Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's been awhile

I realize it's been awhile since I've posted.   Life has been a little wonky lately, but in a very good way.  That being said, I've had so little time to actually create things.  I've managed to do a little bit.  Today, I wasn't feeling all that great so I sat down and just did some simple beading.

There's not much to it, but I love the way it looks.  Pearls and sterling always work beautifully together.  Below: 20" strung pearl necklace with sterling silver spacers and beads.  Sterling silver ankh pendant is hand made in Tibet with a pearl inset.  Sterling clasp is handmade by me.

I think it'd be perfect for work, but I'm likely going to put it up in my Etsy shop which is TBD very soon.  This simplicity is just what I needed today. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kumihimo - an experiment

I rarely work with any kind of fiber so any excursion into its use is a huge ordeal for me.  I literally sit there and stare at it with nervous anticipation because I don't know where to turn.  Case in point, I bought two kumihimo boards about 3 years ago and even made the cord used in this project over a year ago, but never figured out where to use it.

FINALLY, I had a small stroke of brilliance when I saw the carved mother of pearl pendant that my daughter picked out about six months ago.  I really only figured it out because I was organizing and cleaning my room of ingenuity aka the black hole aka my craft room. 

I don't know that I'll do a ton of kumihimo, but it's something I can take on a plane easily.  It is, however, a lot of work for one cord.  Without further ado, here goes:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Anklet Reveal

I've enjoyed these blog hops that I've been participating in lately.  They've been a nice conduit for creativity and allow me to expand outside of my comfort zone.

This time, I volunteered to do an anklet reveal.  There are no rules here except to create an anklet which, in and of itself, is a challenge for me.  I've never made one.  :) 

Before I move to the reveal, thanks and kudos go out to Kashmira Patel, who you met as she was my earring swap partner.  She did a great job organizing this hop and I hope you enjoying seeing all of the awesome designs. 

Not too long ago, my daughter, some friends and I went to the Fort Worth zoo.  All around the zoo, they have squished penny machines which got me thinking that they would make some great jewelry components.  The idea here is that I'll keep collecting these from my travels to create a super long necklace.  For now, it works wonderfully as an anklet.  No sharp edges and it sits perfectly along the ankle. 


Below are some pictures of my baby girl, Ainsley at the zoo.  As a treat, I found a picture we took 5.5 years ago on the same exact croc.  Ainsley is the one in the back grinning like a goofball.  She had a blast and I love seeing her smile. 

Thanks for looking!  Below are all of the participants for the awesome anklet hop.  Thank you again Kashmira!

Name Blog
Kashmira Patel
Kaushambi ShahWill post on Kashmira's blog
Jean Wells
Mischelle Fanucchi
Shellie Grindie
Ginger Bishop
Monique U
Cynthia Machata
Kay Thomerson
Mimi Gardner
Anindita Basu
Rita (Toltec Jewels)
Gina Hockett
Tammie Everly
Jessica Murray
Dyanne Cantrell
Ema Kilroy
Emma Todd
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Cheri Reed
Rochelle Brisson
Michelle Buettner
Sandra McGriff
Stephanie Weiss
Shelley Graham Turner
Vickie Foley
Lynda Carson
Roxanne Mendoza

Monday, May 20, 2013

Earring Swap Reveal

Hello everyone!

First, huge kudos out to Jessica Murray who hosted this blog hop.  She's put up with all of quite admirably.  Check out her blog, Whimsical Monkey, here.

I've been a bit remiss in my posting lately.  I blame a lack of time to do things  :)  Rather, I've prioritized some items and crafting has taken a bit of a backseat.  HOWEVER, I have the privilege of participating in a fun new blog hop for earrings! 

My partner, Kashmira Patel, is a software engineer who creates jewelry to support her charity.  She has a huge heart!  I always love seeing people who put their talents to fabulous use like she is.  Plus, she has the added benefit of enjoying one of my favorite things - travel!  I wish I've been to as many places as she has.  :)

The rules were this --
1. Create some earrings
2. Swap with a partner
3. POST on the reveal date (today!)

