Saturday, June 1, 2013

Anklet Blog Hop...

Believe it or not, I had never designed an anklet before joining this hop.  That's kinda why I had to do it, and gladly accepted the challenge.  The wonderful and talented Kashmira Patel was the hostess with the mostess, and did a wonderful job organizing and keeping us on track.  Our mission?  To create an anklet or two, and have fun doing it.  

Mission Accomplished:

Biggest lesson learned?  It's very difficult to be your own anklet model...sorry you cannot see how fun they look on!

Here is the list of participants...have fun hopping!!

Kashmira Patel
Kaushambi Shah
Will post on Kashmira's blog
Jean Wells
Mischelle Fanucchi
Shellie Grindie
Ginger Bishop
Monique U
Cynthia Machata
Kay Thomerson
Mimi Gardner
Anindita Basu
Rita (Toltec Jewels)
Gina Hockett
Tammie Everly
Dyanne Cantrell
Ema Kilroy
Emma Todd
K Morgan
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson        
Cheri Reed
Rochelle Brisson
Michelle Buettner
Sandra McGriff
Stephanie Weiss
Shelley Graham Turner
Lynda Carson
Roxanne Mendoza

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Earring Swap Blog Hop...

Another fun swap and another new friend!  The networking opportunity these blog hops provide is invaluable.  I've met so many incredible people, and it's always nice to be among those that love to design as much as I do.

This time around, Jessica Murray from Whimsical Monkey played hostess and paired me with the lovely Paula Hisel of Simply Beadiful.  The idea was simple...create a pair of earrings and swap with your partner!  Both Paula and I are blogging about what we sent and what we received.  You can check out her blog at

It's hard to know what someone else's taste may be in jewelry when you haven't really met yet, that's where the challenge comes in, so I stayed true to my love of Vintaj Natural Brass and followed my heart.  These are the earrings I created for Paula:

Maybe I was just hoping they would help bring Spring to Wisconsin?  Besides the Vintaj, they include Swarovski crystals and Czech pressed glass floral beads.  I sent them off hoping she would love them...and she did!

A few days later, I received my package from Paula.  I could hardly wait to open it, and it was fun to see her continue the Spring floral theme!  Aren't these absolutely adorable??  

She used flat washers and lock washers from the hardware store...what a creative girl!  I even love the pink paint card backing for them.  She has started a new line of washer jewelry and it is such fun!

A big thank you to Jessica for her work on organizing the swap, and another to Paula for being such a great partner.  I'll be taking a little break from hops with Bead & Button and a busy June coming up, but stay tuned for more fun...

Don't forget to check out Paula's page and site as well!
Blog Participants: 
Jessica Murray: 
Inge von Roos: 
Nancy Smith:
Marianne Baxter:
Leah Tees:
Andrea Trank:
Miranda Ackerley:
Cheri Mitchell-Reed:
Susan Kennedy:
Michele Dotson:
Deanna Cox:
Shelley Graham Turner:
Ingrid McCue:
Lennis Carrier:
Ginger Davis Allman:
Mary Anne Flesch:
Nicole Valentine Rimmer:
Stephanie Weiss:
Silvia Sernicola:
Karla Morgan:
Kay Thomerson:
Paula Hisel:
Carol Dillman:
Spun Sugar Beadworks:
Tara Plote:
Rachel Baron:
Laurie Keefe:
Kashmira Patel:
Gina Hockett:
Shellie Grindy:
Shai Williams:
Dyanne Cantrell:
Mimi Gardner:
Jessica McMullen:
Jennifer LaVite:
Laura Medeiros:
Alenka Obid:
Elsie Fonseca:
Cheryl Dunham:
Sandra McGriff:
Tania Spivey:
Mowse Doyle:

Beccy Peterson: Beccy's Baubles
Mischelle Fanucchi:
Marde Lowe: FanciMar Designs

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Diamonds in the Rough...

