Saturday, October 12, 2013


As I have mentioned, I purchased a few bead bundles (few?  who am I kidding?) while attending artBLISS last month.  I kept telling myself "think of all the money you are saving on postage by buying them now"!  There is a sweet little local bead shop in Occoquan that I visit once in a while, but I am basically a home body and buy 99% of all beads online.  So, to see the beads in person before I bought them was a treat!

I went down to my dungeon - basement - to clean my extremely messy jewelry bench.  Instead, I saw all my beads from artBLISS begging me to make something!  These beads of Karen Totten's were going to be a bracelet, but ended up as a very cool necklace, instead!  Much better, I think.

Love, love, LOVE the pumpkin!

Karen had strung the little black raven right next to that branch, and it was destined to become a pendant.

The four links above are a take-off of a link design from Cindy Wimmer's new book, The Missing Link.  Her link design was in the shape of a triangle, but I wanted it to look more like haphazard nesting materials, with branches not quite meeting.  I like it!

This next necklace features the cutest little hoot-Owl, also one of Karen's creations.

That circle link I used in the pendant is another one of Cindy's link designs.  I have to say - this was a little tricky, as there are multiple layers of wire and coils.  But, well worth the effort! This link is one of the many reasons I love Cindy's book - the designs are complex - yet doable -  and that is the look I am going for.  It is sturdy and has the coolest affect!  

I wanted the handmade chain to be substantial, so I got out my saw and made many, many, many jump rings to create love knot links.

I love Karen's beads - they are fabulous!

This last necklace features another cool link of Cindy's - a take-off Infinity Link design.  I make infinity link chain quite a bit, but for this link, I did not have the described 12 gauge wire.  So, I used 10 gauge.  There was A LOT of annealing going on between shaping, hammering, and adding texture to this link! Fine gauge sterling silver is "sewn" in the middle - these are really awesome focals! Cindy commented on Face Book that this would make a cool bracelet focal - and I agree!

I continued the chain with smaller infinity links - though, I hammered them flat and added texture to mimic the focals.

It does not take many of Donna Millard's lampwork to make a necklace complete - her beads are simply put, beautiful!  Three of them made it into this necklace.

It has been raining in Northern Virginia, as well as most of the Mid-Atlantic region since Wednesday.  Before I had dogs many, many, many years ago, I used to love the rain!  Now, it just means lots more laundry to wash Sarge's dog towels!  

My niece is getting married next June, so Mom and I are headed out the door to go wedding dress shopping with Sarah.  I hope there are breaks in the weather!

Miracle Horse Rescue Fundraiser Update.
To date, I have raised and donated $2,198.00 to Miracle Horse Rescue!  THANK YOU to everyone who has purchased or shared my many, many face book advertisements!  My sale in my shop runs through the end of this month, with all proceeds donated to the wonderful rescue organization! Click here - it will take you to Miracle Horse Rescue's Face Book page. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today - I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I could become addicted to this....

Post Earrings!  These are my favorite earrings to wear - I tend to push my hair back behind my ear, and almost always knock my french ear wire earring straight to the floor.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Please tell me I am not alone! Although, my dear sweet mother has lost several earrings this way, though she does not have long hair, so I am not sure how that happened! :) 

One of the classes that I had at ArtBliss was with Stacie Florer.  She was kind enough to share many tips on how to solder on that tiny, tiny post to an earring back.  And I am going to town with it!

I hand cut the discs from silver sheet and hammered them for texture:

I put no texture on these discs - just brushed them to a mirror-like finish.  Of course, now I have yet another photography hurdle to master - how NOT to capture a picture of my camera, my hands, the light bulbs...etc. in the silver.  Ugh...

This pair looks awesome when worn - I cut a rectangle from sheet, then cut it into triangles.

I was so excited to finally use a tool I have had in my arsenal for AGES - a Swage block!  This tool helped me achieve a cool curve on the metal.  I added some garnets to the bottom for just a little bit of swing.

Photo Source:
Two discs together, hand stamped with "XO" - As I look at this picture now, I see a snowman....hmmm...

One of the highlights of artBLISS was shopping for art beads!  We were treated to the ultimate shopping experience - pizza and beads!  I blew my budget on lampwork by Sue Kennedy (SO HAPPY TO FINALLY MEET MY FAVORITE LAMPWORK BEAD ARTISTS!!), Jenny Davies-Reazor, Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio, and Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studios!  I bought several sets of tiny ceramic cabochons from Diana - this is the first pair, bezel set in silver:

Love My Art Jewelry has been focusing on hoops this month - I am always a day late and a dollar short in joining blog hops.  But, I follow this blog religiously and made this cute little pair of hoop earrings.  Pretty, tiny (5mm) Sunstone cubes have been wired to the bottom:

This last pair of earrings is MY FAVORITE!  I mixed up the metals, and added these sterling silver charms that I have had 4EVER!  So lightweight!

I bought several ceramic and porcelain focals from Jenny Davies-Reazor.  So far, I have used two of these Halloween-themed focals.  The first necklace used links from Cindy Wimmer's awesome new book, The Missing Link.  It has sold (the equines at Miracle Horse Rescue say THANK YOU for the sale!)

This wrapping on this last necklace took me a LONG time...I am not quite sure why...but I love how it turned out! Mixed metals of copper and silver:

The sale in my shop continues through October 31, 2013.  All proceeds will be donated to Miracle Horse Rescue!  Thanks for our support!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Enjoy your week - I know I will, as the high heat has left Northern Virginia - yahoo!!!