Sunday, December 30, 2012

She Made~She Made~She Made December

Hope you are all enjoying the Holiday Season!  Thanks for taking the time to visit this month's She Made~She made.  This month we are adding another person so it is a triple "She Made".   Yay!!!  Alicia from All the Pretty Things is joining Therese and I.  When you are done here, go take a look and see what goodies you will find at All the Pretty Things and at Therese's Treasures.  Look here to see Therese's pick for December's Challenge.  Therese and I will be working with a glass focal and square beads.  Therese and Alicia will be using some GORgeous teal glass beads.  I cannot wait to see what they do with those beauties! 

Here is what I made.  I am reading "Woody Guthrie : A Life" by Joe Klein and I think I was channeling the whole vibe of the book when I went with the stripped down feel and the muted colors.  Simple.  And I like it...a lot :-)  Though there was nothing simple about Woody.  But that might be better left to another blog post! 

Therese gifted me with this Juls Studio Gorgeous Glass Bead.  I had so many elaborate plans to weave and fringe and ripple and bling and it all is in the ever-growing pile of projects that just didn't work.  I made this long enough to slip over the head and on one side I used a matte olive rose drop bead and the other side matte olive rose seed beads.  I put some gorgeous Swarovski crystal donut beads in there.  I love blending earthy with shine.  I think they really compliment each other.  I balanced it so that the focal is across from a double of the crystals, as seen below. 

And here it is one more time.

Therese also picked these square beads.  I added green freshwater pearls and some seed beads and made this bracelet. 

That is what I have for this to see what Therese and Alicia made!
~See You All in the New Year~

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ornament Swap Blog Hop

Ornament Hop Day ~ YAY!!! 

A big thanks to Sally at The Studio Sublime for putting this hop together again :-)

My partner this year is Kim from Kimmykats and I am THRILLED, to say the least!  I love what Kim does with spoons and forks and how she makes them into jewelry. She uses them in very creative ways and has a style unlike anything I have ever seen.  The beauty she brings out in the just cannot imagine that they were ever used as utensils! And she sent me a pair of fork tine earrings and a spoon necklace.  She turned this spoon into a lily.  I have worn these a lot since I got them and people always want to touch the pendant and look inside it.  It is too cool!  Check it out:

 Kim started beadweaving this year.  She likes to refer to seed beads as "flying missles".  Can she weave!  Everything I have seen is fantastic...hard to believe she is a relative beginner.  And guess how she created her ornament?  With flying missles!!!  I couldn't be happier!  Well, I could...but we'll get to that in a moment.  Kim's ornament will be proudly displayed for all to see over the holidays. And once they are over, I am turning this beauty into a necklace.  I just have to wear it.  It is begging me.  It has all the elements I, romance, crystals, daggers, bronze, Fringe!

How I could be happier?  If I knew something about photography.  So I could do Kim justice with these photos.  The colors are so hard to properly capture with the crystal and dagger AB finishes.  And we have not had a whole lot of sun around here lately.  But I am so in love with this :-)

So here she new Love!  I even got a new sweater to wear with this once February rolls around and the decorations are all packed away. Beady Greatness!  Thank you Kim :-D

 And now please go visit the other Ornament makers.  Jenny Davies-Reazor was my super-talented partner last year.  I keep her ornament up all year long :-) 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday's Thing*

A dishtowel. 
It really is the simple things for me :-)

*Appreciate what you have.  Want less.  Buy less...unless it is beads or music.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday's Thing*

My brother took these photos of The Bug and My Sunshine Girl a few years back.  These are definitely among my most cherished possessions.  The photo on the left looks like it will make a perfect album cover for their first bluegrass record.  And the one on the right was from when my brother and my mom took Sunshine Girl to the Little Red Lighthouse under the Great Grey Bridge.  I just adore these photos :-)

*Thursday's Thing :  appreciate what you have already (but buy more beads and music)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What The Wednesday?!

It has been a while since I did a "What The?!" post.  I post it for when I am questioning if I like something I made, or if I am stuck on a piece, or if I like it but I am not sure if anyone else would be interested in it.  Be honest in your comments.  That is why I am posting it.

This edition of WT?!  features a piece I really like, but I am not sure if I like it just because I made it or because I think it will be appealing to more broad audience.  I can't keep EVERYTHING I make ;-)

Sunshine Girl and I were using polymer this weekend.  I drew a complete blank (I am very simplistic when it comes to polymer) and made this circle.  Here is what became of it:

Thoughts?  Comments?  Constructive criticism, please. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

She Made~She Made November

  She Made ~She Made November!  It is finally here. And look what Therese picked out for us to work with---A ROCK!  WOO HOO!  Love my rocks!  Lots of $ and time and stress getting my Graduate Gemologist degree and I go and make jewelry out of rocks I find in rivers and creeks and on beaches and, admittedly, some driveways.  The heart wants what the heart wants.  I cannot fight it. 

