Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pretty in Blue Topaz!

London Blue Topaz Gemstone Set in Sterling Silver Floral Ring band


Well, it's been a bit of a crazy year for me.... selling a retail store, a home and then building a new home has been challenging, yet rewarding too. I am so glad to have finally made it here.  The best feeling is getting out of a ton of debt that was weighing us done.  We were able to sell our home at market price and retain our down payment so we can move on.  After struggling with such a hard economy, it made us realize where we really needed to be with our finances.  Making jewelry is such an honor, but still, working for yourself is always more risky and getting out of this debt has allowed me to focus just on my jewelry business alone.  Thank you GOD! I am doing what I love!

After enduring the hard recession, I admit..moving on was exciting too.  We built a new home and the home is smaller with a smaller mortgage.  We live south of town, instead of the prime west side.  We decided that we had to cut back and really evaluate what it is we needed and what was important.  We moved into the new house of July 2014. 

I am finally in my brand spanking new workshop...and it's warm and cozy.  I was able to get a few cabinets in that were cheap from a remodel with Bank of the Cascades and now I have industrial cabinets in my shop.  Pretty nice.  I have NO more excuses. I need to start letting my creative juices flowing now!  (pictures to come)

Lately, I have been posting pictures to my Facebook account. Not sure I like FB, but I am finding it difficult to manage a web store, blog, FB, twitter and Instagram...on and Pinterest too.  It's just too much. I want to make stuff, not sit at a computer all day getting lost in social media.  

Ok, well I promise to touch base much sooner then the last post.  I have a lot of ideas in mind and I am going to focus on maintaining FB and the blog for now.  I miss my blog! So stay in touch.

This ring above was fun to make and I would love to make it again with other stones too..so if your interested contact me through Etsy and we'll chat about it.  

Thanks for reading...



 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I build jewelry...they build the house!

ruby set in a gold and silver ring
Ruby in Gold Bezel Silver Chunky Ring

 Lately, I have had the honors and joy of making some new pieces.  I love setting stones and of course some are easy and some are challenging.  Wide ring bands are beautiful, but getting the bezel to curve just right on to the ring is somewhat challenging for me still.  I admit, it's like anything else..it does get easier.  

The ring above is a genuine "travenier" irregular cut ruby gemstone.  It is a beautiful stone, but it does have some inclusions and would be labeled near the industrial cut of a ruby.  It's organic and rough..in it's own way.  Very pretty, and organic looking.     I had a lot of fun watching this come together.  Need something special?  Let me know! I would love to try to make something really special for you.

green prehnite silver ring

 Green Prehnite Gemstone Silver Ring

This gorgeous prehnite gemstone is just amazing as well.  Did you know that it is a natural occuring colored gemstone?  It's beautiful. Sometimes I think diamonds are just so over rated.  Go figure.  Of course I still love diamonds too...don't get me wrong!

adair home 1952 plan
adair home 1952 plan


The house is coming along as well. The roof is on and the plumbers have been out to install the bathtubs and showers already!  Today the HVAC guy was working on the heat/air system.  Gosh, at this rate maybe we can move in a little earlier? 

deschutes river woods bend oregon

And the walk to the house at lunch today was just beautiful. The canal is running and wow is it just a spectacular day to feel well and alive.  I am sincerely grateful.

Enjoy your day folks!  I will check in next week!

Cheers!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Framing the house...and yes..more jewelry too!

adair home 1952 plan
 Front of the 1952 Adair Home

 Well, here we are!  The house is starting to come along and the framing of it is going faster then I thought.  The trusses are not yet on, but hopefully tomorrow they will be up and going!

So far the process with Adair Homes here in Central Oregon has been awesome! I can't complain. Building a home can be so hard as there are many many many aspects that come along.  Together, with Adair and their team of people we are able to make each step happen with little strife.  

I did a LOT of research and I mean a lot of foot work when I shopped for a builder for this home.  My husband and I have been through this process once before and we felt we needed to work with a builder who would give us the greatest value and quality for our money. It is not cheap to buy or build a house today..so we wanted to be sure we could work well together.

