Thursday, April 30, 2015

ArtJewelryElements April Component of the Month Challenge!

Hi everyone!
I am writing today about a wonderful Challenge sponsored by ArtJewelryElements.

Each month, one of the lovely and very talented AJE Artists makes a special batch of hand-made components for their Team plus a few lucky guests to create with.  I was super-surprised to be included as a guest participant this month.  AND, it was such a treat since this CoM was made by one of my all-time favorite Artists, Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio.  Truly, I was giddy and there was a little squeal of glee!

So, what did I do with this lovely bead delight?  After lots of experimenting, I decided to keep-it-simple.  Rebekah's creative heart bead has a lovely shape, a rich gorgeous sheen and loads of texture that needed very little enhancement.  I definitely did not want to detract from any of those wonderful qualities.  Plus, since this creation would be staying with me (yup, this one is all mine!), I wanted to be true to the style of jewelry I love to wear...a bit sparkly, love bracelets (never leave home without one!), a little 'girly' and classic.

Keeping to my plan and goals, here is what I created..and I love love love it.  I think we should call this the 'Be True' bracelet:

Thank you Rebekah and AJE!

Please do head over to AJE to see what everyone made for their April CoM Challenge!..that's where I'm going, right now...whoosh...

(PS: sorry I am a bit late posting today...Mom's apartment flooded!  We've been trying to dry things and help-out there as much as possible.  Water sure does move fast and makes a huge mess.  Things should be back-to-normal by tomorrow..thank goodness.  It's a lot for an 85 yr old to 'deal with' alone)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A few months ago, I had the honor of participating in a wonderful Hop spondored by Carmi Cimicata of I Love Resin.  Carmi sent everyone 2 of these really cool components to fill as we wished with resin or epoxy clay...and the rest was up to our imaginations!  

Here are all of the pieces created as a result of this fabulous event:

My little heart is in 5th column, 4th one down from the top...the little origami flowers (some floating) with a tiny silver hammered heart and extra dashes of glittery gold..all embedded in lovely crystal-clear resin.  

Aren't all of these creations gorgeous!?!  It's amazing how 25 talented artist imagined and created so differently!

Many thanks to Carmi!
Hi everyone!  I wanted to share a cute little bracelet and earrings set I made for Pine Ridge Studios 'Hurrah for Spring' Challenge.  I used an artisan bead in similar tones, sent to me from Genea Beads (thank you, Genea!)

The cool refreshing minty-green crystals are just beautiful and sparkly.  Those petite, frosty-blue glass beads remind me of new dewy Spring Bluebells that are popping-up in flowerbeds right about now.  I couldn't resist using the pretty little brass stars that came along with the Challenge kit.  They are so sweet, don't you think so?

This set is so fresh and light-hearted...I may need to wear them tomorrow!
Thanks for reading,

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February Checkerboard Blog Hop

Oh dear, does anyone else feel like they can't quite catch-up since the Holidays?   I feel sort-of breathless trying to do all the tasks at-hand.

The exciting news: I was unexpectedly invited to attend a Black Tie Gala in Atlanta by a very special colleague at represent my Hospital!  This was in recognition of some hard work over the last few months.  I was so honored ('speechless' at the time, as I recall..and I am never speechless).  I've never been to Atlanta before..this is all very exciting!!!

Segue: What to wear?!  I've never attended a Gala before.  My every-day wardrobe definitely doesn't include glitzy-glamorous pieces or a ball-gown.  I'm more 'business-casual' for work..nice slacks paired with a pretty sweater or classic button-down top.  I'm also in the process of gradually losing a bit of weight that had 'gradually' accumulated over the last 5-6 years (while I wasn't looking!).  So, right now isn't a good time to invest in clothing.

I did finally find, after lots of 'returns', a very pretty 3-tierd black chiffon-satin skirt! on-sale!  It was packed into the suitcase this morning, when I realized I didn't have a proper (ah-hem) slip to wear beneath it.  After the panic, I removed the skirt, then placed my tried-and-true dress black slacks into the suitcase instead (there was no time for shopping today..did I mention our roof was being replaced was a mess).

Those black slacks, paired either with a black-silvery glittery bolero sweater (thank goodness I found this a few weeks ago, on-sale!) or a black chiffon jacket (also a deal-maker!) will be my outfit for the Gala.  True to form of late, my 'final decision' will occur in Atlanta while getting dressed.  Thank goodness I had a pair of almost-new sparkly high heals and a beaded black bag from my Niece's wedding 2 years ago..or I may have fainted today.  I think all of this will do nicely...and it's more 'me' and comfortable, yet still dressy..I hope.

So..the jewelry was also a last-minute decision today.  I knew I had a made a beautiful black and silver Swarovski Crystal necklace a few years ago that has received minimal (once) wear.  It is simple and elegant, but a bit too glittery for work.  YAY! is perfect for either of my outfits and the Gala.  I was even brilliant enough to make a pair of earrings to match the necklace..whew!

A few hours after packing, I was stunned to realize that Lisa Lodge's Pine Ridge Checkerboard Hop is due today and had nearly passed-by in my frenzy.  Again, I don't know where time has gone, this was the very first Challenge I had signed-up for with Lisa back in July or August of 2014.  This too all turned-out perfectly (albeit at the last-minute).

I had no bracelet for my Gala outfit...and that's just-not-right.  I pulled out Lisa's beads and those same Swarovski's used in my necklace..and here is my new Gala bracelet:

Lisa supplied those gorgeous deep red/claret pearls!  I added a cluster of dangles to give some movement (they will sparkle as I lift my hand to drink my Gala champaign!)  

