Wednesday, December 31, 2008

O Christmas Tree...

is finally undecorated (not the easiest task in the whole world!) I always dread the process of taking the tree out, but look forward to a clean slate for a new year. Minus the one strand of lights that went out during the season, this was one of my favorite trees. I must say that every year! The one strand of lights stressed me out a bit, but once all of those glass ornaments are hung safely on the branches, there is no going back in! Purchase all new lights for next year - check.


And, these guys are FINALLY starting to settle down a bit!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2009!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas secrets revealed - part 1!

Well, some of you were surprised with my jewelry under your tree Christmas morning. I cannot begin to tell you how exciting it was to make these pieces and know they would be wrapped and opened by unsuspecting recipients! I spent part of Christmas day wondering what the reactions would be. While I only took pictures of some of the pieces I had made (many I was just trying to get out of the door in time!), I could not share any of them with you until presents had been opened. So, over the next several days, I plan to share some of these pictures with you all. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas wishes...


Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winner!

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:18
Timestamp: 2008-12-13 04:10:47 UTC

Sorry it has taken me so long! I actually had the winner selected Friday, but have just found the time to post the news. I saw Sonya Saturday, so she is already wearing her "Peace" necklace. It looks fantastic on her, and I hope she enjoys it. As for what the remainder of my week holds...probably not a whole lot of blogging! I am fast and furiously finishing up Christmas gifts. My goal is to have them in the hands of everyone no later than this weekend. I would really love to enjoy the few days leading up to Christmas. This is also the last week of school, so I am getting kindergarten and preschool presents ready to go. I'll try to focus on posting some pictures once gifts are delivered. Hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

peace...

Who couldn't use a little more peace in their life? Well, the least I can do is give you a chance to win a necklace that is stamped with the word. I told you I'd finally get around to getting the December giveaway posted! I have been working so hard getting caught up on Christmas orders, that this month has really been slipping away. Anyway, this necklace is a small sterling rectangle with rounded corners, hand-stamped and simply reads "peace." It is topped with the most adorable sterling silver dove and hangs on a 16" ball chain. You should be able to click on the picture to see more detail. It really is quite neat. So that I can get it to the winner before Christmas, we really need to get this giveaway underway!

As always, all you have to do to enter is to leave a comment. In your comment please share with me what is on the top of your Christmas wish list! If you refer someone else who leaves a comment, have them mention your name. Your name will be entered for this necklace as many times as others mention hearing about this giveaway from you...just a little incentive to spread the word! A winner will be chosen no later than Friday, so start commenting and sharing the good news with others. Can't wait to hear from you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

a giveaway - just not from me (quite yet!)

I know I thought it might be the end of this week when I got my December giveaway piece posted, but it probably won't be until tomorrow night. I still have a little to do to it, but I think it will be worth the wait! On a good note, though, my talented friend Wendi IS having a giveaway. Wendi is the one who does the fantastic embroidery, and her giveaway is just in time for Christmas! This is the information she sent to me:

Hey y’all! Stop by my website http://www.alphabetsoupembroidery.com/ and enter to win a $25 gift certificate. And when you refer a friend and he/she mentions your name in the Comments Box, you'll be entered twice!! So feel free to forward this e-mail on to all your friends. The drawing will be held on December 19 at 8:00 pm, so enter today! (Complete entry details are available on my website, so check it out.)

Now, don't forget to mention me when you enter! I'd love to win a gift certificate to shop with Wendi. Take my word for it...you'll love her stuff!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the holiday rush

Okay...I'm usually much better (at least a little better) about posting than I have been. Thanksgiving was fantastic, but amazingly busy. We had a wonderful time with my parents and friends in Washington. When we returned home, I had to get the house decorated for the Christmas photo shoot Burke was doing Saturday. Since that time, I've culled through tons of pictures to get proofs to clients in time for Christmas card processing. All of the people we photographed were so beautiful, so narrowing down the pictures was not the easiest part of the job - yet it is MY part of the job! On Sunday afternoon I noticed that our beloved golden retriever, Broker, was acting quite ill. After we returned from Bible study that evening, he was really awful. Walker had a migraine, and Broker was sick - not a fun house that night. Needless to say, we didn't sleep a wink. Broker was tested for many things (cancer was the scariest for us since we lost his sister to cancer 5 years ago.) As it turns out, they think he simply had a bacterial infection and needed fluids and antibiotics. The boys and I are heading out this afternoon to pick him up. We are all so ready for him to be home and underfoot again! So.....with all of that, this is my first post in quite a while.

I'm working on some very fun jewelry to fulfill Christmas orders. I just love doing what I do! Stick around this week because my plan is to get the December giveaway made and posted by Friday. I think you'll really like it. I'll keep you posted! Have a great week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

pumpkin pie

Yes, there is one of those in the oven. I am baking a pie to take to the elementary school today. Walker's kindergarten class is having their Thanksgiving feast, and I'm delivering the pie. After we leave school, we're making a quick pit stop at our house before heading to my parent's house for a spend-the-night party. The boys are so excited they could POP! There is candlelight shopping downtown, and we are meeting some dear friends for dinner and an evening of quaint shopping. You never know...we may even happen upon Santa!

