Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

is probably the rose that hasn't been delivered to my house!!! haaaaaaaaaaaa

I achieved a peaceful balance today because while I got rid of plenty of potpourri that no longer added any value to the aromatherapy mix in my house, I created some gorgeous delicate necklaces with rose petal pendants. The trade of the dried flowers was probably not very good feng shui, but I love what I ended up with!!

I explored the Occoquan Fall Craft show yesterday and found some lovely work by Forest Flower Jewelry that I immediately knew would mix well with my squigglies of late. Look at the rich color of that petal! It's protected by lacquer and edged with sterling silver. I absolutely love it!!

The pink petal looks just as pretty...a feminine touch with a big wire swirl...

I have lots of other autumnal pieces from my favorite Occoquan vendor, so will have more to show off soon!

And...Frankie says "hello" to all of you...this is seriously the first time he hasn't freaked out when I pointed the camera at him in the year and a half I've had him...what a loony cat!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Stringing Cowgirl Ballerina!

If I had to describe my dreamworld, it's usually somewhere in my Grammy Snyder's house...I have a svelte dancer's body, the kickass attitude of a cowgirl, and I'm surrounded by pretty beads!!! How I was able to catch this dreamscape on film is just about amazing, but I did!! (Okay, so I don't have the dancer's body, but I do have the tutu and the kickass boots!! haaaaaaaa)

My big dreamy news for today is that my winning entry in the Channeling Cinderella challenge is pictured on the pages of the Fall 2008 issue of Stringing Magazine!! I wandered around the office yesterday holding the page in my hand like a security blanket with a big smile on my face. Thanks to all of you who voted and helped me meet this personal goal!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's 8:30...where are your giant paperclips?

Yesterday I saw these giant clips on the sale rack and couldn't not pick them up. I immediately pictured them wrapped with colored copper wire and dangling from my neck. My fantasies continued throughout my workday today even to the point of doing sketches in my notebook during a discussion of how we manage human resources in the Department of Defense. Can you even imagine that my mind wandered? haaaaaaaa
Anyway, these monster clips are HILARIOUS!! And, they're even better adorned with the curled wire and some of Yvonne's MyElement bits of floral love! They may look like regular fancy paperclips, but they're at least four inches's a pic so you can see the actual scale:
When it comes to office-products-turned-trellises, bigger is definitely better!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stooping Squigglies

This morning I was sitting out on my front stoop, in my froggie pajamas...I like to think I was specially outfitted to work my artisan magic. haaaaaaa I was outside because I'm trying something new with my little dremel tool and the polishing wheel and didn't want to make more of a mess in the house.

I made some sterling squigglies yesterday in random shapes and sizes to use as dangles or links or whathaveyou. I tried out some antique finishing with oxidizing (and forgot to take off the ring on my finger which is still black) and had to polish off the black to bring the finish out...what better place than the front steps!
I'm thrilled with the squiggles from the stoop! Check out these combinations with some gorgeous glass from Bronwen Heilman. I went simple with just some subdued grey wire and the beads speak for themselves.

The last one I have to post features a "Happy Bead" made by Ms. Dare Van Vree...she was quite a character when I met her at the Philly Bead Expo, so I happily wandered through her wonderful selection of handmade ceramic beads. You can see a pretty one here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Voting Season - For A Black & White Design

Hello's another challenge with another opportunity for you to see more of the jewelry-making world and of my little bit of it!

The Stringing Magazine Winter Challenge is "Black & White." And there are 97 wonderful pieces on display in the on-line gallery. HOWEVER, #37 is by far the coolest as it came from the hands of yours truly.

This is a piece that I started on some wire techniques with. I used some of my Hawaiian bead stash along with a funky piece of quartz for this pretty imbalanced look.
I hope you enjoy checking out all the pieces in the gallery, but I also hope you'll take a second and put your vote in!! Thanks to all of you for help in my tie for first place during the Summer Challenge. My Cinderalla baubles were all the rage. :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Venetian Love Affair

These are some of my absolute FAVORITE beads...found them on-line at Happy Mango Beads and had to have them immediately. They are antique Venetian glass trade beads in a fantastic blue millefiore pattern. They've been sitting on my table for months awaiting the perfect creative influence.
So, this morning the influence finally showed up with my coconut-creamered coffee. I wanted to mix it with something funky, say, some Coke-bottle glass and some pearls. Throw in an interesting-looking coil for the central piece and it's a winner! I am soooooo pleased!!

Old School Orangina!

I had the pleasure of working with a young artist last night...Ms. G.C. and I explored some of the more knotting ways of doing things that I haven't done in ages! She's a guru with weaving, so I shared some of my beads and we came out of it with some lovely bracelets. Mine features a fun toggle of an great Grammy Hine button! Besides thinking of my grandparents' old store, I was also reminded of the elementary school lessons on macrame that have stuck with me for so many years! Gotta love those plant hangers!!

