Monday, November 21, 2011

Living Well and Staying Happy While Saving Money!

Well lovely readers, I don't know what got into me this week but I went on a major DIY Binge and made all sorts of stuff for our home. As I bask in the warm glow of my family's adoration (trust me, this will be short-lived) I thought I'd share what I did.

 Lemon Sugar Body Scrub. Smells heavenly and works wonders on skin. I paid $1 for the sealable large=ish jar and the actual scrub cost me less than $3 for a lot of sugar scrub!

 Cream cheese cinnamon sugar Sopapillas. Bad picture but scrumptious recipe I found on Pinterest. I'll post actual recipe and original poster on recipes page tomorrow. As you can see someone couldn't wait for the photo and ate some before I could get the bad pic I took anyway.

Homemade Body wash. I originally saw this on Pinterest as well but didn't like the ingredients so I searched the web and found a tip here, a tip there and came up with my own experimental variation which came out great. Cost about $4 for 1 and 1/2 gallons and it smells great.

 Crock pot Chicken and Dumplings recipe which I found here: Easy, inexpensive and delicious recipe that my family loved. We added tiny grape side golden potatoes to ours.

Deciding that I might as well keep on while I was on a roll I made:

 Homemade liquid laundry detergent. this was also a pinterest inspiration but I then did a little research and found a recipe I liked better on the web so i combined the two and came up with this. The consistency is good and the smell is fabulous. 7 gallons cost me $11.00. My husband is one happy camper about this one!

 Last but not least came the Better Homes and Gardens recipe for Mexican Mac and Cheese with Sausage and Salsa. We added fresh cilantro, and Rotel tomatoes with lime. I served 7-Up Biscuits which my family adored. I got the recipe from a lovely blog at:  The kids loved the process of watching "helping" me use soda to make biscuits. And the buttery goodness made them a huge hit with everyone!

I'll post all of these recipes on our recipe page tomorrow but for now folks, I'm worn out. But satisfied! Until next time, Live and love well and do what makes you happy! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be kind. Always.

Hello All! I experienced one of the most profoundly horrific acts of tasteless and just plain evil behavior this past weekend and while it saddens me greatly, I've decided to combat it with what this blog is about...being kind. To that end, I found a lovely article on the internet that is from an organization similar to one I joined six years ago in the US called the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. The article that follows is from a UK version of a similar organization but the 29 ideas they list are awesome even though some of them need to be adjusted for life in the US. here is the original link to be credited with the story below:

The time has come when we cannot just rely on others to make the world a better place – each one of us has to do our bit.
It is therefore time for people to be more and more aware about their Personal Social Responsibility (PSR).
PSR is all about doing to others what you would like others do to you. It is about recognizing how your behaviour affects others, and holding yourself accountable for your actions. For example, contrast someone being well mannered and kind, with someone being rude.
And this brings me nicely to the theme of this post – being kind to others.

Kindness is contagious – and as part of Personal Socially Responsibility you might want to consider carrying out random acts of kindness on a daily basis.
It is truly a win/win/win situation. The person you are being kind to benefits through your help. You feel good for having helped someone. And the world is a better place through your kindness.
Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. I still remember, after many years, the time someone stopped and helped me after my car had broken down down. Since then, I have stopped on the road myself and helped stranded motorists a number of times. All because of that single act of kindness by a stranger.
Also, it is important to carry out your acts of kindness without expecting anything back.

So where do you begin?

To get you started, I have listed 29 ideas below. And why the number 29? Because it is as good a number as any – and also because I couldn’t think of idea number 30!
Put them into practice and also create your own:-
  1. Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
  2. Make a card at home and send it to a friend for no reason.
  3. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
  4. Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
  5. Buy a coffee for the man on the high street selling The Big Issue magazine.
  6. Cut your neighbour’s hedge.
  7. Walk your friend’s dog.
  8. Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
  9. Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  10. Stop and help someone replace their flat tyre.
  11. Let someone jump the queue at the bank.
  12. Pay for the drinks on the next table at a café.
  13. Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
  14. Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
  15. Hold the train door open for someone rushing to get in.
  16. Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
  17. Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
  18. Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
  19. Pick up some rubbish in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
  20. Compliment a work colleague for their excellence.
  21. Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
  22. Give another driver your parking spot.
  23. Give a piece of fruit to a delivery person.
  24. Help an elderly neighbour carry the rubbish out.
  25. Tell all your family members how much your appreciate them.
  26. Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train / bus.
  27. Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
  28. Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past.
  29. Smile a lot.
What goes around is sure to come around – happy helping :-)
Isn't that a lovely idea. I plan to do it now more than ever and to try some of these new ideas! I have a suggestion for number 30: Sincerely thank those people who have been true friends to you because true friends are rare and priceless. If anyone has anymore suggestions, please send them and I will add them to this post! Till later this week, Live Well, Be happy and Be kind! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Puff Paint Abstract Art Tutorial
This fun and easy as well as inexpensive art project makes art easy even for non-artists like myself. The original tutorial is here: And here is the lovely pic:
And below is my version which I did slightly differently than the original tutorial:
 As you can see, this project has lots of potential even for non artsy folks like myself. I chose to spray paint mine a pale ocean blue to match my beach dwelling decor. Try one and send me the pics to share here! I promise to post a tutorial of mine with step by step photos and instructions soon! ~Teresa


