Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

The year has wound down and only a few hours remain until the New Year begins. As such, I have begun the required organizational clean up in my studio/office and thought I might share with you a few Christmas gifts from this year.

I made ornaments again this year. I like making them, they're quick and easy and allow me to get as ornate as I’m in the mood for. This year I added a little metal work to the mix by making the larger bead caps I used. Some just by dapping and shaping, and others I punched, shaped and LOS’d.


Some for my forum friends and our annual swap


and some for my family.

I’m blessed with a hubs and children who give truly thoughtful gifts, so of course I got some great gifts again this year. This one though, is my favorite! It’s been a running joke between the hubs and me for a good number of years now. He likes his coffee black and I like mine not so black, so it was an absolutely perfect gift and was immediately hung in the kitchen above the coffee pot.



Here’s hoping the New Year brings you Health and Prosperity and a great deal of Happiness!

Thanks for stopping by!
See you next time!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

on ReMaking my Christmas Wreath

I missed last weeks blog post I know but I do hope you’ve been enjoying the hand made Christmas finds I’ve been posting on the Rebel Mouse side of things here on the blog!

First things first - I’m getting much better at stacking rings!! Woohooo me! I’m now wearing 4, three stacked and one knuckle ring. I am so excited it won’t be long, I’m sure, before I feel they’re good enough to offer them to you in the shop.

My swap items were sent out the door later than usual :/ and Christmas seems to be descending upon us at an amazingly fast rate this year. You feel it too? So I thought it might be fun to snap a few pics as I reworked my wreath this year.

I had made a wreath several years ago and it was hung proudly on the front porch every year. Then we had an unexpected storm that beat the heck out of it, breaking it into several pieces. Tucked away in the storm cellar, it waited until I had the urge to rework it. A couple weeks ago, I saw a wagon wheel wreath posted by Two Women & a Hoe that I loved. Those of you who have been following the blog know I live in a log home and a slightly rustic/slightly victorian decor is the way I have been leaning. As such I just happened to have a repro wagon wheel I had planned on using to rustic up a chandelier and decided this was a much better idea for it :) I’ll use the pretty chandelier up here instead, the hubs likes it better anyway so that should make him happy and the bronzed chandelier can go downstairs minus the wagon wheel.

So here we go: this is the inspiration wreath:


I have got to learn how to resize these smaller!

and this is a quickie step by step on how I made mine.

You will need:
a wagon wheel (repro is fine, mine is)
a pine bough garland
a holly leaves garland
red velvet ribbon
burlap ribbon
floral pick of rose hips or other red berries
Scissors

Gather all your materials and keep them in an easy to reach spot or have a helper at the ready. Paige helped and took photos too!



Step 1 Photo 1
Begin by wrapping the pine bough garland around the wagon wheel.

Step 2 Photo 2
Find the center of your holly garland and the center of your wrapped portion of the wheel. Bring the two centers together and begin wrapping the holly garland around the wheel. First one side, then the other. This keeps the garland on the wheel balanced should one length of garland be longer than the other.

Step 3 Photo 3
Cut a length of burlap and make a bow for your wreath. Cut another smaller piece to tie the bow to the wreath, but don’t tie it yet.
Find the center of your red velvet ribbon and make a couple loops slightly larger than your burlap bow.
Place the burlap bow in the center of the loops and tie the smaller piece of burlap around the two bows.
Tuck the berry pick into the bows knot at the back.
Tie the bow onto the wreath. I usually like mine just off center.

Step 4 Photo 4
Take the red velvet tails and weave them in and out of the garland, allowing it to twist and curl as you like.
Cut a piece of burlap about the same length as your velvet ribbon and tuck it behind the bow and into the garland at pleasing intervals.
Spread the loops of the red bow to fan them out a bit. Bend and twist the berry pick so that it sprays out and you’re happy with how it looks. That’s it, you’re done! Hang it out or lean it up against the wall, add a basket or some pinecones and you’re good to go.

I hope this inspires you to make your own wreath. It's incredibly easy and the results are fun! The wreath I replaced used a styrofoam form as a base. I used pretty much the same techniques on it as this one but covered the entire form.

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see ya next time!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



This week in the US is our day of Thanksgiving.

A day ….
Of giving thanks for the blessings life has offered you for the past year.
Of being grateful for the people in your life who support and love you.
Of accepting your self for the wonder you are and being glad for it.

A day ....
For honoring those who have come before you to make the day possible.
For bestowing your best onto those who are to come next.
For enjoying good food with good people.
For love and laughter.
For remembrance.
and Hope.

May we all share some hope and light upon this world. For if we each
shed a little light, the world can be a much brighter place. For that we
can all be thankful.

Thank you my friends, seen and unseen. You make my world a better place for knowing you.

Thanks for stopping by!
Next week…. we start making Christmas decorations we found on FB and Pinterest! :D
See ya next time!

photo found on Pinterest - no credit given on pin :( if anyone knows please let me know!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Torn and Tattered



I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t have TV. Well, I have a TV but I don’t have cable or satellite. I have a pair of rabbit ears and I live in a pretty rural area surrounded by mountains so reception is iffy at best. Signals going digital actually killed the reception I had. Before they went digital I could pick up nearly as many channels as our local cable company offered so when I got fed up with paying money for a lack of service there was very little pain involved. We watched more movies than TV anyway so when the signals themselves went kaput that wasn’t even a big loss. Then I installed NetFlix, originally for the movies but soon learned we could catch up on those shows we actually missed. Shortly after discovered one or two new ones. Followed by the realization the ones we really liked that still air can be viewed online!

I WAS working on one of my UFOs, I had coiled up some brass to make up some jump rings and my blade got dull while I was cutting them. Thrilled I had dulled a blade before breaking it I put a new one on the saw. Then applied way too much pressure. The old blade was very dull and I didn’t realize how much pressure I had been using to get it to cut the rings… and then the saw slipped and found my fingertip. Ouch! After a second time and actually managing to draw blood I knew I needed to take a break. I only had a couple rings left to cut so I used my cutters to finish off the coil and decided to watch a little SuperNatural while I closed all those rings I just cut. The angels have fallen to Earth so the opening credits now feature some very tattered wings, the graphics of which I find beautiful.

Once I finished closing up all those rings and had them in the tumbler the kiddo and I had a Once Upon a Time mini marathon - I promised I wouldn’t watch without her and she’s been busy so we had a couple episodes to catch up on. Thoroughly in a fantasy set of mind after all that and a saw just sitting there with a brand new blade in it I quickly sketched up a tattered feather. Pulling a piece of scrap from the jar I got to work using my sketch as a reference. One of these days I may actually lay a pattern on the metal itself :) but so far I like free handing and I’m starting to get a good feel for the saw and what it can do.

Untitled


This is the result, one tattered and torched feather. I loved the coloring I achieved when I annealed the quill to make the self bale so I left it and just burnished the edges so they wouldn’t be sharp. Measuring 2 inches tip to tip and just 1/2 inch at its widest, I’m pretty happy with it.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

PS First image belongs to the photographer Philip Bonneau
and can be purchased here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/97495704/heroesvillains-issue-1-print-1

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Here and Now…. or Looking Back and Planning Forward

The end of the year is fast approaching. I’ve been assessing my goals and where I stand, I’ve met or have nearly met most of them - yay me! So it’s time to create a new plan for the new year, building on where I am now and in keeping with where I want to go.

Idea hoarding 1

During the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop, Perri mentioned idea hoarding, and I had to admit I had been hoarding quite a few ideas. Mine mine mine, my precious….. all mine! Maybe not quite that bad, but it was getting there. So first things first! I’m going to sift through my sketches and pull 25 of them into the light. Originally I thought 52, a sort of on the fly homage to YOJ but, I do like to participate in a hop or two and that might tend to over load my plate. 25 on the other hand gives me plenty to work with and leaves me time to play, learn new techniques, and participate in hops, so that’s my number and I’m sticking with it!

I’ve noticed I have not been as active with Wind Dancers FB page as I would like to be or even as much as I used to be. As an added bonus the 25 sketches gives me a way to engage, to show my processes and start sharing again. I’ve also been looking into Rebel Mouse, if what I’m reading is right, it can act as the front page for the blog here and feed into FB the way this blog used to. What’s cool is it gives me back the ability to share the pins I find that are relevant to my blog posts. I really really liked that and I miss being able to share them. Annnnd it turns all that I spend way too much time on (place your fav soc. media site here) into actual productive time again. That kind of jazzes me, must be the Virgo coming out! Organization AND Productivity WHOOT!

Expect to see (hopefully) some finished UFO’s over the next few weeks I have a couple I’d like to get finished up by years end (knocks on wood!) and of course the home made Christmas features, only SIX weeks left!! Yikes, I haven't even decided yet what I’ll be making for gifts this year! ….. sigh I feel so behind …. Then we can get started on the new years postings!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
We’ll see you next time!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Of Family and Soldering…

and how simple changes can make a world of difference.

I want to to make stacking rings so badly that even though I have struggled and struggled to master soldering, I keep trying and trying and trying. For several years I’ve tried. I’ve struggled with the right torch, the right flame, enough solder, too much solder. I have adjusted every little detail I could think of save one.

This weekend I thought I would give it yet another try. Several hours and complete frustration later I was ready to give up. I didn’t though. I marched myself over to you tube and found my friend Melissa Muir’s videos. Melissa goes into great detail when she makes a video. She explains the what and the why right alongside of the how. Being left handed I need that as mentally I have to flip all I see in my head in order to mirror the actions and there are no classes local to me where I can just be told I’m doing something wrong and how to fix it.

I found a video that uses soldering and clicked. It hadn’t played for very long before I hear, you can’t just use any flux…. What? The solder won’t flow properly ….. serious? The ONE thing I never once considered.

Untitled

Found a quickie how to make a boric acid flux and voila! I CAN solder! Happy Dance! I still need practice, obviously, but I am now wearing two copper stacking rings and am planning several more. This one seemingly small detail has made a world of difference for me and opens up another avenue of jewelry making I’m excited to explore!

As I mentioned in an earlier post my Grandma was gravely ill. They had decided it was time to send her home to hospice care and allow her to die in her own bed. I was heartbroken to say the least. But before my Mom could bring her home another Dr stepped in. He studied her charts and her file. Talked to my Mom and Uncle, actually listened and then made a simple change in her medication. This made such a huge difference he decided to take an xray of her chest and found a pocket of fluid pressing against her lung. She wasn’t suffering from congestive heart failure at all. Her recovery has been nothing short of miraculous! She’s currently in an assisted living center for physical therapy. She will be coming home, not to die but to live!

PS3-6-06869J2288x1712-19579 Never underestimate the power of small changes and persistence. They can pay off in very big ways!

oh and Yes! I am still going to donate my hair. I’m thinking another 12 inches is in order this go around. That leaves me enough to make another donation in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tesori Trovati Reveal!

This has been the most interesting nothing goes as planned creation and post I have ever had the pleasure of.

Untitled

I'm sure I've told you of winning the bead from Erin of Tesori Trovati. We were to have a reveal hop in September. Erin made a wonderful (I'm sure) bead and sent it my way. It just never seemed to actually find me. Tracking has it being mis-sent across the river and then returned to Little Rocks sort facility supposedly to be sent here but then it just stops there in Little Rock, no more info and no bead.

So Erin, doll that she is, makes another one. Of course now I've missed the reveal so it was extra sweet of her in my opinion. This one arrived safe and sound, and was definitely worth the wait!

Erin, Paige and I had decided we would plan a reveal for the end of October. The last Saturday of the month, which was this last weekend. I had it in my head we had one more weekend. I did take pics this weekend so it was ready to go but instead of my being ahead of schedule I was behind. sigh I offer my apologies my head is usually better attached!

Untitled

"You are a child of God, with credentials like that you can do anything." I would give my daughter the moon and stars if I could. I would move heaven and earth for her. I strung them on a chain for her instead.

Paige and I had played with ideas and had started working on some resin charms as I had originally intended to run a chunky chain through the bead as a start to a charm bracelet. But as this was a collaborative effort with my daughter things changed as we worked on it. While I love some embellishment, she prefers much cleaner lines.
Then the resin didn't want to set. It was a very humid and rainy day, so we warmed it to help set the Ice Resin. The larger charms with thinner layers eventually set up. The smaller with a thicker layer, still has not completely set two weeks later. It's slightly tacky and grabs anything that touches it. Lesson learned, this is not the resin I used in my youth. I made a few more charms with extremely thin layers and they have set up wonderfully. They will be used for the beginnings of a charm bracelet and if the smaller charm ever sets up, it will too.

Untitled

To keep the bead from wobbling I punched a couple small discs and dapped them for a slight dome of their own. As luck would have it the arc is a perfect match to the bead caps I used. I love the added bonus of the two tone look it gives to the caps. I used a long eye pin I had on hand but I think with the length of the necklace I'll cut a short piece of wire and replace the simple loops with wrapped. This length invites playing with the beads and I prefer they be secure. Paige agrees!

So there you have it! A late posting of a late bead, with an on the fly redesign and it fits the kiddos personality to a T! This is my gift to her. She's been wearing the moon pendant since I gave it to her and is waiting for the new loops on her cosmos.

Thanks so much for taking a peek!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Donation to Beautiful Lengths

This beautiful shot of the back of my head is a purposeful shot of my hair.

Untitled

My Dad was a barber like his Dad before him. His brother was a barber and one of my aunts followed suit as well. When my Aunt passed a couple years back I donated close to 12 inches in her memory. I chose to donate to Pantene's ongoing drive "Beautiful Lengths".

Locks of Love may be better known but they do nothing to dispel the rumor they donate their wigs to children with cancer. They donate to children, yes. They donate to children with Alopecia Areata - permanent hair loss. If that loss happens to be caused by a cancer treatment then that child is eligible but that is the closest they get. Locks only makes a handful of wigs per year, they sell the bulk of the ponytails they receive. All the info is there on the website, you just have to dig around for it. Don't get me wrong. The very few children they help get custom fit wigs until they are adults and that is no small thing for those on the receiving end. It just isn't what everyone thinks it is.

