Wednesday, December 28, 2011



Santa brought me not only a brand new Canon Rebel T2i EOS 550D (digital) camera, he brought me an RPS Studio Pro Style Desktop Studio ("take pictures like a Pro!")  Now, nothing against my iPhone3GS, it's taken some pretty darn good pics for me to post, but I am so STOKED about getting to use my new camera and new Studio set up for my photos I can hardly stand it! (~does the Happy Hamster Giggle-Shimmy~)

Speaking of pics, and iPhones and such, I have a new necklace that will be going into my Etsy store as soon as I can set this studio up and get off some shots (hopefully, tomorrow night... depending...)  Anyway, the necklace is made from two clasps I bought from Melinda Orr over at Melinda Orr Designs with the copper one being the closing clasp and the metal & stone one becoming the focal piece.  I paired them with some GORgeous handmade beads I bought from Pam at Ferrariorginalbeads on Etsy.  Here's the iPhone version and I should have it posted on Etsy by (as I said/hoped) Thursday night.

Hope everyone else had a great Christmas and plan on having a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

MERRY KISS-A-MOOSE! (er, I mean, Merry Christmas! ~heee~)

(ain't he a cutie!? I'd kiss his li'l nose!)


Yes, I am coming out. It's time to let others know that it's okay to confess to this particular addiction.  I'm afraid there's no real cure for it, though. It's the kind of addiction you simply need to continue feeding because, unless you really OD on it, it's never going to go away.

Yes! I've done it! I've confessed! I am a bead-aholic!!
(whew, what a relief!)

As I said, this isn't anything that can be (or needs to be) "cured."  The problem with bead-aholicism is the bead-aholics' inability to pay attention to anything else while beading.  This can include (but not be limited to); passage of time, phones ringing, children, spouses, visiting family and/or friends, anything outside of a three foot radius.  Sometimes anything within the three foot radius if it's not a bead.  Many's the night when I've been beading away and looked up to realize the only light in the house was coming from my lamps on my work table.  I hadn't heard the t.v. stop blaring it's show.  I hadn't heard anyone heading down the hall to bed.  I hadn't even noticed the lights go off.  I was in my own little world (but, that's okay, they know me well there!).  The other problem is the bead-aholics need for pretty, shiny, all-shapes-and-sizes of beads. If you take a bead-aholic into Michael's or Hobby Lobby be prepared to, a) mop up the drool that will roll down the chin and, b) see them spend an outrageous amount of money on strings of beads and packets of findings that will go perfectly with what they already have.

A  bead-aholics sense of humor can even revolve around all things bead.  I have a co-worker who uses old pill and medicine bottles to store her beads, findings, etc. and, in spite of her telling him he didn't need to, her husband keeps saving them for her.  We joked about maybe they needed to be filled.  After all, we wouldn't want these poor bottles to become depressed because the lack of beads and findings made them feel unneeded.  At this time of year they could end up in a severe down-ward spiral of depression that could only be reversed by the application of rich-toned seed beads or luscious glass and gemstone beads.

Why am I confessing to bead-aholicism?  Because, I have a regular, 8 to 5 job that takes up the greatest part of my time.  I have a 30 minute commute to work and home again (another hour out of my day!)  It's 5:30 by the time I get home; that is, if I don't have to stop for fuel or some other errand... or my family doesn't decide we need to eat out instead of cooking.  If that happens I don't get home until well after 7pm.  And, knowing how I am about beading (disappearing into the art of creating something pretty) I don't like to bead too late in the evening during the week because I won't go to bed early enough to get enough sleep for the next day.  I know, I know, there are weekends to work at my craft.  Except that's when all the chores and things you weren't able to get done during the week are done.  Now what? Huh? Huh? Now?  Now you whine and pout and give everyone the "Bambi Eyes" in hopes you'll get (at least) a few hours to sit at your table.

The state of which is another indication of your bead-aholicism.  At MY table, I pull out several things at once when I start creating; mixing and matching colors, accents, wire or chain, findings, headpins.  And they rarely go back to the boxes and containers they came from so there's a serious mix-mash of all these items strewn about at any given time.  I recently read an article over on Art Bead Scene by Erin Prais-Hintz of Treasures Found about making bracelets (or earrings) out of the "left-overs" on your table!  How fun! (not to mention a great way to clean up your mes... ahh... table!)

