Saturday, February 18, 2012

So much has been happening these past few weeks; 
I don’t know where to begin!
First of all ~ I traveled down to Tucson in early February to see what was happening at all of the gem and bead shows.

I was beside myself with glee over all of the pearls and stones and tools and findings that were plentiful and inexpensive! 
I was on the hunt for baroque pearls ~ 
and not just any baroque pearls ~

I wanted HUGE ones with a lot of character!
 I’m obsessed with making chunky pearl chokers and necklaces and NEEDED CRAVED gigantic (30 mm) 
irregular-shaped chunky-but-pretty baroque pearls. 

This is one of my chokers using fabulous chunky baroque pearls

The first tent I went in to was at the Gem Mall, and the first booth I saw was a pearl booth with JUST what I was looking for! I was crazy with anticipation ~ until I asked the price....
I couldn’t afford hundreds of dollars per strand of pearls.... 
So, I moved on....(sigh....)        
This is my VERY sad face!
I wandered around, drooling over all of the pretties until I spotted Lucky Gems
~ Alas ~
My wishes all came true!
They had scads of baroque pearls luring me into their booth - and their prices were reasonable!
Needless to say, I purchased more than I needed....
~ Hey ~
What’s a girl to do?!?
Tucson only happens once a year!
I needed enough stash to last 365 days!

Lucky Gems
If you go, plan to spend several days ~ there are so many vendors, and they are spread out all over the city! Wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of money (credit cards worked just fine), attend some of the jewelry design classes offered, and, above all, practice restrain! You can go crazy with everything offered! I came home with a smile on my face a few days later ~ lots of pretty beads and pearls and tools and charms!
This is my VERY happy face!
Next: I’ll tell you about my trip to Coronado! 
(Hint ~ I found a perfect spot for Art Retreat by the Beach!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Well....Here I am....Bloggers Block....Bloggers Block....
I know I should blog today....But about what??? 

The fact that we have the most awesome winter weather in Phoenix, Arizona right now? 
No, I don’t want to make you jealous...!!!

That my son, Casey, was in town for the past few days visiting from Tucson? He's in his first year of his Emergency Medicine Residence program down there ~
 I know you don't ever want to see him when he's at work ;o[

That my little grand-daughter, Vivi, is the sweetest most precious baby in the world? 
No, I KNOW you don’t want to hear another love-struck grandma brag like that...!!!

That Registration is going well at Art Retreat at The Prairie....
I’m sure you care but I know you don’t want to hear about that right now...!!!

That I don’t have any new jewelry pieces designed this week to show you? 
No, I know I DON’T want to share THAT with you...!!!


I know.... I’ll post something about my newest obsession ~

By far the best Nutella recipe around the globe!

Don't they look yummy?!?

No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes


For the Crust

12 Oreo Cookies, crushed into crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

For the Garnish

whipped topping, optional
chocolate shavings, optional
toasted, chopped hazelnuts, optional


1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended and no streaks remain.
3. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
4. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and/or toasted, chopped hazelnuts.