Thursday, February 26, 2009

She's Gonna Do Seashells...again...

Ah yes, it's time to think of seashells again...they're really some of my favorite things. Lampwork seashells and assorted ocean themed beads really float my boat. Here are a couple from last season with beautiful lampwork beads by Dawn Scannell. I just got a fresh batch of her beauties yesterday in the mail and I'm salivating. My fingers are itching to try a couple of new designs and I'm definitely in an ocean themed mood.
We're still finishing up the business move, but I'm hoping that next week I'll get a little time at the workbench to play with my new treasures. In the meantime enjoy last years goodies and I'll be back with the 2009 editions before you know it!
Who knows maybe my March giveaway will be something with seashells--waddayathink???

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My How Time Flies.....

when you're having fun?!? Doesn't this look like chaos?!? You see here my own personal version of 'the Office".
Well, the week has flown by, but not really because I was having 'fun'...I've been helping my husband pack up his business for a move from one location to another and it's been quite a project. I come home every night rather late and I'm bone tired. I'm not used to dragging around boxes full of files and invoices and all manner of other things. I'm sure if I did this more often, I'd be in better shape, lol. So, no new jewelry this week so far! And no time for a tip of the week...unless I can steal a few hours in the morning to put something together with pictures. Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of my fun! So I'll count my blessings that it only gets in the way sometimes! Most of the time, no, all of the time, I'm a very lucky gal!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tip of the Week--Finishing Touches

So, everybody knows the the perfect accessories can dress even the simplest outfit up or down, right? The right shoes, or purse or jewelry can take you from nice to fabulous.

One of the compliments I've gotten most often on my jewelry designs is---I love your clasps, where did you find them? Clasps are one of my favorite finishing touches and just like the perfect accessory, can take an outfit from nice to fantastic. Just the right clasp can kick your design up a notch. Sometimes I know the exact clasp I'm going to use to finish my design and other times I have to try several clasps before I'm happy with the finished look. Be it plain or very fancy the proportion to the rest of the design is always important, as well making sure the shape of the clasp compliments the beads and gemstones in the design. Also, does it fit the theme of the bracelet or the look I'm going for. Just like a belt is more than just an accessory to hold your pants up, a clasp is more than just a way to keep the bracelet around your wrist. I think the way your finish your designs shows that your care about your creations.

So, would you like to know some of my favorite online places to look for that 'just perfect' clasp? Some of my favorite places--- (minimum order, but I'm not sure they require a resale certificate) (wholesale only with minimum orders, but they do give you a list of their retailers), (minimum orders, but not sure you need a resale license to purchase) (true wholesaler with resale license required and minimum order) and here is the retail resource for some really nice clasps if you don't purchase in bulk or wholesale--- (check out their springall clasps in the designer section and they also sell sakisilver clasps at retail as well). Oh and two more good sources I almost forgot--- Sadco and Nina Designs .

Alright, now you're on your own!!! I hope I gave you someplace new to go out and find your perfect finishing touch!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Once Upon A Dream

Don't we all need a little fantasy and romance in our lives now and then. I think it's definitely something that gives us pleasure . Once Upon A Dream $136 is just the accessory to set the dream in motion. As I was working with the pink amethyst gemstones for this piece, it seemed to me that the light color of the stones, and elegance of the design that was coming together totally spoke of romance and elegance. This would be a perfect accessory for the bride or bridesmaid, even mother of--..or maybe to wear out dinner and dancing, to the theater or wear ot to the Oscar's later this month, should you have that coveted invitation. I kept it simple--using only the one gemstone--pink amethyst (truly a soft lavendar color) faceted twist spriral briolettes and large carved oval stones, and beautifully detailed granulated Turkish sterling silver beads, caps and clasp. Perfect for you anytime you're in a romantic mood.
Hopefully you can see from my pictures, that the way the stones are faceted gives a lot of light and sparkle to enhance the gemstones, and the contrast of the darkly emblished sterling silver findings adds drama and some beautiful details to frame the stones.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

