Craft Studio: Patty’s necklace

15 04 2019

I made a more “dainty” version of my turquoise necklace for my dad’s friend, Patty. Components: faux leather cord, brass beads, crystals, glass beads, and dyed imperial jasper stones. She loved it!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Patty's necklace





Craft Studio: Boho necklace

15 04 2019

Here’s the second boho (bohemian, hippie style) layered necklace I created. Components: faux leather top cord, brass chains, painted jasper stones, rhinestone charms, and ceramic, resin, and glass beads. I’ll be making many more of these to sell in my online store (details to come soon!).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

My necklace WEB





Craft Room: Alcohol Ink + Washers

16 03 2018

My sister Debbie and I recently tried our hands at making necklaces using cheap metal washers of various sizes, alcohol inks, and acrylic sealant, and finishing off with assorted beads and cords. Not too shabby for our first attempts!

Washer Necklaces





These are a few of my favorite rings…

31 10 2017

My friend Camilla and her sister Cathy started a ring-swapping tradition years ago that has grown into a fun collection for both of them. Read all about it in the winter issue of Celebrate Home Magazine, still available for digital download in the links below. Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue. The first links is for single-page viewing (perfect for printing off your favorite recipe!); the second link is set up for “reader spreads,” so you can see the magazine in spread format (my favorite!).

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Winter 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Winter 2013 Spreads

You can order a print-on-demand copy of the magazine (at cost, plus shipping) here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/513977

Click here to view on issuu.com.

Design, layout, photography and interview by Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

CHM Bejeweled Collage

 

 





Craft Room: Bronze & turquoise wire crochet necklace

26 07 2013

Bronze wire crochet necklace with beads in bronze, copper, ceramic, wood, glass, resin and plastic

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Copper & Turquoise Necklace





Winter 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine now available for digital download!

11 02 2013

The winter 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine is now available for digital download in the links below. Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue. The first links is for single-page viewing (perfect for printing off your favorite recipe!); the second link is set up for “reader spreads,” so you can see the magazine in spread format (my favorite!).

The more clicks we get, the better we do with promoting and getting advertising! We thank you for your support.

Single pages version: Celebrate Home Winter 2013

Reader spreads version (my favorite!): Celebrate Home Winter 2013 Spreads

You can order a print copy of the magazine (at cost, plus shipping) here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/513977

Click here to view on issuu.com.

On the cover: Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, award-winning Impressionist painter from San Antonio, Texas

CHM Winter 2013 FInal Cover

In this issue:

FEATHER YOUR NEST
Winter-inspired lovelies for you and your home.

HOME
Delicious Pops of Color
Easy on the eyes, the Hedstrom house takes advantage of light-filled views with clean lines and engaging color.

FAMILY
Living the Fairy Tale: To Quit or Not to Quit?
Mothers share their struggles with jobs and families.

FOOD & ENTERTAINING
Bowls of Comfort
Take the chill out of winter with our filling soup recipes!

A Wintertime Dessert Party
Pair wine and desserts for elegant and easy entertaining.

Green Chicken: Creating a Family Heirloom Cookbook
Create a cookbook that cherishes family recipes.

The Many Seasons of Beer
Beer aficionado Jefferson Evans explores the world of seasonal brews.

THE ARTIST
Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, Impressionist Painter
Always proud of her Colombian and Mexican roots, this artist’s passion is reflected in her colorful work.

HOW-TO
Winter Photography Indoors
Stay indoors to photograph nature this winter.

PETS
How Much is That Doggie in the Window? Choosing the Family Pup

Think you’re ready to add a furry friend to your family? Here are some things to consider.

THE CREATIVE LIFE
Every Picture Tells a Story
Discover five tips for decorating your walls with original art.

THE COLLECTOR
Bejeweled: Camilla Houghton’s Unique Ring Collection
What started as a gift exchange between two sisters expanded into a beloved collection of rings.

CRAFT
Ring Bling Box
Give your rings a new home with our easy craft project.

PERSPECTIVES
What Home Means to Me

 





Craft Studio: Bedazzled beaded bracelet in blue

28 10 2012

Last weekend during my beading birthday bash I created this cuff bracelet for my friend Dawn. I used a blank wire cuff, 24 gauge non-tarnish silver wire, and an assortment of beads in various shades of blue. The star of the show was a piece of inexpensive square glass—the kind you get in bulk bags to fill vases. You can buy the bracelet blanks at Michael’s in a two-pack for $2.99 (you’ll get one of these and another style that I haven’t found a use for yet). I just discovered they’re available in a blackened-silver and a bronze color, too. It’s an extremely easy project and takes an hour or less to complete!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft Room: Ear bling

3 07 2012

My sister heads back to San Antonio this afternoon, but we have had a blast being on the road in Rhode Island and Vermont, then back home crafting earrings, necklaces, bracelets, napkin rings and t-shirt scarves!





