Monday, October 18, 2010

She's Copying Me......

Holy jumping jelly beans!  It's been such a long time since my last post....I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  August was a busy month preparing to do our annual inventory at the shop--can you imagine????--4 days of counting every last bag and bead.  Only with the crystals did we get antsy...we have about 600-700 containers of crystals that were counted since we sell our crystals by the piece.  Ok..maybe the jump rings were a pain too!

September saw us doing a lot of yard work--ripping out the vegetable garden and starting to cut back all of the flower beds.  The end of the month we started with the LEAVES...and we're still working on those.

This month has seen us working on making our own Pumpkins, Acorns and Candy Corns and Pumpkin Pie slices out of polymer clay.

Now on to the main feature.....  A few weeks ago Gaea had a post about copying projects.  She randomly picked 5 people to send out 3 of her lovely beads to "copy" a project she made.

This is her project which the five of us were to copy.  I have to say...that this is the 1st time that I've seen Gaea's beads in person...and photographs do not do her beads justice!  They're so luscious! it is.  My version of Gaea's bracelet.  I made a necklace and wanted to make it long enough to wear with cowl-neck sweaters this winter.   I made the pendant using 24g sheet copper and ran it through the Cuddlebug.  The folder has an art nouveau swirl pattern.  I hammered out part of the design.  I then dabbed on white acrylic paint and then dabbed on alcohol inks and got the perfect color to match with Gaea's beads.  I then sanded off some of the ink to let the copper show through.  I stamped in the word "Dream" and then filled in a bit with Enamel Gel pens.  The neck strap is copper chain, Czech glass, bone beads and dyed red quartz rondelles.  These are all knotted onto an aqua cord on one side with a smattering of the red on the opposite side.  I love this triangle's light yet chunky.  The little drop on the bottom incorporates the little red rondelles and a dyed crackled quartz briolette.  All of the beads are from my personal stash while the chain is from the shop.

I loved doing this challenge since it's something that I try to teach my customers...use your imagination--you do not have to have the exact beads or components to make something that is in a magazine or a is all about inspiration.

I hope that everyone had fun creating their pieces. 
Please visit Gaea's blog for the list of the other participants and their creations!

Bead Happy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's So Sweet

It's been a hectic month so I haven't been creating a bunch of new stuff to show.  We had a really nice article written up on the shop in our local newspaper and that has increased a bunch of custom orders for us.  Yipee!  Experience Downtown Fond du Lac

I did manage to capture a really fun picture earlier this month.  I heard a noise, looked up....and saw this!
I ran inside to grab the camera to see if I could capture this fun writing.

The only thing I did to the picture above was to enhance the color a bit since the sky was such a pale blue.  In just the few minutes it took me to grab my camera, the sky writing was already starting to dissipate.

Bead Happy!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Best Give Away Ever!!!!

Look at this Smorgasborg! 

Can you believe that this is a give-away?!?  It it the mother load!  Who needs gold when you've got beads.  Denise Yezbak Moore is giving this's 7.5 pounds of beady goodness worth $350!!!!

Hurry Quick!  Head on over to her blog to sign up for this treasure trove.  I'm a bit late in posting this....but you have a few days left if you haven't done it already!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bead Soup Party Reveal!

The big day is here!  The big reveal has arrived for the Bead Soup Part being put on by Lori Anderson.

These are my ingredients from Susan who will reveal--on the 25th--what she made from the ingredients I sent her.

Are you ready???????

(Copper Beach)
I've never done any work before with cord and decided to give it a try with this piece.  I used a variety of Czech glass beads, Japanese seed beads, some freshwater pearls, wavy copper spacers (love these), kyanite,some stone briolettes (I don't remember the stone) and some lovely spacer beads from Keri Fuhr which I picked up from her at the Bead & Button show.  All of this was knotted using a rusty orange S-Lon cord.

Here is a close-up of the pendant....I also used some enameled copper jump rings from Blue Buddha which I picked up last year at Bead & Button. 

