Saturday, August 2, 2014

Haberdashery Blog Hop Reveal

Haberdashery Blog Hop Reveal Today

Today is the reveal date for the jewelry designers' challenge in which we were tasked with using items typically found at a haberdashers, i.e. (according to, a dealer in small wares and notions, or a retail dealer in men's furnishing such as ties, shirts, gloves, socks, and hats.  The three items I worked with are ribbon, buttons and garment pins.  I tried combinations of all on this piece, but ended up using only buttons.  My old stand by.

This is the last blog hop I'll do this year, and it was one of my favorites because I got to redesign a piece I'd started months ago, use my favorite shade of pink (as close to red as possible, LOL), and use a favorite component; buttons.  Particularly, vintage buttons from my Mom's old box and MOP buttons.  Oh yeah, and I love to use rhinestones, hee hee.

Below the photo are the other participants in the hop.  After today take some time to check out the 34 or so other participants and enjoy the eye candy! Some were much productive than me, and all were creative! Thank you to our blog hostess Melissa Trudinger!

Melissa Trudinger                                 

Ann Schroeder                                       

Tammy Adams                                      

Amanda Wacasey                                 

Dolores Raml                                          

Divya N                                                   

Michelle McCarthy                               

DiYana Brooks                                       

Robin Kae Reed                                     

Andrea Glick                                          

Karin Grosset Grange                           

Mitzie Crider                                          

Janine Lucas                                            <-- will post on Sunday

Rosantia Petkova                                 

Susan Kennedy                                      

Leithleach Alainn Seodra     

Kathleen Breeding                                

Shiraz Biggie                                          

Chris Eisenberg                                     

Heather Richter                                    

Lennis Carrier                                        

Rebecca Anderson                               

Jenny Kyrlach                                         

Rita Toltec Jewels                                

Mischelle Fanucci                                 

Karen Mitchell                                       

Carol Briody                                           

Karla Morgan                                        

Carolyn Lawson                                    

Lori Anderson                                        

Jami Shipp                                              

Lili Krist                                                   

Evelyn Shelby                                         

Raissa de Guzman                                

Niky Sayers                                            

Keren Panthaki                                      

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Here is my entry for The Age of the Dragonfly Blog Hop.  Fun challenge, and the piece is a definite departure for me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pursuing my 2014 goal to participate in blog hops has led me to participate in (1) The Age of the Dragonfly, post due by 6/28/2014 (coming to a computer nearby soon), and (2) The Haberdashery Blog Hop (post due in August), and a couple of others I don't remember the name of right now.  What I didn't realize, but should have, is that these commitments, although fun, take up a lot of time since I work slowly.  Its not that the skill is lacking because I'm not doing anything particularly difficult; its that I work slowly because I'm so dang indecisive.  (Also there are very few hours in the day/night free for creating.)  According to Deryn Mentock, speed will come with experience as a result of increased confidence.  One would think (and does, in fact think) that by now I would not over think every design.  Ha!  That assumes I don't over think everything!  I wonder how old I'll be, how much experience I'll have, before I have developed sufficient confidence in living life and creating jewelry that I don't over.think.everything.  If you know the answer, please share it with me, LOL.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Big Day Has Finally Arrived!

Tomorrow is the reveal for the Bead Soup Blog Party and I just finished my necklace.  Yay!  The reveal was postponed a week, which worked in my favor as I've been mega busy over the last month. I'm happy because my piece is complete and I like the final result.  I hope you like it too.

Here is another shot of the bead soup received from my partner, Debra Gibson.  This was our first time to participate in the bead soup blog party, so we weren't much help to one another.  That's OK; our wonderful hostess Lori Anderson took such good care of us all that it was a breeze.

Debra provided a really cool focal; a vintage photo of a pleasant-faced woman encased in resin, in a soldered bezel.  I backed it with a faux cut steel piece and added sari silk.  I used a rhinestone button, a chandelier crystal, and a couple of beads as dangles.  I also used light teal cut glass beads from my soup mix, and the copper clasp.  The oxidized copper and silver plumber's solder play together nicely.

