Monday, September 27, 2010

Love. Art. Jewelry. 'Nuf Said

Handmade.

It's one word that makes me happy, so here's a toast (and a link) to a new blog called Love My Art Jewelry.  There are some familiar faces and familiar pieces, so whether you're in the market for components to make your own or you want a totally unique handmade piece, this is a blog to check out.

Oh, and there's a giveaway involved, which is always a good thing.  haaaaaaaaaa

While I'm here, I want to send a shout out to Julianna Cannon, aka Juls, who is one of the artisans featured on the new site.  She made this stack of lovelies:


They're still here in the kitchen just 'cause they're sooooo pretty!

My sweetie's home for just a couple of days, so not much bead action for me...but that's a good thing!!!  haaaaaaaaaaa

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ABS Challenge - Persia in September

The work of art that the Art Bead Scene folks picked out this month for inspiration in their challenge is a work called "Persia" by George Barbier.  I focused on the orange of the lovely robe for my art beads this month and came up with this set...

Persia Challenge Collage

There are a few different artists represented in these pieces:
A set of Brendan Blake lampwork beads called "Orange Violet Pebbles,"
some lampwork discs from HMB Studios, and
enameled beads and bead caps from SueBeads.

For some reason, I just can't get enough of this antiqued brass looking metal.  So, I splurged on some Vintaj leafy branches to round out this look--love them on the earrings.  Plus, I'm not a big user of beadcaps, but I love the effect of these little brass floral ends.


I used spiny oyster, vintage brass, and random orange stone rondelles and rounds to finish the long necklace.  Then more of the same on memory wire (my personal addiction), with some tourmaline nuggets--it took a while to separate out the purples from the rest, but it was worth it.


Feel free to shop...this one just got listed in my Etsy:  jenjuddrocks

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Screaming in Barnes & Noble

I thought this October issue of Bead Trends would be out soon, so yesterday morning I strolled into B&N to check and there it was!!!  Big as ever...with my earring design on the COVER!!!  haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  I screamed and laughed and then ran to the counter to thumb through it while waiting for my pumpkin spice latte (with skim milk, no whip, for my weight-watcher supporting friends...haaaaaaaa).  I was so wound up that I practically threw the money at the lovely girl ringing me up and then buzzed away from the counter.  Yes, without my coffee.  I was over at the DVD section paying for the season of CHiPs that I had to have (because my friend Brandee--also known as "Kelly"--and I--also known as "Susie"--used to actually live out our own episodes of the show with our boyfriends, Ponch and John; until we caught them cheating on us!) and I realized as I was telling this poor checkout guy about my magazine cover that I didn't have my coffee.  Another screaming laugh and I ran back to the other side of the store and there it was patiently waiting for me.

There were only two copies, so I got one and then my bead-store-owning bud, Joanne, went over and got the other.  We were giddy all day...including through a totally awesome class I taught all afternoon!  (More on that later...memory wire is all that.)

I have to give a little a little shout out to Forest Flower Jewelry--that's where those lovely leaves came from.  I picked them up a couple of years ago at the Occoquan, Virginia, Arts & Crafts Show.  You can find all sorts of pressed flower & leave pieces at their website.

I'm off to have some home-brewed pumpkin spiced coffee, work on my first nap of the day, and get some beading on.  Happy Autumn!!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Credit River Nut

Well, it's actually an acorn, but I think the word "nut" is funnier.  And, even though it looks natural, it's a handmade work of art from Julie Nordine's Credit River Art Glass.  This little piece of glass and copper goodness that came in the mail today is just the most wonderful thing to appear on this Monday!

This is Julie's photo from her Etsy shop...this is the actual nut that's
on my kitchen counter--but the lighting in my
apartment is so crappy I can't get any good photos myself.  :)
For me, Mondays are all about itchy uniform shirts and getting back in the swing of overwhelming amounts of email after a relaxing weekend.  But, the cooler weather and refreshing sunshine makes me so happy...autumn is absolutely my favorite time of the year.  I lost my mind (in a good way) the other day with all the cinnamon candles, pumpkin spiced coffee, and orange everywhere while shopping!  That smell is unbeatable.  Throw in some crunchy leaves and I'm hooked.  I'm immediately transported back to my huge yard at the house where I grew up on Juliana Street with the trails and mazes we'd make out of the huge piles of leaves, much to my raking parents' dismay.  As soon as they could get them in piles, we'd make sure they were spread back out.  I know my mom and dad will read this and remember that I've always been such a super helpful daughter!  haaaaaaaaaaaa

Anyway, back to the nut...and my original Bead Soup partner, Julie Nordine who I met back in the party in February.  She's been off the blog scene for a while getting her production and sales on, so I was thrilled when she celebrated a big Beadwork feature by putting some of her latest work in her Etsy shop.  If you're in the mood for some gorgeous organic glasswork combined with wonderful etched copper...Julie's your girl.

She etches these cool copper leaves that work beautifully
with the acorns...and she sent me one to work with!! 
I'm going to end up keeping it for myself, I just know it.
Julie's also filling up the galleries on her website with more photos, including a designer gallery.  She's including this piece from our Bead Soup swap that I crafted out of her artisan glass and copper bits...


Thank you, Julie, for the nutty treasures and the wonderful autumn sensations.  :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pic Me Up: Shutter Up? Never!!

