Jul 23, 2014

1000th Post Contest

It seems that the only one person had an opinion on what I should give away and that was a bracelet.  So here we go.  I will be giving away a bracelet in the winner's choice of colors.  Here are a couple that I have made up to give you an idea.

The next step is to fill out the form below to get entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 21, 2014

Collector's Gene

I am sure that everyone had heard about the gene that causes us to collect things.  Usually they are things that we will never use but we proudly display.  When I was younger, I collected unicorns.  Oh yes, I had unicorn everything before it became popular.  That was part of the thrill because I would have search out these unicorn and this was way before the days of the internet.

Now that I am older and I hope more practical, I collect things that I use.  One of my proud collections is of hand made tea mugs.  Today I thought that I would share with you some that I would love to add to my collection.  If they strike that collector's gene in you then just click on the pic which will take you to the shop where you can pick them up.

I just love these but then I have an attraction to dragonflies.

I confess to having a weakness for the larger mugs.  That way I don't have to stop what I am doing to go get a refill.  You get the big teal one.  The dark blue one is just for comparasion purposes.

I just love the beautiful watercolor design on this one.

This one is just a bit small for me and my tea but I love the wash of colors.  Perhaps to hold tools in the studio?

This one is just so cute.  I love the little feet on it.  The handle is rather unique also.  Has anyone tried out a tea mug with a handle similar to this one?  How comfortable was it?

So here is a little insight to a couple of my addictions, both tea and collecting.  What do you like to collect or do forgo it all?

Jul 18, 2014

Gemstone and Metal 2014 Blog Hop

I can be the world's worst procrastinator.  Not in making the jewelry but in doing up my post.  I remembered about twenty minutes before I needed to get this up that I hadn't written it yet.  Hmmmm. Perhaps I can blame it on my memory.

So anyways, I am not going to be as wordy as usual but I did want to thank Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures for hosting this hop.  This hop caused me to remember just how much I enjoyed working with Jasper.  It is such a calming stone and for both necklaces, I just went into a zone where I was playing with the cool stone as I was knotting it up on waxed linen. 

This was the first necklace and all I added to it was the waxed linen and a jasper focal that I have had forever.  The delightful brass clasp and beads along with the beautiful, earthy Picture Jasper is all from the treasure trove that Lisa sent out.

This second necklace was when I was in my own little world and decided to get adventurous.  Since I didn't have a ready made focal (or at least one I was happy with), I decided to make one using a brass disc and a smaller ceramic focal.  I tied it all together with the Irish waxed linen I was using for knotting.  I wanted to pick up the blues that were in some ceramic beads I had added to the mix.

See not wordy at all for me.  And since you were able to breeze through this post so quickly, you have plenty of time to check out what everyone else has made.  I know that I can't wait though tonight is our potluck so I might be a bit delayed.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot 
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Margaret Pelech, Big Margaret
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (May be delayed a few days)
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design

Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Cassi Renee Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things (May be delayed a few days)
Marde Lowe, FanciMarDesigns
Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
Leithleach Alainn Seodra, Alainn Jewelry
Lisa E. Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

We're All Ears July Hop

I always mark this blog hop to remind myself to participate and then proceed to forget.  This month though I actually remembered especially as I had just made the earrings to fit this theme and then I saw the theme.  I bet that makes a lot of sense, doesn't it.  Let me try to explain. 

When my mother took me out for my birthday, there was a sailboat race happening outside of the window.  I love sailboats and it inspired me to come home and make up some earrings based on the shape of those sails.  The picture above is actually one that I took while we were out to dinner.  Now you can see where my original inspiration came from. 

And now for the earrings.  All of these will be donated to Ears to You which is a fantastic charity that gives earrings to girls and women who are undergoing chemotherapy. 

o check out what everyone else came up with, just click here.

Jul 17, 2014

Good Earth Challenge Hop

It looks like this was postponed by a week and I didn't get the notice.  So if you see this post twice, that is what happened.

One of the shining stars and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet is Andrew Thorton.  He owns a bead store/gallery up there in the cold north and loves to encourage people.  One of the ways Andrew does so is with his challenges.

Now I just love Andrew's challenges because we all start off with the same components and then the only limitation is our imagination.  Those are the yummy beads and findings above.  Now per the norm, I forgot to take a picture of the beads before so I borrowed this pic from Andrew's blog, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thorton.  Of course,we did receive a couple mystery items.

Now my imagination went almost directly to a bracelet.  Nope.  Not over that kick.  Especially as I have started to wear one a lot.  This style is comfortable, I pretty much put it on and then forget that I am wearing it.  Most of the beads I used in this came from the goodies I got from Andrew.   The orange polymer focal bead I used was the first of those mysteries.  I added on the brass ring and clasp as well as the two wooden beads that seems to be custom made for this mix.

Next up was the second part of the mystery items, this wonderful leaf focal.  I really wanted to highlight that focal so I went simple with copper, leather and a lampwork bead from Sue Beads.  This was the first time I have tried to hammer copper with a glass bead attached so it did involve holding my breath.

Here is a close of up of the focal.  This is a perfect necklace to toss on when it is hot though the colors would easily carry it through the fall.  The length is also adjustable so it gives you a lot of options on necklines.

I haven't used all the beads yet and you will be the orange polymer making an appearance during another blog hop.  Now this is a blog hop and there were several designers that all started out with the same kit.  I am sure that you are as curious as I am to find out what their imaginations came up with so be sure to check out what everyone else has come up with,

Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Kim Griggs, Deb Floros http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/

Looking for tutorials?

((If you are looking for the Good Earth Challenge, click here.  It was postponed by a week and I was behind on my email and didn't find out in time.))

I admit it.  I am a Pinterest junkie.  I love to lay in bed before I go to sleep and look at all the pretty pictures.  I do have a goal (or is that how I explain away my addiction) though.  I want to build up one of the best collections of jewelry tutorials.  Right now I have almost a thousand pinned to my board, Beading: Tutorials

Or if you are looking for some inspiration for necklaces or bracelets, just click here to find out what makes my muse sit up and take notice.  And since earrings always stump me, here is a board just for inspiring earring designs.

Jul 16, 2014

Michael's Beading Challenge Blog Hop

This was one hop that I really thought that I was going to have to skip.  This hop is the brainchild of Heather of HumbleBeads and Lorelei of  Lorelei's Blog.  The idea was that all the participants would go to Micheal's and pick up some preselected beads.  Then we would share what we made with them today.  Well since money has been tight around here, I wasn't going to be able to play.

That all changed last Thursday when a friend of mine, Rita of Jewel School Friends, sent me some of what she had picked up to play with.  It was a total surprise and I was walking around with a smile on my face for the rest of the day. 

I went simple with a necklace for this hop for a couple reasons.  For one, I wanted one for myself in honor of the kind gift.  I also wanted it to be adjustable since I tend to layer my necklaces.  The second reason is that I have been having issues with my stomach due to the pain pills I was on after breaking my toe.  So I wasn't able to spend a lot of time in the studio playing with it.

I also want to apologize for the pictures.  As I was waiting for that perfect time to get pictures, we had a storm blowing in.  So I snapped a couple rather quickly outside while I was fighting with the wind.  It really does look much better in person.

The picture above is one I took on Monday when I wore this necklace into the office.  It's lightweight and really comfortable to wear.

I also made a pair of earring with the last of the wooden beads and a couple of the white beads that Rita sent to me.  This pair will be donated to Ears To You. 

Now there are several folks taking part in this hop so be sure to click here to check out what everyone else has done.  I am quite sure that you will see some real eye candy that will blow your socks off.