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Saturday, December 25, 2010

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

As you gather with family and friends to celebrate 


this wonderful day


I bring you a selection of Christmas beads


from Rings&Things

Have a Merry Christmas!
and
Happy Beading!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ten Dollar Gift Cards for Ten People!

I am sure many of you are rushing around because time is running out and you still got all these family and friends on your list and you need to buy them gifts, and the weather is awful, and how can you get to the malls, and what can you get them???

Well, here is one way to get 10 people off your list and its free and you can do it at your computer in your PJs, while sipping a cup of hot chocolate, hot tea, hot coffee, red wine, whatever your beverage of choice!
Have I got your attention?
But there is just one catch!
You need to be an Artbeads.com customer!
If you are a beader and you are reading this, the chances are you have shopped at Artbeads.com.


But wait there is more... you have only till Wednesday December 22, 2010 to get the names and addresses of your 10 people to Artbeads.com and the gift cards must be used by February 29, 2011.

Artbeads will use This information will only be used to fulfill your free gift card requests. They will not sell or distribute any of this information nor will anyone be automatically placed on any of their email newsletter or marketing lists.


Thank you, Artbeads that is very important to us.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Colors of Fall - II - Pink, Purple and Green

Back in October, I posted the first of my designs for the Artbeads.com Colors of Fall design assignment  since then fall has left us and yes, its winter now, but somehow I could not get this piece together until this weekend. I hope you like the results. The colors I chose were inspired by Pantone's Woodbine colors by Peter Som.



I have not used much silk or fibers in my jewelry and I wanted very much to add some silk into this design. I started with a Blacklip Shell Rectangle Pendant, from Lillypilly, with a beautiful green and purple swirling wavy design. Lillypilly makes these gorgeous intricately etched shell pendants in a variety of shapes and sizes, beautifully colored and lightweight. Some of the smaller sized pendants make great earrings.

I made the bail for this pendant from Czech glass fire-polished rondelles of Peridot and Amethyst swirls. The beaded necklace was a mix green freshwater pearls mixed with larger Tourmaline Green and Purple rondelles and the little peridot and amethyst swirl rondelles. Artbeads.com carries a wide variety of  Czech Pressed Glass beads, almost in any color and shape that one could want and the prices are easy on the budget too.

For the clasp, I decided to check out their lead-free, made in the USA Pewter clasps, and I picked an antique silver plated Pewter hook and eye clasp to close the necklace. The wide selection of pewter clasps provides a nice alternative considering the rising costs of precious metal clasps.





















I checked out their selection of Ribbons and picked out this beautiful hand-dyed silk Hydrangea ribbon around the bead necklace. This silk ribbon came with the splashes of green, pink and purple that I was looking for and the clasp conveniently had two rings that the silk ribbon could be slipped through. I love how the beads peep from under the silk ribbon! The best part of this design is that it can be worn with the ribbon or not. I like it with the ribbon, what do you think?

The earrings are a simple trio of the different beads I used in the necklace on a sterling silver Fleur de Lis lever back.

Do not forget to check the great designs, albums I and II submitted by Artbeads.com design partners, fellow beaders like me who use a variety of beads and supplies from Artbeads.com, to get their creative juices flowing.

Disclosure: Some of the beads described above I have received free of charge from Artbeads.com.
I have been asked to review these beads/supplies and give my honest opinion of them.  I am not being paid by Artbeads.com for my endorsement of any of the products received and reviewed in my blog postings.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Is it good enough for your vote?

Remember the What Inspires You Beading Contest sponsored by Artbeads.com? Just look to the left!
Well, I entered my Purple Passion necklace in the contest. If you would like to read about what inspired me to make this necklace, please check it out at the Artbeads.com contest site on FaceBook.


