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Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother's Day Sale

From May 1, 2012 through Mother's Day, I will be offering a 20% sale on everything in the shop.  Just use Coupon Code Mom2012 upon checkout to receive the discount.

A fun little set made with seed beads.  These are more new beads I've just received.  They have an opal milky look to them.  Opalescent is the glass term.

Update on Justice -- she is still having pain, and an occasional bad night.  I am going to complete the 14 day treatment on the non-steroidal pain medication, but if she's still having symptoms at that time, I guess we will proceed to the x-rays.  We really need to get a diagnosis so that we can decide how to best treat her.  I am pampering her even more than usual (if that is possible since that is pretty much what I have devoted my life to)
and she seems happy.....she still has an occasional whimpering when she shifts from a laying position.  Please keep praying for her.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Justice Marie and New Jewelry

I am so pleased to let you all know that Justice Marie is doing quite well.  The pain medication that Dr. Stewart prescribed her has really done the trick.  While pain medication can't do much but mask the pain while the condition heals, that appears to be what is happening in this situation.  She has only wimpered a couple of times since Monday.  Most important to me, her Mom, is that she has her happy affect back.  Her face smiles again. She is sleeping through the night......and today, once again, all is well in the pack.  I want to thank each and every one of you that remembered her in your prayers and also for all of your kind personal convos.

Now, for the new jewelry I've made the last three or four days.  My husband has been monopolizing the camera but I secreted it away from him this morning to take these pictures.  I'm still focusing on my seed beads, but once in awhile I get districted.....hence, the Raku necklace and earrings. 

The pendant is from Star Spirit Studio.  The red turquoise heishi is from Rosemary.  The Czech glass turquoise three-leaf flowers are also from Rosemary's shop - Beadstostring on etsy.

I have had the raku coin beads for quite some time and I don't know who made them.  They do have a design on both sides though.  The earwires are Trinity Brass Co. and the flower clasp on the necklace is from Thunderbird Supply Co.

These seed beads were a gift from Beads and Babble on etsy and the flowers and green leaves were also a gift, although I don't recall who from.  Once again, I managed to work in some of my "Utee" head pins.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Indian Creek Stoneware

This necklace features a pendant and two rustic stoneware discs by Pam Cresswell of Indian Creek Studios.  She lives just down the street from me about 4 miles and I would love to meet her.  Must put that on my list of things to do.

The pendant is a feather shape with the imprint of an ancient hand.  I also used aqua terra jasper from Rosemary of beadstostring, howlite from Happy Mango, and more great little seed beads from all over the place.  The blue rounds are jade.  I think this necklace has so many colors of water in it.

I have spent a sleepless weekend as Justice Marie seems to have something wrong with her neck.  Vet said upon examination she appears to have a slipped disc, or wobbles (never heard of that but she said it was bad.)  We have started her on an NSAID and I've been giving her tramadol all weekend which the vet said to keep giving her.  We're going to try to manage pain for next few days and see if there is an improvement before we have her anesthesized for x-rays.  At her age, I want to make that last resort.  She's only been willing to sleep on her tummy not flat out on her side and I put a pillow under her chin to hold her head up a bit.  It breaks my heart when she wimpers out in pain.  Please offer up your prayers for her.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm having a love affair with my seed beads......

Making the Clay Red earrings recently and receiving some new seed beads this week has gotten me into the seed beads.  I am no weaver of the seed beads, but I do love them.  I think they can be used in some very interesting ways to make non-woven jewelry.  Anyway, here is a necklace I finished today.  It's nice the way it is, but while making it, I've had about a kazillion ideas on how to do rather than put my beads away, I am am going to spend the next few days trying to execute some of those ideas and turn them into jewelry.

Stay tuned......

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Earrings....

Another new pair of earrings -- I love love love the clay red howlite bead.  One of my favorite colors.

Also, I love the new ceramic matte finish seed beads I just received.

And, here is a picture of the reworked dagger earrings.  Yep, more pink is better.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Earrings

Just a quick post today to show you the earrings I have made this week.  Nothing special really, but in keeping with my current tribal vibe.  The first pair look more like a Kitsch tribal style.  I have had these dangles for a long time and I thought this was a great way to use them.

After I have looked at them more, I think I am going to replace that middle bugle bead with more pink beads.  I think they will look better.  Note to self......replace bugle beads with pink.

