Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fall 2014 Classes

Since I’m asked often when and where I’m teaching next, I thought I’d make a list for you. I know, it really IS so thoughtful of me. If you want me at your local library ask your adult education coordinator. They LOVE it when people do that! (actually, I'm not sure about that--but it can't hurt). Or, email me and I'll hit them up, too.

If you can’t make the class and would like to try it on your own, I sell the patterns and kits on my ETSY shop. Patterns are sold for immediate download on ETSY and my CRAFTSY pattern shop.

Current Schedule

Oct 29, 7:00pm – 8:30pm @ Northport Library  ETSY

All about ETSY. Do you want to open an account, learn how to list, get payment, make millions of dollars? Okay, I can't help with the millions of dollars but I can show you the rest. ;)

Dec 1, 7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Longwood Library Snowflake Ornament

Want to make one of these cool snowflake ornaments? You can use them for more than just the tree--they look great in the window and make nice teacher gifts (if you LIKE the teacher). ;)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Make a Fast and Pretty Hair Tie

My daughter Annabelle doesn't like jewelry. Yes--I know. It's been difficult for me to handle BUT it turns out she will allow me to make her pretty hair ties. She also confided in me one day that it makes her happy when people are impressed they're hand-made. (I should qualify--she likes jewelry on everyone but her. She wears earrings but only under protest). ;)

Anyway, I came up with some hair ties that she likes and I enjoy making them for her. They're easy to make and if she loses them I'm ok with it because I'll just make more (and I honestly just don't stress about that kind of thing anyway).

If you know how to crochet, you can do this in a snap. If you don't know how to crochet there are some youtube videos to show you how and this uses the most simple of the crochet technique of single crochet and double crochet. 

Here's what you need:

  • Plain pony tail tie
  • 1 mm Cording 
  • (You can use lots of things like elastic cording, cord, thick string, or yarn. Experiment with what you like to work with and what you can easily string beads on).
  • Crochet hook (Size depends on the size of the cord)
  • Beads for embellish
  • I use lots of different things.. acrylic is best as it's not as expensive and if it breaks you don't have broken glass everywhere. I'm very often trolling the clearance racks at craft stores).

Step by Step

1.  String all your decorative beads on your cord/yarn/thread.

String Your Beads FIRST
2.  Tie your cord around the pony tail holder and secure it with a knot.

3.  Attach your thread to the crochet hook. Go under the pony tail tie, pull the cord from the other side through the tie, wrap the cord around the crochet hook (to do a double crochet) and pull thread through your loops.

Crochet Around Plain Tie

4.  Continue around the pony tail tie until you have it covered. (You can pull the stitches over a little to fit more in. Depends on how much you want to cover up the hair tie in the base).

Double Crochet To Cover Plain Tie.

5.  Do a single crochet into the first row of crochet you did. Chain one.

6.  Pull a bead towards your hook. Chain one.

Row 2: Add Beads

7.  Single crochet in next hole on the first row of crochet you did. Chain one.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 til all the beads are gone.

9. Single crochet around the entire base.

10. Remove hook and secure your thread with a knot. I normally like to drop a dab of bead glue on the knots to make sure they're secure. Just make sure you don't USE the hair tie til you're sure that glue is dry. ;)
Just Add Hair

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In the Lovely Month of May

Me and my mom.
It will be May in ONE day and yet here I sit with a fleece jacket on in my office--freezing. This is the year of the elusive Spring day. I need the sun to warm my face--I'm sure that I'll stop complaining once that happens. I also solemnly swear to NOT COMPLAIN ONE TIME about being hot this summer. I swear it, I swear it, I swear it!

There. I'm done now.

Mother's day is COMING!!!  For Mother's everywhere (hey--that's me too!) I am offering discounts on jewelry! 20% off anything in stock. I can make things for you too (custom) but it does depend on what it is (some stuff takes time to make and I want to make sure there's time to get it to mom--you don't need THAT kind of guilt trip when your gift doesn't arrive on time, right? You know the sigh I'm talking about, "Oh... sigh.. it's alright... I don't need a gift...sigh")

So the coupon code is MOTHER20. Shop it up!!  -->Belle Jewelry Designs

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I'm Hiding Easter Eggs Full of Calorie Free COUPONS

So I have four main places you can follow me; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I'm hiding coupons in each of these locations and they are all different values. So far, only one has been published. I will publish the other two later this morning. All coupons will be published by 10am EST.

Follow me for your special egg of savings in my ETSY shop. These won't rot your teeth, add calories to your diet, or melt in your hands. I'm not saying you shouldn't have chocolate though--that's pure insanity. Life is short--eat chocolate and wear lots and lots of jewelry.





Friday, April 18, 2014

Bracelet Photoshoot--Does This Make My Butt Look Big?

Authoring my first book was a tremendous amount of work. More than I anticipated (to be honest). Would I do it again? Um. YES, please! I learned a lot with this project.

