Friday, November 2, 2012

Wedding bouquet photo charms... not just for weddings.

    It's been many years since Dave and I got married...(in 1984!) and we have many fond memories of that day. I wish the same for all my lovely customers on their wedding day.

 Once in a while, someone sends me a picture of their charm, after they've added their photo. Why, just the other day, I recognized one  on Twitter, with a sweet comment! How awesome is that!? It makes me happy to know that I have helped to make your day more special.

It is so easy these days, to take ands share photos (or a links to them),
so if you have photos of something I've made for you,  I'd love to see and maybe share them here.
Here's some photos and comments from my customers.

My aunt recently gave me this beautiful Iittala glass vase.
It seemed fitting to add my parents' photo charm.

Maybe you'd like to see a couple of the charms I have in my home...
just to show, they're not just for weddings.

My Hungarian grandparents.
Our newlyweds... my son and his wife.

And here's  my Angel photo charms, for the Holidays:
Angel and pearl photo charm.

Angel and crystal frame charm.

I've added them to my shop.

Here's me, when my husband & I first met.

I often have lockets available too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kootenay photos

We're having an amazing Indian summer here in the Kootenays.
Since it's a busy time for many of us, I'm just going to post some photos I've taken recently, 

My squirrel photo has become a Cover Squirrel for our  MAKE Team's FB page.
     Red squirrels... cute but noisey (and nosey).

Kokanee spawning in Kokanee Creek

Clean dog.

Dirty dog... yup, rolled in the dirt right after his bath.

Cruising down the West Arm.

Johnson's landing from across Kootenay Lake.

Swimming in Kootenay lake.

Awesome views on Kootenay Lake.

Kokanee Creek Park.

Feathered visitors.

Osprey Ferry.

Beach day at Queens Bay.

One of our small Kootenay towns was featured on Global News:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back from Holidays... more frame charms

Short version:
 I've had a once in a lifetime holiday with my kids, visiting family overseas.
I'm back to my "normal life", and have been making new Wedding bouquet photo frame charms.

Memorial frame charm.

Simple freshwater pearl frame charm.
 Now that I'm back at work, and getting back to my normal life, I've been making more wedding bouquet frame charms, and they are getting to be quite popular.

I love knowing that my charms will hold the photo of someone dear, and help them be remembered, especially on a special day.

Here's a peak at some of the new frame charms that will be popping up in my shop soon.


Long version: 
I've been on holidays for the last 6 weeks.
  Since I haven't had a real holiday in years, it's been long overdue.  I had an opportunity to take my kids and visit my sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, neices, nephews and their families in Finland, Hungary and Slovakia. Then my husband and I visited friends on Vancouver Island for a few days, and did some beach combing and shopping. It was the best holiday I have ever had, but I'll write about it in a separate post/s.

Wouldn't this be adorable, for a flower girl's bouquet?

  I'm also trying something different with the photos of my charms, by including some flowers from my garden.
  I love the textures and colours. It's so much more interesting than a plain white background,
although it might be a bit distracting...
what do you think?

Wedding bouquet photo frame charm. Roses.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wedding bouquet photo frame charms and more

Wedding bouquet and memorial photo frame charms.

Short story:
   My son is getting married this fall, so I made a couple of photo frame charms to clip to his bride's bouquet,
 I enjoy making them, so I've made more and added some of these charms in my Etsy shop.

Longer version:
Since my son is getting married this fall, I've made up a couple of photo frame charms, I'm hoping his grandparents can be included on his special day. 
It's a lovely way to remember them.  

These charms can be clipped onto a bouquet or just about anywhere, so I made some more to include in my Etsy shop. They are so well loved by my customers, I've added many more colours and designs :)

I love this combination of antique silver and freshwater pearls
I call these my "Classic" charms.


Now I have so many colours and styles available!
Here's a link to these charms.

It's easy enough to add a little photo to these charms, as they have slots in the corners to hold the photo in place. You can also cut out a small rectangle of clear plastic to use as a clear cover to protect the photos.

A red shell pearl, lovely for a winter wedding.
(Tip: To get the photo corners tucked in place, I use a toothpick.)

I also have some lovely little frame charms that don't have any slots in the corners, so the photos would need to be glued into place. 
 (I haven't listed any of these ones yet).  

A piece of two-sided tape should work fine, but I thought I'd use Dimensional Magic and see how that works.  I made some memorial charms of Spike, using it as a glue and clear coat for these frames and am very happy with the results.

