Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beadin' Path Studio contest

I will take the walk of shame, but I will hold my head up high!

Heather at Beadin' Path and Dawno hosted a #TweetYourStudio contest. At the last minute I thought what the heck, and I took a picture of my work area. *shakes head* It is a mess, and I know it. I have too much stuff and too little room. At the same time, I know where everything is. If you ask me for anything, remarkably, I can walk right to it. Don't ask me how I do it, I don't know. I also know if anything has been moved or if anything is missing. I have a crafting sense I guess.

I got a tweet last nite, I have won the "Holy Cow! how do you work in that" prize. Heather has graciously offered me a $30.00 gift certificate to Beadin' Path as my prize! Thank you!!!

Drea Carbone-Kubacki won Best Use of Small Space

Jessica Price won Most Organized Studio Space (how do you find anything in that!??!:)

Here is the picture - I have added the numbers to tell you a bit about how I work.

1. That is what I call my mail center. This where I keep my boxes, packing material, tape - things I need when I ship a package.

2. My sewing machine - broke - it is now a catch all for my other crafts that are not jewelry making.

3. That is the cover my husband made for my earring board. The earring board is a shutter that I thread the earring cards thru. The cover keeps the earrings in place when I go to shows.

4.That is the murphy bed that my husband is building - he has taken 16 inches of my studio away from me - that is why it is in such a mess, i dont' have any more room! he thinks the murphy bed will be awesome for guests.......if you stopped by for an overnite visit, would you want to stay in that room????

5.My little work table for soldering and hammering. the coffee cans?? i store the dry mix for my vibrating tumbler in them, and my raw stones that need to be tumbled. I need a wet tumbler for that, but that is another story and another cup of coffee.

6.My other sewing machine - broke - on the floor under that is stacks of folded material, another sewing machine and a surger............i have a problem i think when it comes to sewing machines.

7. stacks of folded material, batting and stuffing - it is also where my cat sleeps when i am working.

8. storage for material - now that i am trying to explain myself, i am discovering i do have a problem.......

9. I store my finished jewelry in baggies in these 2 containers

10. That is my 'show gear' when I do a show, if I have room, I take my supplies with me and craft at the table to pass away the time. It is a great conversation starter and a great way to get ppl into your booth. They want to see what you are doing and it really helps them understand that, yes, you do make all of this by hand. It also allows me to make adjustments on the fly for the customer if it is not the right size, or to make a quickie pair of matching earrings.

11. That is my work table - stacked with with bags of supplies and my tools. That little bitty space right there in the front where my pliers are laying is the space I work in. All my creations happen in a bout a 18 x 5 " space.

There ya have it kids. A little bit more bout me. Thanks again to Heather at Beadin' Path and Dawno for coming up with such a fun idea and great prizes! Now I am off to Beadin' Path to pick out some goodies!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rings & Things September Blogger Challenge - Faceted Fans

I wanted to make something with the package of faceted fans I had received from Rings & Things. The package was a mixed gemstone strand. Jasper, agate, aventurine, sodalite, quartz were all in that beautiful bounty on a string. This morning I set to work, and work I did!

I separated out the gemstones, one group was of blacks, whites, neturals, the other was more of a fall mixture. That is what I will show you first. I used the fans and what supplies I had on hand. I have listed similar items that can be found at Rings & Things.

Bead, Gemstone, 10x10mm Faceted Fan (Mixed Stone)

Chain, Footage, Flattened Long & Short, 3.4mm (Antiqued Copper Plated)

Clasp, Toggle, Cast, Fancy (Antiqued Bronze)

Head Pin, 2", Standard (Antiqued Brass)

Jump Ring, Round, 5mm (Antiqued Copper Plated)

I used three 7" links of chain

Played around with the layout

One way to remember where you want your beads to be, is attach a jump ring to the link of the chain as a marker.

Now that I know where my beads will go, I will put the fans on a head pin. A head pin? I hear you say, well of course. Most of the faceted fans I see are wrapped at the top, I wanted to mix it up a bit, and put the fans, sideways on a head pin. Thinking on a slant today.

Slide the bead onto a head pin. Use your chain nosed pliers and hold the head pin, keeping the pliers flush with the bead. Bend the wire to a 45 degree angle.

Bend the wire around the end of the pliers to start the loop.

There are two ways you can attach the wire wrapped fan to the chain. Thread the end of the wire thru the chain link you want to attach the fan too, and then finish the wrap

Or - make a wire wrapped looped with each of the fans, and then open the link of the chain and slide on the wire wrapped bead. This is my preference.

I love this chain just for that reason. Being able to separate the links minimizes any mistakes.

I used a jump ring to bring all the ends together and to attach it to the toggle.

As an after thought, I also added jump rings to the chain. It gives it a fun mechanical feel and adds more movement to the piece. I added them randomly, every 4 to 6 link of chain or so. With a cost of just under .02 cents each, why not play with them!

