Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Obsession

Well okay, so 'obsession' it's not... really... well... LOL maybe a bit at first ... lol

Oh and YES, look! Two blog posts withing the same MONTH!! Whoohoo! And not only that, but the month is not even half over!!

I know... I'm rather astonished as well...

But enough of giving in to the shock of the unexpected blogging ;)  I figured I'd share a new 'thing' , and tell a bit about what I've been up to, in between visiting the Bead Hoarders hop list from my last post... yes, I'm still hopping... you guys should know if the list is longer then twenty blogs, I'm not doing it in one day... or possibly even one week... lol The problem is that all the pretties blend together until I can't remember who made what... and I'm buried under 'ideas' until I just can't take another step on the 'hop path'.  I know there are those who feel similar, so at least now you know you're not alone :)

Anyhow, the other night I went to a retirement party for a coworker, and rather than give her a specific piece of jewelry I took a small selection and told her to choose the one she wanted. For those on my FB list who saw me post of the 'necklace' that morphed into a pair of earrings... those were the ones she chose :)
note- this pic was taken before I changed the ear wires to a simple oval style instead
And that was despite the fact she doesn't wear green, she just loved them too much to NOT choose them :D  I was fairly confident that she'd go for the blue goldstone pair, since she wears a lot of browns, and despite my saying she could have two pairs, she decided to 'be strong' and just took the one... at which point other coworkers wanted to see what I made. By the end of the night, I'd sold three pairs of earrings and a necklace. I was also told that I should take that little case with me all the time... and one lady told me I needed a bigger case ;) lol  Needless to say, it was a wonderful boost for my creative 'ego', which is never sure if people will like my stuff well enough to buy it.

I am really glad that I decided to do it, and had the foresight to get some change that morning at the bank. I'll be toting along my little bag from now until Christmas at least... the case of jewelry is in one pouch, money for change is in another, and a whack-load of little black organza bags is in the third. I'm considering whether or not to move it into a bit bigger bag and add a small kit with tools to be able to do quick adjustments, just not sure I want to carry it around too ;)

That night when I got home, I found my one of my stashes of finished pieces and filled the empty slots, then set aside a bunch I wanted to either change, or add to. Last night I added some little bits to three 'charm' bracelets I'd made ages ago, but never fully finished. No pictures taken yet, but I really like the way they turned out, and I doubt I'll have them long once I offer them for sale. I'll try to have pics taken of them for next time. All three are on nice thick silver-tone chain, with glass bead dangles and hook clasps so they can be adjusted if needed. One is blue, and I added a few little silver snow flakes and owls. The green glass one has a few little silver leaves and roses, and the purple glass one has silver dragonflies and fairies. Why? Because I felt like it ;) lol 


You want to see them now?

You don't want to wait until whenever I decide to post again?

Well... I suppose you have a point.... gods only know when this blogging bug might bite again...

 Hang on while I go grab the camera, play photographer, then pop them through fotofuze to fix the back grounds.




Still waiting?

:D hehe .. okay, here they are :)

 Didn't they turn out pretty :) The blue and the green I did first, and since the headpins had nice big heads, I didn't even think of adding anything on the ends... Apparently I used all of those nice big ones though, because I remember having my purple beads slide right off the headpins when I started it, and that's why I thought of adding the silver spacers to the bottoms. Now I wish I'd put them on all of them, but I refuse to  redo all of that just for that itty bitty bit of muse-poking; they're beautiful as is, and I tested each bead individually to make sure there was no way it was going to come off that pin.

The green tested me, since usually when I think 'green' I think 'gold' or 'brass' ... silver and green just doesn't bite me as a usual combo... however, I was out of gold chain at the time I had the desire to make these, and when I tried, I found I rather liked it. The leaves and roses make me think 'summer' which also leans towards the gold tone... but despite that, I love it the way it is with the silver :) See? I pushed myself away from my usual and went with something different.. and it works :D

 Oh yeah... I never did tell you about that obsession thing I started to write this thing for, did I? Well, I have pics to go with that too, so...   how about I do that ? That would be a good idea, huh? lol

So a couple weeks ago I was out doing some Christmas shopping and I discovered a new store had finally opened, so I popped in. They had the cutest wooden buttons that immediately demanded I buy them and make jewelry with them. It'd looked like each pattern was on one large button and two smaller ones... perfect for pendant and matching earrings :) When I got home, I discovered that the two smaller ones where actually different sizes >.< So... I went back and got another pack of each, then sorted them out into sets of three, tossing in beads to match, and getting right to work in cutting wire and choosing components. Everything went into a container with compartments, so everything for each piece was all in one slot. I recommend doing this whenever you get the ideas for something and know EXACTLY what you want to put together, but don't have the time to get right to work on them :) I know if I hadn't done this right away, they'd have ended up stuck in a drawer or bin somewhere, forgotten :(

 Here are the ones I have the earrings and pendants made for.

