Visit my Etsy Shop

Visit my Etsy Shop
Click Photo to Visit my Etsy Shop

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snow in Kansas City, MO

I continue to work on my Bead Trends spread so I don't have any jewelry to show you today, but, I did want to share some pictures that my husband has taken in the last few days.

I will let them tell the story about the snow that we have received in Kansas City (at least at my house) in the last week or so.

 This is a picture of Jebadiah Boone sitting on our sidewalk in front of our house about four or five days after the first snow.  My husband had shoveled our driveway and you can see how high it was piled in our small front yard.

This was before the second snow.
We received our second snow yesterday (Tuesday) morning.  Our power was out for about three hours.  The bad part about power going out at a time like this is you never know when it will come back on.

Our utility companies were still dealing with power outages from the previous week's snow.

 The morning of the second snow, which blessed us with another 12", we found my 22 year old redbud tree laying on our neighbor's three week old car.  Her car had such a heavy layer of ice and snow on it, there was no damage.  It was also the top of the tree that reached her car.

It looked like the tree just layed over - but I can't tell if it was uprooted or broke off at the ground level since it is buried in the snow.

 This is a southward view of our street.  It was very beautiful.

It still looks just like that today.

Our Mayor was asking people to stay home.  Many businesses were closed including our courts (which almost never happens).

We now have about 20" of snow at our house.  The first snow had settled quite a bit from the melt over the previous days.

Since so many people were home, and the utilities were out in our neighborhood anyway, many people took to playing in the snow - young and old alike.

It was fantastic seeing families out in the streets visiting and playing with their neighbors.  You don't see that much anymore.

One block down, some of the adult children decided to try to one-up their neighbors on the best snowman.

This one was adorned with beer bottles -- how funny!

This one was big and the scarf and hat were nice.

And, a lot of the kids have built forts out of snow, but we don't have any pictures of those.  The kids crawl inside them and when our dogs go by they smell the kids and they want to go inside too.

I like the forts.


They made the tiger out of snow and then they actually used spray paint to paint it orange with black stripes.  It is soooo cool.

And, this is what it looks like when you want to go out and play in the snow, but you can't.  Isn't that cute.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Beads Are Here!!!!!!

Yesterday, I received my Bead Soup 7 from Jelveh Johnson.  She is a lampwork artist and I mean she is an ARTIST! 

She made a set of beads for me in beautiful greens and beiges and I LOVE THEM! In fact I love everything she sent. 

 First, I saw two beautiful purple
jewelry boxes.  I could only imagine
what would be inside......
 These are the beads she sent.  They all look like focals to me.  They are GORGEOUS!  So many possibilities.....
 She sent several sterling silver pieces. 

The sun clasp is beautiful and I don't have anything like it in my own stash.

 Here is a beautiful Hill Tribe heart pendant and a sterling clasp.  It is very unusual and I love it too.

There are four gold corrugated oval beads.

The ivory beads are stone and those are beautiful ivory freshwater pearls.
Of course, I love these.
 She included a tagua nut button and some coral disc beads.  Yep, love these too.

And this is the entire soup - all together.


I haven't made an official announcement, but I am going to be the featured designer in the September, 2013 issue of Bead Trends.  I am working on the 10-page layout and as that deadline is April 1, I have to complete that before I start on this.  I have so many ideas for these beads and I can't wait to get to work on them.  Of course, as always, my personal goal will be to use all of it -- at least as much as I can.......

Jelveh, I love everything you sent -- ESPECIALLY those lampwork beads.  Your work is so beautiful.  They have such clarity and depth and texture.  Wow!!!!!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Bead Soup I Sent to Jelveh....

I haven't heard back from Jelveh since she received her bead soup but I am anxious to show it to the rest of you.

I went mainly with a Unakite Gemstone Theme.

I made clasps from Unakite donuts and copper wire.  They can also be used as beads.  I made her a toggle clasp with small unakite beads and copper wire.

The large ceramic toggle has some very unique colors on it.  The brown is a warm bronze and the green is a yellowish green - very hard to match, but the unakite matched it perfectly.

I included glass beads, yellow agate beads, handmade porcelain beads by Ingrid Mueller, a handmade pendant by Earthenwood, and a copper pendant and some textured copper bead caps and/or spacers.

Today, Kansas City had the biggest snow storm we have had in two years.  We have about 14" of snow in our yard.  They had been predicting this storm for about 36 hours so we had plenty of warning.  I went to the grocery store yesterday and stocked up.  We are warm, we are well fed, and we are fortunate that we can just stay put for a couple of days.

Jebadiah loves the snow and he has been having a great time running and plowing his head under it.  The girls -- not so much.

Do you have any idea how fast you have to run to get your ears to stand straight up?

For those of you that heard about the explosion on the Country Club Plaza (it did make national news) my doctor's office was right next door to the JJ's Restaurant that exploded.  It was leveled.  One woman lost her life and over a dozen have received serious injuries - burns and explosion injuries.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

After Valentine's Day Closeout Sale in Etsy Shop

I am having an After-Valentine's Day Closeout Sale in my Etsy Shop where I have listed ten items at a deep discount - on average about 1/3 off the regular price.

Here are pictures of three of the items, but if you go to my Etsy Shop and click on the category "Valentine's Day Closeout" you will see the ten items I have discounted - nine of which are Valentine's Day themes and one pair of Christmas earrings.  And for your convenience here is a LINK to the category.

No codes are necessary, I have already discounted the prices.

But, there is more!  Mention that you saw the sale on my blog in the "Comments to Seller" and I will refund the shipping charges.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Jelvah - Watch for Bead Soup......

I am putting my bead soup for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup 7 in today's mail on its way to Jelvah Jaferian Johnson - lampbead maker extraordinaire........

This is what I am sending her.....

Check back in a few days to see what's inside.....

Jelvah, I hope you love it all.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Artisan Whimsy Bead Lovers "Love and Passion" Valentine Challenge

I am so happy to be once again able to participate in things that I love, one not the least of which are the challenges and events hosted by the new Artisan Whimsy site owned by Marla James, Karen Totten and Melinda Orr.  If you have not yet explored the site, you really must take some time to get familiar wit it.  Here is a handy dandy link for you to use to get there.  Handy Dandy Link to Artisan Whimsy.

This month they are hosting a Bead Lover's Valentine Challenge of  "Love and Passion."

My entry is composed of vintage necklaces and a cameo that have been repurposed to represent "Love and Passion."

And, as with all good challenges, this one also has prizes.

There are two ways to win:  one is by having your name drawn as the lucky winner of the random drawing.

The other way is to win by having your piece "voted" as the most original representation of "Love and Passion."

Now, here is where you come in.  Please go to the site by clicking HERE for Bead Lover's Valentine Challenge and vote for my necklace.  I need all the help I can get.

Be sure to enjoy the other entrants too, just DON'T vote for them. (Meant in the spirit of a friendly but serious competitive spirit.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bead Soup 7 - Meet My Partner Jelveh Jaferian Johnson

Since I first participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Parties I have been hooked.  They are so much fun!  There are so many wonderful facets to participation -- one of the best is meeting new people and getting to know others that share like interests. 

This time, I have been paired with Jelveh Jaferian Johnson.  She is a lampwork bead artist and sells her beautiful work on Etsy

I have had her shop on my list of favorites forever and every now and then I see her beautiful new listings roll across my activity screen, but for this blog I looked back through her sold listings and pulled off this gorgeous set of raspberry and turquoise glass beads.  These are by far my favorites in her recent work.  I love that color, but it is one that I would probably never use - at least I haven't so far, it is so unusual.  The turquoise is perfect with it.

Anyway, you can read more about her work on her blog, Jelveh's Blog.  I am so excited to exchange beads with her and see what we come up with.  You can read more about Lori's Bead Soup Party on the picture on the right hand side of this blog.

There are three reveal dates and Jelveh and I are scheduled for the Second Reveal which is April 6, 2013.  You won't want to miss it!


Look for Me in Bead Trends February 2013

I have been published in Stringing Magazine a few times now and I am proud to announce that I can now add Bead Trends to the list of publications.

I have a horse themed, three strand turquoise, leather and pewter necklace and horse themed raku and leather bracelet featured in Bead Trends February 2013.  This really isn't news as the magazine has been out for some time now, but I am only now able to make it public on my blog.

 I have used two types of African turquoise (you do know that it is dyed jasper right?) and some turquoise magnesite nuggets.  The beautiful pewter horse pendant is from Happy Mango Beads.

I had the lampwork beads made special for this design by Lynda Cogbill of etsy fame.

I finished the design with sterling bali style spacer beads and a sterling bali style 3-1 connector on one side.  The greek leather is from

The beautiful raku 3-1 connector in this bracelet is by Star Spirit Studio as are the raku rounds.  The copper bead caps were made by Diane Long.

This was the original bracelet - a copy of it is also listed in my shop.  It is similar but not exact as is the nature of one of a kind handmade jewelry.

I also have things coming out in the March, April and June Bead Trends.  I will announce them as they become available.

Monday, February 4, 2013

And, Now As Promised.......

Today starts the day that I am committing to blogging about jewelry with the same frequency that I had been pre-2013! Well, actually pre-Thanksgiving 2013.  I just really got involved in family matters during the holidays and failed to incorporate jewelry making and blogging during that time.  Then, when 2013 arrived -- WOW! What a January.  But, I hope all that is behind me. 
The one set of jewelry that I've made in the last couple of months was for my neighbor, Lisa.  She is famous in our neighborhood for being Lydia's Mom.  Lydia joined our neighborhood in December 2011.  This set was made for her paternal grandmother for Christmas.

By the way, while I have had resin for about two years now, this was the first time I had actually used it.  I am very, very, very good at buying stuff - but not so good at actually making time to experiment and use them.  I need to work on that more too.  You know, just thinking about the stuff I need to work on wears me out.

 Kazuri beads, amethyst marquis bead, yellow lampwork with red flowers, glass beads and peanut seed beads.  The back was finished with gold brass chain to make it adjustable.

This photo was the most colorful "sepia" tone one and it went fantastic with the pinks, purples, maroons and soft greens that I used in the bead selection.

Lisa took this shot of Lydia and provided it to me in various tones from black/white to sepia tones.  I didn't want to waste any of them so I made up pendants with a clasp, and a bottle cap magnet in addition to the necklace pendant.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trouble Always Comes in Threes......Now Trouble - Leave Us Alone

As we all know, bad things tend to run in threes, or so the saying goes.  My year started with my Dad being diagnosed with lymphoma and renal failure and going home from the hospital to live out his nine remaining days in Hospice with his family and friends providing his care.  He died on January 21, 2013 and his funeral was scheduled for January 29, 2013.  If you have read my last couple of blog posts, you already know that.

What I haven't shared yet is that during the night of January 27-28, 2013, my Mom suffered a stroke while sleeping.   She had slept on the couch that evening in the living room and when my husband got up and spoke to her, he couldn't understand her.  He is hard of hearing anyway, so he thought he just wasn't hearing her.  In her mind she knew what she was trying to say, but also knew that it wasn't coming out of her mouth as she intended.  Both of them are much earlier risers than I am so by the time I got up she was pretty much speaking normal and my husband had left the house to meet my brother to begin the task of going through some of Dad's tools.  Mom was preparing to drive to meet my husband and brother to assist them.  She was the one in charge of making the list.   She was having a bit of trouble with her gait, however, and walked into things and I asked her if she thought maybe she shouldn't be driving.  She declared that she was fine and took off in her little Eucalyptus Green Honda.

My husband called me and told me that he was concerned that she had a stroke because by the time she got to where they were working (she did arrive safely) her mouth was drawn.  I called 911 and when she refused to go to the hospital in the ambulance, I made her go to the hospital in my car.  She spent the next 24 hours having every test known to man and it was determined that she had a stroke, NOT a TIA, but a full blown stroke.  She did make a total recovery and was discharged the next day in time to attend the funeral.

The funeral was beautiful.  There were many relatives and more friends that I knew he even had.  Dad was a square dancer and I had no idea the friends he had made.  Dad also had a military funeral.  Wow!  It evoked such an emotional response in me.  In was fabulous!  I felt so proud to be an American.  The 21 gun salute, the flag ceremony - if you have never seen one then you don't know what you have missed.  They presented me with the folded flag and a medallion along with the spent shells used in the salute.  It was amazing.

With the funeral behind us and Mom doing well, I returned home.  During my three-hour drive home I couldn't help but wonder what would be #3 in our chain of bad luck.  Well, yesterday, my baby sister, Karla (she and Kathy are the babies and are identical twins) was driving into her office and was involved in a very bad car accident which landed her in the emergency room and totaled her almost new Honda CRV.  Karla is okay, nothing was broken, no head injuries, etc.  Her airbag deployed and if you have ever had the good fortune to experience one of those, you know that they hit you like a brick wall.  They may save your life, but they hit like a ton of bricks.  As far as we know, the other woman involved in the accident is okay as well.

So, now, I figure my family has finished with its bad luck and we can get onto the things we all love in this life.  For me, its making jewelry.

But, before I get back to blogging about jewelry, I want to share a few pictures of my Dad, my Mom and Dad, and my brothers and sisters.

This is my Dad's high school graduation picture.  When we were going through his things, I ran across his high school graduation ring.  He must of worn it a lot because it certainly shows wear.  My Mom wanted to run it straight to a bottle of jewelry cleaner, but I stopped her, telling her that the aged patina of it was one of the best things about it.  I just don't understand why people are so quick to want old things to look new and shiny.

Dad went on to university to complete a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering in Ames, Iowa and then obtained a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Drury College in Springfield, MO

This is my Mom and Dad after they married, but I'm pretty sure it was before they had me.  I was their first surviving child, although they had two children that died in infancy before I came along.

I think my Mom and Dad were a very handsome couple, but if you will look at the next picture you will see what raising seven children can do to you.

This picture was taken at Mom's retirement party in 1999.  Yep, that's Mom and Dad standing in the back.

From left to right, my sister, Diana.  She is the medical doctor - specializes in Internal Medicine.  Next sitting on the sofa is me, lawyer, jewelry designer and lover of all things dog; my brother Jim - Materials Manager for a large international company - he holds an MBA.  He spends most of his time out of the country in places like Brazil, Mexico, England, Portugal, China.  I am so jealous of his being able to see the world while getting paid to do it. Sharon is next to him - she holds a degree in accounting and has passed most of the CPA exam - she is taking it as fast as she can....
Karen is sitting on the other arm of the sofa.  She is a court reporter.
Sitting in front are the twins, Kathy - a Nuclear Medicine Techologist and Karla - She is a clinical psychologist and holds the same degree as Dr. Phil - a Psy.D. in Psychology.  She is the one that was in the accident. 

Tune in tomorrow for a full reveal of the special set of jewelry I made over Christmas for Lydia's grandmother.  Lydia is a little girl that lives across the street from me and I do believe she is one of the cutest little girls I've seen in a long time.  What do you think?