Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This just in . . .

My Etsy Shop is going to be featured by the Handmade Artist's Forum Members on Thursday the last day of the Decade. Check out the forum to see who else is being featured this week {link}. I better get busy and have something interesting to read here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fourth Advent 2009

Dearest ones,
As we await the coming of the Christ-child and the return of the risen Christ, we also await the beginning of the New Year filled with hope and new possibilities.

This has been a difficult year for so many people, and we were not immune. What started out as year filled with exciting opportunities and possibilities, ended with one less job in our household. Full-time and even part-time jobs are difficult to come by everywhere, but especially in a college town.

Don still serves one of the best congregations in the diocese (okay, I’m biased) as he has for the past 14 years. We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. And we took a wonderful two week vacation to the Netherlands. Those were the highpoints.

The low points included my lost job, the demise of my e-book deal (which was contingent on my teaching 600 students a year) and a months-long battle with depression.

What have I learned from these extremes?

I have learned to be open to the possibilities God has in store for me and for us, to simplify my wants and desires for the things that are really important, to watch my pennies and make them work even harder than usual, to give thanks for the things I do have and to not worry about the things I don’t have, and to cast off the “things” that are getting in my way (and I mean this quite literally).

This week, as we approach the manger to glimpse the babe who is God among us, let us adore Him. As we await the coming of the New Kingdom, let us seek hope in the New Year.

Best wishes for a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Emanda and Donald+

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It is a week until Christmas.

It is a week until Christmas.

This has been a very unusual season for me. I am still unemployed, so my husband and I have not sent out Christmas cards, and gifts will be ones that I am able to make.

However, right now my time is dedicated to helping my father take care of my mother who had double knee surgery last week. It has been such a great pleasure to spend so much time and attention on her. We are enjoying a mystery of intrigue as I read to her chapter after chapter. Her recovery has surprised us all. It is especially wonderful, because she has been in so much pain for so long.

That’s my excuse for not posting in a while. But I do have something to share.


Kelly at Silver Parrot, who is the soul of generosity, sent me a huge package from her GIVEAWAY which arrived last week.
Inside was a box of the cutest art beads she de-stashed, some gorgeous hand dyed ribbons . . .

And . . . not one, . . .

not two . . .

but three –

THREE artist beading books!

Now I think I am going to make a couple of really cute necklaces for my nieces for Christmas with all this wonderful inspiration. Thanks Kelly!
Photos later.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Now in my Etsy Shop

I have just added this Salvation Bracelet to my Etsy Shop. I had a request from a friend of mine to make some for (private Christian school) teacher gifts. I did a little research and came up with something different from the other Salvation Bracelets I found online. I hope she likes them.

It is a bit outside my spiritual comfort-zone, but I hope that the bracelets can be worn and appreciated as pieces of art as well as an evangelism tool.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Now I REALLY need to buy a Lottery Ticket!

I also won Lynn Davis’ Braided Circle she created out of pewter. Isn’t it beautiful?

In other news, I have stocked my Etsy Shop with Rosary Bracelets of my own design. (Also, check out the little Etsy List to the lower right on this page.)
And now through the holidays, if you buy a rosary, you will also receive a matching pair of earrings. Just look for this holiday badge:

Oh, and the bindweed beetle bracelet is also listed, so if you want to wear a winner, here’s your chance.

Now in Etsy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I am going to buy a Lottery Ticket!

My luck is turning and I need to cash in on it while the getting is good. I won the bug-bracelet challenge hosted by KJ at Silver Parrot.

My Bindweed Beetle Bracelet was selected to win a stash of beads and some art books, including GreenGirls Studio’s new Enchanted Adornments. I am so excited I can hardly see straight. And what is more, the company was pretty impressive, Lorelei Eurto did a couple of bracelets, Cindy Wimmer, and . . . well, the list is long and bracelets are gorgeous, so check out KJ’s blog to see the contenders.

This luck comes on the heels of an intense weekend. I was hostess for the regional chapter of Studio Art Quilt Associates . I was nervous about this because I am a relatively new member and I was concerned that we would have a light turn-out. We did, but it was great because several of my fellow guild members showed up and filled out the ranks.

After the meeting I went to the local arts center to hear an artist talk about her show she just installed. The artist is Susan Lenz, and she is one to watch! Her installation is titled “Blues Chapel” and it is a mixed media installation piece (the whole exhibit is considered a work of art in and of itself). Textiles, graphics, sculptures, found-objects all represent some aspect of the early female blues singers who, for the most part, are forgotten. It is a very moving show.

