Earlier this year I discovered that my favorite kind of jewelry to make is these little gemstone stud earrings.  Whether they're my favorite because of the tiny size, the one-of-a-kind nature, the fact that they give me an excuse to do more stone shopping, or something else I've yet to discover, I really do enjoy the process and the finished product of these more than other pieces.

My favorite will always be the herkimer diamond studs, but after adding pink tourmaline, apatite, and garnet to the earring family, there's definitely some competition.  I have a couple pairs currently available for sale, and if I can ever get caught up on screen printing and packaging orders, I might finally get the rest of these added to my shop!

What have you been working on lately?  Have you been busy getting ready for Christmas or Hanukkah?

Shirts and Models

I've got new pictures, WITH PEOPLE, so I kind of feel official now.  But guys, do you know how difficult it is to get people to 1. agree to model your products, and 2. actually do it?  You would think I'd asked for help manually emptying my septic tank or something. Unfortunately I had to step in after two would-be models cancelled, but I thank my lucky stars Chatham, Ryan, and Calvin came through and modeled these tanks like champs as I needed new pictures ASAP since this Bonjour Y'all merch is going live on a super large e-commerce site very soon!

The next time I need models, I'm going straight to these guys.  And, in between working on quarterly taxes and packaging orders, I've been working on some new shirt designs since I know who is willing to model for me!  And lastly, I got a new (to me) 50mm lens the week before last, so I kind of like having an excuse to take lots of new pictures.

*Until the shirts are up on that site (I feel like I don't want to say the name, jinx myself, and have it not work out, then I look like a dummy because I went on the internet and said it was going to happen), you can find them in my shop.


As you may have guessed from seeing corn in the background of my pictures, I live on a farm.  I was feeling kind of frustrated and a little overwhelmed the other day, and being that fresh air does the soul good, I figured I'd take a little walk around my yard and up my road to help clear my head.  I felt so much better when I got back in.

1.  I picked myself a few flowers and weeds to put in a tiny antique vase on my kitchen counter.
2.  My farty, annoying, and always loving dog, Kona.
3.  Chris' grandma let me take her picture.  "Good," she said, when I told her I wouldn't get her face. / One of the many butterflies enjoying nectar on my butterfly bush.
4.  Flojo can't come out on walks, so she watches patiently at the window (and this always makes me kind of sad since we do everything else together).
5.  Where the kind of gravel road turns to complete gravel road.
6.  More of my weed bouquet.
7.  Another butterfly, and Kona's favorite position on the front porch.

When you're feeling overwhelmed or bummed out, what helps you clear your head?

My Simple Boot Strap DIY

Because I'm not courageous enough to have an asymmetrical haircut, get a sleeve of tattoos, or have unusual piercings, I have to get a little punk rock in in more subtle ways.  I figured studded boot straps were a good accessory to add just a teeny bit of rock & roll to my outfit.

These were so simple to make, and luckily I had all the supplies already.  I was originally going to stud the entire way around, but once I got three in, I kind of liked that look.  Who knows, I may end up adding more later.

Here's what I used to make them:
- black leather (or vinyl as a budget option, and JoAnn has some pretty believable faux leather)
- silver and gold tone double cap rivets/studs, size small (I got mine from Michael's)
- a leather punch (also from Michael's)
- a rivet setter & anvil (but you could just use a hammer and a hard surface)
- large brass rings

Here's how I made them:
- I measured how long I needed each section of leather to be, and added some length so it could be doubled under the the studded/riveted area
- Cut my leather strips with an exacto knife.
- Folded the leather around the brass ring.
- Punched my holes in the leather where I want the studs to go.  It's probably best to measure, but I just tend to eyeball everything.
- Hammered in my rivets/studs.
- Moved onto the next side and repeated all the steps to get the leather around the second ring.
- Did the same thing all over again for the second strap!

It's super simple, and these slide off, that way I can wear them on other boots!

What I've Been Working On

This summer has kept me much busier than usual as far as orders go, and I love it!  In between making hoops I never thought would be so popular, and screen printing my favorite tank by the box full, I've had a few breaks here and there to work on some new items...

Find the items here (from the top):  Triangle Studs, Saint Rings, Set of 3 Stacking Rings, Bonjour Y'all Tank, Circular Open Hoops, Etched Cuff Bracelet, Gemstone Stud Earrings

I have so many ideas for new screen designs for totes and tops, and I want to make new gemstone stud earrings, as well as photograph the gemstone stacking rings I've made, but unless days become 30 hours instead of 24, it may be a while yet...

Do you have any projects going on at the moment?

Party Pants

How was your weekend?  Mine was nice; it included steaks on the grill, cheesecake with cherries on top, a pizza slice the size of my head, and CHRIS' BIRTHDAY!

1.  Party pants needed a party hat to match his party banner (#3).  He did not like wearing it.
2.  My status over the weekend went from "Not A Griller" to "You Bet Your Ass I'm A Griller."  I told Chris I was making hamburgers on the grill for his birthday to trick him like any good wife would.  Not surprisingly, he preferred the T-bone.
3.  The party hat banner I made for Chris' birthday last year (and will display every year).
4.  The end of another weekend, and the thoughts of aaalllll the screen printing I have to work on tomorrow morning...