Monday, November 7, 2011

Love and Be Thankful

Hello All! I know I have been away for a little but we're back on track now! Today I want to share a story from Candice. She found this somewhere and we knew it was perfect for the spirit of our blog and our readers! We sincerely hope you enjoy it:
 Her hair was up in a pony tail, Her favorite dress tied with a bow. Today was Daddy's Day at school, And she couldn't wait to go. But her mommy tried to tell her, That she probably should stay home. Why the kids might not understand, If she went to school alone. But she was not afraid; She knew just what to say. What to tell... her classmates Of why he wasn't there today. But still her mother worried, For her to face this day alone. And that was why once again, She tried to keep her daughter home. But the little girl went to school Eager to tell them all. About a dad she never sees A dad who never calls. There were daddies along the wall in back, For everyone to meet. Children squirming impatiently, Anxious in their seats One by one the teacher called A student from the class. To introduce their daddy, As seconds slowly passed. At last the teacher called her name, Every child turned to stare. Each of them was searching, A man who wasn't there. 'Where's her daddy at?' She heard a boy call out. 'She probably doesn't have one,' Another student dared to shout. And from somewhere near the back, She heard a daddy say, 'Looks like another deadbeat dad, Too busy to waste his day.' The words did not offend her, As she smiled up at her Mom. And looked back at her teacher, Who told her to go on. And with hands behind her back, Slowly she began to speak. And out from the mouth of a child, Came words incredibly unique. 'My Daddy couldn't be here, Because he lives so far away. But I know he wishes he could be, Since this is such a special day. And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know. All about my daddy, And how much he loves me so. He loved to tell me stories He taught me to ride my bike. He surprised me with pink roses, And taught me to fly a kite. We used to share fudge sundaes, And ice cream in a cone. And though you cannot see him. I'm not standing here alone. 'Cause my daddy's al ways with me, Even though we are apart I know because he told me, He'll forever be in my heart' With that, her little hand reached up, And lay across her chest. Feeling her own heartbeat, Beneath her favorite dress. And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, Her mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her daughter, Who was wise beyond her years. For she stood up for the love Of a man not in her life. Doing what was best for her, Doing what was right. And when she dropped her hand back down, Staring straight into the crowd. She finished with a voice so soft, But its message clear and loud. 'I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star. And if he could, he'd be here, But heaven's just too far. You see he is a soldier And died just this past year When a roadside bomb hit his convoy And taught all of us to fear. But sometimes when I close my eyes, it's like he never went away.' And then she closed her eyes, And saw him there that day. And to her mothers amazement, She witnessed with surprise. A room full of daddies and children, All starting to close their eyes. Who knows what they saw before them, Who knows what they felt inside. Perhaps for merely a second, They saw him at her side. 'I know you're with me Daddy,' To the silence she called out. And what happened next made believers, Of those once filled with doubt. Not one in that room could explain it, For each of their eyes had been closed. But there on the desk beside her, Was a fragrant long-stemmed rose. And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, By the love of her shining star. And given the gift of believing, That heaven is never too far. Post this to let everyone know that our Soldiers will never be forgotten. Take the live and love. Until eternity.
Until next time, which will be later this week, live and love well my friends!  ~Teresa and Candice

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Liza's Story

Hello Friends! Keeping in mind that October is Spina Bifida Awareness month, we have a wonderful article written by Liza, an adult with Spina Bifida. Liza has been generous enough to share her story with us. I sincerely thank her for using her personal story to educate us about Spina Bifida and what life with it can be like. Here is Liza's story:

My name is Liza (with a Z, not Lisa with an S).  I am 29 years old and the single mother of a toddler.  I was born with a Birth Defect called Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is a type of “neural tube” (spine) defect where the bones of the spine do not fully form at some point along the back, leaving the spinal cord unprotected in that spot.  This can be anything from a larger than normal space between 2 vertebrae, to the spinal cord being exposed to the outside of the body.  The neural tube forms at about 26 days after conception, so by the time a woman finds out she is pregnant, the neural tube has most likely already formed.  There are 3 main types of Spina Bifida: Occulta, Meningocele (“men-in-joe-seal”), and Myelomeningocele (“my-low-men-in-joe-seal”).
 According to the CDC, Each year, about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida (sadly, many are aborted because of a lack of understanding as to how exactly Spina Bifida affects people.).  Spina Bifida is the most common birth defect in the United States, but for some reason most people have never heard of it, unless/until it affects themselves or a family member or close friend.  No one knows exactly what causes Spina Bifida.  For certain cases it seems to be genetic.  And doctors and scientists believe it could also be from not getting enough folic acid during the time the neural tube is developing.

I have the most severe of Spina Bifida, Myelomeningocele.  This means that my spinal cord was actually protruding from my back when I was born.    Spina Bifida usually causes nerve damage below the spot of the defect.  For me specifically that means I cannot feel anything besides pressure on the bottoms of my feet, backs of my legs, and gluteus maximus. My feet are always cold when it is cold outside.  I have to use a catheter to urinate, and do not have regular bowel movements.

My parents had no idea I had Spina Bifida before I was born (now it is common to know during pregnancy, because of ultrasounds and other tests).  After I was born I was flown from Wyoming to Denver Colorado, where I had surgery to close my back.  I have had about 11 more surgeries on my bladder, feet and legs, as well as 2 more on my back.

My childhood was filled with hospitals, IV’s, MRI’s, CT/Cat scans, X-rays, surgeries, recovering from surgeries, heavy duty pain killers, ER trips and doctor’s appointments. As well as being teased for walking with a limp (kids are ruthless).  This was all normal for me, but my childhood was also filled with “normal” kid stuff.

