Saturday 27 July 2013

Focus on life - week 30- sunshine

I'm going to attempt blogging by phone once more so I may have to add links later...

This week we were meant to be sun seekers! We've been having fabulous weather so for Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime to send us out, well no problem! While I did get out in the sun I didn't take my camera with me, oops problem. My favourite part of a sunny day is always feeling the warmth on my eyelids on the rare occasion I take my shades off. Not the best picture I could think of.

Instead, I saw my beautiful hydrangea, which makes me think of the summer sun and weddings. My mum and I did all the flowers for my wedding. Masses of hydrangea and tulips all in white - beautiful!


Wednesday 24 July 2013

A bit of potpourri

That word, potourri, makes me think of Jeopardy! where they use the term for their grab bag of “answers” that have nothing to do with each other.  It was a let down category and everyone mispronounced it making it doubly irritating.

Moving on.

A bit of this and a bit of that is, well, what I’ve got for you today.  Hmm regretting my opening a tad.

I designed a quick fix business card for occasions when my pretty moo cards aren’t appropriate.  This prints on a 4x6 print, so one-hour photo means I can get them very quickly and at a great price (hello $3 for 120 cards).  I think I may try out some other versions for earring cards perhaps.  I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this sooner.

picture cards

I rescued the remnants of my poppies, those wonderful pods (same plant as the picture above) and I hope they hurry up and dry out so can make something with them.  I see resin in their future.

poppy remnants

Oh yes, I’m having a little love affair with resin at the moment.  All sorts of ideas in the works, can’t wait to share more.  I have these little charms, or small pendants, that will start heading into the shop tonight.


If you are stopping by the shop be sure to use coupon code ALLWINNERS20 for 20% of your order, it’s good through the end of July.  Which somehow, is just around the corner.

Hope you are all enjoying a beautiful summer

Saturday 20 July 2013

Bead hoarders blog hop reveal

Welcome to the hop for those of us you get wonderful little beauties to create with and then lock them up for years since they are too precious.  What a flawed statement that is!  Thank goodness for Lori Anderson and her inspiration to get us all to own up to our unreasonable behaviour and get these gorgeous beads into creations and on to bodies to be seen!  I’ve got all sorts of wonderful things housed in my equally wonderful Hamilton cabinet, I promise it isn’t full.

My first plan was to use these stunning lampwork hollows (on the right in picture below) from Wandering Spirit.  I can remember Aja was listing new beads and I asked if she had any blue tones coming up. She sent over a picture and I declared MINE! That was 2009.  This is a case of my design exceeding my skill level.  I have visions of some scrolls of hammered wire, but it seems just a bit out of reach.  I’m keeping them on my worktable for when it all slots into place.

Last August I shared some hoarded beads even as a way to get me to make something with them, and still they sat.  If you thought 2009 was bad, then perhaps I shouldn’t mention those Humblebeads are from 2007! The Marsha Neal Studio pendant is from 2011.  Can you tell I have a thing for blue and brown together?

On to what I made and pictures in daylight!

First up I was determined to use that gorgeous blue Acanthus leaf, William Morris inspired polymer lentil.  I can remember Heather talking on her blog about using William Morris as inspiration in some red tone beads first and then stalking her blog and shop when she said there would be blue coming.  I love William Morris.

acanthus bracelet

Here is the wrap bracelet I ultimately came up with.  At first it was going to have all sorts of dangles and it just didn’t feel right so I took it back to simple wire wrapping it with big loops either side and then wrapping on these smoky quartz flat brios, a little swarovski, and one lonely teeny pearl.  I wrapped them in such a way that there is just a gentle sweep, so fitting with the beauty of this bead.  I added a fairy silk from Marsha Neal Studio and it is a perfect fit and so me.  I immediately thought, why didn’t I do this years ago?!

acanthus close

Next up I had a pile of dangles from those earring pair beads and the stunning pendant so I got to work on a necklace.

morris floral necklace

More silk from Marsha, ebony wood beads, more smoky quartz, some pearls, a little antique agate and then the final touch – a button from Sheppard Handmade, tied on with waxed linen.  It’s a bit odd the way the silk loops back around, but I felt like the resulting negative space was a little Morris-esque.  I’m letting it soak in a while, see if this configuration is really wearable.

morris close copy

For the clasp I found this Vintaj piece (while searching for another) and opted to use a stick pearl with it.  Thankfully it was just the right size and this feels nice and secure. 

morris clasp

At this point I was feeling pretty good for creating two pieces the night before the hop and not panicking about how my original plan was well and truly out the window (I didn’t need to confess that I could have made this be the plan all along)!  Then I decided to go for broke and make earrings with the last pair of dangles I had at the ready.  I was going to just hang them on ear wires and be done, but I heard a little call from the Cabinet.

