Monday, May 31, 2010

Magical Crystally Charm

I found this charm over the weekend at a local bead shop, Ally Beads.

I have no idea how this works, but the multi-color flower inside goes around and around...OR does nothing but sit there.

I knew as soon as my husband saw this he would want to take it apart, but I saved it from happening. We checked it for a magnet, it does not appear to work by magnet. So, we think it must just be weighted in an interesting way.

I posted a picture of both the front and the back in case you have ideas on how this works.
By the way, they had some that were all clear, all blue or all purple. I knew the multi-color was for me as soon as I saw it!

If you put it down and then up, it will go around several times. Try to get it to do it on demand and it WON'T!

Crazy, but in a good way! I love jewelry you can play with!

I hope you all had a wonderful long holiday weekend!! Back to reality tomorrow, have a great week! :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

I wanted to share this great site, Purplemoon, for the most peace sign related charms I have ever seen.

I'm thinking there is something for everyone here who is interested in incorporating peace into their jewelry and their little part of the world.

This is just one of my favorites, but it was hard to choose. I am going to think long and hard about which ones to order.

I was just mentioning to my husband today that I wasn't sure why the word peace isn't used more in reference to the general expectation of things.

And now, back to the lovely world of happy, peaceful bead blogging! Below are some links to get your new week started off with some great inspiration! Have a good one!

Humblebeads Heather shares some time management tips for creatives

Jean Campbell Jean reviews Kate McKinnon's wonderful new addition, Sculptural Metal Clay.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Bead storage has been a question amongst my fellow beady peers, and so I thought I would share a link to how I utilize my bead storage.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean is delighted to review Totally Twisted by Kerry Bogert! You will LOVE this book which focuses on wire and art beads!

Strands of Beads Melissa discusses the process of reworking a weak necklace design - the revised version of which now appears on the cover of The Best of Step by Step Beads.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Like Czech glass? Andrew hosts a giveaway courtesy of Raven's Journey. Find out how you can win these luminous beads! Jewelry Making Tammy ask in this quick poll about how you use social networking to promote you and/or your jewelry business.

Art Bead Scene ABS is here to help you with your business. Check out Zazzle to customize your earring cards for your jewelry business.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts Book Review: Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet

Beading Arts How many people out there are participating in the Bead Journal Project this year?

Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi's button maker is the reason for this new vintage image necklace.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva This week's Wednesday Wire is a free tutorial, "Matchin' by Wrappin'."

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Learn about the Raku firing process and see the results of Melanie's new Raku adventures!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

This Week's Project: Fast & Simple Bracelet

This week's project is a fast and simple bracelet that went together in the last few minutes.

I thought about it earlier and knew I had this great chain from Rings & Things that would go perfectly with this interesting loop that I had previously found at the craft store.

It's always a relief when I don't have to look to far or long for something I know I have, but not sure where I left off with it!

I have been very enamored with this carved owl bead and since it happened to be in the same bead box with the loop, it seemed to be fate!

No drive-in tonight since it's repeats of last week, so we made popcorn and snuggled into the small bedroom with the 1943 DVD of "The Return of The Vampire" with Bela Lugosi.

It was hard to believe when I found it at Big Lots yesterday for $3 that we didn't already have it. It was GREAT! The perfect amount of actual scariness and kitsch!

Back to movies, so I'll catch you all tomorrow! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Featured Designer: Casey Sharpe

This week's featured designer is Casey Sharpe, Jewelry Artist & Metalsmith.

She mentioned earlier in the week that she is giving away a charm from her earlier days that is very special.

Make sure to get your comment in by midnight on 5/31/10!

She describes the charm as, "enamel on copper- the image is painted on with china paint and then fired, and the whole thing is set into a sterling silver frame."

There are a couple of similar charms on her etsy site that are part of a bracelet.

Casey is so generous that every month she takes the time to compile a HUGE list of calls for jewelry/design entries.

Thanks so much Casey, this is great!

Enjoy and good luck! :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bright Sunny Flowers

We have enjoyed such wonderful sunshine the last few days, it's amazing that the snow, wind and cold are now a distant memory!

Ahh, I'm so relieved. The warmth is like a nice happy, long-awaited blanket.

Today's bead is fabulously bright yellow with cheerful flowers. As the light shines on it and through it, it's like the bright sunshine. I just love how the flowers are molded into the glass.

I'd like to add some real sparkle to it with some small crystals and think this bead would make a great bracelet focal or even a very cool ring!

