Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Heart Macro

studio waterstone
It was almost 65 degrees in Northern Virginia today...way too warm for me for December.  It felt like springtime, but my landscape says otherwise.  These leaves appear to be holding on for dear life.... 

But I do love the bits of moss peaking through the piles and piles of leaves that have accumulated in my wooded back yard....
I must brace myself, as the temperatures on Tuesday will have single-digit wind chills.  Personally, this Chicago-born girl can't wait for some cold weather!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Playing with Sterling Silver and Beads

My absolute two favorite materials to work with are sterling silver and lamp work beads.  I was playing with the sterling silver wire I have on hand and came up with these:

My favorite style of earrings has always been hoops.  I first made a paddle shape out of heavy gauge wire, then added a sterling jump ring, which I then soldered.  The plain hoops, though pretty on their own, needed something, so I added these gorgeous lamp work beads.  I do not know where I got them, which is unusual for me.  They were not labeled in my stash.

These were fun to make, but took close to 2 hours  - most of the time was spent going through beads to find just the right ones!  I love them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Artists Helping Artists Silent Auction

December 28: The auction has closed - the winning bid goes to Kim Roman.  Thank you to all the bidders!

***Updated December 26 - In the spirit of the Holiday Season, I have decided to match a donation for the highest bid placed on my necklace/earrings offered for auction.  As of December 25th, the current bid is $50.  The auction is open until midnight, December 28th.  Thank you!***

***Updated December 23rd!  New artist added to the auction!***

Several artists in the blog community have decided to come together to help a fellow artist in need. A medical emergency has prompted this need, and I feel blessed that I am able to help.  I am offering this necklace and matching earrings.

The necklace was inspired by beautiful turquoise and cream lamp work beads by Cheryl Harris (  I wire wrapped the beads with vintage wire, and added some beautiful amazonite gemstones, which perfectly match the lamp work beads.
The necklace closes with a hand forged clasp made of the same vintage wire

The focal is made from a deep turquoise blue, round porcelain bead, which has been wrapped inside a vintaj filigree. The "top" and "bottom" of the focal include pretty enameled flower charms from Sue Kennedy (, and a stunning lamp work head pin from Anne Gardanne (

The necklace measures 18 1/2" and the earrings measure approximately 1 1/2" from the top of the copper ear wire to the bottom of the earring. 

The auction will run from Thursday, December 22nd through Wednesday, December 28th at midnight.

Would you like to be the winning bidder?  Bidding starts at $20.  Please leave a comment along with your bid.  If you are the winning bidder, you will receive an invoice after the close of the auction.  There must be a way to contact you!  If you have email preferences turned off in your provile, please leave your email address with your comment/bid.

Many people are auctioning items to help out!  Please visit the other artists below and place your bid:

Auction participants:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Heart Macro

studio waterstone

This is my first time posting for I Heart Macro, with the lovely Lori at Studio Waterstone!

Part of my traditional, old fashioned Christmas decorating theme!

The macro shot came from a ceramic hurricane that I hand painted several years ago.  Somewhere in my Christmas decorations there lies the matching ceramic might be next year before that is located!

Have a good day!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

.....White Christmas Tree, at least.  I have 2 trees in my home, each decorated in its "own" fashion.  My absolute favorite tree is my white tree, which, after temporarily displacing the hall table and chairs to the basement for a month, fits perfectly in my entry hallway. 

I have only had this tree for about 3 years, but I dreamed of it forever! It is filled with colored lights and I know where every single ornament on this tree came from -- no two are alike.  My all-time favorite ornaments are by Christopher Radko.   There is the most awesome Christmas Shop in Olde Towne Alexandria (the Christmas Attric) where I used to work, and they sell his glass ornaments.  His ornaments always remind me of an "old fashioned Christmas".  I have always wanted a tree completely filled with these ornaments, like the first one I ever bought over 20 years ago...

However, the ornaments are pricey.  So, for the last 20+ years, I would save up and buy at least 1-2 of these beauties a year.  Since I have not amassed enough Christopher Radko's to fill the entire tree, the other ornaments are gifts, or handmade beauties, like the one I made this week with Jennifer Jangles beads:

I was going to give this ornament away, but I liked it too much when I was finished!  I frequently read her blog and she had some fantastic ideas for using her beads for ornaments - she has such talent!

The other Christmas Tree in my house is massive 12 footer. One full day to put this one up and decorate! 

My best friend dog Sam, likes to look at the lights at night.  He was very happy his dog bed was not moved in the decorating process!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sea of Tranquility - with Kelleys Beads

There has not been much time for jewelry making, that's for sure.  In the last 3 days, I have made double - and sometimes triple - batches of  11 different kinds of Christmas Cookies and Candy...and I am not done yet!  But, the house smells good!  For the first time in MANY years, the entire family will be together to celebrate Christmas Eve...all 17 of us at my house!  So, yes, more cookies to be made....

In the meantime, I did steal away a couple of hours to play with some gorgeous beads from Kelley Wenzel....these, to be exact:

These beads are amazing, as they appear to have texture, but are actually perfectly round!  And the colors!  My birthstone, turquoise!  They match PERFECTLY with Amazonite gemstones and chips.  So, I got out the sterling silver (lots of it) and came up with this:

I am calling this set "Sea of Tranquility", because the colors remind me of the beach! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Jewelry with Unicorne Beads!

My last post went on and on about the recently acquired lamp work beads from several artisans.  It's Christmastime and the days are FULL of activity.  However, I was able to work with one set of beads from Unicorne (  This has to be one of my favorite color combinations - deep blue with a touch of green. I had the most beautiful set of blue/green crystals in my stash that match PERFECTLY to the lamp work beads.  In the photographs, the blue of the crystals turns a tad purple, but it's blue!

I could have just kept these lamp work beads on my table and stared at them all day for the rest of my life - they are so pretty!  In my next life, I'd like to make beads, but until then, I will just play with them!  My favorite metal to work with is sterling silver.  I hand forged a clasp from sterling silver for the necklace, and used hand made sterling ear wires for the earrings.  But I love the look of the antique silver plated clasp on the bracelet.

I hope to have time this weekend to play with some more beads!  Thank you for stopping by!

The 25% off Grand Opening Sale continues in my etsy shop!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's All About the Beads!

In the past 2 weeks, I have done my part to support the economy...I have been on a major shopping spree for beads!  Many beads, some of which I would like to share here:

Gorgeous lentils from Unicorne Beads (

Green/Blue Marble Beads from Unicorn

I have more of these Ivory Raku lentils from Kelleys Beads - hoarded from earlier this year  (! 
More phenomenal lentils from Unicorn - denim colored!
Turquoise crackle beads, from Kelleys Beads

Baroque style beads from Sue Beads ( Her color choices in this set are SPOT ON!!

Dichroic flat beads - Unicorn

Royal Blues from Kelleys Beads

Lovely lampwork scrolls from Cheryls Art on Etsy ( - Cheryl also makes beautiful Christmas Ornaments!

It's raining on and off in Virginia today.  Hopefully, I can get to my "studio" and work with some of these lovelies.

My Grand Opening 25% Off sale in my etsy shop is still on!!!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Grand Opening Sale!!! Save 25%

To celebrate the Grand Opening of my ETSY store, enjoy 25% off of everything!!!  New items are constantly being added to the shop, so please stop by often!  A small sample of items available pictured below.  Items ship quickly!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

I am always amazed at how fast the days go by as soon as Halloween much to do and so little time!  I have finally "opened" my Etsy store, and I now have an even greater appreciation for every artist/jewelry designer/seller out there!  So much work involved, from creating the jewelry to finally getting it into the shop.  I won't bore anyone with the details....just know that I am physically tired!

I leave you with a few pics......