Friday, December 14, 2007

The Importance of Handmade

This is really, the only good thing I can think of right now. (see above)
The minute I clear my Thanksgiving plate, the panic set in. The holidays are here! Oh crap, I’ve done nothing as far as shopping for gifts and I hate crowds and, and, wait! I’ve made a pledge to buy handmade, (and make and give handmade gifts this year). So it won’t be so bad. I’m not only a jewelry designer these days, I’ve accumulated many other craft skills along the way. This year there is knitting and crocheting to go on that list. So guys can benefit from my handmade skills as well. Or not. Granted, some of my gift recipients aren’t going to appreciate a handmade gift, so tough on most of them because they may be getting one. And, some recipients, in order to make their handmade gift, I should have started, well 3 years ago. Thank goodness for my local Target and my internet.
So here’s a sampling of what I’ve done, without naming names. And if you read my blog and are in my family, read no further, click your back button and wait until after the holidays to read this. I have not listed all of them, but enough to give a feeling of accomplishment.
I’ve knitted this wonderful scarf for one lucky gift getter guy. It’s nice and warm and since he lives where it’s cold and windy, this should be a fabulous gift and he will be forever indebted to me….yeah, like that’s going to happen.

This is a half handmade gift. I bought these amazing little keychains that you can download pictures on. I’ve accumulated pictures from family members and uploaded them onto these nifty contraptions, so the guys in our family will be getting these. Shhhh, don’t tell them.
Then there are the knitted mini-mittens. As a little extra, I’ve knitted these adorable little guys for packages and little extras.
Resin glitter flower rings were a brief obsession and experiment which I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed with. I like the results of the ones that turned out but that was about half of the ones that I made. They aren’t easy and let’s just say, air bubbles are not my friends. I may make more, but it’s very time consuming and messy, because I always find a way to get messy. And this resin doesn’t come off easy when wet. Have you ever silicon sealed your tile? If so, it’s that same feeling. Yucky. Oh, and these rings are for the nieces, plus tanks handmade by Rebe who I found at Felt Club XL Holiday this year. Theirs are a different design and color.
“Fame, I’m going to live forever.” Yes, that’s what keeps playing in my mind because I knitted these legwarmers for my daughter. I used the easy legwarmers pattern from “Last Minute Knitted Gifts” by Joelle Hoverson. The book has some great ideas. I’m also working on a scarf for a friend from this book.

With a feeling of accomplishment as stated above and a continued panic, I’m currently in the middle of required and necessary 4 projects and another of no significance which is costing me a fortune and is so time consuming (that will be another post.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

We have a Beauty Queen


I entered this photo of my girl, Summer in a contest to win a handcrafted pastel dog portrait on Flickr and guess what....she won. Marlena of Smiling Dog Studios does wonderful likenesses of people's doggies from their photos. Please visit her website. Summer has lots of friends that voted for her and she totally appreciates it. I do to! I can't wait to have it hanging on our gallery wall in our entry way. I have a wall of paintings done by my grandmother and also a friend of mine and this one will fit in perfect. It's a special wall and I love that I'll be adding to it.
So Summer thanks her friends, I thank her friends and my family is so thrilled.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

As Seen on All Things Cupcake

The cupcake rings are back in time for the holidays at Bonnin Designs and who noticed? All Things Cupcake blog did. Thanks to Jess for the mention. Go check out her blog for many adorable and yummy cupcake items.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Avoid the Crowds with Free Shipping

Why deal with the crowds this holiday season. Shop Bonnin Designs with most items 30-50% off and get free shipping to the USA.

Free Shipping is a perk we've offered for 8 years, but after this holiday season, free shipping will be no more I am sorry to say. So hurry up and get your jewelry fix in the comfort of your own home. Heck, keep your slippers on. I surely don't mind a bit.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Kick up your Heels: Jaleo Necklaces are Here

So these are the Jaleo Necklaces that I was alluding to in my last entry. Currently they are only sold online at Bonnin Designs

The passion of Flamenco can be now be worn as day to day jewelry. Four typical phrases of encouragement; “Ole’"(great), “Vamo’ Ya” (let’s go), “Guapo” (good looking), and “Eso Es” (that’s it), that are called out as a flamenco dancer performs are now embodied in a beautiful hand stamped 1 ½ inch long oxidized sterling silver pendant with a ¼ inch diameter red porcelain rose charm adorning it. It comes on an 18 inch long black rubber necklace cord with a sterling silver lobster claw clasp.
No two are exactly alike as they are each individually handcrafted.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

As Seen On Indie Fixx

Jen of Indie Fixx was so sweet to feature the Maria earrings yesterday. Thanks Jen.
This is a little confirmation that flamenco style is mainstream as well. Which is important because I have a little surprise and I can't tell you right now, but I will be soon. Just waiting on a custom shipment of supplies. I'll give you a hint. Flamenco enthusiasts will be able to wear their duende.
What is Duende, you ask?
All through the Flamenco world people speak constantly of duende, and recognize it with unfailing instinct when it appears. "... duende is a power and not a behavior, it is a struggle and not a concept."
"Duende...a mysterious power that everyone feels but that no philosopher has explained". GOETHE

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hey, Remember me?

