Sunday, December 28, 2014

I thought you might like to see the Christmas ornaments that I made for friends and family this year. They have a wood bead core and are stitched with super duos, size 11 seed beads, and 4mm pearls. I had fun making them. My friend Lisa showed us how to make them at bead retreat. The first two I made were in cobalt blue, gold, and white and pink, white , and hematite. They are pendants for necklaces. I adapted to Christmas colors and these ornaments were born.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The annual holiday ornament hop hosted by Sally Russick is today. This is the beautiful ornament that I received from my partner D Lynne Bowland. Isn't it fabulous? Lynne made the lampworked bead and enamel accents which she put in a copper frame. The bead is removable so that I can wear it on a chain as a necklace. How clever is that? Christmas is my favorite time of year and my tree is my crowning glory. I cherish my ornaments. I have a book where I record the ornaments that I get each year and where they came from. This ornament will always be special to me.
Now on to the ornament that I made for Lynne. I started with the turquoise marquis shaped pieces, which I believe are vintage and I glued them to backing. I bezeled them in the stripes to match the lampworked disc bead  in the center. Then I filled in with seed beads and pearls. The pearls came from my mother-in-law's estate. They are vintage. The packaging on the smallest ones say 29 cents. Then I added the crystal rondelles on the points for accents and backed it with ultra-suede. I wanted a non traditional looking ornament. I hope she likes it.
I have one more ornament to show. Some time ago I had a pay it forward on my blog. Lynne was one of the first three to comments. She chose an ornament as what she wanted so here it is. A traditional red, green , and gold ornament. It is two layers of seed beads with pearl and firepolished accents strung on wire and shaped. The center is pearls in a gold bead circle. A red ribbon was used as a hanger. To see what the other participants made please go to Sally's blog at
Thank you Sally for hosting this fun hop.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My sister-in-law asked me to make an illusion necklace for her to give as a Christmas gift. This is what I made. The center is a lampworked bead. The other components are glass bicones and discs as well as corrugated metal beads. This is my first illusion necklace. I hope that she likes it.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Today is the reveal of the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop. I have been wanting to try Soutache embroidery for a while and I let this challenge inspire me to do just that. I used  lampworked beads by Heather Kelly that I bought on etsy and have been hoarding to start my design. Three colors of green and a metallic brown soutache braids surround the beautiful lampworked focal. I bezeled the focal with light green beads and added a dark green hex bead halo around the inner layer of  soutache cords. I put another layer of the cords and finished it with bronze seed beads. The bottom had three dark green teardrop pearls with the center one capped by bronze flower bead caps. The top of the piece has two  lampworked spacers also by Heather  that match the center bead. There are two jump rings that will have the straps hung on them but they will have to wait for another day. It is not perfect but I am happy with my first attempt at soutache embroidery.  I hope that you like it too. I want to thank Lori Anderson of for hosting this fun hop. To see what the other participants created click on the link to Lori's blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Today I would like to show my attempt at playing with polymer clay. Back in September Beth Wegner did a make and take at my bead group. She is a polymer clay artist. I made the polk a dot beads and one of the swirled beads that day. Not long ago I was doing a clay piece for something else and I decided that while I was firing I would try a couple of polymer clay headpins. I used clay that was left from the September class and made these. They are my first decorated headpins and I am proud of them.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

This is my first tutorial. My bead group has an annual Demo & Do Day and I will be teaching this bracelet. I usually just sit down and make something so it was a different experience to write it out as I worked. I wanted to use some of the new beads that have come out in the last couple of years and this is what I came up with. I started with a right angle weave base of 8 size 6 seed beads. The next row I stitched pairs of piggy beads in the centers of the squares. I split the side pairs of 6's and added twin beads between them. Then I made picots on the twins with delica beads. I made a button and loop closure. The last row I added copper colored O beads. It was not as scarey as I thought to write a tutorial and I think that I will be doing more of it in the future.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Octoberfest Challenge

