Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recap of Christmas in July

I had a wonderful time at Home Again's Christmas in July show on Saturday. Mary did a great job putting the event together, and she certainly had an eclectic group of artists at the show. I had the pleasure of sitting next to my friend Lynn Catnes of the Cat's Meow Designs and Christine Altmann, the Queen of Halloween. As you can see from this photo, Christine goes all out when it comes to Halloween.

Maria Livrone had a fantastic display of pottery and fused glass. Love those wind chimes!

The Verve Vertu studio showcased a colorful array of handmade pillows, needle-felted jewelry, greeting cards, and accessories. Here's a look at some of their batiks.

Thanks to all the artists who made this day a great success.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recycle With Style™ Jewelry Available at The HodgePodgery

New pieces from my Recycle With Style™ jewelry line, which are featured in the earrings, earrings, earrings! book by Barb Switzer are now available for sale at The HodgePodgery in Harrisburg, PA. The HodgePodgery is a store that features recycled and repurposed functional arts & crafts.

In addition to selling recycled goods, The HodgePodgery will offer classes, workshops, and demos. The HodgePodgery also offers wi-fi and a place for visitors to relax in a creative setting.
The grand opening will be held on July 21. Contact information is listed below.

1100 N 3rd St
Harrisburg, PA
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10a.m. -7p.m.
Be sure to check out this new place, and tell Dawn I sent you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Web Design Experience

I've been doing some freelance graphic/Web design and writing for Resource Media, and I'm enjoying it tremendously. As a freelance artist and writer, my time may be limited, but my desire to learn keeps growing as I learn more about Web design. It's a fascinating subject.

To date, I've worked on several Web sites, including and Now it's time to work on my own Web site. I've been putting it off because I simply didn't know where to begin, but the design professionals at Resource Media helped me get over that stumbling block.

The picture above shows the current layout I created using Adobe Illustrator. I may not end up with the exact color scheme or exact layout, but it's a start.

If you need a Web site or a redesign of your current Web site, give Resource Media a call at (570)706-6649. They have a great team of professionals who can help you with all of your Web design needs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Jewelry Patterns Available at Ready To Bead

I'm happy to announce that is now offering my jewelry patterns for sale. This is a nice addition to the current jewelry kits that are available on their site. All of my patterns are written in easy-to-follow directions with step-by-step diagrams, and all of these patterns are beginner-friendly. Check them out today!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A New Use For Discarded Screw Nuts

I just finished two new pieces of jewelry for my Recycle With StyleTM jewelry line.

These pieces contain hex-machine screw nuts that I found in John's basement several years ago. The screw nuts belonged to John's grandfather, who was the ultimate handyman from what I understand. John's grandfather died in 1980, and his stash of goodies have been sitting in John's basement all this time. I'm thrilled to have used these items for my recycled jewelry.

Be sure to check out the jewelry from my Recycle With StyleTM line as featured in the book earrings, earrings, earrings! by Barb Switzer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Spooktacular Lunch

Christine Altmann and I were invited to have lunch today with Halloween expert and author, Claire M. Lavin, along with Claire’s husband and daughters-in-law. Talk about an exciting day! Claire is a recognized authority, author, lecturer, dealer, and appraiser of vintage Halloween collectibles. She’s authored two books on the subject, and her collections and work have appeared on the Martha Stewart Show.

Claire discovered Christine Altmann’s Halloween artwork last year and has been a fan ever since. After dining at Hart’s Tavern in Peddler’s Village, we had a chance to visit several of the stores to check out some of the Halloween home d├ęcor items. A fun time was had by all.

Christine presented Claire with a framed print of her artwork titled Halloween Hi. Here’s a picture of Claire (l) and Christine (r). To learn more about Claire's books, visit

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day, America!

The sky was blazing with color tonight as the sun set over Kingston.

As John and I headed east, the moon took control of the sky.

Down by the river, the lights danced along the water.

And the moon added to the ambiance of the night.

Fireworks created the final splash for July 4, 2009. Happy Independence Day, America!

4th of July in Jim Thorpe

Here's to a fabulous 4th of July in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. On our way into this lovely, little town, I caught a glimpse of the rafters making their way down the Lehigh River. Look at that blue sky!

Here's a nice shot of the Asa Packer mansion in the distance.

When in Jim Thorpe, we always stop at The Emerald Restaurant for onion soup or JT's Steak House for shrimp. Today, the onion soup won.

As we made our way up Broadway Street, I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth Bush, a talented artist from Lehighton. Her artwork has a romantic, old-world feeling to it. She licenses her artwork for use on consumer products, and her prints are available online at a variety of places including and For originals, be sure to visit her gallery, which is located at 84B Broadway in Jim Thorpe. The selection of artwork is unbelievable.

I love walking down Race Street. Check out some of these cool pictures.

Another favorite stop is The Country Cottage, which is located at 37 Race Street. The owner makes the best pickles I've ever tasted. That's the honest truth. The pickles are $8.50 a jar, and they're worth every penny! Last year, John and I bought a case of them. That's how good they are. Since returning home, I've already eaten five of these tasty delights, and I'll guarantee that this jar will be empty by night's end. The good news is that the owner will ship these pickles to you.

Chiseler knows a good pickle when he sees (or smells) one!

I also picked up some old buttons at The Country Cottage. For $2.00, you can purchase a generous scoop of buttons. They're perfect for jewelry making and all those country crafts. The Country Cottage also has a nice selection of country decor and candles.

While on Race Street, I stopped by to see Debbie at Homespun, where fellow artist Christine Altmann and I sell our artwork. Homespun sells a variety of prim/country home-decor items, furnishings, artwork, stationery, candles, and soaps. If you're looking for something unique for that special someone, be sure to stop by Homespun.
I couldn't resist these hand-made soaps by Parsonage Soap in cinnamon oatmeal, lemongrass, and lemon poppy fragrances. I just opened the lemon poppy, and I love it!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Christmas in July

Get an early start on your Christmas shopping at Home Again's first annual Christmas in July shopping event on Saturday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lynn Catnes and I will be showcasing our artisan jewelry, mixed-media artwork, and handcrafted goods. Artist Christine Altmann will be selling her spooktacular Halloween artwork and Maria Livrone will be showcasing her wonderful, whimsical pottery. Many more talented artists will be at this event. You'll definitely find something unique for the gift-giving season.

Home Again is an upscale resale boutique that features an exclusive line of vintage and modern furniture, home decor, accessories, and original artwork. Home Again is also pleased to offer a variety of workshops, such as jewelry making, mixed-media art, and seminars for women dealing with inspirational, motivational, business, and self-help topics. Home Again is located at 69 Main Street in Luzerne, PA. For more information, call(570) 283-2425.