Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Beginning

Well the new year has not begun but Charlie and I have been ready for it to get here for awhile.  Not that something magical happens when 2012 rolls in.  It just seems that everything is at a stand still until the holidays are behind us and then it is full steam ahead. We had a pretty tough 2011. It seems alot of folks had a tough year.

We are ready for some changes.  One thing that will not change.....we will continue to focus on the best things in our lives.  Those things being each other, our kids and grandkids.  We all have the opportunity everyday to choose to focus on the good in our lives or the negitive.  Most days my choice is to focus on the good and not let the bad rob me of the blessings of today.....however....I am sucked into the negitive more times than I would like to admit.

With life getting in the way, I am not where I had hoped to be by now with my jewelry making skills.  I had hoped to be farther along with the metal work and polymer clay.  At the top of my "to do" list for 2012....to become proficient in metalsmithing and polymer clay.  Healthy eating has gone by the wayside...just because it was one more thing to think about and plan.  My brain could not handle one more thing.  So, healthy eating is at the top of my "to do for 2012".  I need to be proficient in that area so it is just as easy to grab something healthly without having to think about it as it has been to grab the not healthy.  I love Dr. Oz.  Who doesn't, right?  Handsome, compassionate, funny, intelligent, and yet so practical and open minded!  And so real!  He had Alton Brown on a few days ago.  Alton said "In America we focus too much on what we cannot eat.  Why not focus on what we should eat for our health everyday?"  How simple is that??? He has a list of what he needs to eat and how many times a week he should have those things for good health.  So my goal is to use that list until it just becomes second nature.  To change my mindset from what I cannot have to what I need to eat for good health.

What about you??  Been thinking about things you would like to do, change, or view differently in 2012?  Care to share?  Writing it down for others to see adds accountablity.

Have a great day enjoying the blessings in your life.

Cindi

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Righteous Prevail

My guy is a true Southern gentleman through and through.  A true man of integrity.  He was raised to believe a man is as good as his word.  Charlie is known for being a gentle giant.  A kind, forgiving, loving man who puts the people he loves before himself.  His ability to forgive  and see the best in others when they are so horrible is truly amazing to watch.  Amazing, because it is supernatural for us human beings.  That is true Christ-likeness.  Isn't that what Jesus does?  He looks past the ugliness in our lives and see the potential and loves us regardless. A very wise pastor teaches that Christ-likeness is not something we should "strive" to be.....we can't do it!  The Bible says we are to "be still and know that I am God".  A Bible Scholar said the true Greek translation means "cease striving and know that I am God".   In other words....just let Him live through us....which comes from a daily personal relationship with an Almighty God!

Much to our shock about 3 months ago Charlie's integrity was questioned by a man who does not know the meaning of the word.  I am not sure why it was such a shock........we cross paths with people everyday that have the ability to do that.....people who know nothing about integrity.  It has been very hard to see how deeply this hurt Charlie.  A very wise godly business man who had no idea what was happening posted on Facebook a very encouraging word.  Apparent in his business he was experiencing some of that integrity questioning also.  He said.... "A man of integrity expects to be believed. Sometimes it takes God and time to reveal the truth."  Soooo true!  And sometime God lets us watch as the righteous prevail!  Yesterday Charlie and I watched that happen!  Beautiful sight it was!

There are so many times in life we find ourselves in situations we can do nothing about.  It is in times such as these that we have no choice but to sit back and watch God at work.  Trusting Him.  Many days we had to remind ourselves that He promised that "the righteous will prevail".  It did not FEEL like or LOOK like that was the case. 

You know I have been reminded through this that situations we cannot "fix" are opportunities to watch the hand of an Almighty God at work on our behalf.  He does that everyday.......sadly we get so caught up with life that we don't notice.  The days that I do pay attention it is incredible to see the hand of God taking care of those things that concern me as He said He would do.  And you know....He doesn't have to let us watch.  That in itself is a precious gift and a beautiful reminder of how close and attentive He really is everyday!

