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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party Third Reveal

For those of you who are following Lori Anderson's Sixth Bead Soup Blog Party third reveal.  The idea behind the blog party is that two people are paired together, they swap beads and then make something from the beads they received.  You must send a focal, a special clasp and some coordinating beads.  The challenge is to stretch your creativity by using someone else's beads, and to work with components you may have never used before.  For me a large part of the challenge is just choosing the beads from my stash to send to my partner.   This time was so large with so many participants, there had to be three reveal dates to make it manageable.  I have included a list of the blog links for today's participants.  I can guarantee you that you will have a great time and see some gorgeous and creative jewelry.

And, so there will be a cute picture to look at, I have included this.

My reveal day was July 25 and if you haven't seen it you can click HERE and take a look at what I received and what I made.  My personal challenge was to use everything from the huge stash that Judy Turner sent me.  I came pretty close.  There are two posts there so be sure to look at all of it.

 Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie

Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging
Hannah Annear, Squintessential

Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs
Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels

Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home
Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas

Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show
Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities
Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures

Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN
Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops

Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio
Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts

Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi
Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry
Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog

Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo
Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila
Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick

Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Barbara Hanselman Sculptural Pendant Challenge and Giveaway

In my last order from Barbara Hanselman, she sent me a gift of a black stoneware sculptural art pendant that was patterned on both sides.  She had just listed the pendants in several different shapes and designs and I loved them, but all I could think was "What would I do with that?"  And I didn't buy one. The note she included with the gift said that she was sending me the focal as a challenge - she wanted to see what I would do with it.  I could hear her chuckling maniacally as I read her last words "have fun."

Last week, I put this pendant out on my work table so that we could get acquainted while I worked on other projects -- remember, Kristi Bowman's copper components and the polymer bead pieces?  Yesterday I had finally figured out a place to start on Barbara's pendant.

This is my first version.  I thought it was finished and I fired off a picture to Barbara.  But while I was waiting for her response to it, I decided that I did not like the bottom scarab hanging off the pendant.  So, I took it off.

I also used bayong twisted beads and round beads in the copper chain, some sort of stone carved scarab, a carnelian dragon vein agate and two cyan dragon vein agates with some other little beads.

I want to tell you about these pendants.  They are made of black or chocolate brown stoneware and finished with different colors of terra sigillata.  This one is from a serious of black stoneware pieces that she made.  Because they are sculptural, they have a design on both sides.  The other side has different designs and is just as pretty as the front.  I wanted to figure out a way to make it reversible, but it really isn't like this.  The backside shows my wire but I did some twists and wiggles in the wire to design it up a notch.  With beads this large, if I had put them on both sides, which technically I could do, it wouldn't lay flat against the breast and I thought that was important.

This is my final version.  I replaced the hangy down thingy with another turquoise magnesite nugget bead.  I just thought it looked better and Barbara agreed.

By the way, she seemed very pleased with what I had done with her pendant.  I hope so because I really admire her work and if you haven't looked through her website, you should.  Be sure to visit the Gallery section of her website.  There is some beautifully inspired work there.  You can get to her website here:  BHCLAYSMITH.COM

Now, I want to tell you that I have another pendant on its way.  It is quite different in shape from this one and will present a much greater challenge I am sure.

Barbara has these in her etsy shop.  I am including pictures here because I really want you to see them and this way you won't have to click anywhere to see them all.  She has eight left. 

 The one I have coming is similar to the one below.

If I have my facts straight the three above are black stoneware.

This one looks to be of red stoneware.  I love, LOVE, this one.  If it doesn't sell, it will probably be my next one.  Since I originally posted this, this one has sold.  Someone is one lucky designer to get to work with this one.

The above pendant has been sold.
The above pendant has been sold.
I believe the above four are chocolate brown stoneware.  They don't have holes so they would lend themselves to wire wrapping or other methods....I can think of a few.

Now, my challenge to you is to buy yourself one of these pendants and make something with it and send me a picture and I will post it on my blog.   I don't want to have any kind of a time limit here, but would limit it to the next six weeks, say September 15, 2012?  If you are going to rise to the challenge, please let me know.

You can see Barbara's work at her Etsy Store and that is where you will find these pendants.  If you don't know her already, you will also find her to be a friendly, creative, sweet person who is just eaten up with the spirit of sharing.

Come on.......what are you going to make?


Okay, so much for the challenge part.  When Barbara read this post, she contacted me to sweeten the deal.
She will place the name & email address of each participant in the challenge will be placed in a virtual 'hat' and one name will be drawn from it. The winning name will receive a $50 gift certificate to her Etsy shop. All she asks is that she be able to show the pictures of the piece or pieces that will be credited to the designer of the piece in her upcoming Picasa Album, BHClaysmith Clay Components Transformed by Jewelry Artists.

