Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Magical Thanksgiving!

I couldn't help sharing this cornucopia bracelet from several years ago. AND, I just received the holiday bitmojis on my phone so it only made sense that I share both!

This bracelet reminded me that now is the perfect time to make literal jewelry pieces to represent the sights and traditions of the holiday season.

The top drilled briolettes in the cornucopia bracelet made me wish I had a bunch of green ones to make a wreath bracelet! Briolettes add a MAGICAL component to any stringing project. You just string them up one after the other and like magic they twist and turn next to each other. The finished product looks so complex as if you must have done some sort of complicated weave.

I just did a search for top drilled beads similar to those used in the cornucopia. It resulted in lots of Swarovski and some unexpected items too. Now my head is spinning with ideas!!!

Here are some that piqued my interest...

These blue and silver beads are so sparkly! I would love to see them strung up alone or together. The blue and white or silver and white would also be striking!
These little green rivolis would make a great wreath bracelet with the red briolettes hanging from it as the bow.

Okay clock...I see you ticking away! I guess it's time to close the laptop and get busy. Happy holidays!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Time for holiday jewelry making?

Wow, I'm not sure how it got to be the middle of November already, especially when I'm still trying to wear flip flops and boycotting closed toe shoes...

But, here we are and it's time to get busy!

While gathering up beads to play with for inspiration, it occurred to me I should also do a quick search on A Bead A Day for project ideas.

Is it wrong for me to say how much I love something I made? I promise you it's not from an egotistical place, it's from a place of awe that I received the inspiration for something more unique than I would normally make.

I LOVE it when the beads tell me what to do and this is a classic example of that. I have made plenty of right angle weave designs, but none that had so many dangles and charms hanging from it.

When it was finished, I remember wondering how it happened. It was similar to redecorating a room. You go from store to store looking for little things that represent you and the style you're going for. When you put it all together, you wonder how it was possible it all worked so well together.

I think it's magic...but that's probably because I don't know the technical term for it. Any idea?

Happy holiday jewelry making! If you're interested in instructions for this one, put your email address in the comments and I'll send them to you. OR, email me. :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Stunning Swarovski - Quick & Easy Design

It's true that I LOVE a quick and easy jewelry project. Especially one that either looks more complex than it actually is or has a real sparkly kick.This necklace falls in the sparkly kick category!

As I mentioned in the last post, I received 10 of these fabulous Swarovski 25x7mm Crystal Bermuda Blue Queen Baguette Pendants.When I sat down on a Saturday to design something, I found myself in a bit of a hurry so I could go out and run all my weekend errands. 

The rhinestone chain is almost always on my beading table, but the silver connector is something I picked up at Cousin headquarters in Florida that I had never used before. 

Honestly, this necklace pretty much created itself. The impact of these crystals all lined up in real life is truly stunning, I had feelings of unworthiness about wearing it at first, but got over that pretty quick! ;)

So, when I was trying to come up with a way to describe this swarovski stunner, I checked the thesaurus for words related to spectacular. Here's what came up. What do YOU think? 

1.      amazing 
2.      astonishing 
3.      astounding 
4.      breathtaking 
5.      daring 
6.      dazzling 
7.      dramatic 
8.      eye-catching 
9.      fabulous 
11.  grand 
25.  marked 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Winners and What's Next?

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by and put their bid in for beads!! It was great hearing from you!

Kristen and Diana are the lucky winners of some beads from the Cousin Corporation that were personally hand-picked from the bead warehouse wall by me! :)

What's coming up next on A Bead A Day? Swarovski crystals, yay!

I just received a tiny little stash of 10 crystals from, the fab Cousin Corp retail site. You might be wondering what's so great about 10 crystals, so I thought I'd show you.

Here's a pic from the online catalog and the details!

Swarovski 25x7mm Crystal Bermuda Blue Queen Baguette Pendant 6465, 1Pc

Is it just me or does this color leave you mesmerized and speechless too?'s so awesome!

The quality is just amazing, but what else would you expect from Swarovski?

