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Inspirational Quote on Thankfulness

thankfulnessThankfulness is the beginning of happiness.


Palmer'sAs an artist I have my hands in water, clay, glass, pastels, glue and plenty other things that dry out my skin.

In the winter  I am prone to dry skin especially on my feet. Even after purchasing special lotions for my feet, my heels still crack. On my last trip to the grocery store I scoured the lotion aisle for something that would give me some relief. I came home with  two things to try — a foot cream, and a lotion that doesn’t say it is specifically for feet.

Guess which one worked and worked well?  Palmer’s Daily Skin Therapy. Why is it so effective?  It has cocoa butter in it and the label states it has Vitamin E. What a difference. Not only that, it smells good enough to eat. If you like the smell of chocolate, you will love this. Even my husband loves has remarked on how good I smell.

An added bonus is the price. It’s not pricey like some specialty lotions but cost is in the range of regulation hand lotion. Now that I’ve found it I can stop experimenting with all those other lotions I hope will work. The difference is like night and day.

*Note: I was not asked to review this product nor was I paid for this review. I merely liked the product and thought I would recomment it.




dacshundEarrCI  started a line of pet earrings to go with my pet necklaces. Picutred are a pair of handmade dacshund earrings.  These are made by printing the image on slick brochure paper, hand cutting them and gluing the image onto the silver plated earring blanks. A glass cabochon is then glued onto the front of the dog image. The final step is adding the silver plated ear wires.

The result is these attractive cameo style earrings.

These are available in my online shop. If you are looking for a specific breed, email me.


Giveaway! Gilded Arrowhead Stone Wire-Wrapped Bling Necklace

Win a prize from CarolesArt!


Gilded Arrowhead Stone
Wire-wrapped Bling Necklace

from CarolesArt

Any piece from CarolesArt is certainly a treasure. The pendant necklaces and other jewelry pieces are unlike any others you’ll find. With an earthy, artisan quality, these pendants and stones simply shimmer with beauty and exquisiteness!

Take a look at some of the other available items:

Up for grabs in this giveaway!

Lovely stone arrowhead that has been gilded and enhanced with some rhinestone chain. Simple and yet elegant, hanging from a long, thin, antique brass chain. The rhinestone chain has been wired onto the arrowhead to give it a more elegant look. Lovely to wear and to admire. The little arrowhead is 1.3″ x 0.7″. It hangs from a 28″ thin, antiqued brass chain.

This little piece goes with anything from jeans to your dress. ($45.00 ARV).

Win a prize from CarolesArt!

Connect with CarolesArt online!

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Facebook |
Contest ends on November 29, 2015. Open to U.S. entrants only.
Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to submit your entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[This giveaway promotion has been made possible by the BERRY HANDMADE blogging team.]


America Recycles Day Craft Projects

amrecHappy America Recycles Day. You know I am an avid recycler famous for my trash to treasure gifts and creative reuse ideas.

Cotopaxi has shared some great do it yourself gift recycling ideas that I want to pass on to you. If you are not familiar with Cotopaxi they make innovative outdoor products and experiences that fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.

Some of their products include womens and mens jackets, backpacks, and t-shirts. Check out their website cotopaxi.com.


Their  do it yourself info graphic with projects is below. If you make any of these, be sure to share photos of what you made and I will post them on Serendipitini.






















I was recentE062aly invited to sell on Amazon Handmade in their newly launched handmade section. I’ll share more about selling on Amazon handmade in a future post.

After lots of tweaking I got my first sale. It was a pair of these handmade clay earrings. These handcrafted rectangle clay dangle earrings are hand rolled and hand panted and come with a brown round accent bead. The colors are camel, brown, rust background and orange bottom.

Less than a week after my first sale I received another order for these.  I am curious to know why these are selling so well. Is it the look or do I have the exact right keywords in the listing in just the right order.  In any case, I thought I would share them with you. Here’s the link to them on Amazon




Identity Theft: It Happened to Me. It Could Happen to You

idtheftYesterday I nearly had $630 stolen from me. I  have been waiting for jewelry displays to come in so I could set up displays at Arrowhead Gallery in Old Fort, NC where I was juried in as a member. I looked through my emails and printed receipts and could  not find the name of the company nor a receipt. I was in a hurry when I ordered and had stupidly assumed the receipt would show up in my email.

I went online to my Discover Card account to see if the charges from the order I had placed were there, hoping it would help me trace the order which in the amount of about $40.

I was shocked to see a $631 charge from Nordstrom on 11/9/15. I had not made any new purchases since ordering the jewelry displays the week before and certainly not for that amount. I immediately called Discover to notify them of fraudulent activity. The customer service rep worked with me to immediately cancel the card and they are sending a new one. I was also informed that Discover has fraud coverage included with their cards, but you must report the fraudulent activity within 1-3 days when a charge posts.

