Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Studio

Now that I have been in my new apartment for... oh, eight months... I can finally show you where I create! My living room is separated into two areas, the first being your typical couch and tv room. But then I have this hardwood area that I set up as my 'studio'. This room has no less than five huge windows that let in the beautiful natural light, it's an artist's dream!

Here is my desk, which usually isn't this clean... I keep my tools and such in the green drawers, in easy reach. A cork board hangs on the wall for inspirational photos and in-progress projects. The tall shelf in the back (first photo) holds all of my beads, which are stored in plastic containers and separated by color or material. It was custom built for me by my mom using free pallet wood (She's so talented!). One day I will get around to painting it.

This is the opposite wall from the desk, and has a nice closet to hide my mountains of other crafts supplies and display items. I have a life-sized mannequin which not only looks good at shows, but she helps me a lot when designing necklaces. It's much easier to tell the length of a piece or how it lays when worn. Another shelf holds all my finished jewelry and packaging supplies. Lastly, a chair, which usually holds a sleeping cat :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Focus on Life: Create Art!

Our prompt for this week was 'Create Art'. How very appropriate! I had originally wanted to create something other than jewelry. It's not often that I get the time to experiment with other art types, and this week was not that time.
At the least, I pushed myself to use a different technique and materials for this necklace... A button and loop made out of seed beads for the clasp, as well as some black cotton ribbon. The photo I took shows a sketch of the design and a mostly completed necklace, I just need to find my sewing kit to attach the button to the ribbon :)

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Focus on Life: Take Time

This week Sally, of The Studio Sublime, suggested we take some time for ourselves. We all work very hard and deserve to take a few precious moments to recharge. On Saturday mornings, I make a big cup of coffee and sit down to watch one of my 'guilty pleasure' shows.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flower Garden Bracelet

This is a similar design to a bracelet I had previously posted, but this one is done in pinks and purples and features a stunning one of a kind lampwork bead.

Vintage light pink glass rounds
Dark pink rondelle gemstones
Purple quartz gemstones
Vintage handmade glass and lucite beads in Dark pink
Goregous Handmade Lampwork focal bead in Light Pink, Dark pink, Purple and White
Silver toned flower toggle clasp

Available in my Etsy shop

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and Thanks

Lori Anderson is hosting the Memories and Thanks blog hop. Each participant is creating a piece of jewelry in honor of someone who means a lot to them. I knew when I signed up I would be making a necklace for my mom, Lesley. I am very fortunate to have her, not only for a mother but as a best friend too.

Mom's favorite color is green, so when I saw these faceted green agate rounds, I knew they were perfect. I used brown Swarovski bicones (with a finish that showed a bit of green) and two handmade beads by Splendid Loon Studios to pick up on the brown inflections in the agate. The sterling chain and clasp were actually part of an old bracelet that Mom used to wear. It is a longer necklace, about 24 inches, and includes lots of seed beads because, well, that's what she likes. I haven't given the necklace to her yet so she'll be quite surprised when she reads this post! :)

Don't forget to stop by the other participants blogs and see what things they have created. You won't be disappointed!

Hostess, Lori Anderson Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir Dream Struck Designs
Aimee Biondolillo Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
Alicia Marinache All the Pretty Things
Andra Marasteanu Handmade by Indra Marasteanu
Andrea Trank Heaven Lane Creations
April Grinaway Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle Jasper's Gems

Cassi Paslick Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka Clay Space
Christina Hickman Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Murrow Charis Designs Jewelry
Christine Stonefield Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson It's My Sea of Dreams
CJ Bauschka 4 His Glory Creations by CJ
Crystal Thain Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin Beading Arts

Debbie Rasmussen A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey diane hawkey
Dita Basu ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz Treasures Found
Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston CSW Designs
Inge von Roos Inge's Blog
Iveth Caruso Creative Atelier

Jacqueline Marchant Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne josjewels1
Jodie Marshall Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean Blue Pig Blog

Karen Mitchell Over the Moon Designs
Karin King The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak CianciBlue
Kim Houston The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter Kym Hunter Designs

Laren Dee Barton Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus First Impression Design
Liddy McLaughlin Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell Southpass Beads

Mandi Effron Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo Ornamento
Marti Conrad Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody Who Does She Bead She Is?

Nan Emmett Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister The Crazy Creative Corner
Pam Traub Klassy Joolz
Priya Krish Hellopalz
Rebecca Anderson Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson a creative chelle
Rosa Maria Cuevas Helena de Troya

Sabine Dittrich perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode Pookledo
Sarah Singer String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler Pixybug Designs

Tania Spivey Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G. Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin Beads, Tea and Sweets

Focus on Life: My Word for 2013

My word for 2013 is GROW. This year I will push myself and my creative abilities. I will overcome challenges, move beyond my comfort zone and steadily, I will grow as a person.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Focus on Life: Self Portrait

When I saw that Sally of The Studio Sublime was hosting a photo challenge I just had to join, even if I was a little late. In the past I have participated in the popular 'photo a day' challenges on Instagram, but I love the idea of doing this here, on my blog.

The prompt for our first photo is 'Self Portrait'. Not one of my favorites... but I did get to use my new phone with front facing camera, which made it slightly easier to swallow :)

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Multiple Strands

Lately I have been working on a few multi-strand designs. I'm loving the bold dimension it gives each piece and the wide range of possibilities when combining colors and materials.

This necklace is actually six strands, despite the five strand clasp. It includes Amethyst gemstones, blue freshwater pearls, traditional Czech glass and other various glass beads in grey and silver tones.

I designed this bracelet to be only half mutli-strand. Here I combined two types of Jasper (Red and Impression) with light blue faceted glass beads and a lovely handmade lampwork focal bead. A sterling silver toggle clasp features a two strand design as well :)

Tips for creating multiple strand jewelry:

1. Use a bead board to help in the design process. This handy tool has to be one of my favorite because it allows me to lay out beads and play around the the design before committing and creating the piece. This also lets me put to put my project away for a bit and I know that the beads will not be moved out of order.

Available from Prima Beads

2. Let your findings make it easy. While no special clasps or findings are necessary to create multi-strand jewelry, these items can really help enhance your designs and make creating a piece much easier on yourself.
Clasp available from Prima Beads           Cones available from Art Beads

3. Experiment with different color and material combinations. Be brave and play with your stash of materials. Combine unlikely colors or contrasting materials, like rough chain and elegant pearls.

For further reading, I recommend Magpie Gemstone's article 'How to Make Multi-strand Necklaces' Part I and Part II.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Seven Goals for 2013

Like most people do, I took some time to think about the past year and what I want from this next year. 2012 was a year of change and personal discovery for me. This year will bring lots of creative and personal growth.

My Goals for 2013

1. Organize all my beads. Clean up and create a studio area that works for me.
2. Participate in higher quality art events/shows. Get applications in early!
3. Add more products to Etsy. At least one new item a week.
4. Blog more often and Create my first tutorial!
5. Take at least one jewelry class or Learn a new technique.
6. Submit designs to be published in magazines.
7. Focus more on my personal health and fitness.

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