ZNet Shows Wholesale Beads put out a challenge to their Design Team to create pieces utilizing product we could select from a list they provided, as well as a few surprises they would add in.  I could hardly believe all the beautiful items I received to work with!  Of course I was so excited to dig in and start playing, I didn't take a "before" shot.  You would think I would know better, wouldn't you?  I have been able to create 4 pieces so far, and hope to add another few within the coming weeks.  Ready to take a look??

DG303-07    Bone Pendant
CB9-02B   Red Bamboo Coral Beads

The bone pendant just seemed to scream bracelet to me.  I used Vintaj Natural Brass filigree for the main structure of the bracelet, and topped off the pendant with a brass flower and enamel flower.  Both sides of the bracelet are double chains, and one side of the toggle has a cute butterfly and Coral Bead dangles.

BDS371-08 Mother of Pearl Beads 
PDG243-06 Abalone Shell Pendant
Along with gorgeous Shell Beads thrown in for good measure!

This was one of my favorite pieces to work on!  The Abalone Shell donut seemed a perfect fit for a dragonfly, both for it's colors as well as the water it loves so much.  One side of the design is the Shell Beads ZNet Shows included in my packet, and the other is large chain links with Mother of Pearl Bead dangles down it.  It feels so good on...I just may have to keep this one for myself!

BDS371-08 Mother of Pearl Beads 

I was originally going to use two of the other sets of beads I chose from the list to make wrap bracelets.  When I saw the gorgeous Mother of Pearl, I knew it had to be the star of it's own piece.  I used a Czech glass button from my collection as the clasp, and have a small purple rivet attached for a little bling.

PDG290-01  Mauve Shell Flower Pendant
With an added Shell Heart and 2 Rose Cabochons!

I fell in love with the shell heart that showed up at my door step, and the Shell Flower Pendant was just so sweet.  Shell looks so lovely with Vintaj Natural brass, and the filigree addition to the heart really shows off it's natural color.  The Rose Cabochons were wrapped in small filigree and the green added another natural touch of color.

Thank you again to ZNet Shows Wholesale Beads for their generosity and letting me "play" with their products.  I'll definitely let you know when my additional pieces are completed so you can see the other items I had so much fun creating with!

ZNet Shows is having a Blog Hop Reveal with all the designers, as well as a Top 20 Design Contest beginning at midnight.  You can find all the details on their page:

Fingers crossed one of my designs makes the cut!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Soup's On!

I cannot express how much I enjoy participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party!  It's a chance to make new beady friends, work with a surprise mix of beads and findings, and possibly even work outside my comfort zone.  This year I was lucky enough to be partnered with Susan Nelson Bowie of Stones and Bones Jewelry Design.  Susan sent a wonderful "Organic Soup Mix" for me to work with - how creative!!

And to top it off?  She was even sweet enough to send DESSERT!

Some of the ingredients Susan sent I had never worked with before:  Bone, Horn, Shells, Petrified Wood, Nuts, & Seeds...with a sprinkling of vintage quartz, copper, & vintage black onyx.  She was so generous with her ingredients that I was able to complete quite a few pieces...I couldn't stop!  I will definitely be incorporating these new found friends in future pieces, and loved working with everything she sent.

Ready??  Here we go!

My first set used the fun Tagua Nut focal, some bone and horn, with a bit of Vintaj Arte Metal thrown in for good measure:

The second set featured the Cowrie shells, Afgani Date Seeds, bone, and lots of Vintaj Natural Brass:

My third piece was a bracelet using the beautiful copper beads, toggle, and vintage quartz:

I also started 3 different focals with some of the "leftovers":

LOVE the copper color with those!

I can see some of those vintage quartz beads dangling from the top of the leaf,
won't this be perfect in a piece with those gorgeous black onyx beads??

The copper flower was a gift from a special friend...
and now it's part of a piece from my new friend.