Book designer Susan Van Horn and Photographer Steve Legato
One of the more glamorous parts of the project was the photoshoot. I had to go to Philadelphia to meet with my editor and book designer from Running Press at the photographer's, Steve Legato, studio. The trip there was NUTS (short story: three kids tagged along to visit my brother and sister in law for the day. Car broke down. Rented another car. Major snowstorm on the way there.)
Back to shoot. We met at the studio which was so classically a photographer studio you would see on TV.  Like--picture a loft with amazing wood floors that creaked as we walked, super high ceilings, exposed brick walls, massive windows, and photographer lights and diffusers all around. 
First order of business was to decide on what music we'd listen to--Steve is also a musician! So we talked about music, our kids and their interests in certain bands and instruments, it was pretty cool. Then we had to decide how the jewelry would be photographed.  Susan wanted a minimalist and clean approach--just the bracelet would be featured.  I wanted them to mostly be clasped and upright. Most of my work, because of the beads, makes them very soft and not easy to prop up without assistance. You can do it but a gentle breeze would knock them back over.  We did our best with this issue.
So much equipment to photograph that little bracelet!
A fun part of this was also to have pictures of the bracelets on us. We three kept changing shirts and layering sweaters (so it wasn't the same shot all the time) while wearing the bracelets. The photographer took close-up shots of our wrists while our hand was in a pocket, holding a phone, reading a book, holding keys, and... you get the idea, right? Trying to make wrist shots be unique and interesting was tricky. There's only so many ways you can hold your wrist. (By the way, I saw the official wrist shots recently. My kids and I were able to pick out my wrists immediately. I said nothing out loud but on the inside I was thinking, "gawd--they look old and bony."  It's official--I have a problem. I don't even like how my WRISTS look in photos.)
We had a great lunch together, worked some more, and then I took the train to meet up with my kids and then drive 4 - 5 hours home. It was a whirlwind 36 hours!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Upcoming Live Classes!

A listing of classes, locations, and topics. I keep this current so you can sign up too. I provide the patterns and ALL the materials you need. I even thread the needle ahead of time. Seriously, how cool is that??
Northport Library  October 29, 2014 7pm to 8:30pm

Would you like to learn about the site ETSY? How to make an account, how to get payment, how to take pictures, and make millions of dollars? Okay--the millions of dollars won't happen but I'll show you everything else. :)
Longwood Library   December 1, 2014  7pm -  9pm.
Really fun snowflake ornament  using Swarovski crystals that can be used for more than putting on a Christmas tree. I personally use them in my windows for a winter decoration and sometimes for teacher gifts. They're not difficult to make and whip up rather quickly.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It’s the Great Mother’s Day Giveaway!

I don’t know why but mother’s day seems to sneak up on me every year. My mother prefers it when I give her things I’ve made—she’s kept pretty much every macaroni craft of mine. While my craft skills have improved a bit—she still has her preferences. She told me that she has too much jewelry (hmph!).  Just yesterday I started to panic about having enough time to make her something she’ll like and get it shipped in time. For your reference: mother’s day is Sunday, May 12th!

I’m participating with a bunch of my friends to create a huge Mother’s Day Giveaway. What? You don’t believe me? I’ve got friends! Anyway, the gift package includes an assortment of books, DVDs, jewelry, and a very cool gift certificate.

Here's the short version of the rules: To enter, leave a comment on this post. For more chances, leave a comment on the other blogs listed below. Enter by midnight ET on May 12, 2013. . Detailed rules at the bottom of this post


From PuttingItAllontheTable (The Organizer of This Great Giveaway):

muffin-tin-cookieOne signed copy of "The Muffin Tin Cookbook: 200 Fast, Delicious Mini-Pies, Pasta Cups, Gourmet Pockets, Veggie Cakes, and More!" by Brette Sember. Moms love muffin tin cooking because one cup equals one portion (no fooling yourself that you’ll have “just another bite”) and because kids automatically think anything made in a muffin cup is delicious and are willing to try new foods made this way.

One copy of "Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More" by Brette Sember, a glorious celebration of America’s favorite treat, a gleeful look at its history, impact, meaning, and deliciousness, filled with mouth-watering anecdotes and stories that will satisfy in a way no other book can. Special recipes, anecdotes, and everything you ever wanted to know about cookies are in its pages.

From Project: Happily Ever After:project-happily-ever-after

One copy of "Project: Happily Ever After," by Alisa Bowman, a memoir of how the author saved her marriage. Partly tragic and partly humorous, the book will help you feel normal, give you helpful tools to try at home, and leave you with a pervading sense that you are not alone.

From Christine Gross-Loh:

parenting-without-bordersOne signed copy of "Parenting without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us," hitting shelves just in time for Mother's Day. Parenting expert Christine Gross-Loh, a mother of four, takes readers on a multicultural tour of the world’s best parenting practices -- from Finland, Sweden, and Germany to France, Japan, China, Italy, and beyond to examine how international parents successfully foster creativity, discipline, independence, resilience and academic excellence in their children.

Revealing the surprising ways in which culture shapes accepted practices, Gross-Loh offers objective, science-based insight into what strategies are best for children -- and why -- in a book that is sure to spark new conversations among parents. Ultimately, "Parenting Without Borders" is both a call to action and an international handbook on how to build our own global village -- one that will raise all of our children well.

From Belle Jewelry Designs:

One Bead Kit and Pattern to Make Dainty Daisies Bracelet belle-jewelry-designsby Claudine Jalajas.  Every year my children give me flowers for the garden for Mother’s Day. It’s one of my favorite gifts. This bracelet reminds me of Mother’s Day for that reason.

This pattern and bead kit will provide you with everything you need to create this lovely bracelet. The design is created using a cross-weave technique which is great for anyone from never-touched-a-needle-and-thread-before to advanced weaver.

I’ve taught this design at several libraries in Suffolk County (on Long Island). Most people can create the bracelet in an hour. It is woven using 4mm and 6mm genuine Swarovski crystallized pearls for the flowers, TOHO seed beads for vines, and potato pearls to simulate leaves. The clasp is a lobster clasp. This design also makes a gorgeous anklet -- just increase the size.

Also? I have BIG NEWS!! My bracelet design book will be released Fall 2014 by Running Press!! Go to my agent's site to read more.

From Attainable Sustainable:

attainable-sustainable-off-the-shelfOne copy of  "Off the Shelf: Homemade alternatives to the condiments, toppings, and snacks you love" from Kris Bordessa, who shares a collection of recipes that take your favorite condiments and pantry staples off the grocery store shelves and puts them right in your (very capable) hands.

Make hummus, pesto, fresh salsa, and a Caesar ranch dressing that will knock your socks off. Whip up a batch of hot fudge sauce or chocolate pudding to indulge your sweet tooth. If you can chop, dice, and stir, you (or your kids, mom!) can make any of these recipes and more right at home.

From MyKidsEatSquid:

my-kids-eat-squidOne $25 Gift Certificate for King Arthur Flour, from My, which offers cooking tips, tricks, and recipes to tempt your family's taste buds.

Founded in 1790 (yes, you read that right), King Arthur Flour is a really cool business where baking and social responsibility go hand in hand.

From The Friendship Blog:

best-friends-foreverOne copy of "Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend" by psychologist Irene S. Levine. On a recent appearance on "CBS Sunday Morning," Rita Braver called Irene the “Dear Abby of Friendship."

Close friendships, which are essential to our well-being, can be challenged by motherhood. Having children often drains time and emotion from other relationships, and can create distance between mothers and child-free friends. Give yourself the gift of focusing on your female friendships this Mother’s Day.

From MyItchyTravelFeet:

65-things-to-do-when-you-retireOne copy of "65 Things to Do When You Retire: TRAVEL." A total of 10,000 people turn 65 each day -- and many of them who retire want to make the most of travel opportunities. "65 Things to Do When You Retire: Travel" offers practical, inspiring advice about how to have the time of your life, whether traveling with a group, with a spouse or partner, or on your own.

More than 65 intrepid writers and travel experts reveal their own personal adventures and describe glorious getaways for retirees, including such exciting travel opportunities as international house-sitting, going to Italy for a writing workshop, volunteering to help communities in developing countries, doing archaeological digs, taking a retirement "gap year," and chucking it all to see the world.

From StickingMyNeckOut:

the-business-of-babyAn autographed hard cover copy of "The Business of Baby," by Jennifer Margulis, an explosive new book uncovering how corporations and for-profit medicine harm new moms and their babies.

Award-winning midwife Ina May Gaskin calls the book, "a must-read for expectant mothers," and Library Journal has said it's "not just for parents to ponder."

Check out the trailer for Business of Baby

From ReelLifewithJane:

reel-life-moms-day-giveaway-2006 DVDs. Every mom needs a distraction from life, whether it's Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts on a scooter, Edie Falco as a wayward nurse, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman as old friends who might be parents, the classic boy from Neverland, Anna Wintour's glitzy life, or America's bully crisis.

That's why Reel Life With Jane's entry in The Great Mother's Day Giveaway is a DVD/blu-ray six-pack extravaganza: "Larry Crowne," "Nurse Jackie Season 4," "The Switch," "Peter Pan Diamond Edition," "The September Issue," and "Bully." For more great giveaways, entertainment news, celebrity interviews and reviews, visit Reel Life With Jane and follow them on Twitter.


Check out the trailer for Bully



  • One winner will win the ENTIRE package of prizes!
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post.
  • For more chances to win, enter once at each blog listed in the giveaway below. One entry per person per blog.
  • You must enter by midnight ET on Sunday, May 12, 2013 (Mother’s Day).
  • Each blog participating in the giveaway will randomly select one semifinalist from those who have entered on that blog.  One winner will then be randomly selected from those names and will win ALL the prizes.
  • Offer limited to U.S. addresses only; entrants age 18 and up.
  • Winner will be notified by the email given when entering; not responsible for email transmission problems or postal delivery problems or failures.
  • You are responsible for notifying us of your correct mailing address if you are selected as a winner.
  • Contest closes at midnight Eastern Time on May 12, 2013. Prize is nontransferable and may not be redeemed for cash.
  • We reserve the right to announce the name of the winner on the blogs.
Each participating blog will be responsible for sending its own prize