As I've said before, Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday for me. I know you've seen this necklace before (very recently since it was the November giveaway!); however, it really sums up what I'm feeling as Thanksgiving day approaches. This particular necklace is a little different than the giveaway piece because it has a white coin pearl in the middle. Anyway...don't forget to count your blessings!


Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Friday!

I have had the best couple of days. William's preschool Thanksgiving program/feast was yesterday, and it is my all-time favorite preschool event. It is filled with family, friends, great food and adorable children who did exactly what they were supposed to do on stage. Walker really wanted to be there, so his teacher said that it would be fine to leave school to attend. He seemed quite proud of his brother, and that made me very happy. I know they adore one another, but sometimes the bickering can get the best of me. Yesterday was not one of those days - they were great, and Walker was very supportive of his little brother. Today was Walker's day. They were studying the letter "P" at school today, so the entire kindergarten got to wear their pajamas to school. Walker thought that was the greatest thing ever. Even better than that (for me anyway) was that William and I got to join him for the holiday lunch at school. Walker seemed to enjoy showing William the ropes. We then headed to the high school to deliver a new piece I had been working on. It is funny...I always get a little nervous when I deliver a piece to someone who has never ordered - will they love it, hate it, wish they had gone with something different? Well, this reaction made my day! She was perfectly thrilled. The picture below will give you a little peek.

This is yet another piece that I would eventually like to make for myself. In the meantime, an order for another one of these came in today...looks like mine will have to wait!

I hope your weekend is a good one!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the holidays are upon us



I really have no reason for showing you this necklace except that I thought it turned out pretty cute. This is a piece I took to the local art show, and it sold right off the bat! Since so much of what I do is personalized, it was really difficult for me to come up with things that people could simply walk up and buy. I like the way it turned out, and you know I'd be more than happy to reproduce it for you should you want one! If nothing else it will give you more ideas of what is available/possible in the world of hand-stamped sterling jewelry.

Now, my friend Wendi over at http://alphabetsoupembroidery.com/ contacted me yesterday about the possibility of hosting a Christmas open house. Now, I must tell you that in one respect the idea terrified me. After all, my house needs a serious cleaning and then decorating. On the other hand, I already had the very same idea and had not mentioned it to her. Anyway, we batted around different ideas - participants, date, time, etc. - and it looks like we can make this happen. Now, my husband is having a Christmas photography special at our house the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so the house will have to be decorated anyway. We always get our tree the Friday after Thanksgiving, so 24 hours should be just fine, right? Nothing like having people over to your house to light a fire under you! I am out of school next week, so it should help to have some days at home. Anyway, if you're in the area and happen to hear from me or Wendi about the open house, I hope you'll join us! It would be a great time to wrap up (or start, in my case!) your Christmas shopping. I'll post more details about that later.

We have the preschool Thanksgiving program/feast tomorrow. I absolutely love that program! Then, I'm heading to the elementary school Friday for their holiday lunch. I just love celebrating the holidays with my boys! Hope the remainder of your week is great and full of thanksgiving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

not a foreign language...

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:15
Timestamp: 2008-11-17 22:43:34 UTC

While the above may look like gibberish to some of you, it actually tells me that Stacy is a weiner...oh, I mean winner!!! I can say this about Stacy since she is a dear friend of mine. Stacy was comment #15 on the count your blessings giveaway, so she is the winner of the featured necklace. I feel like holding the necklace hostage until I actually get to see Stacy in person; however, since the interstate works both ways (last I heard, anyway), I guess I am equally at fault for not making my way into the big city to see her. Anyway, Stacy, shoot me an email and we'll make arrangements to get your necklace to you - congratulations!

While we are on the subject of things for which we are thankful, I think most of my usual blog readers will know that my family tops my list. So, I actually sat down long enough to make a piece for myself to remind me of my family. So, this is something new I can share with you - our family tree.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment. If you are new to my "giveaway thing," I always offer those that leave a comment 10% off the first piece ordered between now and December 31, 2008 as my way of saying thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog. Several of you have already taken me up on this offer, and I hope to be giving 10% off several more times between now and the end of the year! I plan to have another giveaway in the month of December, so don't forget to check back with me on a regular basis. Have a great week!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

on being thankful...

Thanksgiving is one of my all-time favorite holidays. I enjoy it because it is all about being thankful and surrounding yourself with those you love. This time of year more than any, I consciously take the time to reflect on how blessed I truly am. I do not get wrapped up in gift-giving or decorating - simply being thankful. (My mom's incredible turkey and dressing dinner doesn't hurt either!) This year, I am so very thankful for a growing business that allows me to be creative and touch people's lives in a really neat way. I am thankful for those that read my blog and for those that appreciate my jewelry. So, to show you how thankful I am...it's time for the November giveaway! You know the drill. Just leave a comment in the comment section of THIS post, and tell me about something for which you are most thankful. The winner of this piece will be chosen Monday. It is a 1.25" sterling washer with a bronze coin pearl inside. And, as always, share this giveaway with your many friends in your address book. If they register a comment and mention your name, you will win a key ring and have the chance put your two cents in about the design! So, get to commenting and spreading the word. Monday will be here before we know it!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

