Saturday, December 29, 2012

Art Bead Love Tour - Your Chance to Win!!

Are you ready to be the next stop on the Art Bead Love Tour and hold this beautiful chain in your own two hands?!?! Here's your chance! Please be sure to read all the way through, it's long but you must be able to comply with all of the rules. 

I received the chain last week just before we left for northern Maine to visit our daughter for a long weekend right before Christmas. I forgot to take a picture of the chain when I received it. This is what it looked like this morning after I had removed my choices from it:
Here are the pieces I selected along with the pieces I'm adding back to the chain (the pieces I removed are to the left and the pieces I'm replacing them with are just to the right and below):

an SLK bezel clasp with sea glass chips in ICE Resin, by me
a  handpainted, stained glass snowflake charm, by me
a Green Girl Studios pewter butterfly pendant
an intricate lampwork bead by Juli Wong of Ugli Beads
a beautiful lampworked amphora vessel pendant (I can't find the card for this, I had it last night. I'll update the artist name as soon as I find it.)
a handpainted, stained glass cardinal connector, by me
a pair or lampworked beads by Adriana Sauceda
2 pairs of ceramic beads by Andi Woods-Fasimpaur
I've also added a few extras:
A resin bead with a handpainted zinnia by me, a lampwork bead by Corina Tettinger, drilled sea glass chips by me, a ceramic button by Beadfreaky, and an enameled metal bead by Keri Lee Sereika

 A huge thank you to all who've had the chain previously and have added such beautiful, handcrafted art beads to to keep this train steaming on!
Here's the Scoop:The Art Bead Love Tour is an ongoing project to spread the love of handmade to new and exciting places.  It's a way to reach people who may have never stumbled upon your blog on their own, and give them a chance to share the love of handmade.  A chain was chosen to link beads as a symbol of how this project links us all together ~ in our unity to stand behind handmade.
The winner of the chain will be allowed to take up to 30 beads from this chain. They will then replace each bead they took with another handmade bead, charm or pendant of equal quality.  (So remember-----You're not winning the ENTIRE CHAIN---just a chance to take some beads from it!)
It is so important that the quality of the beads be maintained, so we can keep the Art Bead Love Tour alive.  We want to share consistent quality with the next winner.  If you make your own handmade beads or components, it's a great way to get your beads into the world for people to try them out, or, if you hoard collect art beads it's a great way to share your collection and get some new additions as well.

Art Beads should be handmade by an artist, and not mass produced,
such as Hill Tribe Silver beads or others like them.
Remember, the focus is on replacing handmade with handmade, and beads/components taken should be replaced with beads/components that are made by an individual artist - not an organization.

Here's where the chain has been:
Genea Beads
Keepsakes by Kristi
baubles, beads, & other curiosities
Artfully Ornamental - you are here!

HOW IT WORKS:  (Please read the entire post before entering!)
1. The winner of the chain will be allowed to take up to 30 beads from this chain.  They will then replace each bead they took with another handmade bead, charm, or pendant of equal quality.

2. The winner will post pictures of what was taken and what was added, in order to keep an account of the chain's progress and to keep our followers drooling.  Please be sure to give credit to the bead artists as well (if you know them).

3. The winner will then have a giveaway, just like this one, to keep passing the chain on and on.  Rules can be copied and pasted from here.

4. When you repost your giveaway (remember you can copy and paste from here) - a list should be added to show where the chain has gone, with links to each previous blog.  Ultimately, this will end up a very long list!

5. Chain must be shipped to its new home via Priority Small Flat Rate box with delivery confirmation. Please package it carefully.

6. There will be a button on the Love My Art Jewelry website that links to the current blog and giveaway, so if you have the chain it will link to your blog.  That way our followers can have another chance to win it!

7. You MUST exchange your beads and have your giveaway completed within two weeks of receiving the chain.

Please, please, please, if you cannot adhere to the above rules, do not
enter the giveaway at this time. It will go on and on and you can always
 enter at a later date.  There will be a button on the side bar of our blog
so that you can track where the chain currently is.