Adair was great about exposing their suppliers, which are all local name brands.  We were also able to see several model homes and view the guts of the home all the way up to major upgrades.   Importantly, the customer service is great. People answer their phones and they do call you back pretty quick.


adair home 1952 plan
Back side of the 1952 Adair Home

We were able to buy an acre in Deschutes River Woods for a much much more affordable price then on the "prime" west side of Bend.  Although, we love the west side of Bend,  we decided that we wanted space to have an organic garden and chickens...a few workshops so we can make things and room to just be free!  It's very earthy out here.  We don't have as many Bend Park and Rec ammenitys...but we also don't have to pay those taxes either.  There are some great bike trails down the road and we are very close to the river as well.

The home we are building is shown here in this link: http://www.adairhomes.com/homes/plan/1952    The home will be the upgraded signature series.  I think it's going to be a very nice home myself!  I am truly grateful.

Although building is a lot of work, we decided to go this route because we did not want to have to find extra funds to remodel a lot of the older homes on larger lots that were in our price range.  It ends up being a lot more affordable to build...and were helping to put people back to work in our community!


IN THE SHOP:


gold letter charm necklace
 Mother's Necklace - Gold Letter Alphabet Charm Necklace

I have been adding a few new things to the shop...although not as much as I would like.  With the house stuff and jewelry orders I have been keeping pretty busy.  But, once I get moved in within the next 3 months...I can't wait to let it all out! 

Gold is just beautiful. I wish it were not so crazy expensive!

gold mothers birthstone ring
Mother's Ring - Gold Engraved Birthstone Ring- Name Ring

Gold is also harder for me to photograph. I don't know why.  Anyone have any tips?  But this ring is so much more beautiful in real life...   Setting flush set stones in the gold ring band was also a bit more challenging, but this ring came out great.  Colored stones are softer then diamonds and gold is harder then silver..but it worked out!

Mother's Day is just around the corner folks! I better get busy now!

Thanks for stopping in...please check back as I update the progress of the new house and yup my new workshop!  It's why were doing all of this!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's a new day! We're building a new home with Adair Homes!




Well the day has finally come!  We are beginning the building of our new home and work shop!  Yes!  Did I say work shop?  I did!  
The year 2013 has been a glorious ride!  I spent last year selling my retail store business and our home.  My husband and I made the decision to get out of debt and to start over at a much lower cost housing situation. And, so.....here we are.  I really wanted to focus on my jewelry business and by getting out of debt, I am able to do so!  YAY!

I have to admit..I had barely a moment's chance to blog about all of this.  Honestly, it wasn't much fun and it has been tough with moving and moving and moving...  I felt really negative a lot because selling my last home was emotionally tough and I could not find anything really happy to "talk" about then ..so it felt.

But, we have made it through all the selling of stuff! It feels liberating.   I am now free to really focus on my jewelry business and getting the new home built with our builders... I am excited again and will be blogging about the process and all. 

 building an adair home 1952 plan


 The footings to the foundation were set last week finally!  We actually started our construction loan process in November 2013.  By the time all of the construction loan and county building permits were finally done, we then had to wait for the weather to finally work with us. It's now March 2014...it's about time!

Were excited!  The home were building is on Adair Homes  web page here: http://www.adairhomes.com/homes/plan/1952

We are building a signature series home with a few upgrades.  It will have an enclosed work shop space that will be insulated and warm!! Yes...warm!  We were able to pick out an affordable 1.1 acre lot 10 minutes from downtown.  We plan to have a small organic veggie garden and chickens for eggs!


Sterling  Silver Druzy Cross Bracelet
 
I have spent the last year handcrafting jewelry which mostly was ordered on Etsy as well as a few here and there local custom orders.  I was able to squeeze in a wax carving workshop, but have not had a chance to really get into wax so much because we were selling the house and I could never get into it with so much cleaning for the process!

