Old Red Czech Glass and a Chest!


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I love vintage Czech glass. There is just something extra special about those beads. Back in the day, red glass got its color with the help of gold. I’m not sure if that is true of these, but they do have that wonderful cranberry color.

As regular readers have seen me say many times, I like these beads just the way they are. I simply put them on beading wire and added a clasp to make them wearable. 

Take one more look at these gorgeous beads. It looks wonderful on. Just about 19″ and delicate. 

Also, just today I got a spool cabinet for bead and jewelry storage. The two top drawers are sectioned! The top has a pen and ink well.

The top area is the perfect size for my jewelry trays to fit and the lid still closes. I’m so thrilled. It’s going to go on top of the gate leg table in my living room (you can see the legs behind it in the first picture.) There is always a mess of jewelry and bead stuff on top of that table. This way, it will be behind closed lids and drawers. I can’t wait to get it all set up. So exciting.


Maker Blogs 10.6.18


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Let’s get right into the maker blogs for this week.

On Beading Arts, Cyndi shows a variety of stitches to use to make a rope necklace. They are all beautiful but all so different. It’s hard to pick a favorite!

On Tapping Flamingo, Terry Jeanette is participating in a bead swap. Fun! Lori Anderson of Bead Soup Blog Party fame sponsored the swap where partners swap beads based on one of four color palettes chosen by the sender. This one is just to swap beads, no blog hop. Terry made it extra fun. Not only did she swap, but she kept a duplicate set of the beads she sent to her partner. It will be fun to see what they each make with those, as well as what Terry makes with her swap beads. I have also participated in this swap, so I’ll have fun things to show soon. Below is a sneak peek of earrings she made with some of her swap beads. Beautiful!

On The Crafty Princess Diaries, Tammy Powley shows how she made doll sized Halloween treat bags that she actually sent as a treat to customers who bought her cute Halloween doll dresses. Nice swag!

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading.

Artists for Animals Auction – Coming 10/29/18


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Hello! I wanted to give a preview of some things I’m working on for the Artists for Animals auction that is coming up October 29 – November 4, 2018. Artists make things and donate the proceeds to the animal charity of their choice. My charity is Madison Cat Project. They are dedicated to finding the appropriate home for every cat that comes to them. If my taste isn’t your taste or you aren’t in the market for finished jewelry, no worries! Last time there was stained glass, homemade pet toys, beads for jewelry makers and all sorts of goodies. Join the page to get notifications and updates or visit starting on October 29th to see offerings and bid. It’s a public page, so anyone can comment and bid. Tell your friends!

Unfortunately, it’s very grey today, so my pictures aren’t the greatest. However, they will give you an idea of what I’m working on. My parents have a screened in porch, which is like a natural light box. So before the auction, I’ll take everything I’ve finished over there to get good photos.

I’m making more earrings this time. I love these metal pieces by Bandana Girl. I got them for a specific project I can no longer remember, so they became beautiful earrings for this auction! These are the sort of earrings I would have worn all the time back in the day when I wore earrings. The green bead is vintage Czech. 

By the way, the earring holder that I’m showing my earrings on was made by Michelle Ann McCarthy who, along with Joan Miller, created this auction. You can see another pair of earrings peeking out the back. 

They are for people who like a funky statement. I do! Gingham fabric and wire components by Anna Pierson of SagaHus paired with vintage plastic drops.

I’ve also made some necklaces. Here is one with a lovely ceramic pendant by Lesley Watt in a favorite colorway – turquoise and red. 

This is the picture for which I feel I’m really not capturing the beauty of the necklace, but I’m thrilled with how the necklace turned out. 

I found a gorgeous strand of little grey pearls with some lovely green and purple effect in the light. I paired them with a rough watermelon tourmaline nugget and a Green Girl Studios horse pendant. For the horse people! Or people like me who just love pretty jewelry.

Last but not least, I have what I call the orange necklace. It features of fabulous orange pendant from Majoyoal. I paired it with some orange half AB glass and a juicy mix of seed beads. I asked my mom if it was “too orange” for other people. She pointed out that we love it. I hope other people do too!

I will be making more things, so I hope you come and visit the Artists for Animals auction October 29 – November 4, 2018 to see what I and the other artists have to offer. It’s all for the animals!



Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Ancient Kingdom


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Today is the reveal for the Allegory Gallery Ancient Kingdom Design Challenge. 

It’s a lovely kit of rich purples, burnt orange and bronzes. Here is my picture of the kit.

Pretty, right? So many things I love. First up, I wanted to use the laser cut wooden eye that was this kit’s Mystery Component. I wanted to try a technique on mine, so I painted it plum, put a flatback pearl in the center and trimmed it out with crystal cup chain. I intended for it to be a necklace, but I didn’t like it with any of the beads I tried. My dad, a pin maker, suggested I make it a pin. When I tried a pin back on it, that showed through the open cut. Then I thought of the kind of pins Loralee Kolton uses. I had some in my stash. Her pins (and other jewelry) are so fabulous. 