 Every year I would go to the closest major city to an “MM (short for myelomeningocele) Clinic”.  It was an all-day thing where I would see lots of specialists: Neurologist, Neurosurgeons, Nutritionists, Urologists, Internal specialists, (I’m sure I’m forgetting a few.)
It wasn’t until about high school that I realized this was not “normal” for everyone.  But I never really thought about it before then, because it was “normal” for me.

I worked full time after high school doing mostly fast food jobs.  It was really difficult because all the standing and moving caused lots of pain, which registered once I was home and stopped moving.  I wasn’t really able to do anything besides work because I was in too much pain.  But I just sucked it up and did it, because that is what adults did.
  College was difficult for me, mostly because of the attendance requirement.  With my bowel and bladder issues, showing up every day, or for every class was not an option.  Eventually I would get so far behind that I couldn’t keep up.
I got pregnant with my son when I was 27.  It was a huge shock because I vividly remember doctors telling me that I would not be able to get pregnant without medical assistance.  (The one time that I listen to what a doctor says is possible…).  After the shock of being pregnant wore off, I wondered if carrying and delivering a baby was even going to be possible for me.  I tried doing research on line, but couldn’t find anything about being pregnant and having Spina Bifida.  I saw a perinatal specialist when I was pregnant that assured me that everything should be fine, and since I could touch my toes, I should even be able to have a natural delivery.  (I never figured out what touching my toes had to do with delivering a baby.).  My mom worried the entire time I was pregnant that my son would have Spina Bifida (It is not usually genetic, but we believe in my case that it is genetic).  My thought on it was “Who better to have a child with Spina Bifida, than someone who has had it for 27 years, and knows everything involved??”  I was more interested in the fact that my feet were warm all winter! (Thank you increased blood flow! Lol.)  My son was born perfectly healthy, and I had a normal delivery after 22.5 hours of labor.  This was one of many instances that I was glad to have nerve damage.  While my labor was definitely uncomfortable, it didn’t actually hurt that much.
I found out when my son was about 6 months old that I had a tethered spinal cord, a condition that is fairly common for people with Spina Bifida.
The spinal cord should float freely in spinal fluid, but with tethered cord the spine attaches to scar tissue on the back.  This pulls the spinal cord tight and can cause (further) nerve damage.
I have been looking for a neurosurgeon to release my spinal cord for almost a year now, and so far have not found one that is capable of doing the surgery I need, without causing more damage, and that will take my insurance.  Finding the specialists that people with Spina Bifida need to see is so much more difficult as an adult than it is to find the same specialists for kids with Spina Bifida.

Having a tethered spinal cord has caused further nerve damage and made my legs weaker than they were before, so I can’t stand as long as I was able to before. That means that I won’t be able to work anymore, at least until/unless I get training in a job where I can work from home, so that I can stand/sit/lay down when I need to.  And even though Spina Bifida is on Social Security’s list of qualifying disabilities, I have been denied for Disability about 3 times, and am in the process of appealing those decisions.

Having Spina Bifida is difficult, but it has taught me many valuable lessons that I would never have learned otherwise.  I learned that staying positive, no matter how bad it looks, has a huge impact on out-come.  I learned patience (from sitting around waiting for Doctors or tests).  I learned to ignore negative people.  I learned not to judge people, and to look at things from other points of view besides my own.

Friends after reading Liza's story I feel so much awe and respect for people who just overcome. I have relatively little to complain about in my life compared with some of the people we've met this month, yet I still manage to do plenty of complaining! Please show Liza some love for her post in the form of comments below! Thanks so much Liza for your honesty, your humanity and your courage. Until next time, Live and love well my friends! ~Teresa

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Featured Artist Bernoullis Attic