So, back to the 10 crystals and what to make with them. Let me know your thoughts, I was thinking about a multi-strand dangly necklace. 

However, that seems a little haphazard for such a beautifully geometric and perfect piece of art. It seems like a little sketching might be needed before just jumping right in and putting pieces together. 

I'll keep you posted! I also found out today all the Cousin ambassadors will be receiving a fresh box of Swarovski in the mail this week, What a great email THAT was! :)

So, sparkle is on the way...thanks for making my day! (Ode to the Cousin Corporation)

Sunday, August 2, 2015


I LOVE being able to share the generosity of the Cousin Corporation by giving away a grab bag of goodies!

Leave a comment by next Saturday, Aug. 8 and make sure your email address is accessible by either clicking on your profile or as part of the comment.

Are you hoping for charms, chains, bead strands, pearls or findings?

Let me know!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Celebrating a PLETHORA of Beads!

If you're going to have a plethora of something, could it be much better than a plethora of beads?

During my recent trip to Cousin headquarters in Largo, Florida, I had the great pleasure of a "shopping trip" in the bead warehouse! We each had 10 minutes to fill a shipping box with any products we could pull off the walls. CRAZY right? It was!

Here's a quick replay...When the clock started ticking, I looked up and down the walls for beads that grabbed my attention and for a few minutes, I found myself designing in my head. Reality struck about 5 minutes in when someone yelled, "FIVE MORE MINUTES!" Yikes! My strategy changed at that point and I started grabbing all my faves...crystals, sterling elegance chain, rose gold elegance, charms, rhinestone chain and lots more!

Wow, what a rush! Thanks to Cousin for the surreal experience, it was AWESOME! I'm still going through and organizing everything.

In the very near future, we'll have some fun with a giveaway. If you see something in the picture that strikes your fancy or piques your interest, let me know. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jewelry made for traveling

Now that I'm back from a very quick trip to Cousin Corporation headquarters in Florida, I thought it would be fun to share some of the jewelry I made to take with me.

This trip is unlike any other when it comes to jewelry making. Since the creators of the actual components and beads might see the jewelry, it's important to me to make something I really love and something that's a little bit crafty.

I made this necklace and double-decker bracelet using pieces from the Cousin Neon-Pop line which is SO colorful!

The base of the bracelet is stretchy sparkly ribbon cut to size and ribbon crimped on both strands so there's only one toggle clasp for the entire piece.

Using clear monofilament line, the colorful chain was sewn onto the ribbon...SO EASY! or SEW easy! :)

For the necklace, since I didn't have a chain crimp for this size chain, I just tied ribbon on to each end of chain and tied on a clasp.

Stay tuned for the complete story about the visit to Cousin Corporation!

More fun beads and a great giveaway coming soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Summer of Beads!

If you are a Seinfeld fan, you'll know I couldn't help myself!

I'm excited to make some changes to A Bead A Day blog! For many years I blogged every single day. It was exactly perfect timing...I LOVED it! I can't even properly express how much it all meant to me.

I couldn't believe I could actually meet real people all over the world in the process of living their real lives that I had something in common with...BEADS!

It was a real awakening in many ways. I never dreamed I could have possibly evolved into the person I am now. All of you were a part of it and I sincerely thank you.

I've met such wonderful people, some of whom I have gone on to meet in real life. When I think about it, I am still so amazed.

If you feel like you have something to say or even if you just think you MIGHT have something to say, I strongly suggest you start a blog. Make it real, make it YOU!

Now, after all these years, I am ready for a change. I have changed the look of the blog for the moment and I'm so excited to get back to the roots of A Bead A Day blog, with BEADS!

Stay tuned throughout the summer!

To kick things off, I'm more than thrilled to be taking my third annual journey to the Cousin Corporation headquarters in Largo, Florida tomorrow.

If you shop at Joann's, Michael's, Meijer, Walmart, ACMoore, etc., you'll recognize the Cousin name.

For several days, eight of us (Cousin Ambassadors) will be among the designers, business folks, sales and owners. It's a humbling and extremely educational experience. Info & pics to come!