Tiny bling

16 06 2012

These are some of the images I’ve chosen to create pendant necklaces (1″ silverplated, copper or brass bezels with acrylic or glass domes and dogtag, silver snake chains or cotton and satin cords). I’m going to launch a shop on etsy soon (Garden Muse Studio) to sell prints (loose, matted, framed), photo notecards (regular botanical photos and my older line of Polaroid transfer reproductions) and crafts such as jewelry, linoleum cut prints (my next endeavor) and small acrylic paintings (landscapes, botanicals and mixed media). There’s nothing in the store yet, but I’m working on it! The two kitten faces are for my friend Karen and her daughters, FYI.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Scenes from an exhibit reception, part 1

18 04 2012

WOW. That’s how I can sum up my photography exhibit reception on Sunday at Green Spring Gardens. My friend Martha says her favorite moment was when I came by her and simply said, “I am just soooooooooo happy.” I kept repeating it like a Stepford character. I’m just soooooooooo happy. Really, I am just soooooooooo deliriously happy! Sales and attendance were way beyond what I expected (or dared to hope for).

Remember, the show is up for two more weeks—you have until April 29 to see it if you haven’t already done so. For more details and directions, visit my show site: www.gardenmuseshow.com! FYI—I will have an etsy.com store up and running soon. I’ll be selling matted and framed images, greeting cards and jewelry (and any other crafty endeavor that strikes my fancy!). Stay tuned for more info on that venture. More photos to come from the reception…

Reception photos © Ed Fagan, Columbia Photography

Martha, my friend who came up for the weekend from San Antonio, Texas, confidently pitches the “buy all eight greeting cards for $20 and get a nifty floral gift bag” deal to a potential customer.

Above, from left: dear friends Holly and Tom, yours truly (with my trusty Coolpix) and lovely Sue-in-blue, who flew up from Huntsville, Alabama

With a lot of help from family and friends (Karen B., her daughter Margot, my sister Debbie, sister-in-law Nancy, Karen W. and Martha), the table decor—inspired by spring and all things gardening—became the perfect backdrop to showcase Barbara‘s wonderful sweet and savory appetizers! The only downside—putting all those decorations back in their place in our townhouse.

Above, left: The view of the banquet tables from the “savory” side. Right: Barbara Kelley, caterer extraordinaire, displays her Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcakes, topped off with homemade fondant butterflies made by Karen B., daughter Hannah and me.

Above: The photo pendants were a hit, much to our delight! My friend Paula and I made about 30 of them and we sold more than half of them. I’ll be preparing more to sell in my etsy.com store, which I’ll be working on next month. We hung them on satin cords (longer length), vinyl cording and silver-plated chains and sold them sans chains as well.

Barbara and Hollace made open-faced tea sandwiches and adorned them with edible flowers—which required some cajoling to get attendees to eat. I heard several times, “are you sure we can eat these?” Michael proved they were edible by devouring a complete pink rose (photo to come). Another guest poked at the mozzarella balls (!) and asked if they were real (!) Thank you to Sue for helping me festoon the cupcake stand with garden-inspired fabric and ribbon. We went through a lot of hot glue on that project!

Above: getting the store set up before the crowd comes through the doors. Thanks to everyone who set up the shop—Michael, Karen B., Margot, Karen and Joe W., Pete and Nancy, Martha and Debbie. We filled up 3.5 cars with matted/framed prints, greeting cards and buffet decor elements. From left: Holly and her friend Helen examine the necklaces on display; center: Michael explains how to use his credit card machine to Karen B. and her daughter Margot; far right: me explaining something (?) to my friend Leda

Above: seven of the eight 5.5 x 8.5 greeting cards available for sale. Not shown, my “Unfurled” image with a ‘Negrita’ Tulip

Above: another shot of the buffet—tea sandwiches, fruit skewers and pesto pinwheels

Above, left: the jewelry display with my brother-in-law Pete in the background. Peter and his wife Nancy (Michael’s sister) drove up from the Columbus, Ohio area. Right: one of my favorite people—friend and neighbor Michael P.—deciding with “hairy legged” insect photo to purchase (thanks for giving Vault and Whirly Girl a good home, Michael!) Below: lines began to form—how cool is that?

Above: It was so great to see my former roommate (from way back circa 1988 or so) Wendy and her husband Mark—I last saw Wendy at Potomac Mills mall when her son Eli (now 17) was still in a stroller! We reunited on Facebook (but of course) and they truly surprised me by driving down from West Virginia just for the reception! She has asked me to do a presentation to her second grade class on “how to learn how to see” things in nature. Now that I can do!

During this entire process, I have had such a tremendous show of support from family and friends. Since the show went up, I have had guests coming from Florida, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Alabama and Maryland. I am so blessed to have these people in my circle!