Today is the Octoberfest Challenge at . The minute I saw this challenge I thought of the copper leaves on a wall sculpture from my friend Ceil and I knew that I would use one of them. However the rest of the necklace turned out nothing like how I pictured it in my head at the start. I associate fall with nature so I decided to use mostly natural elements in my design. After I clipped the leaf from the sculpture I knew it needed copper accents so I made a copper coil with a brown pearl dangle to complete the focal. I hung it from a short copper chain and used a glass tube bead for the bail. The other dangles are two brown pearls and four double 4mm brown Swarovski bicones. My friend Cindy gave me the brownAB faceted glass coins and I thought they would draw the eye to the focal so I strung them front and center. Then I placed four bone discs. The next set of four beads are some kind of seeds that my friend Ruby brought me back from her trip to Hawaii. Following that is another set of the bone discs. Then comes four wood slices from my friend Lori and more bone discs. Following that is a set of four faceted round picture jasper beads and the last set of bone discs. I made the clasp from 16 gague copper wire. Since this necklace has components from so several of my friends it has special meaning to me. I associate copper with fall for it's rich color so this necklace is a perfect example of fall to me. I hope that you like my design. Please click on the link above to see what the other participants made for this challenge. Thank you Rita for hosting  this challenge I really enjoyed making this necklace.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Today is Jeannie Dukic of Do Over Challenge 8. The picture above is the necklace that I received from her to redo. I like all the color but I think that together they were too much so I separated them into two necklaces.  I always find these challenges fun. It is interesting to look at something with new eyes.
This is the first necklace that I made. I liked the purple nuggets and the large red rounds together.   I put the red rounds front and center and  I separated them with black glass rondelles and added three hematite drops for interest. The added color idea came from the veining in the red rounds. Next I added hematite colored peanut beads between the nugget clusters for texture.   A simple snap clasp finishes this necklace. I apologize for the fuzzy pic but I am having some issues with my camera.
Necklace number two uses the pretty green faceted drops and the silver flower focal from Jeannie's necklace. Between the pairs of drops I put large navy blue pearls. Separating the pairs I used some silver flat rounds with flowers on them to coordinate with the silver flower focal. Silver chain and a toggle clasp finish this simple necklace.  I think that this piece is very wearable and showcases the drops better that the original necklace does. I used all of the beads in the original necklace in these two pieces and only have bead caps, spacers and the clasp left. To see what the other participants did please click on the link above.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The necklace I am showing today is a triple spiral rope. I have had it stitched for months but I never put the clasp on until yesterday. I am looking forward to wearing this fun piece. It is stitched in my  favorite colors including purple which I have been gravitating to lately. I like spiral ropes. They are fun to stitch and work up fast.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bad blogger. That is me. I can not believe it has been so long since I have blogged. Sometimes life just gets in the way of my doing the things that I enjoy. Beading is truly the passion in my life. I want others to feel that joy and I relish passing on any information about beading to others.  Most of the jewelry that I have been designing has been for challenges and I can't show it until the appropriate dates. I did make one set for a friend of my son's but I forgot to take pics before it left. The necklace shown above is one that I made at Bead Retreat. Doris Coghill showed us how to do three bead netting with the new 2 hole beads. It worked up fast and was fun. The straps are super duo's and seed beads and the center is 2hole triangles and seeds in the opposite color of the straps. Lentils would also work. If you have been reading my blog for very long you would know that blue and especially the aqua shade are the color that I use most frequently. I guess I must be in my purple phase right now as I find myself picking shades of purple much more often now.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Today's post is for the gemstone and metal blog hop hosted by Lisa Lodge. The gemstone I received is Picture Jasper and the metal is brass. I added very little from my own stash. Here is what I designed.

