Saturday, November 27, 2010

Over the River and Thru the Woods...

Yes, we're off on another adventure to see family and friends. Tomorrow morning we leave the comfort of our little beach house and start across the country to C.O.L.D. I've dug out my cashmere sweaters and felted jackets, (where are those darn fur lined leather gloves) and we're off to winter for the next few weeks to see some of the people we love the most and enjoy the holidays in a whole new way! This is usually my crazy time of year with parties to plan, decorations to fret over and baking galore, but we're trying something new this most unusual year and I'll let you know how I like it...or not! hugs, hugs, happy holidays and lots of love and joy to you and yours!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Are you out and about chasing the sales or home recovering from all the fun and family yesterday? Here's a little something I just added to my etsy store...a pendant from Manuela Wutschke with a beautiful Peruvian Opal nugget as the finishing touch. Today is the final day of my websale in my etsy store if you're looking to snag a bargain!

I'm definitely NOT out chasing the sales...this is not my favorite shopping day...I like to search out my bargains throughout the year and I'm not good at getting up a o'dark thirty for a chance at a deal. Hat's off to those dedicated souls out there who do, I'm just not motivated enough!!!
I love this pendant and the gold rolo chain it is hung from...I might have to keep it if someone doesn't snag it soon!

Oh, for you bargain hunters out there, check out the destash lampwork beads in my vintage/ destash store--- I'm downsizing a few of my treasures--someone else needs to enjoy them and make them sing!

Happy Black Friday, have a wonderful weekend, will you have any cash left for Cyber Monday? Now, go have some leftovers while they're still tasty and fresh! Everyone to the kitchen for a slice of pumpkin pie, smothered in whipped cream of course!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


To set aside a national day of Thanksgiving and Praise to the Almighty---that was in the proclamation by Abraham Lincoln sent forth to set aside the fourth Thursday of November as what we now call Thanksgiving. Most of us spend the day with family and friends at a wonderful feast of food and love and friendship...lots of us spend the day cheering on our favorite football team...but how many of us reflect on this wonderful land of liberty bought for us at such a dear price by our forefathers. Would we be willing to make the same sacrifices for our children and grandchildren. I hope so, I pray so. Can I take a moment today to give thanks, to count my blessings--I'm sure to be surprised at how many I have when starting to reflect on them. I'm taking a moment to praise the Almighty, give service, and tell those near and dear that I love them--look at my cup as half full, rather than half empty and fill it up to the brim with gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving my dear friends and thank you for enriching my life!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


These fabulous lampwork beads by Manuela Wutschke have been staring at me for a very long time. I'd take them out and play with them...rearrange them, think about them, admire them..then put them away. Nothing that I did with them every pleased me...nothing seemed to be right....
They are wonderful hand formed shapes and loaded with incredible detail--all of Manuela's bead are and if you've followed me very long you know she is at the top of my list of favorite lampwork artists.

As you see, I have finally finished them and I am so delighted with the way they came together yesterday when I once again started pulling and putting back, replacing and adjusting beads that might bring these stunning beauties together into a necklace that would make me happy. So I present to you my final, finished, fabulous necklace--Neptune's Retreat, in honor of the inspiration here at my little beach house by the sea.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Without Further Ado:

And this bodacious stash of artisan lampwork goes to...
BECKY F!!! Congratulations Becky, please send me an email with your shipping address. Since I have no way of getting in touch with you (no links to an email or website for you) please let me know before Friday. Enjoy all the pretty beads---make them sing and send pictures of something you make, too!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas....

...around here anyway! Yes, I dug into my stash of Christmas lampwork today and started playing with some of my forgotten treasures.Here's a fun little charm bracelet--Hawaiian Holiday with a vacationing polar bear in hula attire--primary lampwork by Jena Fulcher, on a sterling silver chain.
My 'Santa's Little Helper' necklace features an adorable lampwork cat in Santa hat by Amy Caswell with additional artisan lampwork on a sterling silver chain.

