Artists for Animals Auction

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The next Artists for Animals Auction starts on Monday, 4/19/21 and goes through Sunday, 4/25/21. I made a few more things. I always make a bunch of stuff over time, forget about half of it, decide some doesn’t work, and don’t always know where all of it is. So I have to gather up what is actually going into the auction. These items have a high chance of getting in because I made them fairly recently.

Selection acrylic pink dog beads with silver accents

I got some cool vintage acrylic dog beads recently. I had all these ideas of what to make, but when I started to work with them, I found the hole was horizontal rather than vertical and large hole. That made a huge difference. So I ended up using them in a different way than originally envisioned.

Necklace with lampwork bead, crystal, and crystal and metal tassel cap with tassel made of a variety of fibers. A second picture to the right shows the same necklace with the tassel spread out to reveal two of the pink dogs beads tied to the fiber.

I made a fiber tassel necklace, a favorite style as of late, and the hidden surprise is a couple of the dog beads inside the tassel. I used a jeweled bead cone, a lampwork bead by Jennifer Tough, a vintage AB crystal and finished it off with chain. Really fun and funky.

Four jewelry items. Top left is a blue cat bead with blue and small coated blue glass beads and a coated blue drop below the cat. To the right are earrings with glass cat drops and green and brown beads. Below that is a necklace with a jasper pendant and beads in reds, browns and tans. Bottom left are earrings with large patterned wooden rounds, mismatched, with sari silk ribbon in mauve tied above and colorful - orange, yellow, magenta and silver - large beads.

I always like to have a few cat pieces. A contemporary blue cat bead is knotted with vintage glass beads. The coated beads, used as spacers in between the larger aqua beads, and the drop below the cat (that I think looks like a bell on the cat’s collar) are in vintage condition, which I love. They have some patina and wear. They are beautiful.

I couldn’t resist these Czech glass cat beads from one of Allegory Gallery‘s live videos a while ago. I used a couple in some cute earrings with vintage lucite moonglow beads.

The jasper and mookaite necklace I’ve showed before, also with materials from Allegory Gallery.

The mismatched wooden pieces are from Tangible Light Studio. I paired those with some fun polymer beads by Artybecca and a little bit of sari silk. Even though they are big statement earrings, they are super lightweight due to the materials.

Four kraft jewelry boxes painted with stickers on top. Left is Plum and gold with an elephant sticker. Middle are two painted gold and green with dog stickers. Right is painted plum and blue with a heart sticker.

I even had fun altering some boxes to use for shipping the auction items. I got the idea from Candie Cooper. It was really enjoyable, and is a great way to reuse branded boxes I get with orders and reduce waste.

I hope you can stop by the auction. There are many artists selling their handmade goods to support animal charities. My auctions will support Madison Cat Project.

Charity Auctions

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I have three pieces in a charity auction right now to benefit Beads of Courage, an organization that brings arts-in-medicine programs to children with serious illness. These pieces are the collaborations with Brenda Schweder I wrote about in an earlier blog post. That auction is through the end of the day on Monday 4/12/21, so check that out. There are 70 amazing jewelry pieces (and some ornaments) by 30 artists. Here are my three.

Three necklaces - one with an old coin and mixed chain, one with a silver goat pendant and mixed metal charms with a variety of colorful beads, and one with brass chain, a brass "grate" piece, orange gems dangles and an orange and yellow botanical ceramic pendant.

Then, in a week, there is an Artists for Animals Auction. It goes April 19 – 25, 2021. Funds raised from my item sales will be donated to the Madison Cat Project. I won’t be the only person selling. There are always a lot of people selling a variety of handmade items. I’m going to show a few things I’ve made for that. This first one is a favorite.

Necklace with mixed glass beads and a dog and bone pewter clasp.

I knotted a variety of glass beads on waxed linen with the cutest pewter clasp. (I have the clasp artist written down somewhere, but I can’t find it right now.) The toggle is a dog and the bar is a bone that says “arf.” I love it! It can be worn with the clasp at the back or, my favorite way, with the clasp at the side so it shows!

I made a variety of earrings.

Four pair of earrings (two pictures of the first one in upper left) that are plastic and colorful tin, then clockwise to ceramic sun charms with large white beads, pink squares with lucite green leaf and pink ladybug dangles, and beaded pearl beads, white chain and lavender crystals.