Beautiful Lengths on the other hand donates wigs for chemotherapy patients. THAT was my intention for my hair the last time I cut it, and why I chose Beautiful Lengths to donate my hair to. My Aunt was deeply saddened at losing her own hair when she had chemo and wore a wig herself to hide it.

My Grandma won't face hair loss as she won't be facing chemo with her battle. Still I felt it time to make another donation. While my German/Russian and Scottish heritage comes from my Dads side of the family, my Native heritage comes from my Moms side. But rather than cutting my hair in mourning I would like to make it a celebration of life. To make someone else's life a little better is a glorious way I think and in keeping with that I'd like to include you.

Untitled

That's where the ruler comes in. As you can see I have next to my braid an 18 inch ruler. Minimum donation is 8 inches, so no matter what is ultimately decided that much IS coming off and being donated. How much more than that is up to you. I will donate up to 16 inches. Keep in mind 16 inches of braid is closer to 18 inches of hair and more than double the asked for donation. So how much will I donate? Head on over to my FaceBook page and vote on the poll!

Thanks for stoppin' by!
I know you're wondering.... scribbles on the kiddos hand are glazing recipes. She's an Art Major and had just gotten home from her ceramics course. :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October is… Pink



This has been a rough week. It's October and that makes it Breast Cancer Awareness month. My Mom's birthday was last week, she is a survivor. Go mom! Today (the 15th as I write this) would have been my Dad's birthday, he died of lung cancer when I was in my early twenties. Sometime this week my Grandma comes home to hospice care. At 90 she has been diagnosed with breast and colon cancer. The surgery went well, but the recovery has proven to be too much for her body. First the incision blew, then the pain meds gave her hallucinations and a devastating fall breaking her hip. More meds, more hospitalization and her heart just can't take any more, she's developed congestive heart problems. They are sending her home to die in her own bed. This was a very large part of my tumultuous August, the initial diagnosis and surgery. I had truly hoped the recovery would be much smoother than it ultimately was and am heartbroken to say the least.



Back in August or sometime in September, I'm not really sure at this point. Heather Powers issued a design challenge on Art Bead Scene She had posted a photo of a painting Tres Personajes by Rufino Tamayo Its reds and purples, greys and golds were very striking and as I loved the jewel tones I thought to design a little something to play along. But with everything going on at the time all I could see was Day of the Dead. So I sketched but my heart wasn't in it.

Last week I had a little downtime and as Day of the Dead is approaching I pulled out my sketch and played a little. I first embossed a piece of copper and gave it a dark patina. Then I dapped an oval to support my sugar skull and pulled out the clay. I hadn't sculpted anything in ages and it was a very nice change of pace. I sculpted the skull in layers of black and grey and added a crown of flowers. I had originally planned on using the vibrant colors of the painting but opted instead at this point to go with the traditional colors of Marigolds. I remembered the wonderful leaf charms Jennifer sent during bead soup and knew they'd be perfect to balance her crown, I even tucked in a couple vintage leaves I received in an order from a sweet little shop on Etsy.

Untitled

The chain took an evolutionary turn as I wasn't entirely happy with the size or style that I had been working on and decided instead to rivet larger links. The links slight arcs reminded me of ribs and they just seemed to fall into place perfectly, the original chain I had worked up balanced it well and I finished it off with one of my hand crafted clasps.

Untitled

Once it was finished and I thought of the celebratory nature of it all it seemed it might be the perfect cathartic release. A celebration and remembrance of the lives of my family by love and by blood. The people who were and are closest to me and are most responsible for who I am today.

I found the challenge if you're interested in seeing the results - gorgeous colors!
http://artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2013/08/august-monthly-blog-tour.html

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Etsy's Town Hall Meeting

I forgot to sign up. By the time I got confirmation it was over. The forums though, as you can imagine, were extremely busy. Normally I try to steer far away from the forums during any announcements of change, the sky is falling posts are like locusts getting everyone worked up about and against something they'd all been screaming they wanted for ages. Boggles the mind.

This is another one of those things but on a much bigger scale - a case of be careful what you wish for! I was pretty concerned myself at first until I realized this actually gives them more control to get rid of the resellers. How many Chinese factories do you think Etsy will ok? They're notorious for terrible labor practices and no sweat shops will be allowed. Obviously manufactured items have to be disclosed to Etsy or the shop gets closed.

Everyone gets caught up in the how will I compete. The thing is, we aren't competing. It might make it harder to be seen, but it's always been hard to be seen. We've always had to drive our own traffic, that doesn't change. More importantly, our customers can see the difference in manufactured and hand made too.

What allowing outside help does FOR us is if you need help for a large order or the Christmas season it's ok to hire someone or more. If you've worked your behind off to get that wholesale order with Macy's -I have a friend who did, she was super excited until she realized her first order was more stock than she had and the deadline was looming - this allows you to be sure you can meet your order deadlines. Ensuring your success. It also means for those of us who have been approached for crowdsourcing a short run, we can say yes if that's what we want to do.

Success means different things to all of us. As we grow the definition can change too. Etsy is trying to make sure they can continue meeting our needs as that happens.

Change can be scary and this is a big change. But we will survive it, just as we always have. My sales have increased with each change, even during the recession, so I remain hopeful with this one as well.

yellow and blue swallowtail

On to happier things! My Pieces for Bead n Button are finished, boxed up and ready to ship off for photography! I can't wait to see what they look like professionally shot!

Paige and I worked on our project a little bit, still waiting on Erin's bead to arrive but we're pretty happy with what we have so far. Amazing how what you see in your head changes when you bring another artistic soul into the mix. Completely different from what I had envisioned but much more in keeping with Paige's style. Since this project is more about her that works!

I'm smiling big toothy grins more often these days, as I hope you are too.
Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Have a New Tooth!

Just back in from the Dentist and I have a brand new tooth. It's so pretty and I can actually smile again, I mean really smile, I've missed that tremendously. I so wish I had found this dentist first before the others but am truly thankful for having found him at last. That said the pain meds are starting to kick in and I'll leave you with todays post on Hand Made.

I've been reading and participating in discourse from Etsy to FB to other forums that discussion of just what is hand made. It seems once again there is a flush of product being sold that shares a remarkable resemblance to those mass produced items one can find in the dollar jewelry store and other similarly priced import stores.

It's an ages old discussion that's been around the block once or twice and it always makes me cringe with it's implications of mine is better than yours. I believe it has spawned numerous turns of phrase to try to encompass those grey areas while still defining just what hand made means. Mass Produced, Hand Assembled, Home Made, Hand Made, Hand Crafted, and Artisan Made I will try to touch on all in this blog post.