Last but not least a simple necklace 'Jolly Holly Christmas' featuring a lampwork pendant by Jena Fulcher embellished with rhodolite garnets on an oxidized sterling silver chain.
It's time to get in the spirit of the holidays---ready or not here it comes!!!!

One More Day....

Going.....going...... Tomorrow's the drawing of this lush bag of lampwork stash...leave a comment to enter for this half pound of fun!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How to Use Your Beads...

I've gotten a few questions lately about tutorials for jewelry construction, so since I'll be sending one of you a hefty stash bag of lampwork later this week, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite tutorials with the basics of stringing jewelry. It's one I found when I first started working with lampwork and it's still one of the easiest to follow. Maybe you're just starting or want to start designing your own jewelry--Julie's tutorial is a good starting point--it's where I started and you can see how I used her technic in the bracelet above.
Without further explanation, the tutorial is by Julie Ferguson of Fergie Beads. Here's the link to her website and the tut-- when you get there click on the tips and tutorial icon and click on the bracelet and bead dangle icon to go forthwith to the tutorial and everything you need to know about stringing a bracelet, or neclace for that matter---the technic is the same. Now, I don't know Julie, and nothing has been updated on the site for several years, but I do appreciate the great tutorial, with pictures and detailed explanation that most anyone can follow with beautiful results. A couple of caveats--she uses beadalon and I prefer soft touch by soft flex, in a medium to heavy weight for lampwork; fine or extra fine for gemstones. I think it drapes nicer and lays more softly on the wrist, but that is MY preference.
There are lots of great free tutorials out there---check utube, or just google what you are looking for and you'll be surprised at the plentitude of wonderful free information you can find.
Now leave a comment to get into the drawing for that bodacious bag of artisan lampwork I'm giving away--if you're a veteran or a newbie there's sure to be something in there that you're destined to love!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Stop by my etsy store this week for a very special sale that is going on---
There's knotted necklaces on sale....
and knotted bracelets on sale....

lampwork and gemstones and silver and gold...

silk ribbons and pendants, but nothing that's old....

slabs of fine agate and so many that are sure to become precious treasures.
Enter code-- givethanks --in my etsy store at checkout for a 15% discount on everything November 19th thru 26th!
p.s. just a couple of more days to enter my drawing for a half pound of artisan lampwork beadies --just leave a comment to be entered to win!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Something Blue Thursday....

Yep, it's another sneak peek from the stash bag drawing coming up on Tuesday.....there's lots more beads, but this will be your last tantalizing sneak peek--the rest is just going to be a surprise. S0me fabulous focals here!!! Leave a comment on this blog for an entry in the drawing for a half pound stash of artisan lampwork by several wonderful artists. This is a destash from my collection to you--they just need a little love to sing and I have hoarded them long enough--now it's your turn to do something wonderful with them! DRAWING TUESDAY November 23--comments welcomed!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is it Wednesday Already...sneak peek and more...

Today's sneak peek features some very girly lampwork in black and pink from the stash bag drawing. Beautiful encased floral lentils and rounds with a couple of applied matching tiny beauties. These were all left from a couple of other projects---beautiful beads each, saved and treasured, now they just need the love to see the light of day. Here's a custom necklace that I just finished..seed beads, no less and a gorgeous jungle full of flowers where a beautiful red parrot can sing his heart out! It's the bright plumage that gives the gender away, lol. It was a fun departure from my typical work and I now have renewed respect for artisans that work with seed beads all the time---they are tiny and like to fly all over the place and all too often have a mind of their own, lol.
Happy Wednesday---leave a comment and enter the drawing for a half pound stash bag full of artisan lampwork of every size and color!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Yep, it's 'Sneak Peek Tuesday" for the first look-see at what's in the drawing stash's a half pound of artisan lampwork that I'll be revealing a little more of each post a comment to win this bodacious batch of artist goodies from my personal stash...drawing will be next Tuesday--November 23!!!!

p.s. new reveal/sneak peek case you're curious....