Still some embellishing to do on these 3 with dangles and bits of sparkle, and then of course incorporating them into pieces of their own.  I told you I couldn't stop!!  :)

I want to thank the incredible Lori Anderson for being the "Hostess with the Mostest".  This year there were over 500 people participating, and she had to coordinate 3 separate reveal dates to fit us all in.  I feel so blessed she introduced me to Susan, and feel I have definitely met a kindred spirit.  Susan, you totally rock and I couldn't have hoped for a better partner!  Please make sure to stop by Susan's blog to see the ingredients I sent her and what she came up with!

Click on the picture below for a list of the other hopping left to be done on our 2nd reveal...I guarantee you will see incredible designs by some very special people!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Hop

Over 500 people signed up for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Hop this year!  Holy Cow!  I am so impressed by Lori Anderson, the founder/organizer of the Hop, and all the hard work she puts into this for everyone.  Lori has a new book out about Bead Soup as well, and I will be lucky enough to receive a copy when I attend the Bead Soup event at the Bead & Button Show this year.

How does it work?  Lori pairs up participants, then we raid our bead stashes and send each other ingredients for soup that includes a focal bead, a clasp, and accent beads.  I have been partnered with Susan Nelson Bowie of Stones and Bones Jewelry Design.  Susan creates beautiful pieces showcasing her love of nature, and are filled with her beautiful spirit.  Her free-style peyote necklace is truly amazing, and one of my favorites:

My ingredients for Susan to work with are on the way to her, but I can't share what I sent until she receives them.  Here is a little tease I made for her before mailing it off:

And here is the tease of the ingredients she sent to me:

I cannot wait to receive it, and start the soup simmering!!  Stay tuned for the un-disguised photos after we each receive them, and the reveal date to see our creations is April 6th!

Too exciting!  New beads, new challenge, and new friends...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I'm going to Tucson...

Well, at least one of my designs is!  I will be there in spirit.

I am so excited and honored that one of my designs was chosen to head to Tucson with ZnetShows.  In my previous post I mentioned being chosen to join a design team for their Cultured Sea Glass, and this piece was chosen to be displayed in their booth at Tucson with all the other gorgeous designs the team came up with.

I have always wanted to go to the Tucson Show, and some day I will.  For now, I am thrilled that a part of me will be there.

Thanks to Bill and the ZnetShows team for letting me join them...stop by and see them at the GLW Gem Mall, Booth 1411 from February 2 - 15!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Design Team...

First of all, a HUGE thank you to ZnetShows for the gorgeous Cultured Sea Glass Beads, crystal, and toggles they sent me to work with.  They were so generous, and all the fun shapes and goodies truly made my job so much fun.

I have always loved sea glass, but haven't had the opportunity to work with it.  I am so thrilled with the dark aqua color they sent me, as each design team member received a different colorway.  Not only does it look terrific with silver and gunmetal, but also with Vintaj Natural Brass which is definitely a staple in my designs.

I wanted to create some simple pieces for everyday wear, and some special pieces to wear special places.  I started with silver, as it made me think of summer, sun...and the beach!  Then I moved on to the Vintaj which added a rich, more vintage look to the sea glass.

My designs have been featured on the ZnetShows facebook page, so head on over and check them out along with all the gorgeous entries from the other designs.  I apologize for the quality of the photos, as I haven't been able to find which box my good camera is in since the move!  I'm sure it's sitting in a box in the storage unit labeled "Kitchen".  ;-)

Now head on over to ZnetShows and show them a little love...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Another great challenge...

I absolutely love getting packages in the mail, especially when I don't know exactly what is going to be in them!  I have been invited to join the Sea Glass Design Team for ZNetShows, and my goodies to design with arrived today. 

I received a gorgeous assortment of sea glass shapes in the beautiful darker blue shown above, along with an assortment of their crystal and beads, and some pretty gunmetal toggles. I took a couple pictures of the stash before I dug in this afternoon, and will be posting them along with the finished pics of my designs this weekend. My first one is already complete, and I'm working on number 2!

Head over to ZNetShows to check out their site.  I'm hoping one of my designs may head to Tucson with them, and who knows...maybe I can even take Best of Show!  :)

Stay tuned for more details...