Apr 30, 2014

Don't Forget

Edited to add:  This blog hop has actually been postponed until May 10th.  Hope to see you then!

This weekend is the reveal for the Bead Soup Blog Party! I am so looking forward to it and it even looks as though I am going to have some great weather to be able to get some better pics to show off.  I will be giving away a book for this hop also. It's a signed design book that I picked up to give away.

Oh and don't you just love my little bead guardian.  She is watching over beads for another blog hop.
Apr 25, 2014

Year of Jewelry

Whew.  I thought that I was going to have anything to show you this week because it has been raining like cats and dogs.  Luckily I had a necklace that I finished up a couple weeks ago and managed to get a picture off.  I have to admit that I love my new picture set up and it does help me take better pictures but blue skies are required.  Since I live in Washington, I am thinking that I am going to have to get some lights before this winter.  Heck if the weather doesn't improve, I am going to have to get some pretty soon.

The theme this week was UFOs, or better known as Un Finished Objects.  I had a couple of necklaces that I had laid out and never got around to finishing.  This theme got me moving.  This necklace is knotted on Waxed Linen which I love because it gives a necklace such a wonderful drape.  The focal is from JKD Studio and is knotted up with sea glass from ZNet Shows.

This week has been pretty blah with all the rain but we did have our monthly potluck on Saturday and had a blast.  I just love getting together with everyone and catching up on their past month.  With me working from home and Saje being disabled, this is about the only real people contact I get.  Thank goodness for the internet because I don't feel isolated with all the friends I have made online.
Apr 24, 2014

Deep Waters Challenge

I know that I promised to show off the jewelry that I created for the Deep Waters Challenge today but I recieved an email last night letting me know that it has been delayed for a couple weeks.  It will instead be held on May 7th.
Apr 22, 2014

Under the Sea for Earth Day

I don't really celebrate Earth Day because it comes only once a year.  Instead I try to limit my footprint every day by recycling and reusing.  And I have to give my employer credit because they have even changed from providing styrofoam cups to giving us all reusable ones (though I was already bringing my own).

This necklace today really reminds me of being under the sea with the aged Starfish from Patina Queen.  I then added a handmade beaded chain made using aquamarine stones and brass wire.  This is a necklace that I do have for sale for $39.95 so if interested please drop me a line.

And for more Under the Sea beauties be sure to stop back on Thursday for the Deep Waters blog hop.  I will have another necklace to show off then.
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.

Apr 7, 2014


  • Why is it that it rains on weekends but as soon as I have to go back to work we have a beautiful sunny day.  Doesn't the weather understand that I need to get out and mow my yard.
  • Speaking of mowing, whatever happened to those kids that would wander the neighborhoods offering to mow grass for a reasonable rate?  I contacted a yard service but they want $200 a month and I have a tiny yard.

  • Went out and picketed Hobby Lobby on Saturday.  Had some good responses from cars that went by and one stopped to give us an umbrella.  For those that don't know, this company is trying to have women's birth control not be under their health insurance.
  • I tend to be a hermit so it's good to get out and spend time with friends.  We met some friends for lunch on Sunday.  It sure was a nice way to end the weekend.
  • I spent a lot of them in my studio this weekend.  Managed to clear all of my hops off my plate so that I can concentrate on my design for the Bead Soup Blog Party.
  • I wish that I could show you some of my pretties but the only sunny day so far has been while I am at work :(
Apr 5, 2014

Color of Dreams Blog Hop

When a friend of mine, Rita of Jewel School Friends, approached me about a blog hop that she was putting together I was a little hesitant.  Not because it didn't sound like a lot of fun but because I have a lot of hops that I am participating in.  Anyways, I waffled until Rita sent around a list of participants and my name was there.  I took that as a sign and I am sure glad that I did.  

We were asked to focus on a dream that we have.  It could be one that has been achieved or one that we are working towards.  The next step was to design a piece of jewelry around that dream and a bead from Patricia Handshuh of The Color of Dreams Boutique.  

My dream and my goal has been to purchase the house that we are currently living in.  One of my plans when we do is to tear out the weedy rose bushes and whatnot from one section of the yard and do up a butterfly garden.  So while I was doing the wire wrapping I was also wrapping my intentions into this necklace.  