As we celebrate this beautful holiday it will be with thankful hearts that our heavenly Father sent His son to be born in a lowly manager because of His love for us.  His love that He reveals to us everyday if we pay attention.  So from our family to yours we wish you a very Merry Christmas.

With a very thankful and full heart,

Cindi

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Spirit of Giving

I have just read post from the blogs I follow.  Very moving, heart tugging, thought provoking!  I sooo love this time of year.  The little girl in me comes out.  I love decorating, baking, making special gifts. I love it all!  I love to start thinking, planning, making things in October.  Not only to plan ahead since I am NOT a last minute kinda girl, but to make this holiday time stretch out over a couple of months.  I hate when it seems to go so quickly.
There are several things about this holiday time that I wish I could bottle up and make last all year long.  People seem to be more giving.  Not only to those they love but to strangers in need.  As I read the blog post I referred to earlier I found myself thinking about how these women are making a difference by one person starting and many others following.  Yes I have heard all the great stories how one person begins something and makes a huge impact on society.  I guess reading these post and thinking about how I love the spirit of giving this time of year....I have begun thinking about what I can do to keep this spirit of giving to continue throughout the year.  Why can't everyday be like Christmas......aren't those words to a song????

I encourage you to find some time this weekend to sit by the fire in your favorite chair.   Grab a cup of coffee, turn on the Christmas lights and read some of the recent post of my favorite bloggers and see how you are inspired.

Cindi

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Update and Invitation

It is such a busy time with the holidays.  Enjoying time with family and friends, Christmas shopping, making lots of jewelry, selling jewelry, blogging, and the full time job, I decided I could not work my Etsy store like I should.  I removed all the items from my store for right now.  I will post pictures of some of the pieces I have been making here at Strings Attached.  If you are interested in seeing more you can certainly leave me a comment or send me an email at cadriggers1@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you and help with any jewelry piece you might be interested in.

Decorating and baking for the holidays is something I get excited about every year.  I hope I never lose the excitement and joy this season brings.  If you know me you know I like to organize my time.  So I had an idea that would allow me to accomplish several of these joys in my life without having to sacrifice any of them during this busy time that I love so.

You are invited to our home on Thursday, December 1st at 6:00 or Sunday, December 4th at 6:OO.  I will have jewelry out and Charlie will have gift certificates for massages if you want to do any shopping.  If you would just like to come and enjoy some relaxing time with friends please drop by any time on Thursday or Sunday evening.  I look forward to spending time with some old friends and some new ones.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organization-Love It!

Twelve years ago we decided to downsize and simplify our lives.  We bought a patio home and we love, love, love the lifestyle.  I said that to say that I do not have a studio that I work in.  I would not like the isolation.  My husband and I like hanging out together.  Our sunroom and family room and kitchen are all open, which we also love.  When we are home, we are always together.  Therefore dining room table in the sunroom......my favorite room is a perfect place for me to make jewelry.  When we first moved in here my husband called the sunroom, Cindi's room because I love it so.

I am an organizer, I would love to do that for a living.  I find alot of satisfaction in taking a mess that is just caous and doesn't make sense to something attractive, orderly, and makes perfect sense.  I went to a seminar years ago.  Author Emily Barnes was the speaker.  She had great ideas on making a house a home, making memories and sooo much more.  However, there was one take away that has been a life changer for me.  Emily Barnes said "There are stresses in life that we have no control over.  And then there are stresses that we can remove if we choose."  She very wisely suggested that we look at those things in our lives that were stressful and ask ourselves is this a stresser that I can choose to remove.  Not being able to find something that I know is somewhere in this house makes me crazy.  A stresser I chose to remove with organization. 

All that said, I need a place to keep all my beads, tools and jewelry making supplies.  I have been using a piece of furniture much like this one for quite awhile.   I found this on Pinterest and will be making some adjustments to my cabinet.  Are you sick of me talking about Pinterest?  I promise they are not paying me to advertise for them.  Check this out craft armoirhttp://pinterest.com/pin/378225011/  If you double click on the pictures on Pinterest you will get great instructions on how to put the project together.

