Saturday, September 29, 2012

My week for special surprises!

It's been my week for special surprises!

First, do you know how sweet it is to receive a surprise gift, completely unexpected and unwarranted?  I had that happen to me recently when Lauren, owner of LP's Jewelry, contacted me via Facebook to tell me I had won "The Top Fan of the Month" prize!  

What?  I didn't recall signing up for this!  Well click the link to learn a little more info about the "Top Fan" program.  I didn't sign up, but I won anyway, without even knowing I was competing!

For my prize, I was given a choice between beads or a piece of Lauren's jewelry, and I couldn't decide so asked her to surprise me...and she certainly did!  This is what arrived in the mail this week:

 turquoise jasper and swarovski crystal topaz color bicone memory wire bracelet
by Lauren of LP's Jewelry

I wondered if she knew how much I would enjoy this bracelet?  I love memory wire bracelets!  Easy and quick to put on and remove and very comfy too!   I love turquoise and aqua colors--as I think we've discussed here before.  And the topaz crystals?   Topaz just happens to be my birthstone!  

I usually think of turquoise for summer, but I'm intrigued and pleased that this has a bit of a fall look to it!  I think the crystal dangles at each end of the bracelet are a really nice touch too!  So could she possibly know how pleased I would be with her gift?   She least in part.  She took the time to look through my shop and see what colors and materials I used the most.  She found gemstones and crystals and, of course, turquoise!   Isn't that thoughtful?

Now for a special touch, she recalled a FB conversation in which I commented how much I enjoy using hand-dyed silk ribbons in my designs.  So here is what else appeared in my package:

silk ribbons from Lauren

Sorry, you won't see these in a piece for sale!   These are "keepers" for me!  :-)

My very special thanks to Lauren!  I can't believe I won a prize for talking a lot.  (My family found it no surprise I would win such a competition when I excitedly told them!)  ;-)

You can find "LP's Jewelry" online at:

Etsy Shop

Facebook Business Page 

Thank you again, Lauren!   There's nothing like a thoughtful,  unexpected gift!  
. . . .

That sounds like plenty for one week, but there's more!  Gifts don't always come wrapped...

A while back, Dana Lang from "Tumblestone Handmakery" won a gift certificate from my store.   She was busy setting up her new online shop and was delayed in gathering her prize, but when she did, she went for components and purchased more!   

And then, she did a REALLY nice thing.  She wrote a blog entry about it!   And she's been using the components to make some beautiful jewelry!  (She has several, but I have a special fondness for these owl earrings!)

                  Owl Earrings - Embossed Copper Earrings

I hope you'll visit Dana's new shop! She has a Grand Opening sale happening. - "Use code SAVEMESOME15 at checkout and receive 15% each storewide plus a FREE surprise jewelry gift added to your order with a value of $15!"

You can find Dana at the following places: 

My sincere thanks to Dana... for the feature on her blog and the mentions in her Etsy product descriptions and Facebook marketing.  What a gift that is too!  

Sounds like it's time I find some ways to "pay it forward" too!  You both set wonderful examples! 

With gratitude,


* * * * * * * * * * 


Gift box:

Photographs by Sharyl.  Bracelet and ribbons from "LP's Jewelry"

Owl Earrings.  Photograph and earrings by Dana Lang.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bead Packet Design Info--Participant Update Repost!

I have a feeling that when I updated Friday's message concerning the Bead Packet Challenge in the wee hours of  Sat. morning, a new message did not go out from the blog.  If that's the case, so sorry, my mistake.  

To make sure all the participants saw it, I'm posting a new entry to the blog this Sunday evening.  By doing so, I'm hoping to: 

  • reach all participants to let them know they are in the challenge (really important--See participant list here!);  
  • get email and facebook page addresses I can use to contact participants (Please leave a comment on this blog.  I will not publish a message with contact info.  This is just an easy way for you to get the info to me.)
  • inform participants that packets are available for purchase whenever you want to pick them up.  (Here is link to "Sharyl's Jewelry" .  If they are no longer appearing on front page,  please click on link to "Reserved Packets" and get the one with your  name on it.)     

