Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!  Thanks for all the kind comments on my birthday.  And speaking of that, Miss Molly you're the winner of my giveaway!  Let me know if you'd still like the letter "M" or would like to choose another.  Oh by the way the live production of The Grinch was so much fun.  Balboa Park was sparkling with lights, and we had a great time even though it was pouring rain.  And if you ever go, eat at the Prado and order the swordfish, it is yummy.
Here are some views of my Christmas tree.  Since we don't get snow here in sunny San Diego, I got one that came snowy-fied.  I just bought this cute ornament from Pam Garrison.
Here's a pretty paper ornament I bought at Garden Memories last year, to put on the top of my tiny feather tree.
This sweet little girl came from Pretty Petals.  I think she looks so cute.
Some vintage ornaments in a glass cloche I bought at Target.
Another purchase from Pretty Petals.
A beautiful cone made by my friend Rosemary.
A little angel I made one year out of an old quilt.
Another view of Rosemary's cone.

Thanks so very much to all the customers who so graciously purchased from me over the last year.  My business is growing quickly, and I'm very thankful!  Wishing you peace, health and joy in the coming year.  

Take care,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Birthday is Today, so I'm Having a Giveaway

Welcome!  Yippee eye aaaaa today's my birthday!  I still wake up with some of the same anticipation and excitement I had as a kid.  And since I was 10, one of the first things I do is read "Becky's Birthday"  by Tasha Tudor.  My mom used to read it to me and each page brings back such happy memories.

So to celebrate I'm giving away one of my little crystal initial charms.  You pick the letter!  Just post a comment, and mention you'd like to enter and I'll throw your name in the party hat.  

Tonight, I'm taking my family to go see the "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.  It's supposed to be a great production, and I'll let you know how it is.  I can't wait to see it.  There's nothing like live theatre is there?

Well, hope you have a great day, and stay dry if you're in Southern California, and stay warm if you're in parts of the country that are chilly!  (Like you Jan, in freezing Minnesota...I'm sending you a warm hug)

Take care,

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Street Fair & The Wolf

The street fair in Ventura was a great success, and I got to see my two dear friends at it!  Thanks for coming out and supporting me girls!  (I'm on the far right.)  Also thanks to all my sweet customers, I really appreciate your business.  :)
Here is the sign for Garden Memories where I sell some of my goodies.  Barbara is having an amazing sale going on, so check it out if you're in the area.
The day was overcast and really beautiful.  The perfect weather for a stroll.  Here is my loyal dress form with her petticoat on, waiting to greet customers.  Here crown is always admired and was made by my friend Rosemary.
A lot of the buildings around Ventura are very old, which is why I love it there.  We even stopped by the Bella Maggiore the night before, a local haunted hotel.
Now on to the wolf.  OK, so you know how people bring their dogs to street fairs?  Well what about a wolf?  Believe it or not, I saw one at the Palm Springs Street Fair last night.  It was HUGE.  I even got to pet it. The owner of this wolf said it was 8 years old and it can live to be 30.  The photo above isn't the wolf I saw, but it did look like it.  Next time I see it I'll take its picture. 
Only in California Huh?

Well, I guess it's back to my wolves.  This photo makes them look like Siamese twins.  Anyway, I hope you have a restful weekend, and that all you holiday preparations are going well.  I suppose I better start shopping for Christmas.  Yikes.  Late again.
Take care,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Am I Still Creating?

Ever feel as an artist you've lost the spark?  What I mean is, have you started to turn your passion into purely a business enterprise?  I'm starting to feel that way.  I don't know if it's just this time of year or what, but the busyness of the season has me pondering this issue.  

I've always loved creating.  If I weren't spending my days soldering charms, I'd be knitting, cutting, photographing or painting.  Feel like you were born to create?  I sure do!  I know many of you are amazing artists.  It seems every time I venture into blogland I come across another incredible creation.  How do you keep your passion for creating alive?  One of the fears I had in doing what the magazines say "Turning your Passion into Profit"  was losing the excitement, love and just plain fun of creating.

