Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Dinner with Murphy's Law

I hope and pray everyone had a fabulous Christmas this year.  I had an interesting Christmas to say the least, and still I am blessed by Him whose birth we celebrate.

I'm gonna tell the story of my crazy Christmas dinner, starting with Christmas eve. 

It all started Friday (Christmas eve) at approximately 6pm when I opened the oven to put the apple pies in to bake.  EEK...there was not a drop of heat in my oven, it wasn't even warm, so I yelled loud enough for Pete, my husband, to hear:  "problem, we've got a big problem!".  Pete came down and played with the oven for a bit, then tested the element by checking the cleaning cycle.  The heating element was working, but this Fault code kept appearing.  Murphy's law has arrived!

As Pete is working on the oven, I'm thinking about the 14 pound turkey I've got in the fridge to cook tommorrow.  How am I going to cook that??  Pete kept telling me to take deep breaths, it will all work out. (my thought to that was:  deep breaths aren't going to make my oven work)

As I'm thinking all these GREAT thoughts about Christmas dinner, I've still got 2 apple pies to bake.  Pete decided if we can maintain a 200 degree temperature by turning the cleaning cycle on and off, we would be ok.  How many of you ladies reading this think that is a crazy idea??

We did exactly that, with Pete monitoring the temperature while the pies are in the oven.  My pies normally take about 1 hour to cook, well...I was 'slow cooking' these 2 apple pies for sure.  I finally gave up at midnight (the pies weren't getting brown), knowing it was going to be an interesting Christmas dinner the next day.  Murphy is still visiting.

Moving on to Christmas day:

I wake up at 6am, thinking of all the things needing to be done, and how it was going to get done with an oven that is not cooperating.  So I clean the bird, make the stuffing, place it in the roaster, all the while trying to time everything out with an adjustment for 'slow cooking' beings we were only able to maintain about a 200 degree temperature by turning the clean cycle on and off.  Pete is now awake (it is about 8am) and I tell him, 'we have got to get this bird in the oven, to make sure it is done by 2pm (dinner time)'  Pete was my 'heat monitor' for the oven, and he was turning it on and off throughout the day to maintain the 200 degree temperature.

So now I'm thinking to myself, just maybe it will all work out ok.  And then I hear beeping in the kitchen-it was the oven yet again, and Pete tells me a different fault code is now showing, and he can't even turn the oven on.  This was about 12:20pm (dinner is scheduled for 2pm) and I was thinking 'NOW WHAT'!
Murphy - GO AWAY!

My brain was working overtime to figure out how to finish cooking this big bird.  I've got it:  the grill!!  So I had Pete fire up the grill to preheat it.  He took the turkey out and put it on the grill, then comes back in the house and tells me we are out of gas for the grill.  (Murphy really needs to end his visit with this house now)Oh no....now what?  Pete gets his coat on, and says I'm going to find somewhere to get gas for the grill.  I'm thinking, it's Christmas day, where in the world is he going to gas for the grill today?!

Thank God for Home Depot's automated machines!  Put the empty canister in, swipe your card, full canister appears.  Yeah, we're in business again!

So, Pete comes back with gas for the grill, connects everything up, gets the grill started and preheated, takes the turkey out and we are going to get it all done.  I'm inside doing mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, etc etc etc., when I went to open a cabinet door and not paying attention to which door I was opening, smacked myself in the head pretty hard with the cabinet door.  Murphy is still here.

Pete comes back in the house to me in tears because I hit my head.  I've even got a bit of knot on my head.  I said "Murphy really needs to go away", and of course, Pete laughed.

I got it all done, and everything was tasty I was told.  The slow cooked apple pies weren't all that great, but Pete says they are fine.  He would as apple is his favorite pie.

All in all, it was a very interesting day for sure.  Usually before this type of dinner I am a bit nervous and have butterflies in my belly, this Christmas I wasn't nervous at all about the big dinner.  Murphy sure fixed that.

Hope you all enjoyed reading about my Christmas dinner with Murphy's law, it was interesting!

Be Blessed!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Presents that Pamper

Do you like to be pampered?  Even better:  do you like to receive presents that pamper?  I believe these can be the best type of presents to give and receive.  Take a look at some of the items I am featuring today.  All items are from Etsy shops who are also members of teams I also am a member of.  The teams are CASTteam (Christian Artist Street Team), CAPSteam, (Christian Artists Promoting Shops), and the Burghteam (Pittsburgh and surrounding areas).

Enjoy and be pampered!

From the CASTteam:

Dead Sea Bath Salts from LusciousLather's shop.