Lisa, I promise I will make more from the rest of the kit, as soon as I catch-my-breath!  The beads are too pretty not to use!

Thank you for being with me today,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Blu Mudd Black and White Victorian Challenge

Hi everyone!
I wanted to let you know about a fabulous Challenge I am currently participating in.

My goal today is to ask you to hop-on-over to Blu Mudd on Facebook to see ALL of the entries and vote for one as your favorite piece, before the voting period ends this Saturday (12/7/14).

The challenge is The Blu Mudd Round Six Challenge (Black and White Victorian).  Oh! the hand-crafted artisan beads we received, lovingly created by our Host Moriah Betterly, are awesome (singing 🎵).  Very Victorian, very elegant, feminine yet bold...gorgeous.   It was also amazing to see how many different variations arose from each Participant based on the same set of beads!

The inspiration for my piece?  Well, I thought I saw the phrase 'rose bud' inscribed on one of Moriah's beads..and that got me started on a theme.  Then, I saw a bit of Celtic faery spirit there, too.

So, enough hints!  I'm not going to post my piece here, because I realllllly want you to take a look for yourself and vote for a favorite.

Here is the link to Blu Mudd at Facebook...have fun 😉
The Blu Mudd Black and White Victorian Challenge

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Sparkle

Hi everyone!
Happy 'almost' December.
Tomorrow is Holiday Sparkle Challenge reveal over at Lisa Lodge's Pine Ridge Studios on facebook.  My holiday-themed set is posted there.

However, Lisa sent so many beautiful beads, I couldn't stop with only a few pieces!

Here are all the others..I went totally sparkle-crazy!:

This piece is a re-do of an old tired necklace my manager asked me to breathe new life into.  I took a few of the original necklace beads (those lovely foiled discs and ceramic lozenge beads) and added a few of Lisa's dazzling wow, new life!:

I added a few flat-back Swarovski Crystals to this lovely Angel charm for even more sparkle:

Classic pearls, with a little twist:

Lots of bling:

I think this one is mu favorite:

One of my first attempts at making my own ear-wires!:

...and..there are still a few beads left-over from the Challenge kit to play with!

Please do hop-over to Pine Ridge Studios on Facebook to see my Holiday Sparkle set and all of the lovely creations from everyone else participating in the Challenge!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Clay & Metal Blog Hop

Oh wow!!!...Hi everyone!'ve heard from me Three Times this week!  Can you believe it?

It's time to reveal my 'makes' from A Grateful Artist/Lisa Lodge (Pine Ridge Studios) and Sharyl's Jewelry/Metapolies collaboration - The Clay and Metal Blog Hop. (actually, I'm a little early...the official reveal is Saturday, Nov 15th.)

Here are the pieces I received:

This frosty pendant focal was right up my alley!  Total, instant love!  I had a strand of vintage, softly-faceted, hot pink round beads in my stash just waiting to be paired-up with a bold, vibrant component.  The focal has a shimmery gold-flash and Lisa's crystals very nicely complemented the frosting!  Lastly, I wanted to use a slightly different technique to create a unique necklace.  Using vintage textured gold chain and Irish Waxed Linen in the same shade of hot hot pink, each bead was tied into an open link using a simple macrame knot (there wasn't a lot of room in each link, so each knot needed to be simple and sturdy). The opposite side of the necklace is composed of simple stringing using the waxed linen and a few more knots to secure the connections. Then, Sharyl's focal was secured with several trim wraps of waxed linen and a sweet bow.

What do you think?
Flash of gold = check;  whoo hoo! pink = check;  pretty icing and frosting = check check!

Next, the sad news...omg, I went on to totally ruin Sharyl's lovely little disc set (near the right side of her business card above).  Oh idea to make something very unique ended in a terrible disaster.  There was no rescuing these wonderful little discs once I committed to the endeavor.

I felt so badly, especially since I had already made my 'feature piece' using the other fabulous components.  The very next day, I contacted Lisa and Sharyl about my blunder. Sharyl was so very kind and gracious.  She made another set of discs and sent those right out to me.

Sharyl's first discs were awesome..however, THESE ARE GORGEOUS!!!  Ruffled, shimmery.  Here is my earring set.  I hand-formed the earring wires, used just 2 of those flashy vintage chain links from which I suspended Sharyl's 'dewdrops' with the same hot pink waxed linen. These are so yummy and light-weight, thanks to Sharyl's beads:

Thank you so much, Lisa and Sharyl!  These were so much fun to work with.

Please Hop-On-Over to see everyone's lovely designs:

Our Hostess: Lisa Lodge - A Grateful Artist:
Melissa Trudinger - Bead Recipes:
Jo-Ann Woolverton - It's a Beadiful Creation:
Carolyn Lawson - Carolyn's Creations:
Shaiha Williams - Shiaha's Ramblings:
Toltec Jewels - JewelSchoolFriends:
Heather Richter - Desert Jewelry Designs:
Marybeth Rich - A Few Words from within the Pines:
Karen Grosset Grange - Ginko et Coquelicot:
Ann Schroeder - Bead Love:
Lisa Prewitt Knappenberger - LiRaysa Designs:
Carol Briody (me/you are here!) - ABeadsLife:
Miranda Ackerley - MirandAck at
Kari Asbury - Hippie Chick Design:
Susan Anderson - La Main Tresor:
LeAnne Loftus - First Impression Design:
Leithleach Seodra - Alainn Jewelry: