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Sunday, January 25, 2015

GYB 2015 (Blog Hop and Giveaway)

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Welcome to the 3rd annual Grow Your Blog (GYB) event, hosted by Vicki of 2BagsFullLast year was my first time participating and I had a ball discovering hundreds of new blogs. Though I have had a relatively "quiet" year here on my personal blog since then, I have been a regular visitor to many others. The heart of blogging for me is as much finding out what others are sharing as it is offering my own tidbits (What can I say? I love blogging and being a blog reader!) 

Please go to Vicki's post (link above) for the full list of participants. Thank you so much, Vicki, for the Herculean task you have taken on!

*There IS a giveaway, which is described further down, below the asterisk line* THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN, SEE BELOW*

My name is Monique, and I am so pleased you could visit today. Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have been teaching myself the art of jewelry-making, mostly using artisan (handmade and often one-of-a-kind) components. My blog is primarily a catalogue of my experience as a newbie jewelry designer, but I follow many blogs from around the world, with widely different themes, and I love them all! Perhaps YOUR blog will become one of my new favourites this year :)




I will start by saying I am a bilingual 50-something living in the beautiful Canadian Province of New Brunswick (my town is less than an hour from Québec). Last year I shared lots of old photos (because everyone likes photos). This year I have just a couple, but they are precious to me :) 

*A very special one of my Dad and I in France, circa 1961* Pics of my father are few and far between, as he was usually the photographer. This one was digitally restored by my Sister, who inherited the photography gene to a much greater degree than I :) Dad taught me to be curious, but discriminating, which has served me well in many spheres, as now in my design hobby.




I am often asked why I waited til my 50's to go online, learn to design jewelry, start a blog, etc. These are my reasons:





Four rambunctious boys in less than seven years... believe me, I was ready to do something feminine and artistic after being a (mostly) stay-at-home Mum for 25+ years LOL. 

You can see lots of my designs and challenges by reading back through my posts (perhaps another day, if you choose to return).

*********************************************************************

**THE WINNER IS Maggie Bryant of Normandy Life**

Thank you so much for taking time to drop by my blog. I will end by asking everyone to leave a brief comment. I WILL be having a draw/giveaway February 15th, 2015, chosen by random number generator (from all those commenting on this post ONLY, before midnight EST on the 14th), for this lovely set of handmade earrings and necklace:



The pendant heart is 20 mm (3/4"). Very demure!


ABOUT THE BEAD ARTIST:

This set features a delicious apple-green trio of heart-shaped lamp-work beads, decorated with delicately raised flowers and vines on both front and back. These lovelies were handmade by UK glass artist Jolene Wolfe of Kitzbitz Art Glass, whose work I only recently discovered and fell in love with (though she has been creating with glass since 2007). For my fellow lampwork lovers/designers: **Jolene will be having an online auction/trunk show here on February 22nd and 23rd. Share the love and support Handmade**



ABOUT THE DESIGN:

Well, they do say if you love something, you should set it free! I have finished these with simple lines (so as not to distract from Jolene's lovely hearts) using peridot Swarovski crystals and sterling silver components. The chain length can be between 16-22" (41-57cm) and will be as requested by the winner of this giveaway.



ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY: 
*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CONCLUDED*

THERE ARE NO CONDITIONS FOR TAKING PART IN THIS GIVEAWAY, other than leaving a comment and a way for me to reach you if you are the winner (email, Facebook, etc.). You do not have to follow my blog, nor are you even required to have your own blog. I will mail this prize in an attractive gift package, any place in the world Canada Post is willing to ship (and that is pretty much anywhere). You are of course WELCOME to follow my blog via any of the options in the right-hand margin, but again, this is NOT a requirement for the draw.

Thanks again everyone and we shall see you out there in Blogland!

And don't  forget to head to our hostess Vicki's blog for all the links :)


104 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your precious photos. Your dad looks like Montgomery Clift! A year has passed since the last GYB hop when I met you and won your giveaway and got to know a very talented creative lady who never ceases to amaze with her beautiful jewellery designs.

