Thursday, May 31, 2012

Finally Friday

If you are coming here to see the reveal for Erin's Challenge of Literature you can find it by clicking on this link.

The Design Seeds inspiration for this week is ‘Urchin Tones’. I was very excited as I had been holding onto a polymer sea urchin connector waiting for just the right time to use it. So I lined up all the beads on my bead mat and they looked amazing. Unfortunately when I started putting the piece together, the polymer connector broke at the hole. I was heartbroken, as this was THE perfect piece for this project. Also, this was the second polymer piece in two weeks that has broken at the hole. Maybe I was too rough on them. But I noticed the urchin was very soft, even though I’ve had it for several months. I don’t know much about polymer clay, but I’m thinking I will stick to only round polymer beads in the future. Here's what it looked like all lined up.

So I switched out the polymer connector with a Vintaj Brass Sand Dollar. I wasn't sure if it would work since I already connected the beads with silver wire. It looks OK as it picks up the browns in the beads beside the Sand Dollar.

Below is the broken connector and the tiny pieces that broke off. I did try and salvage the connector by sanding and gluing those tiny pieces together, but you can see the cracks just a bit. Next I’ll glue the urchin to a piece of metal and see if it can be salvaged. Crossing my fingers…..

This piece includes lampwork beads by Twinstar, a drilled river rock I snatched from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Bead Box, a Vintaj Brass Sand Dollar, sterling clasp, and silver filled wire.

Yes, I do know it's not Friday, but tomorrow is the reveal date for the Andrew's Spring Challenge so I'm doing this one early. Thanks so much for stopping by. Please visit Shannon’s blog tomorrow to see what she made, and to play along next week.

The Challenge of Literature

For many of us, being born in the early 1960’s meant families with a single income where the father worked and the mother stayed home to raise the children. It was also a time where buying for the sake of buying was unheard of. In our family there were few toys and we were not exposed to many books, so I never developed a love for reading.

Fast forward to today. If you were to visit our house you would see a virtual library in each of the kids’ bedrooms. Our children love to read, and we have all genres of books one could imagine. I credit my mother for our children’s interest in reading. She cared for them when I worked full time in another city. Every day she would read to the kids, and bought Golden Books and other fun books at garage sales. The joy of reading was just one of the wonderful gifts my mother gave to our children.

But I do remember a few of my own childhood favorites such as Kavik The wolf Dog, written by Walt Morey in 1968, and of course I still have my first Little House on the Prairie hardback book. And I’ll never forget the cute story about Ralph, the star mouse in Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle from 1965. But my favorite book is The Borrowers, first in a series of fantasy novels by Mary Norton. (Oh how the fantasy genre has changed since 1952—the year The Borrowers was first published.)

In case you didn’t know, The Borrowers are tiny people who borrow things to survive while trying to keep their existence a secret. Who knows, maybe there are Borrowers living behind the walls in your home. The piece I made represents al l the little things the Borrowers might have ‘borrowed’ if they lived in my house. So if you’re still with me after that long intro, here is my piece inspired by The Borrowers.

'The Borrowers'

I have a little bowl where I keep little odds and ends, bits and pieces just for such an occasion. Included in the bracelet are washers, buttons, bingo game piece, watch face, tiny 8 ball bead, safety pin, paper clip, Barbie doll sandal donated by my daughter, various keys, odd beads, wrapped jacks game piece, and other interesting bits. I’m not sure who would want such an odd bracelet, but hopefully it makes someone smile.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Erin for another fantastic and fun challenge! Please be sure to visit all the other participants to see what they made.

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Rose Binoya
Lori Bowring Michaud
Shannon Chomanszuk
Marlene Cupo
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Therese Frank
Amy Freeland
K Hutchinson
Kristina Johansson
Jennifer Justman
Susan Kennedy
Linda Landig
Lisa Lodge
Lisa Lowe
Kirsi Luostarinen
Beth McCord
Melissa Meman
Sharon Misuraco
Tracey Nanstad
Melinda Orr
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Sally Russick
Niky Sayers
Pam Sears
Amy Severino
Tracy Stillman
Emma Todd
Melissa Trudinger
Lesley Watt
Shai Williams

Friday, May 25, 2012

They're Here!

