Thursday, March 31, 2016

Halcraft Pretty Palettes: March Reveal

You probably saw my post earlier this month about how excited I was to play along this month. 

And you probably recall that it was because my friend Alison from Alison Adorns was the featured artist for the month...

Oh, you didn't??? You can catch up here:

So, here is my inspiration dress (in case you didn't see it before):

The challenge said that we could choose any of the three color combos and the beads selected, or, find another dress and some Halcraft beads to match... So I did!

*You can see how some of the beads came to be a part of my stash if you look back at my post from last month when Alison and I took a trip to Michaels...

Anywho- here is my piece:
My necklace still needs to find the perfect clasp, but is centered on the faceted crystal beads and frosted glass orbs from Halcraft. The gold sequin globes and feather coated black and white wooden beads are from Pat Catans a few years ago.

Here are some matching earrings that I made to go with it (spring break got in the way, so they also need some ear wires!!!!)

I am looking forward to the challenge for April! I will be home all month and can't wait to play in many challenges, but Halcraft and the Allegory Gallery Design challenges are always my favorite!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Coolest little bead shop in Florida

We have crisscrossed across Florida on our vacation and have gotten to spend time with great friends.
We made our way over to the outskirts of Tampa (Brandon) from West Palm to see friends of ours from Montana who were lucky enough to beat the weather there while working on a jobsite nearby.
We also took a daytrip to see some of our snowbird friends at their beautifully renovated condo in Port Richey.
As soon as we arrived in Port Richey, my darling friend (who also makes jewelry) asked if I wanted to go to a cool little bead shop down the road.
I totally did and I am SO glad we went!
Here is my apsiring bead artist in front of the sign.
It doesn't look like much from the outside, but the inside was full of treasures. Take a peek-
Lots of rocks and geodes, and goodies from their travels all over the world!
This incredible amethyst geode- only $4500!
I aspire to look this good someday... Lol
And now for the beads- crystal!
So yummy! I think we were there for an hour and I STILL didn't see everyhing! I can't wait to go back next winter!!!
Here is my stash. I was a very bad girl but I am going to make some really cool goodies!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Meadow Song Challenge

I had a lot of fun with this challenge!!!!
I love greens- especially lime and olive. So this challenge was a breeze for me!

Speaking of breezes, I started off by making the piece below. If you do not already follow Andrew Thornton's Destash page on Facebook, go now!

Alison whipped up some really cool grab bags and this necklace was made with some of the components from the one that I got.

I'm not a big 'blue user', so when I opened up the bag and saw these nesting lava rocks, I was kind of bummed out.

But in another kit, I had this cool orange plastic circle, so I knew that it would be cool to use it with them!

The yellow beads and the green manik manik are also from the kit. So I am pleasantly pleased with the results on this piece!!! 

The tear drops in the piece below were from another destash. It's a simple string that uses seed beads as spacers, but the lemon lime combo sure is jazzy. I can't wait to wear this one!!!
The following piece was from a bag of beads that a friend at the shop gave me. I know she is going to be bummed out that she passed these up! 

I had enough to make a bracelet, but I need to find an awesome clasp. Once I do, I probably won't take it off for a long while because I love these beads so much! Thanks friend!!! (You know who you are!!!!)

Lastly, I made these two pairs of earrings.
They are both funky and fun and I have been inspired to make earrings lately because collectively, we just don't do it enough when we get together at the bead shop!!! 

Zack, Alison and I have are adding them to our repertoire for sure!

My apologies for not having ear wires on them. Those pics got transferred onto my  computer to free up space because I needed room on my phone and my camera for all my vacation photos.

Greetings from sunny Florida!!!! (Yes, I am blogging from the beach! Neener neener!)

So, thanks for stopping by to take a look! 

And I can't wait for tomorrow when the new kit debuts!!!!! 
Tell your friends to play along if they aren't already!!!
See you then- Laurel

Fun at Michaels (the craft mecca)

Some of the book club peeps had a fun weekend last weekend! It started off when Dawn and I needed to get the table set up for a local fashion show that an organization that she belongs to was hosting. 

A few more weekends ago, Amy (also from book club) and Dawn and I got together to make these glasses using her die cut machine. It was so much fun!!!!
Our plan was to pair these with manequins from my bridal shower (that now live in my little girl's room) so that our official theme for the table would be 'Manequins and Monograms'

So, back to Friday evening....We made it to the ballroom and set our table up accordingly. Look how nice our table looked!
Then, we called Alison to join us at Michaels. (She and I had seen each other at Allegory that afternoon and when I mentioned that Dawn and I would be near Michaels and would probably stop by after we set up, she offered to meet us there!)

On our way over the hill to the mall, Dawn's little boy told us that he was thirsty, and we realized that we were too!!! So, we decided that Starbucks would be a nice treat, and Alison met us there.

She pulled in right beside a white Lamborghini. Crazy, right?!?!?! (I won't lie, I was trying hard to chat up the owner to see if he would let me sit in it, or at least get a quick selfie, but alas, he had the personality of a cement block- and he was wearing skinny sweat pants {rolling my eyes}.....)

Things got crazy when Dawn's little one couldn't sit still, so we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Alison and I grabbed our go cups and off we went. To Michaels. Finally! (I know you all are in the edges of your seats here....)

I was on a mission to find something to go with my beads that I selected for my Halcraft Pretty Palettes piece. Honestly, I found the strand that would work within 2 seconds of walking into the bead aisle!!!

But something else caught my eye- blue stickers! It became my quest to find and scarf up as many of the blue sticker items that I loved as I could! And here is what I found....

I am extremely thrilled to use these things in my designs. I was also jumping for joy that 1. I got to wander through the aisle uninterupted and at my own pace (extremely awesome if you know what it is like to shop with your husband waiting outside for you, or your two kids, or all three. Trust me- it's exhausting!) And 2. That I had a friend with me who appreciated how exciting it is to find stuff on sale!!!! (Another fun fact- both of us got these huge piles of stuff for under $26 each!!!! Score!!!!)

It was great. After we spent about an hour in just the bead aisle, we wandered around the other parts of the store....I know, it was hard for me to do that! (Yeah right)

We wandered into this fun aisle and I decided to have a little fun. Look what I did! (And yes, it is my cover photo on FB now)
But then we realized it was time for our fun to end and head home. 

Afterall, I had a party to go to the next day! Here's a pic of the three of us with our friend Robin (who we are working on getting into book club with us)

I am so lucky to have these great friends! Thanks Book Club!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Halcraft March Challenge featuring Ligonier Bead Artist Alison Adorns!

So, did you hear? 

We have a star in our midst! And I am so pleased to say that Alison and I met at the bead store and have been fast friends ever since.

Here we are talking about some upcoming projects at the shop one day:

As for bead style, we are polar opposites. She has a really cool love for art beads and her work has a really kitschy boho vibe.

I just like to string things and heap on the rocks. The more faceted or expensive, the better!

So when I found out that she would be the partner on the Halcraft Pretty Palettes challenge this month, I just couldn't help but scream in joy (and I was sitting at my desk)!!! It was seriously the best news that I got at work that day! 

So, Alison, congrats! 
This month will be epic!!!!

To learn more, or to get the details on participation as well as the inspiration, click here:

Since there is a choice of colors this month, OR which Oscars dress you liked best, I am looking forward to basing my project on Kerry Washington's.

I am a sucker for leather. And I am also a sucker for all clothing that is black. Needless to say, this is going to be a great month and I will have some great projects on my bead table.

Yes, I said PROJECTS. 

Shameless plug for month two of Sarajo's Honey Do Challenge!!!! And crazy enough, the inspiration is her husband's black and white photography!!! 

More details here:

Coincidental? Maybe. But I am super busy this month getting ready to see friends and family in Florida and I will not have access to my beads.... So I need to get planning and creating and picture taking so that I can blog while I am away.

Join me!!!
(Nope, not to Florida, but definitely get your bead on!)

Until then,
Keep on stringing on!
Love, Laurel!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Wrinkle in Time: February Inspired By Reading Book Club Post

So, it's already March 2nd and I am playing catch up from last month. Only one more February project and I will be ready to attack March's projects!

Soooooo, I am not going to lie. This book was a major yawn fest. Two overdue notices from the library, and I finally finished the 20 pages I had left, on Saturday!

Maybe it wasn't REALLY boring, it's just that I wasn't 'into it.'

I found Meg to act like my 7 year old daughter, all over the place but old enough to hold hands with and kiss a boy. Yikes!

I could relate to Charles Wallace because he acts like my son, who is also an old soul in a kid's body!

But, the parents and the pursuit of their careers pained me! Dang their dad for running through time and not being able to make it back to his family!

And darn their Mom for not being able to deal with the here and now of family life. It drives me nuts when adults don't have their shit together enough to take care of their kids! Especially in books!

So, those are my gripes about the book.

Here are my pieces.
Yes! Pieces!!! 

I got another bout of inspiration while I was working on the Art Bead Scene post earlier...
These little cuties came about because they were out on my tray after I finished up my ABS piece. I had snippets of headpins laying around and didn't want to waste them, so this is the result of my recycling. The little colored beads are a dyed turquoise in a flat chevron shape and tiny blue seed beads.

The multicolors represent the numerous layers of clothing that 'Mrs Whoever' (<---- get it? Lol) wore in the story. And the backdrop, I just couldn't resist....

As for my original piece, it is incomplete!
My idea was that I was trying to capture the fuzziness/mixed sensations that Meg described as she 'tessered' through time.

It is a strand of Opalite that is heavy and stunning. I split it into two strands in hopes that I would come up with a clever idea to fix them together, either with jump rings, a cool connector, or beaded loops. 

Obviously, I am still stewing over my options.... and there is plenty of time left for me to come up with something clever.
Stay tuned!

And, join me next month as we reveal our creations for the March selection, The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.

Art Bead Scene: February 2016 Challenge

The folks at Art Bead Scene came up with a fun challenge for February. They used the photo below
as inspiration for the monthly challenge.

I am not going to lie. I LOVE using orange in my work and I knew I had the perfect set of beads to use.

However, I had no art beads that would work that I would be able to submit.

Sadly, I ran out of time last month anyhow, so I completed the challenge late and posted only onto my blog. BUT, I did have a fun time with this necklace.

The focal is a porcelain piece that I found from a vendor on eBay. Luckily, they come in sets of 4, as I broke one when I was trying to get a jump ring through the top! I also kept the piece short so that potential bumps and bruises will not damage it like it could happen if it was longer. (I know that I am very prone to bumping long necklaces off of things when I bend over or down)

I think it brings into play the vintage feel of our Vogue magazine's lady driver, and the dyed turquoise chevrons bring out detail of her dress.

The chain is all repurposed from some junk bracelets, as are the pearl dangles which I will probably move to another spot on the piece.

As for the broken focal, I am saving it for when I learn to bead weave, as it is still intact but will need the softness of the felt backing to protect it from any future blows! 

Looking forward to the next month's challenge! And maybe I will have my act together enough to get my piece complete and submitted in time!!!!