 Hello Friends! I'd like to introduce a new artist named Susan who owns Bernoullis Attic, a really great shop on Handmade Artists Shop!
Teresa: Bernoullis Attic is a really novel store on Handmade Artists Shop. How do you describe what your arts are and your store?
The logo for Bernoulli’s Attic carries the saying “Handmade Oddments and Whimsies” and that is really what the shop is about.  There’s a little bit of everything in the Attic, from crochet to handmade soaps, but the bulk of the offerings are crocheted items.  Many (most, actually) of my items are my own patterns and designs.  You can find everything from bath accessories to scarves to stuffed animals.  If you’ve got something in mind, just let me know and we can probably figure out how to make it.
I have just opened a second shop, called Paper Imaginations by Bernoulli’s Attic to handle greeting cards, gift tags and anything else you can make from paper and imagination.  This was mostly a housekeeping decision…the cards were taking over the original Bernoulli’s Attic shop!
Teresa: You have more than one art that you are quite talented at. Do you have a favorite and if so what makes it your favorite?
If you’ve seen my shops, you’ll have noticed that I work in many different craft areas.  Crochet, scrapbooking/card making and jewelry are the predominate ones, but I love to make soap, wreaths, and do decorative painting as well.  I love to crochet because after about 40 years of practice, there’s not much that I can’t make and I find it to be relaxing, almost meditative.  Card making is fast becoming my favorite hobby, however. I can’t draw very well, so it lets me get creative designs out into the world using paper, ribbon, embellishments and imagination.  Right now, I’ve gotten into using a paper folding technique called “Teabag Folding,” which makes 3 dimensional shapes that I use on cards and such.
Teresa: How long have you been an artist and when did you decide to go public with it and into selling it?
I have always had a creative side, but never pursued it steadily until 2010.  I was taught to crochet as a child by my grandmother and a family friend, but never really thought of it as an “art”.  It was more something to do to keep busy (and keep the family in potholders).  I spent 20+ years in the engineering world, but kept up with crocheting and other crafts as things caught my interest and time permitted.  While I always thought it would be fun and rewarding to be able to craft full time, my practical side expressed concern over #1: what to do with all these creations and #2:  how to pay for my obsessions. (I guess you can take the girl out of business, but…). I decided to form a company, Bernoulli’s Attic, to market my items.  I began full time crafting in 2010 and Bernoulli’s Attic began on-line selling in January of 2011. My second on-line shop Paper Imaginations by Bernoulli’s Attic just opened earlier this month.
Teresa: What advice do you give to anyone interested in your particular arts and selling their art in general?
I have two piece of advice for anyone who wants to engage in the handmade goods business.  First, from a business perspective:  Do a reality check.  If you’re just starting out and plan on feeding a family of 5 with the proceeds from selling your handmade feather dusters online, do your research.  It may work, but you need to know you have a market (and a fall back plan).
The second piece of advice is actually the most important.  It’s more from a philosophical viewpoint:  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Yes, it’s a business and it’s your creativity being put out there.  It’s also a world full of people with differing ideas and opinions, and not everyone will see things the way you do.  I put a high value on serenity and peace of mind, which are things that crafting gives me.  Some may think I am wasting time and other talents.  Some may not see any use for my products and believe “store bought” is better.  Remember, that’s their opinion. I do not defend my pursuits or my creations.  I just know that what I do, I do for me and it makes me happy.  Sales and approval are nice (and to a degree, necessary), but that’s not what makes me wake up in the morning ready to try out a new idea.  That’s love for what I do.
Teresa: What are your hopes for Bernoullis Attic?
I’d like for Bernoulli’s Attic, along with Paper Imaginations by Bernoulli’s Attic,  to become an on-line version of a little brick-and-mortar store that people feel comfortable just popping by to say “hi”, share the latest buzz and see what’s new.  It’s not just about the on-line selling, but about the on-line presence.  Bernoulli’s Attic has a Facebook page and Twitter account, where I have made contacts and friends that I look forward to hearing from each day.  We celebrate the ups and downs of our businesses and our lives, and offer support and encouragement.  I love to hear from folks who have questions about my products or are looking for something special.  It really does brighten my day to know someone is looking.  Everyone should feel free to drop by and say hi via Facebook (, Twitter at ( or my webpage at

Teresa: And the usual, one funny, unusual or interesting thing about yourself that you don\'t mind sharing! ( I\'ve gotten some pretty good ones when I ask this!)

People usually wonder about the name Bernoulli’s Attic, and I’ll admit it’s a bit strange.  First, I am a cat person. Second, I am an engineer.  Third, I’m a little weird.  Having said that, meet Bernoulli, the namesake and feline patron saint of Bernoulli's Attic. 

Description: Description: C:\Users\Bernoulli's Attic\Pictures\my cats\Nooulli on bed.jpg
Yes, the company is named after my cat (who was named after the Swiss physicist, Daniel Bernoulli, who did all kinds of cool engineering stuff).  Though she has gone on to that Great Litterbox in the Sky, she lives on in spirit (and the occasional dust bunny hairball) around here.  She was a great supervisor, always checking out the newest products and giving her opinion.  She could purr louder than any cat I've known and did a great impression of an aggravated Ewok when annoyed.

But I don’t lack for supervision these days.  Currently Albert Einstein and Madame Curie are the reigning felines here at Bernoulli's Attic.  Madam Curie, or the Divine Miss M as she likes to be called, is the newest addition to the Bernoulli's Attic family.  When she's not polishing her tiara, she is a very paws on helper (I'm still looking for a crochet flower she took off with).  Albie Einstein just hangs around and offers moral support and the occasional kitty ankle rub. 

For Unique & Eclectic Handmade Oddments & Whimsies check out:

Bernoulli’s Attic Website                     Bernoullis Attic on Facebook

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Letter to a Mother

Hello all! Bearing in mind that October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month, I am doing something different today. I'm posting a letter written to a mother by an adult Spina Bifida hero. Her name is Misty Boyd, her blog is at and here is her letter to her wonderful mother as an adult looking back:
Thank you for giving me life when “they” said I’d be better off dead. Thank you for fighting on my behalf when I was too little and weak. Thank you for loving me even though you were scared. Thank you for becoming a nurse in our home long before you were ever a nurse at a hospital. I know that must have been intimidating. Thank you for learning what all those tubes were for, and where they went, and how they helped me. Thank you for countless doctor visits and E.R. visits, no matter what time I needed to go. Thank you for walking up and down the halls of the hospital with me while people gawked. Thank you for your paranoia about every little thing that didn’t seem right. I know sometimes you thought you looked nuts, but I’m sure it kept me alive more than once. Thank you for yelling at doctors when they said, “She’s fine,” when you knew me well enough to know I wasn’t. Thank you for the ugly stares you gave back to people when I was doing my best to learn to walk. Thank you for being patient when other kids my age were running circles around me. I needed more time. Thank you for remembering countless medications, and cath schedules, and putting my AFO’s on for me, and dressing me when it took me a little longer to learn. Thank you for yelling at me when I wouldn’t take care of myself as a teenager (not that it worked…I’m stubborn). Thank you for making me stubborn. I needed that attitude. I don’t know how I would have made it without my pain in the rear attitude. Thank you for pushing me to do everything you knew I could do, and I knew I couldn’t. Turns out, you’re pretty smart. Thank you for letting me do things you were scared of. I know I terrified you sometimes. I had to know if I could ride my bike down that hill at supersonic speed. I could. Fun! Thank you for making me know that I was worthy of love. I never let a boy tell me anything different. There were a lot of worms, but I dropped them all for something I knew I deserved. Thank you for cheering at my graduation. If my doctors had it their way, that day wouldn’t have come, but you believed. Thank you for spending countless hours planning that crazy wedding, yet another thing that wasn’t supposed to happen. And thank you for forks! LOL! Only my mother will get that one! Basically, thank you for stepping into an unfamiliar, scary world, that you didn’t sign up for. I appreciate it, and I think you did a great job! I turned out okay!
Your SB kid
 Misty told me that her parents were told to just let her die when she was born with Spina Bifida. Thankfully they courageously did what needed to be done and gave the world the gift of Misty. See her blog. See the children. I sincerely believe that a part of living well is helping others and learning about their struggles and their triumphs! Until next time friends, live and love well and please show some support in the form of comments here or on Mistys blog. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