Great Idea

Check out this link......http://pinterest.com/pin/395892588/ and this one  http://pinterest.com/pin/334519963/  

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pinterest-The Paperless Magazine

Do you have stacks of magazines that you dogear pages of fashions, recipes, home decor or a great idea you want to refer back to?  I will keep a stack in the magazine basket by the fireplace planning to do just that and I usually don't take the time to find those items again.  When the basket is full I give away the magazines and start the process again.  Knowing full well I will probably not pick up the magazine again.  So why didn't I come up with Pinterest!  I love this site.  A friend described it best by saying "it is like creating your own magazine." 

Not only do I love all the great ideas and recipes....I LOVE the organization options.  I can title my boards (categories) whatever I want and have them at my fingertips to refer back to.  Genius!!!!

Another reason I love Pinterest.....no paper, no clutter!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Etsy Here I Come






My Etsy store is open for business and I am in the midst of stocking more items this weekend.  These are a few of the items you will find for sale.  My store name is Strings Attached. 

Greenville Classical Academy.....Great Job!

Well the Greenville Classical Academy Fall Festival was great fun.  It was a crisp Fall day, the atomsphere was great, alot of friendly people, and an adorable little yorkie.  Charlie and Roddy brought their guitars and we had a great place to sit on the edge of the woods right behind our booth.  Folks walking by and the vendors close by seemed to enjoy the live music.  Sales were not great.  I talked to a couple of the other vendors who said the same thing. 

Greenville Classical Academy does an outstanding job from promoting to organization.  They have people working the event to make sure everything goes smoothly and the vendors are comfortable and have what they need.  I was very impressed. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A New Friend and A Fall Festival

My husband Charlie reconnected with a couple of childhood friends on Facebook.  Long story short.....Janet has been coming to see Charlie weekly for him to work on her shoulder.  Charlie had mentioned to me before I met Janet that she was a fabulous artist.  She does oil and watercolors and loves painting portraits.  She worked as a graphic design artist for years.  We began talking about making jewelry.  Janet is not limited to painting in her creative abilities. What is really neat about this new friendship is that she can teach me so much about techniques and tools and I can teach her about selling online and blogging.  She is very comfortable with a paint brush and blank canvas.  The computer.....not so much, so we are working on that together.

Both our husbands play guitar and sing. Last Saturday they came for dinner.  The guys had a jam session and we set up a blog and Etsy shop for Janet.  That night we talked about being ready next year this time for the fast approaching holiday season. 

The following week our computer tech at the office mentioned to me that his son's school was having a festival and they were signing up vendors if I was interested.  This was like 3 days after Janet and I had the holiday season talk planning for next year.  I understand this festival had 750 attend last year and they are expecting over 1000 this year.  Sooooo....Janet and I decided to go for it.  This opportunity was put in front of us.  We need to take it.

Greenville Classical Academy Fall Festival and Holiday Market will be October 15th from 10:00-2:00.   Check out the website at greenvillefallfestival.com.  There is a long list of vendors as well as all the items in the Silent Auction.

Janet and I were planning to start stocking our Etsy shops this week.  I think us newbies at this business will just focus on this event for now.  I tend to take on too much at a time.  Not as easy to do at the age of 55.

Hope to see you at the festival.  What a fun way to do some Christmas shopping.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Great Fall Weekend

My husband and I started the weekend with dinner outside at a Greek restaurant.  Friends came for dinner Saturday night so we cooked a Fall dinner.....chicken, stuffing and wild rice in the crockpot, wholeberry cranberry sauce with nuts and raisins, green beans and apple crisp for dessert.  I used the last of my apples, time for another trip to Sky Top. 

Today I have been finishing some jewelry pieces and making some new ones.  I will have pictures to follow soon as well as the opening of my Etsy shop.  Time permitting I hope both will take place this week.

I have also been enjoying the Cup of Bead Soup Blog Hop Party today.  If you are not familiar with this blog hop party check out http://www.prettythingsblog.com.  Lori Anderson is the founder, hostess and organizer of this party.  This is the fourth Bead Soup Party, almost 400 people participated.....an international event. 

