Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

Thirty Word Thursday: Big Boy

I'm a Big Boy

I’m a Big Boy



Don’t help me

I can do it myself

I’m a big boy, just like my brothers

Keep your hands back

The hardest job for a parent or grandparent

Let him do it himself


Thirty word Thursday:   use only 30 words to descrie the tone of a photo.   Join Erin Prais-Hintz and others at Treasures Found blog every Thursday.








January 30, 2014 Posted by | Jewelry, Kid Stuff | , , , | 12 Comments

Thirty Word Thursday #1

Where Are You Going?
Where Are You Going?

Where Are You Goin

Boys,  hot sun, cool water, stone,  your heart one step behind until they’re grown, what lies ahead? adventures, perils? no matter what comes your love will follow, keeping them strong


Thirty Word Thursday

Take a photo of your own.  Use only 30 words to put down your feelings/thoughts.   Only 30.   Its not easy.

Join Erin Prais_Hintz of Treasures Found, who started this challenge and some other friends.   Let’s have some fun.

January 16, 2014 Posted by | Kid Stuff | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Save This Date


Art Charm Auction fundraiser for Beads of Courage

Art Charm Auction fundraiser for Beads of Courage

November 15, 2013 is the date of the fundraiser auction for Beads of Courage.   I’ll tell you all about the Art Charm Exchange later.   Many artists have created art charms……10 to swap and one for the auction.   These works of art will be auctioned off to benefit Beads of Courage.   We want to raise a lot of money for this great organization so I’ll be asking everyone I know to check out the auction.   Right now, I want to tell you about Beads of Courage.

Beads of Courage

Beads of Courage

I’m taking most of this directly from the web pages because they tell the story much better than I can.

Jean Baruch, a pediatric oncology nurse, was good at hanging IV bags and checking vital signs, but she had a harder time helping her young patients deal with the emotional effects of having cancer. “I wanted to encourage them to express their pain and fear, but I didn’t know how,” she says. “It was very frustrating.”

She discovered a solution while working at one of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang summer camps. The camp, which hosts children and families coping with cancer and other serious illnesses, gave Baruch unique insight into how kids play. She noticed that campers of all ages love beading. They spend hours making necklaces and bracelets, then trade or share them with friends and family. “The kids wear the beads for days at a time, even in the shower,” she notes. “It seems to make them feel good.”

Hoping that beads could cheer up young cancer patients in hospitals the same way they do at camp, Baruch founded Beads of Courage in 2004.

Children who participate in the program receive colored beads that represent milestones, procedures, and acts of bravery. For instance, they get a yellow bead for an overnight hospital stay, a white one for chemotherapy, and a glow-in-the-dark bead for radiation treatment. It’s not uncommon for children to amass 10, 20 — even 35 — feet of beads. It helps young patients track and celebrate their progress, but it also gives them a way to get through upcoming procedures, says Gwendolyn Possinger, the coordinator of Children’s Memorial Hospital’s Beads of Courage program in Chicago. “A child facing another needle can look at his beads and realize that he made it through before so he can do it again,” she says.

Today the nonprofit organization supports more than 10,000 children in 60 hospitals in the United States, Japan, New Zealand, and Ireland and is funded exclusively by private donations. With the help of participating hospitals, Beads of Courage is also constantly evolving. Baruch and her team have expanded the program to include many conditions and diseases. They also focus on other ways the arts can help families dealing with a serious illness.

What a wonderful way to use the arts to benefit kids and their families who are going through agonies while their children suffer.   I know first hand how much a simple piece of jewelry can mean to a child who is suffering through numerous treatments and interminable pain.   Read my blog about my young friend, Casey, and how much a simple necklace helped him and you might understand  more about Beads of Courage.   I believe it is a wonderful project.


November 3, 2013 Posted by | Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bubble Wands, Buttons and Obsessions

Most of the folks I know who make and sell jewelry, are gearing up for the holiday season, making jewelry that relates to winter and Christmas. Me? I’ve got my mind on kids….what to make them for stocking stuffers and what they can make to give to other people. And, I have to admit, my little ADHD brain flits from one project to another. Spend a week with my and you will see.

