Thursday, March 23, 2017

Destash Project #2

So Alison and I both ordered some Destash Boxes and we have been picking through each others goodies like it's gold in a treasure chest!

Alison and I are two distinctly different 'makers.'

She has a penchant for art beads and a strong boho vibe that she demonstrates so beautifully with the use of different fibers and textures. Her style is earthy and natural.

My style is go big or go home. I like to pile it on and have tons of strands of loud colored stones or beads. I also love facets and flash, so, statement pieces are definitely my go-to.

Well, yesterday, we had a chance to swap out some goodies, and man! I think we are both pleased with our trades!!!

A few posts ago, I showed you these beauties:

Well, yesterday, with the help of the swap with Alison, I scored some lovely ceramic art beads. She had just enough to be spacers for the resin focal pieces.
Now, I will admit that I wasn't loving the design at first. The resin is so springy and pastel colored that I was worried about the caramel accent not looking quite right. But once I paired everything with some caramel colored melon shaped Czech glass spacers, I started to fall in love with it!
So, you know that I am usually saying on here that my piece is unfinished and it's usually because I didn't have a clasp... BUT this time I had two and got CRAFTY! (Sarajo knows what I'm talkin' about!) ;)

So here she is- two toggle clasps later and this piece becomes two! You can wear it as is as the necklace
Take it apart and wear the Manik Manik beads as a wrap bracelet!
I wore it to work today with a brown leather jacket and got a ton of compliments!
Here's another detail of the shirt. Who would have thought?!?
(Sidenote: Shirt is a limited edition run by an American-made company based in Philadelphia, Pa called National Picnic). You may still be able to get one at The Black Bunny Boutique located here in Ligonier!
Stay tuned for what I will come up with next!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Destash Box

I picked up a Destash box from an artist that I follow on Facebook.

I am so excited about the goodies that are in it!

Here is the photo of it as it was listed:

I really loved the heart focal in the bottom left tray. And I was super excited about the 3 beads in the far right corner.

Here's one of the projects that I completed with the lampwork glass bead in the top left corner:

It's a very cheerful necklace for the first day of spring!

Snow Days = Creative Days

We had two snow days last week that absolutely NO ONE was expecting.

Ok, so maybe the one we were, but the second day was just supposed to be a 2 hour delay!

By the middle of the second day off, the kids were climbing the walls and I needed to get to work to take care of some projects. And I also just needed to get them out of the house because whatever I was cleaning, they were un-cleaning. It was a vicious cycle and it wasn't fun for anyone!

So after an hour of 'take your kids to work day' we headed into Allegory Gallery to get creative.

I was soooooo glad we did. The kids had an absolute blast and I had a realization: my kids are pretty creative and have great eyes for design.

Here are the little buggers at work designing their projects:
Alison had a variety of stuff from her stash that they turned into some pretty impressive projects!
Here is what they made:

I think they were thinking spring and summer too!
My daughter made a really cool choker:
Special thanks to Alison for all the help. The kids can't wait to come back!


Friday, March 10, 2017

February Book Club (and other stuff I've made)

Boy- that title just lured you right in, right?!?

So I am pretty confident that my resolution for 2017 is to NOT actually read any of the actual books.
I'm not gonna lie, but I just don't have the energy.

Things have settled down with the house, the kids are in generally good health, and the weather is getting better and the days are getting longer. But when I have free time theses days, I will admit that I have been using that time to binge watch Scandal on Netflix.

And let me tell ya, I am HOOKED!

Not to get all political, but wow- Shonda Rhimes must have had a crystal ball and looked into the future when she wrote the script for that show. It's absolutely uncanny!

Anyway-we are talking about book club here, so.....

This month's book was The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Mind you, I had the book in my possession for at least a month. Picked it up and read the first chapter and it's literally is as if I never looked inside. I don't remember reading a thing!

The good thing is that I had daily visual inspiration. The cover, though not much, was at least a pretty color combo. And folks, that color scheme was my inspiration... GO ME!

*Photo credit William Jones :)

The grey stones have a really pretty flash to them and the shiny pink ovals are a really cool contrast to the matte rectangular stone. Alison and I split a strand of these and they are soooooo cool. I cannot wait to wear this one!

The next piece was the bi-product of a couple of trips into the shop between going home from work and having some extra time on my hands before the kids got home.

These are some woolly balls (hehe) that I picked up from one of Andrew's Destash events, that I strung on bead wire and spaced out with some funky colored Czech glass beads. I used a super flexible bead wire that I had floating around in my bag, and it seems to be adding some play to the piece as the wire has been bending around some the other stuff in my bag in transit. Who knows how it will lay once worn. But at least I made some matching earrings! Hooray!

*Photo credit- William Jones (again)

Lastly, I had a reallllllllly bad day at work and left early to go play at the store on an Open Table Wednesday (cheaper than therapy, right?). I had these gorgeous pearls from a trunk show this summer and haven't quite had the right idea what to do with them. And then it hit me- they are perfect just they way they are, so I re-strung them on bead wire and added this chain.

Coincidentally, the way they are strung in the alternating pattern being sort of tear shaped, I left too much wire showing after I crimped the ends. So to fix it, I used crimp covers and TA-DA, all fixed!

Photo credit: William Jones :)
I also have to add that I was wearing a multi-chain necklace and needed some chain. My solution- steal some chain from my necklace and use it on this piece! BOOM!
I did wear it to work and I am soooo in love with it! This will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe.
Thanks for checking in with what I have been up to and stay tuned for our projects from this month's book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Friday, January 27, 2017

January 2017

I cannot believe that my last post was in September!

Wow- time has flown and it is has been a great couple of months.

Here's what I have been up to:

House update- we moved in in November after lots of cleaning, painting and re-flooring. We are still unpacking boxes but we are almost completely unboxed. Phew!

Holidays- we made it through the holidays and everyone was treated quite well. We took the kids to NYC for a weekend to see the city all lit up and it was a great time.

Work- is still keeping me busy busy busy and I am having a hard time finding time to be creative other than once a month when I need to whip up a project for Book Club.

My New Year's resolution is to get back into it. But we still have some work ahead of us where my workspace will eventually be. So until then, it will be an "as time permits" sort of thing.

So, since this is a 'catch-up' post, here are some of the projects that I completed this fall for book club:

September: This Census Taker
I drew this one day because I was intrigued by the sentence above. Obviously, the scale is off, but it worked for me. Drawing isn't really my thing.
October: Vampires in the Lemon Grove
This was a book of short stories and to be honest, I only read a few of them and one of them being the name of the book.
I have in my collection a piece of jewelry that I ordered for another book that dealt with blood (Henrietta Lacks) but I never used it because it looked to Halloween-y. So here was my piece for our in-person meet-up:
November- Sabriel
I had NO time this month to accomplish a thing other than pack and move and unpack boxes. But I did find a piece that I had made previously, and that I guessed matched what the book was about...


December- we didn't have a book to read, but I was pretty pleased with a piece that I made for a class that I had at the store one time in the fall. Here is the original (I think it was an Anthropologie piece):
And here is my version using the awesome Manik Manik beads at the shop:

January- A Place of My Own
I got about 3 chapters into this book and was more concerned with making my new house a place of my own than reading about someone else doing it... Anyhow- I knew I had a great bead from Diane Hawkey that Alison and I had found at Beadfest, so I unearthed it from a pile in my basement along with a strand of African beads I had forgotten I had, and whipped this piece up at the in-person meet-up.
I added a strand of two-toned orange Czech beads and a strand of purple AB finish Czech beads to the design and had a fun little piece to wear (once I add a clasp, of course!)
I also had some other miscellaneous things with me in my bag so I showed everyone this piece that I had come up with a few months ago:

While I was at the shop, I purchased this piece of art from the new show that debuted on Saturday. The artist's name is Gaea and I can't wait to add this to one of the walls I have at the house that I plan to devote to artists that I like. The theme of my wall is 'home is where the heart is" so if you see anything that you think would fit the prerequisites, let me know!

Finally, I found this cool pair of earrings online that I really want to try to duplicate but change out the colors. I found some really pretty royal blue deer hide strips in Montana and have the pyrite already, so I am really excited to make some earrings and a matching necklace... stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

August Book Club: The Silver Witch

When I read the book club book for the month, it took me less than a day to do it. I picked it up and I was pulled in. Couldn't put it down!!!!

There was a ton of great visual stuff, but it took me wayyyyyy longer to come up with a project. That was probably also due to the fact that we were soon leaving for Montana when I read it, and we were also busy buying a new house.


New House:

Yeah, we are kinda crazy like that....

So, thankfully I am a couple of books ahead, because now the kids are back in school, we are in the process of moving, I am back to my steady gig day in and day out, and I feel like I have no more energy to be creative at the moment. Did I mention the kids are also doing cheer and football three times a week??? 


Hehehehehehehe (cue the deranged laughter...)

Anyhow- the in-person meetup was great. I had left the kids at the school open house with my husband that evening to run to my car, and flee the scene to book club. I think I left skid marks in the parking lot from pulling out of there so fast (probably inspired by the Bad Moms movie which coincidentally quite a few of us book-loving bead-stringing mommas went to go see one night...)

Bad Mommas:

Anyhow- getting back on track....
I am SO glad I did get out of school that night and that I didn't miss out on Shepherds Pie from Andrew, wine, ice cream, wine, and fun conversation. Oh, and did I mention wine???? Hahahahaha

We even had a real discussion about the book! Whoa!

So, here are my pieces:

Originally I was going to do my project based on 'Linny' the Land Rover, but that didn't pan out. So, I just happened to pick up this gorgeous piece at Beadfest Fall and I think it worked out perfectly.

Ok- it's pottery of a sort!!! AND the glaze on this is crystallized! So it looks like what I thought the lake would look like on a cold winter morning run around the lake. Pus, it's heart shaped. So, not too shabby for a love story too, right?

Btw- I did get into character by changing my sweater for an athletic topper, and I have no idea who took my picture of me faux-running in the shop that night, but you can use your imaginations... :)

I also made a necklace using Tibetan Quartz, Labradorite, and pearls which can be thrown on over the head. I also cannot wait to wear this one. LOVE the quartz.

And last but not least, I strung this incredible Maku Raku pendant on this cool $.49 neck wire for another fun 'pottery artist' inspired piece:

I picked the focal pendant up at Beadfest Spring and FINALLY did something with it. Yay!!!!

Lastly, I made this super long necklace one day when I was shopsitting, and I think it works well for the book too. It's got that 'dark magic' feel to it.

So yeah, I can say that I had a blast with this book. So much so that I have been busy reading some of the author's other books: The Witch's Daughter, The Midnight Witch, and The Winter Witch. 
All of which I highly recommend!

See you soon! L

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Beadfest Philly Summer Edition!!!!

We headed out to Philly again last Friday for the biggest bead show of the year!!!!

First stop, Abigails!!!!

We got to Philly and the boys had sent us an SOS for coffee since they had driven through the night, so we grabbed them a whole box and smuggled it into the show in my bag!!!
Of course, we had to take the pre-requisite selfie once we arrived at the show!

And then we made our first stop, the boys! Of course!!!!!
They were really busy when we got there, so it was a quick hello and on to the show!!!!

Our second stop was at this booth that Alison had suggested. They were doing a show hop, where several artisans had planned a project that you pay a flat fee, pick out your components and assemble the project. SO COOL!!! And we had SO much fun!

After that, we shopped until we dropped. I wanted to take a nap sooooo badly! Look at my eyes!!! Dry and tired!!!!

It was 5 intense hours of beads, beads, beads. If you can dream it, it was there!!!

We did get to meet a lot of the artisans of the art bead section and it was a ton of fun! There are so many talented folks out  there in the world! One of our favorites is Candie Cooper. She does a lot of live videos on Facebook and is super excited about beading, and techniques and really cool projects. I'm not gonna lie, we did kind of stalk her, but it was worth it to put a face to our names and give her some love!!!!

Here was the one of us going to see the boys. We just HAD to re-introduce her!!!!

I think I still have some star struck-ness going on. She did a video on Sunday to wrap up the show and I kept commenting, go here, show this, the things you are finding are so cool, how did I miss THAT, hahahahaha! I think she thinks I am nuts! Maybe, but I love me some Candie!!!!

Anyways, I didn't get to go through my loot until Sunday. But when I did, of course I took photos!!!!

Here you go!!!!

And yes, I bought this amazing African basket! The lady was SO cool- she hid it at the bottom of her pile and when I came back to her booth several hours later, she was like- here, I hid it!!! So I HAD to take it home!!!! 

Here is my loot....
It doesn't look like a ton of stuff, but this is my 'I use this bag for traveling and toting my life around with me' and it is one of my favorite things EVER from The Black Bunny Boutique!!!

See what I mean??? That's a big pile of stuff to carry around all day!!!!

So here it all is, vendor by vendor. I won't bore you with details of why I chose what, and if you like what you see, all the contact info is on the business cards. Enjoy!!!!!!

(This was our art bead hop necklace)

Check out this cute little pumpkin from Marsha Neal Studios. 

These ceramic beads were purchased in hopes of re-creating a piece similar to this:

This is for book club & a surprise!!!!

Isn't this resin necklace amazeballs?????

Here is another view of the same bead

Look at this bag of yummy leather scraps!!!!!

Cannot wait for the Spring show!!!!!
Woo hoo!!!!

Also cannot wait for this move to get underway so I can set up my new bead studio and get creating. Stay tuned!!!