To those soup ingredients I added vintage, coppery faux pearls, two lovely old ceramic beads, and a couple of German, yellow givre' beads, which I had obtained through a terrific, closed destash group called Patti's Destash Divas.  I made a wire and sari silk bead, used faceted Amazonite, and at the last minute added a copper button from my Mom's button box.  My Mom's birthday would have been May 5th and I wanted to include something to remind me of her.

This is by far the longest necklace I've ever made at over 30 inches plus an extender.  The length contributes to the rustic elegance of the necklace, in my opinion.

Debra also sent, as extra goodies, some Very nice polymer clay beads she made.  I'm looking forward to using them on something soon.  I wish I'd had time to work with them for the blog party, but it was not to be. Actually, I wish I'd used all of the soup ingredients Debra generously sent me.  Luckily, I get to in the future.

I'm happy to have been able to participate in the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.  I taught myself how to wire wrap cup chain, got encouragement from Facebook friends, used a new (to me) color combination, and had a blast with the project.  Lori Anderson rocks.

Below are the links to Debra's blog, Lori Anderson's blog, and a place to start the blog hop.  Sit  back, relax, and enjoy some eye candy as you hop the blogs of many talented jewelry designers!  Lori deserves praise because not only did she do a great job organizing, pairing, encouraging, inspiring, controlling, and otherwise handling 500+ blog hoppers around a large part of the world, she paired up with two other blog party participants (the rest of us had one partner each), and did it all under extraordinary circumstances at her own personal expense.  My prayers and admiration go out to her.  If you enjoy the blog hop, which I'm sure you will, please let Lori know by commenting on her blog.  The woman is a wonder.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Terrific Opportunity

The photo below is a shot of my talisman project with my word for the year.  I am fortunate to be able to participate in the Ice Resin talisman project this year.  This is my entry, without a chain attached yet.  I was generously provided with some Ice Resin and two bezels, and given free reign to create whatever I want, using a word that's significant to me.

Why did I choose Grow?  This year I want to do just that, a lot.  I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions, but do believe in annual goals. Some years I don't have any (well, that was before I started making jewelry.) This year I have a Lot of goals, and they all involve growing, stretching.  Most of them are small business professional goals; to participate in at least six shows, to submit (and hopefully have accepted) work in two jewelry making magazines, to upgrade my etsy shop, to learn new techniques and improve current ones, to participate in challenges, and to improve my blog.

As far as participating in challenges; that's been very challenging!  I'm involved in the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party and have designed my piece, but not constructed it.  The deadline is May 3rd, which is Way too rapidly approaching.

My other challenge (so far) this year is the Ice Resin talisman project.  I've been a long time admirer of all things Susan Lenart Kazmer so I am grateful to be able to participate in the project.  I'm a big fan of Susan and of Jen Cushman, the latter whom I've had the pleasure of taking a class from.  I've got their books and videos too, which are great.  Some day I'll figure out a way to take a class from Susan Lenart Kazmer.  Maybe that should be a goal for 2015.

The talisman project is also meaningful because I grew in the process of doing it.  I've had a jar of Iced Enamel (Shattered Fire Opal) and a bottle of medium for months, but haven't used them.  I like working with enamels, based on the experience I had in a class with Kathy Combs.  Iced Enamels are easier to use, quicker to use, and less expensive than glass enamels.  I used my Iced Enamel as designed, plus sprinkled flakes of the grungy sparkle in Iced Resin poured over the Iced Enamels and paper ephemera, to seal them permanently in the bezel.  Now I want more colors!  What a fun new technique to learn and a fun way to Grow!  Looks like I chose the right word.