Don't condemn your findings to a utilitarian existence! Let them be part of the design as well. There are no rules to designing, only that you have fun doing it.

Speaking of findings, I put the toggle in the front of this necklace and attached the fans to it. I let the toggle be the focal and accented it with the beads.

I used eye pins for the wrap. The eye pins are a ready made loop. Attached jump rings to the toggle and the eye pin to the jump ring allowing the charms to move freely.

Then I did a more traditional style necklace using the faceted fans and triple chain.

There ya have it, a busy mornings work showcasing faceted fan gemstones from Rings & Things!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Rings & Things September Blogger Challenge

Let me just say - WOW! - to Rings & Things and their gemstone choices. They have one of the best gemstone selections I have seen in an online supplier and their pricing makes shopping easy and painless for any budget.

I put together a necklace using the ocean jasper tip drilled 65 x 45mm tear drop pendant as the focal. This pendant was breath taking it was so beautiful. There were several places on the stone where it did not fully form and left wonderful crystal 'druzy' pockets. I could sit and look at it for hours, the colors, swirls, patterns and textures mesmerize me! This puppy nearly filled my palm it was so huge, and was only $8.00!! How do they do it?

I wanted to make this piece more earthy, fresher, that is why I used the wood beads and strung it on hemp. Something that would not be limited to season, that can be worn anytime but moreso by the person who is not limited by style or fashion. The person who makes their own statement will understand this necklace.

I accented the piece with wooden beads and jade rounds.

Close up of that beautiful focal

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beadin' Path Design Partner

Heather from Beadin' Path asked me if I would like to be one of their design partners. I squealed and danced and calmly sed


I got my first set of beads for review in the mail and I am stupid with excitement. The beads are a mix of beautiful fall colors, great shapes and awesome finishes.

Well see for yourself!

This is a stunning group of vintage lucite beads.
The red one on my wrist - LUC4759RD - I am gonna be hard pressed to unstring them. I love it as is for a bracelet. Oh the decisions!

Let me break down what I got cuz I know you are itching to get your own - these are truly lovely.

Moving from left to right:

LUC3448GR - Vinage Lucite Dark Green, Black & Green Swirled - 8mm rounds

- Vintage Lucite Tangerine Moonglow Teardrops (i love the name moonglow)

LUC4525OR - Vintage Lucite Tangerine Moonglow - 7mm rounds

LUC4809YL - Vintage Lucite Topaz Quad Cut Cube - 12mm

LUC4759RD - Vintage Italian Lucie Marbled Red w/ White - 12mm rounds

LUC3134YL - Vintage Lucite Mustard Moonglow Side Drilled Round Buttons - 9mm

LUC4725RD - Vintage Lucite Transparent Siam Ovals - 10 x 12mm

LUC646GR - Vintage Lucite Matte Marbled Moss Green - 10 mm rounds

I linked back to the ones I could find on the site, which is not easy, the search options does not work. The categories are broke down by bead type, and color which is brilliant - making searching easier. I can't complain to much about doing a manual search, I got to browse their awesome products and found these!!!

Sea Glass Square Spacer Matte Fire Opal Red 6x10mm approx. 19-23pc.

They look like candy, like those peach flavored gummie candies...I must have them!

After seeing these I am sure you have your own ideas floating around in your head - Stop on over and see the team at Beadin' Path - I know you will find what you are looking for!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Struggling with an idea - Attempt 1

Before I get into today's post, I wanted to make an update to yesterday's beading contests for 2010 entry. I got an email from Diann Gilbertson of Firemountain Gems letting me know that their contests have expanded to six times a year!! Diann says, "We just closed the CRYSTALLIZED- Swarovski ElementsContest and received some beautiful designs. Our next contest is Art Clay,Wire Work, Metal Beads and Chains- deadline January 12, 2010."

So get your thinkin' caps on kids and get those creatives juices flowing!


Here is my collection I got at I based this selection on the picture of this gore-juss flower. I used the picture as a guide for the colors, and I also wanted the necklace to have a floral feel, and I wanted it to flow. Now let's mix it up some, I wanted it bulky, and I wanted it to move. Like when breezes blow, and the whole plant, leaves and bloom sway and dance.

It is in my head, I can see it, but my fingers can't feel it. Yesterday was attempt 1. I am not happy with the way it turned out, and I will most likely re purpose it this weekend. Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean that I shouldn't share it. To grow as an artist, you need feedback - good or bad from your peers and mentors. That being sed - here is what I did:

I played around with a couple different ideas for the way I wanted it to look.

Added some of my findings from my supplies to try for yet again a different look.

Then I thought, "flowers" - I should add wooden beads as well.

First I used copper wire and did a basic wire wrapped loop connecting one bead to the copper loop and the other bead to the copper loop and to the filigree. I did this first so I would have an anchor as I built my strands.

