Saturday, March 31, 2012

You're Fired!

I can officially say that I suck at assembly line production!!

I've been as disciplined as  I can possibly be...honest...I just can't do it!!  I start with the best of intentions, and somewhere along the way this happens:

I can't tell you how many little piles of unfinished beads I have staring me in the's obscene!  And to be honest, they will probably be there until they turn to dust, or I get completely disgusted and trash the lot!!!  I start out like I know what I'm doing, then somewhere along...oh say, the second bead, I have an awesome idea and act upon it!  Make beads, cure, spend half a day on a design, and don't stop until the piece is completed...perfect use of my time, no?  There isn't even an in between Utopia.  I can't make ten different beads, then create ten pieces of jewelry with the newly created bead components.  Again, that would be too logical for me!

Here's my version:

1.  Ponder over exact shades of clay to use, and spend hours mixing and conditioning.
2.  Make bead.
3.  Trash first three attempts because "it just doesn't look right."
4.  Finally get it right, and cure.
5.  Get amazing idea for a piece in my mind, and create accent beads.
6.  Cure accent beads.
7.  Decide accent beads aren't that great, throw them in the "for the kids" stash, and sort for an hour through bead bins.
8.  Finally  decide on what looks great together.
9.  Finish.
10.  Show husband the meager result of a day's work.
11.  Tear apart next day and redo because I had a better idea while laying in bed trying to fall asleep the night before!

Maybe I just don't have the sequential mindset for production/assembly line work.  To most, there would be a logical answer...but I just can't wrap my mind around what that is!  I've tried checklists, rewarding myself (hey, it worked with the kids when they were little), and literally throwing a sheet over the rest of the work table so I don't get distracted!  Fail!

I just loathe making fact, I've never made two pieces the same.  Yes, I'm aware that no matter how hard I try, no two handmade creations can EVER be identical...but that's simply not enough for me!  If they look alike = identical in my head.  Yet I have no qualms with others doing "repeats"...none at all.  

My sweet husband just keeps telling me "Baby, it's the artist in you..." Which I personally think is a nice way of saying "I'm not sure why the hell you find this so darn difficult, and I've offered up every possible suggestion and support, and all I ever get is a death stare, so this is my feeble attempt of a safe reply, so that I can assure myself a spot in our bed, because the couch really isn't that comfortable!"

Photo credit:  Pinterest

Yep, so that's where I am.  I have no excuse, and definitely no sensible reasoning to my warped way of doing things...I am what I am...regardless of the insanity that I'm causing myself!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How's Everyone's "Wings" Coming Along?

I just wanted to check in quickly and see how everyone's coming along with their Flap Your Wings Challenge/Hop?  If you need anything by all means drop me a line!

I can't lie...I'm having a hard time with this...pretty embarrassing being as I initiated the challenge!  I know exactly what I want to create (both pieces), I've ordered, and received the pieces needed...I even get in to the studio ready to begin...then I get caught up in all of my emotions, and I have to walk away.

Today, I FINALLY got started.  Yay me!!  Baby steps, I tell myself...until I fly!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sweet Bead Studio - Button Swap

I signed up for Cindy Wimmer's Button Swap Blog Hop just a few days ago.  Talk about putting the cart before the horse!  I don't collect buttons, nor do I have any except the generic "sewing" type button...and those just don't grab my attention...but I signed up anyway, because I needed an excuse to head to our local antique consignment shop!

After thinking about it for a while, I decided I could make my own buttons to swap.  Not my typical florals either.  I had an idea a while back, but never got around to it...until today!  I wish I could show them to you, but you'll have to wait just a little longer ((sorry)))!!!  I can't wait to be notified who I've been paired up with, and exchange our buttons!  Did I mention I've never made jewelry with buttons before either...maybe I'll find another creative spark and dream up another useful way to use my buttons?

May 13th is the reveal day...Mother's Day...but it's also my birthday!  I'll be 22 AGAIN! :)

If you'd like to join us, head on over to Cindy's blog and sign up...there's just a few days left to sign up to join in the fun!!

