Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do I need a vacation?

Not a lot of time today for a long post, but I wanted to share some other new pieces I've finished recently.

The first is a bead embroidered ring made with a handmade cabochon of a sea shell print.

The second is a bead embroidered cuff using another handmade cabochon of a sea shell print.

Do you see a theme here? Or is just me. I think I need a vacation.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dreaming of an Escape

I've been dreaming of an escape. A trip where the ocean is clear blue, the sand is warm, and the temperature is a constant 85 degrees. I'm dreaming of an escape from the mountain of laundry, dishes, cleaning and sick children. Yes, the flu found its way to my house last week. Of course, it was not welcome, but it came anyways.

I recently finished this cuff and I know that it was inspired by my thoughts of escaping to an island paradise.

This bead embroidered cuff was created with three turquoise cabochons. The cabochons are surrounded by seed beads. The cuff is embellished with numerous pearls and Swarovski crystals in three colors (caribbean blue opal, pacific opal, and capri blue). The names of the crystals were inspiration enough. The cuff is one inch wide and is backed in black ultrasuede.

I admit that once it was finished, I did stare at it envisioning my favorite beach and hoping that I'll soon be visiting.

Are you dreaming of an escape? Where would you like to escape to when things become overwhelming?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Snow Day in October

Yes, you read right. I saw snow today. Yes, I did double check the calendar. Typically we don't get snow this early in Pittsburgh. Last night the weather man informed us that the last time we had snow this early was in 1972.

I'm not too happy about this snow or unexpected cold weather. I am headed on a camping trip this weekend with my daughter's girl scout troop. Fortunately, we are staying in a heated lodge, but it created a packing nightmare. Heavier jackets, mittens, hats, and long under ware were added to the packing list. I'm hoping the weather man is incorrect about any accumulation.

In honor of today's flakes, I just listed this adorable Snowflake pendant in my Etsy shop . It is a handmade cabochon made from glass and specialized paper. The cabochon is surrounded by speckled pale blue, gray, and metallic blue seed beads. The pendant is backed in slate blue ultrasuede and hangs from a ribbon cord necklace. You can check out more pictures here.

Wishing you warm thoughts this weekend. Please send warm thoughts my way. I have a feeling I'm going to be cold (at some point) the next few days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Super Star Earrings

At last years Academy Awards, Angelina Jolie wore these incredible emerald earrings by Lorraine Schwartz. They were breathtaking and caused a lot of buzz on the red carpet. They are worth $2.5 million!

These are my "Angelina Earrings". I used a emerald green swarovski rivolis for the top section and a green agate teardrop for the bottom. The earrings are bead embroidered with dark green and silver seed beads. The earrings are backed in black ultrasuede.

These are statement making earrings and would be perfect for any red carpet event or maybe this year's office Christmas party. You can check out more pictures at the Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ladies Who Lunch Ring

Today I listed a new piece in my Etsy shop.

This is another piece I've made with the glass cabochons I've been making. I love this picture. It reminds me of a woman who has time to get dressed up and lunch with her friends. This woman is not me, but I'd like to be her sometimes. So even if you don't get to lunch with your friends (while wearing your long white gloves), you can wear this ring and dream it.

The ring is embroidered with red and purple seed beads. The beadwork is attached to a silver plated adjustable ring. The underside of the ring is covered in red ultrasuede.

You can check out more pictures of it here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Perfect Autumn Day Part 2

Luck was on my side. We got a second beautiful day. With my camera battery now charged, I ventured out to capture some of the beauty.

Inspired by the colors of the season, I pulled out this cabochon that I bought months ago. I personally find working with red and yellow very difficult. I've challenged myself in the past and haven't been happy with the results.

I purchased this cabochon months ago and I have two round ones that match it. It reminded me of a sunflower. I purchased it from Lisa Peters. You can check out more of her beautiful handmade ceramic beads, buttons, pendants, and cabochons at her shop here.

I'm happy with the results so far. This is going to become a bracelet, which I hope to finish this week and will post the results when it done.

Do you have a color that you find difficult to work with? Have you overcome your color issues and how did you do it?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

End of the Season

Last night it was really cold here. The kind of cold that indicates winter is right around the corner. I haven't made it out to the flower garden, but I expect that the frost took the rest of the zinnias.

Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers. They are extremely hardy. They can tolerate too much rain or lack of it. This year we had a lot of rain and not a lot of heat. They are a wonderful cut flower and can last more than a week once cut. Best of all they have a really long season. We actually had so many that we sold them this year and donated the money to a charity.

So as I am mourning the end of the zinnia season, I'm sharing with you a picture of zinnia from my garden and the ring that was inspired by it. Until next year zinnias. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Perfect Autumn Day

Today was an incredible fall day here in the east. The trees were just gorgeous. Puffy clouds floating along the blue sky. I headed out the door with my camera to capture some of this glory. And then, I discovered the battery in my camera was dead.

So instead of a beautiful picture of this fall day, I'm sharing a picture of a pair of earrings that I just renewed in my Etsy shop. The gold and cranberry color reminded me of the some of trees on the hills this weekend.

These bold bead embroidered earrings are made with two square jasper beads and glass pearls. The jasper beads are surrounded by seed beads and cranberry colored pearls. The part of earring is made from gold colored glass pearls that are also surrounded by cranberry colored pearls. The top and bottom are connected by a tiger's eye bead. A very full fringe of seed beads and drop beads hang from the bottom.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Peacock Earrings

Here's a new pair of earrings that I've recently finished. I actually had completed the base of these earrings earlier in the summer. I wasn't going to put a large fringe on them originally, but I just wasn't happy with what I was putting together. I put the earrings away for a while.

In the process of unearthing my dining room table, I found the half done earrings and with new eyes immediately figured out how I wanted to finish them. Maybe it is also because I found the dagger beads at the same time. I didn't set out to mimic a peacock feather, but once they were done that's what I think they look like.

The center piece is a dyed mother of pearl tear drop. They are surrounded by seed beads and Czech fire polished beads. The fringe is made from seed beads, Czech fire polished beads, howlite beads, and dagger beads. These are big earrings - 3 inches long. But still incredibly light weight. They are backed in black ultrasuede.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scallop Shell Pendant

This morning the sun poked it head out for a very short time, but just enough for me to get some pictures taken of the new pieces I've completed.

Here's another piece using the handmade cabochons I've been making. The focal piece for this one is a beautiful print of a scallop shell. I added a second tier to the pendant made from african turquoise. I love this color combination of orange, brown, and turquoise. The pendant hangs from a ribbon and cord necklace.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Trip to the Bead Store

Wednesdays are one of my favorite days of the week. It is half way between the "work" week. This year we don't have any activities so I'm home in the evening which means I can sometimes get some beading done. Additionally, my youngest goes to school a full day on Wednesdays so I can plan mommy only trips or appointments for those days.

Well, today was a trip to my favorite bead store - Crystal Bead Bazaar. I haven't been there in months so it was nice to catch up with the owner and check out all the new items she has added to her stock.

I picked up some seed beads, pearls, and glass drops. She has added a beautiful array of antiqued silver chain, so I got some of that too. The last time I was in the store, I was checking out this beautiful raku ceramic cabochon. I was so glad it was still there. So I got that too.

Now I'm full of new ideas and can't wait to get to work on some new pieces.

A Visitor

This weekend, my husband discovered this little guy in our basement. The kids were THRILLED. I was NOT! He was little, only about 3 inches long. He's a ring neck snake. The kids were hoping to keep him as a pet. I firmly put my foot down.

I not afraid of most critters, except mice and snakes. Unfortunately, I've had way too many runs ins with both mice and snakes. I'm pretty sure we have a large black snake living in the basement. My rule is as long as I don't see him, he can stay because he keeps the mouse population down. A couple of months ago, I ventured to the basement to get some empty canning jars and discovered a 5 foot long snake skin. Again, the kids were THRILLED. I avoided heading to the basement unless it was absolutely necessary and I took one of the dogs with me. Yep, I'm a big wimp.

I have some felt that has a snake skin pattern printed on it. Maybe I'll bead a faux snake skin cuff. But that the closest I'm getting to any snakes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Black, Gold, and Penguins

I purchased a handful of these black Swarovski crystal rivolis a couple of months ago. I originally thought they would find themselves in a neckpiece. However, when I finished the "Joie de Vivre" cuff, I decided to the dig out the rivolis. I've been holding onto these gold daggers waiting for the right pair of earrings to incorporate them. I'm usually so sick of a color combination after I've finished a piece, especially if it is a cuff or neckpiece. I think I was influenced by the fact that Pittsburgh Penguins kick off their season tonight. Something that we are looking forward to here at our house. There's been a lot of coverage of the team this week because they will be raising the banner representing their Stanley Cup win last year.

Black and gold are sacred in this town and you can never go wrong with black and gold.

Good luck Penguins!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Bracelet - Joie de Vivre

I am really enjoying working with these new cabochons I've been making. Here's another new piece.

This bracelet was created for the Thursday Sweet Treat Blog Theme "Spreading Joy". I just love the picture of the woman. She looks so happy and joyful. She reminds me of a flapper girl.

I surrounded the glass cabochon with cream colored seed beads, black Swarovski crystals, and small gold bugle beads. The cuff is then embellished with black delica seed beads with gold Czech beads randomly placed around the cuff. On either end of the cuff are gold coin pearls. Additionally, I made two cut out sections on each side. The burgundy ultrasuede, which backs the cuff, can be seen through the cut out sections. The cuff attaches with hook and eye closure.

Please go check out the other pieces created for the "Spreading Joy" theme on the Thursday Sweet Treat Blog.
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