The Do-over Challenge

I just signed up for Jeanie K. Dukic's Jewelry Do-over challenge with JKD Studios.

This is a different take on a jewelry design challenge. Participants must have a blog. For a small postage fee, Jeanie sends some of her old non-artisan jewelry creations. The challenge is to photograph the before, and using 50% of the jewelry, make something new. Designers are encouraged to use artisan and hand crafted beads/components in their new designs. I have watched this blog challenge for at least the last two and decided to make the jump and try this one for the first time.
You can sign up,  too! To learn more about Jeanie, the Do Over Challenges or her Echo Creative Club, visit her new blog at:http://wheethepeople2.wordpress.com/

Vintage Jewelry for inspiration - Museum Trip

A visit to a Car Museum turns up a Jewelry Display.

It's fun to find jewelry inspiration in the fashions of the past. At a recent visit to the Gilmore Car Museum, a section on the display focused on the 1930's era. To answer the question: "What did the people who rode in these cars wear and look like?", there was a 1930's fashion display.
I learned that "...at the start of the 1930's, trends emphasized the natural waistline as a way to close out the boyish look of 1920's fashion."
This lovely jet seven-strand collar was displayed with a beautiful dress once owned by Matilda Dodge Wilson.
Museum Display: Vintage seven strand choker: Seed beads and Jet ( Copyright: my own photograph, 2014)

This elegant pale blue crystal necklace on gold metal chain is displayed with an exquisite beaded embroidered pale blue gown.
Museum Jewelry: Graduated crystal necklace strung on gold chain (Copyright: my own photograph, 2014)

I'm inspired by looking at the vintage jewelry and clothing, how about you?
And yes, there were cars at the museum, too!  ;>) 
If you want to find out more about the Gilmore Car Museum, visit their web site: www.gilmorecarmuseum.org

Sharing a Giveaway link

This giveaway is closed now. Congratulations to the winner!

Please check out Lorelei's Blog for a giveaway of her fantastic linen cord:
Week-of-giveaways-wednesday
and go back again for more giveaways on Thursday and Friday!

Pretty colors from Lorelei's "A Jewelry Accord on Etsy"

Vintage China -pretty pink pattern - Listed and (some) sold

If you are looking for BSBP #8 click HERE

 

I recently started listing some vintage china from the 1950's.

This interesting porcelain pattern is from Princess China, and is called Tru-tone Flair. It was sold door-to-door until 1955.

It is a pink Lily-of-the-Valley pattern with charcoal grey foliage and is edged in platinum. I have a set of six place settings, plus a few chipped pieces. I have always found this pattern intriguing and unique, similar to the Mod "Atomic" style dishes, but with a more delicate look. I have used them once or twice a year for holidays over the past years, and they look very nice paired with pink depression glassware on a grey table cloth. They also would coordinate well with similar china pieces that have a silver or platinum rim.


The central motif: a delicate spray of pink Lily-of-the-valley

The six cup and saucers sold quickly, they were listed for just a few days.

Tru-tone Flair by Princess China: Cup and saucer: SOLD

These small dessert or fruit bowls are still available:

Fruit or dessert bowls; seven still available

Other pieces, such as dinner plates, soup bowls and dessert plates will be listed when I have a chance to photograph them.

The back mark for the china

 I'd be interested to hear what you think of this pretty pattern.

Giveaway!

Check out the giveaway at Lori Anderson's Pretty Things Blog:

Edit: This giveaway is over. Congrats to the winner!

There's another giveaway,  (you know how I love these) and you can win a marvelous book; seven chances to win in all! Check out Lori's post and review. Here's the link:
The title is Beading All-Stars: 20 Jewelry Projects
It looks to be just the thing to kick up my skills a couple of notches! Have Fun and Good Luck!
This is a Beaded Bead I made earlier this year - just for fun!
P.S. I can't get the link for a picture of the book to work, so here is a beaded bead (not from the book).

Kumihimo Adventures

I have been trying out Kumihimo lately:

      Kits and Kumihimo materials have been showing up in the local craft stores lately, so I picked up a loom to play around. Here are the results. This bracelet was the result of a happy accident in measuring incorrectly. I was frustrated it was too short, until I remembered I had the matching beads in my stash. This may be the beginning of a new series!
     Here's a Tip: An easy way to remember is to cut your eight cords 3 X the length that you want your bracelet to be. So since I use four doubled cords, I would recommend cutting 4 cords 6 X the measurement of your wrist. (You can make it an inch shorter to accommodate the clasp.)
Bracelet: Beaded with Kumihimo


This necklace is made with red-orange, black and white rat-tail cord. The butterfly focal is dyed Howlite and is finished with bead cones and chain, which makes it adjustable at the back of the neck. I am finding that point in making a braid where you are comfortable with the pattern and can do it while riding in the car or listening to TV - I find it relaxing and Zen-like. Next up, I will be making a flat braid bracelet.



