More Vintage Chinese Ceramic


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I’ve been loving all the vintage Chinese ceramic beads I got from Andrew Thornton: Project Destash. I’ve made yet another necklace with some of them. They work so well with a variety of beads. 

I’ve had this china pendant (also from Andrew’s destash) for a while. I am fan of blue and white; it’s so classic. I had the idea to use these carved acrylic beads with the Chinese ceramic, a version of the classic style I’ve seen over the years of the Chinese ceramics with carved beads such as cinnabar or jade. I brought in more blue with gorgeous lapis graduated saucers at the front. I don’t use a lot of shiny silver, but I thought it went with the style of this necklace to use silver plated rounds for spacers.

I’ll live with it for a while and see if it’s too shiny for me! But I do like the blue with the vintage beads.

I’m usually wordier, but this is a short post. I’ve had this necklace 3/4 made on my table since last week and just finished it and wrote the post. I’m going to get back to making to try and relax more. Take care of yourselves.


Art Bead Scene Blog Contributor


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ABS November 2016 – Necklace with coin pendant by Andrew Thornton and clasp by Shannon German, inspired by Lee Oscar Lawrie’s metalwork owl above the door to a room in the Library of Congress.

I’m excited to announce that I’m now a regular contributor to the Art Bead Scene blog.  My introductory post is today! Click here to visit.

I look at a few historical pieces I’ve done for ABS challenges over the years. It’s fun to look back as well as to the future. My regular posts will be the second Friday after a new Journey is posted.

I hope you’ll visit me there.

Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Golden Hour


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I usually say today is the reveal, but I can only say today is my reveal for this challenge. The official reveal date was yesterday and it just slipped my mind. But one of the many great things about Allegory Gallery challenges is they are super flexible. I do like having a reveal date (I’ve found I don’t do the challenge otherwise) but never feel any pressure. So here we are with the Golden Hour kit.

Picture by Allegory Gallery

I didn’t take a picture of the kit or even use the really cool special piece Andrew made for it, but I did get a couple of things done. There is a picture of the Luxury Bead Blend from the Allegory Gallery website above. Andrew said he was inspired by the light the moment after sunset or sunrise. He remembers that rosy glow from childhood. I do too. The kit (and name) also reminded me of Hollywood glamour of the 1930s. I just looked at that luxury blend and other beads, and saw Jean Harlow in a gold satin gown walking down a staircase.

So my first piece is a lot of sparkly beads and gold along with one of the big beautiful swirly lucite beads. It was hard to get a good photo. It is so much prettier and fancier in person.

This shows a good picture of the pendant. I love those swirls! The Hamilton gold tube above it has such a warm color. I think the below is a better picture of how I used the beads.

The other thing I got done is a pair of earrings. 

I’ve been hankering to break out the patina. I used Vintaj Marble (my favorite patina) on these filigree drops I had in my stash. I love a shabby chic look, and I think that comes through here.

Although I didn’t get a chance to use it yet, I wanted to show the fabulous laser-engraved acrylic pendant designed by Andrew Thornton. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities for this pendant in the future when I get some time. 

Please take care of yourself and others during this time!

SJ Designs Honey Do Challenge – March 2020


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Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry has a monthly challenge – the Honey Do List. Her husband, Eric, who takes great photos, chooses one to inspire her jewelry making. She invites us to play along. The photos can be interpreted so many ways; it’s fun to see what everyone comes up with, including myself!

This month’s photo is an ornate door in Prague.

Photo by Eric Wentling

The softer color and ornate floral-like designs contrasts so wonderfully with the harder metal and rivets. I just love it.

I had the materials below grouped for a while, but the project just wasn’t coming together for one reason or another. 

I didn’t use the gears or some gunmetal square beads by Joan Miller that I thought I would, but I used everything else. 

The heart pendant, matching rivet beads and black and red connectors are by Joan Miller. The red and grey/silver bumpy beads are by Nikki Thornburg.

I originally thought of doing something with tin or other metal for this challenge, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to use beads that reminded me so much of the inspiration photo. The challenge helped me finish up an only partly there idea!

Thanks Eric and Sarajo! Visit Sarajo’s blog to see what others made.

