Saturday, December 14, 2013

3rd Annual Handcrafted Ornament Blog Swap and Hop

I'm sorry for posting late.  I had this post scheduled for the 15th for some reason.  :(

For the past few years, Sally Russick has hosted a handmade ornament swap.  I wasn't quick enough to get in on the swapping last year, but I had a good time hopping around and seeing the gorgeous ornaments.

This year, I jumped when I saw Sally's post.  I was paired with the lovely Sandi Volpe.  I have admired Sandi's work for some time and was lucky enough to win this necklace she made.  It has become a staple in my jewelry rotation.

It's it gorgeous?  Sandi made this for the Bead Soup Blog Party last summer.  You can see this and the other pieces Sandi made with her soup in her post.

Sandi is also an awesome metal worker.  You can see the pieces below and a few others in this blog post.

And check out this post to see an awesome pair of earrings.

Okay, on to the ornament.  I absolutely adore it.

Isn't the little penguin the cutest?

Sandi hand soldered the charm and it is double sided.

She completed the ornament with a vintage red bead and black sugar bead made by Raida from Havana Beads.

When I opened the package, I almost had to fight the kiddo.  She loved it so much she ran to hang it on the tree.  I wanted to look at it just a bit more.  :)

Sandi mentioned that she wanted to make something that the kiddo would like also.  I think she rocked it.  :)

Did I mention that Sandi also makes lampwork beads and enameled beads?  She was gracious enough to send a few along with her ornament.  She also included a pendant from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studios.

Sandi, thank you so much!  I love the ornament and cannot wait to use the beads you sent.

Sallly, thank you for hosting.  I am so glad I was able to take part.

If you would like to see the ornaments I sent to Sandi, please visit her blog.

Also, please take some time to visit the participants and see the ornaments they received.
Tanya Goodwin (you are here) and Sandi Volpe

Friday, December 13, 2013

Focusing on Life - 50 of 52

Wow .. I can't believe there are only 3 weeks left.

This week, Sally asked us to look for a pop of red.

I thought these earrings were perfect for the prompt.

These holly leaf earrings were designed by Gwen Fisher.  You can find a link to the free tutorial here.

Thanks, Gwen!

To see what pops of red the other participants found, please visit Sally's blog or check below

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'm In Bead Me Magazine!

A few months ago, Allison, from Bead Me magazine, asked if I would like to participate in the Bead Soup portion of the magazine.

Well, you don't have to ask me twice.  I immediately replied "yes" and received this awesome soup from Fusion Beads.

The colors were spectacular!

I'll give you a little preview of what I made.

A spiral rope?  Well, it is me and I do love my spiral ropes.

If you would like to see the rest of the necklace (and a really cool pendant), check out issue 3 of Bead Me magazine in the apple store.

You can also check out their facebook page and see previews of upcoming issues.

Speaking of upcoming issues, the pendant I made for the Bead Soup feature will be in February issue.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Earrings

I have an awesome pendant around which I want to build a necklace.  I scoured the internet for a pattern that might make a cool, almost Bollywood, necklace.

I found this pattern by Heather Collins.

I envisioned several of these linked together to form a necklace.  As I began to bead, I realized that the beadwork was too thick for my pendant.

I couldn't let my work go to waste, though, so I completed a pair of earrings.

I love the way they turned out.

I will be trying a necklace, just as soon as I have some time.

Check out Heather's etsy shop for more awesome patterns.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Focusing on Life - 49 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

And here I am, caught up. (mini cheer)

For week 49, Sally asked us to find sparkle.

This was an easy prompt.  When I saw the email, I knew exactly what to choose.

While we were in Home Depot, the kiddo asked if we could get just one Christmas decoration.  We wandered over and she saw this.

How can you say "no" to Darth Vader in a Christmas hat?

Please visit Sally's blog to see more sparkle.

Or, you can check out the links below.

Focusing on Life - 48 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 48, Sally asked us to give thanks.

There are many things for which I am thankful.  I guess the one person I am most thankful for, and I probably tell him all too rarely, is my husband.

Honestly, I don't know another person who would put up with me.  :)

Please check Sally's blog to see what the other participants are thankful for.

Or, check below:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Focusing on Life - 47 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 47, Sally asked us think about what is central in our lives.

With the kiddo in school full time, I've lost what was a central part of my life for six years.

To be honest, I have been meandering.  I know, with time, I'll find a routine, but for now, I've come to terms with   I know, with time, I will find a routine, but for now, I'm content to drift a bit.

Please check out Sally's blog to see what the other participants centered on.

Focusing on Life - 46 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 46, Sally asked us to reflect.

The end of the year, arbitrary as it is, seems to be a time for us to reflect on ourselves, our direction in life, our goals and our successes or failures.

The holidays, of course, play a role in that reflection.  We give thanks for what we have and stop to remember what is important and what is not.

I chose to take this week's prompt literally.  Thankfully, the kiddo is always willing to help.

Our children are a reflection of us, both in looks and in action.

My husband tells me constantly that the kiddo is a smaller version of me.  If she is, then I hope she can improve on the original.  :)

Please visit Sally's blog to see what the other participants reflected on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Beaded lace and swags

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

I've mentioned Gwen Fisher several times before.  Gwen and Florence Turnour have created some amazing patterns for beaded beads and pendants.  Most are for sale on their website, Bead Infinitum.

Gwen also sews and crochets.  Lately, she has taken an interest in producing beadwork inspired by Irish crochet and tatting.  She embarked on a beaded lace adventure and invited her readers to do the same.

I was eager to jump on the band wagon.  I was able to combine two of Gwen's beaded swags into one necklace using two hole daggers.

I love the way it drapes.

I finished the necklace with a beaded toggle.

This is my first project using Gwen's beaded lace techniques, but it won't be my last.  I have ideas for other projects ... just wait until you see Gwen's beaded lace flowers and medallions.

If you want to make your own, Gwen now has five beaded lace patterns in her etsy shop.

The first is her Athena's Acanthus bracelet.

I haven't purchased this pattern (yet), but it is an awesome cuff and is on my list of things to do.

The second is Beaded Lace Flowers.

These babies are easy to do and bead up very quickly.  Gwen gives instructions for several different flowers.  The pattern is also very easy to alter and create even more versions.  (This is next on my list.)

The third pattern is Beaded Lace Swags.

Gwen gives instructions for nine different swags, ranging from small to large, embellished or non embellished.   These work up more quickly than you would think and produce a gorgeous result.  I combined two of these for my necklace.

The fouth pattern is Beaded Lace Medallions.

Again, I can't wait to try this one.  I see so many possibilities.  The last photo in this listing shows many of these components combined into one amazing necklace.

The fifth pattern in the series is the "Eucalyptus Leaves" bracelet.

This one is brand new and I can't wait to try it.

I highly recommend these patterns.  The middle three don't give instructions for a specific necklace or bracelet and you are free to let your imagination run wild.  All of these components work well together and have the makings for some gorgeous jewelry.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Focusing on Life - 45 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 45, Sally asked us to try our hand at industrial photography.

I snapped this picture of one of my husband's grilling tools.

If you would like to see more industrial photos, check out Sally's blog.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The 4th Annual Challenge of Color

I love this time of the year.  Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Color is an event I have been looking forward to for several years now.

Each year, Erin chooses a color palette or palettes for the participants to play with and the results are always amazing.  The bracelet I made last year is still one of my favorites.

This time around, Erin asked us to either choose an existing palette from or create one with the tools on the colourlovers website.

There was a catch, though.  Erin asked that we choose our colors by names, such as "curry chicken" or "hot chocolate" and, after choosing the first color, we had to use the last word in each color's name as the first word in the next color's name.

For example, I made this palette:

The colors are:
  yellow silk sari
  sari full pink
  pink lemonade
  lemonade stand
  stand by your man

This challenge was a bit rough for me.  I made this palette, had the perfect pendant and a great vision, but couldn't make it work.

Since I was having so much trouble, I decided to change directions.  I scrapped what I had and started with a different pendant, this time one by Nancy Schindler Adams.  I created a new palette.

The colors are:
     burnt peach
     peach blossom
     blossoming blue
     dark blue green mist
     mist of unrest

I was going for an "earthy" theme and I love turquoise and brown together.

I decided to play to my strengths.  I was already short on time and didn't want to be scrambling at the last minute.  As has been my habit recently, I combined bead weaving and chain maille.

This time, I used Kat Wisniewski's "Rapid Track" bracelet, from Blue Buddha Boutique.

I combined the chain with a simple spiral rope.

The copper crystals bring out the browns in Nancy's pendant and I love how the brown and green melt into each other.

I couldn't be happier with how this necklace turned out.

The other palette is still in the back of my mind, though.  I'm hoping without a looming deadline, I can make something awesome.  :)

Erin, thank you for a lovely challenge.  As always, I had a great time.

Please take some time and visit Erin's blog and see what the other participants made with their chosen palettes.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The story of four pendants from the Classic Bead

Lately, I've been playing with pendants made by Tracee Dock of the Classic Bead.

I've been a fan of Tracee's ever since I saw this necklace in the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing magazine.  Tracee's beads are gorgeous and I love her sense of style.

Recently, I was able to meet Tracee in person.  We met for brunch with Sharyl, then had a great time shopping at Harbor Freight and Joanne's.

Tracee brought some of her beads for show and tell.  Of course, Sharyl and I had to buy a few.  :)

As I added those beads to my stash, I realized I've been hoarding some of Tracee's pendants for a while.  I figured this was a good time for them to come out and play.

This was the first necklace I completed.

I used a cellini spiral for the center portion of the necklace (similar to this one) and used a bit of leather for the back of the necklace.

I made an s hook clasp that works perfectly with the leather.

The next necklace started after, inspired by my friend Sharyl, I played around with patinas and gilders paste.

I liked the result, but had a hard time incorporating it into a finished piece.  I looked through my beads and found this bumblebee pendant by Tracee.

It's a simple necklace, but I really like it.

Of course, I wondered how gilders paste worked on chain maille.

I adapted the center part of Kylie Jones's "Fluid" necklace, published in the October issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry, and started adding patina and gilders paste.

I loved how it turned out and how it complimented this awesome pendant from Tracee.

This time, I added a bit of ribbon and beaded bands to hold the ribbon in place.  I also couldn't resist adding a beaded clasp.

Finally, I had the opportunity to play with an awesome disc/shallow cone bead Tracee made.  She showed it to Sharyl and me at brunch and mentioned that it had a tendency to fall forward, like many other types of disc beads.

This tutorial by Tanya McGuire immediately came to mind.  Tracee gifted me the bead and asked me to see what I could do.

Tanya's tutorial worked perfectly.

I painted a lucite leaf and added it to the back of the pendant.

I made another cellini spiral for the middle of the necklace and used an awesome chain I had been saving for a special occasion.

I adore how this turned out.

The beads I used are only a sampling of what Tracee has in her Classic Bead shop.

She's started adding holiday beads.  Take some time and look through her shop -- you won't be disappointed.

If you are looking for buttons or other clay creations, you can find them in Tracee's Classic Elements shop.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Focus on Life - 44 of 52

My post for the Rolling Blog hop is here.

My post for the Halloween Blog hop is here.

This week, Sally asked us to capture something seasonal -- something spooky or scary.

This, though not terribly spooky, was the first thing that came to mind.

Happy Halloween.  Please check Sally's blog to see what spookiness awaits.

Focus on Life - 43 of 52

My post for the Rolling Blog hop is here.

My post for the Halloween Blog hop is here.

This week, Sally asked us to focus on shadows.

I liked this photo of leaves, both on the ground and clinging to the trees.

I also liked the shadows in the background of this one.

Please check out Sally's blog to see more shadows.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop

My post for the Rolling Blog hop is here.

Diana Ptaszynski, from Suburban Girl Studio, is hosting a fun, Halloween inspired blog hop.  How fun is that?

When Diana posted the sign-ups, it was a no-brainer for me.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

About a week before, I purchases these cute little ghost charms from Nancy Schindler.  I knew exactly what they needed and asked my friend Sharyl to make a few components for me.

Sharyl created two sets of round charms -- one set similar to a harvest moon and one set more "Halloweeny."

I used the "Halloweeny" set with Nancy's ghosts.

The charms turned quite a bit when I used jumprings to attach them to the earwires.  To solve this, I made custom earwires so I could attach the charms directly to them.

I love how these look together.

Nancy periodically adds beads and charms to her shop.  Watch her blog for updates.

I wanted to make something special to compliment the harvest moon charms Sharyl made and was excited to see this pattern from threadabead.

These little witches beaded up quickly and look perfect with Sharyl's moon charms.

You can find more of Sharyl's components in her artfire store.  She creates beautiful components in all shapes and sizes  AND she has finished jewelry as well.

In addition to the earrings above, I made two Halloween necklaces for Christine Altmiller's Rolling Blog Hop.  Christine sent us vintage spools, asking us to make something with them.

I'm never sure how beadwoven charms or beads fit into the "art bead" category, but I love how the spools turned out and wanted to show them to you.

For a closer look, check out this post.

Diana, thank you for this challenge.  I had fun getting into the Halloween spirit.

Please take some time to visit the other participants to see what they created.

Diana Ptaszynski - our host
Kathleen Breeding
Dianne Miller
Lisa Liddy
Toltec Jewels
Laura Medeiros
Veralynne Malone
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Stephanie LaRosa
Nicole Valentine Rimmer
Tanya Goodwin - you are here
Sarajo Wentling
Dawn M. Gallop

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Rolling Blog Hop

A few months ago, Christine Altmiller, of One Kiss Creations, found a few times at an antique store and decided to host a blog hop.

She asked several of us if we would be interested in using the items she found, but didn't tell us what the items were.  Always up for a challenge, my answer was an enthusiastic "yes!"

When I received the package, I was a little mystified and a bit excited.  Christine sent us vintage wooden spools along with other beads she thought we might like.

(Of course, I had painted one of the spools before I remembered to take a picture.)

Here are the other beads Christine sent.

In a note, Christine mentioned that she liked "the idea of spools and thread and how we all have that common thread running between us in the blog world."  I thought that was such a sweet sentiment!

As I was looking for ideas, I came across this craft, which uses thread and spools to make cute little monsters.  I immediately started playing around with the idea and came up with these.

I started with Frankenstein's monster and used Gwen Fisher's DNA double helix tutorial to create the beaded portion of a necklace.

I thought the DNA helix was perfect for the monster.  Luckily for me, Gwen's video tutorial was made using Doceri software and it is so easy to follow.

I also wanted to incorporate a bit of chain maille, so I made a variation of Rebeca Mojia's Lancelot bracelet.

 This is a fun way to embellish helm weave.  The instructions can be found in Rebeca's book, Chained.

I used brass rings when I made this and could not get the brass to patina with liver of sulfur.  I then opted for an ammonia patina.

(By the way, ammonia, salt, and annodized aluminum do not mix well.  I had to replace most of the purple and pink rings and chalked this up to a learning experience.)

It was worth it, though.

I made the pendant removable, for those non Halloweeny occasions.

Next, I added some orange to the seed beads Christine sent to make a cellini spiral.

I matched the spiral with a helm weave chain.

This finished product is another great Halloween necklace.

I really love this one.

I have a few ideas for the last spool, but it's getting close to Halloween and I wanted to show these to you while they were still seasonal.

I'll probably have another spool post for you in a month or so.  :)

Christine, thank you for the opportunity to participate.  I had a blast with these.

This is a rolling blog hop, so the posts will be sporadic.  Christine was generous and gave us two months to complete our pieces and post.

Janet, from Honey from the Bee, posted her creation a few weeks ago.  If you are interested, you can see her beautiful necklace here.

Hope, from Crafty Hope posted her creations here.

Keep an eye on Christine's blog over the next few months to see what the other participants made.