inspiring


A friend of mine has a granddaughter who, at the age of 13 months, was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer. I have followed the remarkable journey of this child since first hearing the news of her cancer. She went into remission after a series of tough surgery and treatment. In August of 2007, they faced the news that her cancer had come back. This precious little girl turned four in August and after a rough serious of tests in New York last week, she is showing no evidence of disease!!! I have never met this little girl, and I've also never met her mother. Her mother and I are around the same age, and I find myself constantly amazed by her faith, her grace, her strength and the ability to keep everything going when most people would feel like everything is falling apart. Needless to say, I hold my children closer to me everyday because of the story of this family. While the boys have sent the child a little care package last Christmas, I felt inspired to send a piece of my work to her mother. She also ran the New York City marathon a week and a half ago to raise money for pediatric cancer research. She raised over $13,000!!! This necklace shown in the picture above is heading her way. Gold is the color of the remembrance ribbon for pediatric cancer, and the piece simply reads "hope." They will never know how much I am "hoping" for them! I "hope" each of you will hold your children close to you this day and everyday we are blessed to have them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

out of touch

Sorry I have been out of touch for the last week. I worked so hard getting ready for the art show Saturday that I could hardly complete sentences when it was over! I forget from year to year how exhausting that event is for me. I apologize for no pictures on this post as well. Who wants a post with no pictures? Oh well, I am home late from a PTO meeting with the promise of a couple of great posts this week. Don't forget about me...you might just miss a giveaway (wink! wink!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

bones & bats



It has taken me a while, but here is a picture of my skeleton and my "better-batter baseball man" (as William refers to himself.) They had a grand time as they celebrated Halloween, and I am certain they will not need anymore candy between now and next October 31 (note to Santa, Cupid and the Easter Bunny!) While we are making notes to Santa, I need to let him know that this elf is quite busy holding up her end of then deal when it comes to jewelry. I am also working on some great things that I look forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks. One of the pieces is a complete surprise for a total stranger. How fun is that?! Given what she goes through on a daily basis, I find her to be completely amazing. I'll probably have it finished and ready to show you all next week. I'll share her story with you as well...prepare to be humbled and inspired!!! As I mentioned in a previous post, we have the art show in town this weekend. I am SOOOO busy getting ready for that, but I have not forgotten that it is now November. Time for another giveaway! Let's shoot for a goal of no later than the end of next week...deal?


Monday, November 3, 2008

curly, larry & moe!


Okay...so none of the guys in my life have curly hair...but, aren't my campers quite cute?! These are the guys all suited up to head to the mountains. And what do they do when they get there?



Absolutely nothing!!!
Here's to kicking back and enjoying the great outdoors! Hope you've had a great start to your week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

boys night out


Yes, the boys have embarked on their first "real" camping trip to the mountains, tent and all. They left with daddy this morning and will return tomorrow. Not since before Walker was born have I had the house to myself overnight. I am so looking forward to it! If only I can get some cleaning and laundry done, I will be excited and consider it a success. I spent the day running errands, so I have quite a bit of ground to cover tonight. But, it is amazing what you can accomplish without two little ones (and one big one!) under your feet all day. I'll miss the guys, but this was exactly what we all needed. Of course, I will be interested to see if they are really returning tomorrow. When they left, they had enough packed for about four weeks! I, of course, took pictures to remember the occasion, so I'll share some of those next week.

I have been working on some recent orders. This was a necklace that was purchased for a birthday gift. I thought it safe to show since it was just one initial - just a different take on the full monogram. This person is also a little more natural. So, for interest, we went with the copper freshwater pearl dangle. I have much more to do, and would love to get some of it done in the next 24 quiet hours! My friend Laura and I organize an annual art show in the county. We are so fortunate to have so many talented artists who live right here around us. It is coming up next Saturday, November 8th. So, if you are in the area, it would be worth stopping by! We will have approximately 40 artists representing all different types of art. While most of my work is custom, I would love to have a few pieces to show and to sell that day. So, I need to get moving on that...the clock is ticking. So much to do - so little time.

I'll plan to post some camping pictures next week as well as pictures from Halloween. Let me just say that William won the costume contest at church for his age group, and it had nothing to do with the costume! He was dressed as a baseball player (with built in muscles.) The dialogue went a little something like this...

William: Mommy, am I going to win the contest?

Me: I don't know, honey. You are really going to have to sell it. Just work the crowd.

William: Okay mommy. I'm going to try my very best.

Well, let me just say that he put on quite a show. He marched up on stage and started flexing his "muscles" and tapping his cleats on the stage. When he felt like the attention was going some other way, he would quickly step out front and give another flex. It was definitely all in the attitude. When he returned to his seat he said, "I cannot believe I won!" My dad confided in me later that he knew the die was cast before William ever made his way to the stage. What a clown that little one is!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

teacher workday...