In her talk, Susan also showed us another body of work that is taken from an unusual source. She makes small, beautiful, hand-embroidered quilts that began their lives as silk fabric grave-rubbings . I saw her blog and read every word about this second series and was just over the moon to get to see it in person in her artist’s talk. She has been kind enough to let me use this image here in this blog.
One of the loveliest things about this weekend is the openness and encouraging spirit I have encountered from KJ, my guild friends, the SAQA members, and Susan Lenz. I feel the “reveal” for the next part of my life/career is just around the corner and it is going to be artistic and wonderful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bracelet Challenge

When I saw KJ’s Bracelet Challenge with the beautiful bug photos I kne­w in an instant that the bracelet I was going to make would have to be from those beautiful beads. I purchased these beads over a year ago because their colors took my breath away. The round beads are resin and the ovals are stone, but I never found out what kind. The golden beads are AB faceted Czech glass and the leaves are dyed mother of pearl.

I choice this photograph for my inspiration.

Not only was I thoroughly inspired by these really cool bugs, I found more information about them. They are called Tortoise Beetles or Bindweed Beetles and this particular variety is found in Nicaragua (LINK ).

Here’s my bracelet for the challenge.
I love a challenge, don’t you?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bug Bracelet Challenge

Found out from reading Lorelei’s blog that KJ of Silver Parrot Designs is having a Bracelet Challenge on her blog this week using one of these bug pictures as inspiration.

Check out KJ’s Blog for the rules and details and leave a comment there.

I happen to have the perfect beads for a bracelet inspired by those gorgeous beetles!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I "Heart" Fall!

I love this time of year, when the leave change colors and the air is crisp. In North Texas, we don’t get a real fall, but I will gladly accept this brief transition.

I was washing dishes the other morning and looked out to our vine-covered arbor. Our backyard is a wild mess, but the arbor is beautifully decked out in its fall colors. I went out and snapped a couple of photos and was reminded of my first visit to the UK, to York, specifically. There I visited a woolen shop and was told that both sides of my family had surnames that were “septs” or protected families under Clan Buchanan. I also was told that the tartan for clan Buchanan was “one of the jazzy ones”.

Well, it is.

Don't know why it is rotated. Go figure!

That was 25 years ago. Since that time, I have visited the UK about seven or eight times and at least four of those times were month-long stays in Scotland. You might say I have fallen for Scotland in a big way!
In the Woolen Shops, especially in Scotland, there is always a wide array of tartans made up in several different forms: Kilts (for men), Kilted Skirts (for women), scarves, ties, caps, jackets, vests and so on. Some of the tartans are “jazzy” – even more so than the Buchanan tartan! And some are rather muted.

What most non-Scots do not know is that most tartans actually come in three forms: ancient, modern, and hunting. Ancient tartans tend to have a more muted tone because of the use of natural dye-stuff. Modern tartans have clearer, bolder colors because of the use of synthetic dyes. And Hunting tartans are a lot like the ancient tartans in that the colors are muted – sort of Scottish camo, if you can imagine that.
I have seen the “Bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond” – Buchanan stomping ground -- adorned in the colors found in my tartan. The Buchanan tartan is no more jazzy than Mother Nature herself.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome to a Brand-New Blogger

Please welcome to the blog-o-sphere, Sandy -- my mom! We just set up her new blog and she would love to have some visitors. Please follow this LINK to her blog and leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Enchanted Adornments Giveway Winner is . . . ?


I have been following Lorelei Eurto’s blog for about as long as I have known about blogging and recently, I have been entered every single one of her Green Girl Studio Giveways. I won the very last one: This is what I won.
They are fabulous and I cannot wait until they arrive in my little mailbox. All this is in aid of promoting GreenGirls Studio’s new book: Enchanted Adornments which promises to be the hottest and best-est of the best in jewelry-making books of the year.
Thank you, Lorelei and GreenGirl Studios.

Question: Have you entered any contests or giveaways? Would you be interested in one if I hosted a giveaway? Please tell me now while I feel generous!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Round Robin Swap (#1) Details

By now, Alison Hodges should have received the box of necklaces for the Round Robin Necklace Swap (#1) arranged by Lorelei Eurto. I posted the group photo of all the necklaces with my additions a couple of days ago, but here are a few details I am quite pleased to share:

Alison’s double strand was warm and autumn-y with muted greens and carnelian rusts. I added a few Unikite ovals separated by carnelian beads. She sent along some beads for us to use, and one of them was a little leaf, which I wire-wrapped as a dangle. On the patinated chain tassel below the faux emerald, I added a muted green millefiore round.

I decided to not add anything to my necklace.

Gaea’s necklace was so much fun with all sorts of colorful baubles on it. I added one of the house-shaped freshwater pearls I wrapped to dangle close to a hollow Venetian-style swirl bead in red

Lorelei had some sweet flying bird beads and a few wings dangling and so I made a copper wire nest wit two small oval lapis beads for eggs. I dangled it near another of the house pearls. I hope she likes it.

