Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party - Soups Ready!

I realize that I have neglected to blog about the soup that my BSBP partner, Niki Meiners sent me, but I wanted to keep it to myself for a little bit.  This is my first BSBP so I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Niki did her research to see what metals and materials I work with the most and then decided to send me something that would push me outside of my comfort zone.  *Which by the way is the goal of the BSBP!

She sent me a silver toggle clasp and earwires and sent some copper findings.  Guess what?  She did that because she sent me 2 sets of beads :) 

This is the first set.  Niki created these clay tiles using a Mokume Gane technique blending orange, pink, and yellows with a little blue and purple.

She also sent some cute coordinating beads in orange.

Then she included another set of tile beads with a copper glow to them just as a little extra something.      Woo hoo! 

And here it is all together

An interesting soup that is going to push me to think outside of the box when coming up with my final piece(s).  But you will have to wait until the reveal date on Sept 17th to see what I and the rest of the BSBP participants create.

Much Love,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bead Haul

I wasn't lucky enough to be able to travel to Philly for Bead Fest.  I did, however find a wonderful bead show in Chattanooga, Tennessee that is within 15 minutes of my home.  There weren't many vendors, but I had a wonderful time with my mom perusing all the goodies and came home with some beautiful selections.

All of these lovelies came from Seven Seas Beads.  They are absolutely stunning ceramic and natural gemstone.

These are some gorgeous carved Agate roses that I found from a different vendor *alas I cannot remember their name.

These vintage lucite blue and white and the ceramic bead also came from Seven Seas Beads.

These are from a different vendor.  I just had to have them.  The colors are wonderful!

These are from the same vendor.  I love the colors and the shape of these beads.

Again from the same vendor.  Some lovely glass pearls in a variety of colors and some czech glass rondelles.

And these are lovely recycled glass beads made in Africa .

That is my haul from the small, local bead show in Chattanooga.  I feel blessed to have found out about it and came home with some beautiful beads.

Much love,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A place of my own

No...not an apartment. Although at times that thought has occurred to me ~ not always easy finding a quiet space with a big family. I am speaking more of a place of my own to sit and create.  As most jewelry artists do, I started by sitting at the dining room table while creating my pieces. Until recently that suited my needs and it kept me to close to the heart of the home. Then I noticed that there wasn't much space left for us to sit and eat.  So with encouragement from some friends, I decided to carve out a little niche just for me.

So I started searching for a little space in whatever room I could find some space in.  My house is not very large and small rooms with a big family tend to fill up quickly.  Luckily my mom found a new table for her house and passed to me the dining table and chair set that she has had since I was little.  The new table fit more comfortably in my dining room than the table we currently have.  So when I swapped the tables out, which left some open space in the dining room.

So I pulled up a table from many moons ago from the basement and set about trying to create my space.  It is still a work in progress, but I have a space of my own that is "off" limits to children, spouse and pets alike :).

My work table with no clutter - of course I just brought it up from the basement.

Then I decided to go through and reorganize all my beads, findings, and other misc tools of the trade

Now to begin to fill up the cool tray that I found for such a steal a little while back.
Then I decided that I couldn't live with the traditional plastic bead trays that I have always had a love/hate relationship with, so I went looking for storage.  I found the cutest cart at an office supply store on sale.
Isn't the bunny cute?  My husband and I watched the light box tutorial from Auctiva that Ruth found and shared with so many of us.  The video features a lawn gnome. My husband teased me when I went in the store to grab the tissue paper to remember the gnome.  Alas they didn't have any so I came out with this bunny and he now has a permanent place in my work space.

Now that I am settling in and beginning to work. And as much as I would prefer order in my little space, it more often than not looks like this.  Always filled with pieces in the midst of creation.  New beads that I have purchased but don't want to put away just yet.
 I am still searching for just the right wall shelving and displays.  As I come across the ones that I have in my head, I will update the space and post more pics.

What does your space look like where you create?  Share with us in your blog and feel free to include a link in the comments below.

Much Love,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Artist Spotlight - Wendy Baker of Bendywho and Sleeping Dog Studio

Yay!  A new feature.  For now this feature will be monthly, but I hope to be able to expand to weekly as I learn more about all the wonderful jewelry and bead artists that are out there in the big, big world.
This month the Spotlight is on uber fabulous Wendy Baker. 

Many of you already know Wendy from her facebook fan page Bendywho by Wendy Baker and her Etsy shop Sleeping Dog Studio. Maybe you have even hopped by her blog Wednesday 3 o'clock where Wendy gives us peaks into her life at home, in the studio, and at shows.  

