Sunday, June 29, 2014

Happy Fourth of July 2014

Happy Fourth of July Week!

To celebrate this holiday week and my new Etsy Shop and blogsite, I am offering a 10% discount on any purchase of $30 or greater at ABeadsLife.  (that's 2 beaded beads or a beautiful bracelet at a great new price!)

This is my way of saying THANK YOU!! to everyone who has been so very kind to visit my shop, to offer excellent advice, or take me under-their-wing!  I appreciated everyone of you!

The Coupon Code is: FOURTHOFJULY2014

This offer can be applied at Etsy checkout from July 28-July 6, 2014.

Goodies for the Checkerboard Hop

Hello everyone.  Here are my pictures of the wonderful beads I received for the Pine Ridge Treasures Checkerboard Hop.

This packet is the Pearl set.  There are so many beads here, I almost couldn't fit them all into one snapshot!

Here are some close-ups.  The red is so rich in color!  Lisa gave us a fabulous selection of matte and shiny textures and lots of sizes.  I love those sand dollar components, don't you? Here's my chance to try flat beads with unusual shapes, too.

Let the 'Designing Begin' !
Have a great rest of the weekend,

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Haberdashery Blog Hop!

Happy Saturday everyone!

Two new things to share with you today!

1.  I received my goodies for the Pine Ridge Treasures Checkerboard Blog Hop today! This is a Blog Hop hosted by Lisa Lodge at A Grateful Artist: gratefulartist.   Tomorrow, I will take pictures of the absolutely gorgeous assortment Lisa has provided.  Lisa's selection is a stunning variety of beads and components in red and black to compliment her checkerboard theme.  Please check back here soon to see what I received!  Oh, the possibilities!  Thank you, Lisa  :)

2.  Earlier this week, I heard a little bit about a new Blog Hop being hosted by Melissa Trudinger at beadrecipes.  I scooted right over to see what all the excitement was about!

Melissa is hosting the Haberdashery Blog Hop (Haby Hop for short):

The Challenge and inspiration: use new or vintage ribbons, buttons, silks, trims, laces and fibers to create lovely jewelry. This was such a unique and creative idea, I had to sign-up. I have so many bits & pieces saved from past crafting or sewing know how it goes, hating to toss-out a single misplaced button or that few extra inches of unused pretty lace.  Never waste anything because it just might come in handy 'one day'. Well, today is the day!  Melissa's Hop provides a perfect opportunity!

In addition, Melissa has been working hard and has provided a ton of inspiration and excellent tutorials to get our ideas flowing.  Thank you, Melissa!

Please come back to my blog and also check-out Melissa's blog on August 2, 2014 to see what everyone designed.  This will be alot of fun.

Happy beading,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beaded Crochet

Good morning everyone!,
Can you believe it's almost the end of June?   Where did the time go?!

I have been experimenting with bead crochet lately.  Thought it would be fun to share my recent accomplishments with you!

Jewelry with fine sparkling Swarovski crystal is always a winner, don't you think?  These pieces are made from either 3mm or 4mm (teeny tiny) Swarovski's, some with AB finish.  I used Charlotte glass seed beads between the Swarovski's in the 1st design; the second and third bracelets are made with silver-lined size 11 Japanese glass seed beads.  All are crocheted by hand using sturdy C-Lon thread.  The components are sterling silver (clasps, bead caps, jump-rings, etc).   The core of the crochet has wire threaded thru it so that the bracelet can be 'shaped' to comfortably fit the wrist.  A flexible bangle style..easy on, easy off! They will fit about a 7-7.5 inch wrist, with ease.

Bead crochet is such a relaxing technique..I think 'I'm hooked!'  :)

I will be posting these for sale today at my Etsy Shop: ABeadsLife

Happy beading!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Beaded Beads!