Hope you are having a great Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Apple Cobbler

My family loves this recipe with any fruit.  Since it is apple season and my favorite fruit I will use apples.

Peel and slice 6-8 apples and place in saucepan.

Add 1 teas. cinnamon, splenda, sugar or brown sugar to taste (amount depends on how sweet your apples are), a splash of vanilla flavoring and 2 tbs. of butter.  Cook until apples begin to get tender, maybe 10 minutes.

Pour apples into a casserole dish and top with a box of jiffy cake mix.  Melt 2 tbs. of butter and pour over the cake mix.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and topping is browned.

This recipe is really called Quicky Fruit Cobbler.  If you need a quick dessert.... put a can of pie filling in a casserole dish, top with Jiffy Cake Mix and melted butter and bake.  Quick, easy, inexpensive, and always a hit.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dreaming Big

What would you do if time, money, or job was not a concern?  I would open a shop called Decompress.  After all isn't stress a huge issue for us all? Combining my love for coffee and jewelry, picture this. A relaxing little coffee shop serving homemade baked goods, great coffee and of coarse free WiFi on one side and a bead shop on the other. There is another component to Decompress I am saving for last.

How about those days when you just want to go somewhere have a cup of coffee, open your laptop and not talk to anyone.  Just unwind.  Or meet friends for coffee and dessert after dinner or my personal favorite...,coffee and dessert for dinner.

And on the other side of Decompress.....a bead shop.  Grab a cup of coffee and hang out with friends and make jewelry.  Let's say we have 6 ladies at the table making jewelry.  Each one brings their own style to the table.  Motivation, inspiration, and encouragement to step outside the box.  That's what I see happening as well as making new friends that share a love for creating jewelry.  We could offer classes, sell homemade components and beads as well as factory made.  Jewelry made by select jewelry designers for sale.... The possiblities here are endless. There is not a business like this in our town and only one bead store here.   

Now for the third component to Decompress.  My husband is a theraputic massage therapist.  Yes, you guessed it... how could you have a business called Decompress and not have a massage therpist in the building.  We have always enjoyed being together and have often talked about one day working together.

Dreaming Big.....

Cindi


 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sky Top Orchard

There is nothing better than fresh apples from the orchard.  Even if the weather is still warm in South Carolina you can feel Fall in the air.  So what better way to kick of the season with a trip to Sky Top Orchard.  Less than an hours drive we can have a great family day trip we make at least once, but usually 2 or 3 times during apple season.  We go early to get Honey Crisp apples.  They come in early in the season and are gone quickly.  Around October you can get all the usuals...... red delicious, golden delicious, winesap, mutsu.  The end of October is usually the Arkansas Blacks.


When you get out of your car the smell of apple cider donuts draws a crowd.  The donuts are made when you order so you receive them hot.  We went with the kids and grandkids.  We polished off a dozen while my son in law was ordering 2 more dozen.  No we did not eat the other 2 dozen but it would have been easy to do.





 Hayrides through the orchard, all the fun playhouses, swings and slides the kids have a great time and so do the adults.



Apple recipes just scream Fall and holidays. I have a great collections of apple recipes. Here is one of my favorites.


Fresh Apple Cake

2 ½ cups self rising flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 eggs

1 ½ cups cooking oil

1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped apples

1 cup chopped nuts

Mix dry ingredients, add eggs. Slowly add oil, beating constantly. Add vanilla. Fold in apples and nuts. Bake in tube pan, 350 for 1 hour.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Frozen Latte

I am a die hard coffee drinker.  This is a great low cal frozen coffee.  Quick, easy, inexpensive, and low cal.....

Hope you enjoy as much as I do.


1 cup skim milk-add ice to make 3 cups
1 box fat free sugar free vanilla pudding
1 cup frozen fat free cool whip
1 TBS. instant coffee

Mix in blender and serve with cool whip on top and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer in the South

With the high temperature and humidity there is nothing better than a cold refreshing drink.  I am a diet pepsi addict.  I admit it and I am not interested intervention.  Iced tea with fresh mint and lemon is a great change every now and then.  I love to slice a fresh lemon and go outside and pick the fresh mint. 