For other details, please refer to the last message.   Many thanks!

And for those not designing this time, sorry for this additional message.   I promise a new topic soon!   Any thoughts on what you  would like to discuss in the near future?  Please write a suggestion in the Comment section!  I'm open to some fresh ideas!




Friday, September 21, 2012

Announcement of Participants: 2nd Bead Packet Design Challenge--Update 9/22/12

Announcement to Participants:  Your bead packets are now available for purchase.   Please go to the bottom of the page for updated instructions! 

How neat and tidy that was!   A perfect 10!   Everyone who asked to participate gets to participate and all spaces are filled!  Could it be any better than that?!

Here are the participants I have listed for the 2nd Bead Packet Design Challenge:

--1. Kashmira Patel

--2. Sonia Smith 
--3. Alicia
--4  Cheri
--5. Laren Dee Barton
--6. Shirley Moore
--7  Alice Craddick 
--8. Cilla
--9. Whimsical Monkey
--10. KayzKreationz

  • My thanks and congratulations to each of you!   

  • I'll have directions out soon on how to order your bead packets.   (Done, please see below!)

  • In the meantime, please send a comment to this page with your email address (and Facebook page if you have one and don't mind using it for private messages),  I'll make sure you get contacted with a message each time I need to communicate something regarding the event!   As always, I will not publish messages with contact info.  I'll gather, then delete the info.    If you don't feel comfortable communicating through the comment section, please drop me a line and we'll come up with a different method.     (If you've already taken care of this, my thanks to you!)

  • If anyone has become unable to participate in the event since signing up, please do not purchase the beads and let me know right away.   Many thanks!

  • More to come shortly, so be on watch!  (Bottom of this message!)

Best wishes to you all--those who will be designing jewelry for this challenge and the rest of us who will be watching and cheering the designers on this round!  



Your bead packets are now available for purchase at Sharyl's Jewelry under the "Reserved Packets" Section and currently also appearing on the front page of the store.  You'll find the items arranged by the numbers appearing next to your name in the list above and also reserved by first name.   

If you live outside the U.S. or Canada, please send me a note.  I've only set up postage for those 2 countries, but I can arrange for others.    

Remember I'll need your E-mail address info ASAP!   Many thanks!   


P.S. If you didn't read up on Natalie's Drawing for participating designers before, you'll surely want to now!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sharyl's Bead Packet Design Challenge #2 -- Featuring Natalie Pappas

While you've been waiting, we've been planning.   (Notice there are 2 names in the headline of this entry?)    We are holding the 2nd Bead Packet Design Challenge, and thanks to your feedback, there will be art beads included this time!   
The featured artist is 
Natalie Pappas 
of NKP Beads 
(aka NKP Designs)!

Because we are increasing the number of participants to 10 and stepping up the quality of the beads to include art beads, there will be a charge this time. $8.50 + $2.50 shipping = $11 total for participants in the U.S. and Canada.  (While I would like to include people from all countries, I'm concerned about packages reaching you in time. If packages normally reach you within 10 days coming from the U.S., you are welcome to play. The shipping will be approximately $6.)

Each packet will consist of 9 beads.  This is a sample set:

 Front row:  1 large red scrolled bead (approx. 19mm) and 2 medium olive/sage green beads (approx 15mm), all handmade ceramic by Natalie Pappas.  (There are 2 slightly different styles of green beads.   Each packet will have 2 matching green beads.)  

Back row:  In addition, there are 4 natural (Off-white) fossil beads (12mm) and 2 red howlite beads (12mm).   Once we have determined who will be participating, the beads will be reserved for you in my online store.  I will send you the link.

