Saturday, May 24, 2014

Waxed Linen Jewelry Blog Hop Reveal

Well hello there! Thanks for hopping by for the reveal of the Waxed Linen Jewelry Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. Thanks so much for hosting Diana!

Diana posted a call for interest on Facebook just after, literally, I found the following in my dining room:
(No, we have not yet fixed the floor where we knocked down a wall to enlarge our dining room.)
This is my daughter's Golden Retriever puppy Lux. It's a good thing for her she's so cute and lovable. That was a lovely spool of black waxed linen that she pilfered from my studio without my knowledge.......... So, I felt it was kismet that Diana posted about joining the hop.

Anyhoo, we've had plenty of time to complete our projects, but because my middle name is Last Minute Sally, I only figured out what I was going to create a couple of days ago so I was up 'til 2 this morning finishing. I really like it though, so that's a plus!
I made the focal several years ago. It's a tumbled glass ring (cut from a vintage bottle or vase) I picked up at The Beadin' Path by Trinket Foundry (I believe). I used it as a backless bezel and filled it with treasures I've collected at the beach - pottery shards and tiny chips of glass that I then filled with Ice Resin. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that it needs one more pour of resin to compensate for the slight angle it was sitting on when it cured to even out the dome. Sigh... Here's a tip for you though, should you even wish to embed pottery shards into resin - seal each of the pieces with either gel medium, decoupage glue or some other sealant. Quite often the color from the shards will leach out into the resin. The pieces, most often, are very, very old and they're not colorfast. I have a couple of pieces I made at the same time as this one that are ruined because of this.
The yellow crystals and double drilled quartz point are from the soup my Bead Soup partner Kelly Hosford Patterson sent to me. Yellow is a color I struggle with a bit, but they went with this focal so well. 
I then culled through my ridiculously huge collection of sea glass (just about all is craft grade) and double drilled each piece. Finally, I wove two strands of blue waxed linen around and through each piece, knotting in between and covering the knots with African metal beads. All-in-all, a successful project. I'm not gonna' lie though, a LOT of Irish Wax Linen was killed in the making of this project.....I tore it apart four times. Thankfully most of the strands are fairly long so I should be able to do something with them some day. I'm sure there's a fail-proof technique for knotting the linen between beads - it took me a few tries to find a method that worked for me.

Now, hop along and see what these other lovely folks created with waxed linen:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party - The Reveal!

Good day to you and welcome! I'm so happy to again be a part of the wonderful blog party created by the lovely Lori Anderson. My partner for this year's swap is the INCREDIBLY talented Kelly Hosford Patterson of The Traveling SideShow and PyxeeStyx on Etsy. Kelly is so talented with so many different types of media.
She showered me with love in creating my beautiful soup. I posted about her amazing soup here and Kelly blogged about it here. Now, I am not a prolific jewelry maker. I wrestle with my creativity in ways I can't even begin to explain. I am in such awe of folks who can sit down for a few hours and create many pieces of jewelry. I can't do it. Just. Can't. I labor over each and every piece and it takes me forever. Why, I don't know but it's a fact. Sigh. I've made several pieces from my beautiful soup (and miraculously, a couple of them came together fairly quickly). I've put several of the components Kelly sent to me away until fall. We've had such a long, hard winter and spring is just ever so slightly beginning to grace us with her presence (it feels like early April here). I plan to work with my beautiful felted wool beads and fiber wire as we head toward fall. I also have a piece in progress that you'll have to check back on May 24 to see as it's for the reveal of Diana Ptaszynski's (Suburban Girl Studio) waxed linen jewelry blog hop.

First up, Follow The Sun. This necklace features the faux sunflower druzy that Kelly created, along with her hand forged, bead wrapped clasp. I LOVE these 2 pieces. I also incorporated the dragon's vein agate egg, printed wood beads and the hammered copper chain segment Kelly made.
I took one of the large washers and wire-wrapped it with the cube crystals that Kelly sent along. I also added a vintage lucite link and some vintage lucite tube beads that I collected while working at The Beadin' Path. I also created some twisted copper wire jump rings and created small sections of chain to suspend the focal from.
I also included a little hand painted sunflower bead (on a Natural Touch resin bead) that I had created some time ago. I love that I could combine my sunflower with Kelly's. I absolutely love this necklace and I'm sure I'll wear it often.
Next up are earrings made with vintage lucite tear drop hoops and some of the crystals Kelly sent me along with copper balled end headpins that I made. Light weight and casual.
This next pair of earrings pairs the same crystals (I love the color) along with the vintage lampworked leaves. I tied on short lengths of red sari silk.
This bracelet is in progress, I need to figure out what I want to do for a clasp (copper or brass/bronze?). I've used one of the large printed wood beads, honey jade rondelles, carnelian rounds, and vintage luster glass.
My second necklace includes two different vintage copper chain lengths, Kelly's collage bee treasure box pendant, her hand forged sunflower link (which I altered by adding color with Alcohol Inks), a fringe of copper chain and beads along with a bee skep connector I made. I have a dear friend who keeps bees (mmmmm is the honey delicious!), he calls them his girls. I'll think of Kelly and Jimmy when I wear this!
My final creation isn't jewelry to wear, but is very close to my heart. I have a thing for ornaments (surprising given my blog name, eh). I've recently started collecting sunflower ornaments. This is the first I've created, using the other hammered sunflower Kelly created (which I altered by adding color with Alcohol Inks) along with the polymer crow by Beady Eyed Bunny.
This has been so much fun! I still have a number of pieces in progress on my desk (it actually looks much worse than this presently):
Thank so much for stopping by. Please visit Kelly's blog to see what she created with the soup I sent to her. You can also hop along to see what the other 500 artists created (this is going to take a while!). Thanks again Lori for creating such a fun event for us to meet new people, share and create! Here's the link to Lori's post with all of the participants listed: Participant List

