Thursday, December 30, 2010

Decembbbbbbbrrrrrr Challenge

Sorry to complain, but it's freezing here today. We had a storm come through last night that dumped quite a bit of rain with a side of thunder and lightening. Today it's clearing up, windy, and the temperature is supposed to drop into the 20's. Now for those of you in other states, I'm sure that sounds positively warm, but when you go from 70's in the day/60's at night one day to 40's in the day/20's at night in about 24 hours....I tell you it's extreme! Plus what they say about your blood thinning is true! When we first moved here from Washington State I was swimming in March when it was in the 80's, now I'm wearing my winter coat at that temperature and I don't swim until it is over 100 degrees! It's all relative, right?

Now on to the fun stuff. My Aunt Ruth sent the beads to us for December's Challenge. She picked a Winter White theme and sent us vintage pearls and crystals. She said we could only add white, crystal, or silver to what she sent. Here's a look at the starting pile:
Here is Ruth's "Winter Snow and Ice":

Here is my mom, Ronda's:

And here is my necklace, bracelet, and earrings:

Now here is a sneak peek at the beads I will be sending them in January...They might change a little though. I'm thinking of adding to them. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Metal Etching & November Challenge

Metal Etching-
My Aunt Ruth wants to know how I did my metal etching for some of the above jewelry pieces. I have Stephanie Lee's book, Semiprecious Salvage, and I used her instructions. This book is great for learning many metal techniques. But if you aren't sure that you want to spring the mola for the book (it's worth it though), then you can always go over to the Objects and Elements blog for a tutorial done by Jane Salley here:

November Challenge-
My mom, aunt and I are swapping beads each month, ala Lorelei's Michael's Challenge. In November my mom sent us all these beads and we were to each make something with them. Here is what we each came up with and how we each designed something unique with the same beads.
This is what we each started with:

Here is what my aunt Ruth created:

Here is what my Mom created:

And here is what I created:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Anniversary and the Sisterhood of the Travelling Bead Box...

First of all: the Sisterhood of the Travelling Bead Box.

It is now over here at Cindy Wimmer's blog.

If you want a chance to get it, go over to her site and leave a comment. I am in love/lust with the Artisan Clay piece that she is donating to the box. If you want a closer look at their beautiful pieces go here:

Anybody want to get me any? hint, hint yesterday was my anniversary...

And speaking of anniversaries, my wonderful husband totally spoiled me. I will post pictures once I get them. BTW-I now have my camera back, yeah!

It was too funny, I went to the Jewelry store to get his gift, and he went to the Tool store to get mine. That explains us in a nutshell. He has a watch fetish like you wouldn't believe. So I contributed to his problem by getting him another one. He more that fulfilled my wishlist. I was just hoping to get a Pepe Combination Disc Cutter. Well I did get that, plus a jewelers saw, blades, rawhide mallet, brass hammer, and a Foredom Flex-Shaft! Talk about having fun over the weekend setting up my "bench".

And to top it off, I just received a very large, very gorgeous bouquet of tropical flowers at the office, with my very favorite yellow roses. Isn't he the sweetest? I'll stop gushing now because I don't want anybody to think I'm bragging. I just feel blessed that we have had the opportunity to make it 18 years and that we still love each other and get along better now than we ever have.

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 12th-18th Anniversary...

12-12-92 to 12-12-10
Has it really been 18 years since we got married? It has always seemed like yesterday and forever, even when we had only been married a week. Since we don't have any children (other than the 4 legged kind) we have nobody to gauge how old we are getting by. There is nothing like feeling your age to seeing your 14 nieces and nephews (who ranged from in the womb to 10 years old at your wedding) having their own babies and families. I am too young to be a Great-Aunt (9 times over now)! I prefer being a great Aunt!

Happy Anniversary to my honey! He is probably one of the few people that can make me mind;).
I don't have many recent photos on my computer, so this one will have to do. It's 5 years old, taken at Disneyland with my Aunt Ruth, Aunt Janet, and Uncle Hilton.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Color Challenge

Well I wanted this post to happen this morning, but unfortunately my work life reared it's ugly head and I am just now having a chance to take a breath and type this. You would think that since the economy has tanked and construction is mostly at a standstill that I wouldn't be as busy as I am, however when you install and replace gas lines, you are always busy! Everybody wants heat in the winter, even in sunny Arizona. We bundle up and wear parkas when it hits 75 degrees outside!

Here is my Color Challenge that I received from Erin Prais-Hintz She mailed out paint chips with some beautiful greens to me to use as a jumping off point to create something. The color names are: Garden Path, Seawall, Lake Marsh, and Bay Breeze. I used all 4 colors between the pearls, and jade beads and the paint/ink patina that I applied to the brass piece that I etched. I included some vintage lace.
I call it my Lake Marsh Love Birds bracelet. I hope you enjoy!

Just updated my post to add the blog-hop participants. Sorry Friday and Saturday were chaos, and no they were not organized!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


What can I say...I'm a procrastinator. Always have been, probably always will be. I always get my projects done, but I'm sure that the excessive stress that I put myself through isn't always necessary. Well I have several things to share today. (No my camera isn't back yet, I had to borrow my mother-in-laws).

First up are the 5 creations that I submitted to the Jewelry Accord Book call for Contributors that Lorelei and Erin

I love the lampworked spacers by Julsbeads. These were my very first lampworked beads that I have ever purchased, and they are wonderful! I spent last Thursday-Sunday hand-dying all of the silk ribbon for these projects as well as etching and patinaing (is that a word) all the metal pieces. This was my first attempt at etching and metalworking and I loved it. I can't wait to do more. This pendant is etched with a bamboo design.

This velvet cuff is very lovely and makes me feel like going to a party!

This bracelet has a handmade glass connector with vintage lace encased in it. Vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, velvet ribbon, and hand-dyed silk rosette round this one out.

This bracelet has an etched brass plate with two love birds in a tree. Vintage lace, jade, and pearls.

I love this one, in fact I wore it to work today. I made the etched metal connectors and combined with wooden stick beads, bronze beads, suede, and a bone button pendant.

And last but not least is the bracelet that I did with the beads that my mom sent to me:

I combined the brown crystals, taupe seed beads, lucite leaves and flowers that she sent to me on a copper chain, added cream pearls, fire-polished triangles for the flower centers. I then made additional layers by adding 2 strings of the seed beads and a length of vintage ribbon/lace/trim the I found at a thrift store the last time I visited her.

I hope you enjoy my creations!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Infinite Moment

An infinite moment is

a promise for all eternity,

a moment that takes your breath away,

a moment that gives you life,

a dream that becomes a reality,

a hope for the future,


to all time.

Love My Art Jewelry is hosting a giveaway for this beautiful Mary Jane Dodd necklace.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Butterfly Bush & Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads over at Lorelei's Blog

This necklace and earring set reminds me of the beautiful butterfly bush that use to be in front of my grandma's house. The had flower clusters almost as big as her lilac clusters. It's very lightweight and soft to wear with the ribbons.

Go here: for a chance at getting the bead box. I'm already thinking of what I could part with....................

Friday, October 29, 2010

Focusing on the Positive.

It's easy to say, but hard to practice some weeks. This week has been particularly challenging for me. My job can be incredibly stressful and I have mini-meltdowns (about 2-3 a year), but nothing that a few days off doing something I love and enjoy doesn't usually fix. So I'm not sure what I want to do this weekend, but I just received some new beads that I'm itching to play with, that is if I can part with them. I know it can't be just me that has a hoarding problem. I want to keep everything that I might not be able to replace, which is almost everything I get. I have to learn to let go and make things with the lovelies that I buy. I just bought some very cool carved jade beads and made earrings last night. Maybe I will make a necklace to go with them...

In the meantime, here are some pictures of a necklace and earrings that I did a few weeks ago. Again, pardon the pictures, since my camera is still not back yet!

Have a great weekend and let us all remember to try to focus on what is right in our lives, because it could be so much worse.

Puppy Update: Baxie, my 5 year old Boston Terrier, has been very sick with a bacterial infection in her lungs. She lost 7 lbs. of muscle (since she didn't have any fat on her to begin with), has a horrible cough, and didn't want to play or eat for several weeks. I'm happy to say that she is doing much better; three weeks, x-rays, 3 doctor visits, 5 different antibiotics, 2 breathing treatments, asthma medicine, and steroids later. Nothing that a couple of my paychecks couldn't fix.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who knew....

Murphy's Law (or is it mine) says that whenever your warranty is up, whatever it is will then break.

My D-SLR died and I thought that it was out of warranty being 3 years 1 month past my purchase date. On a whim we went in to Best Buy (where I purchased it) to see what could be done. Imagine my happiness and relief when we found out that my wonderful husband had upgraded to the 4-year warranty. Who knew that purchasing the extended warranty would finally pay off! Now I just have to wait 1-2 weeks until I can take good pictures again. My camera on my phone just doesn't cut it.

I miss taking pictures like this:

Deception Pass, Whidbey Island, Washington State (first 2 pictures)
Casa Grande, Arizona-After Dedication of Assembly Hall, August 28th, 2010 (last picture)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LoreLEI'S CHALLENGE-Mom & Ruth's Necklaces

My mom and my Aunt Ruth also participated in Lorelei's challenge, however since they don't have their own blogs, I am posting their necklaces on mine for them. See next post down for my entries.


My Mom, Ronda's 2 designs:

My Aunt Ruth's design:


Lorelei challenged us to use the same beads and see what we could come up with. This was too much fun once I got on a roll, however I do admit I was stumped at first. Just how would I combine all these elements into one cohesive design? Since I am trying out some new ideas of Mix-and-Match I combined this idea I have been exploring into a whole jewelry wardrobe. Pardon the pictures, my good camera is down and I had to make do with my phone. To see images larger, please click on them.

Take one Bracelet
add an Extender

Mix with a Converter
and throw in a pair of Earrings

One Bracelet or

One long necklace or

One Choker


What a way to extend a budget while having the right length to go with any outfit!

How about the Polka-Dot Variation:

Long Necklace


Earrings 2

Earrings 3