Here's the finished charms of our dog Spike. He was the best model ever...
he never complained about my sharing his pictures :)

This photo frame charm features a baby blue shell pearl
(and my boys when they were little... don't tell
them I posted this :)

I love these pink shell pearls.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Road Conditions in the Kootenays

Short version:
If you're travelling around the Kootenays any time of year, it's always a good idea to check on the local road conditions 
any time of the year. BE PREPARED.
 I'm adding some local webcams and links (mainly for my own reference,) and thought I'd share them.

Longer version:
   It's June 6, 2012 and it's been a cool and very wet spring here, which means mudslides and sometimes unexpected road closures. The snow-covered Kootenay Pass (AKA Salmo-Creston Pass) looks ugly with all that snow! I'll have to check and see if it's still open.
 A detour in the mountains, can mean many extra hours  and kilometres, and maybe an unplanned ferry ride,(at least it's still free to ride the inland ferries.) Gas stations are far & few between, as well as accommodations. BE PREPARED for any kind of weather or situation… you know, munchies, water, blankets, etc. especially the etc.
  Anyhow, since we need to know what the conditions are to get to Golden, I'm checking the Passes and (adding their live webcam links) to see what the best route to travel will be… will have to check them again tomorrow… today wasn't a good day to go from the looks of things.

All BC inland FERRY SCHEDULES are on this MAP.

Kootenay Lake Ferry SCHEDULE.


Balfour ferry landing WEBCAM. Balfour Ferry Terminal

Balfour inland ferry terminal, looking north towards Hwy 3A. (elevation: 535 metres)

Kootenay Bay ferry landing WEBCAM. 

Kootenay Bay Ferry Terminal: looking northeast on Hwy3A. (elevation: 538 metres)

Shelter Bay ferry landing WEBCAM

Hwy 23 at Shelter Bay ferry landing, looking north.

Drive BC-Major Events- MAP  (very handy)


Salmo Creston Highway Summit. Looking East.

Paulson Summit WEBCAM

Hwy 3 about 3km East of the the Paulson Summit, looking West (elevation 1446 metres)

Castlegar WEBCAM

Hwy 3 at 14th Ave. in Castlegar, looking East

Christina Lake WEBCAM

Hwy 3 at East Lake Drive on the east side of Christina Lake, looking Northwest.

Coffee Creek WEBCAM

Hwy 31, 45km north of Nelson and 25km south of Kaslo, looking north.

New Denver WEBCAM

Hwy 6 at Hwy 31A in New Denver, looking north.


Junction of Hwy 6 and Hwy 23 in Nakusp, looking south along Hwy 6

Rossland- WEBCAM
Hwy 3B at Hwy 22 (Rossland Weigh Scale) looking West on Hwy 22


HWY 3 at HWY 6- looking West on HWY 3.

Hwy 3 at Hwy 95, Yahk Weigh Scale, looking North-East
(elevation 854 metres)

Revelstoke WEBCAM

Hwy 1 at east end of Columbia River Bridge in Revelstoke, looking east.

Hwy 1, near Parks Headquarters at Glacier National Park, 72 km east of Revelstoke
looking east. (elevation: 1330 metres)

Golden WEBCAM Hwy 1, just north of Hwy 95 interchange, looking northwest.

Kicking Horse Canyon WEBCAM HWY 1 (Kicking Horse Canyon) at 10 Mile Brake Check- looking East.


Drive BC-  MAP


Public Weather Warnings for BC…. MAP


Local News


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raining... still and again.

 Another rainy day in the Kootenays, wishing the sun would come out 
so I can watch Venus pass in front of the sun.  

Instead, I'm trying to ward off the emptiness of our home, without our dog. 
 It was hard, when the boys moved out, but they keep in touch, and I'm pleased to know 
they are finding their way, creating their own lives, including us where they can.

  I wrote a little Haiku poem:

  clouds squeezing teardrops
like my endless leaking heart
buds spilling rainbows

It's not making that melancholy feeling go away, but that's ok, I'm going through numerous Spike pictures,
to make a couple of memorial charms and fridge magnets, for the family. Little keepsakes of our buddy.

He rarely put up both ears...his right one was usually flopped over.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A sad time... goodbye Spike.

                                            It's important to be kind... even when it's so hard.              

Spike. October 1998- May 30, 2012

 Last night- May 29/12
  Here I sit, alone and heavy-hearted at my computer, listening to Spike crunching his dinner, then his claws clacking on the floor, as he pants his way along the rug path, to flop behind my chair.  He's done well for 13 1/2 yrs, but his days aren't so happy anymore… it's the time I've been dreading. When he was really ill a year ago, I made a video tribute for him. I guess I should finish it soon... will add it another day.


