Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year End Sale

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

If you're like me, you're excited for the new year to get here.
So as 2012 comes to an end, I put a few select
items on sale at a discount of 35% off.
The prices already reflect the discount so no coupon code is needed.
Take advantage of these prices while you can.
The sale runs through January 2, 2013. After that, the prices will go back up.

I hope you all have a fabulous New Year's Eve 
and a terrific year in 2013!

Happy New Year!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sale Day is Here!!


The Etsy's Best Kept Secrets Team

I'm offering 20% off both 

Enter this code at checkout
to receive your discount!

And please stop by the other members' shops
to see their beautiful wares
and get their discount as well!

Happy Holidays from

Etsy's Best Kept Secrets!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Something's Coming....

Hi everyone!

I've been busy making jewelry lately for a change!

Carnelian & Hammered Oval Mixed Metal Earrings - 14K Gold Fill, Sterling Silver
Carnelian and Hammered Disc Mixed Metal Earrings

There are more new items in my Etsy jewelry shop.
Tiny Hammered Sterling Silver Disc Pendant Necklace
Tiny Hand Hammered Sterling Disc Necklace in Sterling
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday (here in the USA), 
and for those both here and abroad,
 now begins the real holiday shopping...
...with full steam ahead!

Solid 18k Yellow Gold Wire Wrapped Pink Amethyst Briolette & Oxidized Sterling Silver Necklace
Solid 18K Gold Wire Wrapped Pink Amethyst
& Oxidized Sterling Silver Mixed Metal Necklace

My Etsy team, Etsy's Best Kept Secrets, is having a little something special coming up very soon! Keep your eyes on our Facebook page to find out what's in store!

Crystal quartz puffed diamond briolette necklace in sterling
Crystal Quartz Puffed Diamond Briolette Necklace in Sterling
Pink Turquoise Earrings in Sterling
Pink Turquoise Earrings in Sterling
I invite you all to come visit our Facebook page.
Watch for something special.

It is our gift to you,
from all of us at 
Etsy's Best Kept Secrets!

See ya' there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Sale!

MsBelle is Having a Sale!

Now through November 26th, Cyber Monday, 
enjoy 15% off your entire purchase!

I have added some new pieces 
to the shop with more to be added
in the coming days.
SOLD!  Kyanite Briolette Circle Earrings

To get your discount,
just enter coupon code 
at checkout.

Valid through midnight Nov. 26, 2012, eastern time.

I hope you all have a
truly blessed and
happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

MsBelle Photography Now Open for Business!!

Hello everyone!
I'm stopping in to tell you all I have finally opened
my new photography shop on Etsy!

I wanted to invite you all to come visit.
I finally took the plunge and did it,
so now comes the task of filling it up.

Right now I am offering fine art prints in various sizes
to fill that empty space on your wall, dresser, desk or table.
Heck, maybe even brighten up the cubicles or walls at your office!
Wherever there is a spot that needs some color or a conversation piece,
or just something cool or pretty to look at, that's where I come in!
I hope to offer more of a variety of things as time goes on.  

While I was at it, and to go along with my new shop,
I also created a new Facebook page for my photography.

After having many different people of the years tell me
I should sell my photos, I'm finally going to give it a shot.
(no pun intended)

I hope you will all stop by and 'Like' me! :)


(...and now I must stop right here and brag just a bit.)

What really prompted me to finally get going on my shop was this...

My Blowing Rock photo was selected to be
on the cover of the October 2012 issue of Charlotte Magazine!
How cool is that?!!

You cannot imagine how thrilled and proud I am to
have had this photograph chosen out of all the shots
out there that could have been selected.
I was beyond flattered to say the least.
I was stunned, excited, and beside myself with joy!

It even appears on their website too!
(I took a screen shot for posterity of course!)

I wasn't even aware the issue was out yet until
the boy and I were in the grocery store and there it was!
It jumped out at me on the newsstand as I
immediately recognized my shot!
It was such a cool feeling.  :)

So that's what finally did it.

I enjoy photography so much and it's so very
fulfilling knowing that others enjoy it as well.
Thank you to Charlotte Magazine for the opportunity you have given me.
I cannot thank you enough!

See ya'll later!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Heat is On

Looks like we're in for a little taste of Hell in the upcoming days.
And I'm so not looking forward to it. It's bad enough that we are already in a drought. This will make the cracks in our yard
grow exponentially bigger.
Even the drought tolerant purple coneflower
is caving in to the lack of water.
Very thirsty coneflower
Poor thing's petals are shriveling up. :(

But at least I got a few pictures in before
the drought began taking its toll.
a summer day in the coneflower
ant on echinacea
another day on the coneflower

One day last week we had tolerable heat day; a beautiful, breezy day with some gorgeous puffy white cumulus clouds.
As the boy and I were getting into the car to go to the park,
I happened to look up and saw this....
The most gorgeous sunbeams I've seen in a very long time.
sun rays
And for once I had my camera in my hand!
sun rays
I was so thankful that I did!
sun rays

While the hydrangeas were still doing well,

I got some nice shots of them.
pastel tie-dyed hydrangea
This was before the drought had really kicked in.
Now they are drying up just like everything else.

