Saturday, December 28, 2013

I linked up!

Link up here:
Tater Tots and Jello

Friday, December 27, 2013

Time for a Fresh Start

It may not be the new year but I'm getting a jump start on organizing.  There is no better time for a fresh start than the new year.  Not to mention, the kids have projects (can you say "build a California mission from scratch" project?) due after break. 

I've decided to break this project into a series just to make it easier to accomplish.

To start I took photos of my office / laundry room / pantry / junk room.  I know -- too many things for one room!  But I live in an old house and space is at a premium. 

Let the embarrassment begin...

My husband's desk.  As you can see he is not an A-type personality.  Organization is an unnecessary chore in his world.

A view straight through from the kitchen to the back door.  You can see my desk area on the left, my washing machine & dryer, dog crate, and my husband's desk.
Ok.  Do not judge!  Yes, this is my desk area.  To be fair I run a family of 5 and two businesses from this little desk.  I use it for my accounting responsibilities in one business and creating jewelry for the other.  At least the furniture is pretty.  :)

This last photo is taken with my back to the back door facing the kitchen.  You can see the ugly, ugly, ugly shelving for office supplies and tech equipment (that thing is outta here!).  The "doorway" to the left of the shelving is a walk in pantry. Like I said, I live in a very old house.  I assume this room may have been a porch at one time or mud room / laundry / canning area. 
Now that you have seen the mess I work in let's move on to something better (prettier too).  I decided the best approach was to measure everything.  I measured all of the walls including windows and doorways. I also measured all of the furniture -- width, height, depth. 
With some paper I started working out possible floor arrangements.  Because my budget for this project is almost $0 I will use the majority of the furniture I have.
I came up with 3 different options for the room arrangement.  I've decided to replace the ugly (did I say ugly enough) wire shelving and the even uglier "faux" wood / glass cabinet in the first photo.  In their places will go more modern and cohesive open bookshelves. 
The plan is to use the bookshelves with baskets, bins, and other nice looking organizers for the office supplies and my binders. 
Phase one is first move the furniture because I need to have everything in place before I start organizing.
Phase two will be purchasing the new bookcases, assembling, putting in place, and organizing them.  Above one bookcase I will add monthly and weekly dry erase calendars to track our service calls (for one of my businesses) and assign tasks to employees.  A nice mail sorter will work perfectly for the paper work such as work orders, installation forms, and completed work.
Phase three is to organize my bookcase and desk.  It needs to be organized for each business so the items I need are easy to find. 
Phase four is the really dirty part.  I will remove everything from the "junk cabinets" over the dryer.  Sorting, tossing, keeping, and organizing are the tall order of the day.  I plan to purchase plastic bins with drawers to insert into the cabinets.  The drawers will be dedicated to a use i.e. "light bulbs", "batteries", "tools", "dog". 
Phase five is cleaning out the pantry area and doing the same organization.  I suspect there is a lot in there that can go.
There you have it.  I should have this done in no time at all!
 I am looking forward to sharing the progress with you.  Wish me luck!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Childhood Christmas Memories

Decorating the tree each year is a wonderful journey back into my kids' childhoods.  Their homemade ornaments seem to have captured and preserved little bits of them throughout life. 

During our home school years we made these faux snow globe ornaments.  This one was made by my youngest when she was 3. 

I know.  So. Cute.

We used clear plastic cups for the globe.  On the cut out paper bottom we glued fluffed cotton balls. 

From the Dollar Store each of my kids used miniature ornaments to create a scene.  I hot glued the completed bottom to the edge of the cut.

For the hook I punched a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup and untwisted a paper clip.

Each globe is individual and unique.  And each one captures a moment in each of my kids' lives.  I just love them!

Our completed tree is always packed full of memories.  Homemade ornaments.  An ornament for each child every year (like the Dr. Pepper ornament for my oldest son who is OBSESSED with Dr. Pepper!).  Ballerinas, ornaments for each of our pets...
Memories.  Wonderful memories.
Each year my mom and I purchase an ornament for each of the kids.  The ornaments are chosen to reflect each of my kids' personalities.  For instance, my 14 year old loves animals and ocean life.  So, he typically receives blow fish, lions, sharks, etc.
My youngest is a ballerina and girly-girl.  I usually pick out something pink and very sparkly for her.
I love that when the kids grow up and start their own families they will take their ornaments (captured memories) with them to share. 
It is a holiday tradition I look forward to each year. 
Happy holidays --

Friday, December 6, 2013

Easy to Make Bracelets Tutorial

Bracelets are great for gift giving.  They are easy to wear, one size fits all, and any woman can incorporate them into their wardrobe.  They are perfect for layering or adding different styles for a unique look.

