Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Birthday Book Club!!!!!

4 years already?!?!?!

We have had SO much fun and read so many great books. I can't be more thankful than I am for having this in my life. I have made excellent friends, and fallen even more in love with beads and making jewelry.

I love that the books we read push me to read something other than the normal fictional drivel that I usually choose for myself too.

Most importantly though, I am so thankful that I discovered Allegory Gallery some 5 years ago after reading an article in the local paper that said there was a bead store opening in town!

We have had such great times in both of the locations of the shop and I am so happy to be a part of this group and these crazy folks (me included) who get together each month to show off our goodies, trade stories about just about anything, and enjoy each other's company! And yeah, maybe talk a little bit about the book of the month too, ahem....

So, here's the books we have read:


My favorites have been: The Bucolic Plague, An Irish Country Doctor, The Cookbook Collector, An Object of Beauty, The Night Circus, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (also read further into the series), Serena, The Silver Witch (definitely read further into the series), and Where'd You Go Bernadette.

And there are more to come! So, if you are reading my post, and you think you'd want to join us, what's stopping you?????

Anyhow- here's what I made last night. Full disclosure: I read Where'd You Go Bernadette years ago- and I had plans to make something entirely different (and think I still will) but this is what I came up with while we chatted:

Once I throw a clasp on this piece, I will be all set! Love it!

Destash Project #3

I have been trying really hard to use the stuff I have in my collection.


This project comes from a few sources actually. The stone rondelles are from a trunk show at Allegory Gallery last summer, the glass beads are from a really cool bead shop that I visited in Florida, and the funky glass beads are from an Andrew Thornton Destash event.

Not only have I been trying to use up my stuff, I have been trying to set aside time to be creative!

When we bought our house, we were planning to renovate the space above the garage so that Erik would have an office, and I would have my own maker's space. I don't consider myself THAT creative to call it a studio. But tit for tat.

Now Erik has been talking about tearing down the garage and building a different space altogether, so I am kind of debating setting up a space in my basement so that I can go there to craft instead of making things on the couch or in my bed!

Neither here nor there, my stuff is scattered all around and it is hard to conceptualize projects when you know you have something that you want to use, but you don't know where exactly it is! I'm sure all you makers that follow me understand. But then again, most of you have designated spaces.

I think this is going to be my weekend project. I'm going to set myself up a space someplace.... stay tuned!

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.