Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lessons Learned from PYOP

The last few days have been pretty rough for me.  I've not felt well, physically, which doesn't help emotionally - not to mention nearly a week of cloudy, foggy, dreary weather.  My belly has been unhappy, my shoulders murder, and frankly haven't felt like doing much of anything, beyond trying not to wish my days away.

Today, I went out with a sweet friend - we went to breakfast and then to paint your own pottery (PYOP).  Now, I fancy myself kinda an "intermediate" type PYOP'er.  I've done my fair share and frankly - I love it.  Today, I made a large bowl and put some polka dots all over it - inside and out.  Well, in the midst of choosing colors for my dots - there was another woman also looking at colors.  She turned around to ask me my opinion and noticed my necklace.  I WAS rather surprised that she noticed my necklace because it wasn't the big, in yer face type, I usually was just a simple little pendant I made of a Christmas tree.  She GUSHED over it....
Her: "May I look closer?"
Me: "Sure!"
H:  "Where did you FIND that?"
M: "I made it"
H: "REALLY!? "
M:"Yep and I sell my jewelry as well, sometimes right off my neck - it IS for sale", I giggled.
H: "Could I get 2 of those for my daughters?  Could you make them in time for Christmas?"
M: "Absolutely!"

As she walked out, she told me that she'd be out of town for the weekend, but will call me Monday to set everything up.  Now, I dunno if she's gonna call (I sure hope she does), but it's a lesson in a few things.
1. ALWAYS wear your jewelry!!
2. Have no shame in saying that you made it
3. Have business cards with you 24/7
4. Be prepared to sell off your neck, if needed - or keep it in your purse. =)
5. TALK to people! =)

Like I said, I dunno if I'll ever hear from her again, but what a great day for me!  Spending time with my dear friend, getting OUT of the house, having FUN, and perhaps - getting an order.  #bliss

The plate I made LAST time I went to the PYOP place =)

Saturday, December 6, 2014


So, some of you may know that several months ago, one of the groups I was a part of (and was VERY dear to my heart) closed.  It was something that needed to happen - as the leader was struggling with her health and really needed a break.  When that happened, I kinda jumped  into action and started a new group for all of these magnificent folks to land. 

As the months have gone on, the group has grown TREMENDOUSLY!  We have SUCH an awesome group of jewelry people, it just blows my mind!  I was trying to come up with a way to get folks excited about the Holidays, expose them to some new artists or businesses they may not have heard of before and maybe learn something new.  So, I set out to see if some folks would be willing to donate some goodies to giveaway during, what I hoped would be 12 days of Christmas.  I felt guilty asking folks to give something, I felt guilty putting a dollar value on it and I felt even more fear that no one would want to do it and I'd look like a fool. 

Let.Me.Tell.You - Jewelry people are A-MAZ-ING!  We received over $700 in donations and have *14* days of giveaways!! Isn't that OUSTANDING?!

I have had a wonderful time seeing folks get excited and giving these goodies away.  I just want to say - THANK YOU to all of them!  You have absolutely HUMBLED me!

I also want to say - that an added bonus has been getting to know all of these new folks..... some more than others....but what AWE inspiring people -  =) 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Thankfulness Challenge

Sooooooo I'm a little late...but I love the piece and can't wait to share =)

I created this piece a few days ago and really fell in love with the colors.  It reminds me of all the great things in life - fall, warmth, coziness, nature, my family (my father is an INCREDIBLE gardener) and the greatness of God's creation.  These colors are all found in nature and it's a blessing to be able to celebrate them, in jewelry.

Make sure you stop by and check out all the other participants and thank you again for stopping by! 

Featured Artist:  Cova Cobalt of Cobalt and Copper
Your Hostess:  Marybeth Rich of Forest of Jewels


Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements
Carolyn Lawson of Carolyn's Creations 
Shaiha Williams of Shaiha's Ramblings
Lisa Knappenberger of LiRaysa Designs
Bianca Medina of Medibeads
Lee Koopman of Strega Jewellry's Blog
Mowse Doyle of Mowse Made This
Linda Anderson of From the Bead Board

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ravens, Ravens, Everywhere!

