Sunday, November 27, 2011

Visit SignatureSterling's Studio
SAVE 27% Off Select Studio Categories
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.
Black Friday may be over but the sale here is still on now through the end of November at SignatureSterling. In fact, if you're willing to wait and gamble that those earrings you've been eyeing or that necklace you really want will still be there, each day you wait, your discount grows.

Here's how it works. Today is November 27th so your discount off all items (except custom items - "Heirlooms to Order," "Buckeye Nation" or "Custom") would be 27%. On Monday, the 28th, (if what you want is still there...) the discount would be 28%.

Discounts may apply to multiple items. The only restriction is that you can not use this discount on custom order items. And once we reach midnight on November 30th (30%), this sale is over!

So, start browsing & if you don't want to gamble, start shopping now. Use the NOVDAILY coupon when you check out & if it hasn't been updated yet, I'll refund the difference to you via PayPal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Visit SignatureSterling's Studio
SAVE 23% Off Select Studio Categories
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The "Don't Wait til Black Friday Sale"

Why wait for Black Friday when you get what you want at SignatureSterling now through the end of November.  In fact, if you're willing to wait and gamble that those earrings you've been eyeing or that necklace you really want will still be there, each day you wait, your discount grows.  

Here's how it works.  Today is November 18th so your discount off all items (except custom items - "Heirlooms to Order," "Buckeye Nation" or "Custom") would be 18%.  Tomorrow, on the 19th, the discount would be Monday, the 28th, (if what you want is still there...) the discount would be 28%.  Get it?

Shipping is the same as outlined in the descriptions.  Discounts may apply to multiple items (woo-hoo!).  The only restriction is that you can not use this discount on custom order items (sorry!).  And once we reach midnight on November 30th (30%), this sale is over!

So, start browsing at SignatureSterling and if you don't want to gamble, start shopping now.  If you'd rather take a risk that your favorites will be there tomorrow or next week, go for it, but remember....once they're gone, they're gone!  Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not Your Pain in the Neck

Dear Doctors, Nurses, ER Staff, Friends, and Family,

I am a 52 year-old migraneur who suffered my first migraine at the age of 21.  Over the last thirty years, the headaches have become more severe, more frequent, and, if untreated, more incapacitating.  The only time during this period that I have been headache-free has been during my three pregnancies, certainly not a viable solution, and yes, doctors and specialists have explored hormone therapy to no avail.  I have seen several neurologists, undergone many CT and MRI scans, had allergy testing and thorough blood work-ups.  I have practiced mindfulness meditation, visualization meditation, and biofeedback.  I have received massage therapy and chiropractic treatment.

Working with various physicians and said neurologists, I have been prescribed a wide variety of prescription analgesics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants, anti-inflammatories, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, phenothiazines, steroids, triptans, and other prescriptions medications.  None eliminated my headaches and after all these years only a few have me able to carry on with my daily routine as much as possible in the face of daily pain.

When I have a migraine that spirals out of control - meaning the pain cannot be controlled by the medication I have available to me at home - I have to go the hospital emergency room for treatment.  One of the questions I am asked is to rate my pain on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the worst pain ever.  I reserve 10 for childbirth, live daily usually at no lower than a 4, and head to the ER when I hit an 8.  Until the last few months, I have been able to control the migraines and keep these visits to once a quarter.  Now, whether it is a hormonal change or an organic cause, the migraines are controlling me, and ER visits have escalated to twice a week to manage the pain.

Next week I will be heading to a leading headache clinic where I am hopeful that the multi-disciplinary team there will finally be able to help me break this cycle and manage an approach that will give me the tools (medicine and lifestyle) when I leave from my extended stay to be, if not headache-free, at least pain-manageable.

However, the last few weeks, as I've been in and out of the ER and dealt with doctors, nurses, ER staff and even my own specialists in follow-up care, I've realized the lack of understanding among many regarding migraines.  A migraine is not just a headache.  A migraine is not just caused by stress.  Loud noises and lights are very distressing to migraine sufferers - nurses and doctors, please take note of this when you talk, open/close doors, use lights in rooms.  I can still hear you if you talk softly, and my head won't pound as much nor will my nausea swell should you use your normal or loud voice.  A migraneur is not a junkie; I do not want to be in the ER.  I wish more than anything that the medicine I had at home had handled the migraine.  It didn't.  Lecturing me about the dangers of addiction to I.V. analgesics when I am at a pain level 9 is not helpful, especially when you are well aware that I am scheduled to go inpatient at one of the country's top headache clinics in a matter of weeks.  On the other hand, while I am open to alternative medicine (and realize the clinic I will be entering embraces the best of cutting edge western medicine as well as the healing arts of eastern approaches), again, when I'm at a level 9, please don't share with me that I must get my chakras in balance and find a good Reikist (as supposedly learned from Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins while visiting on Fiji), just give me the meds I need to break through the migraine.