Therese picked out the rock I gave her from the shores of Lake Michigan and the branch pearls I bought the day we met (photo of the pick belongs to Therese).  What a fantastic combination~ I squealed when I saw her pick :-D

I knew where I wanted to go with these but was not sure I was going to get there.  But I did!  I arrived at my destination, almost as planned in my head.  The only variation was the way I strung the pendant.  I wanted to put some of the branch pearls on the necklace, right where the pendant hung.  But it looked like deer antlers coming out of the rock. And while I love venison, I am weary of being in the middle of hunting season here and didn't want it seeping in and mocking my jewelry universe. 

I did a ladder stitch for the base of the bezel around the cab.  Then embellished it with picot and added the branch pearls.  I LOVE IT!!!
Thanks Therese :-D

After you take the photo tour, go see what Therese made!

 Backside.  Wish my own backside looked this good!

From underneath. 

Profile Shot.

Just liked the darkness here :-)

And the shadows.

Dig that Fringe!!!

As a whole. 

The End. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday's Thing

I am grateful for you all.  I am glad we found each other floating around out here in the cyber world.  You have made my good days better and my bad days better too :-)  Thank You!!! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Therese's Birthday Surprise Challenge


To help her celebrate, she sent 7 of us these gorgeous Golem beads and cabochons to work with.  Today, Her Day, is Hop Day :-)
She also told us that it is Kristen and Lola's birthday this past week too.  Happy Birthday Kristen!!!  Happy Birthday Lola!!!  Hope you had great birthdays and ate something so bad yet so good :-D


Happy Happy Birthday Therese!!!  I know you are working today but I hope you get to celebrate at some point.  Asking us to be a part of your day is a really special honor and I hope we all did right by these beauties you sent us!

For your Birthday, I am sending this right back to you, completed :-)  Surprise!!!  It is going in the mailbox Monday morning (which really probably means Tues or Wed).
I love you, my are one of the best gifts I have ever received. 

Saint Petersburg Chain around the bezel, using twin hole beads.

Please Join in the Birthday Festivities and check out what all the Party Goers made with their beads:

Amy Severino

Christine Altmiller

Kristen Stevens

Lola Surwillo 

Marla Gibson

Therese Frank

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday's Thing*

"If there were no music then I would not get through"~Shawn Colvin

Seriously.  I wouldn't.  This is where the line blurs for me between NEED and WANT.  No matter how broke I have been, I have always had enough money for music (kinda like in college...being completely broke, but always  having enough beer money for Thursday Nights at the Dark Horse).  I still have records, but no player.  I have cassettes.  I buy CDs every couple weeks.  I even have an old John Denver 8-track...again, nothing to play it on.  I have been advised to get various devices and download my music from the internet.  But I cannot.  I need the jewel case and the liner note.  I have to know who played mandolin and who the album is dedicated to.  I have to have every bit of information the liner notes offer.   I have to have the full experience.  I carried around a discman everywhere I went.  It was one of 2 items I took into quarantine when I was undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer (once I was out of quarantine, I had to leave the discman in quarantine for another 90 days.  It was worth it!).  Last Christmas, the Bird Man thought he was giving me the best gift on Earth by giving me this.  I was grateful that he tapped into what really makes me happy, but I was upset and thinking, "He doesn't know me at all!  I am not parting with my CDs!"  So my reaction after opening the gift fell a little flat.  For several weeks, he pushed me to put some music on it.  I resisted.  Finally, after the glow of the holiday season was over, I told him, "Look, you may want me to stop buying CDs but I don't want to stop.  Aside from my favorite foods, my must-haves are beads and music and I feel like you are trying to stop that."  He got very tender and serious and explained I could buy every damn CD ever made--he wouldn't stop me-- and put them all on here and still have the liner notes.  "I just thought it was smaller than your big and very old discman."  Being the child I am, I understood what he was telling me, but said, "I hate earbuds."  Being with me for 19 years, he countered calmly with "Use earphones."  An awkward silence that lasted for minutes with me looking at the floor was broken when I said, "Show me how to put a CD on here.  DON'T DO IT FOR ME---Show Me!"  And he did.  And I think he regrets it.  My kitchen CD player broke not long after this.  So now, when I am preparing dinner every night, I tuck this little MP3 player between my boobs, put the earbuds in (they are not so bad after all), and sing my heart out while I chop and burn.  It drives them nuts :-D

*To learn the origins of Thursday's Thing, click Here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday's Thing*

Mama's Vase.