Kashmira and I chatted and I'm afraid I gave her no real direction other than "I love earrings!"  Well, I take that back.  I asked that she not use fiber because the humidity kills it here and nothing too heavy.  She did an absolutely awesome job!

Here is what she came up with:

Didn't she do a fabulous job??  I love them and have had several people complement my nice pretty earrings. 

Here I am wearing them:  They fit my face perfectly.  The length is fabulous :)

Here is my partner: Kashmira Patel.  Check out what I sent her.  :) 

I didn't take pictures before I sent them over so I stole the pictures from her website.  She did a fabulous job taking pictures of them.  :)
So in the next few days, visit these hard working people and see what they made/swapped.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the different earrings out there.  Happy Hopping!

Inge von Roos:
Nancy Smith:
Marianne Baxter:
Leah Tees:
Andrea Trank:
Miranda Ackerley:
Cheri Mitchell-Reed:
Susan Kennedy:
Michele Dotson:
Deanna Cox:
Shelley Graham Turner:
Ingrid McCue:
Lennis Carrier:
Ginger Davis Allman:
Mary Anne Flesch:
Nicole Valentine Rimmer:
Stephanie Weiss: --> You are here
Silvia Sernicola:
Karla Morgan:
Kay Thomerson:
Paula Hisel:
Carol Dillman:
Spun Sugar Beadworks:
Tara Plote:
Rachel Baron:
Laurie Keefe:
Kashmira Patel:
Gina Hockett:
Shellie Grindy:
Shai Williams:
Dyanne Cantrell:
Mimi Gardner:
Jessica McMullen:
Jennifer LaVite:
Laura Medeiros:
Alenka Obid:
Elsie Fonseca:
Cheryl Dunham:
Sandra McGriff:
Tania Spivey:
Mowse Doyle:

Beccy Peterson: Beccy's Baubles
Mischelle Fanucchi:
Marde Lowe: FanciMar Designs

Sunday, April 28, 2013

In a purple mood...

Sometimes simplicity is best :)  I made the below with citrine nuggets, faceted amethysts, copper beads and some gorgeous lampwork beads.  I love how easy this one is.  Too bad I ran out of lampworks to make some matching earrings as I feel like going matchy matchy with this.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's been awhile...

Work has been absolutely crazy lately, but in a crazy good way. I love my job so there are absolutely no complaints when I have to put in a few extra hours.  :)  In the meantime, I had some fun the past couple days as I've been laid up a bit sick.  I had the opportunity to sit down and watch some TV while crafting.  Something I used to do all the time, but haven't prioritized it lately with other things in life. 

I've been feeling a very purple and green mood lately.  But, I was absolutely inspired by the green and purple clasp that I purchased from Mary Harding not too long ago.  I don't typically buy findings like that as I generally prefer to make them myself, but this one was a piece of art!  I adored it.  I paired it with some patinad copper chain, purple and lime lampwork beads from a couple of my favorite artists (FeyGlass and Taneres) and a couple of swarovski crystals.  I love the resulting look.

I've done the bracelet below before, but I gave it away to my Mom who also made a few of them herself!  It's something easy and quick to do, but is really just a pretty thing.  I needed something to match my A&M shirt for the maroon and white game so I quickly put this together with some burgundy and off white wooden beads, copper jump rings and a lampwork button.  Super cute and quick to make.  Great project!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pretty in Pink Challenge

I had such a fun time with the Bead Soup challenge that I joined another one -- Pretty in Pink!  Essentially, we're given a picture for inspiration and are directed to create something based on the image.  I decided to keep it simple this go around and I love the results.  :)
Here is the inspiration picture:

I came up with a very simply pretty bracelet with the color scheme as inspiration.  Easy to wear and super comfortable!

The below are some fun earrings with the copper wire acting as vines around the silver.  I LOVE mixed metal.