In preparation for the show and reception, I’d like to thank a slew of great people:

A very special thanks to Jeff E.—thank you for the kick in the pants to get “exposure for my exposures!”
Dorothy Norpel
, F.R.O.G.S. (Friends of Green Spring Gardens) show coordinator, for giving me the opportunity to exhibit
• Mary Olien and Janet Hammes of Green Spring Gardens for their support of my work and Janet in particular for letting us in early on Sunday so we would have ample time to prepare for the reception (and also for purchasing several images!)
• All the employees and volunteers of Green Spring Gardens who answered questions, fetched a ladder, made a sale, answered my myriad questions and honored my requests
The Green Spring Gardens horticulture staff who are masters (and artists) at what they do—for always having something new and beautiful for me to photograph (not many people know that more than 75% of the images in the show were shot at Green Spring Gardens)
Dad
for his financial input, patient framing guidance and being the best cheerleader/dad/patron of the arts a girl could have
My sister Kelley for helping me select all the images for the show and being the genius behind the idea to name the images
Tom and Holly for loading up 98% of the framed images in their van and transporting and unloading it all—you just don’t know how much I appreciated that!
Dear Camilla for flying up to help me hang up the show and her invaluable creative direction (not to mention her long-time friendship)
• Karen W.
and Michael for helping hang the show from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (thanks also to Karen for constantly promoting my work, whether it’s jewelry making or the exhibit—there’s a reason you’re a key component of the K.I.T.A. club, ya know!)
Carmen and her sister-in-law Ester for driving eight hours from Greer, South Carolina just to attend the exhibit
Mary Ellen
for flying from Wisconsin
My sister-in-law Ronnie and her husband Ed for coming to see us and the exhibit en route from Florida back to their home in Cleveland
My sister Debbie and our friend Martha for hopping planes from San Antonio to share in the big weekend
Karen B.
for helping design the buffet tables, create the table covers and decorations, making fondant butterflies for the cupcakes, sleeving greeting cards and for every single creative project she is willing to tackle alongside me (I enjoy all our creative time together, KareBear) and for her patience in heading up the store
Mo Sherman
for spreading the word to his Virginia and Maryland friends and for being so supportive of my work
Sue
for flying here from Huntsville, AL, helping me make the three-tiered tea sandwich stand and putting matted prints in sleeves (and for her never-ending cheerleading!)
Hannah
for help with creating the butterflies and manning the store with her mom
Margot
for her flower arranging skills, buffet decorating and helping in the store
Paula
for helping me make those pretty photo pendants that were such a hit (and for her and Ken spreading the word of the exhibit to their friends and colleagues)
Nancy
, Pete and Martha for helping frame (assembly-line style) some last-minute pieces
Karen W.
and Joe for preparing and bringing a great breakfast spread to the house Sunday morning so we wouldn’t pass out during the day
All the help transporting to and fro in four separate cars from Michael, Pete, Joe, Nancy, Karen W., Martha and Debbie
Barbara
and Hollace for the amazing reception food—it was colorful, tasty, imaginative, filled with love, and I couldn’t imagine a catered event going more smoothly than this one did—you are a pro, Barbara!
Karen B.
, Margot, Hannah and Martha for minding the store and taking care of sales, wrapping, etc. (I know it was a crazy, unexpected time and I thank them profusely for all their efforts; nothing I can do can repay their generosity of time!);
Michael for running errands to get more change, to the house for more supplies and bringing fans to cool off the place (we learned that they turn off the air at the Horticulture Center on weekends!)
Karen W.
, Debbie, Martha, Karen B., Margot and Nancy for all their help decorating the buffet tables and setting up the store
Jeff S.D. for his constant support and helping me determine pricing (why is this always so hard for an artist?)
Brian for his mentoring and valuable input, always
Kudos and thanks to my hard-working friend Ed for so thoroughly and beautifully documenting that wonderful day with nearly 700 images (shot from above, below, from the side, on a ladder, on the floor and from the ceiling)!

If I have left out anyone in the never-ending gratitude list above, it is not intentional. Finally, thank you to all my local friends, faraway friends, Facebook friends, WordPress fellow bloggers and design clients for being a constant source of support and enthusiasm for this pet project of mine. Thank you to all my local friends who were able to make the reception and for your purchases as well. I thank you profusely and Green Spring Gardens thanks you, too!





Craft Room: Necklace for Paula

31 03 2012

Last night I showed my friend Paula how to make the crochet wire + bead necklaces that I’ve been creating since last spring. She came up with the idea of crocheting just the center part of the necklace and attaching a chain instead of chain-stitching the rest of the piece. I thought it was a great idea—it would be easier to control the length and the necklace would be less resistant to metal fatigue in the crochet-only areas (plus—less beads, less wire and less time!). I made the simple matching earrings for her. This piece contains beads made of glass, hematite, cracked glass, glass pearls and metal. Paula has lots of experience in wire-wrapping, bead stringing and other jewelry skills so I learn far more from her than she learns from me.