I'd like to extend a warm welcome and a huge shoutout to my peeps from Anderson University!  Would you mind leaving me a comment and let me know where you're from?  =)

Looking for some INCREDIBLE jewelry?  Perfect for Christmas gifts, Winter Formal, and all those weddings that are coming from the freshman walk!
You can find it here:  and use this discount code: raven10 for 10% off - just for being awesome!

I went to AU from 1993-1998 and met some of THE most OUTSTANDING people, I could have ever dreamed of meeting.  We have continued to be friends through the years and I can tell you one thing - there is NO WAY I would be the person I am, today, without each and every one of them. 
The last time our group was together for a weddin'

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sparkling Rocks #fail

Hello Sparkling Rocks Fans!

Sadly, our organizer, Rita, was living in a house that was much like Humpty Dumpty - it had a great fall and her landlord wouldn't send in the horses or the men - so Rita.... moved.  Even more sadly, some of the Sparkling Rocks didn't make it outta the Humpty House without damage to the many of us haven't received them.

Please pray for Rita as I know this has been VERY difficult on her and her family but they ARE safe - just had to move with little warning.

So, while I don't have "the" sparkling's a different sparkling rock =)

Friday, October 31, 2014

OctoberFest Post

While a smidge late - I am a part of the OctoberFest! 

I've decided to share a simple of my favorites and perhaps some would call it a "hack".

For an OUTSTANDING cake - take any cake mix and add a can of pumpkin to it....that's it - bake per  directions.....



And this is one of my all time favorite photos....from October. =)  One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go apple picking.  While out, I saw this GORGEOUS butterfly feasting on this awful apple.  I was taking photos of the butterfly and *never* saw the bee who came later to feast, as well.  It reminds me of the beauty that can come from rottenness and the beauty that comes from my own life, and my own rottenness.  Quite a gift to see both sides of the coin.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen.....I present to you.....

The 2014 Fall Issue of Creative Spark Magazine, published by ZnetShows!

ZnetShows is THE online source for Wholesale Beads, Tiara Chinese Crystal beads, Glass Pearls, Cultured Sea Glass and Base Metal!

As a member of their design team, I have a few quotes in this quarters publishing....CHECK.IT.OUT!

Creative Spark Fall 2014 Fall 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This is pretty much all I've been up to. Kinda sad, right? *sigh* I CAN get over this funk...I can! (but dude! check out the awesome shadow on the right!)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ever have one of those times when...

you feel like you have SOMETHING to say - but no idea WHAT?!  That's kinda been  me this last week.  I feel like there are things that need to come out, but for some reason are stuck in my "what the freak is THAT" folder of my brain. 

This has been a tough season for me.  I feel like every show I've gone to this year, has been a complete and utter flop.  This last show was a 2 day show - Sat 9-4 and Sun 10-2 - my first sale came at 3:45 on Saturday.  Sunday, I sold 2 pairs of earrings.  I've NEVER been so discouraged with my jewelry.  The show before that - was the same way. (Granted, it was an outdoor-ish show and it rained, so MANY of the people stayed away)

It's clear I have talent - if I didn't....I wouldn't have had 3 pieces published and be on the design team for a bead company.  So, what's the problem?  My stuff is unique.... all the other vendors tell me so (good or bad, who knows).... it's fairly priced....and yet nothing is selling.  I.just.don'  It really hurts my heart.  Every piece I make, is a piece of me..... so what is missing?