As a preschool art teacher, I have come to really appreciate those words. Well, today is one of those days. William and I are home from school. And while it is a break from being at the preschool, I have no short list of things to do. Quite honestly, fitting in getting a shower on my days home gets tricky. Tonight is trunk or treat at the church, and I have agreed to make a couple dozen cupcakes for the cupcake walk. So, that certainly must get done. I need to get about 100 bags of candy ready for the evening as well. I also got a new shipment of silver in yesterday, so I have to get to work fulfilling orders that have come in the last several days. So many people are on the ball with Christmas. Are you one of those people? Speaking of one of those people, I have included a picture of one of the new pins I am making. I am certain this gift will be a huge hit this Christmas. The recipient of the gift is a grandmother in another state, and she does not know about my blog. So, you all will get to see her Christmas present before she does! I absolutely LOVE the way this pin turned out. Anywhere from two to five children is really perfect for this piece. And, it is also nice for people who would not wear a piece like the charm bracelet. As shown, this pin is $46. The discs are 1/2" sterling on a sterling silver 2 1/2" pin. Those with mothers/mother-in-laws who adore their grandchildren should really consider this gift this Christmas!
Well, I am off to bake cupcakes. I hope this day is a wonderful one for all of you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

lost in my to-do list...

I am ashamed and embarassed to see that it has been a week since I last posted. Last week was crazy, though. We finished soccer season. I went on a field trip with Walker's Kindergarten class - had to be one of the funniest experiences of my life! I completed Halloween craft projects for preschool, which consisted of cutting out 46 handprints and bat bodies. And of course, I had to throw in some jewelry stamping. Oh...and I assisted Burke with two photo shoots. So, needless to say, this girl needed a blogging break! One of the photo shoots we did was of my nephew. I know I have gotten to show off my niece here before, but I had to share with you a couple of pictures of my nephew - too cute! All of our boys enjoyed spending the day together. We really don't do that enough. Eventually, and I know I've said this before, I am going to get Burke's photography blog up and going. As of now, I'm stealing his photos to use on my blog! I do have plenty more of his work I need to show off, so maybe that will be a goal for this week. Nothing wrong with aiming high, right?!

I would love to show you all some of the jewelry I've been working on, but a good part of it will have to wait until after Christmas. One of the pieces is for my sister's mother-in-law. She is not aware of my blog, so I can share that piece in the next couple of days. It is a new, nice way for grandmothers to show off their grandchildren. And what grandmother doesn't like to do that?!

I hope this week will be a good one for all of you. With Halloween approaching, I might want to shorten my to-do list. My boys and sugar don't lead to very productive days ahead!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We have a winner - actually two!

Random.org is responsible for choosing comment entry #8 as our winner - Congratulations Julie! Julie, send an email to me at lannaejohnson@windstream.net, and we will see about getting your new necklace to you. I sure hope you enjoy it! And because Julie mentioned Wendi in her comment, Wendi will be the winner of earrings and will even have some input in the design. Not too bad for just sending someone over to take a look at my blog! Just as in my last giveaway, if you made a comment to the giveaway post, you will receive 10% off the first piece of jewelry ordered before December 31, 2008. I am sure there is someone on your Christmas list (if not you) who wouldn't mind finding a specially designed piece of jewelry under the tree!

I must say that I was overwhelmed by the positive comments left regarding the giveaway necklace as well as other pieces on the blog. It is exciting and motivating to see my work received in such a positive way. It certainly inspires me to continue thinking and creating, so thank you!

Just remember...a November giveaway is right around the corner. I am coming up with some fun ideas, so you must check back on a regular basis. If you don't see something that inspires you yet, do not hesitate to contact me with your own ideas. I would love to work with you to design a very special piece! Enjoy your week ahead.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

if your life were to speak...

what would it say? Okay...so I know that is a pretty deep thought for a Wednesday evening, isn't it?! Well, I think about this question often, as I am blessed to be surrounded by people each and every day whose lives say amazing things. Many of these people have no idea how kind, thoughtful or inspiring they are - they are just naturally that way. In honor of those people, I have created the October giveaway piece. This piece is a sterling silver teardrop-shaped pendant that is hand-stamped, oxidized, then polished to a beautiful finish. A bronze coin pearl hangs in the middle, and the pendant hangs on a 1mm brown leather cord with a sterling silver clasp.

Now, all you have to do in order to be registered for the giveaway is to leave a comment in the comment section of this post. In your comment, I'd like for you to mention your favorite piece of jewelry (or keychain) posted on the blog thus far. That is all you have to do! If you'd like to say something really nice, I wouldn't mind that either! You have until Friday (extended to Sunday!!!) at 5:00 p.m. to register your comment. A winner will be chosen at that time and will be announced on the blog no later than Monday morning. You must check back to see if you are the winner! Please share this giveaway with others and have them mention your name when posting their comment as well. Should the winner of the necklace mention your name in their comment, you will win a pair of earrings.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my designs. Remember that these items would make wonderful and very personal Christmas gifts. I am fulfilling Christmas orders already for those who are really on the ball! Good luck, and let the comments begin!

Monday, October 13, 2008

hip to be square...


