I am not one to make New Year's resolutions.
I don't wait that long. If I need a change,
or am due to begin something new....I just do it!
Mind you, I have not always been that way.
At the beginning of the year,
I began to once again think of all the significant people that have been a part of my life;
ones I have met (or been born to) in my life.
Those who have changed me...for the better. I don't think of, or remember any,
who might have changed me in any other direction other than for "good".
But, that is just me. I look for good.
I believe I search it out.
I will begin by giving due credit to my parents for that.
Both, actually, but I do think my mother a bit more so.
My mother came from a very poor family,
and her father, though he loved all 13 of his children,
drank. A lot.
It had to be hard to be a child of an alcoholic.
Not only was my mother in constant mental turmoil,
I know she felt deep humiliation for not having (her very own) shoes,
clothes and sometimes enough food to eat.
What she did have was a loving mother who did what she had to do
to take care of her children,
caring for them in a way that stuck with them thru thick & thin....
and made them feel rich, even though they were dirt poor.
Thankfully she also had older sisters & brothers who helped out the family~for most of my mother's younger life,
and for those siblings even before and most after her,
in the birth order.
My mother never talked much about her childhood, and if she did, it was never in an ungrateful way.
How can that be? Today, at the age of 56,
I stand amazed by that,
My father came from somewhat of a different background.
He only had 2 brothers and 1 sister, and his family was one of the (somewhat) "well-off" ones in the small town that they both grew up in...as far as I can tell.
They had plenty of food, and owned a large parcel of land,
which my grandmother had inherited.
My grandfather was a farmer, and raised sweet potatoes on that land.
My grandmother was a seamstress.
My dad isn't even in this picture of his brothers & sisters above.
He came about 13 years after this was taken...
thus making him the REAL baby of the family.
Perhaps, that is also why he became the mischief one.
A prankster of sorts.
He could really tell a good joke. I kinda believe I get my quick wit from him.
Can't tell a joke like he did, that's my oldest sister's talent,
but I sure have a funny streak show up quite often....
and have known to be a bit mischievous myself.
(When I was much younger, of course...lol).
For some wonderful reason, way beyond my control,
I believe that this year will be a good one.
Don't ask me how or why...I just know it.
I say this with all humility,
as I truly have no idea what 2014 will bring.
I have several venues scheduled ahead, for teaching.
Some new, and some I've been to before...
with much delight!
Beginning in just a couple of weeks, I will be in Tucson,
Art Retreat in the Desert
and then, I will travel along with my friend,
for a short teaching gig in the DC area,
Boots & Bliss!
Yeeehawww, to that!
In the meantime,
I am diligently working on my two online classes that I'll be a part of,
for the third year...
Artful Gathering 2014.
For the first time, I am traveling to Kentucky, to teach at
I will be in Phoenix, this summer,
to teach, once again,
at Art Unraveled.
So, for just one moment today, won't you consider who has made a difference in your life?
Say, if you possibly can,
a huge thank you for all that you have been given.
For those, both good and bad.
You (as I) have no earthly idea why you might have been given the life you are living,
and the hand you've been dealt.
I do believe it is by a design we will someday come to see.
Maybe that will be...
In the mean time, I hope to see you this year,
either in person, or on-line.
More specific details about my gigs can be found above,
under the Classes & On-line Classes tabs!
(I'll be sharing more persons who have influenced me along my way,
when I return from Tucson, so stay tuned!)
Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
Here's my latest piece designed using Cindy's beautiful
Double Infinity Links.
It was also one of my class samples for the class
Rhinestones to Infinity
I taught this past weekend
in Round Top, Texas
The class was a huge success,
and this link was the star of the class!
This was Kristina's finished piece.
Isn't is wonderful?
Just one of many...
So, without further ado...
I'd like to announce the winner of the contest I had for the
I will send an email your way,
to get your physical address,
so I can mail some goodies to you!
don't forget to go back to Cindy's blog to see the
P.S. I will be teaching this class, Rhinestones to Infinity,
at Ephemera Paducah in Kentucky~May 2014.
More detail will be posted soon,
but why not sign up for their mailing list,
so you won't miss any of the class details when they come hot off the press!
Today is my day
to give a shout out to a great friend,
Cindy Wimmer's new book,
and is the next stop on
the Book Blog Tour
that began on Tuesday.
Yeee....haw, welcome to Texas!
It's hard to believe that it has actually been way more than a year since
Cindy asked me to be a part of the design team for her upcoming book.
How could I resist,
as everything Cindy does it so meticulously wonderful
and top notch!
Her wire work is drop dead gorgeous,
which you will certainly see for yourself, once you get your very own copy.
if you haven't ordered yours yet
I'd be so thrilled if you'd leave a comment here,
as the publisher, Interweave,
will be giving away a copy of Cindy's book from each of the
blog hop stops.
This means you have 6 chances to win!
I have to tell you I felt a bit intimidated at first,
as wire links are not my main focus when designing jewelry.
I can wire wrap myself out of a barrel~blindfolded...
(well maybe not blindfolded)
well, that's another story.
But, if you know me at all, you know
I always love a good challenge.
So, this is how it began....
Cindy gave me, along with all the team designers,
the option to pick two of our favorite links out of the 30 she showcases in the book.
With these links, we were to design a piece of jewelry.
I chose two I thought would fit into my "style",
Green with Infinity
Found on pages 128-131 in the book,
showcases the Double Infinity link.
This picture was taken just before it was sent off to Cindy & the publisher.
