Nov 29, 2014

Art Jewelry Elements November Component of the Month Reveal




One of my favorite blogs, Art Jewelry Elements, just happens to do a monthly component reveal where one of their contributors will make up a component then they all will design a piece around it.  The best part is that they invite different designers in to play.  I was lucky enough to be one of those designers this time around.

What was being offered was these beautiful seed bead rings made by Kristen Stevens.  Aren't they lovely and so out of my wheel house that I was jumping for joy when my name was picked.  The ones that were sent me was the Terra Dark Denim.

Since they came in a pair and I have really been working on designing earrings lately, I decided to make up a pair of ear wires and grabbed a pair of lampwork headpins made by Earth Shine.



I just love this pair of earrings because this is the first time that I haven't used something that was commercial be it earwires or jump rings.  And I want to thank Art Jewelry Elements and Kristen for the opportunity to push my limits yet again.

Now be sure to click here to see what everyone else made with their wonderful rings.
Nov 28, 2014

Ramblings



  • I am not one that does well without a car.  I have had one pretty much consistently since I was eighteen and since I have gotten older with fibro, it has become an necessity.  My car went down last Monday and hasn't worked since.  Apparently it was just a battery that needed supercharged but it was a comedy of errors getting that done.  It's working right now.  I am just hoping that it continues so I can go into the office tomorrow.
  • Why is it that you can pay into the SS system for years and when you are disabled, you have to hire a lawyer to get disability?  Why is it that in a a lot of states, your claim is going to be automatically denied no matter what the doctors say unless you are dying?  I know that lawyers have to make a living but folks that are trying to get disability really don't need to pay 25% to a lawyer.  Arg!
Nov 24, 2014

Art Charm Exchange & Charity Auction




It's that time of the year again where a bunch of us designers create Art Charms to swap with each other and to let you in on the fun, we also have an auction of the Art Charms.  The best part is that all of the proceeds from the auction benefit Beads of Courage.

Now I am sure that everyone has heard about BOC but just as a refresher, they are a non-profit that provides arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.  They have so many different ways to support them such as direct donations of cash or if you make beads, they can always use more.

Now as far as the exchange, us designers make up ten art charms to display and one to be auctioned off on E-bay.  Our theme for this year is Soar!  Just look at these gorgeous charms that I received all based around that one word.





 What came immediately to my mind was hot air balloons.  Now I don't make my own beads so instead I took some lampwork beads made by Spawn of Flame which reminded me of blue skies and whispy white clouds.  I attached some balloon baskets to the beads using sterling wire and added on a ring so this charm can be attached to a bracelet or a necklace.



Now the important part of the exchange is the auction so be sure to pop over here to see what's up for grabs.

And be sure to check out what everyone else designed around the word Soar!


Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net
Nov 22, 2014

Be Thankful Blog Hop



This is the time of the year to be thankful for your blessings especially if you have a warm roof over your head and enough food to share.  In my household, we don't do the typical Thanksgiving dinner.  Instead we have a potluck where I provide the turkey and everyone else brings a side dish.  I love this style of dinner as we all get to contribute and share our favorites. 

Our 'dinner' was last Saturday and when we were talking over what we were thankful for, top on my list is my home which has enough space to host these gatherings, provide me with studio space and more then enough room to take in stragglers as needed.  I have a good job that I enjoy and pays well enough to support myself and my husband.  I have wonderful friends that I can call upon if I need too.

I am also thankful that MaryBeth of Forest of Jewels decided to have a blog hop.  She sent us all a variety of Czech Glass and a beautiful handmade copper clasp and let us go to town.  The one request was that we used the clasp.



This necklace is composed entirely with the czech glass that Marybeth sent though I did add in a copper chain and the waxed linen that I knotted it up with.  They are gorgeous beads especially the long tube that I used as a focal.



And I did want to give a close up of this clasp.  I set it on the side so it can be seen when worn.

Now that you have seen what I made with my batch of czech glass and copper, be sure to head here to take a look at what everyone else has made.  I have even heard rumors of a contest that is happenings.

Featured Artist:  Cova Cobalt of Cobalt and Copper
Your Hostess:  Marybeth Rich of Forest of Jewels

Participants:  

Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements
Carolyn Lawson of Carolyn's Creations 
Shaiha Williams of Shaiha's Ramblings
Lisa Knappenberger of LiRaysa Designs
Bianca Medina of Medibeads
Lee Koopman of Strega Jewellry's Blog
Mowse Doyle of Mowse Made This
Linda Anderson of From the Bead Board


Nov 21, 2014

Ramblings



  • We had our monthly potluck and since it is November, we went with a turkey and all the fixings.  Since I didn't get a chance to pick up the turkey early enough to give it time to thaw, I picked up one of the new Jenny O bagged turkeys that go from the freezer to the oven.  It was delicious!  Never seen a twelve pound turkey demolished so quickly.  

