Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sally Russick's 3rd Annual Ornament Swap

Today's the day! I'm so excited to get to show you what I received. Christmas is my very favorite time of year, and I love ornaments, so I was thrilled when I saw Sally's post about her ornament swap.
I quickly signed up, and waited with anticipation to find out who Sally had chosen for my partner.
Well, if y'all heard a squeal, and wondered what it was...yep, it was me! Cause my partner is.......the awesome Karen Williams!!! Girl wonder, crafter extraordinaire. Queen of freeform. The face behind Skunk Hill Studios.  Ms. Karen led me through my first experience with freeform with her fantastic book, Freeform Peyote Beading.
Now, Karen has the most wonderful eye for color and texture, so yes...the pressure was on! What to make? what to make?  Well, I'm supposed to be showing you what I, you'll have to go see what I made over at Karen's blog.
Sally's instructions for this hop were pretty simple, email, talk about what you like, and let the designing begin.
Karen and I are pretty similar in our color loves, and we both love the old fashioned style Christmas.
A couple of years ago, I purchased a very unusual tree, just for me. It is made from iron, and rather reminds you of a Charlie Brown tree. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. And I knew exactly what it would hold. Very special-to-me beady ornaments! I have a couple from swaps from last year, and now I get to add Karen's to it! Want to see? Well, of course you do!

Isn't that just the most beautiful piece you've ever seen? I love blue, and stars, so yes, I'm a very happy girl.

 Karen's attention to detail is something I strive for...sigh. Aren't all those little star sequins too cool??

I love bugles, but hate to work with them, so I'm very glad I have a piece that celebrates their beauty...and I didn't have to stitch it! :)

 And it's signed! That makes it so very special for me.

I told you she is an amazing artist...yes, she made the card too! (Sorry, I actually took this pic sideways....please tilt your head to the right. There, see?)

And, and , was wrapped in her own hand dyed paper! Yes, I do have all the packaging from her, because it's all this beautiful, and it's mine....not sharing, no, I'm not....
Now, go check out all the other goodies in the swap. And when you get to Karen's, cross your fingers that she doesn't have close ups, cause I can tell you, I do not stitch as well as she does! 
Thank you so much for putting this together Sally!
Blessings, Shirley

List of Holiday Ornament Swappers

Sally Russick and Beth and Evie McCord
Erin Prais-Hintz and Melissa Trudinger
Karen Williams and Shirley Moore
Lori Finney and Alicia Marinache
D Lynne Bowland and Paula Kramer
Kim Bender Hora and Jenny Davies Reazor
Becky Pancake and Lori Anderson
Veralynne Malone and Therese Frank
Tanya Goodwin and Sandi Volpe
Jeanette Ryan and Rochelle Brisson
Patti Vanderbloemen and Susan Kennedy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Two for One Reveal-Lampwork Blog Hop

Yeah, I did. I signed up for TWO hops, with reveals on the same day. I know, what was I thinking?
Obviously, my brain wasn't working at that moment.
You can go here to see what I created for Therese Franks' Birthday Challenge.

Y'all know Lisa Lodge's Blog Hops are always fun, right? Well, if you've never participated in one, you owe it to yourself to sign right up! She has a couple that are open right now, you can check them out on her blog.
I did sign up a lot later than everyone else on this one. I was really, really trying to resist....we see how well that worked, huh? Anyhoo....have you ever been a bit starstruck when you get beads in the mail?
Of course you have, what a dumb question. That is exactly how I feel every time I see JulsBeads. That woman has some serious mojo magic with lampwork. I was thrilled when I got my package from Lisa, and opened it to find these babies!  Beady Alert! Juls is having a MEGA Sale on her entire shop! You're welcome. 
 And you just need to take my word for it if you've never held any of her beads, the pics really, really don't do them justice.
The deep blues offset by the swirls of no-clouds-in-the-sky-blue are just....yeah. Let me just head off to Dictionary dot com and see if I can find a good adjective.

Nope. Couldn't find one. So, let's just carry on, shall we? Now, of course, I wanted these babies to be front and center, and I wen through several different ideas on my way to the solution. I made a sample piece of netted rope that picked up that deep blue perfectly, but it was feeling a bit too delicate for me, so it got tossed in the 'I'll do something with that later' pile.
This pattern is from  Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving. I've used it several times, I love how fast it works up, and looks so very different depending on the bead choices.

This is why I love this pattern. Depending on the beads used between the pearls, it has a totally different feel. I used some Czech crystal lined, that have an irregular profile, which translates to a more organic overall look.

Well, this one was to help you see the entire length. Not lovin' this pic so much, but hopefully it gives the idea...

 Those matte raku beads are mainly a dusty brown, but they have lovely hints of blue randomly popping up. The other 11's are a silver lined crystal, and a shiny topaz with black diamond inside color. The pearls on the rope are a deep blue, almost indigo. I really, really heart this necklace. It has a surprisingly vintage feel, and the soft, rather neutral colors mean I can wear it with a TON of stuff! Happy Me!!!!
As always, a HUGE Thank you to Lisa for a great Blog Hop!
Here is the list of participants, have fun!!! Blessings, Shirley

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Annette Rivers, MamaOwl's Mess
Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha's Ramblings
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Lori Jean Poppe, Lorillijean Creative Corner
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Leah Mifflin Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Linda Aspenson Bergstrom, TBD
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat's
Connie Tipton, TBD
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
Michele Dotson, Star Jewels
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Jennifer Clifford, TBD
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread   ----------------------- You are Here
Bonnie Coursolle, Jasper's Gems
Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles

Two for One Reveals-Therese Frank's Birthday Reveal

Today is going to be exciting, for sure! How did I manage to sign up for two challenges due on the same day? Nut job, that's me!
Please go here for the post on Lisa Lodge's Hop.

I am so very pleased and honored to be included in Therese Frank's Birthday Reveal. I remember drooling over all the beautiful designs last year that everyone created for her birthday. So I was super thrilled when she included me in the list of folks to receive a very special piece she created.
She played with fusing dichroic glass, and made gorgeous focals that she mailed out to everyone.

Now, you're waiting to see the focal, aren't you? Well, I could have sworn I took a pic when I got it.....but couldn't find it on the computer amongst the MASSES of photos in there. Seriously, I thought I was going to drown in all those pictures! I need a secretary! Oh, wait, I'm a stay at home mom...hmm, ok, well, guess I'll have to train one of the kids to file and soon as I learn how...
Anyway, back to the beauty! There are so many gorgeous colors in my focal, mainly in the blues and purples area of life. Yep. Yummm!!!
Sooo, I decided to try something new. What? It'll be fine...really. How hard can it be to bead embroider?
Lots of people do it....
Well, it actually went pretty well. And you would think I would have NO PROBLEM at all coming up with a rope for it, right? Sigh, no, I was overcome with indecision, and, I purchased beads, and I liked them, but not with the focal, and I started a rope, and I really like it, but not with the focal...yeah.

I do love these dichroic beads, the faceting and shape are very interesting, but I felt like they were competing with Therese's focal, and that was not the point!

I sooo love how this rope is looking, but I did not think I was going to get this much of a curve on it. Not sure if you can see the random reds in the carry beads. They show up very well in person. Just like the small red spot in the focal, they catch your eye unexpectedly. I do think I will end up using the black matte beads, and maybe some silver lined crystal to make a rope for it. Suggestions are definitely welcome!

See the little random red beads? I love how they picked up the red in the focal.

Yes, there is a string hanging off there....

I don't think I'm quite finished with the bezel, but I'm not sure...and I do need to add a backing, but I don't have anything suitable at the moment. 

 Therese, I had so much fun learning bead embroidery with your beautiful focal, and I've got the perfect outfit to wear with it! Thank you so much for including me in your birthday challenge!
Now, head on off to see what the other very talented ladies have created! Blessings, Shirley

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop Reveal

It's here! It's here! I'm so very excited about today! My very first Co-Hosting of a Blog challenge!!!!
And with the awesome Sharyl McMillian, no less!

Sharyl is such a talented lady, and I was so thrilled to supply various beadwoven beads to complement her metal components. As an added bonus, we chose to use the colors for Artisan Whimsy's November color palette.
So, if you've read my blog posts in the past, you may have noticed ....I don't really do earrings. Now, I adore earrings, and wear them every day. I just have challenges making them. When I received Sharyl's package for me, I quickly set about creating a bracelet. My latest passion has been kumihimo, and I love how quickly they work up. I was planning on making a cellini spiral for my braid. Hmm....the Daughter quickly and ruthlessly vetoed the bracelet. "Nope, doesn't work" she said. Now this girl has some serious challenges on putting together a coordinating outfit, but she is pretty spot on when it comes to any type of art form. Here is the braid in question:
 It is pretty, but it just wasn't working with the palette. 'K, back to the drawing board.....

 I thought I could layer the discs on top...FAIL.
Yeah, I was getting a bit desperate here. Things were not coming together. And, well, no pressure or anything, but I am a CO-HOST!!! 
Deep breath, how about some cute kumihimo earrings? Yep, I can totally do that!
Here we go!
And of course, as I add this pic to the blog post, the colors totally clash! But I promise, they are NOT like that IRL. They work perfectly with Sharyl's pretty altered cones. Sigh, probably the wood box I used to hang them from, 'cause, you know, I don't DO earrings, so I don't have a cool display for them!
Now, back to the beads....
I still had to make my beaded bead, and use the flat discs from Sharyl. (No, I didn't take a before pic!)
Here are some that didn't make the cut....
I know, I know, shut up already, and show the pics! Well, believe it or not, I ended up making two more pair of EARRINGS!!!! 
Just some little jump rings (I did make those, does that count?), and coordinating beads...yes, I know those green beads look like they don't match, but they do! 

 An easy, cute beaded bead, jump ring and earwire, call it done!

 Now, y'all can just call me lame if you wanna, but I am seriously proud of making THREE pair of earrings!
I can't wait to see what everyone else made!
Here's the list!

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson -- 

   Candy Wham --  (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog) 

   Angi Mullis -- (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog 

Shirley Moore -- Beads and Bread       (*Co-Host)     You are here!
Laren Dee Barton --  Laren Dee Designs     

Beti Horvath  --   Stringing Fool                 

Tanya Goodwin -- A Work in Progress       

Marybeth Rich -- Forest of Jewels                 

Amy Severino  -- AmyBeads                         

Carolyn's Creations -- Carolyn's Creations   

Toltec Jewels --  Jewel School Friends   

Blessings, Shirley

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Autumn Design Challenge Reveal

Hi all! Welcome to the reveal for Lesley and Caroline's Design challenge!
You just have no idea how thrilled I was to be able to work with these components. I have been a follower, of Lesley's for quite a while. This is my first time working with Caroline's beads, and I can tell you, it won't be the last.
Have you ever had so many ideas floating around in your head, you just don't know which to do? Well, that was me. It took a bit for the beads to get here from the UK, so I was also short on time.
My design process definitely gave me fits for this challenge, but hey, that's part of the fun!
Where is my before pic, you ask? Why, of course I forgot to take one! But, in my defense, I was excited!
Lesley sent a bracelet bar, and a leaf, and Caroline sent a strand of oh so luscious beads.
I'm part of a kumihimo facebook group, and one of the members, Pru McRae, had just released a new tutorial that I had been itching to get my hands on. When I saw that bracelet bar, I knew exactly what I wanted to do!
See? Isn't that just the most scrumptious???

 Ok, so my pics are definitely off in color a bit. I promise you, those goldstone beads are a perfect match for the colors in the bar. 

Here is a bit more full size view of the bracelet. I didn't like the way I ended it, so you don't get to see that part....cause it's my blog, that's why! The gold beads are size 5 triangles, and they worked perfectly with the goldstone beads in Pru's fabulous pattern.

Next up are the leaves...oh yeah baby! Caroline's bead set included a ceramic leaf, and I wanted to use them together. I happily set out to bead a leaf to go with them....
 I adore this leaf, but sadly, it didn't make the cut. My idea, and what we ended up with are worlds apart.....
But, oh, how I love it! My vision had lots of leaves in various sizes, with tons of fringes, and a peyote band to bring them together....hmm, guess I thought I was in charge here....
My poor pics do not do these beads justice, they are so beautiful, and just really didn't need  a lot of busyness.

 Two simple ropes, with all the lovely shades of autumn.

 I was so excited to finally get to use the UFO beads from The Beading Room. They have a bit of a weathered look, like picasso, and the light shines through them beautifully. 

I still had several of Caroline's beads to work with, and spent two days creating an awesome CRAW bracelet....and then just didn't feel the love. What to do, what to do (insert image of me pulling hair)
Every time I looked at those beads, they just said 'necklace'. Which is fine, but a speedy beader I'm not. All the beadwoven rope techniques I wanted to use, I knew I didn't have time to complete.
So, as I'm sitting there staring at my VERY MESSY desk, I keep looking at this awesome teal clon kumihimo cord, sitting next to one of those beads....
This is another of my favorite kumi patterns. This one is by the talented Sally Battis, of Sallybeadjewelry.
Huge apologies, I finished this up too late for decent pics. The magatamas have a gorgeous hybrid of colors, and that cord just sings next to Caroline's bead.

This feels sooooo comfortable on your wrist.
This challenge has been so much fun, HUGE thanks to Lesley and Caroline!
Here's the list of participants. Have fun checking out the designs! Blessings, Shirley

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beading Babes Project 9 Reveal

Hi everyone! Today is reveal day for Project 9 of the Beading Babes group. We had lots of lovely patterns to choose from for this Project, and I love the one that I chose to work on, the SuperNova bracelet by Lucy Baker, Bead and Button, Feb 2013. I couldn't wait to see how she created the structure of the focal piece. It is a very intriguing technique, and I'm so very glad I tried this project. I did have a few issues, but they led me to creative solutions, so I'm a happy camper. Here is a pic of the original project.
bbpdf130268 (from Bead and Button website)

I was not in love with the band on this piece, so I worked some craw magic for mine! I actually made four strips, and joined two together with bicones on either end to create the bands for the bracelet. That allowed them to bend into an ellipse when the bracelet is worn, which I think looks quite lovely.

 I also made the toggle clasp with craw, to keep the symmetry flowing. I love how the band circles mimic the shape of the focal.

I kept my colors similar to the ones in the project, I love the soft, subtle look of this piece.

See that cool shape? It really looks awesome on your arm!

 I used the bicones sparingly, to give just that hint of sparkle.

 I chose to finish the focal with size 15's instead of the bicones. I love how it turned out.
I was thrilled to be able to donate this bracelet for a fundraiser...Silent Auction for the National Inclusion Project's 10th Anniversary Gala being held in Charlotte NC.

Blessings, Shirley

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Wonky Bead Hop!

Today's the day! I've been so excited to share what I came up with for Kristi Bowman's Wonky clay beads!
She makes the most incredible clay pieces, and has recently expanded into polymer clay.
When I received my beads, I had to take a deep breath, because they are quite a bit bigger than what I normally work with....I'm a seed bead girl, remember?
However, inspiration was pretty quick to strike, because I remembered a great tutorial that I had not had a chance to try yet........from the awesome Sherri Stokey! Do you know where this is headed? No? Well, come on, let me show you!

I knew that Sherri's Multiwrap Macrame Bracelet tutorial would be perfect to showcase these beads.

I used an even bigger bead from the talented Natalie Pappas for the centerpiece. (I'm using this as a necklace, rather than a bracelet). 

 These wooden beads I picked up at a destash event picked up the colors perfectly.

 This knarly, beat-up button follows that organic, timeless look.

 I had to throw in that cool mood bead, it will show off all the colors! And I loved creating some beaded beads to slide on as well.

I'm so very pleased with how the necklace turned out. Huge thanks to Kristi for helping me to see that I can create with larger beads,and to Sherri for the perfect tutorial!
Head on over to Kristi's blog to see what everyone else created! Blessings, Shirley

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm having a..................................Blog Hop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ha! What did you think I was going to say???
I'm so very excited to be a featured artist for a Blog Hop with Sharyl McMillian-Nelson of Sharyl's Jewelry.
You will need to head over to her blog to sign up, and make it quick, cause there are only 10 spots!
Here are some of the details, and stuff......stolen directly from Sharyl's blog! :)

Seed Bead & Metal Blog Hop Sign-up!

Announcing the 
Seed Bead & Metal Blog Hop!

Hosted by Sharyl's Jewelry &
Featuring the beaded work of 
*Shirley Moore!*

Blog Hop Basics:

  • This is a small blog hop, open to 10 participants.(Shirley and I will participate, but are not included in the 10 openings mentioned.   These are just for YOU!)   
  • The reveal date is Sat., 10/19/13.  (That means we need to be ready to launch our pages by Friday, 10/18/13, 11:30pm Central time.)    
  • You do NOT have to have your own blog!  Anyone wanting to participate who doesn't have a blog is welcome to send  the photos and text they want posted  2 days prior to Sharyl and she will put on her blog the day of the reveal.
  • Although the packets contain pieces of seed bead work, and while we certainly welcome others who do bead embroidery, crochet, etc., it is not at all required.   Designers simply need to integrate these pieces into their jewelry designs in some way.
* * * * *

Packet Details:

  • Component packets contain handmade items from bothShirley Moore and myself.   Each packet is US$18 plus S/H. (S/H within the U.S. is $2.50. Kansans must also pay sales tax.   I will ship to other countries, but postage is significantly higher and packages can be delayed. Please consider whether is it is likely you would receive the packet in time to participate if you volunteer.  Many thanks!)
  • Each packet is unique, but contains 4 types of things:

#1: 1-2 beaded items handmade by Shirley
It's difficult to estimate size, but most of the pieces are approximately 1" x 1".  
This photo shows 4 examples.  
The top two items are individual pieces.  
The bottom examples are a bit smaller and 2 pieces each.

#2:   1-2 handmade metal components by Sharyl.

Round pieces shown average around 3/4 inch.  But some are larger, some smaller.  

Other pieces are larger and rectangular.

In each case, the items sent could be used in a variety of design functions. (Examples: you may have 2 of something and could use them as earrings, in a necklace, or a bracelet design. You may have a piece you could use as a pendant or a clasp or a bracelet focal! The items sent are not clearly defined in their function. All the more fun for you!)

#3:  There will also be an additional metal item(s)
 made by Sharyl...

...that may be 1 or more handmade metal components, altered metal components, or wire components or findings. (For example:   That might be bead caps or components I've purchased pre-shaped then added patina, a necklace or bracelet clasp I've made from wire, handmade ear wires, a bail, an item that could be used as a dangle or pendant, etc.)  All these items have a hand-made touch to them though!

#4:   Small surprise packet...

...with additional items, just in case you would like a little more inspiration to get you started!

* * * * *

Design Guidelines:


You are only required to use one of the seed bead pieces from our featured artist, Shirley Moore, for the reveal.   If you can also use some of the metal pieces in the same or other jewelry designs, that would be highly encouraged!    All the rest is totally up to you.   It is not necessary to use everything or to use items in the surprise packet.   I would just as soon see your own inspired designs!    The packet is just a "thank you" and in case you like any inspiration it sends your way!  

* * * * *


We're taking the first 10 who sign up this time, so don't delay!   

--To sign up, please leave a comment on this blog post indicating you want to be a part of the challenge. 

--Leave Sharyl your  nameyour blog nameyour blog address (or an indication you want to appear on my blog instead).      Having a way to contact you always comes in handy too--whatever works best for you (a Facebook name, email address, store URL, etc.) 

--This will be considered a commitment that you plan to purchase the packet and be a part of the reveal.

**Once we have 10 volunteer participants, Sharyl will announce them on her blog.   (Keep watching!  She will make an announcement by Sept. 16th at the latest, even if we don't have 10.) At the time she makes the announcement, she will also put the packets for sale in her store, reserved in your name.   A link and instructions will follow at that time.    (Participants will have one week to purchase.   Any packet left unsold after one week will be offered to the next person waiting in line.)

Each set is one-of-a-kind.  The packages are already boxed.  Each contestant will purchase their package but the precise contents will be a surprise.  I've put them together in ways that I would love to get anyone of them...and hope you feel the same!  Boxes will be randomly assigned to participants, including myself!  :-)
* * * * *

BONUS!  An Extra Opportunity:

We believe there will be an opportunity for participants to submit your designs to the online magazine Bead Chat published monthly in connection with Artisan Whimsy, edited by Melinda Orr.   The deadline for entries is Oct. 22 to be considered for the November 2013 issue.   We'll confirm that and share more details in the near future.   Participation is not required, but it's a great opportunity!  

My thanks to my co-host for this Challenge and Blog-Hop, Sharyl McMillian-Nelson!   And my thanks to all of you!   

Please help us spread the word by sharing on your blogs and/or Facebook!