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ten Years

Where does the time go? Ten years. Some days it seems as if the years have flown by. Some days time creeps past.
We miss your beautiful smile that reached deep into your heart and soul, the beauty of which we could see through your gorgeous hazel eyes.
We miss your amazing hugs, the way you enveloped us in your big, strong arms.

We miss your deep and abiding love of your family. We are all so much better for having had it.
We miss your unique viewpoint of the world, it opened our eyes and has made us better people.

We miss your child-like wonder. Every time we see Legos and smell fresh cut grass we smile.
We miss your heart. Man was it huge. All you wanted was to love and be loved.
We will never, ever forget you.

IN MEMORIAM
In Loving Memory Of
T.J. MICHAUD
Who Passed Away May 9, 2004

Always you'll be part of me
And I'll forever feel your strength
You're gone now, but not forgotten
I can't say this to your face
But I know you hear
When I'm lost and missing you like crazy
I tell myself I'm so blessed
To have had you in my life
When I had the time to tell you
Never thought I'd live to see the day
When the words I should have said
Would come to haunt me
In my darkest hour I tell myself
I'll see you again
You never really left
I feel you walk beside me
I know someday I'll see you again
Gone but not forgotten
- Westlife

We have loved you and missed you
every single day of the past ten years, T.

Dad, Mom, Caiti & Josh, Matt & Katie, Gabi

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge Reveal

Good day to you! I was so excited to have my name pulled out of the hat as a participant for the Spring Fever Design Challenge Reveal! I mean, really. Beads, components and silk from Lesley Watt, THEA Elements and THEA Jewellery; Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads; and Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads.

Here is the amazing loot that I received from these lovely ladies: the silk is from Claire, the birds and leave ceramic beads are by Caroline and the flower connector/pendant and blue/peach beads are by Lesley:
And here is the necklace I created:
In the end I decided to keep it simple. It slips right over my head. I connected the silk to the body of the necklace with twisted copper rings that I made. If you could see what my desk looks like you'd wonder how that happened. Do all of you drag out every single bead and component you own that you think will work in a particular design? It will take me a week to put it all away. I haven't dared to enter my studio since last weekend because it's such a mess.
Here's a close up of the birdhouse connector I made. This is a template in Laura Beth Love's (of Dishfunctional Designs) new book Boho Chic Jewelry. I clearly can't count because there are 3 roof shingles on the left and only 2 on the right..... I need to rework this. I think I would prefer it without the rhinestone connector on it and to do a little decorative painting instead. We'll see if that happens.
I still have a leave and peach bead left to play with. Thank you so much ladies for including me in this very fun hop. Oh, and by the way - spring? I woke to an inch of snow blanketing everything this morning. I sure wish she'd hurry up and decide to stay with us!! Now, grab a cup and hop along to see what all of these lovely ladies created!

Caroline Dewison - http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk 
Erin Prais – Hintz – http://treasures-found.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Soups are simmering!!

Well, hello! There's soup simmering everywhere, can you smell it? It smells delicious and looks divine!!

I received my bead soup ingredients from my very lovely and EXTREMELY talented partner Kelly Hosford Patterson of The Traveling Sideshow. Man, I was bowled over and completely humbled! Kelly is so talented and so thoughtful. Sunflowers are very special to me and my family, they represent my son T.J. for us. Kelly knew that because she had very thoughtfully read through my blog. She went all out and I can't wait to sit down and begin creating with the beautiful components she's sent to me.
Here's a group shot of the components of my soup that she made herself. SHE MADE THEM ALL! Oh my gosh, such beauty and love! Here are individual shots of the main ingredients:
The focal and clasp - Kelly created the faux sunflower druzy by crushing gemstones and setting them in resin within a copper bezel pendent she had created. Love! The hammered copper clasp wire wrapped with coral seed beads and including a vintage bead.
How fabulous is this pendant?!
Hammered copper sunflower connectors.
Hammered copper chain.
 