..especially when turned on the angle, monogram-med and added to a keychain! I am l.o.v.i.n.g this new look. Someone ordered a couple of these to give as gifts when they saw the monogrammed necklace I did a couple of weeks ago. I like the idea that you can use these stamped pieces in many different ways. I'm ready to make these squares into monogrammed earrings now - any takers?! I did some work to my next giveaway piece last night and hope to finish it up this evening - sometime between homework, cooking dinner and a soccer game. Anyway, once it is done, I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

goodies


Good morning! From time to time, I'd like to share with you all the work of others that I find to be quite fun. Over the weekend, I picked up some baby gifts I had ordered from my friend, Wendi, that does the cutest embroidery work. I selected burp cloths and onesies, and she has a fantastic selection at her website, http://alphabetsoupembroidery.com/. As you can tell from my jewelry, I love all things personalized, and Wendi has the greatest things for everyone - from babies, to teachers, and just about everyone else! She put Walker's name on his backpack this year and made him the cutest lunch bag with his name and a soccer ball. She also added my name to an a.dor.a.ble tennis racquet cover my sister and her family gave me for Christmas. Be sure to check out Wendi's website when planning your Christmas gift list!
Stay tuned this week for some other fun things. I put together some pieces last night that I'll be able to share with you this week, and I'm really getting ready for another giveaway...this one is just taking a little more time. I'll get to it - I promise!
I hope your Monday and the week ahead is great.

Friday, October 10, 2008

just a note...

Sorry I have not posted anything in several days. It is certainly not because I haven't been stamping. The boys were upstairs last night attempting to go to bed. For those of you who haven't heard me work, you must understand that most anyone could not sleep through such a noise! I have been working on some pretty terrific things this week and hope to get some pictures posted next week. Some photos will have to wait, as they were ordered as gifts for individuals who might actually check my blog. We don't want to ruin any surprises! Who knows, maybe you will be the lucky one! If you are curious about options, though, send me an email to lannaejohnson@windstream.net. We can come up with something fantastic! I appreciate you all letting me be a small part of your celebrations - birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and new babies. I've even thrown in a men's golf tournament in there! I'm thinking it is about time for another giveaway...how about you? Have a great weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2008

hope.faith.love

Weekends are wonderful, aren't they? My favorite weekends are those in the fall. We have begun pulling out the Fall/Halloween decorations for our home, and I definitely have Fall fever! The geese are returning to our pond for the winter, and that is one of our favorite parts of the season. We hear them arriving each evening and leaving each morning.

I wanted to show you all a piece I made this weekend. A friend of mine has purchased this necklace to give as a gift. It is a 3/4" sterling silver washer with a freshwater pearl dangle in the middle. These washers really are so much fun and are so versatile as well. I have them in several sizes to accommodate any words, names or phrases you may choose to stamp. This is also another nice option for a mother. You could stamp the names of her children - one name each on the smaller washers or multiple names on the larger washer. The possibilities are endless, and each piece is custom designed for you! I hope the recipient of this piece will be thrilled when she opens it.

I hope this week is a wonderful one for all of you. It will be a shorter one for us, as there is a teacher workday Friday. We are looking forward to a shorter week, a longer weekend and a visit with my parents. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

holy cow!

I know I usually post about jewelry or our boys, but today is a bit unusual. I wanted to share with you my recent adventure in cooking. Now, for those of you who know me, I L-O-V-E to cook. I have had a pork roast in the crock pot since 8:00 this morning - smelling quite tasty to say the least. I took it out just moments ago to pull off the fat (disgusting, right?), and because we live in the middle of a farm had planned to pour the fat, grease and bone out into the pasture. Because we have a 90 lb. golden retriever that would not mind in the least digging under the fence to retrieve such a "delectable treat," I knew I needed to get it pretty far over the fence. Well, of course with the weight of the pot and the angle at which I needed to dump it, I dropped it! Now, the farm is cross-fenced for the cows. So, I had to walk about a mile (a slight exaggeration) to retrieve my pot. I had to walk this far because the fences are electric and climbing them is not an option for me when there is electricity involved. Needless to say, I encountered a few of these large creatures along the way (photo compliments of my husband - don't you just love how his tongue is up his nostril!) as well as the nastiness they leave in their wake. For my "city friends"... welcome to my world!!! With the help of my 5-year old, we are finally back in - with a newly cleaned pot - and have the most tender barbeque simmering away in sauce. We'll dig in after soccer practice. Bon App├ętit!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where did the weekend go?

This seems to be a constant state of affairs for me, as I am sure it is for many of you reading this - where did Saturday and Sunday go? My husband was away at a men's retreat this weekend, so the boys and I were flying solo. We tend to eat way too much junk food, and I stay up much too late when he is gone. I was doing some reading and working on some art projects for this week at preschool, so I managed to get a ton of that sort of thing done. We were also treated to a wonderful evening at the home of my friend Amy, whose husband was at the same retreat as Burke. She has three very fun and entertaining children, so the boys had a terrific time. They played outside, had game and art stations set up and prepared the most wonderful meal. We finished the night with a movie before heading home. Amy and I had originally planned to go out to eat and to see a movie, but finding a sitter for five children is not necessarily the easiest task in the world. As it turned out, I think I was far more entertained by the evening at their house!

