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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