Thursday, March 31, 2011

favorite gemstone - EtsyBloggers Carnival

One of the March EtsyBloggers carnival topics is to talk about one of your favorite gemstones and why you like it.  Aside from my wedding ring, I don't wear a lot of gemstones myself.  If I do get another high end ring at some point, it will almost definitely also have diamonds.  I don't work with a lot of gemstones in my own jewelry making either, but I do like incorporating chips or small rounds sometimes.  In the last year, I've made several pieces with jade and malachite.  I've always loved the look of malachite and have really enjoyed working with jade recently.

I finally listed one of my new green pieces.  At least I'm getting them up while it's still spring!

This piece is part of my rock garden series and is available here.  This newest green version has some wonderful Czech glass components from Art Beads, vintage green leaf beads from Shannon (beadsandbabble), and of course malachite chips.  I am still working on the rock garden pattern.  I'm not promising a projected date at this point with everything going on with our move in a couple months, but it will be up at some point.

And here are my jade pieces.  I sold the first one.  The second one is available here.  And yes, the clasps for the first two are Lisa Peters buttons (LisaPetersArt).  I made the third one shortly after completing the first two back in the winter but still haven't listed it.  I am VERY tempted to keep it for myself because it looks awesome with a dress I got when I was in my cousin's wedding party a couple years ago, but I will most likely part with it.  I already have a cuff that I specifically designed go with the dress so you many coordinating bracelets do I really need?  If you'd like to claim it for yourself, please let me know.

And as always, if you'd like to see anything else with jade or malachite or have any specific requests for similar pieces with other gemstones, don't hesitate to leave your suggestions or contact me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

treasury love

I am very honored to be included in more wonderful treasuries this week!  Chris Maj (beadn4fun) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Skinny Fringed - Monochromatic Charm in her Simply Black and White treasury.

blumenente included my Button Charm Bracelet - Turquoise and Red in her Electric Spring treasury.  Hopefully you already know by now much I love this color combination.  This treasury is such a great mix of turquoise and red.  And the idea of theming it around spring is priceless.  I love the mix of items and shades.

I especially love the Lucky Number 7 dress in the middle from Ureshii.  I love this shirt from the shop, too.

Jill (JillreDESIGNS) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Chocolate Temptation in her Softly... treasury, which was inspired by the first item in the treasury.  I love it when that happens!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This is slightly off topic, but you all get to see all of the hard work that we've put into organizing our second bedroom the last few months.  Honestly this is the best that this room has looked the entire time that we've lived here.  It's too bad that we won't be able to enjoy it a little bit longer.  But it gives me hope for our organizational skills in our next place.

The one corner that you can't in these photos that's by the window just has some more plastic drawers and a big plastic storage stuff (which of course has more crafty supplies in it).  I move the tripod right next to the desk so it doesn't stick out like that anymore.  Otherwise this is pretty much exactly what it will look like when our realtor photographs our place today.

You get one more look at my light box/finished jewelry/other random supply storage.

Plus you can see my bead storage on the shelf again.  It feels so good to have all of that organized!

Monday, March 28, 2011

working with periwinkle again

Thank you much for all of the birthday wishes yesterday!  I had a bad cold all weekend but otherwise it was a very nice birthday.

I listed a new periwinkle and black piece last night.  It's available here.

I bought the periwinkle/black lamp worked beads from Jen (blueseraphim) back in 2009 simply because they were awesome.  I had no idea what I was going to make with them.  I got the ceramic button from Kristie (artisanclay) as part of a giveaway and bought the leaves (mostly from Shannon of beadsandbabble) back in June.  Then I had to find periwinkle seed beads and figure out what else I wanted to use in the piece.  I'd been holding onto some of the other glass components that I included for quite a while, too.  It was way past time to use them!  And I finally put it all together this winter.  I know that this is a very winter-y piece.  I WILL list some of my lovely new green spring pieces soon.  But the colors in this piece can work for other seasons as well.

I actually made two versions.  As you can see, this second slightly shorter version is nearly identical to the one above.
I'm not planning to make any more like this, but it was neat using the leaf beads in a slightly different way than I usually do my leafy and rock garden series.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

happy birthday to me

Today is my 28th birthday.  Knowing that we'll be heading to Milwaukee in just a couple months is pretty much all I need to make this next year of my life great.  As you already know, we have a lot of exciting possibilities there.  I really didn't know what to ask for this year as we're trying to get rid of as much as possible before we move.  But I've gotten a lot of nice smaller things from my family, including a set of drilled sea glass from Kristina's shop (akkricket).
I love her items.  I used some of her glass in this piece.  I have no idea what I'll use these next pieces for yet, but I'm sure that it will be amazing when I do.

I'm also in a new treasury.  Katarzyna (Kailajewellery) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Dagger Fringed - Pink Garden in her New Season treasury.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

bargello rainbow

Does anyone remember this sneak peak?  Probably not haha.  I upgraded my Bargello Ribbon pattern from Carol Dean (SandFibers) a few weeks ago and finally listed one of my bargello pieces on Etsy, which you saw the sneak peak of way back in the summer.

It's available here.  As you know, I really enjoy embellishing cuffs.  This is one of those ideas that I had in the back of my head for a ridiculous long amount of time before I actually put it together.  I got the inspiration for the colors from this set of bowls.  It's great how inspiration can come from different mediums like that.  The delicas were pretty easy to find, but it took me a long time to get all of the cubes in coordinating colors and figure out exactly how I wanted to work the embellishment.  And then of course, I actually had to bead it.  I'm so happy with the result, though.  Carol's pattern is amazing.  I still love this color combination, and I'm very satisfied with the embellishment.

The next bargello cuff that I list won't be embellished, but if you like this look and/or have ideas for other color combinations, let me know.  I may make more in the future.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

random sale

My mom was buying a last minute gift for someone this week and wanted my advice on jewelry for this person (whose name I won't say right now in case she's reading this).  I didn't even have this pair of earrings listed on Etsy, but I knew that they would be a good fit for this person.  I made them in November and by the time I was ready to list, it was snowing and didn't feel right to list a fall item.  But here they are.

She liked the photos and confirmed that it would be a good fit.  Hopefully the recipient thinks so, too!  This is actually the third pair of fall/autumn leaf earrings I've made, and they've ALL sold before I could list them.  I will definitely make more of them over the summer so I'm ready to go on Etsy in August/September.  I made the original version with some dark greens as a custom order to match my fall gold bracelet.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

works in progress

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I've been working on some more ambitious beading projects lately.  It's not even that they're more difficult most of the work that I do, but they're more time consuming.  I have a ton of inventory to list already and want to focus on some bigger projects that I've been planning for a while.

I got the red and blue flower beads over a year ago.  (I have way more than what I put in the shot above.)  When I had them out with a bunch of other new beads, they ended up next to these espresso bean delicas.  I decided that they would make a perfect base.  So far I'm still confident that this will work well.  But I grossly underestimated the number of delicas that I would need.  I got a couple more bags from Art Beads this week.  Let me know what you think of the button I have paired with it in this picture.  I think it would be neat to use something slightly metallic without going too shiny.

Also, I've been promising to take a picture of my current cross-stitch piece in progress, and here it is.
There has been some confusion from people who glance quickly and think that it's Santa.  It's not.  It's a wizard.  I'm always amazed how much detail you can see without any of the back stitching or other final embellishment.  I have my cross-stitch on our newly decorated table in our living room.  Our living room and kitchen are all one big connected area and the table is in the living room.  For the last couple years, it has mostly looked like this.  I finally packed the castle up this week and put a table cloth, place mats, napkins, and candles on it.  Jake couldn't believe the difference.  I'll have a shot up sometime when I post my final condo organization shots before/around when we sell our place.

Finally, this is the view that I see through my camera when I set it down next to my light box.  I got inspired to take a picture of it over the weekend.

Monday, March 21, 2011

April EBW Challenge piece and a new pattern

This post is also for the EtsyBloggers blog carnival about spring.  One of the first signs of spring for me is always when little plants just start poking out of the ground.  That was the look that I wanted to capture with this piece for the April EBW Challenge Spring Around the corner.  It's available on Etsy here.

There were two "challenges" for me.  This is a design that I've been using for over two years now so I needed something to make this a true challenge piece.  The first challenge is that I used a metal clasp instead of a button or bead closure.

This looks very easy, and in theory, it is.  There is nothing complicated about the beadwork for this clasp.  However, it's tricky to leave enough slack so that the toggle can move freely into the loop without adding a lot of extra length to the bracelet.

The second challenge was that I finally wrote the pattern for this design.  As I've said before, I've been making this design for over two years and had attempted but failed to write the pattern once before.  I was determined to get it this time, and I did.  It's available here.
The pattern includes directions for a button clasp as well.  This pattern is amazingly versatile.  Changing the color palette and fringe bead size/amount can completely change the look.  Using lots of chunky colorful beads can create a fun, casual look while using a smaller, simpler selection of neutral or more coordinated colors can create a more sophisticated look.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

one more Milwaukee thing that can't wait

I can't BELIEVE that I didn't include this in my Milwaukee post yesterday.  Thankfully at least half a dozen people mentioned this event to me after they saw my post.  So here it is.

The Bead and Button Show is in Milwaukee!  I don't know if we'll be there early enough to go this year.  But if I can't go this year, I'll definitely try to make it in 2012.  I have lived in the midwest my whole life and have never been to this show.  Once I'm LIVING in Milwaukee, there will be absolutely no excuse left not to go.

I've also been very fortune to have been included in a few more treasuries this week.  Jen (walrustusk) included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Dagger Fringed - Blue in her I Want Ta Meetcha...Comment treasury with a whole bunch of gorgeous blue items.

rjdesignhut included my Beaded Bracelet - Petite Garden in her It's spring time! treasury.

Tonight I'm going to list my April EBW Challenge piece and the pattern that goes with it so stay tuned.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a break from our regularly scheduled program

I got my pictures from Match Day, when Jake found out where his residency would be, online this weekend so you get to see some of them, too.  I try not to flood this blog with tons of personal, non-crafty related things because that's not why I have it, but this was only one of the most important dates in the entirety of Jake's med school career.  So I'm sharing it here.  Plus I don't post a lot of pictures of myself anywhere ever, and I know people enjoy seeing them.  And yes, the color clothing choices are NOT a coincidence.  This was on St. Patrick's Day.

Definitely a great day.  There isn't much else to say besides that.  I'll be back to my normal programming tomorrow.