Friday, June 25, 2010

Summertime: Part 2

As I promised here you get to see how my "Summertime" piece for my review for came out.  Above you can see it after I used wire to attach the sections together and added beads to the outside edges of the pieces (this also covered up the wrapping that joined the sections).
The neck section is made up one length of chain and one of links of the 9 x 6 mm roundelles and some of the smaller beads.  I had enough of these to also make a bracelet and earrings that coordinate with the necklace.
A close up of the necklace on the white allows you to see some of the details like the wraps around the edges better.  All of the colors of the Glass Beads that I chose really ended up working well and there are some I am going to have to get more of,  I am thinking that maybe I will have to combine some of them with sea glass.  (If you would like to see the necklace I made with sea glass please visit my Face book page.)
The bracelet really allows you to see how truly interesting the Roundelles are,  very cool.  I ended up with 2 strands of links and 1 of chain for the bracelet.

I used some chandelier findings that I had and used some of the last of the Czech beads that I had left to make the earrings.
Here you can see all of all three pieces as they are laying flat,  you can see the back of the necklace this way.  I am really happy with how this piece turned out and Wayne says that he really likes the pieces that I have been working on lately with this technique of wire and beads together.  And to think it all started with a class to learn the technique and the inspiration of the Swarovski Seashell Pendent.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I receive the Swarovski crystal pendant and Glass Beads above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It is that time again.  Another opportunity to review products for  I have really been enjoying this as it has allowed me to try things that are new to me but also it has challenged me to come up with jewelry using different products.  This time our theme was "summertime" and we had the choice of products in the Glass beads, Pendents and Charms categories.  You could give me glass beads any time since it s a broad category and there are sooooo many wonderful choices in there.

 I got my e-mail shortly after having returned from Wire Fest in Philly and having taken a class from Dallas Lovett that includes both wire and beads that I just adored.  I came away from that class inspired to play more with the idea of combining beads and wire; that inspiration is coming into fruition in two pieces, this happens to be the first one I have finished.

After spending hours looking at's website and trying to figure out how I wanted to interpret "Summertime" I narrowed it down to using the Swarovski Shell pendent as my focal and working from there.  Beach, ocean, and shells; they all feel summery to me.  I decided to go with blues and beiges to bring out the colors of the water and sand.  The photo above is my original sketch.

One of the most exciting moments for me is when the beads arrive.  It is a combination of looking at all of the new gorgeous beads and know that it is time to make my ideas come to life.  What will it look like when I finish it?  Will it have the look, the feel the energy that I am striving for?
Here you can see all the beads laid out.  Mmmm, yummy makes me want to head to the beach.  The Swarovski Seashell pendent in Crystal AB was everything I could hope for.  It picks up the blues and the beiges depending on the angle of the light reflecting off of it.  I chose TOHO seed beads in 11/0s, 8/0s and 6/0s.  In colors like Matte Apollo, Stone Blue, and Matte Natural Picasso all of my colors were everything I could have wanted and more.  I also chose 3 mm and 4 mm Czech Fire-polished crystals,  choosing only 2 of each size was really challenging even knowing I was going for blues and beiges.  The Blue Tiger's Eye and the Crystal Picasso ended up being my favorites.  And last but not least were the 9 x 6 mm Roundelles in Yellow and Cobalt blue both with a Full Picasso finish, both were to die for.
Besides a drawing as a guide and piles of beads this project also needed another really important item.  Wire.  I chose to go with Sterling Silver in 20 and 26 gauges.  One of the things I really like with pieces like this is the challenge of figuring out how to execute them.  How to turn a sketch and piles of beads into the vision I have for the piece.  The photo above is the first step in making it happen,  this will become the center of the piece.
Here you can see the center section finished.  You can see how the seashell is looking more yellow than in the earlier photo of it.  I think I may have to make another necklace with just this center section as the focal,  you could use any pendent you want in it and have a really nice piece.
The first of the two side shells starts here,  figuring out what beads to use and in what order is part of the fun here,  Using the largest beads along the outside edge of the curve allows the beads to follow the curve without needing partial rows or gaps between rows.  
This gives you an idea of where the piece is headed.  I made each of the sections separately because this would make it easier to work on.  The biggest challenge of working on this type of project is to keep from tangling the wire on things or poking yourself with it.
Here we have the first of the side shells.  It was an unexpected benefit that you can see both a shell and an ocean wave cresting in it. And this is where I will leave you for the day.  What will the piece look like when all of the part are finished and put together?  Will it seem like "Summertime"?

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I receive the Swarovski crystal pendant and Glass Beads above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Catching Up With Life

I swear it feels like all I do is try to catch up with my life,  I am so far behind on so many things that my To-Do lists have to-do lists.  I can't seem to get really focused on anything so am doing a lot of bouncing around on projects for the house and creatively.  At this point all of our stuff is out of storage although plenty of it is still in boxes.  The photo above is my studio in mid April after the move but before some of the new additions to the room.
Memorial Day weekend we rented a cargo van and headed up to College Park and hit the Ikea.  I had been wanting to go for a while but timing had never worked out.  For our 20th Anniversary at the beginning of the month that is what I told Wayne I wanted (to go to Ikea before he headed off fishing with some of the men in his family).  We spent the weekend  building furniture (about 1500 lbs worth).  This photo does not include everything we got.
These are my new blue bookcases,  they go well with the blue wall across the room from them as well as the blue ceiling fan.  They are no longer near this empty. We got 2 of these for the Office although those aren't built yet.

This is the new Expedit desk and shelves.  I got another unit like the one on the left for the other side of this wall as well as 2 of them for our master bedroom.  They are pretty cost effective and have lots of space for books, art supplies and bears.
Yes the couch is still in my studio,  will figure out what kind of nesting chair I want to put in my studio once we finally get the great room finished and the couch where it belongs.  You can see my new desk for creating behind it.  Now I have 2 big work tables to create on.  The top is a beech countertop that I still need to oil or otherwise finish.  You can also see that some of the stuffed animals were quick to find homes on the new shelves.
While Wayne was gone for 10 days you would think that I spent most of my time getting my studio organized and I did a bit but I spent more time on a couple of other projects that I knew needed getting done.  I managed to finish painting the last of the base moulding and almost all of the crown moulding for the great room while he was gone.  The photo is of some of the crown moulding which is red with a copper paint accent.  3 coats of each color on 8 pieces meant it took a bit of time, but I can't wait to see how it looks like up.  The only thing we need to paint yet is the corner pieces but Wayne needs to do something to them before I can paint them.
The other big project I tackled while he was gone was the Master Suite.  I was getting tired of the clutter everywhere and boxes and........   So the new Expedit shelves went in and I completely rearranged it, including moving the bed on angle to the room.  There are still project to be done but it feels much calmer since it is less jumbled.  I like the bed on the angle since when you walk into the room you can see so much of the hardwood floors showing.
I also got my Sacred Space up in our bedroom.  The table contains a lot of my treasures that I collect here and there.  Some are pieces of the world around me that I have picked up, some are pieces of my art and a few are pieces of art and odd bits that I like.  The piece on the wall is one of my newer finished pieces.   It is my Zentangle Dragonfly, if you want to read a bit about it I included some of that in my BJP blog.  I will try to write a post later about how I finished it.  At this point I am planning on adding my 2010 BJP piece to this wall as well once it is finished.  I have added candles to the table and I want to make it more stair step so that things are easier to see.
Since Wayne has been home he has put up the ceiling fan in the great room and we spent all day on Sunday trying to get the basement organized.  Before Wayne can do most of what needs doing in the great room he needed his table saw up and running and to be able to work down there.  The basement is the general storage area and looked like a cardboard factory had blown up down there.  It isn't completely organized yet but like things are together and most of the boxes are unpacked.

I was hoping that we would be able to work on the great room this upcoming weekend but think the time may end up going to Wayne's car since it has been acting up,  may need some transmission work.  If so sounds like I even get to help some (I am sooooo excited).

The projects around the house are coming along but it will be a work in progress for a while.  With unlimited budget, energy and time we would be further along but I love how it is coming along and it is showing our personalities.  It will be a one of a kind, no doubts.   If you would like to see more photos remember we have the Web Gallery that has more photos.

Also if you are interested I am on Facebook now.  I play games too much but I do put short updates on some of the things I am up to there.