Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gone Crazy, Be Back Soon!

Good's been over two months since my last post!!  I don't really have an excuse, I'm just juggling creating jewelry, my Etsy store, art shows, and homeschooling a learning disabled child.  Throw the holidays in to the mix, and I always seem to be running short on time.
Photo credit:  DISfunkshion Magazine

Since my last "blow through town" I've been fortunate enough to have two of my creations published in Bead Trends Magazine - December 2012 & January 2013.  Please visit Northridge Publishing to see an array of gorgeous artisan creations!!

December 2012 Issue

Bead Trends - January 2013

Like I said, we've also been busy with holiday shows, and just wrapped up our last show of the 2012 season!!  Now comes the time for brainstorming, new techniques (NOT three days before a show, Tania!!!), and working on next year's displays.

As much as I love forging metal, assemblage, and just about every bead known to man, my first love will always be polymer clay.  I've backed off of using it lately, mainly because it's SO TIME CONSUMING (see first paragraph for reminder), but also because I have such wanderlust for other mediums.  I won't even begin to mention the negativity surrounding polymer clay itself.  But, starting next week, it's time to rekindle the romance! :)

Here's just a few examples of what I fell in love with almost 3 years ago...Geez, has it really been that long??

All photos property of:  Moobie Grace Designs

Lord willing, I won't be too out of practice, and I promise to keep in touch!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Gone To H*** in a Handbasket

My blog, that is.

I have good intentions, I swear, I do, but lately life, family, and the dreaded "real world" has been throwing me curve ball after curve ball...and I am NOT the athletic type!

So many changes, so little of me!  My oldest just moved in to her own apartment...60 miles away.  For those who haven't been down this path before... let me tell you, life is so much easier when they are 2!!  Cherish those temper tantrums, laugh at them're going to need the memories to get you through the teen & "I'm an adult" years!  Emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, yes...but all is well, she's moved in, is safe, and I suppose in a way we're both starting a new chapter in our lives.

As if that wasn't enough, I've also been getting everything lined up to homeschool my youngest daughter for a while now.  With a learning disability such as dyslexia, and an education system that is rapidly going down the tubes, it really was the only sensible option to be able to teach my child to the best way for HER!  I've learned that while I can take a stand and not back down when it comes to fighting the public education system, that my own child is losing ground, and suffering in the process.  So, I did what any self respecting Mama does, and I packed up my toys and I am going home...just as soon as the school board acknowledges my Notice of Intent!!!!

My muse has been put on hold for the time being.  Between holiday shows, getting my Etsy store loaded for the holidays (still on the to-do list), taking inventory to the stores I consign with, and my "active" children, blogging time has been cut out!  Hopefully, once the homeschooling bell rings, I can be back full force, just as soon as I play judge, jury and executioner over the "who gets Lauren's now vacant bedroom!"

Thanks for putting up with my Houdini acts...



Friday, August 17, 2012

The Charm Barn - Link Challenge Reveal

Sweet Peggy from The Charm Barn organized a pretty cool challenge!  I'm always up for a challenge, so I immediately signed up.  Peggy sent all of us these cool  links.  I was giddy when they arrived, but upon opening the package there they sat taunting and mocking me.

I had no clue what I could create.  My beading/designing experience didn't include anything like these...and there the links sat on my studio table for a good couple of weeks.  I finally decided that they weren't going to get the best of me!  I knew I wanted something for autumn...Something to wear with bulky sweaters and jeans.  Here's what I came up with:

I used a good helping of the links (drilled a hole in each end), patinaed a brass filigree stamping turquoise, and added a molded polymer clay flower in a yummy pumpkin hue accented with copper finish.  From there, I wanted to mix metals and selected brass chain and a large copper hand forged swirl/clasp.  Simple, yet enough of a statement piece to catch the eye...even with all of those bulky autumn clothing.

Please check out Peggy's blog for all of the participants and vote for your favorite creation!

Thanks Peggy!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Party - 2nd Reveal

FINALLY!!  The 2nd reveal of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party!  

Just a refresher...My partner is Jenni Connolly of Victoria, Australia! Jenni sent me this fantabulous bead soup!  I was giddy when I saw this focal:

And I'm not a red girl, or a heart girl now that I think about it...but this resin & copper heart is gorgeous!

And the rest of the delicious ingredients:

Jenni's own lampwork, copper chain, clasp, cord ends and red coral, labradorite and gray sari silk.

Now, on to the main event!!

The day my soup arrived, I had just come back from a girly outing which consisted of picking up the dress shown to wear to my next soon as I opened my soup package, I knew "other forces" were at work and that I had to create a piece to wear with this dress!