Hello Everyone,
Today, I wanted to share my passion for making beaded beads with you.
Here is one of my yummy Beaded Beads:

Last year, I wanted to pursue the process of making these little lovelies.  I read and re-read and tinkered with lots of instructions and tutorials available from many excellent Resources and Artists. I made several with the instructions 'glued to my eyes/hands/beadmat/dreams' (I know you know what I mean?).  One day, I magically found I had put the instructions completely to the side, was totally focused on the shape and texture in front of me, the stitches and the colors...and created my own little beautiful bead! THAT was a '!happy dance!' moment.  It took me another 3-4 months to perfect my work and a little longer until I was brave enough to photograph one.  Pictures don't lie, they tend to show lots of imperfections..uhmm..'opportunity for improvement'.  Imagine my surprise when the first pic showed a pretty fabulous little bead!  Whoo hoo!  

I knew I had these 'right' last Christmas.  For the holidays, I made a bunch of these with my fabulous co-workers in-mind.  We typically exchange something very small, something fun, sometimes with an underlying theme from our past year(s) together.  These beads were a perfect idea since each of the ladies and gentlemen I work with are fun, have their own unique style, and have different favorite colors.  This inspiration was perfect for how I create each beaded bead!  Tho I exclusively use only tiny-sized 11 and/or 15 Japanese or Czech glass seed beads to achieve fine-detail and maximum sparkle, I always choose different color combinations, different shapes and textures for each beaded bead.  The result is that no two of my finished beaded beads are ever quite the same. Besides, who wants to be bored with repetition?...not me!

After each bead was created, I strung them onto natural fibers such as beautiful Sari Silk ribbon or colorful cotton twine (the stringing possibilities are endless!).  Then, I added coordinating crystals and art beads, and a jingle bell bead for the holiday.  The fiber was simply tied into a rustic over-hand knot for the top hanging loop.  Wa la!..each beaded bead became a lovely and memorable keepsake ornament for the holiday tree or for a special wreath or mantle display.  Several were not too 'Christmas-y' and have since become glittering sparkling Sun-Catchers!  Fabulous, as I continue to see them around the office!

Since I now find the making of these as truly relaxing and an awesome experience, I've decided to offer them to everyone at my Etsy Shop: ABeadsLife at  A full description of creating and materials used is found with each bead listing.  Each of the single beads is approximately 20mm (maybe a little smaller) and very lightweight.  There is also a set of five 12mm beads in my Shop.

I think these would make beautiful design elements for other crafty folks to experiment with? for jewelry pieces perhaps?

What are your ideas?  I would love to hear from you!  Here are 2 more to whet your appetite:

And finally, as promised, my other 2 doggie kiddos: 
Cherry the miracle Yorkie (there's a story, and she's always by my side):

Poppy the Pomeranian Pup (finally settling down for a little nap-time):

We also have a Cat in The Box: Tipper.  Anyone else have one of these?  :)

Happy beading!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ABS June 2014 Challenge - Marianne North

My piece was posted at ArtBeadScene for the June Challenge!   Big happy :) this morning!

I think this means I can share the piece on my blog now, too!

  • The ruffled rings were created by Jennifer Jennings at Blue Seraphim at Etsy.
  • The Vintage Olivine glass drops were a super great find at beadsellergirl, also at Etsy.
  • There are 2 faceted vintage Bronze beads, little clusters of Swarovski crystals, and a CKoop enameled magnetic clasp..all strung-up on dark rust color Irish waxed linen from BeadSoupBeads (at Etsy, of course).  

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ABeadsLife at Etsy

Today, I wanted to share a few pieces from my shop (ABeadsLife) with you!   If you've visited my shop before, you will already know I love using a wide variety of colors..bold & bright, soft & mello, and so on.  I generally choose one special bead or component in my selected color, then take it from there.

Sometimes, it is the mood of the day that strikes me.  On the day I made this bracelet, the day began with brilliant sunshine for most of the day, warm and glowing..we sure needed it after such a long hard Wintertime in Delaware.  It felt great.  At about 2pm, while I was deciding on which beads to use, the day suddenly grew very dark, just like night.  If you have dogs, like I do, they were the first to notice something had changed.  My eldest Yorkie, Mindy, was hovering around my ankles.  They do say dogs can hear a storm approaching.