My aunt is a potter.  She gave me this itty bitty vase years ago.  It is perfect for me.  My house is so small so there are not a lot of places to put big vases full of flowers.  I had  my thyroid removed 4 years ago and I turned 40 the same week---I was living in a florist!  It was really nice and a bit magical for a couple weeks, but for regular livin', gimme small! 

When the kids were toddlers and giving me dandelions and buttercups all spring and summer, I put them in this vase.  I keep it on the window sill at the kitchen sink.  I always have and I always will.  Now that they are getting bigger, they pick me mini-bouquets.  I just love the hand selected, yard grown wildflowers and weeds.  And I really enjoy the beauty they see in the late fall.  This flower may be dead, but they still thought it was pretty enough for the Mama's Vase. 

I am thoroughly enjoying posting on Thursdays, for so many reasons.  But the pleasure I didn't realize I would receive is hearing how these little posts are opening up a flood of memories for you all.   I set out to do something for myself with these Thurday posts, and somehow it becomes about something less selfish.  What a joy to hear your comments and then continue with e-mail conversations.  We are all connected in these tiny ways and it is truly a sweet sweet thing. 

*if you want to learn the origins of Thursday's Thing, click HERE

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ears to You Blog Hop

Amy Freeland of Copper Diem is hosting today's Ears to You Blog Hop.  A big thank you to Amy for putting this together and for having such a big and generous heart!  Through her Green Bead Designs Etsy Shop, Amy gives 20% of her proceeds to charity.  In 2012 alone, Amy has donated $2,049 to the various charities that can be found on her Etsy Page. 
Ears to You is a non-profit organization that offers free earrings to women undergoing chemotherapy.  It is simply to lift their spirits during a difficult time.  What a beautiful gift to give :-)

Earrings are not my forte...I struggle with them and buy other people's earrings rather than make my own, but I really wanted to be a part of this. 
Here is my contribution, and I may sneak a few more in the package before I mail it out:

      I was thinking of re-doing these to make them only one square long...thoughts on this?!?

Go on over to these other wonderful sites and see what everyone else is making for Amy's Ears To You Blog Hop.  Thanks Amy!!!

Copper Diem
My Addictions
Beads, Tea and Sweets
Juls Beads
Fabric of my Life
Blogging Business Artisans
Jeannie's Blog
Lorelei's Blog
One Kiss Creations
Backstory Beads
According to Katie
Cherish Designs
Beads: Rolling Downhill
Falling Into The Sky
Garden Path Beads
Antiquity Travelers
Sissy and Jacks
Erin Siegel Jewelry/Art Bead Scene
Northwood Creative Studio
SilverRose Designs
Dreamin of Beads/SAS Jewelry Design
Cabe Woman
Summers Studio
Honey from the Bee
Shaiha's Ramblings
Mama's Got to Doodle
Beads for Busy Gals
Tanya McGuire
Creative Atelier

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday's Thing*

Or as some call it, Rumikub.
I was raise on Rumeo.  My Gram taught me how to play when I was 6 or 7.   Every week, we spent hours with these tiles and with each other.  We ate M&Ms, drank tea, laughed, talked, and played some serious games.  I am not competitive, except when it comes to cards and Rumeo.  My Gram was the exact same way.  These were the only times in life when we went head-to-head and showed each other no mercy.  But win or lose, we praised each other.   No room for talking smack at Gram's dining room table.  Win and lose graciously or don't play.
My aunt knew how to play too and I played with her sometimes.  There were rare occasions when the three of us played together, but those games would get rather prickly so we would stop at one or maybe two for the day (instead of the marathons we usually played when it was just the two of us).
Then Kevin entered the picture.  He was deemed Rumeo-worthy and would play with us.
One day, Gram presented me with this Rumeo set.  I had arrived!  I had my own tiles that I could take with me wherever I went.  I was overflowing with gratitude and joy.  Gram thought enough of me as a player to gift me with our game!
My parents HATE GAMES.  I do not think I wrote that big enough.  HATE GAMESWhen I was 16 I had a very very severe case of mono (thanks to a boy named Timmy...i guess i had a little to do with it too).  I went for extensive  blood work and they determined mono, with the added bonuses of strep and a rash.  Good times.  One day, Mom came to my bedside with my Rumeo tiles and said,  "Do you feel up to a game?"  I burst out in tears.  I knew I must be dying and that they lied to me about the mono.  There was no other reason my mom would play a game with me.  Once she calmed me down, I was too worn out to play, so I slept for several hours, woke up and taught her how to play.  She only played that one time.  But the moment will last forever.
When my Gram passed away, her Rumeo tiles stayed at her house, on the floor, in the corner of the dining room.  That is where they were kept from the day she bought them.  My aunt moved in to the house and we continued to use the set.  When my aunt passed away and the house was cleaned out,  we gave the set to Kevin.  He was so good to Gram and my aunt, always helping them around the house, popping in just to say hello, giving out hugs and kisses and warmth.  Rumeo worthy.
For several years, I tried to introduce my girls to the game, but it didn't click.  Until this past weekend.  Sunshine Girl kicked our butts.  The Bug wanted to play again and again.  I am keeping the tiles out now.  A new wave of good times and love will be created by sliding around tiles and laughing and seeing those wheels turning as we each try to be the first one to clear our board. 

*to find the origins of Thursday's Thing, click Here

Sunday, October 28, 2012

She Made-She Made October

She Made-She Made is happening a couple days early, as it seems Hurricane Sandy is going to beat the crap out of us.  I am not sure if we will have power the day we were supposed to do the October reveal.  So the beauty of a two-woman event is the flexibility it offers :-) 

(an it a little nuts that all I have banging around my head are the lyrics to "Sandy" from Grease and "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" by Bruce Springsteen, the early good years?  non-stop, these songs are looping.  i think i have a large amount of anxiety about this storm but i am trying to keep my composure)

Here is what Therese and I were working with for October...a very Late Fall feel to this selection.

And here is what I made with it.  I really love those plump and luscious dark drops and that leaf!  I added hints of the sky and the evergreens. 

A Big Thank You to Therese for the beads, the motivation, the friendship, and the fun!

Now go see what she made~I can't wait to see it myself!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Time To Stitch 2 Blog Hop

The day has arrived!  We are here to show our stitches for  A Time To Stitch 2 : Right Angle Weave and St. Petersburg.  Therese and I were thrilled with the response for this one.  Thank you, Ladies, for signing up and meeting the challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did :-)
Unfortunately, Shannon was unable to participate.  We will really miss her.  Her work is beyond wonderful!  Please take a look at her blog and see for yourself.  We hope she will be able to join us again soon. 

Nikki Byers signed up for the hop but doesn't have a blog ( but her Etsy site is here ) so I am posting her pictures for her.  It was her first time doing these stitches and she did a great job!  I love her color choices.

And now for the bane of my weaving existence...Right Angle Weave.  Therese suggested that it be one of the stitches for this Challenge.  I knew it had to be.  It was the only way for me to finally learn it.  It has been a constant source of frustration for the past 6 years.  I cannot do it, no matter how hard I try.  So this time, I buckled down and tried even HARDER.  And whaddaya know? With the help of Karen William's tutorial, I did it!  Not great and not at all fancy.  Just basic, straight on RAW.  But I did it.  YAY.  Not sure if I will ever make it my "go-to" stitch, but at least now I won't ignore patterns that use it.  Here is what I made:

                                   My First Attempt   (focal bead by Marsha Neal)

                                              Second Attempt


Now onto St. Petersburg...I took a class it it once.  Sally taught it probably 4 years ago.  I did ok with it, but never tried it again until this hop.  Don't know why I left it for so long, because I found out that I love it!!! Maybe now I will finish the necklace I started way back when.  But for now, some new items:

                          First Attempt, with Peanut Bead center, Square Bead branches, Seed Bead ends.

               Second Attempt, with Twin Hole center, Seed Bead Branches, Fire Polish Round ends.

Third and most Favorite Bracelet Attempt.  LOVE the Colors!!!  LOVE!!!  Simple beading, but the right colors make the look!

Last, but certainly not least, St. Petersburg bezel around the cabochon.  Oh.  Yeah.
This absolutely gorgeous cab is from Erin at Elysian Studios .  She has many more cabs and other beautiful components on her Etsy Site, Elysian Art A La Carte. Go check it out!  I have my eye on a few more cabs and a couple colors of Gypsy Trade Beads too :-) 

You have been here long enough.  Please go see what all the participants made.  I know I cannot wait to start hopping!  
Thanks so much for stopping by :-D

Therese Frank and Christine Altmiller 
Nikki Byers 
Kristen Stevens 
Shirley Moore 
Cynthia Machata

***Come Back Tuesday for She Made~She Made
***Thursday's Thing will be back next week