Saturday, December 8, 2012

(Partial) studio redo

OK, so some of you probably know that my studio is actually several "mini" studios around my home.  I have redone my torching studio (which used to live in my kitchen, BAD I know).  My torching station/studio is now in another room.  My sewing machine used to live on this surface but has been put on a shelf since I haven't used it for anything major since the summer.  Don't get me wrong, I still love fiber too, but for the smaller projects I do now and again the machine can be used on my dining room table.

Here are some pics of the new torching set up...

Not a perfect ventilation system, but much better than what I was working with previously.  Since this pic was taken I have doubled my enamel and glass inventory.  Oooooh and added a mini bead annealing kiln (pics soon).  I wish I could say it always looks like this but truth be told, 5 minutes at the torch and the space looks nothing like this, lol.  Try not to be jealous of my super cool mandrel holder there on the right, and the recycled can rod holders on the left.

 Close up of my super cool mandrel holder.  Yes it is a recycled box with holes in it that I stabbed with a fork, hooray for upcycling!  I will say it is very serviceable, holds the mandrels upright and spaced well while the bead release dries.  When one is starting out we have can't have all the fancy stuff right away, gotta save the cash for the real supplies like enamel and glass.

View out the torching station window.  Not that I look out it much because I have to focus on what's under the torch, but it's a nice view when I do get to look up.  Thanks to my neighbors Sue and Al for keeping such lovely, stately trees for me to enjoy.

Where do you create? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Back from a brief MIA...

Hi All,

Sorry I went off the grid for a bit there.  A number of personal things had finally caught up with me and after a brief pity party for myself, I have been busy making and had a few shows thrown in too.  I would like to thank all the peeps who visited me at the shows, particularly those who had such kind comments on my work and especially those who made purchases.  It truly warms me to the bottom of my heart when someone admires my work.  I suspect it is like that for most artisans, it's like a validation that all the passion you pour into your work is on the right track when other appreciate it :).  This of course includes all of the kind and dear readers who leave lovely comments here on my blog as well. 

I have been working in copper, enamel and glass these days as before.  I'm hoping to have bracelets completed combining those three materials for several people by Christmas.  This last week has been mostly a focus on lampwork beads and techniques.  Huge thanks to all those lampworkers out there who have posted tutorials all over the net for me to learn from, that goes for my enamel and metal buddies too.

Pics coming soon, have lots to show but need to get the camera out this weekend.  Also working on the tube bead tutorial for Artisan Whimsy.  Crossing my fingers that I can talk my daughter into playing photographer while I am at the torch because I'm not sure I can roll the bead etc one handed, lol.

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and wishing you all the joys of the winter holiday season!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ears To You blog hop REVEAL...

I sincerely and humbly apologize for being over 12 hrs late getting this posted.  In my rush to get everythig done and attend a wholesale appt. yesterday and a retail show today, I completely spaced on doing my post.

Ears To You is a fabulous organization that was brought to my attention by Amy of Copper Diem via this blog hop.  Ears To You provides earrings for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment in a effort to raise their spirits.  We all have that fave piece of jewelry that makes our day a little brighter, that is the hope here.  The challenge was simple, make 3 to 5 pairs (or more) and send them off to Ears To You.

Here is what I have for Ears to You so far, I plan to donate more in the future.  Instead of my usual heavier earrings I pawed around my stash for beads that were lighter weight.  My thought was that sometimes it can be uncomfortable to wear heavier earrings and these women are going through enough already.

A big thank you to Amy for making us all aware of this great organization.  If you would like to donate too all the info is available at Amy's blog Copper Diem the link is below.  Thanks for stopping by, here's the list so you can keep hopping if you haven't already:

Copper Diem
My Addictions
Beads, Tea and Sweets
Juls Beads
Fabric of my Life
Blogging Business Artisans
Jeannie's Blog
Lorelei's Blog
One Kiss Creations
Backstory Beads
According to Katie
Cherish Designs
Beads: Rolling Downhill
Falling Into The Sky
Garden Path Beads
Antiquity Travelers
Sissy and Jacks
Erin Siegel Jewelry/Art Bead Scene
Northwood Creative Studio - you are here
SilverRose Designs
Dreamin of Beads/SAS Jewelry Design
Cabe Woman
Summers Studio
Honey from the Bee
Shaiha's Ramblings
Mama's Got to Doodle
Beads for Busy Gals
Tanya McGuire
Creative Atelier

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hoops Challenge Reveal Day!