Artists for Animals Makes This Weekend


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I wanted to put in a little time making things for the Artists for Animals Auction so I don’t lose sight of that in all the hullabaloo happening. First is a necklace. I’ve been saving an Inviciti cat charm to make something. It was part of an earring pair, but I generally split those up because I mostly make necklaces. Then I need to do something to make it a larger profile pendant if I am not making a delicate necklace. I had a vintage lucite frame, so I wired the kitty charm to it. 

When I looked at the charm and considered gemstones to use, I thought tourmaline would be just the thing. I added black faceted Czech glass and knotted them on waxed linen. I added a chain extender to make it between about 20 and 23″.

It seemed to me at last auction, that people didn’t love the vintage materials, particularly vintage metal, as much as I do. I’ve been trying to convince myself not to use as many, but that didn’t work out today. These vintage plastic hoops are so cool! I wish I knew what kind of plastic they are; I think lucite or acrylic sounds better than generic “plastic”. They are kind of heavy for plastic (that’s the quality of the vintage plastic.) I’ve paired them with black and silver Czech glass bicones. 

I also got a bunch of different shapes and textures of lightweight colored metal (probably aluminum) drops. They look very ’80s to me, girls just want to have fun style! I put some large pink rondelles with these long blue drops.

I have other things on my table, but I was splitting my attention in too many directions, so I decided to finish a few things and then focus on something else for a while.

Stay well and stay creative!

Vintage Love


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There is just something about vintage beads that isn’t like modern beads. That’s not to say I like vintage beads more than contemporary beads, but vintage things do give me a thrill. 

This necklace consists of a vintage white ball pendant. It’s heavy, though I’m not sure of the material. Possibly enameled metal? I got it in a mixed box of vintage materials from Famous Vintage Bead Hoard Liquidation Destash. That is where the owner of A Grain of Sand is selling off her vintage stock to focus on gemstones on her website.

I also got the large fluted pink beads and elongated fluted AB beads from the Hoard Destash. They are plastic of one sort or another. I don’t think modern day plastic is generally as nice, and I like using plastic because it is light weight and easier to use larger beads. I went with a pop of color and a little more heft with a few vintage floral Chinese porcelain beads that I got from Andrew Thornton: Project Destash. That is where the owners of Allegory Gallery sell special items, personal stock, first looks, etc. I love destash and VIP groups because I can get things there that I usually can’t get elsewhere.

I used some vintage chalk white beads (I love vintage white) and some pink plastic barrels from a repurposed necklace I got in a destash. The colors of this necklace make my heart flutter. My ideal (albiet not practical) item of clothing is a white linen dress. I don’t actually own this item, but I tend to imagine my jewelry with it. Any necklace I make that would look great with white linen thrills me. This one definitely fits the bill.



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My post title is misleading, as a parure is a matching set of jewelry. I rarely make matching sets, but I love this fancy word, so I wanted to use it. I do have a (non-matching) bracelet, earrings and a necklace to show you, so I feel like that’s possibly as close as I’ll get!

First is the bracelet, which I made for myself based on an idea in a Candie Cooper video. I missed the bracelet kits in Candie’s shop, so I ordered the Green Girl Studios pansy link and some sparkly chain and put one together myself. Sometimes it’s fun to see how long it takes me from idea to finished item since, like many of you, I’m going from idea to unfinished project to challenge to….This one took seven months!

I might hang a couple of sparkly dangles from the clasp area, but I haven’t decided yet, so I’ll live with it for a while.

The next two things I’ve made for the Artists for Animals Auction coming up April 27 – May 3, 2020. As usual, the money from my sales will go to support Madison Cat Project. I want to get to making things so I can raise some good funds for them.

First are some earrings. I always feel like the earrings I make are simple, but they have great materials and are exactly the earrings I would wear if I could still wear earrings. I love a hand made hoop with an art bead dangle. I thought about making my own hoop, but I need more practice, so I bought these hammered brass hoops from Miss Fickle Media

I added Numi-sticks, torch fired enamel copper by Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity. I love these! They are really light weight and not that big but definitely pack a fashion punch if I do say so.

I also made a necklace for the auction. This is my classic – Czech glass knotted on waxed linen. I like to use animal pendants (especially cats) for the auction because I think they will go over well. 

