WIP – Finished!


I like to visit a nearby thrift store during lunch in search of good jewelry to repurpose, tins to cut up, photo backgrounds, storage (and now frugal fibers based on a recent blog post by Terri Del Signore).  Last time I was there, I was charmed by some lovely ice cream bowls that looked like they would be perfect work-in-progress bowls or leftovers sweep bowls for my bead table.  It’s still messy, but I was able to corral three projects that have been sitting on my table.


In deciding what I wanted to work on today, it seemed so much more doable to try one of the bowl projects. The bulk of materials are already together, and it would be a great way to get some stuff off my table!  I went for the project in the purple bowl, which has be languishing around for some time.


I was mostly right about the materials I needed.  The waxed linen was a bit too small, even knotted to be sufficient between the apatite heishi beads, so I added some seed beads.  I had planned to use the irregular white beads in back, but the holes were so big, I needed something else.  I found some glass beads in the color of the polka dots from the focal.  I had ordered these very large lobster claws, not realizing how big they would be, but it is the perfect size for this heavy necklace.

One work-in-progress done!

Art Bead Scene Challenge – February


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The monthly Art Bead Scene Challenge offers a piece of art for participants to use as inspiration for making an art bead or something that contains an art bead.  The inspiration piece this month is the oil painting The Two Crowns by Sir Frank Dicksee.


The colors in this piece are so rich, and that’s what inspired my piece. I was first drawn to the white of the horse, and I thought I had a white clay and glass pendant by Kristie Ann Roeder of Artisan Clay. When I went to look, it was white and teal, which worked as well!


I also used a rosebud charm by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati, a gold flower connector, moonstone rondelles and some teal and rose colored Czech glass.  I kept trying to think of a design I liked using gold sari silk because the painting definitely brought that to mind. But they just didn’t work for me, so I used a little piece of it as a photo prop.

I think this necklace looks appropriately opulent (more so in person with the moonstone flash.)  I’m pleased with this necklace, and I love the Art Bead Scene challenges for encouraging me to use and combine materials I otherwise might not.


Darn Good Beads of the Month Club



I love a good surprise package, so I always like the idea of a monthly bead club subscription.  I had done business with Darn Good Yarn in the past; they have lots of lovely things in addition to yarn.  They have a variety of things that beaders can use, so a Darn Good Beads of the Month Club seems like a natural fit. I suspected the projects would be geared toward beginners, and I wondered if I would enjoy them. I decided it was worth a try because their aesthetic is something that appeals to me – I’ve purchased supplies as well as clothing from their site.


I really enjoyed my first project – The Lanterns of Marrakesh.  The materials are good quality, like a decent gauge jump ring. Materials were for an entire necklace, although I only made the tassel and didn’t attach the chain to the tassel because I plan to incorporate this into another project. However, I would have been happy with the project as is.


I like the rustic nature of sari silk, but this was sticking up at right angles too much for me after tying it onto the tassel cap, so I ran the iron over it.  I might have gotten a bit heavy handed, but that’s ok.  I really love the colors of the ribbon and the findings.  There was enough work to this to make it seem like a project – cutting the chain (I had started doing that before remembering to take a photo of the kit), cutting the ribbon, and connecting it all.  But these are nice supplies that one could use separately as well.


In fact, because I’m not making the tassel into a necklace with the kit materials (yet anyway) I have some nice chain, jump rings and a clasp left over.  I really look forward  to receiving the next kit.

Art Elements January Component of the Month Challenge Reveal


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Today is the reveal for the Art Elements January Component of the Month Challenge.  Mixed media artist Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations provided the components this month – painted leather cabs.  Some were painted with dots and some spattered with paint.  I got a spattered cab.  I loved them when I first saw them, but just seeing “cab” was enough to intimidate me. Then Lindsay changed all that with her great post about the components.  To quote: “Even if you are not a seed beader, these cabs should be something you can work with.  You could prong set, drill, or pierce them.”  I decided to try something new!

I forgot to take a picture of my cab, but here is one of Lindsay’s from her post.


Mine is the red one at the top.  I recently got a rotary tool, but had been a bit intimidated by that as well. This gave me the chance to use it. One of the best things about challenges is when they stretch our creative skills.  Although the placement of my holes is not perfect, I feel good about it overall.

I made so many sketches of possible designs because this cab can go with everything.  I ended up going with none of those ideas.  I had gotten a beautiful pair of earrings from Sasha Crow, but I can no longer wear earrings.  I couldn’t bear the idea of giving them away; they are too beautiful.  So I decided to repurpose them!  I removed the wire from one and used it as a dangle along with a bead from Lynda’s Lampwork.  I used waxed linen as my stringing material with large hole metal beads to cover the knots where they connect to the cab.  Dark amber works well in color and feel with the cab, and I was able to bring in a little of some other design ideas that involved playing up the white spatter with a little rustic seabird by Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio.


I finished the necklace off with a gorgeous hammered indigo toggle from Miss Fickle Media and am pleased with the dramatic look of the piece. Thank you so much to Lindsay Starr and Art Elements for letting me participant in this challenge.  Please visit the blogs below to see what others made with their cabs!

Cuba Stone

I had a strand of mixed pearls out on my table as a possibility for a project, and it didn’t get used.  But it was one of those strands I really just wanted to use as is, so I did (part of it.)  I thought how pretty it would be in one of those delicate necklaces I always see people on television wearing with the beads spaced out and a nice little pendant.  In looking for the appropriate pendant, I found a vintage Cuba stone with the exact colors in the pearls.


I love knotting on waxed linen which I what I’ve done here. I actually meant to make it a little closer to the neck, but I guess I got carried away because suddenly it was way longer than had envisioned.  I will leave it for now.  One thing I find about light necklaces is they don’t necessarily lay well over a shirt. I’ll see how this one goes.  I can always re-knot it later.



Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Frog Prince Reveal


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Today is the reveal for the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Frog Prince edition.  I love green, so this kit really appealed to me.  Here is a picture of the kit.


Artist Andrew Thornton not only puts together the kits, he also makes one or more handmade pieces to include.  For this kit, he made the two marbled polymer beads in the lower right above as well as this beautiful pendant.


When I separated out the kit beads to see what was there, I just loved them all!  Right away I decided to put three types together in a bracelet by knotting them on the waxed linen.


I randomly strung these lighter and darker rounds with marbled square in the middle.  I used a wooden button for the closure. I really like this bracelet; it will layer well with others.

I fell in love with these little rolled beads in the kit.  I decided to use them as one of the strands in a two strand necklace.


I used the green beads in front separated by silver spacers.  The second strand is some very pretty quartz, also separated by the silver.  I used a Green Girl frog and a Jade Scott crown.  The two strands come together at two diamond beads from the kit (which you can’t see) Then I added a little bling at the back with some silver Czech glass.  I love how this turned out!


I had more ideas for this kit, but not more time.  Please visit the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge page on Facebook to see what other participants have made.  Thanks, Andrew and William, for another fun challenge!

Flaming Heart Necklace


I’m working on some blog hop ideas, but in the midst of that, I wanted to use some recently acquired materials.  I got a couple of these little Patricia Healey flaming heart pendants. I love all the color of the copper and the little tentacles.


I was originally going to put it with two sizes of melon shaped Czech glass and some larger yellow/orange rounds.  The small melons ended up getting included with some garnet colored rondelles and multi-color Czech glass flowers.


I love how it looks like a little garden with a passion burning at the middle.

Happy Bracelet: A Glimpse Into My Design Mind (and Giveaway Winner)


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I made a new bracelet, and I thought I would talk a little about how my pieces come about. I had drawn a design for a bracelet inspired by a random bracelet on Pinterest, where I had also seen some of my Malin de Koning pins. I love the way she puts things together. It’s like every bead she uses is elevated by every other bead she uses with it.

I was in my studio looking for beads I had in mind for the design I had drawn. Instead, I came upon some beautiful vintage glass “lemon” beads. I thought they’d be good in a bracelet, so I switched off the one I had drawn, and had Malin in the back of my mind. In the same box as the lemons were taupe German glass beads, which caught my eye because I have more German glass in that color, but it is in my Czech glass box (? I know) and I thought I should unite them. But as long as I had them out, I thought how well they went with the lemons. Then I started considering focals, even though I only went upstairs for a minute to put something in the studio and then get ready for bed. So I got out some lampwork and spotted a baggie of the most fabulous glass beads from Trinket Foundry. They were smaller than I’d been thinking for a focal….