Other things you'll need to know...
  • Spaces will still be limited, but this time they will increase to 10.   Please indicate if you are interested simply by saying so in the comments at the end of this entry.   If we have 10 or less, all will be able to participate.   If we have more than 10 express interest, those who did not participate last time will have priority.  If still over 10, there will be a drawing.      (So, to be clear, if you participated previously, you can apply this time, but you will only get a slot if there are enough openings for those interested who didn't get in last time.  This will only apply one time.  Next time people from the first challenge are fully eligible again.) Application deadline is Friday, Sept 21st at 7pm Central time!
  • The goal is the same--to see what people design when given the same item(s) to work with!
  • What you must use--While I encourage you to use as many of the beads as you would like, you are only required to use 2 types of the beads in your designed piece(s).  At least one should be an art bead (one of Natalie's beads from the front row).    You may add beads and findings from your own collection in any colors you choose.  The beads in your packet are intended to be your starting point, your inspiration!  From there, you can go anywhere you want!

  • You can make any piece(s) of jewelry that you choose.   You are only required to make one piece of jewelry in time for the reveal date, but may make more.
  • We will have a mini-blog hop so the participants can show what they have created.  That will be held Sat.,  Oct. 27, 2012.  (Think of that as midnight Friday Central time, so your page goes live as Saturday arrives.  You do not have to stay awake to make that happen!)   Since space is limited, everyone with a packet is asked to participate in the blog hop, barring emergencies.  
  • You do not have to have your own blog to participate. Anyone without a blog of their own is welcome to post here!   Please let me know in advance to arrange.

  • I said this last time when giving away the beads.  It is even truer this time since you have purchased the packets.  After the  event, you may do anything you want with the jewelry you design and with any left over beads (sell them, give them away, keep them, enter in contests or for publication, etc.  They are yours to do with as you please.

I think that covers the main points.  Please ask if you have questions!   Leave your name and a message if you want to be a participant!    (If you leave an email address, I will not post the message, but will just announce your name.)

Here's some good news for those of you who  have read all the way to the bottom!  

Natalie has sweetened the event offering an extra bonus prize!   You will, FOR SURE, want to go visit her blog, NKP DESIGNS - Beads, Pottery, and Whistles, right after leaving here to learn more!   It sounded like such a good idea, I will be offering something similar.   

I will also have a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to "Sharyl's Jewelry" from among all who asked to participate in this event.

My thanks to Natalie, and my thanks to all for your interest!   Hope you are as excited as Natalie and I are!  We are eager to get names drawn and to see your creations!    --Sharyl  

Application deadline is Friday, Sept 21st at 7pm Central time!

* * * * *

Important message:

* * * * *

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spring Again!

      --->  For Drawing Winners, please go here!

#10--"Spring Again!"

Spring has sprung again!  New daylilies are popping up.

Not sure--that one might be an iris in the daylily bed?  (It happens... squirrels.)

Yes, we have "weeds" again too!

And the grass has been mowed twice since I took these photos last Sunday!  

After long months, it's so nice to see green again!    Nice to have Spring again...  in the middle of September (?) 

Well, I'm going to enjoy my bit of green while it lasts!  Who knows what weather is ahead!

Sharyl   ~ Sharyl's Jewelry

* * * * *

Lets go see who is having Spring 
and who is having Fall!

Lets go visit the others at:

* * * * *

P.S. In honor of Spring in September, I've put some items on sale in my store. Look for the "sale" tags on items in the Necklace, Bracelet, and Earring sections!

Original art pendant by Beth Nadler
Lampwork beads by Crazy Lady Beads
Hand-dyed silk ribbon
Was a steal at $20. Now $16. (What am I thinking?!)
Happy Spring Again! :-)


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Winners of Drawing!

Thanks for your patience!    The winners of the drawing are:

Prize #1:   Kashmira Patel

Shades of Turquoise Copper Earrings

Kashmira, I know how to find you.  
You can just kick back and wait for these to show up at your door!  :-)

Prize #2:  Beti Horvath

Blue Bloom Earrings

(Beti, please send me your mailing address.  
You may comment here and I will not post 
or you can contact me at "Sharyl's Jewelry" on Artfire.  
Thank you!)