I have a necklace that I showed on the blog recently. I think it turned out really well.

Necklace with chain and jasper beads, a large floral textured metal round with polymer shards in front.

I love that metal piece as the backdrop for Kimberly Rogers‘ polymer shards.

I also have a beautiful cat vessel with knotted beads. I think this turned out beautifully as well.

Necklace with mixed glass beads and a sleeping cat vessel pendant.

I have a really beautiful necklace I made for an earlier auction, but didn’t feel I could get a great picture of it, so I didn’t include it. I just love it, though, so I’m going to offer it up. I always admired the jewelry that the character Phoebe wore on the show “Friends.” This is a “y” necklace that reminds me of some of her pieces. It has little claret colored glass rosary chain with a bronze heart pendant by Andrew Thornton. I think it would look so good with a low v-neck (if you need me to style it for you – ha!)

Y shaped necklace with dark red rosary chain and a bronze pendant with a heart design.

I often look through past issues of jewelry magazines. Different project appeal to me at different times. I made two pair of earrings based on a project by Mary Jane Dodd in Belle Armoire Jewelry.

Two pair of earrings. One the left some with blue fabric wrapped with gold wire and blue stone dangles. On the right, light green fabric wrapped with magenta wire and dark purple round stone dangles.

I used fancy fibers from Stitch Whimsy Market with amazonite beads and fiber from Allegory Gallery with tourmaline beads. I used really thin wire to wrap them, which was different than the project. I’ll have to try it with thicker wire too. The forms are from a repurposed necklace. I have more!

Even if you just want to browse, visit both auctions. It’s always fun to see what people make.

Gemstones and Magic

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Candie Cooper and Cynthia Thornton collaborated on a project. Candie designed a beautiful wing and Cynthia carved and cast it in pewter. (It came with a connector that I will use in another design.) I got a beautiful strand of large and lovely lapis cubes from Dakota Stones recently and was looking for a special pendant to use with them and there was the wing!

Necklace with silver colored wing pendant with floral motif. Blue square stones and clear color coated crystals.

I used a clear crystal Candie included with the pewter pieces to make the pendant. I used some vintage half coated crystals as spacers. They have the most wonderful colors. The back of the pendant is beautiful too. It has a tiny heart.

The same necklace with blue squares and clear color coated crystal with the back side of the wing pendant showing.

This is a lovely necklace that feels great on. I love knowing two wonderful artists collaborated on the beautiful pendant.

Pink

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I got this great soldered glass cab – a pink heart – by Denise Peters Galloway of Crystal Emporium. I probably would have just hoarded it for a long time, but in a recent Dakota Stones order, I got some coated rose quartz rondelles and tiny faceted tourmaline. It was all on my table when I was cleaning up, and I thought they would be pretty together.

Necklace with pendant that is a textured pink heart with three crystals in the middle in a soldered bezel. Rose quartz rondelles with little tourmalines spaces make up the neckline.

The rondelles are a little more pink than they show in the picture, but I’ve taken photos on different backgrounds and can’t get the color right (and can’t correct it with software.) I like the coating on the rose quartz because it echoes the sort of metallic pink of the pendant cab. And then the beautiful tourmaline spacers bring in just enough different and darker colors.

Cleaning up has many benefits, including helping creations come to life!

Stones

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I was cleaning my work surface and there was a jasper pendant. I remembered I also had some mookaite beads that I thought would look good with it. I found those, and instant necklace! I wanted to add one other element. I had been ready to put away a box of polymer clay beads by Erin Prais-Hintz when I knocked them to the floor. One had hidden, so it hadn’t gotten put back, and it was also on my table. I thought it worked well with the stones, so I included that.

Necklace with small coin shaped beads in red, brown, tan, yellow and mauve. Gold chain is at the back. One red, black and gold tube bead is on one side. The pendant is red, grey, black with lines going through it.

I knotted it on grey waxed linen and added chain extenders on each side to make it the right length. I got the stone pendant and beads from Allegory Gallery.

I think the necklace is really pretty. I can’t wait until I feel comfortable wearing jewelry out of the house again.

Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Reveal – Fairy Garden

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Today is the reveal for Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Fairy Garden Kit. Click on the link to see the beautiful materials (minus the Mystery Component, which you’ll see later.)

