Friday, March 16, 2012

Tree Wing Studio Bead Giveaway!

I just entered this giveaway, go check out this blog - Tree Wing Studio - Rebekah's beads are AMAZING. I haven't bought any yet, so I hope I win, but I might just have to buy some anyway!

Tree Wing Studio's Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shout Out to My Clay Bead Sisters

Ok, I don't make beads.  I don't make ceramic or clay or glass or stone or metal anything on my own.  But gosh, I LOVE ceramic lately.  It is my 1st choice for pendants and beads lately.  Look at my shop - you'll see an influx of ceramic in my work about six or more months ago.  I still use other beads - mostly glass and stones, but sometimes some metal sneaks in.  But the majority of the pendants I use lately are ceramic.  I admit, I don't know the difference between ceramic or clay or porcelain, which I SHOULD because I'm sure there's LOTS and LOTS of chemistry involved in those differences.  In fact, I'm going to go look it up right now.  (Can anyone tell I'm in work avoidance mode?  I'm supposed to be grading finals and notebooks right now!)

But I digress.  Today's post is all about my bead sisters in clay.  Here's a link to the Beads of Clay Blog, which has a listing of all the wonderful members of that group.  There's also a link to the BOC Etsy shop. These lovely ladies MAKE lovely lovely works of art in clay, of some variety.  I'm tickled pink to say I know more than a handful of these ladies, through Facebook and/or purchases I've made with them.  I love all their work and I strongly encourage you all to check them out, if you haven't already.  You won't be disappointed!

Happy Beading!  I'm off to grade...

Beads of Clay Blog

Beads of Clay Etsy Shop

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday!

Here's what's on my workbench today - my third goddess necklace, this one for my sister, and the beads still to be added to it -

This little sweet bird is also still on my table, even though the necklace is finished and posted to Etsy.  She's not quite ready to go into my stash of product...doesn't seem like she should be shut in a box -

Lastly, these are the beads I bought last week locally, as well as a handful of Gaea beads.  I have one more large goddess pendant and these two sweet little goddesses.  No big ideas bouncing around my head on all these beads - waiting for my Marsha Neal and Karen Totten orders before I lay out more designs.

Happy Wednesday - what's on your Bead Table??

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Goddess of Earth, Sea and Sky

 I have, for whatever reason, never been a big fan of the goddess figure.  But Friday, I visited my favorite local bead store - Beads by the Bay in Morro Bay - and I found this lovely goddess pendant.  I love the figure here, I'm not sure why this one struck me like it did but it called out to me! And the swirl is one of my favorite symbols.

The funny thing about that trip to the bead store is that I only meant to buy bronze wire, which they were out of.  They were also closed when I walked up, but the lovely owner Susan opened the door for me and let me stay another half an hour.  I ended up buying several strands of beads, including the lovely aquamarine and wood I used in this necklace.  The dangle is a lovely rough opal I bought there too.  There's also a rose quartz in there and ceramic beads from Gaea.

I already posted this to my FB page, and I've gotten two orders for necklaces with this pendant!  I hope Susan isn't out of them, and I hope I can ignore the other beads this time and just buy what I need there!

Happy Sunday everyone, and happy beading!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lovely Tulips-Heralds of Spring

I love tulips.  I love all spring flowers - daffodils, crocus, hyacinth, iris - but I think tulips are my favorite.  I don't know why.  I certainly didn't grow up around tulips so its not a memory from childhood.  (That would be lilacs - OH how I LOVE lilacs!) There's just something about them - the long graceful stem, the elegant symmetric flower, the rich, vibrant colors.  I don't actually grow tulips - haven't tried much here in Los Osos, don't garden much myself since my back surgeries.  My husband and daughter planted some bulbs years ago, and they never came up - guess they don't like the sandy soil?

I think I'll let the tulips speak for themselves now- they say it all so much better than I can. (These were tulips I bought recently, there were orange ones too but they died first)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to my roots

I posted several necklaces today, many of which I'd made quite a long time ago, some that were just re-listings of expired posts, but all of them were new photos taken outside.  These older pieces reflect what I consider my starting point or roots in jewelry making. When I first starting taking my jewelry making seriously, around the same time I moved to California, I worked with stone pendants, seed beads and stone beads exclusively.  I've since moved away from beading with seed beads, and on to wire wrapping.  When I made the switch, I took apart ALOT of seeded necklaces and converted them to wire wrapped pieces.  Most of the pieces I posted today came after that, so they'd be my first generation wire wrapped pieces.  I still love stones and I'll never stop using them, but I'm taking a break for awhile from stone pendants and using ceramic.  Ceramic just speaks to me more these days than the stones do.  But I'll come back - I have a lovely lapis pendant sitting on my work bench, calling to, waiting for the right beads and chain to come along.  In fact, maybe I hear it calling right now...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday - my first!!!

