Monday, April 23, 2012

Stress? What Stress?

I despise that first show of the season, and mine is less than two weeks away!!  ARGH!!  I'm beginning to stress, to say the least.  I *think* I have enough inventory made, but  I still need to sew (first I have to measure, cut, and dye the fabric) three table coverings, fix the large displays and signs that got tossed by gale force winds at the last show, tag/price/label everything, and I ordered large banners that I need to grommet.  Oh, and still waiting on the Mr. to construct some risers...that will need to be painted!

And, I REALLY hope folks like copper!  I usually try to have 1/2 mixture of copper & bronze, and 1/2 silver...not this year!  I've been bitten by the copper bug, and it's quickly replacing brass/bronze!  We still have lots of silver plated flatware pieces, so I'm crossing my fingers that will suffice!  It's a big risk, that there's no going back on now!

I've also slacked off on the amount of clay pieces I've made.  While there are still LOTS, I've also went with some kitschy, vintage, modern and if I wasn't a little "here there and everywhere" before, it's definitely noticeable now.  Enter new displays to feature said already created vintage/assemblage pieces, while also fitting into our booth's teal & orange color palette!

This weekend we browsed our local antique/consignment shop, and I happened upon one of these:

The bigger one...
Photo credit:  Dew Drop Daisies

Inside (minus the ties)
Photo credit:

Mine is complete with vintage travel stickers!!!  For $8!!!!!  It smells funky, and I need to add some hooks (already re-glued some of the satin that was coming loose), but it will be transformed in to an assemblage necklace display some time this week...because I didn't have enough to do!

I might be MIA for the next week or so...I'm still around...just slave driving myself!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So, I Thought I'd Get A Reprieve...And She Thinks She's Grown!

Finally, after 4 proms with my 2 oldest girls, and just as many homecoming dances, I thought I'd get a short respite this year, as my next daughter isn't old enough to attend prom, and she's pretty low key when it comes to homecomings.  **Thank you Dear God for giving me a tomboy in between my girlie-girls!**  To be honest I was looking forward to a stress free, no teenage drama meltdowns, and no need to pull my magic wand out of the closet this year.

Enter my niece...and a sweet request last weekend "Aunt Tania can you make me a corsage for prom?"  Course I would, when is it?  "Next Saturday!"

But who could have said no to that face?

Please keep in mind this dear, sweet child lives a state away...not around the block.  I literally ran to the closet and started digging like I was looking for Narnia...I found a pair of my favorite sandals, one crutch (not sure where that came one here has ever needed them), and a kitchen sink.  No, really.  My husband is a plumber and we have a new one...because our "under the stairs" closet is the most logical place to store it! *Can't do anything other than shake my head.*  Hmmm...where did I put that damn wand???

Sight unseen (dress wise that is) this is the final result:

And her dress:

But, rest assured, it was shipped off yesterday afternoon, and should (cross everything that the post office doesn't screw this up) be ready for Cinderella's debut on Saturday!

And...while I'm at it, last year's pic of my two girlies:

Lauren & Mariah - Senior Prom - 2011.  My daughter is in white, and my "adopted" (but don't you try to tell me she's not mine...those are fighting words) daughter in the pink.

These two...Geez you can't take them ANYWHERE!!!

We recycled my wedding dress for her to wear....

And last year's creation...

Maybe, I'll get next year off??

To top the day off my oldest is the big one-nine today!  She thinks that she's grown...  I explained to her this evening that by the time I was her age, I had a 1 month old and a house...she wasn't impressed! LOL!

Self portrait of Lauren

Told you she thinks she's she asks "what's for dinner, ma?" :)

Although she sometimes acts like she's 10!

And yes, that's a "real" tattoo...she gets it honestly...

But, in my eyes she'll always be perpetually 6!!

Happy Birthday Lauren!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flap Your Wings Reveal - A Tribute To Judy Glende

Today is all about Judy Glende.  The amazing artist, mentor, treasure hunter, and friend - that we all will remember for years to come.  We were forced to say "until next time" to Ms. Judy on March 14, 2012, when she gained her wings.  The entire beading community has brushed away many tears....

Today is Flap Your Wings reveal day...and while I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with, I can't help but wish we were doing this for another reason!  I will not let this post become about did not define Judy, and it definitely wasn't who she was!  Today is simply our tribute to a remarkable woman!!


(Amanda regretfully couldn't participant in the reveal but will be making a donation)

12. Kym Hunter 

Some participants are auctioning, selling (whether privately or through online stores) their creations and will donate their proceeds to the charity of their personal choosing.  Please take the time to enjoy the hop with us, and consider purchasing/bidding/donating to the charities we all hold dear to our hearts.

In Judy's Obituary, the following charities were suggested for donations:

Mustang Alley Horse Rescue, 1020 Walters Road, Greenville, TN 37743 

Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Dermatology Melanoma Research Fund, 55 Fruit Street, Bartlett Hall Room 622, Boston, MA 02114

** Also, if any of the participants would like to mail the donation directly to the Glende family, please send me an email and I will send you their address.

So, without further ado here are my creations:

Tears of an Angel - Brooch:

I have an early 1900's hymnal that belonged to my husband's grandfather.  I treasure this little book, and often take pictures using it as a background, or reading the little notes he wrote within the margins.  I didn't think Pap Paw would mind if I used a page for Judy's creation, so I found a picture of a cemetery  concrete angel (from an Irish cemetery) and printed it on the hymnal page.  The rest, is a hodge-podge of found treasures (my tribute to Judy).  There's a vintage wavy brass stamping that I used to resemble a halo, vintage glass pearl chain, an array of charms and of course lots of beads.  The wings are made of polymer clay and were set in to the resin top coat. The back is a clear acrylic block with safety brooch pin.  I'm a little leary of selling this, as it's not my own photograph, so I'm donating $40 and will wear it often.  I also have to include that Deryn Mentock's work was also my inspiration in this design...her work is AMAZING!!

A Crowning Glory - Assemblage Necklace:

I've had this crown pendant for a few years (purchased from a big box store.)  It was silver tone, and not quite "my kind of thing."  I noticed however in Judy's Etsy store that she had a similar crown listed...and I quickly dug out my ugly focal!  After MANY coats of paint, Rub N' Buff, and's not an ugly duckling any longer!  Using the same process as the brooch above, I printed the angel wings on muslin, hand forged the copper frames, and filled them with glossy resin.  The copper circle chain I soldered together (and left it "messy" on purpose...despite my husband's cajoling to "clean it up") and I used two vintage mother of pearl buttons as a clasp.  A vintage rhinestone heart hangs dead center (it was from my own mother's stash of costume jewelry) and golden sari silk wrapped with ivory keshi pearls add a little texture.  The eagle cuff link came from who knows where?  I think it was from some antique baubles that again belonged to Pap Paw McCray.  The sepia photograph charm was a quick stand in, after deciding to rework the charms, and will be replaced with one from my own vintage photos...a wedding picture of my grandparents *pictured below* (just poured the resin)...before listing in my Etsy store.  

I struggled with both of these creations...I wanted to express what I was feeling...and I have a hard enough time doing so with words, so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to portray that within a piece of jewelry.  My donations will be going to Mustang Alley Horse Rescue, donated in Judy's 


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Some Assembly Required

Just a few pictures of this week's creations.  I finally tried my hand at assemblage...

Yesterday was my Mom's birthday. Usually, as expected, I'm in a numb state. Yesterday however I decided to put my energy in to something worthwhile instead. Basically this is my first attempt at any assemblage type jewelry. Everything on it has personal and sentimental meaning to me. 

1. Watch face: was my Mom's but the band was broken beyond repair. 
2. Pennies: I dapped are my children's birth years. 
3. Mother of pearl buttons: are a recent find that came out of my husband's grandmother's sewing box.
4. Photograph was my maternal grandparents wedding day. I printed a copy, then adhered it to a pressboard cutout.
5. Stamped brass oval: July 31st is our wedding date, but also the day my Mom passed away.
6. Hummingbird: When my Mom fell ill we moved her hummingbird feeder to where she could see it. She never saw a single one. The day she passed away there were at least 15-20 that kept coming to feed.
7. Sterling frozen charlotte: My mom owned a daycare, and I made a mold of one of my charlottes, then made this little charm out of PMC (my first ever using silver clay).

All hand forged copper, soldered copper flowers, mother of pearl beads, and vintage crystals and rhinestone rondelles.

I've made another necklace, as well as a brooch, but they are part of my Flap Your Wings come back Saturday to see their reveal!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Art Bead Love Tour...Who Will Be Next?