This pair is more southwestern or American Indian style.  I used some of my braided leather to make a link.  I also used some bright brass rings to make the "rusty" patina connectors.  I did a soft patina on the copper wire just to cut the shine, but didn't want to take it all the way to brown.  I have sealed all the metal with renaissance wax.

I also hammered out some little copper dangles to finish them off.   I hope you like them.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I have had an epiphany........

An epiphany is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.  In my case, the epiphany was that I have wayyyyy too many beads and findings.  Or maybe I just have a house that is too small, but I don't want a larger house - I want fewer things in it.

So, I have finally decided to begin a process to destash some of it.  I have thought about it over the past months but couldn't decide if I wanted to open another store or do it through my store.  I don't want the hassle of having two stores to keep up with so I have decided to list things through my jewelry store - slowly, but steadily.  I don't want people interested in jewelry to have to wade through listing after listing of supplies and vice versa.  The best I can come up with is to have a "Destash" category.

Also, I have no interest in being a retail bead store, so if you see something you want, better grab it because there may not be more.  If I have more than one of an item, I will say so in the listing.

So, I am beginning with the extra Vintaj dapping block that I accidently ordered two of and a hand carved turquoise Chinese coin pendant bead that I've had for a long time.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Mermaids and Yellow Moons

The large lampwork beads are by Two Sisters and let me tell you they are gorgeous.  They have such depth to them.  I guess because she encased them in clear - and I mean crystal clear - glass in a nugget or wavy design.  The small yellow one has a smidgin of green in it and it is by Lynda Cogbill.

I've had the matching mermaid toggle and charm for some time.  I guess they were waiting for me to get these beads.  And I love the big bead caps.  Lynda Cogbill recently gave me some brass ones like these and I love them with the lampwork.  I was only able to find antiqued silver.

Sometimes our moon does appear yellow depending on the time of year and atmosphere composition at the time.

Also, I just read today that Judy Glenda passed away a month ago.  I had known that she was ill and everytime I asked Judy how she was feeling, she told me just fine.  I did not know that she had passed.  Good bye Judy.  You will be missed by all and all of us have been diminished a bit by your passing.  You can swim with the mermaids now.  Tell Gracie Mae and Maggie hello for me.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My name is Aminatu. I am a Warrior Princess - Tribal Beaded Necklace

Well, its not an exact match to the Easter Island earrings, but its a beautiful porcelain face by Ingrid Mueller.  When I purchased this pendant from Ingrid, I envisioned it being a male.  But no!  Look at the flowered little mole on her cheek -- that can only mean one thing.....she is a girl.

So I made a pretty frame for her face to hold some beads because all girls like to be surrounded by beads, I added an old carved jade bead that I have had forever -- I patinaed a sparrows compass to serve as a shield, added some seed and nut beads, carved bone beads, old glass beads, and here you go!  I have spent the last three days working on this necklace and I am pleased with the results - finally.  Turns out, she is a very, very fussy warrior princess and was not going to be happy until I got her "hair" just right.


Here is Aminatu's story:

Queen Amina of Zaria
(16th century)

The seven original states of Hausaland: Katsina, Daura, Kano, Zazzau, Gobir, Rano, and Garun Gabas cover an area of approximately 500 square miles and comprise the heart of Hausaland. In the sixteenth century, Queen Bakwa Turunku built the capital of Zazzau at Zaria, named after her younger daughter. Eventually, the entire state of Zazzau was renamed Zaria, which is now a province in present-day Nigeria.

However it was her elder daughter, the legendary Amina (or Aminatu), who inherited her mother's warlike nature. Amina was 16 years old when her mother became queen and she was given the traditional title of magajiya. She honed her military skills and became famous for her bravery and military exploits, as she is celebrated in song as "Amina daughter of Nikatau, a woman as capable as a man."

Amina is credited as the architect who created the strong earthen walls around the city, which was the prototype for the fortifications used in all Hausa states. She built many of these fortifications, which became known as ganuwar Amina or Amina's walls, around various conquered cities.

