Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Looks like I'll be ringing in the New Year with Dick! I'm still sick, but on the mend, so thanks for the well wishes! And, since I'm feeling a little better, my creativity is creeping back in:I made these gorgeous earrings today with some beautiful foil-lined glass beads. I love the "vintage" look they have about them. I guess I'm on a "vintage" kick [of sorts]...being inspired by all of these vintage images I've been perusing on this website. I'm addicted!! I even used a small collaboration of a few images to make my new Etsy banner:I love it!! So, if you're looking for a great throat soother..."Gypsy Cold Care" tea, with a dollop of local honey will do the trick! It's soooo good!

Welp, off to find something to fix for dinner, since we'll be staying in tonight. I hope you all have a very safe & a very Happy New Year!! See you in 2011!!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things." ~ John Burroughs

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The crud...

...makes me a miserable old crab. I hate being sick! I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat and then a steady downhill slide into crudville. I started a "Z" pack yesterday, so I hope I feel good enough to go to the New Year's Eve party tomorrow night [of which, I've been soooo looking forward to]. If not, it'll be another New Year's Eve of making coffee at 10pm, just so I can stay awake long enough to watch Dick Clark wish us all a "Happy New Year"! But I am excited about this! It's an awesome "Bokeh Kit" that helps you create those beautiful little patterned light effects, like this:I can't wait to try it out!! But looking at this photo makes me think...yummmm ~ I need to go fix me a big cup of hot tea to sooth my aching throat! Happy New Year's Eve Eve!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

“New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.” ~ James Agate

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can you guess it?

I had a great idea for a new little game for all of my awesome peeps! It's a guessing game and I'll be posting something new every Tuesday! The photo above is this week's "guess it". All you have to do is post your comment on my facebook page and the first person to guess correctly will win a pair of these:
beautiful "Tiny Dancer" earrings! Good Luck!! And remember, you must post your comment on the facebook link, not here on the blog. And then, next Tuesday, you can check on my facebook page for the new "guess it" photo! How fun!!! And, if you haven't become a fan of my page, please do. You'll be glad you did! And please feel free to share with your friends!

Thanks for always being so awesome!! Good luck guessing!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"Don't keep a man guessing too long - he's sure to find the answer somewhere else." ~ Mae West

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope you received everything you wished for! Wayne got a giant beanbag chair, so he could sit by the fire, but Ozzy quickly decided that it was was more comfy than his bed, so guess who go the last laugh! Hee hee ~ Life is good!!

Merry Christmas All!! ♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"If I held you any closer I would be on the other side of you." ~ Groucho Marx

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmastime is here...

...our holiday card for 2010, which also included a newsletter which was written by Ozzy. I love all things about Christmas, except the hustle and bustle. The best day is Christmas day, when it's all over and you can relax and enjoy the day. this is one of my favorite ornaments from childhood. I love it!I just love "vintage" images, cards and postcards from years gone by. I recently signed up for this website, which gives you unlimited downloads for a whole year! I've been enjoying perusing the old Christmas cards, especially. This one was cracking me up! I love the fact that there is a little devil riding atop all the toys in the sack! So cute! And while most of the images are very beautiful, there are some that are downright this:
and check out that tree - really?!but most of them are truly beautiful and express the real meaning of Christmas...hope yours is Merry and bright! Happy Holidays!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"From Home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other." ~ Emily Matthews

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

just keep on smiling...

hee hee ~ we've been cleaning out closets around here and going through old books, etc., boxing up things for charity before December 31st, so we can take our annual "charitable contribution" on our taxes next year. I kept most of my books, but Wayne got rid of lots of his [mostly books from college] about how to build a nuclear reactor, etc....I mean does anybody really need that! Lol - I hope they don't fall into the wrong hands, but they are from like 1972, so I'm sure much advancement has been made since then [I hope]. Anyway, I did my major book purge about a year ago, so I'm keeping the ones I have left now [even my "Brownie handbook" from when I was a little girl] ~ you never know when you'll need to whip out that pledge and recite it:

"I promise to do my best
to love God and my Country,
to help other people every day,
especially those at home." ~ The Brownie Girl Scout Promise

And then we came across this hilarious little was given to Broc by my grandmother when he was a little boy. She loved to tell jokes and they would sit together and laugh for hours. She got the biggest kick out of him and he loved it! So here's a random "Little Willie Rhyme" from it...hope it makes you giggle:

Willie sawed a man in two.
Couldn't put him back with glue.
Said Mother as she mopped the floors,
"Can't you play these games outdoors?"

hee hee ~ and these were written for 9 year olds! Hilarious! Down right!!