A New Favorite

I love gold, and I love Flojo, so naturally I have a new favorite accessory.  ONecklace was kind enough to let me choose a piece of jewelry to review for you guys, and I wasn't disappointed.  At all.

A name necklace has been on my wishlist since watching Carrie on Sex And The City and realizing that name jewelry really IS awesome, and it should not have been left in the 70's with all the Janets, Debbies, and Beckies!  (Carrie also made me crazy about the silver, rhinestone embellished, peep toe Manolo Blahnik heels [of course I have the knock-offs], dressy shoes with casual outfits, wavy fluffy hair, and the list goes on).

As for my opinion of the necklace, it can be summed up in one word - FAVORITE.  But for the sake of explanation, I'll elaborate.  I got the Carrie style name necklace (because, duh) which comes in silver or gold-plated, and delivered in a pretty little box.  You have some freedom aside from the name in that you also get to specify your chain style and length.  I went with the box chain at 16", that way it is high enough to be worn with non V or plunging necks without getting underneath, thus being lost.  It's also a good, simple length in case I want to layer it with a longer, larger necklace.  The turnaround and delivery times were quicker than I expected for a custom piece of jewelry, and lastly, get 10% off your order when you use the code GIFT.

If necklaces aren't your thing, ONecklace also has customizable rings, bracelets, and earrings.  I'll be sure to not-so-subtly drop the hint to my husband that I kind of really want a ring soon...

Also, I hope you'll let me slide on the no lip balm issue, and the fact that my hair looks like a wig!

My Maximum Destruction DIY

After seeing the billionth hanging plant holder on an interior design blog, I decided to take a little break from work yesterday to finally make myself one (because it's only been on my 'When I Get Time' to-do list for ages).  And because I had a freshly charged battery, I figured I'd take pictures and share.  You've probably seen one of the dozens of hanging holder DIYs on Pinterest, so obviously this idea isn't new!

1. Decide what you want to put in your hanger, and how big it will be.  It doesn't have to be a plant; it could be a dish to collect keys, mail, soaps in your bathroom, etc.  Then get your supplies together!  You will need: some type of strong string (I used leather because I had a lot on hand), some type of ring (I had this old brass circle brooch, and I cut off the pin back and filed it smooth), scissors, and you can use any decorative beads or tubes if you choose (I was going to then decided to keep it simple).  *If you decide to add beads or tubes, you will need to add those before you add your knots!

2. Cut eight lengths of string, or leather, or whatever you're using.  The length you cut depends on how long you want your hanger to be.  I cut mine about 5 feet long, and my hanger is about 2 feet long when finished.

3. Get all four pieces of your string together, and pull it through your ring so that your ring is in the middle of your strings.  You should now have eight ends hanging below your ring.  Tie a basic knot in your strings below your ring.

4. Decide how far down you want your knots to start, then start knotting!  Just make a simple knot with two of your strings, move on to two more, and continue until you have four knots.

5. Move down and continue knotting your strings.  This time, use one string from a previous knot, and one from another knot. You don't want to tie a knot with same two strings from the knot above.

6. Finish the bottom off by tying a simple knot.  Make sure it's nice and tight so it won't come loose from the weight of your planter!

7. Hang that b*tch up!  I found this hook somewhere among some other things, and I have no idea why I had it, but I set it aside thinking maybe I could use it one day.  And now I have.  Also, it's going to be a little more difficult to get your plant situated in the hanger if you have long vines hanging down.  This part was a little tricky since I was aiming for minimum plant mutilation.

That was the finished project until I had to pull a Danielle, and try to readjust the knot at the bottom without taking the planter out first.  I paid less than a dollar for this vintage planter, so it's not like I'm out a light bill or anything, but I really loved it, so I was pretty pissed with myself.  From DIY success to maximum destruction in no time.

What started out as a free DIY since I had all the supplies at home has turned into one that will cost me a few bucks as I now have to buy another planter (I went through a purge last year and got rid of all my indoor planters thinking I'd never use them again).  Oh well, we live and learn (or in my case, we live and break things and don't learn how not to break, but instead learn that breaking sucks).

So there you have it - you can ruin your DIY just as fast as you can create it.  I really should've seen it coming though, considering I'm kind of known in my house for being the one to accidentally break lots of perfectly good stuff.

I want to be a professional Rosarian.

I love roses.  Like, more than Coca-Cola, more than Parks & Rec, more than getting film developed and not having to forego meals for a week because it was so expensive - I LOVE ROSES.

Chris and I often go to the Old City Cemetery - a historic cemetery in Lynchburg, VA full of beautiful century-or-more-old headstones, antique roses to make you swoon, and birds upon birds upon birds for the avian enthusiast in both of us - to take a peaceful walk and just relax.  In all the years I've been going, I've about died of jealousy over their collection of (quite old) antique roses, but I never knew until last Sunday that they actually sell rooted cuttings of their roses!  I, my friends, am the proud new mother of a Mademoiselle Franziska Kr├╝ger - my first antique rose.

Yesterday I just sat on my porch staring at her and gently stroking her leaves.  I'm telling you, I'm nuts about roses.  And I want to be a professional Rosarian.  Now I'm wondering where I can take cuttings of roses here and there for rooting without getting run off...