Flowers on beads are just like those in the garden... Beautiful and refreshing!

I hope you are having a great week, we're almost to the weekend, yay!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shrinky-Dink Surprise!

I found this rubber stamped shrinky-dink a few minutes ago while looking for something in the crafting room. I had completely forgotten about this!

About a year ago, a friend and I experimented with shrinky dinks in a variety of ways.

We used the colored shrink plastic, the printable and the frosted. The most perfect shrink plastic was the white printable sheets.

This was rubber stamped and then colored in, hole punched and baked. It really just needs a coat of mod-podge or varnish of some sort and would make a great bracelet dangle!

A bracelet of very sparkly beads using these same colors would be so fun!

I'd love to find some new ideas for using shrinky dinks in jewelry. Please share links if you have a chance!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RV Jewelry Charms

I just couldn't resist showing you these!! Tomorrow it will be back to beads as usual, BUT this was too fun to pass up!

These RV/camper/motorhome charms were found on a site called RV Art Gallery!

When you click on this link you will see 15 different RV related charms. These were my faves!!

Once we take our RV trip, I would like to figure out how to work some photos into jewelry. That's ALWAYS a fun craft project!

Okay, I know I'm obsessing, but thanks for letting me!! It's so nice to have something fun to look forward to!

I hope you will enjoy this right along with me!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


You are not going to believe what I just ordered online...!

A blue FIREJEWEL (TM) necklace!! This is a swarovski cube with an LED inside!

There are so many things online to order and I think I do a great job of resisting 99.8% of it. HOWEVER, once in a blue moon a product comes along that I just can't live without.

This is one of those things. The last one was the 8 gigabyte swarovski covered jump drive that wears as a bracelet. I still LOVE it and love showing it off :)

Can you believe they have figured out how to get an LED into a swarovski bead? WOW, I'm so glad there are such smart people out there making fun things like this!

The rented RV vacation is going to be so much more fun while I'm wearing my light up swarovski necklace at the campsite!! I have already bought a bunch of glow sticks at the dollar store for everyone, but this will be the icing on the cake!!

As soon as I get this necklace in the mail, I will let you know. I'd love to hear if anyone else out there has one of these!! Here is a link to the many other crystals they have.

Here is the info from the official FIREJEWEL (TM) website:

FIREJEWEL (TM) is an innovator and world leader of micro-illuminated jewelry and accessories that are uniquely lit from within. Traditional jewelry fades with the evening shadows, but a piece by FIREJEWEL (TM) defies the darkness, carrying its own internal "fire" into the night. No one can light u crystals like we can. Our technology is patented in the USA and internationally.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bead Blogger Updates & Offer to Be Featured HERE!

Would you believe Sunday has rolled around again?!! Okay, I know 7 days and all that, but it sure feels like the last 2 days FLEW by!

The great thing about Sunday, however, is that it is time to share lots of inspiration and fun from fellow bead bloggers, yay!

Below you will find lots of great links about rubber glass, the Bead Star Competition, jewelry classes, bead retreats, clay and more!

And, if you scroll to the end of this blog post, I am offering Friday Feature spots to anyone who is interested in being featured here.

Enjoy and have a great new week!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts Take a jewelry class with me at CREATE! Jewelry Making Tammy recently took a trip to the Bahamas and discovered some souvenir pennies in her purse. They were so bright and shiny they had to be turned into jewelry.

Art Bead Scene It's the fifth month anniversary of the ABS Carnival Blog! Come see how we've grown!

Beading Arts The new Rubber Glass silicone has inspired Cyndi to create some beginner projects!

Carmi's Art/Life World In an effort to use all that she buys, Carmi repairs and recycles vintage metal from Paris.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Cindy's starting a new feature on her blog - The Wednesday Wire! Come take a look!

Strands of Beads Like several of her esteemed colleagues, Melissa has a few pieces in the Bead Star competition to show off this week!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Andrew has six finalists pieces in the Bead Star competition. Please take a moment to vote! Vote for your Bead Star Favorites!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles A gift from a local potter starts Melanie on a new clay adventure: Raku!

Humblebeads Heather explores 23 days of inspiration as she gets ready for the Bead & Button Show. See how Van Gogh has inspired her through the years.