For this one, I went with antique brass wire, and grey/purple tones.Those are greyish-purple Czech glass leaves, with one grey, and two different shades of purple crystals.

The next one, I went with silver artistic wire, peachy streaked Czech leaves, and a mix of crystals in green, peach, and a dark purple. Sorry about the slightly blurred pic... I was too lazy to find my stand for the camera and move to set it up right >.< lol

This one is the first one I put together. Silver Artistic wire with blue, white, and purple crystals, and a blue glass faceted teardrop.

I'm still debating on the chains for them... so far I keep going back to a simple chain, with a few beaded links to tie it together.  Either that or a cord, instead... although, since I have two sets of each pattern, I might just do one on a chain, and one on a cord :) Satisfy both sides of the muse ;)

Huh... you know, I just realized that all of the crystals, clasps, head pins, silver charms and beads, and the czech glass used in  all of these pieces in this post... all came from Bead Box Bargains... I guess I'll have to go share these pics on their fb group page, too :)  The larger glass beads were bought locally, and I have no memory of where I got the chain... but it's possible it came from BBB too... I'm just not sure >.<

I have several more to do yet, some of which are partially done and just waiting for me to finish off adding a bead or two, and others are waiting for me to find where I hide my gold toned 20g wire to make the pendant... if I can't find it soon, I'll have to figure out an alternative method using the headpins instead, since I KNOW where they are ;)

Oh, and I'll have to do another post soon to show you the fun I was having playing with resin, assorted metal bits, and nailart sprinkles :D SPARKLY!! :D heheh... but that can wait for another time ;)

Hope you enjoyed this extra little post with lots of pictures and things that I actually managed to get MADE :)  Maybe when I manage to completely finish my button jewelry sets , as in chain/cord and all, I'll offer one up in a little giveaway to celebrate :)  Any one interested? ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop.

Like most creative types, I have my own little 'hoard' of treasures.

Well, alright... actually I have several different hoards, since I have many creative interests... >.<

However, THIS is about one type of hoard in specific... BEADS. More to the point, those 'special' beads that were bought on a whim... or for a very specific reason or idea, but were never actually used. Those beads that get taken out and looked at, touched, teased by ideas of 'what if's' and 'maybe if I's, but always end up put away again unused. They usually reach a point where you're no longer sure if you 'can' use them simply because they've been a part of your collection for so long...

Lori Anderson of  Bead Soup fame, has challenged us to dig deep into our bead hoards and put some of those treasures to use at long last.  Luckily for me, this was a challenge that I've been trying hard to do all year long... and yet, while I've managed to use quite a few of my special art beads... most of them were newly acquired and barely had time to become part of my hoard >.<

For the past month I've been considering what ones to use for this challenge. I have a little set from Grubbi beads that I bought a few years ago with an idea ... that vanished by the time the beads arrived, and have since been in two different 'bead soup' possibles, and have lost out on going both times. I could certainly use them... have plenty in the colour palette right here within arms reach...

I could also definitely use some of my Skye Jewels treasures. All of the beautiful tiles I've bought form her over the past couple years, were all bought with a plan in mind... and yet only ONE has even managed to get used and move on to a new home.

.... and I can't seem to find where I put that picture... >.<   NEXT!!

Or my nice little Treewing Studio collection... of which I believe I've used all of two, and passed on one in my last BSBP to my partner, Audrey.

TreeWingStudio's Sleepy Critter Owl

In the one above, I even used some of my Czech flower hoard... yes I have hoards within my hoard.... don't you?

TreeWing Studio Owl.

Another thing I hoard... gemstone chips. I LOVE gemstone chips... I just rarely use them >.< lol And pearls.. another love to collect  yet rarely use.. and in the above piece I used both! so I dipped into THREE separate hoards within my hoard for that one :)

And of my Marsha Neal collection I've managed to use two ...

Marsha Neal Skull pendant, with some assorted gemstone beads
Both of the ones featuring my Marsha Neal treasures, also dipped into my gemstone hoard. Specifically, my black/grey section of that hoard... one of my smallest parts of that collection oddly enough despite the amount of black I use... that particular hoard should be bigger... don;t you think?
Marsha Neal Bat pendant with assorted gemstone beads

And I just shared some of the creations I made using some of my Marti's Buttons n' Beads, and MarlasMudd  treasures in my last post,  and I've got a whole bunch made using my Tori Sophia treasures, but most of those are too new to have been 'hoarded' very long, so I'll save those for a future post.

Now, you've seen all of those before here, so I suppose I should share at least one new piece made using some of my 'oldest' treasures...

Waaaay back when the Blogger/Non-Blogger challenge started at BSC, I won one of the rounds, and Robin Kae Reed sent me a massive pile of treasures as my prize. Most of that little treasure hoard I haven't used at all... so for this challenge I made myself dig into it. Among the treasures were some huge gemstones, some rough cut, some smoothed. I had no CLUE what to do with them to start with, since I hadn't begun to delve into wire wrapping just then. This is one of those stones; An amethyst just over an inch long. I've paired it up with some peacock pearls that I've been saving from my very first bead order. That gorgeous Sari silk there is the last bit left over from my latest BSBP soup.

Well, there you have it. If I do come across that photo of that dragonfly necklace I mentioned way up there, I'll edit it in here, because I KNOW I posted it somewhere... just gotta find it >.<

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my treasures put to use, and be sure to check out everyone elses!

You can find the list of participants here -> HOP LIST

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Artisan Showcase :)

Marla  of Artisan Component Marketplace  is hosting a little design contest, to showcase items made using components from their various vendors. In an effort to continue blogging more often than once every few months, I decided to share all of these in a blog post, rather than simply toss them into an album and share through there :) Most of these I've shared in previous posts, but I've redone the photos and collected them all in one post.. and there IS one new piece ;)

First up we have some equestrian themed components from Marti's Buttons n' Beads

 I paired her horseshoe charms ( that she began making at my request ;) you're welcome :D hehe), with some pearls that almost perfectly matched the bluish colour of the shoes :) Done with Antique Bronze Artistic wire, they hang approx, 2"

Another pair of horseshoe charms, this time in a link with the shoe in a darker blue. I'd originally intended to have these sewn onto denim, but... my sewing skills leave much to be desired >.< lol
Instead, I have them with assorted blue glass beads and raw copper.
These hang a little over 2".

The bracelet bar was also originally supposed to be on denim, but again... I keep forgetting I can't sew >.< More assorted blue glass beads and bright copper to the rescue :)

Below is a peacock pendant that she made as a special request. It was available in her shop as a button, but I pouted and flashed her puppy dog eyes, and tada... :) I tossed about every bluey/green  bead I had into a dish and mixed them up, then strung a bunch onto this triple strand necklace. There's a bit of everything in here, from Czech glass, to various gemstones, to shell chips, to pearls.

Next up, we have some components from MarlasMud

I was fortunate enough to win both of these beautiful skull pendants from her shop last year. I do love how both designs came out, but I'm getting the urge to take them apart and try something different with them instead.
Above, I paired her pendant with a couple lampwork beads by Gail of Oregon Handmade , then made a beaded chain in colours to match.
Below I went a different route, and added some recycled silk, and a strand of MOP chips, and Czech glass.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween :)

As promised... another post by Halloween.. or.. ON Halloween since.. this is it ;)

So here's the update on the autumn painting from my last post.  Just a few touches added with bare branches through the bushes that you can't see very well here, and the ground.

Halloween costumes ... originally planned on doing a dryad/ forest spirit... then I found the little clip on horns... so I painted them up, added some furry little leg warmers and went with a faun lol My hood fell back from the wind, and you can't see the makeup very well... photos were a fail this year along with everything else >.<

My mom came up straight from work... where she was dressed as a clown. She was the only one who wore a costume, and she scared the crap out of her dogs this morning before she left... but she, like me, is never too old to enjoy dressing up for Halloween :) She has a costume on, but it was COLD outside, so she's bundled up in my Jedi robe lol
 This years jack o'lantern.... not as fabluous as last years, but the landlady grabbed the wrong pumpkin last night; I left mine by my door and hers were by the steps. I guess one of the kids had moved them around, and this morning when I went down to get mine, there was a bigger one in it's place... and it had a big flat spot that was just begging to be made into a face lol Despite that, the nose still ended up crooked, but oh well :) We brought him up stairs with us when we abandoned our trick-treater posts, and he's sitting in front of the tv where we can enjoy him.

And here's what the place looked like earlier. I had nothing to do with the decorating. Usually I add stuff to it, but this year I just didn't the time, or the will to stay out in the cold wet long enough .

 There ya go... a second post within a WEEK. Of course, the only reason I did one this soon, was because people were asking for another recipe... so here it is.