At this point, the cat wandered into the studio where she is no longer allowed after ingesting a non-food item. I had left the door open slightly since I was only going to be in there “for a second”.  I decided to go to bed as long as I had to get up to shoo the cat out, so of course I went downstairs and hopped on the computer to get sucked into Pinterest looking at turquoise, yellow and taupe color combinations based on the beads on my table.


The next morning I saw Malin’s latest post on Earrings Everyday.  Yep, her stuff is still great.  Later, I went upstairs to take a shower and thought I’d quick look at those beads I’d gotten out.  I realized they were really just perfect together and, even though I wasn’t wearing my glasses since I’d just gone up for a shower, I’d quick make the bracelet. I found a stray piece of beading wire on my bead table, and some nearby seed beads in a an approximate color from the focal and a couple of larger seed beads (that had spilled on my table) for the larger lampwork holes. When I picked the clasp, I had to resize my original design. I removed a German glass bead and substituted a square Swarovski crystal sitting on my bead table.  Because I was making this quickly and without my glasses, I left a little too much slack in the wire when crimping, so I covered up that “happy accident” (Bob Ross) with some gold jump rings in a nod to the gold stripes in the lemon beads. Ta-da!

I really love the bracelet. I have come to embrace my casual design style. I think it even works in my favor because if I didn’t get distracted from my original idea, I wouldn’t have this bracelet! The lampwork bead is so happy, as are the lemons. I love German glass, but I normally wouldn’t have put taupe with yellow, thinking it is not colorful enough. But with Malin in the back of my mind, I decided to just use things I really love, and it worked for me.

Ok, now on to the winner of my Bits and Bobs giveaway: Ann Morgan

Congrats!  Please contact me with your mailing address.

Bits and Bobs Giveaway


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I was supposed to be cleaning my studio, and I got the idea to do a little “studio sweep” type giveaway.  I’ve purchased such grab bags from My Elements, Shipwreck Dandy Supply and Andrew Thornton, among others, I’m sure.  I do love my random, surprise, leftover bits!  It helped a little on the cleaning, but more importantly, I get to have a giveaway! Should you choose to enter, here is a glimpse of what you will receive that got swept up off my bead table.


You can see some of what is in the bags, but I will tell you that there are some findings, some bead pairs, and a variety of fiber bits.  There are also random beads (and some groups) including glass, wood, plastic, and gemstone.  There are two strands of beads, a couple of buttons, and even a couple of art beads. Those weren’t technically on my bead table, they were under it in a box of things I was meaning to take apart. I haven’t done it, so I decided those beads need to be re-homed too. I didn’t include those in the picture because they kept peeking their little heads out.  I want them to be a surprise; they are pretty good.

If you are an equal opportunity bead lover like I am who likes bits and bobs and is able to use random beads (I regularly use them right off my bead table in my designs) then you will be happy with this giveaway.

Entering is super easy to ease us into the new year.  Just leave a comment on this post telling me a favorite something – a book, a food, a bead artist, a movie, a cleaning tip – just anything you love and want to share.

The giveaway is open internationally and will end on Saturday, January 7th at Noon Central Time.  Please make sure I have a way to contact you.  I’ll announce the winner, chosen at random, at some point later that afternoon.

Have fun and good luck to all!

New Year’s Day Necklace


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This necklace really has nothing to do with New Year’s Day except that I made it today.  I broke out one of my precious Jade Scott pieces. (Warning: do not fall in love with her work.  She has retired.)  A while ago I bought several vintage necklaces to repurpose.


When going through my Jade Scott treasures and coming upon a light colored connector pendant, I thought of these white beads.


I knotted the white beads on blue waxed linen. The writing on the pendant, which says, “be silly, be honest, be kind” is in an army-ish green that I echoed in the bottom beads.  Those are also large holed and were able to go down over the waxed linen knots. I used one glass calla lily bead with tin beads caps that I made from a Lorelei Eurto tutorial. I added a few dangles in front and a really cute floral toggle that I got from Stinky Dog Beads.

I love this fun necklace.  I thank you for visiting and wish you a wonderful 2017.