I was tempted to use all the loops for drops, but in the end I really loved how this large vintage chalk white drop looked alone. I also used a druzy agate round from the kit. I loved how this one had a really craggy, sparkly part. After making it, I learned why painting it was frustrating; I used the wrong paint. But, now I’m all excited because Andrew and friends did an unboxing video (if you click on the link, there are three on September 17th) that showed different techniques on the wooden pendants. I can’t wait to try working with more now that I have more knowledge!

I was inspired by the eye component in this kit to consider other eyes in my stash. I was thrilled to see that I had a good idea for one of the ancient eye beads Andrew made a while ago. I am in love with these beads. 

I used one matte brown round and a couple of seed beads with the eye to make a pendant. I was happy the brown bead was large holed enough to completely cover the headpin I used. I like to disguise connection points as much as possible. I knotted the small purple beads on the waxed linen from the kit. I wanted the necklace to be longer than that, so then I used some of the purple/bronze pearls toward the back. They are at the perfect location in the necklace to prove a little sparkle to bring your eye up the strand. However, I wanted it to be longer yet! So I found all the peanut beads (amazing textured, metallic little things) and separated them with bugle beads. Perfect length. I love this necklace.

My mom and I have been discussing making decoupage beads, and during the time I was working on this kit, I found some great tissue paper I knew we would both love.

The paper on the right is a nice color combination for the purple beads in the kit. I decoupaged it onto a wooden bead to use with the strand of amethyst from the kit.

I separated the chips with seed beads from the kit, and used kit rounds on either side of bead caps from my stash. I finished it off with several strands of mixed chain.

I also really liked the ancient looking clay bicone in the kit. It looks like something one would find when digging for treasure in an ancient kingdom. As soon as I started working with this kit, my mom recognized that she had a necklace that would work well with the colors. She was shopping it around as perhaps going with the laser cut eye and other items. I did think it looked great with the clay bead. I like the contrast of bling and rustic. 

The pearls and crystals really allow the plain matte-ness of this bead stand out. I made a little macrame loop from linen and used a kit pearl at the bottom.

I wanted to make more, but had no more time. I love the spangles and have an idea of another project they might go with. I believe I have more of the striped rounds in the upper left square in my kit picture, so I’d like to make something with those. So many lovely materials and not enough time to create! Once again, I had a ton of fun with this kit. Thank you so much to William, Andrew and Allegory Gallery. Visit the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge page to see more beautiful kit creations.


Maker Blogs 9.22.18


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This week in maker blogs, on Beading Arts, Cyndi shares her experience with Russian leaves bead weaving. This is a pretty, versatile design that you can use for earrings or pendants. Cyndi gives lots of tips and links to tutorials. 

Terry Jeannette of the Tappingflamingo talks about her love of going on cruises and doing gift exchanges. She talks about “fish extenders.” It’s very interesting, and she shows many of her lovely items. Going on a cruise? Check out her shop for appropriate gifts if you will be joining an exchange. 

On The Crafty Princess Diaries, Tammy Powley is making jewelry for doll collectors to wear. What a great idea! In addition to collecting dolls and accessories for them, enthusiasts can get something doll related that they can wear themselves. Visit Tammy’s shop to see what she has in stock. 

On Andrew Thornton’s blog, he shows a geometric pendant he created for the Inspired by Reading Book Club. They read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. It’s a beautiful piece; the author himself said so when Andrew posted the piece online. How fun!

I’m really enjoying Allegory Gallery’s new podcast series. On their blog, they highlight installment 3, an interview with Jen Palmer. The artist talks about her background and her connection to art as a way of healing. Allegory Gallery always features the work of the artist they interview for their podcast, so check out their shop to see more of Jen’s work

Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ve discovered something wonderful!

I Exist As I Am



I like this quote by Walt Whitman: “I exist as I am, that is enough.” I bought a spoon pendant that it is stamped on in quite a nice font. I also have it on another pendant (and would buy it again!)

I got a strand of hand painted beads from Sondra’s Estate Beads Destash Depot, along with a few larger, more colorful beads that are similar.

I put just one of the larger hand painted beads above the pendant. I added some round venetian beads I got from Andrew Thornton:Project Destash. I added pink seed beads in between to bring in the pink from the bead above the pendant. I used the old box clasp that was the clasp on the necklace of hand painted beads. By the time I was done, I had made the necklace long enough that it didn’t need a clasp, but it was already in my head. I wish I’d saved it for another project but not enough to restring the whole thing!

This is really the kind of necklace I love. I like larger pendants, the quote, old hand painted beads, a little bit of a folk art look. Pretty, comfortable and filled with meaning. I can’t quite explain it, but I think many readers will understand that this necklace reminds me of old quilts.




Maker Blogs 9.15.18


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Welcome to this week’s maker blog post. Let’s get started.

