Saturday, May 25, 2013

Focusing on Life:Reminisce

Reminisce was the prompt from Sally at for our focusing on life challenge. This year long challenge has been way more fun than I thought it would be, I signed up for this because I wanted to become a better photographer. It has taught me about myself too. Sally has done a wonderful job with her prompts. The minute I saw this weeks prompt I knew what I would photograph. When I was about 5 years old my Grandma made 5 of these bedspreads. One was hers, one was my Mom's, one was My Aunt Fern's,  and both of my older sisters got one. Three were yellow and two were pink. I remember watching Grandma crochet these and being mesmerized that she could turn a single thread into a four layered flower. My strongest memory of Grandma was that she never in her life sat down even for five minutes that she didn't pick up her handwork. Mostly she was a knitter but I vividly remember her crocheting these. I was very jealous of my sisters for getting these. My sisters are 8 and 10 years older than me. These were for their hopechests. Just before my Aunt died she gave me her bedspread. I don't think she had any idea of how much it meant to me. She and I both have pink as our favorite color. The first time I put my beautiful bedspread on my bed was when I realized that Grandma was who I got my creativity from. I also remembered when I was a kid being bored and Grandma saying why don't you go straighten the tassels on my bedspread. I hadn't thought of that in more than thirty years. I am filled with pride each time I put this bedspread on my bed. I am also transported back to Grandma's house. I can hear her softly humming as she worked. It is my most prized possession.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Focusing on life: Looking up

Focusing on life week 29 has us looking up. Sally at prompted up  with looking up. This is my bedroom lampshade.I think it is so beautiful. I would call it art deco but I am not sure that is correct. From the moment I saw it I thought it would make a beautiful pin out of metal clay with a crystal at the center. Last week I ordered some sheet silver clay and I am finally going to try and make it happen.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Focusing on life: Hope

Sally at who is doing such a wonderful job of hosting this year long challenge of focusing on life prompted us to photograph hope. At first I was stumped. This week has been about getting my post up for the latest challenge I am in. This challenge is put on by They asked me to be part of their design team. I feel honored to be asked to show my work along side of some wonderful designers. Two of my pieces were chosen in the top twenty, Yeah! When I was done taking my pic for my blog I pushed all of my designs together and snapped a shot of them just for fun. If you want to see them separately scroll down to my last post.  There is voting on facebook for the best design. Here's the link if you are interested
This represent hope for me right now because I hope my designs are chosen as the best. Since my life is in a state of change right now I am putting my hopes on succeeding as a jewelry designer. I have only had my blog up a little over a year and I think I have accomplished a lot in that time. Happy Mother's Day to all the rest of the participants.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hi everyone. Today is the day for me to reveal what I made in my latest bead challenge. It's called “Diamonds in the Rough” and the great folks at put it on. In case you haven't heard of Znetshows they supply wholesale beads on line and at bead shows. They have a great selection and reasonable prices. I got to choose gemstones that I like and they added a few extra pieces to spark my creativity. You will find a small button on the right side of my blog showing me as part of their design team.
The first pieces that I made are a set consisting of a necklace, bracelet and earrings. The stones are Rhodonite cubes in two sizes (item #'s SCBDG142-16 and SCBDG142-16B). I also used puffed black onyx ovals (item # SCBDS287-08). I knew before I started how I wanted this set to look. I think that the black and pink compliment each other well.

The color of my blue diamonds necklace and earrings is what attracted me to choose them They are a stunning color of sky blue and an interesting shape. My favorite thing to do is bead embroidery and this piece gave me a chance to do that. The large part of the focal that I embroidered is (item # SCPDG201). The smaller embroidered part of the focal is (item # SCPDG145-22). Both focal pieces are made of quartz. I peyote stitched the bail with size 11 seed beads and accented the whole thing with some vintage purple pearls that I had. The straps are more of the sky blue quartz in a diamond shape (item # SCBDS382-12) separated by peanut beads. I used gold diamond/oval chain and finished with a toggle clasp. The second pic is a closeup of the focal. A necklace needs earrings right? So I made a pair.

When I was ordering my supplies from I picked baby blue glass teardrops (item # SCBDS-16) because they look like Larimar to me. I knew that I wanted them to be the center of a necklace with chain at the back. Strung between the teardrops are freshwater pearls (item # PRL60-04). I braided a strand of turquoise cotton, white hemp, and skinny teal leather and wove it through chain to make the beads stand out more. It's a simple design but it's very pretty. My Mom wants this piece.

I used the same baby blue teardrops for my next piece. A brass flower filigree was the frame for an aqua flower made with the teardrops beads. The filigree is attached with a jump ring to the body of the piece. Two curved gold tubes separated by aqua glass flowers on each side of the seed beads makes the flower really stand out. I also made a pair of earrings with the last two of the teardrops that I had. They can be worn with either of these two necklaces.
Can you tell that I like Aqua? Well I do so I chose another aqua focal. It looked like larimar to me too but it is hemimorphite (item# PT75-05). I used seed beads and turquoise fire-polished beads to showcase this focal in another bead embroidered piece. A sequin and a pearls add an accent. The stones in this piece are amazonite pebbles (item # BDS1413-06) made into links with black seed beads between them. All the links are connected with two gold jump rings. I also used two gold filigree beads on one link. The asymmetrical necklace is balanced with gold chain and a seed bead strand. I made the clasp myself from wire. Don't forget the earrings.

I always try hard to make pieces in a variety of different designs in my challenges to use as many of my jewelry making skills as I can. I enjoy pleasing a variety of people with my designs. I wanted to do something with wire work so my next piece uses black 20 gauge black craft wire to wrap the focal which is new jade (item # SCPDG201-20). The straps are 6mm round silver leaf beads (item # SCPDG114-03). I used the black onyx puffed ovals again (item # SCBDS287-08) plus tiny brass spacers. A few peridot colored fire-polished beads give a pop of color to draw the eye to the focal.
My next design is a green multi-wear necklace/bracelet. I made six bracelets with snap clasps. Two of the bacelets clasped together is 15 1/2” and makes a choker necklace. If all six bracelets are used it is 43” long. There are two shell flowers with lobster clasps and rings on the back that can be attached at any of the connection points. The larger flower is black lip shell (item # SCPDG114-03) and the smaller flower is golden lip shell (item # SCPDG289-04). There are many ways this set can be worn. It can be a medium length necklace at 22” with three of the bracelets fastened together and the other three bracelets worn with one of the flowers as a three strand bracelet. Four bracelets is 29 1/2” and five bracelets is 38”. Both flowers can be worn on the necklace or one on the necklace and one on the bracelet. It can even have no flowers to show the beautiful beads. How's that for multi-use? A perfect travel set because it can be so many looks with just a few pieces. I bet you want to know what beads I used to make this set. Bracelet #1 is green fire agate barrels (item # BDS1591-07) with light green peanut beads and brass spacers. Bracelet #2 is made with fire agate rondelles (item# BDS1591-08), more of the natural color freshwater pearls (item# PRL60-04), and three acrylic beads with flowers on them. Bracelet #3 pairs 8mm olive jade cubes (item # SCBDG142-45B) and more of the 4mm rhodonite cubes (item # SCBDG142-16), and green seed beads. Bracelet #4 is green adventurine 4mm cubes (item # SCBDG142-24) in sets of three separated by dark green crystals. Bracelet #5 uses amazonite pebbles (item # BDS1413-06) and gold corrugated beads. Bracelet # 6 is two adventurine rounds with wavy pearls and green seed beads. There is a pair of earrings too. They are a gold 3to1 with beads from the bracelets in three dangles. The pics show a couple of ways to wear this set and one pic is all of the pieces separated.

Since the deadline got extended I made another necklace using the fire agate beads again. This time it's Bohemian style. The green beads all have copper bead caps. I textured, patinaed, and sanded two copper washers from the hardware store. The focal is a copper charm from which hangs a fire agate and copper chain. The clasp end has 3mm copper faceted beads that got the same treatment as the washers. A copper lobster claw clasp and jump ring finish the end. Everything is strung on black cotton cord and knotted between elements. There is a matching pair of earrings with a fire polished round and copper findings and chain.

For my last pieces I started with brown soft aluminum wire from Michael's. I attached adventurine cubes (item # SCBDG142-24) on both sides of the aluminum with copper wire. Then I laced another piece of wire around the connecting wires. This gave the piece a nice structure and stabilized the cubes. The clasp end of the bracelet has three pearls (item # PRL60-04) on each side. I made the clasp with copper wire. And I didn't forget earrings. They are a simple copper wire circle with the cubes wire wrapped around it. One of the pearls hangs in the center. I am finally at the end. I used almost all of the beads I was sent.Thank you for reading my post today. I hope you saw something you liked. There is voting for this challenge on facebook for the designs users like best. I hope you like one of my designs and vote for it. I also hope that my post has encouraged you to check out for something you might make with their wonderful products. I feel very honored to be asked to be part of their design team.

like one of my designs and vote for it. I hope my post has encouraged you to check out

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Focusing on Life:Abstract

Abstract was the prompt this week for focusing on life. Sally at is doing such a wonderful job of getting us to focus on the little things we see around us every day. Here is my interpretation of abstract.