The objectives of her conquests were twofold: extension of Zazzau beyond its primary borders and reducing the conquered cities to vassal status. Sultan Muhammad Bello of Sokoto stated that, "She made war upon these countries and overcame them entirely so that the people of Katsina paid tribute to her and the men of Kano [and]... also made war on cities of Bauchi till her kingdom reached to the sea in the south and the west." Likewise, she led her armies as far as Nupe and, according to the Kano Chronicle, "The Sarkin Nupe sent her [the princess] 40 eunuchs and 10,000 kola nuts. She was the first in Hausaland to own eunuchs and kola nuts."

Amina was a preeminent gimbiya (princess) but various theories exist as to the time of her reign or if she ever was a queen. One explanation states that she reigned from approximately 1536 to 1573, while another posits that she became queen after her brother Karama's death, in 1576. Yet another claims that although she was a leading princess, she was never a queen.

Despite the discrepancies, over a 34-year period, her many conquests and subsequent annexation of the territories extended the borders of Zaria, which also grew in importance and became the center of the North-South Saharan trade and the East-West Sudan trade.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Polynesian Easter Island Head Earrings

I finished these today.  They were a bit of a challenge.  The heads were made by Barbara Hanselman.  They are interpretations of the heads on Easter Island.  The lampwork beads are by Cheryl Harris.  I am feeling all tribaly these days. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

New Jewelry Now In The Shop....

Even though I was extremely sad about Maggie over the weekend, I did manage to get some things made.  They are now in the shop.

I made some simple pieces which are Faith based.

A matching bracelet and necklace.  Earrings would be a snap if requested.

I made this one in bright brass, but could also make it in antique brass or antique silver.

I made these using Marina's (fancifuldevices) tutorial on darkening metal.

I wanted to make something that would really showcase Ingrid's beautiful big bead.  Shannon LeVart provided the inspiration for the hammered neck piece, but I oxidized mine in the flame rather than chemically.  I also played off the feathers and other dangles from the recent feather necklace I designed.  This one is really easy to wear and looks so tribal and cool.

And, a couple pairs of earrings using Marti Conrad's cheerful and summery flower dangles.  A pair in orange and a pair in yellow.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sadness .......

At Christmas time, I blogged about Maggie, my Mom's Belgian Turvuren.  She had been having dizzy spells but was doing much better.  Mom went out of a town for a few days and we stayed in Springfield to take care of Maggie while Mom was gone.  Since Maggie could not get on the couch or the bed to sleep, Maggie, Justice, Jebadiah and Sophie and I slept on the living room floor with her.  It was really quite fun.

Well, Maggie passed away on Friday.  She was about 14 years old and she had a good long life.  She was a great dog and we will miss her very much.

She had fully recovered from her Christmas illness and she appears to have died just as the result of old age.  She also did not appear to be in any pain at the end.  For that we are thankful. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lori Anderson Mini Blog Hop Today

Hello.  Today I want to let you know about a mini blog hop that Lori Anderson is having which consists of her and two other designers.  Each one obtained a bead set made by Barbara Bechtel of Floridity.  Take a few minutes and see what each one made.  All three are quite talented and I know I enjoyed looking at their pieces.

Also, one of them is having a giveaway of a pair of earrings she made using Barbara's beads.  Be sure to take a moment to enter for those.  Click here:  Starshopgirl

Have a great Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stoneware Tree of Life Necklace

Today's offering .... a necklace featuring a stoneware Tree of Life pendant and matching beads by Marti Conrad.  These beads are sooo cool - she has textured a tree that wraps around the beads - beginning with the trunk on one side and the leaves as you roll around the bead.  Great job Marti! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skullie Earrings

I received an order from Alison Sachs yesterday.  She makes wonderful polymer clay beads and so many of them really suit my muse.  I made these yesterday with her beads that she named "Adobe".  You can't really appreciate these unless you can roll them over in your hand and study all of the detail - under a magnifying light. You can visit her shop on etsy here earthtonesonline.

I paired her beads with some lampwork ruffles that I have had a couple of years.  They were made by  I have a little bag full of her beads but for some reason have not used them yet.  I plan to use more of them in the coming days -- there are some really nice beads in that little bag.

Also, I regret to inform you that I have not won anything in at least 48 hours - or so I haven't been advised anyway.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Winning news for today......