Monday, November 15, 2010


Here is the promised drawing in honor of Thanksgiving. It's something a little different---a little bag full of ARTISAN lampwork from my stash. Lots of fun odds and ends from sets plus several focals I've hoarded for much too long. Do you design with lampwork and want something new to try? Have you never made jewelry, but wanted to try your hand at's your opportunity to play my way, risk free!

Once again all you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog between today and next Monday, November 22 and I'll be drawing a name to send these to on Tuesday November 23. Really, all these beauties need is just a little love to make them sing, and I'm ashamed to have hoarded them for so long--so we can both give thanks--I'm thankful to send them to a loving home and you can be thankful to receive them.
I'll do a reveal each day of some of the beads included in this drawing, so stop by to see what you can win!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunshine and lollipops...

Or perhaps I should say orange drops. These luscious carnelian drops look good enough to eat. These cheerful little beads reflect my mood today and the weather outside. It's been a sunny and warm Sunday--with a clear blue sky, gentle waves lapping the sand, and a practically perfect summer-like day.

Yesterday was busy, today is a lazy day. After having my spirit fed as I attended church earlier, the rest of the day has been quietly spent enjoying the beauties of nature and reflecting on the wonderful blessings in my life. Today my little world is worry Scarlett O'Hara...I'll think about what comes next...tomorrow.

Oh yes, this necklace is knotted on a silk cord, with tiny swarovski crystals cushioning each drop and finished off with a sterling clasp. At a generous 40" length, it can be a single strand or double strand necklace....or wrap it around your wrist for a 5 strand bracelet that is simply delicious!
Be sure to stop by all these wonderful blogs tomorrow---it's a group I belong to that did a Jewelry Swap and remake. I didn't get to participate this time, but I'm sure you're going to see some great ideas and beautiful jewelry here when they have the big reveal tomorrow!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And the Winner is......

Thanks to so many lovely comments I had quite a bowlful (couldn't find a hat this morning, except my husband's USC cap) to pull the winner from. So a big sincere thanks to each of you who stopped by my blog to offer your thoughts and comments--I'll be starting a new Thanksgiving drawing on Monday, so please try again if you missed out on this one!!!
I had a very reliable unbiased hand pull the winner out of the bowl.....and without further ado, you will see that the winner of the silk knotted bracelet is.....

SHARON of Off the Beadin' Path. Sharon, please send me an email at with your shipping address, so I can get this right off to you!
Thanks again to each of you for participating. Do check back on Monday for a new Thanksgiving drawing--this will be for next week only!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Tomorrow is the drawing for this delightful amazonite bracelet--knotted on silk cord with swarovski crystals and a sterling toggle clasp. Just leave a comment and you're entered!

Check back tomorrow afternoon for the reveal! >^..^<

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yummy Coin Pearls

REMEMBER FRIDAY IS THE DEADLINE TO ENTER MY DRAWING FOR AN AMAZONITE BRACELET!!! All you need to do is post a comment on the blog to be entered! I love the color of these coin pearls--opalescent olives and rusty browns shimmer and shine on this knotted silk cord. Tiny round ab crystals cradle each coin pearl with 4mm round pearls sprinkled among the coins. An elegant sterling toggle clasp completes the design.
After a bit of experimenting I decided on two glorious strands, each similar, with just a little difference. The shorter strand is 16" and the longer one is just under 18".

This rich warm color, may make this design my favorite yet...I guess I say that everytime I make something new lately...but there are so many choices that I am like a kid in a candy store and enjoying every moment. Back to work...back to play...
p.s. this layers perfectly with the grossular green garnet and pearl necklace in my etsy store.
Let me know what you're doing today--something that puts on smile on your face!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Begin an almost Perfect Day...

I started my morning with this picture in my email of my precious grandson, with a greeting for "Grandma Hickie". The only thing that would have been better was to have him crawl up on my lap and give me a big fat baby kiss in person...but alas, from half way across the U.S. it's the best avaliable substitute today. Thank you children, for starting my day off with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart! And thank you, Heavenly Father for letting me live in this day of technology where I can receive such wonderful gifts from my most treasured loves!

How are you counting your blessings today?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Snow Angels and other winter dreams...

