Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sleek, Shimmering, Style...
Glamorous Button Pearl Earrings

Sleek, shimmering sterling silver stick earrings with creamy white button pearls. A wonderful gift for the bride to be, or anyone with a June birthday!

Sterling silver bars were hand forged a texture hammer and anvil into these glistening sticks that reflect the light with your every move. A small post was soldered on and creamy white freshwater pearls were added. They move gracefully on handmade sterling silver earwires and measure 1-1/2 inches in length from the top of the earwire to bottom of the earring.

When caring for your pearl jewelry, always remember this rule: Last on, first off! This will assure that the nacre will not be damaged by perfumes, make-up or hair spray.

Thank you for looking!


Heart's Desire Beading Company 2010 © - All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Sale!
Through December 5th!

Heart's Desire Beading Company Cyber Monday Sale now going on through December 5, 2010, everything is my Etsy shop is already discounted 10%. In addition, you will receive Free Shipping for all orders sent within the USA! Gift wrapping also is available free of charge at your request!

Happy shopping!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

From My Kitchen to Yours...
A Family Tradition
Pumpkin Pie with Cheesecake Bottom

The other day I mentioned my Mom's signature dessert for the holidays, pumpkin pie with a cheesecake bottom and thought you might like to try this one yourself! I promise it is very easy to put together, especially if you use a pre-made pie crust, and quite delicious too!

As we were making our Thanksgiving dinner today, I ask Mom how long ago she started making this yummy dessert and she could not remember. I do know that she found the recipe in a Good Housekeeping Magazine years ago and gave it a try, it has been a family tradition ever since!

Pumpkin Pie with Cheesecake Bottom

1-9 inch unbaked pie crust
1-8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. plus 2 Tbls. sugar divided
1/2 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1-1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. each ginger and nutmeg
dash of salt
1 c. evaporated milk

Cheesecake Filling

Combine softened cream cheese, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/2 t. vanilla and 1 egg. Mix well. Spread on the bottom of a unbaked 9 inch pie crust.

Pumpkin Top

Combine canned pumpkin, 1/2 c. plus 2 Tbls. sugar, spices (we add a little more than the recipe calls for), salt, mix well. Blend in 2 slightly beaten eggs and evaporated milk. Carefully pour over cheesecake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 65 to 70 minutes or until center is slightly set. Cool. Refrigerate any leftovers!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Marriage of Metal ...
Classic Hoops with a Twist

Sterling silver hoop earrings with a twist of copper for accent, the perfect marriage of metal for everyday wear! Each of these hoop earrings starts with a sturdy base of sterling silver wire that is hammered for strength. Then a handmade wire wrapped copper bead is added for a wonderful focal point. Both hoops are then lovingly wrapped with very fine gauge sterling silver wire that gives them loads of added interest!

The Marriage of Metal hoop earrings are 1-1/4 inches in length from the top of the earwire to the bottom of the copper bead, and they are 7/8 of an inch in width.

For those who love the warmth of copper, I have created Copper Hoops with a Twist. Handcrafted with coils and twists of copper wire, they have a wonderful ethnic flair! The earwire is also made of copper wire, but if you prefer, a sterling silver earwire can replace it at no extra charge.

Both of these handsome hoop earrings would be a excellent addition to your everyday jewelry wardrobe!

Many thanks to Julie Sigmund of JewlieBeads for her wonderful tutorial! Thank you for looking!


Heart's Desire Beading Company 2010 © - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From My Kitchen to Yours....
A Family Favorite, Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

For as long as I can remember, my mom has made a delicious pumpkin pie with a cheesecake layer at the bottom. It is her signature dessert for the holidays, and it is wonderful! Well I, being a true chocoholic, like to throw a little chocolate into the mix of desserts, and you might say this is my signature dessert for all special occasions! This cheesecake has gone to more parties, family gathering and bake sales then there is time to mention and I am happy to share this decadent Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe with you for the upcoming holidays!

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake


1-1/2 c. chocolate graham crackers crushed into crumbs (one stack should do)
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter melted

Put graham crackers into a 1 gallon Ziplock freezer bag and crush into fine crumbs with a rolling pin. Place crumbs into a mixing bowl and add sugar and melted butter and mix together. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10 inch springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling

2-8oz. packages of cream cheese softened
3/4 c. plus 2 Tbls. sugar, divided
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla extract, divided
2 eggs
1 c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 8 oz. container of dairy sour cream

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat softened cream cheese, 3/4 c. sugar, cocoa and 1 t. vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and beat until blended. Stir in by hand chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack; cool 15 minutes.