I'm so excited to share some wonderful treats that arrived in the mail recently.

I won this group of beads as part of the Dreaming of Sun And Sea Challenge hosted by the Facebook group 'Creative Bead Chat'.

The photo below shows the artists who donated to the challenge. Aren't these lovely? The reveal date is July 1 which gives me plenty of time to create--that is if I don't procrastinate. I can't wait to get started!


If you follow the Love My Art Jewelry blog, you'll be familiar with the Art Bead Love Tour. I was lucky enough to have won the next stop on the tour, and the very beautiful, very heavy art bead chain arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

Here's what the LMAJ blog has to say about the Art Bead Love Tour:

'The Art Bead Love Tour is an ongoing project to spread the love of handmade to new and exciting places. It’s a way to reach people who may have never stumbled upon our blog on their own, and give them a chance to share the love of handmade. We chose to use a chain to link beads as a symbol of how this project links us all together~ in our unity to stand behind handmade.'

It's going to take me a while to decide which beads to keep. Be sure to watch this blog for your chance to be the next lucky winner!

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Art Bead Scene Entry

'Italian's House at Monmarte by Maurice Utrillo'

I created this necklace from the above inspiration art by Maurice Utrillo. I pulled out the greens, browns, and whites from the painting for this piece. I started with the focal, a sweet polymer house from Cindy Gimbrone. Unfortunately the very tip broke off just at the hole. I glued it back on but was not sure it was secure. To fix that problem I cut the same shape out of a piece of brass sheet metal just a bit larger than the house, and glued it to them together.

'Little Villa'

On one side of the necklace I wired a group of vintage MOP buttons together and attached one of the green buttons Kim Bender sent me for Cindy Wimmer's recent Button Challenge. The green button is attached to Vintaj Deco Window Connectors and some tiny green lampwork spacers. On the other side I added wood triangle beads, a Vintaj swirl clasp and some Vintaj etched chain.

A close-up of the pendant

'Little Villa'

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit the Art Bead Scene at the end of May to see what others made for the May Challenge.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Finally Friday

The inspiration this week is Design Seeds 'Lotus Tints'. Though the inspiration photo includes soft colors, I realized I don't have a lot of pastel beads. So I used beads in the same colors, but a bit brighter.

The Earrings are made with colorful polymer beads from Too Aquarius. I just love these becuse they go with anything. (Remind me that I need to order more. Oh wait, I'm still on my bead diet.) Also included are a couple berry colored vintage beads and two sweet apple green glass beads. I used sterling silver headpins and earwires. I'm using my sterling sparingly, which kills me because I love using it as much as I do Vintaj and copper. While I was making these I was thinking of all things summer. The name 'Lemonade Stand' came to mind, though I'm not sure why. At any rate, the name stuck and so there you have it.

'Lemonade Stand'

This playful bracelet also includes a Too Aquarius polymer bead, along with three lampwork drum beads (one tan and two sky blue) from Twinstar, some wasabi colored cut glass nuggets, berry colored rainbow soocho jade beads, a died lime green howlite bead and Vintaj components. Still thinking about all things summer; ballgames, picnics, and summer vacations (which I need badly), and the fact that everyone seems to be going here and there all summer long, I named this piece 'Elsewhere'


These Finally Friday events are posted at Shannon's blog each Friday. Check it out today and play along with us. Thanks Shannon for hosting these every week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Bit of Fun

Living in a small town you never know what you might see. A tractor being driven right down main street. Real cowboys with jangling spurs and an unmistakeble odor coming from their boots, and this.....

Horses at our local sonic. I wonder what they ordered.......
Most likely a milkshake.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Button Swap Blog Hop

These are the buttons I received from my partner, Kim Bender.

My first attempt was inspired by Kiersten Giles' 'Disco Darling' necklace from the October issue of Step by Step Wire. But I didn't want to copy her design completely, just her idea of using wire as an armature to attach and support the buttons.