Visit her shop on Etsy:


From the CAPSteam, a wonderful bath 'candle'.  Check out topc's shop for more unique and pampering gifts.   http://www.topc.etsy.com/.

From the Burghteam, something to pamper the man in your life from SugarSugarScrub's shop.

Visit SugarSugarScrub's shop to find more pampering presents for yourself or even for the man in your life.

From the CASTteam:  want to feel like you are at a spa in your bathtub?  Check out the bath tea's from baghdadbum's shop.

Joe has some wonderful and fantastic smelling products, some even work in the shower!

Pamper yourself by going to http://www.baghdadbum.etsy.com/.

From the CAPSteam:

Bath Salts with Dried Rose Petals and Herbs from whatshername's shop.

Visit whatshername's shop to find even more pampering uniquely crafted items.  http://www.whatshername.etsy.com/

Have a wonderfully pampered day today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It Is the Christmas Season, Not JUST a Holiday

I received the following in an email today and thought it so fitting for those of us who ARE Christians to take a stand.  My husband, Pete, and I were shopping at a local store here and I heard the cashier, as we were getting ready to check out, say to the previous customer: "Merry.....oops...happy holidays.".  Then I asked her about it and she told me she could get fired for saying Merry Christmas.

She went on to say that management in her store states that the term Christmas is offensive.  Isn't it strange how these companies will bow down to the 10% of folks in this country who are not Christians?  I am offended when they don't say MERRY CHRISTMAS. 

So here goes, for all the world to see, the poem I received in an email today:

Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with
cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Fran ken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas;
it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton,
Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word,
as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged
and discarded*
*The reason for the season,
stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break'
under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during theholidays a
Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!

I felt this is a fitting way to share this beings I don't like to forward emails.  (My inbox is too full already)
Had it not been for Jesus Christ, there would not be a Holiday to celebrate so 

I wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS season, and all be blessed by the reason for this season!

Please note:  if I have offended you in any way by this post, I WILL be praying that you see the light and are removed from darkness!

Beaded jewelry by CreationsbyTricia

I have finally been able to finish a few pieces of jewelry.  I'll be listing them on Etsy daily.  Let me know what you think.  Going to post just a few pictures here.  The first picture I did list today.  All opinions and comments are welcome.

The above photo is black agate and crystals in 2 different colors.


I think these look pretty good, and there is a bracelet I am working on to complete the set.  Thank you for any comments, it is appreciated!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Encouragement for the Discouraged

Whew, is it really already December 1?  This year of change sure has gone way too quick for me.  All this change can be a bit overwhelming at times, and sometimes it can really get to you.  I am generally not a negative soul, but yesterday discouragement really set in hard, and I was nearly in tears. (Yikes!!  that is definitely NOT me)  But God is certainly good and He has a plan for me.

After being near tears yesterday, I posted in my team's forum on Etsy to please pray for me.  I received lots of encouragement from my fellow sisters and brothers and it definitely helped to stall the discouragment I was feeling.  This morning I received even more encouragement as I was reading my Bible and devotions.  Here's the statement I read by Max Lucado, and ohh how true this is:

 ' Though the road to the palace takes a detour through the prison, it eventually ends up at the throne.'

This statement is so true, even through the detours of this life, God is always there.  It is so amazing how God loves us!  I received even more encouragement this morning when I opened up my Etsy account thru another sister who 'convoed' me with words of encouragement.  I am truly blessed.

When flesh gets in my way, I have to remember a saying I've used quite often: 'if God brings you to it, He WILL get you thru it' whatever it may be. 

I know in my heart and soul God gave me the ability and talent to make and create jewelry.  I know in my heart and soul God told me to open this bead shop in Uniontown, PA.  I know in my heart and soul God led me to the Etsy site.  And I know in my heart and soul He led me to the teams I have joined there for encouragement. 

Take a look at this wonderful artwork in one of my teammate's shops.   I would like to use to say thank you to all who blessed me with encouragement, by using a beautiful thank you card I found there.

You can find beautiful note cards, Christmas cards and more in Phyllis's shop.


Phyllis' work is absolutely gorgeous, check out her shop and see her beautiful artwork in cards.

I pray everyone has a fabulous day today!
Be blessed!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Buy Local Saturday

Another big shopping day is happening today:  Buy Local Saturday.  Yesterday was Black Friday and Monday will be cyber Monday for all of you online shoppers.  This year we have started a new day in the seasonal shopping mix, and that day is 'Buy Local Saturday". 

Support your local small businesses today (and always) by buying local. 

