Thursday, September 9, 2010

4th Annual Open House

You are Invited!

4th Annual Black Rock Design Open House

Saturday, November 20, 2010

10:00am - 1:00pm

1039 Rosemary Ln.
South Bend, IN 46617

Monday, May 3, 2010

Final Post

You may have noticed a lack of posts in recent weeks. I'm in the process of moving, and will be taking a hiatus from blogging for the time being. When I have more time, I will be reevaluating my social media outlets and deciding what to maintain, and what to let slip away. If you enjoy hearing about Black Rock Design, please find me on Facebook and become a fan. I will be continuing to update and run my Facebook page throughout the moving process and beyond.

Thanks to everyone for your comments! Here is what is consuming all of my time right now:

{our new house}

Sunday, April 4, 2010

House Hunting Blues

I'm a public school employee, a couple of days into my spring break. I must say, I've never needed a week off so badly! {Although, I probably say that every year...}

A couple of days ago, my husband and I accepted an offer on our house. We're going through the process now of inspections and waiting for the closing date. It's an exciting but stressful process. So now, we're house hunting, driving around town, going into houses, and finding some interesting things out there! Some houses are ones that we've seen in our neighborhood, and we have so much fun finally getting to see the insides.

Have you ever seen a shower just off the kitchen? 

Or, have you ever seen such an interesting bathroom?

What about this for a view out your backdoor?

We have lots of decisions to make! But for now, back in my own backyard, this little squirrel says "Happy Easter"!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New, Green and still Chilly

I took a walk around my yard this week, and found signs of the season changing. Living in the midwest, it seems like winter will never end sometimes. Just when you're feeling like you'll never know what warmth feels like again, you start to notice things coming up. Just look what I found in my backyard.

They are coming up, even surrounded by the old and dead plants of last year.
They all look like they are trying so hard!
Buds on some bushes, and full-blown flowers in a corner by the front of the house.
A little tree will soon be covered in white flowers.
And then there's the proof that squirrels are out, searching and digging for those pesky little acorns. Where did I put that nut?
See what I came out to find one morning in my backyard??? What a mess!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Season's Changing

The weather is hanging in there, and in our back yard, hints of green are starting to pop up out of the ground.

Now, this little colage should have gone in last week's post (The Spring Itch), but I couldn't help but share it. Tis the season for wearing flowers!

So, good-bye snow, and hello to spring!

{again, from Anthropologie}

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Spring Itch

Spring is near. I can just feel it. And after so many months of snow, ice, sleet, and wind...well, just thinking about spring makes me giddy!

So, once the weather starts to give us those first days when walking out without gloves doesn't mean frostbite, my eyes start to turn toward bright colors and all things spring.

One of the fashion trends that I love and you'll have to pry out of my dead hands is wearing flowers. Not just for luao's anymore, I say! I've started putting them in my hair, on my clothes, on my purse, and even hanging them from my ears!

from sweeteverything on Etsy

Not only do I put flowers in my hair, but I sometimes pack an extra flower and give it to a friend for a night out. Floral peer pressure!
{I'm on the right}

Even less than likely friends will put flowers in their hair; just long enough for me to snap a picture! These two wore matching flowers for about one mintue.
{see the little black flowers?}

I love clothing that include flowers - be it patterns or textures. This comes from the "Just Rosy" collection at Anthropologie.

Or, if you aren't ready to really commit that much, you can always pin a flower onto something basic. This little guy is living on a teal purse of mine right now.

Then, of course, there's the flowery jewelry that I love to make! I've shared my flowery necklaces in a previous post, Finally Finished.  But here's a couple of pairs of earrings that I've made with flowers on my mind.

So, I hope you each find a way to bring a little sunshine and spring into your wardrobes. Not only does it make you feel a bit more cheery, but you're probably brightening the days of those who pass by and see you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Living out of a Suitcase

I've had a full week, with absolutely no time to myself! I was out of town all week for a work conference and had a lot of fun in Chicago. Went shopping, saw a show at Second City, lovely dinners out, more shopping...

I noticed some fashion trends while going into all the amazing shops that the big cities have to offer. One thing that struck me was the size of earrings. They are huge right now! I even bought myself two pair of earrings, which always makes me feel a little silly. I should just try to make a pair, right? But, sometimes I just want something NOW. Have you ever done something like that?

