Hello Spring, Are You There?

red flower bouquet on brown leather boots during snow weather

Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com



I’m not sure of the weather where you are situated at this moment, but rumor has it, Spring is right around the corner. Since this may appear doubtful…depending on where you ARE situated, I thought I’d share some poetic inspiration about the most elusive season…


How We Kick Off Our Holiday Season Each Year!



photo credit: Bill Young Christmas Carol via photopin (license)


For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ~Charles Dickens


Tonight our family officially kicks off our Holiday Season. Read on to see how we do it and peek into our favorite Holiday Tradition, started by my Mom as a Christmas gift to us.


Brandon Thursby: Creating Rocks You Wear and a Stone Jewelry Giveaway!

Brandon Thursby owner of Rockyouwear

    Brandon Thursby likes rocks. Apparently he likes them even more than I do, because he actually loves them enough to create amazing, custom designed jewelry that men and women can share and wear out of the stones he finds locally. I am featuring stone cutting artisan and rock loving owner of RockYouWear, Brandon Thursby with you all, and know you are going to enjoy meeting this gifted Rhode Islander. I recently had the pleasure to meet up with Brandon and his girlfriend, Sam, at a crafts show and had the chance to ask a few questions and check out many of the beautiful stones he has crafted into exquisite necklaces.

    Brandon started experimenting with rock carving about two years ago. He was inspired to design something unique for himself to wear that wasn’t overly feminine, and also derived from nature. You might say jewelry design is in the genes, as his mom also designs jewelry and ornaments, using locally found sea glass, as well as various other mediums. Initially borrowing his mom’s tools, Brandon fashioned a unique stone necklace which grabbed the attention of others, and gained him such positive feedback, he decided to create more. Not only did stone carving bring him enjoyment and satisfaction, but Brandon’s hobby offered new opportunities. As his hobby and collection grew, he decided to invest in his own tools and seek to establish himself in business.

    Brandon is inspired by nature, particularly the ocean and being a Narragansett resident offers him plenty of local inspiration! Combing the shores of Southern Rhode Island, as well as the Saco River in New Hampshire, provides Brandon with the stones he can transform into artistic jewelry pieces. Brandon commented,  “It (rock carving) is relaxing, I get to use my own creativity. I like seeing the transformation of a plain, beach rock into a perfectly shaped piece of jewelry with amazing design, beautiful designs, throughout.” He gets those random ideas for design that “pop into my head” or are inspired by his surroundings. He also tries to think of shapes that represent sea life, beach and nautical themes.

    Brandon’s work recently underwent it’s own transformation when he had the opportunity to participate in a workshop taught by Michael Boyd, a nationally renowned jewelry designer, metal-smith, and lapidary artist. Brandon showed me the stones he created before the class and his work since the experience. Although all of his work, is lovely to behold, he pointed out that he is aware of different tools and polishing techniques that have helped him refine his craft and the quality of his work. My untrained eye was able to discern a subtle difference in the sheen and shape of the stones. Artist and art are ultimately in a state of perpetual growth, change and transformation, after all.

     In addition to the designs in his collection and Etsy Shop Brandon also does custom designed work. I love the detail that Brandon brings to his work. The fact that this jewelry definitely appeals to men and women is a great aspect. My hubby already told me he wants his own necklace. My mom bought one and I have my eye on one as well. I am excited to tell you that Brandon has offered one of YOU a necklace of your choosing from his collection! The pictures below show Brandon at work at home and a few I snapped at the craft show.

Brandon’s Etsy Shop and Facebook Page. 
The Rafflecopter Giveaway is at the bottom of the post following the pictures! Be sure and enter for a chance to win and share Brandon and the giveaway with all of your friends! 
Special thanks to Sam Kraines for helping me gather information for this post. 

Here is the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

*Giveaway starts: Monday December 9 at 12:00 AM!
*Closes Friday at December 13 at 12:00 AM.
a Rafflecopter giveaway//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js

12/13/13- UPDATE/Q & A:  Thank you all for entering and participating in various ways! Congratulations to Debbie J. who won her necklace choice from Brandon’s Collection. Below are the questions readers asked Brandon with his answers:

Q. (Debbie) Does Quartz make a nice polished stone?
A. There are so many types of quartz and most of the quartz I’ve worked with shines up real nice. However sometimes you’ll find pieces with a lot of tiny fractures running through it and it just kinda chips away when you try to carve it.

Q. (Lauree)  If someone has a rock/rocks from a special destination would you create a piece for them from it?
A. Yes,  I could carve a rock from another place, but there is always a chance it could break if there’s fractures running through the rock. If i can see fractures running through a rock I usually don’t attempt to carve it.