To clarify what hand made means to the Craft World I hunted down the jury specifics to a guild I've been kicking around joining for several years. (Still on the fence about it btw)

Jewelry, metal: May be fabricated or cast. Casts must be from artist’s original design. Stone settings must be secure and neatly finished. No rough edges in contact with wearer’s skin. Pieces must fit comfortably. No commercial findings or purchased elements will be the focal point of any piece. Originality is stressed. Clasps and other findings must be securely attached.
Jewelry, beaded: Loom weaving of beads is acceptable. Designs must be original. Strung beads MUST contain a hand-made focal point, bead or pendant made by the applicant. Pieces made from only purchased components are not acceptable. Handmade elements will be judged by the criteria of the medium, i.e. glass, metal, wood, etc. NOTE: THE FOLLOWING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED:items from kits or items assembled from pre-manufactured components; commercially manufactured items or resale items; plastic or commercial findings as the focal point of any piece; imported items;

And from the FTC Ie the Federal Trade Commission

(a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that any industry product is hand-made or hand-wrought unless the entire shaping and forming of such product from raw materials and its finishing and decoration were accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which permit the maker to control and vary the construction, shape, design, and finish of each part of each individual product.
Note to paragraph (a): As used herein, "raw materials" include bulk sheet, strip, wire, and similar items that have not been cut, shaped, or formed into jewelry parts, semi-finished parts, or blanks.
(b) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that any industry product is hand-forged, hand-engraved, hand-finished, or hand-polished, or has been otherwise hand-processed, unless the operation described was accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which permit the maker to control and vary the type, amount, and effect of such operation on each part of each individual product.

It definitely sounds as if they're in agreement there. To be considered hand made the artist must have manipulated the raw materials into another form.

Factory workers are then hand making their wares, yes? No. They are mass producing by assembling pre made parts.

Here's where it gets a little sticky - stringing beads is also considered to be assembly work. Here's also where the heated discussion tends to begin in the jewelry world. While I do agree it is assembly work - I also know it takes a keen eye to find color ways that are strikingly gorgeous and a design eye to find the right balance in making it fit and drape properly. I know many jewelers who do just that and while they may not always make the hand made focal beads they have still created with their two hands a small work of art.

Home made is a term that can bring both good and bad to mind. Home made goodness - comfort foods, holiday meals, large comfy afghans, ice cream yum! But it also brings to mind not quite straight seams, dropped stitches, lop sided bowls, items not of a high quality - and that's a shame as once upon a time home made was the best quality.

Hand made, can be of a very high quality usually of a craftsman. Think leather goods with hand stitched details. But as we've read hand made does not apply to all of us. So instead I prefer hand crafted. Using the skills of a craftsman to create with heart and hands. It's the heart part that really means something to me. That little bit of your self that you put into each piece you create. I hand craft, though most of the time I qualify as hand made, I really don't have a problem using a pre made component if that might give a more polished end result as the design calls for, especially if I haven't mastered the technique to a point I'm comfortable with charging you for.

Artisan made falls in the same category, highly skilled and capable of manipulating the raw materials into a beautiful piece of wearable art. Art, artistry in ability. I like this one too, it speaks to my soul of creating from the heart. Again it's the heart part that speaks to me here.

Notice I didn't speak of materials in this post but rather just the artistry aspect in creation. Because I tend to create with a definite vision in my head I know that it isn't the materials used but the way they're used that makes a piece. You can take a precious gem stone and put it in a horrid setting, the stone is still pretty but the effect is eh. Likewise you can take a piece of glass and set it in a beautiful setting for spectacular results. I've said it before, I'm no gem snob! If it's got the look I'm going for, it's perfect!

So there you have it. My take on what makes it hand made

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's on the Desk...

I could have sworn I posted last week, but I don't see the post I could swear I posted. Then again I had an entire post worked out in my head on Monday and thought I had written it to post on Tuesday but nope to that too. sighs

Turns out the broken tooth is a dead tooth and needs to come out, next week in fact. But I get a brand new one in it's place. Looks like I'll be pretty loopy for a day or two so if my post is a little incoherent please accept my apologies in advance!!

Erins most awesome little bead is still on walk about, sooo we've postponed our reveal date. On the bright side, Paige and I have decided on the design for it once it does arrive. I'm really looking forward to working on that with her this weekend.

What I have been working on the past week or so is my Design Challenge piece for Bead and Button. ooh I had so much going on last month I don't know if I actually said anything here. I - are you ready? - was chosen - I'm so excited!! - to be one of the designers to participate in Bead and Buttons Design Challenge!! I've been giddy ever since! I received the most wonderful assortment of beautiful little baubles from A Grain of Sand. I drool over that site on a regular basis as it is but now I'm drooling over my own desk lol I have been having so much fun playing with these and I'm so happy with the way it's all coming together - I wish I could show you....... but you'll have to wait for the February issue. Don't worry I will remind you {HUGE GRINS} so excited, does happy dance back over to my desk. haha new laptops are awesome you can dance with them!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
We'll see ya next time!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Birthday Toys and Mozart

Last month's emotional roller coaster left me tired and feeling a little drained and not much in the mood to do anything creative. So I thought I'd turn my focus into a little house cleaning in those areas that were bugging me - the dust bunnies hiding under the couch, the dust accumulating on the front edge of the ceiling fan, the clutter on the kitchen counter tops. Something physical enough to get me up and moving but inside (summer woke up from its nap!) Unfortunately I had already used up those newly written back up posts so I missed last weeks post during my need to clean - oops!

While I was sipping my coffee this morning the e-mail brought a nice little note from Pandora radio. It said "Your next favorite song is waiting on Mozart Radio" Well why not? I'm in the mood for a little Mozart. Once upon a time I played violin and Mozart is as soothing to my soul as working with my hands is. One quick click later and my foot is keeping time and the stress is melting, just that quick.

I sat reading the rest of my e-mail, foot still keeping time, and checking in on Etsy. Quiet save for the violins, not even any chatter in my brain. A smile. Then a flash of a little something and a need to grab the sketchbook. A little time with the pencils and the need spilled over to my new toys. (My birthday was last week and I got some new toys to play with) With Mozart and friends still playing in the background I played a little. Cut, embossed, patina'd and buffed. I even dapped a couple. Not quite sure what I plan on doing with them yet. There really wasn't any plan for them to begin with, but I like them and since I'm waiting on beads to arrive what better way to entertain myself!

MozartBirthday

”Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.” -- Henry Ward Beecher.

My bead from Erin should be here any time now and the beads from Bead and Button should be here by the end of the week so together should be enough to keep me creatively happy for a little while. If I forget to pop my head up I apologize in advance - I see more Mozart in my near future!

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Turbulance

It's been a very strange month. The ups and downs have been a little surreal. The ups have been wonderful and the downs have been frustrating to devastating and they're happening back to back paired up like a wicked roller coaster ride. The wonderful overshadowed by the bad and then the bad eased by the good. This is life as it always has been but amplified from one extreme to another.

A Nicer Example: I'm allergic to insect bites, we had quite a bit of rain recently and the mosquitos are thick. My horse found a weak spot in the fence and opened it up like a gate, so has been free grazing the neighbors pasture (thankfully we have permission to graze him there) but I've been reworking the fence and getting eaten alive by mosquitos. We also just finally replaced the dead lawn mower and while I was mowing I discovered a hill of fire ants by being attacked by them. All the work done in the front of my mouth by my previous dentist has now fallen out and I have been reluctant to trust another dentist (the last several have been not so pleasant experiences) as a result I broke a tooth - in the front of my mouth and my lip keeps getting sucked in and bit. All this leaving me with a slightly puffy face, a broken tooth and since my birthday is coming, a drivers license needing to be renewed NOW. sigh But it was my son's birthday and we went together to get our licenses renewed, the Revenue office was empty NO LINES, we had a blast, and the new pic wasn't even remotely ogre-esque looking!