After the spring rains come the sunshine and flowers so...I'm looking ahead with this newest lampwork and sterling silver bracelet--Wildflowers in Ojai Meadow. $88.00 Gabrielle Servage was reading my mind with her beautiful squeezed beads covered in wildflowers--just like a spring meadow in the high desert of Southern California. The wildflowers come in a riot of color after our springtime rains and then fade quickly, under the heat of the blazing sun. But, oh, those few glorious weeks and days each spring of green hillsides and fields of wildflowers are a joy to behold. We won't have to wait long--with last weeks rain and more this week, the color will come fast and furious. I'm getting ready to drink in the springtime, and savour every precious minute. It fills my soul with joyous wonder and hope, it revives the spirit--and all it costs is being aware of the world around you. So plan on taking a little time to enjoy Mother Nature's wonderful gift when it comes to a meadow near you!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Drumroll Please.......................

First, let me say thank you so much to all who participated--I wish all of you could have won the bracelet...but all I have is one. I really appreciated hearing from so many of you--and thanks for making my week! My husband ended up pulling the name out of the bowl, so if you have any complaints, please refer them to him, lol!

...And the winner is...ELIZABETH...send me your shipping information at my email-- and I'll get your rose quartz bracelet packed and ready to ship quick as a minute.

Thank you all!!!! I think I'll have to do this again very, very soon...maybe I should make it a monthly drawing for some goodie or another! Please stop by for the jewelry design 'tip of the week' in the next few days--I'll be talking about 'finishing touches' this week.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

One More Day....

Isn't that a song from Les Mis? Well, I'm not coming from the same place with my 'one more day'. No revolution here, just one more day until the drawing.

This is my day off from everything but family and church, and I almost forgot to post at all! Needed to be to church a little early this morning---8:20 early, to play the piano for a 'last-minute, make sure we're ready' choir practice--they did just great, and I didn't detract, which is enough! Why the piano, not the organ you ask, since I play both--the organ is a bit more difficult to stay on pitch with, and so ususally preferred by our choir director. Hey, we're all volunteers here, so you get what you pay for, lol! Too much information,right!

Then when we got home at noon, I cozied up my husband and took that rare as gold, Sunday afternoon nap--I was cold, he was warm...our daughter was out for the day, so no more 'sponsibilities. The dog took his cue from me and curled up beside the two of us and took a nap too! I think the cat was out in the greenhouse luxuriating in the intermittant sunshine, so that no errant raindrops could surprise his afternoon nap...and he wouldn't get herded by our rascally Australian shepherd either! I guess it's time to do penence for such a lovely, lazy respite and make a super delish dinner for my favorite pillow--my wonderful guy with a warm shoulder. Children and animals flock to him, which tells you all you need to know!

The sun is once again hidden in thick dark clouds--portending another rain this evening or tomorrow, I'd guess, but for now it's dry and we had a lovely spot of sunshine to welcome us this morning. I'm off to try my culinary skills in the kitchen and enjoy the rest of my cozy afternoon! Ta,ta...'til tomorrow!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Raindrops Keep Fallin'...

It's our third day of rain here--a nice gentle spring rain, for the most part, that we desperately need! But I woke up this moring at 6:15 to a virtual downpour that sounded like someone was pouring a huge bucket of water on my roof. It made me feel especially thankful for a warm, cozy house safe from the elements. It must be time for a fire in the hearth, a cup of cocoa, and a good book to cozy up with for the rest of the day. A little wishful thinking there, but it certainly is tempting!

Now there are only two more days to get your name in the drawing for the rose quartz bracelet. This Monday, my daughter will be drawing the winning name--just leave a comment here to have your name included.

And don't forget the sale as well---buy one item at full price and the second purchase of equal or lesser value is a full 50%'s going, going, gone on Monday, February 9.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sooo...Are you Curious????