I had a little more fun with Picnik after a recent Yorktown trip.  Looooove these pretty blue shutters in just a plain old picture, but with the funky photo tools, I love them even more and just want to share!


Yorktown Shutters OriginalYorktown Shutters 5Yorktown Shutters 2
Yorktown Shutters 3

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Luscious Lori Lochner...

It's amazing how excited I get over little pieces of glass.  But, they're more than that...they're sweet little hand-made wonders!  I got a couple of new beads in the mail today from two artists I haven't seen before, but I'll share more on them later.  For now, I want to go back a ways to an Etsy purchase I made ages ago from lampwork artist Lori Lochner.  It's just a gorgeous, big, bold bead that made it's way onto my worktable. 

The vein of blue through the soft floral patterns called for this great shape of blue apatite.  Then, a bunch of pretty oranges--ceramics and stones rounded out the color picture.  I've been trying new methods for creating bails and I just love the way this leather piece turned out.  The continuation of the leather around back finishes up the design.

Of course, I had to move onto bracelet land with my memory wire at hand...lots more apatite, this time little faceted beads, along with ceramics, stones, and a few HMB Studios glass discs to complement the big glass focal.

I just listed the whole set in my Etsy shop...even threw in a little pair of coordinating earrings.  :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sharing a Treasury: Dreaming of Persia

It's the beginning of September, so time for a new Art Bead Scene Challenge.  I haven't been working on entries the last few months with the job taking up so much time, but I'm really excited about this inspiration piece...it's gorgeous!
Persia by George Barbier

Before I sit down to actually work on my own project, I got my Etsy on and came up with this Treasury to share:

Time for digging in my own bead stash!!!  Whooo hoooo!!!

Lovin' on Donna Millard Beads

I'm enjoying a "family day" (meaning a no-work day) with my beads!!  I'm so excited!

I decided to start with a gorgeous art glass focal and this spectacular bit from Donna Millard, one of my faves, screamed out, "MEEEEeeee," and I obliged.

This is the original picture from Donna's Etsy listing for "Wild & Crazy"
As I happen to have a few orange beads in my collection...oh, and a few purple...I went to town and here's the end result for the necklace:

This baby has satin pearls, some vintage glass (that I picked up in Hawaii in 2008 and makes me think fondly of my friends Lauren & Marc...many hugs to you guys!), some vintage and Czech glass and then a sterling silver chain bail to put all the attention where it needs to be on that gorgeous artisan bead.  I decided to go with an adjustable clasp so that the focal could be adjusted to work with lots of necklines.

I couldn't stop with that and broke out the memory wire to finish up a coordinating bracelet with more of Donna's beads.


And then some earrings...why not?


Feel free to shop your heart out on my Etsy site...just added this set.  Or, if you live nearby here in Hampton, call me and you can see it in person!  :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beading Contest: Happy Mango's Trash to Treasure!

 "Green Mango Tree" Image from Happy Mango Beads

I got this contest email yesterday from one of my favorite on-line sources:  Happy Mango Beads.  They've put out the challenge to Go Green with

This immediately made me think of my bud, Susi D., and her Artsy Fartsy jewelry...I haven't seen her in ages so I hope we'll reconnect with this inspiration!!  We met at a
We met at a Del Ray Artisans show as I was ogling her fun, funky, amazing beads!

She makes them out of plastic from her recycling bin!!!  LOVE IT!!

Anyway, I digress...it is early this morning and I'm only a half a cup of coffee into my morning process.

Back to business:  Happy Mango Beads is having "Trash to Treasure" beading contest.
"Recycle, Repurpose, Rebead"

Click on the link to get the full set of rules, but the deadline is 15 September.

Here are the entry categories...

Trash to Cash - paper, plastic, bottle caps, etc.
Compost Happens! – natural, organic, sustainable
Is that my old windshield? – recycled glass

Heavy Metal – metals, old keys, interesting parts
No Earlybirds! – yard sale/second-hand finds revamped
I'm not a dang hippie, I just want to enter this contest! – trashy elegance


Sounds like a fun challenge to me...gonna break out some of those funky recycled glass art beads I have!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Civilians!

My work/craft balance is shifting, so I'm sad to post less frequently but I'm working on some Air Force challenges that I've never seen before.  It's fun and stressful and difficult to learn something new, but I'm on it!  I'm a full-up military girl, so I haven't worked very frequently with the civilian side of the personnel world.  It's a whole new ballgame...different rules, different methods, different problems.  Mind you, this isn't even "civilian" civilian, it's my fellow Air Force civilians...I can't even imagine what it's like in the "outside" world!  haaaaaaaaaa

Anyway, in line with the new business I'm learning, I'm also experimenting in my craftiness with something new (to me):  memory wire.  I never really thought much of it, but my local bead bud, Joanne, showed me some cool rubber tubing she has in her shop and a sample one of her folks made with it.  I immediately bought some and went to town.

Here's my first piece...a fun little "soup" of vintage, paper, stone & wire highlighted with the black tubing.  I love it...



Then, I decided to keep on with the beads in a monochromatic piece:

It's a whole different feeling in a bunch of pinks...


And, in a wonderful twist, one of the ladies from my office, Ms. Susie, who is our in-house Civilian Personnel expert, bought this little pinkie piece and was wearing in this week while we waded through various HR issues and drama!  How cool is that?!

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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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