Q. (Kim)  What machines to  you use in making your jewelry?  Also I want to invest in a stone polisher, do  you have a recommendation?  BTW have you ever been to the Lake Superior shore of Michigan???  If not you need to come because it’s full of STONES!!!!!!  Oh and fossils galore!!!
A.  I use a Dremel with various attachments for carving and polishing and I also use a lapidary machine with 6 different wheels with different grits for shaping and polishing. The machine is called a genie and is made by Diamond Pacific and it works great for polishing stones. I have never been to Lake Superior, but it sounds like a place I would love to visit. I have always wanted to hunt for fossils. 

Q. (Teresa) Do you hand pick the rocks yourself?
A. Yes, I hand pick the rocks I carve. I think it is half the fun, going out and searching for rocks to work with.

Linking with:
 Create with Joy
 Time Warp Wife

and my SDG Sisters:

Join Me for Java and Fireside Chat?


Here it is the Monday before Thanksgiving and all is calm, all is bright. Oh, wait, I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? It has been awhile since I shared a Miscellany Monday Post but I really was hoping you and I could have a cozy chat, like old times. Oh, and if you want to go ahead and link a recent post in the comments, I would love to see what’s been happening in your neck of the woods.

#514 November 12: I was thrilled with the first appearance of snow for the season,
although it was brief and light. I’ll take it.
 The Red Maples in our yard made for wonderful snow holders! 

#515 Hubby has made these Pumpkin Scones twice and each time they disappear!
I asked him for the Link to the Recipe to share, for those who want to give them a try. They are not too sweet, and oh so scrumptious.

#516 I thought this was too cute a picture to miss!
The couple stopped to look over the Sea Wall
and their Fur Kid was not about to miss the view!
 Smart Dog!  Adorableness defined! 

#517 Of course you know who is my Top Dog, right? Banjo, gets around Rhode Island a lot. He favors Narragansett, naturally. Here he is sitting on the rocks at Pier 5. 

#518 I’ve been enjoying making Christmas Cards this month. Below you can see some of the varieties. I like to do different creations on different days. So I might make a batch of a similar theme, style and color combination. Whatever comes to my mind. I love creating randomly. My cards are pretty simple, but I enjoy the spontaneity, freedom and surprise of winging it! I never know ahead of time what will come of these “Creative Sessions”! If you are noticing the TP on my desk- I ran out of Kleenex and my allergies were bothersome. A wise woman told me once, “If it’s good enough for your behind, it’s good enough for your nose.” OK, then…moving right along.
I will share a post with all my cards coming up soon.
 SO easy and fun!

#519 Here I am at my Blogging Station.
Hubby grabbed this pic while I was being my usual goofy self. 

Look! No hands Blogging!
Yes, I’m kneeling. No, it’s not as hard to do as it seems.
Quite comfy actually.
In December, I bring you the 12 Days of (Fitting In) Fitness. That will be a commitment to Fit in Fitness twelve times during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Simple accountability. 12 times. That equals approximately 3 times a week-however that looks is up to you. It can be 15 minutes or 50 minutes or anything in between or beyond. Get ready to plan how you can make it happen. I’m not dishing out the workouts, just getting you to think and plan ahead. What will it take for you to fit fitness in during December? 

#520 Latest book stack. See Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore? If any of you would like to get a copy and join me with working through this 10 Week Journey, I am considering starting it in January. Check it out at Amazon, or a bookstore if you get the chance. It is a 70 day prayer venture…which will be 10 weeks. Just a heads up there. Zowie. Any takers? This is a tentative thought…and a biggish commitment. Do we dare? Hmm…

*Prayers still needed for our family as we are undergoing a difficult circumstance with a loved one. 
Hanging onto God’s faithfulness during this time. Reminded of how He holds onto us when we feel ourselves sinking deeper into despair or hopelessness; when we feel ourselves losing our grip…He never loses His grip on us.
He truly is my Faith Life Preserver. 

Sunday Afternoon in the Park (Walk With Me)

I took a walk around Roger Williams Park on Sunday afternoon.
I really only walked a small part of the 435 Acres, but I drank in the foliage and enjoyed the beautiful natural exhibits. I had intended to see more – especially my fave, The Temple to Music, but my little feet were begging to stop, as I had worn boots instead of sneakers. Of course, this is the time of year when the very popular Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular happens, and there are always many things going on at the Roger Williams Zoo, the Botanical Gardens, The Museum and more…but I was just meandering and taking in the exquisite sights freely offered up on the grounds. Walk with me…

I believe in living like a local tourist! 

BUT with a few words: 

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