A two strand necklace, a bracelet and a pair of earrings. The drops wanted to be front and center so I made five dangles with the center one being longer. The drops are at the bottom followed by a brown glass bicone. Next I used a jasper faceted round, followed by another bicone. The top is a round brass spiral. I added the brown glass bicones from my stash to make the dangles stand out. The outside row is made with the larger Picture Jasper squares. Between the squares I used two of the brass bicones and some tiny titanium coated bronze/copper colored cubes. The Jasper squares are in sets of three with size 6 seed beads between them.There are five of the smaller Jasper squares in the center  where the dangles hang. The inner strand mimics the outer by using  the smaller Jasper squares again in sets of three with the seed beads between them. Between the sets are the same brass bicones and cubes used in the outer stands. This center of this strand has two of the larger squares flanking a brass scalloped round that I got from which I wire wrapped with the same brown glass bicone as the dangles. I used the rectangular brass toggle clasp to finish the necklace. The bracelet is made with the larger Jasper squares alternated with the faceted jasper rounds. There are brass bicones between each stone. I chose a Znetshows brass toggle for this piece. The earrings are made on a headpin with a titanium coated cube at the bottom. Then a faceted round Jasper and finally a round brass swirl. I hope that you like my jewelry set. Here is a link to Lisa Lodge's blog. Below is a list of the participants. Please visit their blogs to see what everyone else made with the kits that they received
Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Margaret Pelech, Big Margaret
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (May be delayed a few days)
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Cassi Renee Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things (May be delayed a few days)
Marde Lowe, FanciMarDesigns
Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
Leithleach Alainn Seodra, Alainn Jewelry
Lisa E. Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I chose olive and black for my colors in the summer challenge called Day/Night. When I picked them I expected to use them together in my pieces but the beads had other ideas. I wanted my daytime piece to be summery and fun. Sea glass usually makes me think of the beach so that was where my design idea started. I used the olive sea glass with some aqua sea glass that I already had received from Znet. I wire wrapped  links of the two colors using the olive rondelles and sand dollars with aqua shells. I added beach charms in blue and green to enhance the beach idea. I selected a lampworked bead with a fish on it as the focal. I put an aqua pearl on either side of it and used aqua sea glass teardrops to finish it. Above the lampworked bead is and aqua irregular shaped sea glass and an olive triangular round with an aqua pearly square for an accent. I used an olive sea glass fish on either side of the focal. A royal blue sea glass toggle finishes the necklace. My sister really liked it and she is now the owner of this necklace.
Night time calls for elegance. Black and gold feel  classic and elegant to me. I was attracted to the black sea glass tubes right away. I used black crystal rondelles and gold 4mm bicones to accent the beautiful black sea glass. The center is a gold curved tube. Hanging from the tube is the focal which is a one of earring that came from my dear friend Judy who passed away earlier this year. I glued it to Lacy's stiff stuff and embroidered around it with gold seed beads. I found the toggle in a bargain basket  a while back and it seemed to fit this necklace perfectly. I would wear this necklace proudly on an evening out. Please check out all the wonderful items that Zentshows has to offer at their link above also please go to which  will link you to the summer issue of Creative Spark magazine so you can see what other designers made for this challenge.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

My post today is for Krafty Max's Age of the Dragonfly Challenge. I am a day late posting this because I was away from the internet since Friday. I always try to learn something new when I enter a challenge. This time it was using Vintaj patina on a brass dragonfly. I made the body blue and the wings green, even though this is not how real dragonflies look I liked it. I heated the patina for better adherence and sealed it when I was done. I enjoyed the experience and I am sure that I will use patinas again. I strung two beading wires  with a blue and green seed bead mix and used oval brass beads to keep the strands together. I finished the necklace with a brass toggle clasp. The dragonfly hangs from a wire coiled around the center brass oval bead. Next I made a dragonfly pin from wire and seed beads. Then I used the same seed beads as the necklace and strung them on memory wire to make a bracelet. I used a beautiful dragonfly button for the focal.  I hope you like what I created for this challenge.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today is the reveal for A Time To Stitch 5. This is a blog hop put on by Therese Frank of and Christine Altmiller of This is a stitching challenge. We were to choose our favorite stitch and do it in three colors, three sizes, or three shapes of beads. My choice was size and my stitch was spiral rope. The pic above shows the results. The rope on the left is made with size 8 beads on a size 6 core. Here is a pic of the completed necklace.
I used a beautiful faceted agate for the focal and the seed beads from the rope as fringe. I stitched a bail and accented it with a blue crystal rondelle. I put blue glass flowers on the ends of the rope to finish them and used black crystal rondelles to pick up some of the focal bead color. I added gold chain so it can be adjusted in size for different necklines.
My second necklace uses size 11 seeds beads on a size 8 core. The focal for this necklace is an enameled piece from C-Koop Beads. The clasp is a stitched button and loop from a Melinda Barta pattern that appeared in "Beadwork" magazine. I have used this clasp several times and I like it. It is fast and easy along with being pretty.  My third piece Uses size 15 seed beads on a size 11 core. It is shown unfinished (did you notice the thread?) in the first pic in this post. I did not get it finished. My Mom passed away June 7th and I have been attending to family obligations. Unfortunately when I packed I left my bag containing this project on my bead table instead of getting it into my suitcase. I did not get home until today so I apologize for not being done on time. This has never happened to me before.  I am serious about the challenges that I sign up to do and I have always finished them on time. The focal I am going to use in  this piece is a lampworked heart in white and blue that I got in Sacramento when I went to my niece's wedding. I think that my pic does a good job of showing the three sizes of beads in one of my favorite stitches. I will post a pic of the size 15 spiral rope necklace  next week. I would like to show one more pic.
This pic shows how different spiral rope can look just by changing the colors of beads that you choose. The necklace on the left is made with a repeating pattern of five different bead colors over and over again. The rope on the right is the same size 11 beads with a five bead repeat in three colors. I hope that you like what I made. Now please click on Therese or Christine's link to see what the other participants made.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Waxed Linen Blog Hop

