Thursday, December 31, 2009

May You Always Have Enough...

A friend at work sent me this poem today, and I want to share it with all my friends, my fellow beaders, my neighbors on Ruby Lane and everyone who stops by for a visit.

I do not know who wrote this poem or the origin of it, if you do please let me know.

May you always have enough...

Happiness to keep you sweet,
Trials to keep you strong,
Sorrows to keep you human,
Hope to keep you happy,
Failure to keep you humble,
Success to keep you eager,
Friends to give you comfort,
Wealth to meet your needs,
Enthusiasm to look for tomorrow,
Faith to banish depression,
Determination to make each day,
Better than the day before.

Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2010.

Happy Beading!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

Christmas Greetings from Sunny Florida!
Look who decided to take a break from the white stuff
and went for a swim in Tampa Bay!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Color of 2010 - TURQUOISE

This posting is being written with family and friends in mind, including clients of Sundancegems and fellow bloggers, who live between W. Virginia and Maine, and are dealing with what the weathermen (and women) are referring to as the 'Blizzard of 2009'. As you look out the window let your mind wander to tropical shores, sultry breezes and swaying palms to warm your heart and body.

I was first introduced to Margie Deeb's work by Pearl in her posting about the Fall/Winter 2009 Color Report. ( ). Margie Deeb specializes in color for bead artists. Her book The Beader's Color Palette has received many rave reviews and was voted the Best How-to Craft Book of 2009 ( ). I must confess I have not read the book, but I have just added it to my wish list. Visiting Margie's website this morning, I learnt the the 2010 Color of the Year is Turquoise. This color was chosen by Pantone  ( ) a world-renowned authority on color. According to their website they inspire design professionals with products, services and the latest in technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. The Turquoise color they have chosen is not the familiar blue, but the blue-green.  They tell us that the color was chosen, because it invokes "inspiring thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of well-being".

Turquoise is one of my favorite gemstones, and nothing compares with natural genuine Turquoise. The key to purchasing genuine Turquoise is to deal with venders that you know and trust. I always sacrifice a bead from a strand of Turquoise I have purchased to break/cut in it to determine if it is really the real thing and not dyed. So many gemstones, such as Howlite and Magnesite are colored to resemble and even sell as Turquoise, and it is not easy to visually tell them apart. Currently I have three items displayed for sale in my shop that feature beautiful tropical Turquoise. You can learn more about these pieces by visiting Sundancegems at Ruby Lane .

Turquoise with Bird and Nest Bracelet

American Turquoise Nuggets Necklace and Earrings Set in Sterling Silver

Turquoise and Sterling Silver Hammered oval chain Necklace with Bird Charm and Earrings

Monday, December 14, 2009

Green Nail Polish - Fall 2009

Today, I had a long day! I was asked to report for Jury Duty and of course, I did. I armed myself with plenty of reading matter, a bottle of water, couple of granola bars, a few pieces of dark chocolate and a sweater ( we were warned that the courtrooms might get cold) and headed out early to the county court house.

After I got through the long security lines and checked in, I was, along with hundreds of others sent into a waiting room. In this room we waited, and waited, and waited. Every half hour or so, a group of names were called out and the would-be jurors were marched away to some court room to begin their duty as jurors. Lunch break came and went, it is 3.30 p.m. and I am still waiting. Finally 25 names were called, and I was one of them and again we waited. We were to be replacements in case any of the other persons chosen earlier in the day could not serve on a jury.  Then an hour later we were told, all was well, they had all the jurors they needed and we could go home. (Hooray!) I know this is an important part of our democracy and our justice system and I am very proud to be a part of it, but it was a long day!

In the waiting room, I was thumbing through some magazines, (did not check the dates) and read that Green Nail Polish was 'in' this Fall Season.

This got me thinking.. what do I have in my jewelry inventory that can be worn with green nail polish, and here it is currently for sale at Sundancegems. Shades of green, shining and shimmering, great for Fall and also the Holiday Party circuit. Enjoy! and don't forget the green nail polish.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Only 10 Days Left to Get Gift Packages in the Mail.

The US Postal Service reminds us that there are only 10 days left for First Class and Priority Mail packages to reach your loved ones in time for Christmas. The 21st of December is the deadline. Express mail can be mailed until the 23rd of December. Check out the deadline for various classes of mail at the USPS.

Do not forget the all important stocking stuffers, now on sale at . These adorable Christmas Tree earrings have been a popular item this year. Get yours, while I still have some in stock. Happy shopping!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jewelry for Animal Lovers

Time is running out and is your gift list is just as long as it was on the day you sat down to make the list. Mine seems that way! It is not an easy task to match the gift to the receiver. I want to find that special gift, one that would light up the eyes, a gift that no one else could have bought, a gift that says you are special! I have some ideas to help you make a choice. Do you have animal lovers on your list? a cat person? a dog person? Check out some of the jewelry that I have made with such moms in mind at

Custom orders are always welcome. Please email me. But please keep in mind that custom orders will be undertaken only if time permits this holiday season.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I see a colorful adventure in your future!

Not one, not two, but twelve, one adventure for every month in 2010.
I was introduced to Sigrid Tidmore, by my good friend Heidrun, who owns and operates the Great FrameUp in Tampa, Florida. Sigrid is an artist based in Tampa, and specializes in water colors. Her paintings are adventures with nature, they are colorful, joyful and full of hope for this fragile planet and its young citizens. Her 2010 desk top calendar depicts twelve of her colorful paintings and are for sale at a very reasonable price of $12.00 each or 3 for $30.00, shipping and handling extra. The proceeds of the sale are all donated to support women's health and empowerment programs in the Tampa Bay area. Check out the calendar at www.sig-nature,net , they make great Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blogging For Bliss

I read the review by Lorelei on the Art Bead Scene Blog last month and decided to buy the book to find out how to do it right. I am so glad I did. It is a great book, well written, so much information. I love the sidebars on each page and love to 'meet the bloggers'. Now while reading and learning, I am making my rounds introducing myself to other bloggers.