AJewell Jewelry

Hello All! Today I'm excited to bring you the talented Jewelry artist, Ajewell. She is sharing with us from her home in Ireland! She's going to tell us about herself and her art and I invite you to stop by her shop and see the lovely gifts and jewelry she has for sale at great prices!
AJewell: Hi Teresa,good to hear from you.
Teresa: Its great to have you here. I'm always honored when artists or other folks want to be featured on my little (but steadily growing) blog! So tell us, how did you get started with your art:
AJewell: OK How i got started making jewellery,quite by accident but a happy one, went into a bead shop and couldn't leave without something, got advice from the shop worker who was there on that happy day. came home with some seed beads, headpins, earwires, and all the findings for a necklace and I was off! I found out how to make pieces from looking at photos on the net and I grew from there.
Teresa: Good for you! So many people allow themselves to be intimidated. Can you tell us about your motivation to create?
AJewell: What inspires me?Now that's a good one, because i feel great when I'm working on a new collection and have gotten in new beads, so it's a matter of where my head is at at that particular time, music playing in the background and just left to my own devices and creativity flows.
Teresa: I am completely with you on that! That's the way I do things. Can you think of what your favorite technique or project is:
AJewell: I love Italian glass beads at the moment but I'll work with any kind of bead I love. I love using the wire for necklaces and finding new ways to match up beads and colours. I plan a piece first by setting it out on the table and seeing how it looks, fixing it as I go until I'm happy with it and then it gets made.
Teresa: Very good technique! Any advice for someone interested in learning jewelry making?
Ajewell: My advice for fellow artists:
follow what you want to do, and work with materials that you love. It's very hard to work with something that means nothing to you.Something unusual.
I never thought I was creative at all, I found this out on that faithful day in the bead shop.
Teresa: Well you clearly misjudged your creative abilities going by the work I've seen of yours! What are your future goals for your art, your business?
Ajewell: Well, I now have a stall (what we here in the US  would call a stand or table in a marketplace) that I never ever thought of.  This time last year I didn't know anything about jewelery and now I live and sleep it. I started making pieces and it grew from there.  I found out through hard work and patience that you work with what you love, otherwise there's no point.  I'm in a stall at the moment and I've just been moved to a better spot. People love my pieces, I would love to have a small space set up for all my beads and hopefully a small old fashioned shop on one of the cobbled streets in my city centre. Now that would be cool!
Teresa: That sound so awesome! I'd love to see it someday! We wish you all the best and are glad you took the time to tell us your artist story. Thanks so much!
And blog readers and friends, please show some support by posting comments to this story and visiting AJewell at
Till next time friends, Live and love well and support a handmade artist! ;-) ~Teresa


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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Is Spina Bifida Awareness Month

 Here is a post from one of our newest members Carmen Iris Roldan about a cause we all need to get behind and support! We will be adding some links to information and awareness about this disease and ways to support families and babies affected by it
Carmen: "It gets me down that Spina Bifida Awareness month isn't as big of a deal to the world as other causes. Can you imagine as a pregnant woman finding out your baby has a major birth defect of it's spine? And being told that your baby will live a life of poor quality. Having no information and being offered to terminate your pregnancy immediately. Finding a support group and personal research saved my cousins baby girl. She can not imagine her life without her little angel. She gave her life meaning. And she is beyond perfect to her mom and to our entire family and friends.... She is the happiest baby i have ever seen regardless her disabilities! Is her life as easy as most? No. And she has a long road ahead of her. But she wouldn't have it any other way. Spread the word: October is SB awareness month! All woman of child bearing age should being taking folic acid... I Love you Lyla and Lysette Cespedes!!!!!!"  Let's all send Carmen, Lyla, Lysette, Lisa, BJ and Evangeline Kugler our love and supports in the form of comments to this post or by messaging Carmen and Mrs. Kugler (Lisa) through the friend connect box on this page. Until next time, Live well, take care of one another and be aware of Spina Bifida for this and all other months! ~Teresa

Good Deeds:Contagious? I hope so!

I found this story and had to share it

27/09/2011/Jen/Hoffman Estates/USA
There is a grocery store that only takes cash or debit. The lady in front of me didn't know and was going to have to put her milk and bread back because she only had a credit card. I paid for her groceries. It was cheap and no big deal to me. I was surprised how much she thanked me! It should happen more often to people :)

This is the type of thing that this blog is about among other things. Yes, we all have to earn a paycheck one way or another and you'll see links to my jewelry and other artists work on this page. The woman who was the recipient of the good deed seemed quite overwhelmed by the fact that a stranger would pay for her items. I sincerely hope that she went away from that experience with a lighter heart and with a better feeling about the good that can be found in people every day. As for the woman who paid the bill, I've seen people totally get frustrated and once downright angry at a person who had to count change in order to pay for their items. Maybe you don't have the ability to pay for someone else's milk. That's not the point. There were two winners here and I applaud Jen Hoffman for what she did and I am sure she felt fabulous because it's very true that the giver gets the true gift. Give to someone today. Give a smile, give a hug, step a teensy bit out of your comfort zone and let someone go ahead of you in line, pay the toll for the car behind you as well as your own if you are in the position to do so. Give an ear to someone who could use it. I'm sure there are things like this happening every day so I don't presume to be the originator of any of these ideas. But do yourself a favor and help someone in some small or large way today. Until later, live well and take care of one another my friends! ~Teresa

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Featured Artist:

Hello all, its time to meet a new artist I'm excited to share with you! Her name is Diane and her business is called DK DesignsBiz.
Teresa: Hello Diane, I understand that you are a glass artist. Can you tell us a little bit about what got you started?
Diane: Back in 1998 , my sister signed us up for a glass bead making class at an art school near us and the very first night I saw all of the colored glass rods laid out on the table and it look like a crayon box, I came home that night and told my husband that I knew what I was going to do for the rest of my life.....
Teresa:  How great for you! It often takes artists a long time to find their medium. So, what would you say is your favorite technique/project/creation?
Diane: There are many techniques that I have learned over the years, but I probably love making dot beads the most, I create a solid color bead and then add dots of another color and continue to add dots on top of dots, maybe 5 to 7 different layers and colors and then melt them all in, the effect is awesome !
Teresa: It certainly is! Our readers can see more of your work and even purchase by clicking the pictures next to this article. Diane, what would you say to an artist looking to learn about your particular art, glass bead/creations (also called lampwork) making?
Diane: Make sure that you take a beginning lesson from another glass bead artist that has been teaching for a good while, ask many questions when learning and practice, practice, practice !
Teresa: Good advice!  Ok, we ask everyone this one so here goes: Give us one interesting/humorous fact about yourself.
Diane:  I have a tattoo of my torch on my right forearm !
Teresa: Now that's loving your art! For our readers who aren't familiar with lampwork or glass bead making the artist works with a hand held torch to create magical glasswork. Diane, what are your future plans or DKDesigns.Biz?
Diane: To continue to learn, grow and hang in here, as I know the economy will get better !!!!
Teresa: Amen to that! We can all identify in one way or another with the lagging economy and hopes of better days to come. Thanks so much for talking with us today and we wish you all the best!
As is mentioned in the interview above, clicking the picture beside this article or clicking on the link under our fave websites will take you to Dianes online shop where you can see and purchase beautifully handcrafted works of glass art! So stop by and see for yourself! Until next time, Live and Love well my friends!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Susie Q Bath and Body

Hello Everyone! I'm so excited to be doing our first artist feature today! It is with Susie Q Bath and Body from the Handmade Artists Shop and if you click on the lovely picture of the Body oils in the Reusable tin to the right of this story it will take you directly to her shop. I shopped SusieQ's and found a great variety of bath and body products for both women and men in prices that were definitely affordable! I found items priced from $5.50 to $28.00 for the Scented Locket that I just loved! So here we go with our first artist interview
Teresa: Hi Susan, how would you describe your product and your shop to our readers ?
SusieQ: I feature all Handmade bath and body products for men and women.
Teresa: Can you tell us a little about how and when you got started?
Susie Q: In 2005 I started to make body sprays for my young teenage daughter at that time to save some money. I made my first goats milk soap and it quickly turned into a passion and an addiction. In March of 2010 I opened my Etsy shop.
Teresa: That must have been exciting for you. Can you tell us which of the many products you now make and market is your favorite?
SusieQ: That is one hard for me to say. Any soap, my shower is full of them. My face does love my Nourishing Under Eye Cream that I use as an all over facial cream.
Teresa: Oooh, I think I'd like to try that! Ok SusieQ can you tell us one interesting, fun or out-of-the ordinary fact about yourself (only if you are comfortable sharing like, "I'm ambidextrous" or "I also raise Llamas" Lol
Susie Q: I have to vaccum my carpets daily, it drives me nuts to see lint or anything on the floor!
Teresa: Oh I'm with you on that one! Finally, is there anything else you'd like to tell us like maybe your plans for SusieQ Bath and Body or a future goal for your business?
SusieQ: My job is being a stay at home mom! I would love for Susie Q\'s to continue to grow, but I need to continue to work on balancing family and business.
Teresa: Thanks for sharing that with us. As a mother/business owner myself I can fully understand the balancing act of making and marketing your art and taking good care of your family. There are often just not enough hours in the day! You're doing great Susan.Thanks for your interview and keep up the good work!
And for everyone else, stop by Susie Q's Bath and Body for great products for yourself, christmas/any occasion gifts or just to have in your home! Until next time, Live and Love well today My friends!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thank You's

Hello Friends! As many of you may know, Candice and I just participated in the Amelia Island Blues Fest and we want to thank the supporters that made our tent, Teresa Caine Jewelry Designs, a success and cute at the same time!
Kim Holwell (always our biggest supporter and counselor, resource woman, and an all around angel to me since she got me started in all this!) from Twisted Sister on Centre Street in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach donated a ton of props, decorations and beautiful jewelry displays, floral arrangements and table cloths that made our tent absolutely darling! If you want good times and beautiful housewares, jewelry, clothing, you name it, Twisted Sisters has it. Stop in and say hi and tell them I sent you!  So where are the pictures of this lovely tent setup you ask? In my haste to do everything else, I failed to take even a single one. Yes, classic Teresa move!

