Happy New Year!! Review of the Gear VR Virtual Reality Goggles by Samsung and Oculus.

deshutes river trail bend oregon

Deschutes River Trail - Bend, Oregon

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Yes, it's that time, the time to start walking off that pumpkin pie we have been eating since Thanksgiving. Normally, I love to ski but since my hubby just had back surgery ..that won't be happening for awhile.  Not only is he recovering but we also have to pay all of these doctor bills. Uuuggh.  In the meantime I will enjoy the simpler things in life like hiking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing I suppose!

helenesdreams helen sanderson
Helenes Dreams - Helen Sanderson

So, I have to mention that the greatest gift this season is knowing that my husband is much better from having his microdisectomy operation. There is just a lot of misleading information on back surgery, so many stories that you really have no idea what to expect.  He was really nervous about doing it.  All I can say ..is that I am so  grateful for his recovery.  He can finally walk a real distance. For the last 9 months he has suffered with severe sciatica and could only walk a few steps before hunching over in great great pain.  I think about how lucky it is we had this option because natural methods of physical therapy, yoga, and massage just did not do the job for him.

samsung gear VR oculus goggles
Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality Oculus Goggles

Ok, the other thing I am grateful for this Christmas is my new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge cellphone.  I really am enjoying this upgrade from my Galaxy S5. I honestly would not be upgrading though if I could just have more real space to continue using the S5. But you know, the industry doesn't encourage long usage of your cell phones it seems. 

As part of the incentive package to upgrade my cell phone Best Buy threw in this Samsung Gear VR Headset...powered by Oculus.  Here is my review.

At first I was like WOW! I am just excited about this thing. I honestly could not wait to try it.  My first take? The set is nice. It looks well made and decent.  The idea is fantastic and adds a whole new dimension of cell phone use. I mean, what can a cell phone NOT do these days? Right?   So, I go ahead and I go through the set up process and install all of the necessary software downloads..etc.   The process is pretty simple and self explanatory.  There are lot's of you tube videos to check out.  But, easy enough.  Okay, so I try this thing on...and OMG!!! WoW!! How fun is this? VR is amazing and I can tell that I would be a junkie if this thing were just working just right.   Yes, I said it. It doesn't work just right.  Not yet.  This FREE thing was pretty much a savory taste of what is just to come my friends.  The visibility is very grainy and or pixelated. It never ever truly focus's just right.  It reminds me of looking through a very fine mesh screen.  It's blurry to a degree that your eyes get worn out after about ten minutes or so.  It can give you a headache.  I asked my husband and my 14 year old daughter to give it a try, and the consensus is the same.  We all agree it's amazing but BLURRY!  No amount of tinkering with the knobs works. 

Virtual reality is here though. I can already see that instead of just looking at an item ..you will now be able to shop by going into a store and turning the item upside down or to the right and left.  We are at that turning point.  You can experience movies and traveling at whole new level. It's awesome, but not perfect. 

I am thinking that the technology is completely here. The industry however will milk society each step of the way.  I would not recommend buying this set up yet.  I have no idea what the other options are as to quality of other headsets but, I am glad we did not really pay for this thing.  I am sure Samsung just wants to give you a "taste" of what's to come.

My recommendation: don't buy it. Not yet.  What's your sight worth? 

If you have something to share about this review then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.


Snow Day in Bend, Oregon

snowday,centraloregonweather,winterstorm, helenesdreams

It's a snow day today, here in Bend, Oregon.  Well, actually yesterday was too.  I tried going into work yesterday but I did not get to stay too long.. Our town was hit with literally 2-3 feet of snow within a 12 hour period it felt and I was not able to get my Toyota Rav 4 out of the parking lot at Willow Lane.  Just way too much snow!!  

Today after spending all morning shoveling snow out of the patio and driveway..... I was able to get into my Willow Lane studio at 3pm and tried to put 4 orders in the mail.  For those of you whom placed orders, please know I am working all day long tomorrow and Saturday for those Christmas orders. I truly appreciate your patience.

Thanks for reading!

A little painting here and there.

Lately my left brain craves the colors of painting. I think about doing it a lot.  The problem?  Time. So in order to feed my needs with what little time I have to do this, I paint these small tiny paintings in oil on gessoboard.  It's so fun.  I am using water mixable oils now and I LOVE this paint so much. I love how I can blend colors on the board where with acrylics I had such a hard time with this. 

 I am fascinated with bright juicy colors. With jewelry there is only so much color you can work with in the gemstone range ...but with paints...oh my gosh...so much color is flying by you. Something happens to me when I paint and I can't explain it but it brings out great joy in my heart and then my creative juices start flowing with jewelry too.  I start to realize just how much creating ..I really crave!

Have a terrific day!  Thanks for reading.

Helene's Dreams Jewelry will be at Winter Market at Willow Lane 2016

willow lane winter market 2016

Hello Everyone!  Would love to have you come out to Willow Lane this weekend on Dec. 11-12th for our Winter Market Show!   Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-5.   There will be lots of handcrafted jewelry, artist, good food, cocktails, and music too...  So grab a friend or two and come hang out with us for a bit!  Craft O will also be happening at the Work House right down the road from us as well!  Lot's to see and do!

Willow Lane Creative Artist Space
400 SE 2nd Street.  Suite 2
Bend, Oregon

Cheers Everyone!  Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!


Helene's Dreams Jewelry is moving!!

turquoise necklace gemstone pendant
Art Jewelry- Turquoise Gemstone Pendant Necklace - Sold

Hello my dear friends! I hope this message sees you well.  I know I have not been blogging much and I am realizing that I am needing to be more active in this department.  I wanted to make a big announcement.  Yes!

I have decided to take a leap of faith and move my studio out to a working artist co-op space here in my sweet town of Bend, Oregon!  As of Sept. 1st, I will be open to the public in my new studio in The Willow Lane Artists Creative Space!!

After all of these years of learning my craft of metalsmithing, I finally feel ready to open myself to the public.  I recently did my very first local show with COMAG (Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild).  I admit, this was just a scary scary thing for me as it was my first show and also amongst my metal head peers! These people are my sweet friends, but they are also pretty fascinating artists..so I felt a bit nervous. In the end it actually turned out wonderful! I met a ton of nice new friends and had a blast being super social.  I also sold a few things, which honestly I did not really expect to do so.

blue flash labradorite necklace pendant
Art Jewelry- Blue Flash Labradorite Gemstone Pendant Necklace - For Sale

As some of you know, I do sell my work on Etsy.  I started doing this way back in 2008 and I feel truly grateful that I could have this venue to share my work.  And, yes, it has been wonderful being able to work from home in my studio as I parent my children and take care of my family and home.  Sophia, my youngest daughter is now nearly 14 and I feel really ready to be out in the world working with other people.  I admit working from home has its benefits, but its definitely lonely too if you get stuck in the home cave life.  So, I  am ready..ready for a change in life...ready to be a bigger part of my community.  So, wish me luck!

green flash labradorite gemstone necklace
Art Jewelry - Green Flash Labradorite Gemstone Necklace Pendant - For Sale
For the last month I have been buried in work trying to get ready for the COMAG show. I now have a lot of new pieces I need to get posting on Etsy.  I am really enjoying working on the "one of kind" pieces.  It's been good for my creative spirit and I feel excited about working in the creative space which I feel will be inspiring for my own spirit.    I realized that I can not get caught up in what "I am called" or what "I am doing" with myself. I realize that "I am"... I am here now and every moment I live I want to focus on the now.  So, I really don't know what the future has to hold for me, but I am going to take this in like a new adventure and allow life to open up to me, instead of trying to plan every single thing.  I just want to enjoy what I am truly grateful for.

Thank you for hearing me..and supporting me. I hope that in the future you may want to stop in Willow Lane and say hello to me in person.  I had many inquiries of people wanting to come see my work and now you can!

400 SE 2nd Street. Suite 2 
Bend, Oregon 97701

Have a happy summer folks!  I will be definitely blogging a lot more so please keep in touch!

Happy Mother's Day Jewelry from Helene's Dreams!!

mothers birthstone ring
Mother's Birthstone Rings Handstamped - Helene's Dreams Jewelry- Mother's Day Jewelry

It's been a pretty busy week with handcrafting these mother birthstone rings. I think about each child when I make them...wonder what they are like and how sweet it is that some mom will be thinking about their child when they look at this ring.

I wanted to do a Mother's day Giveaway contest and yet because I just became a bit to busy ..I was not able to make that happen.  I will be hosting a  Summer Days Giveaway in June, so please check back.

Gold mothers birthstone ring
Gold Mother's Birthstone Ring - Helene's Dreams Jewelry- Mother's Day Jewelry

Just a few other things. I have and still am working on new designs. I will be in my very first show this summer at The Oxford Suites here in Bend, Oregon with the Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild. The show dates are August 5-7th, 2016.  I am so excited!!  It's really pushing me to get my ideas out now!!  NO excuses!

name bar necklace
Sterling Silver Bar Name Necklace - Helene's Dreams Jewelry- Mother's Day Jewelry

 And last but least...I am working on a my own personal website right now!!  This is the real deal!  As much as I am grateful to Etsy for all of the love it has given me...I am thinking I need to get a little bit diversified so that all my eggs are not in one basket.  I will be updating this post when the site link is ready.

Thanks for reading and checking in!
xo Helene

Wide Gold Ring Band with a Mountain, Tree and River Scene listed in my shop!

Gold Ring Nature Scene Mountains River
 Wide Gold Ring Band with Mountains, Trees and River Carved Into it

Just listed in my shop yesterday!  This gorgeous ring came to life by request from a dear and sweet customer in Canada.  She asked me to make her a ring that had a mountain and river with some trees on it as it is her favorite place to go run.   I could not refuse this lesson!

A few years back, I had taken some wax carving classes with Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine.  Yes, I flew to the east coast for a work shop.  It was so much fun.  Since then, I admit with the selling of our family retail store and having to build a new home, I sort of set aside my wax endeavors.   But then,this asking came along ...and well here is the outcome.  It turned out gorgeous in my mind... truly beautiful.  I really want to make more now!  Check it out in my Etsy shop.

mothers ring with flush set gemstones

14kt Gold Mothers ring with flush set birthstones

Mother's Day is around the corner and I must admit gold is the thing these days.  I'm one of those lucky people who can wear either silver or gold.  I love both metals and find beauty and great styles in both of them.   I sell a lot of the Mother's rings in sterling silver, but gold is always a much better choice as it will hold the engraving longer then silver and overall just wear better.   These rings are great to add your children's names or date of birth, or a word that reminds you of someone or something.  Adding the birthstones will just make it more sparkly. And of ourse you can always have either yellow or white gold.  Remember, mom truly deserves the best!

Thanks for checking in friends.  Cheers!