Hope you are all safe and sound following our run in with Superstorm Sandy.  So far so good here, just on sump pump detail all day today and probably the next few to keep our furnace from being underwater.

Thanks to Lorelei Eurto and Karen Totten for making this challenge possible.  Lorelei put the challenge together and Karen from Starry Road Studio made the gorgeous hoops we got to work with for the challenge.  Be sure to visit Karen's store and nab some of these lovelies for yourself, I am putting in an order for more because I had far more ideas than hoops :), the exact colors we used are not in stock at this time but there are many others to choose from.  Also visit Lorelei's blog so you can find out how to get her great book Bohemian Inspired and also check out her shops.

So here is a collage of some of the possibilities I was playing with, I was looking to do a necklace because these seemed a little large for bracelets or earrings to me. 

I liked the idea of the copper disc in the center and could have enameled them in complimentary colors, but wasn't entirely sure how I would attach the discs in the center.  The 3 in a row arrangement I had considered attaching with waxed linen and doing some micro macrame, I am really loving working with waxed linen.  Did you know you can get lots of fab colors in waxed linen at one of Lorelei's stores?

Ok, on to the reveal then...

I opted for the off kilterish arrangement, and now looking back at Lorelei's blog post about this challenge I realize she had the hoops in a very similar arrangement.  The hoops had endless possibilities but I liked the idea of embellishing them some by using them as kind of a bead frame.  Still need to improve my wire taming skills a bit, some of it isn't laying as flat as I would like.  Aren't these hoop colors just yummy?  I'm calling it Wheels in the Sky, sorta like the Journey song but in honor of our October hurricane that was like a wheel in the sky that just kept turning.

To finish the necklace off I decided to try my hand at flat spiral weave.  I think it works pretty well here.  I used metal rounds and glass seed beads.  Getting back into beadweaving as a means to use up some of my stash and a great way to finish off my enamel and lampwork pieces.

Here are a few other shots, including some rings I made to match.  If I had more of the beads left I would have made a matching bracelet too.  Guess I will have to shop for more beads (bummer) to make the bracelet.

Here is the list of the other challenge participants, can't wait to see what everyone made with their fab hoops!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

OMG I was featured...

Quick post, I know  I have some catching up to do on my blogging and for that I apologize.  Had to post this though...

While I was driving home from Florida on Monday, the necklace that I made for my lovely sister was featured over at Love My Art Jewelry for SYS Monday here is the link.  I am so honored to have been featured when I realized it I actually squealed (a little) with joy.  

Have a day of appointments tomorrow, but will try to post some other updates, very, very soon!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Leavin on a jet plane (but I do know when I'll be back again)

Off to Fl in the morning. I wish I could say we were heading there for a fun filled vacation but instead we are headed to the funeral of yet another loved one this fall.  Hubby's Grandma B has passed, it is sad but I take solace in knowing she led a long, full and mostly healthy life.  I wish I had gotten to know her better, but living over 1000 miles from a person makes it difficult to "stop by".  She will be missed, most especially by my father-in-law who was her only child. 

The warm sunny weather will be a pleasant change from the increasingly cold and grey weather here in western NY.  We have an extra season here I call "gray"  it starts sometime from mid-fall to early winter and doesn't usually end until March or April.  Many, many days of gray skies that make me want to hibernate, instead of hibernating I take afternoon naps during the gray season.  This leads to me being up later at night, which is not all bad as I seem to be more creative and productive late at night.

Hoping to possibly squeeze in a trip to meet Barbara Lewis at Painting with Fire in St. Pete.  It would be lovely to thank her in person for my obsession with torches and enamel :). 

Have some pics to post of my studio re-do.  Hoping to get that done while I am away too.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap REVEAL

Welcome to my corner of the Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap!  You may remember that this swap was the brainchild of Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio.  The idea seems simple enough, make a mismatched pair of earrings and swap with your assigned partner.  I say seems simple because I found out I was not the only one who struggled with making a mismatched pair of earrings, lol.  When mine were done I wasn't sure they were mismatched enough.  I'm not a matchy matchy girl, but still making two different earrings for a pair was a challenge for me. Big thanks to Diana for putting this together for all of us, I can't wait to get hopping and see what everyone made.