My store is a member of our local buy local network, which is a culmination of local businesses who have gotten together to promote each other and offer discounts to shoppers who carry the buy local network card for our area.  All card members for this entire week will receive a free gift from buy local merchants when they use their card this week.  As this is National Buy Local Week (Friday, November 26 - Sunday, December 5, 2010) I humbly request that you do support your local businesses.

Here is a picture of the cute bear ornament we are giving away to celebrate and gift our local customers.

Have a great day today and remember to support your local small businesses it is appreciated more than you could imagine.

Don't forget coupon code(BLKFRDYCBRMON10) is valid in my etsy shop (http://www.creationsbytricia.etsy.com/) until Monday at 11:59pm EST.

Have a day filled with blessings today!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Savings Coupon

I am on just a bit earlier than usual today to offer a coupon at my Etsy shop (http://www.creationsbytricia.etsy.com/) for this start of the Christmas shopping season.

Use coupon code BLKFRDYCBRMON10 at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order from my shop.

Have a beautifully blessed day for the start of this Christmas shopping season!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It is Thanksgiving Everyday!

You know tommorrow, Thanksgiving, is all about giving thanks for what we have. We set aside one day every year and call it Thanksgiving, I think thanksgiving should be happening daily! I know many do already give thanks daily, but we should be celebrating daily in our thanksgiving.

As you know from previous posts I have been thru a lot of change this year, well, apparently God has even more change in store for my family.  My husband will be permanently laid off from his job of 10 years on December 6 of this year.  My initial thought was: 'yikes, another change, the bead store isn't quite producing yet, what are we going to do?'  Pete's (my husband) first reaction was anger, of which I can understand.  We are now giving thanks that Pete will be permanently laid off. 

Pete has wanted to go to school for the better of 20 years, but it was not possible with the finances and time necessary.  It is now!   Pete is able to go to school, have the majority of it paid for by the government (WARN act) and still collect unemployment.  It will probably still be a bit of a struggle with finances, but I know God has a plan for us, a plan to prosper and not harm, plans to give us a hope and a future (Jer 29:11).  I give thanks to God for all He does and will give thanks daily.  Sometimes I do have to remember this acronym:  False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR) and then I remember all that God has done for me and I again give thanks to Him!

As I am typing this I listen to KLove radio, and this song just started:  Give thanks to the Lord Our God and King, His love endures forever!  That is kinda funny, because I want to end my post today by spotlighting a fellow teammember, and I know who that is to be now.

http://hislovenduresforever.etsy.com/  click to check out the many great things in this store.

Happy Thanksgiving All....don't eat too much turkey!

God Bless you!          Tricia

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas gifts under ten dollars!

Here is a treasury of Christmas gifts all for under $10.00.  It is a BNR (buy and replace) treasury that I was asked if I would like one of my items to be featured in, and all I need to do is promote it.  Not a hard thing to do when all these handmade gifts look so lovely.

Click, comment and enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New listing on Etsy

I finally finished this beaded necklace.  I decided to make it a single strand as opposed to doubling it up with the seaweed quartz necklace.
Have a great day!

Monday, November 15, 2010


We had an absolutely wonderful service yesterday at church.  The presence of God was absolutely awesome and the Spirit was moving.  I would call yesterday's service 'A Holy Ghost Service'!  It always amazes me when He shows up like that. 

When we suffer from the folowing, we can miss out on services such as described.

MY-ITIS (egocentric syndrome)

A very infectious disease that affects a number of people.  Symptoms include the constant use of the words: "I, me, my, mine."  No matter what subject is being discussed, the infected person's comments will be laced with these words.  The cause is a lack of love and concern for others.


The 'prescription' to treat this disease includes the following:

  • Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself.
  • Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
  • Think as Christ Jesus thought.  (Philippians 2:3-5)
Here are some follow up testing for you to check yourselves:

If one has been cured of this dreadful disease, his or her comments will be laced with:  "you, your, yours".

Periodical testing is recommended as the condition may reoccur.

I hope you enjoyed reading this today.  I hope to have some new listings up tommorrow and will post them here as well as Etsy.

Have a stupendously blessed day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Treasuries to see


Check out this lovely treasury in shades of blue that was put together by one of my CAPS teammateson Etsy.  Just love the different shades of blue.

Here's another with handmade Christmas gifts all under $20.00.    http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4cdb1ba0fce66d91cce4afeb/gift-ideas-20-and-less-from-the-cast

Enjoy taking a peek at all the wonderful handmade and vintage gifts on Etsy.  Please click and comment on the treasuries, we appreciate it for sure.

God Bless you and have a fabulous day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1 strand or 2 strand beaded necklace??