When I first really started my business about a year ago, it was like the Honeymoon period.  Everything was fresh and new.  After getting my first online sale I freaked out, ran around the house screaming with excitement.  Someone actually liked what I made and paid for it, Alleluia!  This gave me the confidence to venture into my favorite store in Ventura, Garden Memories.  I got up the nerve to ask the owner (Barbara is now someone I can call a sweet friend)  if she'd consider selling what I made.  I tell you , that was so scary for me!  Bearing your art like that is an exposing experience.  I compare it to showing up to high school without any clothes on, like that weird dream we all seem to have.  Anyway, I thought the worst that could happen would be a "No."  But actually said yes, and my joy just blossomed!  I skipped out of her store like Dorothy entering the world of Oz for the first time.  

As they say, I think the Honeymoon is over.  Now I feel I'm into the working years.  Not that those excitements don't still come from time to time, but they are just different now.  Well, as I turn on the soldering iron, I just had to spit all this out.  I know those of you who make 100's or even 1,000's of goodies everyday can relate to what I'm saying.  At the end of the day when your back is broken, your eyes are strained and your head is sort of numb, can you still find joy in what you do?  Honestly, I do still love my growing business, but when kids are complaining that all they ever see of their mom is the back of her head, I start to wonder if I need to make some kind of change.  I've never been that great at finding a balance, but maybe now is the time I find it.

Take care,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jenni B Giveaway

Happy Tuesday to you!  Doesn't this dessert look yummy?  Well it's not real, it's an amazing faux dessert made by Jenni B Originals, and she's having a blog giveaway to celebrate her appearance on the Martha Stewart show.  

You can check out Jenni's post here, and sign up to enter her giveaway.  Tell her Martha (not that one, I mean me) sent you!
Take care,

Monday, December 1, 2008

Love & Joy Come to You & Free Shipping Too!

Hi there, and Happy December 1st!  
I'm glad to join the band wagon and offer free shipping for the month of December at my website MJ Ornaments.  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and have a happy day.  
Take care,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving!
Do you ever find it hard to be thankful?  I mean between watching the news about the economy, what the job rate is and home prices, it's enough to bring anyone down.  (On the radio the other night I heard about a study conducted that said money or even the mention of money makes a person meaner!)  And an ungrateful attitude causes a person to dwell on what they don't have instead of what they do have, and places fear inside the soul.  Some of the most miserable people I know happen to be the most ungrateful and fearful.  Instead of cultivating this spirit of ungratefulness and fear, I want to start something new this Thanksgiving season.  What about counting your blessings, and naming them one by one?

This year around the Thanksgiving table have each person name 3 things they are thankful for.  And you can do this yourself before you go to bed at night too.  You'd be amazed how this simple act can help you develop a grateful spirit.  And no matter what your circumstances may be this Holiday Season, being grateful can make you a happier person.  :)

Gratefulness is a state of mind that should be practiced daily instead of yearly.  Make everyday Thanksgiving.
3 things I'm thankful for are- my family, my eyesight, the use of my hands.
What are 3 things you're thankful for?
Happy Thanksgiving,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yes Virginia There is a Santa Claus

Hi and thanks for stopping by.
Don't you love the story of eight year old Virginia O'Hanlon?  She's the little girl who wrote the famous letter to the Sun Times newspaper asking "Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"  The response was "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.  Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.  It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.  There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence."  
Amen to that!  If you'd like to read this delightful article go here.  This story always fills me with such hope and inspiration especially this time of year.  I for one believe in Santa Claus and always will.  :)   Above is a new charm I made with this in mind.
Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome my Sweet Sis!

Hi there!  Here is my dear sweet sister Jennifer, and she has just started a new blog.  Please pop on over and check it out.  She is an amazing performer, and works for a children's theatre in Minneapolis. She is also a playwright and just wrote a funny post about Facebook.  
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and take care,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Little Peek

Welcome and come on in. I thought I'd give you a little peek at what I do to create a soldered charm. Above I'm cutting the tiny pieces of glass for the charm. 2 pieces are sandwiched between very thin glass. I have to be careful not to push too hard or the glass will crack, (and I might say naughty words.) I found a great cutting tool online that's like a straight edge which provides perfectly straight cuts. I tried doing this on my own, but was horrible with a hand held cutting tool. I could never get it straight.
Here's one of my most used tools above. It's called a second hand and it holds the pieces so I can solder, and place the jump rings on the top of the charm.
Here I am again soldering a charm. I use lead free solder, and it's taken me years to get used to it. This solder doesn't flow like normal lead solder making it harder to work with. But practice makes perfect right?
Oh joy a completed piece! I look forward to the joy of the holiday season ahead. I hope you are doing well, and have fun creating!
Take care,