 A little about our dog- Spike.
He was born around Oct 31, 1998. We got him on my birthday in December. Dave had him in his arms, and our 2 boys bounced around them with joy, in the atrium of the bank where I worked. 
 He is part Akita, part border collie and the poor little guy could barely manage the stairs, so we had to pick him up, to join us on the couch. His belly dragged through the snow, when we took him outside. The boys would run up and down the hallway, Spike bounding behind them. The happy sounds of kids with a puppy, squeals, laughter, barking and growls. Then came the house training, little and big mistakes, chewed up shoes, and holy socks… when you could find them. What is it about socks and puppies anyway?
  Our little home in the woods was quite remote, and somewhat isolated, so we wanted a protector for our family and home. That he has been…and much, much more. His keen senses were always at work, listening, watching, smelling… everything. I remember a time that he treed a bear when I was out picking mushrooms in the nearby forest. He ran back to me to make sure I was heading for home, then ran back and kept the bear up that tree, until I was at the house, then he quickly came home. 
Always posing for me & my camera.
   If you've ever had a dog, you understand how big a part of the family they become. He has been an awesome companion to all 4 of us over the past 13 1/2 years. He learned to smile and talk to greet us when we get home.  Like any dog, he's always been ready to walk, eat, play, relax and snuggle, or do whatever we're doing.  He loved going to the beach, chasing sticks and swimming. His favourite thing was barking at and splashing the water.
  Strong, proud, happy, friendly and protective, he has developed into a very dignified dog. Even the vet commented on his good manners. He usually lays with his front paws crossed, with a gentle-manly air about him. 

     Spike has since retired, along with Dave. The kids have left our nest, and are starting lives of their own.  He sleeps a lot now, and can't hear anymore. His eyes are clouding up, and he doesn't get up or even talk, to greet me when I get home. He's reluctant to go outside at times. I think he's worried that we won't let him back in. He often lays on the bare floor, but it's so hard for him to get up.  (We've got runners all over the house, and a blanket for him to lay on… but he prefers the slippery floor.)  Our outside steps are carpeted, to make them easier for him to use as well. 
   Short walks to the mailbox have become his main outing, and yesterday even that seemed to be too much, however today was better. A dark cloud of dread has blown into my heart, and it's time to prepare, for the final part of his life. 
 I didn't think he'd make it through this past winter, but he is a trooper, and has fared well, however  I can see the downward spiral, spinning faster. The inevitable is staring me in the face, and I'm thinking it's time for him to be put to sleep.
 I have hopes that he will just go to sleep and not wake up, but I must seriously consider that it may not work out that way. My youngest son said it would be a shame if he was all scared and upset for the last part of his life- ie: a trip to the veterinarian's office.  We all agree on that.
Waiting for the vet... he doesn't know that, but I do.

  So I called the vet's office today to see what options are available, and he is able to come out to the house and put him to sleep, but then what to do with the remains? cremation? private or communal? burial? do I want the ashes back? etc. more morbid things to think about. Then there's the cost (I'm waiting for them to call back with a quote… our home is 30 km away from town, so it's not a short drive.) 
 A friend of a friend has been offered to humanely shoot him… got mixed feelings on that. I know he's an animal, just a dog, but I would like Spike to die peacefully here at home, as humanely and dignified as possible. 
  Now the sun has set, and he's starting to itch, scratch, pant and whine and the rain is pouring down. Gloomy weather, to match my mood.

May 30… With our vet's assistance, Spike has moved on, peacefully, lovingly and dignified, like we all would want to…

Last look at the lake...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Glaze firing on Mother's Day.

Glaze firings always make me nervous. 
I just never know how they'll turn out.

I've been under-glazing and glazing some ceramic pieces I made a while back.

It takes 3 coats of underglaze, covered by 2 coats of clear glaze, 
to get full colour coverage.

Loading the kiln.

The dog vase, mug, bird and sunfaces are the pieces I am most anxious to see completed,
 as well as a "boob cup" that I'm firing for someone else. 

    Checking the witness cones before shutting the lid.

10 hours later, I've unloaded the kiln.
A successful cone 06 firing!
Here's all the glazed pieces that were in there.

The dog is adorable, the sunface mug turned out sweet.
 The colourful bird needs eyes, and the sunfaces need cords to hang by. 

It might be a while, before I get around to taking better photos,
 but some of these pieces might make it to my Etsy shop.
If you see something you'd like, contact me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Flowers, earrings and things are popping up.

Things are popping up all over... 

Primroses in my front garden.  (ignore the weeds please).

Finally warm enough for the robins to take a bath.

Primroses come in so many colours :)

More primroses, with a single grape hyacinth.

 Our magnolia's starting to bloom.

Morel mushrooms.

Spike... he didn't actually pop up.

Some earrings I've just made

You can get them in my Etsy shop soon.

 These pieces have been fired once, and I'm glazing them 
 to be fired soon.