I can't wait until my next challenge.  Give me your feedback.  Would you add to the bracelet or leave it as is? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Is In The Air

I'd been staring at the beads from Raida Disbrow and EclecticPrairie for quite some time.  I'll admit it - I was petting them happily.  I loved the color combos and the feel of the beads.  I tend to like bright and happy colors so this played right into my preferences.  Plus, I was in the mood for a nice simple necklace with some sterling and lovely color pallates.  Gorgeous!

How cute is that butterfly? I adore it!!! This is considerably shorter than my normal necklace that I tend to lean toward. At 19", it sits perfectly on me. I can't wait to wear it with a fun dress.  I also have enough beads left over to make an entirely different necklace or a coordinating bracelet. I haven't decided which I'm going to do.

My biggest problem is that I don't like to sell any of my jewelry. I like to hoard it so I can play with it and wear it.  For those of you who like to sell, any tips would be appreciated!

I'd love ya'lls feedback on my work.  Please feel free to leave comments in the box below.  :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Reveal!

First, a big thank you to Lori Anderson for putting this together and a thank you to my partner, Patricia Johnson.  They made this a ton of fun!
I had a ton of fun with this bead soup.  When Patty sent me all of these goodies, my brain exploded with some ideas.  I love copper so the green played perfectly with it.  In fact, you can see all of the fun things I made below. 

This is everything!  Two pendants, one bracelet and a super long 32" necklace.  I tend to love long chains that I can layer with other things.  This is incredibly fun as I've never made a shape like it before. 

Here is my super long 32" necklace.  I used Patty's gorgeous handmade lampwork beads and a few of her vintage beads in a custom setting that I cut and patterned myself.  If you look closely at the dangle at the bottom, you'll get a sweet little surprise.  All of the beadcaps were handmade as well. 
Lesson learned?  USE A PUNCH!  It was a pill getting the circle exactly round with my jewelers saw.  I bought a punch just so I don't have to do that again.  :)
The back of the lampwork focal's setting.  I love the little rosette on the back.  So much FUN!

 Here's the surprise!  I used pennies as the bead cap.  I realized how cool it would be while I was helping my daughter sort her coins and I remembered that pennies made prior to 1982 are pure copper.  These were fun to play with my fire, dremel and dapping block.  Nothing beats stress like playing with metal and tools.

I loved the sari silk and Patty's handmade clasp so I cut the silk in half and braided 4 strands together coupled with a few of her vintage beads and two of her lovely lampworks with some copper chain.  It fits as a cuff beautifully.

I had fun with both of thee pendants each for different reasons.  I don't typically wrap with wire like I did on the left hand side, but it was a fun experience.  I definitely learned a lot.  If you look closely, you'll see I used recycled computer parts to wire wrap some of Patty's vintage beads around.  FUN!
On the right, I riveted a copper blank, washer and sterling heart to one of Patty's silver toned recycled computer parts.  I really love the weight of this pendant.  SUPER fun.  I had a big blast adding a heat patina, stamping and riveting.
I hope you like what I've made.  Run, don't walk, over to see my partner's big reveal.  Remember I sent her this --
I can't wait to see what she's done!  Here are the links:

Take a look at everyone else's blogs for their fabulous designs!  I can't wait to spend some time seeing what everyone else is revealing.  You'll have to either open the page further to see the other blog links OR you can click here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boolean Math is Jewelry Inspiration

So for those of you who know me, you know that I teach recruiters how to find candidates online using deep web searching techniques.  I have the best job ever at AIRS and I would not change a single thing.  What you may not know is that I use those same techniques to find inspiration for jewelry.  Pinterest is great, but sometimes the same things keep getting repinned which doesn't do much for my creative juices. 

Instead, I'll usually run a quick Boolean image search in Google or Bing like the below to find like styles to inspire me like the one below.