I love bracelets and this tutorial shows an easy-to-make wrap bracelet.  You won't be able to stop making them once you start!

I found all of my supplies and tools at my local craft store in the jewelry making section.
You will need:
Memory wire
Beads, faux pearls, metal beads, stone beads -- anything you like
Needle nose pliers
Wire cutters
Step One
Start by cutting about 4 wraps of wire.  The wire stays in the circular shape making it great for bracelets.  Use wire cutters to cut the wire because it is thick.
Once cut, use circular pliers or needle nose pliers to make a loop at one end of the wire, as pictured above.
Step Two -- Beading
Now for the fun!  Start placing beads in any pattern you like on the open end of the wire. 
You can add different beads, faux pearls, charms, metal beads, stone -- your imagination is your only limitation!
When done use needle nose pliers or circular pliers to make another loop to keep the beads on.
And that's it!  You can make as many as you like with different colors.
I love to layer them or give multiples to friends and family so they can layer.
I used small blue seed beads on the first bracelet.  This is great alone or with bangles.
The top left uses shell beads that are a smooth spike.  I love the different colors and shapes.
The top right bracelet uses cobalt blue beads with small silver beads in between.  I also added small silver charms for a modified charm bracelet.
This is a modified cuff with dark blue and silver beads, a silver heart charm, and a key to the heart charm.
So sweet!

Pretty shell beads alternate with cream, brown, and amethyst colors.

The bead mix included different types of beads, variations of teal, and size.  This is a great bracelet to wear alone or make more with different colors to layer.
I hope you have fun using your imagination and creativity making these bracelets.  I am going to make quite a few for my nieces this year. 
Just gather your finished bracelets and tie with a pretty ribbon -- the perfect gift!
Cheers -- Tammi

Friday, November 29, 2013

I just linked up!  Join the party.

Tractor Light Parade, Santa, and a Yeti

My day didn't go quite as planned.  The plan was to cook a turkey dinner (we want leftovers) and create a bracelet tutorial for the blog.

Instead....  I spent the day helping decorate our tractor / trailer "float" for the Tractor Light Parade.  It was so fun and exhausting!  Our local town hosts an annual tree lighting, Santa visit, and tractor light parade.  Yup, we live in a rural community and we like our tractors!  The only rules for the float... agricultural vehicle and LOTS of lights.

So I am sharing a few photos of our decorating crew.  Have fun, be creative, and go over the top with your decorating for the holidays!

Santa's Helper

We will have a Santa, Yeti (I know, the best!), Santa hats, and reindeer antlers for the kids.

Lights, lights, lights!  Our family -- cousins, babies, moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles --- everyone will ride on our float.  We will bring blankets, pillows, and TREATS for the kids. 
Hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn, and coffee will be loaded on the float.

We added stockings on the corners, golden stars, large ornaments, and, of course, lights.

The crossed skis have colored lights wrapped all around.

Almost finished.  We will add large red bows and wreaths at the parade tomorrow.
Country living is down-to-earth fun.  Can't ask for a better place to live.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

3 Beautiful Decorations Crafts and Printables for Thanksgiving

With the holidays quickly approaching I am feeling the desire to make fun crafts with my daughter.  Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, I thought we could focus on thankfulness and gratitude.

Pretty Candle Centerpiece

I started with a pretty centerpiece for my table.  Holiday smells are so easy to recreate with store bought scented candles.

I started with some pretty leaves and acorns from my yard.  The scented candles came from a large retail store.  I chose candles with great color and, most importantly, a great scent!  Next I pulled out a serving bowl I already own.

Then I layered the leaves on the bottom of the glass dish alternating and mixing the different colors.  The candles are placed in a cluster at the center of the dish.  Finally, the acorns and acorn caps are poured around the candles.  This is a great look for the senses -- color, texture, and wonderful scents.
The Thankful Bowl
Next project is a Thankful Bowl.  I found fantastic printables (links below).  For this project I printed Thankful cards from Tater Tots and Jello!  They are wonderful.

Again, I went into my yard and gathered autumn leaves, persimmons (I have a tree), and pine cones.  Pine cones in my area fall around this time each years so I can use them for fall and winter decorations.  I like the texture and added color for the display.  I also printed out the Thankful Cards from Tater Tots and Jello.

I layered the bowl with leaves making sure to mix the colors and leave some leaves peeking out the side.  Then the persimmons were added in the center.  Pine cones were placed at random throughout.  Last, I added the Thankful cards around the rim of the bowl. 

The idea is each person at the table can take a card and write a short note of thanks.  I will also add pre-written cards to be read aloud during the meal.  My cards will include a short poem or saying, scripture, or a word of thanks to the people in my life.

