Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Earrings...Awesome Beads!

I was browsing through my latest issue of BeadStyle (Jan 2010) and was delighted to see some familiar work. See page 28....

I found Heather Boardman's disks on Etsy a while back and have loved using them in all sorts of projects. So, when I saw her disks in some wirework "disk-and-coil" earrings that are just too cool! I would recommend checking them out at her site: HMB Studios or at her Etsy shop.

Here are a couple of pieces that feature Heather's beads:
This necklace features just a few (haaaaaaaa) of her disks and rondelles--I just loved the green and blues. Some of the beads are actually made from recycled glass which I think is really cool!

And this piece, that I made for Heather Powers' challenge last month, features some great "wacky chunky" red disks from HMB Studios. These are some of my faves!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

$20 and Under Gift Guide

Looking for some art and craft this holiday? My friend, Jen Athanas, who creates the most wonderful fleece accessories, has set up a great guide for finding great gifts--for under $20! Check out her blog for the links here: Jen-A-Fusion.

She makes some fantastic fingerless fleece gloves which you can see in this picture of Jen in action...Also on the list are my poly clay pendants--all under $20--which are available in my Etsy shop and I'll have lots more of them at my upcoming shows here in Montgomery. Come see me at the Maxwell Officers' Club on 2 December or at the SAC's Art & Craft Show at the Renaissance Hotel on 4 - 6 December.

Happy holiday shopping!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I'm raising my cinnamon-sweet coffee in a toast to all my family and friends on this Thanksgiving morning! I hope you enjoy the love, friendship, and fellowship in your homes today while eating amazing quantities of yummy food. I'll be eating with lovely friends down here in Alabama while my sweetie husband serves a meal to the troops up in Indiana.

The best benefit of being geographically-separated is that I'm free from all cooking responsibilities. The last time I tried my hand at a turkey, a couple of years ago, I was pretty grossed out by having to touch the creepy skin. Then, with my mom on the phone advising on cooking methodology, I pulled the roasting pan out of the oven and tried to find the breast to put in the thermometer. My two girlfriends and I stared at the turkey for at least a minute, trying to figure out where the breast was. Finally we realized that it was upside-down! My lovely girlfriends and I laughed for an hour over that one but then enjoyed some seriously moist white meat!
Now that it's finally "officially" the holiday season, here's my take on some Christmas-colored pendants...
While you relax this afternoon, feel free to browse through my little etsy shop and see some of my new clay pieces.

Friday, November 20, 2009

BBB (that's Buggy Beady Bracelets...)

I don't know where the week went! Oh, yes I do, I had a midterm exam to write and even though I procrastinated many hours, I was forbidden from beading until after it was done. :)

But, I was determined to get my "bug" on before the week was out for the challenge over at the Silver Parrot, so here are my bits and pieces!! Both of them feature my very own polymer clay focal pieces. I'm still playing around with finishing and using them, but I'm pretty happy with these results. Plus, I have been coupon-happy at Michael's over the last few weeks so I used some of my latest "bargain" chain and wire acquisitions...

The delicate patterns of the luna moth's wings come are represented in the mokume gane finish of this green piece. I used some nice heavy chain and a few random beads from my green stash (see below) to finish it off.

This one originally came out of the butterfly realm, but I'm thinking more like peacock now that it's finished. Either way, I think it's pretty!! Plus, I got to use a fun combo of colors

And, as a beader constantly fighting for organization, I sympathize with the challenges and share my own version of the "green" drawers in my own "towers" of supplies. It's easy to fall into a monochromatic trance when I open up just one drawer and see so many lovely versions of texture, color, tone, shape...whatever! So, thanks, KJ, for a little focus. And also thanks to my fellow beady bloggers for the great inspiration!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bugs & Beads...a natural combination!

I was wandering through beadblogland this afternoon, looking for something more inspiring than wholewheat english muffins, stinky cat food, and World War II in the Pacific (my snack, my cats' snack, and my afternoon reading assignment). I was lucky enough to come across a post by Lorelei about a contest featuring bugs! Since I get grossed out on nearly a daily basis by some sort of critter or another wandering around outside my door, I figure this must be the challenge for me. :)

Here's the deal: Over at Silver Parrot Designs, the challenge is to create a bracelet inspired by bugs. I think it's hilarious because KJ has been inspired by looking at so many bug pictures on-line with her bug-obsessed kid!