Jean Campbell Jean's just full of travelogues, isn't she? This time she went to a Kansas bead retreat.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Voting has now opened in the Bead Star competition, come check out my 5 entries!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! The best wedding I never went to! My editor's incredibly romantic wedding -- Australian Beading Magazine

Want to be featured on A Bead A Day?
I would like to partner with you and open up the Friday Featured Designer post to 12 bead and jewelry designers who would like to be featured.

Just send me an email at with links to each of your sites and any info you want to make sure that I mention.This is a new approach for me, but I was just thinking how easy it is to miss out on some wonderful artists. I will post them beginning in June in the order that I receive the emails.Yay! So exciting!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Princess Jewelry!

Oh my goodness, it sure looks like I got a little carried away with these beads I posted earlier in the week!

The blueberry briolettes and the pink 6mm bicone mix from Rings & Things look spectacular together, but rest assured this WILL GET ATTENTION!!

If you are in a pageant or just want to make a statement, this is the sparkle for you!! Wow!

I love how it turned out and, other than work and the grocery, the drive-in is the extent of where this will be worn in the near future!!

I was hoping you could see the blingy rhinestone peace sign!!
Gotta run for now so we have time to get candy for the drive-in!! Shrek is playing in 2-D!

I haven't figured out what 2-D actually is, but I already know the drive-in will be fun!!

Have a great evening!! :)

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the items in this post from Rings&Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Friday, May 21, 2010

Featured Designer: Katie Hacker

I've been trying to contain my excitement for Katie Hacker and all of the rest of us since she announced she had partnered with Beadalon to create some new beading components called, Katiedids!

She has just added a video to her blog with examples for using these new bead findings AND shared that she made the cover of Bead Style Magazine with a necklace project using Katiedids.

This is such a cool story of a person who has been writing beading books and as she has learned and created new techniques, she has shared with new books along the way.

If you can stand any more good Katie news, she has also been named the new host of the PBS show, "Beads, Baubles and Jewels"!!

Yay! I can't wait to see the new episodes. I was always so happy to catch the previous versions when I would get up early on the weekends and turn on PBS.

I just love the vibe from the opening music to the smooth way they move from segment to segment.

Congratulations Katie!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Hippie Charm!

This is a virtual charm because I don't actually own it!! I only WISH I did!!

I found this when I was looking for yesterday's peace sign so I could include a link in that post. I searched on "peace" on the Rings & Things catalog and the coolest of cool charm came up!!

Check out this "Hippie Van" charm!! Oh my gosh, how great!

I am going to have to get this to add to the previously posted bracelet that I made in preparation for our rented RV vacation in June! Yep, I am going to have to have this!!

I am also seeing this hanging from a long neck cord with some groovy, psychedelic beads!! Oh yeah!! Please join me on my happy little mind trip! :)

Have a great evening!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deep Thoughts Brought on By Beads...

I suppose if you are already in a particular state of mind, just about anything could bring on deep thoughts. Today, it was this peace sign from Rings & Things.

This is meant to be a connector piece and I began thinking about the importance of peace when it comes to forming successful connections. Either individual inner peace or peace between individuals...

I have observed many situations and relationships that did not appear to have an element of peace between individuals and it didn't take long before it was crumbling.

Okay, I warned you... For those Saturday Night Live fans of the "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey", hopefully you can appreciate this.

When I requested this connector piece, I was thinking it would work well as a sort of focal bead that I could use to build crystals around. Especially all the pink crystals from yesterday's post!

I hope you are having a nice week so far! See you tomorrow!

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the items in this post from Rings&Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Peace Sign Sparkle & Exciting News!

Today's bead is a Clip-on RHINESTONE PEACE SIGN Charm!! I'm so sorry to have to do this, but awwwww, this is such a COOL charm!!

AND, I just know that it will make me a much cooler person when I'm wearing it! :)

This peace sign is listed in the Rings & Things catalog as: 18x15x1.8mm peace sign with rhinestones clip-on charm.

I'm so thrilled with this charm and cannot wait until it is dangling peacefully, cheerfully and sparkly from my pink and blueberry bracelet! :)

I mentioned in the title above that I have some exciting news to share, so here we go.... I am so proud to announce that I was featured in the "Jewel School" section of the May 2010 Bead Trends Magazine!! Yay!

I submitted a project called "Grandma's Quilt Bracelet" for the Mother's Day issue and was asked if I would want to be featured in the jewel school section ON PAGE 76 since it is sort of a "crafty" project in addition to being a jewelry project. I cannot express here the extent of my surprise and excitement. I was walking on a cloud for sure!!