This reveal snuck up on me. I had lots of ideas, but didn’t get them all made. However, I loved the kit and made the idea I liked best first, so there is that!

I recently got some vintage French glass butterfly buttons. Oh, swoon! I just love them and want to use them on everything. This definitely felt Fairy Garden appropriate.

Bangle bracelet wrapped with fibers in blues, greens, lavenders and peach pinks with a clear textured glass butterfly focal and randomly wired beads.

I used a bracelet form and wrapped it with different fibers from an Allegory Gallery mixed fiber card, Stitch Whimsy Market, and a piece of the luscious pink/purple silky strand from the kit. The more peachy pink fiber at the bottom of the bracelet was so soft; it felt like a cloud. I wire wrapped and dangled beads from the kit at the bottom to counter balance the weight of the butterfly and keep that at the top when worn (as much as possible.) I’m pretty in love with this bracelet. A mix of boho and fantasy that I love. I have a scene in my head of the fairies wrapping these fibers around the bracelet like a maypole in a little dance and then their friend the butterfly alighting there.

Next, I used the Mystery Component in a necklace. I wasn’t thrilled with the design, so I was going to live with it for a while and decide. But then I checked the date of the reveal, and I haven’t had time to live with it yet. I can always redesign it later.

Necklace with round floral focal, multicolor rosary chain and accents of lucite flower and leaf dangles.

Andrew Thornton made the Mystery Component, this pretty floral pendant. I liked that this rosary chain had the same colors and iridescence, but I feel like the design is a bit simple. I do like that I was able to use the lucite flowers and leaves as well as sequins from the kit.

One of the first designs I thought of was ladybugs on leaves. Sweet earrings. Those ladybug beads are so cute. I got a couple in a different color in another Allegory Gallery kit a while ago. Everything in the earrings except the findings are from the kit.

Earrings made of green lucite leaves with metal lady bug beads, pinkish square beads and crystals.

Last but not least, I made another bracelet. I had a rhinestone connector that just screamed fairy dust to me. It matched great with the strand of crystals in the kit.

Bracelet with open oval rhinestone focal, crystals and silver butterfly box clasp.

I thought this butterfly box clasp was perfect not only to balance the connector, but don’t you think a fairy garden would have lots of fluttering butterfly friends?

There were tons of good beads in this kit. A couple strands I haven’t even touched, as well as a pouch of larger beads and yummy bits from the luxury blend. But time is out, so you’ll see more of those things in later designs.

I sure had fun with this kit. Half of the fun was dreaming about it after I ordered it! Thanks for visiting, and check out what other people made on the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook page.

Neutrals

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It’s not always easy for me to work in neutrals or more monochromatic color combinations. I am a pop of color kind of person. But sometimes a design just lends itself to certain beads and certain colors.

This design started with some materials I had laid out for a partial design. None of them ended up in the finished product. But in the process of working with them, I got out some large vintage metal discs. I thought one would work with the other materials. I cleaned one and then added a bit of Vintaj hematite patina to bring out the texture. It did not work, but I thought I could make it work in a similar design with other components.

Three large round copper textured discs and one wavy edge brass disc, all with vintage patina.
the discs I didn’t use

I wanted to pair an art component with the disc. In looking, I found some polymer shards by Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity that I thought were perfect.

Necklace with brass chain, agate and other stone beads, large copper disc pendant with leafy texture and metallic polymer shards.

I used a large round bead that I think is tiger iron, stone ovals, and simple cut blood agate. I love how the pendant turned out especially. It makes a bit of music when worn.

The Great Bead Extravaganza – March

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I’ve written about The Great Bead Extravaganza before. It’s a fun group with all different kinds of presentations, sales and giveaways. They have had three events so far. This weekend is the third. Another is planned for June. It is all online, so you can join from anywhere. Some of my favorite artists are there, and I’ve come to love some new ones I’ve been introduced to. They all have many other outlets – shops, Insta, YouTube, their own Facebook pages and VIP groups. Lots to share!

Today the project that took my fancy was a necklace that Kay from Star’s Beads made. She did it “choose your own adventure” style, where she offered choices and let the majority choose in the comments. She gave some fabulous tips, all about using chain. I really loved the easy, boho necklace she made. She is selling chain bundles and bead cone bundles in her group, Star’s Beads Special Stash Group. She also does lives Monday – Thursday on Facebook, and Friday Night Live in the group. I know where I’ll be on Fridays! The Special Stash group is where you can get the bundles and this Friday she will have some fabulous, large lampwork beads like she used in her GBE necklace project.