Now that I am in a pretty small rental, I am limited still ...so once I am all snug in the new shop...I am planning to carve wax! I honestly can't wait.

silver druzy cross bracelet
Sterling  Silver Druzy Cross Bracelet


I have to admit that life has it's process and every good plan takes time.  I feel extremely happy and grateful to be where I am it with my work, family, friends and home.  My husband and I feel relieved to be in a much more affordable mortgage.  We are "starting over" but,  we actually can now see the "light" at the end of this tunnel of debt.  It has taken some hard lessons and emotions for us in the last 7 years especially dealing with such a terrible economy.

Chuck and I can look at each other and feel good about things.... we have endured.  And to me, this alone lends a great feature to our relationship.  Love just means so much more when you endure and accomplish things together.  I know my faith in God has grown stronger because of it as well too.

I am going to be blogging regularly about the process of the home with Adair.  So please check back!




 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's in your heart!

New in the shop! A gorgeous sterling silver heart with your favorite gemstones!!!
This piece would be great for a Valentines gift or Mother's Day gift.

hand crafted silver heart necklace with birthstones

mothers birthstone heart necklace

mothers heart birthstone silver necklace

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What a good feeling it is...

statement necklace
Made this today>  Argentium Silver - Make a statement necklace...literally!

I have to admit, it's a great feeling being back in the shop, completely focused for once! Wow!   It's been nice this last few weeks being able to just finally relax and play a little.  My family and I have been skiing a few days here and there. It's getting so expensive to even go..so it is becoming more of a treat.  We use to say "skiing at Mt. Bachelor was like going to Disneyland!"  But now, it's more like going to Hawaii or something...


mens wedding band
Unisex Wedding Band - Oxidized Argentium Silver - Looks Like Gun Metal
 I have been able to add a few new designs into my shop today!  I also had a chance to update my "About Me" page on Etsy..finally!  Check it out..tell me your thoughts. It's kind of hard writing your own story..  I mean, where does a person like me even begin?

I also cleaned my shop...my forsaken hell of a messy ass shop! Thank God..I did it and you know what? It feels GREAT!  Chuck set up a new bench he bought me for my rolling mill that I took 4 months to pay off.  So, I have one now..and that's a good thing for me, working with gold..I can reuse and recycle it much easier.


Don't tell me..I know, I need my safety glasses! I did put them on about a second later after this pic was taken!


I know your wondering if this is much cleaner of a shop?  Well it is, trust me.  I will have to post some photo's in few days of the shop.  Show you how far I have come with all of this.  I really like my "studio"..only more if it had real heat.  It can be cold..and having a runny nose and cold fingers doesn't make it that much fun.  I have learned to do 25 jumping jacks about every 10 minutes these days!

I have a super busy weekend coming up. We have some friends from Joplin, Missouri stopping in for a ski fest. Yes, we have Italians in the house and that means fun and lot's of food!  Living only 20 minutes from Mt. Bachelor...makes life a littler nicer.  We are definitely blessed..and I know I am grateful to be here!

Take care y'all! I will be checking back in the next few days!




Thursday, January 31, 2013

Helene's Dreams is back in the shop!! Yay!!

Rosecut Peridot Gemstone 14k Gold Stacking Ring

My friends! I am back. My gosh it has been awhile!  My life has been so crazy for the last 2 1/2 months.  For those of you who know me..I also used to own an actual retail store..brick and mortar store. It was a mailing shipping franchise store..and I recently sold it! Yes..SOLD!  I have decided to make the choice of doing what I love.....jewelry.   I am just so excited!  I feel like I am starting a new chapter in my life!  I enjoyed the store too and I will miss my friends, but I am looking forward to a world of change!  The official transition has taken place as of Feb.1, 2013.  It is a new chapter in my life.

 Birthstone necklace - great for Mother's Day gift!
 
I have to admit that I have been a juggling act for the last ten years of my life! I have been literally searching for my path trying to find what it is I really want to do and be has not been so easy.  I am grateful for my very supportive husband and family.  My goal is to stay completely focused only on my jewelry shop.  I am looking forward to being focused on my passion.  I honestly just want to take a moment and say " Thank you God, for this day!"  For I am truly grateful to be here.

I don't have any new works at the moment. These photo's are of some projects I did last fall. I really need some new designs and I am going to be working on them next week as I am just dying to get back into the swing of things!

