Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jeannie Dukic hosts Do Over Challenges and today is the reveal for Do Over7.It is my second time participating in her challenges. She is a extremely talented polymer clay artist. I had the good fortune to meet her at the last Twin Cities Bead Bazaar. I was wearing a necklace she made and I won as a giveaway. She sends pieces from her early days that did not sell and we remake them. The picture above is what she sent.They are made with iris freshwater pearls and Swarovski sapphire crystals. They are a very pretty set but I could see that it needed a third color so I added aqua.Here is what I made.
Since tassels are so popular now I made one with Jeannie's links and jump rings. I suspended it from a lampworked bead that I got at a bead show but I did not get the artist's name. I put it on a simple chain and added three of Jeannie's links on each side. To update the bracelet I took off one of the two sapphire crystals and added an aqua one instead. I did the same for the earrings. Jeannie made such beautiful wraps that I did not want to change them so I found a way to use them as they were. The only thing that I added was chain, the lampworked bead, and earwires.All that I had left was two crystals. I even used the clasp that Jeannie sent. I am pleased with how this design came out. To see the rest of the Do Over Challenge pieces please click on Jeannie's link
Thank you Jeannie for this great challenge it was so much fun.Here is a close up of the focal.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Point of Focus

Today was the Demo & Do day at the bead group I belong to. I look forward to this day all year. We get together and have four 50 minute classes taught by our members. There are six choices as to classes at each session  and pot luck lunch. Over the years I have participated I have learned a lot from these classes.  This year I taught my first class there. I was very nervous about teaching but it went well. All my students grasped the technique and they said I was a good teacher. Yeah. Sally at asked us to photograph  "a crisp, clear moment of focus" this week for Focusing on Life. She called it the point of focus.  She wanted us to photograph a moment in our lives that  looking at the photograph would bring back instant memories. My first time teaching is something I will always remember. The photo above is of  two of my students. I am passionate about beading and I want others to feel that passion. I try in any way I can to promote beading so teaching this class was something I could do to further that cause. I want days like this to continue so I try to do my part to see that it happens. I enjoyed teaching and I am sure I will do it again. If you would like to see what the other participants focused on this week  please click Sally's link about.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Today is the Color of Dreams blog hop. I received this amazing center bead by artist Patricia Handshuh from . Isn't it great that there is so much detail in something so small? It is the size of my thumbnail.  I knew I had to make it the focal of a delicate  necklace. The colors make me think of spring. I stitched around it with the colors in the bead to make it more prominent.  Then made herringbone straps and a clasp. Herringbone is a stitch I have not done before. I won the book "Mastering Herringbone Stitch" by Melinda Barta on a giveaway by Jean Yates at and used it to help me grow.  Jean does the best book reviews I have ever read. My dream is to make my jewelry the focus of my life. I want to get published. I have not felt that my creations were good enough yet but I am getting there. I have not had the courage to submit anything yet but it is my dream. I keep saying that I am going to open an etsy store and be a real business but I have not done so yet either. Maybe this piece will be the catalyst for some action.  These are the thing I thought about as I stitched this necklace. To see what the other participants dream about please click on the link above. Thank you for visiting my blog today, and a big thank you to Rita for including me in this inspirational hop, and thank you to Patricia for her amazing pillow bead.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Focusing on Life:Morning

The Focusing on Life theme for April is Moments. This weeks photo prompt is morning. Here is what Sally had to say
Let us start week fourteen with morning moments.
:that quiet routine that starts our day.
:the mad dash to get the kids out the door
:the 3am feeding
:the few stolen moments waiting for the train
:the morning coffee/tea.  The first sip always taste so good!
What is your morning moments?
My mornings begin with turning on the tv morning news and beading. This shot is my messy bead board Friday morning when I loaded  the last of the beads on to my kumihimo disc to make braided straps for a necklace.  I use a clothes pin to add weight and have something solid to hang onto. I don't drink coffee, or have kids to get off to school, and I like to be up a while before I eat so I start right out with beading. To see how others see morning moments click on the link below to go to Sally's blog

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Focusing on life:at eye level

I have missed the last three weeks of focusing on life because I was not home. I helped set up , worked at, and helped take down the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar. The was a good time. I am always happy when I can promote beading. The second weekend was Bead Retreat. I come home energized when a whole weekend with other beaders. This is one of the highlights of my year.  All that wonderful bead energy is contagious. Someone will say "how do you do that?" and a class will happen. I learn something from every retreat. The third weekend I was at my Mom's.
This week Sally at  asked us to focus on things at eye level. Things that we see everyday. This is on top of my tv and I admire it. It is an Aladdin kerosene lamp from 1938. My friend Les made the stained glass lampshade as a Christmas gift a ,long time ago. Years ago we lived without power and it was our light. Did you know that it can get as bright as a 100 watt bulb? It has a wick that brings up the fuel and a mantle like a Coleman lantern. It helps me remember a past time in my life and is beautiful too.
In the self portrait photo I stood against this wall in my bedroom. Several people commented that they would like to see my "Wall of Women." This is eye level when I walk into my room so I decided to show it this week. I studied 1800's and early 1900's fashions for costuming dolls and I was charmed by their styles. I began collecting pictures that I liked and this just happened. The large black and white portrait on the right  is my husband's Grandmother.  She was quite a lady. I admired her. Can you imagine all the changes she saw in her life. Going from 1900's clothing to wearing pants? The picture below it is titles "The Early Spring Hat" and is a framed magazine page from a by gone era.  The stack on the dresser is also old photos. Please go to Sally's blog to see what everyone else saw at eye level.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's here! It's here! My package from Beth Emery arrived today. Beth is my partner this time for the Bead Soup Blog Party. I am really lucky to have met her. She was really generous with what she sent me. I told her that I liked aqua so this is what she sent me in Aqua. The love grows pendant she made herself. Cool isn't it? I have tried stamping but I was not successful. The seed beads above the focal are from Indonesia. I haven't worked with anything from there before. There are purple lucite flowers and white glass ones too. The aqua glass flowers are on sterling wire. There are large glass coins in the upper right of the pic. You can't see the whole item because I wanted you to be able to read the love grows so I got in close. The same is true of the silk ribbon in the bottom left of the pic. It is aqua and purple. There are amazonite nuggets and ovals which I adore and a ceramic bird too. The brass tags say thrive and bloom which goes perfectly with the love grows pendant. Next there is yummy sea opal. Opal is my birthstone so how could I not like them? Aqua glass pearls are above the sea opal and glass lentils are above them. The dagger is onyx. You can't see them in the pic but she sent me three small Christmas lights. I told her that I liked working with unusual materials so I will find a way to include them in my piece.
It was like opening a treasure box. Here is part two. The cab is charorite from the Charo river in Russia. I'm swooning. I told Beth that I really liked to do bead embroidery and seed beads were ok to send. Boy did she present me with the perfect focal or what? Lots of purple seed beads to work with and C-lon cord, which I have not used.
She was not done yet. This soup is copper colored. She made the copper pendant with the aluminum can heart and the polymer clay magic oval. Isn't she talented? She also made the heart button. The coin below the copper clasp is pyrite and the button next to it is vintage mother of pearl. That bird is sure cute isn't it? The red ring is from Miss Fickle Media. I have been admiring her work for a while. Now I have some to work with.Yeah! The beads to the left of the ring are amber and the beads to the right of the pendant are carnelian. Three different soups to work with Beth really spoiled me. I am one very lucky lady. I already have ideas circling in my head. Please come back on May 3rd to see what I create with all of the wonderfulness that Beth blessed me with.  Thank you so much Beth. Beth's blog is
I am sure she would like a visit.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The largest bead party of the year is the Bead Soup Blog Party. It is put on by the amazing Lori Anderson. If you want to read more about it here is the link
I am participating again this year. It is my third time participating in this wonderful blog hop. This year Lori partnered me with the very talented Beth Emery of Alaska. Beth has now received the package that I sent so I can show it to  you. She likes nature inspired things so I took that into account when choosing her beads. The lampworked focal I purchased from the studio where I took my one and only lampworking class. It spoke to me so I had to bring it home. It felt like Beth to me so I sent it to her. I included bone beads, pearls, birdseye rhyolite, jasper, shell, Czech glass leavers,tigerseye chips, and more. The urchin beads and large corrugated bead are vintage pieces. Beth normally works with darker metals so I included brass to challenge her to work with something different.There is brass leaf chain, clasp,headpins & eyepins, jumprings, a filigree link, twisted & large round links,and  flowers in two sizes to give her a variety to work with. I also included a leather button that can be used as a clasp if she doesn't like the brass one I sent. After I took the pics I found some large gnarled shells that I included. Neutral colors is what I chose for her. I think that the beads under the button are carver wood but I am not sure. Beth said that she likes what I sent. I can hardly wait to see what she makes. Please check out her blog at
It's kind of ironic that Beth is from Alaska as my last partner was Cris Peacock from Hawaii. Thank you for visiting my blog today.