Another indication of bead-aholicism is how many times a day you either blog about, or read other blogs about, your passion.  It's hard to sit at my desk and not bring up my blog to see what all the blogs I've got on my "I stalk these people" list have been doing. What can they say or show me to inspire my creativity? The next clue is whether you email yourself the link to the picture they've posted so you can be inspired again later (tutorials only, folks! NO stealing someone's hard-earned designs!!!) or if you just print a copy of the picture then and there to add to your growing collection of "I have to try this!" pages that are shoved messily onto a shelf near your table or pinned to a board above it. 

Yes, bead-aholics are an interesting, if misunderstood breed.  We're (mostly) harmless (unless there's a major sale at Michael's or Hobby Lobby then, LOOK OUT!), and we really don't mean to ignore you.  Just understand we're on an entirely different planet than you when creating.  But, that's okay.  In fact, we won't mind at all if you want to come visit us there!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Well, I went back to Pier 1 Imports last night and bought out all the daisy wine glass tags I could find. THEN, sadly, I found some cute little butterfly tags.  I say "sadly" because there were only two sets so, six pairs of butterfly earrings.  I also found some great lampwork flowers that I'm turning into earrings, too, and I have plans to go back and buy up the glass bead tags as well.  On the negative side, it cost me a little over $80 to buy all those (about 14 boxes of tags).  On the plus side, almost all of them were on sale so it only cost me a little over $80 to buy all of them.  On the plus-plus side, half of the ones on sale were on a better sale than the red tag led me to believe!  I just LOVE saving money! (if I only don't go broke saving it ~HA!~)
Anyway, here are three more pairs I made from last nights' haul, but they're not daisies this time.
Enjoy! (and, as always, feel free to share this link with anyone! *wink*)

Blue Swirl
Flowering Hope
~for my Spina Bifida line~
Hope Floats
~also for my SB line~

To paraphrase my Etsy description, those with SB aren't really that different from the rest of us.  They're no less fun-loving or any more serious than we are.  I want some of my SB line to reflect more than "serious" jewelry, I want fun and funky as well.  Hope Floats and Flowering Hope start that portion of my line.  Enjoy them, too. There will be more!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Yup! You read that right!  From now until January 2, 2012 anything you buy from my Etsy store has free shipping!
At least, it should all have free shipping!
Feel free to let me know if something doesn't add up! (haaaahahahahahaa! sniffsnort! I crack me up!)
ANYway!  Pop on over to the store and check out the product.  And BUY!  Or send the link to someone you know who's looking for good-quality, handmade gifts (for themselves OR someone else!)

Quit drooling!  Go BUY!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Saner Sister and I went to Pier 1 Imports over the weekend and found THE most ADORBS wine glass tags.  Sadly, we don't need them to tag wine glasses because we don't drink.  Happily, Saner Sister went over the the Crazy side of the house and said "These would make great earrings!"  And, she's right!  We bought two sets of these daisy tags and another two sets of some beaded tags (which will make their appearance later).  I was only able to do a few last night (it was at the end of the time I had set for myself), but there will be more later.  And another visit to Pier 1, I'm sure! (these are CUTE and, since these are Saner Sister's, I need to buy more to make for the store. SO cute!)
p.s., these are made of plastic, so they're really light. Any weight will come along if glass beads are used for accents.

On the table, waiting for
their new look

Close up of the blue
and greens flowers

Close up of green
and red flowers
From wine glass tags
to earrings! SO cute!
...more cuteness in
green and pink!

red with turquoise bead
~le sigh~

the sisters all together,
waiting for the others to
have their make-over done!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I was over at Lima Beads and decided I needed to put together some "Fresh Picks" to design some more necklaces from.  I want to really get my Spina Bifida Awareness line going on my Etsy store and decided I really like a lot (I do mean a LOT!) of the beads they have on Lima.  You can click here to view the choices I made.  I think you'll like 'em (I know I drooled!)

Grace Lampwork
Whispering Peach Heart Focal

Black & Blue Agate
Flat Oval Pendant 35x55mm

I also did another Fresh Pick I titled "Away In A Manger" starring this gorgeous black and blue agate. You can see all the picks to go with it here.

Have fun! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So, the Craft Show is over, drawings have been drawn, names have been attached to those things Destiny has Decreed they be attached to (yes, yes, getting crazy, here but, that's me!) so without further ado, and allowing those holding their breath to breathe, here are the various winners (and a few other things just for fun!):

First, the winner of the magazines I donated for the Virtual Craft Show:

(insert drum roll here)

Debb!  Yay! (loud cheers!)  They are in the mail today and on their way to you!

names ready to draw

For my private drawing (those who bought from my Etsy store, posted on my FB page or on my blog), the winner is:

names mixed and drawn

Marie's prize ~ Autumn Sunset
Lovely, eh?