I made the S-hook (I still have to hammer it a bit but the studio is in shambles since last week when we got a ton of rain that also went into the basement where the studio is).  I used 16 gauge copper wire and accented it with a finer gauge of gold-tone craft wire.

Here are earrings that I also made....I was on a roll and just loved the ivory spacers from Keri.

It's not done yet, but using the toggle from Susan, I'm making a bracelet with 8 strands of the same technique as in the neckstrap.  I was on a roll....but duty calls...I must start working on the newsletter for the shop!

Hope you enjoyed the entree and the side.  I hope to post a picture later this week of the bracelet. 

Bead Happy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Big Reveal Countdown.....

The Bead Soup Party blog hop that Lori Anderson is hosting is counting down....The BIG reveals happen over the week from June 19 to June 26.  I'm number 45 so my reveal will happen on June 22!  I'm so excited to see what everyone has made.  Lori has the full list of all the participants.

Saturday, June 19th -- blogs 1-13
Sunday, June 20th -- blogs 14-26
Monday, June 21st -- blogs 27-36
Tuesday, June 22nd -- blogs 37-47
Wednesday, June 23rd -- blogs 48-59
Thursday, June 24th -- blogs 60-71
Friday, June 25th -- blogs 72-84
Saturday, June 26th -- blogs 85-97

Will you blog hop to the party?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May Challenge from Aussie Threads & Fibers

Ok.  I know that I've been a bit quiet this month....quieter than usual because I've been obsessed with the May Challenge from Pat at Aussie Threads & Fibers!  This was a wonderful challenge that really made me go outside of my box!  I had to match all of the colors in the Swarovski components and I tried to capture all of the wonderful vibrant colors in the rivoli, cosmic squares and the rectangular stone. 

The neckstrap was made from some lovely sari silk that I won from the talented Denise Yezbak Moore .  This is the 1st time that I've added fiber to a piece that I've done. 

The clasp is a simple Vintaj hook & eye and a few links from the 10mm chain.  I'm undecided, I may decide to add a bit more chain to make the necklace a bit longer.  This is the largest piece I've done.  The centerpiece is about 3" x 3".

Speaking of Vintaj, my Metal Art Book was featured on the Vintaj Blog!  Yipee!  What an honor to have my work noticed!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bead Soup Party Ingredients

Wow!  I can't believe that May has gotten away from me and that Bead & Button is right around the corner! 

The swap has been made.  This is a picture of my soup that I sent to Susan in AZ.  She is a bead embroidery whiz and won the Use the Muse III contest.  So I knew that I needed to send her a cabochon and some extra goodies to use for stitching. 

I knew I had to include some seed beads in the mix as well as some purple (one of Susan's Favorites) even though the cabochon didn't have purple, it's a nice complement to the shades of green.

My lovely mix from to decide to what to do...bead embroidery? Wirework?  Decisions, decisions! 

What do you think?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Follow the Give-Away....

Head on over to Andrew Thornton's blog to enter for a give-away of the lovely batch of beads above. 

What would you create with them?

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's a Tasty Bead Soup Party

Ok...I've done it...I've joined Lori's Bead Soup Party. 

This one will sure to be a tasty Treat!  Be sure to bop on over to Lori's Blog to get the scoop about this fun and lo-cal cuisine! 

I can't wait to see what everyone makes!

New Designs

I've been working on a few new designs...

Jeweled Bracelet made with over 100 Swarovski 4mm Jet 2AB bicones, 6mm Amethyst Rounds, 6mm Amethyst Cubes, Rondelles, Squaredells and custom coated 4mm rounds.  All of this was strung onto oval memory wire with 2 TierraCast 5-strand spacers.  A 3 Strand filigree silver plated box clasp was added to keep this tight to the wrist.

The earrings to match the Jeweled Bracelet.  Custom coated very large Swarovski Teardop Pendants, Jet 2AB bicones and 12mm Cosmic beads in Amethyst.  BIG AND SPARKLY!