We'd also like to thank Marie of The Frugal Cachet on 14th Street for lending us beautiful lighting and for actually coming out and offering to work our stand so we could have a break.
Susan Shannon also gets a big hug and a thank you for coming out and digging in to help us get all that stuff packed up and out of there! We also owe a debt to First Assembly of God Church on 14th Street for help with tables and chairs and love as well as prayers. Pastor Ed Schick and Miss Janice kept me from losing it!
So thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for making us look good and making the event a success! Live and love well my friends! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Living Well, Being Happy and Helping Others

Hello my friends! I'm excited to announce that in addition to the great unsung heroes, beautiful stories and inspirational posts, we are adding a new way to help others. We have started featuring artists who are trying to build businesses with their handmade products. Living well and being happy for a lot of us includes a hobby, art or craft of some type. I want to support the efforts of others to market these items by linking pics of their items found on this blogspot directly to their websites. There's no charge for this. They just join our blog and they're in. We will also introduce you to each featured artist and let you get to know a bit about them.
 In our current economy, I believe it is more important than ever to support one another and at the top of the list for me are our local merchants, especially those that are hand-making good, natural products, beautiful items and tasty edibles. We have all watched local businesses go under and completely disappear over the past several years due to the state of the economy. Let's help by supporting local artists and merchants from all over the US that you'll be seeing here weekly! I guarantee you'll find great Christmas gifts and simply great  items from some very talented folks. Lets Live well and support one another friends!   

Monday, September 19, 2011

Follow-up to What would you do?

Hello All! When my son's employer was told by him that she'd been written about, she added the following info: there were two couples in the restaurant when the homeless/ill man came in. One couple got up and left, the other couple stayed and not only did they stay, THEY LEFT MONEY FOR A MEAL FOR HIM IN CASE HE EVER RETURNED. Just writing this brings tears to my eyes. How wonderful of this lovely couple. And how wonderful of Carla for sharing the rest of the story. My heart is full. Lets look out for each other, My Friends.

What would you do

My son just told me about a situation that arose at his job at the end of tonight's shift. Apparently a man who was homeless and clearly mentally ill walked into the restaurant, seated himself and when the waitress approached he only said "coffee". Unsure of how to deal with the situation (the gentleman was carrying on a vivid conversation with himself seeming to be dealing with multiple personalities) the waitress alerted the owner, Carla, who showed great compassion and humanity by serving him a coffee and a meal free of charge.
Most upscale restaurants like this one, Gennaro's on 2nd Street in Historic Downtown Fernandina would have escorted him out, at best, or had him arrested at worst. I am not condemning restaurants that take that path. But, Carla showed love and compassion for a fellow human being who clearly needed help and food. I'm writing this to say how moved I was by the way my son told me the story and the happy tear I shed when I said "so I guess they called the police?" which is what was done at his last job when a very similar situation arose. He said "no Mom, Carla came out, watched him for a minute and then took care of him". Let me state now that Gennaro's is in the business of SELLING food and NOT GIVING it away so this is in no way meant to encourage anyone to go there expecting a free meal. Rather, I'm writing this to showcase someone who did something I think was awesome, unselfish, loving and full of compassion. Carla is our hero of the day. Ask yourself if you would have done the same thing. Most people recoil from people who seem abnormal simply because you never know if that person is dangerous, etc. In doing what she did, she showed my son and the other young people working there a good example. Carla didn't react with fear or revulsion but instead acted out of the goodness of her heart and for that I give her a round of applause! Take care of one another, my friends.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This picture is from an article called "The Rescuing Hug". The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Each were in their respective incubators and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby's heart stabilized and temperature rose to normal

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happiness is.....New Members!

I don't always do this but today I'd like to introduce two new members. Jani is a beautiful, accomplished and very funny woman, mother and friend who I know personally and I'm proud to say is my actual cousin. Show her some love everyone because you're life will be enriched just by knowing her.She actually enjoys my level of insanity and constant mishaps.  Libby, author of Artistic Expressions by Elizabeth is a new friend and you can visit her site by clicking her link under my fave blogs and websites. DO NOT GO to her site if you are remotely hungry. I warn you from experience. You will see food there that you will passionately wish to eat only to discover (if you're like me) A) fridge is empty except for some questionably old pulled pork, and B) I am not nearly as talented or inventive in the kitchen as Libby is. Plus she crochets very cool items. Not the ones you see at church rummage sales and wonder why the heck someone made this equally unidentifiable and hideously colored very thick scary item only to  find yourself  facing the sweet little soul who made it and before you know it you are toting your new (still unidentifiable because I was too much of a coward to ask her what is was used for) item home. Such is my life. Libby's items are desirable and absolutely fab. So stop on by and see her. Live and love well my friends!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Echos: Remembering 9/11