Just a tough time in Linda land =(

Monday, September 1, 2014

Leaf it to me to screw up

Several months ago, a sweet friend, Moriah from BluMudd put the call out for some folks to use some of her BEAUTIFUL pieces, create something, send 1 photo to her by Sept 1 and she'll put those pieces up for a public vote and the winner receives at $50 gift card to her store.  Who am I to not participate in something so fun and challenging?  SO, I jumped in.  Little did I know what kinda challenge this would be.  Oh MY!  This is the color combo I received.  Gorgeous, right?

I struggled.  I struggled and did I mention that I struggled?  I just was so..... overwhelmed.  Anything I put with the leaf just  I tried this shape, that shape, this color, that color, this texture or that texture....just nothing I used looked....good.

I started to be resigned to the fact that I wasn't going to LOVE my piece and decided I just needed to do *something*.  I started with some seed beads, some copper, attached this and that.... and finally it hit me!  A CUFF!  I could make a CUFF!  Wait....I don't have any skinny gold wire.  CURSES!

Digging ensued....I looked here there and everywhere when I realized that I DO have some skinny wire..... A few months ago, I joined one of those monthly box services where you pay an amount and they send you something special....there are boxes of makeup, skin products, baby products, and CRAFTS!  I had signed up for the crafts one and they sent me a project which I didn't really like, BUT the pieces that they sent included a GOLD CUFF and GOLD WIRE!  WOOHOOOO!

I put the leaf in the center of the cuff and attached it with some fine gold wire.  I added some adorable miyuki seed beads for some texture and to bring a little pop to the rest of the piece.  

So, here we have it..... Branch Berries


After a few more iterations, I added some green mesh while I didn't submit it for my final design, I REALLY like the pop that the green adds.  I could have re-submitted but felt like I'd already sent my image, so it was too late.  Let me know which you prefer?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

GO Green for Choosy Chicks and Gastroparesis!

Choosy Chicks..... we love chicklets....especially ones from SUEBEADS!  Check it OUT!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in another challenge called "Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets " and we were all sent a GORGEOUS chicklet bead hand crafted by Sue Kennedy of  SueBeads. I was sent the adorable and lovely earthy green color (the GORGEOUS bead in the middle).  It's made of glass and has an adorable little flower imprinted on both sides.

I'm not a huge fan of green, but was quite excited to see how I rose to the challenge, yet again (I really DO have favorite colors, I promise!). =)  I made this sweet little bracelet with Sue's little bead in the center and I found some incredibly beautiful Unicorne beads that matched nearly exactly!  I was SO EXCITED to be able to use those Unicorne beads because sometimes it's tough to use handcrafted beads, when I'm making pieces for resale, because they can be tough price points - BUT since I'm keeping this gem for ME, MYSELF AND I - I went big! =)  I also used some precious blue pearls and some sagey green bumpy pearls.

Click to enlarge

One other detail worth noting - I used copper accents.  Typically, I use silvers but the silvers just made the piece so..... pale...and it felt like all the details in the beads were copper it was!  I LOVE it!  I'm proud of this little piece and so glad it's MINE MINE MINE!

Click to enlarge

One other thing worth noting: Green is the color of choice for Gastroparesis awareness.  I have suffered with gastroparesis for 11 years, after a botched gall bladder surgery. It causes me to feel nausea and pain 24/7 and causes chronic vomiting (imagine the flu -  Gastroparesis is the reason that I'm disabled and have been able to pursue making jewelry in the last several years.  While this season of life has been devastating, it's been something I would NEVER choose,  but am thankful that in the horridness of has come from these ashes.  So, I'm THANKFUL for the green and a beautiful way to display my support on "Go Green for Gastroparesis Fridays".

THANK YOU, Toltec Jewels and SueBeads - SUCH an INCREDIBLE opportunity and chance to stretch myself - AGAIN! =)


Guest of Honor & Featured Artist:  Susan Kennedy

Sue Kennedy's blogs:                               SueBeads...A Beady Girl's blog
                                                               Art Jewelry Elements
Sue Kennedy's website                            SueBeads
SueBeads Art Beads                                SueBeads


Toltec Jewels                                 


Linda Anderson                             

Jennifer Reno                                 

Shirley Moore                                

Kristen Stevens                              

Marybeth Rich                               

Jael Thorp                                      

Melissa Trudinger                           

Andrea Glick                                  

Nan Smith                                      

Blanca Medina                               

Shai Williams                                  

Carolyn Lawson                             

Rana Wilson                                   

Robin Reed                                    

Robin Showstack                           

Sheila Prosterman                           

Karla Morgan                                

Kari Asbury                                   

Kelly Rodgers                                

Jayne Capps                                  

Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi          

Heather Richter                             

Chris Eisenberg                             

Kathleen Breeding                         

Linda Landig                                 

Crystal Thain                                 

Cheri Reed                                    

Heather d-Entremont                     

Dini Bruinsma                                

Lori Schneider                               

Tammy Adams                              

Melinda Orr                                  

Lennis Carrier                               

Cynthia Machata                           

Elizabeth Hodges                          

Debbie Rasmussen                        

Tanya McGuire                             

Charlie Jacka                                

Ev Shelby                                     

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson              

Jasvanti Patel                              

Friday, August 1, 2014


So, many of you know that from time to time, I write about personal stuffs here - this will be one of THOSE posts

I've realized in the last few weeks that I've been struggling, quite severely, with depression.   It hasn't taken the usual forms of feeling bad about myself (although that does happen from time to time), it's come more in the form of feeling sad, overwhelmed and like something inside just needs to come out....somehow.

I know that part of this is because some tough days are mother's birthday would have been Saturday - she would be 70.  It's kinda strange to think that my mother would be 70.  I can't even begin to imagine her at that age.  I'm beginning to see many traits that she had, in myself - some good - some not so great.  I do wish that she were here, though.  I can hardly imagine what she'd say about my jewelry business.  It would be awesome to see her excitement and I'm sure she'd be my #1 sales woman. =)  She sold Home Interiors for MANY moons and was quite successful with it.  I wish I could ask her for wisdom with selling and ideas of marketing and all that jazz.  She could, truly, sell ice to eskimos.

I'm sad that I'm quickly approaching ANOTHER birthday, single.  My deepest desire is to find a wonderful, Godly man, get married and have a family.  My heart hurts that it just hasn't happened.  Much of that, I'm sure, is due to my weight - which because of severe health issues - is kinda outta my control right now.  It just hurts my heart that I'm single...still.  This was *not* my plan.  Yes, I know I could be married....and feel like I'm in a prison - which is no way to live, either.  My dad often encourages me with "There is no pain, like the pain of a lonely marriage" and I'm so thankful God has protected me from that....but desperate to find the man for me.  WHERE THE FREAK ARE YOU, WALDO?!!?

I'm also realizing, that my depression comes through in my lifestyle....specifically my bedroom.  When my head is a mess - so is my room.  Part of this, is due to my health (if I bend over - my body wants to vomit, nearly automatically) and part is just due to the fact that there is plenty of time, another day, to deal with it.  I'm pretty overwhelmed with it.

And finally, I'm sad that 2 years ago, I boarded a plane to come home for "2 months" to take a vacation and then go back to DC and move into a new place.  I have yet to get my things from DC.  I'm $800 short.  Why is it that some random dude can raise $50k for potato salad and I can't raise enough to get my things home from DC?  I have a good "story" - I'm chronically ill, I can't work, I live with my father, my medical style bed is in DC - and I'm DESPERATE to get it home.  My body is suffering even more without it.  I even offered my jewelry at a HUGE discount and I sold $30.  REALLY?!!?  What the....?!?!  As soon as I get a little extra, something else comes up that bites me in the rear and sets me right back to where I started.

