Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goodbye 2010!

This week only, through Dec 31, 2010...

Take 20% off everything (excluding the purchase of gift certificates) in my Etsy shop

Use this handy code in the note to buyer section:

The discount will be refunded to you through paypal.

Thank you for your loyalty and business in 2010!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Swiss Cheese Bacon Dip

Among the refreshments I served at my open house several weeks ago was a hot cheese dip.  Several persons commented that they really liked it and wanted the recipe.  Thanks to my friend Rebecca who shared this recipe with me several years ago. 

Since I can't remember who asked for the recipe, I thought I would post it on here.  And unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share.  But use your imagination....hot and creamy Swiss cheese with smoky bacon and fresh green onions...yummy!  Do you know how much I love bacon? 

Without further ado...

Swiss Cheese Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
2 chopped green onions
1/3 cup crumbled bacon

Cream together the cream cheese and mayonnaise. 
Add shredded Swiss cheese to mixture and blend thoroughly. 
Mix in bacon and green onions. 
Spread mixture in microwaveable dish. 
Heat in microwave for 2-4 minutes, stir every minute. 
You'll know it's done when it's hot and bubbly.

Serve warm with either crackers or sliced baguette bread (my preferred method).  Garnish with crumbled bacon or chopped green onions on top.

*Note:  Also works well to serve dip in a mini crock pot.  You can either heat dip first in microwave and keep warm in crock pot; or start it an hour ahead of time in crock pot.

*The original recipe calls for crumbled crackers on top, but I skip that part.

Monday, December 6, 2010

99 Years Young

When a person lives to be 99, you almost begin to think that she might actually live forever. 

My grandmother, "Gram", left this earth last night after living 99 years.  We will miss her immensely here.  She was loved by so many, because she loved us so well. 

She faithfully wrote letters to me right up until her first stroke 2 years ago.  I kept many of those letters and have read back over them this past week since finding out that she would soon be leaving us.  Below is an excerpt from a letter she wrote to me.  It contains one of the most important lessons she shared with me:

In this letter, she wrote that over the years she has "learned to take her burdens to the Lord and leave them there." 

I was so blessed to be her granddaughter.  I'm going to miss her sweet and loving spirit.  We are filled with sadness here without her.  But, much to her delight, she is singing with angels and walking with Jesus now...and living forever!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, Shine On

So now that Thanksgiving is almost over, let the Christmas season begin!  If you ask me, Christmas is truly the only good thing about winter.  Remember my love affair with warm weather and the sun?  Well, I also have a love affair with THE SON!  And I'm eternally grateful that He came to earth on that first Christmas day. 

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced." 
Matthew 2:10

Oh Beautiful Star

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Angel Named Heather

Thank you to everyone who came out to my home on Friday evening for my annual holiday open house.  There were over 30 people who came!  From where I stood, it felt like a great success! 

I also want to publicly recognize and give a huge thank you to this very special woman! 

Meet Heather...

photo courtesy of Heather's facebook

I've known Heather ever since she was a little girl.  During her teenage years, I was her mentor through a program at our church.  She was/is a babysitter for our children.  She's a neighbor of ours.  And now that she is an adult, we enjoy a great friendship with each other. 

Heather was my right hand woman the day of the open house.  She helped me clean and organize during the day.  We both took a break for naps in the afternoon!  Then she came back in the evening to help me with the open house.  She helped prepare and replenish the refreshments, answered the door, and welcomed the children who tagged along with their parents.  Thank you, Heather!

In just a few short months, Heather is embarking on an exciting adventure.  Although I will miss her, she will be going out of the country to do important missions work.  And she will be a blessing to all whom she meets along the way!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winners of Drawing for Open House

Thanks to all who replied with their favorite item from my Etsy shop to be entered into a drawing for 50% off any one item at my open house.  This morning I randomly chose the winners.  Let's just say that if your name is Mary, it's your lucky day!


