Project of the Month

Hi there!  I guess I haven’t been very good at keeping up with the blog so far in 2011.  Please know that while I haven’t been around the blog world as much, I have been using my time for good things, including finishing up my job and preparing little boy’s nursery!  It is so hard to believe that Little Boy will be here any day now!

Back in January, I had big plans to post about my plans and goals for 2011, but the post never came to be.  Though I didn’t share my goals with you, I have been working away at them!  One of my resolutions for 2011 is to FINISH projects.  I have always been really good at coming up with ideas and enthusiastically getting started on new projects.  I’m not as good on the follow through, losing steam somewhere along the way, usually getting distracted with a newer idea.  I can’t tell you how many half-finished crafts I have stashed amongst my crafting supplies – quilts, scarfs, paintings – and how many more design ideas I have sketched out and waiting to be created!

This year I want to finish projects and to put more ideas into action!!  One of the ways I plan to do this is with my “Project of the Month.”  Each month I will choose a project and complete it by the end of the month!  And just for fun, and maybe for a little accountability, I will share the results with you!

For January, my project was to create art for Little Boy’s room.  We have a “Monkey” theme for the nursery, so I found a copy of “The Monkey and the Crocodile,” a book published in 1969 based on a Jataka Tale from India.  The illustrations in the book are just lovely, and the colors perfectly fit into my nursery scheme.  I cropped the illustrations and framed them with some rich brown textured frames.  Overall, the project was very inexpensive – about $5 for the book including shipping off Ebay, and about $25 for the frames, on sale at JoAnn Fabric.  And the art looks great hanging in the nursery!  Project complete!

Some more details from our nursery:


Our Crib Set

Monkey Fabric Basket

Knitted Monkey - March's Project of the Month!

Details on February’s “Project of the Month” coming soon!

The color experts over at Pantone have announced Honeysuckle as the color of the year for 2011!

The experts say that this encouraging, uplifting color “emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor.”  According to PANTONE executive director Leatrice Eiseman,Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going—perfect to ward off the blues,.”.

Honeysuckle is already popping up in apparel, accessories, and home decor trends.  I’m pretty excited about incorporating this vibrant color into my jewelry this year.  I’ve already got a shipment of beads coming my way with some honeysuckle-colored stones that I can’t wait to play with!

Check out some of these Honeysuckle colored items that ETSY members are offering:


Vintage Gardenia Top by zelaya

Make it a Light Morning by ajawin

Romantic Wrap Top by Lirola

Poppies by Aufilde

Poppy Bouquet Ring

Mum Tote by yorktownroad


2010 in Review

By the looks of my blog over the past few months, it looks as though I’ve dropped off the face of the earth…

Rest assured, I am alive and doing quite well!  Here’s what’s been keeping me away from the blogging world:

A new job:  In June, I started working nearly full time at a local non-profit organization, EPIC.  I’m the client services director at this pregnancy information clinic.   This new job is keeping me quite busy, but it has also been quite rewarding!

In addition, I’ve started teaching science classes to a group of home-school students in our area.  I am LOVING working with my students and sharing my passion for science with them!  It’s priceless to work with such a great group who are so excited about learning and experimenting!

Pregnancy:  Shortly after starting my new job, my husband and I found out that we’re expecting our first child!  We’re THRILLED about this new adventure in our lives!  Pregnancy has slowed me down a bit – it is helping me to prioritize and set more realistic goals for myself.  I can’t wait to meet my little one – only a few months left!! – and I look forward to seeing how being a mommy will help me to learn and grow!

Creating and selling jewelry:  Yes, I still do this!  Over the past few months, I’ve focused mainly on custom orders and selling at home shows.  Making jewelry is still a passion, and I plan to pursue it and continue to add to my skill set in the future!

Stay tuned for a little preview of what’s in store for KaraAnnisJewelry in 2011… And I’ll have a little more opportunity to plug into the blogging world in the months to come!

My friend Christy of Steel Magnolia Creations and I are co-hosting a Before Black Friday Sale/Open House.

Christy sews the most wonderful items – aprons, bibs, nursing covers, casserole carriers – all of which are fun, functional, and made with care.  My favorite are her casserole carriers – I love to give these as gifts!

Our Before Black Friday Sale will be on Saturday, November 13th from 10-2 in New Bern, NC.  If you are interested, please contact me and I’ll make sure you get a personal invitation!

In the meantime, stop by www.KaraAnnis.com and www.KaraAnnisJewelry.etsy.com to see what I’ve been creating lately.  Look for shop updates over the next few weeks as we’re heading into the holiday season!

Outside My Box

I put this necklace together for my mom for Mother’s Day.  It’s a little different from the things I usually make, but I had a blast putting it together, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!  Creating the bail and wirework on the pendant was a fun challenge, and I’m thrilled with the wired pearl links. The best part?  Mom loves it too!


Blue Bird Cake Topper by Middleburg

Acrylic Plexiglass Ornaments by Iwannabe

Porcelain Bird Figurine by iktomi

Bird Boquet by HeyMiemie

Porcelain Vase by wapa

“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.”


I’ve been dying to try my hand at torch enameling.  The idea of using a flame hot enough to melt glass thrills me.  Actually, the whole process of watching the glass particles fuse together is quite exciting, as is experimenting with the different colors and opacities of enamel.  Here are a few of my very first items created using this new process.  I can’t wait to keep experimenting!

I’m pretty excited that I’ve stumbled Encaustic painting,  painting with hot beeswax tinted with pigment.  The hot wax is layered, and texture, photos, and other materials can be added into the painting to create some pretty dynamic works.

Our Friday Feature Artist, Jamie Ribisi-Braley, is an encaustic painter who also sells her own home-made wax as well as tutorials for getting started.  Check out her “Amount of Tea” paintings – my favorites (I can totally relate) – and this “Hot Mess: Painting With Wax Tutorial”.  I’m seriously considering purchasing the tutorial myself and testing out this new medium!