Here's just a little more info:

Button Swap * Blog Hop

  • Sign ups are open from March 20 to March 25th. Anyone with a blog is welcome to join!  The Button Swap is open to international participants.  If you prefer not to ship internationally, please indicate this when signing up.  Simply leave a comment on thispost to sign up.  Please be sure to provide your email in the sign-up form.

  • I will match up partners by March 30th.  Once you receive your partner, please feel free to contact them.  You can share preferences about buttons types if you wish.

  • Select four buttons for your blog partner and mail them by April 20th. What kind of buttons should you send?  Please choose four quality buttons – they do not need to be expensive.  It would be great if at least one was a “special” button in some way – maybe handmade, vintage, or one with a special meaning.  The buttons do not need to be a set.  I’ve posted a few examples in this post.  Once you receive your buttons, blogging about them is optional.

  • Create something with your buttons – you can use all of the buttons or just one.  Your finished piece should include at least one button from the swap.   You can think outside the box and make anything – it does not have to be jewelry!  I made an altered clipboard in the last button swap – you can see the reveal post here.

  • The Blog Hop will start on Sunday, May 13th, 2012.  *(This happens to be Mother’s Day…but it was just so hard to find the “perfect” date).   Please share your button swap creation, and the Swap participant link list on this date.   This date may seem far off, but there are many hops coming up and I also have a few personal deadlines between now and then.  This should give everyone plenty of time to participate.

    Any questions?  Please send me an email!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tree Wings Studio - Giveaway!!!

Rebecka Payne of Tree Wings Studio is hosting a gracious giveaway. Rebekah is a polymer clay artisan and creates the most adorable clay beads...just take a look:

The THREE assortments of beads that Rebecka is giving away...I believe the woodland critters is my favorite set! Who wouldn't want in on this give away?  So, head on over to Tree Wings Studio blog and enter for yourself! Or if you're Jonesing for them, you can pick a few up at her Etsy shop!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flap Your Wings Design Challenge - Blog Hop

In honor of fellow beader and the sweet, giving soul of Judy Glende - Judith B. Designs -

Flap Your Wings - Fitting, as it is the name of one of Judy's Etsy stores (also Judith B. Designs), and I'd like to think of Judy's passing not as LOSING a battle, but GAINING her wings!  Her generosity and mentoring will be missed by all of your wings Judy!!

Judy Glende.  

Many artists are planning on donating the proceeds of their creations to a charity...whether on their own accord, or as a group effort.  I realize that unfortunately most of us have been impacted by cancer (I lost my own mother to cancer in 2004, and my Dad is currently in the middle of his own battle) and everyone may have their own "favorite" charity.  After long debate, I decided I didn't want to impose a specific group charity donation upon anyone, so I'll leave that up to each participant.  By all means, it is completely understandable if you just chose to keep your creation as a memento!  

The guidelines are simple:

1.  Use "Flap Your Wings" as a jumping off point and the inspiration of your creation (jewelry or other). 

2.  Post your creations to your blog on the reveal date of April 14th, 2012.

3.  Keep Judy's family in your thoughts/prayers.

4.  If you chose to donate the proceeds, please consider doing so in Judy's name.


*  I will continue to update the participant list/links as I receive requests 
- Sign ups will officially close Monday evening.

Button for your blog:

Flap Your Wings Blog Hop

Working on a design challenge - blog hop to honor Judy Glende of Judith B. Designs.  Our community mourns the loss of a sweet beading soul...

Flap Your Wings - Fitting, as it was the name of Judy's Etsy store.

Many artists are planning on donating the proceeds of their creations to charity...whether on their own, or as a group effort...working on that at the back with more specific details.

And a button for your blog (not a working link yet though)

If you'd like to join in the tribute hop, the "rules" are simple.  Just use "Flap Your Wings" as a jumping off point and inspiration, then post your creation to your blog on the reveal date of April 14th!  Please leave me a comment below or email me if you'd like to join the challenge (please list your blog so I can link all of them to the post) and I'll prepare the full participant list Monday March 19th....and start an "official" blog post/make the link "click-able"



This is where I am today. Where I was yesterday.  While the beading community mourns the loss of fellow beader Judy of Judith B. Designs, the world continues to go on somehow.  I'll never understand, probably because of the lack of my own intelligence, the dynamics of cancer.  

