Friday, April 29, 2016

Art Bead Scene:April 2016

This is my first post for the monthly Art Bead Scene Challenge. 

I have played along silently before with my friend, Alison, of Alison Adorns. (

Here is the inspiration for the month.
This piece of art is by Helen Frankenthaler. And honestly, it is very beautiful BUT it is almost like that infamous white and gold or blue/black dress... 

I found that a quick google search changed the color schemes quite a bit! So it was best to stick with the colors from the original post.

I have to be honest with you, I am just scratching the surface of the Art Bead world. And it is absolutely amazing! Kudos to all of you wonderful artisans who are making the world beautiful one component at a time!

Now, since I am a rookie, my supply of art beads is pretty small. Ok, it is almost nonexistent!

Lucky for me, the Allegory Gallery crew headed to Philly for a day at Beadfest. 
I purchased several art beads from Ren Farnsworth.
Aren't they gorgeous!?!?!?!

For my piece, I used the one in the very top of the photo. It is abstract like the painting and also has a few of the colors in it, so onto the string it went.

Here is my necklace:
I used quite a bit of everything! Ceramic beads from Michaels, Wooden beads from Allegory Gallery, blown glass with a pretty floral motif inside of each bead, and an assortment of gemstones.

The scarf that I photographed it on happens to be from The Black Bunny Boutique, a fun shop that I sometimes help out at in our tiny little town.

So, thanks for having me Art Bead Scene! It is so much fun to play along, but now I can for real!

A Girl of the Limberlost: Inspired by Reading Book Club April 2016

I wasn't particularly inspired this month.

The cover of the book gave me zip in terms of visual imagery. And I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover...

So, I got into the book far enough to go with the main character to high school for the first time.

And my inspiration came from the plain brown muslin dress she wore with old work boots that made her a spectacle on that ill-fated day.

A few pages later, she tells her neighbor how awful it was for her to be laughed at, and he and his wife went to town and got her all sorts of stuff to get her geared up for her second day of school 'real proper.'

My piece this month is a simple string to reflect the brown dress and later on the nice dress from her neighbors.

It is a simple string of smoky quartz pillows and copper toned seed beads. At the closure, I crimped it together with crimp beads and used a few czech glass rounds to highlight one czech glass oval that has a slight AB finish.

This piece is really long, so it can be worn long or short by being doubled up. So when it is long, it is sort of plain, and doubled up, slightly fancier.

Seems to be my style right now!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and see you next month!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sarajo's Honey Do Challenge: Inspired by Beer

It is always fun to participate in Sarajo's Challenges because you never know what her husband will be inspired by. 

Afterall, it IS the Honey Do Challenge!!!

Her husband Eric (with a C) is a beer enthusiast, and this month we were to be inspired by beer labels.

MY husband Erik (with a K) got a really cool (possibly microbrewed?) beer from a friend who knows that he is all about the Scottish stuff. (Thanks Seth!h

I mean, we do call ourselves The Ross Clan and all...

So, check out this bottle!

I know this isn't technically a 'label' or a beer can, but it is certainly cool! And I was definitely inspired.

Here is my stuff (fair warning:crappy cell phone pic!)
Obviously, I didn't have a HUGE color palette to play with here. So I used dark browns, yellows and a few cream colored beads.

The focal bead is centered by two golden yellow beads to represent the bottle cap and the rest of the beads are leftovers of browns from several Allegory Design Challenges.

I used brass spacers and Picasso seed beads that are a 'pale ale' color, even though I am pretty sure that this beer is probably dark!

I finished it off with a vintage safety pin closure because most kilts have a very large kilt pin or other decorative pin near the hem. Because, you know, you want to make sure things stay covered when your kilt starts to lift....

And yes, because this is a Sarajo Challenge, I made a matching pair of earrings! Yay me!!!!

Coincidentally, here is a version of the Ross tartan that is called Weathered. Can you believe that the color scheme (minus the red) happens to match my stuff?!?!

That doesn't happen to be Erik's color scheme. But here is a cute one of us on our wedding day:

And here is our latest family pic from the Ligonier Highland Games this past September:

And no, I do not have a Ross tartan kilt. I have one that is black leather and I usually switch up my looks each year. 

