Saturday 31 May 2014

Personal Challenge Met! 31 Postings in 31 Days

At the beginning of May I gave myself a personal challenge to post 31 new items this month.  I started late, May 3rd actually but managed to get on track by May 9th.

Today is the final day of May, and the 31st item was posted earlier today.  It’s very exciting to see so many items listed in my store!  Come have a look.  And just to tempt you, here are some of the latest postings:

Twilight Sky Necklace (Sold)
Acrylic Beads, Aluminium

Almost Herringbone Earrings (Sold)
Dumorterite, Sterling Silver

Thumbelina’s Garden Pendant
Amethyst, Aventurine

Friday 30 May 2014

Art Bead Scene – May Inspiration

Art Bead Scene is an interactive blog with the goal of uniting bead artists of all materials and the jewelry designers who use art beads in their work.  One of the methods they use to encourage creativity is to run a monthly inspiration photo and ask everyone to create a piece that reflect the spirit of the photo, either mood, setting, colours, any combination.

I decided to give it a try, mainly because I have some wonderful art beads just begging to be used.  I created this necklace back at the beginning of the month:

Tinted Moss Necklace (Sold)

The focal of this necklace, and the item that qualified it for inclusion in the blog and their Flickr group photos is the gorgeous handmade Lampwork drop bead. 

I made hand shaped and hammered copper drops to complement it and used Carnelian gemstone beads and fire polished green glass beads to bring out the varied colours.  Everything is strung on a copper wire and wrapped with a second copper wire which keeps all the pieces nicely in place.

Here is the inspiration photo, the Capriccio Padovano painted by Bernardo Bellato in 1741:

Capriccio Padovano, 1741
by Bernardo Bellatto
Oil on Canvas
19.3" x 28.7" (49 x 73 cm)

Doesn’t it just make you want to head off to Italy right now?

Reveal: Stinky Dog Beads Challenge and Blog Hop

Here it is, the reveal for the Stinky Dog Beads Challenge and Blog Hop, co-sponsored by Lorelei Huerto.  You may recall from my earlier post that this challenge is centered on a small kit that each participant purchases and uses as the starting point for their designs.  As a reminder, here are the beads from the kit:

And here is the first item:

Teal Impressions in Flight (Sold)

I decided to make this necklace asymmetrical to better show off all the beautiful beads.  From the Stinky Beads kit I used the Mykonos Bird Charm, 2 of the Mykonos green patina Leaf Charms and the 4 extra large English Cut Blue Luster Beads.  From my studio supplies I added a copper chain and toggle clasp, large Freshwater Pearls dyed pink blush and tiny seed beads to match the Blue Luster beads.  I’m happy with how it came together and will post the necklace in my store once I clean up the pictures a bit.

Next, a pair of charming earrings:

Swinging Flowers (Sold)

I made these earrings using the beautiful matte teal Reproduction Floral double drilled Ovals, the remaining 2 Mikonos Leaf Charms, the same Freshwater Pearls as in the necklace and more copper.  I took 20 gauge pure copper wire, formed the half round at the top to the right size, hammered them flat then added the glass ovals.  I originally planned to make copper ovals for the bottom side but couldn’t quite get them to work.  Instead I made simple wire wrapped loops and hung one Leaf Charm and one Freshwater Pearl from each loop

Finally, I branched out into a different colour direction, blue and garnet:

Bee Flight

This bracelet contains the pretty little Bee Bead, the antique silver Braided Wreath connector and the Garnet Stone Chain.  The clasp is a charming Swan lobster clasp that came as a thank you gift in my package, along with all the extra items I ordered, from Stinky Dog Beads.   From my collection I added large hole Sodalite beads and glass spacer beads with blue and gold hues to complement the beads.  I used Waxed Cotton Cord to string the beads and bee on and to hold the wreath connector in place.

So, what did I not use?  The Mykonos green patina Bead Cones and Silver Bar / Button beads.  I’m saving these to play with another time, along with my other purchases from Stinky Dog.