(copper | 925 | sterling | silver) (forged | riveted | "cold connection") (jewelry | broach | necklace | earrings | bracelet | ring)

That being said, I do love looking at Pinterest.  Who am I kidding?  I can spend HOURS, but I prefer to apply my own Boolean logic to searching.  So, I edited it a bit... (copper | 925 | sterling | silver) (forged | riveted | "cold connection") (jewelry | broach | necklace | earrings | bracelet | ring)

Now I'm getting results only from Pinterest, but I was able to focus my keywords in Google much better than in Pinterest.  Not only am I able to find new feeds to follow, but I can quickly find some beautiful inspiration pieces that don't depend on Pinterest's algorithm.  Fab!

How do you find inspiration?

Incidentally, if you're interested in taking some AWESOME Boolean classes - take a look at our classes at our AIRS Training website.  Happy beading!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mail Fairies

The mailman delivered some fabulous beauties today.  Look what I unopened.  I can't wait to play with them!

 I love these ceramic beads I got from Marla's Mud.  Aren't they fun?  I have a great idea for that big focal.  I'm thinking mix it with a couple of red lampwork beads and amethysts with a handmade set of copper bead caps. 

 I love these sets of ceramic beads by Jenny Gholsan-Morris aka EclecticPrarie.  I have some fabulous necklace and bracelet ideas for them.  Add in some semiprecious beads and handmade metal components and we have some gorgeous accessories

These are just fun polymer clay beads from ArtyBecca.  These will be a lot of fun by themselves on a long copper chain.  I might add in a few copper beads or citrine.  I love how light they are.  I'm expecting some more beads soon in the mail from another fantastic artisan.  As I buy them, I'll post my fantastic finds as well as what I make with them.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New... Shiny! Beads Everywhere

This past weekend was jam packed full of things and I didn't stop going.  I think total I had about 5 hours of sleep for the entire weekend, but it was a blast.  Ainsley had her final regular season basketball game, basketball party, clay and art time at school, a movie and dinner.  That was Saturday.  Now SUNDAY, I spent at the Fort Worth Intergem Show.  The past two years, the show has been small, but it's doubled in size in such a short time.  I came out with some fantastic buys.

Lot of fused glass - I love this stuff.  I think I'm going to set some of the small rounds as the center of various shapes including flowers.  I think that'd be adorable.

Onyx - hand faceted - cushion squares.  I LOVE these.  Super sparkly.

I think these skulls were kind of cherry.  But seriously - I plan to do a copper charm bracelet out of them.  I had someone in mind when I bought them.  I believe they're dyed Howlite. 

Fun black agate beads.  Different shape.  I should have bought two strands.

Ruby in Zoisite.  I love this stuff so much that I hoard it.  I have numerous chains that people keep offering to purchase off my neck, but I just can't part with it.  I think I have a problem.
Various stone pendants - charoite, random funky blue stone, quartz, shell, onyx, picture jasper and unakite

Pile of wood beads.  I've been drawn to a lot of porcelain beads and I think these would go beautifully with them as well as offset the weight of the heavy beads.

Turtles!  Onyx and Lapis Lazuli.  I thought they'd be cute on some bracelets.

Tumbled Glass rings.  I'm not entirely sold on these anymore, but I bet I can figure something out.  

White Agate - they look like Calla Lillies to me.  I think I'm going to put a tiny crystal in the middle and then bunch them up as a pendant.  I also bought some matte black ones which did not photograph exceedingly well.
I don't normally buy finished jewelry, but I loved how this one looked on me.  Just some dyed $3 Howlite, but it will be fun with a tshirt or a denim shirt. 
31 bags of various copper and sterling silver filled beads.  I dug around in these bead piles for about 30 minutes, but man... I came away with some fun things!

Here are some samples of my favorites.  I can't wait to rivet the large one to a ring.  I think it's be a ton of fun.

I adore these - so natural with a fun shape.  Picasso Jasper.

Lots of matching beads.  I have some beautiful cabs that match these perfectly.  I would have bought another strand of tear drop, but that was the last one she had.

Amethyst - aren't these fun? I think I'm going to build up a bail around them or make some fun 3D pendants.  A couple of them are small enough to be some unusual rings.