Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thrift Store Challenge - my findings!

I recently signed up for the Thrifts Store Blog Hop (

Here is what I purchased at Savers this weekend....

I'm not sure if this is a belt or a necklace, but I love those clear plastic beads with colors!

Stretchy bracelet.

Memory wire bracelet

Stretchy bracelet (Great beads!)

Stretchy bracelet - dyed shell beads

Reveal date is August 1st - stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Must... Make... More... Beads!!!

I made more beads today. They are so very close to being the same size. Shape is great! My holes are almost dead center! OMG! I MUST make more!!!

Progress, Not Perfection - Glass bead-making

I made some new beads today. Teal beads with yellow polka dots. I'm so excited that I'm making progress. They are starting to look more consistent!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My new earrings

Yesterday was very stressful. I babysat my 3 beautiful grandchildren and attended a group picnic with some friends. My camera was stolen. Thank goodness I have saved all pictures (except for the ones taken at the picnic) on my computer.

Making jewelry is calming. After cleaning out the truck looking for my camera, and emptying my purse, I decided to make a pair of earrings.

I made the copper spirals with copper wire and my cordless drill!

The beads are turquoise dyed jasper. All findings are copper.

Today, I made these lovely earrings with some cute little high heeled shoe charms. Adorable!

The black and green crystals are Swarovski crystals. 

These cuties are made with teal cat's eye beads and white glass crystal beads.  

Blog Prompt for the Weekend (via Lori Anderson)

Blog Prompt for the weekend -- Why do you blog? Why did you start your blog, and has it changed from when you first started writing? If you're new to blogging, what are your goals for your blog?

Why do I blog? It is a way to memorialize my progress and my life. It is a visual of my work. AND - a way to keep up with others. It keeps my creativity alive! 

Why did I start my blog? It was suggested in a newsletter I receive. I planned to use it as free advertising for my jewelry. Has it changed since I started? Definitely. Now, it's not just about advertising my jewelry. It's about my life. It's about networking with others. 

My goals for my blog are to be consistent with it. And keep up with it, but to keep it simple!

Thanks Lori for the blog prompt!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Have I always led a creative life?

Lori Anderson posted today's Blog Prompt: Have you always led a creative life? When did you know creativity was your passion?

My mother has always been creative. She loves to paint and write poetry. These days, she makes jewelry - mostly whimsical, young, jewelry.  So - she pushed me and my brothers to get in touch with our creative side. I remember, in the summer, my mom would give us a sentence and tell us to write a short story. She encouraged me and my brothers to take art classes. When I reached high school, I had a short story published in a scholastic magazine. I tried my hand at painting - not for me. I ended up in drama and speech classes and joined the debate team. I was in the band. I loved being in speech competitions. Prose was my forte'. 

After high school, I got married and had children. Creativity went by the wayside. Unless being creative in managing money and making meals on a shoestring budget counts! I have some poetry I've written over the years.

At my last job, of 13 years, my boss discovered I had a creative side. I was put in charge of developing crafts for each holiday for the clients (I worked in an inpatient mental health/substance abuse clinic for teens). I developed arts and crafts for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mother's and Father's days, and 4th of July. I loved making handmade ornaments for Christmas, my favorite holiday. I had previously worked in another treatment center (for women only) and I was the Director of Activities. We made friendship bracelets, wallpaper fans, "God's eyes", and many more crafts. 

I guess I've known all my life that I'm creative. And I can say I am a passionate person no matter what I'm doing.  When I became a jewelry designer last fall, I decided I would work at becoming the best I could be. I believe a person, including myself, should be passionate about what they are doing, no matter what it is. If you're not passionate about what you're doing then you need to be doing something else.     

My answer to Lori's blog prompt questions.... 

"Have you always led a creative life?" - YES!

"When did you know creativity was your passion?" When I was young. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And now for the rest of my winnings!

I recently won some beads from Gail Grenade-Accinelli. Enameled beads and lampwork beads. I used the enameled bead caps to make some earrings. (I posted them last week)
Today, I used Gail's lampwork beads combined with other lampwork beads I had obtained from various places. No two are alike! 

Here is my creation.

I also spent today with my youngest son and his 3 children, since my son had the day off. We spent 3 hours at the public swimming pool and another 3 hours at Chucky Cheese. 

"Ol' Blues eyes" - my youngest grandson - Hayden. 

My youngest son, Shawn, and his youngest son.

Shawn, Hayden, Paige, and Seth

MY youngest son and his kids, Hayden, Paige, and Seth

Hayden is a camera hog! But he's so darn cute!

They are tired from swimming for 3 hours.


My granddaughter - Paige.
Can we say "exhausted"?!

IHeart Organizing: IHeart: Shelf Reliance & a GIVEAWAY!

IHeart Organizing: IHeart: Shelf Reliance & a GIVEAWAY!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My newest set of handmade glass beads

I have attempted to make beads with my torch several times now. My 1st bead broke because it stuck to the mandrel and I made too many tries at getting it off. My second set of beads I managed to get 3 out of 4 beads off the mandrels. My 3rd set all broke in my attempts at getting them off the mandrels.

I decided to ask for help in the 2 facebook bead groups I belong to - Bead Soup Cafe ( and Creative Bead Chat ( I received much advice - mostly consisting of thinning the bead release, cleaning the mandrels very well before dipping in bead release, and ultimately - buying a different brand of bead release. I tried the first 2 suggestions. THEY WORKED!!!!

Now - here are photos of my newest beads - all 5 came off the mandrels with very little effort. I annealed them, reamed, and filed them.

I made them with transparent blue glass and opaque orange spots.

The middle bead is opaque orange with transparent blue spots. 

My next feat will be to become more consistent in size and shape!

However - I am very proud of these beads!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why I became a jewelry designer

I became a jewelry designer by accident. I found myself unemployed in the Fall 2011. I decided I needed a hobby, something to keep me busy. I searched Walmart's craft section looking for ideas. I found a cute beach glass necklace kit on clearance. I took it home and disliked the instructions and the original design. I altered it and designed my own. I posted pics on facebook. A few days later, I was approached about the necklace and asked if it was for sale. I sold it! I reinvested my earnings by purchasing more beads and a few pendants. Hobby Lobby had great clearance items (remember - I was unemployed). 

Since last fall, I have acquired nine 60-drawer storage containers full of beads and findings. I've entered 2 different craft fairs and sold a few more of my designs. My newest endeavor is making glass beads. My boyfriend bought me a lampwork/glass bead making kit.
I have found that making jewelry is very freeing for me. It is relaxing and the closest thing to meditation I've found. Making jewelry is how I am learning to express myself. 

What  I like best about designing jewelry is creating something, standing back, and admiring a work of art that I made. I never thought I would be a jewelry designer because I didn't think I had the creative ability. I have learned to "listen" to the beads and let them speak to me, then I create. 

The next best thing I like about being a jewelry designer is when someone purchases one of my pieces and wears it with pride. I love seeing my jewelry designs on someone else's neck. It's the best compliment! I also like the compliments I get from my friends. 

I recently had a friend tell me she thought I was crazy when I started designing jewelry. She informed she thought I was going to be making cheap gaudy stuff. She wrapped up her sharing with this, "I'm really impressed. You are really good at what you do!" And I thought I was my worst critic!

My biggest honor was designing and creating the jewelry for my daughter's wedding! I made the necklace and a matching bracelet.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Toolbox Challenge and Hop

Sandra McGriff ( is hosting a toolbox challenge in honor of Father's Day. The instructions were "raid 'his world' for items to use in yours." Create a piece of jewelry using something I found in the toolbox or hardware store, or tackle box.

When I first read about this challenge I immediately knew I would participate. My idea was to use items from the tackle box.

My necklace was completed, but the pendant I chose looked gaudy. So I redesigned it by changing the pendant.

 The chain is made from # 5 fishing swivels, connected with jump rings of the same color. I then removed the hooks from the lures, which was sad. The hooks had feathers attached, so I couldn't keep them on the lures. I attached a large spoon lure for a pendant, after firing it to give it a tarnished look.

I used a large toggle that looks like a fishing lure. 

I must say, fishing is MY sport. I love it and have my own tackle box and fishing poles. This was not a difficult challenge for me. There are some gorgeous lures on the market. I plan to make matching earrings for this necklace soon. The necklace is for sale $40.

Be sure to check out all participants!!