Another sweet soul gone too soon.  There are no words of comfort I could offer to Judy's family and friends.  Absolutely none.  I've been where they are.  

So, while we all mourn in our own personal thought for Judy came from Judy herself...

Monday, March 12, 2012

And We Have a Winner!!!

Sheesh...I go to eat dinner, and found 10 other things that couldn't wait!  Sorry, guys!

Anyway...I *think* I did the giveaway as fairly as possible.  I gave everyone who commented an entry (first comment was entry #1, and so on), then after that list was compiled, I gave all my Facebook "likes" an additional entry.  I even added the comment I received today.  

I didn't have a clue how to post the actual random number generator here, so I just snapped a screen shot and cropped it.  In all, I had 49 entries (not to shabby for the first time) without further ado....

#48 was Rebekah of Tree Wing Studio!!  

Thank you to all who entered!!  This was SO much fun, I'll think I'll do it again in a month or so!!  Next time I'm going with the highly scientific method of drawing a name from a hat...I can't say I'm in love with the number generator!

Thanks again! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012



photo credit:  Piccsy

Today my sweet husband and I went to the Craftsman's Classic Spring Show in Richmond, VA.  The plan was to do a little shopping, see various set ups and maybe consider going "whole hog" next year and submitting our work to possibly be juried in to the show.

This is where reality truly set in for much as I hate to admit it.

1.  While I didn't see any polymer clay jewelry...that didn't encourage me, but almost made me feel juvenile.  Maybe it shouldn't, and it's only my own insecurities.  Everything was sterling, gold or lampwork with a combo of silver/gold.  I didn't see any brass or copper...

2.  There's no way in God's creation I can pull elaborate partitions and backdrops out of the sky by next year, way.

3.  Most (I did see 3) jewelry vendors product were dainty and demure...not exactly what I tend to create.  Could I?  Sure, but then I'd feel like I was "selling out."

So, now I'm left feeling frustrated, completely out of my league, second guessing what I currently create, and just plain silly for even considering it.  

Selection of soaps from Asparagus Soaps

I tried to cheer myself up by purchasing some heavenly soaps from Charles Ronen of Asparagus Soap.  He was such a sweet man, who tried SO hard to help us out and we exchanged emails before we said our good byes.

Then, I did what any self respecting down and out jewelry designer would do and hit our favorite bead shop...Bangles & Beads in Carytown!!  Banded agate, African glass daggers, felted beads, an array of charms, and Czech beads later, I felt remarkably in better spirits!

Finished off the day with one of these:

GT's Kombucha - Guava Goddess

I've always tended to dream big or go home...and while I'm not quite where I want to be yet, I love the little hometown craft shows I do participate in.  I'll keep my goal for now...the schematics will work themselves out, no?

From:  Vinyl Lettering on Etsy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Need Opinions...Please?

As a few are anticipating embroidery framed beads...I had to take a small break from them today.  My oldest pulled a 17 hour shift yesterday afternoon/evening/night/this morning, so I had to tiptoe around the house today while she slept...which meant not being able to drill (where I am in the process), as the studio space shares a wall with her room, so I worked on another design.

I've been toying with this "watercolor" idea for a while now.  There are many similar beads out there (which are freaking amazing) I need opinions.

I started with a lentil bead that I made some time ago...which ended up as this necklace:

Made a haphazard mold:

Don't mind the cornstarch "mold release"

And ended with these:

Didn't even brush the drill shavings off before I snapped a picture!

Just a different color combination.

These are still in the prototype phase.  Maybe some in a more neutral color palette (I just used the colors that were on my work space today), making different flowers/vines, bigger and on a flat plate (not molding from a bead), bigger bracelet connectors, different shapes, etc.  Should I antique them, or leave them be?

I'm pretty thick skinned, so critical comments and suggestions are welcome.  If the majority think they are "copy cats" that's ok too...they'll find homes as presents for family, etc.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Did Somebody Say Giveaway?