Let me start this post by clearly stating that I am not an official source of info on the 9/11 tragedy. Obviously I knew of it when it happened and I so clearly remember standing in front of my television in complete shock. It seemed absolutely surreal. I then remember seeing images and Sting singing something later that night. I stood there again just crying in silence buckets of tears for all of those souls. For their families, their friends, their students, their neighbors, for all the futures that were cruelly snatched away. Its hard to put into words what the phrase 9/11 brings to mind even today. But I still hear stories of survivors or family members of those lost and my heart aches, and an anger burns for the senseless, horrible tragedy of that day and the repercussions of it.Think of those people today, pray for them, light a candle, observe a moment of silence, do whatever your faith or you feel appropriate. But do not forget all the brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, friends, lovers, partners, sons and daughters lost that day and send a wish for peace and comfort to their families if you feel so inclined. I know I am. I hope you'll join me. United we are strong, divided we are helpless. Appreciate your loved ones. Hug them longer, have more patience, show them more love today. Because a lot of people can't do that with one of their loved ones today. Be happy you can and give thanks. Live well my friends.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Upcoming Events

Hello again. I want to let everyone know that the Frugal Cachet will be featuring Teresa Caine Jewelry Designs at an after hours event. We are planning on getting a good crowd of jewelry, wine and cheese lovers. Part of the proceeds from this event will go to support my favorite local charity, First Assembly of God mens and womens shelters. We will be sending out email as well and traditional invites and every invitee is encouraged to bring 1-2 friends.

Now with that out of the way I want to address a few things that possibly no one but me cares about but I shall share them anyway. I found out two shockingly bad pieces of news in the past two days. Both were suicide attempts and one was successful. This has shook me all day. I'm not saying anything more could have been done in either situation because I'd never presume to think I know the inside story. What I am saying is that none of us know what others are going through. We don't know why that person seemed rude at the grocery store, why someone cut you off in traffic, why someone at work is perpetually moody or unfriendly.  That co-worker/fellow shopper/ driver could be in an abusive relationship, possibly watching a loved on die from a horrible disease, or be dealing with any number of terrible issues we don't think about at the moment when they are rude to us. That's only human. All I'm asking is, even if its just for one day, please think about that unpleasant encounter and try giving the benefit of the doubt. Let it pass. If you will, turn the other cheek. And if you're feeling really good, look a little closer and see if some small gesture of kindness, a smile, a how are you etc. makes a difference. Letting others know we care makes a difference in almost every situation. and caring about others and small acts of kindness make us better people.

And yes, I acknowledge that there are just some rude, selfish and downright nasty folks out there but we can't let them ruin how we treat every stranger we meet. Live well today. You'll reap the benefits in your own life. ;-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Hello All! This post is to let you all know that we will be a the Amelia Island Blues Festival  

I hope to see many of you there for the great music, fun, vendors (I'll be there as Teresa Caine Jewelry Designs) and of course to enjoy the always beautiful Amelia Island Main Beach. We will be in the grass directly facing the ocean. Jeff Malone , among others, worked really hard to make this a great event so come out, show your support and have a great time!  

And here's a sneak peek at some of the pieces I have created for the BluesFest. We will also be doing a raffle with part of the proceeds to go to First Assembly of God Mens and Womens Shelters here on the island.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jewelry Album

This is my jewelry album of some of my favorite pieces I have made. Take a look. I truly appreciate comments and feedback. Bead weaving is a passion for me and I continually work to improve my technique and to broaden my skill set. I find inspiration in the history of the stitches and from art and artists I see as well. I try to capture a little of the things I find beautiful or meaningful in each of my pieces. I hope you enjoy

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Hello All! In my attempts to learn how to be a better blogger (I'm new remember?) I've added a new way for you to follow the blog by clicking the title of this post. Thanks to the people who are reading whether they join or not and thanks to those who have joined. I plan to add a Lovely's post at least once a week so look out for that. It's a fun way to celebrate others and to sometimes gift someone with something I've made, upcycled or designed. Celebrate yourself today! Why don't you try....singing your favorite song as loudly as you please using your own microphone (mine happened to be a hairbrush) like when you were a child and had no inhibitions and never felt foolish laughing out loud, dancing in public (my 2 year son likes doing it anywhere he happens to be) or giving an impromptu solo singing performance? Not very original of me but we have to start our Why Don't You posts sometime so why not now? Take care of yourself and one another.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Frugal Cachet Treasures

I do a lot of business/projects with a local treasure shop (ok real title is Consignment Shop) named Frugal Cachet on 14th Street here on Amelia Island. Marie, the owner (and quite a treasure herself) has some of the most interesting and sophisticated items you'll come across anywhere. Besides the designer clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry and anything else you can think of, she has beautiful trinkets like the gorgeous lipstick case I came across today while visiting with her. As you can see I was so enamored with it that I photographed it and added it to the page today simply because it made me happy. So I choose it as the "Good Thing" of the day! Just holding it made me imagine ladies in elegant gowns, men who were gentlemen and times gone by that I wish we could recapture. That's what that lipstick case did for me today!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bead Show Day

Well, the day finally arrived for me to take Candice and self to the bead and gem show in Jacksonville. A Great time was had by all and we're super excited to see what new creations will come from our treasures. I'll post some pix of the gorgeous selection of stones, colors, shapes (yay! i LOVE what I do) soon as I upload them from husbands phone. Found some great deals, some not so good and some "are you serious?!". But all in all a good experience. 

Just getting started

Hello Everyone, I'm new to the blog game but have enjoyed so many others that I've decided to give it a try on my own. My posts are coming!