Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gift from the Sea

Three years ago, my youngest son, gave me a beautiful silver plated starfish pendant for Christmas.  It is not only a beautiful pendant, but was also a very thoughtful gift. He knew his momma's favorite store and hand picked this starfish for me.  I loved it!  However, it sat on my work table until recently because I wanted to do something extra special with it. The finished necklace is a collection of treasures including mother of pearl flowers, mother of pearl starfish, seashells, a vintage reflector (reminds me of ocean bubbles), lamp work flowers, Swarovski glass pearls, vintage glass beads, artisan pottery, vintage Japanese head pins, wire mesh ribbon and the silver plated starfish.  My son was pleased which is the most important thing. It is definitely a statement piece that I love and will wear with joy because of its story.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Art of Awareness: Autism

Lori Anderson is back doing what she does so brilliantly,  hosting a blog party.  This time she partnered with Heather Wynn Millican of Swoondimples.  Heather created polymer clay bean beads with inspirational words of our choice in the color of our choice each with an awareness ribbon. As soon as I saw Lori's post about this hop, I signed up. What an amazing collaboration between art, artisans and awareness organizations. 

I chose Autism.  I think Autism is an issue that touches everyone; the degree of separation just varies.  Do you have a friend of a friend, a friend, a family member who lives with the effects of Autism?  I resist labels, but my family is also touched by Autism. Autism is a difficult subject because the cause is unknown and the results vary from person to person.  Patience, Kindness and Acceptance are key while the research is ongoing.

I chose the words,"be you" for my bean bead; a reminder to shine bright regardless of difficulties. Heather made me a fantastic royal blue, red and yellow bead.  It is perfect for the primary color palette associated with Autism. From the outset, I knew I wanted to incorporate some plaid.  When I see plaid, I think of boy's and men's shirts.  In fact, I upcycled one of my sons outgrown shirts to add a few pieces. Since more boys are affected with Autism, I wanted to use the plaid as a subtle symbol.  I also knew from the beginning that I wanted to use this wonderful enameled key from Marie Demicco; a key to Autism is kindness, patience, understanding and acceptance. I also knew that I wanted to integrate one of the rings from Pam Ferrari.  When I laid the necklace out, I decided to use all three rings as a symbol of the puzzle pieces representing the complexity of Autism.  This necklace, "The Heart Shines Through", is beaded with a rainbow of faceted seed beads representing the diversity of Autism, red Czech starburst beads representing the hope of research, and a blue Czech bird representing the individual caregivers...the wind beneath the wings. I finished the necklace with chunky red glass nuggets and a vintage red glass button. It is available for purchase at my etsy store. 

This is not a color palette that I typically work with and it was fun for a change.  Thank you Heather Wynn Millican for inspiring me to work outside of the comfort zone and for the opportunity to bring awareness to Autism. Thank you Lori Anderson for hosting this wonderful blog hop.  You are amazing!  Check out Lori's blog, to hop along, see the other reveals and the stories behind them.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop Reveal

Today is the reveal day for the Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop hosted by the awesome bead artist, jewelry artist and hostess Lori Anderson.  When she first announced this blog hop about a month ago, I quickly signed up. 
 I thought it was a great idea to dig into my stashes to create something fun. However when I create, I never have enough space so my work space takes over every adjoining space.  With Thanksgiving for 19 at the house this year, my workroom required cleanup.  I must say that when I clean up it looks so good, but I can't find a thing:( 

So I began to look on the work table itself to see what I had grouped together....that is where I spotted the pendant focal.  This focal is not a piece that I have hoarded, but rather a work in progress.  I love vintage jewelry pieces and the vintage color of sea foam green. This focal has been a piece that has been on my work table for about 3 years.  Every time I go into my workroom, I pick it and say maybe today.  I add a crystal or pearl here or there and then lay it back down. I have made and sold similar pieces adding chain or beaded rosary style chain but this one I just didn't want to do that.  It seemed too simple.  Then, I found the aqua blue freshwater heshi pearls and the vintage sea foam green glass leaves.  Only one problem, the pearls would not string on anything except (Ughhh) the dreaded traditional beading wire.  Out comes the crimp tubes and crimpers with a sigh.  I am smiling, pleased with the outcome... an ode to Miriam Haskell.  Miriam's Garden is an unique, one of a kind, modern piece with a vintage twist.

Thank you Lori Anderson for being an amazing artist and an inspiring hostess.
Be sure to check out Lori's blog and the other participant's in this Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop to see the reveal of their beautiful creations and hear the stories behind them.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Blog Party

Time to PARTY!  I am participating in the Toltec Jewel School Friends Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets blog hop. Our designs focus on featuring the beautiful artisan lampwork chicklet bead by Susan Kennedy of SueBeads.  Below are the ones that I chose to design with.  
When I started working with these lovely beads, I wanted to do justice to these wonderful beads and feature them prominently in unique designs. All three of my pieces evolved into vintage geometric and Asian inspired designs. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in this challenge.  It was a joyful journey of new inspiration.