Talisman trinket box: front, back and interior. How cool is this?!
Fiber wrapped wire, felted beads with swirled copper caps and golden pheasant feathers.
And now, the supporting cast:
  
Pretty amazing, right!! That's a little black bird by Beady Eyed Bunny in the mix. I am a very lucky and grateful girl. Kelly's written a lovely post about creating my soup here.

Next up, the soup I sent to Kelly. Do you know how sometimes you start with a thought in mind and as you start adding, that thought moves in another direction but you love both and there are parts that go with both? Well, that's what happened when I created Kelly's soup. 
I started with this lampworked focal by Sachiko Kawakita. I have several beads by this artist that I've been hoarding for quite some time. They're beautiful and detailed. 
Then I started pulling together the flavor enhancers. There are vintage metals, lucite, glass and MOP buttons, along with vintage brass earring filigree. There are some black vintage, cut glass (jet?) beads from a broken necklace my friend gave me that she'd picked up at a sale somewhere. They appear to be hand cut. I like 'em a lot.  I've added some pearls and stones - do you see those rainbow druzy beads? I fell in love with them when I saw them, I'd never seen druzy as beads before. I need to get some more!
Then I added some sari silk, and a vintage enameled flower stamping. While I was looking for something in my studio I happened to move a chain of leather color swatches that a friend had given me and a little piece of crochet lace that my husband's great-grandmother had made from another project. As I move them I thought, "I wonder what Kelly would do with something like this?" so I included them. 
I wanted to add a few drilled sea glass chips that I've picked up on my visits to the beach to the mix, to add a little bit of me to the soup. In the process I thought about making some connectors, so I ended up drilling a bunch of glass (Sorry I blew out the holes on the backs Kelly, so that there's a definite front/back. They drilled through before I could flip them over...). This is where things started moving in another direction... Then I remembered that I had some sea glass connectors set in brass bezels with resin, so I added those too.
Then I thought, all that sea glass doesn't REALLY go with the lampworked focal, so I decided to add some soldered pottery shards that I've collected. Then I needed a clasp that would go with that, so I made a couple of sea glass clasps that could hook onto a chain or jump ring into the mix. The green one would even work with the lampworked focal. So, one soup or two, or does it come full circle? I can't wait to see what Kelly makes with the goodies I've sent to her! Check back in May for the reveal!!
I've also sent a soup along to Lori Jean Poppe! I've included a tumbled glass ring, vintage lucite and chain, a slider bead that I made, lampworked beads and clasp by Kim Watanabe and a sterling toggle. I hope she has fun with it and can't wait to see what she makes!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge & BSBP 8

Well hello! Holy cow, this is only the 18th time I've blogged in the past 14+ months. That's really sad. Sigh. I've got to work on changing this, well a lot of things. Let's start with the positive shall we?
A couple of weeks ago Lesley Watt of THEA Elements, The Gossiping Goddess and THEA jewellery as well as Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads and Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads put out a call for participants for their Spring Fever Design Challenge and I had my name pulled out of the proverbial hat! YAY me! We've all had enough of this winter, correct? I know I certainly have - I really don't have any desire for another gray day, or another flake of snow. We've had quite enough already. I'm ready for walks on the beach in my shirtsleeves and flip flops, thankyouverymuch! My beautiful components arrived earlier this week:
AMAZING, aren't they - each and every little piece! Now, I will say the peach will be a little bit of a design challenge for me - and that's a good thing! Usually if I use a bit of peach, it's peach with a tad bit of pink to it. My oldest daughter has fallen in love with Caroline's bird beads - she can't have them though, they're mine! Please stop back on reveal day - Wednesday, April 16 to see what I and the other 25 artists created with all of these lovely bits and bobs - they're all similar, but different!

Also coming up is the 8th annual Bead Soup Blog Party. Reveal day is Saturday, May 3. What a fun day (heck, week is more like it) that will be - I believe there are approximately 500 participants. The very  lovely Lori Anderson (and her husband Rick, and several very hard-working helpers) of Pretty Things created this wonderful event for us folks who love beads and love to create with them.

I've been paired with Kelly Hosford Patterson of PyxeeStyx and The Traveling Sideshow. To say that Kelly is an incredibly talented mixed media artist is a total understatement. She is a fiber/couture and jewelry artist - she creates her own fabrics folks! Kelly works with wire and metals, she enamels - honestly, I don't think there's a medium she couldn't tackle if she hasn't already tried it. Here are some amazing things Kelly has created, I mean seriously folks (photos all by Kelly):
I'm inspired and I can't wait to work with her. We're just getting to know one another and we're shipping our soup to each other a little bit after everyone else, but it will be so worth it. Stay tuned to see what we send and receive!