Cheers Everyone!  Thanks for the read! We'll see you in the shop! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Straight Talk Review - I love it! SAVE Money!!

Would you like to save some money?  I know I do.  These days it's getting harder to come by!  I have recently sold my family retail store. This is the reason I am away from my studio this last month.  We found a buyer..and that's great, but I really need to be frugal now as I focus on my jewelry business..since that's all I am going to be doing!  Yes, so wish me luck!

I don't know about ya' all, but one of my largest monthly bills is my cell phone. My gosh..I did the math and for a two year contract I am paying for two smart phones with Verizon at a whopping $180 a month which equals out to $4,320...and this is just for the service.  This does not include the the extra little cost to initially buy your phone!!!  

Well, in my quest to search for my options...since my contract expired..I have discovered the world of Prepaid cell phones!  And recently, I have found that if you want..you can now bring your own phone to the service of Straight Talk!  Yes, I have researched my options with most of the prepaid services that work up here at 4000 feet elevation in the mountains of Bend, Oregon.  And, what I find is most work..because they all seem to be using the towers of AT&T and even Verizon!  

Well, I am happy to announce that I am using an Iphone 4s with my new Straight Talk service.  I had the option to pay monthly at $45 per month..but since I know I need the phone for a year..I went ahead and purchased the yearly card which really breaks down at $41 per month.  The service includes unlimited voice, text and data.  ( Data does have a true limit 2G, but that was what I also paid for with Verizon.)  I rarely use 2G myself as I don't have time to watch videos or youtube all day on my cell phone.

The catch with Straight Talk is, you must have an unlocked GSM phone or an AT&T or T-Mobile compatible phone to use your own.  I myself, started educating myself on cell phones, and it appears that 70% of the world uses GSM, which is AT&T and Verizon uses CDMA.  CDMA is a different cell phone technology and honestly is more complicated. It appears that CDMA phones do not use SIM cards.   STraight Talk basically sends you a SIM card and you insert it into your unlocked GSM phone and change a few settings and ...Presto! Your phone works..like a charm!  Yes!!! It was that simple for me.

Here is a You Tube video that made this process of changing a few APN settings for my IPhone 4s so much easier to understand if you need help:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJXHf80AaSU



Don’t forget the Straight Talk Plan

Why Straight Talk?

  • Unlimited GSM service on the best nationwide networks
  • $45 per month – Unlimited Data, Talk & Text*
  • $60 Unlimited International Plan with Unlimited Nationwide Minutes, Unlimited Messages & Unlimited data plus Unlimited* International calling to over 1,000 destinations including cellulars in Mexico, Canada, India and china.
  • No contracts, no bills, no credit checks
  • Use any compatible or unlocked GSM phone – including smart phones
  • Bring your T-Mobile compatible 4G phone and keep your 4G service
  • Keep your phone number
  • Works with SMS, IM, social networks, email, web


So, let me tell you just how much I am saving.  I purchased two used unlocked Iphone 4s's for $600.  Then I purchased two one year plans for $990.  Of course we will use the phones for at least two years..hopefully more. So if you do the math..and compared to a two year plan with Verizon. I am actually paying $2580 for two years.  Which saves my family a total of $1740!!  WOW...that is awesome!  I can buy a vacation or a few plane tickets with the money I am saving!

Also, if your a person who can use your phone for more then two years..then YOU will save even MORE!  If you need smart phone insurance you should also check out Square Trade Warranty services.  It's an average of $6.99 a month with them..

The cons about Straight Talk..is you have to purchase the unlocked GSM phone up front first!  But, I have heard recently that you can now purchase the Iphone through Walmart and use the Straight Talk service inclusively ..click here:   Or if your like me ..I like a good deal and try to buy a factory unlocked GSM phone. I found mine on Craigslist and Ebay.  But, you can also buy them new at Best Buy or probably some cell phone store.  You really need to shop around.  

Straight Talk has been in service for at least the last five years. I have recently met a family who has been saving good money for this long..  Gosh, I cringe at what I paid for the last six years with Verizon..uugh!  I know that I could have saved well over $6000 looking back!

