Wednesday, December 07, 2011

What I have been up to...

Besides a ton of laundry due to 2 sick kiddos, you mean? Oh. Well, I did send off some merchandise to my first brick and mortar store!  Recycologie by name. Check them out at or on Facebook.

New to the Tropical Blonde line....

 Handmade brooch/hair clips and scarves!

 These last two are fresh yesterday and will be staying in my personal wardrobe for a bit. But I love them so much I see more in the near future. If you just HAVE to have one, I will entertain the possibility of custom orders, shoot me a note :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bead swap with the Gossiping Goddess

There was a smaller, lesser known bead swap recently with no finished project required. My partner was Lesley the Gossiping Goddess. I have no idea how much she gossips but I sure can tell you she does awesome bead swapping! Take a peek...

Adorable paper (that was complete with sari silk bow but I couldn't keep my hands off it ;))

TONS of goodies (see the ribbon?!)

Lesley does some fabulous bronze clay work. These are some of her textured discs and inspirational pendants. 

Lampwork, textile beads, chain and goldstone to name a few.

Hand dyed silks

Gorgeously intricate glass

Textile beads (I had never seen anything like this and can't wait to play!)

Saving my favorite for last...bronze clay pendants by Lesley! Love, love LOVE these!!

And now that I have finally gotten this post up I can go play with it all!  Don't forget the Virtual Craft Show that is going on this week. Go comment on Lori's blog to have a shot at some AMAZING art. Use the code VCS20 in my Etsy shop to get 20% off your order until December 4th!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Virtual Craft Show starts today!!

Guess what?! Lori Anderson's first annual Virtual Craft Show starts today!  Head over to Pretty Things and leave a comment on Lori's posts to get a shot at winning oodles of fabulous merchandise from all kinds of amazing artists. 70 different artists will be giving away their art and many of them are also having sales in their online stores so check them out each day between now and December 3rd. Comment on her post to have a shot at winning one of the fabulous prizes (I think my art bead bundle will be going up on December 1st so watch for it).  I will be having a sale in my Etsy shop starting today for 20% off everything in my Etsy shop!  Use code VCS20. Get started on that gift list!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring our Veterans.

11-11-11. A special day this year to honor those who volunteer to die, if need be, so that we can enjoy the freedoms of our amazing nation. To the beady blogland's veterans like Jennifer and Lori and all of our devoted men and women who have served or are serving, we thank you!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I have not been posting as regularly for the past three months for several reasons but  I think things might be "slowing down" as the holidays begin. Is that even possible? I am hoping to be able to post a little more regularly again, if not quite as frequently since I have some long term plans that might be taking up more of my time. I will let you know about what's up when it's a little more concrete.  

One of the things I jumped on board with is this....

Brought  to you be the fantabulous Lori Anderson.  Check back for more details.

Right now I am off to start on my secret project ;).  Hope you have a great Thursday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winner of the giveaway!

So I was web surfing and came across this guy...


I decided to name my spacey earrings in honor of our no longer recognized friend, Pluto.  But since I still have stuff to give away I went to the random generator and had it pick a winner.  Congrats to TeriB (number 5, thank you to!

RIP, Pluto!

And thank you to all who participated!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Click this if you are looking for my Bead Soup Blog Party post!

Tutorial and giveaway!

Ok, folks, I am stuck. I have not been able to come up with a name that I like for these earrings!  So here's the deal. I will show you how I make said earrings and you then leave me a comment with a name suggestion. Whoever's name tickles my fancy will either receive a pair of earrings (custom made for the winner after consulting them) OR a pair of my own art beads to make your own earrings!  I will take entries until the 16th of October and I will announce the winner on the 17th. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you don't have your email on your blogger/commenter ID. 

So here you go...

String a bead onto 20 gauge wire.  If your looking for the particular style I use here go check out Julsbeads. Even if your not looking for that style go check her out. She totally rocks. I know I say that a lot but it's true. 

*unpaid advertisement over*

Make a loop to keep the bead from falling off (that might kinda ruin your look ;))

 Wrap one time around a regular Sharpie marker...

Then twice more.

 Slide the marker out and bring the coils over the top of the bead and pull them down around it. Depending on the shape and size of your bead you might need adjust the wires shape to suit yourself.


So now for the hard part! What to call it?!!  Leave your suggestion in the comment section for a chance to win earrings or beads.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Hammered Drop earring tutorial

Take some 20 gauge wire and cut 2 lengths of equal size. However long you want your finished earring to be cut the wire twice as long. Here I have about 3.5inches of wire  (not exact I kinda eyeball things like that). Make a loop at one end.

If you are using copper wire, sterling or some other non colored/covered wire you may proceed to beating the bejeebers out of the front half of the wire. I like a ball peen hammer for texture but you can just flatten it with a the regular type if you like.

However, colored wire usually requires a little extra TLC so as not to lose that awesome finish.  Here I gently flatten the front with an acrylic hammer head before GENTLY using the ball side.  This may take some practice. If in doubt start out as lightly as possible and gradually use more force as you experiment. Also, make sure your hammer head is free of burrs and such.

Once the front has a satisfactory texture, bend the wire in half and shape to your satisfaction.

Add your beads!

Wear with pride ;)

Tomorrow I will be posting the tutorial for these babies...which I can't think of a name for so maybe there will be a contest/giveaway involved for helping a sister out ;)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

BTW Earring Tutorial

Yesterday I posted some earrings and talked a little about the ear wires that have become my favorite "flavor of the month"!  I have pasted the tips I got from Boot~C over at Mama's Got to Doodle in response to my Bead Soup comment.

"as to my earwires? a sharpie(basic reg, not the skinny point kind they are a little skinnier) is what I use to wrap my wire around,tightly,until I have about an inch of coils. when I clip wire & let go it loosens up to the round size you saw on the wire.file the edge the goes in the ear, & turn the loop w/ your pliers for the earring charm. the loop can be turned to the outside(orig tute called for this) but I like it turned under.I keep a coil handy & clip off wires as I need them. I think Ornamenta is where I saw it " 

I did try to dig up the original tutorial on Ornamentea but I didn't see anything that looked similar in their archived section.

So I decided to add a few pictures to show you my process.

I grabbed some art beads (ridged glass by Juls and the my own pillow beads and flower beads).

 The secret weapon ;)

I used 20 gauge German style wire. 

Coil the wire.

Snip and put a loop on one end.

If you like, you can use a mandrel and make larger sizes (I have found that I like to use a slightly larger size depending on the size of the bead).

Add your bead of choice!

While I was in the tutorial mode I took enough pictures to do two more styles of ear wire. Check back over the next couple days for these babies as well as the Hammered Drop using Artistic Wire I mentioned earlier in this post. Click on the images for the full size view.

What's on you bead table? Check out the whole BTW gang on Flickr.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Earrings are tickling me this Tuesday.

I seem to have been in the earring making mood recently. Here are some of the more recent pairs I created with the handmade glass goodness of Julsbeads. I am totally loving the ear wires in the first picture here which I got from Boot~C. She made some rockin' Bead Soup and in her response to my comment shared her "Sharpie secret" with me. I will be posting a little tutorial tomorrow as long as she's ok with it ;)

These are a some I did for a giveaway I did on the blog for my church a couple weeks ago.

Do you get into a groove with making one thing?! Or are you a "set" person?  Bracelet, necklace, earrings, matchy matchy? A little of everything? What's your pleasure? No matter what it is I know everyone loves free stuff so go check out Patty's Tickle Me Tuesday giveaway as long as your surfing the www!