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Friday, June 29, 2012

Kristi Bowman Donut Blog Hop and Notice of a Giveaway

I am thrilled to participate in Kristi Bowman's "Big Hole" blog hop.  I love the big hole components that she has developed - so many different and wonderful textures.  Kristi sent me this piece as a gift with the message that she was attempting to "entice" me to participate.  Well, that's all it took.  She is such a temptress.

I will tell you a little bit about my piece.  I love lariat necklaces......period.  As I develop as a designer, I am continuously searching for new ways to make lariats.  I have been working a lot in the tribal style lately and specifically with Barbara Hanselman's Easter Island guys. 

I wanted to do two things with this piece -- I wanted to keep it in the tribal theme, but work in the urchin design of the component that Kristi sent me.  So I used different species of shell in shades of orange and brown.  

I used a Hill Tribe fine silver shell bead together with carved bone and some green heart African trade beads.
For spacers, I used small wood rounds, copper heishi African trade beads from India and copper seed beads.

I ended the two loose strands with a bone disc and an Easter Island clay pendant by Barbara Hanselman.

 This necklace can be worn several different ways.  You can loop the loose ends through the large loop.  This is the longer version to wear it.

 It can be worn with a large wood ring behind the urchin copper ring.  I have attached a cluster of urchin spine dangles to the wood ring.

 It can be worn with a shell ring behind the urchin copper donut.

It can be worn very short, choker style, by threading the ends through the second loop created by the double strand neckstrap.

I hope you enjoyed looking at my versatile, African and Sea Urchin theme lariat necklace.  Now, take a few moments and take a look below where I have listed the other designers whom have used the same component to make something scrumptious to share with us.  I love a blog hop and have looked forward to this for weeks now.  I hope you enjoy the hop as much as I do.

The Crafthopper
Spice Box Designs
All the Pretty Things
Jean A Wells (You are here)
Kristen Stevens

THANK YOU KRISTI for hosting this hop and for enticing me to participate.  

Also, there is a giveaway going on. The Gossiping Goddess is giving away stacking bracelets.  Go to Lesley's blog at HERE to register for her giveaway of three fantastic macrame and bead stacking bracelets in celebration of her first tutorial.  It is free so you need to check that out as well so that in the event you don't win the bracelets -- since it is my plan that I will win them -- you can make your own.  Okay, that is probably what I will have to do as well, but its fun to try anyway.

Porcelain Purple Owl Pendant, Glass Beads and Crystals

I finished this necklace this afternoon.  I used Marti Conrad's porcelain pendant with an intaglio impression of an owl and purple glaze, tiny Czech glass coin beads in purple and pink with picasso, swavorski crystals (I don't use crystals very often, but they seemed appropriate here), and a vintage amber lucite bead all wired onto oxidized copper wire rosary style.

Since the beads I used are small and I used 22 gauge wire, it is quite delicate and lightweight to wear.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dalmations and Other Spotted Dogs

Marti Conrad made this adorable bracelet cuff and matching charms.  I love the turquoise green on the spotted clay and I love the little spotted dog.  Marti loves dogs so I know that a lot of dog love went into this set.  And if you know just a little tad about me, you know that I also love dogs - probably more than is healthy for me so this set is truly an homage not just to all the spotted dogs out there that are loved by their humans, but all dogs.

I paired the stoneware with some absolutely gorgeous lampwork beads by Deb Houde that look as if they were made to match this cuff, some porcelain black beads by Ingrid Mueller (by the way Ingrid, I need more black beads) and some really nice Brazilian Aquamarines. The earrings are made with black lava beads.  I have a few of the silver ox beads and I am very stingy with them but I thought it went with this bracelet perfectly.

I also want to remind you that Kristi Bowman's Big Hole Component Blog Hop is this Saturday, June 30, so be sure to check back for that.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thunderbirds and Yucca Blooms

My brother-in-law, Todd, recently gave me a hand cast pewter pendant.  Since I rarely have much of a plan when I start making something, I did know that I wanted to use my southwest mix seed beads that I recently acquired and do something in a southwest style.  I also wanted to use some matching flower beads because I got them to go with the seed beads so feel like I need to use them somewhat together.  I am very happy with the way the colors work together.

 I really like the unusual thunderbird in this pendant.  Thank you Todd!  It got me to thinking about the symbolism of the Thunderbird so I did some internet research.

This is what I learned.

