Category Archives: Christmas

Living Up To The Name

When I named this blog “Just Make a Mess” I meant it.  I meant to be willing to show the chaos that can ensue as a result of the creative process.  Now I know there are artists that create magnificent works while their studios remain pristine.  Their paints are carefully organized according to colour family, their pencils are all neatly sharpened and stored with their tips protected.  Their palettes could be sold as colour-wheels.  These kinds of artists do exist.  I personally believe them to be alien life-forms, but I do believe they exist.

Unless you have the luxury of a studio completely separate from your house, or you have a house with tons of storage, keeping a studio tidy and dedicated to its intended use can be difficult.  I live in a house that was likely built in the 40’s or 50’s and it is woefully lacking in storage space.  The end result of this is that most of my spaces must be multi-functional.  Which sucks for the studio.

Over Christmas, the usual happened.  This kind of thing……

led inevitably to this kind of thing…..

That’s my poor studio, buried underneath the remnants of our holiday.  Everything that needed to go “somewhere” ended up here.  This mess enabled the packaging of soap, the storage of yummy Chrismas baking, the taking of many blog photos, the printing of jewelry packaging and the final polishing of tons of new jewelry pieces.

So tomorrow, this room stops living up to this blog’s name and gets a mucking-out.  It’s a new year and I’ve tons of new projects I’m just itching to get at.  This is one of them:

From Away

This is a painting I started a long while ago that I kind of abandoned to get some jewelry done.  The plan is to spend more time on painting.  Until this is done, it’s going to be one day painting, one day jewelry, during the week, Monday to Friday once the studio is in working order again.  I have big plans for this painting.  I want to take it somewhere I’ve never seen a painting go before.  Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated on that, AND the exciting new direction I’m going to explore with my jewelry.  It’s going to be a great year, isn’t it?  I’m excited and inspired and all of you are a big part of this journey.  Let’s see what’s next, shall we?

Swingin’

Blah.  Blah blah blah.  That’s sort of how I’ve felt all week.  Part of it is the post-holiday blues, I’m sure, but I’ve been struggling to get back into the swing of things.

My blog has suffered from my blues.  My apologies to my regular readers for not getting my normal amount done here.  I’m going to try and make up for it with this post.  There’s a few new things to show you:

Jodi….one of my beautiful nieces….is one of those truly generous souls.  Not only is she trying to give me stuff (NICE stuff) all the time, she has a generosity of spirit that is a pleasure to bask in.  Like her mom, she’s warm and welcoming and loving.  She also has a wicked sense of humour that had us all rolling during Christmas dinner.  Just bringing that up pretty much ensures that my family is laughing right now.  ‘Nuff said.

Jodi likes simple designs.  Nothing frilly or over-done for her.  But she also likes unique things.  One of the most unique gemstones out there is Ametrine.  Ametrine happens when amethyst and citrine crystals grow together and you get a stone that is half purple and half yellow.  The photo doesn’t show the colour-play very well, but I do like the triangle-theme.

Vanessa, the next-oldest of my nieces, is so going to be a star.  Tall and willowy, with gorgeous red hair and knock-you-dead green eyes, she’s a young woman destined for greatness.  She’s slogging through her teen years as best she can, all the while devoting herself to her dancing.  I’m confident her natural grace will carry her through the toughest life can throw at her.

Austyn….my little moon-child.  If ever there was an old soul, it’s Austyn.  You can see it in her eyes.  There’s this sparkle that says “I get it”.  Quick to laugh and always a bunch of fun, Austyn always makes me smile.  Some people just sparkle all the way through.  Austyn is one of those people.

There you go.  Three pretties for three pretties.  My lovely nieces.  How on earth did I get so lucky??

Sisterhood

I have 2 brothers.  If any of you have brothers, you know that means that you know how to shoot a BB gun, were chased at least once with a snake, and played more baseball than Barbies when you were a kid.  It also likely means you always longed for a sister.

I had great cousins that were like sisters that helped filled the void a girl feels when she has nothing but brothers.  But there’s something special about that word “sister”.  It has a depth of meaning all its own.  When I married my husband, I acquired 2 more brothers.  Brothers-in-law, but brothers nonetheless.  But I also gained a Sister-in law.  The key word there is SISTER.

