Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let's Declare This "Hat Week"!

Beginning yesterday and ending next Saturday, there is an unusual convergence of events that focus on spectacle, and feature hats. Chapeaux. Toppers. Fascinators.

If you, like much of the world, spent part of yesterday watching the coverage of the royal wedding, you saw a pageant of headgear (okay, we'll leave the Beefeaters' hats out of this, because seriously, that's not a fashion statement, it's a lifestyle. And a chiropractor's bill waiting to happen).

We went from chic and colorful...

to creative (and potentially tasty)...

to something that looks like the wearers raided the Star Trek costume vaults...

And one week from today, it's the closest thing to a "hats required" event we have on this side of the Atlantic -- the Kentucky Derby.

Now I never realized how all-consuming the quest for the perfect Derby hat was until I moved to Louisville several years ago. Y'all, I have seen women plow each other down near a hat display. I have seen otherwise stoic women squeal when they've tried on a hat that extends past their shoulders and their imagination. Yes, I have squealed myself.

So in honor of these two bookended hat days, I declare this Hat Week on my blog.

My goal each day will be to find some photos of fabulous hats, and where possible, pair them with my jewelry that go with, or seem inspired by, their fabulousness.

And if you find a great hat, send me a picture. Better yet, go try on some hats and send me a picture of what you find that makes you squeal when you put it on!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If It Ain't Baroque....The Earrings of Self-Awareness

Baroque is not the first word I would use to describe myself. Generally, when I think baroque, I think of things that are elegant but ornamented and encrusted with curlicues, frou frous, and geegaws to the point of being overly fussy. Yeah, seriously not me.

However, when putting this post together, I thought I'd go old school and actually look up the definition. Huh. defines "baroque" as "extravagant, complex, or bizarre, especially in ornamentation."

Okay, I admit it, I can tend to be a little extravagant. I flatter myself to think I'm complex (mysterious, fascinating, brilliant, you know, all those femme fatale things - ha!). Many of my friends, and certainly my children, would say I demonstrate more than my share of bizarre now and then.

So, apparently, I am baroque. And so are the stampings I used in these earrings I made and wore to work today.

Fun antiqued stampings with some very baroque curlicues and flourishes, with onyx teardrops dangling underneath. They clock in at about 3" so they are a little bit extravagant, too.

So today, I was stylish, baroque, and newly self-aware. It's AMAZING what jewelry can bring to your life!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Project That Ate My Bead Table

A couple of days ago, I was talking about a project that had started modestly but had grown to be much larger and more involved than I had imagined.

I promised to keep everyone updated on the progress of the thing. Yes, it's a way to give you a glimpse into the madness that passes for my creative process.

But really, it was a way to hold myself accountable to make progress on this thing that has been sitting on my bead table, mocking me in its incompleteness. I mean, if I promised to show you how it's coming along, it had better be coming along, right?

So here are the watch faces, all bezeled and ready to be made into a fabulous necklace.

Yeah, now to go figure out some fabulous....stay tuned!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Button That Saved the Bracelet

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you've had a great start to your week. Allow me to introduce you to the button that saved the bracelet.

This past weekend was relaxed and gave me a chance to catch up on some little chores that have been hanging around the bead room for a while. One was to make a replacement on the closure for a freeform bracelet. I had originally used a really cute vintage bead that looks kind of like a pair of wings or flower petals. It was cute, but a little too small to be a secure, dependable closure, so it had to go back into the collection to be used elsewhere another day.

Do I have a photo of this cute little bead? Um, no. That would be entirely too logical. And I can either do Monday, or I can do logic. The ability to do both simultaneously seems to have vanished some time in my 30's....

However, here's what the bracelet looks like in its new, repaired state with the flower button pictured above in the place of the vintage bead closure.

I'm so happy to have it back in wearable shape. Now to decide -- should it go to one of the galleries that sell my work, be part of the inventory for my show in three weeks (gasp! I've got a lot to do for that!!!), or perhaps serve as an early entry for the Etsy shop I want to get started?

Maybe I'll take it for a test wear tomorrow and decide then.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beach Dreaming and Show Prep

It's raining here.

I mean really raining. Biblical, epic, tie-down-anything-that-might-float-away rain.

So, naturally, I am dreaming of the beach.

I mean, who wouldn't want to be somewhere like this?

Destin. Myrtle Beach. Orange Beach. Gulf Shores. Isle of Palms. Aaah...

Okay, so that's not happening any day soon, so I had to do the next best thing and go play in the bead room to create some sunny, beach vibe.

Here's the result of a little beady, beachy therapy. These great mother of pearl teardrops swing and sway, and the clasp can hook anywhere in the chain, adjusting the length of the necklace from a choker with a long drop to a 22" necklace with just the teardrop cluster as a pendant. I know it'll look great with a cute little sundress, against sun-kissed skin.

I also spent some time working up some fun memory wire bracelets for an upcoming show on Mother's Day weekend. They use up lots of orphan and leftover beads that I won't use anywhere else.

They'll be in a big basket at the front of my booth to be a quick impulse purchase (fingers crossed!!). And they worked up super fast, and who doesn't love a little nearly-instant gratification? All in all, it's been a good weekend. Take that, rainclouds!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Million Thanks, Earring Eye Candy, and a Peek at What's Next

For all of those who stopped by during the 7000 Bracelets of Hope Blog Hop and left wonderful, warm comments, a million thanks!!! I am touched, thrilled, and humbled by the kind words. It was an enormous privilege to be included among the beauty created by all the talented bead artists who participated. If you're back again, I hope to see you here regularly!

So what have I been making recently besides a blue bracelet? Here are the earrings I made for Pay It Forward that got sent out last week.

They were fun to make, and I hope they're just as much fun for the recipients to wear!

Now, I off to work on a project that's been taunting me for's just sitting there on my work table, scoffing at my lack of progress. And no, it's not my income taxes. (They're not done, either, but at least the extension got filed in time!) But it is one of those projects that started innocently and has grown into a monster beyond what I had originally planned. Ever have one of those?

Here's a peek:

I'll show you more as I progress -- how's that for self-motivation? Yeah, self-motivation through making yourself reportable to others. Whatever works!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bracelet Blog Hop!

Welcome to the blog hop for 7000 Bracelets of Hope, organized by the
fantabulous Lori Anderson. Thanks for visiting!

This beautiful lapis lazuli carved flower has been living in my bead collection for years. Seriously, years.

It's just been waiting for the right project to come along. What a wonderful reason to break it out of storage!

The focal itself was so gorgeous that I didn't want to distract from it. It needed to be the star of the show. So, here's the final version, called Midnight Flowers. I imagine a beautiful night blooming flower, unfurling against a background of deep azure sky dappled with stars.

There are 112 jewelry artists participating in this hop. Here's a list of everyone who's playing along, so grab a nice beverage, a little snack, and prop your feet up to enjoy a wealth of eye candy...

1. Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got To Doodle
3. Kym Hunter, Creatively Kym
4. Mandy Duffy, Beads for Brains: 365
5. Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
6. Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings
7. Mary Harding, Mary Harding Jewelry
8. Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
9. Amy Severino, Amy's Beads
10. Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by Jennifer Pride

11. Jenny Cameron, Glass Addictions
12. Susan Ferguson, Windrock Studio
13. Mortira vanPelt, Inspirational Beading
14. Brandi Hussey, Brandi Girl
15. Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
16. Angela Barribou, Re: Angela Rae
17. Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
18. Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
19. Jean Yates, Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading To Be Done!
20. Nicki Keller, Nicki's Reef

21. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
22. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
23. Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
24. Deci Worland, Gem Trails
25. Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium
26. Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
27. Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio
28. Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
29. Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
30. Deb Price, Green Shoot Jewellery Designs

31. Suzette Bentley, Ellies Bijoux
32. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
33. Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
34. Kate Gardenghi, The Tropical Blonde
35. Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
36. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
37. Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
38. Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
39. CJ Baushka, 4 His Glory Creations
40. Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash

41. Sandra Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
42. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs
43. Kim Roberts, Bahama Dawn
44. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
45. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia's Studio
46. Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
47. Sue Kennedy, Sue Beads
48. Raquel Amaral, Raquel Amaral
49. Robyn Hawk, Daily Jewel
50. Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

52. Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
53. Andrea Robinson, Madame Magpie's Shiny Things
54. John Rasmussen, Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry
55. Breana Fry, Vault 31
56. Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
57. Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
58. Dot Lewallen, Speedie Beadie
59. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
60. Heather Pyle, Aquariart

61. Adrienne Campbell, Adrienne Designs
62. Dee Gordon, Runako Designs
63. Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
64. Susie Hibdon, Vintage Susie & Wings
65. Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
66. Norma Agron, Norma's Clay
67. Ana Novak, Cat's Pajamas, Dog's Tuxedos
68. Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
69. Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
70. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

71. Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
72. Catherine Pruitt, Boo Beads
73. Deana Hager, Just Deez' Art & Life
74. Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
75. Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass
76. Janet Bocciardi, Honey From the Bee
77. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life
78. Rose Noble, Lady Noble Design
79. Sally Russick, WireWorked
80. Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter

81. KJ, KJ's Beadacious Beads
82. Lana Kinney, Something Unique by Lana
83. Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman ... Art, Life, Love
84. Karen Bien, Everyday Gypsy
85. Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
86. Cyn Gagen, Creative Edventures
87. Niky Sayer, Silver Nik Nats
88. Deb Beechy, Beetique
89. Marian Hertzog, M's Place
90. Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts

91. Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
92. Charlene Gray, Gray Girl Studio
93. Erin Fickert-Rowland, Elysian Fields
94. Sharon Palac, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
95. Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
96. Christine Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
97. Eileen Bergen, The Artful Crafter
98. Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry (You are here!)
99. Rebekah Payne, Tree Wings Studio
100. Mari Aparicio, Mis Amores

101. Tracy Statler, Make Bracelets
102. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
103. Kim Stevens, Picking Poppies
104. Karyn White, Releases by Rufydoof
105. Elisabeth Auld, Beads for Busy Gals
106. Lisa Hamilton, Simply Irresistible Jewelry
107. Serena Trent, All Things Made Jewelry
108. Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Artwerks
109. Debbie La Rue, For the Love of Beading
110. Maggie Towne, Maggie's Bead Towne

111. Cassandra Watsham, Designs by Cassandra
112. Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's in Your Purse?

Today, I decided to clean out and change my purse. This is not an activity I undertake frequently or lightly, as the bottom of my purse usually resembles an archeological dig more than a proper lady's accessory.

I totally fail the Proper Southern Lady Handbag test. On an epic scale that would give Scarlett O'Hara the vapors.

Anyway, on today's excavation, even a novice archeologist could have learned that I am a beader. Here's what was left at the bottom when the wallet, cell phone, four dozen pens, three sad lip glosses, and 2,000 crumpled receipts were gone:

Please overlook the crumbs from some long-lost package of saltines I pilfered from a restaurant somewhere along the way. I told you I failed at Proper Southern Lady.

I'm not even entirely sure when or how these treasures got into my purse. But hey, it's beady treasure, so -- woohoo!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Sneak Peek

Here's a little taste of the bracelet I'm making for the 7000 Bracelets of Hope project. The big reveal is next Saturday as part of a blog hop.

Check out Lori's blog for a complete list of the participants. Now, back to that bracelet...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wherein The Lost Are Found, and I Help My Dentist Make His Next Boat Payment

Yes, I make earrings. Therefore, I have lots of choices when getting dressed and accessorizing.

However, as you probably do, I have a go-to pair that is versatile enough to go with anything and requires very little thought first thing in the morning (usually a valued trait). They're gold-filled square wire, twisted in a freeform improvisational pattern, just different enough to look proudly handcrafted and a little funky. They work with suits, they work with jeans.

Until, that is, they went missing. Did they go on vacation? Did they accidentally get washed with the laundry? I searched the gym bag, every pocket in every jacket and coat I own, and even a couple of my husband's jackets. I was resigned to the fact that they were, in fact, gone.


But yesterday, I moved a book on my dresser, and (insert angelic music here) voila! They had just been playing hide and seek. They had obviously been absorbed in a good book and didn't want to be disturbed. Who could blame them?

So this morning, happy with my newly literate earrings in my lobes, I went off to a dentist appointment. Four hours later (not an exaggeration), I left with a new crown, a couple of freshly replaced fillings, and an inability to feel or open my mouth. Now, while it was probably a relief to many in my life that I couldn't talk as much, it did make eating tricky. This is the sum total of today's nourishment, as seen on my office desk...

Please note that I did manage (okay, it was purely coincidental, but I'm gonna claim that I planned it) to make the fashion forward choice in both the drinking straw and the flowers, both of which are in this season's hottest color, honeysuckle. So I may not be able to sing along with the radio today, but I'm in style, baby!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

7000 Bracelets


Shine a light in a dark place. Bring some hope and encouragement to a difficult time. Make someone's day brighter, while doing something you love.

Who could pass that up? Well, I sure couldn't!

I'm pleased to be yet another beader participating in the 7000 Bracelets for Hope project, to raise awareness of rare diseases and to provide encouragement and moral support for the children and families who are living with these diseases. Read more about it here: 7000 Bracelets for Hope.

Lori Anderson, the intrepid blog hop organizer, is organizing a Bracelet Blog Hop so that we can share our bracelet creations with each other before sending them on to their ultimate homes. Sign up here (hurry! the deadline is midnight on Tuesday, April 5!), or join us on April 16 when the participants' creations will be unveiled.