The Thunderbird is a powerful spirit helper. His eyes flash lightning while his wing beats roll out thunder. He is related to the spirits of air and water, and he holds in his heart and mind the most raw and elemental power of nature. He has a destructive power, whose use is always followed by cleansing and freshness. The Thunderbird causes the storm whose following calm reaffirms life, youth and healing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Daisies and Turtles

Just completed two new bracelets. 

The first is using Marti Conrad's wonderful speckled stoneware.  It is a daisy cuff bracelet and a pair of matching earrings.
I added a fun little "pod" lampwork bead by Deb Houde and an inspiration charm "Love Much - Laugh Often."

With this turtle bracelet, I made the opportunity to use some Vintaj patina to change the silver turtle to a green and brown turtle.  I made a chain using triangle shaped seed beads and used two gorgeous lampwork bead by Lynda Cogbill.

I really like this one and if it doesn't sell soon, I may keep it.  To make another one though, I will need to get more purple beads. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Big Hole Blog Hop Teaser

Kristi Bowman of Dream Some Designs is hosting a blog hop with a scheduled reveal date of June 30, 2012.  Kristi makes beautiful copper clay components using some of the most wonderful textures available in handmade jewelry components.  This hop is a way of introducing her new "big hole donut" copper clay components.

Kristi surprised me with a sample of one of these wonderful components and invited me to participate in her hop.  While the full reveal is next Saturday, today is sneak peak day.  Be sure to check back next week to see what I and the other participants made with these.

Oh, my goodness, is that orange in there?  Yep, I love orange.  Anyway, if you have some time, take a few minutes to work through the following list to see if other's are giving us a "sneak peak" at their work. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Justice Marie

Let me say that this entry is primarily for my own purpose - making a history regarding Justice and I don't expect you all to read through this, unless, of course, you want to.

What a day it has been.  Those of you that regularly follow my blog will recall that my old friend, Justice Marie developed a problem in her neck about six to eight weeks ago in which she experienced a sharp pain when she would sit up from a laying down position.  So much so that she would yelp out in pain.  My vet wanted to sedate her to take x-rays and I was reluctant to do that at her age.  So, we treated it with Previcox and Tramidol hoping that by controlling the pain the condition, whatever it was, would resolve itself.

It took about two and a half weeks, but it did seem to resolve itself as she quit yelping and showed no other symptoms.  She continued to be able to get up and down with no hesitation and apparently with no pain.  Then she developed a gait impairment on her left front leg - not really a full blown limp, but not a normal gait either.  Sort of a hobble.  After much consulting with my vet, I decided that it was time, at her age, to put her on previcox on a permanent basis to see if maybe she was just experiencing some onset of arthritis pain or other old-age aches and pains.  After being on previcox two weeks, the gait was not changed at all. 

Three people have told me that the neck and the limp (for lack of a better term) could be related.  So today I took her to a dog Chiropractor, who is also a DVM.  She examined her and found that the C-3, C-4 and C-5 were not completely normal - although I don't understand enough of what she said about them to be able to even tell you - but in any event she did adjust them.  I am going to take her back in a week for another adjustment but only time will tell if the adjustments will have any effect on her.  She did say that she saw no reason at this point to do any x-rays.  The only option that my other vet gave me to resolve disc issues was surgery.  Much like people doctors I guess.  I hope that the adjustments help her.  She's such a good dog and I don't want her being in any pain at all.  I really like this new vet.

Justice has a lump on the front of one of her hind knees that was there at Christmas.  I had it looked at then and the vet said it was a fatty tumor.  Well, it has doubled in size in the last six months and the vet today said that I really need to have it removed.  She doesn't believe that a fatty tumor would have doubled in size and she also said it was in a strange place for a fatty tumor.  While she said it was not an emergency, she recommended that I have it removed as it could likely be a mast cell tumor.   So, it looks like I will have to have her sedated anyway.  Maybe we can do x-rays of the neck then......

Now, for the jewelry part:  The previous listing is about a collection of polymer clay and sari silk bracelets I have been making recently.  Well, today, I received a request for, and made, another one without the skull and bones.  The woman I made it for loves cats for I put a couple of "cat" charms on it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Polymer Clay, Farfalle and Sari Silk Bracelets

I originally made a bracelet using Pips flower beads that I had won in a drawing.

Well, the bracelet sold relatively quickly so, I made another with some beads that I recently received from Cheryl Harris.

 It sold within a few days.

So, I made another.  It sold right away because it was a special order.

So, I made another.  I did get away from the "flower" theme somewhat on this one.  I used a white howlite skull bead and a couple of bone dangles in this one.   It is now listed in my etsy shop.  What fun this has been.

These bracelets also have lampwork beads by Cheryl Harris and porcelain beads by Ingrid Mueller.  I made clasps using vintage buttons.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Continuing the Easter Island Journey

I am continuing to enjoy working with Barbara Hanselman's Easter Island "guys".  I finished this piece today using one of her pendants, two of her tassles and a lampwork bead by Julie Burgard of Outwest which she tumble etched.  I finished it with African trade beads - copper bicones and hand painted glass beads on 3mm Greek leather cord.

I also made a necklace using one of Marti Conrad's wing pendants. I also used some lamp work beads by Cheryl Harris and some lovely porcelain beads by Ingrid Mueller. 

The entire necklace is strung on metallic Greek leather and drapes beautifully.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Easter Island Necklace

Beaded multi-strand necklace using a bone connector and one of Barbara's Easter Island faces.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ancient Warrior and Colorful Beads Necklace

I have been working on this necklace for about a month.  I used little bali style brass two-hole connectors to connect the two sides and had trouble keeping the strands from twisting when it was worn.  I must have taken it apart and restrung it about six times.  I finally decided that the outer strand needed to be just a tad longer than the inner strand.  Now, if you are careful to straighten everything up before you clasp it, it stays pretty well.

I really like this look - I want to credit Lynn Ferro for its inspiration.  She makes the most beautiful gypsy looking jewelry with a southwestern flair.  I love her work and have admired it for some time.

I like the way this turned out, but it is nothing like the work that Lynn does.  She's wonderful!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Starry Road Slider Bead Necklace

Karen Totten has a bead in a new design for her that she calls a slider bead.  It is really a nice size.  My first inclination was to use it in a bracelet, but I am still experimenting with this style of necklace - one where beads are strung downward, rather than sideways, through a focal bead.  In fact, a similar necklace is being published in the Fall issue of Stringing.  I really can't wait until I can share that with you, but until then......

I also used African trade white brass and copper bicone beads and turquoise howlite with glass beads.

Great job Karen.  It is a wonderful bead and I really enjoyed using it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Kitty Cat Necklace

Today I made this necklace.  The pendant is a small porcelain tile made by Popogirl on etsy.  I purchased a few of her pieces months ago when I wanted to try my hand at wire wrapping pendants.  This is my first attempt.  I have had the pendant finished for some time, but only today did it occur to me how to finish it up.  The beads on this necklace are quite small, the pink coins are only 5mm across and I used 24 gauge wire to make the rosary style chain.  As a result it is quite delicate and feminine for the cat lover.

I made the little triskelion design pendant bail.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Marti Conrad Porcelain Components - Cowgirl Jewelry

I made two bracelets and some earrings using my newest acquisitions from Marti Conrad.  I love the petroglyphic type rat bracelet, although there is some question about whether it is actually a rat or not.  I have searched the internet to try to identify the animal but have had no success yet. 

I love it when Marti includes charms for matching earrings.  I used jasper, a hand made lampwork by Lynda Cogbill, a pressed glass Trilobite bead (although you can't see it in this picture) and some fire polished beads.

I used three lampwork beads by Julie Burgard, Outwest, and lava stones along with African white brass beads.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hello -- Anybody out there? Anybody in here?

I've not posted since Sunday, but I've been working hard at making jewelry to submit for the Winter issue of Stringing.  Deadline is quickly approaching.  I've got several things submitted and they even liked some of it and told me to send it in - I am so excited to share it with you.

Something, I haven't shared with you yet is that I have been notified that I have three THREE pieces coming out in the Fall issue of Stringing.  How cool is that?  I can't wait for you to see those pieces either - two necklaces and a bracelet.

Now, for what I can share with you.  I still managed to make a pair of earrings and a necklace for the shop.  The Easter Island heads made by Barbara Hanselman are proving to be quite popular.  I love this pair because they are more like us - they have different faces. 
 She also made the topper beads.  They have a pattern on both sides and the clays match so well.

Deb Houde of Overland Park, KS, Jatterwunky Studio, made the three lampwork beads in this piece.  The turquoise and brown she used goes perfectly with the wood beads and turquoise beads.  This is a short choker style necklace, the shortest strand is only 16" long, but it also drapes like a bib.  It is gorgeous on.