Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do Over Challenge - Blog Hop

Yay!! The reveal date is finally here... of course, I didn't start actually assembling my pieces until last night.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the challenge - Jeannie is hosting her second Do Over Challenge.  She sends you a piece of jewelry that she feels is tired and boring; and your challenge is to create a brand new piece using at least 50% of the original piece.

So without further ado - Here is what she sent me:

And here is what I created:

First a memory wire bracelet.  I added different shades of red Czech glass and Swarovski crystal beads and some brass bead caps.  I used the large pieces from the necklace as well as some of the smaller Czech pieces.  I am still working out a dangle for this.

The second is a retro-glam style bracelet.  I used the small black Czech glass from the necklace; added some Czech glass pearls and some Swarovski spacers.

Here are the links to all the other participants.. I cannot wait to go through and see what everyone created!

Jeannie & Donna


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Adventures

After some prodding by Brenda Sue I have taken on the task of playing around with polymer clay in order to familiarize myself with it and the different things that can be done with it.  

So I thought that I would share with you some of the beads that I have created over the past week with this new medium (at least for me).

To start out, I thought that I would playing with marbling and here is what I created:
I marbled together some white and red Sculpey III.  I really love the different shades that these beads have. I tried two different shapes for these beads - round and oval. I had a little difficulty piercing the holes in some - at least when speaking of middle of the bead hole. 

Then I decided to try some of the texture stamps that I purchased.  For these, I used Sculpey III in beige (I wanted to be able to see the designs clearly so I thought that this color would be best.) 
For the left piece, I added color by the way of Guilder's Paste to this with a fingertip after baking.  The color didn't come out as I had hoped, but I think that with a little more practice I can get a better effect.  
The middle piece was baked and colored with Guilder's Paste after baking.  The effect is much better with this one.  
The third is an example of what happens when I don't apply even pressure to the roller when adding a texture stamp.  The left-hand side has only a faint impression.

Then I tried my hand at a cane.  Unfortunately, the clay was soft and ended up melding together.  So rather than waste the clay, I decided to use it as a marble effect. Below are the results.
I created a few flat circular pieces and added texture to these.  The larger circles have a hole in the top, while the smaller circles have a whole in the center.
I also created a round bead and had better luck with a straighter hole this time. 
The final piece was a larger round bead that I decided to make into a teardrop.
Not bad for my first attempt although creating the hole through the bead misshaped the smaller end.

Using the same clay as above, I thought I would attempt a crude toggle clasp. 
I have baked this and thought that it would be nice to add the wire after baking this first time.  I think that next time I will try to bake it with the wire in place.  The round part of the toggle has some texture added with the piercing tool.  The hole (which isn't pictured is in one side.  The toggle part has a whole pierced through the center.  

And here they are all together.
All in all, I must say that I am a little bit proud of my creations.  

And most of all I am proud of this piece that Aidan (my 8 yr old created). 
I am not sure how many of you can guess what it is .. I will will just tell you. It is a turtle with a rainbow in its back.  He not only created this, using Pluffy Clay, but he also narrated the entire time as if he was making an instructional video.  I will have to pull out the video camera next time to capture his hidden talent. 

Thanks for stopping by to see what my son and I created.  Hope to see you again really soon.

Much Love,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sleep?? What's that?

So much has been going on in my life recently, that I really think that a weekend away with my BFF is in order really soon!!  Here's the rundown of what craziness is going on over here.

The reveal date for the Do Over Challenge hosted by Jeannie is October 26th!  I am so excited.  To get more info head over to her blog to see what the challenge is all about.

I have been playing with Polymer clay (and so have the kids and even my husband) after some prodding from Brenda Sue and the rest of the crew at B'Sue Boutiques Flickr group.  I will have some pics and a post this weekend to show what I have been doing.  It is definitely harder than it looks on the YouTube videos that I have been watching.  I will be off this weekend to find me some fantastic books and to buy a couple different kinds of the polymer clay to decide which I like working with the best.

School : Not just school for me - which is going fantastic so far - but also for my 12 yr old.  My husband and I decided to go ahead and make the switch to cyber school.  It is basically public school that our son completes online so that he can work at a pace that is best for him.  This week has been filled with tears - his and mine - and frustration - again his and mine - and wonderful accomplishments - definitely HIS.  Slowly but surely we are making our way through.

Hope to see you back this weekend for some more fabulous posts.  If anyone has any suggestions on books for polymer clay, or which brand works best for different designs - I am all ears!

Much love,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fun for me!!

The Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop hosted by B'Sue is over and I am a little sad.  The hop was fun and exciting.  It was so much fun to hop from blog to blog to see what the different participants created.  Each piece was unique and beautiful.  Most interesting of all is how many participants had never worked with Sari Ribbon before.  

Here is another shot of my piece 

To see photos of the different pieces that were created during the hop you can follow the links in my post here or go to Flickr to B'sue Boutiques Creative Group.  These photos as well as many others with pieces created with components from B'sue Boutiques can be found in the Flickr photos.  There are discussions going on about another upcoming hop, individuals looking for ideas or help, how different people started their jewelry making journey, and more.