The contest is currently in the public voting stage and everyone gets to pick out 5 of their favorites from the entries, so I do not feel so shameful about this shameless plug after all! I hope  that my necklace will be one of the 5 you pick as your favorites. You have got to hurry though, voting ends on the 8th of December. Thank you and enjoy the talented beaders who have submitted some fantastic designs and talk about their inspirations.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Holidays with Happy Mango Beads!

Celebrate this holiday season with Happy Mango Beads!



Happy Mango Beads is sponsoring a 'Trim the Tree' Christmas Party! Make an ornament for the Christmas Tree and win! Your beaded tree ornament can be of beads purchased from anywhere and anybody, not just from Happy Mango Beads, that's very nice of them! The ornament must fit into any one of the 10 categories that they have listed. Which means that there are 10 prizes, each a $25.00 gift certificate to Happy Mango Beads and a grand prize of a $100 gift certificate to the best of the best!

The ten categories for the ornaments are:

Peace on Earth – peace signs, doves
The First Christmas – nativity, biblical
Blue Christmas – blue
Here Comes Santa Claus – characters
Fruitcake – recycled, re-purposed
Around the World – ethnic
Let it Snow – white, snow related
Jingle bell Rock – gemstones
Old Fashioned Christmas – traditional
Rudolph & Friends – animals, pets

To enter the contest fill out the entry form before the deadline of Dec. 17, 2010.
Good luck with your entry!
Merry Christmas and Happy Beading!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gifts from Andrew!

This week Andrew Thorton, known for his great Thursday Giveaways is giving away six, yes, I said six colorful spools of Soft Flex Craft Wire from the generous folks at the Soft Flex Company.



Hurry on over to his blog and read all about it and enter to win by leaving a comment. The deadline for this great giveaway is Tuesday, December 7th.

Talking about Andrew, in his shop he carries some of my favorite heart charms from Candice Wakumoto. Some months ago, I purchased some bronze heart charms made by Candice and made this cute pair of earrings with them, do you like it?

After I sold this pair I wanted get more of these charms and, he was all sold out!! I searched the www and found out that Andrew's shop is one of the few places, maybe the only place that you can buy her beads.



Then around Thanksgiving I found out that Andrew had got them back in stock and I got more... and as I write I am playing with these charms and planning more earrings. Thank you Andrew, and thank you for the wonderful little Green Girl Studio clasp that you sent along, just love it. You know I will be back for more.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Today November 27, 2010 has been declared the first ever Small Business Saturday!

Show your support for local small busineses, your neighbourhood mom and pop stores, your local bead stores, frame shops, flower shops, craft stores, butchers, bakeries, candlestick makers, etc. ... you name it, they have it. These folks employ our neighbors, spend time and money giving back to the community and re-invest your money close to home! So shop your local small businesses today! 


Have a great weekend, everyone!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Are you shopping today?

Happy Black Friday!
It's a sale!

 If you are up and cyber shopping, check out Sundancegems and Sundancegems-too for some great deals and have a great day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Winners and Dressing Up Your Donut!

The winners of a pair of Gemstone Donuts from my Rings&Things goodie bag, determined by a random number generator, are Needlewings of A Frayed of Fibers and Stonesetter. Congratulations to both! Each of you will receive a pair of donuts, one of Picture Jasper and one of the green donuts. Please send me an email with your name and address so that I can mail your donuts to you. Enjoy!

A big thank you to all who visited my blog and participated. Your visits and comments are so appreciated.

Green Aventurine and Jade
Picture Jasper




Thank you to Dave of Rings&Things for sending me such a generous goodie bag.

Not having much experience in working with donuts, I decided I would look around to see how fellow beaders dress up their donuts.

Of course, there is always the easy way out, which I choose when I created my multi-gemstone and donut necklace with premade bails. A nice selection of these metal donut bails can be found at Rings&Things.

Then there are the more creative and gorgeous ways of doing it too.

Cyndi of Beading Arts has a free tutorial for a simple square stitch bail for a donut; while About.com:Beadwork has a free tutorial for making a Peyote Stitched Donut Bail. For something a little different check out Kassie's beadwork bail, she even has a variety of tutorials that can be purchased. If only I can purchase time and patience...

Wrapping wire around the donut to create your very own simple, or glorious, or elaborate bail is another option and I found many tutorials for beginners and advanced wire workers on Jewelrylessons.com.  They were all very beautiful, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be this one... simple yet different, wrapped by made by Edis Treasures at Jewelrylessons.com

Tiger Eye Donut dressed by EdisTreasures
Have a good week, everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010

THANK YOU!


Have a hugged a Veteran today?
I did, and then he went off to work!
I work in a bank, 
and I get to stay home? 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Donuts are good for you, aren't they?

In October I was informed by Dave of Ring & Things that I was the lucky winner of their monthly goodie bag, Yeah! So I waited with anticipation and then they arrived, Gemstone Donuts, the kind of donuts that are good for you, no calories, no guilt, no extra inches around the waistline!

I LOVE natural gemstones, in fact, it was what lured me into beading in the first place, and this goodie bag was filled with spectacular specimens of mother nature's goodies.

The first one, I just had to make something with right away, was a square smooth donut, so greyishly green, so different, and so aptly name Silver Mist Jasper. I used a sterling silver donut bail to center it on a necklace of colorful faceted round gemstones for some holiday, no, not just the holidays, for some year-round cheer. Do you like it?



Next check out these fabulous shapes. Unlike the usual smooth donuts, some are nicely faceted and add dimension to the donut. The triangular faceted shape is known as Trillion, and the gemstone shown in the picture is Green Jade, a beautiful shade of green. There are even faceted octagonal donuts.

 

The patterned Picture Jasper is a work of art in itself, each gemstone a miniature picture of a scenic desert landscape. 

What can one do with these donuts? A pendant, as I have in the piece shown above with a traditional strand of gemstones, or with leather for a rustic look, silk for the soft look, or even as a center piece for a lariat. Some beadwork wrapped around it, oh my! The possibilities as they say are endless. I started another necklace using a square Snowflake Obsidian donut, some black leather cord and contrasting red sponge coral beads.....  that should be eye catching! 



Would you like to work with some gemstone donuts? 

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to be considered for two drawings for a pair of gemstone donuts, courtesy of Rings & Things. Spread the word by posting about it in your blog and you will be entered twice. 

The winners will receive a pair of gemstone donuts, one from each set - the brown set and the green set, let me know which one from each pair you would prefer.


Shades of brown faceted Picture Jasper Donuts - let me know which one you would like, if you win.



Shades of green, square green Aventurine and green Jade (with the speckles) Donuts - pick one of the two.

If you like to make a statement with gemstone jewelry, you will love these donuts, they are certainly substantial, each one 50mm at its widest. Don't you think they would look good with your fall and winter wardrobe?

I will draw the two lucky winners next Sunday the 14th of November. 

As a Rings & Things Blog Partner I received these beads free of charge and I am not compensated by Rings & Things for my opinions, etc.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Colors of Fall - Purple Orchid

Today I unveil, the first of my designs for Artbeads.com 'Colors of Fall' series, showcasing jewelry made by fellow Artbeads.com shoppers and design partners. I chose the Pantone 2010 'Purple Orchid' for my palette and particularly like how they described it as purple leaning to fuchsia, an unexpected choice for fall bringing magic and vibrancy to the season. Oh my, the possibilities...

For my purple beads, I choose these beautiful Batik Beads, handmade by Kristal Wick, by rolling a length of beautiful silk batik into a scroll. I placed a pair of these tubular beauties asymmetrically along a length of gold-fill chain.  The chain comes down in a Y with another purple bead dangling at the end of it. And its the fall season, the leaves are turning golden, yes, even here in Florida! So what better to mark the season than a yellow bronze golden leaf pendant and some gold Swarovski crystals.




Purple Orchid - Magical and Vibrant!


The matching earrings are made with 1/2 inch Batik beads dangling from a pair of light circle ball-end ear wires.  

This is the first time I have worked with fabric beads and I must say I enjoyed it and will certainly go back for more... Check out the selection of batik beauties in a variety of colors and also the selection of Sassy Silkies, each bead hand painted with a positive message, I think they would be great for holiday gift jewelry.

Disclosure: Some of the beads described above I have received free of charge from Artbeads.com.
I have been asked to review these beads/supplies and give my honest opinion of them.  I am not being paid by Artbeads.com for my endorsement of any of the products received and reviewed in my blog postings.


Monday, October 25, 2010

And the winner is...

Using a random number generator the winner of the $25.00 gift certificate for beads of their choice from thebeadchest.com is Boot-C from Mamas got to Doodle

Congratulations to the winner and a big thank you to every one who participated. Boot-C commented that if she won her choice of beads, she would choose snake beads. The original snake beads were actually made from the vertebrae of snakes, but the modern version is made of glass!




Enjoy Boot-C, can't wait to see what you make with them...

And a very big thank you to thebeadchest.com for the $25.00 gift certificate giveaway, and a wonderful introduction to the beads of Africa!


The Bead Chest is a leading online retailer of trade beadsmillefiori beadsKrobo beads, and other great glass beads.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beads From Africa And A Great Giveway!

While you and I play and create and make a livelihood with our beads, I wonder how many of us realise the profound influence beads have had in the history of our world.

Take beads from Africa for example. Back when European explorers, traders and missionaries were venturing into the African continent, one of the important items they took with them was beads. Beads, mainly of glass, were used as gifts or for barter and trade. Glass beads were exchanged for water, food, gold, ivory, and many such commodities and sadly also for slaves.

We have all heard of African Trade Beads! Today these beads are valuable because of their age, their historical significance and their beauty. Recently I checked out the collection of African Trade Beads for sale at thebeadchest.com.  So much history, so much variety, aren't they beautiful?
















African cultures that used beads in their everyday life, opened up to these bright and colorful European beads, and are now known by such joyful names as Christmas Beads (I think they are called that because of they remind one of colorful Christmas decorations) and Wedding Beads (a gift to brides on their wedding day). What fun designs come to mind when I see these colorful beads!

Multi-colored Christmas Beads
The Bridal Mali Wedding Beads














Today, beads made in Africa are a product of their environment and are often made from natural material such as wood, seed, shell, bone, and recycled material such as glass and paper.

Check out this video report that CNN made of thebeadchest.com. What I would give to walk through a bead market in Ghana! Wouldn't that be an adventure?

If you are like me and enjoy working with such exotic beads, you don't have to travel to Africa. You got to look no further than thebeadchest.com. Their store carries a wide variety of colorful beads from Africa, both those used for trade and those made there. The selection of beads span the vast African continent from Ethiopia to South Africa, and from Mali to Ghana. Check it out for yourselves.


And now for the Great Giveaway! 
Thebeadchest.com has generously agreed to give a $25.00 GIFT CERTIFICATE to shop their store for beads of your choice. 


To get your name in the draw you have to leave me a comment on this blog before the 24th of October.

  • I would like to know if you have used African beads in any of your jewelry designs? If yes, let me know what kind. 
  • Then visit thebeadchest.com and tell me if you had your choice, which would be your favorite strand of beads?
  • If you blog about this giveaway to tell all your friends about it, you will be entered  twice.

Please make sure I have your email address to contact you if you should win this fabulous prize.
Don't miss this chance to purchase some exotic African beads and add a new look to your jewelry designs.
The lucky winner will be announced on October 25th.

African beads for sale!
The Bead Chest is a leading online retailer of trade beads, millefiori beads, Krobo beads, and other great glass beads.



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Were you born in October?

If you were born in October, a very Happy Birthday to you and a very Happy October to the rest of us.


Read all about this necklace and earring set with a Boulder Opal pendant and white keshi freshwater pearls and round faceted smoky quartz beads. Interested? Let me know.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Good Bye Summer, Hello Fall!

For the second morning, we Tampa Bay residents woke up to a cool 65 deg. F.
Slept last night with the air conditioner turned off and the windows open... very nice.

As I resized a bracelet for a client, I thought, this bracelet says it all.... 
Good bye Summer and hello Fall.


Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy October! And the winner is...

Happy October! 
Can you believe it was 65 deg. F this morning in the Tampa Bay area?

Today I name the winner of my Necklace Giveaway!
chosen by the Random Number Generator...
And the winner is Dawn Marie of Designs by Dawn Marie.
This happpens to be a special week for Dawn Marie, she also celebrates her birthday.
Happy Birthday Dawn Marie!



Thank you everyone, who visited and commented on my giveaway. Your experience and insights into the use of Facebook to promote your business will be put to good use.

Watch for another exciting Giveaway, coming this weekend.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Queen for One Night!

Back in 2007, while visiting my sister-in-law in New York, I noticed this strange and scraggly looking leafy cactus in her kitchen and commented on it. Well, she told me it was called 'Queen of the Night' and that it blooms for just one night in mid summer. I was intrigued and came back to Florida with a leaf cutting from her plant.

This plant is also called Night Blooming Cereus Epiphyllum Oxypetalum. The flower buds appear along the notches of the flat, scallop edged leaf. After 2 years of careful and not so careful nurturing, it bloomed in September of 2009. Only one bud survived all the way to a full, dinner-plate size bloom. Here is a sequence of the large bud (about 10 days old) blooming.

10 pm


11 pm


Midnight


2 am - absolutely stunning. It is supposed to have a very fragrant smell, but I did not smell anything.


5 am - begining to close up and droop, her short reign over.



This year two buds made it all the way! September 2010 - 2.00 am one morning last week -  two flowers! How about that? I did not take pictures all night long as I did last year, it was a week night and had to get up for work the next morning. But I woke up at 2.00 am and was a beautiful sight. I got to take better care of my plant, repot it into a larger container, for more blooms next year.


Have you heard about this plant before? If anyone wants a cutting to start their own, let me know and I will figure out a way to mail it to you. It would have to be within the mainland of USA, due to agircultural regulations about shipping plant material outside mainland USA.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lori's New Website and Giveaway!


You got to check out Lori Anderson's (of Bead Soup Fame) new web site for her jewelry


It is beautiful!
Wonderful selection of jewelry!
Great pictures!
Very buyer friendly!
Check it out!

In order to celebrate the opening of her new website, Lori is giving away three great books. So hop on over to her blog and make your choice and comment to enter the giveaway. Hurry, the giveaway ends September 29th.






Sunday, September 19, 2010

Giveaway Sunday!

What great giveaways from fellow bead bloggers... please visit them and leave a comment to get your name in the hat.


Isn't that one gorgeous necklace on the cover?

Barbe Saint John has reviewed Margot Potter's latest book Bead Chic and is also giving away a copy to one lucky blog commenter. So hurry on over, to read all about it and enter the giveaway, but you got to do it before the 28th of September.


Dazzling Ceramic Pendant

Many of you might have already visited Andrew Thornton's blog for his weekly Thursday giveaway. This week he is giving away an eye-catching raku-fired ceramic pendant from Suburban Girl Studio LLC. This giveaway end tomorrow night, September 20th, so you better get over there, time is running out!


Red Creek Jasper Pendant/Necklace

Next roll on over to Rosy Revolver to celebrate her 500th sale and enter to win this gorgeous necklace. Her metal work is outstanding and her designs so feminine. Hurry you've got to get there before the 24th of September.

And don't forget my necklace giveaway, it ends September 30th.

Good Luck to all...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Sunday!

On this beautiful Sunday morning, I wanted to share with you a pair of earrings I made with lampwork beads from Blue Seraphim. Jennifer makes some beautiful beads, the ones I purchased were Turquoise colored with Ivory dots. I added some genuine Turquoise rondelles and they are oh so beautiful!





They are currently on sale at Sundancegems! You can also take advantage of a September Sale now going on for some great savings. Enjoy!

And do not forget my necklace giveaway!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Necklace Giveaway - Your chance to win!

I am sorry I am behind schedule, I promised to post the giveaway over the weekend, but the weekend got in the way. I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. I had an additional three days off last week, spent sometime completing and delivering a custom order of jewelry for a friend's wedding party, spent sometime/lunch with a very good friend, and some doctor's appointments.
Then the weekend, all chores done, restful and ribs on Labor day!
On Tuesday it was back to work and the two hours of Glee!
Wednesday got away, and today is Thursday... and here is my post.

I am giving away this necklace I made with the beautiful stoneware pendant from MaryAnn Carroll to one lucky winner. You can read all about it in my previous post.


But first I would like you to answer a few simple questions about your experience (or not) with FaceBook. Here are some interesting facts about FaceBook. 
Did you know that 54% of FB users are female? And that FB users grew by 145% from January 2009 to January 2010. The greatest growth was in the 34 to 54 and 55+ age groups. (www.istrategylabs.com).
This is the age group to whom many of us sell our jewelry, therefore it stands to reason that to market our jewelry through FB would be a great idea. Agreed?

Many years ago, RubyLane encouraged its shop owners to join FB in order to market one's business. And I did. At first it was whoa.. overwhelming, but soon I came to enjoy being in touch with family and friends here in the USA and from all parts of the world. The best part is getting to see their photos, being connected in their lives, even though I am not a very chatty person, keeping in touch this way was easy. So personally, I enjoy it.

I, then started a business page with not much success, I must admit.
So here's the catch

To be entered to win, you have to do one of the following:
  • Be a follower of Regina's Writings (that's my blog!) - one entry
  • Post about this giveaway in your blog - another entry, please come back to tell me about it to be counted for the second entry.
  • Answer the following questions for another entry: 
  1. Are you on FB to promote your business?
  2. Has it helped your business? If yes, how?
  3. What advice would you give me to help me with my business on FB?
  4. Be a fan of Regina's Writings on Facebook for another entry. Somebody, please show me how to link my FaceBook page to my blog? I have also been told that the FB page should be in the same name as your shop, what do you say? 
  5. Should I just forget about FB?
I hope you will take the time to play (hope I did not ask too many questions)... and who knows you might be the lucky one.
The winner will be drawn at random on the last day of September and the winner's name posted on the 1st of October. Thank you all for your time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Look at What I Made!



Back in late May, I won this beautiful stoneware pendant from MaryAnn Carroll.
Wouldn't you agree that it is the perfect fall pendant?
So check out what I made with it.



I used Blue Tiger Eye rounds wire-wrapped with Copper wire (good practice and therapeutical for me), a couple of yellow Tiger Eye rounds, three bronze coin pearls, with one circled by a flat Abalone ring. I thought the Abalone ring captured the blue arc markings on the pendant. I made the necklace extra long (20 inches), so that it could be worn with a thicker, fall, layered wardrobe. The copper clasp was made by Kira of Original Beadwork.com.

If you want to see more of Maryann's stoneware pendants and beads check out her shop, artisanbeadsplus.com. I am saving the pearls and two beautiful stoneware buttons that she sent me along with this pendant for another project. Thank you Maryann.

I like the way the necklace turned out, do you like it? Well, if you do, and you would like to win this necklace, please check back tomorrow. I am planning to give it away! In return, I ask that you let me pick your brains! For answers to some simple questions, your name will be put in a hat to win this necklace in time to accessorize your fall wardrobe.
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