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween all you gouls and boys!  Hope you have a wonderful, safe night out on the town.  I'll be indoors tonight with a party for a few 15 year old dears so wish me luck!
Take care and have a lot of spooky good time tonight,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And the Winner is....(drum roll please)

Congratulations Melissa of the Fantastical World of Holidays!  After drawing your name out of my special Witches Hat, you are the winner of the Halloween Queen charm.  I hope you enjoy it.  ;)
Here is a shot of my house I took this morning.  In my last post I didn't make it clear that those photos weren't my house or balcony, so I thought I'd show you where I really live.  :)  As you can see my balcony isn't nearly as grand as the Haunted Mansion.  But I still love my home anyway.   ;)
Here's an idea for your Halloween decorating.  I bought a cheap foam skull at the party store the other day.  Luckily it fits perfectly under a glass cloche I just picked up at an antique store.  I think it looks kinda cool, and I tied on a heart I received from Madai.

Anywho, I'd better get back to work.  I hope you have a wonderful day, and thanks to everyone who participated in my little giveaway.  I'll be having more so stay tuned.
Take care,
XOXO Martha

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Party & Giveaway!

Welcome dear one, come in come in! Please dust off your broomstick and make yourself comfortable. (Above photo from "Practical Magic" set)
It looks like the orange moon will be perfect for our Halloween Party.
I decked myself out with a favorite pirate costume just for the occasion. This antique pirate's chest is filled with goodies and is lit up from below with white twinkle lights. It's always a favorite with Trick or Treaters.
Don't let the scary pumpkins get you!
Cover your eyes if it gets to be too frightening.
The balcony is bedecked with skulls and ribbons and ready for the party. (Above photos from Disneyland's Haunted Mansion). In celebration of our Halloween party I'd like to offer you a chance at winning a special Halloween soldered charm. The charm measures 1"x1/2" and says "Halloween Queen" of one side, has a crown on the other, and is embellished with black rhinestones on the front. Please leave a comment and let me know if you'd like to be entered in the "Halloween Queen" charm giveaway. You can view the charm on the right side of this post, and if you scroll down, under the post "Teenie Weenie Queenie Charms" I'll let you know who won in my next post. Oh, and don't forget to get your broomstick and fly on over to Vanessa's blog for amazing Halloween fun. There are over 400+ party participants sure to please your palate!
Take care, and have a wonderful spooky day!
XOXO Martha

p.s. I'll announce the winner on Wed. the 22nd

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

At The Pumpkin Patch

Happy October to you!  Don't you love going to the pumpkin patch?  I sure do, and enjoyed it this weekend.  The early morning sunlight made the pumpkins appear to glow, and the wet dew on them sparkled like tiny diamonds.
We had a little bit of rain here in California, and it made the air crisp and clean.
Fields full of pumpkins ripe and ready to go.
There was also a cute scarecrow contest.  
I found this great idea in Martha Stewart magazine.  Just cut out some holes, stick some fake mice in there, and presto!  You have a carved pumpkin.  How are you going to carve your pumpkin this year?

XO Martha

Monday, September 29, 2008

New Beveled Baubles

Did you hear that?  Well if you live near San Diego, you probably did.  Thunder!  I know it may sound silly to my friends in the Midwest, but we hardly ever get thunderstorms and it sure is fun.  I think the storm is coming up from Mexico, and I love this weather.  I thought I'd show you what I've been up to lately.  Above is a wrought iron Eiffel Tower I picked up at Vignettes, my favorite local antique shop.  I'm using it to display my ornaments at craft shows.
Here are some new charms I've been working on.  I've always loved the look of beveled glass, and that's what these are made of.  2 little chunks of glass soldered together to give the design some extra dimension.
I like them so much I think I'll make the whole alphabet of that "B" style above.  What do you think?
Here are the backs of some of the charms.  They measure 3/4"

Hope you are doing well, and have a wonderful day!
Take care,

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