You'll be hearing more about Mary Jo in the next couple of weeks.  She is a very important part of the new look you see here and on my business cards.  More to come...

Hope to see you tonight at my open house!  Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Annual Holiday Open House

Whew, I'm completely up to my eyeballs in beads, beads, BEADS!  Thank goodness I enjoy my sun room studio, because I've been spending nearly every waking moment in there lately. 

I'm getting ready for my Annual Holiday Open House!  If you are local, I invite you to come out to my home on Friday, Nov 19 from 6:00 - 9:00 PM.  If you need directions, leave a comment and I'll contact you.  If you plan to attend, go visit my Etsy shop and leave a comment telling me which piece is your favorite.  You will then be entered into a chance at winning a coupon for 50% off any one item at my open house!

To take a virtual tour of my open house last year, go visit Amy's blog.  And then come to my home on Friday night to check out what's new this year.  Hope to see you!

By the way, if you're not local or cannot attend....I will be updating my sorely neglected Etsy shop with new listings next week. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chain Happy

I can't get enough of it, just can't seem to stop using it in every new design, love it....


Rustic  ~  natural antique brass and pressed glass
Chain is so versatile and simple.  I like simple. 

Chain can be dressed up with pearls and crystals.

And Everything Nice  ~  sterling silver, glass pearls, crystals
And chain looks equally nice paired with rustic natural brass and irregular shaped stones.

Oh Beautiful Star series  ~  natural antique brass and kyanite
Chain is showing up in not only necklaces, but also bracelets...

Just For Me  ~ 
natural antique brass, lampwork glass, African turquoise, pressed glass, heirloom ceramic piece

Note about that bracelet....the name "Just For Me" literally means just that.  I made that bracelet for myself (not something I usually do).  The cream colored ceramic bead is from a necklace that my mom had been given as a gift from my brother quite some time ago.  It was made in a local pottery place.  My mom wanted the necklace remade a bit, so I kept some of the beads to use for myself. 

Chain is also showing up in my new earring designs...

Water Lilies  ~  natural antique brass, pressed glass
Here's one more for you to see.  Another necklace from the "Oh Beautiful Star" series.  Christmas is coming...

Oh Beautiful Star series  ~  natural antique brass, freshwater pearl, African Jade

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Generous Response to "Ludnie's Hope"

Thanks to each one of you who put in a bid for the necklace "Ludnie's Hope" in the spirit of generosity.  The winning bid went to Jen Alderfer, who happens to be my sister-in-law who has a great big heart for orphans.  Such a heart for orphans in fact, that she and her husband adopted three children from Russia several years ago! 

To the Patchwork group...I will be sending the proceeds toward your project.  Keep up the great work! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ludnie's Hope

Ludnie (on left) and Jeané

I'd like to introduce you to Ludnie.  She lives in Haiti, in an orphanage.  She is a blessed little girl, because there is a wonderful group of people who want to help her.  Let me give you some background information...

My friend Jeané traveled to Haiti last summer with a group out of The Global Orphan Project.  This organization is making a positive difference in the lives of many Haitian orphans. 

Patchwork Group

The group that Jeané traveled with last summer has named themselves "Patchwork."  Specifically, this group is working to raise money for various projects at the OTV Village, the orphanage where they stayed and spent a large majority of their time. The goal of Patchwork is to raise $15,000 to build latrines, showers and a soccer field for Ludnie and the other children at the OTV.  

Okay, here is where you come in...

You can help Patchwork in their efforts to raise money that will directly benefit an orphanage in Haiti!

I have designed a necklace that I would like to donate to this cause.  This week, starting today, I will be holding an online auction right here on my blog!  "Ludnie's Hope" necklace will be auctioned off right here all week! 
Ludnie's Hope

This necklace features various aqua and turquoise colored beads on two strands on flexible beading wire.  Each bead is crimped in place and appears to be "floating."  The beads used are lucite, imitation phoenix stone, mother of pearl, glass, amazonite, Russian amazonite, and imperial turquoise.  The length is 18.5" with a 1.5" extender.  This necklace retails at $40. 