I want to take just a moment to thank Wendy for taking time out of her very busy and hectic life to answer these questions for me.
I had the opportunity to ask Wendy a few questions.  Here they are with her thought provoking answers.  Mixed in are photos of her awe-inspiring designs.  These and many many more can be found on her facebook fan page bendywho by Wendy Baker.

What do you love most about designing and creating your own jewerly? 
*i get to pick things that intrique me and then play with them until i either give up, get some kind of good or bad result, get bitten to keep working on some technical evolution, or just try to form something i saw in my mind's eye.  i also like wearing my creations to see if anyone else is as curious as i am.

What are some of you favorite materials to work with and create with?
*loads of influences both passive and actively have settled around me to shwo me how other artists express themselves. i always loved the wire and 3-d expressions that Alexander Calder could fabricate with a spool of wire and a pair of cutters.  he could travel anywhere and then create what he saw in his mind. so i love wire...a lot.
also, i have sewn since i was 12. the idea of taking something flat and creating functional 3d wearable art is so gratifying, i have been through a lot of different media, which i suspect is simply a result of materials available and interests evolving over time.

How did you get your start in jewelry designing and what have you learned over the course of being a designer?
* i grew up near beaches on long island. my friends were all lifeguards, so i would visit them while they worked and i tried to get a tan. i have always been a collector as well as someone who made stuff from other stuff. so being at the beaches and finding shells, as well as being a child of the sixties, i wound up macrameing necklaces with things i found and waxed linen string. i have always played with stuff i found and played with making other things from it. + my mother is a great gardener. i have 2 black thumbs. i have been able to play with the floral pieces i found to make my own version of lush gardens. i like trying stuff and looking at magazines. also the time before i fall asleep or as i am waking up is vital for my random connecting of dots in creative ideas floating through my mind.

What gives you the most pleasure in career as a jewelry designer? 
*since i am currently making jewelry, i am smitten with a person approaching me to comment on my jewelry out of the blue. this is often done while grocery shopping. this approach validates my sense of accomplishment. more importantly, i enjoy the beaming faces of ladies who try on my work. it seems to transform their expressions.  this is great to watch and feel responsible for!

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs from?
*i read magazines, look at art work, get out of the house to do some errands. it clears my mental cobwebs. this is a really great way to rejuvenate my system.

I really hope that you have all enjoyed this peak into the life of the wonderous Wendy Baker, I know that I have.

If you would like to be featured on the Artist Spotlight, please send me an email.  If you have any suggestions for other questions on future spotlights, please leave a comment.

Much Love,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Sense of Accomplishment

I put my package in the mail today for my Bead Soup Blog Party partner Niki Meiners.  My original focal met with an unfortunate demise, so I had to put on my thinking cap and decide what to send.  Of course, since I had everything else picked out it had to cooridinate.

I finally decided to create a focal with my own two hands using some components that I had received in my Muse box from B'Sue Boutiques.  A beautiful component was my starting point and I added a little bit of sparkle to it. 

I am excited to see what Niki is able to create with the items that I have put together for her.  BUT I will have to wait until September 17th just like everyone else.

Much Love,

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Quick Word

I just wanted to hop in for a short visit.  I am taking a quick break from a marathon of school work for my Organizational Behavior *yawn* MBA class.  I wanted to share this little tidbit with you before I go.

Just in case you forget or have already forgetten; here's a little reminder for ya 

Much love,

Saturday, August 13, 2011


my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, the beautiful and talented Niki Meiners.

I am so excited to be partnered with Niki for the BSBP.  Niki is the owner of the 365 Days of Crafts multi-media blog.  Her work has been featured in the industries leading publications and manufacturers’ websites and it can be viewed at and on as the Wilmington, NC Arts and Crafts Examiner.

Niki works in just about every medium, except for yarn (but she does crochet wire).  She is originally from Cincinatti, OH, but currently lives in North Carolina.  She told me that she loves living on the coast and feels that the laid back lifestyle has improved her creativity.  

Here are a few examples of her work.

I am excited to see what she sends me in my bead package especially since she works with a variety of mediums.  I hope that what she sends will nudge me a little bit into the unknown.  I have already selected the items that I will be sending her, and cannot wait to see what she puts together with them. 

Take a little time to visit her blogs using the links above and get to know more about her.  Don't forget to check back on Sept. 17th for the big reveal.

Much Love,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gypsy Spirit Studio - a new friend

I have been preparing for the Bead Soup Blog Party that is hosted by Lori Anderson.  I wanted to get some wonderful new beads to send to my partner.  So the search began on Etsy for just the right coordinating beads. 

