Friday, October 31, 2014

leather and rolo chain bracelets

Way back in August at Beadfest Philadelphia, I spotted a bracelet on a vendor's display. The vendor sold leather of all different sizes, and chain too (one of the many vendors selling leather, I don't remember which one it was). They had samples of jewelry on display that could be made with the products they sell. What caught my eye was a bracelet made of 2mm leather and rolo chain. I had an abundance of rolo chain at home (a crazy internet purchase from a couple years ago!), so I purchased some 2mm leather in a variety of colors (plus I had a couple spools of basic black and brown leather at home) to try my hand at making these bracelets.

I studied the sample at the show, and while it was fresh in my mind, got to work re-creating it.
The look is sort of industrial chic and they are quite comfortable to wear. The weaving technique is fairly simple.

Now, my first couple bracelets, per my usual bracelet making, came out way too long. I do struggle getting bracelets the correct length, but I really think I've got these bracelets mastered now. I've actually sold a couple of them, too!

These first 3 are made with the black, medium brown and dark brown leather I had at home. The buttons are vintage buttons from my dragon hoard of old buttons! The button at the top is black velvet and the 2 on the bottom are the same, but different colors. They look like they could be bakelite. And all of these bracelets were made with antique silver rolo chain.

This bracelet was made with antique copper chain and some olive green leather. The button is a hand made button by Mudalicious. I have been hoarding these hand made buttons for years!
 I am just now noticing that the "swirl" design on the button is really a lizard (I think). After I searched my stash for beads with holes big enough to fit on the 2mm leather (and didn't find any) I went out and bought some big hole beads to tie onto the leather tails.
After having made a half dozen or so bracelets, I wondered how it would look if I used only 2 rows of looks fine! This is more antique silver rolo chain and some blue leather.
and another Mudalicious hand made button, and some of the big hole beads.
I'm enjoying making the bracelets, they make up pretty quickly, once you have the pieces of chain made and the leather ready.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Elements of Antiquity blog post

Hi - this is a quickie post.

Elements of Antiquity just posted my photos (from yesterday) on their blog! Check it out!

Here's the link:

FYI - Today is my birthday. I received an email wishing me a happy birthday, with this photo, from my "nephew" Herschel.

How sweet of him to remember my birthday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Elements of Antiquity Design Challenge

I was selected to participate in a Design Challenge from Elements of Antiquity! It's open ended - no real deadline that I'm aware of. I am supposed to post photos of what I made here on my blog. No problem!

As usual, I did not take any photos of the loot they sent me, but I will point out the components in the photos below. I was not asked to comment on the items I received, but I would like to say that the quality of all the components is quite nice. Everything feels substantial, not flimsy or lightweight. This was a challenge for me, in that I am so used to working with only dark brass. Switching to silver colored components was a challenge for me, but one I enjoyed.

First up is a bracelet. The Elements of Antiquity component is the gorgeous filigree bracelet bar. It is slightly curved, and is quite heavy. It is not bendable (not that I want to bend it) and holds it's own with all the flower beads. All the flowers are various Czech glass beads I've acquired over the years. I thought it would be fun to create a playful mix of shapes and colors. The clasp is magnetic, so it's super easy to get on my wrist. As anyone knows that reads this blog, I don't make many bracelets, so this is kind of an accomplishment for me. It actually turned out the right length, and fits my wrist quite well.
 This bracelet looks good from every angle!!
 Smell my flowers!

Next up, just it time for the holidays, a reindeer pendant. He looks like he's a reproduction of a vintage piece. I glued the green and red rhinestones in his eye, and on the wreath around his neck. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but I do. And I love wearing Christmas jewelry. I have a large collection of vintage holiday pins (brooches). This pendant has such a nostalgic feel, it will fit right in to my collection. I created beaded links with red and green glass beads, and rhinestone spacers, very blingy. The reindeer is probably 1.5" wide, so I thought it needed to be on a longer necklace. This necklace is fairly long, hits mid chest.
 A closer look reveals all great details - he's even got fur.

The star charms were probably the hardest thing for me. I figured I'd make earrings with them, but I had trouble pairing them with something. Everything I tried created too much competition. I wanted the stars to be the "star" (pun intended). Then, I looked down on my desk, the blue enameled frames that had been there the entire time, caught my eye. The stars looked great with the blue frames. I hung them from twisted jumprings to add a little extra swing.
 Lock and key earrings - I received the tiny skeleton key and lock. I searched my stash for locks and keys, and came up with a similar black key and a black door knocker. The embossed keyhole makes the earrings look more matching, even though they have different items dangling below.
Love these: translate to *mine*.
These Roman coins are so detailed. I wanted to show them off, so I put them on top of a brown brass filigree, and made a dangle for below. The Czech red flower repeats the shape of the coin.
 This is a close up of the coin. You can really see the details, and how thick the coin is in this photo.
 The last piece I made was this simple necklace. Unlike the other charms, this one (the peace sign charm) was not part of a set. I made the beaded link, to give the necklace a little more substance. The chain is vintage, and is about 24" long, with a lobster claw clasp..
 This close up shows the texture of the charm better. It has a hammered looking surface, as you can see. That pony bead in the middle of the beaded link must be 15 years old - I knew I would use it eventually!!
Thanks for looking. I hope you enjoyed this post!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recent signs of life

I have been so absent lately here on my blog, I feel like I need to make up for lost time. Maybe I'm just a bit less active in the jewelry making in the summer months. My beading room is usually pretty hot in the summer. I'll use that as my excuse *ahem* I mean, reason.
I took lots of photos last week and have lots to share with you.
These are all enameled beads that I made. I have been having good luck selling the simple 3 beads bar necklaces, so I thought I'd try some with enameled beads...
 This necklace has one of my enameled flowers on a copper filigree, and cat's eye round beads. The filigree bead in the flower center has heat patina.
 This is a vintage Bakelite Majong playing piece. I had the cool handmade paper bead (don't remember where I got it), and, of course, some enameled beads in the colors on the playing piece.
 Does everyone love Lilly Pilly mother of pearl components as much as I do? I just love the detail in the etching. And the designs are always cool. This is a Lilly Pilly MOP disc, and the flower, the hoop and the bead were enameled by guess who! Moi!
 A straight-on shot. There's a tiny yellow crystal in the center of the flower. I love the color of the enameled filigree bead.
 This pendant is carved, and much less refined than the above pendant. But I like it also. I pick these type of components up at bead shows from the various Chinese vendors. There's always a vast selection. The crystals in this necklace are from the growing pile of Znetshows beads I've amassed. All the brass is Vintaj.
 And lastly, a pair of earrings. I enameled the frame components, and dangled the yellow crystals and pearls (also from Znetshows) in front.
I'm really hoping to post more regularly this fall/ winter!! Thanks for sticking around.

Coming up...
I'm participating in a Design Challenge hosted/ sponsored by Elements of Antiquity. They sent me a handful of lovely components to play with. I have completed one design, and intend to make a couple more before I reveal anything here. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Magic Carpet inspired designs

In a previous post, I told you about the Park Avenue Artisan's Cooperative, and our display at the Wissahickon Valley Library. The display has been taken down, since we were only there for the month of September.
In preparation for the display, we all created our own "art" inspired by the collaborative art we created together. It was just a little challenge for us to work on as individuals, and to hopefully have a more cohesive display. The display turned out very nice, I wish I had a photo of it. Darn it!

As a reminder, this was our collaborative art piece:
 And here's what I made to go in the display....

I felt the inspiration artwork had a Caribbean kind of feel to it. This necklace has all the happy and spicy colors I picture of when I think about the Caribbean! The round beads are my own enameled beads. The long beads are sea glass from Znetshows. They are matte and opaque and so, so yummy!
 This is the necklace at a party, dancing! Cha-Cha-Cha!
 Of course, there are earring to match, just in case. The little orange flowers are resin.
This is a rare bracelet. Rare, because I rarely make bracelets!
I used a Vintaj Sea Maiden focal and more sea glass from Znetshows. I have been wanting to use the sea glass sand dollars for a while, and finally came up with a solution I am happy with.
I also put two of these simple crystal bar necklaces In the display - the orange one and the light blue one. They went well with the other items in the display.
We have donated our art to a local hospital, to hang in the Emergency waiting room...that story is for another post, perhaps.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

not much eye candy lately

I apologize for the lack of eye candy these past several months. I've been making jewelry, but I've been too busy to snap the photos! I will make more of an effort to get back to taking pictures of all my jewelry designs going forward.

I know I will be taking pictures of some new designs soon, because I was selected to participate in a designer challenge by Elements of Antiquity. I will receive jewelry components to work with in the next day or two.
I checked out the website before applying, to make sure there were items with my usual vintage vibe. My goodness! There were so many things that were so beautiful. I know I will like whatever I receive.
They also have a blog.
Please stop back to see my designs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Magic Carpet Ride takes flight!

I belong to a small group of Artisans: Park Avenue Artisans Collective. We meet once a month, and for the past year, we have worked on a collaborative piece. It's a collage of fabric, paper, sandpaper, beads and polymer clay (the carpet is polymer clay). Each month we worked on some part of it. Each of us are skilled in different areas, so we learned from each other along the way. We finished our piece 2 months ago, and we are now ready to display it.

We will have a display at the Wissahickon Valley Public Library in Blue Bell, Pa for the month of September. Also in the display case will be individual works by each artist in our group. We decided to challenge ourselves, and create individual pieces inspired by our collaborative piece. Our "inspired by" pieces look great all together.

We will be hosting a small reception at the library on September 16th from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. There will be light refreshments available, and I believe the library is allowing us to sell our individual art, if some one wants to purchase. If you live in the area, please stop by! We'd also love to add members to our group!

After September, our collaborative piece will be donated to Lansdale Hospital, to be displayed in the Emergency waiting room. We are thrilled that so many will be able to view it at the hospital, and that it might make people feel a tiny bit better.

Magic Carpet Ride by Park Avenue Artisans Collective

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bertye Love

We adopted a pair of kitties 16 years ago. Mattie and Bertye were sisters, litter mates, never apart for a single day for their entire lives! They were not really pals, and did not "hang out" together. Mattie was beautiful but bitchy. She hissed at everyone she met. She only liked me, but I'm not sure she liked me that much. But I was all she had. My husband never really got along with her.
She was the Alpha kitty, and bossed Bertye around, taking over favorite nap spots at will, or butting in during a play session. After a brief illness, Mattie died in her sleep this past March. She made it easy for us, went on her own terms. Because she was harder to love, her loss was not too difficult for us. I shed some tears for her, but I was mostly relieved that she did not suffer too much.

Bertye, on the other hand was a happy-go-lucky kind of girl. She was a typical cat, and only liked to be touched on her terms, but she was very affectionate when she was in the mood She loved to play - she could jump so high! Huge eyes that never looked away, she was so pretty. Only after she was diagnosed with bone cancer did she start to slow down. The cancer was in her foot, so she did not have a choice. In my heart, I was really hoping she'd just not wake up some morning, like her sister did, but she kept going. Her foot finally got to the point that she seemed to be suffering and we did what we knew we had to do. Late last month, we took her to the doctor, to have her suffering ended.
We are going to miss her beautiful eyes, her loud meow, her soft fur, her terracotta nose....

RIP Bertye Love.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Znetshows Summer Creative Spark and Blog Hop Reveal

Hi All!
I'm posting this a little early, due to my lack of computer access over the holiday weekend!

Today (July 5th) is the day for the reveal of Znetshows Creative Spark, Summer 2014 edition and the Znetshows Summer "Days and Nights" blog hopThe online magazine "Creative Spark" is available to view online (I will update this post when I have the link!). It has some, but not all, of the designs! The entire Znetshows design team will reveal their day and night designs via their blogs. To see all the designs, please hop along!!
As a reminder, here's the stash of cultured sea glass I received:
So, here are my "Summer Day" designs:
Let's start off nice and easy and breezy! “Beach Life” – I love combining blue with aqua, it just reminds me of being at the beach. The free form pendants look like something that might have been washed up by the ocean!
I used the Znetshows beads that were sent to me, and added wire, jumprings and earwires from my personal stash.

Znetshows items used:
S62-B31S - Cultured Sea Glass oval ring Beads oval shape about 22x16mm 31-Light Sapphire
PMX5-B28 - Cultured Sea Glass freeform flat Pendants about 15-10mm 28-Turquoise Bay (I’m guessing about the color)

“Old Glory” – When I selected the cherry red and light sapphire as my colors, I envisioned doing a patriotic themed design. The light sapphire turned out to be a bit lighter than I imagined. But I didn’t let that stop me!  

The red and blue sea glass beads are from the stash I received from Znetshows. The oval links were a purchased from Znetshows. The clear crystal bicones are also from Znetshows, leftover from the Spring challenge! (waste not, want not!) The blue bicones, jumprings, bead caps, wire and chain are from my personal stash.
Znetshows items used:
S74-B05 - Cultured Sea Glass barrel Beads 30x8mm 05-Cherry Red
P23-B31S - Cultured Sea Glass bottle-curved diamond square Pendants 18x18mm 31-Light Sapphire
S62-B01S - Cultured Sea Glass oval ring Beads oval shape About 22x16mm 01-Crystal
(and Cherry Red Rondelles - don't know the item number)
And now for Summer Nights! 
“Girl’s BFF (a.k.a. Diamonds)” - I really like the diamond shape pendants, and they made me think of Marilyn Monroe and her singing “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”. Looking at the hour glass shaped beads (Marilyn was more hourglass shaped than these beads!!), I got the idea to wrap wire around the narrowest part of the hour glass bead. The bead caps, wire and chain are from my personal stash. 
Znetshows items used:
P23-B31S - Cultured Sea Glass bottle-curved diamond square Pendants 18x18mm 31-Light Sapphire
S76-B31 - Cultured Sea Glass hour glass Beads About 22x9mm 31-Light Sapphire
“Red Hot Nights” - The minute I heard the challenge theme was “Days and Nights”, I knew I wanted to do something like this! I asked for Cherry Red sea glass beads for part of the challenge. I also ordered the red tear drop crystals from Znetshows to use for this design. The bead caps, jumprings, wire and chain are from my personal stash. 
Of course, I had to make these long matching earrings!! 
Znetshows items used:
S74-B05 - Cultured Sea Glass barrel Beads 30x8mm 05-Cherry Red
RS268-05AB - Chinese crystal designer glass teardrop round Beads faceted 05AB-Cherry Red AB 12x6mm
To see ALLLLLLLL the designs and Creative Spark Summer 2014 edition, a good place to start is at

Friday, June 06, 2014

Jesse James Inspirations, indeed.