So how does this work?

If you would like to make a bid on the necklace, please send me your bid and your name at alderferfamily@aol.com.  You will notice at the top of my blog, there is a box called "Ludnie's Hope Auction" that shows the date and the current top bid.  I will update this box periodically throughout the day as I receive bids.  The auction will end on Thursday, October 28 at 12 noon (eastern time).  I will announce the winner later that day. 

Thank you in advance for your generous bids for this very worthy cause!  Let the bidding begin...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Next Week, I'm Going Global

Remember how I said that my blog would be featuring my friends this week?  Well, my friend for today's post has already been featured on here before.  Remember the former hockey star from this post a couple weeks ago? 


My friends, this woman has been doing some pretty amazing things since being a hockey star!

You won't want to miss my post this coming Monday...there will be some excitement for you!  Here's a hint...

And another hint...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Customer Spotlight ~ Mother and Daughter

It's all about my friends this week!  My post  from Monday highlighted a friend who came to my home for a make-and-take project.  Today I'm going to tell you about one of my BFF's Krista and her daughter Regan. 

Aren't they adorable?!

In college, there were 5 of us women who were/are best friends.  The "Hillside Honeys" stuck together through thick and thin, still do.  Here we are at the beach last spring.

We laugh a lot when we get together!

Krista and her daughter Regan are loyal Artful Accents customers.  I went to visit them recently and asked them to model their favorite piece.  Krista chose the "Mermaid Garden" necklace as her favorite. 

Krista is wearing "Mermaid Garden."

This necklace features
multicolored crystals and a hammered sterling silver
toggle clasp in front.

Regan chose a bracelet from the "Little Princess" line of my jewelry. 

Regan shows her bracelet which features pink and green glass beads.

Thank you, Krista and Regan, for agreeing to be featured in my blog!  And thanks for your support of my business. 

What is your favorite Artful Accents piece that you own?  If you don't own any yet, hop on over to my Etsy shop and find your favorite right now!

Monday, October 18, 2010

An Afternoon With A Friend

I love my friends!  I am blessed to have such wonderful friends.  And recently I've been doubly blessed to be able to spend time with so many of them. 

Many moons ago, my friend Julie and I spent lots of time together.  We were in grad school together, part of a bigger group of friends called the "Salsa Girls."  In order to keep our sanity, we (there were 4 of us) got together frequently to make a yummy Mexican meal and commiserate about the insanity of our crazy lives in the midst of grad school studies. 
Last week, Julie came to visit me in my sunroom studio.  She came with the intention of making a necklace for herself.  When I pulled out the beads, she ooh-ed and aah-ed and quickly got to work. 

Pictured below is the piece she created for herself.

Didn't Julie do a great job?  I just love the combination of turquoise and brown!

  And here she is, proudly wearing her new creation.  What a fun afternoon we had!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Skyline Splendor

Skyline Splendor

Inspired by a jewelry design challenge by Vintaj called "Maple Glow", I created and entered this necklace.  I love fall colors.  But even more, I love seeing those fall colors against the backdrop of a brilliant blue sky.  So I knew that I had to include blue in this design!

Please take a moment and head over to this blog.  Check out all the entries and give #20 a vote if you please!  Thank you!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hall of Honor

One of my BFF's in college was a field hockey STAR!  This weekend, our alma mater is retiring her jersey and recognizing her tremendous talent by inducting her into its Hall of Honor.

You rock, Jeane'!
Photo courtesy of Eastern Mennonite University

Can't wait to have the Hillside Honeys nearly all reunited this weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Just finished creating my first treasury on Etsy!  A treasury is a mini shopping gallery created by anyone who wants to create one!  If you'd like to take a look at it, you can find it here.  But for a sneak peek at some of the items I included, take a look.