Necklace: Kumihimo with Howlite Butterfly pendant

More from the Bead Soup

For the original Bead Soup Blog Party post go here

This has been both fun and challenging to be a participant. I do hope that this Blog Party will continue in some form. I now realize how much monumental effort our hostess Lori Anderson has put into this and all the past blog hops. I only came to understand how much time she and her team put into this after trying to hop to the nearly 500 posts myself.
Thank you for stopping by. I'm still hopping, so if I haven't visited your blog yet, I hope to soon. I want to visit, read and comment. I appreciate all your comments, so if you stop by please leave a quick note.
Now, a few more pictures that missed the deadline:
Stone Butterfly with copper headpins on waxed linen cord
For this necklace, I tried a number of new to me techniques:
The copper headpin bead dangles of different lengths, the asymmetrical arrangement of the beads on each side of the focal, and knotting on the orange waxed linen. I'm not sure that I'm completely happy with the results, so I may be reworking this piece.
Stone Butterfly and copper headpins focal
Czech glass and copper headpins
Faceted turquoise glass with waxed linen and copper spacers
Faceted turquoise glass, Czech glass, Vintaj chain and bead caps
Thanks for stopping by, scroll down to see more Bead Soup and let me know what you think.

Soup's ON!: Bead Soup Blog Party #8 Reveal

When Grandmother called the family to dinner, she said: "Soup's On!"

(When my Grandma served Sunday dinner, it always began with chicken vegetable soup. She made a good hearty soup that I have never been able to duplicate. But that's because I'm not using chicken feet! Well time marches on... spending hours in the kitchen is not my thing, unless you include the beading projects at the kitchen table.)

Let's play with Bead Soup!

I love the soup my partner Leslie Wayment sent me!
It was full of turquoise and turquoise dyed howlite; my favorite color. In fact it is full of color. I have enough beads to make several more items. I will share the first two, to begin.
Focal with wire wrapped bail and embellishment by Leslie
This focal deserved to be served up with just a few beads to accent . I love how the colors of the Czech glass, aventurine and howlite work with the copper tones. I used bright copper spacers and antique copper chain.
design process
During the design process, I auditioned several arrangements of beads. They all looked too complicated, which really distracted from the focal. In the end the simple design won me over.
The dark red Czech glass adds a nice contrast to the turquoise

The other necklace was made using one of the large reconstituted turquoise mosaic beads. This one used seed beads in brass color for a tassel, I also used brass tone and turquoise seed beads to make beaded bead connectors. The accent beads are faceted howlite, Czech glass copper tone beads, and Vinaj brass bead cap and chain.

Necklace Detail - Mosaic Bead with fringe

Mosaic reconstituted turquoise bead

Beaded bead connector

I will be adding to this post, I'd love it if you have time to stop here again... more to come!
Please visit Leslie's blog to see what she created with the Bead Soup I sent her:   aabeadsonline.com/blog.

Here's the link to the entire list of blogs particpating in Bead Soup Blog Party #8: Welcome-to-8th-bead-soup-blog-party. 


Soup is Served!

Now that Leslie has recieved her soup, 

I thought I'd share a pic of what I sent to her. I had started picking out her soup before our partners were assigned. I chose an ocean or seaside theme, both with the colors and the shapes of the beads. They are not colors she normally wears or works with, so it may not be easy. But, she has plenty of skill and a bead shop to inspire, so she will be up for the challenge!
Bead Soup for Leslie
Here are the ingredients for Leslie's Soup:
There is a large quartz donut for the focal, and two different toggle clasps, one by Patricia Healey and a copper plated toggle by Tierra Cast. Also, hand-dyed silk ribbon, and a blue/black bead: amazonite with black tourmaline. The photo does not do it's color justice. There's some polymer clay shell beads from Kristy Bowman Designs, a beautiful lampwork ammonite cab and lampwork from Sue of SueBeads, more lampwork from Julie of Studio Juls. I purchased my beads from Lima Beads and Munro Crafts, as well as ordering directly from the artists on Etsy. When I ordered the beads, I indulged my wish for artisan beads, so I kept similar beads for my own stash. They will stay in my stash for a while :), until inspiration strikes!

Sources:
Lima Beads:  http://www.limabeads.com/ 
Munro Crafts: http://www.munrocrafts.com/ 
Kristi Bowman: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KristiBowmanDesign 
SueBeads: http://www.etsy.com/shop/suebeads 
StudioJuls: http://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioJuls
 

New Earrings

Back in February, I participated in the monthly Earrings Everyday challenge. I made a pair of earrings inspired by the beautiful Damselflies in Love photo from National Geographic. I shared those earrings in a previous blog post. 
That was great fun to be part of the challenge. In addition, I won a pair of polymer clay Hibiscus charms from Kristi Bowman Designs! Thank you Kristi!
They came in some neat packaging, and the wrapping was as much fun as the prize inside. I love the handmade paper wrapper and the fibers used to tie everything together. The fibers are Sari Silk Yarn from Swallowtail Fiber Arts on Etsy. I'm sure they will find their way into a finished project one day!