Check out the author's blog at
Great book to fine tune your blogging skills.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Art Bead Scene November Challenge

Today I completed my entry to the Art Bead Scene November challenge. I have been a long time unofficial follower of the ABS blog by Cindy Gimbrone (Today I became official) They are an important part of my weekend with the Saturday Giveaway and the Sunday Blog Roundup. Not only have come to appreciate art beads and art beaders, but I have developed an appreciation for art, a subject that I have no formal education in! I hope my entry will be accepted. The necklace and earrings are based on the painting 'The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke by Richard Dadd. You can read all about this artist and his painting by clicking on the title to this post.

For my Art Bead I have chosen a Flower Fairy bead from Green Girl Studios and added Pietersite, Red Tiger Eye, Lemon Quartz, Garnet, Freshwater Keishi Pearls and Blue Corundum to complete the necklace. Take a look at the painting and I would love to hear your comments.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Challenging the Bead Brain (2)

Today I tell you about my next entry to the Stringing Magazine challenge 'Around the World'. Now this bracelet I made especially for the challenge, but even though it won nothing, I still think it takes a bead lover around the world! I put together eleven beads that come from the four corners of the world along with some sterling silver charms of various modes of traveling around the world. Notably absent is the car, why you ask? simply that I was working against a deadline for the challenge and a car charm was not in stock! I will gladly add a car charm to the bracelet for anyone who buy it from Sundancegems

The eleven beads that will take you around the world are:
Moukaite from Australia - faceted round in cream and red
Owyhee Jasper from USA - smooth round in teal blue and brown
Imperial Jasper from USA - smooth round in tan and green
Nephrite from China - hand carved round in dark green
Opal from Peru - pink rondelle
Red Coral from the Mediterranean Sea, Italy
Orange Carnelian from China - hand carved barrel
Turquoise nugget from USA
Batik Bone bead from Kenya, Africa
Blue Tanzanite from Tanzania, Africa
Blue Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan - rondelles separating each bead.
The charms I included were of a Motorcycle, Cruise ship, Airplane, Train, and why not, the Shuttle after all I live in Florida. And yes, no automobile - what was i thinking!
Bon Voyage!
The other entries to the Around the World challenge can be seen by clicking on the title to this post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Challenging the Bead Brain

Usually my creative thought process is inspired and set in motion by the beads I am working with, something I see or read about, or in the case of custom orders based on what my friends or clients want. I am (mostly) in charge, I get the final say. Then I read about beading challenges by various beading magazines and blogs and decided to give it a try. I have been following two of these sites that throw out regular challenges to beaders. One of the first one I entered was centered around the theme 'Magical Forest'. This necklace was in my inventory and was not made specially for the challenge, but I thought it fit the theme perfectly. And I did not win, but it was a thrill to enter and see my jewelry among all the other entries.

I think the necklace turned out pretty magical, it was made using different shapes of one of the most colorful semi-precious stones Fancy Jasper, so-called because of all its fancy colors. Wavy rings of Fancy Jasper framing carved flowers with the rest of the necklace made from carved leaves and faceted nuggets. For the metal findings, I used vermeil and 14K gold-fill.
You can see the rest of the entries by clicking on the title to this post.

Since then I have entered the 'Around the World' challenge, where I created a bracelet especially for the occasion.

It is a good exercise for the brain to think/create within certain boundaries. But even with these boundaries, the imagination can soar and creative juices can flow... I will keep you informed of my other entries in future blog posts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Original Wire Components for my Jewelry Designs

I am sure we all have a list of techniques to learn, books to read, things to do to improve our business. On my list of things to do or learn to do was to make components out of metal to complement my gemstones. I mean more than just the ordinary wire wrap links to join beads together. So I bought some wire and started. I soon realized I needed a lot of practice! And a lot of patience! The circles needed to look like circles and the swirls had to be with just the right amount of swirl. Sadly my first few attempts were not very pretty.

Then I read about Kira Nelson and her wire works She does it well, and obviously has had much more practice at this craft than I have or ever will.  So why not just support a fellow artisan, and soon I decided to put my precious time to creating jewelry with Kira Nelson's original wire works. I must say they were received well and soon snapped up by my customers. Here are a few of my creations using her Copper squiggles and Sterling heart ear wires. I got more and I will keep you posted as I create with them. In the meantime you can check out website for her creations.

I will be glad to custom design jewelry for you using similar components and gemstones of your choice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One Hour more for Beading

Last night as my husband went through the ritual of setting the clocks back one hour I was thinking to myself I have an additional hour this weekend! I have got to put it to good use! So with my weekend duties out of the way, I sat to bead, and this is the result.
I had purchased these beautiful earthy green Nephrite Jade beads with circles etched all the way round, that were complemented by the round hand-made sterling silver beads from India. I finished it on either side with lighter green barrel shaped Nephrite beads. All these circles, they reminded me of an owl's eyes, so in my stash of charms was an owl, which promptly got added on to the toggle. Quite happy with the results, check it out!
Then this morning I decide to read about Jade and found that the Confucian virtues of wisdom was one of the attributes that the Chinese associate with Jade. How appropriate then was my wise owl charm! This bracelet is now for sale in my store on Ruby Lane.

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