Saturday, July 20, 2013

I am posting for two week for Focusing on life. Last week Sally's prompt was pattern. I knew immediately what I would photograph. I have a small  collection of vintage lace that I am proud of. I don't know of anything that shows pattern better than lace. To think that someone sat for hours everyday for week or even months or even years to produce something so beautiful just amazed me. I just finished reading "Lace The Elegant Web" by Janine Montupet and Thislaine Schoeller. Did you know that there were laws in England against wearing lace  from France or Belgium? England was loosing so much money to other countries for the purchase of lace that laws were made to protect the economy. It could take up to 152,000 movements to produce a 6" pattern of lace and a good lacemaker could make 77 movements a minute. Much of the lace was produced in poor lighting conditions and the lacemakers were often blind by the time they were thirty.I was away from home and did not have internet last weekend so I am posting this now.

Routine was the prompt for this week's Focusing on life. I had to think about this for a while. I am a free spirited person so I don't cling to many routines. However there is one consistent in my life. My beadwork. Hardly a day passed without me beading so I decided that beading would be my routine thing. I have a couple of beading boards that sit on my 3 drawer cart  that I use daily to bead on. My boards can be sat across the arms of my lazyboy recliner as I work and I can swap them out if I get stuck on something and need to let the project  sit until the idea on how to finish it comes to me. I am enjoying participating in the photo challenge and I hope you are enjoying it too.I appreciate everyone's comments and I am enjoying connecting weekly with other beaders. You can see way the other participants posted at this link

Today is the day for the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop. The top pic is a close up of my focal bead. It was made by lampwork artist Jeff Barber. He is a local lampworker who makes the most amazing beads. He teaches and exhibits at national shows. It is a badge of honor is my bead group to own Jeff's beads. This is the first Jeff Barber bead I bought. I have been hoarding it for several years. When Lori Anderson announced this blog hop I know what bead I would be using right away. Pink and green is a favorite color combination for me. I made three spiral rope sections for the necklace. The pink  swirled discs accent beads are by another lampworker who's work I admire, Tanya McGuire.The pearls are from
They were leftover from my last challenge. I used corrugated doublesided gold caps to finish the spirals and corrugated end caps by the 14 karat gold twisted toggle clasp. The bail is a simple herringbone strip so as to not detract from the beauty of the focal. The pink fringe ends with green glass leaves. I am pleased with how this necklace turned out and I am sure I will wear it often. Please take the time to see what the other artists made at

Sunday, July 14, 2013

There is a very talented polymer clay artist named Alenka Obid whose work I admire. Her blog is having it's first anniversary. To celebrate she asked jewelry artists to make something with one of her beautiful clay pieces. Mine arrived in yesterdays mail. Isn't it wonderful? It has such great texture doesn't it? The subtle hint of orange at the bottom of my connecter adds to it's charm. I already have ideas starting to form for the piece I will create. If you would like to see what I make please come back on August 11. To see more of Alenka's beautiful clay pieces please visit her blog at

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Focusing on life:texture

Texture was the prompt for this week of focusing on life. I had my latest  jewelry pieces on my board for pictures and I notices the texture in the pieces. So I added a couple more pieces and here it is. I love the seed bead stitched waves in the aqua piece. The chain maille with turquoise rubber rings and silver jumprings was the piece that made me decide to use my jewelry to show texture. Of course natural shells have their own texture. It's hard to beat Mother Nature for texture.The coiled magnetic copper wire has a unique texture that I couldn't resisting adding to the mix. The yellow and light blue bead embroidered focal has several textures. Texture is part of why I enjoy bead embroidery so much. I took several nature pics this week like leaves, seed pods, and petrified wood, but in the end my jewelry won out.What can I say, beads are a huge part of my life and most stuff relates to them in some way. To see what interesting textures others found this week  check out Sally's blog
I appreciate everyone's visits and comments each week as I explore my life through a camera lens this year. I am enjoying getting to know all the other artists better as we go through this challenge. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Partner Picks Summer Challenge and Giveaway

Welcome to the June challenge and blog hop for http://www.znetshows.comThe theme for this time is "Beaches."  The official name is Partner Picks Summer Challenge and Giveaway.We were paired with a partner and then my partner picked beads for me to design with from Znet's great selection of beads and jewelry findings. My partner this time is Amy Severino. She was a great partner. Please check out her blog at
to see what she made with the beads that I chose for her. I am very pleased with the beads that I received. This is my favorite piece from this challenge. I called it "Pearls on the Waves" The Znet items I used in  it are:BDS1907-46 cultured sea glass leaf beads twisted in opaque blue.
BDS1619-22Five  8mm off white glass pearls
RS126-01AB Chinese crystal rondelles faceted 4x3mm
M0169-AS  Antique silver tone bicones
 The only things I added were stringing wire, thread, seed beads in several sizes, and a silver toggle clasp. When I think of beaches I see waves. This necklace is the waves I saw. Pearls in the center and crystals rondelles on the edges. This is one of my favorite colorways to work with so the design came easily.
I called the matching earrings "Waves." They use the same beads as the necklace above. I added colored aluminum chain to hang the waves from the earwires.
"Fishes" is my name for this bracelet. I made this the day the beads arrived.It uses the
BDS1907-46 blue sea glass leaf twists and the BDS1619 8mm pearls that the two pieces above use. It also uses M022-AS antique silver tone fish. I am sure I will wear this when I want to feel summer.
I made one more necklace with the blue sea glass and the pearls. The base is a chain maille net. I uses 7mm silver jump rings and  7mm turquoise rubber rings. I put more of the silver fishes on headpins to make them look like they are caught in the net. Silver rolo chain and a nautical inspired toggle complete the necklace. "Fish in a Net" is the name I chose for this piece.

Here is my final piece. I call it simply "Beach Treasures."It is hard to see the detail in the full length pic  because this necklace is long  so I included a close up of the center. For this necklace I used more of the beautiful off white pearls from Znet. The clasp is item S56-B33  size 33x13mm in royal blue . It was too pretty to put in back so I made it the focal. I added a lampworked bead with a fish on it, my last silver fish from the challenge, and two aqua glass rondelles. The toggle is attached to a loop of seed beads with a fancy silver headpin. The seed beads make it easier to insert the toggle through the round. The Fire Agate 12mm rounds (item BDS1837-05) are larger than the beads I usually work with but they were perfect for this design.A strand of seed beads in several sizes helps balance the sides and draws the eye to the blue fire agates. The other side of the necklace has found shells and other beach treasure that I drilled or wire wrapped and attached to  more of the aqua aluminum chain like I used in the bracelet. Between the shells I used more of the aqua  glass rondelles and glass chips as dangles. Znet has starfish in two sizes, flat shells, conchs, nuggets, pebbles, and freeform shapes that could be used instead of the natural shells. There are many color choices in all of these shapes. I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. Working with Znetshows products is a wonderful experience. They have a very large selection and reasonable prices. If you are looking for sea glass you should check them out. I hope you like my designs. Here's the  link to ZnetShows blog to view what the other artists made with their fun Znet products