Realizing that a migraine is not caused by stress, stress can be and often is a trigger for migraines.  That being said, I understand that no life can be stress-free, and working on stress management will undoubtedly be a priority - and recognizing stress triggers - during my stay at the headache clinic.  I expect life will be different when I return.  I hope life will be different when return.  I hope life will be better  when I return, and I hope my family and friends will be patient with me.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Midnight Inspiration
The SignatureSterling "elves" are busy, busy, busy ~ and we want to let you know it's not too late to get your holiday orders in....BUT some important order/shipping dates are coming up for holiday delivery.  Check your lists and our shops at and to see if you need to pick up something special for that special someone or for someone special like you this season! :)

Sunday, December 12th ~ last day to order/pay for custom listings to receive for Christmas delivery
Friday, December 17th ~ last day to order/pay for all other listings to receive for Christmas delivery
Monday, December 20th ~ January 2nd  Shops are closed for holiday season and will reopen January 3rd.

Blessings and peace to you and yours this holiday season!

Holiday Pearls

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Check out all of the fabulous holiday-themed projects, gift ideas, and more from our wonderful EtsyMom Blog Hop Contributors from around the world!!

Here's how it works:
1. Hop through each of the blogs listed above to get fabulous holiday inspiration and leave a comment. If you are starting at a blog in the middle of the Hop, start back at the EtsyMom Blog. You may have to scroll down a bit on the blogs to find the Blog Hop posts as the week progresses.
2. Leave a comment on the EtsyMom Blog post between now and December 11, 2010.
3. Enter to win our giveaway by doing any of the following. For each thing you do, you will be entered into the drawing one more time:

~Leave a comment on the EtsyMom Blog post between now and December 11, 2010.
~Leave a comment on the Holly Day Blog Hop posts for any of the blogs listed above between Dec 5 and Dec 11, 2010.
~Join the EtsyMom Blog email list (fill out the form in the right hand column).
~Become a follower of the EtsyMom Blog! Just click the "Follow" button in the lower right column.
~"Like" the EtsyMom Facebook Page.

Share about this Blog Hop on your own blog, posting a link to this page.
Share about this Blog Hop on Facebook, posting a link to this page.
Share about this Blog Hop on a message board or forum, posting a link to this page.
To let us know you've done these things, please come back to the EtsyMom Blog post and leave a comment for each thing you did.
Sorry - you cannot enter the giveaway here on my blog.

On December 11, 2010 we'll choose a winner using the Random Integer Generator from The winner will receive this super sweet gift basket full of handmade holiday goodies, including:

a pair of Turquoise Earrings from
a lampwork bead bracelet by
sterling silver and Swarovski pearl/crystal holiday earrings by
a cream colored cotton scarf given by
a raincloud ornament from
a matching splat mat and baby bib from
two pair of earrings from
a gift pack of over 30 pages of vintage paper ephemera by
a lovely sustainable stocking from
a set of holly jolly gift tags from
a set of toddler pajamas in a style of the winner's choice from
a $15 gift certificate from
A gift certificate from http://babyswank.etsy,com/
A Custom copper heart necklace from

I, as a part of five generations of wonderful women, am so very blessed this December to be celebrating my grandmother's 100th birthday.  Gram has always been known for her incredible holiday baking.  One of our family favorites among her famous cookie collection (Sea World Orlando even asked to use her cookie recipes when they opened their Florida Festival exposition) are her Candy Bar Brownies.  Here is the recipe first in her hand writing and then printed below.
Candy Bar Brownies
2 chocolate covered Mounds Bars - 4 sections
1/2 c. shortening            1 c. flour
1 c. sugar                       1 tsp. salt
2 eggs                            1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
In a large saucepan melt candy bars & shortening over low heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add remaining ingredients and blend well.
Spread in greased 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.  While warm, cut in bars.