...except for these Star Gazer lilies.
DSC_5613 ~ SOOC

And they are always gorgeous!
Star Gazer lily
I just love these flowers. 


 Wherever you are, I hope you stay cool!
Until next time....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dessert Date with My Son

Now that school is out, the boy and I have time during the day to do some things we couldn't normally do during school hours. So we had a dessert date. :)

The boy and I took a little trip up to NoDa (North Davidson Street) the other day to Amelie's French Bakery and Cafe. (I must admit, we did not originally go to have dessert, but to take a ripped pair of the boy's shorts to a friend so she could repair them. She just happens to work there and is a member of the Charlotte crafting group, Crown Town Handmade, which I once belonged to as well.) Anyway, regardless of how we ended up at Amelie's, I'm so very glad we went!
at Amelie's French Bakery
Amelie's opened in Charlotte in 2008, and even though I'd always heard about it and how good it was, I had never been. It's a little out of the way for me to go to that part of town, so I just had never bothered making the trip. However, after this experience, I think we'll be going back!
atmosphere is terrific!
The atmosphere was so much fun and everything looked so scrumptious! I let the boy pick whatever he wanted to make it sort of a special trip. I didn't want to just walk in, hand the shorts to my friend and then walk right back out without ever having tasted anything! After much debate, he chose to indulge in a piece of raspberry chocolate torte (which was absolutely decadent, I might add!).
Raspberry Chocolate Torte 
Yes, I know it's not organic, but it IS local, and it doesn't come with all those yucky chemical preservatives like are in Oreos or Chips Ahoy, potato chips, or even a Hershey bar. And in addition to not having all the yucky chemical preservatives, we are supporting the local economy instead of buying a pack of Pepperidge Farms cookies or some gross honey buns at WalMart (which I absolutely detest and will not go to if at all possible). There's a huge difference!

He also tried their caramel latte since he likes the caramel macchiato at Starbuck's (the boy likes coffee). It was a bit on the strong side so he gave it to me and got something else. I liked it a lot.
cooling it off
Amelie's French Bakery
Amelie's French Bakery
very cool chandelier inside Amelie's
stainless steel chandelier at Amelie's French Bakery
at Amelie's French Bakery
a little sparrow watching us through the window
little sparrow watching us through the window

If you live in Charlotte, or just come here to visit, 
Amelie's is a treat you should definitely try...often!

I know we will be going back, that's for sure!
almost gone....
It was totally delicious!
view of uptown from Amelie's

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hello Again

I have no excuses for my long absence. None. Apologies going out here. Go ahead. Smack me now.
I've been getting more and more into photography and have neglected my blog and jewelry something terrible. But here is a glimpse of what I have been doing.

The boy's first time in a kayak.
breathe ~ relax ~ enjoy

and he loved it! :)
I ♥ U
Easter Eggs
Happy Easter everyone!
a wee little bee
tiny bee on purple coneflower
tiny wildflower
tiny wildflower

I'm thinking about opening an Etsy shop for my photography, but I don't really know how to go about it. Does one need to own their own photo printer and paper? Does one go out to a photo lab each time a print sells?
These are some things I need to investigate.

little miss ladybug
little miss ladybug
apple blossoms
I will be an apple
This sign is all that is left of Queen Park Cinema. It is now demolished, but was once a drive-in theater here in Charlotte.
Some pretty yellow wildflowers
yellow wildflowers
Dogwood blossoms
dogwood blossoms
Plum tree blossoms

So while I've been absent, I've been practicing my photo editing and have been taking photography a little more seriously. I'm trying to shoot RAW most of the time and on manual mode, and trying to edit to the best of my ability in Photoshop and Lightroom. I'd love to have some better, faster lenses as well as a Speedlight, but I can't right now. I'll just have to work with what I have and make the best of it. I love shooting. That's the most important part. :)

trees budding in January (INSANE)
Buds in January?
February 7, 2012, "Snow Moon"
'Snow moon' - 2.7.12

And last but not least, I listed a new pair of earrings in my Etsy shop. These consist of aqua chalcedony teardrop briolettes on shiny hammered circles, dangling from long kidney earwires. Very pretty!

Aqua chalcedony hammered circle gold fill earrings

Now that I'm back, hopefully I can post at least once a week.
I'll try anyway!

See you soon!
kayak boy