July 28, 2010

Last Chance

Hey, look there - did you see that, me dropping the ball on blogging!  Yikes.  I so wanted to keep going with the inspired by series, but deadlines and traveling have kept me away.

Just wanted to let you know that my Etsy shop will be open until Tuesday and then I will be closed until August 18th for a much needed break.  See you after the 18th!

July 20, 2010

Inspired by Autumn: Owls

Owls remind me of farms in the country. 
A wood burning stove in the corner. 
The howl of a cold November wind blowing outside. 
Curled under warm blankets,
Cuddled with someone you love. 
Moments stolen away to read a book,
To dream or think of things that are
bigger than both of you. 

There are times when the world let's you pause and then there are times when you must hold the world back and be still.  Finding those moments to listen to our heart and to the ones we love, that seems like a moment when we step closer to wisdom.

(The pendant above is from my friend Marie at MoreSkyeJewels, mixed with Humblebeads disks, glass flowers, resin and vintaj brass.)

July 19, 2010

Inspired by Autumn: Blackbird

I fell off the blogging track for a few days, I traveled last weekend and my schedule was off-kilter!

So a few more days of fall inspiration are coming this week.

Today it's about the blackbird, in all it's forms. I created a treasury using some of my fall inspired beads and other blackbird items from Etsy, that's a sneak peek of it above. Click the link to see the whole treasury.

And hey, while I'm on a theme - my favorite blackbird song:

And now for the winner of the Squirrel bead drawing:
The winner is Michelle Heim!!!
Michelle email me your snail more so this little guy can come hang out with you.

July 15, 2010

Inspired by Autumn - Nature's Trinkets

 Two leafy earrings featuring Branch Disk beads.


The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

-Emily Dickinson

July 14, 2010

Inspired by Autumn: Squirrels!

I love squirrels! As you may have gathered if you read my blog or have seen my illustration portfolio. When it comes to fall designs, squirrels and acorns are never far behind.

Above is a necklace I created with a silver squirrel from Hint. Notice the hint of purple - when working with a fall color palette of yellows and oranges, a nice touch of their complimentary colors can add a little spice.

Squirrels span the medium - here is one in clay and one below as a print.

So due to my late start of blogging this part of the series I will be posting through the weekend for 5 days of fall inspiration. As a Texan in the middle of July, I'm ready for all things October!

Hmm, should we do another giveaway? Why yes, I think we should. Leave a comment below and I will draw one random winner on Sunday to receive one of my squirrel beads.

Answer the question: Do you have an animal or bird that reoccurs in your creative projects?

July 9, 2010

Inspired by Summer: Garden Stroll

 Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.

- Henry David Thoreau

Today it's a stroll in the garden.  Blooms that are a feast for the eyes. 

Flowers that are worlds onto themselves.  Let's wander and find ourselves lost in tranquility.

Click on the links for free tutorials for these projects. 

And the winner for the Tiny Starfish Charms giveaway is Lynn from Beading Heart Arts
Congrats Lynn, email me your address and I'll send those along to you.

I'll see you on Monday with fall inspirations - my favorite time of year!

July 7, 2010

Inspired by Summer: Plant Markers

Today's inspiration comes from the garden and goes right back into it!  I created these plant markers using the Vintaj altered blanks.  They have these super cute leaf shapes. 

I hammered the plant name with my letter stamps. And used my ball peen hammer to add a little texture, followed by a little once over with a fine sandpaper to bring out the highlights.

I made the hook using thick brass colored wire, I think it was 16 gauge.  I created a hook using a tube a beads for the shape.

 To add in a little 'humbleness' I used one of my disk beads, a Vintaj bead cap, a Czech glass flower. 

I also used the tall tags for this version.  Wouldn't these be cute gifts with a little potted herb, would make a sweet little house warming gift. 

Feel free to use this design to add some beady goodness to your container garden.

Vintaj altered blanks can be found Bello Modo.

July 6, 2010

Inspired by Summer: Beachcombing

Sit on the beach,
Sift through the sand and tiny rocks to find treasures deposited by the sea,
Listen to the water lap against the shore,
Smell the sea salt and coconut lotion mix in the air,
Soak in summer one ray at a time. 

