Monday, October 31, 2011

The Obsession Continues...DRUZY-licious!

I was ready to move on to something else today, but received some encouragement from Saturday Sequins and the Beadwright on yesterday's post to keep right on obsessing over these druzy's!

This is another ring from the fabulous Yarona Jewelry Design Etsy site! Wow, it's called "titanium" set in 18k gold, beautiful!

I had wondered if there were any geode mines in Ohio and while searching, I discovered a huge tourist attraction is located on Put-In-Bay in Ohio.

It's an island known for it's party-time atmosphere. I had visited there many times as a young adult and the fact it is at the same location as the Heineman's Winery pretty much explains why I never knew it was there!! :)

Here's a fun little story on Wikipedia about how the winery made it through prohibition times due to the crystal cave tourist attraction!

I hope you stuck around till the end of this post because I saved the most surprising discovery until last...Did you know there was an unbelievable crystal cave in Australia? It's in Atherton Queensland Australia.

Here's a photo, but if you have a minute to check out this youtube video from a tourist and admirer, here you go, enjoy! It is amazing and SO sparkly!

Thanks for indulging my obsession!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Featured Designer: Yarona Jewelry Design

For those of you who thought I was over my recent druzy obsession, I just fell off the wagon!!

Through Twitter I just found this Etsy shop, Yarona Jewelry Design. WAIT TILL YOU SEE THESE!

There is an entire page and probabaly more of these gorgeous and sparkly druzy rings. WOW! Just looking at them makes me feel like I went to a druzy mine and hit the mother lode!!

How amazing! I encourage you to visit and appreciate the beauty of nature and the artist who really knows how to showcase these treasures!

Thanks Yarona! I'm seriously drooling now! Your work is just fabulous!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This Week's Projects: Sequins & Crystals

Saturdays are great for lounging around if you have the time. They are also great for creating! I did a little bit of both today.

I wanted to share my work in progress that I started on a little while ago. The sparkly component bracelet is not turning out at all as I expected, but I'm warming up to it. :) I do have a soft spot for a crystally right angle weave!

I'll keep you posted on the final outcome. I noticed I had all these leftover crystals from last weekend's class and couldn't resist playing with them!

So, the sequin project is this adorable felt messenger bag with a velcro closure. I found this last weekend when I made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby. It was $7.99 and I didn't have a coupon printed. Once again the smart phone pays off.

I googled "hobby lobby coupons" and the 40% off of one item came up. I asked at the checkout if they could take it directly from the screen of my phone and they did, yay!

The sequin peace sign is an iron on which took about 30 seconds to put in place and, voila, a new camera bag that I can continue to embellish as long as it holds up.

I also bought some adorable yellow canvas smiley face pins that have embroidered on eyes and smile in black, cute!

That's my crafting story for this week, I'd love to hear yours!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Peace, Love and Bead Bloggers!

I love this wintery look even though I'm not yet embracing the coming season!

Our bead blogger pals are sharing some fabulous tips and updates below including Heather of Art Bead Scene who has some tips for making seasonal jewelry pieces.

Enjoy!! Catch you tomorrow! :)

Art Bead Scene
Heather helps us look ahead to the holiday season with some great inspiration for seasonal jewelry

Snap out of it,Jean! There's beading to be done!
Wonderful, really exciting giveaway from Beaducation! Read all about it and sign up on Jean's blog!

Resin Crafts!
This week we have a nice series showing you how to use an ice tray to make fun skull and bone cast pieces.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
This week's Tuesday Tangle features handmade earrings of metal clay and wire.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a cute fabric brooch idea for Halloween.

Beads & Books
How long does it really take you to make a piece of jewelry? Michelle shares the long process behind a simple pair of earrings.

Beading Arts
Polymer clay + greeting cards = a fun mixed media necklace!

Break into glass jewelry making with these tutorials and techniques

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stones are Beads Too!

I have a story for you...

I was on Etsy tonight looking for some lampwork doggie beads for a friend who wants to make something special for her Mom who has 4 rat terriers. Cute, huh?!

Well, explain to me how I found THIS etsy site because I can't figure it out exactly. BUT, I couldn't pass it by without sharing since there was clearly some kind of inspired computer clicking involved!

Wow! From Lake Michigan, these stones are really amazing! I LOVE when people see such art and beauty in natural elements that others might just be walking on.

Check out ALLYBEANS on Etsy, there are lots and lots of cool and interesting nature made pieces.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Versatile Spikey Beads

I just popped over to the Beadwright's blog, a.k.a. Nicole Campanella, to check out her book giveaway and noticed these ultra cool beads scrolling by in her Etsy shop.

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen these beads before, they are labeled "Bead Spikes Green" and the description reads:

"Here are some vibrant green spike beads in acrylic. They are awesome!!!! Perfect for light weight earrings and seed bead embellishments. These are two inches with a great stringing hole."

I'd love to hear your thoughts about these. I agree with Nicole, they would make great earrings with a little sparkliness added in. I also think they could be used in an interesting Halloweeny way! I like scariness incorporated when you least expect a slightly creepy way.

Cool or creepy, either way, they caught my attention!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sweet CZ

There was something familiar about the color of yesterday's sparkly druzy. It took a little searching before I remembered...

Last summer I used a bunch of these cool light amethyst CZ's in a vacation bracelet project. Now I just have to find the bracelet and decide if I want to re-purpose the pieces!

That's the beauty of making jewelry, especially when you use fabulous crystals and CZ's. Just disassemble, shine them up and make something new!

In fact, maybe I should order the druzy and use these amethyst CZ's as either a companion piece or as an accent within the same piece...Hmm, any thoughts on that? I know, I was supposed to stop buying...

While this color sort of reminds me of summer, I'm thinking that with a few warm complementary colors, it would be great for fall too! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011


Have you ever dreamed about digging for gemstones?

The thought crossed my mind tonight so I did a couple of google searches and found this druzy freeform on the site.

It is listed as "Focal amethyst (natural) 33x30mm undrilled freeform crystals with druzy."

The description reads:

"Excavated from mines and natural deposits, geode focal contains a fashionable rough look ideal for wire-wrapping projects. Freeform geode provides natural beauty with miniature crystals hidden inside. Focal will vary in size, shape and color. Mohs hardness 7."

This is so fabulous, it's kind of shocking! How fun would it be to dig something like this out of the ground? Mmm, maybe one day!

I'd love to get your input on this and find out where you get your druzy beads and your experiences with drilled vs. undrilled. Does drilling compromise the crystal in some way?

Thanks in advance for sharing!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Featured Designer: Jennifer Jangles

I hope you are ready for a pre-holiday project! It's never too early to start on holiday gifts and these are sweet and simple.

The creator is Jennifer "Jangles", ceramic bead designer and artist. Her work is so cheerful and bright, you can't help but smile when you see any of her signature pieces.

Make sure you stop by her blog or etsy site if you get a chance, to see her fabulously fun ceramic beads. Jennifer is going to be posting holiday projects regularly and has just added a fun pair of earrings!

Here's the project complete with her personalized instructions below, enjoy!!

Project Written By: Jennifer Heynen a.k.a. Jennifer Jangles
Get a jump start on your holiday gifts with these fun zipper pulls - they are perfect for gift exchanges, teacher's gifts, secret Santa surprises or tucked away in stockings.

Supplies Needed for Flower Pull:
1 flower bead
4 assorted accent beads
2 silver inch silver headpin
10mm silver spring ring
1 lobster claw clasp

1. String a small bead onto the headpin followed by the flower bead.
2. Just above the flower make a simple wire loop. Trim any excess wire.
3. String the remaining accent beads in desired order and make a simple wire loop at the top. Trim excess wire.
4. Slide both loops of the charms you just made onto the spring ring. Note* If you use jump rings when you pull the zipper, it will most likely open, spring rings will stay closed.
5. Slide the clasp onto the jump ring as well.
6. Clip the clasp onto your zipper and enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This Week's Project: Simple & Shiny Hematite Bracelet

This week's project is a hematite bracelet on memory wire. It is a project I have taught a few times before and again tonight at a "Craft & Girls Night Out".

A new friend at work mentioned she would like gather a group of women at her house on a monthly basis.

Her concept was that everyone knows something they can teach to the rest of the group. She asked if I would like to teach the first project.

I was very honored because I had just begun thinking I wanted to get back to more structured teaching, but wasn't sure how. Isn't life great?!

I gave everyone a chance to make this bracelet using either hematite rounds or white glass pearls. Very simple, but fun to come away with a piece of jewelry you can wear every day.

They all turned out great and a good time was had by all! Very fun and a great way to get to know each other better. Also a great way to support each other!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Peace, Love and Bead Bloggers!

It's time to find inspiration for a crafty weekend!

Check out the links below. I love that everyone here has something interesting and unique to share every week, it really energizes me and makes me want to create!!

Here are some great zipper pulls to get you started! Aww, these are so cute! (Thanks Jennifer!)

Art Bead Scene
Jennifer shares a free tutorial on making adorable bead zipper pulls, perfect to spruce up a fall jacket! Jewelry Making
You will fall in love with this new necklace tutorial, or at the very least follow your heart.

The Bead Dreamer
Charlene reviews the book Color, Texture and Casting for Jewelers

Beading Arts
Cyndi explains how to turn a cabochon into a simple bead embroidered pendant!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows off her holiday packaging and questions photography in another Etsy Boot Camp post

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the beautiful new book by Heather Powers, Jewelry Designs from Nature

Beads & Books
See the fun earrings Michelle made with sari ribbon and get inspired to work with this popular material.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy's back from her class with Hadar Jacobson. Take a look at the mokume gane pieces she made from metal clay.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Fruitiness

Look what I found at Ms. Bijoux Beads!

I was just thinking it has taken me almost 5 weeks to give up other sweet snacks besides fruit, I should celebrate by making a fruit bracelet!

I have a few lemon beads, but I don't eat lemons. I have a few limes too, but I haven't been eating limes!

So, I went on a search to find some new ones. I LOVE that there are a couple of coffee beans in this mix too!

I have been mostly eating bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries and pears. Of course, the sweetest ones of the bunch! By the way, did you know fruit on Weight Watchers is now FREE?! I know!

The thing is, they say as much fruit as you NEED is free. In my case, the amount of fruit I need isn't always based on my stomach, but is also based on what my brain is saying. Maybe that will take another 5 weeks to adjust. For now, yay fruit.

I am thinking this looks pretty cute as is, I might use a small crystal in between each bead, but otherwise I like this look. :) Okay, now I'm thinking about fruit dangles....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Winner is...

Congratulations to Sally Anderson of the "Wild Sally Road" blog!! Yay! She is the winner of these fabulous enameled treasures created by our author and friend, Barbara Lewis!

I know Sally will have lots of fun incorporating these works of art into jewelry pieces.

I had the pleasure of not only reviewing Barbara's gorgeous book, but she also sent me a few enamel pieces to use myself. What a great experience!

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet and close with an excerpt from "Torch fired enamel jewelry".

"The Japanese have an expression, shibui, which means "happy accident". For me, shibui is when something is perfectly imperfect. It is the triumph of personality over perfection. It is when the pressure is off and we allow ourselves to play without qualification or judgement. It is when things click, when they feel right, and when we have the most intimate connection with our work."

WOW, Barbara, beautifully put and then some!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Barbara Lewis Book Review

I have very exciting and fun news to share with you tonight...this post is part of a fabulous virtual book tour!

We are celebrating the release of a brand new book by author and friend, BARBARA LEWIS, called "Torch fired enamel jewelry: a workshop in painting with fire".

Let me tell you, Barbara has put her heart and soul in this book and it shows. Wow! First of all, the colors of her enamel work are amazing and the step by step photos make what could seem a daunting process look like something anybody can do just by following along. I am truly in awe of this beautiful book especially knowing the process and the work that went into it.

Barbara's artistic flair and eye for color and shapes are the things that stand out for me. I wanted to get a couple other opinions too so I asked one beader and one non-beader to take a few minutes to look through it. Here is what they said:

Beader: Wow, this looks complex! Oh, I see, it's the imperfection that makes everything perfect and artistic. Now it doesn't look hard, it looks like fun."

Coming from a perfectionist, I could feel the shift in her thinking. That was so cool!

Non-beader: "Intriguing/fascinating! Intriguing concept of painting with fire, made me curious. Equally intriguing photo of the jewelry on the book cover. I was truly fascinated by the detail, artistry and creativity displayed through both the pieces and the narrative. Colorful. Artistic. Makes me want to get in better contact with my creative self."

That was so much Fun! And now, on to the BEADS! Barbara was SO kind and sent me some beads to play with and to give away to you.

I made a simple bracelet with 3 enamel pieces and also have a batch to send to the winner on this post. (Just leave a comment by tomorrow night. See "HOW TO WIN" below).

I loved the open scrollwork on the large round bead and knew I needed it to sit up on my wrist. It reminded me of the universe and that's when the idea came together.

The key to the universe is appreciating the beauty around you which brings out feelings of love.

I had so much fun with this concept and thoroughly enjoyed wearing it today! Thanks Barbara!

HOW TO WIN: There are prizes throughout the book tour plus a grand prize at the end! The more you spread the excitement, the more chances you have to win some of the goodies our bloggers are giving away!

1. Leave a comment on this post within the next 24 hrs and become a follower = 1 chance.

2. Tweet, facebook or blog about the giveaway and leave a comment at this post: the original Virtual Book Tour post = 1 additional chance.

3. While you're at Barbara's Blog, if you become a follower or say that you're already a follower in your comment = 1 additional chance.

AND now, so you don't miss out on any of the blog posts in the virtual tour, here is the complete list, enjoy!

October 6, Mary Jane Dodd,
October 7, Gaea Cannaday,
October 8, Linda Larsen,
October 10, Andrew Thornton,
October 11, Lori Plyler,
October 12, Diane Cook,
October 13, Lori Anderson,
October 14, LeAnn Weih,
October 15, Jen Judd Velasquez,
October 17, Melissa Meman,
October 18, Lisa Crone,
October 19, Shannon LeVart,
October 20, Cindy Wimmer,
October 21, Laura Twiford,
October 22, Erin Prais-Hintz,
October 24, Jennifer Cameron,

October 25, Sharilyn Miller,

To thank you for following along, we will have a BONUS PRIZE at the end of the book tour! All of the entries will be included in the drawing for a kit containing all the elements of "Floral Cascade," one of the projects in the book. You'll receive everything you need to make the necklace, including the chain, jump rings, clasp, enamel beads, and head pins!
But that's not all! Really? Seriously? Seriously.

For a chance to win the Grand Prize - a Torch-Firing Kit (or $110 shopping experience - please leave a review at by November 24. Remember, leave an honest review... the book must stand on its own.

Thanks for playing along! This is going to be a lot of fun!
P.S. Unfortunately, we have to restrict the giveaways to U.S. residents.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pearly Goodness

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about incorporating the connector piece in yesterday's post into a bracelet using irregular pearls left over from this necklace I made a couple years ago.

Looking at jewelry made even a few months ago is an interesting reflection.

As I move forward in life I am always amazed at how much change occurs sometimes by the day!

If you think you are this particular person one day and expect to the be exact same person the next, I have a little newsflash for you, it's not possible!

AND, that is the good news! If we are changing, we are constantly adapting, evolving and hopefully striving.

I made a special piece of jewelry tonight that is very unique to the moment I made it.

I wonder what I will think when I post it here tomorrow... We'll see very soon!

Have a good one! :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Vintage Style

There is something vintage-y about these connectors I found yesterday at Michael's Arts & Crafts store.

They hollered out to me for some reason. I am often drawn to vintage style pieces, but usually kitschy vintage.

I know, it was probably the SPARKLE!

I also know I need to stop buying and focus on making! :) I wish I had time tonight to make something because I quickly figured out which beads I think would work really well with one of these as the focal piece in a 3 strand bracelet.

I had made a necklace with some miscellaneous imperfect pearls that was also sort of vintage-y and I think the remaining pearls will work with this connector.

As always, we shall see! The sketch pad in my head is right about 50% of the time. It's the journey, the making, the trying, the erroring :) that makes life great!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and as always, let's go have a great new (and creative) week!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Exciting Giveaway: 21st Century Jewelry

Why? Because I love you...

I was just browsing through facebook on my way to posting here tonight and came across Kristal Wick's note about a fabulous giveaway.

Lark Books is celebrating their latest book release in a very generous way! Here's an excerpt from their post.

"The newly released 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series collects 500 of the best images from a decade of 500 Series gallery books dedicated to leading contemporary art jewelry.

To celebrate, we’re giving away a copy of the new book signed by series editor Marthe Le Van, along with a complete set of all 10 500 Series art jewelry books that preceded it—for a bundle of 11 books in all."

What an extremely generous giveaway! So, now you know how much I love you since I'm sharing the opportunity to win. :) It was too good to keep to myself! Good luck to us all!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Peace, Love and Bead Bloggers!

Yay Friday!! We are settling in for a productive and crafty weekend. I regretted spending too much time resting last weekend instead of creating, so I'm ready to make up for lost time! How about you? Here's some inspiration to get you started!

Check out this silver leaf and paint over polymer clay, so COOL!

Beading Arts
A bit of silver leaf, a bit of acrylic paint, and some polymer clay...beautiful results! Jewelry Making
October's jewelry designer interview includes some interesting ideas from Lorelei Eurto.

Art Bead Scene
Heather shares a free project that tells a little story of her recent move back to Michigan

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shares another week of Etsy Boot Camp goals

Resin Crafts!
This week Carmi demos several layers of resin in a small tin.

Carmi's Art/Life World
A little Apoxie Clay goes a long way when you have time to play in the studio.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reminisces about the lovely book which she and Melanie of Earthenwood were in. She used Melanie's knockout components and they look just as fab today as they did then!

The Bead Dreamer
Charlene shares how life seems to be crowding out jewelry making! Sometimes that's just how it is...