These things are things that many people deal with......these things are things that aren't easy fixes.....but these are my things.  I'm prayerful that God has a reason why my junk is still there, I'm still single and I miss my mom....but it'd sure be nice to see some of those pieces fall in to place.  So, if you know a wonderful, single, Godly 'sugar daddy' - have him me a call =)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gems and Metals Hop

*****Looking for my Bead Soup Piece? =) Click here!**** 
Please do NOT be offended if this is your favorite gemstone.  This merely MY experience with it.

OHMEGERD - what a CHALLENGE!  So, I signed up for this great little challenge called "Gems and Metals" - I would be sent a package of pre-selected, random gemtones and a chosen metal.  I was VERY excited.  I hadn't done one like this before and had visions of sodalite, amazonite, pietersite and mookaite dancing in my head.  Would I get gold, silver...copper?  I was SO excited when the package came...I KNEW this was my big moment......I anxiously ripped that envelope open and to my shock and awe - I found...... what the?! What IS that?! I ain't never seen THAT before...what IS it?

RED AVENTURINE - in my eyes - baby food orange.......ew.  What the BLEEP am I gonna do with THAT?!!?!?

Stone and antique brass metal finding

So, after I recomposed myself - I'm not gonna took a few weeks....I finally pulled out my baby food. In the meantime, I went to a trade show and picked up some fun new beads.... not even considering my red aventurine. It was home and I was HAPPY! As time continued to pass by, I just kept shaking my head going - what am I gonna do with that?!!?

Time was closing in quickly and while I was putting my new beads away, I came upon my challenge.... and decided that perhaps it was time to pull out the "big guns" - a color wheel.  I know - crazy, right!?  The color is very red-orange.....and compliments to it include blues, purples and greens.  So, at least I had a jumping off point - somewhere to begin.

On a whim, I held up my new aqua quartz and HOLY SCHAMOLY it looked AMAZING!!  Ok, I'm on to something here..... so I went through my spacer beads and had 0 that were bright gold (remember the metal I was given was an antique brass color) - so I found some seed beads I had and they were PERFECTION!   

I present to you....Piece 1.....*drool*

 Piece 2:
Now, I had some of these crazy sticks to use.... if  you know me at all - you know that I'm NOT a fan of sticks (ok, not a fan of Red Aventurine + not a fan of Antique brass + NOT a fan of sticks = GREAT challenge!) =)  So, I tried to take a fresh look at them.  Again, back to the color wheel and back to my greens and blues.  I decided to try a new product (to me) and put some very cool electroplated hematite in between them.  I used blue/green on top and a bright blue on the bottom.  Using the 2 colors gives me more options of things I can wear this piece with. =)

I'm actually surprised at how much I like this piece.... considering all it had going against it. ;)  It needed a little jazz , so I went a little crazy with the filigree connections..... it took some time to get it figured out and in the process.... this came out - which I kinda LOVE =)  Hot, right?!

But this is how it ended up and frankly - I LOVE this piece.

Red Aventurine?  Eh - it's not so bad.... not my favorite but I don't have a vendetta against it.......anymore. ;) 

As a side story: A dear friend had come over one day and asked me if I had any new challenge things I was working on....I mentioned my "UGH Red Aventurine" and after talking about it for a while...I ended up showing her my start (which at the time was the first piece with the aqua) and I REALLY loved the way it was shaping up.  She nearly brought tears to my eyes when she said that even though it wasn't something that I'd have chosen on my own, I knew how to elevate it and make it gorgeous - really - I about lost it.  I was so humbled and thankful for her encouragement.  <3 you, girl!