grow (from


verb (used without object), grew, grown, grow·ing.
1.  to increase by natural development, as any living organism or part by assimilation of nutriment; increase in size or substance.
2.  to form and increase in size by a process of inorganic accretion, as by crystallization.
3.  to arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance, or source: Our friendship grew from common interests.
4.  to increase gradually in size, amount, etc.; become greater or larger; expand: His influence has grown.
5.  to become gradually attached or united by or as if by growth: The branches of the trees grew together, forming a natural arch.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Color me happy!  Saturday is my first show of the year; a set up outside of The Book Gallery in quaint downtown McKinney during Arts in Bloom.  It’s an all-day affair with approximately 150 artists showing, making, and selling their work.  No mass produced items, yay!  We'll be outside all day without a tent or umbrella, so finally I have an excuse to wear a hat!  Mustn't forget sunscreen. Wish me luck!

Below I've posted a couple of shots of work I'll be taking, and hopefully selling!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Here is the soup I sent Debra.  I forgot to take a shot of the extras I sent, other than in the bag.  They aren't important for the blog party, so that's OK.  There were more Extras than Soup ingredients!  I didn't mean to confuse you, Debra.  Sorry!

I received the bead soup ingredients from my talented and encouraging partner Debra Gibson.  She made the focal, the clasp, and the three clay beads below the focal.  I have no idea how to best honor the lady and Debra; let the fun begin!

BTW, happy spring!  I don't remember When spring was so eagerly anticipated.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Anticipation!  I've sent off my partner's bead soup, after (I won't admit to myself how much time spent) trying to come up with the right ingredients, on the very last day allowed.  Typical me, wait until the last minute.  Also typical, agonize over every little bit.  Overthink, that should be my middle name.  It was funny. I came up with three potential soups per Lori's wise instructions. Then when my partner, the talented Debra Gibson, and I made contact, I realized away that sending her yellow or orange, or clay, items would Not be a good idea.  So there went the three soups.  Good news?  I now have some new ideas for how to use those ingredients!  Also good news:  this challenge is going to be great!  From the very first contact, Debra has been very positive, generous, and encouraging.  I couldn't ask for a better partner!

The soup had to include a unique clasp, and since I changed the soup ingredients several times I ended up having to make the clasp myself; no time to purchase from someone else.  I'm sorry Debra!  I generally don't make clasps; I find them boring and not worth my time considering how little of it (time) I have.  As a consequence, my clasps aren't professional looking. Partly to make up for my clasp, which poor Debra is required to use (at least long enough to get a picture on her blog, then she can dump it), and partly because she's such a cool person, I sent a bag of other items with the bead soup.  Debra and I like the same kinds of things (except I like yellow and orange, and don't have the skill to make clay components Yet), so I sent her some things I hope she can use.  They aren't part of the soup; but are mainly vintage pieces to use however she likes (if she likes.)  Debra sent me some extra goodies too, just 'cuz she's generous.  She did post a picture on her blog of the cute box my soup is coming in.  Eek.  Mine were sent in a reused box.  I can't show the bead soup yet, but here's a shot of the jam packed bag of extras.  More on the challenge later.

I'm more than half way through the Deryn Mentock's online class, and its been more of a challenge than I expected.  There's occurred a result from it that I'm not particularly happy about.  It seems now that I'm learning design concepts rather than flying by the seat of my pants (wonder where That phrase came from), I'm seeing the need to rework some of my other pieces, including ones in my personal collection.  And to make matters worse, although the first piece I posted on the class photo page got a perfect score, pieces I've made for the class and posted each week since then haven't scored as highly.  I'm a little discouraged.  All critique is sought, and is certainly given with great kindness and consideration.  Its difficult to come up with a new piece each week, but that's not the issue.  One of my two goals for the class was to work faster.  Apparently I'm not quite getting the lessons. AARGGHHH.  Its hard to see pieces I thought I was done with back on the operating table, too.  Its good to be learning; I just forgot that sometimes lessons are painful, so to speak.