Oh, where do I start?  Jenni's gifted labradorite, coral rounds, gray silk and connectors.  From there things went a little crazy, and everything but the kitchen sink wound up on this piece.  Branch coral, druzy, pearls, tribal charms, souvenir spoon bowl, antique lace, Zambia coin, quartz point, salwag, tree branch from a fallen tree in my back yard, and lots of waxed linen!!  

Big, bold and not for wallflowers!  I know it's not everyone's taste or style, and it's a little busy to say the least, but I love HUGE jewelry and I'm in LOVE with it!!  Did I mention I live in a tiny-rural-farmland-southern-the place that time forgot-town?  Guess where my next show is?  As my husband so kindly stated:  "Baby, you are going to get a lot of strange looks, prayers said for you, and too many "Bless your hearts" to count!"  My reply was "How is that different from any other day?"  Him..."you win!" ;)

Next up was using the focal...

Again, I wanted different...and this WIDE cuff  bracelet was born!  I drilled another hole in to the focal and went to work sewing and beading.  There's some more of Jenni's sari silk, coral and labradorite, as well as quite a few antique buttons, lace, copper chain/charm.  I love the tattered feel of it!

I couldn't neglect the awesome lampwork beads, copper chain/clasp that Jenni sent me.  After two "busy" pieces, I toned it down a bit...but kept it large (I usually only ever wear one piece of jewelry at a time, and tend to gravitate towards a bold piece).

My own floral polymer clay focal in gray & terracotta & Jenni's lampwork bead hangs on a tree branch from my yard (fell during those nasty storms that affected almost the entire east coast) that has been dried, painted, sealed and drilled.  I added the hand forged chain and clasp from my soup.  I've already worn this and received LOTS of compliments!  

And a simple pair of copper/lampwork earrings:

I had a bracelet put together that used the remaining lampwork, but I just wasn't happy with it, and took it apart last just didn't do Jenni's beads any justice!!

So, that wraps up my BSBP reveal.  As always, it was so much fun!  Thank you Lori for all the hard work and attention to detail a swap of this size entails!! 

Now, run along and check out all of the other participants in the 2nd reveal!!

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 

 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Monday, July 30, 2012

Remember When...

It's almost that day...AGAIN!!!  

How can one date on the calendar invoke so many emotions? 

I'd never felt contentment and peace until July 31st, and yet exactly a year later I never knew just how much a heart could break. 

I gained a best friend, and lost one...all on the same wretched date.  

Our Wedding Song - Remember When - Alan Jackson

I never realized how true the words were...

Most days, I just wish I could completely erase this date from the calendar forever, July should only have 30 days! But in the end I know it wouldn't change the outcome. I've realized everything truly is balanced in life. 

For every laugh, there's ultimately a tear that's yet to fall, and, for every moment of happiness, there is tragedy waiting just around the bend. 

It took me 30 years to learn a few things:

1.  Don't let words and feelings go unspoken, you just might not have tomorrow (or another 5 minutes) to express them.

2.  Give thank-yous, hugs, kisses.  Apologize and forgive when needed, or you'll regret it for the rest of life (trust me on this). 

3.  Let your guard down and let those who care in every once in awhile, being tough doesn't get you anywhere (ok, I haven't learned this yet).

4.  Leave behind more than you took from this world.

5.  Life does go on.  You may not like it, and it definitely will never be the same, and often you'll wonder how the world hasn't come to a screeching halt.  Tomorrow the sun will rise...with or without your blessing.

6.  But most importantly, just love. This world is too short for ugliness, arguing, cold shoulders and vindictive acts.

These are the lessons I've learned in the past 7 much as I wasn't ready to learn most of them...

Happy 8th anniversary Christopher! - July 31st, 2004

Still missing you Momma! - April 9th, 1946 - July 31st, 2005

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party - 1st Reveal

*Looking to enter the Art Bead Love Tour?  Click HERE!!

Today is the first reveal of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party!!!  Lori's "bead baby" has become SO huge the reveals have been broken down in to 3 groups!!  Because Lori's awesome like that, and didn't want to leave anyone out!  Really.  She's a doll on SO many levels!

Just remember to come back August 11th for my reveal...where my husband's comments included (but are not limited to) "Are you freaking serious?"  "Remind me to walk 10 paces behind you when you wear that!"  "Baby (he NEVER uses my name), are you frustrated with life in general?"  I got a little "creative"...the same old, same old...just gets old!!

 Hostess, Lori Anderson,
Alice Craddick,  Alice's Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache,  All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts,  Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson,  AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou,  Create With Spirit   
Candida Castleberry,    Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl McCloud,  One Thing Leads to Another
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson,  Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris' Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things
Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enik√∂ Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto Jewelry
Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten,  Jewelry, Art and Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade
Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie's Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry
Marti Conrad, Marti C's Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs
Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs 
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Patricia Johnson, Patricia L. Johnson Glass Art
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky
Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal's Attic
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau
Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna
Next reveal date -- August 11th!