Intriguing packaging, beautiful business card!

Polymer clay Hibiscus charms from Kristi Bowman
The charms are beautiful tropical colors,  so I decided to add shell disc beads, bronze Czech glass, and brass wire. I love how they came out, so I'll probably keep them for myself!
Hibiscus discs, with shell discs and Czech glass
I know I will wear these often!
To see the original post with all the challenge earrings and winners, visit Earrings Everyday:
To see Kristi Bowman's creations, visit her blog:

My Soup has arrived!

Happy Bead Soup Week!

My Bead Soup from Leslie Wayment arrived on Saturday, and I had to wait until Sunday to open it. It is beautiful and generous.
Bead Soup from Leslie

Leslie indulged my love of the color turquoise, and sent me a soup with an hand wrapped turquoise focal bead. She also made the beautiful pelican copper clasp. That will have to have a special place in a design. There's enough beads to make an entire wardrobe of beautiful jewelry: Turquoise, mosaic turquoise, howlite, aventurine, coral and Czech glass. Beautiful warm blues and greens, with a touch of hot red and coppery bronze to give it a spark!
Photo collage made at picmonkey.com

Now to get started: I plan to make a few pair of earrings to get into the swing of the colors. Thank you Leslie!

Soup is on the way

The soup is in the mail!

My package is sent out this morning (a little late) to my very sweet swap partner Leslie. I was adding a few morsels at the last, last minute. I will show you a hint of what she will find in her package. 
Bead Soup 8 for Leslie
Oh wait, you say that's too blurry? OK, what about this one:
Soup for Leslie W.: wonder what it is?

Bead Soup Partners are all Posted!

Bead Soup Party Kick-off!

I have been in touch with my partner, she is in Florida, lucky girl! and she owns a bead store. Double lucky girl!
Wow, to have all those beads at hand to choose from...must be nice. Well she will be my mentor since this is my first time. I hope Leslie will find my soup tasty! I won't show any pics yet, but looking forward to putting the final touches on my soup.
My view here in Michigan...all set for spring!

This houseplant is how I imagine Florida is like now!

Here is a link to Leslie's store and blog. Be sure to check out her classes if you are nearby! :) Wish I was.

Earrings to summon summer days.

All Ears for Earrings Everyday:

Inspired by the colors of the damselflies photo from Earrings Everyday I created a pair of earrings from Bead Gallery Beads and natural coconut shell shards. I used a reconstituted turquoise stone and some orange glass rondels. The wire is a vintage brass Artistic Wire, used for the wraps as well as the handcrafted ear wires. I accented the ear wires with an orange rondel and a bit of 26 gauge copper wire. The triangular shards of coconut shell imitate the bodies of the damselflies. These were fun to make, though a bit rustic. I may tweak the construction a bit, but I liked the challenge of using the complementary colors, and am pleased with the results.



See the other artist's earrings at this post here: Earrings Everyday We're all ears and winners!

Beautiful Gems at the Smithsonian

At the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC

During our visit last June to Washington DC, we visited the Gems and Minerals area of the Smithsonian Museums. There is so much to see, with four people choosing their favorites, and we tried to pack it all into three days! We would have stayed another day to visit Mt. Vernon, but a heavy rain with flooding sent us driving east towards home instead. I'd like to share some of my favorites. Today, magnificent jewelry: I apologize if the photos are not ideal, they were taken through glass from behind security barriers. Enjoy!
 
Victoria-Transvall Diamond Necklace
Indian Emerald Necklace

The Hope Diamond

Works in Progress - Quilts

Quilt in progress:

Late last fall, I took some quilt tops off to my Longarm Quilter. Here's the litle crib/wall quilt all quilted.

It is quilted in an overall heart pattern, in hot pink thread, which is very 'valentiney'. 


Now attaching the binding by machine on the front. I combined some of the pink print and some strips of burgundy for the binding.
Last step is to hand stitch on the binding to the back...
That will take a bit of time, so no finished picture just yet...

Share the Love

Here's a link I wanted to share, on this giveaway, Valentine's Day is coming very soon.
You deserve to win these beads. I'd like to win the Chocolate Heart shaped bead. ;) Lori Bergmann is giving away a choice of two beautiful handcrafted beads:
Lori Bergmann Giveaway Beads


Here's a link to the blog post. Read there to find out how to have a chance to win one of these beautiful beads.
Thanks, everyone for stopping by. Now I'm off to sign up for the Bead Soup Blog Party. I'm so excited!!!!