Thankfulness Wall Display

A great alternative to this display is to use pomegranates, gourds, or apples.  Each of these is easy to find at the grocery store and can be used later in a meal.

To display these lovely thankful cards I strung two pieces of twine on my kitchen wall.  To attach the cards I used paper clips (yes, paperclips) and clothes pins.  For added color and interest I included fall leaves.  I love the rustic look of this display. 
This display hangs just under a large, wood 'Y' representing our family name.  It seemed the perfect place to put words of thanks -- I am most thankful for my family!
Here are some fantastic links to other blogs.  These blogs have wonderful ideas, recipes, and stories.
Enjoy -- Tammi


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

3 Sultry, Sexy, & Exotic Earrings

What is it about Morocco, Madrid, or Istanbul that makes them exotic?  Is it the sensual, curving shapes in architecture?  Perhaps the luxurious and luscious colors? 

The allure is powerful and emotional.  I tried to capture the essence and spirit of Morocco, Madrid, and Istanbul in my latest earring collection. 

Each piece, to me, speaks of the shapes and curves found in the architecture, vibrant colors, and sensual movements of Morocco.
Antique Silver with Golden Citrine and Blue Iolite Chandelier Earrings
These beautiful peacock earrings feature hand wire-wrapped gemstones in iolite and citrine.  The colors are an alluring complimentary contrast.  They sway to capture the light and shimmer.
Silver Filigree London Blue Chandelier Earrings
Stunning London Blue gems swing sensually from antique silver filigree pendants.  The gemstones are hand wrapped in sterling silver wire. 

The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Orange Carnelian stones are a perfect contrast for one another.  The colors are full of life, exotic, and vibrant.  They sway gently on the silver filigrees. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Statement Clutch


I loved the statement clutch (above) by Cotton Times.  The shop contains numerous unique and fun bags and accessories.

I love Etsy!  It is a fabulous marketplace for handcrafted and unique items.  Etsy is a wonderful place to find diverse and creative items.  Perfect for gift giving!
I decided to browse for fabulous accessories.  In particular I was drawn to the artistic and creative pieces I found. 
There are so many wonderful items it was difficult to select just a few. 

The cuff bracelet by Lines and Light is a beautiful, artistic piece.  I love its delicate appearance and unique interpretation of the classic cuff bracelet.



Three Bird Nest is an incredible shop!  It stocks a wide variety of handcrafted, knitted, and leather accessories.  Perfect for yourself or as a gift.  I LOVED this scarf because it is classic yet modern and versatile.  We all need versatility in our wardrobe!



French Robin Designs is my shop.  I know but I love these earrings!  I want them for myself.  I love the gold twists that are sensual and feminine.  The London Blue Topaz is stunning.  These are extremely beautiful earrings.


These shoes are incredible!  Custom by Kylee stocks a wonderful variety of statement shoes and accessories like these flats.  The artistic play on the unconventional added to a practical article of clothing is very clever.  These are a definite conversation piece.


I love the soft pink in this quartz arrowhead.  It is edged in gold to add more interest.  It is a pretty, feminine, yet edgy piece by French Robin Designs  (yeah, that's me again).



Friday, October 25, 2013

3 Fall Fashion Looks for Less


Chiffon blouse with shoulder details. H&M. $17.95
Guess bootie. Macy’s. $79.00 variety of colors

Pencil skirt with zipper details.  H&M. $49.95

French Robin Designs on Etsy
Aldo Algarin.  $50.00

French Robin Designs on Etsy
Catherine Malandrino for DesigNation Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket. Khols. $72.00




Slim cropped wool pants. Gap. $54.95

French Robin Designs on Etsy

Boyfriend fitted shirt.  Gap.  $54.95  variety of colors and patterns

French Robin Designs on Etsy
Trench coat. H&M. $59.95
Enzo Angiolini Shoes, Florelli Pumps. Macys. $99.99
Aldo Cohasset studded bag.  $43.99

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sparkle Shimmer & Shine

5 Fall Fashion Must Haves

Fall Must Haves

1.  The long-sleeve button up.  A must have in any closet for any season.  Have fun with patterns and fabrics this fall to change it up.
2.  A fabulous trench coat.  The tie at the waist will slim your silhouette.  Buttons and buckles can add interest and texture.
3.  A fabulous pair of slim trousers.  Cropped are nice to show a little leg.
4.  Awesome shoes!  When is that ever a bad thing?  Ballet flats are very versatile and easily pair with the slim trousers, skirt, dress, or long trousers.
No wardrobe is complete without an incredible pair of black heels.  They elongate the leg, are sexy, and pair with anything!

5.  Statement jewelry.  I love these statement rings.  They are so easy to pair with other jewelry, any outfit, and conversation starters.  They are so fun!