I HEART Ceramics

I’ve been busy planning Monk’s 4th “Pirates” themed birthday party for the last couple of weeks. Somewhere along the way I stumbled across an AMAZING ceramic artist, Jeanette Zeis. If you did a quick Google image search of “cupcake stands or cake stands” you would see her work over and over again. I love it! I have always wanted to try my hand at making my own pottery and browsing her lovely works of art makes me want to try it even more!
Single Cupcake Stand by Jeanette ZeisIsn’t this the sweetest little cupcake stand ever?!?!?!
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This little fruit bowl is my favorite piece. I can totally see this sitting on my kitchen table filled with cherries or strawberries.
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I would make room in my tiny kitchen for these little beauties. Even if it means tossing out the toaster to make room on the counter. Okay, I probably wouldn’t throw out the toaster, but you get the point.
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My cabinets would be full of these lovely pieces. I would love to enjoy some yummy soup out of those pretty little bowls! The detailed little scallops are just the cutest!il_fullxfull_382221584_5b2f_grandeFor all you vegans out there, Jeanette (who is vegan, herself) also has a line of ceramics catered to you, which includes bowls, plates, mugs, and even key chains and notebooks.il_fullxfull_382219097_9gdf_grande
So what do you think? Are you as in LOVE with her work as I am?

All the photos above are linked back to Jeanette Zeis Ceramics.
I actually do not know Jeanette, personally or professionally, nor am I affiliated in any way to her company. I just wanted to share her beautiful art work and that is the only reason for this post. If I ever have enough to splurge, Jeanette, I will definitely be visiting your (online) shop.

You can find Jeanette’s items at:
Jeanette Zeis Ceramics
vesselsandwares Etsy Shop

You can also find her on her blog at vesselsandwares Blog
Or keep in touch with her Facebook page at Jeanette Zeis Ceramics

Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog.
-XOXO Lysa

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Three Simple Rules

Three Simple Rulesheyfrancis.tumblr.com

I don’t really know which direction I want to take MonkeyAndSquish, my etsy shop. Right now I’m working on streamlining it and making it more cohesive. I’m phasing out my pallet signs and art and focusing on just my jewelry. I’m still in the mint & coral phase, so a lot of the things I have been making are in that color scheme. I will be working towards exclusively working with sterling silver. Some things I’ve been working on:

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Mint & Coral Statement Necklace

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Aqua Chalcedony White Macramé Bracelet

I’ve also been making some macramé bracelets. I’ve been testing out various closures for the macramé bracelets and am still unsatisfied with the end result so they will not be listed in the shop just yet.

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Aqua Chalcedony Coral Macramé Bracelet paired with Mint & Coral Simplicity Bracelet

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Coral Braided Bracelet with Chalcedony Connectors

The problem with making jewelry in the style that I love is that I just want to keep every piece! I am absolutely in love with the colors of the oval chalcedony. That sea-foam green color makes me think of tropical waters and reminds me of how much I miss the beach.

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Sterling Silver-filled Wire Letters

I had some left over wire so I decided to play around with it.

Dana and I

A photo of Dana and I, taken a few years ago. (October 2011)

I’m 30 years old and I still have no clue what I want to be when I “grow up.” All I know is that I’m blessed to have the most wonderful, supportive boyfriend anyone could ever ask for, and our two wonderful kids light up my life each and every day. Can you believe Dana has put up with my crap for the last seven years?!?! Good thing he loves me! Our baby girl will be four in a little over a month and our little baby boy will be a year old in a little over two months! Where has the time gone?

My little Squish & Monkey

My little Squish & Monkey

I may not know which direction MonkeyAndSquish is taking me, but I know that I am enjoying the journey. Thanks for stopping by my little blog.
XOXO Lysa

…And the Winner Is…

Monk gets the honor of picking the winner!

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Congratulations Hoda! You are the new owner of these two lovely bracelets. Thank you everyone for participating in our first giveaway. It’s been so much fun hosting this, I might just do one every month!