It's only a tiny bit early to be thinking of snow angels. I clicked into my ebay account today and to the top it said 47 days to Christmas--tell me it ain't so!!!
Time to dig into my winter wardrobe, time to think about gifts and decorating and baking and all the fun things that kick start the winter holidays...and I'm caught totally off balance this year. Ah well, I went into my stash box and found some holiday beads just begging to be played with. This is the first--my little Snow Angel with some precious artisan lampwork beads by the fabulous ( and m.i.a. for sometime now) Barbara Gorko. She does the most whimsical, sweeeeet figural beads and flowers around. These have been sitting in my stash for awhile--the pink rosebuds one place and the precious snow angel another. They finally found one another and all it took was a chain and some icy moonstone marquise gemstones for a little winter whimsey to set me on the path.

I love the garland of roses around her head and feet, the pale pink buttons and her transparent blue little snow angel is definitely a girly girl--no doubt about it!
***don't forget to enter the drawing for an amazonite bracelet--every comment counts***

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's a Classic

All comments will be included in my drawing on November 13 for a knotted amazonite bracelet. What is more classic than a knotted strand of pearls? I've made a few pearl necklaces in my time, but never before knotted a whooooole strand. It was past due and so these beautiful 8mm champagn pearls got 'the treatment'.
I wanted something long so I could wear them a couple of different ways---35" is the perfect length for a double strand and still short enough to wear as a single strand when I want it to look less classic. I think I'm going to try layering it with some of my silver pieces...or maybe gemstones.

It isn't perfect, I noticed when I'd finished that a couple of the knots weren't as tight as I'd hoped they would be, but by the end I was going to town, getting more consistent with my knots and gaining speed as well. All in all a great project and best of all now I have a classic to add to my jewelry box!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And the Answer is.....

Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful comments. I loved hearing how you approach design and what choices you would make, and I really appreciate your taking the time to think about my question and give me your input. So, here's where my ideas took me--- After much consideration, it came down to the wonderful sterling forged connectors with a sprinkling of the yummy coral discs. It gives a lightness and space between each stunning bead so they are appreciated on their own merits, while still tying them together as a whole statement.

My pictures really don't do these lovely beads justice, each being a work of art, connected by color and form. Why did we (Eileen and I) decide on the coral? First off, these irregularly shaped coral discs captured the 'feel' of these unique lampwork focals. Second, red is one of the colors that speaks to the lovely lady I was designing this neck piece for. Third, they didn't overbear the beads with detail of their own, but where they were placed they added a pop to frame the finished design.
So now you have the end of my story...there wasn't a 'right' or 'wrong' choice, just the choice I made this time. I LOVE having choices, don't you???

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Would You Do?

I'd like to pose a rhetorical question this morning about design decisions. Thank you to my wonderful customer Eileen for suggesting this posting. How do you design? I know some people sketch their ideas out and go from there...others pull materials and start working. I'm more of the messy type--I typically go thru my stash and look at every possiblilty then start playing, adjusting, etc...making a total mess as I go--especially if my first inclination doesn't please, I just keep bringing more and more materials into my workspace until....
I arrive at a place that pleases me. Usually when I am doing a custom order and have several ideas, I like to include my customer in the decision, to make sure I am meeting their vision as well. So when I received this stunning set of lampwork beads by Manuela Wutschke to design into a necklace for my special customer, that is exactly what I did. I pulled what I thought would work well and set about (with her input) to 'create' a finished look that would please us both.
These are some rough pictures of variations that we toyed with along the path to completion--coral discs, forged sterling 'ribbon candies", Bali sterling tubes, and Afghnistan silver and lapis beads.

Granted these are not the best photos--had I been intending to post about it, I probably would have 'styled' my photo's better, but you should get the idea. question to you is---which materials would you have chosen to finish off these absolutely fabulous beads into a necklace of your dreams? I'm sure you might have alternate creative ideas of your own, but which of the choices here would have made the cut for you?

Tomorrow I'll show you my finished design, in the meantime tell me--what would you do?