Another color combo for the African Polygon Stitch using matte S/L Teal, Gunmetal seed beads (8/0) and Magenta Lined Amethyst 8/0 Triangles.  Accented with 6mm Swarovski Rounds and 3mm green iris Firepolish.

Roman Medallion Necklace was stitched using 13/0 pewter colored charlottes, Miyuki's new Duracoat 11/0 in Champagne, Swarovski 4mm gold pearls, several other Swarovski specialties.  The technique used is Bead Embroidery.  This was a simple stitching project--the colors seemed a bit odd at first but I really liked them--Gold and Platinum pearls, Champagne and Pewter and a touch of Lt Colorado Topaz and Black Diamond.

Enjoy and remember.....Bead Happy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All that Bead-y Goodness...

We've gotten in some good new bead-ies...
Limited quantities of Silver Lined Swarovski 4mm bicones in Lt Rose, Peridot and Lt Sapphire.  TASTY!  These are a rare find.

Katiedid Sticks (small size) above make cute little earrings. Swarovski 4mm bicones in Lt Colorado Topaz and 4mm Gold Pearls (plus a size 8 seed bead) fill them nicely.

Katiedid Curves below look like a little smile with 3mm Swarovski bicones in Fuchsia make a simple quick necklace with the addition of some sterling silver chain.

We've also added some YUMMY 4mm and 3mm Firepolish can never have too many for your weaving or stringing...they are always great for fillers!  We've also added TierraCast's lovely little sugar skull charms--soooo sweet!

These are just some of my designs with these great new items...what can you come with?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sneak Peek

Just a little sneak peek into a project I've been working on....I think that I might try to see if there might be an interest in getting this one published....

I've been trying out some new's been kinda fun to go outside of my box.

Do you go outside of your box? Whether it's color, technique or something brand new? I think I am most critical of my new endeavors...but it makes me think about the overall look. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can I Live in My Shop?

I've been thinking that my shop would make a perfect place to live--of course, with a few modifications.  When I'm at my shop I am always so inspired to create (although I do have moments of creativity at my paying job so I have bits of scrap paper all over), but when I go home (even though I have the studio) I lose my forward motion!  So I figure, if I could turn the kid's room (8x8ft) (the play room for the kids to hang out while Mom shops) into my bedroom and the office (6x8ft) into the kitchen and the stock room(6x8ft) into a bathroom I could just about live in my shop. Of course I would have to be able to put in ventilation and LOTS of windows!  I would be creating non-stop.  OK, so maybe it wouldn't be good to live there...I'd never sleep.

This is what you see when you first walk in the shop.  This--and one of us waving at you!

Some of the Czech pressed glass, seed beads, USA made metal--TierraCast and misc products.  Look!  The tables are tall enough so that your back doesn't hurt while looking!

The Sparkly Wall!  Everyone loves this corner.  More USA metal--Vintaj!

More Czech pressed glass and the Sterling/Gold-fill goodies.

The tool, wire and stringing material wall.  See that door back there?  That's the class room (my would be work studio if I lived in the shop).

Hope you enjoyed a quick tour of the shop!  If you are in the Fond du Lac area (about an hour northwest of Milwaukee) come in to say "hi".

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Sparkle-tastic!

I've been a wee bit quiet on the blog this month...between getting my class instructions done for the new classes that we had this month and all of the other lovely paperwork that comes along with running your own business, I haven't had a lot of time.  I did eek out some time to participate in a challenge through one of my vendors.  Ok... really got sucked into this one.  I haven't done any bead embroidery projects for awhile, so my mom said to give it a try for this.  The creative challenge was to use Swarovski cupchain.  Cup-a-wha?  Cupchain is chain which is made up of settings then set with chantons (usually round chantons).  My brilliant idea was to cut the chain apart and create beaded bezels for the components.  Now cupchain is usually about 4mm--this cupchain is about 6-8mm.  So my fingers got a bit antsy! 

