Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Trending Sea Glass Jewelry for Summer 2014

It's always fun to try and spot new jewelry trends.  For so long brass birds, Cabachon Flowers and owls  were popular, however, now I'm noticing lots of new styles coming into the forefront like reclaimed sea glass and recycled coke bottled glass. True Sea Glass, I've read is becoming harder to find in the States.   With a growing environmental awareness, glass no longer routinely ends up in the ocean, so sea glass seekers are increasingly heading to Europe and Asia to find their treasures. I've been enamored with these natural and man made stones, and for all the possibilities they offer in jewelry design.
To meet the the demand, I'm seeing some beautiful man made tumbled glass, in a variety of colors and shapes that wouldn't be available otherwise.  Here's some of the things, that I've come up with, using this faux glass-
I think this medium is perfect to mix with silver and pearls
and sea life charms like this Sterling Silver Starfish
Also, there's some interesting ceramic beads from Greece that compliment the sea glass
like this cool pallet of blues and purples
So many possibilities, like this Spike Style necklace 
And these colorful squares, which remind me of the Juicy Fruit candy sold in movie theaters!
How about this simple aqua and pearl dangle for a sweet Beach Wedding Necklace?
patriotic Jello Squares?
I love the combination of sea glass with Sterling Silver or Rhinestone charms
All this talk of Sea Glass makes me want to head to my favorite beach to search for treasures!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Barrington Heights Book Club celebrates Lady Almina and The Real Downton Abbey with a Tea Party

 What better thing to do on a dreary January day than have a Tea Party?  Our Book Group read Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, the book which the popular PBS Series is based on.  It was written by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, who  is married to the current Earl, and who took over Highclere Castle nine years ago.
I love the beautiful costumes, and decor from the series, so I asked everyone to wear a hat or fascinator and everyone rose to the occasion!   Some even wore vintage dresses!

We enjoyed Tea Sandwiches, Macaroons, Biscuits ( the British word for cookies!), and a Cranberry, feta, and Pecan Fruit Salad, Tea, and Champagne!~ Of course!  
 I cheated and made some of the sandwiches on wheat bread, but stuck to the traditional egg salad, turkey and the most popular, Curried Chicken!  Recipe follows.
 It's so much fun to have a neighborhood again, although we missed lovely Minny, who brought us all together and then had to move back to Ohio! 

My daughter says that our book club is just an excuse to drink wine and eat lovely snacks in the afternoon
 The Ladies really got into the spirit of things, mostly everyone wore hats or fascinators. ( L) Veronica, our playwright in residence and Nadia, a decorator extraordinaire ! 
Some wore very cool Vintage dresses.  Who knew MaryAnn (L), was an actress in a prior life?
 Here we are in all of our glory!  I'm in the back with a purple and black hat that was purchased in Minneapolis for another fun party!
 I like mixing things up on the platters, so it's easier for people to serve themselves
 Nadia looking very sporty! 
 Connie wore her Mom's hat from the 60's!
 Elaine styled it with a cute felted hat with hand beading!
 Yes, we really do discuss the books!

 Carla, borrowed something blue and looked very chic and Lady Maryish!
 MaryAnn said that her hat was over 100 years old!  It was still stylish and beautiful today!
A belle of the ball, right out of Downton!

 Everyone's Favorite sandwich filling. This would be perfect for an appetizer with crackers, as shown, or as a

  Tea Sandwich filling

2 cups, cooked, chopped chicken
4 green onions,  finely chopped
1/4 c Orange Marmalade
1 tsp curry powder*
salt /pepper
1/2 c chopped almonds
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 c flaked coconut
* Just a touch of curry really gives this spread a great flavor!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Art Sunday

I gave my friend Barb, a gift of a 'Girls Night' out at Vine Gogh Artist Bar & Studio for Christmas, and it was a great way to welcome in the New Year and have a fun girlfriend date.  We arrived on Sunday morning to claim our spot and check out the art on the walls.  Every event has a painting in mind that you register ahead of time for. We choose the Broadway Stroll, which was one of their most popular offerings.  You prepay $30 for a class, and when you arrive your paint, an easel and an apron are ready for you.  

We arrived early to get settled, check out future paintings, and grab a Mimosa. 
The dreaded white canvas!

A glass of champagne and orange juice is a great way to calm the nerves and make the experience less intimidating!
Our instructor, a recent Art School graduate, was great and broke down the elements of the painting into sections so it was totally doable.
We divided our canvas into zones, so it was much less intimidating!
This a before and after, so you can see how easy it is...
A few extra touches make the painting come to life!
Barb and I with our 'masterpieces!'
I like to call this my Laundry room Art, or guest room or stairwell art...!  It's so much fun, and the best thing  is that you come home with a finished painting!  I think this would be a great business building activity too!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Life Comes at You Fast! New Year 2014

"Life Comes At You Fast!"  I love this line from the Nationwide Commercial. Here it is, already February and lots of things have fallen through the cracks of life!  This was the year that I was going to resuscitate my poor neglected blog, exercise an hour a day and be more organized at home and with my business.  I guess you could say that we are all a work in progress...

New Year's weekend found us at out favorite relaxation spot in the world, Manzanita Beach.  We spent some lovely time with our great friends, the Johnson's, and welcomed in the New Year with the little parade down Laneda Ave. that has become a tradition in our little town. As part of our Christmas present, Barb and Mark brought us some fun attire to wear in the parade.  Rick received a 'Glowhawk', and I was given a Tule and Glowstick skirt, wand, and Tiara to dazzle in the cold night.  After my midnight debut was over, I was glad to hand off my wand and Tiara to a very excited little girl who was passing by, and no doubt wondering who these crazy adults were!
On New Year's morning, we headed down to the beach about 10:30 AM to see the brave souls who were assembling to take part in the annual Manzanita Polar Plunge.
Our friend Mark surprised us by stripping down and diving into the ocean to welcome in 2014.  At the sound of the conch shell, about 300 brave souls ran into the waves, while the rest of us slackers stood by.
 The not so brave, cheered and mumbled about giving it a go the following year, after a total body makeover and 500 hours at the gym- which we were going to promptly join as soon as we returned home!
The Coast is full of surprises, and you never know what fun characters you'll run into on the beach!   The local recycle center, CARTM,  is a wild and crazy place, sort of the community center for our little beach town. They host many activities, one of the most popular being the annual Trashion Show. Below is an
example of what you can do with plastic and still look Glam!
How lucky we are to live in such an amazing place!