The creativity of this Corbin girl

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Geometric sapphire and copper hued earrings I created tonight

I’m not the most organized person in the world but as the little sign my mom gave me many moons ago says “Creative minds are seldom tidy.” I think most crafters would agree with me that sometimes daily tidying falls by the wayside when there’s a new idea in the head that must be brought to life!

One of my very first earring designs.

One of my very first earring designs.

For the past month or so I’ve been creating original beaded earrings and pendants for my own personal use. I’ve posted pictures on social media sites sharing my creations and received lovely, positive feedback. I’ve gifted a few pairs of earrings to my mother and more pairs to a friend and they’ve appreciated my creations. A couple of days ago I decided to finally start listing my earring creations on my Etsy store called CorbinGirl in the hopes that I could share the jewelry in more than just pictures.

Blue and white ginger jar style earrings.

Blue and white ginger jar style earrings.

Glass pearl chandelier style earrings.

Glass pearl chandelier style earrings.

Red and white glass pearls with leaf medallions.

Red and white glass pearls with leaf medallions.

Turquoise, purple and orange beaded dangles

Turquoise, purple and orange beaded dangles

I create jewelry because if I don’t, I’ll go insane trying to keep all these new ideas in my head. I opened a shop to share what I make with the world and while it may someday be profitable, that’s not my main goal right now. I’ve listed all my earrings at extremely low prices, just enough to cover shipping costs, because all I really want is for people to wear and enjoy my beaded creations. So far I’ve sold one pair and that makes me blissfully happy!

Writing my earring listings on Etsy is a learning process and I’m tweaking things as I strive to achieve a polished online storefront. Eventually I’ll have it all figured out and the process will go smoother but until then, I’ll just keep working happily away in my creative laboratory/craft room expressing new aspects of the multifaceted Corbin girl that I am!

Sweetness on Earth Day (recipe included)

A heart-shaped glimpse of blue sky this afternoon.

A heart-shaped glimpse of blue sky this afternoon.

Today was Earth Day and while it started out overcast and rainy, it was still beautiful. I added my own touch of sweetness to the day by baking a fresh batch of chocolate chip orange bread and that made the house smell amazing! I’ve included the recipe at the end of this post.

Chocolate chip orange bread, yum!

Chocolate chip orange bread, yum!

When I completed my freelance work for the day, I happily sat down at my craft desk and finished up the pair of earrings I started working on yesterday evening.

Pink and burgundy glass pearl earrings.

Pink and burgundy glass pearl earrings.

I then started working on a new earring design and as I did, the sun started to break through the clouds. I took that as Mama Nature’s approval of what I was doing and I smiled as I continued to fiddle with beads, findings and wires. Time flew rather quickly and it was soon time to head to the school to pick up my daughters. Jordan was staying late to practice for choral solo fest and was going to meet her sister Jaycie and I in the gym.

When I arrived at the school and snatched a nice close spot, I stepped out of my car and was overjoyed to see more breaks in the clouds and glimpses of blue sky. One of these blue sky breaks reminded me of a heart and I took it as Mama Nature’s way of saying that when you love Mother Earth, she loves you back. Along with the blue sky, I also saw see numerous signs of spring. The cherry trees were on the verge of opening blossoms and several clumps of daffodils by the front entrance of the school were budding or already blooming.

Daffodils soon to open.

Daffodils soon to open.

Blooming daffodils

Blooming daffodils

My daughters and I headed back home and the sky turned gray once more but that’s okay. Rain is necessary for reviving the earth and restoring life to grass, trees, flowers and all living things. We must pay attention to, honor, help, preserve and protect this planet every day, not just on Earth Day because it’s the only planet we have. I hope that my daughters and all future generations get to experience the amazing sweetness of nature and life.

*****

Orange Bread with Chocolate Chips

Modified from the recipe for Fresh Orange Muffins found on Food.com. I removed the butter and replaced it with yogurt and applesauce. I also reduced the sugar because the orange and orange juice are already quite sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, unpeeled, quartered, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I use Motts Natural applesauce or homemade)
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray an 8×8 cake/brownie pan with non-stick spray, set aside
  • Put orange quarters in food processor with orange juice and process until pureed
  • Add egg, yogurt and applesauce into processor and blend until combined. Pour into large bowl.
  • In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients then add to orange mixture.
  • Stir to combine. Add chocolate chips if desired and mix them in.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until top is just turning brown. Let stand until cool enough to eat. (I always eat one piece warm from the oven)
  • Place orange bread in fridge and enjoy cold or heat for a few seconds in microwave. Enjoy!