Monday: I saw a pattern for “fairy” bubble wands and thought they would be fun for some little girls that I know (well, and I might like one also). I made some. They were easy. BUT…I can’t decide if I like them with little flowers wired to them or just beads, or flowers and ribbons, or beads and flowers.

fairy bubble wands

fairy bubble wands

Tuesday:  I saw the cutest thing in a magazine at the doctor’s office and thought it would be a cool gift for a little girl.   You use an embroidery hoop and yarn and make this thingie.   You hang it on the wall and it holds scrunchies and barrettes.  So, I had to make one of those.

scrunchie holder

scrunchie holder

I saw another picture in a magazine.  The idea was for kids to take an everyday washer from the hardware store and paint it with nail polish, then hang it from a cord and make a cool necklace.   You know I can’t just use nail polish or anything so simple.   I sponge painted some washers I had.  I left some others plain.  I used the plain ones to make two of my little guys necklaces and used the painted ones to make bracelets.   They are just starting to like jewelry.   My little brain got so carried away that the kids will have no fun at all making these because I have used all the washers.

Here are the necklaces.

boyish necklaces

boyish necklaces

And the bracelets



Wednesday, I was supposed to be working in the yard but I got a bit distracted when I saw a picture of these Zen spiral necklaces.   I made 2 and a pair of earrings.   They could go for either a boy or girl (I have plenty of each).

Zen spiral necklace

Zen spiral necklace

Thursday it was way too hot to work outside.  I played around on the computer for a while and saw a tutorial to make these cute little earrings out of buttons.   After I got the housework done, I sat around inside and watched a movie or two while I made the earrings.   I might have got just a bit obsessed with them because I ended up with twenty four pair of them.   YES, I said 24!  Stop laughing!   Aren’t they cute?   I call them my Hippy Dippy Peace Freak Flower Power Earrings.   ………And YES, I know I am supposed to be organized and thinking up winter jewelry.   I got distracted.   It happens!

Hippy Dippy Peace Freak Flower Power Earrings

Hippy Dippy Peace Freak Flower Power Earrings

Cute as a Button!

Cute as a Button!

Over the weekend, I decided I had flitted around all week and it was time to finish up some projects I had started a couple of weeks ago.  One necklace had a curious crimp on one side of it and had to be restrung.   I got it right this time.

black and silver necklace

black and silver necklace

I had made these filagree and flower pieces and could not decide if I wanted them to be Big Ole Hootchie Mama Earrings or brooches.  Finally decided on one pair or earrings and two brooches.   One will go to my mom.   Hey, at least I’m in a FALL  color mode!


Next on my agenda was to make one new thing this week out of a book I had bought.   My goal is to duplicate most of the pieces in said book and by doing so, hone my skills with multistrand necklaces.   This is the fifth piece I’ve tried, not copied, but modified and made it my own.    I”m not sure I am happy with this one.   I may make a change and tweak it just a bit more.   Some things have to be tweaked before I am satisfied with them.   Some have to be tweaked more than once.

piece BT (before tweaking)

piece BT (before tweaking)

Sunday we got some cooler weather so I gave myself a break and got out of the house.   I roamed around two different flea markets, talked to some people and bought 3 tiny cactus plants.   They are so cute.   I want to make a sort of zen cactus garden  with rocks and crystals and succulents in a size that I can take outside next spring then bring back into the house. next fall.    Again, I am not thinking FALL jewelry.   But, that’s the way I roll.

September 17, 2013 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, Kid Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Handmade Heritage

If you have followed my blog, you know how many things I do with my grandkids.  We try a lot of different crafts and I encourage them to make the gifts that they give for holidays.   I am proud of the things that I make and I want them to take pride in what they do also.

My grandson Justin, who we affectionately call Jaybird had a birthday last week.   I found a potholder loom kit at JoAnn’s Fabric and bought that and an extra package of loops for his gift.   I thought that it would be an easy craft to learn.   I had fond childhood memories of making potholders with my sister and hiking up and down the country road where we lived and selling them to neighbors.    I know he loves to make things and is a good little crafter so I had hopes that he would like this kit.  How many of you can remember making potholders or some other craft when you were a kid and going around the neighborhood to sell your creations?