This was my initail design.  I was just winging this project as I went along. 

All my cupchain has been bezeled.  I then bezeled a 16mm rivoli and attached it via stitching to the backing material.  The cupchain components were all glued into place.

My finished project.  Since I've taken my pictures at night and without two photo lamps (still have to replace the bulb that the doggie popped), the picture came out a bit darker than I wanted.

I also created a bangle using a Vintaj Creative hoop as my base.  I wired the cupchain to the hoop with steel wire.  I made a very basic hook & eye closure from the wire as well.

I've worked on a few other items as well, but I'll save those for another post.

My spring resolution is to post more frequently...I hope I can stick to this! 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aren't I Pretty??

I just had to share a current picture of our "baby".  She was getting a make-over this weekend! 

I need a little more blush please!

Iz I bootiful? 

I just had to share...Zoe was being really needy on Saturday and while I was getting ready to go into the shop, she figured she needed a bit of attention!

Hope this gives you a giggle!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Want to Win.....

Would you like to score some hot beads by a cool artist? 

Head on over to visit Barbara Lewis at her new blog home at Painting With Fire.  Become a follower and get a chance to win one of three lovely sets of enameled beads.  Click on the link above to find out the details!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More Goodies Please.....

I promised some more goodies!  Some of my pictures are a bit on the dark side...while I was taking pictures the puppy knocked over one of my lights and blew the bulb! It may be a bit before I can get some nice bright pics...  :-(

Here is a better pic of the pendant from a previous post.  This is really the 1st poly clay pendant/beads that I've made (except for the bazillion candy heart charms).  The necklace has Swarovski crystals in Indian Red and Violet satin, red jasper pebbles, Cape Amethyst rondelles and TierraCast antique copper bead caps. 

This is the most recent Bead Embroidered pendant that I've made.  This one was the most simple one I've made to date.  The lovely cabachon is from Earthenwood Studio.  Melanie makes a variety of ceramic links and pendants and beads.  I've used Miyuki Delicas, 11/0 and 15/0.  I've also used some faceted Czech faceted rounds in jadite and topaz ab.  The maize colored seed beads are Toho 11/0.  The dangle is a gold colored coin pearl.  This didn't take that long to make...maybe about 3-4 hours total.

This teal pendant is made from poly clay and has some silver foil applied and then run through the pasta machine.  Since I can't really sketch/draw for diddly, I used rub-ons.  I then sealed the pendant with a satin glaze.  This is just calling for the beach!

Here is a new metal book.  I used Vintaj 34mm blanks and one of the embossed circle blanks. I've become addicted to making these little books!  I've also used a gold foil pen to highlight and edge.  And...something that I found at my local scrapbook store...Enamel Gel's what I used to line my letters.

Page 2 of the Heaven book.

Page 3 of the Heaven book

Page 4 of the Heaven book...and my little version of an angel.

Another metal book.  This time using a rectangle embossed daisy blank for the cover.  The Ranger Adirondak inks also include a silver, copper, gold and pearl...I really love the way the silver & copper look (i'm waiting for the gold).

Page 2 of the Hope book--this one I've embellished with metal stamps. 

Page 3 of the hope book

Page 4 of the Hope Book

I just thought the overall picture of the book came out great!  The oranges and pinks are just so summery!  Can you tell that I'm ready for some warmth???

I have to say that one of my most favorite things occured today....and I think that it's the 1st time that it's happend this winter.  Of course in Wisconsin, our winters are very grey and gloomy.  The last 2 days have been beautifully sunny!  I stopped off to do some shopping between the paying job and going into the shop.  I parked my car facing the sun.  When I got into my was that lovely warm heat!  I have leather seats in my car and they just absorbed that heat.  So even though it was cold...that lovely warmth just radiated out of my seat and into my body.  I think I could've stayed there all day!

Do you have a small pleasure like this?  That when it happens, it is such an unexpected yet treasured joy???

Have a great one and remember to Bead Happy!