The beautiful focal is from The Color of Dreams Boutique and with the greens and purple it really does remind me of a garden in bloom.  The imprinted copper focal and clasp,  and the lampwork spacers are from CC Designs.  I also used fluorite which sparks creativity in the beaded chain.

I had so much fun.  Thank you so much Rita for not letting me wimp out on this hop.  Now that you have had a chance to check out my design, be sure to see what everyone else has made.  You are in for a real treat and real eye candy.

Honorary Artist: Patricia Handschuh
Patricia's blog:            The Color of Dreams        
Patricias Etsy:             The Color of Dreams
Hostess: TJ                Jewel School Friends
Kay Thomerson           KayzKreationz
Audrey Belanger          Toki No Hourousha

Alicia Marinache          All the Pretty Things
Terry Carter                TappingFlamingo
Lori Schneider             Bead Addict
Jenny Kyrlach             Wonder and Whimsy
Asri Wahyuingsih         Asri's Beadwork
Dini Bruinsma              Angaza by Changes
Karla Morgan              Texas Pepper Jams
Debbie Rasmussen        A Little of This, A Little of That
Veralynne Malone          Designed by Vera
Kathy Stemke               Vintage Memories Jewelry Design
Mowse Doyle               Mowse Made This
Heather Richter             Desert Jewelry Designs
Lori Poppe                   Adventures in Creativity with LorilliJean

Jayne Capps                Mama's Got To Doodle
Andrea Glick                Zenith Jade Creations
Kathleen Breeding         99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Becky Pancake             Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Karin Martinez              Fairies Market
Miranda Ackerley          Mirandack

Penny Houghton           Smelly Nelly
Carolyn Lawson           Carolyn's Creations
Chris Eisenberg            Wanderware
Christie Murrow          Charis Designs Jewelry
Monique Urquhart        A Half-Baked Notion
Eve Shelby                  Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Cryss Thain                 Here Bead Dragons
Jasvanti Patel               Jewelry By Jasvanti
Nan Smith                   NanMade Handmade Jewelry
Sue Kennedy               SueBeads
Jean Yates                   Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Debbie Rogers             Debbies Treasures
Marybeth Rich             A Few Words From Within the Pines
Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread
Shaia Williams             Shaiha's Ramblings
Kathy Lindemer           Bay Moon Design
Linda Anderson           From the Bead Board
Judy Turner               Silver Rains
Gloria Allen                Gloria Allen Designs
Regina Wood              Ginas-Design
Robin Reed                Artistry HCBD
Mary Goovars            MLH Jewelry Designs
Marlene Cupo             Amazing Designs
CJ Bauschka              4 His Glory Creations
Robin Showstack        The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Cynthia O'Toole          Sparkles and Sweets

Jael Thorp                 Jael's Art Jewels
Renetha Stanziano      Lamplight Crafts
Apr 4, 2014

Year of Jewelry Project

You guessed it.  It is going to be late.  Not because it's not done but because this piece of jewelry is part of a blog hop which will be going live this Sunday.  So be sure to stop back by on Sunday to check out my necklace for the Color of Dreams Blog Hop.
Apr 3, 2014

Book Review: Season of the Wolf

Devon James is on the run from a killer who has been hunting her for years. When she discovers the murdered bodies of two co-workers, Devon knows it is time to run again. But before she can run, the police arrive and take her in for questioning.

Jordan Salinger is a Pittsburgh homicide detective on leave after a hostage standoff left her with a bullet wound in her shoulder and an even bigger hole in her heart. When she is called in by her partner to help with an uncooperative witness, Jordan has no idea that the woman holds the key to the murders and to her salvation.

With the murderer stalking them at every turn, can Devon and Jordan overcome the horrors that haunt them in time to save each other?

* * * * *

I want to let my readers know up front the main characters in this book embrace alternative sexualities but this book is about so much more.  Their attraction to each other is an underlying theme in this story but is far from the main one.  Instead it is a story of horror and of healing.

Both Devon and Jordan are strong women that have been hurt in the past and are still healing.  Devon has been on the run for years from a crazed stalker who wants her dead.  Jordan is a police officer who was wounded in the line of duty and still blames herself for not being able to save everyone. Between staying one step ahead of Devon's stalker, both women grow closer and start to heal.

I found SEASON OF THE WOLF  to be an incredible story.  It is a testament to the strength and healing power of love as well as being a first rate thriller.  I highly recommend this book to any of my readers who are not offended by alternative sexualities.

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