Saturday, September 1, 2012

Phantom Blog Hop

  So I joined this challenge quite some time ago thinking I'd have plenty of time to put something together. Guess I should have wrote it on the calendar because I had COMPLETELY forgot about it until Pam emailed me a few days back. I didn't exactly have the inspiration in me nor the idea for a piece but I DID however think of an older piece that is ABSOLUTELY fitting in my eyes.

These earrings were originally designed for my mother due to her love of classical times like Henry the 8th, the Tudors and more. However the antiqued and jeweled design of these would be PERFECT in an opera house.

If I had to choose a moment when these would be worn; I would say either in the beginning by Carlotta as she sings "Think of me" In the movie Minnie Driver had QUITE the get up on but I saw no earrings. Due to the amount of jewels on her head and such I think a simple earring like this would do. Or in the end at the final performance, "The Phantom's Opera", Christine could have worn these then as could ANY lady in the house watching the show.

The phantom is TRULY one of my most favorite pieces. I haven't seen much opera in my life but I was raised to the tapes of Micheal Crawford and Sarah Brightman. How amazing it was!! I had a book that showed step by step applications of the mask to Michael Crawford's face. I loved to see up close articles and read about how they designed things. Such a fascinating piece of work The Phantom is!!  At first I didn't care much for the newer movie but the more I watched it the more I loved it. Emmy Rossum who plays Christine can convey SUCH emotion with just the look of her eyes. Gerard Butler having been a law student taking acting jobs to pay bills had big shoes to fill when he stepped into the Phantom role. When I consider that the guy never had an acting class nor singing lessons for that matter, I start to see what an accomplishment he made and give him much credit where credit is due.

I saw the Phantom once as a kid and have been dieing for it to come back around since. I think that if it does. I would probably wear these earrings if not something similar. The black and reds remind me of the Phantom cover with the mask and single red rose. Ugh.... alright, now I have to go put it on and listen to The Music of the Night. :0)

See the other participants and their creations:

The Crazier Sister

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Bead Shop Hop

Let me start by saying where I live there really are no bead shops other than the simple chain craft stores. My mother and I often take trips at least an hour in ANY direction to get to one. So this was what we did this weekend and boy what an adventure it was....

It's called the bead shop hop and it's located in Northeast Ohio. The names of stores that are involved are listed on the front. The addresses and phone numbers to each place are on the back. The goal is simple... visit all participating spots, get a stamp or signature for visiting, then at the final stop you turn in your card to be entered into a drawing of 1-3 prizes. Each shop either has an event (IE: trunk show) or sale and a promo for your purchase. I am going to share my hop and experience with anyone interested in reading my blog. So here goes!! 

Embellish in Rocky River, was the first place I stopped at. It was early yet still exciting. The store had an event going, as did most of them. It was the Grace Lampwork Trunk show. (You can click the name to see her website.) The staff is really nice, been there 2x now, and the shop has a great feel and set up.

What specimens they had! Good Gravy this lady's work is amazing..buuuut not what I'm looking for so I finally broke down, bought some kumihimo thread bobbins and moved on to the next stop.

(I've been using old cross stitch bobbins that are pretty square and like to tangle, hopefully these work better)

 So I moved on down to Grand River Beads! Literally! Down the street to the right not but 1 minute driving distance!!

What an awesome place this was!! Such beautiful quality pieces and such artistry around the store with student and employee made pieces. The store had a great feel to it and everything was just lovely.  I also met a lovely woman who it turned out I was already following here on blogspot. Her name is Eva Sherman and you can follow her BLOG too. What a talented lady she is and a very inspiring artist!

Grand River was having a Czech glass trunk show. I didn't buy much just a few strands.

The promo at Grand River was pretty sweet. (Embellish had one too but I didn't spend enough.) Eva taught me (a beginning wire-wrapper) a pretty awesome wire bangle design.


I loved this design! It was so simple and definitely sparked something in me to try more often. I'd like to do this and fire one with a torch or use different patina dyes. Here she just dipped it in the liver of sulfur to oxidize it and what a feel it has afterwards. I definitely am inspired from this piece and can't wait to make more as stackers!!!!