It was Claire!

Ok not really.  But there was an awesome pair of hearts from Claire Maunsell of Stillpointworks hidden in there that needed to come out.  I had picked them up from Claire in person and recall her asking what I was going to do with them – I more than likely confessed I planned to hoard them.

claire earrings

I am far too impatient to take pictures of earrings hanging, they never seem to stop moving!

earrings close


Three pieces, I can hardly believe it!  I am also surprised that I am not showing you anything I made to go along with these lovelies.  Perhaps that was what was right all along, keeping my own polymer out and letting the work of these four ladies do the real talking.

As I was taking the pictures I was thinking about this hoarding, and how I hoped I wouldn’t offend anyone with this casual usage of the term.  You see I come by my collecting of gorgeous handmade things honestly.  That cabinet, my “Chiffonier” that you see was made for me by my dad when I was in my teens.  It’s pine but with a white wash pickling stain that stops it going orangey.  Since the stain is sold in gallons, like paint, I ended up with this cabinet, a side table and a buffet.  Which was a lot of furniture to add to my childhood bedroom, but in my house now looks wonderful.  Dad hoards good looking wood.  Mum is a sewer and embroiderer so her stash of fabric and whatnot will rival anyone's. 
general hoard

Perhaps we shouldn’t get into my pottery stash, as I notice two pieces in the photo.  No, let’s get back to bead hoarding.

I’ve replenished!

new hoard

I couldn’t resist this stunning lost girl bead from SoulSilver, blue and paisley, I’m simply powerless.  However I did have a little plan in mind that something special would be needed for those polymer beads top right.  They were made by my daughter Averleigh, about six months ago.  She is three, so I cut the holes but that’s it.  The pendant at the bottom I had made after she was born and I tought a big silver loop of sorts at the bottom of the girl – charm collector style -  may be the way to go.  I’ll let that idea sit a few years.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.  Thank you Lori, for finding new ways for me to stretch my skills and get some jewelry made!  I hope you will hop around and see all the amazing treasures that everyone will be unearthing today!
1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
  10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine's Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D'Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia's Unique Beaded Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda's Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou's time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 - For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine's Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings 'n' Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi's Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams,
Lena's Beady Blog

Friday 19 July 2013

focus on life–week 29- routine

If you are here for the bead hoarder’s hop I expect to have that post up midday Saturday – love to have you back!
Well, week 29, I find myself writing up a blog post to share and it just dawned on me that this is a new routine this year.  Oh there are so very many routines when you are raising a little one.  That first year plus full of strict routines for sanity.  Averleigh likes to have things in their place, she really enjoys her parts of routines, like turning of the lamp, closing the door, and on and on and on.  I know that if I interrupt any part of the various sequences I will suffer. All these thoughts felt a little mundane, not up to the standard we see when Sally sends sweet prompts about finding the special bits.
Wednesday morning I hear “me-meow”.  In that moment I realize that is the same meow I hear every morning I sit down at my work desk and turn on the computer.  [ My day job is customer service and I do it from my home].
focus on life routine

Roxy knows there is a toy on my desk, a stick with an elastic string with a feather-bell-fluffy thing on the end.  She will wait there for a solid ten minutes just waiting if i don’t respond right away.  She has her fun and then curls up and sleeps a few feet away all morning while I work.  I thought I hadn’t posted her picture before, but sure enough week 6 there she is and that’s the keyboard tray in the background.  Ah man, I’m repeating myself! But she’s still cute.

Catch up with the rest of the gang finding the highlights of the daily grind over at the Studio Sublime.