The Art Bead Love Tour chain of gorgeous goodies is currently in the hands of Patty from My Life Under The Bus. Please  check out Patty's blog for details on how you could win the opportunity for the chain to be sent your way! 

Check out the terms and conditions at Love My Art Jewelry

I'll Talk To You Tomorrow...

I am of few words today.  Forgive me.

Today would have been my Mom's 66th birthday.  I'm a little peeved that she's not here for me to give her hell about that! <- Sometimes you have to find the humor in things in order to chase away the tears.

We saw each other every single day.  The last words we spoke each day were simply "I'll talk to you tomorrow."  They were the last words I left her with the day before....when her tomorrow never came.  I didn't let that little detail stop me.  They were the last words I spoke to her at her funeral.  They are the last words I tell her now...still every day.  She hated goodbyes.  Loathed them...and it's something that we NEVER told each other.  How lucky am I to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to?

2445 days is a long time. That's 6 years, 8 months, and 10 days without her.  I thought I was an adult.  A big wrong I was!

- If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.  ~Robert Brault

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. 
~Maya Angelou

- Sweater, n.:  garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.  ~Ambrose Bierce

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.  ~HonorĂ© de Balzac

My Mom is the blonde

I cannot forget my mother.  She is my bridge.  When I needed to get across, she steadied herself long enough for me to run across safely.  ~Renita Weems

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Anyone else afflicted with the disease?  I know I'm not alone in my group of "beady" friends!

I have a stash of my favorite beads (in their own compartment container of course) and most days I fondle all of them, but can't bring myself to use ANY of them!  It's not that they were all expensive...I'm just hoarding them in hopes of having an ah-ha moment, you know the type of design that will change the world, end world hunger and save the whales, and I just can't use them all willy nilly on everyday creations...that would be ludicrous, right?

Let's take a look in that fantabulous box, shall we?

I purchased these beauties from Oh My Milky

These are some of my favorites from BIMS Bangles

An embarrassing amount of these ceramic bracelet beads from Captured Moments

As well as an obscene collection of bird toggles from Pajego Art House

Awesome Antique medicine bottle cut outs from Pork Chop Show

And those are just the most recent Etsy purchases...don't get me started on the fair trade, vintage baubles, sea glass, etc from my favorite bead store Bangles & Beads in Carytown, VA.

Now, don't be us what's in your hoard...err...I mean bead boxes!

Photo Credit:  World of Stock

Don't forget to check back next Saturday, April 14th for the Flap Your Wings Blog Hop reveal in honor and memory of Judy Glende!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Super Secret Bead Soup Swap

...Okay, not so super secret, but still as awesome as the "original" Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson!!

My partner is Patti Vanderbloemen.  Patti is also a fellow Virginian and not only has fantastic taste in artisan beads, but has some utterly gorgeous jewelry on her Etsy site!

For example...

And the gorgeous goodies Patti was so kind enough to send me...

I know my pictures absolutely stink, but you have no idea how much self control it took to snap these two shots before I dug right in!  Patti sent an awesome detailed list of each bead and where/from whom it was purchased...and I "put it in a spot that I would remember", and yep...I can't remember where I put it!  I'll come back and give every bead it's credit (I do remember Summer's Studio & Humblebeads) soon as I find that sheet!

I'm still in awe how generous Patti was...I'm not sure I could have parted with some of the pretties she gifted, as I tend to hoard those extra special beads!  I mean A WHOLE SET of fabulous lampwork beads??  Patti's a keeper! ;)

As soon as I come up with a few designs worthy of these I'll be sure to post an update!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hidden Treasures

I've always been mesmerized with assemblage jewelry.  Using vintage/found treasures peaks my interest.  Who owned it, what did they use it for, etc?

Although I've never really created anything I'd consider as assemblage, I have a few odds and ends laying around:  vintage costume jewelry from my mom,  a few skeleton keys, frozen Charlottes, old foreign coins, beads, buckles, buttons (since I ordered a few for Cindy Wimmer's Button Swap, and A LOT of old tiaras from my girls' pageant days...maybe enough to make a few pieces?  I just might give it a whirl.

From the examples below, what's not to love?

And no assemblage post would be complete without a few from the queen of assembled jewelry...Deryn Mentock!  Her work mystifies matter how many times I drool over it!

So, while I stink at assembly line production work, maybe I'll take to assemblage a with a little more tenacity!