Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A pin.

N has already let me know I am not allowed to put his photo in this pin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red flower mosaic.

I had a plate with a large red flower in the center. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but I was very nervous about breaking the plate. It sat in my garage for a year while I worked up the nerve to use it.
Finally, I decided to give it a try and the plate cut like a dream. I was able to cut out the entire flower in one piece! But, when I laid it out, I didn't like the look of the flower intact, so I broke it!
It's the largest one I've made so far ...
and is also my favorite.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I just came across this photo I took on a trail near the Indiana Dunes last summer.
The forest was very quiet and slightly eerie.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

A recent find.

Found this painting in Woodstock, IL. So far, I'm planning to leave it unframed. It's propped in my bookshelf.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review: Hot Connections Jewelry.

In my hot little hands I have an advance copy of Hot Connections Jewelry: The Complete Sourcebook of Soldering Techniques by Jennifer Chin. (published by Crown Publishing/Potter Craft). I love the photos on the front of this book, especially the necklace.
I'm impressed by the level of detail in the book, from the explanation of metals and tools to choosing the right torch and flame to setting up your workspace. There are many projects in the book with detailed instructions.

I tried soldering last summer with mixed results. After reading the section on torches, I think the flame on my torch was too small for the thickness of the metal. I would like to give soldering another try one of these days, especially after looking through this book.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mixed metals.

Lately I have been drawn to gold and silver together, which is unusual for me! I decided I wanted a pair of silver and gold earrings with a delicate feel and a flower. I looked through my stash and came up with these.
They go very will with my new necklace from Siren Jewels.
Now all I need is a bracelet!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jewelry tree.

Saw this jewelry tree at Anthropologie and had to have it.
I like to display my jewelry rather than keep it all tucked away in a drawer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beaded flowers.

Sometimes I feel the need to simplify. I consolidated a lot of the beaded flowers I've made along with vintages ones I've collected into a pretty silver pitcher.
It's very cheery on my kitchen counter and it was nice to pack some vases away for another day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Corinne's mosaic.

Another mosaic picture. This one was given to my aunt. I love the bowl in this one.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tin flower earrings.

It seems like ages ago that I shared the tin flowers I cut out of a tin canister.
I finally made the smaller flowers into earrings.
I played around with adding beads to them, but in the end, I liked them better as simple flowers on an earwire.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mom's mosaic.

For Christmas last year, I made mosaic pictures for several of my friends and family. This is the one I made for my mom. It was one of my favorites ... although, it was hard to part with all of them.
I wish I had remembered to take photos of them all before I gave them away!

Friday, July 1, 2011

What a difference a photo editor makes.

A while ago I was playing around with a photo of a bead tapestry I made years ago. It is one of my all-time favorite pieces of beadwork that I now have framed in my house. I only have one old photo of it without glass over it. The photo was dark and did not do the piece justice. My cousin is a photographer and earlier this year on her blog she recommended using Photoscape for editing photos. I've been using it and have been really happy with it, especially since it's free. I decided to try it out on the old photo of one of my favorite pieces of beadwork and I think it turned out great!
Here's the old photo for comparison.
This piece is done in peyote stitch and is made up of 3,021 delica beads. The pattern is from Sigrid Wynne-Evans Masterpieces for Beadwork.
This particular piece is an adaptation of John William Waterhouse's My Sweet Rose.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bead & Button Show: vintage buttons

I'm sorry that I cannot tell you who I purchased these steel cut buttons from at the show. I didn't have a card or a receipt with them.
I snatched them up right away when I saw them. I think I will make earrings with them. They should be easy to translate into earrings since they have openings all around the flowers.

This concludes my Bead and Button Show posts for the moment. I'm so glad I went and soaked up the inspiration and happy atmosphere of the show. It's been a few years since I've taken a class at the show ... maybe next year will be the year.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bead & Button Show: Cynthia Rutledge.

Before the show, I had promised myself not to buy any bead kits, as I have a number of them just waiting to be worked up. Still, I needed to stop and admire Cynthia's beadwork. I was good and did not buy any kits from Cynthia, but I did purchase a Greg Hanson glass button for one of her projects that was published in Beadwork. That doesn't count!
Being surrounded by so much talent and inspiration left me feeling more refreshed and ready to work on a new project.
I'm not very far on it at the moment, but the fact that I have the seed beads back out and ready to go makes me happy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bead & Button Show: A Vintaj pendant.