Most of the time, when I buy beads, my reasons are less than logical: I love the beads, or they are such a good bargain I can't possibly pass them up, or I like the designer and want to purchase from them to support them, etc. I have zero idea what I will do with 95% of the beads I buy (maybe 5% "knowing" is a high estimate).
But, there I was in Joann's checking out the beads and seeing what was on sale, when I noticed the Jesse James beads were on sale. Now, they were a good buy, but I was instantly inspired to make a random beaded necklace with all the beads from one packet. Jesse James sell packets of mixed beads (a lot like bead soup, only the beads actually go together well!). The mixes have fun names, like "Urban Ice", "Wild Side" or "Maui Wowie".
Also, around the same time, I had been shopping with my mother and she was looking for a top that had leopard print. I guess you're never too old to wear animal prints (she's 78). That must have still been in my mind, and I bought 2 sets of beads: "Desert Springs" and "Cinnamon Toast". "Desert Springs" has a mix of brown and turquoise beads. "Cinnamon Toast" is a mix of browns and has some acrylic leopard print beads.
I brought them home and let them sit on my bead desk for a couple months....even when I know exactly what I want to do it can still take me months to get around to it! (head lowered)
I strung the beads in a random way, no pattern at all. I just tried to space out the larger beads. The only beads I added from my stash were some turquoise beads with crystals set in around the circumference (bought at the last Beadfest) and some small brass spacer type beads. I added chain to make them the length I wanted.

 The 2 necklaces look AB FAB together too!

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Znetshows Summer challenge - Days and Nights

Time is drawing near for the Znetshows Summer challenge, Creative Spark Summer digital magazine, and a blog hop! (we're having a blog hop this time!). The theme this time is "Day and Night". We were asked to pick two colors of cultured sea glass from the Znetshows web site and to create jewelry for day and for night. For "day", I was thinking about 4th of July and wanted to do a patriotic themed design. So, I picked Cherry Red and Light Sapphire. The light sapphire turned out to be a bit lighter than I imagined, but that's ok! It's pretty anyway.

The below photo is a shot of all the beads I received. There are red elongated barrels and rondelles, along with irregular circle links (very cool!) and two pairs of fishes. The bigger fish remind me of the fish in "Candy Crush Saga" that wiggle across the screen when you complete a level (is anyone else hooked on Candy Crush Saga??) Also, in both my colors, there are sand dollars! They have great detail. I am thinking hard about them, and hope to come up with a beach themed design - time will tell. Other beads in light sapphire are the hour glass shaped beads, concave diamond charm/pendants, and oval rings.
They did warn us that we could also receive colors in addition to the colors we selected. I also received opaque purple barrels and turquoise free form flat pendants, just to make it interesting!

I will let you know when the blog hop will be (mid-July), and if my designs will be featured in the Creative Spark Summer digital magazine!
All the above beads are for sales at

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Long time, no talk

Sorry I've been MIA - just lots of things going on, and my blog suffers the consequences.

Way back in February when there was snow and ice all around (I can barely remember it!) Orchard Artworks (the gallery I'm a member of) had a show featuring a children's book by fellow artist, Dean (Captain) Morey. To go along with his book, the other artists were invited to create altered books, or book related art. I made some book related necklaces.

This first little "book" is made from an embossed Vintaj blank with Vintaj Patinas applied. The beads are Czech daggers and striped seed beads.

A close up of the front

The inside....
Next we have another little "book". This is all Vintaj, I embossed the blank.

The front

The's a scrapbooking sticker
 Around the same time I also made the next two necklaces.
The rhinestone daisy is an old pin that I have had for quite a while. I don't like damaging old things, so I wrapped the pin and catch with wire, so that it can't be opened. If the wire is ever removed, it can become a pin again. I just put it on some Vintaj chain. Simple.
 This heart stamping, which it from Trinity brass, I think, has also been on my bead desk for a while. I liked it, and wanted to make something, but I am not normally inspired by hearts, so it took a while for inspiration to hit me. The beads are red fire polished glass, brass filigree tubes and bead caps

Really, a pretty heart!

I got some fresh loot from Znetshows, which I'll be blogging about soon (hopefully later this week!)
Here's a sneek peak!
the loot!!!