Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Give Kids A Chance - The Tamarindo Foundation

John Guiliano (center in black) and some of the Tamarindos
Good day to you! I'm asking that folks who stop by my little slice of cyberspace take a hop on over to my daughter Gabrielle's blog Seeds of a Sunflower to read her blog post today about the Tamarindo Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit) it's founder John Guiliano, and his rapidly upcoming trek across America Give Kids A Chance Tour to raise funds for his Tamarindos.
John is a fascinating man who has given selflessly for over twenty years to the people of Guarjila (in the Chalatenango province), El Salvador, near the border of Honduras. This area was devastated by the twelve year civil war (1980-1992) in El Salvador. The goal of the Tamarindo Foundation is to raise money to help the children of Guarjila and their families who were displaced economically and socially with opportunity for healthcare, jobs and micro-business development, education, spirituality, and fostering community pride and civic action.
While my family is not a family of means, we do not do without. I know very, very few people who cannot afford to donate, even a small amount, to help such a wonderful organization help so many with so little. I'm asking my readers, my family and my friends to go to the Give Kids A Chance Tour donation page and make a donation.
In-line hockey as well as bicycling and arts and crafts activities are a big hit with the kids.

It takes a village, will my village help?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Simple Truths Celebration Hop - Redux

Ahhhh, this is so much better! I'm back with a second attempt at Miss Erin's Simple Truths Celebration. First, excuse the lint on my necklace bust (where is the lint brush when one needs one?). Second, sorry for the poor pictures. Photographing jewelry is hard! For seven years I have owned, and haven't taken out of the box, a Table Top Studio. It's a white fabric cube that unfolds and you take your pictures inside it. Whelp, mine unfolded from the little pouch into a right angle. Don't even ask - half an hour and I couldn't open it to the cube. I shall try another day with a glass of wine.....

Anyhoo, I wasn't very happy with my first attempt at this necklace. The asymmetry wasn't balanced at all. So, I removed the Lucite tube, added more pearl/crystal links and found a brass chain that worked size-wise. MUCH better. In ended up leaving the upper and lower crystals on the other side (I may remove the small MOP button dangle, not sure yet).
Did you know that coconut oil is a liquid? I didn't. Why, you ask, did I not know it is a liquid? Well, when I bought mine at the beginning of May I expected a liquid when I opened the lid. What I found was a solid, sort of waxy substance. I was a little surprised as it said coconut "oil". So, this morning when I pulled the container out of the cupboard and whipped off the lid, I wasn't being careful. What does that translate to? - coconut oil all over the granite counters and oak flooring! When it's 90ish for days on end solid coconut oil turns into liquid coconut oil. Please learn from my pain.

What does this have to do with anything you ask? Well, a little trick when working with sea glass is to rub coconut oil into it. Most of the sea glass I find is brown, white and some green (and a little bit of other colors). The brown and green can look very, very flat and, I hate to say it, unattractive. When it's wet, it glows and is beautiful. So, you can give your sea glass a little bit of a glow by rubbing coconut oil into it. It doesn't get rancid over time, it just gives a lovely little glow to your glass.

In my post last Friday I said I'd be making my own clasp based on The Art of Closure e-course I took with Deryn Mentock. As I was thinking about which clasp I would make from the course, I thought about drilling a piece of sea glass as part of it. Then the mail arrived yesterday with some clasps I ordered from Joanne Tinley of Daisychain Extra and I started re-thinking my design - and BAM here it is:
Yup, and look at that untucked wire wrap in there with all the lint.....
My soldering could be better and the hook could be a tiny bit smaller, but I was rushing and I was excited - I love it!!

Now, about the pearls - when my dear friend Roxanne's grandfather passed away a few years ago my husband and boys helped her clean out her grandparent's home. This was her childhood home, Wilfred and Arlene had raised her. It was a large task to undertake in a week's time but they did it. There were some items that Rox didn't want, but that I felt were things that shouldn't be discarded. One of them was a multi-strand freshwater pearl necklace. I tucked it away with the intent to reinvent it some day. These pearls are from that necklace. They smell like Arlene, which reminds me of my grandmother Dot and how I loved the smell of her handbag. It had the gram smell - her Halston perfume, lipstick and that undefinable "gram" scent. Gram's and Arlene's scents are different but there is a comfort there. There will be something, I'm not sure what yet, headed to Rox and her daughter Amanda later this summer with these pearls a part of it.
The sentiment on the back of Miss Erin's little owl is also a reminder to me, not that I really need one, of our beautiful T.J.for a number of reasons - but in this, to live each day to the fullest, to see and feel the beauty of each day makes us feel alive. Thank you again Erin for hosting such a sweet hop!

The Art Bead Love Tour Continues!

The lovely Lori Anderson of Pretty Things is the current holder of the Love My Art Jewelry Art Bead Love Tour chain. While I was disappointed I didn't win the chance to have the chain visit me after it's last stop at Alice's I was extremely happy that Lori won the chance. You see, she had won the opportunity to have The Sisterhood of the Traveling Bead Box come to visit her (if I remember correctly - I did a quick search and couldn't verify so I don't have egg on my face) last year but it was lost or stolen in transit. So, I think it's quite fitting that she won the opportunity to have the Art Bead Love Tour come to visit her.

