RSS Feed

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gossiping Goddess / Cheeky Cherub Challenge Reveal

For some wonderful reason, Kaz from Cheeky Cherub Designs decided to bestow a heap of leftover lamp work beads on Lesley Gossiping Goddess Watt. In a very fun and generous move, Lesley decided to share some of her treasure with her readers for this challenge. I was one of the lucky winners! I received a heart and two coordinating round beads. I forgot to photograph them before I utilized them, sorry!

This year, we got a bigger Christmas tree than we have in years past. That meant the ornaments were a bit sparse, so I decided to make one out of the heart. I combined some coordinating beads, sari fabric, and cranberry leather, and made this beauty. I like how the fabric looks like the heart's wings! And it looks lovely on the tree. I'll get to admire it for years to come.

For the round beads, which are admittedly an unusual color, I managed to find matching beads, and made these adorable swingy earrings. I'm very pleased with them - they turned out much better than I'd initially imagined. I love when that happens!

Please make sure to check out what everyone else has done!

Rebecca Anderson -
Sharyl Macmillan-Nelson -
Caroline Dewison -
Purple Cobwebs -

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back in the Swing

Finally, after what seemed like eons, I am inspired and making jewelry like a crazy person! I can only do so much at a time; I do not care to go through all that back pain again. But slow and steady wins the race right? The keyword being STEADY. Of course I also have my upcoming Craft Fair in 2 weeks to be lighting a fire under my derriere. But who cares why I'm back? I'M BACK!

I've posted most of these photos to my Facebook page, and at least two pairs of earrings here sold as a result (and another request for something similar sold as well).

Top: Focal by Bo Hulley. Bottom Right: Focal by Julie Rowe of Beads Birds & Bones.

Pendant by Julie Rowe of Beads Birds & Bones.

 Polymer Buddha head by Second Surf.

 Bird pendant by Kylie Parry.

Root beer pendant by  Lynn Davis.

Owl pendant by Round Rabbit Extra.

Lots of earrings (with some bits by Round Rabbit and Bo Hulley, as well as some upcycled vintagey things). The Day of the Dead earrings are always a customer favorite - these sold right away, and in fact were even blogged about! I made a custom pair for someone else who fell in love with these.

MOAR EARRINGS! I've been an earring making fool. These are perhaps less inspired than the ones above, but they're nonetheless pretty and will likely be a hit at the craft fair.

And the best thing I've done in a while is make this super fantastic wonderful earring display. I am bursting with pride over this one. Almost as much as my dog is bursting with tired in the background ;) And if you are interested in making something similar for yourself, I'll be doing a tutorial for Art Bead Scene all about it! I'll be sure to let you know when the post is up.

Thanks for dropping by, and I apologize for being such a bad blogger - but like I said, I'm back!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catching Up

It's probably been a month or so since my last blog. I'm sorry about that. Things have been busy lately. After I hurt my back, I kind of lost all inspiration to make jewelry. I was pretty bummed about it, but figured it would come back soon enough. But you know what came instead? Hurricane Isaac! That was um, "fun."

80 hours without power in sweltering, windless, humid, heat index of over 100 weather - that's miserable. Sleep was very difficult - we tried sleeping by windows, in the car, apparently Steve tried sleeping on the ground outside by the pool (all the outdoor furniture had been packed away). I found the sofa nearest a window with my legs up over the back of the couch to be the best position. With a wet rag on my face. And something to fan myself with nearby. I was up by 5:30 every morning, which would never normally happen. It was just miserable. During the daylight hours, I did manage to make some jewelry because there was NOTHING ELSE TO DO. I read a little bit, talked to some neighbors. Carried my 35 lb dog up and down two flights of stairs because she's too old, fat, and short-legged to manage - and of course the elevator wasn't working. And of course I'm not supposed to lift more than 15 lbs. with my back. A lot of wine was consumed, which created some candle holders for the taper candles we had. I could go on and on. Just trust me, it was awful. And when we could finally get to a McDonalds, we were glad to wait an hour for service because it was a hot meal and a cold drink. I don't know how people used to live?!?!'