My my where has the time gone? Seems like each day I think of putting a blog entry then realize nothing really exciting has been going on. But that’s ok right? Nothing has to be terribly exciting or newsworthy; just maybe a little bit interesting. I apologize for this neglect. So here is where I do a little catching up.

You see September through December are the most crazy months. We have my son’s birthday in Sept, my daughter’s in Oct, our anniversary in Oct as well, my birthday in November and Thanksgiving, and my husband’s birthday in Dec. as well as Christmas and New Years. At that point I’m exhausted and broke. This is where I’m headed as we speak. We are halfway through the celebrations. So how did we celebrate our 16th anniversary you ask? I’ll tell you that my husband and I got away for 5 days and went wine tasting and indulged in yummy restaurants from here to Napa Valley. Thus, the picture you see above.

There was another celebration yesterday to be had for sure. It was the one year anniversary of my back surgery. I’m doing pretty darn great Going to yoga, started dancing again even. We celebrated with carrot cake last night.

As for the business, well that has been running but I’ve understandably had a bit of a hiatus from making jewelry. And now that the holidays are upon us, I have begun to become a bit more motivated and added some new things and put more on sale. I love these new flamenco earrings. They are wood, colorful, and very lightweight even though they are large. At only $20 a pair, they are the perfect accessory.

So I promise to get back on track and start blogging again. My bad.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Laboring on Labor Day

I wish I could say I rested and relaxed, vacationed and had some fun on Labor Day weekend, but that is not the case. It was truly a Labor Day weekend in the Labor sense of the word. Not having baby ‘labor’, which is what I think of when I hear the word ‘labor’, but the working type of labor. Actually my husband did most of the labor, I did some. I can’t measure worth a darn nor do I want to use a hand saw, so I left that up to him. So what did we do, you ask? We spent all 3 days putting down a laminate floor that looks like wood. It really does. And we put it in the worst traffic area of my home; my office area. When you walk into my bedroom off the hallway, my office area is in another little hallway. So all day every day I walk from the hall to my desk chair. The carpet just got intolerably dirty and it just had to go. So it did. And we did it. And I love it.
Not all of us loved it at first. Namely my dog Summer who always lays under my desk at my feet when I type away at the keyboard. She was pretty pissed off at us in fact. So, not to upset her any longer, the shredder was moved into a closet instead of residing under my desk and I put a nice little sheepskin pad there for her to rest on. She’s happy again.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Important Donation Info

Starting Sep. 4 we are helping to promote an important cause that has touched pretty close to home. Recently finding out that an in-law's family member is currently being treated for ovarian cancer, I was moved to do something, anything. Then this opportunity appeared almost within weeks of hearing about her.

Starting September 4 and for the whole month of September, Bonnin Designs with the help of SheFinds will run a promotion with the The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) to raise money for the fund.
For the month of September, Bonnin Designs will be giving 50% of every purchase of the 'Inspiration Earrings' to help The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. These earrings represent OCRF with the ‘O’ in the earrings for the ‘O’ in OCRF and the color teal, the official color of OCRF. Get yours and feel good about giving!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I've got my daytime energy back and have been hustling to get new items onto my website. I am expanding the Flamenco Collection to include more colors of Flamenco Rose Barrettes and have added a bunch more earrings. If you were at the Flamenco festival and didn't get all of what you needed, now is the time. All of these designs are limited edition.

The Flamenco Rose Barrettes were the star of the Festival. I sold over 100! They are perfect for a little accent to your hairstyle or to match your Flamenco dress. I will be carrying these as a regular item with at least 6 different colors.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New World Flamenco Festival

So here's my table at the New World Flamenco Festival. We are selling really well and I've even had to go home and scramble to make more jewelry since last weekend was so fabulous. Hot items are the earrings and this year, the dancers really are going for the silk rose barrettes I'm selling. I've had to make 100 since yesterday to keep up. Here's a little taste of the festival in a video they just made this week. (I'm in one frame.)