Your next stop in the Holly Day Blog Hop is

Happy Holidays to all & enjoy the Hop!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

HIGHWAYS & BYWAYS, PART 2 - Finding Gomer, via Mayberry

After the disappointing visit to the Lincoln Ridge Pumpkin and Mum Fall Festival, we ventured on in search of Gomer and a traveling Welsh exhibit ~ only stopping in twelve towns across the country.  With Kevin definitely having Welsh ancestry and me being fairly confident of some (still working on that side of the family tree but with my maiden name, I'm thinking, good grief, there's got to be some Welsh blood in there somewhere!), we were very curious to see the exihibit.  Neither of us having heard of Gomer (oh gee, ya' think??), we did a little online research before our trip and learned that the very small community (just slightly over 200 folk) is home to the Wales-Ohio project, including a museum with incredible resources and interesting events (although it's not open in January, February, and March because "it's just too cold and nobody shows up").

Of course, the first challenge was to actually find Gomer.  I mean, in northwest Ohio, there are a lot of places a town of 200 can hide.  Having taken a cursory look at Mapquest, we were convinced that surely we could find Gomer Road (obviously the ONLY road that would lead to the "promised land") somewhere along SR 30 so that's the direction we headed.  We didn't find it.  We did find Mayberry Road and were greatly tempted to follow that....hmmm....but a few u-turns and finally a stop at a nearby Speedway where there was a great debate among those in attendance, we had the directions we needed to Gomer.

The Welsh in America exhibit was being hosted by the Gomer U.C.C. and at the time we arrived was well attended.  In the center of the room were 6 two-sided topical banners telling the story, the history of the Welsh in America, and for us, it was fascinating to feel so connected to this story.  There were some things that we knew, but much we learned.  We now know that Ellis Island was named for a Welshman, Samuel Ellis, who had a tavern on the island, and that the phrase, "keeping up with the Joneses" arose out of 19th century New York when a wealthy Welsh couple named Jones kept improving their estate and their neighbors kept trying to do the same.  We also learned that the Welsh came to America bringing their ideas of equal rights, free speech, and non-conformity (yay!).

Surrounding the room were items from the Gomer Welsh Museum and hostesses served us (frequently!) Welsh treats which we enjoyed greatly (and picked up some recipes for a few) - Welsh cakes, imported Welsh cheese, scones.  Yes, our trip to Gomer was definitely the "win" for the day.

Despite the treats we enjoyed at the Welsh exhibit, we had planned to wrap up our day with a visit to Landeck, home of Keith's Tavern and its "World Famous Fried Chicken."  More country roads, more bean fields, and more trees showing their autumn colors and we pulled into Landeck, passing Kill Road just inside the town limits ~ I commented, "Who would want to live on 'Kill Road'?"  We found Keith's Tavern easily ~ I know, I know, it's not like Gomer and Landeck make it hard on us :) ~ and were seated, fortunately, just before what we are guessing Sunday early evening mass had let out as the place filled almost to capacity about ten minutes after we arrived.

We both ordered the fried chicken and were happy to be seated under the big screen TV so we could get the news that the Rays had clinched first place in the ALC East.  It also helped to pass the time, and I do mean time, that we had to wait for our meal.  Now, maybe someone can comment on here and tell me that "home-fried" chicken takes twenty to twenty-five minutes to prepare...I don't know.  That's why I don't run a restaurant.  But I have had "home-fried" chicken at other places that was served in a considerably shorter time.  That being noted, I do need to say that the chicken I had at Keith's was great, and yes, I licked my fingers when I was done.  So a definite "thumbs up" on the chicken....but the sides, well, let's just say, next time I'll order a four-piece chicken and skip the sides completely.  I had mashed potatoes (pretty sure they were homemade but they were "gummy") and anytime I get coleslaw served in the little plastic container with the cover...well, I just don't go there.  Rolls?  Call me cynical but I'm guessing GFS.  So, our trip to Keith's in Landeck ended up as a "bye."

All in all, not too bad a day for a Sunday Highways and Byways....stay tuned :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

HIGHWAYS & BYWAYS - A Win, Loss, and Bye

Yesterday was our Sunday drive ~ a chilly, windy fall afternoon, but perfect for exploring the highways and byways of NW Ohio and eventually NE Indiana as more Sundays come our way. We had three destinations in mind - the Lincoln Ridge Pumpkin and Mum Festival, Gomer for the traveling Welsh exhibit, and finally, Landeck to try Keith's Tavern's "world famous" fried chicken.