My swap partner was the lovely Theresa Fosdick of Thoughtful Notions.  Theresa makes really lovely jewelry, while you are at her blog be sure to check out her Etsy shop.  She made my earring with really cool techniques she learned from Richard Salley at Art is You.  I am honored to be the recipient of such lovely little works of art. I have  worn these often since I have received them. Without further ado, here is what she sent (drum roll...)

Aren't these yummy?!  I LOVE them.  The silvery parts are made from stamped solder.

Aren't the details just amazing?

This is as close as I come to modeling, lol.

The earrings I sent Theresa were mostly components that I made myself.  Copper discs that I hammered and enameled, enameled copper tube beads and handmade earwires.  I added some Swarovski crystals for a little bling.  Head on over to her blog to see them, the link is above. 

Be sure to hop on over to everyone's blogs to see all the great things that were created.  Here's the list so get hoppin :)

Lisa Lidd
Theresa Fosdick   My partner
Ali McCarthy   You are here...
Charlene Jacka

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shhhhh, it's a surprise...

You may remember the copper and enamel leaves I made in a previous post.  Syd asked if I could do a custom piece for her, two oak leaves to represent herself and her husband with three acorns to represent her children.  I still have to string it, but that's the easy part.  I cut, hammered and enameled the copper, then made three little lampwork acorn headpins with little copper caps.  Here it is, can't wait to see her on Friday night to present it to her.  I hope she likes it.  I will try to get a picture of her wearing it this weekend.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What's been in the works...

Wow, been a little while since  I last posted, sorry about that.  But here we are nearly into October and I have a few things to share with you.  First is a lovely fall sunset we had the other night, the sky was the loveliest shade of purple for a few fleeting moments, the picture doesn't really do it justice.

Then it changed to pinks with  purples...

I played with more lampworking this week.  I'm learning as I go, the design part is coming easily enough it's the technique of getting consistently round beads that has been a bit tougher.  Now that I have found the sweet spot and correct mix for this torch things are going a little easier.  However it seems that the glass in my starting kit has different "stiffness" according to color.  Maybe that's normal, but not having any lampworking pals in my vicinity I have no one to test this theory for me.

As I have continued working on technique a few other things have become very clear.
  1. I had read in a review that the bead release in the kit isn't the greatest when it comes to releasing.  I have to agree, unless I am doing something horribly wrong, but this stuff doesn't release for me most of the time without being rather strongly persuaded (that is to say I have to put the mandrel through a hole in a piece of wood and whack it with a hammer to loosen it). 
  2.  10 mandrels is not nearly enough, once you get going you are disappointed when you get to bead 10 and are done for the time being while the group of beads rests.
  3.  The starter kit contained several not so favorite colors and most of the colors don't go that well together, at least in my opinion.  I should however just keep using them to try to perfect my technique of a nice round bead.
  4.  I need to order a whole bunch more glass since I am quickly running short.
  5.  This an addictive artform, as most things that involve fire are for me. 
  6.  I really want to sit with an experienced lampworker for an hour or two so they can give me some guidance and constructive criticism.  Did find a class for beginners up in Buffalo, so I will be emailing her soon.

All that said here is what I have pics of, like I said before feel free to laugh along with me, my feelings won't be hurt :)

The bead on the far right has release that crackled and spattered off the mandrel onto the molten glass.

These are a little better, even got the black one round and mostly balanced!

When all the mandrels were full I played with the new torch making some realllly cool enameled copper tube beads.  Going to try and get a tutorial together soon on how to make the swirl effect ones.  I really liked them and thought others might want to make them too.  Try to ignore the St. Bernard hair on that black speckle bead, it was in every darn photo.

Here is one with some copper inclusions, the little copper discs are leftover from when I punched holes in some discs.  Hey, make use of every scrap right?

These beads turned into a bracelet inspired by a design I saw by Mary Hettmansperger.  Hers uses different types of tube beads.  I strung them on leather cord for durability, I would have preferred something more supple like waxed linen but was worried about wear.  Maybe next time some suede cording?

Front side, see how it doesn't quite lie flat, that's the stiffness of the leather.

Back side and clasp.

