Artists for Animals Auction: November 2 – 8, 2020


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I’m starting to take stock of what I have for the upcoming Artists for Animals Auction. I had made a bunch of things for the spring, but that one ended up being canceled due to the pandemic. I’ve made a few more things and will combine them all to have a decent showing. Let’s take a look.

Black background with white hoops and black and white striped beads made into earrings.

These happy mod earrings with vintage hoops are so fun. I hope someone likes them as much as I do!

Tan textured background with necklace featuring pendant of black open square with a multi-colored cat charm inside and multi-colored tourmaline round beads with smaller black beads in between.

This turned out so great, I kind of wanted to keep it. But I hope it can raise some good funds for the kitties! All of my sales will go to Madison Cat Project, a great organization that rehabs cats and finds them home as well as provides affordable spay/neuter services. The kitty charm is from Inviciti.

"Y" shaped necklace made of small rose colored rosary chain beads and a round bronze pendant with one heart inside another.

I could not get a good photo of this necklace; I’ll have to keep trying. But it is so pretty, especially on. I’ve noticed a lot of people on TV wear “y” style necklaces, and I always like them. So I made this one with a lovely bronze heart by Andrew Thornton. So sweet.

Hand holding copper round earring wires with burgundy polymer clay rounds with heart in heart design on them and metallic accent patina.

Speaking of Andrew Thornton hearts, here are some pretty polymer clay ones with metallic highlights. I love this charm and have used it several times in different pieces. I’ll have to decide if these need something else, but a favorite earring style of mine is hoops with art beads. Simple and beautiful.

Hand holding gold earring hoops with 3 different blue and green faceted gemstone beads on each.

Here is another simple pair of earring, but the kind of thing one could wear all the time. These gorgeous hoops are by Miss Fickle Media and the gemstones are from Dakota Stones.

Hand holding bronze earring wires with irregular multi-colored and textured enameled metal long charms.

One more pair of hoops by Miss Fickle Media with enamel drops (numisticks) by Kimberly Rogers of numinosity.

Necklace laying on book. Necklace has off white carved cat bead, with yellow coin bead above it and a variety of cream and brown glass beads in different shapes accented by a few blue tone beads.

Here is a lovely cat necklace with a bunch of mostly Czech glass beads, just the sort of thing I’d make for myself. The bone pendant is from Allegory Gallery.

Earrings with one pink bead and waffle textured bright blue metal triangular drops.

These funky earrings are cool with the vintage colored and textured metal. I feel an ’80s moment coming on!

Necklace with wooden pendant showing a paw print cut out and diamond shaped and ovals gemstone beads in brown, white, peach and grey colors.

Last but not least, here is a sweet wooden paw pendant from Allegory Gallery with some gemstones – I think jasper and moonstone.

That isn’t the last of what I have for the auction, but the last of what I have easily found to post here! I’ll work on getting it all together and ready for the auction. Tune in on the Artists for Animals Facebook page starting November 2nd. There are a lot of artists participating and a variety of handmade things (not just jewelry). It’ll give you something pretty to focus on that week!

Gearing Up for the Artists for Animals Auction


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The Artists for Animals Auction is coming up in a few weeks. It takes place on Facebook November 2 – 8, 2020. I believe I actually have a fair number of pieces made, but they are flung hither and yon, so I feel the need to make more in addition to taking stock of what I have when I get a chance. Due to the pandemic, we did not have our spring version of the auction. My funds go to Madison Cat Project. They are moving into a new facility and trying to outfit it. They are also collaborating to help folks who are experiencing special economic challenges during this time get supplies and vet care for their pets. So, I’d like to raise some money to help out.

Today I made a necklace. One of my classic mixed bead knotted strands with a pretty polymer owl pendant by Brooke Bock.

Necklace featuring an oval pendant with a turquoise background and a tan owl on a branch. The strand has a variety of shapes, sizes and shades of mostly glass beads in tans and turquoise. The background is brown/tan mottled handmade paper.

I find the colors in this pendant lovely and calm. I gathered together a variety of beads in those colors to knot on waxed linen. The necklace is long enough to just slip on with no clasp. Easy breezy!

You’ll probably be seeing a post or two showing other things I’ve made once I gather them together and take photos. I also have a few other things in mind to make. If you are looking for handmade things for yourself or for gifts, visit the auction in November. There are many things other than jewelry, and each artist supports their chosen animal charity.