I am going to play a little game with those of you who already have the book,
or if not,
you can also look here,
as pictures from the book (where you will see a picture of my necklace) scroll across the slider window seen in the middle of the page.
This will kind of be like the game, what do you see different in the picture!
There has been a slight change in the ultimate design of my necklace =)
Just leave an answer here on my blog,
in your comment,
I will also have a drawing from those who left an answer,
at the end of the hop.
The prize will be a (sur)prize!
So, please leave your email address so I can contact you on October 21st,
if I can't link back to you via your comment!
The next link I chose,
showcases this link that Cindy places in the "easy" category.
This necklace, and how it's made,
can be found on pages 100-103 in the book.
Another fun project, using some super fun links.
Cindy really did a superb job writing this book.
the links are quite unique and exciting to master.
Thanks so much for stopping by and joining in on the hop.
Today you can also visit
of Art Bead Scene. She has joined us on the tour,
and this gives you yet another opportunity to win
Please hop on over to
Christine Damm's blog tomorrow
to see what she has to share with us
"missing link" journey.
Before you go...
one last recap of all the blog hop stops:
October 15-Cindy Wimmer (Sweet Bead Studio)
October 16-Tracy Statler (Make Bracelets)
October 17-Lori Anderson (Pretty Things)
October 18-Kerry Bogart (Kab's Concepts)
Today: October 19 (along with me)-Heather Powers (Art Bead Scene)
October 20-Christine Damm (Stories They Tell)
then head back to Cindy's blog,
to see all the winners announced on
There will be giveaways each day, but the winners will all be announced all at once on Cindy's blog on the final day - October 21st.
She will be giving away additional prizes:
a set of lampwork beads used in the book, wire, and her favorite coiling tool,
just to name a few.
So, that's all for now....have FUN on the tour,
and I'll see you back here on October 21st!
If you've been with me for any amount of time,
you know that twice a year I trek to Warrenton and Round Top
for the semi-annual Antiques Week.
It's HUGE and several trips are in order each & every time.
Yesterday was just my first for the Fall Show, and it was a bit early.
I like to slip in there way ahead of time...
which means some of the vendors haven't yet arrived.
I am fine with that.
I always go back, and then they are there.
I don't fret about missing something.
I have decided that if I was meant to have it,
it will be there.
Whatever IT might be!
I must admit,
I had no intention of buying the vintage baby doll and compact you see above.
But, they called my name, and they came home with me.
The top drilled baroque stick pearls....
well that's another story.
I have an idea bouncing around that involves these beauties,
and I was looking for them.
It always amazes me when I enter a booth that is stuffed full of stuff.
Yesterday, proved no different.
I always make an effort each show to visit Cathy,
the lace lady from Oklahoma.
She has WAY more than lace in her booth, and I always make a point to visit her...
mainly for vintage lace, tulle, netting, and such.
This time I brought home one itty bitty bundle of lace,
a good group of vintage rhinestone buttons,
the crackled baby doll
and this dainty silver compact purse.
Inside was half of a ticket...
When I carried all my purchases up front to pay,
she said...."I almost kept this one for my compact collection".
Not only did this make me feel like I had picked up a winner of a piece,
but she had thoughtfully remembered it,
mentioning she regretted parting with it.
I get that...
Each time I design a piece of jewelry,
then sell it...
it feels like I am getting rid of part of my family.
This batch of necklaces will definitely make
me feel that way when they leave home.
Kind of like letting your baby go...
maybe that's why this one came home with me.
Melanie and I
At the beginning of the trail,
about to climb
in Garner State Park.
It's been almost a month since we returned home from our annual week long RV trip
to a great RV park situated on a bluff just above the clear crisp water of the Frio River.
It's nestled among beautiful gnarly live oak trees and several pretty high hills
(which are considered mountains by this Texan).
The trip is definitely one of the highlights of my year.
I think we have been going to this park for well over 8 years.
I went with one BIG goal in mind...
to once again climb, what is known as,
Mind you, it would not have been my first trip up to the top,
as I have climbed it probably 3 or 4 other times.
But, not for awhile.
I was determined to do it this time....
a gift to me on my 56th birthday!
I, along with my daughter, Melanie,
took out the very morning of my birthday to conquer
It is quite inspiring when you reach the the top,
as there is a huge additional pile of rocks there...
with the United States flag flying high and mighty in the wind
(when it blows)!
I have been traveling quite a bit this past year to teach.
Tucson, AZ., Houston, TX., Coronado, CA., Round Top, TX.
I have one more teaching gig for the year, and it's next month,
once again in Round Top,
Art Retreat at The Prairie.
I am way excited,
as I will be teaching three new classes.
From Rhinestones to Infinity
This is a fun new class for me.
I have incorporated a huge vintage rhinestone brooch into this design,
along with some beautiful links called Double Infinity links.
These links were designed, and came straight from my friend Cindy Wimmer's book,
The Missing Link,
which will be out next month.
I, along with many other wonderful jewelry artists,
was thrilled to be one of her guest designers.
Cindy has a pre-order link for it
I'll also be teaching another new torch fired enamel class
at The Prairie...
Lots of fun techniques in this class!
Scroll down the page and read all about it here.
Last, but certainly not least,
I'll teach a fun bangle class on Sunday.
Birds of a Feather
So, won't you come flock with us in Round Top?
I can't begin to tell you how much fun we have at this intimate setting.
And, how can you not love anything Rachel Ashwell inspired?