On Tapping Flamingo, Terry talks about her mother’s experience with blood clots and how we have to be proactive with our health when doctors don’t necessarily listen. I’m so glad her mother’s story had a good outcome, thanks to a little daughterly nagging! The autism awareness bracelets that Terry makes can also be for PE/DVT awareness. Check them out in her shop

On the Allegory Gallery blog, their second podcast is up! This time, they interview ceramic artist Diane Hawkey. I love Diane’s colorful, whimsical work. Once again, it was fun to hear how an artist got started and how her work evolved. As part of their podcast series, Allegory Gallery features some work by each artist they interview in their shop

On The Crafty Princess Diaries, Tammy has been sewing Halloween dresses for Blythe dolls! Halloween is a favorite holiday for many people, including Tammy. It shows in these very cute dresses. I love the one with a candy corn motif. The candy may be too sweet for you, but the dress is just sweet enough! She’s trying to make more in time for Halloween, so keep checking back in her shop.

I’m linking to a slightly older post from Andrew Thornton’s blog. Earlier this summer, he started making these beautiful copper and sterling pendants in a variety of designs. They are all infused with meaning. Andrew talks about how things can have different interpretations, and we shouldn’t let one interpretation hold us back as makers. I would say the same thing is true of art lovers. I have pieces of art that were created with one thought by the artist, but has a different meaning filtered through my own experiences. Both of those things can hold true in the piece. That is the magic of art. 

You can find Andrew’s copper and silver work in the Allegory Gallery shop.

Kids Colors


I often think of the brightly colored, mixed bead necklaces that I love as “kids necklaces.” In fact, the one featured in today’s blog was inspired by this pin on Pinterest. As far as I can tell, it’s a defunct website for a brand called Madreperla from the blog of a defunct magazine about kids called LMNOP.

I had a carved bone kitty from Sondra’s Estate Beads Destash Depot that I wanted to make into a special necklace. This colorful look is just my sort of thing! I love to think about my own cat, MooKitty, when making cat themed jewelry. 

I gathered up a big bunch of colorful beads to choose from for this necklace. 

I wanted a variety of shapes, colors (mostly bright) textures and a few patterns. Here are a few close ups of some of the beads. 

I sort of specialize in small lots of beads. For example, I love those red pumpkin coin beads, but only had a few, so this project was perfect. I love how the green three sided bits fit to make the orange beads look like actual oranges. 

I love the red and white striped cubes (a freebie), the rusty/gold striped beads that look like cinnamon candy, and the leaf design pressed into the green beads. The two mismatched blue beads at the very back were freebies as well. 

I was able to combine vintage and newer plastic with vintage and new glass to really work together in a pleasing way. I believe I did capture the feel of the inspiration pieces. As I look at the cat and the beads going up the necklace, I see all the wonderful fun, love and endless amusement that living with a kitty provides.

Fix It!

I really love old, broken things, found objects and all that kind of stuff. But that means I need to get creative and put my fix it skills to work to repurpose and upcycle these little treasures.

I got this lovely old metal and glass piece that was missing a few drops as you can see here on the upper left. The missing glass doesn’t bother me, but I think the missing drops made it look a little lopsided. 

If I hadn’t been able to fix it, that would have been ok. But I was lucky enough to happen upon a mixed lot of old things in someone’s destash that included two similar pieces with drops on them!

I bought the lot (which also has other good, usable things) only thinking of using parts to fix the larger piece. When I looked at them in person, I saw that they are kind of nice in and of themselves. However, I decided to sacrifice some of the drops from the one on the lower left to fix the original piece. 

Here it is, balance restored. I was really happy to be able to do that. It is a wonderful piece I look forward to making into a necklace. Every time I fix something, no matter how small, it builds my confidence for projects in the future.

Maker Blogs 9.8.18


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I can’t believe it’s already a week into September! The weather here really shows it with a lovely cool breeze. I’m on vacation today sitting on the porch and enjoying the chirping of the birds and rustle of the leaves. Here are this week’s blogs to enjoy too!

On The Crafty Princess Diaries, Tammy is making a mermaid doll tote for her shop. The mermaid fabric proved very popular when she posted it on instagram. In her post, she talks about the difficulty of getting a first sale in a new etsy shop. I just visited to get the link, and I see that since her post, the super cute cat dress and accessories listing has sold. Congratulations, Tammy! She’s added more great items. My current favorite is the crocheted dress with a sweet ruffled hem. 

On Tapping Flamingo, Terry talks about one of my favorite subjects: upcycling old jewelry! She takes a bracelet that has seen better days, adds a few things and make a great boho piece. She’s even got a little video about the process. 

Do you design based on color trends? I don’t necessarily, but I think it is fun to see what’s coming. And if someone offers up a challenge, I will take it on. It can really open you up. My mom and I talk about how sometimes we keep buying the “same” beads over and over. Focusing on colors that aren’t your go-to is a way to stretch your creativity. On Andrew Thornton‘s blog, he highlights the Pantone Spring/Summer 2019 color trends.

I love the bright pink/oranges and the rich greens. Do you have a guess for the color of the year in 2019?

I’ve been feeling very creative in a relaxed way while on vacation. I’m taking more time to explore ideas, and feel less pressure to get something made in the short time off I have in a regular work week. I hope you are having a lovely day wherever you are!