First stop - Lincoln Ridge where we had our "loss" of the day (financially and event-wise). We had read about this festival on the Ohio Tourism site where we were looking forward to "a hay ride.  Go(ing) out into the field and pick(ing our) own pumpkin, just the right one...Have you ever been through a corn tunnel?  Here will be the opportunity to do this and tell all your friends about it.  You can participate in the straw stack, a goat boardwalk and sit back and enjoy the bonfire to warm you up while you enjoy some delicious food." 

Now we are not so naive to believe that all of these "goodies" would be free, but the Ohio Tourism site lists the event itself as "free admission" so you can imagine our surprise when we pulled in the drive to be met by an imposing cowboy-hatted gentlemen you looked us up and down and then said, "It'll be $15.00 for your carload."  So stunned, in fact, that, yes, we just handed over the money, no questions asked :/  I know, I know -- we should have put the car in reverse or inquired what was under the hat....but obviously we were under the total false advertisement hypnotic spell and simply handed Mr. Lincoln Ridge $15.00 as Kevin whispered "Oh, s..."

Trying to think the best, we parked the car and ventured out among the activities, hoping that the purple jack-o-lantern wrist bands we had been gifted with would, indeed, entitle us to free food, free pumpkins, free fun for was for sale.  Pumpkins were 30 cents a pound (I raised and sold pumpkins in a prior life - they weigh a LOT!).  However, there, was one freebie that we got to enjoy (worth the $15? I'll let you decide).  When we had the Pumpkin Patch, Dad alway "dreamed" (or joked, lol) about having a pumpkin catapult -- here's the "Punkin Chunkin" we got to experience at Lincoln Ridge -- all $15 worth of it :)

Check in tomorrow as things improved greatly when we found Gomer (yep, Gomer!) and finished up with supper at Landeck.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Lots to treasure this Tuesday so let's get started....first, in case you haven't heard ~ I'm going to be a Mimi again! How exciting is that!  I must say that the "first time around" with Miss Abby has been more than incredible, so the bar has been set very, very high for grandchild #2, but I have no doubt that he or she (we find out in just another week or so!) will have no trouble warming our hearts every bit as much :).

Next, if you are an artisan, crafter, or "creator-wanna-be," don't miss out on ArtFire's one-time, limited offer to open a Pro-Account Shop on their awesome site for only $5.95 per month for life....FOR LIFE....yes, I said, for life....NO OTHER FEES with ArtFire ~ no listing fees, no percentage of your sale fee....this is a GREAT deal, especially given the marketing tools and support that ArtFire provides.  I've had a basic shop for some time now - not wanting to make the $$ commitment to go "pro" - but with this offer, I'm "in" for sure.  Compared to Etsy, this really will be a bargain ~ and ArtFire has become Etsy's equivalent (and is edging ahead, some say) in the quality "handmade" marketplace.  Take a look around -- see what's offered & give it some serious thought....but don't take too long.  This "treasure" is only good before October 1st!  After that, the Pro Accounts will remain at their $15.95 per month level.  Eek!

A reminder of my special upcoming Mimi-addition and another "heirloom" treasure I'd like to share with you is a custom order bracelet that was ordered just this week from the SignatureSterling Etsy shop"Grandma's Gems" is available for up to 16 (!!!) grandchildren (this picture shows a bracelet made for 5 grandchildren, using 2 birthstones for each one).  Called "Grandma's Gems," this can also be designed as a mother's bracelet and is made using all sterling silver, Swarovski pearls and crystals.  I'm reminded this week that I still need to make one for myself! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010


First really chilly and rainy day of fall here ~ and of course, a Monday, to beat....but no blues, okay?  New cure for the Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, get the idea...) blahs is to try a glass (ok, maybe 2) of  vino from Cupcake Vineyards of the Central Coast, California. 

