Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Thanks for Traveling with Me

Hi all,

This will be a short post, but I just wanted to thank everyone who stopped by and gave me feedback on my Lesotho pieces. It felt very good to create them, and I will probably do more pieces in these styles in the future. I would also just like to give a big "hip hip hooray" to all of the bloggers who participated in this blog hop. I had the chance to check many of the pages, and the work is just stunning. I was especially taken by the pieces from Micronesia, as that is where I currently call home. It was pretty cool to see how other people view this part of the world.

Many of you asked about the crayon batik piece I made, so look for a post on that soon.

Crayon Batik -- Sneak Peek

Hope all is well and creative :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

In the Light of Day

As promised, here are my travel challenge pieces in some more natural light.

Thanks for checking in, and happy travels!

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

Ahoi hoi beaders and jewerly enthusiasts,

Over the summer, I joined my first blog hop. I couldn't resist jumping in on it because of the topic: Travel. I love to travel and find most of my jewerly inspiration from the things I see on the road. The challenge, hosted by the lovely Erin of Tesori Trovati Jewelry, was to select a region of the planet that you don't live on (I chose to up the ante by chosing a region I had not traveled to) and choose an inspiration nation from within that region. There was also an option to have a nation chosen for you. I went for the latter, and was gifted with the beautiful nation of Lesotho.
(I apologize in advance for the photos of my jewelry pieces. It was late when I took them and the lighting was not good. I will repost better pics when I have some daylight to work with.)

Lesotho Flag

In my research, I found out that Lesotho is known for its beautiful landscape, but not really for its arts and crafts. The one item of note that did keep coming up, however, was the Lesotho cone hat.

A woman wearing a traditional hat waits to vote in Likalaneng, Lesotho, February 17, 2007. [© AP Images]
The Cone Hat
Since the cone hat was such an important image (It is on the flag!), I decided to try my hand at crayon batik incorporating the image. I used the fabric I made to create this cuff.

Cone hat!

While Lesotho is not known for its arts and crafts, it has its fair share of artisans. Commonly used materials for jewelry are wire, clay, and plastic beads. They also have a penchant for using bright colors.

Vibrant Colors

I love the brilliant colors in this photo, and chose to capture some of that vibrance through this wrapped wire and bead necklace.

And again here in these wrapped wire earrings.

And lastly, the Basotho blanket is another prominent image connected to the country of Lesotho. The blankets feature simple yet striking circular patterns.

Basotho Blankets
These beautiful swirly blankets served as inspiration for my last piece, a circular bead pendant.

Well, that's all she wrote for me. I greatly enjoyed my time with Lesotho. Most of the pieces pushed me in new directions with my jewelry, which always makes me happy. Here is a list of all of the other blog participants. Please check out their blogs!

Monique Urquhart  ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.ca  Burkina Faso

Niky Sayers   silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk   Egypt

Therese Frank  www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com  Kenya

Joan Williams   www.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.com     Mauritania

Sherri Stokey   http://www.KnotJustMacrame.com     Senegal

Regina Santerre   http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com    Seychelles

Raida Disbrow   http://havanabeads.blogspot.com    Tanzania

Kristi Wodek   http://livedinlife.blogspot.com    Zimbabwe

Sally Russick    http://www.thestudiosublime.com    Brazil

Melissa Trudinger    http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com     Mexico

Tracy Stillman    http://www.tracystillmandesigns.com    USA

Sandra Wolberg    http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de    India

Tanya Goodwin   http://pixiloo.blogspot.com   Japan

Susan Kennedy    http://suebeads.blogspot.com    Japan

Beth Emery    http://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com    Japan

Lisa Cone    http://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com   Japan

Tanya Boden   http://fusionmusebangkok.blogspot.com   Japan

Inge von Roos   http://ingetraud.wordpress.com   Laos

Erin Prais-Hintz   http://treasures-found.blogspot.com   Nepal

Dee Elgie   http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.com   Phillipines

Carolyn Lawson   http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com   South Korea

Lisa Stukel   http://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.com   Sri Lanka

Elly Snare   http://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.com    Thailand

Shelley Graham Turner   http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com   Austria

Mallory Hoffman    http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com   Bosnia Herzegovina

Paige Maxim    http://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.com    France

Jenny Davies-Reazor    http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog   Germany

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com    Greece

Evelyn Shelby    http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com    Iceland

Holly Westfall    http://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com    Ireland

Rebecca Siervaag   http://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com   Ireland

Toltec Jewels    http://toltecjewels.blogspot.com     Ireland

Lee Koopman  http://StregaJewellry.wordpress.com   Ireland

Laren Dee Barton    http://larendeedesigns.blogspot.com     Italy

Cindy Wilson    http://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.com   Norway

Kathleen Lange Klik    http://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.com   Poland

Shaiha Williams   http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com    Portugal

Jennifer Justman    http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com    Romania

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca    http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com    Spain

Lola Surwillo    http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com    Sweden

Kim Hora   http://www.kimmykats.com     Switzerland

Leanne Loftus    http://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.com   The Netherlands

Patti Vanderbloemen    http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com   The Netherlands

Marcie Carroll   http://labellajoya.blogspot.com    Turkey

Marlene Cupo   http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com  Federated States of Micronesia

Ine Vande Cappelle   http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com   Fiji

Tammie Everly   http://ttedesigns.blogspot.com   Guam

Alice Peterson    http://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com   Kiribati

Elisabeth Auld   http://www.beadsforbusygals.com   Nauru

Susan McClelland   http://mistheword12.wordpress.com     New Zealand

D Lynne Bowland    http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.com    New Zealand

Denielle Hagerman    http://somebeadsandotherthings.com     New Zeland

Rebecca Anderson   http://songbeads.blogspot.com    Papua New Guinea

Mischelle Fanucchi  http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com   Samoa

Kari Asbury   http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com    Solomon Islands

Cece Cormier   http://www.thebeadingyogini.com    Tonga

Emma Todd   http://www.apolymerpenchant.com    Tuvalu

Debbie Price   http://greenshoot.blogspot.com   Vanuatu

Happy Travels!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fun With Paper

During my travels this summer, I saw lots of jewelry that used recycled materials. One of the most versatile materials for this is paper. I've tried making paper beads in the past and failed miserably. I decided to give it another go, but this time making flat spirals. I am in love! Here is a sampling of what I've been working on.

This simple pendant is made from old catalogue pages and super thick black wire.
This lovely is also from catalogue pages. I've sewn the pieces together with embroidery floss. To finish this piece, I'll attach it to a short chain.

I love how this pendant turned out! It's a combination of paper, embroidery floss, hemp cord, and wire.

This little one is the first piece I finished. It reminds me of a pocket watch.

Have you ever worked with paper?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Old Stuff

I have been threatening :) to load some photos of new bead work, and honestly just haven't had the brain for it in a long time. But, I'm back on now, after a lovely 2 1/2 months traveling in South East Asia, with some old new stuff to share. Some of these pieces I made for the last Jambo Arts exhibition I participated in, and some were commision pieces. I have recently signed up for a Travel Challenge, so will be posting some pieces from the challenge soon soon. Here's to creative inspiration!

These lovelies were inspired by a pair of earrings I saw on Pinterest.

I love this mandala style earring. I always come back to it.

These funky fans are made from recycled soda can :)

Wire worked rings are so much fun. Love spirals.

This little darling puts a smile on my face every time I see it.

This pendant was inspired by a copycat project I saw on New Dress a Day

This is a commision piece made for a friend. I'd never worked with buttons before, but I will definitely be doing it again.
 Well, that's all for now. I would love any feedback you have on these pieces. And if you have any questions, I'm always happy to answer.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Stuff

I was trying to think of a clever title for my first blog in a long time, but the best I've got is "New Stuff". In about 18 days, I'll be exhibiting in my 4th art show with the Jambo Arts group of Majuro. The theme is "How do you love?". I've been contemplating that theme in poetry and jewelry for the past month now.

My love is bright, fun, and playful, so I've been playing with paints. Here is some of what I've been working on so far.

The base of these fab fans is recycled soda can. They are soon to be transformed into some boss earrings.
More soon....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Ahoi hoi all,

This has been a crazy week. There are so many things I want to post, but I just can't get my mind around it. Truth be told, I've been a little down. Something very important was stolen from my house recently, and I just haven't been able to bounce back. I have the last earrings from the earring a day challenge photographed and ready to go. I hope to have them posted soon.  Until then, I'm trying to remember to breathe.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 3: Earring a Day Challenge

Despite having a case of the sniffles this week, I perservered by making one earring a day. My hands are itching to make bangles and long beaded necklaces, but I'm gonna see this earring thing out to the end. And since I came into the game on the 7th of January, I'll be earring-a-day'ing it until February 7th to make up for it. So, here are the week's spoils:


Sunday brought simple elegance. I love the rich tone of the faceted purple glass and the simplicity of the Magnesite button.

This earring revolved around the large disc between the blue and yellow beads. I love the whimsy of this pair.

After staring at a soda can for a while, I decided to make these fan earrings. I love the simplicity of the design.

These were a wirework exercise. I really like the colors, but am not sure the copper works.

Thursday brought fashion inspiration from my own closet. I bought this cute peasant blouse from Macy's and wanted some earrings to go with it.

It was nice to be back with needle, thread, and little seed beads. I really like how these starbursts came out.

This is the result of sick + Nyquil + staring at mixed beads. Not necessarily my faves, but at least it's a pair of earrings.

This is a variation of Thursday and Friday's earrings. Feeling a little better, I had a fun time making these funky mandala earrings.

Well, that's it for week 3. Be on the lookout for what's up Week 4.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Earring-a-Day Challenge Week 2!

Well, week 2 of the January earring a day challenge has come and gone. If I thought the first week was a doozy, the second week brought even more challenges. I really enjoyed the creativity that came up this week, and I was even able to get in two style challenges. I did, however, have one day this week that was just an exercise in putting together some beads and attaching a hook. All in all, the challenge is going well, but I am counting the days. Here's the spread for the week:

This is a design that I saw online and wanted to try.

I wanted something funky and earth toned. I love how the handpainted yellow wood bead adds pop.

Tuesday brought this sorbet colored gemstone confection.

Wednesday was a long day for me. These simple monochrome drops were all I could muster.

This I <3 the 80's  spread in an old Lucky magazine was the inspiration for Thursday.

I love the bright colors, and the squares are made of an upcycled soda can.

I loved the Thursday's style so much, that I decided to do a reprise in purple tones.
I love the colors in this fashion spread in an old InStyle magazine.

These funky art deco earrings make me think of summer and are made of upcycled soda can.

So that's all for this week! Bring on week 3!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Earring-a-Day Challenge!

Well, my first week in the earring-a-day challenge is complete. This week has been very eye-opening for me. As much as I love to wear earrings, I never really realized that I don't make a lot of earrings. In fact, these past few months I've been almost exclusively rings, bangles, and necklaces. I agreed to do this challenge, though, so I gave it the old college try. I didn't have a lot of time for crafting this week, so I mostly stuck with wire, beads, and components pieces. I'm hoping that this week coming I can get into some more complicated seed beading, but only time will tell.

Sunday's Style Challenge:

Here are the earrings I wanted to copy.

Here is my version.

These earth toned wheels add a bit of funkiness to any outfit.

I love blue goldstone. Looking for inspiration, I saw these rounds twinkling in my gemstone box and couldn't resist.


These simple beaded numbers were inspired by my friend's five year old son and the big box of mixed-up seed beads on my table.

I had so much fun making these wire flowers. I don't have a jig, so I made them by hand. I love how delicate they are.

These little numbers make me want to put on my salsa shoes. I love the flecks of color in the odd shaped black beads and the sparkle of the crystals.

I wanted to work with wood on Friday. I think these simple little earrings have a nice air of whimsy.


Saturday had me thinking of cool breezes and lightness. I love the different textures in these earring and the simplicity of the monochrome.

So, that's week one! On the whole I'm proud of myself just for completing the exercise. Stay tuned next week to see where this challenge leads!