Be sure to leave a comment on what you thought, and don’t forget to visit all of the wonderful other artists in this fun blog hop!
 Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Margaret Pelech, Big Margaret
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (May be delayed a few days)
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design

Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Cassi Renee Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things (May be delayed a few days)
Marde Lowe, FanciMarDesigns
Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board (You are here)
Leithleach Alainn Seodra, Alainn Jewelry
Lisa E. Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Country Blog Hop - #fail

Hello Friends,
Due to an unexpected surgery, I have not finished my country piece.  I'm so sad and sorry.  Here's the beginning - celebrating Washington DC

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What I learned from 500+ Blogs

*****Looking for my Bead Soup Piece? =) Click here!****

A few weeks ago, I posted about being part of Bead Soup Blog Party (This party has taken a hiatus)  where I exchanged beads with my partner, Lisa Johnson of and made some pieces with what she sent me.  As part of the "party", I made a commitment to myself that I wanted to go to each blog to see what was made and I DID IT!  I commented on most (probably 400+) and tried to make personal comments vs something generic like 'nice piece'.  After visiting all those blogs (including folks from 30+ countries), I started to notice some things and wanted to share with the class...

- Sometimes it's hard to comment on things that you just don't get or like (that's ok and part of the fun) 

- MANY tried something new - either a technique, a color palate or style 

- LOTS of pieces featured asymmetry 

- LOTS of pieces featured cording of some nature (i.e., linen cotton, leather, rat tail, etc...) 

- I was exposed to all SORTS of new ideas and techniques

- I found myself downloading ALOT of pieces in my "inspiration" folder - I wish more had put a watermark on their photos so I know whose pieces I'm looking at again

- The average comments per post was about 35 

 - Of those who participated, many are collecting pieces for next years soup already 

- There weren't as many seed bead pieces as I expected 

- I LOVE seeing the international pieces 

- I feel like i have to use ! for everything! 

- It's interesting to see how folks overcame their challenge

- It's interesting to see what folks considered a challenge and/or thought their partner would be challenged with

- Photo backgrounds can make or break how a piece looks =)

- If the person is an active blogger, it was REALLY helpful to have a link near the top directly to their pieces so I didn't have to scroll through everything to find it

- I was surprised at how many hadn't posted something (especially since we had an extra week). It made me sad that they didn't post and that there were many who would have given their eye teeth to be able to participate. More than that, that Lori worked so hard to pair people up and it was like her work didn't matter. =(  That hurt my heart.  And I know things come up, life happens...but post *something* - I stubbed my toe, my order was lost, my dog ate my piece...just something.

- Of those who posted nearly mentioned how much they appreciated how much work Lori Anderson, and her AWESOME support team, did!  

- CAPTCHA blows when you're commenting on 400+ blogs

- The creativity of the people in this group is ASTOUNDING

I've been honored to be a part of this group of EXTRAORDINARILY TALENTED jewelry designers.  They have encouraged me, challenged me and made me a better designer.  If you're a designer - JOIN.THIS.GROUP.  You'll be amazed at what you'll learn!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Challenges and Teams - Oh MY!

**** BSBP 8: Here's My Bead Soup Piece! =) ****

After taking some time off of blogging, for my Bead Soup to be accessible, it's time to get back at it!  And I've got some more exciting news to share!!

First - I've been busy as a beaver signing myself up for some new challenges including Octoberfest, Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets and still working on my MOJO challenges. =)

Second - Some INCREDIBLY EXCITING news!  I have been invited to join the design team for ZNetShows!  I have purchased from them for a long time at various shows and am THRILLED to be a new member of their team! =)  

Third - I had a few more pieces picked up with another magazine - so when I get publishing dates, I'll let y'all know!  

Forth - Speaking of publishing - I'll have a pair of beautiful earrings in the Fall 2014 edition of Jewelry Stringing Magazine!  

Personally - this has been a trying last month.  My body has been struggling more than it had been - i found out why.... a device that I had implanted 7 years ago has stopped working.  I'm praying that Medicare will cover this surgery as I'm desperate to get, at least a bit, of my life back.  

I'm also working to get my belongings back to me, as they have been in a storage unit in DC for 2 years.  I'm desperate to get my things back to me, including my car.  It's EXPENSIVE and I've been struggling to save the money I need to get my things HOME.  I've been "destashing" alot of my jewelry supplies which has helped to get me started on my journey towards getting everything back.  I'm *DESPERATE* to get my bed here.  I have a hospital style bed that I need, especially in light of new news that I've got some spine issues that may require shots and eventually surgery.  This has been a long, rough road but at the end of the day, I'm thankful that I can sell some things and that God has provided for me in ways I never dreamed.  