© Cindy Dyer (with assistance from Paula)





Craft Studio: Bedazzled beaded bracelet

13 02 2012

This past summer I created this cuff bracelet using a blank wire cuff, heavy gauge non-tarnish silver wire, and an assortment of beads in various shades of green. The “star” of the show was a piece of inexpensive square glass—the kind you get in bulk bags to fill vases. I tried to find a resource for the blank cuff but couldn’t—but I do know my friend Dawn (who was the recipient of this piece) bought it at either Michael’s or Wal-Mart.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 





What are they? Gold-filled?

28 01 2012

I’m not overly fond of Michael’s craft stores in general (they’re only reasonably priced when you use a coupon and they vary their clearance markdowns on the exact same item from store to store, which is so frustrating), but sometimes they’re the most convenient place to shop for craft supplies. I liked them much better when they used to let you use the coupons on books. They changed that policy several years ago, unfortunately. My preference is Hobby Lobby, but the closest one to me is an hour away (and they let you use their coupons on anything as long as it’s not already on sale, including those overpriced crafting magazines).

While we’re on the subject of prices—look at the regular price and the clearance price on these glass beads. Save a whole $1.50 on these gems today! (Photo shot with Michael’s iPhone)





Craft Studio: Earrings for Debbie

23 01 2012

I made these for my sister, Debbie, a few days ago. I hold her, as well as her friend Diana (who invited us over to her home to learn how to do crochet wire and bead necklaces last March) responsible for this beading kick I’ve been off and on since then (as if I really needed another hobby?). For these pieces, the bead types include resin, lampwork, Czech glass, porcelain, pewter, glass pearls, polished stone, hematite, abalone shell and wood.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





“Caged” gems

17 01 2012

My friend Paula and I learned how to make these whimsical earrings in a workshop last spring with the Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore. We spent the day at the workshop in Baltimore while Michael and our friend Karen went museum-hopping and had lunch. It also happened to be Karen’s birthday that day, so we were to meet up with them (as well as Paula’s husband, Ken) later for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in the Inner Harbor.

Our instructor had us work with sterling silver wire (an extra $25 materials fee due to this!). In the class we also learned how to make earring wires, headpins (see the coiled headpin in the earrings below? I hammered the coil flat on an anvil to create this look), necklace and bracelet clasps, and a coiled wire ring. The earring wires shown here were commercially made and provided for the project. This is the only pair I’ve made so far, but with the instructor’s detailed printouts, I think I can tackle it again. It was amazing to see how some simple coiling techniques could make such a cool pair of earrings!

I found this youtube video here that shows how to make the caged beads like we did.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Saturday night beading marathon

9 01 2012

My sister Debbie hosted an all-night beading party this weekend. All but one beader stayed past midnight to help usher in Debbie’s birthday on Sunday morning. We started at 5:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon and disbanded after 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning! I made all of these earrings, plus a few more pairs as well as started a crochet silk thread and bead necklace (still unfinished because I got distracted by making all these earrings!).

You must forgive the rudimentary lighting on these pieces—they were lit with what I had available: a torchiere lamp, the dining table overhead lamp and a small flashlight. I also only brought over my little Nikon Coolpix L110 and set it on macro mode (with very good results). Debbie’s friend, Karen, served as my trusty photo assistant and was the lucky recipient of all the pieces below except the square green earrings. I made them specifically for her partly because she said she didn’t think she would look good with “dangly” earrings (she does) and partly because she re-sorted an entire box of my beads that I turned over onto the tile floor (no, not intentionally), scattering tiny baubles to the four corners of the room. How could I not reward her after that fiasco? After she said that she thought dangling earrings made her look like a “lady of the evening,” I asked her if dangling earrings were the only thing that she thought would separate her from being either a working mom or a working girl. I looked under the table to see her wearing low-heel preppy moccasins, and told her she didn’t have appropriate shoes for the latter profession, so it was safe for her to wear the earrings. We got several miles of laughs out of the dangling earrings–working girl scenario.

We didn’t have the lighting down pat for the top two earrings (shadows are way too prominent), but figured it out after that. Fun was had by all but I must confess that I barely made a dent in my bead stash. Beaders Anonymous, anyone?

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft Room: Blue baubles for Bobbie

26 12 2011

Non-tarnish crocheted wire and bead necklace and earrings made with Czech glass, glass pearls, dyed stone, shell, lampwork beads, crystals, resin and metal beads © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Curse words from the craft room

20 12 2011

Last night I crafted these for my friend Judy to give as gifts to relatives this Christmas. She picked out the styles and together we figured out how to do them without instructions (eek!). I know how to make some projects, but this was my first attempt at making “cluster” beaded earrings. I just know you’ll love the first pair and if even one of you ask me to make a pair for you, I will gather my beads and head for the hills. Before I run, I will unfriend you on Facebook, screen your phone calls and block you from e-mail. You know I will.

In that first pair of earrings, each of those little beads has to be mounted on a headpin and a loop created to attach to a very, very tiny chain. When you attach them, they will fall off at least three times per bead. You will drop them on the floor, not find any of them (and pray that your cat doesn’t hoover them up), then have to start over with a new headpin, bead and loop. And when that happens often enough, you will utter words that will make a sailor blush. The process will take up more than two hours of your life. Just one pair of earrings. Two hours. (I tried to entice her with simple designs by promising to make her 20 pairs of them—she wouldn’t bite. And really, I could probably make 50 pairs of simple earrings in two hours!)

When you finish making this pair for your friend, and she says “Only two pairs to go,” you will tell her, with nary a blink from your weary eyes, that she will pick another style or suffer the consequences. And so she does, and in the process, you learn how to do two other styles that are not quite as torturous to your eyes, hands or psyche. Then you will fall asleep at 1:00 a.m. and pray that those teenagers appreciate that more than five hours went into creating these beauties, and that their aunt did not buy them at Claire’s Boutique in the mall. Even though you picked out the most complicated designs ever, I still love you, Judy.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A necklace for Leslie

2 10 2011

I created this crochet wire and bead necklace for my friend Carmen to give as a gift to her niece, Leslie, who loves horses. Carmen requested horse-related charms to be added and wanted something that could be worn with denim. I’ve got enough pieces I’ve created that do not have homes yet that I’m thinking of opening up an etsy.com store. I also have one necklace completed that I need to mail to my blog friend Chloe in Australia as a house-warming gift. She and her boyfriend Daniel are “nesting” in their first home and I made her a bird nest necklace like the one I made my niece Macie here). I have another crochet wire and bead necklace that I’m finishing up as a gift for my blog friend Birgitte in Denmark. Stay tuned for yet another undertaking—my Etsy store!





Necklace for Macie

28 07 2011

I crocheted this little wire necklace for my niece, Macie. Made of non-tarnish silver wire (26 gauge), it consists of two rows of crochet stitches with a separate wire-crafted bird nest containing three blue freshwater pearl “eggs.” I normally make the bird nests with 24 gauge wire, but this is what I had available when I was crafting with my sister in San Antonio a few weeks ago. It required more “revolutions” of the wire than 24 gauge would have to achieve the thickness of the nest, but the end result looks very similar. I’m working on a larger version for an adult to wear. Learn how to make the bird nest on Cathe Holden’s crafty site here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms

2 07 2011

Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms was one of the exhibitors at the annual Hearing Loss Association of America Convention, held last month in nearby Crystal City, Virginia.

HAYLEIGH’S ROCKY START
Before Hayleigh Scott was born, a sonogram revealed that she had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which displaced her organs. Her parents, Rachel and Andrew, were given options to terminate one baby, in-utero surgery, or to just “watch and wait.” They opted for the latter, with much prayer and support from family and friends. Her twin, Vienna, was healthy at birth; Hayleigh was not. She was in the ICU for two and half months and had to be quarantined for the first two years of her life. They noticed her hearing loss when she was 18 months old. She was diagnosed with severe-to-profound hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids (and decorating them!) ever since.

AN ENTREPRENEUR IS BORN
When Hayleigh was five, she decided she wanted to show off her hearing aids with some “bling.” She started drawing sketches with her sisters and a few years later, their mom helped them make the designs into jewelry. With the help of her mother, father, twin sister Vienna and younger sister Sarah, Hayleigh turned this kitchen table venture into a full-fledged business, Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms. She encourages her customers to celebrate their uniqueness by embellishing their hearing aids and cochlear implants and not trying to hide them.

She and her two sisters make all the jewelry, which includes more than 50 hearing aid charms (see sample at left). They also create cochlear implant bling, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Their newest creations are colorful and fun Tube Twists (shown at right) and Snake Tube Twists. And they’re not just for girly girls (and big girls)—they create charms for boys and tomboys, too! The charms are reasonably priced—from $10 to $25—and shipping on all orders is free in the U.S. and international shipping is just $5. Hayleigh is committed to giving back to the community she serves—ten percent of all proceeds are donated to furthering hearing research and education of the hard of hearing and deaf community.

A PASSION FOR BUSINESS
Her parents then applied for a provisional patent for her invention. A three-year process, this meant she couldn’t wear the charms, promote them or advertise them during that time. Now that’s what I call an extremely patient entrepreneur. Hayleigh and her sisters are so engaging and lively, and their enthusiasm for their products and their business is contagious! As a self-employed person for more than 20 years, I can relate to their joy and enthusiasm for their passion. Their booth was always busy and Vienna later told me that they did really well in their first time as exhibitors at an HLAA Convention.