Yesterday, he spent the day with me.   He brought his loom and loops.   He had figured out how to weave the loops through but didn’t know how to get the pot holder off the loom.   I showed him that.  Then I showed him 3 different patterns to make.   He was so cute and so excited about his potholders!  He kept going back and picking up the loom and made 4 different potholders in all.   Before he went home, I took a picture of him and his 4 styles and put it up on Facebook.  One of my friends happened to be online and commented under the picture that she wanted 2.   He got so excited that he already had an order!

Jay with his 4 styles of potholders

Jay with his 4 styles of potholders


Later last night, I got on Facebook again and Jay’s mom had posted this picture as her status saying it must be exhausting to run your own business!


our little businessman

our little businessman


We got such a kick out of this!   I called him this morning to let him know that he had more orders.   I told him one lady wanted 10 potholders.  Oh wow, was his response!  I said that will be 17.50 and he told me, “Mimi”, I will be SWIMMING in money!!!

My daughter and I were talking about his enthusiasm this morning and we have decided that each of the small boys will get different kits for their birthdays and they can all “sell” their products.   All 3 have birthdays within an month of each other.   This simple birthday gift has turned into a wonderful opportunity to learn not only the sense of accomplishment of making your own gifts, but math and business skills that they would not learn until they were much older.

Well, I am off to Jo ann’s to buy more loops for the potholder king.


July 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Cherry Pickin’ Time

Just LOOK at this cherry!   Is this not picture perfect?    My beautiful cherry tree was just loaded with these beauties!


picture perfect cherry

picture perfect cherry

When the cherries get ripe everybody comes pickin”.   We had as many as 3 people in the tree at once.   Josh even got up on the roof to reach some of the higher branches and Jessie climbed so high we couldn’t spot her way up in the branches.



Josh getting JAM cherries

Josh getting JAM cherries


Jessie is up there somewhere

Jessie is up there somewhere


When almost all of the cherries were picked…….except for a few at the tippy top that we left for the birds, we had a little celebration with sparklers and popscicles and ice cream cones.  There was a lot of whooping and hollerin about who got the most cherries and who was the best picker.

get off me dog!

get off me dog!






Three little boys spent the night and had a blast.   I am amazed that nobody threw up in the night.   We watched a movie, ate huge bowls of chocolate ice cream with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

In the morning, everyone was starving again of course so I cooked massive amounts of ham, friend potatoes and scrambled eggs topped off with fresh strawberries.   I’m glad they didn’t stay for supper!!!



Josh called today and he made cherry jelly after he went home with his cherries.  Nick and Jess made cherry pies.   I am just keeping a bowl of fresh cherries around to snack on.   As you can see, a good  time was had by all and Mimi’s house is a great place to hang out





June 10, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beads and Superheroes

A good week and weekend in spite of one downpour.   I learned two new things this week.   I’ve been trying to challenge myself and learn something new every week.   I’ve also been trying to learn a bit about polymer clay.   Most folks who are successful sellers also make some type of components of their own.   came up with an idea for a toggle clasp but that’s not going to cut it.   I saw a tutorial to make bead caps with polymer clay so I tried it.   I just wanted to make some steampunk beadcaps and tried them out.   I spent a rainy afternoon getting the hang of it.

Here is a picture of them  just out of the oven.   They have no finish on them.   PITFALLS:   Oh yes, there are pitfalls.   It’s really hard to center the black caps even  though the tutorial said to use black.   It’s also hard to get the hole centered.   So I tried some with some silver colored clay and it was much easier, especially for someone who is inexperienced.   Also, you are supposed to cook them on marbles so they curve, of course.   I had the devil’s own time getting them on the marbles without having the center crack.   I”m going to shoot an email to the lady who sold the tutorial and ask her if she has any tips.   Anyhow, though they do not look professional, I do like the idea and I did learn a few things.