Prize #3:   Sherri Stokey

--$15 off at Sharyl's Jewelry--
(Details are  under "Prize #3" on this blog page.)

(Please contact me at "Sharyl's Jewelry" on Artifire with your decision or questions you might have!  
Thanks, Sherri!)

My thanks to all who played along!  You make these events fun!
If you didn't win this time, please try again!  --Sharyl

* * * * * 

P.S.  Look for Announcement & Details of the Bead Packet Design Challenge to be out Mon or Tue!!!    The Beads have ARRIVED!  

* * * * *

* * * * * 

Winner Announcement Delayed to Evening

Very sorry for delay in announcing the winner of the drawing.   Having a migraine morning.   Will post by evening.   Thank you very much for participating! --Sharyl

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time to Celebrate! Give-away Drawing!

A big "Thank you" to all who recently joined us and to all who helped spread the word!    We just met/passed two goal-posts!

Our Blog now has 100 members.

The "Sharyl's Jewelry" Facebook page has just passed the 125 mark! 

These numbers may seem small to many, but but I can tell you that I'm so happy and proud to have reached each milestone.   We've really worked for it.   While I'm not saying we didn't have help and people who promoted us along the way, we've had no one major endorcement that brought us 50 people at once either.   We've inched our way here one-by-one.   I think our max has been about 10 new members after a push from someone or an event.    

The first couple were the most difficult.   I was SO GLAD when my first two people showed up!   I had been "talking to myself" for several weeks by then!   Then it was so thrilling to see the Friends box on the blog fill up to 10!  What joy!   And comments--well, lets face it, I still get excited over comments!   :-)

When I joined Facebook, quite a bit later, I started all over again trying to gather people who would be interested in what I had to offer there.   I'm pleased to see that group growing also!

So, enough talking, on with the prizes!!!  Let's celebrate!

  • You don't have to do much to get your name in the drawing, except to leave me a message that you would like to be included in the comment section of this entry.  
  • Deadline for entries:  Friday, Sept 14, 2012 midnight Central time!  
  • Each person responding that they want to be included will be included in the random drawing.
  • I will announce the winners, and you can get in touch with your address or email if you win.   (If you prefer to include that information as you enter the contest, you are welcome to do so.  I will not publish your comment, but you will be entered.)


Prize #1 :  

Shades of Turquoise Copper Earrings

Retail $18

Genuine copper wire earrings with a black wood bead and turquoise-hued beads of a variety of materials (stones, glass, and ceramic beads). The top part contain round beads measuring 5-10mm. The bottom dangle contains a rectangular tube bead and 2 small rondelles. The total length of the earrings (minus the earwire) is 9.5 cm. Wire and earwires are genuine bright copper.

 just love these colors and keep finding new ways to combine them and, in this case, stack them in long layers!


Prize #2:

Blue Bloom Earrings

Retail $15

Czech glass beads, gemstone nuggets, and shell beads in shades of blue and green remind me of the ocean!  Petal (or wave-like) bead caps make these earrings!  Earwires are Sterling Silver.


Prize #3:

$15 off at Sharyl's Jewelry

Option 1:   
You may pick out any item(s)  for a total of $15 or less.

Just let me know your selection(s) and I will pull from the store and ship to you for free.

Option 2:
If you want to make a larger purchase, I will deduct $15 from your purchase price.
Please make your selections, then send me a note through "Sharyl's Jewelry" at Artfire.
I will reserve the items for you, adjust prices and remove ALL shipping costs, 
then you can purchase. 
(Please do not make purchase first.)

Thanks again for all your support!

Best of luck to each of you! Let the fun begin!


Graphic Credits:

Photos of Jewelry:   "Sharyl's Jewelry"

* * * * *

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

One away!