1. You must have an active blog to enter.

2. Leave a comment below.  Make sure your email is linked to your blog or leave it in the comment.  Entries without emails will not qualify.

3. Share on Facebook, Twitter or your blog for extra chances to win.  Leave a comment for each way you share, with a link if possible.

4. Winner will pay shipping and will be billed through PayPal.  Package to be shipped via small priority flat rate box with delivery confirmation, $6.00.

5. Open only to our readers in the United States due to problems with tracking and shipping overseas (sorry).

Monday, December 17, 2012

WOO-HOO! The Art Bead Love Tour is headed my way!

I am over the moon excited! The Art Bead Love Tour chain started by the lovely ladoes of Love My Art Jewelry is on its way to me!! I had a lovely surprise facebook email from Mimi Gardner of baubles, beads & other curiosities, the most recent holder of the chain, yesterday suggesting I take a peek at her recent blog post - I am ecstatic! I cannot wait to hold that beautiful piece of art in my hands and gaze upon it with my own two eyes. I'm not yet sure what I'll add to it, as I'd like to see what beauties I'd like to remove from it first! Stay tuned folks, your chance to win is coming up soon!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Bling 2 Blog Hop

 Good day to you! Welcome to the Holiday Bling 2 Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Shelley Graham Turner and Marlene Cupo. Thanks, ladies, for hosting such a fun event so very close to my heart! This go-round I was paired with Chandra Merod of Juniper Goods from sunny California. It's finally decided to be winter, temperature wise, here in Maine. I think I'd prefer the temps in California better (at least after Christmas - we may have a white one this year!)!
Chandra is both an artist and shop owner - how wonderful is that! I'd love to be able to create all day! She sent me two beautiful felt ornaments - love them! I just love adding new handcrafted ornaments to my tree each year. So much more special when someone makes them just for you! She sent me a sweet little gingerbread house. So special! My girls decorate a gingerbread house together every year and my youngest daughter had, what I refer to, gingerbread palooza at our house when she was a sophomore in high school - 20 girls decorating their hearts out! It was bedlam, yet a wonderful memory!
As the person who makes the special ornaments for my family every year, it's nice to be the recipient of lovely, handcrafted ornaments! The second ornament she sent to me was a beautiful little tree. Again, so special because I just love my tree each and every year. I love to get up early in the morning and sit and enjoy the tree lights while drinking my coffee. Such a wonderful way to start the day ('course it makes it hard to leave for work too!)!
This year's tree. Sorry for the bright flash, but it wasn't showing up any other way. Presents are not wrapped and under the tree yet.
Last year we had a family craft evening and made ornaments for my daughter Caitlin's first tree away from home. It was fun (well, hilarious actually). We did it again this year for my son's first tree away from home with his fiance in the home they've just purchased (tree's going up this weekend!). I think I'd actually like to make it an annual date with my family. 
Sneak Peek of the ornament I made for Chandra! Hop on over to see it!
Now, go hop along and see what these other lovely ladies have sent and received! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!
Shirley Moore
Lori Bowring Michaud - You are here!
Catherine King
Dyanne Cantrell
Sonya Stille
Elaine Ray
Gina Hockett
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Debbie Rasmussen
Renetha Stanziano
Ginger Bishop
Miranda Ackerley
Sandra McGriff
Tammie Everly
Alicia Marinache
Melinda Abrahamson
Rita/ Toltec Jewels
Chandra Merod
Mary Govaars
Kelley Fogel
Tiffany Goff Smith
Heather Rats Otto
Anitra Gordy Boyers
Marlene Cupo
Shelley Graham Turner

Friday, December 14, 2012

Art Bead Love Tour is on the move again!

Hop on over to visit Mimi Gardner at baubles, beads & other curiosities to see what she claimed from that gorgeous chain and the lovelies that she added to it! Drawing is Sunday, December 16 at noon!