Audiologist Douglas Beck conducted an interview last year with Hayleigh and her mother about Hayleigh’s hearing loss and her blossoming business for The American Academy of Audiology website. From that interview, I learned that Hayleigh and Vienna are “mirror twins.” I wasn’t familiar with that term until now. It means they have opposite identical features, like left versus right handedness and their hair parts on opposite sides. Read that interview transcript here. Author Maureen Doty Tomasula wrote about Hayleigh in her article, Sharing Her Special Charm, published in The Hearing Journal in September 2009.

SHARING A COMMON BOND
Hayleigh may not know this, but she shares an honor that I was privileged to receive a few years ago. She is the first place winner in the Student Category of the 2010 Oticon Focus on People Award. Congratulations, Hayleigh! I received first place in the Adult Category in 2008. Hearing Loss Magazine editor Barbara Kelley secretly nominated me for the award. Oticon flew all the winners and a guest to Denver for the ceremony, and I wrote about that amazing experience (thanks again, Barbara!) on my blog here.

To continue in the “six degrees of separation” vein, I met my friend and HLAA member Lynn Rousseau while in Denver at the Oticon Awards event. She was a first place award recipient in the Advocacy Category. We became fast friends and her life story was so interesting that I suggested to Barbara that we profile her in Hearing Loss Magazine. She made her cover feature debut in the May/June 2011 issue, which I wrote about here.

I photographed the entire Scott family (including Hayleigh’s adorable cherub of a brother, AJ) at the end of the Convention. Look for Hayleigh and her family in a future issue of Hearing Loss Magazine!

All photos (except product photos) © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft Room: A necklace for Norma

9 06 2011

Norma picked out the color palette for this piece—silver-plated wire, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and glass/cracked glass/acrylic/metal beads comprise this necklace.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft Room: Necklaces for Karen & Sue

1 06 2011

I created the tribal-inspired necklace for Karen over the Memorial Day weekend. I used non-tarnish silver-plated silver wire with Czech glass beads and ceramic/pewter/resin/rubber beads for this necklace. She chose some of the beads and the color palette. The black and white version is for Sue and has glass pearls, Czech glass, and Hematite/ceramic/shell/pewter/resin beads.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 





Craft Room: More wire & bead necklaces

6 05 2011

Must. put. down. the. crochet. hook. now.

Four more bead and wire creations to share…fortunately, they don’t take long to make (1-1/2 to 2 hours, tops) and they make great gifts. I made the blue one and the pink ones as gifts for my mother-in-law, Sybil. The red and orange tribal concoction is for my friend Gina and the green one was a present for my friend Karen (this past Saturday was her birthday). I really enjoy making them, though, because I love playing with color and texture when planning each piece, plus I’m refining the process as I go along. My friend Paula and I took a day-long workshop at the Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore last weekend and we learned how to make findings, clasps and a host of other silver wire projects (we made a ring, earrings and a bracelet). I’ll share those projects in a later posting.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft Room: Crochet wire necklaces

20 04 2011

My family and friends (and perhaps some of you, my treasured readers) have noticed that when I learn a new skill, I go a wee bit crazy implementing it, expanding upon it and trying to perfect it. In a previous posting here, I showcased the first necklaces my sister Debbie and I made last month after taking a class in San Antonio. I have since made four more wire creations. Never content with just the basics, I’ve begun embellishing them with charms, such as in the four strand “Sea Goddess” (#1) and the triple strand “Falling Leaves” (#2). “Bluer than Blue” (#3) is a two strand version. The last triple strand version in this group (“Tropical Punch”) is a gift for my friend Gina’s mother. I think my next one will be garden-themed with floral embellishments and garden tool charms.

Taking orders soon! (Seriously. How else can I pay for these hobbies?)  😉

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft project #956: Crocheted wire & bead necklaces

6 04 2011

Last Friday my sister Debbie and I took a jewelry-making class utilizing wire, beads and simple crochet chain stitching. I had seen these types of necklaces before but couldn’t figure out exactly how they were made. They are not quite as complicated to make as I had assumed they would be. I made five this past weekend and can now make them in two hours or less (that is, when someone isn’t talking and interrupting my bead and stitch counting)! Debbie made the top two necklaces (as well as the bracelet) and I made the bottom three. Her daughter (and my lovely niece) Lauren graciously modeled them for us (of course, the first four items were made especially for her, so she had an incentive to do so). Thanks to our great instructor, Leticia, for her expertise and to Diana, who hosted our little creative get-together. Yes, thanks. I really needed another hobby. Seriously. Etsy, here we come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lulu & Kato

5 04 2011

Lulu (left) and her brother Kato are five months old and live with their humans, Brian and Shirley, in Austin, Texas. I flew into Austin on Thursday, March 24. Brian and I attended Joe McNally and David “Strobist” Hobby’s Flash Bus Tour 2011 on Friday (recap and photos to come—it was one fantastic day-long workshop!). I stayed with Brian and Shirley and had an event-filled, fun and informative weekend. Every night Lulu and Kato slept at the foot of my bed and made me feel quite welcome—and they were quite photogenic, to boot!