I've taken more pictures but on a different camera and I don't have the capability yet to upload pictures until I can get to the store and buy a memory card reader. I used my older camera because it takes better indoor pictures. When I get the reader, I'll share more.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Jewelry at the Barclay

Bonnin Designs will be at the Irvine Barclay Theatre for the New World Flamenco Festival Aug 10-19 for all shows. Come visit our table before and after each show and see exclusive jewelry and accessories created just for this event.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Bumping up the Discounts to 60%

With new items on the table ready to be added to my site, I'm marking down everything currently on the website to 60% off. Please help me clear it out! By mid-Aug I hope to have the new items posted.
The New World Flamenco Festival starts next week and I am readyto be a vendor. Jewelry is made and boxes are packed! I even got my Flamenco apron by way of the very talented Jennifer Ramos of Textile Fetish for keeping such things as receipt books, pens and more. Isn't it amazing?
I will definitely post pictures from the events.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Idle Hands, Not!

I'm inspired to make roses because I'm thinking "flamenco"
I can't sit still these days. I don't know why. I'm like a hummingbird, I tell you. Constantly doing doing. If I'm not creating, I'm organizing or driving kids around, or cleaning, or cooking, or doing yoga. But when I sleep, it's down for the count. Currently I have 2 crochet works in progress (wip), one on the backburner waiting to get started, a book on order for a 4th. And that's for when I'm watching tv in the eve for I don't typically crochet during the day except maybe on weekends while my husband is watching the Tour de France so I can keep him company. So here are pictures of my current wips.

a handbag because I had red wool

A wool scarf because I loved the picture on the pattern. Imagine a breezy day at the beach.

I don't know why I was inspired to make a wool scarf when it's so hot out, but I think it was the light color wool. So off to yoga now!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Whole Lotta Fun, A Whole Lotta New

When you work really hard, or not, relaxation is very important. I ordered this daybed from West Elm back in April. It was backordered and after a lost truck and a lot of hassle, it has finally arrived. It fits just perfect in the corner of my family room and is a welcome addition for reading and rest.

I had a wonderful opportunity yesterday to help my friend Jennifer of Textile Fetish at her table at Felt Club XL in LA. It was sooo crowded and just hopping with excitement. There were so many talented people and great music playing. I met a lot of people I've recently 'met' or 'known' for a long time on line like Nicole of Queen Puff Puff , Jenifer of Sprout Studio , Jenny of Sew Darn Cute , and many more. My camera didn't like the dim lighting but Jennifer got a lot more pictures and as soon as she gets back home to Texas I'm sure we'll see more.

I've been jamming getting my jewelry ready for the New World Flamenco Festival in August. I've got so many new designs that I've made just for the festival. I can't wait to show them off.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Summer Time, Family Time

Hi, remember me? I know I haven't blogged in a while. It's because the kids are out of school and running me here and there. In between that, I had to finish the crocheted blanket for my daughter and get in gear making flamenco jewelry for the Flamenco festival I'm vending at for the second year in a row. It's 9 shows of selling jewelry and accessories. Busy-ness.

So here's the completed Babette blanket I crocheted. My daughter loves it. While she was away for a week, I completely overhauled her bedroom. 4 full days it took with several trips to stores to get organizer bins, baskets, files, etc. She was completely surprised and happy about it. Whew.

Every year for the 4th of July we have a block party. It starts with a little parade then onto the festivities. Most of the street was there plus many friends and family members.

This is the gang lining up for a waterballoon toss. See the cute guy on the right in green? My hubby. He lost and got all wet.

Here's the pups and my son. The dogs got to be in the parade of course. We had other games such as corn on the cob eating contest, a basketball shootoff, a football throwing contest, another water game and our new favorite, musical chairs. The kids played fair. The adults, well, let's just say it was musical chair death match and one of the chairs is no longer with us. Either is a pair of someone's sunglasses. I didn't play, I ran that game. So funny.

A sampling of the flamenco jewelry I'm making. I have tons of new earring designs that I'm sure will be a big hit. I've made them but haven't had a chance to photograph them yet.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Who Knew?

Well, well, look who got "promoted" to 7th grade. You see, the principal was adamant in the word 'promotion' and not 'graduation' from 6th grade which I do agree with. Either way, Ethan passed and will be headed to jr. high in the fall. Watch out, time flies when you're having fun.
With my mom in town for graduation and my husband home on Friday we thought we'd take a trip to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace. Something to do. Truly. Kids stayed home to hang out, they weren't interested. The place is like 10 min from our house and it was such a beautiful day. The gardens were flowering and full with butterflies and bees. The museum itself was really interesting for me because of all of the gifts that were given to the family during their 'reign'. From the common US citizens to rulers of other countries. I'm talking crafts, people; pottery, sculptures, jewelry, folk art, you name it. Jewelry like you wouldn't believe too. There was one piece that was such ornate what had to be 18k gold from a middle eastern country. Also, needlepoints that were ginormous and looked like photographs. The one in perticular of the great wall through rolling fields had to be studied for a while for me to realize it was needlepoint.
Then there was this! An crocheted afghan laying over a chair in Nixon's birthplace home. It was so interesting. It appears to be individual squares crocheted together. I must find this design. It's really got potential. Just think....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thursday, June 07, 2007