Straight Talk has different types of service phones too. It always seems that prepaid services use older model phone versions that have older operating systems.  When Straight Talk decided to let you bring your own phone...I jumped on it!  I can officially say I am done with paying super high prices for cell phones. I am done with playing that "renew your contract game". I have had enough!

Your probably wondering if I am affiliated with STraight Talk..and I AM NOT at all! I am just a purely delighted customer who will be saving a lot of money.  My phone works well with 4 to 5 bars average and 4G services! It is using AT&T...but for the last month both of our phones are working marvelously!  So go ahead my friends...save yourself some money!  Straight talk works great and can work with many unlocked GSM smartphones...not just the IPhone!

Also a quick update on my jewelry store. The transition for the new owner is Feb. 1st and that is when I will re-open my jewelry store on Etsy!  Please check back then!  I will be 100% dedicated to my work with Helenes Dreams from now on! I am just so excited to have finally reached this place in my life!  


If you want to read more..check out this review here: http://9to5mac.com/2012/07/30/review-the-iphone-on-straight-talk/

Cheers everyone!










Monday, January 21, 2013

In Memory & Honor of Martin Luther King

Brought to you by Allison Morrison at OnlineCollegeCourses.com. "I have a Dream"... MLK Infographic

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year My Friends!

 So here we are..year 2013!  Time does fly by pretty quick and it is a common phrase..so I hope you all are enjoying your family and friends this time of the years! 


I would like to start my new year with positive energy and pushing out some love on some of my favorite sellers and items on Etsy. As you may know,  I sell my work on Etsy and I also love to buy handmade goods on Etsy. Here are a few things I have bought recently as gifts for my family this last Christmas!


Gift #1. This beautiful sweet mortar and pestle comes from Mary Carol Perez Pottery, in Cave Junction Oregon.  I bought this for my mother in law and it makes a great kitchen tool for making spice rubs and crushing garlic!  I have yet to buy one for myself..but It is perfect! 



Gift #2.  I actually bought 3 of these wonderful IPad carriers. Oh my gosh they are awesome! They are well made and even fit Ipads with a smartcase if you use one. I bought these for the Ipad people in my life..including one for myself. Yes!  It functions very nicely and I just put my Ipad in here and put into my messenger bag and off I go. I purchased these in this etsy shop all the way in Lithuania, here: BluCaseAaron the owner is also having a sale..check it out!


Gift #3.  I bought this beautiful leather journal sketchbook for a dear friend of mine. She is also a jewelry artist and I am hoping that she may find some use in drawing out her sketches on regular paper.  With all of the complicated drawing software, I find the old fashion way of your own hand, pencil and paper..the ideal method.  This journal is beautifully made by Mary Lynn Schroeder of In Blue on Etsy.  She also inscribed my friends name on the left side of the design.


 Gift #4. This gift is for my daughter..sweet Sophia!  I bought several of these also, because they are practical and pretty gifts for the young girl in your life as well as myself! I am always trying to keep my hair out of my work space..so these help quite a bit. You can find them on Etsy in this shop here: Bargain Headbands.  They are well made and priced affordable I must say too!


Gift #5.  I bought this live edge mesquite serving board for my cousin.  She is just newly married and I thought this would be great for a person who is loving to learn how to cook!  It seemed to be a hit and the board is beautiful. The rich dark color and sturdiness makes it a great piece just to have on your kitchen counter everyday.  One of my favorites for sure. I bought this on Etsy in this shop here: JenniferandJohn    They don't seem to have much in inventory at this time, but if you search ..there are a lot of live edge cutting boards on Etsy.



I hope you enjoyed the sharing. There is so much to like on Etsy. I find it amazing at what the human hand is capable of on a simple level.   I am also grateful Etsy exist and that our world can come together "hand in hand" promoting a wholesome way of life. Cheers my friend.  WE sellers on Etsy appreciate all of the love and support we have from our customers. I know I do..and I am grateful for all of you!

 Wishing our friends and family much love, happiness, success and health! Live life doing what you love and love what you do!!  Happy New Year!  Cheers!