If you are looking for my BSBP8 post click here BSBP8

Today is the day for the reveal of the waxed Linen blog hop. Diana Pataszynsi of is the organizer of this challenge. I had been thinking of doing a piece with waxed linen so when I saw her challenge I thought it was the perfect time. I started out to do a macrame piece in pink and black. I tried four different arrangements of black and magenta cord and none of them looked right to me so I put those colors away for a bit. The first item I made is a necklace. I have also been wanting to learn bead chorchet so I decided to combine the two ideas in one piece. However it just looked messy , not at all what I wanted so on to plan B which I really like. I chose one of Diana's beautiful porcelain pendants as my focal. I used denim blue, green, and cream linen cord because they are the colors in the pendant. I knotted seed beads in threes along each cord so they looked like picots. The cord looks like vines to me so I thought it suited the pendant well as the center of the pendant looks like leaves. All of the cording is knotted onto the loops on Diana's pendant I also knotted more of the cord below the pendant for fringe. The clasp is a recycled faceted white bead and a cord loop. This necklace has a light, delicate, feminine feel to it and I am happy with how it turned out. I have received several comments already when I wore this necklace.

Piece number two is a bracelet. It is four strands (Actually two strands folded in half and knotted around the button) in pink and black. I chose an antique black button for the clasp on this piece. The first strand that I strung is the hematite colored peanut beads with pink pearls. For strand number two I used gold lined pink size 11 seed beads and larger black glass faceted coins. Then I strung black size 8 seed beads with pink coral shaped beads. My last strand is swirled dark and light pink glass tube beads with the black 8's between them. I tried knotting between the pearls and the peanut beads in the first strand but it looked better to me just strung. I knotted around the four strands on the clasp loop because I thought four strands of cord would be difficult to use as a clasp on a bracelet. I ended the cords with a knot with a gold lined pink seed bead above it. I have had two friends want to buy this bracelet already. I want to say thank you to Diana for hosting the event. It was great fun to design these two pieces and I am sure I will include more waxed linen in my future designs. Please see what the other participants made by clicking on the links below.

Sarajo Wentling

Johana Nunez Rivera

Barbara Bechtel

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson

Thank you for stopping by. I would enjoy hearing your comments.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Znetshows Summer Challenge

If you are looking for my BSBP8 post click here BSBP8

I am taking part in the summer challenge at .  I have had the pleasure of designing for them for a little over a year and it has been fun. They have quality materials at reasonable prices. They specialize in cultured sea glass but they also have beautiful crystals, metal components, and stones.  To see what they have to offer please click the link above. For the summer challenge I am to design two pieces or sets of jewelry. One is to be a daytime casual piece and one is to be a dressy nighttime piece. I chose the colors black and olive to work with in this challenge. The photo above is the items that they sent me to work with. If you would like to see what I design please stop back after the emagazine goes live.  My photos will be turned in by June 13 and the hop will be after that.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Evie's Tool Emporium

If you are looking for my BSBP8 post click this link BSBP8

Hi blog readers. The May meeting at Upper Midwest Bead Society was fun. The presenters were Michelle and Dave from Evie's Tool Emporium and Tool Raider. They spoke about jewelry tools and how to use them correctly. We got to play with the tools when the talk was over. If you are a tool junkie like I am you should check out their Etsy shop
They have quality tools at reasonable prices. I bought a ring mandrel, split ring pliers,and a hole punch. All tools that I am sure will get lots of use. They have texturing  hammers, stamps, mandrels, pliers of many types, punches, burrs, dapping sets, disc cutters, and much more. If you are  in need of any jewelry tools I recommend them.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bead Soup Is Served

Hi and thank you for visiting my blog today. It's the reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party #8. The biggest bead party of the year. I feel honored to be part of this and I appreciate all the work our hostess, the amazing Lori Anderson and her family do to make this possible. A huge thank you to Lori. I would like to introduce you to my partner Beth Emery. She is a very talented bead artist from Alaska. is her blog. She does beautiful metal work (some of which she sent me, Yeah!) and asymmetrical jewelry. She is inspired by nature and natural elements. I can hardly wait to see what she made with the soup I sent her. Please check out her blog. Beth spoiled me with three wonderful soups this time around.
The first soup I worked with was the purple. My favorite beady thing to do is bead embroidery so I started with the beautiful Charoite cabochon from Russia. I bezeled the cab and added fringe with seed beads, rullas, bicone and saucer crystals, pearls, and faceted drops. Since she included C-lon I decided to do kumihimo straps. I sanded and painted the bead caps with nail polish because the gold detracted from the focal. I am pleased with how this necklace turned out. It is my favorite from this challenge.

