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!