Monday, October 31, 2011

Artist Bio on FMG

I now have a Jewelry Artist's Bio on Fire Mountain Gem's website!

Here's the link:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some Golem Pendants, plus an all Vintaj design

A couple months ago, the Beads of Clay blog had a sale where all (or most all) of the artists participated. I picked up 2 Golem pendants. They are both of the same flower, but in different colors. I do the same thing with pants - buy the same thing in different colors. I know I'm not the only one who does this.
This is the blue one. The brown clay offers a nice contrast to the blue, and in real life, it is a bit darker, and more matte looking. I found some czech glass beads that matched the blue. Is it me, or are blues hard to match - "this one's too red, this one's too green, ahhh, this one is just right" - I feel like Goldilocks sometimes! The bumpy bead is an inexpensive "faux pearl" I picked up at Beadfest. The color matched Vintaj Natural Brass, so I knew it would work itself into something eventually.
This is a closer look at the blue Golem pendant.

This is the red one. Actually, it's somewhere between orange and red, and I had czech glass that matched it perfectly. The center of the flower is a darker purpler red so I added some dark red spacers. And years ago I got the larger red cathedral beads, 4 in a little baggie for $1.00. They were just right for this necklace. I love it when I use something from my stash that I've had for a long time. I made the bails on both of these necklaces with 20g wire.
This is a closer look at the red-orange Golem pendant.

This necklace is all Vintaj Natural Brass Butterflies. Sometimes it's nice to have an all metal necklace, with no "color". It goes with every outfit!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Pay Pal question

I just found out that Pay Pal has a limit (for spending)! I am being told I have to link my bank account or apply for the Pay Pal credit card to continue to use Pay Pal. I'm not comfortable linking my checking account, but I also don't need/want another credit card to pay! Honestly, the limit is quite high, and I have to believe that it has taken me years to reach it. I've been a "good customer" for so long - they are basically giving me an ultimatum.

Do any of you have any advice, or experience with this? Should I trust Pay Pal, and give them my checking account number?? I don't really want them to take money directly out of my checking account. I only use Pay Pal for buying beads, I'm not using it as a seller. I really love the convenience and ease of use of Pay Pal, but I'm afraid of my checking account being wiped clean. Maybe I should be more trusting, but in this day & age, you can't be too careful. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I just scored a kit for Andrew Thorton's November Reader's Challenge!! I've been too late the past couple month's (always SOLD OUT), so I'm excited to participate. Plus, the entire kit is a mystery, with the only clue being "jonquil". With just that one clue, I think it will be yellows and golds - I can't wait to see it!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

October Vintaj Design Challenge

I haven't entered the monthly Vintaj challenge in a long while. The theme this month is right up my alley: Flea Market Finds. There are only 7 entries this month, so maybe I have a chance of winning.
Here's what I entered. All the flea market stuff was actually my Mom's childhood treasures. The large piece was curved to fit her wrist, as an ID bracelet (I flattened it).
Back in the old days, in a small town, you would have been returned to your parents with just this info - no micro-chip needed ;-)

I'm # 7 on the Vintaj blog, if you'd like to vote for me.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Lima Beads Challenge Reveal

Today's the day! Well, actually, tomorrow's the day, but I have to post today, because I can't do it tomorrow morning.

I loved the beads in this kit! Each bead was so pretty, and the clasp, chain and ribbon too. My problem was that I could not get them to play together!

This first necklace uses the fabulous Abalone bead (I'm planning on buying more of those!!), the stick pearls, the little yellow potato pearls, the green crystals and the little TOHO beads. After making the matching earrings (below), I added the center pearl on a chain. I really like how this turned out, but what about all the other beads?!?!?

A close up up the center drop. I made it like the earrings, except I added a Foliage bead cap.

To make the earrings, I had to ream the pearl holes to get the wire through (UGH!). That's probably why I don't use as many pearls as I used to. I wrapped lots of wire around the top.

For the next necklace, I really wanted to try to use the Vintaj focal, and the clasp, and the chain. And I was determined to use the pretty purple flowers!! I dangled a flower behind, and in the center of, the focal and made links with the purple flowers and TOHO beads. I also used the last green crystal bead, and worked in 2 of the purple rondelles. This necklace looks more like my usual designs - asymmetrical.

Here's a close up of the gorgeous Missficklemedia clasp, as well as the other links.

I bent the wires on the back of the flower links to keep them from spinning and turning upside down. (and it worked!!)

After I had the kit a little while, I enlisted help from one of my beading buddies - Suzan Lopatin. I told her I was having trouble getting the beads to play nice together, so she took a stab at it. This necklace is a combined effort, but she did 99% of it. She probably would have used Sterling, but deferred to me on the brass. She was able to use the purple teardrops and more teal stick pearls. She added olive Keishi pearls and some peanut seed beads (we are both loving the little peanuts right now!) I think Suzan made a stunning necklace!! It is so rich and luxurious looking! I wore it already, and received lots of compliments.

Here's a close up. Something Suzan likes to do is wrap a fine chain around, to give the design a little extra somethin'-somethin'! I never would have thought of doing it, and I think it really makes it more interesting and attractive. You might notice some green wire. I added that in a few random places to help keep the chain in place. Mmmmmm, looks so yummy.

So, those who know what was in the kit know that I did not use the ribbon, or the oval lemon Chrysoprase beads, or the Zebra Jasper nuggets. Those Zebra Jasper nuggets are so cool, with iridescent stripes, but I could not get them to fit with anything. I'd like to thank Lorelei and Shannon for hosting, and picking out the fabulous kit components!

Please go to Lorelei's blog for the blog hop list! Have fun!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Between challenges

The next challenge is the Lima Bead challenge that Lorelei organized. Please stop back on Saturday for that big reveal.

In the meantime, I found a couple more fall themed necklaces that I made, photographed, but did not post yet! Acorns have really been my theme lately. I was making them in the weeks that lead up to yesterday's challenge.

This first necklace has the same horn beads with acorn caps that I used in the Very Vintage challenge. Added to that are some iridescent green Czech beads and small matte red pony beads. The green wood grain focal is from the "Varnish" line, I think by Blue Moon. My niece was with me when I bought them and she did not think I should get them. But, I kinda like them here (& in the next necklace, as you'll see). I recently also purchased (Are you noticing a spending habit here??) the Vintaj Oak Leaves - really prettier in person! Finally, instead of chain, I used some tan greek leather.

And a slightly different perspective.

Very similar to the above necklace, this one has the same focal, the same oak leaves, same Czech beads, same bead caps, but the acorns are made from olive wood beads.

There's some groovy fake wood grain goin' on!

Different, but the same....same oak leaves, same bead cap (because I am in love with the bead caps), red-orange dyed Howlite focal and orange flower bead (coral, I think), a felt bead acorn, and opaque orange crystals.
I think I need to move on from the Autumn themed jewelry. It is my favorite time of year, but it's getting a little ridiculous. My necklaces for Saturday's reveal are not fall themed at all, thank goodness!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Very Vintage Challenge reveal

Michelle Mach put out the challenge to who ever wanted to participate. She made up kits, and also mini kits, that you could buy from her. I purchased the mini kit, because I already had many of the Vintaj pieces in my stash. I could not wait for my mini kit to arrive, because the morning Michelle posted the challenge, I had an idea driving to work, about using the Vintaj branch in a necklace design. My necklace turned out pretty much how I pictured it. I also felt compelled to use every last bead in my mini kit, so I made some earrings and a second very simple necklace.
So, without further ado....

I added extra acorn bead caps to create more acorns and the Lucite links. My idea (from that morning) was to create a "vine" of wire, wrapping around the branch, with leaves, acorns and berries hanging from it. The acorns are made with carved horn beads and small bead caps at the bottom.

Here's another shot:

I could not work the brass leaf from the kit into the first necklace. There was already enough going on in that one. So, I decided to hammer it up a bit, and make a little drop and a matching link. I made a free form wrapped wire "bead", to look like jumprings, and made the wire wrapped loops a little free form too. It's not a statement necklace, just something that you can wear any day of the week (in autumn, of course!)

This is a slightly closer, but slightly blurry photo (it wouldn't hold still), but it shows how it hangs.

Lastly, a pair of earrings. I stacked black Lucite flowers with bead caps and 2 of the beads from the kit. I made the wraps on the top free form, to match the above necklace. The little seed drops at the bottom just glow in the sunlight.
That's it for me. I enjoyed this challenge and would like to thank Michelle for dreaming it up.
You can check out all the Very Vintage participants list at Michelle's blog.