Usually my mom and I do not stop for vendor demonstrations at the show. This year, we had a more relaxed, meandering pace and ended up stopping for several. When we passed the Vintaj booth and my mom could see they were doing something with a Big Shot (which she has for cardmaking), we had to stop and find out what was going on!
They were putting copper blanks between metal plates, then rolling the plates through the Big Shot to stamp the image into the copper blank. When I tried it, I was prepared to really have to crank the handle, but it was surprisingly quick and easy. Afterwards, we polished them and riveted on a flower. I love riveting things.
That was a really fun demonstration. My mom and I already have plans to put her Big Shot to use in making some more pendants.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bead & Button Show: Green Girl Studios.

This year, because I was in such a creative funk, I had decided not to go to Bead and Button. What was I thinking?! I'm glad that I changed my mind and went along with my mom. We were even able to connect with my cousin for lunch before the show, which was a nice treat. Our first stop at the show is always Green Girl Studios.
Since we were there a little later in the day than usual we happened to be at the booth during a small lull. That meant we had time to chat with Andrew, which is always a treat! The show was off to a great start.
I was in need of clasps and GG always has something a little different.
Not sure what I'll do with this bird bead, but I needed it.
Thanks, Andrew, for the motivational chat! :)

I'll share more about Bead and Button in the next few posts.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Sometimes my bead table is a good indicator of my emotional state. When I'm feeling stressed and out of sorts, it often looks like this. Items continue to be piled on top of one another, projects are started and left hanging and nothing is put away!
The school year ended for N last week and I couldn't be happier. I think I needed a break from math homework more than he did! He was struggling for a while, so we put a lot of effort into math each night and he ended the school year with a better understanding and a higher grade. Between work and N needing extra help this year, I haven't had much time for beading or blogging.

Early this morning N and I had tea with cheese and crackers while sitting outside. The sun was bright, the conversation relaxed, and dew sparkled all around us.
Now it's time to take a breath, reconnect with friends and work on some creative projects.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lesson learned.

This is what happens when you think you do not need to read the instructions.
And this is what happens when you smarten up and read them.
More on this project later ...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Etsy Favorite: mb art studios.

I recently purchased these poppy earrings from mb art studios. Her jewelry is simple and pretty. Mary also makes ceramic plaques with thoughtful quotes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love these.

I think I need a pair of fun pink embroidery scissors!
Found at Sublime Stitching.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Eggshell brooch.

Last year I published a series of posts about the eggshell brooches my mom made in the 1970s. They were made by blowing out the egg, using a Dremel tool to cut the cabachon shape, and decoupaging a picture onto the eggshell before placing it in the bezel. I found a similar brooch on Etsy.
I suspect the flowers are decoupaged rather than handpainted on this piece, but it is a lovely brooch all the same.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wildflower earrings.

The pattern for these earrings (designed by Melanie Potter ) was published in the April/May 2010 edition of Beadwork magazine. She was selling supply kits at Bead & Button last year and I snatched one up!
The instructions in the magazine were easy to follow, as long as you have beadweaving experience. Kits are also available on the School of Beadwork website.
These earrings are lightweight and fun. Now I'm ready for spring!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday, Monday.

Sporting a fun new messenger bag makes going to work on snowy Monday morning a little easier.
I think I could use this bag for traveling to bead classes, too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bridesmaid earrings.

My cousin is getting married today in a beach wedding. She is very talented and crafty and made many items for the wedding, including her own bouquet as well as the bridesmaids' bouquets. As time ran short before the wedding, I offered to make the bridesmaids' earrings.
I received a bag of supplies and the freedom to design whatever I wanted.
The bride's earrings were very simple, so I wanted the bridesmaids' earrings to be fairly simple as well. I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Congratulations, Cuz. May your life together be filled with happiness.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Whatever you are ~ be a good one.

This bracelet was made for my cousin to give to her future mother-in-law. The quote is by Abraham Lincoln and the inside of the bracelet is stamped with his name.

Beaducation is a great source of information and supplies if you are interested in stamping silver or other metals.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Etsy Favorite: Shixie

After trying my hand at cutting tin, I looked around on Etsy to see what other artists are doing with it. I ran across Shixie and loved the tin dresses! I also really liked the idea of making things with old tin globes--so cute! I wish the shop had one with the midwest.
Lots of inspiration. Makes me want to go to the flea market and search for more tins!