New Earrings



I am still in a bit of a creative slump for jewelry. Happily, I am starting an art journaling class, and I have really enjoyed the creativity there. So, I’m glad to stay creative in some way.

Hand holding earrings with brass fairy charms, copper and off white ceramic floral bead caps, white matte glass pearls and small pink glass beads.

I did make a new pair of earrings. I came across these two fairy charms on my table and just loved them. I think they are vintage because they are nice, solid stampings like the old ones. I used Vintaj marble patina and layered marine over it and then used the reliefing block. I topped those with layered copper and ceramic bead caps, vintage matte glass pearls and some light pink Czech glass. I think these are so pretty!

They will be for sale in the Artists for Animals auction coming up in less than a month. The money I raise will be donated to Madison Cat Project, an organization that finds a home for every cat that comes to them. They are also currently partnering with organizations offering help to those who need assistance getting supplies or vet care for their animals during this time.

Stay well and creative!

New Bead Post: 9/27


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I have been very unproductive lately. Last week I didn’t even post! I rarely skip a week. I didn’t want to skip another week, but I’m so tired this weekend, I didn’t get anything made. I can tell I won’t before the day is done. I can only deal with getting ready for the work week. But I can show beads.

Two metal earring forms, one white loops with bubble decorations at the bottom, one pink with swirly circle all around.

These are metal earring forms I got from a Lori Anderson’s destash. I’m pretty excited about them. They are really cool. The white ones have a loop at the top and bottom (behind the design) to hang additional beads. They will be fun to make earrings for the Artists for Animals Auction coming up November 2 – 8.

The title of the post is a bit misleading. These aren’t all beads and components I’ve just gotten. But they are all things I don’t think I’ve shown before.

Glass beads in blue white and black with intricate stripe and dot designs. Two elongated ovals and one drum shape.

These are lampwork glass beads by Sarah Moran of Z-Beads that I also got in a (later) Lori Anderson destash. I was super excited about that. I only have one other set of Sarah’s beads. They are usually sold in sets and are somewhat expensive (and totally worth it). These were affordable as a partial set. That is one of the things I love about destash.

Long vintage brass piece with paper that says "this ain't no disco" with disco ball made of shrink plastic at bottom.

This is a pendant by Jeni Houser Alasad of Auntie Moons. The brass is vintage from a post office. The disco ball has shimmer in it that isn’t visible in the picture.

Yellow porcelain flowers with holes in the metal and many petals.

These are vintage porcelain flowers. I have no idea what I will do with them, but they are so gorgeous I had to buy them. They are from Suzanne Branca’s Famous Vintage Bead Liquidation Destash. She has the best stuff. I know it will be perfect in some future project.

Many strands of glass beads including orange flat round with swirls, mint green rounds, "sugar" coated raspberry, patina yellow egg shaped, drop "mercury" glass, white squares with mustard, yellow, black and red tubes, clear faceted and purple rounds.

These are amazing! I ordered various strands from Andrew Thornton’s destash. Some of these are modern, some vintage. I am IN LOVE with vintage glass, and I just got another batch from a recent destash. I don’t even have it yet. These are from a while ago. I just haven’t put them away yet.

I hope you have enjoyed the variety here. I have been cleaning my studio, and it’s so much nicer in there. I still have more to do, but I have a clean surface for my art journaling class that starts next week. I have also registered for an Apoxie Sculpt class with Erin Prais-Hintz, one of my favorite artists. She is offering three classes online through the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

I hope you are well and staying creative in some way.

Vintage Bead Hoard


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I love vintage beads. One of my main sources for vintage beads is Suzanne Branca’s Famous Vintage Bead Hoard Liquidation Destash. She had been selling vintage items on her A Grain of Sand website, but decided to focus on gemstones, so she is destashing her vintage hoard. It is so fun to see things and have access (at great prices) to fabulous and some unusual vintage items. I thought I’d share a selection of things that I’ve gotten since what I made this weekend aren’t things I can show yet.

Small bright blue tube beads.

I love the color of these Czech glass scinter beads. Scinter beads are leftover glass that is ground up and pressed into beads.

Double strand knotted necklaces of graduated white beads.

