Friday, January 4, 2013

Focusing on Life - 1/52 Pictures

I have mentioned my admiration of Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime on my blog before - she is a woman of many talents!  Her jewelry designs are no less than brilliant and her range of media astounds me - wire wrapping, leather, SEED BEADS (ugh!  I cannot do this AT.ALL.), enameling, etc., etc. etc.  She is also an excellent photographer.  She posted a new challenge on Facebook - "Focusing on Life - 52 Photos".  Once per week, she sends the participant a prompt, and we are to take a picture to post on our blog, Flicker, or Instagram.
Well, my photography skills are pre-beginner - at best - but I signed up anyway.  My word/mantra for 2013 is "Fearless" what better way to rally to the challenge?  I carefully chose "Fearless" to combat some of my low self esteem and lack of self confidence issues. Ha! I about died when I received my prompt for the first photo - Self Portrait
Have you ever seen a picture of me on my blog?  NO.  A picture of me on my Facebook page?  NO.  My Etsy Site?  NO. That little photo to the right on my blog sideline is of my long lost best friend Sam.  Ask anyone in my family - I tend to disappear at "family photo time". 
Well, Sally, I took 127 photos.  Yes 127.  Glasses on.  Glasses off.  Smiling.  Not smiling.  Black and White.  Color.  Ugh.  I did learn from Sally tips that my camera has a self-timer feature! Ha!   Who knew? At least I learned something!
Anyway - here it is.   I really do smile alot in "real life", but here I look so pensive.  Appropriate pose for this post.  'Nuff said.  Except, I can't wait for next week's prompt!

Seriously - I thank you Sally.  It took everything I had just to TAKE the pictures, much less post one! 

Please be sure to visit Sally's blog here to see the links of all of the participants.

Thanks for stopping by!

What I did over the Holiday...and Donation!

I have been trying to write this blog post since yesterday.  Blogger is having problems with Internet Explorer and uploading pictures to your Blog.  The only way I can upload pictures is by switching to HTML MODE to upload, then switching back to COMPOSE MODE to edit.  Ugh...I hope this is fixed soon, as this post took me forever!


During the Holidays, I found some time here and there to sneak away and make a few new things.

The necklace and earrings above combine beautiful porcelain jasper, a hand-forged silver back plate, and some hand-rolled silver beads. 

I have not worked with gemstones in quite some time and I was excited that I could fit 18 gauge sterling through the holes in the jasper!  I over-purchased (something I need to work on) the strands of beads, so I made a a matching bracelet.  I still have an entire strand of beads left after making the necklace, earrings, and bracelet! By the way, I purchased the jasper from Dakota Stones.

I just love these green lampwork beads by Unicorne - looks just like peridot. I made three tiny dangles with matching Czech glass and wired them to one end of the bracelet.

The bracelet below is inspired by a design from the uber-talented Cindy Wimmer in Wire Style 2 - love the lampwork lentils from Unicorne!

The next three pictures are of a necklace I made with beads I bought from Kerry Bogert - I did not buy these at the same time, but while staring at my unending stash of beads, I noticed that they went well together.

The drop contains varying lengths of silver chain and an enameled bead cap by Sue Kennedy (an amazing lampwork artist who also makes amazing enameled components, too!

This is a rather long necklace for me - about 28 inches total - my hands were tired when I was done!

I made the bracelet and earrings below for my sister-in-law (Unicorne beads again!).  She ONLY wears gold jewelry.  I don't use gold very often, and was irritated at myself for purchasing 16 gauge 14K gold wire - I meant to purchase 18 gauge.  She is also the tiniest person I have ever met, so I made it adjustable.  In the end, it worked out....well, she said she liked it...

Yesterday, I FINALLY sat down to package up my latest donation to Ears to You (shout out to Amy Taylor Freeland at Copper Diem for introducing me to this charity-thank you Amy!)  21 pairs of earrings were mailed yesterday to this wonderful organization.  The earrings are given to women who are in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment....hopefully, they will bring a smile to their face, albeit, temporary. 

I still cannot believe it 2013....

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Last year, many people chose "a word" for the year-an inspiration.  I have thought long and hard about "my word" for 2013.  I chose Fearless.  I have always been a person who lacks self-confidence - just my makeup, I guess.  I am a lover of routine - stale as it may be.  I do not try new things easily. I wear the same white Nike sneakers (no color!).  When Chinese food is on the menu, it has always been "Sweet and Sour Chicken" get the drift.  The classic "rut".
So these past few months, I have been trying to remove the pessimism from my thoughts - the glass does not have to be half empty (or bone dry, in my case).  I have been asking myself "what is the worst thing that would happen?" each time something new crosses my path.  This applies to my every day being - not just jewelry design.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost
Photo Credit:
So, as I go forth in 2013, I will use fearless as my mantra and I will enjoy the view along the way. 
Wishing you all a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year!