 Moving on the next stop was one of my favs and frequent shops... Bead Q in Chagrin Falls.

Love me some Bead Q!! What a great team they have here with quality items in every area!!! Lots of knowledge in that brain of Kieu too!!!  They had a pewter trunk show going on and left over pieces from a sea glass trunk show.

 I definitely got in on some sea glass. Have a pretty good idea what I want to do with these. I just hope it works out!

I also recently got into embossing metals with the Cuttlebug so I got some blanks to play with and fire as well! Looking forward to that one!

I also got these BEAUTIFUL feathers. I haven't had much luck working with feathers before but I absolutely LOVED the colors and couldn't help myself. 

So then my promo for spending at Bead Q was this GORGEOUS green banded agate pendant I picked from a basket.

I then moved along to the next and final stop for the day which was where I got the mother-load!!! The last shop we could squeeze in was Jazzy Gems of Kent Ohio.

 What a FABULOUS energy this store has! Truly!!! So welcoming and willing to help and inspire! I had read on the shop hop newsletter they were having a Lucite Flower trunk show and OH-EM-GEE were they ever!!!!!!

Have you ever been to a Lucite Flower trunk show? I haven't and oh my gosh the restraint it took for me to behave!!! 

Oh my gosh the pieces I got had me instantly ready to get home and get moving on designing! I was flabbergasted!! The colors, the shapes, all of it was almost too much to handle.

Needless to say, I went a little overboard and yet have NO regrets on it whatsoever!! Lucite can enrich anyone's life. In fact, I've had 4 designs published using Lucite so I figured I just couldn't go wrong getting more.

My promo at Jazzy Gems was probably the best. Well... actually, nah they all brought something new to the table for me. Be it inspiration or knowledge, every promo was wonderful.

I picked this bag of toggles out of a soup mix of others. I just really liked this one and the amount that was in there!

My final promo was I got to stamp a piece of metal. Any of you who know me know I've been wanting to try this for a long time. What a blast this was. SERIOUSLY!! I blasted this ring off the block like 3 times!!!! It was so simple and fun. Can't wait to fire it or play with it. 

Meanwhile I met an amazing woman. She runs Love Links Jewelry. What a great conversation we had just chit chatting about jewelry and such. Fabulous overall energy in this shop and the employees!! 

Ahhh so at the end of the day... I'm $129,873,497 dollars broke but hey it was a blasty!!! Ok so I'm more like close to $100.00 more broke but even still a girl can dream of spending $129 MIL on beads right? **sigh** 

Now that I've shared this wonderful experience with my followers I am off to create with my buys!!! I need something to burn off the frustration of a 4 hour blog!! That's right, blogspot pictures did NOT want to load today, refresh, refresh, refresh, coffee... breakfast...refresh...ah you get the picture. 

So this concludes my Bead Shop Hop and I hope it will inspire other shop owners to do the same thing because in this field it is SO important to work together and promote one another; not work against each other! Ciao!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Silk Scraps are AWESOME!!!

I'm a crafter. I always want to know if I can make things myself. Need some metals? Maybe I can do it myself. Want some components... let me try myself. Pendants.. I'll figure it out. But the latest attempt left me soooo stinkin' tickled!!!

I noticed this silk stuff is kind of big in jewelry right now. Most people are tying it in somewhere and most shops are carrying them. As a fan of fashion I like to keep up with the occasional trends if it fits MY taste. (I don't like someone telling ME what fashion is, I'm the maker of my OWN fashion style not some magazine. You think I want to dress like everyone else because TV says so?! Ugh, in the words of Eric Cartman from South Park Elementary.."WhatEVA, I do what I want!")

So I decided to look into this silk stuff and WOW can we say expensive?! I mean my goodness... most of them are hand dyed and because of the handmade ribbon and dying process that makes the pieces usually double the amount of a typical gemstone strand. Don't get me wrong I think the prices are accurate they're just not something I can personally afford. So I thought HOW CAN I DO THIS MYSELF? (As always)... So here's what I did...