A good friend was recently admiring a necklace I had on that had a Lilly Pilly shell pendant on it - not actually a necklace I made myself, which is becoming a more common occurrence lately as I find myself not only addicted to artisan beads but jewelry by other artists.  A few days later, she gave me this pendant, said she wanted to see what I did with it.  I love the design on this shell pendant, it reminds me of Southwestern Squash Blossoms, a pattern or motif found in Native American jewelry. I'm from NM so that motif is near and dear to me.  I think I originally thought about trying to make the necklace reflect the SW, but when it came down to it, turquoise just didn't seem right, nor did coral.  I actually came up with this design when I was at my sickest recently.  I felt just awful, thought I had pneumonia, it was the second day I was home from work and I was so weak and out of it, I couldn't get out of bed.  And in that haze, this design came to me.  The garnet is very dark but lovely, I can't remember where I got it I've had it for so long.  The czech glass is silverish and just lovely, and the pale gray pearls are favorites.  I'm still staring at this piece, trying to decide if I like it.  Its growing on me...

Living in Paradise

My husband and I often comment to each other about how lucky we are to live where we do.  We live on the Central Coast of California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, far from the maddening crowds.  The closest city of any renown to us is San Luis Obispo, likely known for California Polytechnic State University, where we're both fortunate to hold tenured professor positions in the same department, chemistry.  We live about 15 minutes from SLO in a little town called Los Osos.  This picture was taken near sunset on a particularly high tide in Baywood, the sweet little "town" on Estero Bay that is the "sister" of Los Osos. (Its basically all the same town, not sure why there's the distinction between the two, they literally run together).  This little bay is 5 minutes from our house, we love to walk around the little Farmer's Market near here on Mondays or walk our dog with the girls on the little beach here.  Its an amazing place to live, as close to paradise as I've ever been.  Those of you that know my jewelry can see, hopefully, where I get the natural inspiration for my designs.  I'm very very lucky to be here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Back to my basics - lovely ceramic with stones and glass

This sweet little ceramic bird pendant from Nan Emmett at Spirited Earth has been sitting on my workbench for several weeks now.  I kept pushing beads around it, adding some, taking others away, but never quite happy with the colors.  Today I dug through my gemstones and found these lovely jasper nuggets.  I'm sure I knew at one time what type of jasper they were, but I've forgotten - they're a mottled orangish pink with mossy green, I picked out two of the orangy pinks to go with the bird.  I already had the cool turquoise that looks like a spotted egg, his partner was quickly found.  Two cool yellow czech glass pyramids and the cream ceramic bead from Gaea completed the palette.  Copper chain and Vintaj rings to finish is off.  This seems to be my style of late - asymmetric, with rings interspersed between my wire wrapped stones, and two or three colors in the palette.  I love trying to come up with the right color combo,  its very satisfying when it comes together, like it did here today.  I think this little bird has already found a home, here with me...he's been here so long it seems only right!

Latest Piece - not sure about this!

I'm really not sure how I feel about this piece.  I've already changed it, so this isn't the most recent picture of it.  I changed it from this because something just didn't feel right.  I was going for an asymmetric look, but also something very different from my typical "wire wrap some beads and then add chain."  I needed to use some of the wildly colored glass tube beads I bought from Happy Mango, and I'll admit, I was emulating Lorelei Eurto's fun funky style.  I love her work!  But its her work, and I should stick to my own style.  I'm just not sure I've found it yet...
But here's how I changed the piece - moved the chain to the "back" of the necklace, and moved the flat frosted glass and green glass forward.  Still not sure, but its going on the Etsy site!

Taking the Plunge...

Well, now I've gone and done it - I've started a blog.  I've been selling my jewelry on Etsy for almost two years now, and I've had a Facebook page for my jewelry business for about a year now.  But all the BIG jewelry artists I follow have Blogs.  I've been tentative about starting one - for one thing, who REALLY wants to read what I have to write about?  Next, do I really have anything worth sharing in a blog?  And where will I find the time to blog?   I've been encouraged to do this by a lovely group of ladies I'm fortunate enough to know through Facebook, all beaders, jewelry designers and/or bead makers, and I've been inspired to start the blog by two of them who recently started their own blogs, Lesley Watt and Donna Martin Bradley. All that aside, HERE I AM! Will you listen?  I hope so.  One way or another, I'll ramble on here, show you some of my work, and hopefully meet some new folks in the world of jewelry design.