  • I got to spend some time decompressing and playing in my studio on Sunday.  For a change, I didn't have any troubles making up earrings and I made up five pairs.
  • Why is it that people will choose Sales when they want to discuss their bills?  It doesn't get them the right place any quicker because once they get to me, I just transfer them to the correct department and they start their wait all over again.
Nov 20, 2014

Moon Garden Challenge



Today is the reveal for Andrew Thornton's Moon Garden Challenge. I received quite a bit of goodies all based around the colors of moonstone and labradorite.   The beautiful pink gold focal with the flower stamped on it is one made my Andrew for this event.


I went to town on this bracelet.  The thought I had in mind was just how would a garden look on the moon?   Not a lot of bright colors but flashes of color nonetheless.  I added in the clasp and the black seed beads, the rest came from the wonderful goodies sent in my kit.





I wanted to show of this wonderful focal.  It is a pinkish color with delightful flashes of gold.



And here's the finished design using that focal.  The focal and the crystals are from my kit.  I added in some pinkish orange beads to highlight the focal also with some vintage gold sequins.  It is finished off with a golden pewter clasp.

To see what everyone else has made, just click here to go to Andrew's post.
Nov 19, 2014

ABS Monthly Challenge

"Cattelya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds" 1871 
by Martin Johnson Heade
34.8 x 45.6 cm"
Oil on Mahogany Panel


I skipped the challenge from Art Bead Scene last month and it wasn't even intentional.  The month just managed to get away from me.  I couldn't have that happen again so I started planning in my head just what I was going to put together.

I had decided to focus on the darker colors with just a hint of pink.  I had some art beads all picked out and then when I sat down on Sunday to try to whip out some earrings, an art bead from Golem caught my eye.  Yep all the plans out the window. 



The beautiful focal directed the show.  It wanted a soft green and pink highlight its colors.  So I dug through my gemmies and found some beautiful pink opal that I have been hoarding against a rainy day and light green chalcedony  I went through my wire and finally decided on some gold-filled wire that I had also been hoarding.



It has such a sweet vintage feel that I don't normally find in my jewelry but I am very happy with this necklace.  I do have it up for sale at Shaiha Designs.

I do really have a lot of fun with these challenges because they do encourage me to step out of my norm.  Any other jewelry or bead designers out there, I do recommend joining us on the monthly challenges.  Not only does it push your boundaries but there is a chance to win some goodies at the sponsor's shops.
Nov 17, 2014

Review: Cast in Sorrow



THE END OF HER JOURNEY IS ONLY THE BEGINNING...

The Barrani would be happy to see her die. So Kaylin Neya is a bit surprised by her safe arrival in the West March. Especially when enemies new and old surround her and those she would call friends are equally dangerous...

And then the real trouble starts. Kaylin's assignment is to be a "harmoniste"-one who helps tell the truth behind a Barrani Recitation. But in a land where words are more effective than weapons, Kaylin's duties are deadly. With the wrong phrase she could tear a people further asunder. And with the right ones...well, then she might be able to heal a blight on a race.

If only she understood the story....


* * * * *

This is one series that I have loved from the very beginning but this is the first book that I have actually read.  The others were in audio format so seeing how the names are actually spelled was a bit of a shock and one that made me decide that listening rather then reading a fantasy is the way to go.  

Even struggling through some of the names, I have to say that I absolutely loved this book!  Kaylin has yet again done the unexpected and managed me to make it work.  All of my favorite characters were more then present and there were a lot of twists and turns.  

I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys fantasy.   The genre of fantasy is harder to pin down because for the most part it is urban but set in another world.  Rather unique and very enjoyable.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

 
Nov 15, 2014

Pine Ridge Treasures Clay & Metal Blog Hop




One of my favorite blog hop hostesses is Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures so it is almost automatic for me to sign up for her hops.  This one was especially enjoyable because it features Sheryl of Metapolies.  Sheryl works in polymer clay but what I really love is the magic that she performs with patinas on metal. 



As I have said, Sheryl does clay but I love her metal and I was lucky enough to receive some beautiful patined leaves along some Tiara crystal and green glass beads. 



I was really thinking about trying to make up a necklace but those leaves were demanding to be made up into a pair of earrings.  I fought it for a while and finally gave in.  I ended up not using the green beads because the hole was just too tiny for the wire I was using so instead I added in some more Tiara crystal. 



And I like I said, I love the various metal components that I can pick up from Metapolies so I made up another pair.  The brass discs are from Metapolies and the lampwork beads are from StudioJuls.

Both of these pairs of earrings are currently for sale at Shaiha Designs.

Now that you have seen my humble offerings, be sure that you check out what all these other wonderful designers have come up with.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Lisa Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Carol Briody, A Beads Life
Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck
Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
Susan Anderson, La Main Tresor
LeAnne Loftus, First Impression Design
Leithleach Seodra, Alainn Jewelry
Nov 14, 2014

Ramblings



  • I did make my get together with the Red Hatters.  We met at a coffee shop where you can also paint greenware,  I decided to make my own tea mug.  I can hardly wait to see the finished version which I should be able to pick up in a couple weeks.
  • I really enjoyed meeting some new people.  I was the youngest one there but a lot of the ladies had undergone or are undergoing issues that I am dealing with.  I think that I could easily become friends with them.