February 17th Note: I am doubly excited to say that I was chosen as the winner - name pulled out of a heart-shaped bowl. I have selected the heart bead as my prize. Thanks Lori, I look forward to playing/designing a simple necklace to incorporate the bead as a focal.

Good Sunday Morning

A little of Crochet:

Hello and welcome to my new followers. So glad to have you visit! Today I am feeling a bit under the weather due to a cold or flu virus. So I thought I'd share a few examples of different crochet items in my collection. The above is a picture of my Princess, sharing my first big crochet project. It is an afghan (crocheted blanket) which I made many many years ago when I was in college. It is single crochet just with scraps of leftover yarns row upon row. Because it is all single crochet, it is pretty dense and heavy. I worked on it over a year or more to relax from studying. Today it is wrapped around me like a large shawl, which is what I do when I'm not feeling well. It keeps off the chill and it's washable so If I spill a bit of tea on it, no worries. 
Wedding Gift Afghan
 This crocheted blanket is one that my daughter made for a wedding gift for her good friends who married last summer. You can see she is a much better crocheter than I am, and faster, too! Well, today is a good day to just hibernate indoors and sip tea, so that is what I will do. Enjoy your day whatever you create!

 

I can't wait for the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Hello! If you're looking for the Grow Your Blog Party post, click here.

I plan to sign up for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

These are not my beads, but I wouldn't mind winning them!
 This is my first time so I'm a bit nervous about the whole swapping thing. Most of my beads are nice, nothing special, and mostly commercial. So I decided to go shopping (online) at Kristi Bowman Designs, http://www.etsy.com/shop/KristiBowmanDesign and at Lima Beads: http://www.limabeads.com/. It was a case of when you don't know who you're shopping for, buy what you'd like to receive. But in this case, I wanted 'em for myself too! Guess what: one for me, one for you... My calendar is marked for February 9th. It's sure to be fun, I hope I get to particpate.

Grow Your Blog Party and Blog Hop

Welcome New Visitors!

Thank you for stopping by to visit! Here I talk about making jewelry and my beading passion, or perhaps that is my shopping for beads obsession. ;)
scroll down for the link

 I work for a craft store, so most of my bead collection is commercial beads and supplies, but I am finding so much to tempt me with true handcrafted beads, both lampwork glass and polymer clay. I just ordered some special polymer clay beads for a bead soup party that I plan on joining, and I have a few ceramic beads from ceramic artists, so I have made the first steps.I work for a craft store, so most of my bead collection is commercial beads and supplies, but I am finding so much to tempt me with true handcrafted beads, both lampwork glass and polymer clay. {I recently bought some special polymer clay beads on Etsy for a bead soup party that I plan on joining, and I have a few ceramic beads from ceramic artists, so I have made the first steps!} But, I also have a fabric stash that begs to be used and I still get it out every so often. Here's a quilt top that is ready to be quilted.

If projects use up my stash of beads, fabric and scrapbook paper, so much the better! Sometimes I'll share posts about other topics that interest me as well. Join me in my journey: you can select from many ways to follow this blog. Just visit the sidebar for options. I'd love it if you leave a comment, let me know what your crafty interests are, and leave a link to your blog.
To see the other bloggers in the party, please visit Vicki's party post at 2 Bags Full: welcome-to-grow-your-blog-2014.html

Thanks for visiting, 
Louise

Resolutions (part one) Chain Maille

New Years Resolutions

I had almost resolved to NOT make any New Years Resolutions, but it actually feels like I might accomplish this one: To learn new techniques and think outside-the-box. I am teaching myself Chain Maille, though it seems more tedious than I'd like. I'm hoping as I get more skilled at it, it will go more smoothly. I have convinced myself of the necessity to close jump rings that appear "closed", though it seems redundant! And I'm getting better at it. I recommend a task light, for sure, and a magnifier if you need one. I have found two books that are really great for beginners:
The first, I found at my local library, and think I must really purchase: I miss this book and was sad to have to return it, I must have renewed it three times! It was a wonderful introduction to Chain Maille patterns and is encyclopedic in it's coverage. Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop by Karen Karon is available both in softcover and as an e-book from many places including Jewelry Making Daily Shop. http://www.interweavestore.com
Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop
.
The second, I found at the bookstore, and could not pass up: Chained is a wonderful book for both beginner and experienced chain maillers, it challenges you to go beyond the traditional patterns and designs to create your own jewelry.
You can find it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Chained-Create-Gorgeous-Chain-Jewelry
Chained: Create Gorgeous Chain Mail Jewelry One Ring at a Time
 
 My first attempts at Chain Maille are earrings, next will be a bracelet. Stay tuned for future projects!
Earrings: Shaggy Loops with beads and Shaggy Loops