This amazing chain was started by the folks at Love My Art Jewelry . It is one and a half feet of incredible art bead/component goodness! Check out their site, they have wonderful tips and tricks for folks who love to create art jewelry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gossiping Goddess / Kaz Baildon Bead Giveaway Blog Hop

Good day to you! Welcome to the reveal of the Kaz Baildon Bead Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Lesley Watt of The Gossiping Goddess blog, THEAtoo and THEAjewellery. Lesley is a multi-talented jewelry and component designer. I was delighted to be paired with her a few months ago in Diana Ptaszynski's Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap, and received a beautiful pair of earrings that go with so many things in my wardrobe!

Lesley put out a call several months ago for folks to put their names into the proverbial hat to receive beads that had been generously given to her by Kaz Baildon of Cheeky Cherub Designs. We would not know which beads we would receive and were charged with creating jewelry, accessories, ornaments - whatever we could dream up. I was very excited to be selected!
I promptly received my beads from Lesley and immediately thought I'd made a pair of earrings and a pendant for a necklace. Aren't they gorgeous! They have quite a bit of heft to them - one is just a tiny bit larger than the other two. I made the earrings first, however, they were a bit too heavy for my earlobes. I'm not sure if a smaller pair of ear wires would have made a difference or not; the antiqued brass kidney wires I had were definitely too long to support the weight of the earrings. I used vintage brass bells, Swarovski crystals, vintage lucite, dyed banded agate and pearls with brass headpins, bead caps and wire to make the dangles. I was bummed and slept on it.
Ultimately, I thought about working them into a necklace but wasn't sure how. I finally decided on a lariat so I could use both pieces. I've never made one before - certainly not because they're difficult to make! I like it! I used vintage copper chain from my favorite bead store The Beadin' Path (it's where the bulk of the other parts are from as well). It's a bit longer than in the picture above, the excess in hanging in the back so it would fit properly on the bust.
I'm not sure yet what I'll create with the third bead, but I may possibly work it into a Christmas ornament - I'm in that mode at the moment. Thank you very much Lesley for hosting such a lovely hop! Now, grab a cuppa' and see what these other designers have dreamed up (I know I will be when I return from work this evening!)!
Lesley Watt -
Cory Tompkins -
Rebecca Anderson -
Marie Cramp -
Claire Braunbarth -
Heidi Post - http://
Tiffany Smith -
Sharyl Macmillan-Nelson -
Ailsa Cordner -
Linda Landig -
Caroline Dewison -
Renetha -
Kari Asbury -
Niky Sayers -
Purple Cobwebs -
Cilla Watkins -
Therese Frank -
 Claire Ennis -
 Emma -
Kathy Lindemer - 
Alicia -
Sandy Huntress -
Lori Bowring Michaud - - you are here!
Amy -
Katherine Gale -

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2012 Art Bead Scene Ornament Hop

Good day to you! Is it though, I'm not sure - think I should have stayed in bed this morning. I had a lovely update written to replace my ABS Ornament Blog Hop sneak peek with my reveal at 7:00 this morning. Just as I was uploading my last picture so I could click "Update" my internet went down. I franticly tried to copy and paste into Word so I could repost, but that was to no avail. Thank you Road Runner.....Anyhoo, I'll try it again.....