In this pic I am wearing goth style tartan boots and pants with a vintage Austin Powers Style polyester pinstriped blazer... Yeah baby! And oh yeah, my fox.
{It's over 40 years old and uber vintage. Don't be a hater.}

So, until next month, stay thirsty and stay beading, my friends!!!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Halcraft's April Pretty Palettes Reveal

I was really excited to play along with this month's challenge.

First off, the beads were awesome:

As was the theme:
Wabi-sabi is the concept of the impermanence of beauty, that there is a beauty in the broken, the rusty, the old.

I couldn't wait to get started. And actually, I found wabi-sabi everywhere!

I bet you don't know this, but by day, I split my time at our local Township doing Admistrative stuff for the Public Works and Police Departments.

On the day this challenge came out, I happened to be in the garage taking some pictures of some equipment. And let's just say, I saw a ton of wabi-sabi in there!

Here's a few pics I took.

So with all this yellow inspiration, I knew that I was going to have to shake things up a little with the original color scheme.

Here is what I came up with:

I used yellows, reds, grays and mixed metals. And I love the outcome!

Here is an up-close look:

This piece is super long, so it can also be doubled or worn as a choker (tripled).

I absolutely love it!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hidden Cove Design Challenge Reveal

Today is the day!

It is almost over and I am barely making the deadline, but I am really excited to show off the pieces that I made for this challenge.

My daughter had a bunch of homework to do tonite to make up for the day we had yesterday visiting friends in Pittsburgh and skipping school, so it was PERFECT timing for me to get my projects taken care of...

The piece above is made with two African glass beads and the gorgeous blue stones that were included in the kit. I strung them on somw leftover memory wire and it is really a nice hefty piece to wear on its own or pair with other pieces.

This piece is made with the blue silk ribbon, a bit of the chain, seed beads, vintage lucite/plastics, and jump rings.
It can be worn as long or as short as you wish, as it has to be knotted to close since I didn't use any clasps.

This piece was made using this fun Dalmation Jasper, the pretty turquoise metallic tubes, seed beads, and headpins. 
It almost has a surfer punk style and I am loving it! 

Lastly, these are the earrings that I came up with. I think these are SO much fun!!!

My apologies because the colors in all of my photos are terrible because I took my photos indoors AND at night. Too dark and too yellow!

Maybe I will take some better photos tomorrow, but I know for sure that I will be wearing that jasper necklace to work tomorrow! I really do LOVE it!!!!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Check back next week for: Sarajo's Honey Do Challenge, Art Bead Scene, Halcraft Pretty Palettes, and the Inspired by Reading Book Club project reveals!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Beadfest Goodies

So how did I forget to post about my finds at Beadfest????

Oh yeah, last week was play week for the kids and I had two evening events and a visit from some friends from outta town! Crazy busy!!!

But, without further ado:
This vendor had some really cool stuff! I could have spent a ton more money, know, budgets!!!

Above are the art beads I scored! $1 each because the artist said that they had imperfections. (I am still trying to find them- but now I have like 8 projects for Art Bead Scene challenges!!!)

These stars were definitely not something that I thought I would be bringing home.
But, guess what I have planned for them???
BOOk CLUB!!!! 
We will be reading 'A Fault in Our Stars' soon...

This piece was definitely a splurge. It is a Raku pendant with the most scrumptious  red glaze in the center. It has two large bails so it can be strung with beads or just placed on a chain or cord or fiber and worn to show it off. 
It is a stunner and I am a lucky gal to own this!!!!

The top two photos are a strand of ceramic spacers that I think are really pretty. I wish I had found these sooner in the day because I would have bought some more. I love how they are two different colors. They will pair well with something that needs a 'wow' factor.

Alison and I couldn't pass up the AB finish hematite strands. So we purchased 4 for $10. Here's my $5 worth. Ha ha!

Here are my goodies from Saki Silver. I adore their clasps, so I was really excited to get these fun components. Especially that heart. Oooh the patina!!!! 
(The tooth was for gift for Zack)

Look at these crazy beads!!!! They are large, orange circles with these funny bumps on them. This will make a really crazy piece!!! And the pearls are called cornflake pearls. I cannot wait to just string them up as is. Yum!!!

I like big beads and I will not lie....
Seriously, these things are GiNoRmOuS!!!
Faceted quartz! 
And did I say they are HUGE?!?!
Here is the rest of the goodies from the big bead seller. I fell in love with the strand in the middle and would have bought the blue cousin, but again, budget....

These are cards that I got from people that I want to buy from in the future. 
And here are the two things on my wish list so far:
Supposedly this is a seed pod. But I say it is a crown and it would look AWESOME with my Highland Games attire. 
Anne Mitchell, I will be calling you!

And lastly,
Look at these hearts!!!!
They make the prettiest sound when they clink together. 
I am thinking, 'Happy birthday to me!!!'

So, that was Beadfest Spring. The first one I ever made it to, and the last spring show ever.

I cannot WAIT to return in the fall!!!! 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bead Fest Philly with my Bead Peeps

We left Ligonier at 8:30 a.m and pulled into the Expo Center at 12:30. We had a nice smooth ride which turned from Western Pa dismal and gray to Eastern Pa sunny skies.

We chatted all the way out, and we had the Turnpike to ourselves- so we could set the cruise control at 75 or 80 and run!

It was great!!!
Here is our entryway selfie! We pretty much divided and conquered. The boys had to work, and Alison and I had to get shopping.

So much to see, so little time!
Alison and I planned to walk the show and then go back and buy.
Sounds good in theory, but that tactic worked for about 30 minutes.
Just look at this table! How can you pass up deals like this???? This table had an offer of strands at 50% off with another 40% off of that. Sooooo tempting!
Alison scored some great deals on Art Beads, and I got a mixed assortment of stuff (see my other post where I highlight my goodies, and check out Alison's goodies on her blog too). 
It was all fun until we went bust... So then we went and visited folks we knew and talked about the Inspired by Reading Book Club...

Oh yeah, And here is Alison at the Green Girl booth:
And the boys? Here they are, hard at work!!! (I even got Andrew and his good side... Lol!)

I was so happy that we got to go!

Did you see that I won an umbrella from a radio station??? Crazy fun!

When we had finally shopped ourselves silly and the boys had made their final stop for the shop, we headed out to eat at this fun place in Phoenixville: 
I loved the art- I even think it was local-
So, cannot wait for Beadfest Philly in the fall. I am saving my monies now!!! Who wants to join us????

Saturday, April 9, 2016

When hair goes wrong....

So this would be filed under a 'such' post. There is nothing here about rubber stamps, designer bags, or my other favorite subject, beads beads beads. 

This time it is about hair....

I have a confession to make. 

I am hair illiterate.

I can wash it, dry it and put it up into a ponytail or a clip and that's about it.

For those who do not know me, I am a brunette with super thick, super straight (and formerly long) hair. 

I am sure there are a few of you saying, OMG, I would love to have that!!!! And right now I would agree with you....

My daughter is 7.5 years old and not quite a master in the grooming or personal hygiene department...We have been battling for about 3 months with the hairbrush (I think we own every possible detangling brush on the market) and the knots in her hair. 

Everytime her hair gets knotty I have to beg her to brush it. And she fights and cries, and I get mad, and we stop and the knots get worse until every so often she knows it is bad enough that something has to be done or else it will have to get chopped off.

And today, I just couldn't take it anymore. 

I started brushing it before we left for the salon. But she stopped me before we were a third of the way done. And I knew that the hairdresser was going to give me 'the look' once we got there, because she would know how much brushing and detangling she would have to do before she even lifted her scissors....

We got to the salon and we checked in and were ready to go. My daughter was excited that she was going to lose the length on her hair and that it was going to be easy for her to brush.

So the stylist started brushing, and all was well. Another stylist was ready for me, and I thought to myself, I need to lose some length so in my mind I was ready to go to shoulder length.

I always get an inverted bob. Whether it is long or short, it gives my hair a 'style' and takes some weight off. When I started today, my hair was 1/3 of the way down my back.

When it was over, it was chin length. And it was all one length.... 

Meanwhile in the other chair, my daughter was in tears from the brushing, and just starting to get everything cut.

I was about to lose my shit on my stylist, but instead, I looked over to my little girl and said, 'Hey honey, look! When you are done, we will be twins!

She looked at me, then my hair, and beamed! 

Luckily for my daughter, my stylist had screwed up my hair enough to give me and my daughter twinsie hairstyles.

And my little girl is tickled pink.

Mommy still needs to come to terms with everything, but in the interim, if anyone needs a pirate, pageboy, or colonial extra, call me! I definitely have the hairstyle for it...