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  2. Oooo pretty! I love Jolene's work and regularly admire her showcases :) Have you also seen Trudi's work (also UK based seller) https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GlitteringprizeGlass, i love her frosted designs - they just look so yummy!
    I design and make multimedia floral crowns and bridal accessories, and my mum has started making jewellery recently so we have a few making days together. It's fun mixing the two up!

    Popping by on way through the GYB party, happy to become a follower.

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  3. Hi Monique,
    Visiting you from Vicki's GYB party today all the way from Normandy, France.The jewelry that you make is delightful, so delicate & pretty and I would love to be included in the giveaway.
    BTW just became your latest follower!

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  4. What a fun blog hop! And what lovely jewelry. :)

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  5. I met you last year and I agree blogging is so much fun-especially the interaction with others-I love handmade lampwork-it is so amazing to me'
    enjoy the party
    Kathyinozarks

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  6. It's sooooooo nice to meet you, Monique. Isn't it great that you are NUMBER ONE on Vicki's list. If everybody is like me, we'll all begin with YOU. I will be back to see more of your beautiful artwork.

    I just love that you have the picture of your father - and it's a great one. Treasure it ... and him!

    Thank you for the chance of winning your beautiful necklace and earrings. Something I would treasure, should I win.

    Please stop and visit me at SuZeQ Creations!
    xo
    SuZeQ

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  7. Hello - so nice to meet you and visit your beautiful blog and learn about you and your jewelry making. Your work is beautiful and I wish you success with your art.
    Blessings, Erin

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  8. New follower. Your blog looks fun and I love pretty jewelry (who doesn't) =)

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  9. Your jewelry is beautiful. I look forward to reading more about your passions.

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  10. Hi Monique, I've been following you for some time and I love reading you, I love your polymer adventures and your jewelry is always so beautiful!

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  11. Hi Monique, Welcome to the Grow Your blog party. Wow your handmade beads are really amazing.. and definitely not late to start.. i always feel is always better to be late than never.. :D
    Hope you'll have many new friends and followers this coming week. Huge hugs from Singapore

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  12. Thanx for letting me join! Love your work! L

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  13. Such a lovely picture of you and your father. Gorgeous pieces to give away.

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  14. Its nice to meet a Canadian artist :). I love the pendant and earrings. Thanks for giving us a chance to see your lovely design...and maybe even win it.

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  15. hi! found your blog via the gyb party! love the pendant and earrings. I make jewelry sometimes as well. right now, I've been focusing on some other things - hope you'll stop by and visit me too! have a great weekend!

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  16. Visiting from the Grow Your Blog hop. Lovely jewelry!! Do you ever do clip earrings? I'd love to win such a beautiful piece.

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  17. What a beautiful jewelry set.
    Hope you're having a great weekend.

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  18. You have beautiful jewelry. I love unique jewelry but have never be inclined to make it. My passion is in what I can create at a sewing machine whether making clothes or quilts. Thanks for the opportunity to stop by your blog.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  19. Wow such beautiful pieces, love them and thanks for the chance.

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  20. Hi there!Thanks for helping Vickie organize this event!I am new in it!I am an avid sea glass collector, and cross stitcher from Greece! ariadnesky(at)hotmail(dot)com AriadnefromGreece!

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  21. So beautiful! I tried my hand at jewelry making, it's definitely an art beyond my reach. Kudos to you!

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  22. Beautiful work Monique - I look forward to coming back and having a look around at your creations ... and I'd love to be in with a chance of win those gorgeous earrings :)
    Fil @ Fil’s Place - Old songs and Memories

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  23. Hello Monique,
    I am visiting from the grow your blog party. I imagine you were quite busy with 4 boys!! I think you must have spent much of your time in the market and the kitchen. I have some experience with how much boys eat! I am the photographer in my family and this year I have made it a priority to direct some one else to take my picture once in a while so that my children will have some photographic memories of me. I am happy to follow your blog and get to know you more in the coming year.