I googled and found out you can buy the ribbons in white to be dyed..not bad, not bad, BUT before I spend the 5.99 it costs per 36" strand of ribbon I think I should practice first. Thanks to winning an online raffle for a Joanne Fabrics gift card for $50 I went online and bought all the tools necessary to dye some silk. Then I went out and purchased some silk fabric (which is not easy to find in this particular style of silk) that I cut into scraps to practice dying with.

Here's my mixed scraps:
Unfortunately I learned along the way (as I should) that you PrObAbLy want to keep your scraps on wax paper in a tray somewhere away from your dye area.. see you work with damp ribbon and apparently there were very minute traces of dye powders on my table that when I set my scraps down some pieces picked up the dye and became speckled like confetti cake. Teeny tiny mishaps but a lesson learned nonetheless.

I did NOT get a pic of all my solid colors; however, I did jump RIGHT into working with my scraps. I was SO excited so off I went and I created this:

I used a component from my friend Charlene at Black Mud Studios to create this piece with antiqued copper metals, dumorterite, Swarovski crystals and Czech glass rondelles. The scrap fit PERFECTLY. I was so TICKLED with the outcome!!

I also picked up a new technique. I'm not one for soldering (yet) so I was trying to figure out how I can seal my jump rings and stretched out split rings... as the professor said in Despicable Me when a new thought came into play... "Light Bulb" ... I saw my tiny 24G wire sitting here and thought..."AH-HA, I'll wrap the gaps to cover them up and wrap the split rings to reshape them after stretching them out" (It then occurred to me that this technique was in one of my component books and probably something people used ALL the time and I'm just now figuring it out. Late as usual!!)

I am always saying how I don't like that I don't have my own signature style yet stepping out of my box into something new like this piece just makes me so happy to not be conformed to a certain type of design. I like knowing I can appeal to different tastes because I'm not afraid to try something new. I guess that's what being a crafter is all about. I don't just make jewelry, I attempt to make other things as well. I love how some of it comes without even much of a thought. The ones that just happen to flow out of my mind and into my hands are the most rewarding of all. The ones I spend countless minutes/hours trying to complete also feel rewarding but discouraging at times too. Sometimes it seems like I'm just trying to make something happen instead of letting it just happen.

Once I laid this piece out to truly take it in I felt accomplished with a design but not with the ribbon. I used a thread zapper to singe the edges so that it would prevent the fabric from fraying too much and I was happy with the most of it but this silk dying thing left me so tickled yet frustrated because there's so much to still learn and do with it all. I'm not a very patient person but dying silk managed to work for me despite the time consuming process of my first attempt. I have many scraps left to play with of mixed colors and solid colors, some with and without the confetti heheh, but I look forward to what it brings to my creativity. I got a comment on this piece on Facebook, calling it a work of art and for the FIRST time I feel like my work truly was just that. I can't wait to share more workings with these scraps. I also can't wait to get more fabric to practice dying!!! Ahhh the joy of expanding your horizons!!! :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Itsa Happy Mango ANNIVERSARY

Its Happy Mango's Anniversary and you have GOT to get in on this!! Check out this scrumptious cake of beads that could be yours all yours!!!!!! Comment on their blog (psst click blog), share it on YOUR blog, share it on FB just share it people!!!

Help support a wonderful company on their wonderful day!! Happy ManGO....where the Beaders GO!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

*~My Inspirations~*

I've been saying for a while now that I was going to do a blog on my biggest inpirations. Well that while has passed and it's time to do what I say. So here they are, in no specific order; my biggest inspirations. Most of whom I can say I'm quite friendly with or have at LEAST had the pleasure of conversing with once or twice. Some I've even been published with. So do me a favor, check them out!!

I'm going to start with Kristy's Kreations. Click on her name to go to her website or click HERE for her BEAUTIFUL blog.
I chose this piece because this how we met. I was a member on I contacted her in regards to a question on this piece and an acquaintanceship grew. Kristy and I have been published in Bead Trends together. (I think on more than one occasion) She and I sometimes talk crafts on Facebook and she is by far my number ONE go to person when I have a crafty question. She's a great spirit and big helper. I couldn't possibly say enough things about her. She is as unique as her jewelry pieces. And what a piece she makes. Oh, and did I mention her husband makes beads?? GREAT BEADS!!! Check them out at Bubby & McGurk These 2 are AWESOME to work with.

Now, I couldn't bring up the Jewelry Network without mentioning Amy Underwood of Sterling Lace Creations. I contacted Amy to see if I could help her with her pictures. Her work was impeccable but the pictures were dark. I wanted to brighten them up to show off her pieces. So I asked if she would mind and we went from there. She has since had her photos professionally taken but I made a wonderful friend in the process. Her chainmaille pieces will BLOW YOU AWAY. True craftsmanship here ladies and gents. Also another wonderful person to network with. She also has a GREAT sense of humor!

Moving on I bring you... Lune Designs By Keirsten Giles. ABSOLUTELY one of my biggest inpirations. Just a picture of her work sparks my flare to design. Whenever I'm in a slump I can look at her work and feel rejuvenated.
I think I met Keirsten via Happy Mango Beads on Facebook. I think they were sharing her work on their wall and I INSTANTLY fell in love. She NEVER fails to amaze me. Oh how I wish I could twist metals and incorporate leather the way she does. Her pieces have an EXTREMELY unique look and are all made of the things I like. Rich jeweled earth tones with an ethnic/rustic/earthy feel. Her pieces and craftsmanship are SUCH one of a kind you could EASILY pick them out of a room of 1000+ pieces. Her use of color and materials is mind blowing. I thought color combos were MY strong point, but she certainly has the combos down solid!!

Another person I find to be inspirational is Patti O'Neil Martin of Unique Crafts by Patti. One of the kindest hearts I've ever met.
Patti has a bit of a traditional look to her jewelry... but don't let that fool you! She is NEVER afraid to step out of her box and try something new. And you know what? She succeeds every time. Sometimes you can look at a piece of jewelry and KNOW the artist spent time REALLY designing and then there's Patti, whose pieces you look at and see they simply came from the heart. Because her pieces are guided by her love for crafting, and not just an artist's need to design, it seems she never stops creating. She is an inspiration to me because I wish I had that kind of motivation. Sure my pieces come from my heart, but I also tend to over think things and try one to many ways at a time when I should just let it flow. I hope one day I can get my mind right so I could be HALF as productive as her!

As I've mentioned inspiration in a few categories I must also note my inspirations in metal stamping and wire working of which I still have yet to truly delve into.

For metal stamping I ABSOLUTELY HAVE to mention Anna of ARTIBILITY. What a peach this girl is!! She's always willing to offer tips tricks and how to's and if she doesn't know, she'll help you figure it out. A Marine veteran and beautiful spirit.. this girl is DA BOMB!! Her stampings are phenomenal:
Anna's stampings are done with such precision that it sometimes scares me away from attempting to stamp. I can't imagine the patience and time of experience it would take to be this good and I don't know that I'm THAT patient. However in the mean time I can look to my friend's BEAUTIFUL work and say "one day". And when that day comes I know she'll be RIGHT THERE willing to help because that's how AWESOME she is! Quality product from a quality person!!!

As for wire wrapping, I have a few people I find inspirational but no one I find that really triggers anything inside of me so that will be for another time and another blog.

In the end I hope one day to find: class like Kristy, technique like Amy, individuality like Keirsten, motivation like Patti, and quality like Anna.

You can find all their shops here:

And follow their blogs here:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Mango Mardi Gras Contest

Crafters and Beaders... it's yet ANOTHER contest...from the wonderful HAPPY MANGO BEADS. Go comment on their BLOG to be entered and blog out the contest for a second entry!! Happy Mango stands for some wonderful things. View their Facebook to get an inside look at the business and their travels. You'll be happy to support such a wonderful business!!! And they got some GREAT beads!!! Share Share Share!!!!

Suburban Girl Design Team Contest!!!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...CRAFTERS AND BEADERS.... HERE'S YOUR CHANCE!!! Ever wanted to be a part of a design team? I know I have... so take a stab at it. Go to Suburban Girl Studios and enter her contest for a design member. All you have to do is comment on her BEAUTIFUL blog and for a second chance, blog this contest. Her work is impeccable and anyone would be honored to work with such a talented Suburban Girl!!