Yesterday I went to a Flower and Garden show at Navy Pier. There were some amazing displays with plants, flowers, paths, stones and waterfalls.  If you're in the Chicago area, you should check it out.

Of course, I managed to walk out as the proud owner of a case and a half of wine! There was a company, PRP International, with a booth at the show. I guess it's safe to assume that people walking around at a flower and garden show are going to want a drink, eventually. So, after tasting quite a few varieties of wine, I was hooked. My husband and I picked our favorites and put an order in.
We'll see how that goes. I'm finally back home now, coming back to the real world after living out of a suitcase for the last few days. I'm looking forward to getting back to a normal week!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Givin' it Away

In April, Notre Dame is hosting a silent auction to benefit Relay for Life. You can learn more about it by visiting Relay for Life's website. I think it's going to be a big event - they are holding it in the football stadium!

I was asked to contribute a handmade piece of jewelry to the auction, and I've been working on putting something together just for the event. I wanted to make something unique, but not too outside of the "mainstream". I can sometimes push the boundaries of what most people would wear, so... I wanted to scale back on the funkiness this time around.

I decided to work with sterling silver as my base. I have a few of these amazing faceted beads that I picked up at a bead and gem show a while back. They are called opalite turquoise, and are just stunning.

I thought that moonstone would be a nice addition, since they are a white shade with a hint of blue glowing from the center.
Putting those two stones together with the silver had a nice look, so I decided to go with it. I started with these components as my design base.
Personally, I love chains that have round links, as opposed to oval. It feels fresh and fun to me. Maybe a bit hip, versus something more traditional. I happened to have two different sizes of sterling chain with round links.

Plus, I had these two free-form ovals that I had picked up at my local bead store.
I thought they might be fun...

Adding in some bundles of dangling moonstones was the finishing touch.
I used the smaller chain along with a lobster clasp in the back. This will give the owner options of how close to the neck she wants to wear the necklace. I even had one teardrop moonstone, which is hanging from the last link of the smaller chain. It will sit at the back of the neck, or hang a bit down the back, depending on how tightly the necklace is worn. 

I love little extra touches like this when I buy jewelry. For someone with shorter hair, or for anyone wearing their hair up for an evening, what a treat! Some decoration at the back.

I thought it would be nice to make my donation a set, so I put together some simple sterling silver earrings, with moonstones. When you're wearing a statement necklace like this, I think it's nice to keep the earrings simple. You don't want to look like a crazy person, now!

The silent auction takes place April 16-17. It starts at 6:00 pm and goes until 9:00 am! What fun!! Are you interested in helping out? It's not too late - you can contact Jed Hanawalt at to make a contribution yourself. Join in and help the American Cancer Society.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finally Finished

A while back, I put together a necklace that I was very excited about.
I posted about it My Newest Creation.
I call it, simply, my flower garden necklace.

I then decided that the necklace desered to have a sister necklace. So, I began the process of creating another flowerful necklace. I began by putting the flowers together. You can see the progress on my previous blog entry, Dreams Run Amuk.

Putting together this necklace was a bit more tricky. I tried a couple of things that I didn't end up liking. So, after a few adjustments, cutting it apart and switching out stones, I finally have it in it's finished state.

So, what do you think?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pretend that we're Warm

It's Carnaval time in Brazil! It's a lovely time of year for me to pretend I'm somewhere warm and exotic, instead of in the Midwest in February. One of my part-time jobs is teaching a Brazilian samba dance class at Notre Dame. So, I get really excited when Notre Dame hosts a carnaval party by bringing in a band and dancers from Chicago.

The band, Chicago Samba, is wonderful.

In Brazil, carnaval is a really big deal. It's like Mardi Gras times 100. Bands and dancers parade through the streets. No one goes to work for a week. The whole country stops life to party, drink and dance.

I can't lie and say that the carnaval celebration here in the Midwest is quite that big. But, we do what we can when we have to walk through a foot of snow to get there. My friends and I pretend to be warm and go out for a fun time.

{A flower in your hair makes a girl feel warmer. I'm on the right.} {My friends, enjoying the music at carnaval.}

{It's hard to get good pictures when they won't stop moving!}
Such a fun night. I've been hating the snow and cold lately. So, a night where I could pretend I'm on the beach, in Brazil, was just what I needed. Hopefully, it'll be enough warmth and fun to last me for the next couple of months...