I added a fun and 'sloppy' wrap to the Donut Rust Ripple pendant out of copper wire, to give it a bit of texture.

When I made the wire wrapped loops, I made them larger, because I am attaching three strands to it. I need the room.

Three strands of Green Spider Jasper Cubes later, attached to a brass toggle and 'braided', they are all attached to the filigree link.

Both sides done

I attached the rainbow carnelian squares to the outside links of the filgree and strung the pendant as a center focal.

On the inside links of the filgree I used the 8mm Topaz Druk beads alternating with wood.

It is nice, and long, it may even be pretty, but I see something else in my head.

I am welcome to any suggestions!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Looking Ahead - Beading Contest 2010

Welp, here it is nearing the end of September, and I am already thinking about next year!

I rounded up some of the beading contests for next year so you would have plenty of time to come up with a winning creation.

I got my fingers crossed!

Bead Dreams 2010
8 categories from jewelry to beaded items

8th Annual The Ugly Necklace Contest, 2010
Shopping spree's for first and second place.

Seed Beads Beading Contest
Firemountain Gems has six categories of great beading ideas. Win a shopping spree!

Your Designs Rock!
Rings & Things contest consists of five categories, with two chances to be entered into a raffel!

Not into contests?
These publications are always looking for submissions.

Beadwork's W.O.R.D ("What Our Readers Did")
Send photos of your projects to Work inspired by projects published in previous issues of Beadwork magazine are especially welcome. Selected submissions may be published in Beadwork magazine on the "Letters" page.

Jewelry Artist Monthly Design Challenge
Each month Jewelry Arist challenges artists to sketch a specific design challenge. A selection of sketches are published in the "Your Turn" section of the magazine. Complete rules and entry information in every issue of Jewelry Artist. Deadline varies (generally the 30th of the month).

Step by Step Beads "Gallery of Reader Work"
Step by Step Beads editor Leslie Rogalski periodically calls for reader submissions on a certain theme. Selected submissions may be published in the magazine or on the website. Submission details inside Step by Step Beads magazine.

Step by Step Wire Jewelry "Wire Works" Reader Gallery
Please send images of your original wire designs to Selected submissions may be published in Step by Step Wire Jewelry.

Bead Trends Magazine
Bead Trends is an international publication offering new categories each month for you to enter. Submissions accepted will be published.

Want a chance to be a designer?

Apply to become a 2010 Creative Artist Team member
EK Success Brands is looking for a potential 2010 Creative Artist Team member.

Good luck to you all!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Commissioned piece - Sugilite

My friend Vanessa gave me two donuts - one for me, one for her.

She had seen my Green Man necklace and wanted something similar but with a donut. She called these Pink Sugilite. I have never heard of it and was thrilled. I have done days of searching to find out more information and wanted to share it with you.

While searching for sugilite I only found the classic purples that we all know and love, it wasn't till I did a search for lavulite, another name for sugilite, did I find examples like the donuts pictured.

Sugilite or Lavulite is a beautiful stone and a fairly recent find in the gemstone world. Named after Ken-ichi Sugi, the discoverer of the gem, sugilite was introduced in 1944. Found on Iwagi Islet in Japan, it has since been found in Canada, Africa, Australia, Italy and India.

Most of us know it like this with it's beautiful opaque waxy luster and hues that range from a pale grayish lavender to a deep dark purple. I myself perfer the darker shades, which is probably why when I was first introduced to sugilite, I got it confused with charoite all the time. Has that ever happened to you?

I had to get the researching out of my way so I could concentrate on her necklace design. Here is how it turned out.

I added the silver bells I got from Rings & Things to give it a whimsical feel, along with garnet heishi cut beads and black crystals.

It is a fun and simple design so not to draw away from that beautiful focal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall color trends 2009

Happy Fall!! It got here so quick!! If anyone finds where my time went, could you let me know???

I wanted to give you a taste of the fall colors for this year, as found at The colors are so warm and delicious - like a berry pie. They really are very appetizing!

I see lapis and mookite, amethyst and citrine, carnelian and rhodinite!! They are all here.

Rings & Things has a perfect fit:

Pendant, Gemstone, Tip-Drilled Teardrop, 65x45mm (Rhodonite)
I LOVE this pendant!!!

Bead, Gemstone, 12mm Faceted Rondelle (Carnelian)

Art Beads has some great selections!

8mm Lapis Lazuli Faceted Coins

Mookaite 6x3mm Disc

so many colors for this years trend are right here in this strand!!!

Bead In Path offers great accents to these gemstones

Vintage Lucite Clear w/Purple Specks hoop w/Top Hole 35mm 8pc.

Vintage German Glass 10mm Topaz Triangular 15pc.

So many beautiful choices for your next creations! What will you make??