Apr 19, 2014

Do Over Blog Hop

I just love Jeannie's Do Over Blog Hops.  She sends us out an older piece or set of jewelry that she designed and we get to take it apart to make a new piece.  This is the second one that I have been able to take part in and I have had a load of fun each time.

Now one of the instructions for this hop is to take a picture of the original designs.  I took the picture using my Iphone and then edited it. I am not sure what happened but the picture, both the original and the edited version, went poof when I went to save it.  So I am very sad to say that I failed in the first task.  What I was given was a set consisting of a necklace, bracelet and earrings but no picture.

I do however have a picture of the bracelet that I made from Jeannie's original designs.  The only thing that I added from my stash is the chain that the charms and crystals are hanging from.  I just love the sunflower charms and felt the yellow and brown crystals were a perfect fit.  And that clasp is just divine. 

Now that you have seen my offerings, be sure to check out everyone's designs.  Hopefully they will have better luck with their before pictures.

Jeannie K Dukic
Judy Campbell
Veralynne Malone
Christine Murrow
Shai Williams
Lola Surwillo
Christina Hickman
Katrina Taylor
Becky Pancake
Roxanne Mendoza
Charlene Jacka
Inge von Roos
Mary Govaars
Penny Houghton
Beti Horvath
Ginger Davis-Allman
Molly Alexander
Linda Britt

Apr 18, 2014

Year of Jewelry Project: April Showers

As soon as I saw the list of weekly themes, I put aside this wonderful focal from Tree Wings Studio.  I had even searched out my sketch book and designed up a really fun necklace with rain drops.  But when I was putting it together, the focal kept telling me that it wanted all the attention.  It took a while but I finally listened and strung simply from a sterling chain.

Apr 15, 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge

Back in February (yeah back when I thought that winter would never end), I saw a blog post from Caroline Dewison of Blueberrie Beads.  She was as tired of winter as I was and decided to join with some friends to do something about it.  Caroline joined with a couple of her friends, Leslie Watt of Thea Elements and Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads, and decided to host a blog hop.  With spring in mind, they put together some packs with some gorgeous sari silk and ceramic beads.  


Now I admit that I was so excited to start playing with the goodies I recieved that I forgot to take a picture.  So instead I am going to borrow couple pictures from Caroline's blog to show you some of the packs.  To see them in all their glory, head over to this post.  

I have always admired those designers that use sari silk so effortlessly, and I have even picked up some to work with.  But it has always intimidated me so my silk has just hung there unused and I am sure feeling unloved.  With this challenge, I didn't have a choice but to conquer that fear and plunge ahead. 

I has picked up a heavy brass bangle from a clearance sale because I thought that I would be able to use it for something.  I took the sari silk from Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads and wrapped it around the bangle.  I then secured it with brass wire along with WooleyWire for some added color.  This is totally outside of my usual style and I am rather pleased with it.

I had so much fun with these ceramic beads from Leslie Watt of Thea Elements.  I have long admired her jewelry and now I am addicted to her beads.  The colors just screamed spring and encouraged me to work with a color that I usually avoid.  Yeah I brought out some  creamy yellow jade beads that I had picked up in the past and never used.  I also used some chalcedony that just patched the bluish purple in the flower and a pewter flower clasp that I had been hoarding.

My last design features the birds from Caroline Dewison of Blueberrie Beads.  I totally fell in love with this little birds as soon as I saw them but they gave me fits when I was trying to figure out how to use them.  I laid out several different designs trying to also incorporate the leaf that was part of the set.  No go (I am really looking forward to seeing how everyone else used the set).  I am working on shutting off the side of my brain that demands symmetry but with them being both different sizes and color...

Fate (with a little help from Chloe's playfulness) finally stepped in and a strand of purple shell beads ended up near the birds.  Finally bells went off and this necklace was born.  I still want to fiddle with it a bit more because I want the little purple bird to have more of the limelight but overall, I am happy with necklace.

I never did figure out a way to use the leaf but I am sure that I will.  I will be sure to share it when everyone when I do.  Now I did say what there was twenty of us participating so be sure to see what everyone else did with their beauties. 

Caroline Dewison - http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk 
Erin Prais – Hintz – http://treasures-found.blogspot.co.uk/
Toltec Jewels - JewelSchoolFriends.com 

Apr 14, 2014

Past Bead Soup Blog Hops

My favorite blog hop is coming up pretty soon.  This hop is actually the reason that I became addicted to hops and is such a wonderful time for all that there was a book written about this party.  This wonderful hop is going to be happening on May 3rd so be sure to stop by then as I always have a contest going then.

The Bead Soup Blog Hop is the brainchild of Lori Anderson of Pretty Things and has to be the friendliest and best run hops.  Lori personally matches each of to ensure partners have different styles and will challenge the other.  We get a chance to chat with each other and form friendships.  Then we send of a bead soup that will push each other.  And the eye candy that results...

Because some of my best pieces come from my yearly helping of bead soup, I wanted to share them with you again.

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Apr 12, 2014

ABS April Challenge

Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green), 1877-79
by Edgar Degas
Pastel and Gouache on Paper
26" x 14" (66 x 36 cm)
 I just love this painting.  It has such a feeling of movement and grace.  The colors are also one of my favorites.  In trying to pick which elements that I wanted to concentrate on, I kept coming back to the gorgeous blue-green of the front dancer's dresses.  I also wanted to make a choker because some of the dancers are wearing them.
This necklace features polymer beads by Kristi Bowman Design along with some golden pewter beads and seed beads. It is very lightweight and comfortable to wear.
I do try to participate in the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenges.  They have forced me to see color and designs in everything around me including art.  If you make jewerly and are looking for a way to push yourself then join in!  For further info click here.  
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Apr 11, 2014

Year of Jewelry Project: Round Peg, Square Hole

This was really a fun week with a fun project.  Those aqua squares are glass that I picked up in a destash event.  The other beads are howlite and onyx.

I had a couple other things happen that brought smiles to my face.  The one that I am most excited about is that I have been accepted as a design for ZNet Shows.  I will be getting some sea glass from them to make up some gorgeous jewelry.  They have the best sea glass around so I am pretty hyped about this opportunity.

The other beautiful thing this week might seem kinda silly but I was able to tackle my yard and get the grass down to a reasonable level.  This is something that my fibro has prevented for the last couple years to I felt this to be a definite win.

Apr 9, 2014

Ears to You

I don't make a lot of earrings so one of my goals this year is to make at least thirty pairs to donate to Ears To You.  For those who are unfamiliar with this wonderful nonprofit, here is a quick run down.  Their goal is to cheer up cancer patients by giving them each a pair of earrings.  Now this is an organization that I can get behind.  Here are the first four that I have ready to go though I won't ship them out until I have the full thirty ready.