With the green and mauve chicklet, I designed Moondrops and Roses using vintage brass, porcelain cameo, a large sage green vintage lucite moon glow teardrop and czech glass in shades of purple. With the gorgeous red chicklet bead I created Asian Excursion.  It took shape when I remembered my vintage brass fan in my stash.  I also incorporated little knotted ties with waxed linen.  The last piece I created Wisdom's steps.  This one features a black oil slick chicklet in a geometric pattern with "messy" wire wrapped biwa pearls, a green freshwater pearl and vintage purple glass circle. A easy to wear piece finished with copper link chain.

Check out the other participants here:


Guest of Honor & Featured Artist:  Susan Kennedy

Sue Kennedy's blogs:                               SueBeads...A Beady Girl's blog
                                                               Art Jewelry Elements
Sue Kennedy's website                            SueBeads
SueBeads Art Beads                                SueBeads


Toltec Jewels                                 


Linda Anderson                             

Jennifer Reno                                 

Shirley Moore                                

Kristen Stevens                              

Marybeth Rich                               

Jael Thorp                                      

Melissa Trudinger                           

Andrea Glick                                  

Nan Smith                                      

Blanca Medina                               

Shai Williams                                  

Carolyn Lawson                             

Rana Wilson                                   

Robin Reed                                    

Robin Showstack                           

Sheila Prosterman                           

Karla Morgan                                

Kari Asbury                                   

Kelly Rodgers                                

Jayne Capps                                  

Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi          

Heather Richter                             

Chris Eisenberg                             

Kathleen Breeding                         

Linda Landig                                 

Crystal Thain                                 

Cheri Reed                                    

Heather d-Entremont                     

Dini Bruinsma                                

Lori Schneider                               

Tammy Adams                              

Melinda Orr                                  

Lennis Carrier                               

Cynthia Machata                           

Elizabeth Hodges                          

Debbie Rasmussen                        

Tanya McGuire                             

Charlie Jacka                                

Ev Shelby                                     

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson              

Jasvanti Patel                              

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's Reveal Day

Honored....I am honored to be among the participants many of which I have been inspired by to push my limits of comfort to create something uniquely mine. You are an immensely talented group!

Thrilled...I was thrilled to receive my bead soup.  Kate Dufour, is my bead soup partner.  She stirred the pot with a beautiful blue soup with green pearls and silver accents.  They are colors that aren't my go to colors. The beads were beautiful and dainty but I usually work with chunkier components. I was immediately inspired by the beautiful blue and green herringbone lampwork focal bead that Kate sent.

Challenged...I was challenged by those gorgeous tiny green pearls.  In the end, I used every single one and loved them!

Inspired....I was inspired by this experience to create for the fun of creating.  Too often, creating has become creating for sale with careful cost considerations and thereby limiting the creative process.  During this challenge, I dug deep into the stashes...the ones where I stashed the pieces that were a bit pricey and reserved.  I was inspired to create special pieces for me.  Sounds silly but I rarely create for myself.


Here is my bead soup.

Buttoned Up!  My first piece constructed with a  Lisa Peters Art Focal flower and button layered with vintage Antique brass filigree. The gorgeous lampwork focal bead sent by my bead soup partner, Kate and a trio of leaves dangling. The back is finished with green deerskin leather from Tracee 
Dock of The Classic Bead.  Tiny brass, steel cut and enameled antique Demi buttons from my personal stash complete this design.  

English Rose!  This piece features a vintage rose brooch  with a sapphire stone center.  It is a piece that I had in my stash.  It is accented by vintage German glass beads in pretty Montana blue from my stash which I had purchased from Heather DeSimone, lovely crystal accented flower connectors provided by Kate(loved these) and antique silver chain.  Those beloved tiny green pearls and some more green soup beads are woven in.  The back of the necklace feature faceted gems and the toggle from my soup mix.

Please go check out my bead soup partner Kate Dufour here:

Find out more info on the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party, our gracious host Lori Anderson and a list of links to all participants here:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Bead Soup has arrived.

After a little delay in connecting with my bead soup partner, the soup is now simmering!  Thanks to my bead soup partner Kate Dufour for my beautiful soup.   The colors are beautiful blue and green. These aren't colors that I normally work with so they are a bit out of my comfort zone which is what this challenge is all about.  My biggest design inspiration is definitely color and this bead soup has inspired me.  I finished one necklace today and have another in the works!