you sit still, it will come to you.

Now don’t keep it a secret. Spread the word, flower children. Love and happiness both grow when you share them.

What can you find to be grateful for right this minute?


Flower crown tutorial

flower crown no leaves

So what’s more summery and fun than a flower crown? They’re perfect for summer festivals or weddings or just because. They’re also fun to make if you’re the crafty type. I read several flower crown tutorials and came up with my own technique, so I decided to write my own tutorial for you.
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You will need:
Flowers – you can buy cheap ones at the dollar store but I recommend buying higher end flowers as the ones at the dollar store are not the best quality
Boning – I bought the cloth covered kind at Hancock’s Fabrics for $3.49 a yard
Tacky Glue
Floral wire – I bought the covered kind at WalMart for $0.97 for 24 pieces
Ribbon – if you’re buying it by the yard you will need about a yard and a half
Hot glue gun
Wire cutters
Needle and thread
Step 1: Cut the boning to fit around your head and sew the ends of the boning together. This part doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be secure.007
Step 2: Pull the heads of the flowers off the stems and arrange them around the boning until you are satisfied with the look. This also lets you know just how many flowers you will need. For this one I didn’t include any of the leaves but you can if you want.
Step 2: Prepare the flowers. Most of the tutorials I read instructed to wrap the stem of the flower around the base or lay it alongside and secure it with wire. Maybe my hands just aren’t that coordinated but this just wasn’t working for me. So I came up with another way. First pull the head of the flower off the stem, then pull the really hard and inflexible wire out of the flexible plastic coating. It’s a little tricky but eventually it comes loose. Cut a small piece of this flexible plastic stem and tacky glue it into the center. Then cut it level.
Cut a piece of the floral wire about 3 to 4 inches long, dab some glue on one end and insert it into this stem. Repeat with remaining flowers.
Step 3: Hot glue one end of the ribbon to the boning. Glue it at an angle so you can wrap it around without overlapping too much. Not overlapping much saves a lot of ribbon. Wrap it around 2 or 3 times.
021022Attach flowers by wrapping the floral wire around the boning. Don’t be impatient like me and start before the glue is dry.
Wrap the ribbon around the wire and the boning 2 or 3 more times and attach another flower. Repeat this all the way around and then hot glue the end of the ribbon. And you’re done.
Now put it on your head and take some pictures!

Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge Week 7: One Color


So for this week of Heather Powers’ Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge the challenge was to  “make a piece of jewelry with just one color, varying to value (light & darkness), shape and texture for interest.” So I hauled out all my bead boxes and waited for inspiration to hit. And waited…and waited. Sometimes inspiration likes to take a nap…and then sneak up on me later. Later found me cruising the internet aimlessly and led me to some beautiful pictures of some barefoot sandals, which I have never made before. That picture up there – that’s the first pair I’ve ever made. The first of many I’d say because I so enjoyed making them!

I’ve literally had those beads in my boxes for years! Some of them came in the very first box of beads I ever bought way back about 7 years ago. I just never found the right thing to do with them until now. Unfortunately that’s all of those I have so this pair I’m keeping for myself, but I spent the rest of the weekend making others, which I will post later along with a tutorial on how to make them.



Sea Charms Bracelet/Anklet Tutorial

sea charms ankle bracelet

Living in Florida, I am inspired often by the scenery here, especially the beach. This bracelet/anklet incorporates the blues and greens of the ocean and also some of the interesting creatures contained within it. It’s one of my most favorite pieces and seemed like the perfect one to write (my first ever) tutorial on. It’s pretty easy to make, using just the most basic of jewelry-making techniques. Even if you’ve never made a piece of jewelry before you will be able to do this.

First things first, gather your supplies. I bought everything to make this bracelet/anklet at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Walmart. You will need:

sea charms 1

  • chain nose pliers for opening and closing jump rings
  • crimping pliers
  • wire cutters for cutting the stringing wire
  • beading wire – for this project make sure you get the 0.3 mm size otherwise both strands won’t fit through the wire guard
  • curved metal beads like these from Hobby Lobby
  • charms of your choice (I used these)
  • beads of your choice
  • 3 (6 mm) jump rings
  • 2 (4 mm) jump rings
  • 2 wire guardians
  • 2 crimp tubes
  • 2 crimp covers
  • a toggle clasp (or another style if you prefer)

Next cut 2 lengths of wire about 12″. Thread both pieces of wire through a crimp tube and then through one side of a wire guardian. Then thread through the other side of the wire guardian and back down through the crimp tube.