From the first moment I met her, I felt welcome.  I felt a camaraderie with her I’d only ever heard about, never experienced.  I felt accepted and loved.  I love visiting with her, talking with her, shopping with her.  Definitely love shopping with her.   For the men out there, finding someone who shops the same way you do is a huge thing.  It’s like….well….finding someone who golfs or fishes the way you do.  While I’m joking a little, there is a like-mindedness I share with my sister.  I say sister, because that’s what she’s become and it’s another of the things I’m grateful for.

Before Christmas, she messaged me saying she wanted this pendant.  She loved it, she wanted it.  I know I was meant to conspire with her husband to see to it that she got it for Christmas, but I just couldn’t do it.

He did the right thing.  He came to me and told me he wanted to buy it.  I told him he couldn’t.  I had deliberately put it in the store because I had other plans.  I knew now what style she liked but I felt it needed to be a bit bigger, a bit heavier, and a bit more…..sapphire.

I had this lovely sapphire in my stash of not-for-sale goodies.  I love how the dark blue shows up so nicely against the white of the argentium silver.  This picture just does not do it justice, just as my words cannot to justice to Sharron.  I love you Sis.

Gratitude

Is it just me that seems to take so much for granted?  I suppose it’s fairly normal but it’s something I really try not to do.  Whether you are Christian, Pagan, Agnostic, or Atheist, I think that most of us do realize that we often rely on holidays like Christmas to remind us to quit it.  Stop taking things for granted.  In particular, it’s a chance for us to show those that we are close to in our lives just how much we appreciate them.  My resolution this year is to strive to show my appreciation for those I love every chance I get.  To let them know just how grateful I am that they have humbled me with their love and friendship.

I spent the last week before Christmas building jewelry.  This time it wasn’t for the store.  The goal was not to make money.  The goal was to do things for those I care for…those I appreciate….those I’m grateful for.

When I bought my house ten years ago, the paint was peeling.  It wasn’t bad, but it had already begun.  I’ve spent the last ten years trying to find someone who would paint it.  It was a no-go.  Everyone said no….every single professional painter and handyman I asked.  When you see my house, you’ll begin to understand why.  It’s high….really high.  And shingle.  And weird angles.  *sigh*

Then our friend Bob came along.  Bob took one look at our house and said “I’ll paint your house”.  He didn’t even hesitate.  It took me 3 days to believe it.

This is my house before.  It’s cedar shake.  Cedar shake that was painstakingly and lovingly sanded by my husband.  It took almost a month but he was determined to do it right.

As you can see, my house is a little high.  It’s not really any wonder that no one wanted to tackle it.  No one but Bob.

So one day Bob shows up with his paint sprayer.  Over the next 2 days my house was transformed.

I still can’t really believe it.  We pull into the back driveway and just sit there.  Looking at our pretty blue house.

The thing about Bob though, is this.  He wouldn’t let me pay him for painting my house.  Flat-out refused.  I tried several ways of getting him to take something for all of his hard work.  No way.  So fine.  I then got sneaky.  I said “How about this….I’ve got you covered at Christmas time”.  He looked confused.  I explained that when Christmas came, he would have a beautiful piece of custom-made jewelry for his beautiful wife Pam.  I had him covered.  As understanding dawned on him he started to smile….then grin….then laugh.  He said OK….that would ROCK!

So Pam got a 3 carat Amethyst and 1 carat Aquamarine pendant for Christmas.  Made just for her….because of Bob.  Some people just get it.  Bob’s one of those people.  And we love him for it.

Wormhole

This will be my last post before Christmas.  I have at least 30 things left on my to-do list and am in dire need of a wormhole….with Dr. Who in tow, if possible.  Time travel seems like the only way I’ll get everything done that needs to be done.  In keeping with the name of the blog I will be posting pics of all the messes created in the process of getting everything made for Christmas….I promise.

This is the last piece I finished for the store.

Another little Labradorite piece, glowing happily for the holidays.

The simplicity of the leaf perfectly offsets the Moonshine of the Labradorite.  This one positively glows a soft, silvery blue.

Happy Holidays everyone.  I’ll see you Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend.