Friday, July 31, 2009

Birthdays and Blue

Sorry, I've been MIA the last few days. It has been a busy week. My daughter's 9th birthday was this week and we had a lot of activities the last few days.

Last night we had her "friend" birthday party. She decided to have it at our local "paint your own pottery" place. The girls got to make their own charms to put on a bracelet. It was a lot of fun to watch their creative process. I love that they got to be part of each step of the process - picking stamps, cutting the clay, and painting. They even learned how to make roses out of clay. It was very cool. They were very serious about the whole thing. They were working so hard that they were really quiet. Not your typical birthday party. When the bracelet are done, I'll take some pictures to share.

I actually finished these earrings last week, but am finally getting around to posting and sharing. An amazonite cabochon and a blue pearl are the focal points. The earrings are embroidered with size 11 pale blue seed beads and size 15 blue metallic seed beads. A metallic blue drop hangs from the bottom. The earrings are backed in slate blue colored ultrasuede and hang from sterling silver ear wires. You can see more photos here.

I made these as part of the Thursday Sweet Treat theme "It's Going to Be A Bright Blue Day". You can see what other artists submitted here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tiny Flower Earrings

Since, I've obviously been focused on flowers the last few days, I decided to relist my Tiny Flower Earrings on Etsy. These adorable earrings are perfect for any occasion. Two glass flower beads are surrounded by seed beads and hang from sterling silver ear wires. The earrings are backed in black ultrasuede. These bead embroidered earrings are so light weight, you won't even know your wearing them.

Texture and Shape Inspiration

Yesterday when I took the pictures for color inspiration, I was also took the pictures below. I thought they were really interesting examples of texture and shape. They also looked like alien life forms, but that's another blog post. Anyways, I'm really interested in textures. Maybe that's way I like beads so much. I love the way beads feel and how I can change the texture of a beaded piece by sewing the beads in different ways. Now I'm thinking how I can interpret these textures into beaded pieces.  


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Color Inspiration

Nature is a great source of inspiration. Right now I can take a quick little stroll and see so many colors, shapes, and textures. Today was no exception. Our gardens and field are filled with so much color right now, it's hard not to find something to spark a new idea. I thought I'd share some color inspiration with you. 

Where do you find inspiration?


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To Fringe or Not to Fringe?

Last weekend was rainy and rather cold for mid July in Western Pennsylvania. With that in mind, I created this one-of-a-kind art pendant. The piece was inspired by large raindrops. You know the kind that are huge and make a huge splat against your wind shield. 

Although I am really happy with how it turned out, I can't decide whether or not I should add fringe to the bottom. To fringe or not to fringe, is the question. So what do you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009

France on My Mind

I just finished reading Julia Child's "My Life in France" and I loved it. I remember seeing Julia Child on PBS when I was a little girl. She had a really interesting voice and distinctive manner. I had recently seen the trailer for the new movie "Julie and Julia" and decided to pick up "My Life in France".  Julia had such and interesting life. I love that she moved to a foreign country, couldn't speak the language, and ultimately decided to master the art of french cooking. Amazing and brave. I love that she had a incredibly supportive husband. I love that she was interested in even the smallest details. (I'm into the details.) She had to convert the French recipes into American recipes with American ingredients and measurements. She adapted and worked hard, but most of all she never felt sorry for herself or at least she didn't mention it. And she did this all after the age of 35!

I'm now reading the book by Julie Powell, "Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously". In a moment of weakness, she decides to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year. She started a blog so that others could follow her progress. I would say that this was equally amazing and brave. I pretty sure that Julie Powell, also had an incredibly supportive husband. After reading about some of the recipes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," I'm not sure I'd have the courage to even try to cook them. Let alone feed them to my family. 

I'm all about pictures and I needed some to post with this blog entry. So I went to Etsy and found a few things that caught my eye. These items are distinctly French to me. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Lot of Green (Beads and Garden)

I am surrounded by green. Green beads and green garden. I thought I'd share a little of that green with all of you. 

I finished these sweet little earrings awhile ago, I just haven't gotten a chance to take a lot of photos and prepare them for my Etsy shop. (Boy this sounds a lot like my last post.) The small cabochon in the center is an amazonite. I surrounded it with three different colors of green seed beads. It reminded me of all those great green colors you see at the beginning of summer.

And here's one of my garden's. This is the one I call my "house garden". Just because it is closest to the house. In this garden, we have tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, basil, cabbage, and a lot of beans. I love it right now because it is a sea of green. Everything is full and flowering and hopefully we will soon be picking. Well, technically we have been picking lettuce, but nothing else yet.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Southwest Inspired Cuff Finished

I finally got the cuff finished. Sometimes it seems that I get projects almost done and then finishing the final step takes so much effort. I am really happy with how this cuff turned out. I'm debating whether or not I'll post it to my Etsy shop

Last weekend I finished two more cuffs and I hope to find sometime this week to get them photographed and posted. Again, that final step takes so much effort. 

I've not been doing much beading this week because I've been working on a knitting project. Friends of ours just welcomed their first baby on July 4th. I started a baby blanket at the end of May and I'm still not done. 

Do you see a pattern here? Do I have a problem? I think I need to work on my "finishing" skills. At least I admit that I have a problem. If you have any suggestions or advice for my problem I'll welcome the input.

But, the sun is shining today so I think we'll go swimming instead. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Wonderful World of Wildflowers

Yesterday was a really odd day. Raining when we woke up, then cloudy, and then the sun poked its head out from behind the clouds. My oldest daughter and I decided to take a walk. It seems that in the last week all the wildflowers just took hold of our fields. We headed down the back road, dogs leading the way. We got to the top of the hill with only a few flowers in hand and the thunder started to roll. We decided to take the turn to the tree house just in case we needed to seek shelter, which we did. Fortunately not for very long, because it is not fun to be in the tree house with 2 German Shepards in a thunder storm. The brief showers passed and we continued picking as we went along. We returned with this lovely bouquet. We found Queen Anne's Lace, Butterfly Milkweed, daisies, purple clover, and a bunch of others that I don't know the names. 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Black and White Cuff

I love this dramatic black and white cuff, but it didn't start that way. When I first started work on it, I was extremely frustrated. I usually work with a larger palate of colors. I wanted to try my hand at working with only black and white. I pulled every black and white bead from my ever growing stash. I had acquired the two quartz stones awhile back. I figured that they would become the centerpiece of a neckpiece or cuff, but would be surrounded by a rainbow of colors. As usual, I didn't have a specific plan when I started the cuff. I arranged the cabochons and started beading. Well, after only a few rows of beads I quickly decided that only black and white was not going to do. I was going to have add another color. Focusing only on the black and white, the cuff had no depth and no character. Gray was the natural choice. The addition of gray gave a pleasing step between the black and white beads. The cuff was also embellished with pearls, shell beads, glass beads, and hematite beads. 

So after, a rather dissatisfying start, I was over the top at the finished piece. It is truly a piece of art to wear. 

You can see more pictures of the cuff at my Etsy site (

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Something New Something Blue Cuff

This incredible one-of-a-kind cuff was created for the Etsy Beadweavers July Challenge "Here Comes the Bride...". Inspired by the items every bride needs on her wedding day (something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue), I created this cuff with a twist on the classic.

The cuff was created with 9 mother-of-pearl cabochons. The cabochons were embroidered with delica seed beads and embellished with more than 250 Swarovski crystals in crystal AB and white opal. The underside of the cuff is a beautiful slate blue ultrasuede.

If you'd like to vote please visit the Etsy Beadweavers' Blog between Julty 9th-15th to see all the entries and vote for your favorite.

My cuff is number 21.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On My Beading Mat

I thought I would share what I've got on my beading mat this weekend. I've started a new cuff with a southwest theme. The center is a turquoise stone. I've embellished the cuff with pearls, raku beads, pillow beads, seed beads, and more turquoise beads. I've finished beading the cuff and just need to attach it to the base and finish the backing.

I wasn't sure how much I would get done because the garden required a lot of attention. But it was a very productive weekend. The weather was perfect for gardening (not too hot with a nice breeze). The garden looks a lot better and I've got a cuff almost done. 

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July and Some More Red, White, and Blue

I decided to search Etsy for some more red, white, and blue. Here's what caught my eye.

The second comes from goosegrease, custom wedding cake toppers

And finally, these beautiful blue lampwork disks from hmbstudios.

I hope you'll take a minute to check out these Etsy shops. 

Have a happy and safe 4th of July! I'll be weeding and beading.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Red, White, and Blue

Since I didn't have anything red, white, and blue to feature I went searching on Etsy. I stumbled upon this beautiful watercolor print. The print is from the shop of LaBerge. The print reminded me of all the strawberries we've been picking from our patch and the wild ones growing in our fields. 

If you have a minute go check out LeBerge's shop. She has a wide variety of prints and original artwork. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red, Purple, and Bronze

I was hoping to post something in red, white, and blue, but unfortunately, I don't have anything in those colors. So the closest were these earrings. The center is an oblong piece of red glass that is surrounded by pale purple and bronze seed beads. A small bronze flower bead cap was sewn at the top. Red daggers and purple Czech glass beads make up the fringe at the bottom. 

These are fun, flirty earrings. They are pretty long, but very light weight. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Custom Order

A friend of mine wanted a simple pendant that she could wear every day with just about everything. She picked a fossilized coral bead for the center. The one she picked is incredible. It is very detailed. It looks like tiny little flowers. We decided to keep the focus on the beautiful bead and surrounded it with various black seed beads. I alternated between shiny and matte to give the piece some added detail. The pendant hangs from a leather cord that has added beads on either side. The pendant is small, only about 1 1/2 inches wide. I delivered the piece to her this morning and she was very happy. So I'm happy too.
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