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Now it’s time to crimp the tube. This is an important step in most every piece of jewelry made with wire. You can find detailed instructions on the proper way to crimp here. Basically, you use the crimping pliers to flatten the tube in the notch closest to the handles and then turn it sideways and flatten it in the first notch of the pliers.

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You want to make sure the wires don’t cross each other inside the crimp tube. Next it’s time to add the crimp cover. This gives the piece a nice finished look by hiding the crimp tube. Simply place the crimped tube inside the cover and use the crimping pliers to close the crimp cover around it.

sea charms 7  sea charms 8

Now the fun part. String two beads (I used one blue and one green, but you use whatever color you want). sea charms 9

And add a charm. First, open a 6 mm jump ring. Always open a jump ring by pushing one end forward and the other in the opposite direction, either using 2 pairs of chain nose pliers or using one pair and the tip of your forefinger and your thumb. Never pull a jump ring open as it distorts the shape and weakens the metal.

Slip the charm on and squeeze the jump ring shut with the chain nose pliers.

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Then string it on after the two beads and add two more beads. I alternated the colors of the beads I used, but again do it however you want. If you want to use all the same color or more than 2 colors, go for it.

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Now if the wire extends past the beads you have strung to this point, take the wire cutters and snip a little off so they are hidden behind the last bead you strung. This way they won’t be in the way as you go to string the curved bead next.

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The curved bead I chose has two holes so string one piece of wire through each hole. You may need to use your chain nose pliers to guide the wire through the holes.

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Now just continue adding beads and charms like in the last step, then another curved bead and another set of beads and a charm, followed by the other crimp tube.

sea charms 17  sea charms 18

Thread the wires through the other wire guardian and back down through the crimp tube as before and pull it snug. It’s a little tricky to get it snug; I usually grip the wire guardian with my thumb and forefinger and use the chain nose pliers to pull the wires down. Just keep wiggling and working the wire down until it’s how you want it.

Then crimp the tube as before and add the crimp cover. You’re almost done!

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Trim the excess wire with your wire cutters and now it’s time to add the clasp. Using your chain nose pliers add a 4 mm jump ring and one side of the clasp. I like toggle clasps because I find them easiest to use, but you use whatever clasp you like best. Add one side of the clasp to one side of the bracelet and the other side of the clasp to the other side of the bracelet.

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And voila, you’re finished!   sea charms 23

I have made other versions of this bracelet/anklet with other charms and beads. One of my favorites was with some beads that reminded me of the sky and some birds in flight. You can use any theme you like. I would love to see your versions!

This is the first tutorial I have ever written and I hope it was helpful. Feel free to comment below with any questions or share any pictures of your creations using this tutorial.


Sometimes you need a do-over

So what I really wanted to post today was a tutorial on how to make this: sea charms ankle bracelet

but it turns out I didn’t have the right size wire to make another one, and since a trip to the store was not happening so that will have to wait.

So instead I kept myself busy by jumping into the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge being hosted by Heather Powers on her Humblebeads blog. This week’s challenge was to take apart an older design and redo it. So I went looking for some older pieces that I wasn’t quite satisfied with and found these: black agate necklace before green butterfly pendant necklace before pink flower blue beads before

The first and third ones I don’t think are too bad actually, but they’re just so-so to me. The second one with the really pretty butterfly pendant – well, I don’t know what I was thinking there really. I never even bothered to finish the clasp on it. What can I say – sometimes what’s in your head just doesn’t work out in real life.

I don’t know if it was being discouraged by being thwarted from my plans to write the tutorial on the bracelet or the slight migraine I was fighting but I was feeling really simple designs last night. So basically I just toned down these 3 pieces and now they look like this: black agate rnecklace redo green butterfly pendant necklace redo pink floer pendant blue beads redo

Nothing exciting really, but much more wearable I think. Head on over to Heather’s blog Humblebeads to see which one I posted for this week’s challenge.

Taking the leap

Not that starting a blog is as dangerous as skydiving, but I have put it off for so long because it is scary to me. But today I am taking the leap. I am brand new to blogging so I will be learning as I go. Which is how I learned to make jewelry. Actually I am still learning to make jewelry. I love to design one of a kind pieces and so far have worked with mostly beads, a little metalstamping and attempted making some polymer clay charms recently. That technique needs some work. But that’s a big part of the fun for me – learning new techniques. I also like to sew, mostly pillows and handbags, make wooden signs with my favorite quotes or song lyrics on them and when I have time (and materials) I enjoy candlemaking and soapmaking. This blog will be my way of documenting and sharing my creative endeavors and lessons learned along the way.