My great grandmother's recipe ->   Stuffed Bologna 

Instructions first, followed by photos of the process ;) BTW, Little Gram was what we called my great grandmother... because she was about 5' tall, compared to my gram, who was about 6' ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Octoberfest Bloghop

*shushes the crickets as she clears away the cobwebs*

Yes, I AM still here. I'm sorry for the long silences between posts, but I just haven't felt the blogging bug biting me >.<  But here I am, as promised, to celebrate my favorite time of year :)

 Due to far too much rain and cold these past few weeks, I was unable to get out and take photos of all the beautiful golds and reds, and sore feet have put a damper on my long walks in search of the colours that still remain... as of today, the golds and reds are already mostly browns and blahs :(  That said, I do have photos to share that I took earlier in the month!

Below are a few shots taken at the biggest fall festival in my area 'PumpkinFest'. These was taken inside one of the big tents, where they were weighing all the giant giant pumpkins and other veggies in hopes of finding a new world record.

 The pumpkins were all so large that they had to be move via slings and forklifts!  The one in this photo weighed well over a thousand pounds :)

I was bitten by the painting bug a few times this month, and an autumn themed painting was always on the list, but until yesterday, it didn't happen. Even now, it's still not finished but I took some pics to share anyhow :)

 To start with, I took red, burnt orange, and antique golden yellow, and just drizzled it in zigzagging lines across the canvas, then took a sponge and dabbed them all together.

 Then once it all dried, I took a skinny sponge brush, and added in brown and a soft powdery blue. This about three quarters done now, and completely sponged at this point. Next I'll take the paint brush in and do some detail work, so whenever I get that done, I'll share it again :)

I had several necklaces and bracelets planned and in the works, all with an autumn theme to share with you, however none of them managed to get completed. They're all laid out on bead boards, or still in sketches :(  I do however have some earrings to show you :)
 Some leaf headpins made by Shelley of Tori Sophia, paired with antique copper wire, and black and bronze tone Swarovski crystals.
 Another set of headpins from Tori Sophia , this time layered over some light jade leaves, with antique copper and green swarovski.

 A pair of charms that the photo really doesn't do justice too. Also from Tori Sophia, and with antique copper, I added some sari silk bits to the back of them. I did have some golds and browns with them, but the bluey green just popped better.

 And of course, what is October without skull jewelry? I made four pairs of skull earrings, but I seemed to have misplaced both the earrings and the photos of them, so here are two of them lol
Above are red swarovski crystals with red skulls - the bigger ones are magnesite, but the smaller ones are from Michaels and the label says reconstituted turquoise...O.o look the same to me, but then they could be... I never bothered to look them up ;)
Below are more of the tiny Michaels skulls, paired with some silver skull charms and links.

And to finish this off, I'll share with you my own, much altered recipe, for pumpkin raisin muffins. I use rice flour in place of regular flour, but changed it back to 'normal' for this post. If you want to use the rice flour as well, just add a quarter cup cornstarch as well.

1/3 cup veggie oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup brown sugar ( not packed)
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin ( NOT pie filling! I use E.D. Smith's Pure Pumpkin, or when they're in season, I get a couple small pie pumpkins and make my own puree)
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice ( you can make your own by using equal parts ginger, cinnamon, & nutmeg)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Combine all these into a bowl and mix until smooth. Then mix in 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup oat bran . Once the flour and bran are all mixed in, add 1 cup raisins that have been soaked to plumpness :)

Fill lightly greased muffin pans until 3/4 full, then bake at 350'F for 23-25 minutes.
I use the extra large muffin pans ( texas size, apparently) so they take longer.

There you go :) Some giant veggies, some leaf and skull earrings, and some yummy muffins, which I should warn you, are rather addicting.

Carry on throughout the hop and enjoy what everyone else has to share :) I'll see if I can't have another post up in time for Halloween :D

 Click here for the OctoberFest Blog Hop Participants List

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quick update

 If you're here following the BSBP#8 hoplist, click here -> BSBP

Sorry for the long silence. Been a bit distracted by some minor but annoying health issues.

For those anxiously awaiting news, Rafflecopter has chosen both winners, notified them, and I've already mailed off their prizes :)

The butterfly earrings were won by Jo-Ann, and she should be receiving them this week.

The mini spear earrings were won by Dyanne, and she should be receiving them either late this week or some time next week :)

Congrats to both ladies, and thanks to everyone who has visited, and for all the wonderful comments.