For now, I'd like to leave you with a picture of some fabulous BEADS I was privileged to "pick" while at Cousin headquarters last year!

Rest assured, there will be bead giveaways this year! It's so fun to SHARE!

I hope you will join me on my's the summer of BEADS!

Friday, May 29, 2015

New Discovery: Watches Made of Wood!

Have you ever heard of a watch made out of wood? I hadn't until recently and I'm excited to share this discovery!!

This watch is made by a company called JORD located in St. Louis, Missouri. I'm always amazed when I see uniquely crafted items. I wonder about the point of inspiration. Who came up with the idea and how did they get people to jump on their bandwagon to make it happen?

I checked out their backstory and here are a few snippets from their website:

"Jord was derived from our desire for a timepiece that modeled our modern lifestyle. Sustainable, efficient, simple, and influenced by experiential living. Our style is guided by a deep appreciation for natural elements and modern design. Jord is a collective of artists, designers, and seasoned watchsmiths. Wood is not just a component of our watches, it is the main feature."

When I mentioned to my husband, Brad, I might have a chance to review a wood watch, he was totally on board and wanted to be a part of it. As a self proclaimed watch fanatic, he’s really great at taking them apart to literally see what makes them tick!

We chose the JORD Sully model in cherry and maple. (So cute!) The day it arrived, Brad met me in the driveway wearing it! I guess he couldn’t help himself. :)

Once I had a chance to get settled in, I saw that he had repackaged everything so I would have the fun of opening it up for myself too. I was so glad he did that when I saw how special the packaging is!

I LOVE finding a surprise in the presentation of a product. I like to think it's an indication of how proud a craftsperson or company is…so cool! I have to say the simplicity of the wooden "J" dangle made me really happy. :)

The Twitter hashtag card was also a great touch! Use their hashtag #JORDWATCH on your tweet or instagram pics and you'll end up in their photo gallery. 

What Brad and I both appreciated is the fact this particular watch looked great on both of us, especially since the current women’s style is all about making a statement! 

We thought about doing a version of “who wore it best,” but then decided it would be fun to get a couple pictures of the star of the post and also share a few other faves below.

After recovering from all the excitement of something new, we sat down and had an actual conversation about the quality and feel of it. It’s amazingly soft on the skin and lightweight. For me, I find the watch face pretty spectacular. It’s shiny, bright and colorful! The turquoise version struck me in the same way.

Imagining how each piece of the watch is individually crafted from wood is kind of mind-blowing. Brad was also impressed with the accuracy of the movement and the ease of the closure.

I’m still torn between what wins out, the beauty or the craftsmanship.

I’ll leave that up to you!

Here's a link to the entire online catalog of men's and women’s watches.

Thanks to JORD for the opportunity to learn about something so cool!

Coming soon...a complementary bracelet! Beads are out and the weekend is here, Yay!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's a Creative Circle Blog Hop!

Happy spring!! It's 47 degrees in Ohio this morning and it feels like spring!

Like time, I think temperature is relative. People living in Florida might think 47 degrees is COLD! Ohioans will likely be wearing shorts and flip flops later on today, especially if it gets to 60.

Spring is the perfect time for something fresh and new and I'm excited to share some new designs today, yay! Thanks to fellow Cousin Creative Circle Ambassador, Dawn Doucette, we're having a blog hop!! Thanks Dawn!

She attended the most recent CHA and became inspired and filled with creativity. Dawn suggested all of the Ambassadors design some pieces using the same beads. A fun experiment in seeing how people design so differently.

I'm always up for something new! Special thanks to Shelly Owen for sharing the above pic of the supplies received.

I never really know how things are going to evolve until they do, so it's just as much a surprise to me as anyone else! I ended up making two bracelets and a necklace.

 I LOVE these metal leaves. They are perfect for making little bracelets by gently bending the leaf and adding a chain, so simple. The peace sign and tassle were already attached, so in keeping with my usual philosophy, this felt so easy and effortless.

The chain bracelet was also fun and easy! I'd never just quadrupled up the chain and added jump rings to the ends before, usually I would measure or count the links, this method made it come together very fast. The best part of the bracelet are the little sparkly rondelles nestled in among the chain strands. When it catches the light, it's a little bit of a surprise. :)

This sparkly necklace perfectly feeds my need for sparkle. Simple design, but definitely worth a double take because of the sparkliness.

Thanks again Dawn for the inspiration and the fun! It looks like a good time was had by all the Ambassadors, take a look:

Shelly Owen - Raziela's Designs -
Allison Cooling - Quiet Lion Creations -
Rachel Nielsen - Adventures of a DIY Mom -
Molly Alexander - Beautifully Broken Me -
Rebecca Utermohlen - My Girlish Whims -
Carolina Moore - 30 Minute Crafts -
Dawn Doucette - Bella Amore Legacy Jewelry

Friday, February 6, 2015

Neon Pop!

OMG, there's something about the new NEON POP line from Cousin Corp that makes me smile! The colors are awesomely bright and some of the shapes are reminiscent of the 80's.

Considering it's 30 degrees right now and sadly, it's a heat wave in comparison to earlier in the week, these bright colors are just what I need!

My latest stash arrived this week, but this is the first chance I've had to open the packages and take it all in. Wow!

I'm feeling some tassel earrings AND I can't wait to create with the clear plastic snapped cuff.

The multicolor chain is calling out to me too, yikes. Is this what a psychic feels like in a crowded room? The voices!! :)

Fortunately my voices are all about beads...I think I can take it. ;) I'd probably be more concerned if I got nothing, no inspiration, just silence. Oooh, too scary to think about.

Let me know what you think about the Neon Pop collection. I love it when Cousin puts their new line on their wholesale AND retail site!

Don't forget to share ideas for the clear cuff too!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Gift of Balance - Snowflake Obsidian

This is a necklace I've been wearing all month. It was a gift from a friend around the holidays. These nesting cages are perfect for carrying your favorite gemstones.

I received snowflake obsidian in mine. It is said to balance mind, body and spirit by drawing hidden imbalances to the surface so they can be released. Snowflake Obsidian can remove negativity from a space or person with ease. Ahh....doesn't that all sound wonderful?

This was exactly what I needed a couple weeks ago when I had jury duty. I did feel calm in such an unusual, awkward and stressful situation. 

If you know of any other little gemstone nests, please let me know. I'd love to find one that holds a stone and lays flat as a focal piece in a bracelet.

Thanks for your help! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In Love with Sparkly Chain

In love? Well, yeah! On a gray January day, I can easily say I'm in love with sparkle!

I'm also loving the Cousin Corporation for sending me all this happiness from sunny Florida! :)

Here's the whole stash. I haven't had a chance to get it all opened and organized, so this is the fun creative phase.

The possibilities are endless! I like to think of two different ways to design.

Something fairly conservative that I would feel comfortable wearing every day and something a little more fun, maybe a little more out there.

That makes me happy!! And, that is what creativity means to me...HAPPY!

How about you? When you get a new stash of sparkle, what do you do first? When do you begin creating in your head? Do you think conservative or fun?

I'd love to hear about your process!! Please share.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy Sparkly New Year!

Happy New Year! I wish you all the most fabulous and sparkly year ever!!

My New Year's necklace was finished just in time! Yay!!

I LOVE when things come together in an unplanned and perfect way. A great reminder that everything always works out. Especially when it comes to beads!

Back in an October post, It's okay to go crazy with sparkle, I mentioned I came across these SPARKLY pave connectors on the site.

I had been dreaming about how to use them in a New Year's necklace ever since. It turned out I was able to get them sent to me from the Cousin Corporation as one of their Ambassadors. Their sister company, is their retail site.

I also requested the silver plated open oval teardrops from the catalog.

Just after ordering these pieces, Cousin surprised all the Ambassadors by sending us each a giant box of Swarovski swag!!

It just so happened the box contained a bunch of these tiny little top drilled briolettes that fit perfectly in the open teardrop forms.

Ahh, what a great way to begin 2015!