Sunday, December 14, 2014

Whoops!!! Hop

"Well, I'm Upper Upper Class High Society
     God's Gift to Ballroom Notoriety

And I Always Fill My Ballroom
The Event is Never Small

                                                                     The social pages say I've Got The Biggest Balls of All"

Quote and earworm compliments of Bon Scott, Angus Young, and Malcolm Young.

The glass pearls are from ZnetShows.  Znet sent them to Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers, who didn't realize how big they would be when she placed her order and wasn't sure what to do with Such Big Balls.  So she decided to send her Balls out ~ 3 pairs each ~ to six other jewelry ladies.  Please take the time to check out what they made with their Big Balls.

Christine (c'est moi)

I am sure glad Cynthia is iffy with the size of Balls she gave us all a change to have a little fun :-D

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rocks Off On Hump Day

Hump Day...Happy Accident Hump Day!  This was supposed to be a smooth, thinner black rock, but once I made most of the bezel, it stopped fitting.  So I went through a whole vase full of Lake Michigan Rocks and came up with this one that fit.  I love these moon rocks (actually called Stink Stones, but I like my name better!)

I made this with seed and twin hole picasso beads.  When I bought the seed picassos, I thought I bought more than enough.  That was a month ago...and I am almost out of them. I am not sure how I am going to hang it yet.  But I wanted to do a hump day post so I didn't wait for completion.  Patience is not my virtue.  Not in the least.


Oh Those Picassos!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Lackawanna County

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Feels Like An Old Friend

Cynthia's post with the stacked bracelet sent me out into the workshop to give it a go. I was trying it with some small trade-looking beads she gave me once.  I thought it would look cool.  And it would if someone more competent was making it. For me, it was a colossal fail.
I wanted to keep beading but was at a loss as to what to do next.  Then I had a moment : all I could think about was some leather Cynthia gave me that was left over from a chair she upholstered.  She has been working with leathers a lot and I guess it seeped into my brain.  So I pulled out her leather, cut a swatch, and instantly pulled out these matte cream beads and red beads Liz gave me and started brick stitching.  I doubled my thread and used the thickest needle I had ~ a size 12 ~ that barely got the job done.  I wanted to use a rock for a closure but in the end opted for this mother-of-pearl button from my Gram's stash.  It was the first time I tried beading on leather.  I know it is only edging but I am proud of it anyway.

A few visits ago, Cynthia pulled out a book she wanted me to look through ~ Beading in the Native American Tradition by David Dean.  When I finally looked through it, my jaw hit the floor.  Most of the book is about the beadwork collection owned by Charles Eagle Plume, whose store/museum I had gone to a few times in my Colorado days.  It is located on Route 7 in Allenspark, Colorado.  Charles Eagle Plum was there to greet us and give us ghost beads and show us each item we laid our eyes on.  The beadwork, inlay jewelry, dresses, blankets, pipes were all there for us to gently hold, and a fair amount of it was for sale.  My friend got me a gorgeous turquoise bolo tie there.  It was a magical place, mostly due to Charles Eagle Plume himself.  Cynthia had no idea about my connection to Charles Eagle Plume...she just thought I would enjoy the Native American beadwork and maybe play with some of the stitches.  I ordered the book for myself and have gone cover to cover several times.  It is intimidating to start some of those stitches...even  more so to try them on leather.  So I started small for a change.  I love the results!

If I sew onto leather more, I need thicker needles (if they will go through the beads) and a thimble.  The eye side of the needle went through my finger a few times, mixing my DNA with the cow's, I suppose.
And I will need to figure out what my problem is with the camera/computer sudden incompatibility, because these cell phone photos are not good.  The table cloth doesn't help either.  But I wanted to get this up before I have to bake and shovel snow.  We are all friends here ~ I know you will forgive my crappy photos.

