Saturday, July 17, 2010

Orcas Island Get-Away

Just after the July 4th weekend, my family and I took a little trip over to Orcas Island, which is part of the San Juan Islands that are just a few hours up the coast from where we live. It was so nice to get away for a few days to just relax and enjoy the beautiful weather! The girls went a little stir-crazy because there was no internet connection at the Mariner's Cottage where we stayed, but Kraig and I thought it was Heaven. ;-D The cottage was a wonderfully private oasis, overlooking the water and had a hot tub that we relaxed in every night. We enjoyed making s'mores over a fire, exploring the beaches, and even tried kayaking for the first time together. We also visited neighboring San Juan island and had fun shopping there, but definitely preferred the peaceful serenity and less "touristy" Orcas Island. If you're ever in the mood for a quiet retreat like this, I highly recommend this area!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Beachy Treasures

Just before we left for a fun 3-day vacation on Orcas Island this week, I received a package with the new July 2010 issue of Bead Trends magazine and my ocean-inspired bracelet that was featured in it. So that means I can stop keeping it a secret and finally share it with you now! *Ü* I love the ocean and always search for beach glass, shells, and other treasures whenever we get a chance to visit a beach. I decided to try my hand at creating my own faux beach glass and pebbles out of glass because I hate to drill through the real thing—plus I can't always find the right sized objects that will work well on jewelry. I also love old-fashioned glass fishing floats, but real ones would be just a little too big to string on a necklace—so I made some fun miniature "floats" (hollow focal beads) out of antique looking glass too. If you happen to get a copy of the latest Bead Trends issue, this is what you'll find on page 20:

I made the beach glass discs and pebbles randomly wonky on purpose, then etched them to a velvety finish—so they look just like the real thing. And I swirled on layers of green and lightly seeded aqua colors on the hollows to give them that "oceany" feeling. I really love how they turned out! So if you'd like to make something similar for yourself, I just listed this set of beads in my Etsy shop:

And after all our Orcas Island adventures (which I'll post about soon), I can't wait to create some more ocean theme beads! *Ü*

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Musical Fireworks

My mom just shared with me some You Tube videos of an amazingly talented 7-year-old girl named Rhema Marvanne, who I also learned just happens to be a cousin of mine. You gotta check out her videos, especially her rendition of "Amazing Grace" and this one of her singing "The Star Spangled Banner" and I bet you'll be as wowed as I was—it's perfect to get you in the mood for our upcoming July 4th celebrations!

My mom came from a huge family and every one of her 8 brothers and sisters are  extremely musically talented—ranging from classical concert pianists and a violinist, and almost all are wonderful singers too. I was blessed to have inherited some of those musical genes, but this little girls just blows me away and I think she has a wonderful future ahead of her! *Ü*
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