Here are the fruits of my labor yesterday--after playing and playing and playing again with the limited stash I had, this is the neckace I made from the beads in the picture I posted yesterday. I was going for something quite long--36" long in fact that was playful and modern. I wanted more artisan lampwork, but I just had to make do with little accents I had. So cinnabar, Bali sterling silver and onyx had to fill in the gaps. Wouldn't it be fun someday to give a half dozen designers the exact same supplies and see what we all come up with. I'm sure there wouldn't be a similar piece in the bunch. That is the really fun thing about jewelry design to me. There is no right or wrong and you can let your own muse sing, as much or as little as you like. Life is like that really, we all have the right to choose our path and wouldn't it be boring if we were all exactly the same??? I certainly think so!

Who said "The world is so full of a number of things, I think we should all be as happy as kings!" Find something to be grateful for today! My list is overflowing.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Late...I'm Late...for a Very Important Date

Yes, I'm late today for my date with 'the beads'. Had a few long newsy phone calls this morning, then I sat down to sort thru my stash. Looking for treasures for a project, that I'm not sure I have enough of what I need, to make the design I have in mind. I culled thru every black, white and red bead and dodad in my stash and I'm going to spend the afternoon seeing if I get inspiration or just frustration. My days at the work bench are like that---sometimes I see exactly what I want, and other times I sit down and work, rework and rework again with nary an idea pleasing the eye. I do usually sit down with an idea, but sometimes it just doesn't look like I visualized when it starts going together. I envy people who draw a design, pull the exact components and put their design together neat and nice. I'm afraid my workbench looks like a bomb went off most times when I'm working on a project/projects. When I get going, like I did last week...there are bits and pieces of everything piled up, until I settle back into a 'I can't stand the chaos' mood and decide to take a day to resort, organize and put things back in their place... so I can start the whole process over, lol.

It's sad when my husband and daughter get home and ask how my day was, or what I did and I look at them glassy eyed and try to think of anything productive that came to fruition that day. Today I have something already--I did some laundry. That counts for productivity, right? Especially if your hubby's on his last pair of socks! I've got it covered!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just A Little Blip in my Plans Today....

Don't forget the drawing is still going--all you have to do is leave a comment on my blog--any entry--and you're eligible for the drawing to win my rose quartz bracelet pictured in the Feb 2 blog entry! And you can still get the special grand opening 'buy one get one for half price' sale special if you see something (s) you can't resist! --->

I'm a bit late today with my musings....I had a little change of plans. Instead of playing with jewelry, it turned out to be--'Take Your Wife to Work' day! lol... We have a family business (my husband, son and a few employees! ) and typically I just cheer them on, but they are getting ready to move locations and selling some of their office furniture, etc., since they won't be needing all of it at their new digs, and I was enlisted to inventory, describe, photograph, advise,etc. Today turned out to be the right, no playing with jewelry, but helping a little with the responsibilities I typically am excused from at 'the office'. So if you're in the LA area and need some really high quality office furniture--desks, chairs, files...I'm the gal to talk to, lol. I have a feeling that by the end of the day, I'll know more than I ever wanted to about peninsula u desks and lift and lock returns, haha! It's back to work for me, but I'll be here tomorrow back on track with the fun stuff!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TIP OF THE WEEK: How DO you String a Bracelet ???

Remember all this week--buy one get the second item of equal or lesser value 50% leave a comment to be entered to win the beautiful rose quartz bracelet shown on Monday, February 2nd post!!!
So, if you don't already make some of your own jewelry, maybe you've always wanted to, but weren't sure where to begin. Let's start with the basics....I'm not going to write a complete tutorial for stringing in this post...but I am going to link you to one.
Now when I was first learning I found a wonderful tutorial online and it's still my favorite---with step by step pictures and directions. The tut is by Julie Ferguson at . Go to the website and on your left click the heading--tips and tutorials. Click on 'how to make a bracelet and dangle' and you're good to go! This same basic skill works for bracelets, necklaces, ankle bracelets, etc. It's easy get going!!!
Of course the first step is to get your supplies together. Julie's tut tells you what tools you'll use. You'll need stringing wire...Julie, uses beadalon, but I prefer soft touch or soft flex...either will work. You'll need a pair of crimp beads--try to get sterling ones...they are sturdier than base metals. I like to use bullion or french wire to finish off the ends of my bracelets, but it's mostly cosmetic, not essential. Julie doesn't use it in her tut, so it's up to you. You'll need a clasp--so many choices, pick your style! And of course the beads you want, to reflect your design ideas--gems, crystals, pearls, lampwork, resin, metal...the choices are's where the fun comes in. If you want a dangle or two, you'll need head or ball pins, plain or fancy to wrap your dangle. I like a finished length of about 7 1/2 inches...your clasp will add about 1 to 1 1/2 inches to the length, so the 'bead' part of the bracelet will only be about 6 to 6 1/2 inches before you finish with your now that I have you totally confused...go look at Julie's tutorial and then come back and see if it doesn't make more sense...and send me a picture of what you make, OKAY?

If you don't have a clue where to go for supplies, your local beading store should have everything you need or want. If you prefer shopping on the internet, here's my fav one stop shopping store.... What I like about artbeads is--they carry quality supplies at reasonable prices and ship absolutely any order free anywhere in the U.S. They ship quickly and have all the basics. I primarily purchase wholesale...but when I'm in a pinch and don't want to place a huge order with my wholesalers, I still turn to artbeads for a little this or's quick with free shipping it's a deal! So if you want 2 crimps, a small spool of beading wire, and a clasp...they're not going to make you feel like a nuisance, so that's my little tip for you.
P.S. Etsy and Artfire are great online places to go if you're looking for artisan beads, gemstones or other goodies to use in your designs--I'll talk more about them in another post--- and Maybe you'll find your own favorite place that I've missed...but I hope this will help you get started if you've wanted to, but been just a little afraid to make a start!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Let's Start Out the Month with a Splash! A Grand Opening Drawing!!! And Sale!!!

Would you like to win this bracelet??? Read today's post to find out how you can enter the lottery for this free bracelet:

It's been a little lonely here, since closing my aol journal in October. I'm not sure if I lost alot of my subscribers to that journal because they lost my link or if I just don't hear from as many of you lately. I know that from October to January I'm really busy and there wasn't much going on here, but now I'm full speed ahead and so I'm going to consider this week my Grand Re-opening of a new blog to feature all my jewelry designs. I'll also be including some design tips and news along the way. There will be a new post everyday this week (that will keep me busy!) So from February 1st thru the 8th--let's celebrate!!!! Stop by and help me chase away the winter blues!

LET'S CELEBRATE WITH A SALE AND A GIVE-AWAY!!! First for the SALE--purchase one item at full price and the second item of equal or lesser value will be half-off all this week--that's right, your second item will be 50% off--so enjoy shopping. Click the Available Now Gallery to your right and see a description of what's available and the pricing. This is only for purchases from the webblog, not my etsy store--you have to come here to look and buy. Email me at with the name of the pieces you want to purchase and I'll send you a paypal invoice for the correct amount. Do remember that everything is one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. Free first class shipping in the U.S., Canada, and Europe too!!! Paypal and U.S. money orders are the only payments accepted.

Now for the GIVE-AWAY---as I've said it's been too, too quiet over I'm having a drawing for this lovely rose quart bracelet I've designed to give to one lucky winner! Here's what you have to do to qualify for a chance to win. Everytime you post on my blog this week in the comments section (just shout out and let me know you're here--only nice stuff please! haha) you'll be entered to win. If you also subscribe to my blog (that means you'll get updates everytime I post) you'll get an additional chance to win. Next Monday---February 8 I'll have my daughter draw a name out of the bowl full of entries and I'll post the winner here on the blog. If you're the lucky one, contact me with your shipping info and off your new bracelet goes straightaway to you!

It's the middle of winter and we just need something to warm us come on over and join in the fun!