Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September ABS Challenge

Autumn Vineyard
Time for the September ABS Challenge !
This month's painting has a gorgeous color palette !
It includes the rich gold washed  tones of early fall.
I am in love with these colors.
However,this month it was the theme that inspired me.
Perhaps few people are aware that in Maryland we have some wonderful local wineries .
In fact, I got married at one of my favorites!
Our local wineries host frequent music,art and tasting events.
 A perfect way to spend a day with friends and support small local businesses . To me local wines fit into the 'Handmade"  category .
"Buy Handmade" is a cause I believe in.Plus I like wine ..LOL!
 If you have not explored the local wineries in your area , do so ,you might be pleasantly surprised.
My creation this month is a fantasy piece .  A branch of grapes,  juicy ripe and ready for harvest .
This could be classified as a statement piece.Sometimes that term can be synonymous with"not wearer friendly" . However, this necklace does drape comfortably around my neck . My polymer clay beads are large. But, the clay is so lightweight, I barely know I'm wearing it.
Just for fun ,I added some recycled wine bottle rings from Objects and Elements .http://objectsandelements.com/shop
I tried to capture the lushness of a vineyard on a Sunny Autumn afternoon.
However , I  think I will wear this piece to an evening dinner of wine and  music.
this week enjoy a local wine
and Bead Happy


Sunday, August 25, 2013


 Morning Moon

In our area school starts tomorrow!!!  Where did Summer go ???
Time for fine and fancy Fall Creations!Fortunately I love the rich colors of Autumn so I've haven't been a loss for ideas. I have boxes of red,orange and golden blends ready to turn into beads .
But ,I have been  feeling VERY busy ,busy ,busy....
A beautiful morning moon  inspired  this week's clay time with a more restful palette. It was a needed chance to catch my breath. I stole some precious time to make a few earring too.
I have never  tried a Wordless Wednesday blog
But, this week due to lack of time
I am calling this entry my Haiku Hiatus

Intense ripe autumn
Rest restore refresh prepare
Serene light of moon 

if you are an English teacher please do  not grade my poetry !
If you are working with Beads
I hope your back to school creations are all A+ work
and may you
Bead Happy !

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rough Week

I couldn't resist snapping a quick photo of my cat Pollymewer aka Polly. She was just hanging over my desk chair ,clearly exhausted.
My feelings exactly ! What a longgggggggggg week I've had !
I put in  many extra hours at work . I took on a new work project to organize at home .I said a few emotional goodbyes to long time patients. We know our fur friends won't be with us forever. But, it always hurts to let them go .

Not much  time or energy for bead projects this week .
But, I did manage to make a few new things .
I liked the toggle I made for  my ABS entry so much ,I decided to play with the idea.
I created a set with the leftover red to purple blend,
Then I decided to try a set in black  and silver. 
I love how it turned out . Not really rustic ,not really steam punk ,not really Halloween...
But, I think it's perfect for any of those themes .
Creating a random rough texture suited my mood .
It seemed to symbolize a heart full of love ... surviving life's rough spots
Life is rarely smooth and shiny. Instead it is full of bumps and gouges.That's what gives life texture and meaning .
I must use the rest of this day to make beads and earrings
Fortunately I do find that restful and restorative
When you have a rough week,
just think of it as adding some texture  to your life
 Bead Happy,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Birthday Girl

This week I turned 68 ! I celebrated with a BIG chocolate fudge cake and these beautiful Roses.
I especially love the vase. My cats can't figure out how tip it over .....yet. Some people reflect  on their hopes ,dreams and goals  at the end of the calendar year.
On my birthday I always spent time contemplating where I've been and where I hope to go .
This year I'm still busy with my polymer clay .
I'm still happy making my flowers.But ,I have added many more toggles to my shop.
I started my Pairs for Paws project at the Veterinary Hospital where I work
I've lost count of the  number of  earrings I've made.
All the profits from the sales,go to our local animal rescue
For years I have only sold beads on ETSY.
All of my ABS creations I keep for myself . My other jewelry desings are made as gifts or for private sales. However,I found I really enjoyed making simple earrings .
I decided to open a shop just for earrings and use the profits to purchase supplies for Pairs for Paws
I am having fun with my second shop and have made a few sales !
Full time job ,two ETSY shops and my rescue project keep me VERY busy
But, I would rather be busy than bored !
I don't foresee any more major craft/art projects in the coming year
But ,you never know ..so many beads ...so little time
I would like to try working with metal . I love the look of etched pieces.
I could probably give up housework all together and gain some extra  time .
Happy Birthday to me .
Happy Birthday  to all my fellow Leos
even if it's not your birthday month
have a  great August
and Bead Happy