Mailed out my Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap earrings to my lovely partner on Friday.  She is all the way out in CA so this was a cool coast to coast swap.  Can't wait until reveal day so we can all see what everyone made!  This was my first swap and I had one heck of a time trying to make mismatched earrings.

My bead stash that I won from Lisa Lodge at Pine Ridge Treasures arrived and they are sorted into projects.  Unfortunately, I was so busy playing with fire I haven't assembled the pieces yet.  I will soon and will post them here.   Thanks Lisa for that uplifting little package :).

Went to an impromptu show yesterday.  Tractor Supply in Hornell asked for some vendors to come by and set up for the day.  Eight of us were happy to oblige.  I sold a couple of my 10g copper wire cuff bracelets.  A lovely women picked up one for her and one for a friend.  Those purchases at least covered the gas to go and a little leftover.  While I was there I made some new crafting friends, got leads on some upcoming shows, and was asked if I would like to put some things in a newly opening artisans consignment/retail shop!  You bet I will be putting some things there, thanks for asking me George.

Whew, I think that catches things all up.  Will have some other things to show and share soon.  Until then, what's in the works at your place?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hooray for MAPP!

Look what arrived at my front door today...
I think it's amusing that it says it includes "real glass rods" as if there are imititation glass rods out there.

Here's what was inside the kit...

The most exciting piece for me here is the new torch head!  It means I get to use MAPP gas which burns a whole lot hotter and a whole lot cleaner than the propane I have been using. 

And here are the things I did with this new arrival today...
First up, test on iron beads with enamel.  The bead on the left is with my new torch, the one on the right was made with my old torch, same color enamel.  Big difference don't you think, this alone was worth the purchase.

Next I had to try some tube beads with enamel, you may remember I had some really muddy looking ones in another post.  These are so much better, orange is orange and not grey, and foxglove purple is just that, though this pic makes it look a little grey.

Then I had to try my hand at lampworking.  Shhhh, these beads are "resting" in their blanket so that they won't crack as they cool.  I will try to get some close ups tomorrow of these first wobbly attempts.  Feel free to laugh along with me some of these will not be pretty :).   I have always wanted to try lampwork beadmaking, we will see where it takes me in the coming days.

These came out so wonky I didn't even let them rest in the blankets with the others, LOL.  I will save them to remind me of what not to do in the future!

Made these today before the new torch arrived.  Propane is fine for firing from underneath.  These are some pieces i'm working on for a show this Saturday.

Made this guy for a bracelet for the boy today.  He requested it when he saw all the Jacks I was making.  One eye is a little off but he loves it.  Have to remember to post the rest of the pupmkin patch soon.

Hope you are having a happy and creatively productive week. I will try to keep you posted with pics the next few days, but as I mentioned earlier I am in some last minute production for a show on Saturday, so the posts will probably be long on pics and short on words like this one.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happier days are coming!

I took a quick moment before dinner last night to finish this guy up .  His name is Happy Jack and as I looked at him today I decided he has inspired a series of lil Jack's.  He is just slightly larger than a penny but I think he has a lot of heart.  Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and fall my favorite season.

Today after I blogged out my sadness I took my aviation snips in hand and cut these pendants out of 24g copper sheet.  Then I hammered the heck out of 'em!  Of course they are finished in a variety of torch-fired enamels.  What's better than fire and hammers to work out your emotions?

Here are some close ups of the leaves:




Hmmm...maybe I need to make some more of these pendants for upcoming shows.

Happy fall to you all!

A life remembered and more importantly, celebrated

Warning: This is not as lighthearted as most of my posts.

On Friday, my father passed away.  Emotionally, my plate was already a little full, and this overflowed it.  Over the days that followed our family gathered to remember his life and more importantly, celebrate it.  Call us strange but we also celebrated his passing.  It might help to understand that our father's mental health has been in steady decline for over two decades.  Dementia struck this incredibly intelligent man much earlier than anyone would expect.  My Daddy, and yes at 43 I still call him Daddy, was an incredible person and it was painful for all of us to watch him slip away over all those years. My siblings and I were all in agreement that we had already grieved his loss for years, but death is final.  The days that followed made me realize that I had not already healed from losing him.  I can only describe it this way, it was a like a wound that had nearly healed, scabbed over and nearly scarred, but his passing and the days that followed ripped that wound open and made it painful all over again.   