At roughly the same time Erin over at Treasures Found and of Tesori Trovati had an inspirational give-a-way that was part of her birthday and reflections of the celebration of life that was a dear friend of her family's.

She asked:

If you are a Child of God and you can do anything, what is that anything that you would want to do?

and I answered: Once upon a time I taught fourth grade art through the arts council. I taught all three of my children and all of their friends. My daughters dream is to open a store where she can also share her love of art with the local children. If I could do anything it would be to help her realize her dream, to share her passion with the kids.

And I won! Paige has agreed to work with me on this project which we promised Erin we would reveal on September 20th. I'm really looking forward to having a little playtime with Paige. We've thrown out a couple ideas already and now we're just waiting for the bead to arrive. I gave Erin our favorite colors and told her to surprise us in her choices, all her beads are gorgeous so I have complete faith this one will be as well. Paige is taking another ceramics class this year and I just may have to break out the polymer myself or resin, I haven't played with resin in ages.

Whatever we decide on, I do hope you'll join us on the 20th to see just what we've come up with! And hopefully in the meantime my life will have settled down to a less tumultuous and turbulent ride. ~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In Which We Machine Wash a Favorite Leather Jacket

My son normally keeps his bedroom door closed. He doesn't want to accidentally close a cat or dog in the room and come back to a puddle. Smart thinking I say. Unfortunately on the extremely rare occasion of having left the door open someone with four legs and a tail left a puddle for him, on his bed, with the door wide open and access to the proper place for that unhampered. Needless to say he was a very unhappy camper. To make matters worse his favorite leather jacket was on the bed.

We spot cleaned the jacket, stripped the bed and sprayed a peroxide and baking soda mix on the mattress. By morning the bed was fine and freshly washed sheets were in place. The jacket on the other hand stunk to high heaven and was discolored too. The discoloration I'm thinking was cleaning residue.

Sad and still a bit angry he started calling dry cleaners looking for someone to clean his jacket. No leather cleaners in the state, the dry cleaners would have to ship it out of state and he would be charged a minimum of $50 regardless of whether or not the jacket came back clean. They told him the jacket was garbage, just toss it.

You all know I've spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest. In my Pinterest travels I came across one of my new favorite blogs One Good Thing by Jillee. She has compiled a wondrous amount of useful info in her blog and I remembered a very recent post about cleaning leather. I instructed Alex to get on my computer and head to her blog to search for that post. Her post said she cleaned her leather purse using Castile Soap. Lucky us I just happened to have a bottle of Castile Soap on the shelf.

Over to the washing machine we went castile soap in one hand, stinky jacket in the other. Following Jillee's directions we washed the jacket while I gathered towels for a second load. After a brief drying on gentle with some fluffy towels we hung the jacket up to finish drying.

Alex thought he caught a slight whiff of the nasties so I directed him to hang his jacket out in the fresh air for a little while. Something about line drying makes everything smell so good I figured it couldn't hurt. The skies started clouding up so Alex brought it back inside and …… no smell, not even a hint of the nasties.

The favorite leather jacket is clean, smells good and is still soft and supple. Alex waited until it was absolutely dry and gave it a nice wipe down with some leather conditioner to be on the safe side, but that jacket looks and smells just like new!

Thanks to a slight Pinterest obsession and a newly beloved Blog, we saved the favorite jacket that everyone else had deemed garbage! Thank you Jillee!

And thank you for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Reject Your Label and Add my Own?

I, like many of my fellow artisans, am on Linked In.
While you are on your profile they have this little pop up that asks you to recommend your connections.
Does so and so know this?
Does so and so know about that?
Most of the time I ignore those little boxes as they like to ask questions of me in regards to folks I've "just met". I don't know them well enough to know their backgrounds as yet. Most are fellow jewelers, some are in antiques and still others are in other avenues of home spun goodness whether it's in the business of publishing about it or of selling it.

I have recently been getting a flush of recommendations for sculpture and textile design. While I can do both, it's not what I do. So, I have been hitting the little x.
But then I got to thinking about it. I CAN sculpt and I CAN screen print, knit, crochet and sew, I HAVE done all of the above. In fact if you really want to, you could say the copper roses I made for my son were small sculptures, I did form them from a piece of copper sheet that I cut from that roll standing in the corner over there. Maybe I was hasty in my x-ing out those recommendations.

Maybe I have been too hasty in placing myself in a small box with a label of jewelry maker. My lips and fingers have said time and time again, Artist first. They refuse to be placed in a small box with a label and yet there I am x-ing out a recommendation that doesn't fit with that label I seem to have placed upon myself!



If I am to be an artist first should I not embrace all that I CAN do rather than ignore it in favor of what I CURRENTLY do? For that matter why couldn't I sculpt a focal and screen print some ribbon to make a truly unique piece of jewelry. Fully embracing the OTHER things and welcoming them into what I currently do…..
I enjoy combining techniques and styles, always have, it's just what I DO!
huh Imagine that……

Thanks for stoppin' by! If you'd like to leave me a comment, I'd love to know what other things you can do to enhance what you do but might not have thought of. We'll see ya next time!

read label gif found here: http://npic.orst.edu/health/readlabel.html
rolls of labels found here: http://www.webermarking.com/

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Proudly Embracing my "Idea Hoarding"?

Idea hoarding 1

During the Bead Hoarder's Hop my dear friend Perri mentioned sometimes what we are hoarding is the idea as opposed to the beads. What? pshhh who isn't?
Wait…..
Jean has been encouraging me to write, to share my ideas. (outside of my comfort zone but I've been working on it Jean!)
Perri hints I'm hoarding those ideas. (oh look! there's my comfort zone!!)
Those two things do not usually go together. One cannot hoard and share at the same time. They are essentially opposites.

hoard : noun
1: A stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded:

3: An amassed store of useful information or facts, retained for future use

share .verb [ with obj. ]
3: use, occupy, or enjoy something jointly with another or others:

Idea Hoarding 2

I immediately took to Google and plunked in Hoarder of Ideas and found these:

"Freelancers are FULL of good ideas, and entrepreneurs are even worse. So I know you have all these little bits of ideas kicking around. You stash, you store, you fill up your hard drive with half-written files and snippets full of good intentions.
Just in case. Because one day you might need them. You’re planning to do something with them.

One day."

http://menwithpens.ca/hoarding-ideas/

I have been self employed my entire adult life, I have ideas for a second etsy store, ideas for this, ideas for that. written down, tucked away, filed for later - and I have started writing down ideas for blog posts so I can have something for later just in case I forget to write - you've even heard me plan that! I have stacks of post it notes filled with sketches of design ideas for jewelry, those I've made and have yet to make. Notes about colors of beads to use, which beads to use, their sizes and even on occasion the exact inspiration for the idea itself.