Now, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix together sour cream, remaining 2 Tbls. of sugar, and 1 t. vanilla, stirring until smooth. Pour over baked cheesecake filling and spread smooth. Bake 10 minutes in a 425 degree F oven. Remove from oven to wire rack, and run a knife gently around the edge to loosen cake from the sides of the pan. Cool completely; remove springform side of the pan. Chill in refrigerator for several hours before serving. In the rare event that you have any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator.



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dad Life ....

Our pastor is doing a series on "What Makes a Man" and this YouTube video opened the sermon at church on Sunday. It is too funny and I just has to share it with you! Be prepared to see the essence of the man you love in it, and smile! Love you, Honey! Love you, Dad! Yo, these greens got nutin' on my man-scape....ROFL!


P.S. The Grove posts sermons on the church's website each week. If you would like to listen to Scott's sermon, click on the "What Makes a Man" up above to take you to the page!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas at Biltmore Estates

Over the years we have made numerous visits to Biltmore Estates, the home of George and Edith Vanderbilt in Asheville, North Carolina, and we have learned lots fascinating tidbits about the Victorian era, and life on the property! Last week we made another excursion to Biltmore to see the setting up and decorating of the huge Christmas tree that graces the dining hall! It was our first time to witness this event!

The day started cold, dreary and lightly drizzling, perfect weather for warming your hands with hot wassail or hot cocoa as we stood waiting outside! In the portico to the right of the main entrance of the home, a group of carolers sang Christmas songs adding a festive touch to the day! About a half an hour before the tree arrived it stopped drizzling, what a blessings! Being cold and damp is not good for the spirit!

After wandering about in the crowd in front of the mansion, looking for a good place to take pictures of the procession, I chose a place to stand on the steps up above all the people. Unfortunately I was on opposite side of the house from the wagon and tree coming toward me. I did move down on the driveway, but there were too many people on the sides to get a good shot. Oh well, maybe another time!

The very tall Christmas tree was carried down the drive and up to the front door of the mansion on a long wagon that was pulled by two beautiful Belgium draft horses! Santa was waving to the crowd of guests from the front of the wagon and the driver was standing by his side. As I watched this grand procession, and I could not help but think what it must have been like the first time they brought the Christmas tree to the house!

A large group of staff people, who were carrying very long metal poles made quick work of getting the tree off of the wagon. They were quite efficient, and worked safely among all the guests! I would say since they have been doing this for over 100 years, they have the procedure down! It was an awesome feat to see! All those people carry that extremely heavy pine tree up the steps, through the front door and into the house!

Once inside, they carried the tree into the expansive dining hall and hoisted it upright with the star attached to the top bough! Sorry to say, there are no pictures allowed within the house, so I cannot show you what all this looked like. To give you an idea how large the tree was, the decorations were put on the tree by people standing on scaffolding! That puts our 6 foot tall Christmas tree to shame!

We spent the rest of the day going through the house looking at all the lovely Christmas decorations already on display, and did a little shopping too! Later, we enjoyed a bountiful feast at the Deerpark Restaurant, one of several restaurants on the property. The boys loved visiting Antler Village, where there are old-fashioned games to play, animals to pet, and farm equipment to sit on! We also watched the blacksmith create a beautiful iron leaf out of a small iron rod!

As the day came to a close, the sky began to clear and there was a rainbow in the sky to the east of Antler Village! All in all it was a wonderful day and we thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas at Biltmore Estates!


Friday, November 12, 2010

and a Garnet Ring

One week ago I read a post on my friend Gayle's blog, This Artist's Journey discussing her desire to stretch her metalsmithing muscles and get out of her comfort zone. She revealed how easy it was to stay with "what is familiar, easy, comfortable" and how hard it was "to dive into metalsmithing head first without looking back to my beads for comfort." As I read her post it struck a cord deep within me, it was as if she had read my mind!