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  24. Lovely work, Monique. I'm also participating in this hop. Love your giveaway prize.

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  25. Ah ha - found you back. Lovely jewellery. Now my question is how did you remain sane after 4 boys?? Hilary

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  26. Hi there! First of all I'd like to say, "Why WOULDN'T you begin all of this in your 50s???" Life doesn't end for us once we reach our "middle years". I think it's the time when we can finally figure out who we are and what our life can be like! Second, I love the earring and necklace. I love blue and green together. I thought about doing jewelry before, but it never stuck with me. . . . I don't think I do tiny things very well. Thanks for stopping by my blogs today. I'm following via Bloglovin' now!!

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  27. Very nice blog Monique! Good luck with your jewelry! Susan

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  28. Hi Monique! Aren't we all having great fun with the GYB party!! And it's only the first day! I'm a new follower, and look forward to more visits here. Love the special pic of your Dad, and your jewelry for the giveaway is beautiful!

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  29. Awesome blog! You are a very talented lady! Thank you for the opportunity to win such a lovely creation! :)
    -Brittany @ Pickles Quilting

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  30. So nice to meet you and have to say that you have such adorable boys! I can totally see why you were kept busy Blogging is a very fun thing to do isn't it. Love that you are doing jewelry, and love the set that you have featured. Welcome to the party! What fun it is

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  31. What a fantastic giveaway. Beautiful. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  32. Sounds like a fun way to see new blogs. Thanks for the chance to win your giveaway. I have been following your blog for quite awhile and always enjoy seeing your beautiful jewelry. Today's pieces are very pretty too.

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  33. Great giveaway and an interesting blog, please pop by and take a look at my blog, I missed out on taking part but am visiting all those who are participating.
    https://wisewomancrafts.blogspot.com

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  34. Wow! Your jewelry is gorgeous! I look forward to following your blog to see what else you create.

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  35. Thanks for a chance to win. Very pretty!

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  36. Nice to meet your Monique. Your work is gorgeous! The wire-wrapping on these pieces is hardly the work of a beginner! I'm struggling with that right now. I'm primarily a quilter but I also like to dabble in in jewelry. I can't resist the lure of crystals. Thanks so much for sharing your work, and for this absolutely beautiful giveaway!

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  37. What a lovely intro to you and your blog. Love that precious photo of you and your father, and I can just bet your "tree boys" were a happy handful. And what a pretty giveaway!

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  38. Hi, Monique! Your jewelry design is lovely. I would certainly enjoy those earrings especially. Thank you for visiting my blog and helping out with this party. And I love that photo of your father -- how precious to have that restored!

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  39. Greetings fellow Canadian blogger! So very nice to meet you! Love you work! I shall be following you.

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  40. Wonderful family photos...good looking boys, and what a treasure the one of your dad holding you is! Would love to win your jewelry giveaway, lovely work.
    kathleen, fourmilesnorthofnowhereATgmailDOTcom

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  41. Hi Monique! My name is Kelly and it's so nice to meet you! I've enjoyed reading through your blog!

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  42. Hi Monique! It's so nice to meet you. On behalf of Vicki @ 2 Bags Full, welcome to the 2015 Grow Your Blog hop! Your jewelry is absolutely gorgeous...thank you for sharing, and thank you for the chance to win. Have a lovely day!

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  43. I love photos too. Aren't the older ones fun? I have the best time looking at pictures of my kids growing up. I quilt, but I admire your ambition to learn to make jewelry. It was fun to meet you!

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  44. I will say an interim "thanks" to everyone who has commented. Those of you with emails in your profiles, I will write and thank you personally. If you are a "no-reply blogger" (email turned off), here is an excellent guide for fixing that (and do pass it on to friends):

    http://www.flusterbuster.com/2013/02/are-you-no-reply-blogger.html

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  45. Hello fellow Canadian blogger and experimental jewellery maker! I'm so please to meet you via the GYB hop. How wonderful that you helped Vicki coordinate this hop.This is also my third year and I love hopping along. Off to figure out how to follow you. :D

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  46. pretty green nice to meet you
    H ope you stop by
    Laura

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  47. Hi again, friend!! This party is fun! Now I know a little more about you! I was also a late starter in the jewelry business. I was a stay at home mom too! :) Though I only had two, they kept me very busy over the years, plus I was also a caregiver for about 16 yrs. Beading and polymer clay began as a therapeutic outlet for me. I guess, I could have included more on my post about me. but this being my first time, I wasn't sure all what to include. LOL Well, now that I am back blogging, hoping to see all your lovelies this year! Please include me in your drawing. :) Jolene creates some beautiful glass beads! This heart jewelry set is gorgeous!

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  48. What a lovely intro! I had 3 boys, so I understand the need to do something "girly" !

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  49. I wish I had photos of me with my dad but I only have 1 that we can find. He was a trucker and not home very much and then was killed when I was 9. Protect your photos. they are precious memories.

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  50. hi what a lovely blog....and how wonderful to have such a handsome brood of boys. Never worry about how late you start anything in life......all that matters is you are here and doing what you love. Your jewelry is just wonderful and you should be very proud of it.

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  51. Hi Monique! It's nice to "meet" you! I admire a mom of 4 boys! That's work and you deserve some girly fun!

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  52. Beautiful jewelry! Boys can be a challenge!! Glad you are able to be creative!

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  53. 4 boys will definitely keep you busy. Your jewelry is beautiful.

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  54. Yes, I have two boys who have been grown and on their own for a while..But they did keep me busy when they lived at home, lol..I love your pretty creations :-)

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  55. So glad to meet you! You've obviously been very busy with raising four boys - I have two and they kept me hopping. Now they're grown, married, and we have a little grandson.

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  56. Oh, Monique, I too have waited until after 50 to go online and blog. Although I didn't have quite as many children as you, between my husband & I we do have 5 children, 3 girls & 2 boys) and 9 grandchildren, at last count. That does keep life pretty busy.
    The necklace & earrings set you have crafted is beautiful, and sea-green is my color, being a natural redhead with green eyes! :-)
    I will be visiting more to see your marvelous designs.

    Vickie @ Teacups & Toadstools

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  57. So nice to meet you. Love your four boys I have one daughter and three sons. The giveaway is beautiful. I'm not a part of this group but I just posted a giveaway this morning on my blog. Come over and sign up. I am signing up to follow you.
    http://cozyblanket.blogspot.com

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  58. I enjoyed my visit to your blog. My husband's Mom was from New Brunswick and we visit there often though usually don't get farther north than Frederickton. Still have a bit of family there.

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  59. Greetings Monique! Your jewelry is so pretty! I am a doll maker over 50 and love vintage and pink. Come by anytime! Jan

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  60. Your're blog is lovely! I hope you have a good time with the blog hop! :D

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  61. Hello Monique, what an interesting blog!!! I alway wanted to experiment with polimerclay... (read about millefiori techniques and treasure up the materials for years :-) ) ... but until today never did. I love your idea to post old photos. I'll visit again!!!

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  62. Hello Monique - so nice to meet you again and visit your lovely blog. Your necklace and earrings are beautiful - love the colors. Thank you for leaving the Bible verses for me on my blog - I really appreciate that you left them.
    Blessings, Erin

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  63. Wow did you ever get a lot of comments. I found out that I'm a no reply blogger which I didn't choose but apparently blogger does it automatically when you sign up for Google plus. I think I've changed it so we'll see if I get more comments from now on.
    As a regular follower I love your blog, Monique. The pics in this one are great especially the lovely one of you and of your sweet boys!

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  64. What a beautiful necklace and earrings. Wow! What a lovely giveaway. Thanks so much!

    I think it wonderful that you are going after your dreams and making jewelry. It sounds fascinating. :)
    ~Jess

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  65. Hello Monique

    How lovely to meet you at Vicki's Grow Your Blog party!
    Thank you for sharing those gorgeous photos with us - I can understand how precious the one is of you and your father. I have only a few of my father too.
    Your four gorgeous boys, I imagine they are all a lot bigger now, but still very cute!

    What a divine giveaway gift , I would love to be included in your drawer too!

    Monique, I would love you to come and visit my blog where I have a french influence as my daughter and granddaughters live in France.

    Hugs and Blessings
    Shane


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  66. Hi monique, I always enjoy visiting here and seeing the jewellery youve made. This jewellery set is lovely.

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  67. You have a very nice blog, love the heart jewelery. It was nice to meet you through Grow Your Blog.

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  68. Hi Monique - I'm new this year to the GYB Party, and so glad I stopped at your blog. You have some lovely designs, and thanks for the links to other jewelry designers as well. So much to look at! So nice to meet you! If I can figure out this Bloglovin' thing, I will be following you shortly! - Elizabeth

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  69. Happy day! Just want to wish you luck at winning my new book!

    Vicki's project is amazing and it introduces us to so many fabulous people.

    All joys,

    Sharon

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  70. Love the photo of you and your dad... so adorable!

    I'm a fellow GYB - lovely to 'meet' you!

    Rae

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  71. Hi Monique,
    You have a lovely blog. So nice to meet you. I look forward to following your blog.

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  72. Those are really pretty earrings!!

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

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  73. I love finding new creative Canadians!

    alexis at cobcottagecraft.com

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  74. Hello, it's lovely to discover another Canadian in the Grow you Blog event. I'm Linda and live in Ontario. Your jewelry is absolutely gorgeous and I would love to be entered to win your set, which by the way is in my favourite colour. If I'm the lucky winner I can be reached at crafty.gardener at yahoo dot ca Hope you have time to stop by my site and if you are interested I'd love to add your blog to my Canadian blog hop. Have a good day, hoping you didn't get too much snow from the storm you have just had.

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  75. Monique, I can appreciate your reason for not starting your business till after your boys were grown, having had my 4 children of my own in 4 1/2 years. After they were grown and out of the house, I started teaching ceramics, and did so for over 20 years, at which point, I began quilting, but not as a business, because with 32 family members, there is no time for anything other than family gifts, and I love it!
    lv2bquilting2@comcast.net

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  76. Monique, I can appreciate your reason for not starting your business till after your boys were grown, having had my 4 children of my own in 4 1/2 years. After they were grown and out of the house, I started teaching ceramics, and did so for over 20 years, at which point, I began quilting, but not as a business, because with 32 family members, there is no time for anything other than family gifts, and I love it!
    lv2bquilting2@comcast.net

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  77. Love going through your blog - lots of really nice things to see

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  78. Hi Monique..
    It's nice to meet you..And I totally understand why you waited to do these things! We must be around the same age. I'll be 54. That's a great looking bunch of boys! What fun.. :) That is such a special picture of you and your father. And what a great gift when fathers teach us about life. I'm looking forward to looking around some more. Have a wonderful evening and have fun at the hop.
    Blessings,
    Tamara

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  79. You were so blessed to have 4 boys! That was my dream. But, I do have one adult son and daughter - and I teach kindergarten....so lots of little boys to love! Your earrings are so pretty.

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  80. Your jewellery is beautiful, Monique. It was lovely to read your 'story' and that photo with your dad is so special. I'm an Aussie, so I'm on the other side of the world almost! :-)

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  81. Lovely blog. I'm glad that I found it on the GYB and I'm now a follower. Your jewelry is beautiful! Looking forward to visiting again.
    Cathy
    CraftyCat

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  82. I'm a GYB visitor and this is a lovely blog to come visit! You have 4 smashing lads there ! Golly you may not have begun the jewellery till a little later than some, but your skills are superb! Wishing you much success : )
    Lyn

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  83. Monique,

    I regularly follow your blog. I love your earrings and necklace set.

    Carolyn
    Carolynscreations@live.com

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  84. Those 4 boys look like they'd give any mother a run for her money! So glad you made it through! :) Especially since you've become my polymer clay guru.

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  85. Hi Monique, I'm pleased to meet a fellow Canuck ... I understand your late entry to the art field, perfectly. I will be back !