Right now, I am most excited about the discussion going on around the theme for the next hop (maybe in January)!!  The theme is POLYMER CLAY!!  I have never used polymer clay before, but have always wanted a "reason" to buy supplies and get started playing with something new.  

Today I went out and bought some basic supplies because I just couldn't wait any longer to start playing.  So Aidan and I have been having fun tonight conditioning clay, learning that if the clay crumbles it is usually beyond repair, and playing with cutters, textures and colorizing.

I will be taking photos of my trial and error pieces as I learn this new medium and what it can offer.  I am already excited about what I can do with it.  I am watching different YouTube videos, reading tutorials and playing with the clay.  

Although down the road (at least around the curve), I am super excited about making my own canes to create signature looks for my own work.  How awesome is that!? Handmade by me with more handmade by me.  

The possibilities are endless when clay is involved.  I am only beginning to see what can be done with this wonderful medium.  I hope that you will join me in my exploration of polymer clay.

Much love, 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sari Ribbon Blog Hop

Today is the reveal day for the Sari Ribbon Blog Hop hosted by Brenda Sue at B'sue Boutiques.

Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop

And here is what I created for the hop

I braided Sari Ribbon and Gypsy Ribbon that I purchased from B'sue.  I incorporated some wonderful beads from Gaea .  Rather than wire wrap the beads and attach with jump rings.  I coiled the excess wire of the headpin and connected it by stringing it on the gypsy ribbon prior to braiding.  To finish it off, I added a Vintaj Natural Brass Swirl Clasp.

Below is a close up of the clasp area.  I need to work on the colors so I will probably rewrap the ends in Vintaj Natural Brass wire and remove the copper and well as update the jumps that I used to better match the clasp.  Also, Any suggestions on how to finish off the ribbon ends would be appreciated.

I hope that you enjoyed my creation.  Here are the links for the other participants in the hop.

Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop

Vickie Wills

Susan Kennedy

Michelle Mach

Michelle Lee Hardy

Ruth Crawford

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

Diana P.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy

Connie Rios-Relyea

Jennifer Justman

Deb Davis

Cathie Carroll

Rosemary Cowit

Georgene Lockwood

Cathy Buckley

Harry Wood

Sonya Stille

Mary Deis

Heather Goldsmith

Susan Rouleau

Terry Matusyk

Pam Chesbro

Mary Shannon Hicks

Janice Everett


Kristina Johansson, Maneki

Kris Binsfeld



Catherine Jeltes


Sharon Palac

Deb Beechy

Jean Yates

Patrice Pfeiffer

Dorcas Midkiff

Lynn Perry Bennett

Linzi Alford


Cynthia Wainscott
Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
Alice Craddick

And here you will be able to see all the participants photos.

B'sue Boutiques Creative Group

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lima Beads Challenge

Lorelei and Shannon teamed up with to create this stunning kit.

First let me begin by saying that the colors in this kit are outside of the colors that I normally use.  To challenge myself a little bit more, I decided that I was going to create at least two necklaces from the kit. Since I usually only work with bracelets, this was a stretch for me.  So for my reveal, I will be showing the two necklaces.

On the first one, I used a few of the Turquoise Zebra Jasper Tumbled Nuggets and one of the Lemon chrysoprase ovals.  I added some rustic antiqued copper chain from Antiqued and a Vintaj natural brass hook and eye clasp that I purchased through LimaBeads.  The focal pendant is ceramic from Seven Seas Beads

The second necklace was created using the Czech Glass Gladiola Flower Buttons, the Vintaj Brass Framed Scrollwork pendant, one of the Czech Glass Luster Transparent Amethyst Teardrop, and the MissFickleMedia Patinated Violet Oval Toggle Clasp from the kit.  From my stash I added ceramic beads from Gaea, very vintage filagree stampings from GypsySpiritStudio, and circular rings links antiqued brass chain from Antiqued.

Thanks for stopping by to see some of my creations with this wonderful kit.  I will post more pictures of more creations from this kit later this month.

Use the links below to view all the other participants in the challenge.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Very Vintage Challenge

Today is the day to reveal the what I made with the Very Vintage fall challenge kit from Michelle Mach.

I was so excited to get started on my project that I didn't snap a photo of the kit when I received it, but here is a photo from Michelle's blog

And here is one of the items that I created, a bracelet

I incorporated the Vintaj branch and used a hole punch to create a hole in each end of the branch.  Then 24g copper wire was used to attach 2 leaves to the branch by wire wrapping.  The acorn bead cap that was included in the kit was added to a ceramic bead from Gaea.  Another ceramic bead from Gaea was transformed into a link with wire wrapped loops.  I added Gypsy Ribbon from B'Sue Boutiques, a small amount of antique brass chain from Antiqued and a toggle clasp from Miss Fickle Media.

I will have more photos of another creation later this week, I am having some technical difficulties with my camera and so am unable to upload to my computer.

Please take a moment to visit the other participants in the Very Vintage fall challenge


Michelle H.
Firefly Visions

Michelle M.
Beads & Books

Blog by Salla

Falling into the Sky

Shaiha's Ramblings

MiShel Designs

Beads and Bread

Pixybug Designs

Pearl and Pebbles

Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

The Bead Junkie

Much Love,