I loved the project so much, I just couldn’t wait. I knew I had materials that were close enough to what she used that I could go ahead and make a necklace now. (Though this won’t be my last one.) It’s not unlike things I’ve made before, but she had some excellent tips, and the way she did it allowed me to be a little more free. Sometime I get too worried about little things in design.

Necklace with chain, a large brownish and turquoise patterned lampwork bead, a turquoise beadcone made from a bullet casing and a tassel with different bits of fabric and chain.

This necklace features a beautiful lampwork bead by Genea of Third Eye Gypsys. The patina bead cone is from this shop. As Kay did, I used some bits of fiber and chain in the tassel, bits of chain above and below the bead, one link from a chain for a bail and then chain for the rest of the necklace. I have a dress this looks perfect on. I had to try it on right away!

You can watch the video of Kay and the group making this necklace and join The Great Bead Extravaganza if you want to see all the great stuff there, including videos from previous events.

The Necklace

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I have been thinking about this necklace for years. I didn’t have the right materials until now. Let me tell you a story.

I learned about art beads late in my bead journey. When I learned about Nancy Adams of Round Rabbit, I was thrilled to see her work. I fell in love with her ceramic beads. Please note, she does not make beads any more, but she does create handmade items, so check out her shop. Anyway, I saw her beads, and fell down the rabbit hole (so to speak) of her blog. And I saw the pod. I remember thinking, “I just missed it, and maybe she’ll never make this design again.” Then, a few years later, she did!

Large rustic textured verdigis colored ceramic bead. Large shiny texture rust and olive pod bead.

If you are someone who bought from her, you’ll know that her work just disappeared in seconds. So when I saw the photo of the pods on her blog, I picked out the one I loved, a matte glaze. But I just wanted to make sure I got one, and they are all beautiful. So I bought a shiny glaze when I had the chance. Later the one I love came up, and I got it too! Wow. I was in bead heaven.

So they went in my Round Rabbit hoard, and there they sat. I’ll be honest, every once in a while I get the hoard out and enjoy the beads. Once while I was doing that, I thought how beautiful a pod would look on some large link chain. Simple lines with beautiful materials. I tried matching them with a variety of chain (and I have a lot of chain) but it was never quite right.

Then within the last few years at the Bead & Button Show, there was a competition with multiple designers, and one of the things they were using was the Now That’s a Jig! One of the designers made chain, and I was absolutely in love with it. I wish I could remember who it was or find the video (I watched online; I wasn’t at the show.) I knew that chain would be great for the pod. That’s when I decided to get a Now That’s a Jig! And just about the time I was set to buy one, they went on sabbatical.

So, the pods went back in the box. And then I found the chain. The Whole Bead Show has been having online sales due to the pandemic. I have tried to take advantage of online bead shows and such as much as possible. It’s a great way to support small businesses and a great way to access materials I otherwise couldn’t.

Steel colored large link chain. Links are organic shaped diamonds. Stone used as photo prop.

The chain is plated brass but looks like steel, a look I love. I used steel wire to make the pod into a pendant. I tried to make it look organic to match the chain. When I was ready to clasp it, I thought I had a black iron clasp from Creating Unkamen, but I didn’t. So I decided to make a clasp from steel wire. I had a tutorial from that shop, but haven’t practiced. I might remake one later, but it turned out okay. I’m glad I decided to do that than use an artisan sterling clasp I considered. While beautiful, it was not the look I had in mind.

Steel colored organic large link chain with matte, textured verdigis colored pod bead pendant.

So here is the necklace. I just love it. Waiting for the right materials allowed my vision to come to life.

Allegory Gallery Design Challenge: Dark Rainbow Reveal

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It has been a little while since I’ve done an Allegory Gallery Design Challenge reveal. But I was extremely inspired by the Dark Rainbow kit. Once I got it, I started to work with it right away. My favorite things were the matte beads, and I designed and laid out a necklace using those first. Then before I finished it (I had to work on sizing it a bit) I made two other necklaces, finished the first one and then made even more.

Necklace with gold chain, sparkly rainbow beads, a gold filigree star pendant with blue dangles.

