Snippets from a bead artist.


Beads Of Courage Art Charm Auction Reveal!

It's TIME!!  I get to show you all the gorgeous that I got from my fellow artists and the humble little  charm that I made to swap.  I also get to happily urge you to go follow my link to the Auctions on Ebay and ask you to bid as high as you can on any of the charms that are up for sale - it's all going to a really awesome cause.  ALL profits from the sales go to Beads of Courage, which provides beads and more importantly, HOPE to children from all over who suffer with cancer of many kinds.  To learn more about BOC, please click HERE.

But first a really huge thank you to Jennifer Cameron for setting this up and making it all happen again this year.  It's a huge task to get this blog hop/auction/swap together and running smoothly, and Jen is completely awesome.  Please make sure to visit her blog when you hop to all the others in my list, and give her some love.

This year's theme for our charms was 'Soar' and it really did challenge me.  I had to ask for some  help from my fellow participants, who responded readily with some awesome ideas.  Such a list!!  But the one that stuck out for me (and several others) was the visualization of a floating, soaring, bobbing kite in a blue sky, on a summer's day.  I set out to make myself one;  I had some help from Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork and Beyond book, where she shows how to make a very nice elongated triangle.  I added my a smaller triangle on top to get it looking more kite-like.  I made them with different colored Delica beads so that there would be a variety, but I think my favorite is (surprise, I know!) the purple one on the upper left.  ;)

I did want to have the tail of the kite as part of the design, but it just looked wrong in beads, so I ended up using a piece of sterling chain on each one.  I was going to add a little crystal to the ends, but ran out of headpins (of course!),  so decided the sparkle would have to be in the middle and sewed a 3mm roses montee with a surround to each kite.

Compared to some of the beautiful work I received in turn, I feel like my kite is kind of hokey, but I also feel like I accomplished what I set out to do, given how cranky my muse was this year.

Onward, to show you the fabulous charms I received!  I apologize to my fellow artists for the poor photography  - we had a little family upheaval this weekend, and my husband wasn't able to get to his camera, so I was forced to take the photos myself with my little point and shoot.  These are all much more amazing than what the pics show!!

This first grouping consists of charms from Renetha Stanziano of LamplightCrafts , Moriah Betterly of Blu Mudd, and Alenka Obid of Pepita.  So pretty!!  I love the colors in Renetha's Bubbly Bauble, and the birds are most definitely soaring on Moriah's sage green charm!  And Alenka's leaf charm... you know how much I love leaves!! There is an open eye on the eye pin and I can see a tiny crystal hanging in that perfect pear shape.  

The second set of gorgeous includes charms from Lennis Carrier of Windbent, Monique Urquhart of A Half Baked Notion and Perri Jackson of Shaktipaj Designs.  Lennis' kite is so pretty - and so full of movement!!  I love her version of the kite tail, and the way the SOAR lettering is moving right along with the rest of the design.  Monique's was just too pretty to take off of her card - I must admit now that I haven't removed her charm from last year's card, either - I love the ribbon and the presentation so much.  Such a lot of intricate work here, with the bee and the flowers... love.  And the lovely hot air balloon that Perri created is so full of color and joy!  You can NOT look at this charm and not smile with delight.

My last set of charms has two pics because I just had to show both sides.  These were made by Elisabeth Auld of Beads For Busy Gals, Cate vanAlphen of Fulgorine, and Lesley Watt of Thea Elements.  Elisabeth's charm is so floaty and lovely - I'm calling it a balloon, even though I haven't seen her reveal post yet, because to me it looks ethereal and ready to soar into the sky at any moment.  Cate's charm knocked my socks right off, with the stylized bird flying so freely - and the colors!! That gold is so sparkly and lovely and Bollywood in person!!  The feather on the reverse is magnificent.  Lesley's double sided kite is fantastic - I'm so jealous, lol!  The first photo shows the colors of the BOC campaign, and the reverse in the second photo shows a hot pink background to a really sweet heart.

I love every single one of them!! And I must get myself busy making things with them, they are each inspiring in their own way.  Not only because of the obvious beauty and execution, but also because they were made with so much love and care - they have to be on something very special.  Thank you so much for my charms!!

Now I urge you to sit down with your favorite cup of whichever beverage makes you happy and comfy cozy, and hop around to all of the other blogs to see the reveals - I can't wait to see what everyone says about their designs!  I also have to get going over to the auction myself, because I just KNOW there are more charms there that I GOTTA have!!  See you there!

Gah!!!  I can't seem to post the complete list of blog links, I have no idea why - PLEASE go to Jennifer Cameron's BLOG for the link list and hop to see everyone else's posts!!


A New Tutorial And...

I have been a terribly absent blogger this year.  Lots of reasons, but the largest of which was taking care of my Dad, who has been off and on in the hospital for almost three years.  He's home again now, and doing great, and I am hoping to be able to do more posts again, as I used to.  Hopefully, at the New Year I will be back to blogging once a month.

I had a looooooong creative block as well as the blogging block, but I am so happy to be able to say that it has finally passed, and I managed to work out a new (although fairly simple) tutorial.  I must say, if I hadn't had some really awesome testers for this, it never would have happened - I don't think I've ever sent out a messier, full-of-errors tutorial draft before!!  But it's all fixed up now (thank you so much, Michelle and Mary and Valorie!!) and in the shop.  It's called Royal Herringbone Ropes, and it includes two necklaces, the basic instructions for a bracelet and a pair of pretty earrings.  The first part of the tutorial, the Crowns Rope Necklace, is going to be available to bead retailers from The Beadsmith, and I wanted to pair that rope up with one that I had made previously called Sceptres.  Then I had so much fun stitching that I decided to make the bracelet... and then the earrings just sort of happened... ;)  Check it out here in my Etsy shop.

I was honored again this year by having a photo published in Sabine Lippert's gallery in her glorious new book, Beadwork Evolutions.  If you don't have this book yet, RUN to get yourself a copy!!  The projects are just gorgeous and so inspiring.  I have included photos below to give you just a little glimpse of the beauty that awaits you in it's pages.  Sabine has kits for these projects on her website, TryToBead.

Anastasia Necklace

Bubble Ball Beaded Bead

Round Cube Beaded Bead

Thank you so much for including me, Sabine!  Your book is completely fabulous, and I can't wait to make some of these beauties.

Thirdly, I am taking part again this year in the Art Charm Swap, hosted by Jennifer Cameron (for more detailed information, check out Jen's blog here).  We all make charms to swap, but each person makes one extra charm that will be sold via auction, with all profits going to Beads Of Courage. Last year, we were able to send $1500 to BOC!!  This is especially important and special to me this year, since my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, which precipitated his surgery.  Beads of Courage is for children, of course, but my Dad's cancer brought this closer to home for me and made me take more time to consider what happens to the kids (and adults as well).  If you can, please come to the auction on November 24th and bid as high as you can, and come back here for the reveal blog post on November 25th.

This year's theme was 'soar' and it was a little challenging for me, but I did manage to come up with what I hope is a cute charm.  :)  I can't wait to see what everyone came up with, but I know already that these charms are going to be awesome and incredible - and perfect for using in your own jewelry,  with the great feeling that you're donating to a very worthy cause.