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August ABS

Love Endures

Time for the August ABS challenge 
All can say is COLOR !!!  I Love the strong deep colors in this painting.
I love how the hues bleed and blend into each other.
It always delights me to note how one dimensional swaths of paint can create the illusion of  texture.
My inspiration  this month  reached out and grabbed me !
My design was going to be all about the colors and perceived textures.
I  decide to concentrate on the beautiful red and purples. I used a blend to create a few beads and a heart toggle. Why a heart ? Because I was wondering about the three people in the painting.
What could be their story ?
Perhaps a  tale of love ? Love with all its ups and downs ,joys and sorrows .
Normally I have all of my components picked before I start .
But, this month I was over eager to play with my clay.
So I had a beginning .But, I had no end plan .
I had no "go with beads"picked out
Off to my  bead stash boxes ,to search for something with rugged texture to complement my red and purple beads.
Ah ha ! The perfect  thing ....rough cut pyrite cubes. They seem to reflect both the gold and the black in the painting!
How do they do that ?
I had just enough to make a bracelet . Not a design about innocent romantic love.
Instead this piece is about all the nicks and knocks love may bring us .
Maybe a more realistic outlook than pretty pastel hearts and flowers.
Either way
this week celebrate Love 
and Bead Happy ,

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Magical Moments

Muse Magic

This week was a hot one in Maryland .
We had that  Summer Season  Sauna weather.  
Life seemed to progressing in slow motion .
I think the inspiration part of my brain melted.
My muse was no where to be found. She was probably  sitting in the shade sipping a  cold drink .
No beadie ideas popped into my head ,no blog topics either .
Honestly ,I had just about decided to skip both beads and blog today.
I poured a third cup of coffee, decided to water my plants,and
whoooa !!!!
Overnight an AMAZING mushroom appeared in one of my orchid pots!
Awesome color ...Awesome texture !!!
Even a heat  addled brain has to be inspired by this cool little fungus .
I have no idea why it decided to grow right now . That orchid has been in the same spot for 3 years!  Most of my collection summer outside . But , I keep a few on the kitchen windowsill all year.
I have no idea what type of  mushroom it is .My Goggle research came up with "Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii ".  Does anybody out there recognize it ?
I 'm not sure if people who are not artist/makers actively seek out inspiration.
But, I'm fairly sure my beadie buddies are always on the hunt for new ideas to play with.
We visit real and virtual places just hunting for that next design or color combo .
Sometimes the inspiration is visual,sometimes its just the feel of a place ...even a sound or smell can inspire. I do get good ideas when I am activly searching .
However ,once in a while an idea comes to me when I least expect it !
Suddenly  I notice ..Wow.. that's an interesting  color ... look at that  unusual shape ...

I  don't know how  or why  that  mushroom popped up just when I needed a nudge.
I suspect it  has to do a bit of Midnight Muse Mischief
Hope this week you find some
Muse Magic inspiration of your own
and I hope you
Bead Happy,


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Benefit of Summer Rain

July is half way over.! The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by.
When I was a child most moms were stay at home moms.
Summer vacation was a unstructured holiday for children .
We  did ,of course, take a few "lessons".
Some of my friends took piano or ballet .
Most of us us went to "dancing class "to learn basic ballroom dance and a few "party "manners. We also went to camp ...maybe a week at girl or boyscout camps or  a week at summer"bible school".
But, we did not have the very organized summer days my grandchildren and their friends have.
Since most moms now work,many children spend the week at day camps.Their summers are filled with all sorts of wonderful and interesting opportunities to learn new skills. They seem to be bubbling over to share all this knowledge. And for the most part I'm all for it . 
But,I do get nostalgic for those long summer days with"nothing to do ".
We made up our own games and adventures.We read books in the shade on hot afternoons .We caught lightening bugs when the sun went down . I wish I still had those carefree days with nothing to do .