We first tried this favorite while in SW Florida on our honeymoon in June and loved the smoothness of the Chardonnay.  Now, you need to understand our "skilled" expertise at selecting wines....first, we look within the price range we are willing and able to buy (just being honest, here, right?!); second, we look for a label that catches our eye - that's the fun part - labels can be so creative; then, finally, we check the size of the punt, having heard "through the grapevine" (ha, ha, ha!) that a good punt means a better wine ~ we have no idea as to the factual basis of that but we like thinking that at least one of our criteria sounds like we know what we're talking about (especially when we tell people we pick our wine by the label!) :)

But, seriously, this little treat has been a special one for us ~ we've had a hard time finding it back here at home.  We were able to find other Cupcake Vineyard varieties ~ Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot ~ but not the Chardonnay, even checking our best "go-to" places (Cupcake Vineyard DOES ship, but not to our state).  I was thrilled when I discovered two bottles when shopping in my daughter's college town ~ and yes, I bought them both :)

List price for the Cupcake Chardonnay is $12.00 ~ I was able to pick up our last two bottles for $9.99.  Icing on the cake :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hey, Women - Girl Up!!

Ok, I know, I know, I am so NOT in the targeted demographics for this organization, but I was so moved, motivated and made more mindful of myself and my world when I heard Elizabeth Gore from speak yesterday on MSNBC that I had to share...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy 
GirlUp, a United Nations Foundation, has TONS of information and resources to share here, but the best way to help is to take the "Give a High Five" Challenge NOW ~ don't wait ~ it's easy-peasy...just spread the word, spend $5 (c'mon, cheaper than a pizza and a little more than a large latte), and tweet, tweet, tweet ~ especially to any girls you know.  Let's go, ladies -- GirlUp! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Being the Water

It has been a month ~ a year ~ of incredible changes...deep life changes for me and those that I love.  I have been so very blessed to discover my life and love partner and celebrate our new journey with our family around in us in the most intimate, "made for us" wedding.  My youngest daughter, so gifted and talented in many areas, has now graduated from high school and is excitedly preparing for her new journey ~ college ~ where a new world awaits to help her discover and develop those gifts and talents even more.  I was able to embrace my son after two years away in Africa, home to celebrate all these milestone events with us and share with us the wonder, joy, and challenges of his work with the Peace Corps ~ and understood more fully in my heart that his true home, at least for now, is, indeed, across the ocean, in a village who loves and needs him, in a country he has come to love as well.  I am amazed at the miracle of my granddaughter who just, it seems, a twinkling ago, was a babe in arms, and now toddles around, babbling, signing words, and of course, speaking the word that will always melt my heart, "Mimi." :)

I have watched my mother grow stronger each day, rediscovering herself, step-by-step, as she walks now alone after the death of my father ~ such a challenging walk, but such strength she has shown and what new roads may lay ahead?

All of this change, even the most positive and wondrous events, can be head-spinning and heart-stirring.  When my son was home, he posted a quote from a Greek philosopher on his Facebook wall ~ "You can never step in the same river twice."  Change, good - bad - just change, is inevitable.  Nothing remains the same.  When I start to feel overwhelmed by the change around me (and yes, even all the good change can become overwhelming....along with graduations and college and weddings and happy sons in Africa and daughters and granddaughters and mothers come planning and more planning and did I say planning and moving and maybe moving and commuting and calendars and vacations and financial planning yes, you get the point), I hold on to the phrase "be the water."  Just go with the flow - let go - don't try to plant your feet in the sand and stand still against the waves.  Just be the water and flow with it.

I think tomorrow afternoon's weather looks good for heading out to the farm to do some floating on the pond.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TUESDAY'S TREAT - Luck o' the Irish Sale

Well, aren't you the lucky one ~ you've stumbled on the perfect Tuesday Treat today, even better than a shamrock or a friendly leprechaun!  In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, today's treat will last ALL WEEK long (ending Friday, March 19th, midnight, EST) and is an unbelievable lucky BOGO (buy one, get one half off) that is good on anything in the shop except custom orders and shipping.  WOW!  Now that's some Irish luck for you!

So, stop by the SignatureSterling Etsy shop now for the best selection before another lad or lassie gets first pick!  Be sure to put "TREAT" in the "Notes to Seller" at checkout and wait for a revised invoice before making payment (or if you prefer to make full payment immediately, I will refund your BOGO discount through PayPal).  Discount applies to equal or lesser value item purchased and multiple items may be combined and receive this discount ~ but remember, custom orders and shipping do not apply.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Also, don't forget, "local" friends of SignatureSterling always receive free shipping!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!