I came across GypsySpiritStudio during my Etsy search and was immediately captivated by the beads and components that were offered.  I looked through all the pages of sparkly things that were available, and found the beads that I knew were just the right ones.  I messaged Sharon, the proprietor of this wonderful shop, to ask about shipping details.  She was so quick to respond and was so helpful.

We ended up chatting about kids, printers and the mail.  It is so nice to meet a new friend that shares my passion for the beautiful. 
I got my package oh so QUICKLY!  Little did I know what treasures this seemingly simple package held for me!
This beautiful package was inside that plain manilla envelope.  I felt like I was opening a special present just for me. 
Inside it contained such lovely things that I am still amazed!  I can't show everything because some of these lovely beads are for my BSBP partner. So no peaking :)
Take a look at these beautiful Purple Agate Marquise connectors.  Aren't they just gorgeous?

 And then there were these Angel Wing Flower Beads.  I am so excited about these.

I have been looking for just the right beads to finish a bracelet that I have been working on and I knew as soon as I saw these Carnival of Colors Baroque Czech glass beads that I had found the right ones. 

It is always nice to find lovely beads and even better to find a new friend.  Head on over to Sharon's shop : GypsySpiritStudio to see what other lovely items she has for you.  You are sure to make an amazing new friend in the process.

Much love,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Sewing Machine?

A little while ago, my husband and I went to a resale shop in Chickamauga, GA.  I was looking for some shabby chic shelves to include in my studio space. In our search we came across what we thought was a desk.
Of course the cord wasn't hanging out the bottom.

I started to really look at it and realized that it was actually a sewing machine. 
 My husband has an affinity for anything that reminds him of his Mimmie or his Memaw (what we in the south call our Grandmothers).  So we decided to splurge and pay the $20 they were asking and bring it on home with us.

The drawers were full of all kinds of nifty little items including these.

There was even a lightbulb in one of the drawers.
The top right drawer has a rack inside that holds spools of thread

Curiosity always gets the better of me when I find old things.  For instance when we bought our piano
I opened it up and found the serial number and manufacturer.  The piano was made in 1919 - how cool is that?!
The sewing machine was made in 1942 at the Elizabethport factory in Elizabeth, NJ by Singer.  Right now that is really all that I know about it. 

We have decided that we are going to restore the cabinet and the machine.  I have reached out to a friend who knows about vintage sewing machines to see what she may already know and where I can go to get more information.

I will let you know how the restoration goes and what other information I can find out about this wonderful find.

Much love,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fabric Wrapped Pendant Giveaway - Hosted by Jeannie's Blog

Jeannie of Jeannie's Blog is having a wonderful Fabric Wrapped Pendant Giveaway.  The give away is for 13 of these beauties.  The drawing is Monday August 8th.  To enter, click on the link above and leave a comment.  Extra entries will be given for sharing on facebook and blogging about it. 

What are you waiting for?  These are some beautiful pendants. 

Much Love,

Miss Molly and the tray

I have been looking for some time now for a mannequin or dress form to use when creating and displaying my jewelry.  All the time that I spent searching has finally paid off!!  I found a local company that was selling some of it display items. 

Meet Miss Molly!

I have no idea why she is called Miss Molly, but that is what I started calling her as soon as I put her in the car.  She doesn't have a stand, but I think that will work out so that I can use her on my desk to create designs.  I am still looking for something with an arm, wrist, and hand to use to display my bracelets.  If anyone has any suggestions on where to look, let me know. 

I also found this wonderful item while I was there.
The gentleman told me that it was a vintage typepress setup that was used to place letters before printing.  It needs some clean up, but really more dusting than anything else.  He used it to hold bullets that he had been collecting from the Civil War and World War II. 

I already have visions in my head of using this to hold my most coveting bead and jewelry items. 

I plan to have a studio space setup this weekend for myself in the dining room.  This is the room with the most extra space right now, so here is where it shall be.  As I create and design my space, I will take pictures and blog about it right here! 

Much Love

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party!! Sign Ups Now

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things is hosting another Bead Soup Blog Party!  Sign ups are August 1st - 3rd.  Take a chance and sign up.  It is sure to be tons of fun!

This is a great opportunity to show your work to other artists, learn from new artists, and get exposure for your business.  As of right now, there is 303 artists signed up (Including ME!).  International artists are welcome :)

So what are you waiting for???  Go to Lori's blog to learn more about the Blog Hop and sign up while you are there!  Can't wait to see what you create.

Much Love,