Right after hanging up I found I had a voice mail from Nordstrom asking me to call them back. When I did, the woman in their accounting department informed me they saw red flags with an order placed in my name. One of the tip offs for them was the fact that the address the buyer gave didn’t match the address linked to my card. Thank goodness for alert employees at Nordstrom. They didn’t fill the order which was for a speaker system.

That was a close call. I still don’t know how this scumbag got ahold of my identity. I wonder if it happened last week when I placed my online order using the card for the jewelry displays since it happened just a few days following.

With new credit and debit cards being issued with micro chips in them to decrease fraudulent orders, point of sale purchases fraud should decrease. However, theives can still steal your identity. Here are some tips to protect yourself.

  1.  When ordering online make sure you see the secure seal on the website you are ordering on which makes it more difficult for theives to harvest your information
  2. Check your online accounts once or twice a week to view charges and report any that look suspicious immediately
  3. If you are a seller, never take charges over the internet or phone with out two confirmations of id and make sure they match the address info linked to the card. If you must, delay shipping and putting an order through until you have verfied the info matches.
  4. Change passwords frequently to make it harder for thieves to break in
  5. Avoid browsing unsecure websites. If you get a warning that a site is unsecure from your browser or anti-virus software, get off the site immediately.
  6. Shop at online stores you are familiar with and which you know are trustworthy. An online store which sells something for a price that sounds too good to be true can be a front for scammers.
  7. Never cave in to pressure from a proposed customer to process an order and ship in a hurry especially if it is a large quantity of items. It couild indicate fraud.
  8. Never ship wholesale overseas. I’ve been a victim of a scammer who claimed to have a retail shop overseas, who was in a hurry, and who paid with a stolen credit card. I lost $1,000 in the process.
  9. You can purchase identity theft insurance. Here is a link to several options. 
  10. Here is more information regarding preventing identity theft and recovery from identity theft







orn16My friends know not to throw away their empty wine bottles.

Like the Native Americans who never wasted any part of the buffalo, I use every part of the wine bottle in my handmade creations.

I use the neck to make wine bottle necklaces, and the bottles themselves to slump into cheese and cracker trays, spoon rests or yo make into hurricane candles and hanging wine bottle candles.

If the bottle breaks, I tumble the pieces and make them into jewelry. The bottoms are especially valuable for drilling and adding to my recycled wrought iron works wall decor and window decor.

During the Christmas season I use them to create handmade wine bottle ornaments.  Pictured is one of my favorite styles which features an olive wine bottle bottom with a snowflake design. It has a crystal prism bead dangle and a glitter bow. Here’s a link to it in my amazonhandmade shop









solitude-image“No man is an island,” wrote poet John Donne.

Many artists live solitary lives. When we encounter someone who truly cares and goes the extra mile it can be very uplifting

I just returned from consigning some handmade artisan items at Bottega, a local shop in Hickory, NC that sells art and artisan works with a funky bohemian vibe.

Sarah, one of the owners and I struck up a conversation. We co-miserated about the challenges of being self-employed. She’s a single mom trying to make rent, provide insurance for herself and her daughter,  moonlight as a waitress, while co-managing  Bottega (which is less than a year old)  hoping to turn it into a revenue producing shop. That’s a lot.

Though her bank account may be slim, it is oh so evident that Sarah  is passionate about the arts and she is a sensitive and compassionate person. As we talked about the challenges of marketing and getting our art “out there” it felt good to have somene who understood stuff I personally deal with.

Toward the end of our conversation, Sarah proposed an idea.  “How would you like to be our featured artist on November 19th?”  Bottega periodically features and artist and promotes them and she wanted to do this for me.

How cool is that?  I was touched.  Sarah wanted to go the extra mile to help me succeed. Sometimes its the little things that can make a huge difference in an artist’s life.  Taking the time to listen and encourage, purchasing even a small item, sharing about an event or show the artist is in with friends or acquantances,  forwarding a link to others about their blog or website, or even offering a leg up in some other way to help the artist gain ground.

People like Sarah teach me the importance of helping one another and their encouragement spurs me on to keep moving forward when the going gets tough.  I wanted to take a moment to thank Sarah for her kindness and to say that she, and others like her, spur me on to do the same with other people I meet. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the different between success and failure.


Recipe: Key Lime Pie

Today I am sharing a recipe for one of my favorite desserts.






  1. For crust
    • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  2. For filling
    • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, preferably Manhattan brand)
  3. For topping
    • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

    1. Make crust:
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.
      3. Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.
    2. Make filling and bake pie:
      1. Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).
      2. Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.
    3. Make topping:
      1. Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.
      1. *Available at Manhattan Key Lime (212-696-5378).
    Cooks’ note:
    Pie (without topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

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