My week+ away was full and I’ll cover several events in future postings, including a recap of the energetic Flash Bus Tour 2011 workshop on Friday with Joe McNally and David “Strobist” Hobby (read Joe’s recap of the Austin workshop here); a wonderful sneak preview at the University of Texas campus of Dinomorphosis, the upcoming National Geographic film by filmmaker Jenny Kubo, followed by Dinosaurs in Living Color, a lecture by Dr. Julia Clarke, Associate Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, UT-Austin; visiting the wonderful Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin to view the first photograph ever taken (1826)—by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce on his country estate near Chalon-sur-Saone, France (awe-inspiring for this photographer!) and see The Gutenberg Bible, one of only five complete examples in the U.S.; a grand tour of Austin the morning of Sunday, March 27 with Sonya, my dear friend/fellow graphic designer-artist/former college roommate (check out her adorable Bugs with Attitude in her etsy store here), followed by an afternoon photo excursion with her to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (my first visit there); then on to San Antonio to visit my family for the rest of the week (which included a fun wire crochet/beaded necklace class with my sister this past Friday—the process is actually easier than it looks and I’ll share our results in a future post—yeah, as if I needed another hobby).

From the “It’s a small world after all” department: Sonya and I reconnected as a result of this blog! She was looking for photographs of goats to use as reference in a clay sculpture project when her web search led her straight to my blog. I had just posted a photograph of cute goats in Nova Scotia. She saw my blog name and thought, “could this be my Cindy Dyer?” Indeed, it was! And the rest is history…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Bling!

14 09 2010

Earlier this summer, bride-to-be Abbie posted a request on Facebook for friends for submissions of brooches and pins to include in her bouquet. I crafted a bejeweled headband with loads of pins, charms and baubles (some dating back to my high school days, so this baby is an antique!) for my own wedding last October (see my headband photos here), so I just knew by her description that it was going to be a beautiful bouquet. My headband wasn’t lightweight by any means, but her bouquet was heavy enough to double as a weapon! 

Phyliss Hendley, Abbie’s friend and “second mother,” made this stunning bouquet—as well as Abbie’s feather/flower headpiece. At the bottom of the bouquet, you’ll notice “something borrowed” hanging from a satin ribbon—Abbie’s late father’s Mason ring. I think this qualifies as one of the most beautiful wedding bouquets that I’ve ever seen!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Craft project: Bird nest necklace

6 04 2010

I made these bird nest pendants for the gals in my wedding. They were made just like the cooper wire ones I made for Michael and his groomsmen here. My friend Kathy models one I made for her in the photo at right.

Silver wire and dyed freshwater pearls were woven to form a bird’s nest. Special thanks to blogger Cathe Holden for posting her great tutorial on how to make these sweet little bird nests.

Once I make the loops to hang them on chains, I’ll be distributing them to all the gals in the wedding party—Karen B, Debbie, Kelley, Lauren, Deanna, Nancy, Carmen, Norma, Karen W and Macie. Unfortunately, I didn’t have them finished to give to them out that weekend. Hence our wedding theme—“better late than never!”

You can see the latest photos I’ve posted from the wedding on our wedding blog here. Many more photos to come!





Have a cuppa tea, y’all

11 01 2009

At long last…photos from Sue and Barbara’s December 14 Christmas Tea at Sue’s house in Huntsville, Alabama. Sue and Barbara are pictured in the bright green and red polka-dotted aprons that Barbara commissioned just for the event. And before we get started, thank you, Sue, for including me in this special event (and for flying me to Huntsville, too!). It was a pleasure “breaking scones” and getting to know Barbara and your new friends and neighbors in Huntsville. Now stop dawdling and start planning the spring tea!

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Top photo: Sue created the beautiful wreath that graces their front porch entrance. Kitchen duty photos: I attempted to help her make sandwiches but she was so picky with her exacting crust trimming procedures that I happily went back to decorating duty. I may be good at some things, but apparently trimming neat edges on tea sandwiches is not one of them!

Her first decorating assignment for me—I got to decorate her Christmas tree in the living room without any restrictions; she even let me pick out new decorative elements (faux feathers, gold pinecones, glittery sprays, silk poinsettias) from the Trees N Trends store earlier in the morning—I must say, there is nothing more fun than decorating on someone else’s dime!)

Sue knows I prefer decorating to playing in the kitchen. (She’s the one who bought me a handpainted wooden sign to go over the stove. It reads, “I kiss better than I cook.”) Admittedly, I’ll never dethrone Martha Stewart or Paula Deen, but check out some of my past creations at a small dinner party in June, Chocoholic Party 2007, Chocoholic Party 2008 (with more photos and my friend Karen’s yummy cheese straw recipe), and our favorite event, the annual Pesto Fest. The Fall 2008 Pesto Fest was sadly canceled due to incessant rain in our area. This Italian-themed event must be outdoors for the proper ambience. Fiddle-dee-dee, 2009 is another year!