Then, it was my birthday last weekend, so I was a bit consumed with festivities/hangover. A recent order from Lima Beads arrived yesterday, and I made a cute pair of owl earrings with some long-hoarded Kristi Bowman copper leaves.

Enough reading - time for pictures now!

I finally went back to the darker bright red for my hair, and I'm glad I did. It's almost as red as my car, which you can see over my shoulder. Also, new sunglasses birthday present to myself.

The aforementioned owl earrings with Kristi's copper leaves.

Look what I found at TJ Maxx yesterday! I now have a family of five. That should be enough.

All of these were made during the so called "hurrication." Believe me, it was nothing like a vacation. At least two happened before the power went out though.

This came together after the power went out. It was one of those things that made itself. I just helped.

Okay, this was actually a week before the storm, I just hadn't gotten around to showing you yet. That gorgeous hammered copper ring was something I won from the super talented Susan of Cicada Silver/Libellula Jewelry

This cute little Golem cardinal pendant had been waiting patiently for months. The first night of "hunkering down" (a term so over-used it inspired a drinking game), I created this one. Still had power.

First thing I made when the sun came up the morning after the power went out. Another one that made itself. When I finish something like that - especially with components I've had for ages, I think "This piece of jewelry has been here all along just waiting to become whole. What took it so long?" I have picked up that charm and those beads so many times and wondered what I should do with them. I guess it took a hurricane to sort that out for me!

Anyway, I'm hoping that I'll get back to making something almost every day soon. I'm in PT for my shoulder (surprisingly, that was just a while I'm here, my shoulder's been bugging me for awhile thing I'd mentioned to my ortho when I went to see him about my back, and that's what I'm in therapy for!?) and with all the exercises I'm doing for it, it's been hurting more and more. So I still have to take it a little slow with jewelry. Do you all realize how difficult it is not to hunch or slouch while making something?!?!

Okay, that's enough for now. Thanks for visiting  :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Activity Modification

Some of you may know I've been having some back issues lately. Well, I got the results of my MRI last week, and it turns out I have two, yes TWO ruptured discs. Hooray! That's what 15 years of sitting at a desk'll do ya. When you're me, anyway. What can I do? Well, not too much really. Surgery? Noooooo. Cortisone epidural? Thanks, I'll pass. The Brace From Hell? Eh, if it gets to the point of OMG-I-CAN'T-MOVE again. Activity Modification? Okay, that I can deal with. No heavy lifting. No bending over. Okay, okay. I shall squat to pick up after my dog on our thrice-daily walks. I will have Thighs of Steel by the time this is all over. Which is approximately... never. My doctor told me I was just going to accept the fact that no matter what, I will be living with "lower back weakness" for the rest of my life. Yippee! I'm starting PT tomorrow for an unrelated shoulder problem (when exactly did I turn 80? I must have missed it). So I'm going to ask him about the best things I can do for my back. And if he thinks I should have PT for it, my Dr. said he'll write up official orders. I think he's just a believer in the be careful and don't do anything stupid method. And walking.  As for my workspace (at work), I've got it as ergonomically organized as I can manage now. Oh, and my dad bought me one of these things. Ha! He's got a few and he loves them. Mostly, I've just given my dog long-distance ear rubs with it, which she doesn't seem to mind.

The good news: I never have to change the water in the water cooler ever again! 

So of course, two days after I got this information I had an art market I had agreed to do. Bending and heavy lifting galore! Fortunately, my mom, a sister and niece came out to help set up, and the niece stayed the whole time. I didn't sell a whole lot - it was one of those weekly markets that brings mainly browsers unless it's a holiday. But I covered my table fee and made a bit extra. Plus I made some new friends, and that was the best part. It was a young couple - she was from here, he was from Mexico, but they met in Wyoming. She's about to give birth any second now, so they came back home to be close to her family. He's a potter, and she does the glazing. At the end of the day, we made a little trade where she got a couple of pairs of earrings and I got a couple of their beautiful mugs!