Certainly sounding like the shoe fits doesn't it? Before my computer died I also had lots of inspiration files hoarded err tucked away in folders on the hard drive - now I have Pinterest and probably have about the same number of files stashed away there. lol But I'm not guarding them, squirreling them away from others, all my boards are public, I freely share those finds and it makes me happy when I get the notifications that someone has repinned one of them.

and then this...

"But there comes a time when we should use them, donate them, share them, or toss them. We should stop treating the products of our research, observation, and contemplation as if they were precious objects. Let them go: Give them to your students, your colleagues, your friends, or anybody who might be able to make something from them.
Imagine what you’ll be able to do when freed from the guilt, the burden, the crowding, the clutter of your old stuff. What might the clarity offer?"

http://chronicle.com/blogs/conversation/2012/08/27/are-you-an-idea-hoarder/

hmmm……

Idea Hoarding 3

Maybe it is time. Time to organize my sketches, sort through them. No need to keep the ones already brought to life. Could be fun for a look book, from concept to fruition, but would I actually follow through on that? <-- hahaha did you need any more proof??!
OK then! It is definitely time to sort and toss, maybe write out a tutorial or two so I can really share. Clean the clutter from the pile on my desk and brain so I can get back to playing, to creating a new stack of sketches, or even better yet pretties to wear!

So glad you stopped by….. if you've been hoarding ideas too, feel free to share in the comments!
Maybe together we can break the habit and start using our ideas instead of letting them get dusty.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

~ : { Bead Hoarders Blog Hop } : ~

Whew! I did it! I wasn't sure for a little while if I would make it. Between the tinglies, the numbness and the no clue what to do's. But I did DO it and right on time too. As I mentioned in my last blog post I went heavy on the pink, it felt right and since the metals market has finally come back to reality I broke out the gold. Boy did THAT feel good! Talk about hoarding!! Serendipity strikes again.

I decided to start with the Aventurine Donut as I had had an idea for it that I just had never brought to life. My inspiration however was long gone, and I have as yet to get all those little slips of sketches organized. It's terrible, I have sketch pads everywhere but instead I still use the corners of envelopes and post it notes to jot ideas down, go figure :) I just let myself play a little bit and I'm quite happy with the overall feel of the pinks and greens of the Aventurine and Rose Quartz paired with the gold.

Donuts and Curlicues

While I was playing with the Donut, this little guy popped into my head and I wired him up. Long enough to wrap around if what you desire is to let the aventurine drop dangle at your throat instead of gracing the nape of your neck. The sliding knot allows the length of the dangle itself to be adjustable as well.

Untitled

Next up was that sweet strand of vintage faux pearls. Ideas galore running amok in my head with all the cup chain designs floating about. But I settled on this one. Again breaking out the gold and adding some glass pearls to the mix. I am soooo tempted to keep these for myself <3

Vintage Meets Modern

While I was playing with placement of pearls in the last pair of earrings these champagne pearls just kind of hopped on a head pin!

Untitled

The key was last and I was starting to worry I wouldn't make the deadline for it. The idea just wouldn't make itself known beyond the fact it needed to be on the charm holder. That is until I remembered I had these long head pins and a vintage necklace with lots of silver beads. And then Finally an idea. Nothing fancy wire wise just loops but a sweet layered look none the less.

Keys Pearls and Angels

Thanks for taking a peek! Now, let's go peek at what everyone else did…..
The Rest of the Hop!

1. Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4. Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5. Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6. Leah Tees, My Beady Little Eye
s 7. Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8. Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
9. Sharon Palac, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
10. Erin Guest, Renlish

11. Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13. Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
14. Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15. Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16. Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17. Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18. Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19. Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
20. Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23. Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24. Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25. Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26. Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27. Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28. Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30. Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31. Robyn, Museiddity
32. Catherine King, Catherine's Musings
33. Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34. Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36. Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37. Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38. Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39. Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40. Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads

41. Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42. Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43. Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44. Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45. Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46. Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47. Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
48. Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49. Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50. Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51. Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52. D'Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53. Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54. Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55. Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56. Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57. Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58. Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59. Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60. Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61. Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62. Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63. Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64. Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
65. Tracie Dean, Dean Designs
66. JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67. Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68. Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69. Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
70. Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes
71. Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72. Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
74. Ile Ruzza, Ilenia's Unique Beaded Jewelry
75. Jackie Marchant, Fiddledeedee Jewelry
76. Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry
77. Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78. Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79. Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80. Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82. Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83. Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84. Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85. Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry
86. Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87. Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88. Gerda Jurimae, Gerda's Crafts Blog
89. Susan, Mistheword
90. MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou's time2cre8

91. Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92. Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94. Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95. Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
97. Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98. Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99. Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
100. Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101. Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102. Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103. Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104. Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105. Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106. Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios <----- You are HERE!
107. Lennis Carter, windbent
108. Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109. Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
110. Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111. Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112. Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113. Kathy Engstrom, Catherine's Dreams
114. Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115. Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116. Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117. Kim, Cianci Blue
118. Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119. Karen, Spokalulu
120. Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121. Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122. Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123. Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124. Amy Bright, LABweorc
125. Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126. Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127. Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128. Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129. Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
130. Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131. LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132. Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133. Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134. Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135. Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136. Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138. Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139. Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140. Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

141. B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142. Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143. Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144. Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145. Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146. Christina Miles, Wings 'n' Scales
147. Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148. Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149. Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150. Sarah Small, By Salla

151. Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152. Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153. Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154. Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155. Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi's Work Shoppe
156. Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157. Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
158. Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159. Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160. Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161. Kris Lanae Binsfield, Cherish Designs
162. Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163. Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164. Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
165. Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
166. Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167. Elena Adams, Lena's Beady Blog

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Little Color Inspiration

While I'm finishing up my pieces for the Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop I thought I might take a moment to share a little color inspiration. My brain has been in a pink mood all year long. I can't shake it. If you look at my color palette board on Pinterest you might notice that little trend. Pink pink pink, sometimes with green most often with gold. I knew I was going to HAVE to make something in those colors soon or people were going to think I was pink obsessed lol




It saddens me Pinterest no longer allows sharing pins at least that I can find - this photo was pinned from the blog Romancing the Home ltd, I really miss having all the info pertaining to the pic being attached to it.

I read somewhere pink is the color of healing and health. With the tinglies and the numbness in my hand, NOW is as good a time as any to listen to my brains persistent call for pink. Making jewelry for the Hop was difficult at first not being able to feel, dropping dropping dropping - first the beads then the tools and finally the necklace itself as I was holding it up to check length, sighs. But as I worked the stress eased and some of the strength came back so I dropped fewer beads, stopped dropping the tools and only dropped the earrings once or twice (ahem). PINK was definitely what I needed.


Pinned from Tumblr, never did find the originator but I love the soft colors of fruit and flower pics this one is gorgeous

Next weeks post will be early as the hop is on Saturday, hope to see you then! I've got some pretty pinks to show you :D

Thanks for stoppin bby!
Til next time!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Beads, Cameras, and Computers

Almost sounds ominous doesn't it? Maybe more so if you have a daughter who is in the midst of creating a digital drawing of an evil sea creature. She used to write slasher stories in creative writing, now she channels that energy into hearts that eat their way out of the chest and evil mermaids. I have come to the conclusion it's her way of dealing with stress and uncertainty, it's her release. The scarier her creation is the happier she becomes, we all should have such releases.