My siblings and some of my father's siblings gathered together and shared our stories of him, many that somehow I had never heard before.  We shared our grief and pain of those last 20 plus years that we watched him slip away from us.  There were tears and there was laughter.  Thankfully the laughter was far more plentiful than the tears.  My siblings and I were the same way when we lost our mother several years ago.  I almost felt sorry for the other people in the ICU waiting room who had to listen to us laugh, knowing we were all there with loved ones in the most dire medical conditions.  But that's just how we deal with things, few tears and more laughter.  My parents were Christians and believed in the afterlife, surely there was something better waiting for them on the other side of their suffering.  We try not to dwell on their final painful days, which in my father's case were actually years and instead celebrate the part of their lives that were truly lived.  We try to remind ourselves that without a little sorrow one cannot know real joy, and that life is short so make the most of every moment you have.

During the funeral yesterday, my brother stood to talk about our father and his famous phrases we had all heard growing up, and the meaning of them.   He addressed all of our spouses too, and offered explanation of why my father's kids may be stubborn etc, but that we were also loyal etc and that all those qualities were learned from living our lives with our parents. It was the most beautiful memorial any of us had ever heard, and again there was laughter and a few tears.

In an earlier post I talked about the importance of making time to be with "your people".  After a lunch together yesterday following the funeral, my Uncle Paul stood and addressed the party, he said that same thing in different words.  Life is short, make time for the people who are important to you, hold hands not grudges.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bead Giveaway at Inspiration & Collaboration

Oooh the beady goodness that is coming our way via a new collaborative effort between Genea and Artisan Accents!  Head on over to Inspiration & Collaboration for a sneak peek of what this dynamic duo will be offering to the bead community on Sept. 21.  While you are there be sure to read the rules and enter to win a set of these beads before they are even offered for sale!

Here is the gorgeous set they are giving away!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I WON, and a fun swap about to happen...

The other day my fired up gal pals over at the Painting with Fire ning, told me about another bead chat group on Facebook.  The Creative Bead Chat page is just a bustling hive of beading awesomeness, I encourage you to get on over there and join the fun.

The day after my jewelry pal Lynnea invited me over there, they had a day to honor their admins.  This is well deserved recognition I must say, as this is a huge group. In addition, they had a giveaway of 11 prizes, and I WON one of them!  This was a very welcome bright spot in what has otherwise been one of those crappy weeks that life sometimes throws your way.  I won a stash of beads from Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures.  Be sure to visit her shop and you can also find her blog (which I have been following for awhile) here. Here is the pic, I can't wait to see it in person, and start making some lovely fall inspired pieces with it.  I see at least one necklace, 2 bracelets and several pairs of earrings in there!

In other news, Suburban Girl Studio is doing a real cool art bead swap in which you make mismatched earrings using art beads.  I'm going to join in on the fun to try and stretch my creativity.  While I am not a very matchy matchy person, I often have difficulty creating asymmetric jewelry and am hoping this will help.  If you want to play along too, just click on Suburban Girl above to see all the rules and how to enter.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Works in progress...and a finish

As promised here is what has been happening in my studio this week.  Some of the pics aren't the best quality but I think you will get the idea.  Weather was a lil less than cooperative, and one got finished after dark so it wasn't taken in that lovely natural light.  Someday, I hope to have a light box for better indoor photography.

This first piece is a set of links for a "story board" bracelet.  This was inspired by my friend Linda Rheault overon the Painting with Fire ning.  She has done some really lovely ones with liquid enamels.  Mine was done with a combo of sgraffito and wet packing to "paint".  My links are far less realistic looking than I would have liked, but I will keep practicing.  It is called "Northwoods" (wonder where I came up with that?).  The links are supposed to be 2 branches of white pine, cattails, pine trees and a robin's nest.

These are some tube beads I played with this week.   My 6/20 mesh enamel came in and it really builds your bead much fatter, much faster.  It is still a bit of a process though and takes several minutes per bead to build them up nice and plump like the one on the right.  The tubing is copper and slightly smaller than refrigeration tubing.  6/20 mesh enamel is sort of finally crushed glass.  I need to play a bit more to figure out and solve why my colors are going "muddy" with this technique.  The top one with the stripe shoud actually be a vibrant orange.  the stripe is a thin piece of glass that I belive are called "cat whiskers".