I gave a copy to my Mom for Mother's Day because the project is based on a quilt that my maternal Grandma made for me when I was a kid. She was more than over the moon, I must say and discovered that she could order extra copies of the magazine through the Bead Trends magazine site for some other members of the family.

I'm so glad you are all here with me to enjoy this ride!! THANK YOU!

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the items in this post from Rings&Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Monday, May 17, 2010

Think PINK!

As I mentioned in Saturday's post, I received a sweet, colorful bead mix in PINK from Rings & Things on Friday to coordinate with the blueberry quartz briolettes. WOW, talk about sparkle!

I feel so fortunate to have a gross of swarovski bicones in a variety of pink shades.

It really feels like spring now...just like buying your first hanging basket of flowers for the season!

This 6mm bicone mix is called, Pretty in Pink! Swarovski bicones are so versatile and great for creating a variety of woven designs or just simple stringing.

Heck, you can string a bunch on some on craft wire, crumple them up, call it a focal bead, wire it on to a band and it would be beautiful! You just can't go wrong with crystals!! :)

I'm working on a way to weave the pinks around the blueberry so it seems sort of like a flower garden when it's done. I will keep you all posted.

I also requested a couple of charms to incorporate in this design and will show you those over the next couple of days.

Yes, I do enjoy stretching it out and admiring each piece and part. I hope you do too!

Have a great evening!

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the items in this post from Rings&Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Peace, Love, Sparkle & Bead Bloggers!

Wow, there is so much cool info on these blog pages mentioned below!! I just spent a fair amount of time perusing and am sitting here in amazement of all the info I just learned in a short period of time.

I LOVE BEADING! It's the beauty, the fun, the creativity and the wonderful PEOPLE!

I hope you had a great weekend and wish you all the best for the coming week!!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Andrew hosts another Thursday Giveaway! This time, the prize comes courtesy of Natural Touch Beads! Find out how you can win some awesome resin jewelry components!

Art Bead Scene Art Bead Scene has a new look and some new opportunties to get involved. Come see!

Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi uses some amazing digital images to create a new resin filled bezel necklace.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Check out the new beads on Cindy's site - Turquoise Sky!

Beading Arts Rubber glass? Rubber glass?!? What the heck is rubber glass?

Katie's Beading Blog This week, Jean Campbell interviewed Katie for Beading Daily. Read some bonus Q&A on Katie's blog.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie starts production for the Bead & Button Show and has studio pictures to prove it!

Humblebeads Heather shares some sketches of possible designs.

Snap out of it, Jean!There's beading to be done! Jean reviews Kate McKinnon's inspiring new book, Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry, with DVD included!

Strands of Beads Melissa shows off new designs using cool skull beads and charms from Rings & Things

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This Week's Project: Blueberry Bunch

This week's project is actually more of a project "update"!

I just received my Rings & Things package of beads yesterday, so I haven't had time to fully form my thoughts on the project.

First of all, just LOOK at these Blueberry "Quartz" briolettes!! Wow, they are so cool! They are substantial in size, 12 x 16mm. Yummy!!

Just wait until you see the 6mm swarovski bicone bead mix I received to go with this piece...I don't want to give it away, but THINK PINK!

I will share the other beads, etc. that go along with these on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's posts.

Next Saturday I will have the final piece done and I really can't wait to see if it turns out as I see it in my head.

Part 1, as shown here, is the entire strand of Blueberry Quartz briolettes strung on memory wire. I have a multi strand design in mind that will include hooking it all up with a strong magnetic clasp.

So, until then, I am having fun admiring these cool beads. These were on closeout, so I included the link above just in case you fell in love with them as I did. :)

Off to get ready for the drive-in! Have a great Saturday night!

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the items in this post from Rings&Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Friday, May 14, 2010

Featured Designer: Pretty Mades All in A Row

This week's featured designer is Chrissy of the etsy site, "Pretty Mades All in A Row".

What a great name for a shop and these vintage and botanical inspired jewelry pieces fit the name perfectly!!

I was so taken by these metal pieces that form to the wrist with just the right amount of beads in perfectly complementary shades, seriously made me "mmmm" right out loud!! :)

I was so happy when I received a message back from Chrissy giving me permission to share these with you today.

She describes her pieces as having a funky edge and I agree, there is something unexpected about them.

The sweet beads and accessories with the harder metal edge is a great combo.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Airy Drop Bead & Offer to be Featured!