I got this hand-carved bone cat pendant at Allegory Gallery. I decided to tone down my usual bright mixed colors style for this one, and it turned out so sweet!

So there it is, my kind-of parure. Have a wonderful week!

Art Bead Scene Guest Post



I’m so excited! The first time I ever posted a piece of my jewelry online was for the May Art Bead Scene Challenge in 2013, almost seven years ago. I had to create a flickr account at that time to do it. I was a social media novice; this blog did not exist. And today, I have a guest post on the Art Bead Scene Studio blog! How fun!

I made three pieces for Art Journey #2. The inspiration is from artist Viktor Zaretsky. Here is one of his paintings.

I love his detailed colorful work! I had such a great time working on my pieces for the guest post. Check it out here.

Book Review: Global Style Jewelry by Anne Potter


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I have just been in a book mood lately and have acquired some fabulous beading and craft books, so I thought as I did projects from them, I would take the opportunity to also review the book.

Today I am focusing on Global Style Jewelry by Anne Potter. 

I remember seeing Anne’s name in jewelry magazines back when more were still in existence. I really miss many of the print jewelry magazines that have gone by the wayside, so when Anne created her own quarterly electronic magazine, Travelogue, I bought a few issues and then subscribed. I really enjoy the beautiful photos, like a journey, along with the projects. You may have seen her work on the Art Bead Scene Studio blog, where she is a constributor. Somehow I missed the existence of this book until recently (I’m finding that with many people whose work I admire) but I like to think I find the books when I am ready for them.

I mostly use books for inspiration rather than specific projects, but Global Style Jewelry will work for you either way. There are beautiful, full color, close up pictures along with step-by-step written instructions for each project. There are tools, supplies and helpful techniques sections, as well as resources and suppliers lists. What I like about not only Anne’s quarterly PDF magazine but also this book is that I feel like the projects are accessible, interesting and inspiring for many skill levels. There is also a story at the beginning of each section and project based on the region, country or continent.

In addition to her jewelry shop and website, she has a supply shop where you can get the kinds of items used in her types of designs. I’ve always been fascinated by industrial items that can be used in jewelry, and Anne had some cotter pins in her shop! I bought those with the book and used the inspiration of her designs to make this necklace. 

African Christmas beads are some of my favorite beads ever. I love all the different colors, shapes and sizes. They really make me happy. I like the idea of long dangles, like the large picture on the front of the book, so I used some of the cotter pins with a couple of strands of Christmas beads to make sure I had plenty of color. I added a few metal tubes to the shorter strand to bring in that element.

The cotter pins are vintage, and I’m all about that. I love a bit of grunge with my pretty. I “cleaned” them up with brass cleaner just a tiny bit to take off any surface dirt and give them a smidge of a shine, but I left the wonderful patina and wear that you can see here.

I’m really happy to have put some of my happiest beads to use to make my first (but not last) project inspired by this great book. I highly recommend it if you are looking for either specific projects or general inspiration. Have fun traveling the world of your imagination!

My Precious



Do you have some materials that you hesitate to use because you worry you can’t do them justice? I do! But at the same time, those are the things I want to use because it’s the jewelry I want to see and wear. So, I took the plunge with a few things.

I got this fun and interesting four sided animal bead from Andrew Thornton: Project Destash.

I’ve tried it with a few things, but nothing really clicked until I put them with a strand of green vaseline glass beads. I wanted to bring in more metal, so I also used some large, hollow metal bicones. 

I really like it.

One of the things I’ve hesitated using is a short strand of the most beautiful pearls I’ve ever owned.

I also got these from Andrew Thornton’s destash. I finally got some beautiful bali silver beads, some focal sized (also from the destash) that I thought I could use with these.

I also used some faceted labradorite, sterling spacers, and darker pearls. I got the sterling spacers from Famous Vintage Bead Hoard Liquidation Destash. These days when it can be hard to find good sterling supplies – and afford them – I feel lucky to have a little stash.

I wasn’t sure about it at first because I really just wanted more of the gorgeous grey pearls. But I wore it the other day and really thought it looked nice. 

It can be difficult to use our most precious beads because we don’t think we can do them justice. But it’s fun to try, and it’s even more fun when it works out.