The first necklace is a mash up of the Dark Rainbow kit and a Vintaj inspiration kit. This Vintaj star and blue bead were on my table. I had been trying some beads from my stash in the Vintaj design, and they weren’t working. It occurred to me that the blue bead looked like it belonged with the Dark Rainbow kit, so I chose some beads from the design kit and they were perfect! I wanted some great chain to finish it off, but didn’t find just the right thing on my chain wall. (I have SO much chain; I’m always surprised when I don’t think I have the right thing.) But then I had an aha moment. In a great mixed box of supplies I got from Lennis Carrier, there was a necklace to repurpose.

gold and pearl chain

Each section had two types of chain. I chose the one with interlocking ovals, and I think that looks perfect in my mash up necklace!

Next I used the Mystery Component. That is the only thing you didn’t see if you clicked on the link to the photos of the kit. It is a surprise until you get your kit or it is publicly revealed. It is handmade by Andrew Thornton. It is perfect for the kit’s theme and also has a 70s vibe. If you know me, you know I love a 70s vibe!

Necklace with various grey beads, gold accents and a pendant showing rainbow and sun coming out of grey clouds.

With it, I used one of the organic grey/rainbow beads and the lentil drops from the kit along with some metallic rondelles and spacers and grey vintage glass from my stash.

Then I finished the first thing I designed. I used many of the matte beads (so gorgeous!) with a dichroic glass connector I have had for 20 years or more. I also had little rounds that looked very similar to the connector, so I added some of those in and jet rondelles to bring out the black frame in the connector.

Blue/multi dichroic glass connector with black and various rainbow metallic beads.

I was thinking of how the multicolor metallic coating of the kit beads reminded me of AB crystals. I thought of a black circle studded with AB rhinestones I had. I thought the crystal would work well with the kit, and the circle would give something it hang the other large grey organic bead from. I love those! I also used some other beads from the kit and had a nice black chain that reminded me of the material of the circle.

Necklace with large grey/rainbow bead, black hoop with AB crystals, large rainbow bead and rainbow dangles on black chain.

From the time I saw the kit, I loved the multicolor chain that was included and knew I’d use it for something. It is a fine chain, so it lent itself to a delicate necklace. I was putting away some more destash treasures and really wanted to use some beautiful purple pearls. I didn’t have an idea, except the purple was perfect with the kit! So I used a swirly blue rondelle from the kit, a rhinestone spacer that was on my table for a pair of earrings I was making and one of the pearls. Pretty pendant on the chain! This picture doesn’t show the lovely colors of the chain that well, but it’s really gorgeous.

Rainbow metallic chain with a small pendant of a purple pearl, rhinestone spacer and matte bead

The idea of this last necklace I’m going to show came to me as I was falling asleep. It helps me fall asleep to design jewelry in my head. For some reason, I thought of a pair of earrings I’ve had for over 30 years. I bought them at a thrift shop when I lived in Chicago and wore them with a white shirt with big orange polka dots, which I also got at a thrift store. It was the ’80s; this was a happening, funky ensemble.

Earrings with textured gold hoops with prism discs inside

Isn’t the prism perfect for the Dark Rainbow kit? So I employed one for a pendant.

Gold textured round with prism disc inside as pendant with textured gold bead and grey triangle bead on strand with purple pearls and various rainbow beads. Back of necklace is rosary chain of black/bronze Czech cathedral beads.

I used a gold bead that was sitting on my table, the grey triangle from the kit. I used more of the purple pearls I used in the necklace above, some of the coin beads and small matte spacers from the kit. I liked the idea of the bigger beveled rounds from the kit because the gold tones in those played nicely off the pendant, but i felt like the size overwhelmed the pendant a little, so I went quieter. I added Czech glass beaded chain made of black cathedral beads with a bronze accent to keep up the sparkle in the necklace. This piece has happy memories of the past.

I did made one more piece: earrings! I don’t make a lot of earrings because I find my wire work lacking, but the only way to get better is practice! So I started these and had one on my table. I finally decided to finish a second one.

From the kit, I used two paddle beads and rainbow rounds and added a couple of AB crystals from my stash. I do love the AB crystals with the rainbowy beads from the kit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I made with my kit. If you’d like to see what others have made, visit Allegory Gallery Design Challenges to see all the beauty and creativity!