Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This Week, Bracelets!

As one of my Christmas gifts, my husband got me a subscription to my favorite jewelry making magazines- Belle Armoire Jewelry. And, my first issue arrived yesterday! I am so very excited to read it. 

As you may recall, last week I posted  about some beautiful necklaces I discovered while browsing Etsy. Sharing some wonderful bracelet designs from two jewelry crafters seems like a natural progression.  I will now turn to two bracelets I love. I follow the blogs of both these women and have observed their designs with envy.

From Lety's Creations on Ebay
First, I have to tell you about a fellow blogger I met through Donna, one of the leaders of the Mary’s Graces Etsy Team. Her name is Lety, and she is owner of Lety’s Creations on Ebay. The intricate, mixed media elements of her jewelry fascinates me. I also love her bold use of color, and surprising pairing of jewelry elements.

Enlighten My Heart Vintage Valentine Four Strand Red Bead Saint Bracelet from Three Sweet Birds
Another jewelry designer, who is part of the Mary Graces Team I am part of (well, I would be more a part of this team if I had time to stock my store), is Donna Pereira from Three Sweet Birds. In a funny coincidence, I purchased one of her necklaces long before I began crafting my own jewelry. But, today I am featuring one of her beautiful bracelets.

I Hope you all get a chance to check out the jewelry both these talented women create in their shops.

Friday, February 24, 2012

St. Teresa of Avila and Lent

Public Domain image of Josefa de Ă“bidos' painting of St. Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila has long been one of my favorite Saints. I have always been fascinated by her story. Teresa had partial Jewish heritage. Her paternal grandfather was Jewish, and forced into conversion to Christianity. Even though we share Jewish heritage, I did not know of the Judaism in her family until after I discovered how compelling she was and did further reading about her.

Chronic illness followed Teresa throughout her life. She also had multiple experiences of religious ecstasy.  Her ecstasies and spiritual visions were a source of heated debate among her contemporaries. Many thought they were not genuine. Later she would go on to found a new order and many new convents. She was also a prolific writer, her words revealing her thoughts on prayer.

Me on Ash Wednesday
Lent began with Ash Wednesday this week. As most people know, we are asked to give something up for Lent. However, you can also decide to take on a new spiritual practice rather than give something up. This year, I was praying for direction about what course to take for Lent.  In answer to these prayers, I was led to take on daily devotion using a book based on Teresa of Avila’s writings about prayer. The book is called Meditations with Teresa of Avila by Megan Don. I have been waking up earlier to begin each day with a passage from this book. I always take comfort in the increased mindfulness Lent produces.

For those who observe Lent, I pray you have a meaningful Lenten season. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Oh, Graceful Leigh, Where Art Thou?

You all may be wondering where I have been lately. My job at Kaplan has become busier this term. First, I have a new course that I have never taught before. This means brand new lecture notes, and brand new course preparations. Obviously, this takes some extra time! In addition, I am also now evaluating student portfolios to determine life experience credit and going through training for that. All of these new responsibilities have put my jewelry crafting way on the back burner. And, by that I mean I have had no time to even touch any of my beading supplies.

This does not stop me from browsing handmade Jewelry on Etsy. This induces much longing on my part. Stunning does not even begin to describe some of the designs I have been looking at.

For example, look at this beautiful bead embroidery that Pamelia at Pamelia Designs does:

From Pamelia Designs on Etsy
 And here is another wonderful design by Robyn Parrish in her The French Circus Etsy store.

From Robyn Parrish
And this necklace by Becky Arendt, who owns Love Kingdom Designs on Etsy:

from Becky Arendt
Why oh why must Etsy be constantly tempting me???