I've finally gotten the computer, printer and time capsule networked and everything is wireless! Yea me! Those few necessary wires are hidden away so it all looks very clean - at least there aren't loose wires lol Clean is relevant!! The only problem is, while I was tucking away those few wires and stashing the surge protector, I whacked my elbow on the corner of the computer desk. It hurt, not as much as it could have, but my left hand (I am left handed) has had numb and or tingly fingers with intermittent loss of fine motor skills i.e.: I drop things if I rotate my wrist and can't quite feel the stopping point when using pliers. If I touch my elbow where I whacked it I can send an electric jolt down my arm into my fingers, that was actually kind of fun the first week, but now I'm ready for it to heal up and give me back my hand. I did a little research over on the Mayo Clinic website and it looks like when the swelling that is affecting the nerve goes down my hand should return to normal. My neck and shoulders have also been extremely tight lately, which I'm sure is a contributing factor.

Art has always been my release (wonder where the kiddo gets it from?) so I thought I'd work on my Hoarder pieces, I had been putting it off waiting for the feeling in my hand to come back. It's going much slower than I'm used to and making matching wire swirls is a little tougher than normal but I can feel the stress levels easing. Looks like I will actually have a couple somethings to show at blog hop time, I was starting to worry I wouldn't.

I know I've been running late with my blog postings the last couple weeks, numb fingers makes typing interesting too lol I laugh but I do apologize for my tardiness. So, last post I promised I would write about the beads I received from Lori as winnings from Bead Soup 7. Lori sent these awesomely sweet vintage beads.

Winnings from BSBP7

Winnings from BSBP7

Winnings from BSBP7

Aren't these all just gorgeous little things?! Thank you Lori! PJ Tools I appreciate you! One can never have too many pretty things :D

Thanks so much for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday America!

It's the Fourth of July, Independence Day here in the US. I had planned on sharing the goodies I got from Lori this week but my camera batteries died and I had a ton of other things going on - I started writing that post half a dozen times, writing and rewriting and finally I thought FIREWORKS! That's the blog post I should be sharing. Thank you Lori, for the awesome box of sweetness, I'll write about it next week :) Enjoy the show!!



HAve a wonderful holiday weekend!
See ya next time!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Creatively Speaking.......

I feel as though I'm in a bit of a slump. I'm not sure why, I have plenty of ideas and many many more sketches ready to go but I just don't feel like making anything.....so I signed up for Lori Anderson's bead hoarders blog hop. No swapping involved in this one, just the willingness to dig into your stash and find some little bit of "precious" you've been holding onto for "Just the Right Project" You know the ones, you just HAD to buy it, it was soooo gorgeous - too gorgeous to actually use or just too cool and when you got home realized it was in a style you don't do, or the idea in your head was above your expertise level or in a technique you really wanted to learn but haven't yet - yup those beads! I have a few of those too lol What better way to jumpstart the process than to just do??

Untitled

So I got to digging and here's what I found in my stash. An Aventurine donut (I have TWO) there for awhile it seemed everyone was doing these really cool things with donuts. I could never quite wrap my head around a design so never bought one. Then I won one, so I thought maybe I just hadn't really tried to design anything and pulled together an inspiration board, inspired me enough to BUY a second one. Never followed through on the design …. hangs head, I know BUT it gives me a pretty to work with in the hop!

Untitled

Item number two a vintage strand of plastic pearls - this has been in my stash for DECADES!! They're pretty, I used some to make a crown for my oldest daughters Halloween costume way back when and back into the stash they went, I can't even remember the original reason I have them, given to me, bought, I don't know. They could just as easily be a sacrificed strand, I had at one time several strands of vintage "pearl" necklaces that I had picked up at the GoodWill draped over my vanity mirror - they're on the wall over the sewing machine now :) Anyway, all the cup chain designs floating around right now (I swear sometimes it seems like people are plucking ideas from my head lol) have given me a few ideas to kick around.

Untitled

Third in my stash is this sweet key. My son bought this for me for Christmas a couple years ago, it is loved but not a clue as what to do with it - My Aunt likes to shop estate sales and sends some of her finds my way. This charm holder was part of an over tight hand made necklace - I think possibly used as an eye glass holder but the pattern in the design is a perfect match to the key! I took my saw to the key before I thought to take pics and I don't want to stress the key by removing it again just for the sake of a before shot so keep in mind these were two separate pieces before I decided they NEEDED to be together!

Depending on how quickly I can design and make I may add more but considering the donut and the key are something of a challenge for me already I'm going to stick to only committing to these three for now and hope I have enough time to really do them and the hop justice.

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see ya next time!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Wire Goddess Team

I'm on the Wire Goddess Team on Etsy. It's a group of wonderfully talented wire workers, their art works are ever inspiring and I'm proud to be among them.

Todays post (making up for missing last week!) is brought to you from one of our members. It's been awhile since I've shared a treasury and this one is worth a share.



Don't you just love the King Arthur Bear? and that jewelry, just gorgeous isn't it? Little works of art :)

Oh, btw, my new computer arrived yesterday! Paige has been wonderful sharing hers with me for the last eight months and as a small thank you I bought her some hand spun yarn and decals for each of our laptops so we can tell them apart. Since her birthday is coming I had her do a little shopping around for what she wants while she was at it :) It's been a very good day!

Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Care to Dance?

As you know my poor old Mac died back in October ....sighs, I loved my Mac but it was seven years old and even the best Mac is still a machine and parts fail. At the time my younger daughter had just bought a new Mac laptop and so has been letting me share with her. In essence I broke in her new computer, she is such a good kid! well......... Guess what I just did??

If you guessed just bought a new Mac... you're right!! I probably could have saved a little money and bought another desktop - we know from experience they last 7-10 yrs. Longer if you don't mind the os being obsolete, my old 90's Bondi Blue still works, it just GROWLS and takes its time, freezes at will and is generally too old to do ANYTHING online lol But, having used a laptop for the last several months I have gotten quite used to being mobile and I like it! Judging by the length of time my kids have had their Mac lap tops I feel safe in making this Mac purchase and I am soooo excited!

Order confirmation estimates I should have my new baby in 2 or 3 days!! Happy Dancing with me yet? If not, why not??

Keeping this weeks post short and also apologizing for missing last week! oops!! Not really sure how I managed that, I was busy but not THAT busy, guess time just got away from after having prescheduled several posts before. I should write a few posts and keep them in draft for times like this. I think I've said that before, might actually be a good idea!

I'm off! Thanks for stopping by! See ya next time!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What a Very Nice Start to my Week!

I log on to the computer to check my mail this morning and I notice a convo from Etsy.  In short: I've blogged about your wirework. How nice is that?! Thank you!


Love My Art Jewelry: Using wire creatively

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I won!

You all did a wonderful job of crossing your fingers toes and eyes for me.... I won!
Rather I was one of the winners. I don't know what I won yet as the prizes still need to be divvied up, but the prize doesn't really matter. I get to jump up and down and do happy dances because I won!!

Sadly none of my picks won (other than my admiration). I obviously have no idea what the judges are looking for lol Although my last pick on my blog post didn't win, the maker did... for one of her other pieces, yay Elsie!