The piece didn't turn out as I envisioned. It's quite large and really wasn't the shape I wanted. I intended to attach this to a chain but it just didn't look righ. Those white buttons are just sitting on there ready to be glued on, but I decided to ditch the entire idea and try something else. The photo below shows the back of this piece.

'Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.'
~James A. Michener

The idea for this second try came from seeing a fiddlehead fern as an ingredient on a recent episode of Food Network's show Chopped. Unfortunately my wire skills need a lot of work, so the piece does not lay flat, and it is out of balance, so this would-be pendant has been taken apart.

I've run out of time to make something else, but I wouldn't say this challenge was a complete loss. I've learned a few things along the way; to keep trying, to know when to admit defeat, to accept that my wire skills are lacking, and that for now buttons are not my thing. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks to Cindy Wimmer for hosting this blog hop! Be sure to check the list below and see what everyone made.

'I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.'
~ Thomas Alva Edison

Alice Peterson and Kim Bender
Angie Blasingame and Billi R.S. Rothove
Billi R.S. Rothove and Angie Blasingame
Birgitta Lejonklou and Pam Farren
Bonnie Coursolle and Tania Hagen
Brenda Salzano and Hope Smitherman
Cat Kerr and Heather Powers
Cece Cornier and Jeannie Dukic
Celeste Thurston and Christine Damm
Christine Damm and Celeste Thurston
Christine Stonefield and Dana James
Cilla Watkins and Lori Bowring Michaud
Cindy Wimmer and Mimi Gardner
Cynthia Machata and Julia Johnson
Cynthia Riggs and Lori Finney
Dana James and Christine Stonefield
Diana Ptaszynski and Erin Prais-Hintz
Emma Thomas and Rebecca Anderson
Erin Prais-Hintz and Diana Ptaszynski
Erin Siegel and Sharon Borsavage
Heather Powers and Cat Kerr
Holly Westfall and Sally Russick
Hope Smitherman and Brenda Salzano
Jayne Capps and Kim Dworak
Jeannie Dukic and Cece Cornier
Jenna Meyers and Kristi Harrison
Jenna Tomalka and Karen McKillip
Jenny Davies Reazor and Sandi Volpe
Julia Johnson and Cynthia Machata
Kalaya Steede and Kylie Dickman
Karen McKillip and Jenna Tomalka
Karen Mitchell and Renetha Stanziano
Karla Morgen and Mary Govaars
Kay Thomerson and Shannon Chomanczuk
Kim Ballor and Laurel Steven
Kim Bender and Alice Peterson
Kim Dworak and Jayne Capps
Kim Roberts and Partner unable to participate at this time.
Kristi Harrison and Jenna Meyers
Kylie Dickman and Kalaya Steede
Kym Hunter and Lynda Moseley
Laurel Steven and Kim Ballor
Linda Djokic and Patty Gasparino
Line Labrecque and Teri Baskett
Liz DeLuca and Lorelei Eurto
Lorelei Eurto and Liz DeLuca
Lori Anderson and Niky Sayers
Lori Bowring Michaud and Cilla Watkins
Lori Finney and Cynthia Riggs
Lynda Moseley and Kym Hunter
Marianna Boylan and Tracy Statler
Mary Govaars and Karla Morgen
Mary Harding and Stacie Florer
Maureen Baranov and Tracy Bell
Melissa Martin and Theresa Fosdick
Michelle Hardy and Peggy Johnson
Mimi Gardner and Cindy Wimmer
Nicole Valentine Rimmer and Niki Meiners
Niki Meiners and Nicole Valentine Rimmer
Niky Sayers and Lori Anderson
Pam Farren and Birgitta Lejonklou
* Pam Ferarri and Stefanie Teufel (will share their reveal on a later date)
Patty Gasparino and Linda Djokic
Peggy Johnson and Michelle Hardy
Rebecca Anderson and Emma Thomas
Rebekah Payne and Sue Kennedy
Renetha Stanziano and Karen Mitchell
Rose Binoya and Shanti Johnson
Sally Russick and Holly Westfall
Sandi Volpe and Jenny Davies Reazor
Shannon Chomanczuk and Kay Thomerson
Shanti Johnson and Rose Binoya
Sharon Borsavage and Erin Siegel
Shirley Moore and Veralynne Malone
Stacie Florer and Mary Harding
* Stefanie Teufel and Pam Ferarri (will share their reveal on a later date)
Sue Hamel and Terry Carter
Sue Kennedy and Rebekah Payne
Tania Hagen and Bonnie Coursolle
Tania Spivey and Teresa Gagne
Teresa Gagne and Tania Spivey
Teri Baskett and Line Labrecque
Terry Carter and Sue Hamel
Theresa Fosdick and Melissa Martin
Tracy Bell and Maureen Baranov
Tracy Statler and Marianna Boylan
Veralynne Malone and Shirley Moore