I still haven't finished visiting all the blogs from Lori Anderson's 5th BSBP, but as promised here is my very first giveaway!!  I had a few soup leftovers, and wanted to share what Jennifer Cameron was so gracious to send me.

Jennifer sent me some gorgeous amethyst nuggets, faceted labradorite briolettes/rondelles, dusty purple freshwater pearls, and tiny AB Czech round beads.  I "hodge-podged" them in 2 strands (with a few of my own copper beads), assembled sari silk and copper chain, and placed one of my new framed embroidery bracelet connectors smack dab in the middle!  The tiny rustic copper floral charm was made using Copprclay.   A mold was taken of one of my previously made floral lentil beads, then the Copprclay was molded and fired.  Bracelet has all copper findings and a copper toggle clasp.  

Now the boring stuff...

To enter giveaway:

-Leave a comment below and be a follower of the blog
-Like Moobie Grace's Facebook page for an additional chance

It's that simple!!  Giveaway will close Sunday March 11th, 2012...and the winner will be selected "lottery style" via a random number generator on Monday!

Pssttt:  I'll be adding some of the embroidered connectors to MY ETSY SHOP soon...I'm trying to do them "assembly line" style, which I'm SO not used to doing!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lori Anderson's 5th Bead Soup Blog Party - REVEAL!!!!

YAY!!!  It's Lori Anderson's bead soup reveal day!  Honestly, I know I won't accomplish anything else but blog hopping today!  There will be no doing laundry, dusting (ok...I don't do that anyway), and the family is definitely going to have to fend for themselves today...It's ok...I stocked up on ready to eat snacks, and dinner is in the crock pot!

First, and foremost a HUGE thank you to Lori!!  I can't imagine after organizing a massive blog hop that she has a single nerve or a nary pink hair left on her pretty little head!!  So for you Lori:

My BSBP partner is Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions.  Awesome partner, who creates stunning lampwork beads and jewelry designs!  After exchanging a few emails with Jen, I set of in search off the perfect soup mix for her.  Here's what I came up with:

And the unbelievable soup beads I received from Jen:

When I received the coveted package, I held my breath as I lifted the lid!  As soon as I picked my jaw up off of the ground, it hit (as it usually does)...this isn't what I had expected?  In my own mind I had somehow picked out what Jennifer would I the only one who does this?   Even though I have no control over the selection my partner puts together, I still somehow think I'm in control of the situation!  Yet more proof that this life is so unpredictable!  This is when the reality of Bead Soup Blog Party quandary descends...and for me, it's the best part of the hop!!  Reds, aquas, purples...oh what?

Helping #1:  As bad as this sounds...I don't wear earrings often.  Stop "tsk-tsking" me!  I think it comes from years of office work, and always having a phone glued to my ear.  Many earring impressions later I just gave them up.  Sure, I wear them when we're out on the town, but unfortunately we don't paint the town very often!

I like whimsical, not only in jewelry, but in every aspect of life, and these fit the bill perfectly!  I had a couple of these brass starfish connectors laying around, and decided to use waxed cotton instead of head pins for more of a casual look and a lot more movement.  Jen sent me the amethyst nuggets, Czech glass, labradorite, and pearls and I added pressed glass, candy jade, magnesite, impression jasper, Swarovski, and lavender Czech glass shells.  Of course I had to add a little sari seems to creep into everything I create lately!

Helping #2:

I love bracelets!!  I don't tend to make them often, as that's my husband's department, but since I keep my Bead Soup creations for myself, I went at it!