And so...the winner of those awesome earrings from Monday's drawing was lucky #3 [which is Ellen]!! Yay Ellen!!!! E-mail me your address: and I'll have them on their way to you in two shakes of a lamb's tail! I hope you enjoy them!!

Happy Wednesday!! Stay Warm!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"Row, row, row your goat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is just a scream." ~ Stephanie Calmenson

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sharing & A Freebie!!

I really enjoy it when someone on Etsy asks for my advice/expertise, critiques, ideas, etc., when it comes to selling goods on the internet. I hope I always give them good advice and help them on their way to having a great little business! So yesterday, I got a message from this lady [who makes darling dolls and doll cloths, by the way], asking for any advice I had in order to help her with her shop...and this is what I said:

"Okay, here goes my 2cents…hope it’s worth more than that. First of all, here’s a link to the “Sellers Handbook” on Etsy ~ as you can see, it is chocker block full of any and all information you could possibly need to sell yourself on the internet. And that’s the most important thing to remember, you are selling “yourself” first and foremost…your “stuff” is secondary. Once you have wrapped yourself up in a tidy little package, your “stuff” will basically sell itself. In other words “branding”…find something to make yourself stand out above the rest and stick to it. The Internet is flooded with stuff just like yours, so make yours the best it can possibly be and that’s where shoppers will go. Offering a “free gift” is not going to make people buy your things, I promise. You can certainly include a “freebie” in their package when they purchase something and that will be a nice little surprise, but I wouldn’t advertise it up front. Next, right up there with selling yourself, the most important thing is photographs. If you are serious about selling your wares on cyberspace, you need to invest in a decent camera and learn how to use it. These days, you can buy a great point and shoot with macro capabilities for about $200. Worth itself in gold in the long run. Try a Canon Powershot, they take some awesome photos. Next, take advantage of all 5 slots Etsy gives you to post your photos. Nobody is going to click on a blurry photo. Once you get the hang of taking great pictures, then you need to start working on writing great descriptions. Give color examples, exact size dimensions, exactly what type[s] of materials were used, etc. In other words, make the potential buyer feel like they are “holding” the item, by just seeing it in a picture…like when you read a good book, you can picture the scene just by reading about it…that’s what I mean. Like this for instance ~ what type of material is it? Cotton? Knit? Jersey? What colors are in the Butterfly Applique? Is the applique hand-stitched? What does the mask even look like? I can’t tell from the picture…stuff like that. Maybe try reading doll clothing descriptions from other sellers to get some ideas. And Ron is right, the clothes should be displayed on dolls, even if it’s dolls you aren’t selling. I would invest in a “popular” doll, or dolls and then use them for models. Taking photographs outside, in natural light, is the best way to photograph most items, especially clothing. Take the dolls to a park, put them on swings, have them playing in a flower garden, etc., get creative. Start working on these things and then, when you have everything perfect, start advertising. Right now, I’m afraid you’ll be wasting your money and time advertising. Another great little handbook to have handy is this one ~ it’s so worth the investment. I wish all of this information was available to me when I first started out. It’s much easier for people starting out these days.

So, I hope this helps, somewhat. I’m certainly willing to help out any way I can. Good Luck!!"

Gosh, I hope I gave her some good advice :)And, since I'm "feeling the love", I'm giving away a pair of these awesome "Irish Coffee" earrings! All you have to do is comment on this post and Ozzy will be picking the winner on Monday! That's it!! Good Luck!!

I feel in love with this today:appropriately named "who loves you" and, if you just feel in love with it,'s for sale right here! And, there will only be 1 of these...he's a one of a kind. So cute!!

brrrrrr....I'm going downstairs to hang out by the fire a bit ~ it's getting wintery out there!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.” -- Nadine Stair

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Story telling through images...

Looking Glass falls...after 10 inches of rain!Kayaker...brave, or just plain crazy? You decide.