  • This last weekend was very relaxing.  I spent most of Saturday in my studio and just loved having the time.  I need to remember to schedule out more days like that.
Nov 8, 2014

Review: Before Midnight



Loupe always dreamed of getting married. She yearned for a caring husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence at home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, a man who would love her forever. Those dreams ended the day she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s a mindless beast on the night of the full moon—a condition that forever prevents her from sharing a marriage bed. Not even the attentions of a handsome and endearingly strong prince can convince her that the life she wants is still possible.

Etienne is a prince in need of a werewolf. A werewolf himself from birth, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly turning him human. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf, one who was not born with the beast inside, can save him from becoming human. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the curse. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul can take his mind from his goal.

Love cares little for the best laid plans or the impossible. A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight


* * * * *

If I am reading a book just for enjoyment, I am guilty of only reading the first couple chapters to see if the book is going to grab my attention.  If I am done that with BEFORE MIDNIGHT, I would have missed out on a fun read.
 
As you have probably guessed, BEFORE MIDNIGHT  didn't start out with a bang.  In fact, I thought that it was rather silly.  Soon however I discovered that I am was enjoying the silliness.  Now mind you, it wasn't all lighthearted because there was an evil stepmother who really was evil.  And there was also the theme that love can conquer all.  

I would recommend BEFORE MIDNIGHT to my readers who enjoy reboots on the fairy tales in a paranormal fashion.  I am rather interested in just what Ms. Blackstream has planned for her vampire.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Nov 7, 2014

Ramblings


  • Great start to my week even though the dogs woke me up way to early again for breakfast.  I fed them, grabbed my tea and stumbled downstairs to find a notice that I had won a contest held by Niki at SilverNiknats.  Just look at all those goodies!

  • I have taken to having three books going again; one in audio, one on my tablet and one in paper from the library.  I think subconsciously I am trying to get as close to my goal of a hundred books this year though I really doubt I will make it. 
  • I received my Art Charms from the swap that I participated in.  They are utterly gorgeous.  Don't forget that duplicates of the charms I received and far more will be going up on auction on November 14th with the proceeds being donated to Beads of Courage.
  • I am not at heart political but I do wonder what is going to happen to us in the next two years.  Will the rich kept getting richer?
  • Goodness,  Where has the week gone?  Tomorrow is Friday and it doesn't seem like it should be yet.

  • It has been a lucky week for me.  I found out yesterday and I won some beautiful seed bead rings to make up into a design for Art Jewelry Elements.  Aren't those gorgeous?  I immediately thought earrings but then decided that would be too easy.  I don't know though.  Me and earrings are anything but comfortable together.
Nov 6, 2014

Review: Autumn Bones

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Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism, and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.

Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer, she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.

He’s descended from Obeah sorcerers and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything…..


* * * * *

I just love finding a new to me urban fantasy series!  This is one that I just happened to find at the library and I will admit that it was the cover that caught my attention when I was checking out some books for my husband.  It's the time of the year where falling leaves really tend to get my attention since we don't have a lot of color change here in Washington.

I really liked the main character Daisy who has her doubts just like any woman but also has the worry about not claiming her birthright from her father.  Talk about added stress since if she claims it all kinds of really bad things will happen.  And her job as Hel's enforcer didn't come with any training so it really is learn as she goes.

The secondary characters in this book really add to the story.  Jen, her best friend and her Zander, is human and really helps to keep Daisy grounded.  Her mother is also a real grounding influence.  And then there are the men in Daisy's life which as all just yummy in their varied ways.  I will admit to being part of Team Stephen.

I really enjoyed AUTUMN BONES and have already put the second book in the series on hold at my local library.  I do recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy urban fantasy that isn't too explicit sexually.
Nov 4, 2014

Earrings & more earrings!



I don't know what it is but earrings are definitely my nemesis.  When I lay out beads to make some pairs what comes to mind are ideas for necklace and/or bracelets.  Sigh.  That being said, I did make up a few pairs on Sunday for Ears To You that I wanted to share.





Nov 2, 2014

Autumn Night Sky Challenge





One of my favorite Facebook groups has periodic challenges where we pick a kit sight unseen (though we do have an idea of the colors), we design up some jewelry pieces and then post the pics on the Facebook group.  Now you know me, I couldn't just post them to a closed group.  I had to share them with all of my lovely readers.



And yes you have seen this bracelet before.  It's one that I made up as a custom order but since I included beads from this kit, I wanted to include it.  This bracelet has artisan lampwork beads from StudioJuls, amethyst, glass beads & howlite skulls.  Very dark, gothic and really fits the atmosphere of the pic above. 



This next design is a necklace made using the beautiful lilac glass pearls and crystals from ZNetShows that I received with my kit and focal beads from Golem Design Studio.  I am very happy with this necklace but it has a far happier feel to it then the theme pic for this challenge.  Perhaps I needed that thought of flower to brighten up what has already been a gray fall.  If you need that shot of spring, this necklace is for sale at Shaiha Designs.

For any designers that would be interested in these design challenges, be sure to check out Pine Ridge Treasures.