I adore these lampwork beads that Jen made and included in my soup!  I'm not usually a red wearing girl, but I'll make an exception for these...maybe with the cute grey dress I have, yet never wear?  Jen also sent the "dangles" of tiny dusty purple pearls and AB lavender Czech rounds.  Also included in my soup mix, was a gorgeous pewter starfish clasp from Green Girl Studios.  I love "sea side" inspired components, but I couldn't for the life in me create a piece using it as the toggle.  Nothing seemed to "fit"...and after 3 failed attempts, I decided it would work best as a charm.  Being pewter, it stands out among the copper, almost making it as much of a focal as the lampwork...PERFECT!!  My all time favorite is coral.  Seriously, I hoard it...have bins of it...every shape, color, and size, so I accented all the loveliness of the lampwork with a single organic coral bead!  I recently tried my hand with Copprclay and using the bumps of Jen's beads as inspiration, made a sea urchin toggle clasp and a tiny little charm to complete the look (I know they're not the best, but I'm such a novice that it's not even comical).  The toggle and clasp haven't been tumbled yet, hence the dull sheen....but I was impatient and wanted to get photos ASAP!

Helping #3:  Quite possibly my favorite piece I've ever made for myself...which doesn't happen often!  But when I signed up for my first BSBP, I promised myself that the beads I received, and the pieces I designed would be just for me!!

The lampwork focal that Jen sent is absolutely amazing, yet it intimidated the hell out of me!  It sat on my bead table front and center for a few weeks...just taunting me!  I didn't want to just put it on a chain and call it a day, because I knew it deserved more!  It was destined to be a necklace, and I wanted it to be a signature, bold and artsy piece, 3 pounds of wasted copper wire later I came up with this!  Again it sat on my work table...I had the focal wrapped, but now what?  A few days later I was digging around in my mold container and spied tiny little resin frames that I had purchased (but forgotten about) to use for making molds, and the proverbial light bulb went off!  

Just days ago, I blogged that I very rarely wear any of the typical dainty beads that I create...which seems insane to me.  But, I'm a funky/bohemian type, and delicate just doesn't fit my personality, but I had an idea to make it work!  I made tiny picture frames from polymer clay, grunged them up, drilled them, and inset little polymer clay embroidered flowers/vines into each frame.  Dainty, yet more me!  The dangles are a mix of all the soup Jen sent me (including a single blue kyanite...I'm hoarding the remaining four) and a few from my own stash.  I've since relocated the teal shell spike to the other side as it distracted from the "crystal ball" lampwork, and we couldn't have that, now could we?

Group shot:

I never wear matching pieces...nor do I make's against my religion! :)  So, while I wouldn't wear all of these pieces at the same time, (wouldn't I look like the circus coming to town?) I love that I can switch them up, yet they all coordinate.  Not to mention I think I found a favorite color palette of aqua and tomato red! 

Last minute creation...Helping #4:

I finally decided what to do with the amazing blue kyanite that was included in my soup! I love these lampwork beads from my own stash, and Coppr Clay seashells that I made for these earrings.  Everything will take a dip in liver of sulfur, but as usual I waited until I was completely out to order more!

Now, for a little sneak peak of a give away!  

I decided to share the "leftovers" from my soup (labradorite, pearls, amethyst and Czech glass), and created a bracelet with one of my new framed embroidery beads to hang front and center.  I'll give everyone a few days to blog hop before I post the actual give away.  Stay tuned!
I apologize for the shoddy photography of the last two pictures...I really was in a hurry!  I will retake pictures of  the give away bracelet before I post the actual give away next week!

So, there you have it!  I apologize for being long winded, especially since you have 200 other blogs to visit...but as usual, I'm usually the talker of the bunch!

Now, run along and check out all the other participants' creations!  

Click on the pic for the participants!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Could This Week Get Any Longer?

Seriously...the longest week in history!!  Saturday's Bead Soup Blog Party reveal is a little more than 24 hours away...the "hurry up and wait" syndrome is hitting me hard!

What better way to pass the time than to stroll down previous Bead Soup Lane?

My partner for the September 2011 BSBP was Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions In Clay...I always get a fabulous partner!!  I mean, just take a look at the soup she sent!

And my creation.  I wear this ALOT, In fact, just last week.  I only completed one piece before reveal day, but I've since made myself a bracelet with the awesome tie dye beads from my soup...I need to get a picture posted.

And the soup I sent to Tari:

Tari worked miracles with my soup!

Now, rest up, and run back here, at midnight tomorrow (really 3/3/12) and get to blog hopping with me!