Okay, first of all let me say that I am a bit embarrassed to be once again announcing that I have won yet another giveaway.  I shout out news about my winnings on my blog not to be bragging, although I am very excited to be winning, but rather to help to promote the jewelry, components and artistic endeavors of those from whom I win.  I hope you all know that the promotion of others forms the basis for my blogging about such things.

With that said, I want to announce that I have won the beautiful little yellow whistle made and given away by Natalie Pappas of NKPWhistles.  I have been a bead fan of Natalie's for a couple of years now, have and love her beads, and she recently opened up a Whistle shop on etsy in February.  I have found these little items very intriguing but was at a loss as to what I would do with them.  When I saw she was giving one away, I decided to enter and now I have purchased a few more to go with the yellow one.  I am going to do my darnest to come up with a creative and unique way to incorporate her whistles into jewelry.  I have also been working on some reasons why we all need one of them around our necks.  So we shall see.  Anyway, this is the whistle I won.
Isn't it sweet? 

Now on to my other endeavors.

Made this necklace with some larimar blue aqua terra beads I just received from Rosemary at Beadstostring.  They matched a blue triangle focal I have had for a very long time.  It looks more turquoise in the pictures, but it is really more blue like the larimar blue beads. 

And before I even knew I had won Natalie's whistle, I used five of her handmade ceramic beads in it.  The blue in her rounds beads and on the top of the pod bead are the same blue as in the stones.  And, I loved the terra cotta color with the blue.

 Now, take a close look at that neckstrap.  I made that with seed beads that I recently won from Lori Anderson's giveaway.  They are shaped long like a peanut seed bead, but rather than having a hole in the center so that they stack, they have two holes, one on each end.  I am no bead weaver, but I am feeling all bead weavery even coming up with the simple way I used them.  I just strung a little bronze seed bead between each blue bead both coming and going. 
I am always so anxious and so tickled to use the things that I win. 

Bangles are very popular right now.  I like bangles, but as I have said before, my hands are big and it is hard for me to get them to fit.  So, one solution is memory wire.  I generally think of memory wire as having more circles but these are simple because I only have a bit of the viny tubing.  I used a handmade lampwork bead focal by my friend Deb Houde of Jatterwunky Studios in Overland Park, Kansas.  She does such beautiful work - I have told her she needs to sell on etsy, but she tells me no.  These are easy to wear, fit everyone, and are simple enough to be stackable if you want to wear more than one. 

I think they would be really nice for Easter, spring and right into summer.  These are the Pantone 2012 colors for this year you know. 

I have priced them in tiers so that the more you buy the more you save.

I hope you enjoy today's post.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I have a lot to blog about today.....and that's no foolin'......

To get today's blog started, I want to announce (brag) that I am the lucky, lucky winner of the Scott David Plumlee DVD.  Lori Anderson gave away three of his DVDs yesterday.  I can't believe my luck these days....before blogging I would have said I never win anything, my husband would have responded that it was because I never enter anything.....okay, granted that!

If you are very familiar with my work, you already know that I dabble in chainmaille and you will see it crop up in my designs from time to time.  I am so excited about taking it to the next level.  I already make my own copper jump rings so who knows what's coming down the pike.

Next, I recently posted a Raven Relic necklace - it had the feather.....Well, it was snatched up along with a special order for earrings and the olive green leather bracelet I had listed was chosen to go with it.  Here is a picture of the completed set.  Since one of the things I get so tired of is designers telling you how much they love their work or how beautiful their work is (yawn) I will let you decide whether the endeavor was a success or not.  But, I like it....

Last, the disc necklace and earrings that I put together with Julie Burgard's Outwest disc beads was also snatched up and I also made a bracelet to go along with it.  I had to take the original necklace apart to use a couple of the discs, and I had to add a few other beads to fill it out, but here is the finished set. 

Similar to other things I've made, but I added chain on the bracelet to adjust the length.  It's amazing what you can do when you have the findings that you need.

And, I used the last fantastic handmade lampwork nugget shaped teardrop that Lynda Cogbill made for me in this simple charm necklace.  While it is simple, it is substantial.  I made the copper bail, the turquoise is genuine and the petoskey stone comes all the way from Michigan compliments of KMMenagerie. 

And, these carved turquoise leaf earrings.  I attempted to shape some feathers for the earrings on the feather set, but they looked more like leaves so voila la -- these earrings were born.

I hope you enjoy today's post.