Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday, April 29 - It's a Gas, Gas, Gas...

A Royal Wedding with all the media fanfare; devastating storms pummeling the south and their aftermath; Obama's birth certificate's a plethora of possible topics for my Friday Free-For-All Blog!! But what really has me pumped up today is a Royal Pain in the Gas!!

Predicted to reach $4.50/gal this summer, several car owners will be looking at dropping $100+ to fill up. We're already at $3.62 a gallon here in the upper Midwest, but there is a station right outside the Orlando International Airport that has reportedly been serving up the fuel for $5.39 a gallon for regular!!

How much is too much before we curb our long distance traveling plans and buy a Segway to get around town?? That gets me pondering vacation destinations this summer and thinking about planning smaller trips closer to home. There is a commercial out right now where the dad is on the riding lawn mower pulling his daugher on skis because it's too expensive to go any farther than his own backyard for a nice getaway--funny, but not, 'cause it's true!!

So what are you doing for vacation this year? Are the rising gas prices affecting your plans? Have you checked out your own state's hidden treasures? Here is a link from the Meredith Corporation to get you started...

Maybe I'll just stay home and work on beating the gas prices by beading necklaces instead :)

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hand Picked Member Collection on ArtFire

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Casual Day Designs Tuesday Shopping Showcase

The robins are attempting to build their annual nests on top of my outdoor light fixtures again--a sure sign spring is taking flight. It always amazes me how they can so intricately and perfectly mold their nest out of twigs and vines with nothing but their beaks and their little birdie feet! In honor of these winged wonders, I would like to remind everyone it is the 226th birthday of John James Audubon. Mr. Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, hunter, and painter who described, painted, and recorded the birds of North America in a manner far superior to any before him.

Like the innovative works of John Audubon, is an interactive online community designed to bring together buyers and sellers of artistic goods in a manner far superior to any other online marketplace! And with that is Tuesday...which means Casual Day Designs is bringing another Tuesday Shopping Showcase your way. Tuesday is the day I will feature three ArtFire Studios in my blog. So get your shopping list and settle in. There's something for everyone today!!

I don't know about you, but we're already receiving Graduation announcements in the mail, which means it's time to think about buying some cards and planning out the day of reception hopping. (I like to find out what everyone is serving so I know which receptions I will attend first for food and which ones I will make later on the list for cake and desserts!!) Instead of the same old money holder cards, if you're looking for something unique that the graduate won't receive three of the same, check out A-Lou Creations. This husband and wife team make some wacky greeting cards that are like no other!!

Another day that should not be overlooked this month is, of course, Mother's Day! Mother's Day is not just for Mothers, however! Take care of mom, aunts, sisters, grandmas, friends and all the females in your family with some moisturizing shea butter soap in a variety of wonderful scents from Fo-Shizzle Design Studios. Mischelle's soap is like silk on your skin and smells heavenly!

And while I'm talking about mom, I should also put a plug in for dad--my dad, Sam, that is. He's the one that got me hooked on ArtFire in the first place! His shop, Tied in Knotz, features paracord survival bracelets and related products. (And I have to mention that the photography of his items is superior!)

So, check out my dad's shop, pick up something for mom, and don't forget the graduates--ArtFire has it all--it's not just for the birds!

Copyright 2008-2011 Casual Day Designs. All Rights Reserved.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Denim Bead Initial Key Chain

Had a busy fun Easter weekend with family!! Hope everyone had a joyous celebration!

It's My Creation Monday!! And even though it's a little later on Monday than I planned to be posting, I still wanted to share what's fresh off the bead tray!!

My exclusive denim initial is featured in this latest creation--a one-of-a-kind key chain! I've designed this initial pendant so that it appears to be made from denim--take a close look!! Using a square bezel pendant and some Magic Glos, I have made an original personalized piece; and then adding a few of my coated blue and lavender denim fabric beads, I've created a masterpiece for your keys! This is a custom order, but I will hopefully be adding some key chains to my Artfire shop soon.

Thanks for checking in, and be sure to bookmark this blog and come back tomorrow for the Tuesday Shopping Showcase where I will feature three more ArtFire Shops!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

The Price of Gold is Going Through the Roof (of my husband's mouth, anyway)

It's Free-For-All Friday everyone, and that means that the topic for Casual Day Designs Blog could be on anything and everything, so grab a cup of coffee and settle in--especially those of you who have some metal in your mouth!

Other possible titles for this blog could be "The Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth," or "There's Gold in Them There Fills."

Thankfully, I have been blessed with a cavity-free mouth--my hubby was not so lucky. Recently the dentist told him the metal fillings he's had for years are defective, shrinking even, and could, if untreated, end in decay and lead to abscess. The dentist recommended replacing all the metal with resin composite. Typically this is a cosmetic procedure unless the filling is cracked or broken.

My husband, who is not so fond of sitting in the dentist chair even for a cleaning, opted to put off the replacing of his prized metal possessions...

...until one of them fell out.

An article on Huffpost Business says, "The price of gold has just hit $1,500 an ounce, a record high..."