Thanks to Lorelei for this great collage of the (creepy) inspiration pics!

Since I usually go with my first instincts, I headed right back to my workshop because I have the greatest new polymer pieces in fun greens to work with. I'm a monochromatic schemer most of the time, so the luna moth (bottom left) calls out because I can see the simple patterns in my green pieces...

I made these oval pieces using multiple tones of green in a variation of mokume gane.

But, then again, I love these clay pieces that ended up with delicate washed designs that remind me of butterfly wings. Maybe a combo of the shiny beetles and the butterfly will work this time...

I made these ovals using all sort of peacock-butterfly colors jammed into a clay extruder. It was worth the trouble of squeezing it out to get these pretty results, don't you think?! All those great glass disks are my faves from HMB Studios.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with these! I the meantime, go get your "bug" on and check out the Silver Parrot Designs challenge post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

These Quesadas are going into the shop...

I barely survived Friday the 13th. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I ended the whole day locked out of my own house! Oh, and I live alone (if you don't count the cats) so it's not a good thing when the keys are inside and the cats have no "go fetch" skills. I had to spend some quality time in the rental car (which I earned by cracking up my own car earlier in the day) while I waited for the locksmith who took approximately 10 seconds to open my door with two little toothpick thingys.

Anyway, in celebration of making it through Friday night, I spent HOURS crafting yesterday and had some help from my bud, Mary. We played with clay all day and my bad luck didn't carryover--I only cut myself twice! haaaaaaaa

So, these pieces are going into my Etsy shop...

I just love the watercolored look....
Enjoy the day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Shopping in the Sweet Shop

I think it's some sort of seasonal affective deal...every day at about five in the evening I think I should be going to sleep because it's as dark as midnight outside! So, I've moved more lamps into my living room and have been all about big bright color combinations this week. In addition to keeping me up past seven, they make me think of candy!!

The items I just added to my Etsy shop are under the "Sweet" label. You can see some fantastic glass beads...

Plus, I have one of my latest original polymer pieces. I did a wear test of this pink/red/green pendant yesterday when I went to lunch with the girls. I even had one of them cry over how cool it is!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanks, Veterans

Hello to all my lovely bead blog buds...friends, idols, family, role models, muses, inspirations...and fellow veterans.

I want to take a minute to say thanks to all of you for your support of my Air Force life as well as thank you for your own service, in whatever good works you're doing. I've been spending a lot of time reading history books, lately, and have come to realize just how lucky I am. I'm part of part of this great 30-something generation that's bridging the operations of the past into the missions of our future.

I'm a big fan of color and design and fun and, again, feel lucky that this creative outlet has helped me become a better problem-solver, thinker, and leader. I may not fly or fight on the front lines, but I do what I can to help out my fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, & Marines from back in the world of cubicles.

Some special thoughts and prayers to...
- The Provincial Reconstruction Teams making progress across Afghanistan
- The Renegades taking care of business in Iraq
- The 82nd Airborne down in southern Afghanistan
- All those Pentagon staffers floating in a sea of Powerpoint


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweet Quesada!

I made it through the Halloween week with only minor candy intake...that's a major success for a girl who could survive on chocolate alone. The constant candy messaging, though, got me motivated to work with some fun colors of clay this week. And, because I was supposed to be reading about air power history (not playing with clay), I'm giving these pieces the title of "Sweet Quesadas" after their sugary looking colors and their link to the father of tactical air power, Major General Pete Quesada. :)
I experimented with some different techniques and I just love the results. But, now the hard part...sanding and polishing.
There were a few other developments in my polymer clay world this week:
- First, I met Andrea Beeler. I feel like I found a little treasure in the cow fields of the Pike Road market on Saturday. Her Clayin-Around adventure features amazing cane work. If you don't know what cane work is, I highly recommend checking out her site. The detail and finishing is amazing, so I'm looking forward to lessons.
- Second, I sold a polymer clay piece on Etsy! This is a huge deal...Etsy is the website that I use to sell my pieces on-line and it's always cool when someone I don't know actually wants to own something that I made.
- Finally, I participated in an art swap with a few great folks and ended up making a wonderful connection with Cindy Wimmer at Sweet Bead Studio. She has some really cool Reasons to Smile and one of them is a red pendant from my house. That's so cool!
I have to get back to World War II and think of Quesada as I forge new ground in polymer clay doctrine!


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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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