I also worked on several jewelry projects - orders that came in since the giveaway. I am having so much fun with these projects! I have posted a picture of the necklace I made for my Amanda to give to her sister. Today is her birthday, and I have already heard that she has it and loves it! I think it turned out really neat, and I hope it will give you all an idea of other designs we can create. I really liked this one so much that I plan to make one for myself...again, when I can find the time! This necklace would be perfect for most anyone, but could be a fun gift for someone who is newly married. The nice thing about this piece is its' size. The squares, which I have turned on the angle, are 1/2" in size. They would also make amazing earrings!
I am now off to bake dozens upon dozens of cookies in the shape of a "C." Cortney's wedding is this weekend, and I have offered to bake cookies for favors. Her new last name will also start with a "C", so maybe Cortney needs some new monogrammed earrings! Okay, okay...I'll save that project for another day. I hope this week is terrific for all of you. As always, thanks for checking in.

Friday, September 26, 2008

drumroll please....

Let me start by saying that I am overwhelmed by all of the comments regarding the earring giveaway. You all are amazing! I had so much fun checking my blog from time to time to see who had visited. I heard from old friends, new friends, friends of friends as well as people I've never met. As I said...AMAZING!

Now when I woke up this morning, I was actually a little nervous about selecting a winner. I know that sounds funny, but I really wanted everyone to win. So, I put the weight of the world on my 3-year old. Yes, William selected the winner. So, you cannot hold anything against a 3-year old, right?! We even documented the drawing on camera. The name of everyone who commented was written once on a small piece of paper, then folded and placed in a bowl. How old fashioned it that? I know you can do these random integer selections online, but I chose to do it the old fashioned way. So, I know what you are thinking...who is the winner already?!




In case you can't see it, the winner is GINNI! Yes, my little birdies are flying all the way to Comer, GA. That is too funny. Ginni and I live probably 15 minutes from one another. I mean, these birds could have traveled all the way across the country, and they are going across the county! Ginni is a wonderful person and friend, and I think these earrings will be absolutely perfect for her. Congratulations Ginni!!! As I said before, I really wish everyone could win. So, I have decided that everyone can at least win a little something. So, for everyone who commented, I will take 10% your first piece of jewelry (that includes keychains) between now and December 31, 2008. Start making those Christmas lists now!!! Ladies, this could also be a great time to put a little bug in your husband's ear!

I have already completed my first piece that resulted from this giveaway. I am sending my friend, Amanda, a necklace in the mail today. And yes, she is getting the discount! It is a gift for her sister's birthday. I am hoping it will be a huge hit. I will post pictures of the necklace in the next couple of days in order to give you all other design ideas and options. Some of you asked about pricing when making your comments. Typically each piece is a custom piece, therefore prices will vary. Earrings run between $15 and $20, and necklaces can range from about $35 - $55. Of course, all of the prices depend upon the amount of sterling that goes into it. For example, the necklace I made for my sister will sell for $49. Additional sterling tags will be extra. I would absolutely love to talk with you about designing a special piece of jewelry. I can be contacted at lannaejohnson@windstream.net.

Thanks again for all of the wonderful comments on my blog. I hope you will all continue to check in with me here. I love this giveaway thing so much that I plan to do it on a regular basis. It gets my creative juices flowing and puts me in touch with some wonderful people. Wishing you all a fantastic weekend.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

freebird

And no, I'm not talking about the song...I am referring to my very first giveaway! I am just in the door from preschool and could not wait to get started with my post. These earrings are sterling silver 1/2 inch discs on sterling silver earwires. They are hand-stamped using different sized alphabet stamps and are oxidized to give the design its' definition. I think they are great fun! So, here is the deal...in order to win these, simply leave a comment in the comment section of this post. How easy it that? Make sure to include your name and how you found out about me. If you were referred by someone, please include their name as well. (Maybe I can whip up something for them just for passing my name around to others!) A winner will be randomly chosen this Friday, and I will announce the winner at that time. So, please share the good news with others! If this is your first time stopping by, I hope you'll check in with me often. I am always posting new things, and will definitely have at least one more giveaway before the holidays. I am actually working on something pretty cool right now. Good luck!

Monday, September 22, 2008

hello Monday



Today marks the start of a new school week for us. Walker, as much as he LOVES school, asked again when his first vacation was going to be! Sometimes our weekends seem as busy - or busier - as our weekdays that everything runs together. We should make a conscious effort to stop and take a breath from time to time (hence the picture of my little crossing guard.) By the way, is that bicycle not the cutest! I am a huge fan of these bikes. Walker learned to ride a bike in about 10 days with this type of bicycle. They are called balance bikes, and the child focuses on the hardest part of the process - the balancing - first. There are no pedals, and they will never need training wheels. Walker went from riding nothing to riding a big bicycle in a week and a half - completely amazing. That Santa Claus is one crafty fellow!



I worked on several projects this weekend - pieces that have been on my mind for a while. I finally sat down and stamped out my sister's necklace for her. Since she will see this post before she sees her necklace in person, " I hope you like this, Betsy!" I'll drop it in the mail to you this week. This piece is great for a mom who wants to proudly display her children's names around her neck. The names are hand-stamped on sterling silver tags and hang from a larger closed jump ring. A double freshwater pearl dangle is included. You could choose from a 16 or 18" necklace. I just love this one, and it would make a fantastic Christmas gift!

Now, my other project is one I mentioned last week. I am going to have my very first blog give-away. I am so excited about this!!! I am going to keep you in suspense (because I know you are all on the edge of your seats) until tomorrow when I post the picture. The only thing you will have to do is leave a comment on my blog. That is easy enough, right? Then, I will randomly choose a winner from those comments. I love to give things away, but I am most excited about seeing who will comment. So, be sure and check me out tomorrow and tell all of your friends! For now, I hope this Monday will be the start of a great week and that we will all take a little time to stop...and catch our breath.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

blessings






If you read my post yesterday, you will remember that I mentioned making myself a bracelet. I talked about counting my blessings, and I just wanted you to see a picture of those little blessings! My husband took these photos while we were at the beach this summer. He is so talented in the photography department, and one day (when I find a huge chunk of time - anyone know where I can find that?) I plan to start his photography blog. He is taking our preschool pictures this year, so we should have tons of fun with all of those little guys and gals! The picture of the boys together and being sweet to one another is so rare. With only two years separating them, they are acting like typical brothers most of the time..."he hit me" - "he started it!" I guess that is what brothers are for. Plus, if you look closely, they are completely FILTHY!!! I dressed them in khaki shorts and crisp linen shirts when we started the day, and have you ever seen such wrinkled clothing or filthy feet? I love them, dirt and all!
As I look into my "crystal ball", I am seeing next week as having my very first give-away. I have not designed a piece as of yet, but I am feeling inspired. So, you must, must, must check back! We are heading to the soccer field tonight for our second game. So, GO HAWKS! Enjoy your day.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Monday

I hope this Monday is finding everyone well. Our family had a great weekend. One of my favorite activities was our son's very first soccer game. My parents drove over for the game and some friends joined us as well. So, Walker had quite a cheering section. He loved it! Now, my husband and I got far more involved than we ever thought we would...involved meaning vocal. Not vocal in the ugly, you see it on t.v., bad-dad way, but in the supportive of the whole team, excited way. I was exhausted by the time the game was over! Once our little team realized which goal was theirs, they really stepped it up. Now that we experienced our learning curve, we should be looking great for game #2 this week.

My husband and I also had a date night. He took me out for a very nice birthday dinner. Every time we do this, we always say we should do it more often. Does anyone have any advice as to how to stick to this plan?! We could sure use it, because we really do not go out, just the two of us, often enough.

As I promised several posts ago, I was working on a bracelet for the mother of a friend of mine. Her birthday was the day after mine, so I wanted to wait and post it this week in the event she stumbled across it on my blog. This bracelet is so fantastic because she has so many grandchildren. I have a feeling her children are not done in the baby department, so I can see us making additions before too terribly long. After showing this bracelet off to some friends, it has turned into me making at least four more that will be used for Christmas gifts. I am planning to make a bracelet for myself (if I can ever get around to it!) While I have only two children to brag about, I envision adding another charm with the word blessed on it. That way, I'll be able to count my blessings on my bracelet!

Enjoy your Monday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

it's raining...frogs!

What a foreign experience it was for me to wake up to a thunderstorm last night. It has been so long since it has "really" rained here. It made it nearly impossible to get out of the bed this morning to get everyone (including me) ready for school. Even at 2:00 p.m., I still find myself ready to curl back up under my covers! Needless to say, the raincoats were not exactly handy by the back door; however, we found them and tried to ride through the biggest puddles on the way to school in order to make it seem a little easier to be out and about so early on such a grey day.

After dropping Walker off at the elementary school, William was on the cell phone talking to his father. While listening to their conversation, I caught a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror. I noticed that, while I had already been up for an hour and a half, I still had this sheet/pillow mark across my face. Now, if I were turning 26 tomorrow rather than 36, that mark would have long been gone! I told William to tell his father that I would like to have Botox for my birthday...he angrily yelled back at me, "No mommy, I want tacos!" I guess I won't have any "lift" waiting for me when I wake up in the morning, but you can just bet what I'll be having for my birthday dinner!

On a brighter note...I have a cute necklace to post. This piece is for the mother of a little girl who was born last week. She does not know about me and my jewelry, but her mother-in-law does. So, we agreed it was probably safe to post the picture even though the necklace is to be part of her Christmas gift. A 1.25" sterling silver washer is handstamped with sugar.spice.everything nice. Inside hangs a 5/8" disc with the little girl's name on it. A handmade freshwater pearl/sterling silver bead charm hangs from the top. This piece it too fun for a new mom!

Now, I must explain the title of my post today. Yes, it is raining, but I had already told you that. When I was getting the preschool students into the church this morning, I felt/heard a thump on the top of my head. I had visions of one of the kids getting a kick out of throwing a piece of plastic food at my head. Well, I leaned over and shook my head. Onto the ground fell a frog! I should have know it was going to be a strange day!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

from this day forward


We have friends from church getting married in October. While I always like to buy something I think the couple could use in their new home, it is really hard for me not to do something special just for the bride. Of course, you knew I would do jewelry! This is something I designed for Cortney for her bridal shower last Sunday. I hope this necklace will be something she will enjoy for years to come. This piece is a one inch hand stamped sterling disc with a hammered sterling heart charm and can be personalized especially for you or would make a wonderful and memorable gift for a sister, daughter or friend. A 16" or 18" chain is included. The necklace will be priced at $40. What a nice way to remember an anniversary!