As I sat in the waiting room of the dentist office, I imagined what I would do after cashing in on this unrealized gold treasure. Following the appointment, the dentist gave us an envelope to mail the gold filling in for our "reward." I say "us" and "ours" because what's his is mine, what's ours is mine, and what's mine is mine--just as it should be ;)

I'm not so pleased to report that the $46 we received for the gold filling was barely enough to cover the gas to get back and forth to the dentist not to mention the dental bill which is now on a payment plan. So my plans of sneaking into my hubby's mouth in the middle of the night to pan for the rest of the gold has been abandoned, and I have moved on to other ponderings like: What does this rise in gold prices mean for my jewelry artist friends who create with gold?, and Is my current collection of gold jewelry underinsured? (unfortunately my current collection doesn't amount to much more than the weight of my husband's gold filling).

Until the price of denim goes up, I'll just keep creating jewelry with jeans to be worn with jeans!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Christmas Shopping in April!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Seriously, Mother Nature...a snow storm on April 19th?? We just put the snow blower away, raked the leaves, and got the smoker seasoned and ready to go!! We had green grass for heaven's sake!!

Well, when life gives you snow...go Christmas shopping!!

I'm shopping right from the comfort of home this morning while I sip my coffee and watch what can only be a belated April Fool's joke going on outside.

There are so many great shops on ArtFire, I don't even know where to begin, but let me just highlight a few of my current favorites:

For the guitar players in my family (which I have three!), I'll be picking out some beautiful embroidered guitar straps made by Cool Straps in Florida. She does amazing unique works of art!

When looking for some inspired wall art for my mom's new place and my husband's office I will have no trouble finding just the right photo by Amy in Central Florida in her Impressions...from the heart studio. The trouble will be deciding which one from all her gorgeous images!

From Serendip Designs Jewelry in Whitefish, Montana, some of her one-of-a-kind silver swirls earrings will delight my sister-in-law.

The snow is really starting to pile up outside!! Perhaps I should go out and get that gallon of milk, loaf of bread, and dozen eggs that everyone goes out for when the blizzard hits! LOL!!

I've had a great time this morning showcasing some talented designers. Maybe I'll make this a regular Tuesday Shopping Showcase!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Growing My ArtFire Store!!

Just added three more unique items to my ArtFire Store!! Earrings, a OOAK brooch, and a Salvation Bracelet.

Also very excited about a new piece just strung today (need to add the clasp yet)! It was inspired by an Earth and Sky theme that was curated recently by a fellow ArtFire community member.

I'm also working on a new item - custom order. I will post pictures on my Flickr page soon.

Lots of new creating going on...stay tuned for more exciting news from Casual Day Designs!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ArtFire Member Curated Collection

What Rhymes with Denim?


There is a scented handsoap on my kitchen sink called Kitchen Lemon. 

One of my favorite commercials on television right now is the Verizon Small Business Lemonade Stand ad where Suzie gets her dad's phone to use for a calculator and takes her business way beyond the next level.

And now there are earrings in my ArtFire store that have yellow glass beads with my handmade denim beads.  The yellow beads remind me of ice cubes in a glass of lemonade--perfect for sunny, summer days!

When life gives you lemon-colored beads...make lemon drop earrings!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Brown Denim Beads and Blue Denim Beads

Get your color wheel out, boys and girls, it's time for an art lesson! So, I dropped one of my blue contacts onto a green bathroom rug tonight...

Q. What color was I looking for to find the contact?

A. One that doesn't exist! Because as soon as you drop a contact, it becomes invisible!!

But seriously, I did have a productive night (before losing my contact) organizing a few of my latest bead supply purchases and then laying out a couple new designs on my beading trays.

*Spoiler Alert* One of the designs has browns and turquoises and the other double-strand necklace has African Blue Lace Namibia. This beautiful blue agate is said to help one reach extremely high spiritual spaces and inner attunement.

Stay tuned for pictures and listings on ArtFire!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New Fun Colors Ready to Wear for Summer



Just in time for summer...these denim fabric bead creations by Casual Day Designs are now available in my ArtFire Studio.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So Many Beads...So Little Time

Making beads out of denim jeans is just one of the many tasks involved with my jewelry making. In addition to making beads, stringing jewelry, and listing my creations in my ArtFire shop and promoting my business, I have a part-time job during tax season and I am a caretaker of my parent while keeping house with my daughter and husband. Today is my hubby's birthday!! Last year we celebrated 15 years of wedded bliss. He has been so supportive of me in every endeavor. My denim jewelry idea was no different. When trying to decide on a name for my unique creations, it was actually my wonderful husband who came up with "Casual Day Designs"!! Fridays are known in most workplaces as casual day Fridays when employees are allowed to wear jeans--since my jewelry goes so great with jeans, it just seemed like the perfect name. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due!! Thanks to my loving husband, and have a great day, Honey!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Custom Denim Bead Necklace and Earrings Set

In September of '08 I designed one of my denim bead necklaces using a polymer clay pendant I made. It was quite a unique piece and one of my favorite creations. Recently, I had an individual view the image of that creation on my facebook page and contact me regarding a custom design.

I am so pleased to be able to show both the before and after pictures here. The main changes were for the use of all dark denim beads instead of both light and dark denim as well as incorporating more purple beads into the design. I think it turned out very nice, and it made me want to try my hand at the polymer clay again.