I am working on this beaded necklace that I originally planned to make a 2 strand, but now I am not sure.  I do like it as a two strand, but I also like the 2 strands as individual necklaces.  Hmmmm, now I am in a quandry as to what to do with this beaded necklace.

I posted pictures showing it as a 2 strand beaded necklace, and also as individual beaded necklaces.  Tell me what you think.  Any opinions, constructive criticism and comments are appreciated.

Friday, November 5, 2010


     I am learning so much about Etsy, it is just amazing.  You can read thru the forum threads and find the answer to just about any question.  If you can't find the answer you are looking for, post a new thread and it is guaranteed there will be many Etsians to help out and give support and answers.  I am so awed by it all beings a newbie on Etsy. 

     As I was searching thru the forums yesterday looking for an answer to one of the many questions that have run thru my brain since I started this Etsy adventure, I found another team I will be joining.  It is amazing what God brings to you even when you are not looking.  The CAST team is very supportive of their team, they have prayer lists in their forum threads, they promote their fellow team members, and from what I have read there is no negativity in the threads.  Absolutely awesome!! 

A group of Christian Artists and Artisans who believe Etsy is a great place to buy and sell handcrafted, family friendly items. We only ask that all of the items in your shop are "Family-Friendly". No adult content, profanity, nudity, etc.)

There are no requirements other than a willingness to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior. If you'd like to pop in and say hello, or ask some questions in a positive and supportive manner, we'd love to have you.

This is the original post of the thread I started reading yesterday, this alone created a desire within me to join this team, as I read thru the posts I was/am very encouraged. 

As I have been reading the forum for answers to my questions, I have noticed an overwhelming negative flow to many of the posts and was getting a bit discouraged.  Sure there are changes taking place on the Etsy site, life is all about change, but we shouldn't let that change negatively affect us.  You should always look at the positive side of things, it is a choice!

I am excited that God showed this team to me.  I am no longer discouraged but ENCOURAGED to be joining a team of like minded brothers and sisters in Christ!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rubies and Apatite times 2

As you know from my previous post, I was gifted some gorgeous Burmese ruby and apatite beads.  It was fun coming up with something for them.  I was able to make two (2) necklace and earring sets with the ruby and apatite beads. 

The first necklace and earring set I did with just the 2 stones and accented with Sterling silver tubes and spacers.  I finished the necklace with a sterling silver 's' clasp.  This first set I will most likely list in my Etsy shop soon.  Let me know what you think!

And here is the second set I did.  I used some hematite tubes for spacers and just a bit of contrast in the piece.  Being the stones were gifted to me, I believe I will keep this set for myself.  Can't ever have too much jewelry in my opinion. 

I finished the necklace with a handmade clasp I created with a couple sterling silver headpins. 

I think the rubies and apatite beads look really good in both pieces. 

Do you like one over the other?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baci Beads are here!!

Finally, my Baci beads have arrived in the store.  Haven't gotten a 'real' display for them just yet, but have them in a tray for now.  Pete has got to make me a display for them.

Here is a picture of what I did receive at the store, and so everyone knows:  you can look thru the catalog and special order anything you like!  Enjoy

Have a super day all!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rubies and Apatite

This past Friday I was blessed with some amazing ruby and apatite beads.  Just for helping someone out with a ride to Pittsburgh.  Amazing how God works and blesses when we are obedient. 

All we (Pete and I) did was agree to help a gentleman out by giving him a ride to the airport so he could be with his family.

The beads he gave me are absolutely awesome!  After doing some research on Burmese rubies, I found out what these beads cost, and all I can say is WOW!!  After looking around in my own stash and not finding anything that would work well together with these beads, I decided to use just the 2 stones, rubies and apatite, with sterling silver findings.

The apatite beads are also very fine beads.  Researching apatite, I found it too is a wonderful quality stone.  It can be mistaken for topaz, tourmaline and a few other stones out there.  Hence the apatite name's origins being from the greek word to deceive.   

Still working out the detail with the first necklace as you can see.  I like the effect of the rubies and apatite together, but I think there needs to be more sterling in the mix. 

My designs are never drawn out on paper, I do better designs when I start by just putting things together, so the process sometimes involves stringing and restringing and then restringing again until it looks right in my eyes.  Have an opinion on the 'unfinished' piece pictured below?  I welcome your comments, criticism and opinion.  ALL are most definitely welcome.  When I do get this piece finished I will be sure to post it!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Aventurine, hematite and glass necklace by CreationsbyTricia

Here is an awesome gemstone necklace and earring set I created just last week.  I haven't yet decided if I am going to list this one Etsy.  I think I am going to display it in the bead shop for now. 

I started the necklace with the glass, top drilled, tear drop shaped beads and the blue aventurine.  I really liked the way it was looking but it just seemed like way too much in the blue department.  I found some 5mm hematite rounds in my stash and when placed next to and in between the glass and blue aventurine, I was really pleased.  At first I was just going to string it on one strand because I didn't have enough of any of the beads to make it 2 strand all the way around. 

After staring at the necklace for a day trying to figure how I was going to finish the piece, I again went to my stash.  Wallah...I found these teeny tiny seed beads (I believe they are 15/0) in two different shades of blue.  I had an ahah moment and varigated the two colors of blue and finished off with a unique and different toggle clasp in sterling silver.

Blue is not one of my favorite colors, but I really like this piece.  What do you think?  I love to hear (see) opinions, constructive criticism, and suggestions.

Have a fabulous day!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baci bead wrong turn

I ordered Baci beads on the 8th of this month and they are still not here at the store.  UGH....I put calls in to my rep and found out that UPS apparently tried to deliver the package 2 times and decided to reject delivery to the store address.  After speaking to my rep, and not understanding why this company did not call me after the package was returned the first time, I found out there was an input error to the delivery address.

They had the store address as 127 E. Fayette street, (the correct address being 127 W. Fayette).  Hopefully that has been corrected and I will have Baci beads in the store on Monday.

Baci beads are a large hole bead that is very similiar to a Pandora bead.  I have had many requests here for Pandora beads, but even at wholesale prices, they were way to costly for this bead store.  After lots of research, and a very nice salesman visiting the store, we took the plunge and ordered a supply of Baci beads, and bracelets. 

Hopefully there are no more wrong turns for the order of Baci beads to the store.  I am looking forward to seeing, feeling and touching them.  Maybe even put some bracelets together in 'Pittsburgh colors' of black and gold.

Happy beading!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tiger's eye, Black onyx and African striped agate by CreationsbyTricia

Tiger's eye, black onyx and african striped agate make up the beaded chain to capture the beauty of this pendant.  I tried to capture the beauty of the pendant in a picture, but just couldn't do it much justice.

This pendant truly captivated me.  I wanted to create a beaded chain to do justice to this gorgeous pendant.  I just listed the necklace and earring set at my Etsy shop.  To check it out there go to http://www.creationsbytricia.etsy.com/

It took me a couple weeks to design a necklace around this pendant, funny thing is I am not even sure what the stone is in this pendant.  I just knew I had to come up with something simple, yet elegant. I received this in a 'grab box' from one of my bead store's suppliers, so it was not labeled, hence not knowing the actual stone's name.  If you have any idea from the picture what stone it is, I would absolutely love to know.  You can comment or leave me an email if you have an idea.

Here is a picture of what I came up with after drooling over the pendant for a couple weeks.  Let me know what you think about it.  I used Tiger's eye rondelles, 4mm black onyx rounds, 6mm African striped agate, and gave it some polish with Sterling silver spacer beads.  I would love to hear your opinions, just leave a comment.

And here is one more picture with a different color background.

Thanks for all comments, constructive criticism and opinions, I appreciate.

Enjoy Tiger's eye, black onyx and African striped agate by CreationsbyTricia.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Welcome to CreationsbyTricia's blog

Hello and welcome to my blog!  I will start by introducing myself:  I am Tricia Graft, jewelry designer, bead store owner and teacher of everything beady.  I have been creating jewelry for a few years now and am learning new things daily.  I have recently started 'playing' with wire and have some wonderful wireworked pieces of beaded jewelry.

This has been a year of change for me and mine.  After getting discouraged by ordering my beads and supply online not just once, but 2 times, my husband and I decided we need a bead store in this here town of ours.  So in April of this year we did just that and opened up a bead store in Uniontown, PA.  Check out our website at http://www.graftunlimited.com/.  At our store we carry semi precious gemstone, glass, and pearl beads; I teach basic beading classes, and of course I create new jewelry pieces daily.  I also take items from local artists in the area on consignment, and sell lots of unique, one of a kind necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more.

Recently I opened a shop at etsy.com, and this blog is to promote both my work and our recently opened bead store.  I will include pictures of what I am working on, finished pieces and sets, and sometimes even beads that have been ordered/received at our store. 

This blog is an open forum and I welcome any comments, questions, constructive criticism, compliments et at.  When I've uploaded new listings on etsy.com I will 'blog' it too.  Check out my etsy shop at http://www.creationsbytricia.etsy.com/ and let me know what you think. 

Have a fabulous day!