All of these pieces will appear in my store in the next few days, as soon as I clean up the remaining pictures that is

Now, have some fun checking out what the other participants made:

Sunday 25 May 2014

Coming Soon – Stinky Dog Beads Blog Hop and Challenge

Blog hops and challenges can become addictive.  I have seen some blogs where the blog owners are constantly participating in challenges, or at least their posts are all about the challenges they participate in

I don’t quite plan to follow that path.  The blog hops and challenges are fun and help me stretch in design and abilities so I will definitely be continuing to participate, but just a few

A one-time hop and challenge is the Stinky Dog Beads Blog Hop and Challenge, co-sponsored by Lorelei Huerto.  This one is centered on a small kit that each participant purchases and uses as the starting point for their designs.  At least some of the beads in the kit must be used.  Each participant can also add or substitute some of their own beads, and can make as many pieces as they want

The reveal for the blog hop is on May 30th 

Here are the beads from the kit:

Each kit contains:

  • 1 Braided Wreath Connector
  • 1 Brass Bee Bead
  • 4 Faceted Teal English Cut Extra-large Nuggets
  • 2 Matte Teal Reproduction Floral Double Drilled Glass Ovals
  • 1 Foot of Garnet Stone Chain
  • 2 Mykonos Bead Cones
  • 1 Mykonos Bird Charm/Pendant
  • 4 Mykonos Cast Leaf Charms
  • 4 Mykonos Silver Bar/Button Beads

Here’s another view of the kit:

Sunday 18 May 2014

Update on my Personal Challenge – 31 Postings in 31 Days

On May 9th I wrote about the sad state of my online store.  I gave myself a personal challenge to post 31 new items this month.  I started late, May 3rd actually but managed to get on track by May 9th.

So now, it’s May 17th and….I have managed to stay on track.  This week it seemed like I was behind by one posting all week, but I finally managed to catch up today.

Here are some of the items posted in the last few days.  Check them out.  

Red Square Pendant with
Red Creek Jasper & Sterling Silver

Climbing Vine Necklace (Sold)
Lapis Lazuli & Copper

Dark Queen Necklace
Lampwork Beads, Sterling Silver

Friday 16 May 2014

We’re All Ears – May Challenge

I had so much fun with the We’re All Ears challenge last month that I decided I would try again.  This month the inspiration is Zigzag Nerite shells:

Zigzag Nerite shells - Neritina Communis - from Atlantis Shell Co
Spark of Nehrite

Zigzag Nerite shells - from

Oh boy!  This one was a challenge.  I love the colours in the shells but wasn’t coming up with any interpretation ideas.  I was ready to throw in the towel yesterday, the day before reveal, when a bead package arrived in the mail and I came up with this design:

The bulk of the shipment is for a different challenge that I am trying but there were a few other items that I could not resist getting.  One of these was a bundle of ceramic beads with a bird pendant and a small heart pendant.  The remainder were pretty little ceramic beads of different colours and finishes.  All are handmade by Gaea Cannaday.

In that ceramic bead bundle I found the start of my inspiration, 2 ceramic beads of an antique white colour very similar to the white of the shells in the lower picture.  I went dashing through a very large pile of beads I had set aside and found some mother of pearl shell beads in a pretty orange, and picked through them until I found the perfect match to the orange of the shells at the bottom of the picture.

I had the main colours and now needed to bring in the darker complements.  I did this by using some pewter buttons that were stashed away, some very rough cut archeological style beads I had recently picked up and tied it all together with black mousetail and gunmetal ear wires, jump rings and balled head pins.

These earrings and this challenge really stretched me and made me explore a method I’ve never used before.  All that and not a gemstone in sight.

Check out all the other interpretations here.

Friday 9 May 2014

Personal Challenge – 31 Postings in 31 Days

With everything that has been happening this year, I was neglecting my online store a little too much.  The postings were stale to say the least

Well, I decided this was not good.  A little slow on the uptake sometimes it seems.  Oh, I had posted a few things but not nearly enough for the amount of time that’s passed.

So…I have given myself a challenge, 31 new postings in 31 days.  Of course I ended up being late off the mark on this one too.  I didn’t make the decision until Sunday which is when the first posting went up.  Only 3 behind right off the mark!

Well, today I am back on schedule – 9 days and 9 postings done.  Only 22 more to go to reach my goal.  It should be fun!

Here are some of the items already posted.  Check them out.  They are available to purchase in my store.  

Purple All Around (Sold)
Amethyst, Lepidolite, Sterling Silver

Monet's Garden
Lampwork Beads, Lapis and Matte Aventurine
14 Kt Gold
Lavender Circles (Sold)
Lavender and Bright Fuchsia Freshwater Pearls

Saturday 3 May 2014

Inspired by our Visitors

Last post was all about the annual spring visit by “our ducks”.  We’ve noticed that the female is getting quite round as we call it.  The nest will be occupied very soon.

Those gorgeous pictures, taken by my husband, have inspired me to use their distinctive colours in a new jewellery piece.  Here’s what I’ve put together:

I decided to make the piece all in pearls to have a lustrous look throughout.  Now to decide whether to use brass (on the left side) or copper (wire on the right side).  I have a focal in mind that I will make from one of these metals.