Friday, May 11, 2012

Finally Friday

'Mint Tints' is the inspiration for this week--from Design Seeds

A looooong time ago my husband a I took a trip to Bermuda with another couple we always hung out with. Bermuda is a British territory in the North Atlantic, just off the east coast of the United States. I was surprised, and delighted at how the island people are able blend the fun of the Caribbean with the elegance of the British culture. The islanders were only allowed to own one car, and tourists rented motor scooters. Billboards and neon signs are not allowed, and the only fast food restaurant was Kentucky Fried Chicken. The food was fabulous-I'm talking about the local food NOT KFC. The pink beaches were gorgeous, and the ocean-which is the inspiration for this piece-was spectacluar.

'Bermuda Jewel'

Made with tiny faceted Amazonite rectangles and sterling silver, this bracelet reminds me of relaxing on the lovely beaches of Bermuda.

Visit Shannon's blog for next week's inspiration and to play along.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Crayon Color Blog Hop

Today is the day for Sally Russick's One Crayon Color Blog Hop. Participants were asked to choose a color and create a monochromatic piece in that color. I chose the color green for this challenge.

My inspiration came from a pretty green button that came on a package from Marcia. I started pulling out all the green beads I have in my stash, and settled on some vintage round beads, a lime green lampwork disc from HMB Studios, and a green coiled wire from Carol Dillman—my Bead Soup partner. As I was moving the beads around on the table I dropped the lampwork disc onto the button, and it looked so cute. I decided to glue the disc into the button, and then glue the button onto a copper circle. The vintage beads came together easily with copper wire, but what to do with the green coiled wire? Knowing I had only one shot at forming the wire, I decided to make a loop and attach it to a large Vintaj jump ring. I used Novacan Black Patina to tone down the copper to match the aged brass. The green coiled wire is slightly curved to fit the wrist better.



Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure and visit all the other participants to see what they created. Thanks to Sally for another fabulous challenge!

Hosted by:
Sally Russick

Therese Frank
Rochelle Brisson
Lisa Lodge
Malin de Koning
Bobbie Rafferty

Linda Landig
Cherrie Fick
Beth McLarnan
Cece Cormier
Renetha Stanziano
Tanya Goodwin
Jean Welles
Amy Severino
Rebekah Payne
Lola Surwillo
Judy Turner

Jennifer Justman
Rose Brisson
Kim Bender
Heather Powers
Shelly Joyce

Cherie Reed
Rebecca Anderson
Hope Smitherman
Patti Vanderbloemen
Michelle Buettner
Alicia Marinache
Charissa Sloper
Sonya Stille
Maria Grimes
Nancy Saccoccio
Sandi Volpe
Joanne Tinley
Catherine Pruitt

Mary Harding
Karin Gilman
Jayne Capps
Lorelei Eurto
Melissa Meman
Alice Peterson
Jenny Davies Reazor
Cynthia Machata
Melissa Essenburg
Regina Santerre
Lauren Streets
Elizabeth Auld

Tracy Mok
Jennifer Judd Velasquez
Marti Conrad
Lori Anderson
Donna Bradley
Courtney Breul
Linda Younkman
Susan Kennedy
Lisa Liddy
Tracy Stillman
Dawn Doucette

Diana Ptaszynski
Shannon Chomanczuk
Janice Everett
Karen Williams

Kashmira Patel
Heidi Post
Birgitta Lejonklou
Holly Westfall
Karin Slaton