Mint & Coral Simplicity BraceletsSimplicity Bracelets

If you would like to purchase these adorable bracelets you can find them here. You can even find  matching necklaces in our shop! Use the code LOVE15 for 15% off your entire purchase.

Thank you stopping by!

Crafting and My First Giveaway!!!

I have been super super busy the last few weeks. Dana has been working 70 hour weeks, so I’ve had little time to get back into blogging.

If you read my last post, you know that I’m in a mint and coral phase. I just love that color combo!!!! I ordered some beads so I could make my own mint and coral jewelry and along the way I found these really fun rings.

Chevron Rings

Are they not the cutest?!?! It is actually two rings that I stacked together to get the chevron look. Czech glass rhinestones and chevron pattern in one, I couldn’t pass them up!

I haven’t quite found the perfect “coral” bead. All the beads I’ve come across is a little too peachy for my taste. I would prefer my coral to be a little more pink than peach. But so far my favorite out of all the peachy coral beads is the Swarovski “pink coral” pearl beads. My favorite mint is definitely the Swarovski faceted “alabaster mint” beads. Here are a few things I’ve been working on in the last few weeks:

Pink & Mint NecklaceNecklace for Monk

The necklace on the left I made for myself, it’s made with vintage Japanese acrylic “mint” beads paired up with a pink ruffled flower cabochon. The necklace on the right I made for my little Monk, she chose the green ruffled flower cabochon, so I paired it with two vintage Czech alabaster milk glass beads.

Swarovski Pink Coral BraceletVintage Acrylic Mint Bracelet

These two bracelets are in my Etsy shop. The bracelet on the left is made up of Swarovski “pink coral” pearl beads with a white ruffled flower cabochon as the centerpiece. The bracelet on the right is made up of vintage Japanese acrylic pearl beads with an ivory ruffled flower cabochon as the centerpiece. If you want to pick these up you can find them here.

Turquoise and Lavender

You can also find this necklace in my shop. It’s made up of vintage Czech alabaster milk glass graduating beads. The largest of the beads starts underneath the lavender flower cabochon and gets smaller as it makes its way up the chain. Two lavender and one turquoise flower cabochon commands the attention on this piece.

Turquoise and LavenderTurquoise Ring

This necklace comes with a matching turquoise ring set on an adjustable filigree base.

I mentioned I’m in a mint and coral phase, so of course I had to make some mint and coral stuff for myself!

Mint & Coral Necklace

Mint & Coral Simplicity BraceletsSimplicity Bracelets

I love my little necklace and these bracelets. I just adore these bracelets! I love them so much that I want to share my love of them with one lucky winner! So on to my giveaway!

The winner will receive these two bracelets. You can stack them and wear them as shown, or give one to a friend or someone you love. These bracelets are about 7.75 inches from end to end. The beads are Swarovski “pink coral” pearl beads and Swarovski “mint alabaster” beads with small silver-plated brass beads. The eyepin holding the beads and the lobster clasp are also made of silver-plated brass. The chain is silver finished steel. I will contact the winner and adjust the length of the bracelets if necessary.

To enter, come and “like” us on Facebook and “share” our photo. That’s it! Once shared, your name will be entered into a drawing and on Saturday May 25th at 6:00pm, Monk will randomly choose the name of our winner out of a hat.

So come on over and share this photo. Good luck everyone!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tutorial: Cabochon & Felt Flower Brooch

Finished Cabachon & Felt Flower Brooch

Today I’m going to show you how I make this super cute little cabochon and felt flower.

Resin Rose Cabochon

I first ordered these little rose cabochons to use in making my ribbon bookmarks. You can pick up these pretty little cabochons at Dime Store Emporium. If there is a specific color you want make sure you mention it to Terri in the “note to seller” part, otherwise her company will randomly choose the colors you receive.

Pink & BlueSeafoam Bookmark

I had a bunch left over so I decided to use them to craft flower brooches/re-usable bows.

Ready for Gifting001

First I grab a cabochon and decide what color felt I want to work with. In this case I’m using black and hot pink felt for this pastel pink rose cabochon.

Cut a Circle

Using the cabochon as a guide, I cut the felt into a circle leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of space between each layer. I have one small circle and one larger circle for each flower.

Ready for Petals

 Next, I cut little “V” slits around the circle to make petals. I usually cut out five little v’s per circle.

Stacked Felt PetalsFelt Petals

Once all my petals are cut, I head on over to my nifty sewing machine to attach the felt layers together. I use my sewing machine because I HATE sewing by hand.

Sewn Together

I just stitch them together going over back and forth several times to make sure they’re secure. I stick to center of the flower so that the stitches will be hidden once I glue the cabochon onto it. Once I have secured the petals, it’s time to finish the backing of the brooch.

Rectangle for the BackSafety Pin Opened

I cut out a rectangle that is big enough to hold the safety-pin in place. Short enough to fit inside the safety-pin, but long enough to have sufficient space to glue the felt onto the back of the flower.

Hot Glue the Safety PinFinished Backs

Using a hot glue gun, I attach the safety-pin and rectangle to the flower. I apply hot glue on one side of the safety-pin and attach that to the flower, then apply more hot glue to the other side of the safety-pin and press to secure. The backing is now finished.

Sand the Backs

Using sand paper, sand the backs of the cabochons. I do this so that the glue will adhere to the cabochons and secure it to the flower.

Bring in the E6000Add Glue

Next, I use my trusty tube of E6000 to secure my cabochon to the felt flower. Just a dab on the back of the cabochon and then attach onto the felt flower. Let it sit undisturbed overnight so that the glue has time to dry.

Glue Overflow

This is what happens when I used too much glue. It seeps out the sides.

Glued, Let Dry Overnight

Once dried, I attach them to the boxes that I send out to my customers. Whenever a customer orders an item from my shop, I always wrap it up. I think these little pretties adds a sweet touch.

Finished Cabachon & Felt Flower BroochReady for Gifting

You’re probably asking yourself, “Why so many methods of attaching the flowers?” Well, I used to just sew the felt together, then secured everything else with hot glue. One time, the hot glue didn’t hold the cabochon onto the felt, so that’s when I started using the E6000 glue. You probably could just use the E6000 glue for all the steps to secure, but it takes time for the glue to dry. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” So thus the many different methods of securing the flower together.

You can re-use the flower for gifts, or wear it as a brooch to add a pop of color to your wardrobe.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial. It’s my first tutorial, I apologize if something doesn’t make sense. If you have any questions, just leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by.

The Big Reveal

I sent these little beauties out to Patricia Steglinski of P.S. Photography to photograph them for our Etsy shop. I just love how they came out! Clean and crisp. All of the earrings are ready to ship except for the cascading clear rhinestone earrings, that particular pair is made to order. If you are interested in giving them a home, or if you just want to browse our shop, you can check out our items here.

Click on any of the photos to view the slide show.

Visit P.S. Photography to view more of Patricia’s work.

P.S. Photography is based out of Hanford, California.

You can contact the lovely Patricia at:

(559) 537-9185

Thanks for stopping by.

Day 29-Black & White

Can you believe that we are 29 days into the 30 Day “Photog Wanna Be” Challenge?

Challenge for today is “Black & White.”

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I got a few orders from my shop, so late last night I made these cute little felt and cabochon flowers. All the orders that leave my home goes gift wrapped. So whether if it’s a gift for someone or for yourself, the person the on receiving end will still get the pleasure of opening up a gift. The flowers can be re-used as a bow/flower for gifts or it can be pinned on as a brooch. They always vary in color and size, depending on what I have on hand. This batch, as you can see, is in the black/white/red color story.

 Visit Two Everyday Divas and Flower Faerie Lives Life to see their takes on “Black & White.”

The final challenge for tomorrow is “Self Portrait.”

Thanks for visiting.

Sneak Peek

A couple of weeks ago I sent out the earrings I made for the shop out to a fabulous photographer. I’m hoping that by having professional shots of them, it would generate more interest.

Patricia sent one photo back as a sneak peek and I’m just thrilled!