Sometimes we have access to finished jewelry that we can use as is or for repurposing. I love this style of necklace, but vintage examples are always too small for my modern neck. Having multiple (lots often come in multiples – combined retail ready packs for a deeply discounted price) means I can combine beads to make the same style in my size. I love vintage white beads, and have a nice selection of shapes and sizes mainly thanks to Suzanne.

Bright green oval wooden tube beads.

There are also a lot of really nice wood beads. These are a fabulous color. They are old Miriam Haskell stock.

Small black glass beads with large diamond shaped facets

I also love black glass. These English cut beads are a favorite shape.

Small round medium pink beads

I like the range of materials. These cotton candy lucite beads are beauties.

Variety of sizes and colors of round and oval bakelite plastic beads - mostly browns and yellows

I also amassed a nice collection of bakelite beads.

Variety of vintage buttons in blue, black and grey. Sizes, shapes and textures vary.

Vintage buttons are fun. I never know what I’m going to do with them; I just like them. Look at those black ones in the back right. Matte!

Round faceted white glass beads with red dots of glass around the middle referred to as "sugar"

Cool sugar beads. I don’t think I had ever seen any with “sugar” just around the middle before this. They are especially nice.

Brooch with silver leaves, pearls and clear crystals

Here is another example of finished jewelry – a vintage Trifari pin. I got another design in gold tone. I wear them both.

Two sets of plastic connectors, white and dark brown. One set is elongated ovals with open middles. One set is flat ovals with holes at either ends.

There are some unusual things. I believe I got things in mixed box of vintage goodness. I love them. I haven’t decided what to do with them, but I know something perfect will eventually present itself.

Organic shaped roundish white glass beads with millefiori type colorful splotches.

Here are some really wonderful glass. These are also Miriam Haskell stock.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of some of my vintage stash.

Travelogue – Summer 2019 – France


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I had so much fun yesterday making projects inspired by Anne Potter‘s most recent Travelogue e-magazine that I went and looked through some older issues. I was really enjoying the France issue, so I made some projects inspired by that. I would even call it a mini-collection!

For the Laos issue, I made a couple of necklaces inspired by elements of several projects. This time, I made two necklaces more closely based on projects in the magazine and then two pair of earrings more inspired by.

This first necklace is based on the Adoration Necklace.

Necklace made of a variety of silver, white, clear, gold and grey beads and a hobnail and crystal pendant by Andrew Thornton.
Pendant by Andrew Thornton

Everything in the France issue is so elegant. I had similar elements, so I was able to make a similar necklace. I like all the interest the different beads introduce. I had been saving this Andrew Thornton pendant for something special, and this was it! The clear glass flower beads are vintage.

Necklace with fancy gold floral pendant with two orange crystal drops and knotted black beads.

This necklace is based on the Sacrament Necklace. One thing I think people looking to replicate the projects will like is that the sources are cited, so many times you can get the exact items. I have components in my stock that are similar enough to suit me, like this gold piece.

Earrings with black wooden beaded chain sections, white glass rectangles and white disc pearls.

These earrings are not based on any project. I just really liked the white rectangles that I came across while looking for white beads for the first necklace. I also found the two disc pearls in the same baggie. I had some black rosary chain on my table from one of my Laos projects, I felt like these fit the feel of the other projects.

Earrings made from gold organic shaped stick connectors with two small tassels at the bottom of each - one grey and one purple.

These earrings are based on the Antoinette Earrings. I repurposed the gold connectors from some broken old jewelry. My components for these weren’t as similar as I would have liked, but they are fun. I think these look a little like Mardi Gras!

It was so fun making a mini-collection. There are several more projects from the France issue I may tackle. They are all so beautiful. The Jeanne d’Arc set is clever and amazing!

This also reminded me that I want to go back to a number of projects in Anne’s book Global Style Jewelry.

Travelogue – Summer 2020 – Laos Edition


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I subscribe to Anne Potter‘s quarterly e-magazine Travelogue. Each edition is inspired by a country and the textures, colors and culture found there. I always find them filled with inspiration. Summer 2020 is the Laos edition. There are a variety of projects related to different areas. The ones I related to right away used brighter colors.

Two colorful, layered necklaced. Longer one with paper beads, gold plated metal, multi-color tassel and rosary chain in green, black and red. Shorter necklace with silver coin medallion, bright pink and fuchsia Perler beads, old silver metal spacers and turquoise dyed Job's tears seeds.
Necklaces inspired by Anne Potter’s Travelogue Magazine – Summer 2020 Laos edition

I haven’t replicated any specific project exactly, but I’ve chosen elements found in several projects. I was also moved to look at traditional and current Laotian garb and jewelry for additional ideas of colors and materials.

I really look forward to Travelogue each quarter and highly recommend it!

Sunday Simple


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I’ve got a simple necklace today, but the road to the design wasn’t quick and linear. I actually went up to my studio to clean (always with the idea of designing in the back of my mind.) I was putting beads away, and saw something I had been looking for. A while ago I bought a little box of vintage chalk white Swarovski crystals. Swoon! I’m not gonna lie, part of the thrill was the original packaging!

I hadn’t been able to find these when I wanted them. I had moved on with that project using other beads and thought I could use them in another piece. But, as often happens, a twisted design path (and even more mess on my table!) led to something totally different that didn’t involve the Swarovski.

There were about half a dozen twists and turns that finally led to my deciding to make a simple Y necklace. I often see people in TV and movies wearing those, and I always like them. I don’t have a ton of really low necklines, so maybe I’ll sell it in the Artists for Animals Auction coming up in November.

I chose some pretty garnet colored beaded chain. It is pretty delicate, so I wanted a small artisan bead or pendant. After looking at a variety of things, I decided on a little Andrew Thornton metal heart. So sweet.

Close up of small metal hand made heart inside heart circle pendant by Andrew Thornton at the end of a section of garnet glass and brass rosary chain

It looks so nice on. It was difficult to get the shape, the color of the beads and the loveliness of the pendant all in one photo.

Photo of Y shaped necklace of rosary chain with Andrew Thornton circle heart metal pendant. Photo background is handmade paper, white with floral petals embedded.

I go up to my studio to do one thing, and it leads to so much more. It is time consuming, but relaxing time well spent.

Noodling Around On a Saturday


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I went into my studio without a plan, and after a short while these materials presented themselves.

Materials pulled together for a potential design - black glass beads, patterned large polymer focal bead and pearl tassel in a dish. Rolled, painted wood bark beads in a baggie.

The large patterned and colored polymer bead is by Andrew Thornton. It makes me think of Moroccan tile. I wanted the necklace to feel old. I’ve been saving the vintage pearl tassel for a long time. I thought perhaps I could use the hand painted tree bark beads from Hawaii that look like fabric, but they did not end up in the design.

Finished necklace hanging to show pendant to its best advantage.

I added some patterned bead caps from Metal Me This that I got years ago from Beads & Button. I looked at a large number of vintage metal beads to find something to go above the polymer bead, and found this gorgeous patina treat, and a vintage carved wooden bead as well.

Finished necklace laying for another, arty view.

I had wanted to add some of that bright pink color into the design, but the little bright pink beads I had that might have been perfect had holes that were too small for the waxed linen. I’m usually more willing to change design than construction, so they got left behind. I did want to add one more element to the vintage black glass beads. These fancy filigree beads were out from the metal search, so I used a couple of those. I thought I might use another pair further up on the strand, but most of them are copper rather than brassy, and I didn’t want to bring in that metal shade.

I’m really happy with how it came out. I resisted using that tassel for a long time because I wanted to do it justice. I think this is just the right project.

SJ Designs Honey Do List – August 2020


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Sarajo of SJ Designs Jewelry has a challenge on her blog every month. Her husband Eric, a great photographer, chooses a photo to inspire her jewelry making, and Sarajo invites us to play along.

Photo showing a monarch butterfly drinking nectar from an orange and yellow flower. Yellow stems can be seen in the background, along with the blue sky and pink accents, out of focus.
Photo by Eric Wentling

This month is a burst of color with this summer scene. It is especially appropriate because Sarajo has been raising and releasing monarchs in recent months. I had the perfect pendant from Humblebeads, so I couldn’t resist joining in!

Necklace with monarch butterfly pendant and bring rice shaped orange, round yellow and diamond table cute green beads inspired by the above photo.

I used a vintage pinch bail to connect this polymer Humblebeads monarch pendant to a strand of rich orange, bright yellow and fresh green vintage glass beads. I feel like these beads capture the summer colors of the photo, almost like the monarch pendant has landed here to drink some nectar.

Thanks Sarajo and Eric for the great inspiration and challenge! If you would like to see what others have made, visit Sarajo’s blog post.