But to change it up a bit....this recipe is especially great with all the fresh peaches in season:

You can use instant tea, I prefer fresh tea.  Fill a pretty glass pitcher alittle over half full with tea.  Add Crystal Light Peach Tea, one small tub out of the canister.  Top off the pitcher with Ginger Ale.  I make my sweet tea with Splenda and use diet Ginger Ale.  Add your sliced fresh peaches.  It doesn't get any more Southern than that....sweet tea and peaches, sweltering temperatures and high humidity equals Summer in the South. 

The first time I had this tea was at a luncheon.  It was winter, no fresh peaches.  Our hostess used slice lemons, limes and oranges.  It was the talk of the luncheon.  The food was great but everyone was asking for the tea recipe.

Refresh yourself on this hot humid Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spinning Wheels

In my head that is...I have been reading blogs, listening to tutorials, inspired by so many beautiful pieces but nothing of mine to show for it yet.  Well alot of unfinished pieces!  But not for lack of trying.  I start a piece, can't wait to see the finished product I have in my head....and then discover......I don't have a tool I need or the bead I want for this piece, the ear wires I have in mind, the wrong size leather cord.....or enough time to purchase, practice new techniques, and create.  Oh the frustration!

My husband will tell you I am not one that likes to wait once I set my mind on something. I get excited and want to jump in with everything I've got.  Sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  I have to talk myself down alot.  So as I reign myself in, prioritize, and refocus, I find myself also practicing character building skills.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Addi

My Addi Boo.....isn't she the cutest little model.  Addison's favorite color is pink, so you know who I was thinking about when I ordered the pink leather. As I have mentioned earlier the quality of leather from Leather Cord USA is phenomenal but the colors are beautiful.  The pictures do not do the pink and turquoise justice.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Productive Or Not????

As far as jewelry making this week, it has not been as fun as I had hoped.  I have focused on a couple of new techniques.  New for me.  I continue to practicing my bead loop wrap and it is looking better.  I received my leather order for Leather Cord USA (thanks Tracy Statler for introducing me to this company).  The leather is beautiful.  As you can see I have made by first bracelets with leather.

In discussing over lunch with a friend I came to realize that my week has been productive even though it does not looking like it in my jewelry making world.  I only have a couple of new pieces to show for my work, but I am learning and perfecting.....in that sense it has been productive.

My lunch friend brought her first polymer clay beads.  She did a great job.  I can't wait to try some myself.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Basic Jewelry Skills

Well it is time to be honest with myself. I have been stringing beads for alot of years. Why have I not moved on into the more creative pieces that I love? Those pieces that are in my head and never come to fruition? The skill you need for almost every piece beyond stringing is bead loops. I get so frustrated that my wrapping is not pretty like others I see. Yes I know....practice, practice, practice!

Beading for me has been therapy, relaxation. This practice thing would cause my stress levels to go up! Well stress or not I am here to stay. I am at a stage in my life where I want to develop my hobby into something more. Take it to the next level.

Looking back, I see that I have spent my life encouraging others to be the best they can be. I love helping other people see their potential and encouraging them to go for their dreams. Guess what I have done? Not taken the time to do that for myself.

My husband went back to school 5 years ago to become a theraputic massage therapist. He is a natural and never did what he really wanted to do. Working full time and going back to school to be a physcial therapist took alot of time away from family. Time he was not willing to sacrafice. He has always put everyones needs and desires before his own. He is the most selfless person I have ever know. When we were discussing him going into theraputic massage I said "it's your turn now. It has always been about everyone else."

Well it is time for me to put my own words to practice. It is my turn now....time to dream big, go after what I love to do.....

So practice, practice, practice.....I want to be the best I can be at what I love to do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jewelry Designer Andrew Thornton........OMG!