clay bead caps

clay bead caps


After the trials of the beadcap tryouts, I decided to learn one other new thing.   I’ve seen lots of Etsy sellers making little birdnest necklaces with 3 eggs in the center.   I found a free tutorial and tried that out.   I put 2 white eggs and one black one.   I think I’ll put a little charm with it that says “cookoo’s nest”   Cookoos leave their eggs in other bird nests.   I’ll give it to my daughter who thinks she works in the cookoo’s nest.

the cookoo's next

the cookoo’s next


Sunday, three boys came to spend the afternoon with me while their parents worked.   It was a blast of course!    I had a surprise for them.   I had found an old box of Halloween costumes and one was perfect for the tiny guy who LOVES Batman.   He was in heaven!   The older boys put on capes and other accessories and I had a yard full of superheroes!


my very own superheroes

my very own superheroes


Later on, I taught my oldest grandson to make the birdnest necklace.   He did a great job!   His nest was perfect!


proud jewelry maker

proud jewelry maker






Meanwhile, Tiny Batman is focusing on the swing set


protecting the teeter swing

protecting the teeter swing


My heroes!!!!












June 3, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gifts and a Giveaway

   Back by popular demand is Miss Crabby Patti who is my guest blogger today. (Crabby Patti’s 68 strands of beads donated by verious charitable souls including grandmas and grandpas)

Hi!   It’s me again. 

I”m a busy girl so I will get right to the point. My Mimi wants me to be sure and tell you that handmade presents are the best presents!  So give the big companies a raspberry and support small businesses!

My cousins went to Mimi’s house to make presents. They made magnets for kids and purse charms for ladies. They used the little resin caps. Next week they are going to make fingerprint magnets for the grandmothers refrigerators. I’m going to do it too. And we are making dog treats too. I hope those boys made me some beads. I don’t have nearly enough.

Mimi let Nikolai use the scissors!  My mom doen't let ME do that!!!

Mimi let Nikolai use the scissors! My mom doen’t let ME do that!!!

My cousin, Ben

My cousin, Ben



These are for the purse charms and key rings.

Okay, that’s enough about boys

Crabby Patti with 68 strands of beads!

Crabby Patti with 68 strands of beads!


Lets talk about BEADS!!!!

Last week, my Mimi had a blog hop and promised to give away some beads to another lady who makes jewelry and some earrings to someone who just stopped by to visit.     I got to pick the names out of a huge big fishbowl!   


PRISKA:!    Send my Mimi your address ans she will mail them out next week!   This is what they look like.

Celtic Knot Earrings

Celtic Knot Earrings

I GOT TO PICK ANOTHER NAME.   THIS BEAD LADY WHO LEFT A COMMENT GETS THESE SPECIAL BEADS FROM THE GEM SHOW.   MIMI SAYS THEY ARE CALLED DRAGON’S VEIN.  They are really tiny geodes and if you don’t want to string them like this, you can crack them open and inside are little crystals and you can wire wrap them like that instead.  

Dragons Vein Agates

Dragons Vein Agates



Okay, I”m done now.   I’ve got places to go and people to hug.   I’ll  be back. 

Oh, I almost forgot.  Here is a link to my Mimi’s store if you want to shop around.  AND, she says she is having a Pin it to
Win it next week on her Facebook page so look for Strega Jewellry and “like” her page and watch for the pinit thing. 


December 8, 2012 Posted by | fashion, gemstones, Jewelry, Kid Stuff | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Out of The Mouths of Babes

I’ve been moving furnture and rearranging rooms all week and have had no time for anything creative.  So, I asked a guest blogger to cover me this week.

Introducing…….taaa dahhhh

Miss Lillian, otherwise known as Crabby Patty.

Crabby Patti in person

HEY!   I’m not REALLY  crabby!  Just look at that face!



Hello!  My name is Lillian.   I have a brother who totally has NO fashion sense!  Check it out!

And check this out!




Anyway, I’m trying to set him straight.    I know what’s REALLY stylish!

BEADS!   And more BEADS!

Thank goodness I have a Mimi who loves beads too!  You should check out her Artfire shop.

Bring on the BEADS!













Anyhow, my brother loves me and THAT’s what is really important, not what he is wearing!

A brother’s love is awesome!









