Wednesday, August 11, 2021

2018 Beadfest loot

Been away so long I hardly knew the place. Gee, it's good to be back home....

So, I found this draft when I logged in to blogger to delete spam comments. Though I might as well post the pics.

These ceramic pendants were purchased in 2019 at Beadfest (remember Beadfest?) from Jenny Davies-Reazor.

I remember getting this pendant with the dragon because I was bingeing Game of Thrones at the time.
Paired it with some Czech glass and cat's eye bead's. All the bead caps and chain are Vintaj.

I couldn't pass up this one with the gorgeous key.  Also with Czech glass and Vintaj.


While I'd like to say that "I'm baaaaaack", I don't want to get ahead of myself. But I'd like to post more often. We shall see. No pressure.

 If you happen to see this post, thanks for stopping by!!

tree inspired

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. It might be because I loved trick-or-treating as a kid (all that free candy!). Or it could be because my birthday is in October. But I really think it's just because the leaves are so pretty when they change colors. I like the crisper temperatures at night. Beautiful fall sunsets and full moons. Hot tea or wine by the chimenea.

Here's some Tree Inspired jewelry...

This necklace is not very Autumnal. It's more of a Spring feel. The bird's nest focal is from Andrew Thorton (from the Green Girl booth at Beadfest 2019!). I attached it to a Vintaj floral stamping, and added the green glass leaves and little pink Czech spacers.

This next necklace also began with a pendant made by Andrew Thorton. I used more, but different, Czech leaves in fall colors. little pine cone-looking beads at the center, and a tiny acorn dangling on one side.

Simple fall-inspired earring, using copper leaves form Vintaj and small pinecone charms. Petite, but sweet!

I picked up this pendant on sale at AC Moore a couple years ago. I used some leafy chain and added some Czech glass leaves (different than previous leaves used - they make such a wonderful variety of bead shapes in the Czech Republic!) Fall-inspired, in reds and coral.
I made these head pins, just fooling around to see if I could make 2 that matched!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Calm, Neutral, but not boring

I recently made a purchase from Scorched Earth on etsy. Petra's ceramic sticks, drops and spikes are just fabulous!
I put an order together with a certain design in mind, and for the most part, it turned out exactly as I'd imagined!
Before I show you the new necklace(s), I'll show 2 previous designs I made several years ago!
I also envisioned these while I was shopping!

This is some "vintage scorched earth"!! I do not think she makes the striped spikes anymore. And the little terra cotta heart on the left was a little gift! (she always includes a wonderful gift!!) This is one of my "go to" necklaces!

 This second necklace has more vibrant colors. I made other similar necklaces, gave one to my mom. She wears it often, and receives compliments! I think my sister has one too (it was so long ago, I can't remember)

So, the new necklaces I put on larger chain links, to put some "air" in between the drops. I just love this calming palette of whites and greys, with a hint of patina green! Neutral, but not boring. Similar, but not identical. Work well on their own.
 But stacked, they have the same "crowded" look as the other earlier necklaces. My new white statement necklace!!

Of course, I have lots more yummy scorched earth loot in my hoard to make more!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Boo inspired!

Recent jewelry to celebrate the season.
No skull beads here...I like (and bought) colorful Czech sugar skull beads, but have yet to make anything with them. I guess I'm waiting for the right inspiration to come.

In the meantime, I recently got a little baggie of Halloween pendants at Walmart! They have $.99 bags of random bead mixes. Sometimes there are some really nice beads in those bags! I spied these 2 pendants and snatched them up. The pendants are "faux" bottle caps with resin covered printed images.

First up is Jack O. Lantern. Vintaj Arte Metal chain and gun metal bead caps with round black glass beads, and smaller vintage faceted glass black beads.

For this little spooky guy, I got another 99 cent baggie that had a random assortment of orange lampwork glass beads (probably made in India or China). More Arte Metal chain, more gun metal bead caps.

Leftover from last year's Halloween supplies, I had this pair of silver bone connectors. I used the antique brass and gun metal bones last year. I don't really like silver (I'm firmly a Vintaj brass gal!) so I guess I just ran out of ideas! These old bones have been laying on my bead table all year! In the baggie of orange beads were these 2 beads that matched, so I thought, why not make  earrings?! Clearly, they would only be worn for Halloween.

Actually, that's how I got started making jewelry (years and years ago!).  I wanted a pair of Halloween earrings and couldn't find any. So I went to Michael's and bought some orange and black beads, headpins and ear wires. There were left over beads, so I made more earrings. Then I wanted different colors, so I bought more beads. Fast forward, I have a room full of beads now!! LOL.
Seasons Greetings!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Moravian tile works pendants

My cousin and her husband recently came to town to visit my mother and me.
We had a nice visit, but she came down with a cold, and was most interested in napping in the recliner!
Trying to think of something close by to take her husband to, we ended up at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown Pa (I live a couple miles from Doylestown). I took photos in there, but the perspective is hard to see - you have to go there and see the place for yourself. There are, what seems like, millions of things to look at. Check out the web site.

On our way out, we looked around the gift shop. Of course, I am always looking for things to make jewelry with. I found these pendants! They are made by a potter that works at the near by Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. (The tile works, along with another museum, Fonthill, are all related to each other and founder Henry Mercer)
These pendants are made in the same style as the tiles that are reproduced at the tile works!

I found (in my stash) green Czech glass and wooden beads that matched the terra cotta clay and green glaze perfectly!

A close up of the pendant!

 And, I also found (in my stash) black Czech glass beads to go with the black floral pendant!

I also took them to the "Stoogeum" in Springhouse Pa. If you are a fan of the Three Stooges, it's really a "must see" if you're ever in the southeastern Pa area!

Thanks for stopping by!!

We were on vacation last week. Really, a stay-cation. We got lots done around the house, but also did some day trips.
We went to Bethlehem PA, which has a cute (but small) downtown shopping/eating district. While there, I saw 2 policemen on horseback! Just standing there on the sidewalk! Weird but neat.

We also went to Strasburg PA, to see the Pennsylvania Train Museum. My husband wanted to go, so we went. It was very nice - well done, and tons of old train cars, steam locomotives, cabooses, etc. Lots of interesting stuff, lots of reading, lots of history!
Strasburg was very quaint and pretty. There were a TON of antiques shops all over, but we didn't have time to stop in any of them. (I need to go back there!). We did stumble into a craft show, hoping to find PA Dutch food. All they had were crafts and some vintage things. I did find some neat old buttons.
Across the street from the museum was the Strasburg RR. You can actually ride on a Steam locomotive train! In that parking lot were trailers full of pumpkins, gourds, indian corn, etc! The pumpkins were only $2.00, so we got some!
Unfortunately, we did not notice (or realize) they were starting to "go". I arranged my pumpkins on the back patio, to enjoy for the coming weeks. Well, the 2 larger ones were promptly ripped open and eaten (by raccoons??) They really made a mess. *sigh*
But my smaller white pumpkin and dark green gourds have been left alone, atleast for now...I'm still enjoying them!
I added witches hair (old leaves from lilies), red leaves, pinecones, acorns and red dogwood berries.
Every morning I come out and hope it's still there. Actually, *someone* ate some of the dogwood berries, but that's ok.
Seasons greetings!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Orchard Artworks Pop-up show in August

Well, so much for keeping the blog going on a regular basis! I'll still try to do this, but will not beat myself up for not posting regularly. It will just be a once-in-a-while thing, and hopefully my followers (you!) will enjoy the posts whenever they occur. I do admire the bloggers out there that really keep it going - It's hard to do.
That said, I have something to post! (with photos too)

I did a pop-up show at my local gallery (Orchard Artworks) back in August. There was art on the walls in a "Colors of Summer" theme, and then every weekend there was a different pop-up show. Our main goal was to book guest artists (we booked 2!) but we ended up having some member pop-ups, like mine, so the room would not be "bare". I sent out emails to all my contacts/friends. Some of my friends showed up, which was nice! I really appreciated their support!
The only "theme" my pop-up had was "new items" - things that have not been in the gallery before. Everything I showed was "new" to Orchard Artworks.

This is my display as seen walking into the gallery.

And this is the back side, after you walked around the table. I dug into my older designs that had never been at the gallery before. I was obsessed with hand woven cords a few years back (and I have all the yarn to prove it - lol). I have had some cords in my gallery space, but those have assemblage pendants that I made using Vintaj filigrees. The necklaces in the photo below are my hand woven cords, using purchased pendants. The pendants are sterling, with various stones, pearls, etc. I have not had them at the gallery since the pendants were not made by me.

In the foreground is a tray of my attempts at wire-wrapping stone and bead pendants. While I like them, they will likely become Christmas gifts, since they didn't sell. (spoiler alert to my family and friends!)

In case you noticed the vintage looking postcards, they are photos from my family. The woman with the big black hat is a photo of my maternal grand-mother Isabel on her honeymoon at Niagara Falls. (circa late 1920's). The photo of the 2 girls is my husband's paternal grand-mother Nellie with her little sister Elisabeth. 2 cuties! (probably circa 1910's, as my in-laws were older than my folks).

I tried to have many new designs for the pop-up.
I made lots of necklaces using Czech flower beads. I'm really in love with Czech table cut flowers right now!

I also made lots of leather and big seed bead bracelets (on the bottom bracelet bar). Various color combos, all use 1.5mm leather and vintage buttons for the closures.
After making the seed bead bracelets, I wondered what it would look like if I used big hole pearls (on the middle left bar). Also with vintage button closures, but on 2mm leather.
And then....I received a gift of watches! They were very pretty, and in working order, so I made 4 watches with leather and big hole pearls! (on top bar) Also with vintage button closures and 2mm leather.
There are 2 lonely looking wrap bracelets on the middle bar as well. Surprisingly, they both sold! Well, I was surprised....


I bought a baggie of feather bookmarks last year at Beadfest (at Supertime, I think), and decided to try my hand at making bead embellished bookmarks. I liked them but it felt like they weren't "artistic" enough, so I hand painted them with Vintaj patinas.
There are a handful of lockets on the tray behind that. The lockets are simply on chains with Swarovski accent beads.

This photo hints at my previous infatuation with freshwater pearls and Sterling Bali beads. The 2 closest trays have some of those. I still have quite a stash of supplies, but then I became MORE infatuated with Vintaj and the freshwater pearls and Bali beads are waiting for me to return to them....someday.
There's also a tray of Czech flower earrings, to coordinate with the Czech flower necklaces.

All in all, it was fun to do. It was a good motivator to get some new things done. And, I still stand by my "old" cords and pearl necklaces - I still love them. I did sell some things, which is always nice!

Thanks for stopping by and sticking with my blog.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

More bling for my nephew's wedding

I've never been one to stop when there is more to be done or had. It's my downfall when potato chips are involved - LOL.
But, when it comes to making jewelry, the more the better.
I had another inspiration for a necklace for my sister (the mother of the groom). You can see the first 4 necklaces in a previous post.

Here's a stacked group of wire wrapped stick pearls, in grey (with matching earrings!). My sister has a weakness for pearls, so she might pick this necklace over the others.

I made the same design in white stick pearls. Those pearls are sort of double sticks, but I like them just as well in this design. It looks like these necklaces, but white! (with silver wire and chain) I don't have a photo yet.

This necklace isn't for the wedding - I just made it because I had the violet stick pearls! I'll probably keep this one - love it!

Pretty, pretty pearls!
For my Mom, it was "one and done"! Uncharacteristically, I stopped after the first necklace. But, it is really perfect, so why make anything more? Plus, she was really excited about it too.
There are 3 tiny light blue rhinestone pins that she got at a garage sale, for me to use. They are combined with antique silver filigrees and a rhinestone brooch from my stash. It looks stunning with her periwinkle gown.

Beautiful jewelry "runs in my family". hahaha

In the meantime, I finally got inspired to make something for myself!
I have been very undecided, but tried to make something anyway. I'm not committing to wearing either of these next 2 necklaces to the wedding, but I'll take them with me and decide later. I also have some very nice vintage Victorian jewelry that I could wear, so I'm still on the fence...

My dress is navy blue. I really didn't want to wear a navy blue gown, but it was on super clearance and was only $18.00! And, it fits me well. And it's "age appropriate". If you haven't shopped for a gown lately, you might not have noticed that everything is geared towards younger, skinnier "women" (a.k.a. girls). I realize prom dresses are more sought after, especially this time of year, but us older gals need to get dressed up once in a while too. I started searching for "mother of the bride" dresses online, just to eliminate the super tight, super sexy dresses, with spaghetti straps (or no straps). My dress is sleeveless but doesn't feel "bare" up top. The neckline is like a low cowl, and not too low. And I don't feel like a school marm in it.

I connected mixed metal filigrees with jump rings, and then glued vintage Swarovski bead caps, to make the necklace "blue". I found these beads caps at Beadfest (last year?) and bought them in every color! When I stumble upon anything cool and vintage, I must buy every color, and multiples, to make sure I have a life time supply! (see opening statement of this post! lol.)

Mixed filigrees with vintage blue Swarovski bead caps affixed.

This next necklace was made to sell at the gallery. But I thought maybe the buff color of the main stone would look good with navy, so I brought it home. The smaller stones are faux opals. The stones in the chain portion are peach moonstone (I think) and match a bit closer in real life (my photograph is not accurate!).
The focal was part of a pre-made focal I got at Michaels. The part I removed was smaller and heart shaped. I bought 2 and made earrings from the 2 smaller pieces. They are sold already, so I can't show you those. There was also another necklace, but that also is sold already! Yay customers!

This might look nice with the dress, but it doesn't have the "wow" factor.

That's it for now. I have a couple more ideas, so there will probably be another post with more wedding jewelry. Maybe I'll take photos of my Victorian things - now that's my favorite eye candy!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sheryl's Rose Quartz beads

My friend Sheryl gives me old broken beaded necklaces to create new necklace designs for her. A few months back she gave me some Rose Quartz nuggets and a Rose Quartz and purple crystal beaded bracelet, along with 3 green "wedding cake" beads (lampwork glass with lacy looking details).
It took me a while to get the inspiration to make something with the Rose Quartz. I like Rose Quartz, don't get me wrong, but it never looks as pink once you remove it from the pink string they string it on. The color is almost off white or pale flesh, especially when you mix it with other non-pink colored beads. But, I finally found inspiration!

The first necklace I made was inspired by a design I saw on the Vintaj website in their idea gallery. (they've got a TON of eye candy/ jewelry porn!) They wired a bead to a circular filigree. This was just the thing I was looking for! The wedding cake beads were not big enough to be used as a "focal" for a necklace. But wired to a brass stamping, it became the focal I wanted. The other 2 wedding cake beads were used in the necklace, on either side of the focal. The rest of the beads are Rose Quartz and purple crystals from Sheryl's bracelet. I added antique brass bead caps and some iridescent size 8 seed beads.
My photograph is awful - the Rose Quartz beads look blue in the photo!!

 This was a more experimental design, but Sheryl liked it. Again, the Rose Quartz looks blue in my photo. These were the larger nugget beads. I created the 3 drops and put them on a curved antique brass spacer. The drops can slide and move around, but the weight of the beads keeps them towards the middle. This necklace reminds me of an Art Deco light fixture, for some reason. I plan to revisit this design in the future!

I will post the photos of the rest of the wedding jewelry (see previous post) soon!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mother of the Groom bling!!

What can I say? Blogging used to me more popular. Everyone's on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pintrest, etc. these days, so there are fewer and fewer blogs to read anymore. I still like to read them though, and I try to leave a comment once in a while. I will admit I should comment way more often.
I couldn't tell you why I haven't posted here in almost a year...I guess I got out of the habit of photographing my jewelry. I'm not much of a photographer, so it's like a chore for me. But still, I know it's a great way to record what I'm making, and I love looking back through my archives, to see how my designs have morphed and changed over the years. Sometimes I get a fresh inspiration from an old design.
So, with that said, I'm going to try to get this blog going again.
I won't look backwards.

Looking forward then.....I am going to my nephew's wedding in June!! It seems like only yesterday he loved to play with his Tonka Bulldozer! Now he's a young man, first-time home buyer, and soon-to-be newlywed!
My sister is the mother of the groom, so she has a special dress for the occasion, and I have offered (really, I've taken over) to outfit her in jewelry.
She's in California and I'm in Pennsylvania, so she will pick a necklace when I get out there. But I have photos of the dress. It is a medium to light grey, with crystal colored bead work all over. It has somewhat of a plunging neckline (V-shaped).

There are so many directions to go!!

So let's just let the pictures do the talking.

Vintage rhinestone pins, rhinestone circle links from Michael's
The first necklace may be too much necklace for her dress, but it is clearly my favorite!

Vintage rhinestone circle pin, crystals and chain.
 Second necklace is simple on purpose, with dangling crystal to hang in the plunging neckline.

Vintage rhinestone dress clip, rock crystal, blue Chinese crystal with rhinestone rondelle spacers
The third necklace is made from the oldest of the vintage pieces. It has some yellowing and missing rhinestones. I replaced many, but there are just too many tiny rhinestones to replace. If anyone gets that close to her necklace, they probably should get slapped for being fresh! I thought the art deco feel of the dress clip and necklace design might look good with the dress.

Rock crystal pendant and assorted crystal MOP, glass beads from my stash.
The forth necklace is probably best for the dress. Simple, but not too simple . It will hang into the plunging neckline, but not as low as necklace 2.
Of course there are earrings....
These would go with any of the necklaces, depending on how big she wants to go!

These match the third necklace exactly - very matchy-matchy!
Mother of Pearl leaves, gray glass pearls and chandelier crystal parts.
So those will be her choices. Now I need to make something for myself and the Grandmother of the groom (my Mom!). That will be my next post! Let's hope I can keep this going.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Renaissance Faire Wear

At the local gallery I am a member of (Orchard Artworks), we will be having a special Renaissance/ Medieval/ Celtic themed show for July and August. We have guest artist Ellen Tepper joining us for these 2 months, with her Celtic painted glass panels and polymer clay dragons! (clicking the Orchard Artworks link above should take you to a photo or two of the show, once the show set up is complete). Ellen also plays harp, and has many recorded CD's!

The member artists were encouraged make artwork inspired by the theme, so I got inspired!

I started by painting my "dragon eye" cabochons. I made 10 necklaces featuring them. The eyes are different colors: red, brown, blue, green.... It was fun trying to achieve different color combinations, while still having it resemble an eye.
Next was getting the eyes into a setting. Some I simply glued on to a filigree. Others I wrapped the filigree around the edges of the eye. On one I used some wire, to anchor the eye. Once they were in a  setting, it was time to find beads in my stash to coordinate with eye color. I found the yellow choker in my stash. I don't hardly remember buying it. But I thought the orange-ish eye looked good on it, so I went with it!

I will say, I like them, although "eye" jewelry is not my usual thing. All these eyes have been in my house staring at me! LOL. I'm glad to get them to the gallery!!

I also made a couple necklaces with fairies, figuring they were somewhat related to the theme. One necklace has an eye AND a fairie! (2 for 1 - haha).

To keep the Medieval theme going, I looked through my old pins, and found two that I felt were Medieval-ish.
The Shield shaped pin, with a purple center stone called out to me. I got the round purple stone connectors in NYC (see older posts about CJS in NYC).
The other old pin is really a reproduction of an old buckle pin. It's not really old-old, but I like it anyway. I stumbled upon a carved stone butterfly (in my dragon hoard of beads) that was the same warm pink color as the stone in the pin. To that I added strawberry quartz beads.

As I thought more about how to display my jewelry, I was trying to come up with something that looked medieval or middle-earth-like. I was in a thrift shop, and the dark red ceramic bust-shape vase was just sitting there. I hesitated for about 2 seconds! I will have no use for it after the show is over. Maybe I can sell it at a garage sale, if I ever have one!

Here's the photos!!
4 dragon eye necklaces on the bust/vase.

This is not a good photo, but it shows everything I made for the show
A closer shot of the 2 old pins, among other things

One eyeball, two fairies
I am looking forward to seeing the show all put together! It will run through August.
Stop by if you're in the area: Orchard Artworks, 520 Tomlinson Road, Bryn Athyn, Pa. 19009

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Agate, bone, and more agate

My friend Sheryl finds jewelry bargains every where she goes, or so it seems! She could keep me busy with project after project, well into my old age! hahaha.
Last time we met, I gave her 2 necklaces (below) which I made out of some of her broken jewelry bargains. She gave me a new project to consider - huge beads made of agate (?)

Let's get started...
These are the 2 necklaces made from broken jewelry. The necklace on the left is made from carved bone beads. I used some gunmetal bracelet clasps as "links" in between the bone beads. I glued a small bone bead on the clasp in the back and then glued a black rhinestone in the hole of that bead. The clasps are from CJS (see older post about the suitcase of stuff I got!!). I got a baggie full of mixed gun metal clasps.

The necklace on the right has an old earring as the focal and various agate beads with Chinese crystal links. The mixed stone necklaces Sheryl brings me have such irregular beads in them, and it can take a while to locate beads with holes big enough to go on 20 gauge wire. I managed to find pairs of similar beads, so the necklace has a symmetry about it.

note: I ran into Sheryl the day after I gave her these, and she was wearing the agate necklace!!
 After I gave her the 2 necklaces above, she pulled out a broken necklace, which, honestly, you'd need a back brace to wear!! LOL. It was made of the below 6 stones, the largest of which is about 2.75" long. These are big, heavy stones!!
The idea was to make simple necklaces. So I made some headpins out of wire, with a "knot" for a head and started making pendants. These first 3 have orangey colors, so 2 of them got a small orange bead at the top. The center one has a small gold tone bead. It was a stray bead that was in Sheryl's bag of beads, so I went with it. I put them on long chains - 30" or so.
 Two of the stones below had more yellow than the stones above. The center necklace has a yellow glass faceted bead and a Vintaj brass acorn bead cap. The glass has swirls in it, like the stone. The stone on the right had yellow and orange and I thought it would look good with the brass beads (to pull out the yellow in the stone). I don't do a lot of bead stringing these days, so that was a nice change. The stone on the left was drilled off center, and begged to be used horizontally. I found some jasper beads with some grey veining, to complement the main stone. These are all a bit shorter -  22" to 24".
All in all, I'm happy with them. Let's hope Sheryl is too.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 09, 2017

2017 CCA Trunk Show

I've been busy making jewelry, but my blog reader's wouldn't know it! I'm sorry about that. I need to slow down and take photos of everything!
I had my annual Mother's Day trunk show at The Cheltenham Center for the Arts Shop in Elkins Park, Pa. I made lots of stuff for it, but failed to photograph anything. But I did take photos of the trunk show set up...

That's picture frames in the back ground, there's an adjacent frame shop there too!

Next up will be some honest-to-goodness jewelry photos!!
Thanks for stopping by!