Well Andrew has out done himself!  You must check out his blog and you must do it today!  He has giveaways, new designs to his store and if that is not enough.....he is having a virtual yard sale on ebay.  Incredible finds!  Hurry....go shopping at http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Favorite Blogs

The blogs on my Blog List are awesome.  If you have not checked these out, you should.....just be ready to be hooked.  I look forward to sitting down each night with my laptop and reading their blogs.  Inspirational, motivational, artisitic and if that is not enough.....they are great writers.  These jewelry designers just had a great giveaway to share with some lucky folks some of their incredible finds.  Yes they are givers, too! I did not win and I stillllll love these girls and their blogs.

The most important thing I have learned from reading their blogs is there are so many awesome techniques, textures, materials that I have not even thought about using.  I realize I have just been playing with beads.  I am ready to get into some serious jewelry designing! I can hardly wait.  I don't have all the tools, chains, cording, metals, and stamps I need to do all I want to do.  I am on a mission to aquire lots of cool things that I need to begin this new adventure. 

I am taking the week of July 4th off from work and I plan to spend lots of time experimenting and making some new pieces.   And yes....sitting by the pool and spending time with the love of my life, my kids and grandkids.  Who needs a vacation away when I can stop all the demands of work and enjoy being at home.  I am a blessed woman. 

Come back to see what I am learning and how this adventure unfolds.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Making Memories




Our precious grandchldren are great little artist  Drake can draw really well.  They both have a very good eye for making bracelets.  Addison and Drake like to make bracelets with me.  We have some great talks while we are beading together.  Addison spent this past weekend with us.  We went to the restaurant of her choice on Saturday night.  I was wearing several bracelets stacked so she put on some also.  We came home from dinner and made her several bracelets like mine she could stack on her little arm.  What great memories.....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Not Your Mama's Pearls

Pearls always make me think of Jackie Kennedy and my precious grandmother.  You wore pearls to church on Sunday morning or a dressy affair.  Not anymore..... I am more of a casual girl.  Give me a pair of bluejeans, a cute shirt and a great pair of wedge sandals and I am a happy girl.  I love how the dos and don'ts of fashion that I grew up with are a thing of the past.  White is no longer allowed only during Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Jeans are no longer worn with just a tee shirt or sweatshirt.  A great pair of jeans can be dressed up with a great jacket and a tank and yes.....pearls.

And have you noticed...no longer are pearls just round.  I love the look of pearls with turquoise, pearls and silver, pearls with pink.........

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stack Rings

Did I mention I love stacking?  I like to change things up and keep it interesting. Check out some of my stack ring designs.......

More Designs

My new favorite colors.  I seem to be drawn to anything turquoise, coral, or brown. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inspired by a Bead Blog

I have always heard the definition of a wise person is someone who surrounds themselves with people that have experience and knowledge and gleans from them.  That is what I love about the Internet and blogging.  You have that access at your fingertips whenever you want. 

After reading alot of blogs on beading I found my fav.....Make Bracelets by Tracy Statler at makebraceletsblog.com.  Not only do I love her designs and "how to" videos but her blog is an easy read.  Not overwhelming and cluttered....aesthetically pleasing. 

I have been so inspired by Tracy and her designs that I can't seem to make bracelets fast enough.   And with beads I have had for so long with no inspiration as to what I wanted to do with them.  I have made some of my favorite bracelets from those very beads.  Thank you, Tracy.  I visit your blog everyday.  I hope one day someone will pay me that same compliment.

Here are pictures of the designs I am talking about.  I love to stack bracelets and rings. Notice the endless possiblities you could put together.                                                            

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For The Love Of Beading

Beading has been a hobby off and on again for years.  But over the last year I have come to love it more than ever. I think it is because there are so many awesome options and materials to inspire and motiviate beaders.  And then there is the endless, beautful selections of beads.

If all of this is not reason enough to love beading.....what about stress relief?   I am still amazed that in such stressful times, nothing is more calming to me than beading.  I come in from a stressful day at work, bead a pretty bracelet and my mind is clear and the stress of the day is gone.

Oh for the love of beading........