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Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Was a Winner In Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party

Most of you are familiar with Lori Anderson, creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.  This last round which was revealed in April contained a new component -- contests, judges, winners, pinterest boards, etc.

Lori compiled an impressive panel of judges.  You can read more about the judges here - JUDGES.

And, there are prizes, lots of prizes......

Yesterday, Lori announced 46 different winners on her blog here - WINNERS.  Please take a while to check these out.  They are most definitely worth looking at.  Amazing jewelry from amazing artists.  Well worth your time.

I was thrilled, no THRILLED!!!!!, to learn that I was chosen by PJ Tool Jewelry & Craft as  a winner in the Wire Work category.  Thank you PJ for choosing me.  Lori has asked that each winner post their win on their own blogs and also in the Bead Soup Cafe, so I will be doing as she asks today.

 I made this using some orange coral disc beads and a green tagua nut button that Jelveh Jaferian Johnson sent me.  Jelveh is a lampwork bead artist and instructor.  Thank you Jelveh for being my partner in this round of Bead Soup.  I thoroughly enjoyed your soup and this win would not have been possible without you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Upcoming Blog Hop -- Anklets -- Summer Time Fun

Hello.  Today, I want to let you know about an upcoming blog hop that I am participating in along with some other very talented jewelry designers and artisans.  It is being hosted by Kashmira of Sudafulee .  You can click on the link to visit her blog to learn more about her and her art or you can click on the Button on the right to read more about the Anklet Blog Hop specifically.

The reveal is June 1, 2013 and I will have at least four or five anklets ready for reveal.  These are the very first anklets I have ever made, even though Ingrid Mueller was telling me two years ago that I should make some.

It was a fun experience and I will enjoy wearing mine.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some pictures of what I have made lately.

July 4th is also coming up, so I made some new Patriotic earrings using Czech beads and African Trade Beads - not very American, huh?

I love making holiday themed jewelry, although I don't make a tremendous amount of it.

I have more red, white and blue beads on the way and plan to do more experimenting with the Patriotic theme this year.

This is a re-designed version of a necklace I sold about a year ago.  The original one had a red pendant.

I love the brilliant blue of this enameling.  It is commercial, but it is really quite nice and beautiful.

This necklace is also Patriotic although I didn't make it with that in mind.

I recently purchased these gorgeous lampwork beads that were made by Jason Powers of Powers Art Studio.

They just spoke July the 4th to me.  I'm still working on a design for them.  I think they will be a necklace, on leather, more bohemian, etc.  But, who knows, they may end up as a nose ring.

Goodbye for now.  See you soon.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Medicine Pouch Necklaces

One of my "Medicine Pouch" necklaces was recently published in Stringing and I recently sold the original one that I had made.  I really love these necklaces because they have gotten me back into my collection of stone pendants that have been tucked away for too long.

I actually made this one before I made the one for Stringing.  I used a huge variety of African trade beads and other old glass and unusual beads to make this.  It is now at its new happy home.

 This one is made with a beautiful pink rhodochrosite stone with lots of black matrix.  This one gave me a chance to use more pink than I would usually use.

This one uses a turquoise howlite pendant.  I loved the opportunity to use the red leather and faux chevron beads.  I simplified the back strap of this one by doing the back in an alternating half hitch knot.

I have a few more stones that I am working with and will post when I have them finished.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I want to wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day and let you know that everything in my Etsy Store is 15% off today with coupon code MAY2013.  Expires at midnight tonight.

This Coupon Code is also good in my Vintage Shop.

Have a Great Day all of you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Been Making Earrings Lately....

New earrings:

I LOVE these stoneware horseshoe dangles that Marti Conrad recently made.  I hear rumors that more are on the way.  I surely hope so.

I love them with the aztec sun silver plated resin beads and counter balance the weight of the stoneware so that they are lightweight to wear.
 I wanted to try to make some earrings that were more "girly" than what I have been making lately. Toni has one of my favorite etsy stores and I ran across these roses and bows and thought Earrings!!!

I have another pair in blue, teal and purple that I will be making up in the next few days.  I just received some bead caps that I've been waiting on to finish them.

And, I recently received some flower shaped mother of pearl donut beads that I purchased to make some earrings like the Bead Soup 7 earrings, only in a smaller size and length.

Now for my movie review of the week.  Yesterday was mine and Joe's 33rd wedding anniversary.  He wanted to go see a movie even though there didn't appear to be anything that appealed to me or was even mildly interesting looking to me.  But, I decided to go because I knew that the POPCORN would be good.

He chose MUD - a 2012 movie that is just now coming to Kansas City.  I hadn't heard much about it.  It was written and directed by Jeff Nichols. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard.  I don't know who the two teenage boys were that starred in it, but it turned out to be a REALLY GOOD movie.  It reminded me a great deal of the 1986 movie, Stand By Me.
Well, I suggest you go see if you have the chance.  Joe knows that I really liked Stand By Me and he said to me, "But it has two little boys in it and you like movies with little boys in them."  Now, I am so so glad that he didn't say that he liked movies with little boys in them.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Justice Marie - Came Too Close To Losing Her Last Week

Last fall we determined that the gait problem that Justice Marie had been experiencing  was osteo-arthritis.  She has it in her shoulders and elbows.  I still get her adjusted periodically to help with the compensation problems that can develop as a dog tries to learn to move with as little pain as possible.  She is also on a pain regime that includes SOD Boswelia, a holistic natural pain reliever and Novox, the generic Rimadyl, an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug).  Rimadyl can be a very mean drug, and it is necessary that you test your dogs liver functions prior to starting it, and then monitor with regular liver functions tests periodically.  She is the second dog that I have had on long-term Rimadyl for joint and bone problems and both of them have handled them very well.  We also make sure she gets plenty of exercise in the form of two walks daily.  The vet just told me that she believes that Justice may be older than we originally thought - and puts her at 10+ years - but we don't really know since we got her as an older dog 3-1/2 years ago.  She feels good, is happy, and by all accounts is handling old age very, very well.  Some days better than I do.

Jebadiah Boone, Justice Marie, and Sophia Suzanne

Last week on the way to Springfield, we stopped at a park just north of Springfield.  It is a good place to let your dogs walk off leash (but you have to keep watch because they don't allow it) but it is secluded and you rarely see anyone else there during the week.  It used to be part of the old land fill and they have really done a good job in turning it into a nice place to get into the woods.  It has paved walks, lots of trees and seclusion and bugs, and even snakes.  My three found a snake and were all darting around it.  It was in a strike position, but thank God, it never bit them.  I got them to come away from it.  I don't know snakes but I doubt if it was poisonous - most likely it was a bull snake.  In any event, I don't want to meet another one.

And, the park provides great photo ops.

And, this is Joe, my husband with Jebadiah.  Jebadiah is his dog and believe me, they have one great love affair.  He trains Jebadiah and takes him with him when he goes anywhere and they sleep together.  There is nothing like the love of a dog

Well, last week, on Tuesday evening, we were walking the dogs about 4:00 in the afternoon.  Justice was feeling fine, scratching her back on the new grass.  She loves to do that.  We will be walking along and all of a sudden she will throw herself onto her back and start kicking all fours up in the air.  I swear the first time she did that, I thought she was having a seizure and I about had a heart attack.

At 7:00 in the evening she vomited for the first time.  By 6:00 the next morning, she had vomited nine times, had four episodes of diarrhea and by 3:00 in the morning, both had blood in them.  We had her at the vet by 8:00 Wed. morning.  The diagnosis was hemorragic gastroenteritis which means it was affecting everything from her stomach through her colon and it was bloody.  She was so dehydrated that the vet said if she had lost 10% more of her fluids she probably would not have survived.  She had 3 liters of fluids and a pint of blood.  She was there for two days.  We brought her home Friday morning and have continued the anti-biotics started at the vets, have her on Prescription ID food, but I am weaning her back to her regular diet, and I have been slowly re-introducing her thyroid medicine and pain pills.

We don't know what caused it.  My vet suggested a couple of possibilities given that we walk them so much in a neighborhood where people are beginning to prepare their yards for summer which can include fertilizers and other chemicals that she most likely ingested eating grass.  She loves to eat grass, in fact all three of them do, but she is the worst.  She also has a funny habit of just using her mouth to scoop up dirt for no good reason.  The vet also said that she may have ingested a bug that puts off a chemical that causes stomach upset and vomiting as a survival mechanism.  Once it started, it just got worse and worse.

And, now, we have reason to believe that Jeb may be going through some sort of upset.  Not as bad as Justice, but I started him on anti-biotics today to try to ward off it getting worse.  Man, as any parent (of humans or pets) knows, there seems to be no end.  *Note of Update:  After a couple of days of anti-biotics Jebadiah has also returned to normal.  Today, all is well in the Well's household.  (05-09-13)

As Justice came home the same day that Karla and Todd lost Shelby, I am just so thankful for every healthy day we have together.  

Anyway, as I told you in an earlier post, this is for those of you who are interested, but mostly it is for my own purpose of getting this into writing.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Shelby......You will be missed by many.

When my sister, Karla, married Todd about five years ago, she inherited a baby girl named Shelby and I inherited another niece.  Todd had gotten Shelby from a rescue organization and she was about six years old at the time.  Todd loved her and by all accounts took very good care of her, but let's face it, having a great Daddy is just not the same as having a great Mommy....and Karla is a great Mommy.  Shelby had a heart murmur for which she had been receiving treatment for a couple of years, but she was also overweight.  Well, Karla fixed that straight away.  Shelby is a tiny little thing at about three pounds or so, all hair.  You know the type.  She had been responding well to her new figure and the heart murmur had all but vanished, but a couple of weeks ago, Karla and Todd learned that Shelby was in kidney failure and because of the heart problems, there wasn't much they could do except keep her happy and comfortable.

When Todd and Shelby first joined the family, I had my previous Rottweiler, Gracie May Sugarbaker that I lost in October, 2010 to bone cancer.  She loved to chase squirrels....never caught one.  I used to tease Todd and ask him why he wouldn't let Shelby go squirrel hunting with Gracie.  He never gave me a very good reason, but he never would let her go.  Can't you just see that, an 85 pound Rottweiler and a three pound Pomeranian on a squirrel hunt!  Todd is constantly making comments that indicate to me he really, really thinks that my dogs would simply eat his dogs.  Well, I have one dog that I don't trust around little dogs, little miss Justice Marie; but, Jebadiah and Sophie do very well around other dogs of any size.  Todd is just a silly man sometimes.

Friday, May 3, it got too be much, and Karla and Todd decided it was time to end the suffering.  I am so thankful that last week during my visit to Springfield I was able to hold Shelby for quite a long time.  She didn't take too well to being held, only by people very special to her, and I was so happy that she considered me one of those people.  She laid in my arms on her back so contented and we just looked at each other.  It went on so long, that she actually became heavy - three pounds and she got heavy.  Anyway, I will always have that memory of her.

To me her face looked like a baby seal.  She was just one of those dogs that was just adorable.  Don't you agree?

 And, now a bit of jewelry!

 And, I have been playing with my recently acquired from Rio Grande

Bail Making Pliers.  I have always figured I could do without them, using mandrels, ink pens, Sharpies.....but trust me, these things are great.  They have put me one step closer to being able to make two of something that actually come close to matching.

I wear a lot of western, tribal, earthy jewelry and I wanted a set that I could interchange.  Here it is!  I love this set.

They are very easy to slip on and off.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Breaking News! Jean is Blogging!!!!!

I purposely put off blogging for awhile to keep the focus on Lori Anderson's Bead Soup 7 Reveals.  I hope you all got a chance to check those out.  It is absolutely amazing what people come up with when they are working with beads and components that quite often are things they are not used to working with and would never pick out for themselves to create with.  And, it is equally amazing that most, if not all, designers manage to come up with something quite new and innovative that is absolutely beautiful gorgeous and many times they even learn new techniques that they might not have otherwise learned.  I guess that is a couple of reasons why most of us that try it once are hooked from then on.  I can't tell you what being involved in that experience has meant to me.  You simply must try it even if you think it is something you don't want to do.  I think you will be surprised.

Anyway, I have had a lot, no a LOT, going on the last few weeks and have a lot of things that I want to get onto my blog (for my own personal record if for no other reason) and hopefully some of you will even find it interesting or worth a quick read.

Here is my plan.  Since I know that you guys come here to look at jewelry, I am going to start today with the new earrings that I just made. 

 These were made with Trinity Brass Co. copper "leather tooled" look charms (I drilled the extra hole), larger than usual opaque red Czech glass beads, and brass "worm eaten" look arrow charms. 

 The little green beads on the earwires are beads that my Dad's life-partner, Joyce, gave me last week.  They were in a little box of beads that she gave me that had belonged to her mother who has been gone many years.  Remember, Joyce is in her late seventies or early eighties (I felt it rude to ask her, but Dad was 82).  These were the only two like this in the box and I thought they were perfect in these. 

I have made some other custom pieces recently that I am glad to share with you also.

 These were made to go with a necklace that a repeating client of mine purchased for his mother-in-law.

African Turquoise, Hill Tribe Silver and sterling silver earwires.

I made the bottom headpin from sterling silver FILLED wire rather than solid sterling so that when I made the balls on the end, I could get a nice silvery rosey pink.  It is such a nice little surprise or pop of color at the bottom.

Also, great movement on these.

Here is the finished necklace.  I took it from 18-1/2" to 24" by adding the African turquoise nuggets at the back and including some Hill Tribe tube beads.  I also changed the clasp to a toggle clasp.

It is a beautiful set and the client AND the mother-in-law loved it.

And, for another repeating client for Mother's Day.  She started out wanting pink roses, she describes herself as a "pink" girl, but when I didn't have pink roses, she told me her favorite flower was the calla lily.  I showed her these red breciated jasper hand-carved calla lilies that I have and she decided that she only thought she wanted pink roses, she really wanted red jasper calla lillies.

It turned out so pretty with the tiny little freshwater pearls in purple, a larger pink pearl on the necklace and the hand wrapped copper stamens.  I was proud of this one.

Well, that's all for today, but with more to come in the next few days.