Sunday 14 July 2013

focus on life–week 28–patterns

I’m a bit late posting since I was working on a craft show Saturday.  I had planned to post Saturday night but fell asleep instead.  But I really didn’t want to miss a week of these wonderful prompts we get from Sally Russick of the Studio Sublime.  This week was all about catching the patterns in our daily lives.

focus on life pattern

Here is a small snap shot of the back of my booth display.  There is a canvas in front of this metal commercial wall art that looks like a stand of trees.  I have two of these that sit in a block of wood, hinged together, great for holding all sorts of things.  I was excited to cover them in the blooming flower pendants I shared in my last post.  It’s tricky to not get disappointed when they didn’t get much attention.  Oh well.  That wasn’t the right audience I tell myself.  Tricky to not get disappointed when a lovely venue, full of wonderful vendors, on a glorious day doesn’t draw much of a crowd.  That is a pattern I hope isn’t developing.  Alas, much better to focus on the pretty patterns that are clear and not so much on the ones that are vague and beyond my control.

Looking forward as always to checking out the pretty patterns everyone else found over here on Sally’s post

ps I will attempt to add some code here and we shall see…

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Thursday 11 July 2013

Colour challenge reveal!

The real reveal is over on Brandi Hussey’s Brandigirlblog and it sure is full to the brim with wonderful colour.  Brandi is celebrating the launch of her new book Understanding Color and I wasn’t about to miss the party!  I was lucky enough to jump on the pre-order so I have a digital copy, and this week my hard copy came.  I also had the treat of a palette print in blues and greens which I love and would look wonderful in any room in my home – how did she know!?

palette 6 close up

Here is my entry


I’m borrowing Brandi’s shot since she put the palette along side oh so nicely.  I almost didn’t enter since I had a grander scheme in mind and time just ran away from me this week with plans changing on the fly.   This is part of a new polymer series I’m working on.  New textures, impressed in polymer, colourized and then resin overtop.  Usually if you are working with resin the goal is to eliminate bubbles.  I like the oddity here that the deep impressions allow for the bubbles to stay, I hope they appear as a feature.  It is a great big mess of colour in my studio at the moment, but I really am liking how things are turning out, if I do say so myself!

resin experiments

Now I fully intended to use this palette, #2,  for the challenge – isn’t it just stunning! That blue on the right end is very close to what I consider my very favourite blue.


I was most assuredly working in this vein, just didn’t manage to snap a picture in time for the deadline.

palette 2 close up

I’ve also been trying really hard not to forget that yellow, orange and red should appear in my work from time to time.  I am certainly looking to my new book to help me along that journey as I would like to be more purposeful in my colour combining. 

warm tone blooms

Thanks so much Brandi for letting me join in on the fun!  I’m about half way through reading Understanding Color and I just love how accessible Brandi makes the theory.  I’ve paused to digest a bit but am excited to have the resource at my worktable.

Friday 5 July 2013

Focus on life–week 27- texture

This week Sally Russick asked us to “focus on how things feel. Then shap a shot of that texture”

I work with polymer clay, it’s a very tactile experience pretty much all of the time.  I’ve been experimenting with different surface techniques since it’s a lot of fun.  Hold that thought.

Last weekend we visited the Lachute flea market and on the way home, with Averleigh napping in the car, we stopped at a Scrapbooking store I had caught a glimpse of on the way there.  Scrap en masse as it turns out has been about 45 minutes from my door for six years.  My husband and I can’t agree on what that translates to in English, but their website gallery shows the vast plethora of media available.  It was the best and worst thing that I had left my credit card at home and was limited to the funds left in my pocket.  I had a good look around before picking out a few things.

I saw the wall of PanPastel and immediately recalled a certain talented polymer (and glass) artist from Gatineau (who shall remain nameless) and her almost giddy “oh have you tried these – here feel!” I do believe art supplies are more addictive than crack.  Oh the colour! I only had enough on me for two colours and I must have stood there for a solid ten minutes trying to decide, practical shades, punchy ones, or practical and punchy.  Screw it, pick what you love!

A little work in progress, some textures I was working on already were willing subjects.  Oh my, the feel of that pastel on my finger, they are indeed as advertised – ultra-soft.  I’m sure you are supposed to use a sponge tool, but I just had to touch it, feel it…I swear I did not snort it.

focus on life texture
Head on over to the studio sublime to see all the textures being shared.