Usually by mid July  Maryland  has begun a summer drought . But,the spring rains never seem to have left our area . The good news ...the flowers and vegetables are growing great ! The bad news... the weeds are growing great too!
However ,there is an unexpected bonus. Because it's too wet to work in the garden, I have some extra hours to do whatever I wish . My time with "nothing to do " has been filled with my grown up version a of games and adventures .I've been playing with clay and trying new techniques .
I'm even venturing into an imaginary jungle called Facebook ...will I ever be able find my way around?
This week I hope you can find some time to play
Bead Happy ,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

ABS July

Berry Breezes

It's time for the July ABS challenge

When I design my piece for the monthly ABS challenge, I usually I go on first impressions.
This month I was immediately drawn to the floral patterns on the black background .
I had decided to translate that  part of the painting into a bib style necklace.
But, I took a moment and thought again....
I  keep my monthly ABS creations to wear myself.
I love the idea of designing  something just for fun .
If the piece will be just for me,I don't have to give the slightest thought to function. I can just play !
I have a Summer party to attend next weekend.
It's my grandson's sixth birthday !
I wanted to wear something light and airy ...something Summer fresh and breezy .
Serious jewelry seems out of place at a six year old's Birthday celebration
My idea for a mostly black bib necklace just wouldn't  work for next week. I did want something new to wear.
So, back to that drawing board in my brain .............
I printed this month's painting ,added a few design notes and tucked it into my inspiration journal .
I'd save that idea for another day .
For now I'd make a more playful piece.
From the painting I pulled the graceful leaves and all the lovely shades of green.
I decided to use a cotton ribbon to give a light breezy look.
No clasp is needed . I made this to just slip over my head .
Searching my supply stash for color coordinated elements,I found some gorgeous vintage beads in a juicy chartreuse.
I just could not help seeing those beads as wild berries ...part of Summer's secret bounty.
It might seem to be a big stretch from  Picasso to a Patch of Summer berries.
But ,I do think my necklace fits both the painting and my party plans!
this week pick elements of inspiration
to suit this Summer Season
Bead Happy ,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Up, up and away...

My Beautiful Balloon 

Holidays are very busy at my work .
Our veterinary hospital also has a boarding facility.
When the rest of the country is on vacation,our staff  is working extra hours taking care of the pets.
This week I felt a bit too tired to seek any beadie inspiration .
But, Friday on my way to work , inspiration flew right over my head !
A gorgeous hot air balloon riding  low in the early morning breeze floated over my car.
Luckily no other vehicles were on the little back road I travel .
I had to stop short,  pull over and take photos !
I really,really wish I had taken my "real"camera with me that morning .
Thank goodness I had my cellphone . ( I must try to save for an upgrade ! )

I rarely work in bright primary colors. I usually gravitate to muted shades.But ,those balloon  brights against the black stripes look wonderful !

The Fourth of July is a day off  for  me.
Of course I'll celebrate with a cookout and local fireworks.
But, I think I'll also get out my clay and  work on my own version of stars and stripes.
Sometimes inspiration arrives in subtle whispers that are easy to over look. But, when it's big ,bright and seems to come right out of the heavens ,I listen !
Right now I'm gathering up my clay in primary colors ....and I'm  humming the Fifth Dimension song... "Up, up and away ..My beautiful, my beautiful balloon "
This week I hope
great inspration comes your way
I hope you
Bead Happy,

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Make Hay....

Straw to Gold

I'm still making  "word " beads. This week  I tweaked them into toggle clasps.I have been thinking quite a bit about what words to use.

I love jewelry with whole quotes .
Everyday I wear 2 simple stamped metal bracelets
One says "If life gives you limes make margaritas "
the other says  " Living in their pools, They soon forget about the sea "
both useful inspiration to keep life's little trails inperspective

Whole quotes can be wonderful. However, adding a single word to a design gives the meaning some flexibility. Don't we all  embrace "hope" a bit differently . Don't we all dream a slightly different dream?
So far I have been using the most familiar  words. Partly because they seem to be the best ones,and partly because they fit on my beads ...LOL!

But, I have found one remarkable thing..
Concentrating on a single word has put me in a"stop and smell the roses "frame of mind.
 Somehow the effort to  simplify my thoughts ,has made me stop and appreciate the simple pleasures in life.
This week the field in front of my house was cut , raked and bailed.
I spent hours admiring it in every light . I reflected on the colors ,patterns and the act of harvest itself.
The photo above is of the morning sun turning the rows of straw into gold.....
this week seek the simple pleasures
Bead Happy,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

I had so much fun making the word beads for my ABS design last week,I couldn't stop !
Adding a word to a design gives it an immediate scene of focus .
I think most jewelry sets a mood. You probably wouldn't select the same piece for a night out with the girls as you would for an important job interview .
We all have jewelry we wear that makes us feel happy and cheerful.
And we have pieces that make us feel more clam and serene. 
Do you only pick jewelry to match your outfit?
Or do you pick pieces that fit  how you are feeling?
There are designs for every mood
Bright ,Bold ...feelin' Bitchy
Dark,Moody ...feelin' Dramatic
Sleek, Sophisticate ...feelin' so Smart 
you know what I mean ...the list goes on and on !
maybe the mood is your secret ...