Here's the only shot I took of my table.

Here are the mugs.

Here's a gratuitous picture of a little tree frog I took at my parents' house the night before my market.

I've been sloooooooooowly working on one necklace this week. But between back pain and laziness, I haven't even managed to finish that. And now that I have all my stuff back from the salon, a lot of it will be going up on etsy. I've already listed three things last night. Go me! This, this, and this. I'll need to get a bunch of new stuff made to take over to the salon. I have a hair appointment on the 1st anyway, so I'm sure I can get motivated to make a few new things. I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Not Quite Back to Normal

I haven't blogged in ages - I'm sure you've all been crying yourselves to sleep at night about it, right? Okay, maybe not. But I have a good excuse. About a month ago I hurt my back. I wish I had a fun story about it like a battle with a Sasquatch or a unicycle-on-a-tightrope mishap, but no. It had been generally sore for awhile (bodies are not meant to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day), and one day - and you beading ladies will understand this - I was at Michael's. There was a big sale on Bead Gallery beads, plus I had a 20% off everything coupon, so I wanted to make sure I took advantage and bought all the little filler beads I wanted. You know how at Michael's, you look at the beads at eye level, then you have to stoop down and look at the bottom beads. Then stand up, take a step to the right and repeat 8-10 times 'til you've seen everything? Well that's when it happened. Every time I stooped down I thought, "OUCH! I probably shouldn't stoop down again." And then I kept doing it until it all went very very wrong. 

So I spent the following week on the couch watching The IT Crowd on Netflix and napping. I finally got an appointment with my orthopedist, and he made me wear this torture device of a brace for 2 weeks (even while sleeping). It was miserable. As you can imagine, I didn't particularly feel like making very much jewelry. Plus I was doped up on painkillers and muscle relaxers, so I wasn't very interested in doing much. During that time, I had to make my Bead Soup pieces, and managed to pull it off. I am very sad to report that this past Sunday, I was wearing the bracelet when it flew off my wrist and that gorgeous toggle shattered on the tile floor. It broke my heart -- I really loved it!

Anyway, my back's still kinda sore but at least I'm out of that dangbusted brace. Of course it hurts most when I'm sitting down at work, but I can't take a month off, so I must suffer and remember to get up every hour and walk around. I've got a kneeling chair now, but I can't sit in it all day. It's good to switch back and forth with my other chair. 

Point is, I haven't made a whole lot of jewelry in the past month! Other than my Bead Soup stuff, this is what I've done lately. 

 Focal by Lynn Davis, birdie by me, hematite nuggets, mookaite, agate, dalmatian jasper, & carnelian.

Copper poppy clasp by Daisychainextra, ceramic focal by Bo Hulley, faceted pearl, carnelian, mystery purple and tan stone, copper, waxed linen. 

 Ceramic bird focal by Kylie Parry, Czech glass, crystal, antique brass,  wood beads, waxed linen.

Ceramic focal by Round Rabbit, bone bead, and copper. 

Ceramic Shotgun House by Jessi, mookaite, new Czech glass (green), and vintage Czech glass (blue) from old Mardi Gras beads.

Sardonyx agate.

I custom ordered this mini-me bead from Soul Silver and I just LOVE it! I'm totally not vain at all, no. I'm going to make a necklace out of her eventually, but for now she just keeps me company in my computer/jewelry making area.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party #6

It's that time again! If you missed the blog about what my partner Kitty Bozzini sent me, you can check it out here. She's a very talented lampwork artist and made me an assortment of beads and even a glass toggle!

I admit that I was thrown for a loop when I received her beads - not because they weren't beautiful, they are absolutely gorgeous - it was just because they're not at all the sort of beads I normally use. However, that is exactly the point of this challenge, is it not? Shortly after I received my beads, I injured my back, and was unable to do anything at all for over a week, let alone make jewelry. All I could do was imagine what I might do, but that's never as helpful as pulling 50 things out and playing. I also consulted a couple of my beady friends for their thoughts -- and it was the brilliant Malin deKoning who insisted I try the toggle on a bracelet. She knew what she was talking about! I tried 15 different arrangements until I settled on the final version, which I absolutely adore!