 The more I look at this on my wrist as I type, the more it looks like chair leather.  The creases and give and is the corner chair I would surely claim as my own if it were in my house.  It is the one I would kick people out of if they were sitting in "my chair" and I was ready to rest my weary bones.  It is a warm embrace and a comfort.
It is Cynthia and Liz, Colorado and Charles Eagle Plume, Gram and Beads.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tweaking It

The Bird Man has given me some very pretty jewelry in the past.  As the years go by and we spend on the children and the house and cars, the pretties get few and far between.  I am not complaining one bit.  It is the natural ebb and flow of life, togetherness, giving, style.  I stopped wearing  some very pretty pendants he gave me when we were much younger and my body was much smaller because they
seemed to get lost on this current body of mine.  Over the summer, I decided to put a little "me" in them and make them a little bigger and a bit beady.

 I apologize for the photos (taken off my phone), but you will get the idea of what I have done to the pendants, despite some fuzziness.  I am having technical difficulties with photo editing on my computer.  I am not sure if the problem lies with my computer itself or the camera card.  The photos I crop are fine when I crop them but when I go to post them, they only show up as the top third of the photo, and are completely erased from my camera card.  I had a lot of really cool ".....was....." photos that are :poof: gone.  And a few jewelry ones too, but I can retake those.  Just when I get comfortable with the technology I have, it screws me.  C'est la vie!  There are more important things in life then photos.

Opal Pendant...the first post-marriage pendant The Bird Man gave me, back when we lived in a little carriage house and the living was simple.
I added super duos (after taking it apart a few times because the seed beads I added were just too much) and every single time I wear this strangers ask to get a closer look and ask to touch it.  Love this one!  Love it!
I did post this on FB this summer, so it might look familiar to a few of you.  It deserved a (fuzzy) blog post. 

Sapphire and White Sapphire pendant the Bird Man bought at the jewelry store probably a decade ago.  I added seed beads, super unos, and twisted bugles.
This took on may forms over the months.  It had tilas, superduos, teardrops, 3 sizes of seed beads.  I finally did this one last week and am thrilled.  Looks like a streetlamp to me :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rocks Off On Hump Day

It has been a while since I got my rocks off.

Photo issues are still not resolved, but I will carry on and offer my apologies for any crappy photos.

These are two Lake Michigan Rock pendants.  In person, they both have a really nice sparkle to them.  In photos, you cannot see that.  I haven't decided on a chain yet.
The beads are the same colors for both...a pewter/aqua-ish twin bead and a garnet luster size 15 seed bead.  

this rock is beige and has crevices and some good sparkle in its nooks and crannies

this rock has a nice pink/red color to it and lots of sparkle

Drilled rocks coming soon (hopefully!)! 
Happy Hump Day!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Wayne County

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Little Gifts

My Mother always says, "Good things come in little packages."

Us beaders know the tremendous value and excitement found in those little baggies that hold beads, findings, scraps, someone else's treasures they no longer need.  All good things, indeed!

Cynthia and I got together to bead a couple weeks ago.  It was supposed to be a day on the High Line in NYC, beading and chatting away.  The weather had other plans for us.  While the High Line would have had a nicer view, in the end we did just fine at a cafe table at a Barnes and Noble off the Interstate somewhere in NYState.  That is all we ever really need ~ a table to work on an a place to sit.
Cynthia gave me a pair of awesome ear wires made by her Fabulous Bead Girl!  I love the shape and the size of them!  Cynthia also gave me a baggie of jasper rounds.

Here is what I did with the ear wires and jaspers...I hope the Fabulous Bead Girl approves :-)

(I apologize for the computer won't let me crop, rotate, or anything else for that matter.  I am not sure what is up and I have been working on these pictures for a few dreary days.  I didn't want to wait any longer because I ran out of hope that the problem would correct itself)

The earrings are brown glass pearls, peyote around them and the jaspers radiation out from the peyote weaving.  Very Fall!  Very warm!  Very Happy Girl here!!!

Thank You Bead Girl!  I love the wires :-D  And thank you Bead Girl's Mom ~ you Know I love matter what the size.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


This week's .....was..... is not a big mystery.  It is what remains of Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook in New Jersey.   I was there a month ago, visiting an old, dear friend, collecting rocks, shells, glass, and driftwood...and a few abandoned photos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


"A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself" ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

When I started this blog adventure, one of the first blogs I followed was Windrock Studio.  My reasons were simple.  She lives in Colorado and her posts are lovely, thoughtful, and from the heart.  And she and her guy make beautiful art.  From those humble beginnings, the roots of a friendship took hold.  My life has been forever changed by her kindness, humor, and sincerity.
She is Susan.
If you haven't been to her blog, you should go.  Her husband Larry makes clay people that ooze with personality.  How he captures the vibe of real people in these characters is the true artwork.  It must come from  years of observing people in their everyday environments.  Susan works primarily with fabrics and lace, adding ceramics, charms, branches, feathers, photos, whatever the artwork needs to be complete.  Quotes are used in the vast majority of Susan's pieces.  She will quote anyone, as long as the saying is relevant to the feeling of the work.
In the past, Susan worked with leather and made THE most beautiful bags (Go!  Look!  FRINGE!!!!!).  Recently, she has moved from leather into denim and is making bags that are functional art.  She took all that was good in her fabric wall hangings, her knowledge in how to make a good bag, added a lot of denim as the main support, a touch of those magical charms and details and quotes, and voila ~ Love Note Totes!
The girls and I received a surprise package back in June and this superlovinggoodness was in it :

 For The Sunshine Girl

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."  ~ Edith Wharton

That is the quote on the Love Note Tote Susan sent for the Sunshine Girl.

From the day it arrived, Sunshine has kept a book in it, along with chapstick, a ponytail holder, and occasionally her eyeglass case.  When it is not out and about, it is right where I photographed it ~ in her room, on a hook, waiting for the next outing.

We love this sweet back pocket!

Sunshine Girl loves tiny things and this was right up her alley :-)

For The Bug

This is what Susan sent the Bug...this quote is PERFECT for her personality.  And the photo is too! The little piece of antler dangling off the strap is the added touch that completes this  bag.  The Bug loves this bag and really loved the thought of someone whom she has never met took the time to make this for her :-)

For Me

I got a little teary when I opened my bag.  There were a few reasons.  The quote is one I live by, though I never heard it until this tote.  I am shaped by what I love...not external pressures of trends, finances, or keeping up with the Jones'.  The Garden of the Gods, the rocks in this picture, is one of my favorite places to go to in Colorado.  When guests would come visit me when I lived in Colorado, it was an easy place to get to so they could see something beautiful but walk easily as they acclimated to the altitude.   That would usually be a Day 1 place.  I saved higher elevations and more strenuous walks for later in the week :-) The lace leaves...I love leaves the most.  Flowers are Lovely but give me leaves any day!!!  And the last teary reason was in the receiving of something that had come from Susan's warm, loving hands.
I keep beading books, beading magazines, beading supplies in mine.  And a book of Leonard Cohen Poetry :-)

If these three beauties weren't enough. Susan included beads, feathers (! i love them like i love leaves !),  couple ceramic leaves made by Larry, and a few copies of the Pikes Peak Bulletin.  Larry is the editor for that newspaper.  The handwritten note meant as much to me as the Love Note Totes ~ there is something about seeing someone's handwriting that excites me so!  

Please take sometime to go see what makes Windrock Studio so special.  It feels like home...the kind of home with the sun shining in every window, a whisper of a breeze blowing through the front porch, and a welcoming warm hug that greets you just as your eye catches the margarita pitcher. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Wayne County, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Route 23
Sussex County
New Jersey

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New Life for Old Pieces

 Clearing out a former workspace at a snails pace, I have been finding a lot of jewelry that was once my Gram's.  Some are not worth keeping any longer, some will be given away, and some are disassembled and reassembled with a bit of weaving.  There was a bracelet with a lot of tiny beads glued to it.  A lot of beads were missing, but the piece had these links and clasp that were definitely worth saving.  I loved the warm brassy color of the links.  But had a color scheme in mind and decided to follow Hope's Pinning with a Purpose lead and try to get a patina.  No patina the first time around.  Nor the second.  So I decided to change my colors and appreciate the stability of these metal links.  I will be trying the patina with other metal pieces I have.  I want to see the magic!

 I debated putting pearls on each black AB square, but the girls said it was overkill and to keep it simple.  I wanted it to fit like a watch and it does.  I might add one more link, but overall...not bad!

This filigree brooch was bought at an antique store...ridiculous considering the amount of jewelry I already have  and the price tag it held, but I had to have it.  And the old man who owns the store is smitten with me and I with him and I can never walk out of there empty handed.  He doesn't haggle.  I am not much of a haggler anyway.  But he does give me a teeny discount for living local :-) 

As soon as I saw it in the display case at the store, I knew it needed a zigzag stitch.  I was going to do it in turquoise, but when I finally started working on it, it really resisted the turquoise and wanted red.  After posting a photo on Facebook of it as a work in progress, a friend asked for it.  YaY!  

I popped the pin off the back and wrapped the loop down.  The hinge that held the pin needs to be filed a bit, as it is a tad sharp.  I was hesitant to cut those parts entirely off for two reasons...first, I didn't trust myself to not botch the whole piece (and I paid too much to botch it!); and second, it is to keep a little whisper of its past life ~ on the backside where so few will ever see it.  It is good to remember what things once were.

I bought cuff links at the same time I bought the brooch (and just found cuff links on Thursday that were my Grandpa's.....sigh), as I had a vision for them too.  I paid more than I think I should have, but hopefully they will work out.  I have a simple plan for them.  I think they will be next on the table.  And after that...who knows?!  It just feels good to get a jewelry post up again :-D

Friday, October 17, 2014

Coming Down to What Makes Me Happy

We all start somewhere, then start again and again in the crafts we like to make.
I started with stringing beads.  We were gearing up to drive to Alaska.  I knew I needed something to pass the time. I knew I would look out the window most hours, but I needed something else just in case I had sensory overload (HA!  Never when I am out where there are few-to-zero people!).  So I bought seed beads and thread and decided to learn to string.  I bought a harmonica too and a "How to Play Harmonica" book.  I started the trip from Boulder and didn't even make it to Cheyenne before I was told to put it away or lose it out the window.  So beads it was!  Though most of the beads I bought ended up on the floor of the Suburban.  Ever bead on the Alcan Highway?  Doesn't work so well.

Dad and I laying on the Alcan Highway...because we could! 

After Alaska, the beading stuck.  I got a loom and failed.  I got bolo tie stuff and got crippled by lack of weaving skills.  So I kept on stringing.  I got married and had kids and kept on stringing.  Then one day, I signed up for a wire working class.  I sucked at it.  I mean, really sucked.  I was bummed because I really wanted to make it my thing.  The very next hour was a weaving class.  I decided to give it a try.  Brick and Ladder, baby!  Ladder stitched bugle beads with seed beads brick stitched on either side of them.  I did that for weeks, changing sizes, colors, types.  So I signed up for herringbone then peyote.  I took a lot of classes in a short period of time.  Then back to wire because the weaving really boosted my confidence.  I sucked.  I practiced at home.  I sucked.  Then I did a bit with sheet metal.  Very Bad.  Then polymer.  Bad.  But I ran out and got all the needed supplies and practiced for a month.  Bad bad bad.

There was a big lull in weaving recently.  While taking some time off from it, I hit the antique stores and the shore and got old jewelry to give new life to and rocks and shells and glass and driftwood to make into jewelry.  Something about blending weaving with an old brooch and weaving and pearls with a rock excites me.  I love to weave, I love to string.  I love to make affordable pieces.  I found my thing pretty early on and with each disastrous class and practice thereafter, my love for beading and stringing was confirmed.  I still have a lot to learn.  I need more RAW practice, though I doubt it will ever be my go-to stitch.  I may dabble a bit in bead embroidery.  Cynthia gave me a start with that.  Not loving it, but ya never know.  Maybe I will try the loom again since I have more of an understanding of weaving now. Exploring more about weaving and stringing...good goal for the future.  I will enjoy someone else's wire work, metal work, and polymer!

***If you would like to join us for A Time To Stitch Six, please do!  Sign ups end today (but we are flexible :-)  After all, it's just beads!)

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Time To Stitch 6 : Sign Ups October 10-17

A Time To Stitch SIX sign ups are here!  WOO HOO!!!  Therese and I decided that in Season Six, the participants will use charts to weave their beaded pieces.  We will have the reveal on January 10, 2015.

You can choose from any chart out there in BeadWeavingLand ~ picture graph, word, charts that result in 3-dimensional pieces.  Use peyote, square, brick, or RAW stitch in your work.  Simple rules.  The challenge will be in following the chart!

Amy from Amybeads is graciously allowing us to refer you to her picture graph charts.  She made most of them for Bead-It-Forward, an annual project that takes 2" x 2" squares and makes them into quilts, shadowboxes, and ornaments then auctions them off.  The money raised goes to breast cancer charities. It was started by Jeanette Shannigan and is now run by Amy.  If you decide to use Amy's graph charts, please consider donating them to the Bead-It-Forward project.  Guidelines for Bead-It-Forward are found here.  The theme for 2015 Bead-It-Forward is Animals:Wild about Finding a Cure.

Here are two of Amy's many picture graphs :

In the badge for this hop ~ at the top of this page ~ are examples of word charts and dimensional creations made using charts.  Feel free to explore any of the options that work for you, just use a chart :-)

Therese also suggested using Bead Tool 4, a computer program that allows you to make your own charts.  That could have some pretty cool end results, so check it out!

When you sign up, Please include your Name, E-Mail, Blog Address.

You can sign up here or over at Therese's Blog.

We are looking forward to this one!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Sussex County
New Jersey
Route 23

*to find out why/how this series started, click here

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Wheely Fun Jewelry Challenge

Janet from Honey from the Bee asked a handful of us Bead Ladies if we would participate in her Wheely Fun Challenge.  Heck, yeah!  So of course, no before photos from me, as that never crosses my mind.  But I am sure some of the other ladies were on the ball and took a photo of what Janet sent.  It was a wooden mini-wheel...smaller than a real wagon wheel but a bit bigger than a tinker toy wheel.

When it arrived in the mail in a package with some other bead treasures, I saw one thing only...a wheel.  I could not seem to allow my mind to make it into anything else but a wheel.  So, a wheel it stayed.  
                                              Ghost of the Gold Rush 
                                            wagon wheel, to be precise.  

I went to work on it and used Darn Good Yarn Silk Cloud thread for the center spokes.  For the weathered wooded outer rim of the wheel, I used a grey suede ribbon Cynthia gave me a while back.  I put gold tone hex cut beads on the rusty spokes.  After some back and forth with a buffalo head pin, I opted to use an antique, worn, gold tone pin I found at an antique store near my house.  It didn't detract from the wheel and it lent itself to the theme of my wheel.  

I just realized now how much slack is in the loop with the pin in these photos, but when it hangs, there is no seen in this photo I took with my phone and sent to Cynthia when I was still pondering a few wheely things : 

Thank you Janet!  This was a lot of fun and a true challenge as to how to present the wheel.  

Please go on over to see what our hostess and the other participants made.