Almost that quickly, the wind picked-up, the thunder was crashing, there was hail! and followed by torrential rain.   This pattern of bright sunny, followed by threatening storms, occurred over the next 6-7 hours, finally ending at about 7-8pm that night.  Poor Mindy was a wreck by then..don't worry, we were snuggled together, me comforting her!

This bracelet was made on that day..simply called "Stormy".  It is filled with Citrine gemstone chips to recall the brilliant yellow sun and the flat ovals of gorgeous agate to recall the swirling storms on that day.  There is a wonderful Czech glass shimmery owl to remind us of the birds twittering between each storm..they were 'having a ball' splashing in the water puddles!  There are some Czech glass frosted swirls and Piggy beads here, too.   Those Piggy beads, my new fav, are in a great new color called 'Chrome'..these seemed to be a perfect compliment.  Two golden Vintage Lucite beads, a beautiful Sterling Silver Star clasp to recognize the nighttime (it was a beautiful star-filled night after the storms) and we're all set!

I made this next piece on a soft Springtime day.  The newly growing flowers of that day inspired me..our neighbor's Lilac bush, the soft Tulips, and a few butterflies and bees swooping around.  This piece has a vintage retro pink glass swirl bead from beadsellergirl at  It's was so perfect for this design!  The vintage soft minty green 'bumpy' rounds and carved Lucite lilac shimmering rose were begging to be used here.  That is a real coconut button (slightly over 1inch in diameter) printed with a lovely butterfly pattern in the same soft pinks and mint green colors.  I free-formed a piece of copper to the button to resemble a butterfly and to bring the theme together.   These beautiful Czech glass pressed flower caps have been in my beading stash for a long time and made great dangles...they turned out quite nicely!

And here is my Mindy..doing great!  Next time, I will show you my other 2 girls, Cherry and Poppy (those 2 are not afraid of anything!)

Have a great day!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Checkerboard Blog Hop 2015

I was selected to participate in a very special blog hop coming in February 2015.   The Blog is Hosted by Lisa Lodge:

I know that seems like a long time, but the time truly does fly-by considering everything we need to plan and do!  I like that I've got a bunch of time to work out my design and how I might create some extra special elements!  I've chosen the pearl kit, and can't hardly wait to see all the great starting pieces for the hop kit when they arrive!   This is going to be a lot of fun!  As soon as I get my hop kit, I will post a bunch of pics.
Keep watching!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hello and Welcome!

Hello everyone, this is my very first post to my brand new Blog site!  I'm so excited to finally be here and hope you all will follow along with me!

I just submitted a beautiful new design to Art Bead Scene Blog for their June 2014 Challenge. The Organizers of ABS have chosen a wonderful painting by Marianne North for the Challenge.  So colorful and inspiring, an awesome woman and life.

Please head over to ABS to learn more about the artist, to view the artwork, and to see the excellent creations that are sure to be submitted for June. There are also lots of great free tutorials and many design techniques offered by the ABS team!   Hopefully, you will be able to see my bracelet there, if accepted!  Keep your fingers crossed!  :)

Also, I have a new Etsy Shop named ABeadsLife.

I am filling it with pieces made by 'yours truly'! My spin on jewelry: combine gorgeous vintage beads and components of 'times past' with the truly amazing selection of beads available on the market today.  When we talk about Vintage beads, these are at least 40-50 years old in my pieces.  These are either gorgeous new original stock beads (sometimes called NOS) or those that have been so lovingly cared for they are just like brand-new!   These pieces are so rich and full of history, made with a feeling of a bygone era.  To bring vintage and new together, I love to use natural components like Irish waxed linen, silver and copper.  I also try to include new Art Bead treasures from the many wonderful Artists you can also find at Etsy.  My mission is to list these fabulous Artists in the pieces I create, in order to provide the Artist with tons of credit for their masterpieces and to give you more shopping fun!.

Please take a look at to see and purchase my pieces, and watch my Blog grow here!