I used the aqua soup for the second piece that I made. I told Beth that aqua was my favorite color so she included lots of it for me to work with, Beth made the focal and stamped it with love grows. Stamping is one talent I do not have so I appreciated her making this for me to use. I hung three aqua sterling silver wrapped flowers from the bottom and a purple and white flower from the soup on top. In fact everything in this necklace except the oval chain, four extra purple lucite flowers, a brass hoop, jump rings, and the clasp came from the soup. I hung the small aqua lentils from the chain and threaded the silk ribbon through it. Both ends of the chain have more of the flowers on them. On the left of the chain I made a link with the large matte lentils and an Indonesian seed bead. The next link is amazonite nuggets and more of the Indonesian seeds. I have never used beads from Indonesia before. Next is a pair of purple lucite flowers with an aqua pearl between them. Then I made links with the amazonite ovals, aqua pearls, and transparent aqua rounds. I used a brass toggle clasp on the end. The first link on the other side of the chain was made by stringing the seed bead mix on 26 gauge wire and wrapping it around a brass hoop from my stash. I put three of the pearls in the center. The following round is a tagua nut ring. I have not worked with tagua nut components before and I liked it. Above that is a repeat of the other side.
I made earrings to go with the aqua necklace out of two of the amazonite oval links and flowers that Beth sent.

Then I made a coordinating bracelet. I strung the glass sea “opal” rounds on turquoise cord and knotted it with aqua seed beads. I used the mother of pearl button Beth sent as the clasp. The two stamped brass dangles that say bloom and thrive along with two more of the soup flower are attached to the loop end. It is a simple bracelet but one that I am sure I will wear often.
My last piece with the aqua soup is a pair of earrings. I told Beth that I like using unusual materials. So she included Christmas tree lights to challenge me. I beaded around them with aqua seed beads from my soup and added the aqua drops as fringe. I put an Indonesian seed bead and a transparent round above the lights and wire wrapped a loop to make earrings out of them. They look like dainty flowers to me and I had fun coming up with a design for them. I don't think anyone else made similar earrings LOL. I do still need to put the ear wires on though.
My third soup was copper colored. I made a two strand necklace with it. Beth made the focal, the heart shaped button and the magic stamped polymer clay piece. She really spoiled me with all of the pieces she made special for me. I feel lucky that she took the time to do this. She included a red link from Miss Fickle Media. I have been coveting owning some of her work so I was thrilled that Beth included this in my soup. I wrapped a glass and an onyx dagger from it. I used the red glass heart and drilled the love stamped copper heart so I could make it into a link. She included carnelian nuggets and I made them into links also. The wavy copper ovals are from my stash. I made spiral links to match the spiral I put on the focal with magnetic copper wire. This wire was left over from rewiring a 1966 Corvette headlight motor. To me this wire looks so much darker and richer than regular copper wire. It has the added benefit of a coating so It doesn't turn green like regular copper wire does. The end of the outside strand is stones and copper seed beads. I used the copper clasp from my soup to finish the end of this necklace. The center of the inside strand is a bird in a ring. This is what I had the hardest time with. The bird would flop over and not lay properly for me. A friend who is not a beader suggested I wire it on a ring and that worked perfectly. I used the small faceted glass beads in sets of three with the amber rounds inside of copper rings from my stash between them. Copper twisted ovals unify this stand with the outside one. This strand is finished with copper chain.
The last piece I made is a pair of earrings to go with the copper necklace. I used a copper twisted oval link, a faceted glass bead, and a copper drop for these. I had a wonderful time taking part in this blog hop and I used most of what Beth sent me. To see what the other participants made with their soups please click on Lori's link
Thanx for stopping by and I hope you like what I made for this blog hop.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Focusing on Life: Evening Moments

Our prompt this week for Focusing on Life was evening moments. I knew the moment I read the prompt what I would photograph. One of my favorite things about country life is the beautiful sunsets I get to see each day. I sit in my lazy boy and make jewelry as the sun is setting.  Unfortunately this week was busy at the beginning and raining at the end so I did not get a new photo to show. I decided to show one of my favorite old ones. This is a beautiful sunset reflected in my old hall window. After we remodeled there is no hall window now. When I think of sunsets this picture always comes to mind. Isn't is gorgeous? To see what the other participants photographed for their evening moments please click on Sally's link  Thank you for visiting.

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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

If you have been reading my blog you know that I design for They produce an online magazine called Creative Spark. The spring issue just went live today. It has some wonderful designs in it. You should check it out. Here is the link