Okay, so that’s enough for my first blog post.   Except I just want to leave you with one thought for the day……….













(note from Lee:    If you like my guest blogger, let me know.   I’ll bring her back again.)

September 30, 2012 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, Kid Stuff | , , | 12 Comments

A Firefly Tale

I think I’ve said before that I value my Native American roots.   Stories and legends, teachings and lore all fit into my life in some way.   This is one of my favorites.  It comes from a wonderful wise woman of Seneca and Chrerokee descent.  Jamie Sams is an author, a teacher and wise woman.  You can find her books here and more information about her or you can visit this site and read some of her wisdom.

This teaching about fireflies is one that has played an important part twice in my life now.  I want to share both times with you so I will do part one on this blog and part two on the next blog.  The story is Jamie Sams’ own  story from her book Sacred Path cards.  I tell it this way, in my own words to kids

Fireflies have unborn stars in their tails.


Some people will take one of these unborn stars into their heart if their heart is open and good.  There that star would grow and grow.  When it had loved and been loved here on Earth, one day that star would take it’s place in the Great Star Nation.

The pain and suffering the heart endures in this world will cause people many tears. Sometimes, people will want to give up.  If they keep true to their faith, and remain strong of heart, then all those tears they shed will not put out the fires in that unborn star and it will keep growing.  If the stars kept on loving, they would grow into big stars and would send the love they had gathered up to everyone in the world to remind all people of the open heart of Great Mystery.  So let the fireflies remind you that no matter how bad your pain or hurt, keep your heart open and loving and keep your star safe.

My Story

I once had a young friend.   His name was Casey and he had an incurable cancer.  Casey loved stories about Indians.   He was only 12 and his treatments were getting unbearable.  He became discouraged and didn’t want any more. You see,  Casey knew he wasn’t going to get any better and it started to be too much for him.

I wrote out the firefly story for him, a little longer version,  and made him a firefly necklace, nothing fancy really,  just a pictograph on a flat river stone.  I hung it from suede lace.  Then I took a denim jacket and decorated it with beads and fabric so it looked like a “real Indian’s jacket”.  I put the name Starkeeper on his pocket.

In my letter to him, I said

“I think, my friend, that you are keeping one of these unborn stars in your own heart and all this pain and suffering you have and all the tears you cry will not put out its flame.  Your courage and your good heart will keep this star safe and one day, my Little Brother, that star will travel far from us and your love will shine down on all of us from the Great Star Nation and your mom and Aunt Pam, your brother and all your friends and I will look into the sky and know that great love is waiting there when we take our own journey into the Stillness.  And so, because you are so brave, I am giving you the Indian name of Starkeeper.”

Well, little Casey was so proud of his jacket and Indian necklace, he wore them all the time and told all the folks at St. Jude that he was a starkeeper.  He braved more treatments until, when he was 13, he journeyed far from us all.

The fireflies are here once again.  I love to see them in the summer.  And when I see the first one of the year, I look up into the sky and think of Casey and how brave he was.

I wanted to make a jewelry piece, a  nicer one this time, to illustrate this story.  Sometimes, those who are very ill spend lots of time in bed and a necklace just isn’t practical.   I decided on a bracelet.

I took this bronze heart bezel, a picture of a firefly and one of the night sky and put one on top of the other. If you look really close, you can see the star in the firefly’s tail.  I filled the heart with resin.  I used faceted dark blue glass beads and some small greenish ones that reminded me of the flickering lights of Firefly as they dance through the blue light of evening.  It’s really a simple little thing but it means a lot to me.  I will call it, the Starkeeper bracelet, in memory of my young friend.   I hope it will find its way to someone who needs to hear this story.

Native American teachings say that anything that is healing to your body, mind or spirit is “medicine”.  Medicine can be a sunset or a song that lifts your spirit and heals your hurt.  It can be a story, a stone that you pick up that makes you feel peaceful.  It can be the antics of an animal, the wind through the trees or it can be something like this little bracelet, with its story.   I think it is “good medicine”.

Starkeeper Bracelet

July 1, 2012 Posted by | folklore, Jewelry, Kid Stuff, metaphysical, New Age | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments