November 23, 2012

giving thanks as we go into winter

Happy (late) Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a great day celebrating their blessings and giving thanks. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with friends of my parents. Thankful I didn't have to cook! Every Thanksgiving I think about my Mayflower ancestors coming to America. I don't know if I would have been so brave! You can read more about my Mayflower ancestry here. Earlier this week, my younger son surprised me by bringing home a picture he drew of the Mayflower during some free time at school, which I happily hung on the refrigerator.

Feels a little like Christmas for me already, I have a new toy to play with. I have been blessed with a barely-used DSLR camera that I have wanted for several years. I am so thrilled! Finally I can stop missing the things I loved about my old film SLR (plus this one can do so much more). My first experiment with it was the low-light candle photo above. With my old digital camera, I would've needed a tripod, and it still would have been terribly grainy and the color would have to be adjusted afterwards. I used manual settings, no tripod, and the only editing I did was to crop it! This photo may not win any awards, but it tells me I may get some good photos of Christmas lights this year, and maybe even decent photos at my kids' Christmas programs!

On Thanksgiving, we also got our Christmas tree up and the lights on it. I wish it were real, but it's a small faux tree. The good part is we can keep it up as long as we want, and no worries about mold allergies, either. With the dark, wintry weather we've had lately, I am so ready for the cheer of the Christmas season! My older son is putting ornaments on our tree as I type, and I will go join him soon. I'll be putting on the Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Polar Express music before the end of the day. Bring it on! 

The Mayflower (by Steven, age 9)

November 12, 2012

a holiday shopping thank you!

colorful closeup of autumn leaves on a tree next door photo by Jennifer Kistler copyright 2012
the autumn leaves next door
Last weekend I participated in a local sales event at our church. I haven't done many in-person events with my jewelry, so I was happy for this opportunity that only involved setting up on a table indoors. Much simpler than a tent with multiple tables outdoors. It was well-organized, filled with great vendors, and they even provided a delicious warm lunch. (thank you, ladies!)

I enjoyed meeting all the people that came through, and explaining how I make my jewelry. I especially want to thank the people that made purchases! I felt it was a success, and I was happy to contribute to the RCS Foundation as well.

You can see I had a helper who kept me company, too. When it was done, he practically had my stuff all packed up for me! I think I will hire him again (even if he thinks it will be boring). Thanks, kiddo!

my jewelry sales table at Holiday Shopping Extravaganza sales event November 3 2012
my sales table at the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza Nov 3 2012

For more holiday shopping, be sure to check out my Etsy shop! Jewelry makes a great gift, or treat yourself!

November 1, 2012

colorful red creek jasper

fall autumn leaves necklace rectangle silver pendant with jasper accents on Etsy by Jennifer Kistler
autumn leaves necklace
Today I want to share a natural stone that is fairly new to the market. While it may be sold under other names, I have learned it is called Red Creek Jasper and it is being mined in China. This jasper features a stunning variety of rich colors, including brick red, sage green, yellow ochre, beige, tan, and brown, with fabulous multi-directional veining. Each bead is wonderfully unique!

The colors of Red Creek Jasper lend it well to my autumn leaves jewelry. But it also reminds me of a desert with vibrant red rocky hills and scattered sage brush, which has inspired me to use it with my southwest tribal-inspired Wild Pony horse designs.

wild pony running horse bracelet handmade silver link with red creek jasper beads on Etsy by Jennifer Kistler
"Wild Pony" bracelet with Red Creek Jasper beads

scattered leaves handmade recycled fine silver pendant with red creek jasper beads on Etsy by Jennifer Kistler
autumn leaves necklace rectangle pendant with Red Creek Jasper

little maple leaf handmade recycled silver pendant with red creek jasper accent bead on Etsy by Jennifer Kistler
small fall leaf necklace with Red Creek Jasper accent bead