Enjoy your afternoon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A busy, but GREAT, weekend!

Happy Monday to everyone! Our family had a really great weekend, and I hope yours did as well. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we took our boys to see their first UGA football game. We began with the annual South Campus Tailgate, which was great fun. It was presented by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Family & Consumer Sciences. The boys enjoyed great food, great friends, and even had the opportunity to hold baby chickens and "not-so-baby" snakes (yikes!) I believe that even hissing cockroaches were involved! This is definitely my husband's department, as I chose to take this time to visit with old friends. We then made our way to Sanford Stadium to watch the bulldogs win BIG! Our boys are 5 and 3, so we really did not anticipate making it through the entire game. Quite honestly, we thought our youngest would be asleep before the game began! In reality, he was the last to be ready to go and mentioned that he'd like to take the cheerleaders to his car...too funny!





Saturday was Georgia 4-H Day at the game. My longtime friend, Mandy, works for the state 4-H office and made everything possible for us. To thank her for our special day, I designed and made this keychain for her. Thanks so much, Mandy!




Now, as I also mentioned, we made our way to Greenville, SC on Sunday to meet our new niece/cousin. I could not make this Monday post without including a picture of her! Let me introduce Elizabeth Colley Gold to all of you...

Isn't she precious?! We had a great visit. With our two boys and a 4-year old nephew, there was not much quiet time; however, she seemed to be like this most of the visit. I guess she can sleep through most anything!


Hope everyone has a wonderful day, and a fantastic week ahead!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday...the new Friday


I must admit that preschool is wearing me out! Thankfully, we are there only three days a week. So, Thursday has become my new Friday. I am home now waiting to pick my oldest up from Kindergarten, and I feel as if I have a new lease on life! Little man number 2 is obviously worn out as well because he fell asleep in the car on the way home and is still down for the count. I am looking forward to a day at home tomorrow simply to regroup. I guess we all need those types of days. We have a busy weekend ahead; however, it is filled with many fun things. On Saturday, we are taking our boys to their first UGA football game. They are so excited! Then on Sunday, we are finally getting to meet our new niece/cousin. Of course all of this will not happen until we have another soccer practice tomorrow evening. Soccer is the Johnson family's newest adventure. Walker is on a team, and he takes it very seriously...of course, nothing is more serious than his cleats! His father loathes the fact that they are not the traditional black and white. Walker insisted, however, on silver cleats with touches of red and black. He can hardly concentrate on the ball for checking out his cleats. I guess I am now a soccer mom!

Hope there is some regrouping time set aside for all of us in the next few days!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A niece...finally!


Well, as of this morning I finally have a niece! As I mentioned before, she was due last Friday; however, she had us in suspense for five more days. She has a name - Elizabeth Colley Gold - yet my sister and brother-in-law are not decided on what they will call her. So as it stands, I am still unable to complete my sister's necklace! I promise I will post a picture when the necklace is finished.

I do, however, have another necklace I can show you. This sweet heart was made for a "sweetheart" who is a friend of my two little boys. It was her fourth birthday, and I thought she needed jewelry. All the while, my five year old had no idea why we wouldn't just go out and buy her a toy. Because I have two little guys in my life who don't understand the need for jewelry, every female we know will probably be inundated with jewelry for quite a while!
This week our focus is settling into preschool. This is William's first year, and I am the art teacher. It is only three days a week and three hours a day; however, by the time I get home I can hardly function. I am sooooo tired! I am hoping my body will adjust to the level of energy required for that many kids with paint brushes and scissors in hand! They are precious, though, and we are having a great time.
Hoping your week is a good one. Check in with me soon!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Beginnings

Welcome to Lasting Impressions! I am so glad you found me here. I specialize in the creation of custom hand-stamped sterling silver jewelry. You will want to check back often as I will post new designs regularly. You will find some wonderful ideas just in time for the holiday season. I will also have some give-aways from time to time, so you will not want to miss out! I am always excited about working with others to create the perfect piece of jewelry for yourself or for a gift.

This first piece is for our dear friend "J." She recently turned 15, and we gave her these earrings for her birthday. They look fantastic in her ears! These earrings are 1/2" sterling silver discs and could be stamped with either a single initial or a monogram. The purchase price for these earrings is $17.

As I mentioned before, keep checking back with me. I am working on some wonderful pieces for new moms. My sister is expecting a baby girl any day now (she was due yesterday), and I am designing a necklace just for her. If she had decided on a name, I could have made the necklace already - hint, hint!

I am also working on a neat piece for the mother of a great friend of mine. Her mom has seven grandchildren and wants to wear their names proudly around her wrist. Boy, does she have her hands full!!!

I hope you will enjoy seeing what is happening in my corner of the world. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend...do you think Labor Day will really be a labor day for my sister?! Let me hear from you!