I have some jewelry and other projects in the works, so hopefully I'll get some finished and photographed for my next actual post ;)

Saturday, May 10, 2014


And here we are again, for another round of fabulous partnerships and beady goodness, hosted by the incredible Lori Anderson and her hubby Rick :)

Despite having an incredibly rough year, Lori has once again dived in and set up another great, world wide party, with close to five hundred participants! :)

This year, I was partnered with Audrey Belanger, a fellow Canadian. Audrey sent me a fabulous soup that I managed to stretch my wings with ;)

As a refresher .. here's the fabulous soup she sent me to play with...

And here is what I created while playing :D

To start, yes I know I said I'd push myself with the spiked to NOT do earrings... tough. I did however, take the two largest to make these, and I LOVE them. I've worn them several times now and they are officially among my favorites :) 

 Next I'll show you some of my foray into very minor chainmaille... and *gasp* 'mixed metals' >.< Which I ended up loving , I might add. Here is the little bird brass stamping form Audrey that added a touch of colour too. A bit of nail polish in an antique copper-ish tone. I also added the same colour to the clasp :) (btw, the open link there... I fixed it but didn't retake the pic, sorry >.< lol)

Sticking with the 'wings' theme, but detouring from birds to butterflies... some bright, summery earrings. Truth be told, these were NOT supposed to be earrings at all...I had these findings and stones all set aside to be a bracelet, and had created a little butterfly focal for it... then hated the focal and tada, the earrings were born lol

Back to the birds... a simple adjustable bracelet featuring some faux sea glass teardrops I bought ages ago and never even took off the strand until now, and some of the cute little copper birds I sent along with my soup to Audrey :) From the soup she sent me, I've used some of the Spectra rounds.. again, I had a different piece in mind that used all of these beads but in the end only the pretty teal ones jumped forward to be used.

The sari ribbon found it's way into two pieces; this bracelet is one of them. That beaded chain uses the amethyst rounds from the soup, along with the beadcaps. The chain was actually the first thing I made, intending for it to go with the focal... That clasp I made to go with the focal as well... then decided both the chain, and the focal ( which uses some of the little crystals from the soup ) , made the piece look to heavy. And so.. tada... bracelet. :)

Here is another piece that used up some long 'forgotten' parts of my stash. The clasp is of course, from my soup, as is the shard. The chain is made of some rather large copper coloured aluminum rings that have been sitting here mocking me forever.

The pendant is wood, and the bird image on it was originally silver in colour. I pulled out the nail polish to recolour it carefully, then glued on the little blue-green stone. There two cathedral beads hanging beneath with the shard and the wing ( also nail polished ;) ) are the same colour.

And of course, the focal.

After much hemming and hawing over what to do, I went with a simple brass chain paired with the sari ribbon. I think it works best with the attention being fully on the focal.

I found the weight of the focal kept making it hang crooked, so I used a bit of apoxy putty and a piece of brass wire to make a second bail at the back behind the tail. The two bails let the piece hang evenly and placates my ocd over things like that ;)

And so there we have another successful round of the BSBP... this one more so than previous rounds since I not only pushed myself outside my box a bit more, but I also finished my pieces EARLY! No last minute rush to get things done followed by midnight photos with crappy lighting and photoshop to try to make them passable >.< lol This year, they were done on time and the pictures were taken in daylight... albeit through a window since it was still a tad nippy outside ;)

Thanks again to our amazing hostess Lori and her equally amazing hubby, Rick, as well as all of the people who chipped in to help make this round happen.

As well, a special thank you to my partner Audrey for such a wonderful soup to play with :) I've decided that despite the fact that many of the pieces are 'not my style' for wearing, I'm keeping them and going to wear them :) See...? Still pushing myself outside my box ;)

 You can find the full hop list of participants here -> BSBP#8 HopList

Okay... you know what? I lied. I'm not keeping ALL of what I made. I think I'll share one piece with one of you :)

* Update ! The first giveaway for the butterfly earrings show above is over and the winner has been emailed!
 HOWEVER... for those still hopping, There's is a second giveaway now running, for a shorter version of the crystal spike earrings above. The spikes are about half the size as the ones shown, and I used a finer gauge copper for the wrap so the crystal wouldn't be hidden beneath it ;)

So if you'd like to win the spike earrings, just fill out the rafflecopter form and you're in :) There are two entries available, although only one is mandatory, so if you do both, that's two chances to win :) Blog subscribers, you have to click through to the actual post itself in order to see the rafflecopter widget. :) EVERYONE who entered the last giveaway on this post, are already entered! ( except the previous winner ;) )
 This will run the full week to give more hoppers a chance to get their entries in :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway