Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mini Felt Matryoshka Dolls and Mom's Hospitalization

The last several months have been pretty worrisome for me.  My mother - who lives in Arizona - has been ill with serious cardiovascular and diabetes-related issues.  I flew out to Arizona to offer support to both of my parents during this difficult time.  My mom ended up having several surgical procedures over the past few weeks, the latest being a leg amputation.  Thankfully, she is in positive spirits and I believe this will help her to recover so she can go back to living a fulfilling and productive life.  And, even though I don't normally plug businesses here on my blog as a regular activity, I've got to say a huge "thank you" to the nurses, doctors and staff at Boswell Hospital in Sun City for being so loving, caring and professional to my mother during her hospitalizations.  I spent upwards of 12 hours each day in the hospital at my mother's bedside and witnessed much love and compassion from the staff there.  I've never experienced anything quite like this in a medical environment before and it was wonderful to see.  I wish I could clone these people - no kidding.

True to form, I had to bring a craft project with me to work on in the hospital.  I always have to have something to do when I sit; it's just a part of who I am.  I ended up bringing a little canvas bag filled with scissors, needles, embroidery floss, felt and a steno pad with me on my trip.  The steno pad came in handy for sketching out patterns and designs.  I ended up making several mini matryoshka dolls out of felt during my stay.  I challenged myself by making each doll unique in color and design.  Each doll measures 4-5" and a stack of unstuffed dolls can easily fit into a sandwich baggie, making them easy to transport.  I stuffed them with fiberfill after I returned home.  Here are some of my little creations:

I will eventually put these up for sale in my Retro Eclectica store on Etsy, possibly over the weekend.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recycled Domino Art Saint Bracelets and Upcoming Italy Trip

One of my regular customers who is a fan of Saint Rita asked me to make a recycled domino bracelet featuring images of just this saint.   True to form, I can never stop at making just one of something, so I made three other bracelets dedicated to just one saint. 

St. Therese of Lisieux

St. Philomena

Our Lady of Guadalupe

...and the one that started it all, St. Rita.

Incidentally, I don't believe I've shared this information on my blog yet, but I'm going to Italy for two weeks this coming September with my daughter and son.  Two of the "must see" places we are visiting include St. Rita of Cascia's shrine in Cascia and St. Philomena's shrine in Mugnano.  These are two of my family's favorite saints and we are really looking forward to visiting these locations.   Other highlights of this trip include attending the Saint Gennaro festival in Naples, the Prosciutto festival in Parma, lots of shopping and time at the beach.  Cities we are visiting include:  Rome (of course - what kind of Catholics would we be if we didn't stop there, right? ), Vatican City, Venice, Murano, Assisi, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, Pescara, Pompeii, Positano and Bologna.  We have some definite sites we want to see during our visit, but we are also open to suggestions from people who have been to Italy before.  Please don't hesitate to leave me a comment if you have any suggestions for "must see" or "must do" things in Italy.  I look forward to hearing from you. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Virgin Mary Necklace, Earrings and Saints Charm Bracelets

I've been on another jewelry making roll (so what else is new, right?) and I want to share my latest designs with you:

Virgin Mary Necklace ( I love the retro avocado green colors in this.  Even the filigree pendant base I used is avocado green):

Filigree dangle earrings, featuring my favorite subject, the Virgin Mary (yes, I know, I am so predictable. I just can't help myself...):

Catholic saints loaded charm bracelet in shades of pastel pink and white:
And another view of the bracelet with the portrait charms all separated out:
This was a custom order for a lady with a very tiny wrist who wanted a simpler version of a Catholic saints charm bracelet.  She selected the saints for her bracelet, who are (from left to right): St. Fiacre, St. Barbara, St. Hildegard, St. Joan of Arc and St. Brigid of Sweden.  I've collected saints images since I was a little girl and literally have thousands of images in my collection, even the more obscure and hard-to-find saints:

And speaking of custom orders, one of my best selling items these days are my folk art wooden cross necklaces.  These have been selling like hotcakes the past few months and I've made them with just about every perceivable image.  As always, any jewelry items pictured here and/or custom jewelry requests can be ordered by contacting me through this blog or visiting my Etsy and EBay stores.
As always, thanks for letting me share my creations with you!
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