My bracelet motivated me towards the orangina realm today for part of my working morning. I was drawn towards some lovely Lisa New beads and I wanted to include some leather (like Stella, from Project Runway! haaaaaaaaa.) So, my end result is this pretty three-strand quartz-centric piece. It includes a strand of quartz & colored furnace glass, a strand starring a pink coral centerpiece, and a leather strand knotted with some of Lisa's glass.
I wore this combo out tonight for a "solo mio" soiree and love it!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Feeling Semi-Precious...

A fabulously stormy nap-filled Saturday led to an evening of ice cream, beer, and gems!! I had a great time mixing stones and glass with some wire bits to come up with some fun pieces. Plus, I found out yesterday that I'm going to be in Bedford's Fall Foliage Festival on 11-12 October, so it's time for me to get busy!

First, I went for some citrus--lemony pineapple quartz. I used some of my new wire hammering skills to make some funky dingley dangle pieces that make the stones even prettier than when they're just in a pile on the table.
Then, I was thinking of my Bedford and white sodalite. I think of it as a glammed up Wilma Flintstone. A rough unfinished nugget looks awesome with a grounded terracotta disk, and a shimmery pearl.

And, back to the hammering...a fun squiggle and a big chunk of sodalite make a simple, fun pendant for a steel wire choker.

And, finally, working with my greys, blacks, & quartz for a more elegant's just one of the combinations I came up with. Simple, but unique. I have the craziest selection of beads on my table that it's a neverending adventure coming up with things that might go together. I love it!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Elementally Vintage

I just ran up from the basement wildly laughing because I LOVE these pieces!!!! The cats are now hiding, so I have plenty of time to share...

A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished a project for my lovely friend, Lauren; she picked out some vintage Swarovski crystals and silver chain so I could string up an absolutely gorgeous rhinestone pin that she had inherited from a relative. (I'm an idiot and didn't take a picture, so maybe she'll send one.) In the meantime, however, I'm can't stop thinking Vintage, with a capital V! I spent a long while in the basement antique mall of Founder's Crossing, back in my hometown of Bedford, Pennsylvania, while my mom followed me dutifully looking at every piece of jewelry. I was focused on picking up fun brooches to use as focal pieces. I struck some nice $3.99 gold! haaaaaaaaa

You can see this awesome pinkie flower just screamed out for some of my new flower bits. While at the Expo in Philly, my friend, Sarah, called these babies "groovy" and I have to agree. Yvonne's MyElements line was one of my absolute faves. One of Yvonne's designs was featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Step by Step Beads magazine and I coveted right away. So, when I finally met her and saw the mass of cool flowers and funky shapes, I didn't hold back and brought home a bunch. I was thinking of these all day and couldn't wait to get home to pull them together!

But, what goes even better with Yvonne's Elements? A big glittery bug, of course!! I couldn't resist this flyish-looking beetleybug. I was able to use some vintage chain, some sterling chain, and plenty of flower bits!!

How hilarious is this pin!?! I actually saw a dead cicada in the hallway at the Pentagon today. It must have been a forecast of my creative energy for the evening!!
I absolutely love it!!
Don't these glasses make me look smarter?? Or is it the workaday t-shirt with a Weight Watchers meal spilled on the front??? haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Monday, September 1, 2008

Neutral Schmeutral....

At the request of a customer, I went neutral. Well, as neutral as I, white, tan...but sooooo not boring! My first dig through my stash took me into the black and white with some bone starry discs and some variegated agate. I love the asymmetry and the way the stones work together in the pattern.

Then, I couldn't resist these cool black and white "dalmation" beans that I picked up at the Philly BeadFest Expo from the Colombian Craft Connection. They had a huge selection of natural materials and terra cotta. I just love the black and white with the red glass beads. Plus, a fun round bit of lava rock brings it to a spiraling finish.

I was still feeling the Colombian mood with some brown terracotta spacers that I mixed up in a s'morish way with some smoky quartz, bleached bone, and some quartz chips. The coolest bit of work here, though, is a little practice in my new fun technique...hammered silver links. Up in Philly, I got a great opportunity to learn hammering metal from artist Noel Yovovich. I think you'll see plenty more hammered bits falling into places in my pieces.

And, finally, I was back in my bags from Philly and brought a little green into my neutral palette. These are gorgeous porcelain beads made by 3C Studios. I was following an ad that I was carrying around, torn out of the back of a magazine, to see their booth at the expo. I had flashbacks to when I was a little girl and couldn't pick just one flavor of tootsie roll at the candy store, so I ended up with handfuls...handfuls of beads in this case! I mixed up these soft green rounds with a few wonderful glass discs from HMB Studios.

To finish out my work day, I used a scrap of silver to create this big chunk of a hammered spiral and mixed it up with some stones and shell for a beautifully simple pendant on a steel wire choker.
What a great morning!!!
Thanks for the "neutral" inspiration!!!


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About Me

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

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