Monday, December 31, 2012

Party Time!

Beautiful swarovski crystals and chain...
This works perfectly with a black evening dress, don't you agree?
Many thanks to Prima Bead for supplying the chain and crystals.
Stop by their site by clicking here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

A rare daytime public appearance to investigate holiday decorations.
"I vant to be alone dahling" - She is so camera shy...
I feel like a loathsome papparazzi, having overstepped the mutually agreed upon boundaries.
...You don't even want to see or count the outtakes.
I have had an easier time of it attempting to capture wildlife photos outside.
But all is forgiven now and so we wish you a:
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Holiday Necklaces

Have put two new Christmas holiday necklaces together with some beautiful components courtesy of Prima Bead. I do my best to avoid keeping a large inventory of beads around and Prima offers a gorgeous variety of fine quality glass crystals in just the right quantities.

This second candy cane necklace is done in beautiful faux pearls with a sterling silver plated toggle clasp.  The colors are so deep and rich looking, I think it will work perfectly with a nice sweater on Christmas day.

Hoping you are happy, healthy and enjoying all the fun of this holiday season!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

And the Owl Necklace goes to...

Following a thorough and scientific drawing process,

with an independent 3rd party officiating,
the winner is:
Yay!!  Congratulations to Yolande ;) 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Owl Necklace Give Away!

Want to win a necklace? I have been way overdue for a give away and thought this might be the perfect thing to do with some beads I had received in a give away hosted by Marla James at the Beads of Clay Blog. It was great fun making a necklace out of these beautiful clay beads and now I want to pass the fun along by hosting my own little give away so someone else can enjoy them too!

Aren't the beads gorgeous? In case you wondering, they came from Golem Studio. The copper chain, clasp and owl pendant/charm were made by me.
All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is leave a comment on this post, and if you haven't already, follow my blog or "like" my facebook page. If you follow my blog and "like" my facebook page you will receive two chances to win.  Also, if you promote this give away, that will count as another chance... so go ahead and spread the word ;)  Just let me know what you are doing in your comment here, make sure I have a way of finding your email address and post links! Hope you enjoy the contest, let me know if you have any other questions and:
Have A Great Day!
A winner will announced on Sunday December 16th.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Studio Set Up...

Artisan Whimsy is currently hosting a challenge for members to show off their efficient use of studio space with a chance to win $50 in goodies and supplies. Hey this challenge was made for me since I try to pride myself in being an efficiency nut!

My tiny studio has 5' x 6' of walkable floor space with 2 work tables set up in an L shape and one rolling stool to move easily from one station to the other as needed. Here is my main work area on a good day.  I just installed the peg board along one wall last summer and painted it a deep shade of purple.  Just love it, and provides great contrast to the cream colored walls. I have found lots of unique little hanging gadgets at the local hardware store. My favorites are the 3 heavy duty magnets which you can see in this picture are holding my most commonly used pliers. They really come in handy when working on metal/wire projects. In the upper left corner you can also see a re purposed gift wooden wine box that holds thread and seed beads.

Here is the other side of my main work area where I have a cork board which I use mainly to post inspiration photos and keep track of work in process. Can you see the time sheet? -I use it to track my time and raw materials used for each project.

My second work area is the hot station with ventilation for small solder work and baking clay. There are shelves below the table to keep my paints, chemical supplies and clay oven out of the way. It would be nice to have everything out all at once but I simply do not have the space. I find working in a small area helps me to stay focused on completing one project at a time...

So what's your studio look like? The challenge is open through November 30th if you want to jump in. Also be sure to stop by and see all the other studios here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blue Bracelet Blog Hop

7000 Bracelets for Hope

 Thank you Sue Beads for hosting today's blog hop for the 7000 Bracelets for Hope Charity. These two blue bracelets I made were donated to people or their caregivers who are dealing with rare genetic disorders.
This first glass bracelet was put together in crystal, blue and gold tones and features a sand dollar charm with adjustable gold clasp. The clasp and light blue polymer clay disc beads were made by me.
The second bracelet was done in blue, gold and dark copper tones using Czech glass beads I have been holding onto for something special. The little cat beads are my favorite.
And now please follow the links below to see all the pretty blue bracelets donated for this very important cause:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jewelry Artist Jen Hanscom

Carefree Artist, Jen Hanscom talks about an interesting technique using
precious metal clay (pmc) and glass over at Artisan Whimsy.
Click here to view the complete article.

See more of Jen's work at Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour in Carefree Arizona November 16th, 17th, 18th and next weekend November 23rd, 24th, 25th.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Does Handmade Jewelry Stand the Test of Time?

Does your handmade artisan jewelry stand the test of time? Do you like jewelry made from top quality materials designed in a classic style meant to stand the test of time? Or, do you prefer to go with top trends of the season where gold filled clasps, colorful glass and even a little well made plastic is perfectly O.K.? Something to think about, but there definitely should be room for both in a personal jewelry collection, most people will say.

I often think about potential longevity when making my jewelry. And am glad I held on to a few pieces made early in my career. Here is a sterling silver necklace completed in the late 70's that I still like to wear sometimes today:

Simple clean lines can help a piece to be considered more classic in style. Perhaps for me, it is only a personal attachment. You can draw your own conclusions.

Second up is a bracelet I also made around the same time. This piece I love for the bezel work  though I have not found a reason to wear it for quite some time...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello Spit!

We were walking along a nature trail with our dog Buddy a while ago and met up with a British couple. The gentleman stopped to pet our dog and said "Well hello, look at you if it isn't Spit the dog".  Spit the dog?? Seeing that I was a bit confused, the man explained that Spit was a very popular dog who appeared on comedy shows in the U.K. He seemed very surprised that I had never heard of Spit before...

Buddy is a Cairn Terrier and though he was born in the U.S., I know that the breed originated on farms in the Scottish Highlands. There's nothing fancy about Cairn Terriers, they were originally kept to eliminate rats from the farmers' granaries. Buddy is true to his breed and loves to pick around rocks and holes looking for critters here, mainly lizards.

So I got to wondering if I could find any UTube videos of Spit the Dog to see if he reminded me of Buddy, and I have copied them here for you to see. Spit the mutt is a regular ringer, I have to laugh, Monty Python and Benny Hill move over:

The original Spit meets Twiggy:

If you are a beader who is still here with me and in a British humor,
enjoy the next challenge.
Just click here.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sterling and Copper Owl Charm

Here is my little hooter for Artisan Whimsy's Owl Challenge:

Be sure to check out the"Owl Challenge". It's not too late to enter your jewelry design piece or component, they are still accepting entries through the end of this weekend.  Also stop by and vote for your favorites this Monday October, 29-30th.  Artisan Whimsy is a great site for anyone who likes handmade, and it's very easy to sign up and become a member if you aren't one yet.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Time to Stitch 2...

In early September, Therese (Therese's Treasures) and Christine (One Kiss Creations) issued a challenge to create something using right angle weave (RAW) or St. Petersburg stitch in their second "A Time to Stitch 2" blog hop. And since I had two fantastically straight forward tutorials and had not tried them before, I decided to focus on the variations, RAW and CRAW.

My first attempt involved using #6 gold and mustard seed beads with basic RAW to make a bracelet. Despite, Karen Williams' clear instructions, it started out as somewhat of a challenge. I was only making 3 rounds per row but had problems keeping track of the beads until I added a few temporary straight pins to help define completed rows.

(The beading mat here is actually green... sorry, colors in this photo are way off.)

Well, I fixed one problem and created the time I completed enough to make a 7 inch bracelet, the tension was terribly off. Soooo I decided to add little fringe of brown magatama beads drawing the thread all the way through each row to help support the weave. And here is my final result:

O.K, now I am on a roll and ready for a second project, I decided to try cubic right angle weave (CRAW) in a simple 17 inch rope necklace. The link provided by Christine and Therese to Heather Collin's video tutorial was informative and so very "English", I really enjoyed it, especially the background music. In fact, I was so impressed by the video and how fast the whole piece came together that I had to add a little unicorn charm to the clasp of the final jewelry piece. Just my little tribute to some of the beautiful weavings and myths that come from the United Kingdom. And, thank you for a very helpful tutorial.

Thanks Therese and Christine for sponsoring this very fun and worthwhile challenge.
Any tips or suggestions for how to keep track of beads or maintain even tension in RAW???
Please share, your suggestions are most humbly appreciated.  ;)


Next up on this blog hop:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Fall Garden in the Southwest

So, the temperature has cooled to the 80's...

And there is a lot happening in the garden:
Jalapeno Blooms
It's amazing.
Click here to see more great photos:

studio waterstone

Saturday, October 20, 2012

More Recent Favorites on Etsy

Take a look:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fine Silver Patina

Be sure to stop by Artisan Whimsy to find out how I added a patina using liver of sulphur to this fine silver tube bead made from precious metal clay.  What I am attempting to accomplish with the patina is adding contrast to the lines and variations of the design.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Draped In Chains This Halloween

I have been having  great fun putting together and embellishing a chain kit sent to me by Prima Bead. The substantial looking silver, gunmetal and black tone chains are surprisingly light and very comfortable to wear. Part of the secret has to be using ribbon across the back of the neck instead of more chain which can't even be seen in the first photo here. I also like the big black openwork chain in the middle row which is absolutely perfect for accenting with a ribbon..

The basic chain kit provided by Prima Bead comes with two other necklace projects including matching earrings and an additional bracelet. It includes all the jump rings, ribbon and findings you could possibly need.  I embellished the basic chain piece pictured here with a skeleton key, 2 chunky faux blended beads, red glass drops and a few polymer clay bones made by me. The necklace will  be an awesome accent for Elvira or Morticia this Halloween. A very fun piece to wear.

And oops, don't forget the matching polymer bone earrings. 
Hope you are planning to have some fun this Halloween!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tools of a Trade

New dapping tools for my studio...
Find more fantastic photos by clicking the links below:

studio waterstone