If you feel led to make a donation (nothing is too small) you can donate here at my GoFundMe page or check out my destash page to peruse a whole lotta unclaimed beads and bits!

Looking forward to an awesome next few months and seeing what's next in Linda Land! =)

I'll be returning to my "Whys It Gotta Be So Expensive....." series in my next post

Friday, May 30, 2014

Allow Me To Introduce You To A Special Girl

**** BSBP 8: Here's My Bead Soup Piece! =) ****


Friends - Several months ago, I saw a reporter was looking for some great people from the Dayton, Ohio area.  I sent the writer an email and told her about this wonderful girl who has purchased jewelry from me for homecoming and prom (and has even said she wants me to do her jewelry for her wedding if she gets married someday!) .  I sent her story in and today it was published in the Dayton Daily News

This piece requires a subscription and I paid for a day pass to see the article.

If you know someone going to Prom, Homecoming, Graduating, Getting Married or otherwise have a special occasion coming up - please contact me! I LOVE custom orders! =)

Kyra's Prom Piece

Cinderella’s Closet donates prom dresses

Church program helps girls afford their big night.

By Beth Anspach - Contributing Writer

The prom dress a girl chooses often becomes as important as prom night itself. But for many girls, the expense of the dress, coupled with the accessories, hair and makeup, makes prom night something about which some can only dream.

Carlisle High School senior Kyra Utech, 18, says her senior prom on May 9 ended up being “the best school dance I’d ever been to,” thanks to an organization called Cinderella’s Closet.
The group donates prom dresses and accessories to needy girls who might not otherwise have an opportunity to attend.

Linda Anderson of St. Cloud, Minn., a longtime friend of Utech’s mother, Janet Johnston, said Kyra is deserving for many reasons. “I have known Kyra since she was a newborn and have watched her grow up,” said Anderson. “Her family has struggled with a sick child (Utech’s younger sister Zoe) and they nearly lost her. Kyra has sacrificed so much for her sister. She gave up marching band — something she loved — her senior year, because her family couldn’t afford to pay for both girls to do it. As an older woman looking at a young lady, I see that it’s such a sacrifice she made during her senior year for her sister. She has a loving heart.”

And though Anderson doesn’t see the family often, she and Utech correspond often, and Utech has purchased some of Anderson’s handmade jewelry, which she has worn to several school dances. “I’ve been so honored that she would trust me to make some jewelry pieces for her,” Anderson said. “She is a special young lady.”

In addition to marching band, Utech has been involved with Winter Guard and performs in four different choirs. She has also played the piano since the age of 7. Her sister, Zoe, now 17, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she was a sixth-grader.

“Zoe was in the hospital for about three weeks when she was first diagnosed,” Utech said. “She has to have surgery this summer because she is sick a lot.”

Utech also has two younger brothers, Evan, 14 and Joah, 9.

Anderson said the family has overcome many struggles, but Utech has a “wonderful stepfather” now. Still, money is tight, and Utech worked a job to help out. “I started working at Dairy Queen to help pay my sister’s band fee,” Utech said.

According to some published reports, average prom expenditures are now surpassing $1,100, with the majority of this spent on that special dress.

Utech found her “fairy godmother” in Cinderella’s Closet. “My choir teacher, Mrs. Shively, heard about Cinderella’s Closet at Center Pointe Church and nominated me and two of my friends, and we were chosen to go and get free dresses, shoes and accessories,” Utech said.

Utech and her friends went to the church on April 12, met her “fairy godmother,” Lisa, and was given the royal treatment, until she found the perfect dress for her special night.”