And, now, for the just-for-fun-stuff!  I promised a peek at the necklace I restrung the other day and here it is.  I'm just SO into Autumn colors right now!  I had originally taken a large silver dragonfly and wired it to a brushed gold colored leaf to use as the pendant.  I tho't it looked great! (I love dragonflies so maybe this is why) Then I started getting comments about how it looked like a marijuana leaf! (GAH!)  I didn't take the first one seriously because of who said it (they're the kind to say things for shock or effect) but, when my own dad said it, I figured it was time to make a change.  I didn't know to what until I found this adorbs! owl!  I loved how the colors just went with the beads, pearls and crystals I had originally strung.  This will also be going into my Etsy store after I get some shots this weekend (this was just done with my iPhone... mmmmnot TOO bad, eh?)  I'm calling it Fall Forest (I'm not kidding about the whole Autumn/Fall obsession-thing!)

Full shot

close up of owl & link

very close up of the owl
isn't it cute!?

close up of the beads,
pearls & crystals used

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I couldn't let this Day of Infamy go by without saying something, without sharing the poet in me.  I was able to go to Oahu with my family this past August and we made a point of visiting the Arizona Memorial as well as several other areas at Pearl Harbor.  It's needed.  We need to remember what happened.  What we thought would never happen.  And what our country was forced to do to defend it's people.  And, defense it was.  Not revenge.  Not acquisition.  Defense.  Protection. 
Those men and women, they gave their lives for us.  Yes, it was a cowardly attack by a cowardly enemy. Yes, they caught us unawares, but not unprepared.  We rallied.  We struck back.  They "woke a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible purpose" and that purpose was to remove the threat to our Nation.  Remember those who died.  Remember those who survived. Remember the Arizona. Remember Pearl Harbor. Remember a Day of Infamy.

Oil from the Arizon
her Tears from the Deep

Tears From The Deep
Tears are still wept, tho' the heart's made of steel,
For men nigh forgot tho' a Nation should feel.
They died in a war, tho' no battle fought they,
On what became known as an Infamous Day.

Tears from the Deep, tho' the heartbeat is cold,
For valourous men who will never grow old.
Entombed in the dark, by water enshrined,
Stood ready 'gainst all, by Freedom defined.

          Tho' many have come, so few shed a tear.
          They call to us, now, do the whisper you hear?
          They are the reason this Nation stood fast!
          The weeping, so soft! do you hear it at last?

Tears are still wept to help us recall,
Tho' few still remember they gave us their all;
From way down below, to the Oceans' safe keep,
Seeping up for reminders are Tears from the Deep.

 © Copyright 2011 Pam Sears (UN: condorsfan at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
permission to use, reprint or repost this poem must be obtained from the author

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Even tho' the Virtual Craft Show is over, I continue to play with my beads.  After all, if I'm going to sell, I have to have plenty of product, and it can't all be winter or Christmas themed, now can it?  So I diddled around a little bit last night and restrung an old necklace I wasn't happy with (picture to follow), made two sets of earrings and put several sets of small beads on head pins for a snowflake & frosted cranberries necklace I'm making.  I made one for an upcoming challenge (no, you can't see it, yet!) and I loved it so much I decided to keep it!  BUT!  I loved it so much I wanted to make more for someone elses enjoyment so I bought two more of the pendents to make more necklaces.  Hence, the red beads and clear crystals (plus I'm thinking about throwing in some teeny tiny frosted white and baby blue beads. SO cute!)  Here's a preview of what's going on at my table and what's been done (like I said, the necklace pics will come later).

beads waiting to be used

snowflake pendent & "cranberries"
& ice being wired

cranberries waiting to be made
still contemplating....

what to do... what to do?
(I love red, reminds me of
my Mimi)

Fraternal twins :)

Yummy Chocolate Dangles
Can you see the hammer work?
red & green... haven't decided
on a name/title, yet. Suggestions?

Monday, December 5, 2011


Whelp!  That's the end of the First Annual Virtual Craft Show.  I hope everyone had as much fun as I did.  I know winner announcements are up-coming so, as soon as Lori lets me know who has won my giveaway, we'll be contacting each other for all the info exchange necessary.

On another note, the discount at my Etsy store is currently closed but stick around.  When we get closer to the holiday, there may be another one!

Autumn Sunset
 Now, on to the private drawing I was having for my Etsy store... I only had six people who ended up entered in my private (not part of the Virtual Craft Show) drawing but I'm still not going to tell you who the winner is until tomorrow.  Once I've got the name, and if you left a way for me to contact you, I will let you know and contact you for your mailing address.

Good luck!

Friday, December 2, 2011


~Christmas Tree Funk~

Okay, folks, I'm going to give a 10% discount on everything in the shop today and tomorrow!  Use the code FirstChristmas2011 at checkout to receive your discount on your entire purchase.  Shop, shop, shop! Go to Etsy's Crazy Creative Corner and get that perfect pair of earrings for your Christmas outfit, or to give your mom, granma, aunt or cousin.  If you see something you like, but want to find different colors, don't hesistate to convo me and ask.  If I have it, I'll make it!
~Holiday Reds~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yup, the Virtual Craft Show is still going on, folks!  Take a peek at today's gifted artists and their sites as well as go back to the previous days to see what those artists (including myself) have to say and show!

Who's Got Backbone!

Who's Got Backbone!
~close up~

 And, speaking of showing, I have a new necklace that I made for Kare-Bear for Spina Bifida Awareness.  I bought the focal from Marsha Neal over on Etsy and I plan to talk to her about some more in, not only this color, but this design.  Just something about it that makes me think of the spinal nerve.  Anyway, I do have three other focal beads in this color (tho' a different pattern each) and will make some more necklaces for the Spina Bifida portion of my Etsy Store and should have them up fairly soon.  Maybe.  We're getting ready for our church's Christmas cantata, too, so I work when I can (aaaaaahhhh!)

Shop On!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Yes, it's the 3rd day of the Virtual Craft Show! Hope everyone's having a TOTAL blast!  Please, be sure to visit Lori's blog, Pretty Things, to enter for all the MAH-velous giveaways available!  Be sure to check each person's site(s) to view their beautiful products.  Be sure to spread the word to all your friends (and their husbands!) about the ton of gorgeous that's available for sale.  Go check the following ladies and their products out:

Sally Russick

Sandi Volpe

Susan Lloyd

Mallory Hoffman

Kim Ballor

Jelveh Jaferian

Wendy Blum

Elisabeth Auld

Patsy Evins

~Autumn Sunset~
Etsy Store Giveaway

...and don't forget, I have a separate giveaway for those who purchase from my Etsy store and mention their purchase on their blogs, Facebook page or Twitter account, and/or comment about their purchase on my Facebook page.  Just remember, be sure to leave me your blog or email address so I can contact the winner.

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

DAY 2 ~ Virtual Craft Show - Shop Around Like Y're Momma Told'ja!

So, today is the 2nd day of the First Annual Virtual Craft Show! I'm so excited!  My giveaway is for the great art/beading magazines. They're terrific and have wonderful information, articles and are a great way to get inspired (especially if you're going through beaders block!)  Be sure to go over to Lori's blog, Pretty Things, and follow instructions for getting entered into all the drawings available on all the blogs.  And be sure to visit all the blogs. These ladies are amazing and have some luscious jewelry and beads for you to buy. 
Autumn Sunset ~ necklace
giveaway for buyers from
my Etsy store.

Also, remember that I'm having a secondary drawing for those who make a purchase from my Etsty store.  One entry for your purchase(s), one entry for mentioning your purchase on your blog, twitter or Facebook page (come back her to let me know) and one entry for going to my Facebook page, and mentioning your purchase there as well.  Be sure to leave me a link to your blog or an email address so I can contact you if you win.

Welcome to the 2nd Day of the First Annual Virtual Craft Show!

7 Days, 70 Artists, GIVING AWAY 70 things.
Can you believe it????

I hope you'll take the time to visit these artisans' shops and blogs, too.

Here's how you win:

For each of the 7 days of the show, you get a point for each of the following (you don't have to do all four)....

Facebooking this page
Twittering this page
Blogging this page

Be sure to have either a blog with an email contact, or leave an email in your comment so I can notify you!  

Drawing will be held a couple of days after the show. 

Now here are the first lovely artisans!

Pam Sears

Enhance your jewelry design magazine library with a stack of magazines!  You'll get:

6 Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist: April, May, July, Sept, Nov, Dec '10
1 Art Jewelry, Sept '11
1 Bead Unique, Oct '11
2 Bead Style, Jan '11 and May '11
2 Step By Step Wire Jewelry, Aug-Sept '11 and Oct-Nov '11
1 Creative Beads and Jewelry issue 17

Value:  $100

Sue Kennedy

The beads were made from clear glass and a holiday themed frit!  The round beads and the silver sparkle beads measure approx. 12mm, and the large hole bracelet beads measure approx. 12x11mm.  All my beads are made in my studio in Pittsburgh by me, Susan Kennedy, and all are properly kiln annealed and cleaned with a diamond-bit Dremel. 

Value:  $50
Special code CRAFTSHOW15 will give you 15% off your purchases plus a free pair of handcrafted brass or copper earring wires with each purchase of an earring bead pair.

Tania Spivey

Designer's Dream Eclectic Mix 


1.  Polymer clay oval toggle clasp in taupe, with a dainty lavender flowering vine and gorgeous antique white sari silk.  Clay toggle measures approximately 1.5" in diameter, not including copper bail.

1.  Polymer clay bead and hammered copper toggle set in rich, woodsy shades of brown.  Accented with topaz hued crystals and beads, and includes sari silk in coordinating color.  Beads measure nearly 2" in diameter, while hammered toggle measures 1" in diameter.

2.  Eclectic mix of lime green and shades of gray polymer focal bead with brass center accents and beads, with cool shade of gray sari silk length. Focal bead measures approximately 1.25" in diameter.
Value $35 

Staci Louise

Handcrafted earrings with hollow copper lentil charms, copper coated ceramic beads from Mykonos and handcrafted, extra long ear wires in sterling silver.

Lentils measure 21mm and the entire length of the earring from top to bottom is 66mm (just over 2.5")
Value  $25.00

use code stacilouise25 for 25% off in my jewelry shop
use code stacilouise10 for 10% off in my components shop
Marge Beebe

This amazing slice of crazy lace agate includes red, white, gray lines.  This slice is attached to ultra suede and beaded embroidered around and finished with a smooth ultra suede in the back. This piece measures 2.5" x 1.5" and is on a suede lace.
Value $45

Use code GIVEAWAY in my shop for 15% off

now until 12/25/11
Kim Hutchinson

Upcycled game piece pendant

Size is approximately 1" x 1.5". Original collage made with upcycled materials then sealed multiply times (is water resistant but not water proof- so please do not shower or swim with it on). 

Value $10
Free shipping in Etsy shop!

Cilla Watkins

Red Czech Glass Flower and Crystal Earrings with Antiqued Brass

Lovely vintage red Czech glass flower bead, stunning hand cut crystal, and antiqued brass.

Perfect for your Holiday Activities: Sledding,Skating,Shopping,Eating, Partying,Wrapping,Working,Playing. You name it these work horse earrings will work for you! Good Luck!
Value: $18.00

Angela May

St Michael and Virgin Mary Pendant

This double-sided glass pendant features an image of the Theotokos Virgin Mary and Christ Child on one side and St Michael the Archangel on the reverse.

This pendant is 1.5" square, 3" long including the dangles and bail.  One of the dangles is a vintage Virgin Mary medal and the other is a two-dimensional image of St Michael. 

I have taken a more rustic approach with the silvery lead-free solder used to seal it, thus making it appear ages old. It is not waterproof and should not be worn while swimming or bathing. Clean with any dry silver polishing cloth. It will come with a simple 16-19" necklace or you can choose to have a custom beaded necklace made for it.  Size:  1.5" x 1.5" pendant, 3" long with the dangles and bail.

Value: pendant only, $18, with necklace,  $28.
Lola Surwillo

Rings are my favorite piece of jewelry to create, buy and wear.  The most unique aspect of my rings – and a favorite feature of my customers – is that they are woven on strong elastic for durability and ease of wear.   They are very light and comfortable, and are a great option for those who suffer from arthritis.

One person will win one ring for a total of three giveaways!

Ring #1 – Tagua nut focal surrounded by golden red seed beads and round, gold-filled beads -- Value: $14

Ring #2 – Decorative, metal bracelet slide surrounded by charlotte seed beads and square metal beads --Value: $12

Ring #3 – Swarovski crystal bracelet slides surrounded by charlotte seed beads -- Value $19

Rebekah Payne

Five handcrafted beads made 
by Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio

One Turquoise Pony bead: a little pony made entirely of turquoise and coral polymer clay measuring about 27x35 mm.  Hole running down through its back to its hooves. 

One Mr. Brown Owl focal bead: Hand shaped in brown polymer clay with a white patina on his feathers. 34x19 mm and has a hole running through the top of his head to just above his tail on the back. 

One Sleepy Brown Owl bead: Owl in hand-painted polymer clay measuring about 20x18 mm and has a hole running through the top of its head to just above its tail on the back. 

One pair of Sleepy Foxes: Foxes in hand-painted polymer clay measuring about 19x18mm with a hole running from their tails up through their backs. 
Value $42

Be sure to stop by the shop too! Use coupon code CRAFTSHOW10 for a 10% discount starting today and running through December 3rd.

One quarter of the 'simple truth' sampler club.

Value: $54 (shipping included!)

Come back tomorrow for 
more giveaways!