Mollie created the loveliest resin and copper piece with a picture of a robin in a circle (“Round Robin” –get it?) . I want one of my own! I added a dangle and wire-wrapped a nest on one of the large oval links, Just as if a little birdy decided that link was the best place to settle down for a while.

Nancy’s necklace is so fun. There are some of her ceramic beads and then there is a strip of green trim with turquoise blue flowers that has been wrapped with copper wire attached to pearl and flower beads. She wants her necklace to be long, but it definitely needed some length if it was going to be what she requested, so I rosary-wrapped some pretty beads and pearls to help it along.

There you have it, my additions to the swap necklaces. I did not do a whole bunch of stuff to each one, just a little bit. There are two other designers after me – have to leave them something to do, right?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am overwhelmed

Okay, so I am happily blogging along with a small but growing group of followers and, all of a sudden, in one day I have nearly one hundred visitors -- 97 -- visitors!!

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

image from Wikipedia, not copyright protected

So, if you are coming back today after your visit yesterday, (or if this is your first visit), I'd like to know how you got here. Take a moment and just add a comment at the end of this post. Sign up to follow this blog if you like -- I would be very pleased if you did.

Did you find Artemisia's Studio from following one of the
Round Robin Necklace Swap-ers?
What caught your eye?
What types of items did you enjoy most while you were here?
(if, in fact, you did enjoy your visit.)

Inquiring minds want to know (er, mine does anyway).

Monday, October 19, 2009

SPOILER ALERT!! Necklace Swap Update

I finished adding to the beautiful necklaces making the rounds in the Round Robin Necklace swap organized by Lorelei Eurto. From Left to Right they are by:
Alison Hodges {link and link} , Emanda Johnson {link and link} Gaea Cannaday {link and link},
Lorelei Eurto {link and link}, Mollie Valente {link}, and Nancy Schindler {link and link} .

In about half the necklaces I added a little bird’s nest I learned to make from a tutorial by Cathe Holden http://justsomethingimade.blogspot.com/ I also had some sweet little house-shaped cultured freshwater pearls that I wrapped with wire. The rest have wire-wrapped beads, some even “rosary wrapped” links of beads. Anyway, I am very pleased with the additions and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the group will do to the necklaces. And, yes, I am really looking forward to getting my back!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Swap Update

I Opened the mailbox this afternoon and found a package from my Swap Pals. I rushed inside and tore open the box to find such lovelies! The necklaces are just FABULOUS! You can see the contens of the package all exploded on my breakfast table. Got to go now. Can't wait any longer to get my hands on them and add some beady-goodness to each.

My Earrings are on sale in Etsy's -- go to the main page, click in the left-hand column area called Catagories under Jewelry. Then click Earrings. {OR follow this link} these Raspberry Swirl Earrings are what I chose to promote. Get'em before they are gone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thrum, thrum, thrum

You hear that?

It is me, drumming my fingers. I am "patiently" awaiting the arrival of Tuesday. I have decided to give my etsy shop a little jolt of advertisement, so Tuesday -- all day long, midningt to midnight -- Etsy will be promoting earrings in the main search area. Let's hope it works.

Also on Tuesday, I expect to receive a package full of partially completed necklaces for me to add to. Of course, this is the necklace swap organized by Lorelei Eurto. Nancy Schindler of The Rabbit Muse, has had the necklaces this past week (here and here) and is sending them on to me -- but with Columbus Day on Monday, there's no postal delivery.

Thrum, thrum, thrum.

Stay tuned

Monday, October 5, 2009

Check it out!

Lorelei Eurto is doing it again. She is giving away beads and charms to celebrate the publication of "Enchanted Adornments" from Green Girl Studios. Get on over to her blog and post a comment --and speard the word-- to be entered in the random drawing for these wonderful frogs (above).

I have been doing some research this weekend and decided to join a couple of Etsy teams to improve my shop and sales. I will let you know which ones will have me and which ones I choose in a later posts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Necklace Swap Update

Remember a while back I was selected to be part of a necklace swap? Well, Lorelei Eurto has finished and photographed all the necklaces and has sent them off to the next artist. See what mine looks like in a before and after photo she snapped?

You need to go visit her blog and check out all the other lovelies. I am excited to be a part of this group and can hardly wait until I receive a package filled with necklaces and instructions. I'll keep you up to date.

Monday, September 28, 2009



I love the word, not because it means, among other things “flee quickly" from conflict, but because its other meaning is to “get away from the ordinary" and "get in touch with oneself”.

The past three weeks have been very difficult for me. When I was teaching, I always had a few weeks after summer school when I was mentally counting the days until school started again. I thought I was doing really well this summer, mentally preparing for NOT going back to the campus, but I was wrong. It hit me like a ton of brick two and a half weeks ago. Since then, there have been more days than not that I would get up in the morning, make breakfast and see my husband off to work, then lay back down “for a few minutes” only to awaken 5 hours later. Some mornings I would not even get up until nearly noon.