Patricia Steglinski of P.S. Photography did a stellar job capturing my little beauties.

Cascading vintage Alexandrite statement earrings.

Cascading vintage alexandrite statement earrings.

(Click on the photo for a closer look.)

This pair of handcrafted earrings is made from vintage alexandrite crystal rhinestones. They are set in closed back antiqued brass prong settings and finished off with French wire hooks.

If you are interested in these earrings, I will have them in listed in my Etsy shop very soon.

Visit P.S. Photography to view more of Patricia’s work.

P.S. Photography is based out of Hanford, California.

If you are in the area and are in need of a professional photographer, contact Patricia at:

(559) 537-9185

Thanks for stopping by.

Day 14-Eyes

We had a fun family day trip yesterday which is why I didn’t get a chance to post yesterdays’ challenge.

 “Cannot Live Without” was the challenge for yesterday.

Day 13-Cannot Live Without

I was trying to capture water and oxygen. A glass of water and a tree which generates oxygen.

Todays’ challenge is “Eyes.”

Day 14-Eyes

We took the kids to a local playground one day. Dana just happened to look down and saw this amazing piece of bark that had all these beautiful detailed swirls. We looked at it and decided it would be the perfect “eyes” for the driftwood octopus. I think it adds the perfect finishing touch.

Check out Two Everyday Divas and Flower Faerie Lives Life for their takes on “Eyes.”

Thanks for stopping by!

Bookmarks with Charms

I’m so excited about my first batch of bookmarks. This is a ten piece set reserved for a lady down in Missouri.

Charms for bookmarks

Charms for Bookmarks

I’m just waiting on the ribbon clamps to arrive so I can finish them off. I used a combination of new and vintage trinkets to create each bookmark. My bookmarks range anywhere from $12-$18 in my Etsy shop.

Bookmark Charms

Close-Up of Charms for Bookmarks

If you would like one custom made for you or someone you love, or if you are a retailer and would like to purchase my bookmarks at wholesale price, please feel free to contact me via Etsy or Facebook.

Bookmark Charms

Reserved Listing for 10 Bookmarks with Charms

Here are a couple of examples of what the bookmarks look like once completed.

Velvet Bookmark with Spring Charms

Spring Fever

Pink and Blue Bookmark

Pink & Blue

These will definitely add a little sparkle to your favorite book.

Bookmark Charms

Vintage charms for velvet ribbon bookmark.

Vintage charms for velvet ribbon bookmark.

I am still waiting for the velvet ribbon I ordered so that I can finish this bookmark and get it listed in the shop. Adorned with vintage rhinestones, vintage glass beads and cabochon, and vintage charms, once completed this bookmark will mark your page and add a little sparkle to whatever you are reading.

I first saw ribbon bookmarks in a post from Whipperberry.  Those bookmarks were created by Christina from Intimate Weddings using trinkets from a line of customizable jewelry called Styled by Tori Spelling. Super cute as those trinkets are, I knew that my own bookmarks would be created with vintage charms. I love being able to give new life to something old and probably forgotten. Inspiration for my own bookmarks came from Andrea Singarella. I absolutely adore her creations.

I have always loved crafting. Making things with my own hands is so much more special and satisfying than going to a store to buy something that everyone else can easily purchase. I remember making colorful paper banners out of a string of hemp twine, a hot glue gun with a couple of sticks of glue and a Land Of Nod catalog. For a few cents and a little time and effort, I have beautiful banners gracing the kiddos play room and also a couple in my little craft corner. They are bright and cheerful and always bring a smile to my face every time I walk into both those rooms. What I love most about crafting is that I’m constantly learning something new or finding new ways to improve my skills. I’ve learned everything from origami, to sewing party favors, & dress-up clothes, to painting personalized professional looking signs. Making my own brooch bouquet is one of my favorite crafts until now. Making jewelry and bookmarks is one of my favorite things to do while the kids are napping.

Vintage charms for velvet ribbon bookmark.

Vintage charms for velvet ribbon bookmark.

You never know what you can do until you try.