The list of winners....

Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae Binsfield
Kris won several awards and this earns her bragging rights as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party® contest. Congratulations, Kris! Grand Prize, Wire Work,Judges Choice

Judges Choice Fusion Beads, Emma Todd of A Polymer Penchant.

Kalmbach Publishing, Debbie Rasmussen of A little of this, a little of that. (this one was one of my favs, not sure why I didn't get it included in my picks hmm)

Nina Designs had a tie!
Nina Designs, Silvia Serricola at Pipa the Latest
and Malin de Koning at Beading by Malin de Koning

PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft, Melissa Mesara at one-eared pig beads

Best Use of Seed Beads

Both Beaducation AND Kalmbach Publishing chose Karin Slaton of Backstory Beads

Both Fusion Beads and Nina Designs chose Debbie Rasmussen of a little of this, a little of that
(that's three wins with two pieces for Debbie -- way to go!)

Lima Beads, K. Hutchison of Jumbled Hutch

PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft, Lily Krist of Handmade by LilK

Wire Work Beaducation, Eva Sherman of Eva Sherman Designs

Fusion Beads and Lima Beads chose Kris Lanae Binsfield of Cherish Designs (see above, Grand Prize winner)

Kalmbach Publishing, Susan of Libellula Jewelry

Nina Designs, Kristina Hahn Eleniah of Peacock & Lime

PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft, Jean A. Wells of Jean A. Wells Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry

Fiber

Beaducation and Lima Beads chose Claire Hasemeier of Blue Quail Designs (a Facebook entrant!)

Fusion Beads, Stefanie Teufel of Stefanie's Sammelsurium

Kalmbach Publishing, Cheryl McCloud of One Thing Leads to Another

Nina Designs, Agi Kiss of MoonSafari Beads

PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft, Heidi Kingman of Heidi Kingman Jewelry

Best Use of Color

Beaducation, Tari Kahrs of Pearl & Pebble

Fusion Beads, Agi Kiss of MoonSafari Beads

Kalmbach Publishing, Christina Miles of Wings N Scales

Lima Beads, Keren Panthaki of Vas Dea

Nina Designs, Megan Milliken of MaeMaeMills

PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft, Dana Hickey of Wind Dancer Studios <--- That's ME!!!

Out of the Box

Dish made by Adlinah Kamsir of DreamStruck Designs

Zack's Choice

Chosen by Zack as his absolute favorite, Leslie Wayment of AA Beads & More Out of the Hat Winner

Pulled out of a hat of alllllll the entrants,
Mary Tanner (a Facebook entrant!)

Lori's Hat Winner

Lori took all her absolute favorites(and that was TOUGH to narrow down)and then drew one out of a hat.

Susanna Lehto of Othel Lehto

And last but not least,

Runner's Up

Kat Douglas of Washoe Kat's

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca of Eliz-Eliz and All that Craft

Jennifer Cabic of What I Believe...

Danielle Kelley of Imbue the Muse

Melissa Trudinger of Bead Recipes

Amber Dawn of Inventive Soul

Evelyn Duberry of ShebaMakeda Glass Art



CONGRATS TO ALL THE WINNERS!! Congrats to everyone not on this list as well. You are one talented group of artisans!



On the Homefront.....

We have a couple bills to pay first, but I finally get my new computer!!!!! I am so excited. Paige has been the absolute sweetest to share her laptop with me for the last EIGHT months I know there were times when she wished she didn't have to ahem finals, eight page term papers, research for those papers. She actually went to the University's library and used their computers so as not to split up where she had all her info. I need to do something REALLY special for her. Her birthday is coming up too so I need to get on it!



Thanks for stopping by! I'll post again when I know what I won :D
See ya next time!

Monday, May 20, 2013

One Finished UFO and the last of my babies has Graduated HS

I mentioned earlier one of my very first on the desk postings included a UFO of an embroidered piece. A recent Art Jewelry Elements blog posting issued a challenge - FINISH A UFO! oooh game on!! So I choose that embroidered piece to finish. I had planned on it anyway so it was serendipitous timing lol

I've had this design in my head since the moment I saw the beads Kateri (and most awesome nephew) had offered up for the months drawing. But once I had the beads in my hands, they were soooo pretty, I was immediately intimidated. I had to do them justice, but could I? Then I won the beads from John (I was on a roll) , the gold stone daggers were perfect for the design :) but I was still not quite there. So I bought some turquoise and some bronze delicas ......I was almost there I could feel it.
I've been playing with stamped filigree lately and it hit me as I was cleaning off my desk THAT was the missing ingredient to the design in my minds eye. And Finally it all came together.

My Copper Sunrise
Mt first embroidered piece. Gold stone, red tigers eye, turquoise, wood and seeds, stamped brass and acrylic leaves. Twisted Copper wire borders the embroidery and plain solid copper wire makes up the chain and connectors. The earrings sport forged copper paddles, turquoise and also feature leather.

Bead Embroidery

embroidery n earrings

Untitled

Untitled

I'll be wearing them tonight (Friday night) at my son's graduation. I'm prescheduling this post so I don't forget :) Busy couple of days coming up!! I'm so very proud of him, that sweet little boy who hid behind my legs has grown to become such a fine young man.

I'm going before I make myself cry :) Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting...
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Bead Soup Favs

Since Lori added the contest feature to the blog party, and since the winners "should" be announced by the time this posts (Yes I prescheduled this one lol). I thought it might be fun to compare my favorites to the judges favorites. There were several other pieces I loved, but they didn't seem to make it into the contest portion.

In no particular order .... Here are my picks:

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460710926780
Pinterest apparently doesn't allow embedding pics anymore {phooey!} It was so easy to pin and keep all the info with the pic. The above pin is the floral goodness of Kumi of Malie Kai Designs - her blog:
http://maliekaidesigns.blogspot.com/2013/03/bead-soup-7-reveal.html

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460710927973
This Mood Bracelet by Donna Millard Jewelry

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460710961444/
Jean Yates Heartlands Necklace, Jean's blog:
http://prettykittydogmoonjewelry.blogspot.com/2013/03/reveal-for-bsbp-7-part-one-in-which-i.html

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460710973724/
Sweet charm bracelet by Lola of Bead Lola Bead, her blog:
http://beadlolabead.blogspot.com/2013/03/7th-bead-soup-blog-party-1st-reveal.html

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460711014789/
Another charm bracelet,this one by Audrey of Toki No Hourousha, her blog:
http://esperianterra.blogspot.ca/2013/04/bead-soup-blog-party-6-reveal-2-reveal.html

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460711015836/
A sweet necklace by Michaela

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460711129050
This sweet embroidered piece - I LOVE - from June

I obviously have a very romantique style lol Lots of hearts and flowers in this group! But, hang on! There is one more favorite.........

http://pinterest.com/pin/96827460711144334/
A touch of industrialism! Go figure, but I like it! Necklace by Elsie of ladelizchica.blogspot.com.

There you have it! Can't wait to see the judges picks, cross your fingers, eyes, toes, etc one of MINE also makes their list :D

Thanks for stopping by and having a little fun with me!
See ya next time!