Two bracelets: one as simple as can be letting the art bead do all the talking.  The other a collection of seaweed, urchin and 'drift wood'.  Both perfect examples of being inspired by summer.

July 5, 2010

Inspired by Summer: Van Gogh's Garden

Sneak out to the garden in the middle of the night. 
Stars flying overhead, blooms fragrant and lovely. 
Sit in the garden and marvel at the world.
Enjoy it's mysteries in the cool, dark midnight blue.

(Brass rose petals and chain from Ornamentea.)

July 4, 2010

Inspired by Summer: Fireworks

Fireworks, is there a better way to start July?  Of course not! 

I created these earrings a few years ago, inspired by fireworks and the celebrations here in San Antonio.  They appeared in an issue of Bead Trends magazine a while back too.

My favorite place to watch the fireworks is cuddled on a blanket in the sand on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Hearing the waves while you wait for the show is part of the fun.  Here in SA, we live 2 blocks from a small lake where they have the fireworks.  Our neighborhood gets swamped by folks from all over the city and they close our street.  We can see the display from our backyard!  4th of July is filled with fun no matter where we celebrate it.  I'm looking forward to yummy things from the grill, basil mojitos and spending time with our dearest friends!

We found this video on You Tube of the fireworks in South Haven, there are a few screaming tots, but that's part of the fun!  Enjoy your 4th of July weekend.  I will see you tomorrow with more inspiration!

July 3, 2010

Inspired by Summer: Starfish

What's more summery than a day at the beach?  While I've never seen starfish on the beach, I have seen a few tide pools!  An actual starfish was used in making the mold for these beads.  I have a collection of the tiniest starfish you've ever seen along with a few larger specimens here on the studio shelves.  For this series, which started with a toggle clasp and pendant, I wanted to create the feeling of a little tide pool with a painted watery effect.  They remind me of watercolor paintings.

The earrings are made with brass wire, yellow citrine and two types of chain.  By using two different sizes and finishes of chain you can add in a nice kick of texture while keeping the focus on the charms.

A bracelet I whipped up using this new connector charm.  I added in smoky quartz, citrine and resin along with brass.

And here are the charms, they could be used horizontal or vertical in your designs.  In case you don't get my newsletter, and why don't you, I'm having a sale this weekend.  And yes these starfish are part of it!  First in my Etsy shop it's free shipping for all orders.  With the purchase of $50 or more you'll receive one of these connector charms free!  No need for a coupon or code for my Etsy shop.  And extended until Monday is the 20% off sale for my website.  My website has beads that are made to order and you'll find all my best-sellers and favorites there.  Use discount code summer10 for orders from my website.

And to kick off the Inspired by Nature series I'm going to give away a pair of the tiny starfish charms.  To enter, answer this question in the comments:
"Tell me one object from nature that you find inspiring, just one and be specific!"
Want to be entered twice?  Twitter or Facebook about this giveaway and let me know you did in the comments section.  Good luck!  (I'll draw one random winner on Friday.)

July 2, 2010

Inspired by Nature Series

I had such a great response to the 23 Days of Inspiration Series that I've decided to explore another Inspired by blog series. This one will be Inspired by the Seasons and for the next four weeks I'll take you through a month of jewelry and beads inspired by the changing beauty of nature.

Starting tomorrow I'll go through a week for each season, beginning with designs inspired by the summer.

July 1, 2010

Industrial Chic Challenge

Precious Things
So after I did a quick write-up on the ABS about the fab new Industrial Chic findings at Michael's, Erin told me they were having a challenge.  I ran right out and bought some so that I could play along - like I needed an excuse!  I wish I had picked up more, I'll have to make it back to there soon.  My design was featured yesterday on the Objects and Elements blog

Here is what I wrote for the post:

Inspired by the themes of delicate and precious thing stored away in a keepsake box, I incorporated one of my handpainted polymer egg beads into the focal. I used the small nautilus shell spacers from the Industrial Chic line and a nest from Green Girl Studios for the dangles, attaching them to Industrial Chic twisted links. For color, I added sea-glass colored resin beads and a faceted smoky quartz bead. I completed the necklace with a generous length of Industrial Chic copper chain.

And to personalize the piece I replaced the tiny dice inside the treasure box with seashells from one of my trips to Mexico.