Its Way too late for me to blather any longer, 1:32 AM and I'm not a late night person.  IF I go to work tomorrow (recovering from the flu) I'm going to be a wreak.

Gotta go.  Have  a great week!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Asymmetrical Challenge Piece and Overcomng Fear

I've got quite a few jewelry design goals this year, and one of them is to participate in several challenges.  Never done that before, just committed and let the deadline slip away.  This is my first challenge piece, called Run to You after the awesome, heart rending song by  the incredibly gifted acapella group, Pentatonix.  I'm old enough to be their Mom, and I'm a Huge fan.  I'm trying to decide whether to send this piece to singer Kirsten Maldonado, or keep it for myself.  ( Or sell it?  Maybe.)  I don't work in dark colors so this was a stretch to be sure; I'm not sure I'd wear it.  But I'm very fond of the piece because of the inspiration and challenges it was made for.  Also, I used it for an asymmetrical design entry in the online class I'm taking from the talented Deryn Mentock, called The Alchemy of Objects.  So, this piece is being entered in two challenges and as a class project.  I love it, but I'm nervous!  I've never used a song, or anything other than my nutty brain, as inspiration.  It was fun, even though the piece took Way too long.  Wish me luck as I try to learn to design faster (that's what takes so long, not the construction), and work up the nerve to actually post this in the two challenges it was made for!  Those are the Challenge of Music hosted by Tesori Travati Jewelry, and the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge hosted by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  You should check out their sites; very talented designers and jewelry makers!  Sorry the photo is sideways.  Dan isn't home and I'm pretty clueless when it comes to technology.  (Wonder how bad it will be when I get old.  NOT thinking about that.)  The links to the two blogs are below my wonky photo.

This IS just my second or third blog post, so please bear with me as I learn.  ☺

I just realized I'm a week late for the Humblebeads blog post.  Oops!  Better do something with bead soup quickly!  Or not.  Another goal of mine for this year is to not place random, stressful, expectations on myself.  If I get a bead soup project done and posted before the week is out, Great!  But I doubt that will happen.  I plan on experimenting with flooded solder this weekend, which I've been Meaning to do since Christmas vacation.  We'll see what happens!
Last but not least, here is the link for Deryn Mentock's site Something Sublime.  That's a very accurate assessment of her work!  Maybe some day (days?) I'll get to meet these three inspiring artists.
 Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Hop

I am so excited!  This is my first post to my blog, which I promised myself I'd get going this year.   Not a resolution; a promise.  There's a difference.  Also, I'm going to participate in the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party sponsored and run with aplomb by the incomparable Lori Anderson.  See the fb page below and to the right.  This will be a fun way to meet other jewelry and jewelry supply makers, stretch my creativity, and become a little known (hopefully) in the handmade jewelry making world.  Now I need to transition my 90+ something draft etsy postings to live postings.  Most of them are earrings, and most of the necklaces and bracelets I have aren't even on photographed, for etsy or anything else.  So much to do, so little time.

I'm also excited because tonight Dan and I are going to see Sting and Paul Simon.  The tickets were part of my Christmas stash.  Dan is always Way too generous at Christmas time.  Oh darn.  ☺  I've seen both of the performers before, with Dan, whose not a huge fan of either but boy I AM.  I'd see the 60 but still hot Sting anytime at all (saw him in NY and for a few minutes even in Florence).  We saw Paul Simon over 30 years ago; I know because we weren't married and last September we celebrated 30 years!.  Wow

And I'm excited because I didn't both teaching Bible Fellowship at church today.  I think.  I shot an arrow prayer that God would speak through me rather than it be all me, during class.  So who knows what I said before that.  Its a good thing I'm not the regular teacher, thanks Cathy!  I'm better at facilitating, like the Monday night bible study I host.  Awesome group of women, some of my favorite in the world. 

Enough running on for a first post.  Thanks for reading and have a blessed week.  Be a blessing this week.

Bead Soup Blog Hop