It's that busy time of the year. No, I'm not speaking of my business right now, I'm talking about all the school functions we must attend that are going on getting closer to the end of the school year. School ends next week thank goodness, I think. I've already attended my son's play, "Midsummer Night's Dream" (3rd time in 4 years between both of my kids). It was really well done, but I was kinda hoping for a break from 6th grade Shakespeare if you know what I mean. I'm not saying anymore.
Then tonight and tomorrow we will be attending my daughter's swim and band banquets. Next week, we have a cast party, a sports day at the park, and 6th grade graduation.

So all in all, I've been trying to work my tail off and get some jewelry in my shop while I'm still awake because this stuff is making me exhausted. Coming today are some new bracelets in bright summery colors. Perfect for that summer dress, and a long necklace that you can even wrap around your wrist as a bracelet.
For my new blogger friends, here is a discount code that you can use for 20% off including sale items (which makes some up to 70% off) and free shipping to the USA, always, BON20 is the code.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Only a Matter of Time

It was only a matter of time when my beads and my crochet passion merge. I did add a few sewn on beads to cute crochet rings that are on my website, but these beads are crocheted into the design. I just love the textures of this ring. But I'm not sure if I'll be selling these rings or make more crocheted balls or something else and make something completely different altogether. I'm always open to ideas. Getting these puppies started was very difficult for me and continues to be, but once I get past the first round, it's easy-peasy and goes rather quickly. I just have to figure out the better way to start to keep the center tight and not let the beads fall all around.

So I'm working amongst the many migraines this month I'm having. I hate the getting-older-hormones. They really mess with your body. I have the migraine medicine once I get them, but the prevention medicines I've been taking aren't working for me anymore. Productivity is really an issue when a migraine is in progress. I hate not getting things done.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Color is the Theme Here

I have always loved color. In my beadwork, I am moved more by color choices and secondly by design. My current crochet project is all about color. The variations of purples and greens to hopefully soon become a really fun afghan for my daughter, but shhh it's a surprise. Luckily she doesn't read my blog. At least I don't think she does. I guess I'll find out soon enough. This is a week and a half's worth of progress and it's coming together pretty quick. I hope she'll like it.
Speaking of purple, I made this cute little flower necklace with purple glass beads and Swarovski crystals for a cousin's daughter who is turning 6. Ah the joys of being young again. I wish I could remember that far back. Something I do remember from growing up and visits to my aunt's house in Connecticut was this Caprese' salad that my aunt used to make using only fresh farm mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and basil from the farmer's market in Connecticut. My version has all of the above, plus balsamic vinegar, extra version olive oil and a little kosher salt. I think hers had italian dressing? or just olive oil? I don't really remember, see? What I do remember is the cheese. Oh the cheese. Anyone else a chees-o-holic like me? I adore cheese and a little wine, but that's another story.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Creativity All Around

When my son decided to grow tomatoes from seeds. I was thrilled. I love his commitment when he goes outside every day to water or make sure now all of our potted plants out back are growing nicely. On Sunday, we decided to get soil and a few herbs to put in our herb planter with a couple of the tomato plants. There are several nurseries around, but one in particular brings out creative inspiration in me and most likely anyone that goes there. It’s magical.
The woman that owns it does acting on the side. She makes Fairy Gardens and sells all the accessories and plants needed for anyone to make one. They are like fantasy worlds with fairies, and antique looking furniture and fencing with mini plants. My daughter had one in a planter bed at our home a couple of years ago but quickly grew tired of the responsibility of keeping it up so now we have a nice groundcover from the plantings. So as my son gathered the herbs, I ran around and probably like some weirdo was taking all kinds of pictures.
Later that day I went to my elderly neighbor’s home to say hi and she told me about a crafting group that she and other ladies had formed years ago. “Some have moved, some have died” she reported. She said they used to meet once a month to sew, do knitting and crochet projects and learn a new craft each time. Sounds so familiar (not the died part, but the getting together part).

It was later that day as I sat under a tarp at my son’s swim meet crocheting granny squares that a dad of a swimmer began telling me of his craftiness many years back. He used to crochet, sew, upholster car seats, etc. He called himself the Renaissance Man. I said half joking (but only half) that we should all sit around and crochet or knit since all we do is sit around. That got a few other suggestions of bringing games like chess, cards, or dominoes. At least they wouldn’t just be sitting around and eating like everyone tends to do all day. Great ideas.