 

Can’t quite do it all…

The beautiful day as I drove out of Massachusetts.

The beautiful day as I drove out of Massachusetts.

While I do my best to get as much done as possible, I just can’t quite do it all in a day, or in several days sometimes. I wish I could post in my blog every single day but it just doesn’t happen sometimes. When I don’t post, I don’t get traffic, simple as that.

I had freelance writing jobs that took priority over creative writing during my recent trip to New England but I was at least able to get one new post up about my Amesbury evening wanderings. My trip was full of several more new adventures that I will soon blog about but I couldn’t get to it on the trip. Just not enough hours in a day!

I’m back in Upstate NY and catching up on work amid caring for my daughters, tending my dog, cats and new fish, keeping up a house and sketching out more designs for new jewelry. My grass is starting to green up too which means mowing season starts soon and that will take up more of my precious time. I do my best to write in my blog as often as I can because I enjoy sharing all my experiences. I’m sure I’m not alone though in that, despite my best intentions, I can’t quite do it all sometimes.

A chilly evening stroll in Amesbury

looking downtown

I arrived at my hotel in Seabrook, NH at around 4:30 p.m. and was quite happy I hadn’t had to drive through any freak winter storms and minimal bumper to bumper traffic. It was a clear and sunny day if a bit cold and it felt wonderful to be back in New England!

After I unloaded my car and settled in my room, I took a shower and changed into fresh clothes because I felt like I’d been born in the clothes I wore for the drive. My next move was to decide what to do next. The first idea that popped into my mind was to go to the Amesbury Town Park and investigate the new playground I’d read about on Facebook. I don’t think I’ve gone on a trip to New England yet without my first destination being Amesbury. You might ask why I stay in Seabrook when I love Amesbury so much. The truth is that the only hotel in Amesbury is well outside my budget, so I stay just across the border in New Hampshire.

I arrived at Amesbury Town Park (a place I’d visited three times previously) and parked by the skateboard courts. I walked over to the new playground and found it quite nice! I’m definitely going to bring my daughters to play there during our upcoming summer vacation.

View of the new playground

View of the new playground

 

I then wandered into the grove of trees by the pond in the park and walked around the disc golf baskets to reach the central gazebo building. I imagine the gazebo was quite lovely in its prime but it’s a bit worn down looking and the pillars are covered with graffiti. I understand it must be difficult to maintain a building so open to the public like that but I still found it pretty.

Looking out from the gazebo

Looking out from the gazebo

After a walk around Amesbury High School to see that it was bigger than the entire K-12 school where I live in NY, I returned to my car and drove into downtown Amesbury. I parked in my usual public parking lot by Crave and walked into town. I love the birdhouses hung outside Greenery Designs and when I stopped and looked up, there were two sparrows acting as sentries on the shepherd hooks over the main door. I was able to take a picture of one on his hook but the other flew off before returning and settling atop one of the birdhouses.

Bird sentry one.

Bird sentry one.

Bird sentry two

Bird sentry two

I walked up Main Street but as it was almost 7 p.m., most of the stores were closed. Today is Thursday and several of the stores are open later into the evening so I’m certain I’ll get some shopping in. I did my usual rounds of the town and tried to take pictures of areas I haven’t before. I couldn’t resist taking photos of Powwow River Falls though and noting that there are less ducks there now than there were during my last visit in February.

I understand the reasons behind closing the Gallery but it still makes me sad.

I understand the reasons behind closing the Gallery but it still makes me sad.

Parke Place Boutique and Attentif' Design

Parke Place Boutique and Attentif’ Design

looking downtown2

So much character in downtown Amesbury

No. 8 opening soon!

No. 8 opening soon!

Sign in the Fiddlestix Toys window. I sure hope so!

Sign in the Fiddlestix Toys window. I sure hope so!

The water was moving so fast it's a blur on my camera!

The water was moving so fast it’s a blur on my camera!

raging rapids

Far less ducks than before. I'm sure they've found new homes.

Far less ducks than before. I’m sure they’ve found new homes.

