Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A HUGE Thank you to Maryse of GlassBeadArt...and Reflections

Back in September of 2013, I started my own little "campaign" to raise funds for a charitable organization that is near and very dear to my heart....Miracle Horse Rescue.  This horse rescue, located outside of Las Vegas, is run solely by a wife and husband team - no volunteers.  These horses are basically "throw aways"...abused, some slaughter bound.  They live in contentment now, free to be horses, as God intended.  I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie and Rob Pierce earlier this year, and I can attest that these two souls live for these horses (and their brood of dogs, too)!  Thank you Stephanie and Rob, for devoting the past 13 years of your life to this most wonderful cause!

I started donating proceeds from my Etsy sales and my craft shows to Miracle Horse Rescue.  I received a HUGE stash of gorgeous artisan lampwork, donated from Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem.  This woman makes AMAZING lampwork beads- I have 3 left in this special stash!  They are incredible beads and I am trying to create a design worthy of the beads themselves!  Thank you again, Jan!

Then, Jeannie Dukic of JKD Studio donated a boatload of her artisan polymer clay beads - these beads are fantastic!  Her beads are created in layers - quite laborious. Her polymer beads are like no other - distinctive, little wearable works of art from an artist with a heart of gold. I have two of Jeannie's pendants waiting  - again - for a design worthy of the beads themselves.  Thank you again, Jeannie!

Very late yesterday, my mail carrier knocked on my door to have me sign for an international package from Luxembourg.  I have been on a self-imposed bead buying budget (at least until the end of 2013- 1 day and counting..whoo hoo!), so  I had to ask myself, did I order beads from Maryse Fritzch-Thillens (GlassBeadArt) on one of my late night/can't sleep buying binges and forget?  No...I did not.  Along with an incredibly huge stage of artisan lampwork was a lovely note from Maryse asking me to use these beads in designs for Miracle Horse Rescue! Her daughter rides horses - and Maryse's family rescues rabbits! :)  Animal lovers unite!

The package included these beauties:

An entire set of lovelies with silvered ivory striping (my favorites) that will make an incredible bracelet,  as well as striking iridescent purples, blues...you name it - if it's a color in the rainbow, it's in these beads!

6 sets for earrings...6!!
Focals - incredible focals!  That red one, bottom left is just stunning in person!  

I have used Maryse's beads in many of my designs - here is just a sampling of recent jewelry made with her glorious beads:

I truly cannot thank Maryse enough for her incredible donation of artisan beads!  Please visit Maryse's shop here on Etsy and give her some love!  

These very special artisans donated these beads without even being asked...I find that so heart warming that words fail me.

Along with these three very special ladies, I have to thank each and every one who has made a purchase from me.  I am very happy to report, that since September, I have raised and donated - through my Etsy sales and 4 craft shows - over $5,350 to support in the feeding and care of the beautiful horses that live at Miracle Horse Rescue.  THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

I mentioned in a blog post a few weeks ago that my jewelry designing started as a hobby.  I retired from the work force about 3.5 years ago - that's when my mother moved in with me.  Though she in no way requires any sort of constant care, it was a sacrifice for her to leave ALL HER FRIENDS IN FLORIDA and move in with her stubborn and opinionated daughter in Northern Virginia.  The least I could do was be a presence in the house for her (yes...I also take her shopping!)  

So, while my mother sews in her sewing room EVERY.SINGLE.DAY., I am in my basement studio happily wrapping beads or banging on metal or singeing the hair off my knuckles every now and then with my torch in the hopes that the proceeds from that piece of jewelry will buy another bale of hay for the furbaby residents of Miracle Horse Rescue.

2013 has been a wonderful year - thank you!  I hope and pray that 2014 is just as special!

I wish everyone Hope, Peace, and Love for 2014.  Stay Safe!

Thank you for stopping by!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

I Received THE BEST Christmas Present!

My immediate family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve.  My sister had the most glorious spread of food, including delicious appetizers made by her daughters (thank you Lori, Rachel and Sarah!) My brother, sister-in-law, and their 3 daughters were there, including Jen's husband Jason.  No offense to the adults, but these two stole the show for me:

I broke my Golden Rule of never holding babies until they are at least 6 months old (don't ask...it's silly)!  Ollie and Evie are 4 months and  3 days old in this picture.  

This may be the first - and the last - picture you see of me with my entire face in the photo! :)  It's worth it!

Hoping you all had a Merry Christmas - I sure did!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Handcrafted Ornament Swap & Hop

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting her 3rd Annual Holiday Ornament Blog Hop today!  We put our names in a hat and Sally chose our partners.  The only requirement was to use at least one art bead in our ornaments.  Who would not love to receive a handmade ornament?!

I was pleased as punch to have Susan Kennedy of Sue Beads chosen as my partner!  I have blogged many times about Sue's lampwork beads - and she is also an expert with enameled beads and now...beaded beads (those dreaded little seed beads that I CANNOT work with)!

First up, Sue's box came wrapped with this beautiful pendant she made with one of her lampwork beads and a highly faceted glass bead with AB finish.  (I tore the package open BEFORE taking a picture, because that is how I roll....)

This looks gorgeous on a silver chain - wearable holiday ornament for me!

The ornament Sue made for me is comprised of gorgeous faceted chandelier crystals and one of her beautiful green lampwork beads!  I have made earrings in the past from those beads!  :)  Love them!

She used these awesome gold connectors for each section of the ornament -  I have never seen these before!

The ornament looks fabulous in situ...don't you agree?

Sue also gifted me a pair of her beaded beads - which I just LOVE!  

Love the baby blue with purple seeds...so much so, that I already whipped up a pair of earrings with some faceted Amethyst:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Sue!  I am beyond grateful for your generosity!  The ornament looks fabulous on my tree, and I will cherish it for years to come! To see what I made for Sue, go to her blog here.

A HUGE thank you to our wonderfully creative hostess, Sally, for hosting this wonderful Blog Hop!   

Now, hop on over to the other blog participants to see the beauties they received!

That's me! --->Patti Vanderbloemen and Susan Kennedy

I am vending today at my last show of the year (praying for good weather - snow/ice is in the forecast!) - I will be hopping after the show on Saturday evening.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and enjoy your weekend!!


Sunday, December 8, 2013


I have picked a winner for these earrings - actually, Random.Org chose the winner :)

# 20 - Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers!

Cynthia, please email me (pattivan@comcast.net) your address and I will mail these out via snail mail on Monday!!

Thanks again to everyone for your lovely comments!

Gonna be a cold, wet, nasty day on the East Coast - at least where I live.  Everyone STAY SAFE!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Giveaway!!! Last one for the Year!

As I typed the title to my blog post, I realized how close to the Year 2014 we are...WOW!  It seems the older I get, the faster time flies.  Sigh.

I have so much to be grateful for...my family, my health, blah...blah.  Most importantly, I am grateful that I have been able to donate much of my proceeds from my jewelry sales to Miracle Horse Rescue.  Since doing this, making jewelry has given me a passion that I never possessed before.  It was a hobby before - and now it has purpose.  

So, thank you for supporting me!  

The Giveaway
I recently ordered the most fabulous lampwork beads from RadiantGlassWorks on Etsy (not to be confused with Radiant Minds / Beads and Botanicals, though another fabulous shop).  Anyhow, I went back to her shop and it is now closed (so sad!), so no link for you!  Anyway, they were made with the most fabulous cranberry colored glass, encased in clear.  

These are tiny little beads packed with a punch of color!  So, I made some sterling silver hoops from 16 gauge wire, made a head pin of fine silver in 18 gauge, and some Argentium Silver Ear wires in 20 gauge - 3 kinds of silver in one earring!

I made a pair and listed them in my shop and I loved them so much, I made another pair for this giveaway!

The hoops have been hammered for great texture, oxidized, buffed, tumbled FOREVER, and buffed again!  They measure 2" in length and are so lightweight and comfortable to wear!  

How to Enter
I keep trying to think of more ways for you to enter, so this is what I have today:

Three ways to enter!
1. Leave a comment on this blog post - equals 1 entry
2. Post a link to this blogpost on Facebook - equals 1 entry
3. Pin an item from my Etsy shop to your Pinterest Board - equals 1 entry

For each task above, you must leave a separate comment on my blog!  I will pick a winner sometime on Sunday - December 8.

Thanks for stopping by...best of luck!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...and Black Friday/Cyber Monday

I'd like to wish a safe, and Happy Thanksgiving to my stateside friends!  I hope your day is filled with family time and you are creating many wonderful memories to hold near and dear to your heart!

As I was typing up this announcement...

it occurred to me that the month of December starts this Sunday...DECEMBER!!  Where did this year go?  Anyway, I will be adding items to my Etsy shop all weekend long! 

The wonderful folks at Love My Art Jewelry are helping those who create handmade this season. They have provided a link-up on their site for many, many handmade artists who are having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday event in their shops....all in one handy dandy place!  One stop shopping - no driving involved!  Just click the image below :)

Please support handmade artists this Holiday Season! Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Time for a Rest, Albeit a Short One!

I survived both of my shows last week!  The first show was an open house - I got there at about 9:45 AM and the open house opened at 11:00. It was very slow - sales wise.  However, my table was next to the kitchen and Cathy Seltzer - the hostess's lovely sister - kept putting out the most wonderful food ALL.DAY.LONG. The smells emanating from the kitchen were indescribable, as was the food!  INCREDIBLE. Thank you, Cathy! :)

I had 3 small sales all day long.  Then, about 6:30-7:00 PM, tons of people showed up.  I mentioned on Facebook - it was like a line at WalMart on Black Friday.  Amazing!  So, in the end, the show went well.

Dani graciously allows me to use her kitchen table for my set up (Dani has 4.5 children and her table is huge! (Baby number 5 will arrive within the next 4-6 weeks!)

I put my size 12 black dress on Lolita's size 8 body - luckily it tied in the back!  The dress looked much better on her than me!

Originally, I placed this necklace on Lolita, made with the amazing beads of GlassBeadArt.

I am happy to report that it sold!

I have been using ALOT of copper in my jewelry lately.  Almost all of my jewelry displays are black, which looks great with my silver pieces.  But I must say, the copper gets lost on these displays.  I am thinking of changing to some sort of neutral/natural looking jewelry displays in the future.

Saturday's show was at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Chantilly, VA.  This show is truly awesome - 125 artists - all handmade.  I did "okay" at this show last year, and I did much better this year.  I was so very pleasantly surprised.  Thanks go to my niece, who brought several of her friends, and other friends who came by to support me!  I could not have done it without you!! It was PACKED from 9:00 AM until closing at 3:00 PM. I also could not have done this show without my sister's assistance - thank you Lori!

A highlight of my day on Saturday was meeting Linda Sinish!  I have known Linda in the online world - I remember that I favorited one of her items on Etsy-she makes incredible jewelry!  She wrote me a sweet convo thanking me for the "Favorite".  She lived in West Virginia at the time, and was preparing to move back to this area.  She is here now, and I am so glad I finally got to meet her!

I am very happy to report that these two special pieces sold:

Gorgeous polymer clay beads donated to me from Jeannie Dukic.
GORGEOUS lampwork donated by Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem.
These pieces were important to me, as 100% of the proceeds were donated to Miracle Horse Rescue!  Thank you again, Jeannie and Jan!  I still have more beads from both of you and need to whip these up into jewelry as my last show for the year is around the corner - December 14th.

All in all, I was very pleased with the outcome of both shows and I made a nice donation to Miracle Horse Rescue.  Thank you to the bead artists whose beads I use to create my jewelry.  I could not do what I love to do without them!  These artists include Sue Kennedy of SueBeads, Jan Onipenco of Molten MayhemDonna Millard, Jeannie Dukic, Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio (all of my pieces made with her beads are now history!), Lynda Cogbill of LyndasLampwork, Julie of Outwest, Jody of Inspire Glass Studio, Maryse Fritzch-Thillens of GlassBeadArt, LazyCatBeads.  My list could go on for days here....

I will be having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale later this week - stay tuned for a sale anouncement!  Also, I am thinking I need to have one more Giveaway after Cyber Monday...it is Christmas after all!  Stay tuned!

Thank you for stopping by!  The next two days will be weather-breakers for most of the Country.... I wish everyone a SAFE and Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 18, 2013


For the past few years, I have been a vendor at a friend's house in Arlington, Virginia for an open house she holds to raise money for a cause near and dear to her heart - Borromeo Housing, Inc. (BHI).  BHI serves homeless mothers, ages 16-23, who are pregnant with their first child or have one child.  They provide a safe and loving home environment and the opportunity for full-time scholastic endeavor for young mothers who are interested in striving for a brighter, self-sufficient future.  My friend, Dani, selflessly opens her beautiful home to many vendors and offers a comfortable, holiday-themed environment to kick off THE Shopping Season.  In addition to the myriad vendors, her sister Cathy provides some of the most awesome food throughout the entire day (that is reason enough to attend!)  Fortunately (or unfortunately for me!), my table is situated right smack dab next to the kitchen....score!!

On Saturday - 2 days later - I am attending for the second year the St. Timothy's Catholic Church Fall Craft Fair, in Chantilly, Virginia.  The majority of the over 100 artisans attending this event feature handmade goodies- I hope I have time to shop!!!

I am hoping and praying that I did not over-extend my self!  Luckily, my sister has volunteered her time for Saturday (thank you Lori!)!  Anyhoo, I have been busy trying to make enough stock! First up, last week, Jeannie Dukic posted a picture on FB of one of her stunning polymer clay pendants and matching charms.  I no longer make Christmas-themed jewelry 'cause I don't wear it!  But, this is winter themed!  I pounced on them and ripped the package open on Saturday morning!

I just LOVE the Ice Blue color - winter sky blue! In my head, the pendant did not need any other beads, so I made a chain with one of Cindy Wimmer's links from The Missing Link. Simple links between the tri-wrapped link work perfectly with this design.

I kept the earrings super simple - I did not want them to compete with the necklace.

I have found myself playing with hoop designs, too.

Donna Millard had a slam dunk when she chose this particular shade of green for these beads - they have a black base, and are so, so pretty in person!

Lovely porcelain from Jenny Davies Reazor, paired with faux sea glass.

I bought these tiny little charms at artBliss from Diana of Suburban Girl Studio. They are so sweet and tiny, I wanted to keep it simple.

The pattern and color on these charms instantly reminded me of Pfaltzgraff - Yorktowne pattern...anybody else grow up with these dishes????

Source:  www.replacements.com
I am putting my Etsy shop on vacation today to prep, and will reopen it sometime on Sunday.  I cannot believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner...and you know what that means?  Black Friday...ugh!  I will not be anywhere near a big box store - or any store - starting November 29th through the Christmas Holiday!  The wonderful folks over at Love My Art Jewelry have been writing some awesome posts lately, specifically related to Handmade. If you are a handmade artist or jewelry-related designer and have not done so yet, scroll through the posts this month - there are some awesome tips for artists selling their wares this season.   So, I leave you with this image:

Thank you so much for stopping by - have a wonderful week!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Orphans and Glass Bead Art

I have many, many orphans...beads that is.  Sometimes I only use 5 of 6 beads in a set and I am left with that one lonely bead.  What to do?  

I combine them to make one really cool piece of jewelry!

I have purchased MANY sets of these gorgeous beads from Maryse Fritzch-Thillens of GlassBeadArt on Etsy.  Many.  I first found her shop through one of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party Hops (thank Lori!), and she lives in Luxembourg.

Photo Source: GlassBeadArt on Etsy

These beads are absolutely fascinating!  Now I am not a lampwork artist.  So, my description of how the beads are made is cryptic at best.  But, they start out with a rustic base - like something in my mind's eye that comes from Middle Earth.  Then she wraps this layer of rock crystal color on top and BAM - instant gemstone!  Well, that's how I describe them!

I had more than a handful of orphans from pretty much most of the colors that she offers.  So I made one heck of a long necklace....37" long to be exact.

Yes - a link from Cindy Wimmer's book, the Missing Link!  In the book, Kerry Bogert used this link to make fabulous earrings (I have already done that!). This time, I used them as alternating links between the wrapped beads for the necklace. 

I oxidized the sterling silver, and I swear, it took almost as much time to hand buff this piece as it did to make it! :)

But the beauty in its length is that it can be worn long...

Or doubled up for a short, two strand look.

I am so grateful to the bead artists whose blood sweat and tears allow me to create!  Thank you Maryse!

Maryse's shop can be found by clicking here

On another note, it is frigid in Northern Virginia today - blustery and cold and I am happy!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

The beautiful work of Jeannie Dukic

A couple of weeks ago, I was gifted some lovely polymer clay beads by artist Jeannie Dukic.  All proceeds from the sale of the jewelry made with these beads will be donated to Miracle Horse Rescue, a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that is very dear to my heart.

Well, I have made a bit of progress with these lovelies!  First up, these polymer beads are from Jeannie's new line called Polarity. Look at that shine and intense color!

I went all out on these - I had only four Karen Hills Tribe handmade silver barrel beads.  These are so nifty - there is a dimple on each side of the hole of the barrel, so any beads you add snuggle up next to the silver.

Love, love, love this bracelet!

Next up, these incredible little charms.

You would really think that these are antiqued copper - but they are clay and so darn incredibly lightweight!  Though I could have easily slapped a jump ring on these babies and hung them from ear wires, they needed something different.  I wanted a mixed metal look.  So, I made a hoop of sterling silver, and wrapped it together to create a frame for those most awesome charms.

I oxidized the silver first - buffed and tumbled, and then added the charm.  I just LOVE these!  They are large enough to create a statement for your ears without the weight! Win/Win!

Last up is this set of Jeannie's Polarity Beads - again...faux lampwork!!

Purple, Pink, Green, and specs of gold - so pretty!  My eye goes right to the purple, so I paired them with some faceted Amethyst that I have been hoarding for at least 4 years now.  I have a whole strand of them - must.use.stash.!

I added sterling silver bead caps and a single Bali bead to the mix.

Thank you again, Jeannie, for your incredible generosity!

Have you visited Jeannie's shop lately???   If not - click here now!  So much awesomeness....so little time!

By the way jewelry designers - Jeannie' is having a give away on her blog - go now to enter!

I would also like to take a moment to thank all the Veteran's and their families for their service - I would not be here today without them...so Thank You and be safe!

Source: YouTheDesigner.com

Thanks for stopping by today - have a wonderful Monday!