Monday, December 24, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
We had a lovely dinner, watched Christmas movies, and relaxed.
This year while searching out better ways to hard boil eggs for deviled eggs, I came across some awesome tips that actually worked. Only one, out of a dozen, very fresh eggs were slightly pitted, all the rest peeled perfectly and quickly. I never knew that if your yolks are green or grey they are overcooked! The yolks came out a super bright yellow.
So here is what I did: Place eggs in a large pot of cold water with a tbsp or two of vinegar, about 1-2 inches above the eggs and bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, shut off stove top, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes rinse briefly in cold water to cool then roll all the eggs on the countertop to crack them and then immediately peel under running cold water. Most people put them in an ice bath, run cold water over them, or store in fridge until ready to use, but the longer they are in cold water, the harder they are to peel. I will always hard boil & peel eggs this way!
On a side note, we've been so busy with house hunting and will be in transition soon again (we're so excited to buy a house, expand our family, settle down, and start new) so I may not be very active until early next year with new jewelry and/or posts. I truly miss creating, but the time is right for us to move into a new direction in our lives.
I wish you all a very happy holiday season & new year!
Friday, October 19, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
This months challenge was to use a winter color palette to achieve a pale, pastel, foggy, subdued look.
Here are a few beautiful photographs I drew inspiration from...
I chose to work with the pinks and purples found in the sky as the sun rises to meet the horizon and light bounces off snow & ice in the early morning.
Please be sure to visit our team blog, between the 9th and the 15th of October to see all the entries from the wonderfully talented artists in this team and vote for your favorite entry!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
My entry is #23, La Bella Luna.
You can read more about my necklace and view more photos HERE.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Tonight will be a Blue Moon, rumored to be very auspicious. What perfect timing to list my entry, La Bella Luna, for the Etsy Bead Weavers September challenge, Lunar Obsession. You can view the actual listing HERE.
*Enjoy your holiday weekend and be sure to look up tonight and behold the Blue Moon!*
Thursday, August 9, 2012
If you're not on Pinterest, now is the time to join since you no longer have to wait for an invite! Open registration was anounced yesterday. You can advertise your items for sale, find a new recipe, collect your favorite photos/websites/blogs, learn how to make a new craft, shop, or make new friends. Beware, it is addicting!
You can check out & follow my Pinterest boards here.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Vintage German glass, resin cabochon, and glass beads...
New glass spikes & twin hole beads...
These make me think of Summer melons...
Love these cabochons!...
I also started a new beauty/nail art blog. If anyone would like to check it out or follow, you can do so here.
Monday, July 16, 2012
I guess I've been taking an unofficial break from beading and have been spending alot of time with family and doing fun outdoor activities. We've been to the Boerner Botanical Gardens, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Old World Wisconsin, House on the Rock, a few art fairs, and to the lake front. My husband and I have been walking every morning for a few miles before the sun and heat of the day. I've also been reading, playing with nail art, visiting the outdoor market, cooking, and (still) decorating our new home.
I've always been into nail art, and have recently been trying out some tutorials and using some of the cool new designs & polishes. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to nails if anyone cares to take a peek...Manicures. While I am not as proficient as some of the artists there, I have been practicing and here are a few manicures I did recently-
My first attempt at a gradient featuring Sally Hansen Sorbet & Sweet Sunrise, Wet n Wild Black Creme, and FingerPaints Purple Palette with Cheeky-m70...
My husband said this one was his favorite, and reminds him of Mehndi/Henna designs. I used two colors from the Hunger Games collection; Dress Me Up & Foie Gras with bm-314...
Finally got my hands on a holographic nail polish, which the picture really does not do it justice. I used Hi-Res & Black Creme with xl-E...
I visited a few local bead shops and picked up some more lucite cabs and other cool finds. I sketched a new necklace idea this morning and hope to make time to bead soon. Now that I am all unpacked and put away, I have no idea where anything is (yikes)!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Still in the very tedious process of unpacking, sorting, and organizing my studio stash.
I am deeply missing my bead time, Etsy participation, and the like, but Spring is here my friends and what I love about living where I do in the Midwest is the parks are gorgeous, the (many) festivals are beginning, the outdoor harbor market opens this month, and nature is calling my soul. Must get outdoors ASAP!
Some photos from 2 weekends ago taken at our local Botanic Gardens...
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I'm about halfway done setting up my new studio. I have a new design idea/sketch for a beadwoven necklace that I am excited to get started on. Hoping to be back in the swing of things soon.
A few gorgeous treasuries that feel like Spring to me...
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
We are moved in and very happy with our new home. It is spacious, light, and has great energy. I still have yet to unpack my jewelry, beads, tools, etc. Since it requires the most time, I have left it for last. We were able to move sooner than expected so 20 bead drawers and multiple bins of beads, cabochons, crystals, findings, needles, thread, glues, wire, fabric, & buttons were randomly emptied into 6 large & 3 medium boxes + 5 bags so I imagine it will take some time to sort & organize.
Today the last of our new furniture gets delivered and I will begin unpacking all my studio belongings next week.
Have a Happy Easter!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
We have decided to move rather suddenly (within a few weeks), so I'm not sure in the next month or so how often I'll be able to post. I may not have internet for awhile, since we are going to overlap places for a month and I will be busy packing, cleaning, unpacking, etc. Once we're through, I will be back to beading, pinning, posting, and creating new jewelry. I'm disappointed that I won't have time to finish my entry for the next EBW challenge (I have about an inch/hour of a beadwoven bangle bracelet completed), but it will be completed and listed once finished after our move is complete. I will still be checking email when I can and won't close shop until I have to briefly.
I'm looking forward to this change and am excited to be in a new space. I can't help but wonder how/if it will affect me creatively - I will have more space, light/sun, and hopefully an overall better environment. Maybe I'll post pics of my studio when it is all set up.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Here is my entry, Oceanic, for the Etsy Bead Weavers March challenge, Destinations. You can view the actual listing HERE.
For this challenge, we were to pick a destination and design our entry around it. My favorite way to travel is via cruise, so my destination of choice is on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
I’ve always been drawn to water; the smell, sound, sight of it. I enjoy being so far away from everything & getting away from the chaos of our modern world. We are getting ready to book our next cruise (to Belize & Honduras) so this was an especially fun challenge to design a piece for.
I've included some photos of our past cruises to the Caribbean (British & US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas), in which I found inspiration for this piece.
In the Caribbean, the water is so clear and can range in color from turquoise to teal to sapphire and the nights are so black. All is peaceful, warm, quiet, and calm.
The focal is a stunning teal Lucite cabochon I happened upon in a local bead shop. It is bead embroidered with black & tropical green seed beads surrounding it and backed with soft faux suede. The straps contain turquoise, green, and black seed beads and represent gentle waves.
Over 750+ tiny beads were stitched to create this lightweight and flexible necklace.
Please be sure to visit our team blog, between the 9th and the 15th of March to see all the entries from the wonderfully talented artists in this team and vote for your favorite entry!
Monday, February 27, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012
Just a brief update...I'm taking a slight break (from Etsy, blogging, etc). I will be back sometime next week (hopefully) with more treasuries, Saturday Shops, promotions, and listings.
We've received some very sad news and I've been kinda lost in contemplation and haven't been feeling up to much other than pinning (boy has Pinterest been a much needed distraction! Anyone else on Pinterest?).
I have started a new project; a necklace that is both bead embroidered and beadwoven. It should be finished within a day or so, I will post a preview when it is done. I'm trying a new type of embellishing and it is a very fun piece.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Please head over to our team blog, sometime between today and the 15th of February to see all the entries from the wonderfully talented artists in this team and vote for your favorite entry for this months challenge, Nest! My bracelet, Cocoon, is #26.
Read on to find out what inspired me and to view more pictures...
Here is my entry, Cocoon, for the Etsy Bead Weavers February Challenge; Nest.
You can view the actual listing HERE.
The idea was to come up with our own interpretation of nest. One’s first thought of nest would probably be a bird’s nest. Upon Googling nests of birds, animals, and insects I was inspired by some of the wasp nests I came across.
To be honest, I hate wasps. They freak me out. I hate being stung and I run, duck, and emit squeals of terror anytime they come near me. But something about their neatly constructed homes drew me in. I think the repetitive pattern appeals to the part of myself with OCD.
I decided for this challenge I would make a bracelet since I’ve always made necklaces for my challenge entries. I had a vision right away of two very different bracelets. The first was more bird nest like, the second what I have created here. The first I thought wouldn’t be best beadwoven, so I went with my second idea, but wasn’t sure how to create the “tubes”. Even-count tubes are very easy to make when stitched flat then rolled and ends sewn together. But I didn’t think that would look right, I wanted something more organic and flexible versus stiff and perfectly even. After reviewing stitches, I decided to use 3 types; circular, tubular, and odd-count flat.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, other than a bed or receptacle made by a bird or animal for its young, nest can also be defined as a place of rest, retreat, or lodging OR a group of objects made to fit close together. So my vision seemed to fit well and to tie in to both of those definitions, as I choose to do a single line of “tubes” one right after another and to use the colors of my very own place of rest, which also happen to coincide with Pantone’s Spring 2012 Fashion Color Report; Bellflower, Sweet Lilac, Driftwood, and Cockatoo.
Each “tube” contains 258 tiny Delica beads stitched one at a time & passed through multiple times, taking over an hour to create just one tube and anchor securely to the base. The base took a few hours to stitch and then embellish with purple metallic drops. All in all 4,700+ Japanese seed beads were used. It took 19+ hours over 2 ½ weeks to complete. For the clasp I used gunmetal jumprings and an oxidized silver toggle clasp.
I decided to title it Cocoon since that is what the tubes remind me of. A cocoon offers protection, and since I used the colors of my own safe space, I thought it appropriate. I was tempted to stitch a pearl “egg” in each, and even considered a pearl talon so it would look like something clawing its way out, but thought it might look too busy or complicated, so I chose to leave them empty.
This is totally my style; modern, a little weird, probably unexpected, and includes my favorite colors of purple, green, & black.