Update:  9/12:
Give-away Drawing News to follow soon!!!

Current Score:   
Facebook:   124  (Update, now 126!)              
Blog: 99 (Update, 100!!!)

I love how this happens!   We're just one away on both Facebook and this blog from hitting a good number for a "Give-away!"   I feel one coming on soon!   Check back here for details! 

Thanks for all the friends, followers, likes, and all your comments and support!




Sunday, September 9, 2012

i heart macro: And the Rain Finally Came

I've been out a few weeks.  When I last posted, it was the week after the drought photos and I had gone back to showing Colorado summer vacation photos rather than continue showing cracked dirt, which admittedly was pretty depressing.

But cracked dirt,

(and cracked concrete...

 ...and cracked ceilings 
and stuck doors)...

...had actually been the state of things all summer.  We were just trying to ignore it.   

When we started falling down the holes, tripping over the cracks in sidewalks, and poking holes in the bottoms of our shoes from the dried grass (...why yes, I did make up 1 out of 3 of those), we finally admitted to ourselves that it had gotten too danged dry.

I heard jokes about washing cars more often, leaving car windows rolled down, and hanging laundry outside to dry--things we normally joke about bringing on rain, hoping that it would.  Finally, even I did something I never do, and that was wish for rain.   I'd much rather have a sunny day than a dark cloudy wet one.... until now. 

Well fortunately, our luck has been slowly edging in the right direction again.  And I have  some strange--if not always good quality--photos to show you!

One day, about 2 weeks ago, it rained "this much" but like a baby's first steps, we were so thrilled, I rushed out and took this photo of the drops coming down and changed my personal banner on Facebook for the first time since I started it!  

Another week later, still parched, this one came along.  Barely better, but it had more hope behind it...

And yes, we are talking about another big deal event here with Sharyl running to grab her camera, out in the "pouring" rain to snap a shot before it ended and evaporated!

Oh yes, and the 2nd big wing-ding-deal about this--the Facebook banner was changed again so the world would know it had rained in our corner of Kansas.

Have you ever been afraid to wish for something for fear something else bad might happen as a result?  (Well, we won't go there, ...) but it is unfortunate that it was the hurricane that hit Louisiana and Mississippi so badly that finally brought us needed moisture.   

After destruction in the South, it brought some life back to the midwest... the result of our first real rain in many months.

Can you believe it?  A puddle?!  I didn't even go outside to take these photos.  It's plenty clear what's going on here.  And look how the dead grass is suddenly turning green again!  How does it do that so quickly?!

The wind picked up quite a bit and tree limbs were blowing around, so these next ones are "abstract," but I liked them anyway.

#6:   "Rain Finally Came"

This feels like our "second Spring."  I kept saying we needed a 2nd one.  

But what if it were like this every year?   Barely any winter, dry and fairly warm.   Spring in winter.  Hot, hot, too dry summers with crops (as well as flower gardens) destroyed.  Homes and other buildings, roads, natural gas lines all with structural damage.   Then when it's time for Fall, it turns to Spring again.   Now that sounds surreal.  It sounds like real climate change.   And I think I had better be careful what I wish for...

Thank you for entertaining my musings about weather twice now.  It's really not something I normally think about--unless an ice storm knocks the power out for a couple of weeks--then you might get a complaint out of me. ;-)

Hope you have a good, lovely, just-right- weather kind of Autumn!   

Now lets go see if anyone has lovely nature photos over at Studio Waterstone!
studio waterstone

Sharyl  ~Sharyl's Jewelry
P.S. Sunday morning report:

I just got up, stepped outside-- and spooky as it is to report, the grass needs mowing and the daylilies have popped out of the ground and are up about 5".    ("Spooky" because I stayed up much of the night writing this entry about the "2nd Spring!")

We can experience Spring the same time as our Australia family and friends this year.    

Question:  Do you see this as cause for celebration or cause for concern?

I'd love to hear your take on this!