Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday Treasury

We have a new baby! Well, really, we're just babysitting, but we're still very proud of this baby. We have become the new Team Captains of the wonderful Etsy team Lean On Me. Our team founder and captain, the lovely owner of BellinaCreations, is taking a break as captain of the team due to often-debilitating heath problems, but when she is well again, she might resume the role. Fortunately, she is remaining as Team Leader and will still be participating as much as she can! Thank you BellinaCreations for trusting us with your baby!

To celebrate our team, we created a treasury filled with wonderful items that are 100% Lean On Me!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Finds

We LOVE Fridays, don't you? We try to start the weekends off right by doing something fun on Friday nights, even if it is just eating dinner in front of the telly as we watch a film! That sounds rather boring, now that I think about it...does that mean the magpies are getting old?

Let's not talk about age...let's move on to our Friday Finds!

I am in love with this wonderful body spray by Harmony5. I really wasn't sure how all of the fragrance notes would work together in this scent, but oh my goodness, this is such a warm spray that still has a hint of clean, crisp, wintery air!

This is my new "go to" fragrance. This might be a limited edition seasonal item, so I might need to stock up!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Some days are wonderful and everything in our little corners of the universe is filled with joy. Some days are wretched, no good, nothing-is-going-right-and-I-want-to-hide-in-my-room-and-sulk days. The printer decided to be a trial and a tribulation, I forgot where I left my car keys AGAIN, the lady at the post office was rude to me, there's a hole in my favourite socks, the new soap recipe I tried was a horrid failure, the dogs barked all day, on the way to the clothes line I tipped over the basket of clean, WET laundry into the dirt, I set the smoke detector off TWICE making dinner...we all have those days that seem to be a veritable litany of woes. Let's move on, shall we?

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
Forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
Begin it well and serenely
And with too high a spirit
To be encumbered with your old nonsense.
This day is all that is good and fair.
It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations,
To waste a moment on yesterdays.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello Again and Friday Finds

Goodness, it's been a while, hasn't it? I think I have discovered why blogging is so difficult for me...I feel like I should only blog if I have something important to say. I am beginning to realise that needn't always be the case. SO, here we go again, trying to get into the blogging swing.

Today on Facebook, we started a little something new. This is what we said: "We come across so many wonderful things on Etsy, so we think we should start showing you some of the things we love. How about we call it "Friday Finds"? SO, here is the first Friday Find! This watercolour is incredibly ethereal and filled with emotion. We bought another serene watercolour from this artist, and we have it prominently hanging in our work room. It gives us peace."

We're such fans of LaurasFineArt, and sometime soon we plan on adding another one of Laura's pieces to our wall. Not only is she a talented artist, but she's also a very kind person, and we're grateful there are nice people like Laura on Etsy! Click on the painting to visit her shop.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Teach A Man To Fish.

For many years, we have helped support a charity that is close to our hearts, Heifer International. Heifer International is different from most charities. Heifer says this about their work:

"By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace."

A hand-up. A HAND-UP. This is why we love Heifer International. This is why countless family and friends have received "gifts" from Heifer International given on their behalf: chicks, ducks, bees, goats, and even a pig!

We have decided that every month we will add something to our new shop category SALES FOR CHARITY and every dollar of that sale will go directly to Heifer International to buy something from the gift catalog. This month, we will be using the money from our sale to buy someone in need a flock of chicks. Actually, since this is our inaugural month, our "grand opening" of a sort, we're adding TWO things and donating TWO flocks of chicks!

How can you help? You can help by telling your friends and family about Heifer International, you can buy gifts of animals for holidays and birthdays, and you can tell other people about our new shop section. This month we have these items for sale:

Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for helping us help others.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Visit us at Magpie's Trick

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lean On Me

Sometimes Etsy can seem like a big scary world in which it is hard to find a place to belong. We've been very fortunate to find a nice place in the Etsy community to meet new friends and chat with genuinely nice people! Let me show you a few of the lovely things that have been created by some of our talented team members.

Presenting Team Lean On Me. Click on the photos to visit the associated shops.

hempkitty's gorgeously beaded photo frame.

Laura's Fine Art. I want to visit these serene woods.

Bellina Creation's ethereal and dreamy vine and crystal tiara.

remedynz's breathtaking silk corset with crystal beading.

rrizzart's whimsical and poignant mixed media collage.

Beadful String's intricate beaded lace necklace.

These works are just a small sample of the incredible talent that is in Team Lean On Me. We're terribly proud to be part of this wonderful group of people!

Visit us at Magpie's Trick

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leaf Earrings

I made some sterling silver leaf and smoky quartz earrings, and I thought it would be fun to share some of the process. The photos are clickable to enlarge.

First, I gathered my materials:

Then got ready to solder my basic leaf shapes. Looks like the teenager decided to graffiti the charcoal block:

Soldering the leaf pieces closed:

After soldering, I used pliers to form the final leaf shape:

Leaves need stems (and stems make convenient places to attach other parts of the earrings):

Melting wee pieces of solder to affix the stem. Fire burn and cauldron (flux, in this case) bubble:

And next come the veins:

First one is finished and very messy. I never said I was the tidiest jeweller ever! I wasted a lot of silver:

I tried to do cleaner work on this one so I wouldn't have as much filing work and silver waste. The second leaf is MUCH tidier!:

Well, except for the firescale and flux residue, that is. Ick:

Cleaned, filed, polished, smoky quartz briolettes wire-wrapped and attached, and ear wires made:

Oxdised, polished again, cleaned again, ready to sell! TA-DAAAA! As I've said before, soldering and metalwork isn't my strong area (that is the exact reason that Derek sets all of the cabochons!), so any time I have a success I am insanely pleased with myself. I'm very happy with how these turned out:

Shimmer of the day: Smoky Quartz
Quartz helps to clear away negativity. It is believed that quartz is one of the most protective gemstones and it will guard the spirit as it enhances spiritual growth and wisdom. It is beneficial for cleansing the emotions and heightening creativity and inspiration. Quartz aids in concentration and retaining information. A master healing stone, quartz elevates energy and can be used for any condition.

Visit us at Magpie's Trick