I strung the purpley square beads on some pea green suede and turquoise leather, then wrapped the ends with some waxed Irish linen cording. So simple, but gorgeous! I am totally thrilled with this piece and very well may keep it for myself.

Then there was the focal. An idea came to me that seemed like it would suit it perfectly - however - it was not even remotely the sort of necklace I would ever make or wear. I still can't decide if it was a mistake not to do it that way, because it would have been a great solution - though one I personally wouldn't have liked one bit. And because you're curious, I'll explain: 5 pieces of different colored waxed linen cord passing through the pendant (which would be placed at about 8:00) and then coordinating Swarovskis knotted onto the cords every inch or so. I think it would have worked, but like I said - SO NOT ME.

So I tried a few other things, including knotted sari (which seemed a bit of a cop-out, but remember I'm still having a lot of back pain and I couldn't really overextend myself), unknotted sari in bracelet form, in choker form, etc. And finally arrived at what I thought was a good solution.

I used the same pea green suede to thread through the copper chain and a copper hook I'd made a few weeks prior. And to fasten the suede, I went one step further than I usually do and hammered the wire flat before wrapping the ends. I think it has a much neater effect, which this necklace called for.

I'm sad that I didn't get to use the cone shaped bead and the purple saucer shaped bead, but I will get to them eventually. All in all, pretty good for having a sprained back huh?

Thanks for stopping by, and make sure to check out all the other creations in the hop! For a list of all the participants' blogs, click right here!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Bead Soup Has Arrived!

My partner is Kitty Bozzini - she makes beautiful, colorful lampwork beads and she made these just for me! Check out her etsy shop and her Facebook page to see what fabulous beads she makes.

Here's the toggle she made - I don't think I've ever seen a lampwork toggle before.

The focal!

A couple of fun shaped beads - love that lavender!

Some purple and yellow accent beads.

They arrived a couple of days ago, but I haven't had time to play with them until today. I have a few vague ideas percolating around in my head. Time to get started!

Be sure to come back on July 28th to see what I've created and check out all the other participants' blogs!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Early July

I have a Round Rabbit problem. I cannot stop buying Nancy's pieces! I've got two batches on their way to me currently, at least 10 pieces as yet unused, and at least as many more already turned into necklaces and even one bracelet. I just love what she does, and every time she has a shop update, I cannot stop myself from buying something. I've been hoarding this one for months, but I finally decided to give it a try last night. I paired it with Peruvian opal and pyrite.

And also, I need to invest in some fancier clasps.

This is a funny story. Some of you might recognize this style - I've done it a few times previously, for instance this one. When I showed up at the salon with that one, Jeanne ran off to retrieve something she'd found buried in the dirt in her yard when she was doing some gardening. It was the Eisenhower charm below - she wanted me to turn it into this style of necklace, with orangey-red sari fabric. So here it is Jeanne, if you see this before I get over there with it! I hope the natural patina is okay - I put some Renaissance Wax on it, so hopefully that will keep it looking good.

I dare not experiment with sterling, but I couldn't pass up this aluminum wire at the craft store recently. I'm definitely going to have to keep playing with it. These red rectangles aren't my personal style, but I think they're pretty cool looking. Just by using something that wasn't to my own taste, I could assure I wouldn't keep them for myself like I've done with the last 3 pairs of copper wire earrings I've made, ha.

So I bought a little grouping of items from Kylie Parry the other day. The other pieces are pendants, but I've really been slacking in the earring department so I figured I'd make some sweet little earrings with these first.

And Malin, I totally admit that I borrowed this earring idea from you. I believe I told you in advance that I was going to. I've long drooled over these faceted polymer clay nuggets from Second Surf. I finally broke down and got some recently having no idea what to do with them other than stare at them and love them. I have two more, but I think I'll hang onto those for a while longer...

Here's a shot of Crazers who just loves to interrupt my photo sessions.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...