But, when you add an actual word ,your focus is apparent to all .
Today I dare to DREAM
I will not loose HOPE
My life is about the JOURNEY
It seems to me that when you boldly wear an affirmation ,people around you  "kinda" hop  on board
When your jewelry says this is what I need to focus on , maybe others think " I can help with that " Or maybe people  identify and  think "I need that too "
A word  included on a gift of jewelry is certainly a perfect way state your intention.
My wish for you is the gift of HOPE
Never stop BELIEVING
I wish you JOY
this week make a  design with special Word
for yourself or a friend
Bead Happy,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

ABS June Challenge


Its Time for the June ABS challenge !

It's always interesting to find out what part of the ABS  inspiration will grab me . This month it was the subject itself ,a lovely village by the sea in  a restful muted palette.
I've been very busy lately . I really could use a vacation.
When I saw the painting, all I could think of was how I would love to be relaxing in that little seaside town . I imagined leisurely strolls along the rocky shore. Maybe stopping to collect a pretty pebble or a bit of sea glass......
Ah ha ... my design inspiration !
I drilled holes in a nice piece of sea glass  I found in Nassau .I think found objects made great art beads . However,my seaside treasure hunts have all been along sandy beaches.No pebbles to be found in my stash. But , creating faux polymer clay rocks is easy and fun .
I made up an instant collection of pebble beads in the colors of the painting. While making the beads, another idea came to me
ABS Sunday has been discussing "Word Beads" I have always loved the  idea of  an inspiration word you can wear .But ,I have made very few beads with words . I decided to try some faux beach pottery shards with words. What words to pick? How about where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing ?
I added a little sea weed green gauze ribbon for a pop of color . My entry was complete.
The surprise outcome.... I felt relaxed and refreshed.
I don't have time for a real vacation right now. But, spending time concentrating on my seaside escape design ,was just the  break I needed.
Sometimes beads and bead work can be almost like mediation .... a mini retreat from everyday stress
this week
relax on your own Design Stay-cation
Bead Happy ,

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Playing with Pods

Pine Cone & Polymer Pods

I am loving all the rustic beads and elements that are showing up in Jewelry Designs.
I am especially enamored by "pod "shapes.
This week I decided to just play with that shape .
I didn't want to Borrow realist forms  from Mother Nature.
I just wanted take the idea of a seed pod and see were it took me.

There are weeks went my life needs a bit of structure .
At times like that, I think I benefit from organizing my brain to make realist flowers.
But,this week was particularly busy at the vet clinic where I  work.
We had a lot of fur-baby emergencies coming in our doors.
That's always very stressful  for everyone involved.
After a week of trying to multitask and keep organized in the midst of chaos ,I needed to free my head up a bit.
I find it very relaxing to let the clay take over. I picked some pleasing colors and just let the forms take shape on their own .
My beads are organic forms with micro glass beadie "seeds"
But , they aren't from any  real world garden.
They are fantasy  seed pods from the garden of imagination.
It's  a lovely garden to relax in . You never know what will grow there.
This week enjoy some time in the Imagination Garden
Bead Happy ,  

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Second Shop

A first for me ... NO polymer clay appears in my blog  this week !
Instead this is about a new venture .
Several months ago I stated selling earrings at the veterinary hospital were I work.
I decided to donate all the money from sales to a local no kill animal rescue.
Since I have a ginormous stash of beads, I thought this would be a good way for me to support a cause I strongly believe in.
The Good News ... my earrings were a big hit and I was able to donate a significant amount of money right from the start.
I did manage to use some beads from my stash .
However, I kept finding really ,really great animal themed components to buy.
I have soooo much  fun searching for neat new  beads and charms !
Every week clients and co-workers look forward to seeing the new earring designs.
The Bad News... I  realized I needed  a way to pay for my supplies !
I did get a foot in the door of a brick and mortar store ,which has helped a lot
But, I like doing my own merchandizing . So I decided to take a chance and open a second ESTY  shop.
 ETSY  is a jungle of jewelry designers . It's easy to get lost and be swallowed up by lions ,tigers and bears ...oh my!
The completion is tough .There is some amazing jewelry for sale on ETSY!
I am  not making any Paris Runway ,OOAK or Glam designs .
I'm making fun stuff  people can wear everyday.
My earrings are not about making a fashion statement.
They are about making people smile.
I figure I can list 100 pairs for an investment of $20 .That seems worth a gamble .The only down side...my hand is falling off after posting 24 listings!!!

So many lost and lonely dogs and cats need medical care and forever homes.
I hope my new venture will help support my "pairs for paws " fund
this week stop by and check out my new shop
Bead Happy !


Monday, May 20, 2013

WiFi & Flowers

Bead Bouquet

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Nothing makes that quote more clear to me than the absence of my internet !
You don't know what you have until you lose it .
Besides my ETSY shop ,Pinterest and all things Beadie
My computer is my bookkeeper ,banker and link to  friends and family.
With internet access I have the world at my finger tips
Without it, I'm cut off from the sources that help run my world .
And I'm without many things that make me smile .
This week  my internet provider was down for almost 24 hours!
I was not happy !!! OK...I was in major melt down !
But the good news is, I used  my  unwelcome free time to make some extra beads .
I liked the flower style I created for the May ABS challenge so much ,
I decided to try it in a few more colors .
Before I knew it ,I had a bouquet full of flowers! Thanks for the inspiration ABS.

These are big focal type beads . I like them as simple pendants as well as components in more complicated designs.
I think a statement piece with a huge bunch of these flowers might be fun too.
But,that will have to wait....
I have lots of blogs and e-mails to catch up with !
This week enjoy your favorite cyber connections
and don't forget to
Bead Happy ,


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Something Old is New

My New Floral Cabochons

I love making polymer clay flowers. I have been making flower beads for a long,long time!I have also started making simple earrings to sell at the Animal Hospital were I work . I donate all of the profits to a local Animal Rescue .

It's been years since I made earrings to sell . Flower brooches and earrings were the creations that got me started on this journey.
Recently I sat making little floral cabochons to glue onto earring backs. Suddenly my muse slapped me up side da head !
Why not add some cabochons to my shop she said.

The market is  full of easy  to  use findings with nice little round plates for gluing.Just add a  tiny flower and voila instant accessory ! Perfect way to add some inexpensive items to a shop or craft show line up . Or invest a bit more time and add a small flower or two to mixed media pieces. Polymer clay is very light weight .You can you can create ginormous designs that remain wearer friendly .
I love combos of unexpected elements all nicely arranged  into wonderful wearable  ART .
I haunt ETSY  and yard sales for bits and pieces of  weird and worn stuff I can use in my jewelry.
Often the very best finds are broken,missing parts etc.
Who wants one earring and a lock with no key ?
I do ! Broken + Bargain  can = Beautiful Beadie collage !
Do you ever use found items in your designs?

Making flowers is Old news for me .
But ,  using them as cabochons is a New twist .
This week
turn something Old into something New
Bead Happy
m.e. .

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May ABS Challenge


If I had the time,I might spend hour after hour picking flowers from this painting.
I could gaze at this for hours and still find a new element to delight me .
And so many wonderful rich colors to choose from.
Is there such a thing as inspiration overload ?
I love making flowers .This month I almost wanted to make the entire vase full!
But, it is rather unpractical to spend 24/7 playing with clay and beads.
At least this is what my family tells me... LOL

Therefore, I decided to select just a few of my favorite elements and begin
I picked some shells and seed pods that were almost perfect matches.
And I found a large dragonfly that seemed just right.
Then I tried to duplicate my favorite flower,the striped one in the corner.
But, how would I pull it all together?
The elements made me think  of a collection of treasures saved as a reminder of a special life event.
Perhaps these could be mementos of a Summer love  ......
I decide to add a vintage escutcheon . 
For me peering though a key hole is a bit like peering into one's heart
A secret place that holds special memories......

A simple necklace with it's own untold story
Perhaps I will make up  a tale to go along with this piece
It may begin :
She agreed to meet him at the garden .The hidden one that grew so near the beach...........

This week imagine a memory
capture it in a piece of jewelry  
Bead Happy !