Happy Thursday!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” ~ James Stephens

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reminiscing, Holiday Cards & A Winner!

Tomorrow is December 1st!!! One more month of 2010! Can you believe it! I remember when it was New Year's Eve 1999 and everybody was on the edge of their chairs, waiting for the tick-tock of the clock to strike midnight and what in the world was going to happen?? Would the clocks even continue to tick-tock? Would the T.V. stop working? Would all of the cars not start? Would all of the computers in the world simultaneously shut off? Sometimes I think the computers are smarter than the people that invent them. Of course, we all know nothing of the sort happened and all was well, so we'll just ride out another 1000 years!

I don't know where I was going with that, but it was a fun memory. So *yay* ~ Jen was the winner of those awesome earrings from my last post!! Congratulations, Jen!! I hope you love them! They are really gorgeous!
So....did you get your holiday cards yet? It's such a tradition for me. I love making and sending them each year. I stress myself over it until I get them all done and in the mail. Wayne thinks I'm crazy, but it's just something I do. Anyway, I got an e-mail today from "Digital Freebies", with these awesome card templates. I just wanted to pass them along to you, in case you've been contemplating your holiday cards. So cute!!

Welp...gotta run ~ I want to go watch the Christmas Special that's on right now. Have a great evening and check back tomorrow for another freebie!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together." ~ Garrison Keillor

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friends, food & a freebie...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends! Every time we get together it's always "we need to get together more often"...time just goes by and goes by and the next thing you know, it's Thanksgiving again! Hope you had a wonderful one, too!
And the really great part about this Thanksgiving was that Broc [my son] got to spend it with us! That's him there on the far right. All of our friends just love him! Of course, they all loved my Brussels Sprouts, too! I converted two more people with them! They are sooooo good! I used this recipe [minus the cheese part]~ and the secret is the butter. If you think you haven't used enough, add more. I don't think you can "over butter" them, that's for sure! And, when it's all said and done, I promise you will love them!!
So my weekend Sale is off to a great start! Thanks everybody!! And just in case you missed the post, everything in both my Etsy Shop & ArtFire Shop is 25% Off, plus "Free shipping" until Midnight Monday [November 29th]. All you have to do is use coupon code "Holiday" at checkout and the discount will be automatically deducted from your total.
So, to show my gratitude for each and every one of you, I'll be giving a pair of these awesome earrings away. All you have to do is comment on this post and Lita will be picking a winner Tuesday morning! Good Luck!!

Welp, gotta run for now...I'm making some new things today and will have them in the shop tomorrow! Surprises, surprises...something about airplanes & tiny cameras [so cute!!].

Have a wonderful weekend!! Stay warm & in your P.J.'s with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Remember buy handmade things for all your gift giving this year!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration." ~ Ansel Adams

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving & a 25% Off Coupon!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!! I'm "thankful" that we are going to friends for Thanksgiving and I'm only having to prepare 2 dishes! Ugh...I can't imagine having to prepare a whole Thanksgiving dinner, with all the fixings, dirty dishes, house cleaning, etc., etc. I know one thing, I would have to have more than 2 bottles of wine ~ lol.

Oh well, I was trying to insert another picture, but apparently blogger is having some issues today. So, I just wanted to let you know about the Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale I'm having in both my Etsy Shop & Artfire Shop. Starting right now, there will be "Free Shipping" on all purchases and 25% Off!!! Please use coupon code "Holiday" for both shops to get the discount. That's it! Yay!! Etsy finally has a coupon feature, so no more waiting for a PayPal invoice, refund, etc. I'm so excited!! Let me know if you have any questions!! The sale ends Monday night @ midnight [November 29th]

Have a wonderful day!! Don't eat to much!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs! ~ unknown author

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday!!

oops...looks like I dropped the ball on the last give away, so I just went down and got Ozzy to pick a winner and the winner is [insert drum roll here] #3, which is Perry!!! Yay Perry!! You won those gorgeous earrings from my last post!! Congratulations!! I hope you enjoy them. Sorry about that. I've been so distracted...I finally had to get a new computer and it has taken up ALL of my time for the last week. Getting programs installed, moving files, rearranging my studio, etc. I think I'm finally making some headway, so *Yay* for that! Whew, what a lot of monotonous, exhausting and not very much fun work! I need to get back to my beads, they are collecting dust over on my desk. I did get in some awesome new charms today, so I'll get busy making something with those. hee this was cracking me up today! Are you ready for the holidays!! I mean, Thanksgiving is this Thursday already!!! I usually have my Christmas cards ready to address by now and I haven't even made them yet! Thank goodness we are going to some friends for Thanksgiving and I only have to bring a green bean casserole and some awesome Brussels Sprouts [made from this recipe] ~ and they are so good!!! If you, or someone you know, is not a big fan of Brussels, they will be after eating some of these. So what's your favorite thanksgiving dish [besides the turkey]. I would love to know!!
And I'm so looking forward to decorating the tree and seeing these little ones favorite ornaments from when I was a little cute!!

As you all know, Friday is "Black Friday" and Monday is "Cyber Monday" ~ the two busiest shopping days of the year! So, starting at Midnight Thursday [November 25th] and going until midnight Monday [November 29th], EVERYTHING in both my Etsy Shop and my ArtFire Shop will be 25% off, PLUS "Free Shipping" and "Free Giftwrapping" all weekend long! So start looking around now and get ready for the sale!! Happy Shopping!! Etsy has a new "coupon code" feature, so I'm going to try and figure that out...I'll post the coupon codes for both shops Thursday...stay tuned. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

P.S. I just want to thank everybody that commented on my last post ~ I am so very thankful for each and every one of you...especially you, my sweet little sister, Karen!! I love ya'll!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A hike to a mountain top & some more "free" earrings!

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous around here lately! So yesterday, we took full advantage of it and went on a hike up to "Stone Mountain"in Dupont Forest. Although the trail was a tad harrowing at times,the whole trek up there was totally worth it!! Absolutely breathtaking! The dogs had a blast!And I got some much needed fresh air & down time. If you are interested in seeing all of my photos from yesterdays hike, you can click here ~ enjoy :) I can get busy creating again. I did get these made yesterday:they are called "Strawberry Fields Forever" and are for sale in both my Etsy Shop & ArtFire Shop! But, I'm giving a pair of them away on my blog!!! Yes, yes!!! But, instead of you just posting a comment like "I love these", or "I would love to win these", let's make it more fun this time! All you have to do is post a comment about what you like to do to wind down, like hiking, biking, reading, sleeping, etc....I would love to hear what you have to say! Ozzy will be picking the winner Monday ~ good luck!! So Ozzy got is stitches out and he's doing great! The turtleneck shirts worked out perfect and kept him from being able to lick his incision. But, in saying that, Lita was so jealous that we had to put a shirt on her, too! She loved it! She don't know why she had it on, but it ranked her right back up to "boss" status ~ lol

Welp, I'm off to get some things ready for the ArtMart this weekend @ the Transylvania County Arts Council! Come out and see me if you live close enough. The party is tomorrow night from 6 to 8 and the ArtMart Public Sale will be Saturday from 9am until 4pm. It'll be lots of fun and a great opportunity to jump start your holiday shopping!!

Have a great weekend peeps! Don't forget to comment on this post for a chance to win these gorgeous earrings!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"The better part of happiness is to wish to be what you are." ~ Desiderius Erasmus

Monday, November 8, 2010

I just see it...

...ugh! I did a show at the mall this weekend and it was terrible!! One of the worst shows I've ever, ever done. I guess "mall shoppers" don't appreciate art or handmade things [for the most part]. The only items I saw selling were those fleece scarves that represented various football teams and these angels:I really don't "get" the hype over an angel with a "John Deere Tractor" dress, but hey, who's judging! To each his own. Besides a lot of "crafters" there were several amazing artists, but the person most talented was a guy named Chris Moffet that has only been creating art for a little over a year now. His woodworking skills are just incredible! So after a boring, boring day, I came home with Jack:
and I LOVE him!!!! I have him hanging up in the stairwell, so I can see him every time I come and go from my studio! He's awesome! The show was to benefit the "Enka Fire Department", so, hopefully, they raised some $$ for that. The kids had fun riding around in the remote control firetruck:I don't know how much trust I would have had in a puppet driving my kid around, but like I said before, to each his own.

And it seemed as though the most interest I got in my work was from other vendors, specifically other jewelry vendors. And it's the same old question time and time again "when you look at a pile of beads, how do you know what you are going to make with them, if you don't follow a pattern, or copy something from a magazine or website" and time and time again, I have the same old answer "I just see it" ~ and that's all it is and all I can say about it.
Oh, and I guess you are wondering who won those awesome earrings from my last post?!? {insert drum roll here} ~ lucky #3, which is Chris!!!!! Yay!!!!! Congratulations!! I'll have these on their way to you in two shakes of a lamb's tail! I hope you love & enjoy them!!! Karen [my sister] will be upset, but I might have to send her a pair for Christmas! Enjoy!!

Gotta wrap it up...almost time to take Ozzy to the vet to get his stitches out! Hooray!!! Life is good for me and my little Ozzy. Hope you're week is off to a great start!! Check back Wednesday for another give away!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"A dog is a smile & a wagging tail. What is in between doesn't matter much." ~ Clara Ortega

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crystal Balls & Fantasy Photography...

Good Morning peeps!! Hope you're having a most wonderful of weeks! It's a little drizzly, cold & foggy here in the forest, but sometimes that's a good thing. I tend to be more creative when I can't go outside. On nice days, I just want to be outside with my camera. So yesterday's creativeness brought about these:
I just ♥LOVE♥ the huge crystal glass balls! And they are not only earrings, they are a looking glass into a tiny world beyond. So pretty!! I named these "Ice Princess" and they are for sale in both my Etsy Shop and ArtFire Shop. However, I'm going to give a pair away to someone that comments on this blog post. You know the drill...just leave a comment and then on Monday [November 8th], Ozzy will pick the winner! Good Luck!!! Oh, and don't forget, Daylight Savings ends this weekend, so set your clocks back one whole hour Saturday Night before you go to bed!!
So, I've been playing around with PhotoShop [again, yes again] and I've just all but fallen in love with fantasy photography. This is one I did's a night scene, using my hand and my cousin's little girl. I really love how it turned out. I got inspired from "Lissy Elle" ~ her photographs are truly amazing. Check them out and see for yourself. You'll be inspired, I guarantee :)

Now I'm off to create! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! If you live nearby, come see me at the "Biltmore Mall" ~ I'll be peddling my wares both Saturday & Sunday during regular mall hours! A great weekend to jump start your holiday shopping, for sure! And now, I'll leave you with a poem I wrote yesterday to my brain ~ enjoy:

"An Unquiet Mind" - a poem written to my brain...

You awake me while I'm sleeping
creating things alone
Knowing my hands are needed
you can't make things on your own

Why don't you go to sleep now
rest with the body you're in
for tomorrow will come bright & early
and that's when you can begin. ~ Kathy Hardy

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November 1st!!

Hello, hello!! I hope everybody had an awesome Halloween!! I certainly did! We went to a great party that had an "Old Gregg" theme. If you don't know who "Old Gregg" is, click here to watch the video. I know, it's somewhat disturbing, but the more you watch it the funnier it gets. The band playing at the party call themselves the "Fishsticks" and they were all dressed in characters from "Old Gregg", with the lead singer [Raymond Rainey] playing the part of "Old Gregg" himself. It was hilarious!!But my friends Mark & Leslie had the best costumes ~ I love it!!They were Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) people. Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday to celebrate the dead. Awesome peeps & costumes!!

And so October has gone with a flash, a bang and lots of fallen leaves...speaking of leaves, #4 [Lindsey] won that gorgeous Maple Leaf Necklace from my last post! Congratulations, Lindsey!! I hope you enjoy it!!

And for those of you concerned [thanks so much], Ozzy's surgery last week went well. The vet removed a huge mass [the size of a softball] from his chest and it was [thank goodness] just a huge mass of fat. They sent him home with a big incision and a drain sticking out of his chest, of which he managed to break off the very first day! So we solved the problem by keeping him in a turtleneck shirt that I cut the sleeves off of. He seems to enjoy it, actually :)

And right now he's laying here looking at me and probably wanting some attention. So I'll cut this off and say goodnight!! Happy November everybody!!

♥ & peace always ~ Kathy

"If you think you're too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito." --Betty Reese