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  86. 4 boys, I get it. Love your jewelry and can't wait to see more!

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  87. I like the simple frame you provided these pretty beads; it is the perfect compliment to them, so clearly you've learned a lot in the past year or so. Never forget, EVERYONE started at zero; noone has ever been born able to complete the perfect wrapped bail. We all have to learn. Continue playing and learning and growing; isn't it fun?

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  88. Bonjour Monique, j'ai trouvé votre blog via GYB auquel je participe cette année pour la première fois. J'ai trois garçons alors avec quatre oh la!! qui sont très beaux en passant. Moi, je quilt. Je trouve votre travail très joli. Je serais de retour pour vous voir grandir avec votre art. Je vous souhaite une année 2015 très productive.

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  89. Your boys are cute, and the photo with your dad is very nice. Good luck on your blogging journey and very happy to have came across your blog.

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  90. I am so glad that your sister was able to restore that wonderful photo. It is so nice to have some pictures from the past. Your boys are so cute and I can see how busy you must have been. Looking forward to reading your blog.

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  91. Thank you so much for your giveaway. You do such beautiful work. Those earrings are gorgeous!
    Those boys are cute as can be. I have three grandsons so I know some of what you have been through,LOL. They do keep me on my toes and younger just by being around them.

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  92. So nice to meet you! Your boys are beautiful and I love the photo of you and your dad. Your jewelry is lovely too!

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  93. Hello! So nice to meet you! I have many friends in Canada and have personally visited Vancouver, BC three times...Victoria, all through the little islands and on the Queen of the North way before it sunk. It is a beautiful country and if I could start my life over again...I would want to live there.

    I wanted to let you know if you visited my blog, I was in the process of transferring my domain and my blog to another host provider...I am a self hosted blog through WP.org....right after the Grow your own blog event started and only got to post on a few blogs. I felt so bad about it, but I am up and running now!

    I crochet, knit, sew and have many other interests with crafting and of course in and around my home and my cats too!! They are my babies!! I am going to be 65 in April!! Ta Dah....the big one! Can't believe it because I don't feel that number! Lol!!

    Stop by and say hello when you can...sanderellascrochet.com

    Sandy

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  94. Hello, its nice meeting you. It lively to know about you and your love ones. The jewelry looks wonderful.

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  95. That image of your father is so precious! A great shot.

    4 boys - you deserve an award just for that ...

    Popped by from GYB.
    http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/2015/01/grow-your-blog-and-repairing-vintage.html

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  96. Wow, what a great turnout to your blog! Congrats! You make such beautiful things!
    - afistfuloflemons @ gmail.

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  97. Wow...those are so beautiful! Thank you for this chance to win this. ILuvTheEucharist @ aol.com

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  98. Have loved your blog for a long time. Still love it. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  99. Hi!
    Today through other blogs i have discovered Yours! I really like it!
    I would love to enter this giveaway!

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  100. Nothing like waiting till the last minute to read your blog. I have not been doing much blogging this winter so have been missing out on a lot of stuff. Almost missed out on this.

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  101. I couldn't pull together a giveaway in time this year, but at least I made it onto the hop! (I saw it after the fact the first year and missed it the 2nd year, even though I had it bookmarked on my bar.) Oh well, better late than never, eh? I've done mostly loom bead weaving and some polymer clay. New follower.

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  102. Hello Monique - I was so happy to see a comment from you on Comptonia tonight! I'm so glad you are still following my little gang o' goats :)
    Also, I'm very interested in the Mongolia-based blogs you mentioned!
    Thank you for the lovely giveaway opp :)

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  103. Hi Monique! Thanks for coming to say hi! Love your photos and jewelry too!
    Kelly

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I love your comments and read each one! I am happy to reply to anyone who has an email attached to their profile, and I love doing just that (plus I was brought up to say "thanks" LOL). I don't usually reply here on the blog, but I will if you are a "no-reply blogger" with a question. Know that I appreciate EVERYONE who takes time to drop me a line!

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