Thanks for stopping by to see the ornaments I created for this wonderful hop hosted by the lovely Heather Powers of Humblebeads, Art Bead Scene and Earrings Everyday. Handcrafted Christmas ornaments are near and dear to my heart. Our tree is covered with them each year. I love looking at our tree and remembering either where and the artisan I purchased an ornament from, creating them myself, or with the kids. We have some lovely ornaments our beautiful TJ's Godmother created for him when he was a little boy.
Back at the beginning of October I attended Art is You...Stamford and took a mini-class with Laurie Mika. It was wonderful and introduced me to a new obsession - polymer clay. The class was wonderful, Laurie is a fabulous teacher, and the techniques were stunning yet quite simple. These ornaments, though nothing like those from the class, are very simple yet oh, so sweet!
I created these gingerbread folk using a special ingredient. My girlfriend Roxanne's grandfather, Wilfred, died a number of years ago. Wilfred and Arlene, her grandmother, raised her. They were l ovely people. We watched South Portland's annual Memorial Day parade every year from their front lawn. Some of my favorite memories from childhood right through to this past Memorial Day - we still watch from there even though Walter and Arlene have passed. Roxanne moved far away years ago as well. When Wilfred was at the end of a battle with cancer, Roxanne came and stayed with my family in order to spend time with him, and then make his funeral arrangements and everything associated with the home she grew up in. It was a whirlwind of activity and a bit overwhelming. We helped her some, my husband and boys moving the things she wanted to keep, but she handled the bulk of the Herculean effort. I say Herculean because Wilfred had owned a vacuum cleaner repair business since leaving the miliatry. Man, was there stuff!
Rox sorted through the things she watned to keep, sell and trash. There were a few things she didn't want but the hoarder collector in me, couldn't let them go - so I saved them waiting for the right time to make something with them. These ornaments are the first. The "icing" on my gingerbread folk are freshwater pearls from a multi-strand necklace Arlene wore. The pearls still smell of her perfume. Other ingredients I used are Swarovski flat-back crystal pearls and crystals (in Light Siam for the Mr. and Indian Pink for the Mrs.) as additional decoration. Believe it or not, the hangers took longer and were more difficult to make. I used pearlized lampwork beads by Adriana Sauceda of San Antonio, Texas to decorate the hangers. I truly hope that was German silver wire I was using instead of my sterling - there was a lot of scrap!

3rd Annual Challenge of Color - Reveal

Annnnndddd, that scheduled blog post didn't work. Some day I'll figure this out. Sorry my post for the Challenge of Color is a day late and a dollar short!

Good day to you! Today 80 creative souls are revealing their creations for the 3rd annual Challenge of Color blog hop hosted by the very lovely Miss Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati the and Treasures Found blog. Erin and her friend Brandi Hussey of Brandi Girl Blog teamed up for this go-round. Brandi created wonderful palettes based on the Earth As Art satellite images from the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. Fabulous!! I had the greatest of intentions to make two pieces for this hop, one for each of the two palettes Miss Erin sent to me. However, life, as usual, got in the way and I only finished one in time for the hop because:

My new studio looks like this:
bad phone camera photo

My kitchen/dining room/former studio look like this:

There is dust and dirt everywhere and Christmas Eve is in 23 days!! Will this all be done before the holidays? NO, but I still need to have it clean and decorated. I'll be scrubbing, moving and organizing all weekend. The wonderful thing is that my family will now be able to sit at and move around the dining room table comfortably. It will be heaven when it's finished. Many thanks to my husband, our son Matt, our daughter's boyfriend Josh, and our very talented, very good friend Mark. It wouldn't have happened without him.

On to the hop! The first palette Miss Erin sent to me is:
Coahuila, Mexico:
Love it! I also see a dusky plum in the photo so I pulled that into my necklace as well. I opted for simple for this necklace and I really like it:

I challenged myself to use only items I already owned. The lampworked cone is an art bead that I've hoarded for a very long time; it's by Jennifer Scott Geldard. I haven't purchased many art beads over the last few years because I have so many that I've had for a long time. Why I haven't used them I don't know, it's time. Anyhoo, I added some gunmetalish, textured oval chain, a few pierced metal beads, MOP beads and to decorate the tassel, Swarovski crystals and some stone beads. I want to fill out the tassel a bit more by adding a few more strands of chain and some more crystals and stones in the aqua, plum and green colors. The clasp is a sterling silver clasp set with a pearl that I've had forever as well. It's just a bit tarnished to it works well with the chain.

My second palette is:
The Bogda Mountains of China
Aren't the colors in the palette gorgeous?! While I wasn't able to complete my piece in time for the hop, it's in the pipeline. I, again, have an art bead by Sandy Seaman that I've been hoarding that will be the focal. It goes with this color palette like it was made for it. I'll post a pic when it's finished, probably after Christmas, but you never know - I may finish it before. This is the state of the necklace at the moment. It'll look a whole lot different by the time it's finished, I'm sure.:
Thank you for hosting such a fun challenge Miss Erin; Brandi, thanks for such beautiful palettes! Now, go hop along and see what everyone else has created!

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams