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:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My very first Holiday Fair, this weekend!

If anyone in the vicinity of northern Delaware/southeast Pennsylvania is looking for something really fun to do this weekend...please check-out this excellent venue on Sunday, November 16 from 9:30-4pm!

Holiday Craft Show, Congregation Beth Israel of Media:
Beth Israel of Media, Pa  
542 S. New Middletown Road
Media, Pennsylvania  19063
Host: Jennifer Waterston

There will be music, arts & crafts with over 30 vendors, wonderful food, a silent auction..fabulous!

I was asked to host a table for my jewelry creations (ABeadsLife)!  I'm soooo excited, have '1st time butterflies' fluttering around in my tummy and head...

This is sure to be a great event and wonderful opportunity to meet people!  I would love to say 'hello' to you in-person!  Do come join us!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014 November?

Octoberfest..oh dear..I am so sooooo late.  Can we please have 'November-fest'!????

We've been beyond busy at work, much of everything has gone by-the-wayside.  Many days have escaped without me hugging one of these as well (That's my girl, Cherry. She loves hugs):

However, I am determined to keep my promise to Rita of regarding her Octoberfest Blog Hop!

A few months ago, I received brilliant orange beads from Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Studios as part of a set from her upcoming Sparkle Challenge.  Remember this set from one of my prior posts?:

Orange is a great happy sunny color, which I've typically shied-away from in jewelry, clothing, home furnishings..or beads.  My husband is 'the great lover' of orange.  He is totally utterly nuts about orange, Halloween is his favorite holiday.  So, I must admit, when I opened this package, there was a moment of 'surprised panic'.  Orange beads!?..what am I going to do with these?!  Gorgeous, sparkling, but Orange!?  uhh oh...I'm in trouble for sure.

Fast-forward to an unplanned stop at the nearest Michaels store one night after work.  You know those wonderfully-guilty opportunities...running about 40 minutes ahead of schedule (unheard-of, right?), you're nearing the turn-off lane for the shopping center (should I?  No! I shouldn't!...Oh what the heck)....and in you go, despite having tons of supplies and stuff at home!  YAY..'me' time!

Strolling around the store, I wandered into the bead aisle.  A few moments later, a strand of super-sparkly beads caught my eye.  Totally 'uber-super' sparkly, come-hither beads. Guess what?..these were orange-based, too.  Just like that, it all came together.

They call these 'Challenges' for a reason.  Try a new color, a new style, a new technique.  I pulled out bronze wire, a bit of vintage bronze chain, a cute bronze clasp (ok, not october-ish, but I love this one!), and suddenly developed a new fondness for wire-wrapping.  Wire-wrapping never existed in my repertoire before.  I always seemed to struggle with wire, of any sort.  However, thanks to an excellent tutorial from Melissa Meman of Melismatic and ArtJewelryElements, something 'clicked' and I 'totally-get wire-wrapping' now (thank you, Melissa!).  Please, check-out all of the fantastic tutorials at ArtJewelryElements (AJE) if you are struggling..they cover many topics, the directions are clear/concise/well-written and are beautifully photographed.  Lots of fun, too!

To 'wrap-this-up':
1.  I am totally desperately late for Octoberfest;
2.  I am early for Sparkle Challenge (don't worry, I have many more pieces created from this excellent bead set in preparation for the December Challenge reveal date);
3.  I am completely in love with this new necklace and with wire!!!

Thank you all for bearing with me, for stopping by (again), and many thanks to Rita, Lisa, Melissa!