One of my personal favorites - a gorgeous quilt by ModernMaterialGirl :

Lap/ Baby Quilt in Eva by Basic Grey -- pattern also available
photo credit:  ModernMaterialGirl
If you know me well, you know how I feel about handbags!  Here's another favorite by studiocatb :

Leather Wristlet Wallet with detachable strap - Purple Floral on Distressed Kiwi
photo credit: studiocatb
One more highlight from the treasury, these glass coasters are just gorgeous!  They are created by dortdesigns.  Take a look...
Plum Swirls Fused Glass Coasters
photo credit:  dortdesigns
Enjoy hunting for treasure on Etsy...I certainly do!

Friday, September 24, 2010

From One Artisan to Another

One of the many advantages of Etsy.com (the online community in which I sell my designs) is the opportunity to meet other handcrafted artisans.  I enjoy looking at other artisans' designs for inspiration.  Also I like to support fellow Etsians when I am shopping for supplies for my designs.

I don't remember how I discovered Marie from Skye Jewels, but she is truly a gem!  She is a jewelry designer, scrapbooker, and creates these beautiful little charms.  These Ephemera charms are made on craft scrabble tiles with really unique images. 

Fall Foliage Ephemera Charm Trio set 17
Fall Foilage Ephemera Charms designed by Skye Jewels
(photo credit - Marie Cramp)
I was delighted that she made these fall foilage charms per my request!  I am hoarding them while I try to decide how to use them.  But one of them did make its way into this necklace...
Autumn Splendor
vintaj brass, red agate, carnelian, red aventurine, glass beads, and Ephemera charm

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy 99th Birthday!

On September 23, 1911, the world became a better place.  Although not famous to the world, this dear woman is known to many.  She is my grandmother, my Gram.  Blessed with the gifts of hospitality, generosity, and a wonderful memory, Gram is an amazing woman whose heart belongs to God. 

I am forever blessed to be her granddaughter and to know her love.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just For You

Sometimes I think it's too time-consuming or distracting to work on custom designs.  Then you ask me to make a matching necklace for those earrings you bought.  And I wouldn't have thought of it on my own, but now it's one of my favorites...

Timeless Treasures
You saw a pretty gold colored stone in a bracelet that you are imagining in a big pendant.  Can I make a necklace with that stone, maybe on some cord, you ask?

Maybe something like this, I say...

Goldstone Glimmer

Perhaps this bracelet would match the necklace I made for you...

Amy's Party
 Custom designs can be challenging at times, but often the end result is certainly worth the extra time.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Year of Marriage Milestones

In 1960, a very special occasion took place. 
Celebrating 50 years...

In 1970, another equally special occasion took place.
Celebrating 40 years...

Unfortunately I wasn't around to attend either ceremony, but I'm blessed to reap the benefits 50 and 40 years later! 

Congratulations to Doug's parents and mine for many years of long lasting love and devotion.  Here's to many more!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Are you a pink kind of girl? 

Apple Blossoms

I've always admired pink from a distance, but rarely closeup.  It's just not a good color for me.  For those of you who know when my birthday is, then you know how odd it is that I am not a pink fanatic...for goodness sakes!  ♥

Pink Trapeze
I'm more of a blues kind of gal.  Give me this over that.

Feeling Blue

To check out these newly listed items in my Etsy shop, follow the link:
Kathy's Etsy shop

Friday, September 10, 2010

Seasons Come, and Seasons Go

It's beginning to look and feel a lot like fall in the valley. 

The leaves are starting to change color, pumpkins are getting more round and orange in the garden, and sweatshirts are finding their way into the van for those chilly evenings at soccer practice.  And of course, scenes like this are common...

Okay, just wanted to make sure you are still with me! 

That curious photo was taken by my oldest son.  One afternoon last week, he came running into the house after checking the garden.  "I finally get to see something I've always wanted to see," he exclaimed!  Apparently this is a tomato worm (not a rare sight) who has had the misfortune of being an incubation sight for wasp eggs (now, that's the rare part)! 

Life is never dull here.