Quotables: Dante Alighieri

"Nature is the art of God."
- Dante Alighieri



In which I discuss needle felting and the end of the world....

A quick business note: if you're like me, you may be following this and all your other blogroll favorites in a reader. However, I do want you to know that I've got some good stuff in my sidebar... So if you're in a reader, click on over and check it out. I'd love for you to voice your opinion on what you'd like to see here on this blog this year on my new poll at the top of the sidebar, so please take a second to vote.... I also have added a subscription to "My Delicious Bookmarks" lower down - I will be sharing links to articles, videos, posts, etc. that I think are worth your time - be sure to check that out.... And of course, there are links to my Etsy shop, some popular posts, etc.

Also, please take a second to vote for my needle felted bunnies at Lamb Around (select "Beth Stone Studio," then click vote at the top of the blog). They've been nominated for Best in Show this week! Thank you so much! 

And now, the post:

So, I've been at it again....

Made this little felted flower hairband for my niece's birthday...

And another of my nieces is a big guinea pig fan..... After seeing Gabriel's cat, she requested a special felted version of her pet guinea pig for her birthday, which is this week....  Here's the result....

In my experience, guinea pigs are a little tricky to needle felt, and that is because of this: there is not much to a guinea pig. It's sort of a blob with a face and little tiny feet underneath somewhere.... tricky.

 But nevertheless, I was pretty happy with how he turned out. I think he expresses the spirit of a guinea pig, if not exactly the letter....

On Sunday, our Church and Bible study meetings were cancelled because of SNOWMAGEDDON, so Josh and I stayed tucked in at home in our pj's, trying to stay warm, and I made the little guy below....

Speaking of birds, I have been thinking about birds a lot this past week, due to the massive and creepy bird and fish kills all around the world over the past few weeks. Are you following those stories???  Unbelievable. Combined with the crazy weather, natural disasters in Australia and around the world, and the shifting magnetic poles, I think it is definitely a sign that we are living in the last days.... THIS blog and THIS website have some interesting articles about all of these new events.... I encourage you to check them out, and also to do a little self-examination and see if you would be ready if Jesus were to return soon.... like, REAL soon. Even if He delays a little longer, life is still very uncertain - you should know that you're ready to go.... I hope you are.....

 I realize that pictures of cute little needle felted animals are hardly appropriate illustrations for the End of the World. But then again, maybe they are....

The Bible teaches that we are to live day by day, taking care of our responsibilities here on earth, and being good stewards of the gifts and resources we have been given. But at the same time, we are to be mindful that the "daily grind" isn't what life is all about, that Jesus is coming back soon, that we are to be ready, and that we are to be sharing the Gospel so that others are ready too. We are also supposed to be pursuing obedience and holiness.... Here's a good article on Living for Christ in the End Times....

I hope that in the midst of your day-to-day life, you're also thinking about the life to come.... and getting yourself prepared for it, by repenting of your sin, and putting your trust in JESUS....

Hope you're having a lovely week....



First Shop Update of 2011!

Howdy friends,

Just wanted to let you know that I just finished adding several items to my Etsy Shop in case you have some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket or want to get a jump-start on Valentine's Day shopping!

You will find a few brand-spankin'-new-to-being-necklace pieces.....

In the Workshop
Reproduction of Oil on Canvas by Beth Stone
Reproduction of Oil on Canvas Panel by Beth Stone
Field of Buttercups
Reproduction of Oil on Canvas by Beth Stone

Honey Bee
Reproduction of Mixed Media / Digitial Collage by Beth Stone

You will also find a few premium versions of my Proverbs 31 Woman Series Necklaces. They feature pewter mountings and glass-beaded necklaces:

You will also find a few more of the ol' classics that keep getting snatched up out of the shop!

So, go get 'em while the gettin's good!

On a side note, I have started creating custom pieces like the one below. This pendant features a photograph from a session I did with my nephews and nieces and was a gift for my sister-in-law, but I would be happy to make one for you as well! You may send me your own digital photo to use (make sure that you own the rights to reproduce the photo if you didn't take it yourself - ask your photographer), or you can schedule a photo portrait session with me, and you can let me know which image you'd like made into your own pendant!

Contact me for more information!
Hope you're having a lovely week!



We Here Highly Resolve...

Well, happy 2011! This is my first official post of the year, since the last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind with more parties, errands, and getting my husband ready to get back into his PA school groove. I'm still recovering from all the festivities, although my home is looking a little more put-together than it was last week at this time. At any rate, I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and ringing in the new year!

Are you a Resolutions person? I have decided to be one, at least this year. I have been formulating a list of goals for this year.... it includes:
  • Spending more quality time with my husband (when he's not studying!)
  • Reading more (post on this topic coming soon...)
  • Being healthier - both in what I eat and in getting more exercise (which will include walking my dog more often, so he'll be healthier - win/win!)
  • Being more disciplined in my daily schedule (i.e. curbing my night-owl tendencies and getting up earlier)
  • Kicking "Beth Stone Studio" up a notch.
Today, I want to focus on this last goal.... Since I began this little business, I have considered it to be a "part time" thing I do on the side. My goal for this year is to adjust my attitude towards it and treat it like my full-time job. I probably won't be installing a time clock on my studio wall, but I do intend to set regular business hours/days, give myself tasks to accomplish each month with scheduled deadlines, expand my product lines, and take definitive steps towards attaining a few goals (that I'm keeping to myself for now!) :o) In order to do that, I decided to make a little notebook to help keep me inspired and on my toes:

This is a little hardbound spiral sketchbook that I found at Barnes and Noble. It started off as plain black on the cover, so I decided to spice it up a bit. I used acrylic paints to dry brush a golden/off-white background, then used a darker raw sienna to loosely paint in a honeycomb pattern. I then used my hand-carved rubber bee stamp to add the bees, and finished it off by using Mod Podge for Furniture to decoupage a printed label (torn and inked on the edges) to the front.

I added a little touch to the back...

...as well as some home-made tabs to the pages to divide my book up into sections...

My tabs include the following:
  • Doodles - for sketchy moments and random thoughts....

  • 2011 Goals - for listing the things I want to accomplish professionally this year.
  • Blog Post Ideas - sometimes I think of post ideas, then forget them by the time I sit down to blog. This will help me corral those moments of inspiration into one "brainstorming" area so I'm ready to roll when I sit down to write!
  • To Do Lists - I am lost without lists. I plan to sew a little pocket into one of the pages, so I can keep my current list in the slot and replace it when I make a new one. This will keep me from running out of pages! To Do lists help me stay focused, get things accomplished on time, avoid overlooking important tasks, and give me a great sense of satisfaction when I cross things off of them!
  • Painting Ideas - I tend to think about and plan out most of my paintings for a long time before I actually start working on them. This area will let me keep my ideas/thoughts/sketches handy in one place when I get ready to work on a new project!
  • Craft Ideas - another brainstorming area.... sketches for projects, product ideas, inspirational clippings, etc. will go in this section.
  • Booking It Goals - I have chosen a list of books to read during 2011, and I plan to share them (and my reviews of them) here with you over the course of the year. Check back on January 10th for my reading plan and for the linkup party where you can get involved with your own selections!
In addition to keeping this little inspiration / idea notebook, I got a little pocket-sized day planner too. I plan to give myself assignments and deadlines and will schedule them IN MY CALENDAR, just like I did when I was in college. Hopefully, that will help keep me on track and producing regular work!

So, there are a few of my plans for 2011. I'd love to hear about your goals for the year! Feel free to link up your resolution posts, or simply leave your list in the comments section! I'd love to hear from you!

Happy New Year!