Headpinus Gigantucus, also know as Giant Headpin.  OK, not as giant as it could be, but this was an experiment I will be working more with this week too.  It is 18 g copper wire that was balled on the end with a torch.  Then a few coats of 80 mesh enamel to make it "sticky".  then added some of the 6/20 to see if one could build bigger headins like you would build bigger beads.  Now we will have to see just how big I can get them without cracking :).

These are of the finally finished "Painted Daisies" bracelet.  I had originally finished it with fiber to go around the wrist, looked at it for over a week that way and still wasn't pleased so today I redid it.  This finish is foxtail (or full persian) chainmaille.  I cut my own jumprings for the first time for this, they are made from 19g dark annealed steel.  I don't mind making my own rings but really need to get a saw to cut them apart so that they will close more smoothly.

That's what I have for you for today.  I have some ideas rolling around my brain for tutorials.  Once our "outside" weather is finished and the garden is put to bed for winter, I will try to get those up for anyone who may be interested.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back to school and back to the studio

There have been many things going on in my life lately and few of them have involved creativity or studio time.  I won't bore or sadden you with the details.  I will say only this, if you or someone you know lives with or has a mental illness do your best to be kind and not judge.  What can look perfectly fine on the outside can be an absolute tornado on the inside and behind closed doors. 

This weekend however, we were again blessed to be able to spend a few days at my aunt and uncle's lakeside cottage to relax and recharge.  It was WONDERFUL!  Good people, weather, food and boating.  Hubby and I slept in a tent, though there was room in the cottage on a "real" bed. Our thought was that this is probably the last chance to sleep out before the long western NY winter ahead.

Today was my son's first day of middle school.  It's odd how just moving up a grade seems to have matured him somehow.  Mind you, we have K through 12 in one school so it's not as if he has had to change venue.  But somehow it seems to have made him older and more responsible (for the time being anyway).

Back to school for him meant back to the studio guilt free and uninterrupted for me.  It was so good to wield the hammer and fire up the torch again!  I have a few works in progress and weather permitting I will try to post some photos for you all tomorrow.

Hope you all had a joyous and satisfying summer and are looking forward to fall as much as I am.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Giveaway at Earrings Everyday!

 I am absolutely in LOVE with the earrings being given away by Melissa Meman over at Earrings Everyday.  I cannot think of a single thing I own that I could not wear these with, from casual to dressy (not that I dress up very often).  So as much as I want to win them, I want you to have a chance too, just click on Earrings Everyday above to go and enter.

I'm not sure how I have missed following the Earrings Everyday blog before, but I will be from now on.  So much inspiration to be found there.  I wear earrings more than any other piece of jewelry.  I'm mostly a casual dresser, but earrings make me feel like I at least tried to dress up my outfit a bit.

I'm hoping I am back from my brief hiatus.  I miss blogging.  I miss being in my studio.  I miss normalcy.  It's hard to explain without getting too personal where I was and why, if it only concerned me I would be all too happy to explain..  So I will just say this about it.  Sometimes life throws you a huge curve ball,you see it coming to the plate.  But no matter how many times you have practiced catching this same pitch in the past, your glove misses this one and it hits you smack in the face.  No one on the team saw it coming either so they are just as surprised and upset as you are.  The missed pitch leaves you bruised and with nothing much fun or positive to say.  In time, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, cover your bruises, put the glove back on and hope you catch the next one.  That's where I'm hoping I am now, crouched and ready for the next wild pitch.  I'm sure my team hopes so too :).

Friday, August 10, 2012


On a brief hiatus due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control.  Be back soon with some cool stuff to share.  In the meantime here is the view of the sunrise at my aunt and uncle's lake house where we stayed last weekend.
Peaceful isn't it?  Wish I could rewind the last 2 days and be there now, to enjoy tranquility again.

Have a happy week and look for me back here very soon :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Beads of Clay GIVEAWAY

Stop on over to Beads of Clay they are having a giveaway of $100.00 worth of super yummy beads! 

Here's a sneak peek at the goodies.  Are you drooling yet?  Love that bead with the thistle :)

Cooked all day today for our weekend get away so i have no new works to show you today.  Look for some fun stuff early next week.  Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hopped it, and some other thoughts on jewelry

The first reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party was this weekend, I hopped the whole thing and my clicking finger is tired, but it was so well worth it.  It's not too late to hop and check out what everyone made with their surprise ingredients from their swap partners, just go to Lori Anderson's blog Pretty Things and look for the link.