“Junior and senior high school girls are referred to us by a school staff member, social worker or community liaison,” said Sara Mosteller, director of Cinderella’s Closet in Liberty Twp. “Girls come to us for all different reasons, and we don’t require proof of need. They are paired with a ‘fairy godmother’ who shows them love and makes them feel like they are smart, talented and pretty all day long.”

Girls coming to Cinderella’s Closet go home with a prom dress, shoes and jewelry of their choosing, all of which are theirs to keep. Each also receives an 8-by-10 photo taken in the dresses.
“We have more than 1,500 dresses here, either donated or purchased with donated funds,” Mosteller said. “Prom costs a lot of money and I can tell you that many of these girls just wouldn’t get to attend unless they could get assistance. I have watched countless girls come in with their heads down and they put on a formal dress and we compliment them and it makes them feel good. The most rewarding part is to watch the girls change on the inside because of what is happening on the outside.”

Utech and her friends enjoyed a wonderful prom night at Yankee Trace Golf Club on April 9 as a result of the dress donation. And on May 31, she will graduate from Carlisle High School and has plans to study nursing and also attend cosmetology school.
For more information about Cinderella’s Closet, go online to

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Help Me Get Home?

Looking for my Bead Soup Piece? =) Click here!

Hey Y'All - It's looking like I might FINALLY be making progress to get my belongings HOME!  They are currently living in Virginia, right outside of DC, while I'm living in Minnesota.  I need to raise about $700 more dollars and I'll be able to get EVERYTHING home! 

Would you help?  You can make a donation here: Go Fund Me Page or purchase some jewelry here: Cherry On Top Design.Co. I'm SO CLOSE!  Even $5 would be a HUGE help!

Friday, May 9, 2014


Here it is!!

As a's what I sent Lisa (plus some round quartz, silver stardust rounds and a few strands of czech glass not pictured.  I felt like my soup was a little....thin...needed some more ....'veggies', if ya get my drift)  The oranges are some of my favorite beads and the focal was hand made glass discs. 

 Here is what Lisa from sent!  So beautiful, I cried.  Yep - it's true.  Tears.
Click to enlarge

Let me start by saying this was a CHALLENGE.  Not because I didn't have gorgeous soup - because HOLY CANNOLI!  LOOK AT IT!  I felt inadequate.  I wasn't familiar with Czech glass and I was really becoming discouraged.  But let me say this...... I am SO.PROUD. of the pieces I made.  Seriously, I haven't been this proud in a LONG time.   Lisa - I hope I did YOU proud!

One challenge I encountered was scale.  Scale is the size of things and how they relate to each other.  Typically, big things go with big things...little with little.  Well, you'll notice that the coordinating beads are itty bitty while my gorgeous Owlivia (the ADORABLE owl) is a little... on the plus size.  =)  So, I was REALLY struggling to make it all work together until one day it hit me.... make 2 pieces.  (And Lisa thought my biggest struggle would be working with copper...heh heh)  I'll dig into these pieces a lot more, later.  Without further delay...

The first piece features the beautiful itty bittys and the GORGEOUS clasp!  I made the connector out of copper.

 The second piece features my adorable Owlivia!  I wired wrapped her (my first real wrapping experience) and made the clasp, carrying the theme of the flower through the clasp.  =)

Then.... I needed earrings of course.....
For these little gems, I made the pins with the swirls on the bottom, to mimic the swirls on Owlivia.


AND I made these little guys - including the pin, ear wire and the flower on the bottom!  Aren't they AWESOME!?!? (If I do say so, myself)

I had a little fun doing a selfie session with my new pieces.... enjoy! =)

Too much?  (both pieces on)

Not bad, kid!
Proud and SO GLAD I did this, again!  Thanks, Lori!

Check out what the rest of my 499+ friends did here:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


SO....a few weeks ago I posted about some *big news*.....

I'm going to be published again!!!  HOORAY!  This time, just a pair of earrings in Jewelry Stringing Magazine!  Fall 2014 issue.  VERY excited!