Before decorating commenced, Sue presented several plastic bins of ornaments, tassels, fabric, candles, candleholders, and roll after roll of ribbon for me to play with (an artist must have her supplies, you know!). After I finished glamourizing the chandeliers over the tables, I checked in on Sue’s sandwich-making process later and felt compelled to point out that not all of her sandwiches were visually appealing—she’s pointing to the not-so-perfect ones in the fourth photo. What would Martha think?

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Decorations throughout the house, including the mantel where Sue and Steve displayed their new painting, a gift from me…and a southern holiday greeting on the napkins

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Top photo, left: Barbara makes the rounds, visiting with friends. Top photo, right: Sue in the laundry room, cranking out endless pots of hot water for tea. Bottom photo: Guests mingle at the main table.

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The dessert table was a big draw…especially with Barbara’s original peanut butter and chocolate cake topped with peanut butter cups (as if it needed more sugar!)—I told Barbara she could make a fortune selling that cake! Also on hand…pecan divinity, various cookies, and a chocolate fondue for strawberry dipping. Bottom photo: Sue and Biddy

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Top photo: Billie June and Shirley. Bottom photo: Sue and Barbara present the tea-inspired gift basket to Anita, the winning ticket holder.

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Top photo: Each guest received a beautiful homemade teapot-shaped sugar cookie as a parting gift. Bottom photo, left: Barbara showcases her culinary creations. Bottom photo, right: Lisa and Sue

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Top photo: Rebecca (Cathy’s sister-in-law), Lois (Cathy’s mom), Cathy, and Diana. Middle photo: Barbara, Biddy, Julia and Sue. Bottom photo: Biddy and Julia

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Top photo: Debbie (Sue’s neighbor), Sue and Kari (Sue’s hairdresser). Middle photo: Jenny and Sue (Jenny moved to Huntsville from Virginia about five years ago. Sue actually met her at New Hope Church in Alexandria years ago.) Bottom photo: Sue’s sister Gaye entertains guests.

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Top photo: Diana, Lois, Barbara and Fran. Middle: Gaye and Lisa. Bottom photo: Billie June and Barbara

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Top photo: Laura and Sue’s mom, Wanda. Bottom photo, left: Sue displays one of Barbara’s handmade cookies. Bottom photo, right: I was going to make some small ornament earrings for Wanda and Sue said they needed to be much, much larger since her mother likes wearing flashy jewelry. So Wanda, being ever the willing participant, actually wore these at the end of the party (they’re lighter than they look).

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Top photo: Sue with her lovely neighbor, Sandy. Middle: Cathy, Lois, and Rebecca. Bottom photo: a partial group photo

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Top photo: Wanda, Barbara, Sue and Gaye. Middle: A gathering of tea-cozy-covered teapots. Bottom photo: Quick! What else can you do with a tea cozy? Allow me to introduce you to Laura and Mary Ingalls and their uppity friend Nellie Oleson.

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When Michael and I were vacationing with Sue and Wanda in the Pacific Northwest last fall (see multiple postings about our funfilled trip here and here), Wanda mentioned that she had always wanted a “smooth cake.” (I knew she meant a fondant-covered cake.) Sue told Barbara about Wanda’s desire and the day after the tea party, Sue drove over to Barbara’s house to pick up a “smooth cake” she had made especially for Wanda. (Now that’s pure southern hospitality in action, y’all!) In the photo above, Wanda shows off her “smooth cake.” Take notice that she’s wearing a fun engraved bracelet that reads, “Does this bracelet make me look fat?—a gift from a friend. (You can buy that cute bracelet here. Warning—it’s not costume-jewelry priced…and $25 for shipping a resin bracelet? Hmmmmm…)

And finally, just in case anyone is interested—I was born in Selma, Alabama. The city is best known for the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights marches that began in 1965.

Something that Sue’s guests and new friends might not know about her—when I first met Sue in 2003, she was working on a tea-inspired page-a-day calendar and was having a not-so-good experience getting it designed. (Sue was my neighbor, just a few houses away—I met her when I called about the community’s garden-open-house event). The calendar was a project produced by her company, Tea Memories. Since I’m a graphic designer, I volunteered to help her with the project. It was fun to design and produce and we became the best of friends during the process. I found mention of the 2003 and 2004 calendars on www.teaandcoffee.com (scroll down to the 4th entry and read about the project).

Sue has returned the creative favor numerous times by serving as a most professional model for photographs for publications and magazines I design. Below are shots I did this past spring for Hearing Loss Magazine, a publication of the Hearing Loss Association of America.

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© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.