For a very long time I've wanted to learn how to bezel set stones, and finally this spring I took a metalsmithing class and learned how! It was a wonderful class with an inspiring teacher who taught himself how to make jewelry. He shared volumes of information with the class; it was an opportunity of a lifetime! When the class was finished I felt confident in changing my jewelry designing style. But something happened along the way, self doubt crept in and thoughts of what if I ruin the silver, what if I make another mistake, what if no one likes my designs and how can I risk failure? Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Well, at the end of the post Gayle ask "Anyone with me in trying something new instead of taking the easy way out???" and I just had to respond, I needed someone to be accountable with! My reply in the comments section was, "We were given talent for a reason, and it is wrong not to use it! It is time to get off the sidelines and get into the game! Maybe we should start an accountability group, what do you think?" It was time to move ahead, and not look back!

So here is where the metal hits the anvil so to speak! I've started out slowly with this simple little garnet ring as my first response to the challenge from Gayle! It was inspired by the book These Happy Golden Years, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the book, Almanzo Wilder ask Laura to marry him and gives her a garnet and pearl ring as an engagement ring. Although I do not know exactly what the ring looks like, I am sure it was simple and lovely. This is my little nod to that engagement ring, although it is much more modern in style, it is simple and lovely!

I must end this post with a challenge to you. Are you stuck in a rut with your art? Have you stayed with what was comfortable just because it works, but you dream of doing something on a much grander scale? Well it is time to get off the sidelines and into the game! Find someone to be accountable to, step out of your comfort zone, look for encouragement, and do what you dream of doing!

Your dreams are waiting.....


Heart's Desire Beading Company 2010 © - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Change of Seasons
Autumn Jasper

Warm peach, burgundy, rust, olive green and a touch of gray all blend together in this lovely autumn jasper oval pendant. These gorgeous warm colors will go with many of the current fall fashions!

The Change of Season necklace has a hand woven copper wire bale with two tiny swirls is done in the Eni Oken style. The bale has been oxidized and then buffed for an antiqued finish. The autumn jasper stone is 1-13/16" x 1-3/8" (45mm x 35mm), and when you include the bale; the pendant is 2-3/8" in length. To complete the look, the pendant is suspended on a coordinating 4mm wide burgundy suede necklace that is 18 inches long with handsome handmade copper findings.

Thank you for looking!


Heart's Desire Beading Company 2010 © - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stunning Prasiolite
- and childhood memories

Prasiolite is one of my personal favorites; it brings back memories of a childhood fascination of mine. When I was little, my family visited my great aunt and uncle's home quite often. My great uncle worked in the factory at Libby Glass for many years. During his tenure there he acquired many large chunks of glass, which he used as decorations in his backyard gardens. These chunks of glass had a divine, green color that I fell in love with! Prasiolite's pale green reminds me of those beautiful decorations in my great uncle's garden long ago.

Prasiolite or green amethyst is a wonderful, transparent stone in the quartz family and is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

This prasiolite heart shaped briolette is a beauty, it has an abundance of facets, which bring a wonderful sparkle to the stone! Sterling silver wire is the perfect compliment to the color of the stone, and this one is wrapped in lots of very fine wire! Including the bail, the pendant is just over 5/8 of an inch in length, and it is suspended on a 16-inch long sterling silver curb chain. It is a timeless classic piece of jewelry and its mint green color will compliments anyone's skin tone!

Thank you for looking!


Heart's Desire Beading Company 2010 © - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Fusion of Stones...

A gorgeous fusion of amethyst, garnet, peridot, green aventurine, rose quartz, unikite, and much more all woven inside of circle. The crowning touch is a lovely butterfly charm and a freshwater pearl!

This luscious necklace started with sterling silver wire, which was soldered into a circle, then wire wrapped with very fine sterling silver wire. After wrapping the frame, a circle of rich purple amethysts was added, then a great variety of semi-precious stones in coordinating colors. They are as follows: garnet, rose quartz, hematite, unikite, green aventurine, goldstone, peridot, and quartz. Then lastly, a plump freshwater pearl and butterfly charm was woven into the circle.

A unique feature of this necklace, it is reversible! Because of the way it was woven together, either side looks beautiful!

Finally, the circle pendent is suspended on a simple 18-inch long sterling silver chain.

Thank you for looking!


Heart's Desire Beading Company 2010 © - All Rights Reserved

Elegantly yours.....