Monday, December 26, 2011

A Wonderful Gift, I won!

Look at what I won!
What a great Christmas gift!

A few weeks ago Cyndi Lavin of Beading hosted a giveaway, the prize was this book by Carles Codina. You can read her review of the book on her blog posting, it sounds like a terrific book.

I am so excited, can't wait to receive it. 
I am taking my first metalsmithing class in January and looking forward to embarking in new directions!

Thank you, Cyndi!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Artists Helping Artists Auction

Frosted Berries, anyone?

If you have been blog hopping these last few days you would have read about how some artisans have got together and are having an auction in order to help a fellow artisan and her family who have literally  had the rug pulled from under their feet.

Many of you visited my blog during the Challenge of Color Blog Hop and commented on how much you liked my Frosted Berries bracelet. Now you have a chance to bid to own it for yourself and also help a family in need. Check it out at Treasures-Found blogspot. The auction lasts all weekend and ends midnight on Sunday.

Please visit the following blogs to check out the items being auctioned and how you can be of help.

Marie Cramp & Lori Anderson
Barbara Bechtel
Erin Fickert-Rowland
Amanda Cargill Austin

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Shop Hop!

Shel of Mishel Designs is hosting her first Holiday Shop Hop this year. The event will take place all day Saturday (Dec. 3rd) and Sunday (Dec. 4th). Many talented artisans have opened their shops for this shopping blog hop, including myself.

Shel has done an awesome job, gathering us all together and getting us organized. Thank you, Shel!

I am going to take this opportunity to introduce you to Sundancegems on RubyLane! You are all so familier with Etsy and Artfire, and today I invite you to come walk with me down RubyLane. 

I opened my shop on RubyLane in November of 2004. Considering that I work at my jewelry business part time in addition to my day job at banking, I think I have done well. Could I do better? You bet! That's my goal for 2012. 

To date I have had 499, yes 499 web sales via Ruby Lane. That's averaging 71 sales for each of the 7 years, that's almost 6 sales per month... I am happy about it. I can also proudly say that each of these sales has been a very pleasant experience, I have had only one return during this period, that was an Amber necklace and the buyer returned it because the yellow Amber was very pale against her skin and really did not do anything for her. Every other sale has been a delight!

Coincidentally, RubyLane is also hosting a site wide Red Tag Sale this weekend. Shop owners submit 15% of their inventory, that is reduced 30%, 40% and 50%. 
Some of my items are on sale too, please, check it out. If you are interested in any item, let me know. 

In addition, mention the code HSH15 and you can have 15% off any item that has not already been reduced for the Red Tag Sale. The site will not automatically take this 15% off, so please wait for an invoice from me.
If you are interested in opening a shop on Ruby Lane send me an email, I would be happy to help.

Visit my online shop
at Ruby Lane

Here is a list of the other shops that will have their doors wide open for the
Holiday Shop Hop 2011

Have a wonderful Holiday Shop Hop weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ancient Coin!

Not too long ago, Jane Perala of Jane Perala Designs had this gorgeous set of beads for sale. The luscious red centerpiece caught my eye and I had to have it. 

Photograph from Jane Perala Designs

They truly are beautiful beads, and I want to share what I made with them...

I have added to her lampwork beads - two large jet black Swarovski rondelles, gold-filled wafers as spacers, and red velvet glass rondelles. The necklace and the smaller black spacer beads are natural jet rondelles. I was looking for a substantial opulent clasp and used the gold-plated Tierra-Cast Pewter Radiant toggle.

I thought natural jet was an appropriate choice to accompany this magnificent Ancient Coin, because it was black and it too is ancient. Natural Jet is actually the product of high pressure decomposition of wood from millions of years ago. It is lightweight, of course like wood, and easily carved and polished. Historians and archaeologists have traced jewelry from Jet back to ancient times. More recently, Queen Victoria made it popular by incorporating it into her mourning clothes and jewelry, when she was mourning the death of her husband, Prince Albert. It was also popular for making into rosaries for European monks. In the USA it became popular during the roaring 20s, for use in the familiar long flapper necklaces.

I attached the main bead to the necklace with black leather, and more black and red rondelles dangling from the pendant. 

I so love how it turned out, I ordered more ancient coins from the talented Miss Jane Perala...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Challenge of Color - Blog Hop!

This 2nd Annual Challenge of Color Blog Hop, hosted by Erin of Treasures Found-Inspiration is Everywhere,  brings together 54 of us beader bloggers. Each one of us chose a color and then were given a color palette built around our main color choice. Erin took on a massive undertaking and worked with 12 of these color palettes, you have got to check out her gorgeous results. 

This is my color palette, a challenging Frosted Berry! 

The unique color palettes used in this challenge are created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds
Check out her blog for some great color inspiration.

And this is what I created... literally... cool, icy, beautiful frosted berries.

This challenge was meant for us to use the color palette and take inspiration from the color combinations, but I could not get beyond the image of frosted berries.

So there you have it 'Frosted Berries'!

We were allowed to use any kind of beads we wanted to and as I am partial to natural stones, that is what I used.  The bracelet is made with round red Coral berries, melon shaped Ocean Jasper beads, carved clear Crystal Quartz and sterling silver links and clasp.

Here is a list of the rest of the beaders, who took part in the challenge, please stop by to check out their creations!

18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones

Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day Two of the Virtual Craft Show

More talented artisans, more giveaways and more great deals. If you have always wanted to buy beads or components or jewelry made by many of the talented bloggers that you visit, here is your chance. This is a wonderful opportunity to support them and buy something for yourself as well. I have been shopping, have you yet?
See the list of participants and giveaways at host Lori Anderson's blog, Pretty Things.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sit Back and Enjoy the Virtual Craft Show

Have you checked out the first ever Virtual Craft Show hosted by Lori Anderson of the Bead Soup Party Fame? Some of our favorite artisans are opening their virtual doors with some great deals...
Check them out, and what better way to spend Small Business Saturday, than shopping at your favorite small business!

There are some great giveaways just for visiting and commenting.

Here are some of the artisans who are participating and offering some very nice deals.

Shop: Starseed Jewelry shop: 20 % off entire purchase  Code: STAR20 - Nov 26/Dec 3

Shop: Beads2Die4 supply shop:  15% off entire purchase Code: BEADS15 - Nov 26/Dec 3

Shop: 15% off purchase (excluding shipping) Code: TAKE15

Shop: free shipping with a code of emcfreeship on Etsy 

Shop: 20% discount for the seven days of this craft show -- use code blog20.

Shop: use code VCS10 for a 10% discount on all items throughout the 7 days of the Virtual Craft Show!

Shop: Use Etsy code VCS2011 and save 20% off any purchase

Shop: Use code Virtual Craft Show for free worldwide shipping during the duration of the Virtual Craft Show.


Shop: discount code for 15% off is16S43HShop: discount code for 15% off is043L72

Shop:  if you use code VCS10, you'll get 10% off, as well as free shipping

I will add more shops as I find them while blog hopping.
Enjoy your week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beads from Human Ashes!

Have you heard?

In South Korea, with the increased cost of burial services and land for grave sites becoming scarce, the practice of cremation is being encouraged by the government. As more and more of it's citizens turn to cremating their deceased loved ones, they have found creative ways to keep the memories alive and venerate the remains. Making beads from the ashes! Read all about it...

In this Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011 photo, Kim Il-nam, a retired high school principal, displays beads made from his father's ashes during an interview in Icheon, South Korea. Kim dug up his father's grave, cremated his bones and paid $870 to have the ashes transformed into gemlike beads. "Whenever I look at these beads, I consider them to be my father and I remember the good old days with him," Kim said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
What do you think? It's certainly prettier than ashes, and could be incorporated into mourning jewelry, in lockets and pendants. Wonder if this trend will catch on in other parts of the world?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Challange of Color Blog Hop

I am taking part in the 2nd Annual Challange of Color Blog Hop hosted by Erin of Treasures Found, who finds Inspiration Everywhere!
My challenge color is RED.
Stop by on the 30th of November to check out the results of the challenge.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day 11-11-11 - Thank you!

With Gratitude!

To my husband, to all our Veterans, and very specially to our beading Veterans, Thank you!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I Went Shopping.... and look what I bought....

Remember the big sale on October 2nd hosted by 'Love my Art Jewelry', well, I went shopping at Melinda Orr's store and checked out her collection of fabulous clasps.

It was difficult to choose, but finally settled on four, and here is what I made with one of them... A Copper hook and eye, but not any old hook and eye. Melinda is known for her artistic textured metal work and check out this oversized eye ... so gorgeous that the clasp becomes the focal piece of your jewelry.

Perfect for fall!

I have had this strand of faceted Brandy Opal squares for the longest time, and when I saw this clasp, I knew I had to get them together. Add some copper coins and ....Viola!

I got three more clasps and I am waiting for just the right beads ... I promise, I will show them to you when I get done.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thank you!

It has been almost 3 weeks since my last blog posting and the Bead Soup Party! What a grand party it was. Thank you Lori and my partner Rose for the organization and the beads, and a big thank you to all the Bead Soup Party blog hoppers, who stopped by and commented on my creations. Your visit and comments are greatly appreciated.

I must confess that I have not visited all 362 blogs yet, but I am still making my way through the list. I made a promise to myself that I will visit them all. So if you have not heard from me yet, I do plan to visit.

Let me tell you why I have been so quiet... we added a new member to our family! We brought home a 14 month old boxer, male, a step-brother to the two girls we already have with us. So now we are a three dog family!

This is Baxter, the newest member of our family!

This is Roxy, his 8 year old sister!

This is Mindy, his 3 year old big sister!

What can I say, I love beads and four-legged boxers! All our boxers came from homes that no longer wanted them for a variety of reasons... "getting married and she has a dog too"..."we got one dog too many" and "I got the dog for my daughter as a birthday gift but she does not take care of him", so we (my husband Mike and I) take them and we love them!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's Bead Soup Time!

Finally, the much awaited Bead Soup Party! It's time to unwrap the results of our creative cooking! I received my bead soup mix from my partner Rose Binoya, and the color scheme was a pretty sky blue with wood brown and gold. I had so many elements to work with and I tried to use as many of the beads as I could.

First, the pair of wooden dragonfly beads, I decided it was to be a pair of earrings. Are dragonflies attracted to hot pink and cool turquoise blue? These sure are! I was determined to add some fabric to my soup creations and found the best place for it in these earrings. A pair of black Onyx rondelles on either end of the wooden bead and dangling from it a turquoise Kristal Wick batik ribbon bead wrapped in hot pink silk. I love it, what about you?

My next creation is my favorite of the lot. I had bought these bright yellow Magnesite carved flower beads with the thought they would come in handy for some fall jewelry. Add some yellow Crazy Lace Agate beads from my stash, a single painted shell coin bead, mixed with the flowered Copper ring and the oval wooden beads that Rose sent me and we have...

Wouldn't this be a great necklace for the fall season? I am happy about how this one turned out.

And finally, last but not least the Summers Studio ceramic focal, the blue melon beads, and brass toggle were all used to create this piece. Lots of Copper wire, some teal and magenta colored freshwater pearls, some rondelles of Aquaterra (also called Sediment) Jasper and some chain and I came up with this...

I got so caught up in all the wire work that when all was done, it was as if I missed the forest because of all the trees. I was left with a feeling of mmm... was this what I wanted to achieve with this necklace... not quite sure. After this weekend, I might get this one back to the drawing board. Would love to hear what you think?

Some alternate views of my bead soup creations.

I meant to make some matching earrings for the two necklaces, but forgot! I will soon.
Lori talks about what you can do with your Bead Soup jewelry, and in the past I have donated my pieces to various causes that we support at my work place. The American Heart Association has its annual Heart Walk in Tampa on November 5th, and I plan to donate the earrings and the yellow necklace for raising funds for this cause.

Thanks for visiting, and for your comments.
Don't forget to visit my Bead Soup Partner Rose and check out her awesome creations with the beads I sent her.

I will see you soon at your blog!

Here are the list of the other beaders taking part in the Bead Soup Party!
You can also find the list of Bead Soup Participants at Lori Anderson's blog, Pretty Things.

or you can click from the list below.

Happy Blog Hopping! Enjoy!

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

Having a good time!

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel
Enjoying yourself!
Are you full yet? You better not be!

Beads are the Best! Bead Soup even Better!

Wow! What great designs!

Have you had your Wheaties today?

71. Fiona Christie and Michelle Heim

Are we there yet?

You are halfway there!

Not Tired, only Inspired!

Did you even imagine?

Take a break!

Lori Anderson take a bow!

Lori Anderson, you did one awesome job!

Lori Anderson, I just don't know how you did it!

160. Regina Santerre and Rose Binoya (Me and My Partner!)

Thank you, Lori!

For introducing us to 362 wonderful people!

For a wonderful experience!
Hope I am one of the lucky 200 you choose next year!

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