How cool is that?  You buy a gorgeous pendant, you make a gorgeous piece of jewelry, we show it on my blog (you can also show it on your blog), your name goes into a virtual hat, if you are the lucky one drawn, you get a $50 gift certificate, your piece gets published in Barb's upcoming album which of course means more exposure.  You can't lose.

So come on, jump into the challenge. It's simple, send me pictures of your piece in time to blog it on September 15, 2012 and be entered to win $50.00 in merchandise from Barbara's etsy store.

Here's the schedule.  Have your picture e-mailed to me by September 15, 2012.  I will post the entries on my blog on Sunday, September 16, 2012.  Barbara will do a random drawing and we will announce the winner on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. 

There are still six pendants left, so please consider playing along.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kristi Bowman Design Components and New Earrings

I've been making earrings using Kristi Bowman's beautiful copper components this weekend.  Kristi featured the first pair on her blog yesterday.  If you missed them, here they are.

I used her ammonite connectors with lampwork beads by Cheryl Harris, African trade vulcanite beads, aged striped seed beads and Greek Leather and lashed it all down to a nice piece of bayong wood.

The first pair features her copper flowers and some copper wreaths that I made frame two dangly picasso glass flowers.

This pair features her bee dangles, ebony wood frames and swirly czech glass beads.

And last, but certainly not least, her copper feather dangles layered with ebony wood rectangles and lampwork beads by Lynda Cogbill.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Second Installment on my Self Induced Polymer Clay Challenge

As I posted earlier, I have challenged myself to use my polymer clay components to make jewelry this month.  I love polymer clay and it never ceases to amaze me the beautiful things that polymer clay artists can do with it, but I have found that it is not my first go-to material when I am making jewelry.  Such is the reason for this month's self-induced challenge.

These earrings have a southwest feeling to them and because of the polymer clay beads by Alison Crenshaw and because the teardrop is silver coated acrylic, they are super lightweight.  Even I could wear them.....and I would.

Next, a bracelet in which I used another one of Alison's beautiful beads - it is the one in the center with black, turquoise and gold.  It is a beautiful bead.  I also made a button clasp out of a polymer clay button and a dangle, both made by Michele Gabriel

Another component, I used in this bracelet are four hand felted wool beads.  These were made by a friend of mine and I have had them forever and have never really known how to use them.  In this piece, they are perfect!  This bracelet is a wintertime, long sleeve sweater, hot cocoa in hand kind of bracelet.  I love it.  It just makes you feel warm and cuddled having it on.

And, last but not least, I used more of Alison's beads, an entire set which I rarely do, to make this light weight bracelet.  Like the earrings above, it has a real southwest feel to it.

This bracelet is more on the dainty side as her beads are quite small and the bali-style links are also quite small.  You can see the beads are about the same size as the magnesite heart bead compared to the scale in the earrings.  It will be something very easy to wear as well.

I've also been playing with some wood dangles that I have had for two years.  These are made from ebony wood, turquoise glass rectangles, and horn and bone with copper and waxed linen.

I also made a pair of earrings using Bayong Wood, African beads, and Krisi Bowman's Copper Ammonite Connectors.  They are worth looking at and you can see them on her Dream Some Designs blog.  They are also listed in my shop.  All of these will be listed in my shop over the next few days.

Monday, August 13, 2012

As Seen In Stringing Fall 2012 Issue

I have known for some time that I had three pieces accepted for publication in the Fall issue of Stringing Magazine.  While I have shared that thrilling news with very few people, it is now time for a full reveal.  I received my copy so I assume that it is available on news stands now also.

Be sure to pick up a copy.

Now, for my pieces.

The focal clasp is by Ingrid Mueller of Potterygirl1.  She and I are both very excited that it was accepted.  I used some picasso pink seed beads, Czech faceted glass tubes and fire polished beads, button beads, Vintaj leaf charms and hand made brass chain.

My bracelet is the one on the bottom.  The "Dream" focal is by Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio and I cut the leather straps.  We are working on putting together a tutorial and kits so look for those to be announced soon.

And, my personal favorite.  Natalie Pappas of NKPBeads made the elephant bead.  Don't worry, she has made several and has them available in her shop.

I have also received word that Stringing is publishing two of my pieces in the Winter 2012 issue as well, but more on that when the magazine comes out.

And, Ingrid, Karen and Natalie -- feel free to share this wonderful news on your blogs if you would like.  You all three share with me in this party because without you guys these pieces would never have been made.  Thank you all.

Disclaimer:  For anyone that feels they must police this sort of thing, these pictures were supplied to me by the publisher and are being published here with their permission.

Polymer Clay Bead Soup Winner

 The winner of the polymer clay giveaway is Susan Lloyd, the 9th Comment.

Susan, I sent a message through your google page, but other than that I don't know how to get in touch with you.  Please contact me with your address so I can get these beads out of my house and into yours.

A big "Thank You" to everyone that played. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pregnant Goddess Spirit Rattle

 This necklace combines components from two of my favorite clay artists.  Sharon Driscoll of RightTurnArtWerks made the colorful Spirit Rattle Bead. She made it of terra cotta earthenware clay and inscribed it with rainbows and central protection eyes. There are tiny pieces of clay inside that rattle softly when shaken. Of her piece Sharon says that she was answering the call of her inner spirit when she created this bead for situations that require that you express yourself or when you need to clear negative energy swirly around you. This bead allows you to make some noise without sharing that noise too widely.
 Barbara Hanselman of BHClaysmith made the pregnant goddess, whom she has named Flora and as in much of her other work Barbara has finished this goddess with terra sigilata instead of ceramic glaze so it is 'open’ to absorb the essence of the wearer when worn against the skin. Her pieces are also a great way to wear essential oils or favorites scents. Just apply the oil or scent to the beads the night before you wear them making them wearable aroma therapy. How cool is that?
Here is what Barbara says about her goddess, Flora. "The TERRA MATER (Earth Mother) also referred to as the Nile Fertility Goddess has her arms raised to symbolize the continuance of future generations. Ancient fertility goddesses abounded - the Etruscans had "Maris", the Romans “Diana and Venus”- and all conveyed the notion of fertility as well as numerous other positive attributes. This present-day Terra Mater talisman whom I have christened FLORA does no less. In addition to openly endorsing the continuation of the species, she is patently pregnant with possibilities; wonderful, purposeful possibilities you can fulfill with her motherly assistance. "

I just felt like the goddess and the spirit rattle belonged together as if Flora is trying to "shake" some sense into the world that she is holding up above her head.

I made the copper coil end caps and the toggle clasp.  I also used some of my newly acquired Chimu clay beads and some African trade beads, including vinyl.  Add a few macrame knots and here you have it.  Enjoy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Second Reveal Day Lori Anderson Bead Soup Blog Party

Today is the second reveal day for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party.  I participated in the first reveal day which was July 28.  It was a blast.  But before you read on, be sure to go to the post just below this one and enter to win the Polymer Clay Bead Soup that I will be giving away on Monday.

For those of you that have found yourself here that may not know what the Bead Soup Blog Party is.....well, a couple of times a year, Lori Anderson hosts a Bead Soup Blog Party.  Lori pairs the participants who then send each other a focal and a clasp.  The recipient makes something with the focal and the clasp they received and on a specified date the creations are posted on blogs and we just go hopping from blog to blog looking at wonderful things.  I have participated in this event twice and have enjoyed it immensely both times.

The events have grown so large that it became unmanageable to have one reveal day, so this time, there are three reveal days for the approximately 500 participants.  My reveal date was July 28, the second reveal date is today, August 11, and the third reveal will be August 25.   It is such fun to hop through the blog list and look at all the pretty stuff.  It is amazing the talent that is out there.

Below is a list of today's participants.  If you can, take some time and work through the list.  Believe me, it will be worth your while.


Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners
Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 
 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead
Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads
Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae
Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place
 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 
Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Friday, August 10, 2012

Polymer Clay Bead Soup Giveaways

I was recently talking with a friend of mine, Alison Sachs, of Beads by Earth Tones on etsy.  She makes most beautiful polymer clay beads and components.   In fact, I had a bracelet accepted for publication in Winter 2012 Stringing that combined the beautiful stoneware work of Marti Conrad and the beautiful polymer clay bead work of Alison Sachs and a beautiful lampwork bead by Lynda Cogbill.  But, more on that later.......

Anyway, I was telling Alison that I was amassing quite a collection of polymer clay but that I found myself rarely using it.  In her wisdom she said, "Well, maybe you need to use it more....."  So I made a challenge with myself to make one piece of jewelry each week in August using polymer clay.   So, I will be keeping my polymer clay beads and components in front of me all month.

Here are my first two pieces.  In this first necklace, I used polymer clay by Alison - two of her "Imprint series" beads, a bird, and an egg as well as three of her wood grain disk beads.  The donut and the two green/brown disks under the bird are also polymer, but I don't know the artist.  There is also a larger green round polymer clay bead capped with silver caps that doesn't show well in this photograph by Carsclayart on etsy.  I also used one of Ingrid Mueller's porcelain bead with a Vintaj pinecone bead cap and a pinecone dangle by Trinity Brass Co.

Next is a calico cat necklace consisting of a polymer clay calico cat, a matching tube bead and three matching round beads.  These are also by Carsclayart.  For you cat people out there, is a cat marked with brown, black and orange a calico or a tortoise shell?

And I am offering a chance to win this yummy bowl of Polymer Clay bead soup.  Most of these were made by Carla Barnham, Carsclayart on etsy.  She did not make the leaf, I purchased it from someone else, but I don't know who.  It is handmade however. This bowl includes a couple of things that would work great for Halloween (which I do not celebrate for religious reasons - but I don't judge those that do), a couple of pieces that would make a nice breast awareness theme piece, a cool bee bead, a couple of hearts, a leaf pendant and some pretty cool tube beads.  Did you know that October is breast awareness month?  There is also a tuxedo cat pendant. And see those two life savers?  They are not real.....

Sophie heard me refer to this as "soup" so she had to stick her nose in the bowl to see if she wanted any.  She didn't.  She wasn't even interested in the cat.

By now, you know the drill, leave a comment here, spread news all across the internet and leave a comment here with the link.  For each place you broadcast, you will have one more entry.  I will choose the winner on Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

What will you make?

Also, Marti Conrad of Marti's Buttons N Beads is having a giveaway of this beautiful necklace and earrings set that she made.

Go to her blog HERE and follow her instructions for a chance to win this. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Memory of Daisy

I recently became acquainted with a woman through etsy that, like me, loves dogs.  Her name is Isabelle.  She has adopted shelter dogs in the past and has also volunteered and fostered shelter dogs.  At the time we became acquainted, early June this summer, she had an older dog, Daisy, a 12 year old English Coon Hound.  She'd had Daisy for only three or four months and, like Justice, Daisy had developed a neck problem.  They weren't sure what it was, they weren't able to get a solid diagnosis.  They also thought it might be Cushings Disease.  Daisy suddenly became lethargic and wasn't the happy girl they had known.  She was having blood tests, x-rays and repeated visits to the vet, but nothing seemed to account for Daisy's symptoms.

On June 27, 2012 Daisy crossed the rainbow bridge.  Isabelle had carried her outside to the deck where they sat together most of the day enjoying the sunshine.  Even though Daisy loved spending the day with Isabelle, she knew it was her last.  She was ready to go.  This is my opinion and I do believe with all my heart that I am right or I would have a different opinion, but I believe that when you commit to taking in a pet, it is a commitment that you make with them for the rest of their life, or your life.  The greatest respect we can pay to our pets is to be there on the last day of their lives.  They need us to tell them that it is okay for them to go and to assure them that even though we will miss them, we will be okay until we see them again.  I think many times our pets hang on longer than they would like because they are worried about us - at the cost of their own suffering.  I have heard many stories of pets that are terminally ill being boarded or left for a few days because the owners have to be gone and that is when their pets cross.  I think it is because they are relieved of the burden of taking care of us and can move on.  For me, I can't imagine the horror I would feel if I left one of my pets and it died while I was gone.  Well, I just won't leave them when they are ill.  It is a promise that I have made to them and myself.

Daisy went to live with Isabelle last winter.  The local shelter had taken in more older dogs than usual and Daisy was one of them.  When the shelter called Isabella, she went straight away to get her.  Daisy was so sweet that Isabella was smitten and took her home.  Daisy walked into the house, inspected the rooms, sat down, looked at Isabelle.....and started to howl.  It was a big huge howl of happiness - pure joy.  She was home and Isabelle had herself a friend.

Their time together was short, but Isabelle gave her the best part of her life and was there in the end -- when it really matters.  I can't stand the thoughts of animals being neglected or abused at any time in their lives but what really makes me feel like I've been kicked in the gut is when an animal dies alone and frightened.

Isabelle, I have such admiration and respect for you and your work.  It is so hard but it is so important that you were with her at the end.

I think this is one of the sweetest pictures I've ever seen.  Look at those eyes.

This is Daisy enjoying some wading.
And, this is Queen Daisy, perusing her court from her throne.  Look at those long legs.

On that last day, Isabelle and Daisy had agreed that it was time and her vet made a home visit.  Daisy crossed onto Rainbow Bridge surrounded by those she loved and that loved her back.  She was ready to go and went peacefully and gracefully.  An autopsy revealed that Daisy had pancreatic cancer.  It is most difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer and Daisy hadn't had a chance.

My thoughts continue to be with you Isabelle.  Hopefully, you have processed your grief and will soon be back to working with the dogs that need  you so badly.  Nothing helps me get over the loss of a pet like having another one to take care of.