Lori and her son Zack have picked out some lovely things for themselves and have added some lovely items as well. Go to Lori's blog to see how you might have the chance to have the Art Bead Love Tour come visit your house!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Simple Truths Celebration Hop - Reveal

Well, welcome to my little piece of the internet for the lovely Miss Erin’s Simple Truth’s Celebration! Let’s start with what’s right about this necklace, namely Miss Erin’s sweet little owl pendant – love him! Love his colors and sweet little face. I won him in a giveaway at The Art Bead Scene. For a week and a half I’ve had him sitting on my dining room table adding and taking away ingredients as I would stop and look at it. Firstly, I hate my bead storage system – approximately 25-30 of the multiple divider boxes. It just doesn’t work. Anyhoo, I knew I wanted him to dangle from the Vintaj branch. I also wanted to keep the necklace more on the delicate side, a little more romantic.

I loved the Swarovski Crystal Copper beads (not sure which article # they are) with him. Then I decided to add some vintage MOP buttons that I bought at Tinsel Trading Company last fall in my spur-of-the-moment 3 hour NYC whirlwind (my only time to NYC) with Gabrielle. That part is fine, though I think I’m going to remove the upper and lower crystals and I’m okay with the brass oval link chain. So, overall I like this side of the necklace.
Now, let’s move to the other side of the necklace. It will not stay this way. This is where I can begin the description of the epic fail. If I’m going to keep the tortoise Lucite tube component I made, this side of the necklace needs a little more heft. I had picked up a neat yellow chain at Michael’s that I thought would work. It’s great, but it’s a bit too “funky” for this necklace. I decided at 9:00 last night (why at 9:00 I decided this, I’m not sure) to make the pearl links. I like them, but I’m not sure they work with the Lucite tube – or if the Lucite tube works with the necklace; I think I need to remove it. I just love the patina on the vintage brass caps. Can you see the bits of yellow, pink and purple in the pictures (I know they’re not great, I took them at 6:00 this morning)? Anyway, I think the pearl links work, but it still needs more heft. I tried attaching two different chains this morning, neither of them worked. I think I’m going to do a variation of the pearl links as a second chain. We’ll see. Lastly, the clasp is absolutely WRONG. I don’t have many non-silver clasps. Tonight I’m going to make either a toggle clasp or a hook and eye clasp that I learned in The Art of Closure e-course that I recently took from the very talented Deryn Mentock. Check back late Sunday or Monday to see the revamped necklace. All of the components, other than those specified came from my favorite bead store The Beadin' Path in Freeport, Maine.
See, it's out of balance and the clasp is totally wrong (the Lucite tube probably is too).
Miss Erin, thank you so much for hosting this creative challenge! Please visit Erin's blog for today's participants and the chance to win a prize!
This is the carnage on my dining room table today.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pretty Things - Giveaway!

The lovely Lori McDaniel Anderson of Pretty Things is such a kind and generous woman. Not only does she host the massively popular (can you say 400 participants) Bead Soup Blog Party, now she's conducting a fabulous giveaway. There are 5, count 'em, 5 giveaways! If you're really quick you can still enter - last chance to enter is tomorrow Friday, July 13 (see it's a lucky day!)! Go see what you could win!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Soup Is Simmering!

I received my bead soup from my partner Leslie Wayment the other day, and she received mine yesterday! Leslie was very generous and I already have ideas percolating! Here is the lovely stash she sent to me:
I will NOT procrastinate this time in designing my piece(s) for the hop. I tend to do that, and I'm not sure why. This time I will finish ahead of time! I had pulled some beads out the other day for another project I'm working on (Miss Erin's Simple Truths Celebration Blog Hop) and found a length of chain I forgot I had that will go perfectly as part of one of the designs.
Here is the soup I sent to Leslie:
I had several different soups pulled together and didn't know which direction to go in. I finally settled upon this pendant;I've had it for a number of years and I love it - swoon! I bought it directly from the artist - Dustin Tabor.
Dustin was visiting Stephanie Sersich's studio 5ish years ago and she had an open studio evening. It's always so nice to be able to make a purchase like this directly from the artist. It's why I'd really like to make it to Bead & Button one day. I also included some lampworked rounds by Adriana Sauceda (I'm not sure that she's still making beads), along with drilled sea glass by me and vintage lucite - moss green cubes and grape moonglow button rounds, a SS toggle clasp and a length of moss green silk ribbon from my favorite bead store The Beadin' Path. I can't wait to see what Leslie makes with her soup!

Monday, July 2, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Party - Sneak Peak

That lovely lady Lori Anderson is at it again! The 6th Bead Soup Blog Party is underway! This swap has 400, FOUR HUNDRED, participants across the globe! For this swap Lori has paired me with Leslie Wayment. Leslie and I have spent the past week getting to know one another via email. Guess what? Leslie owns a bead store, and she cabs rocks - how stinkin' cool (and she's a full-time pharmacist to boot)! Now, let me tell you it's a bit of a daunting task to select beads for a person who owns a bead store!

Well, I've done it and I hope Leslie likes her soup! It may be different from what she's worked with so it might be a bit of a challenge, but I hope it's a good challenge. Can't wait to receive my soup from Leslie! Our reveal date is August 11!