The best part of taking time to hop around is seeing all the things people created, stumbling upon new blogs to follow (my list grew again), finding new places to shop and people to admire.  Inspiration was everywhere and now my jewelry bucket list has grown yet again as well.  One of the things I added to the bucket list is metal clay, I have seen it before and looked at it with some interest.  After visiting the Gossiping Goddess and her Etsy shop Theatoo, I really want to get some metal clay and try my hand at it.  Until then I have several pieces from her shop on my wish list!

As I was playing in the studio last week, in my week of experimenting, it occurred to me that many of my days in the studio are experimental.  I seldom create the same thing twice, and lately I have really been trying lots of new things, whether it be, style, technique or what have you. 

What I have not been doing is listing in my Etsy shop like I should.  I must get back to it and get caught up.  I have never been disciplined at keeping up with paperwork.  I need to go back to list making and be sure to put the unfun (not a word I'm sure) stuff at the top of the list, because I have always been a bit of huge procrastinator.  I know this about me and try to put systems in place to keep me on track, but sometimes I fall off the rails.  Admitting you have a problem is the first step right?

I mentioned in an earlier post that it was to be a busy weekend, it was and I didn't play much at all with jewelry.  But we did see many old friends at the Legion for the annual home comers weekend Saturday night.  Sunday evening we got to see Meatloaf in concert.  It was a good time, but I would have liked to see him in a larger venue as in this smaller setting the music sometimes overpowered his voice; not Patty's though, that chick has a very healthy set of lungs. Today was catch up around the house and run kids around day.  Hopefully tomorrow is back to more fun and creative pursuits.

Oh, and just a few more days until I Siblingfest 2012!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hopping and Hoping

I have been hopping around the blogs checking on the first reveals of the Bead Soup Blog Hop by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things.  So many delightful designs to see from he most simple to the very ornate. 

While I was out hopping I cam across this really cool giveaway for bloggers.  It's called Free Beads for Blogging and is sponsored by Fusion Muse.  See the button over there on the side for more info on how you can play too.  Crossing my fingers and hoping I get a chance to play with some cool beads from them and blog all about it.  Be sure to visit their Etsy store too, great beads and findings to be had there!

Off to hop around a bit more before heading out to see Meatloaf in concert tonight!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 7 already?

It's opening ceremony night for the Olympics!  I can't wait, I have always watched the Olympics with excitement ever since I was a kid.  When I was in my teens I remember thinking to myself that I wished I was an Olympian for either swimming, gymnastics or equestrian.  Although by that age I was already too old to start training for swimming or gymnastics, and while I rode all the time and lived close enough to the USET, I didn't really have those kind of connections.  So now maybe someday I will be called a "champion of jewelry".  One can dream, after all that's what fulfilling careers are built on, right?

The other exciting thing happening tonight , jumped the gun it begins on the 28th?  It's the first round of reveals for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Hop, head on over to Lori's blog, Pretty Things to start hopping.   I can't comment on any of the results yet, I wanted to get my post done before I start hopping. I'm itching to get in on the fun for the next one!

I had to go check the number of posts because I can't believe I'm on day 7 already!  I have a couple reveals today and a couple works in progress from today.  And a few bonus reveals from last week. 

I finished the necklace made from the enameled and stamped discs.  Wear testing it tomorrow night!

Connectors made from 18g double headpins, some of which were enameled in Elk Brown.

This is a bangle in progress.  There are 3 holes that will have beads dangling fro them.

These are a few reveals of last weeks work in wire wrapping.  I love the look of wire wrapping, just not sure if my fingers like the making of it.

Wire wrapped ring featuring a beaded bead made from tiny purple cat's eye beads.  Attached to the ring with enameled purple headpins.

Wire wrapped cuff.  Drool worthy abalone focal bead that my awesome Sis sent me.  I still have a couple of the abalone beads left, still trying to find the best project to feature them.

Not sure how much i will complete tomorrow.  It's our town's annual homecomers weekend.  Lots of the alumni come home to all visit from all across the country.  Parade, picnics, competitions, MASSIVE party at our local American Legion.