This is not like me – this is depression at its most insidious. It eats up my life and saps my energy. And, quite frankly, I resent it.

The good news is: I have been looking forward to this past weekend. I just returned from four days and three nights with my dearest and best artistic friends. Every year, twice a year, I look forward to Quilt Guild retreat. This time I paid for retreat right after I found out I lost my job. I knew I would need the spiritual sustenance that it gives me, and I was right. I took my jewelry to sell, and while I did not sell everything, it was worthwhile. I also bartered jewelry for a 30 minute massage from the on-site massage therapist. Yes, it was very good to go on retreat.

While I was there communing with my best gal-friends, I created two small quilt-tops that I will quilt as soon as I can get my best sewing machine repaired. (Have you ever noticed? Everything costs money!)

Saturday morning I left retreat to attend the first meeting of the Dallas Area regional group of Studio Art Quilters Association (SAQA). I met some of the local big names in art quilting and felt a bit intimidated. They were as nice as they could be so I am glad I joined. I look forward to tapping the collective resources this group has to offer.

Here are the two little art quilts I designed (but have not quilted) while on retreat. This one is Castlerigg, a Neolithic stone circle in the Lakes District of England.

And this one is of Maes-Howe and the Hills of Hoy on the island of Orkney way north of Scotland.

And here is my Etsy shop. Now, please go over there and buy something. I will give a 10% discount if you mention my blog in a convo (to me).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

AIDS Services of North Texas

Fourteen years ago this October, I went through the AIDS 101 Volunteer Training so that I could work with the clients of ASNT (AIDS Services of North Texas).
That was the late 90s and HIV/AIDS was still a death-sentence. There was also a terrible stigma assosicated with the disease. I have lost a family member and very dear friends to this disease. I have personally seen how it effects the lives of those living with the disease (both the infected and their family members).

You can see the cause is one that is very near and dear to my heart.

Twenty years ago the Agency began in a tiny hallway/storage area behind my husband's office (before we came to the church) and then moved as it grew to larger and larger office complexes. Now the agency serves 5 (FIVE!) rural counties around Dallas county with more tha 250 clients LIVING with HIV/AIDS. I am fortunate to be on the Foundations Board of the Agency charged with securing funds and property to build three purpose-built buildings for our Agency's offices/clinics in Denton, Plano, and Greenville, Texas.

Since I am currently unemployed, I did not have to funds to purchase high-dollar tickets to the Hearts & Heros Fundraiser this weekend. I truly wanted to be there. But I let my art attend, and I know it helped to raise at least a little money. The earrings (above) were part of the silent auction.

How does your heart lead you to give? Do you have a cause that you create for? Do you want to learn more about HIV/AIDS?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My First Treasury -- Update!

At the "eleventh hour" just as the treasury was about to expire, Kate from Polkadot Sandals (see previous post) sent me a jpeg of my first treasury inclusion. Those are my earrings in the middle of the third row. And she even gave me a step-by-step tutorial so I could do it myself, if I am ever included in another treasury. I am tickled and honored to be included -- thanks again, Kate!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My First Treasury!

This morning, like most mornings, I was doing my rounds of reading all the blog posts (listed to the right), then I started checking Etsy, to be followed by email and Half.com. Well, I haven't finished the list yet -- I had to post about the first Treasury I have been included in.

It is a beautiful collection, an ode to the end of summer and the approach of fall, by Kate at Organic Odessey a.k.a Polkadot Sandals. If I knew how to take a screen shot to include as an image I would. Please go check out the Treasury.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Learning Curve

This past Saturday I had my first arts and crafts show jewelry booth experience. I didn’t make many sales, but I handed out a bunch of my cards so it was a good exposure. None of the booths around me made money either, so I guess the economic situation is hitting pretty hard. Speaking of cards, though, I will have to update my cards pretty soon, but I still have quite a few on hand. To tide me over, I had a stamp made at Office Depot that says:

So now I have an updated card with printing on both sides for only about $20. I thought that was a great deal.

(Here's a bad photo of me with part of my booth set-up. Check out my Rosary Bracelet display.)I had my first Etsy sale this weekend. And, I have listed a bunch of books on Half.com and have sold three textbooks. So, what does this tell me? I think the internet is my future (at least for the time being!)

Today I am working on descriptions of some of my new pieces for Etsy and hope to get them uploaded soon. In the meantime here are some pictures of a few of them.

(I don't know why this is turned side-ways -- go figure! It's the necklace I am wearing in the above photo.) Suggestions for names would be greatly appreciated. (Leave comments – I can’t read your mind!)