After my chilly evening stroll around Amesbury, MA, I was feeling more content and quite cold! I was wearing my winter coat and gloves but apparently my blood has already been thinned by the few days of almost 80 degree temperatures we had in NY. I decided it was past time for dinner and I really needed to thaw out so I walked back toward my car. The mouth-watering aromas from Crave reached me and my feet steered me toward the door of the restaurant. I had a great meal, made a pig of myself and will save that story for a later post…

Answering the Amesbury question

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Usually when I meet someone new in Amesbury, MA during my visits and they learn I’m from Upstate NY they’re quite surprised and often ask what brings me to Amesbury. I’ve fallen in love with Amesbury because it’s so much lovelier than where I live. There’s far more plentiful opportunities for entertainment, business, recreation, dining […]

Do one thing

A little bit of everything on my craft table

Do one thing and do it well. That’s one way to live but what fun is that?? I’ve never been able to focus on just one thing and find enjoyment in that. I worked in retail and as a secretary for 20 years, doing the same tasks every day. I did my jobs exceptionally well and was loved by my bosses but I wasn’t happy. Everything I did outside of my paid jobs is what made me happy.

Now that I’m a paid writer, I love my job and feel fortunate and blessed. My life was already very fulfilling with my family and friends and being able to work at a task that makes me happy is wonderful! At the end of a day of freelance work though my writing abilities are tapped out and the only writing for pleasure I can muster is this blog and some emails.

As I usually can’t face my keyboard after working all day, for the past few weeks I’ve sat down at my craft table to begin fiddling with beads and wire. Quite often before I fall asleep at night, I close my eyes and see flashes of jewelry pieces created randomly by my mind. I’ve started jotting them down in my phone and the next day I set about transforming vision into reality.

Some of my first jewelry creations

I love these turtle earrings I made!

I love these turtle earrings I made!

When I wrote in my fantasy books, I used my words to create characters and scenes. When I’m crafting, I use my fingers and my imagination to bring together wire and beads in colorful and unique creations. When I create beautiful things to share, I feel beautiful myself. I don’t mean physical beauty, I mean that inner glow that is sensed, not seen. Jewelry work brings a new form of peace and bliss I didn’t know existed.

From my mind last night to reality this morning.

From my mind last night to reality this morning.

Simple but lovely glass bead earrings I made for my mom.

Simple but lovely glass bead earrings I made for my mom.

While I’ll never be able to do just one thing and feel fulfilled, I believe I’m quite good at doing a lot of things. Everything I do that expresses my creativity generates positive energy, a sense of harmony with the universe and deeper feelings of love for myself and the world around me.

A fish named…Garfield?

Garfield the fish with his pal Odie

Garfield the fish with his pal Odie

When I was running errands this past Thursday, I had to stop at the store for some dog food. Across the aisle from the dog food was the store’s display of fish. For some unknown reason I was drawn to the betta fish and a lovely rainbow-colored one caught my eye. The girls had talked about wanting a betta fish last year but hadn’t mentioned anything recently. Regardless, I picked up the plastic container with the betta and put him in my cart. A few aisles later I changed my mind and put him back. I thought maybe the girls didn’t want a betta fish anymore.

I mentioned the event to my girls yesterday morning and their faces fell when I said I’d put the fish back. Apparently they still wanted a betta, live and learn! I told them we’d go to the store and pick out a betta today and that’s exactly what we did. As it turned out, they chose the exact same fish I’d put in my cart a few day’s before. Great minds think alike! They chose a round tank with a choice of different LED color lights and a selection of little plastic plants.

As we walked around the store picking up a few other things, Jaycie enjoyed talking to the fish and checking to make sure he was still moving around. I asked them what they were going to name him and Jordan insisted they’d decide once they got him home in the bigger tank.

Once home, Jordan got the tank ready for the betta with some glass stones she’d been using as decoration in her room. She set the plants in the tank and I filled it with water. I then had a challenging time using the little fish net to snatch the betta from his temporary store tank to the nice new one all ready for him. I eventually nabbed him and put him in the tank and he immediately hid behind the plants.

The betta seems just fine and he’s now much more willing to come to the front of the tank now. The girls told me they named him Garfield after the big, fat, orange tabby cat in the comics and I looked at them in surprise. I asked them why they named him after a cat and they said because it was a name they both liked. I really shouldn’t be surprised since I named one of my cats after a bird…

The picture doodle Jordan made of Garfield

The picture doodle Jordan made of Garfield