Today's bead was a gift that I received recently for teaching a new beader how to make the beaded "bauble". (The 12 bicone, right angle bauble with the magic trick at the end).

It is always so much fun to show people because of the magical part when you pull the two wires and it forms a ball.

When she offered me several of these beads, I didn't want to take them because I have SO MANY beads already, but she really wanted me to have at least one of them.

So, here it is!

She has since made herself a pair of earrings and a simple dangle necklace out of them. They are so CUTE!

I would like to use my drop bead in a necklace too, I'm thinking of using one or more of the softflex colors and adding LOTS of colorful sparkle too!

Why can't it be Saturday morning?!! That's such a great time for me to bead! I can't wait!

Offer to be featured:
I also wanted to take a minute here and will do this again over the next week or so, to let you all know that during the summer months, I would like to partner with you and open up the Friday Featured Designer post to 12 bead and jewelry designers who would like to be featured.

Just send me an email at with links to each of your sites and any info you want to make sure that I mention.

This is a new approach for me, but I was just thinking how easy it is to miss out on some wonderful artists. I will post them beginning in June in the order that I receive the emails.

Yay! So exciting!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Emotional Bead Shopping

Have you ever just picked up a bead and been unable to put it down? I mean really been filled with emotions about letting go of it?

I've picked up LOTS of beads and put them right down, but I have finally learned how important it is to trust your instincts on what FEELS right when you handle beads. I tried to put this bead down several times, but couldn't!!

I just wanted to pick up one of the others in the same container that was just as cute in color, but had a less interesting shape. For some reason, I just couldn't part with this!

I can't explain it, but I can recognize it!! At some point, I will have the perfect need for this bead and it will be there for me. I can't wait!!

I'd love to hear your experiences with this interesting phenomenon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Owl Carving

I discovered today's bead last Friday during our treasure hunting trip and couldn't put it down!

It's adorable and the first thought I had was the wise old owl on the tootsie pop commercial, when the little kid asks something like, "Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?" and the owl takes three licks and then bites right into it! :)

Yes, I admit I suffer from a bit of the Peter Pan Syndrome, but hey, I figure there are worse things than never wanting to grow up!

So, back to the sweet little owl...I know this seems made to be a necklace pendant, but I can't help but want to put every cute bead into a bracelet so I can see it all the time when I wear it!

Maybe a very long necklace would be fun so I could still see the little guy...hmm..

What do you think? I'm definitely seeing some crystals sparkling alongside the owl like a glittery tree!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sweet Little Birdies

I know there is some "awwww"-ing going on!! These birds are ADORABLE! They are mother of pearl and very small. The stringing hole runs through the body vertically just behind the head.


I went on another treasure hunting trip with a co-worker, actually now a retired former co-worker (boo hoo)!

Last week was her first week as a retiree and I talked her into coming by to pick me up a few hours early on Friday. Our plan was to visit some gift shops in a nearby historic district which we had heard carried beads and jewelry.

Sure enough, the first shop we visited was very eclectic with lots of fun, artsy jewelry AND beads! I couldn't resist these birdie beads! I found a couple other interesting beads on our trip which I will share this week.

We were thinking we ought to make our treasure hunting excursions a monthly event and maybe, if I get a digital video camera, share our experiences!

This sounds like so much fun and I really need to check out you-tube more because I would bet there are many people who share their bead shopping experiences!

If you know of any videos out there that I can put some links up to, let me know!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Wow, it's hard to believe the weekend is coming to a close already!! I hope you all had a great one!! For all of the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!

There were lots of exciting and fun things going on last week as you can see in the list of links below.

I wish you all a wonderful new week!! Should I patina or leave the metal bare naked?
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Andrew starts the month of May off with another giveaway by Lillypilly Designs! Find out how you can win a set of tribal-inspired wooden beads!
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean brags! Yes, she really brags! It's worth a look because it's cool!
Strands of Beads Melissa shows off a new version of her Cabinet of Curiosity pendant. Jewelry Making Tammy has some fun in the sun summer time jewelry tutorials for you, including a cute turtle charm necklace.
Art Bead Scene Free Project Alert! ABS has a new necklace project for free on their website!
Beading Arts Cyndi has launched the first installment of her brand new e-book on bead embroidery...and it's free! Hurry over for your copy!
Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi finds a way to incorporate vintage turtle beads into a necklace.
Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Cindy works through her to-do list and lists a new set of glass birdhouse beads.
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles A song about hammers, nails, labor, and social involvement inspire Melanie to create some new woodlike components
Jean Campbell Jean's been at the grindstone, but also at the gardens...check out these beautiful images from the MoBG!
Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei is back on track this week and is giving away coordinating beads with Sab's help, from!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What I Made for My Summer Vacation

In several of last week's posts I mentioned some beads that I selected from Today I wanted to share my "final" project. This could actually be the "semi-final" project because, as usual, I need to wear it for a little while to make sure it's a keeper.

Artbeads wanted to celebrate the things people do for summer time fun for this challenge, which is what led me to this design. For our summer vacation, which leads into the 4th of July, we are renting an RV!

We have never camped before, but have been wanting to RV since we haven't been able to take an away from home vacation for a couple of years. One of our senior citizen dogs was diagnosed as a diabetic and needs two shots of insulin per day. I must admit that I haven't trusted anyone else to take care of him.

An RV sounded like a great idea and now I'm getting excited! We will be joining my husband's family for their annual state lodge vacation that we had missed the last two years and are hopeful this is a good solution to continue participating...not in the lodge, but at the campgrounds!!

So, the thought behind the rectangular CZ's is that they represent the RV's at the campground and the red, blue and crystal stars represent the American past time of RV'ing and celebrating the 4th of July. Yes, it does make sense in my head! :)

It is certainly a unique conversation piece more than anything else and I'm excited to wear it so I can explain about the RV and get even more excited about our vacation. I added a few dangles on either side to represent the fireworks we are likely to see! Once I wear this for vacation, it will always remind me of our very first RV trip!

I hope you are all having a great weekend! We're heading to the drive-in later for Iron Man 2! It's like fall in our area today, I believe it's hovering around 50 degrees with high winds, but that makes it even more fun. We get to snuggle up!

FTC compliance disclosure: the items in this post from were provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Featured Designer: Mary Ann Carroll

This week's featured designer is Mary Ann Carroll of Homer, New York. Not only is she a gifted ceramic bead designer, she is also a special education teacher.

It's amazing the time people find to create when they are driven by their passion!

When I came across Mary Ann's blog, I was first drawn to this pendant called, "Flower Bed". The colors are so watery, yet bright at the same time.

It just makes me feel good looking at it and would be great in a necklace you could wear all summer!

From her blog, Mary Ann has a quick link over to her etsy shop so you can peruse the entire inventory.

That's where I came across this peace sign pendant that is titled, "Me & Bobby McGee" which I flipped for because I have an obsessive love for Janis Joplin! :)

Now, the cool part....I arranged with MaryAnn a few weeks ago to showcase her talents as the featured designer and a number of other things came up until now.

When I popped over to her blog this evening to prepare this post, it just so happens that she has a GIVEAWAY going on that started today! YAY! How cool is that?

So, head on over to today's blog post and follow the instructions to get entered to win a batch of fabulous ceramic beads!

Have a great weekend everyone!! AND, thanks so much Mary Ann for allowing me to share your work!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun, Free Bead Embroidery E-Book!!

I'd like to send a great big "CONGRATULATIONS" out to our beading friend Cyndi Lavin of the Beading Arts blog! She has just created a great step-by-step book for people interested in learning bead embroidery. How exciting!

And now, the next piece of great news is for you, IT'S FREE!

Cyndi has put the first chapter of her book into the format of an e-book and has made it so easy to download, it just takes one mouse click!

I had a chance to read through the book and love how she wrote the instructions. It feels like she is right there talking you through it. It's not difficult to understand the terminology and she not only tells you what TO DO, but also what NOT to do! That's so helpful especially if you haven't done a particular technique before.

This photo is of the "SunShower Necklace" project. I so enjoyed looking through the pictures and seeing it build into this piece. It makes sense and does not seem too intimidating.

Thanks a million Cyndi for allowing me to share this here for everyone!

Those interested just need to follow this link, then you will see the instructions for making one left mouse click to either read the book or download it right to your computer!
Have a good one!! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yummy XILION Bicones!

I'm hoping when you saw these, you thought WOW, what fabulously bright and clear red swarovski crystal bicones!! :)

I am really loving the swarovski crystal beads called Xillions! Paired with yesterday's blue will be a fabulous combination.

These are listed in the catalog as: 5328 Swarovski 5mm XILION Bicone Light Siam

I am looking forward to building something interesting and new with the red, blue, stars and light amethyst CZ's!!

Thanks a million to for allowing me to make these gorgeous selections!!!! I have so enjoyed playing with them this week!!

FTC compliance disclosure: the items in this post from were provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ahhh...Blue!! What a super-extra-fabulous shade of blue!!

These are Swarovski 5328 5mm XILION Capri Blue Bicones from and I just LOVE them!

First, the word "blue" makes me happy, add the word "xilion" and then "Swarovski" and my head starts to spin!

This capri blue is such a gorgeous color...deep blue, but bright at the same time. This is very reminiscent the most beautiful blue sky or fabulous ocean.

You know, I think I would be happy with a right angle weave bracelet made with JUST these beads! I'm going to have to think on that!

Have a great evening! I wish you the most fabulous swarovski crystal bead dreams!

FTC compliance disclosure: the items in this post from were provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sparkly Stars!

These 8mm swarovski crystal stars from are so clear and sparkly! They deserve a little "ooh" and "ahh"!

Not that you wouldn't already know or guess this to be true, but I feel the need to say it, "I LOVE SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL BEADS!!"

I know my photos don't exactly do them justice here, but this link will take you to some professionally photographed stars!

I have no idea why, but I just got the song, zippity doo dah, going in my head...such a happy little tune. I guess that little outburst of happiness can be attributed to the CRYSTALS!!

As I mentioned in my CZ post on Saturday, I do have a design plan for my new selections and am very hopeful that I can pull it off.

If not, I know you will all be nice and supportive anyway, my wonderful beading friends!! :)

I hope your week is going well so far!! Have a great evening!

FTC compliance disclosure: the items in this post from were provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Exciting News and Bead Blogger Updates!

Well, it sure was a nice weekend while it lasted!! Relaxing and fun as usual...just not quite long enough!

I wanted to share something exciting with you and take the opportunity to thank the ultra fun and talented Jean Yates at the same time.

You have probably seen the title of her blog here, there and everywhere if you hop around beading blogs like I do, "Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done!"

Jean's sense of humor is as great as her integrity and warmth. Several months ago, Jean and I had a chance to chat about my book and the many things that led me to this point. She just happens to write a column in the monthly magazine, Australian Beading Magazine, as the link to what's happening in beading in the U.S.

Believe me, I was floored and once I got over the shock, was thrilled that she would consider mentioning me and my book, which was not yet published at the time. We made it just under the wire to get it to her and she had a chance to review it in her column.

Our beading friend, Davinia, who lives in Australia recently offered to share the article since she had the magazine in her possession which I am grateful for because it is not as readily available here in the U.S. Thanks so much Jean and Davinia! I LOVE MY BEADING FRIENDS!! :)

And, it just wouldn't be Sunday if I didn't share what some of our other beading friends have been up to over the last week. Take care and have a great week! Jewelry Making School is in session, or at least, it will be when you sign up for one of these free copper clay e-courses.

Art Bead Scene Art Bead Scene's newest member opens her heart and shares how she feels about the Art Bead Scene. Maybe you feel the same?

Beading Arts Here's a quick little tutorial on how to create a barnacle texture with seed beads!

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Spring is the time for new life and new charms at Cindy Gimbrone Beads.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie spreads her wings and designs a new pair of carvings to be made into pendants.

Strands of Beads Melissa uses lava beads to help teach her son about volcanoes

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Andrew shares his trip to Denver for the Rocky Mountain Bead Society's Bead Bazaar.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sparkly, Sparkly Saturday!

I want to thank everyone who stopped by to participate in my Blogmania giveaway yesterday, I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next one in September!

I just sent an email to the winner, "flychild7", and will be shipping out her book and grab bag of beads in the next couple of days! Congratulations! :)

I am hoping the sparkliness of today's bead, a GORGEOUS cubic zirconia from, will add a little sunshine to your day if you are having a rainy one like we are here.

These fabulous cubic zirconia beads are 10mm x 12mm with two stringing holes. The package reads: Two-hole faceted rectangle - light amethyst.

It is soft and light in color, but what I thought was extra cool was how these photos turned out. Is it my imagination or does it look like there is a heart shape in the middle of the bead?

I have a design plan for these beads, however, I am not sure yet if I can pull it off! Time will tell.

I hope you are all having a great weekend so far and will have a chance to attempt something crafty! I have some fun news to share tomorrow, so I hope you will stop back over then.

Take care!!

FTC compliance disclosure: the items in this post from were provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.