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! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Czech glass

Continuing the series on Whys It So Expensive?!......

Glass is glass is glass....right?  Or is it?

When we buy things like glasses or windows or even mirrors, we start to learn that all glass is not created equal - and the same is true in beading.  The most popular types of glass include lampwork (see the last edition of "Whys It So Expensive"), crystal, dichroic, Venetian, vintage, cats eye, and today's topic Czech.

I've been learning all about Czech glass in the last few weeks because my Bead Soup partner is a big fan and sent nearly all this type of beads to me.  It's been a challenge and so much fun to learn about the different finishes, shapes, colors, mixes and types of beads. describes it this way:
Glass making in the Czech Republic is an age old cottage industry. These glass beads are still made in small quantities by hand. Due to the way the glass is made, there may be slight color variation from one bead batch to the next.

Now, you may wonder why this matters because when an artist decides to use this glass, it's more expensive than say something that is mass produced.  HOWEVER, this glass is simply *splendid*!   Check out some of these different types:

Click Photo to Enlarge

GORGEOUS, right?!!?  I'm having a great time using these 'new to me' beads and looking forward to using them in my jewelry.  I LOVE that they are hand made in small batches and that gives them more personality!  The price is a bit higher than a typical glass bead, made in large quantities but it is CERTAINLY worth it!

Here is an adorable pair of earrings I made with some adorable pressed flower bead caps:

Next time you're looking at hand made jewelry and they tell you it's made with Czech glass - you know that while it may be a little more expensive - it's also that much more special!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


 Whaddya get when you take 500 people, 1 organizer, and a whole LOTTA organization?!  BeadSoup!

I'm lucky enough to participate for the 2nd time in the wonder called BeadSoup.  1 woman offers to let 500 people sign up (in 24 hours mind you) to exchange beads with another artist, make something special with them (and some of your own) and then reveal them ALL on one day!  QUITE a task and so, VERY exciting!

What I loved about doing this challenge, is that it REALLY pushed me as an artist to make someone else's art bend into my own style.  I was pretty excited about last years piece, but this year.... HOLY CANNOLI!  Take a look at THIS soup!  (I cried it was so beautiful!)

Big thanks to Lisa from

I'll leave you with an ok preview of the beads.... the great photos will come in May....until up!  Just be sure to chew your BeadSoup carefully. =)


Sunday, April 6, 2014

"The Color of Dreams" Blog Hop!


Several weeks ago, I signed up for a very EXCITING and CHALLENGING blog hop.  It's called "The Color of Dreams".  The organizer (Rita of Toltec Jewels) posted this on her blog: and I responded!  I wanted to try to put my dreams into a piece of jewelry. 

Here was the challenge as stated by Rita: 
You may share a dream that has come true, one you are working on now, or one you hope for in the future. The one goal of the hop: we'll focus on our dreams as entirely possible, with the idea, "If we can dream it, we can achieve it." So, try creating "from the end" -- as if your dream has already come true -- using your jewelry design to do so.

My inspiration came from a BEAUTIFUL, handcrafted flower bead made by Color of Dreams Boutique.  It features the amazing pinks and purples that I just happen to LOVE!  =)

I tried to approach this challenge as a story of my jewelry career, for now...and what I dream will happen in the future.  The first bead, a long pink, glass piece symbolizes the very beginning of my jewelry making journey.  I started making pieces with these types of beads and they turned out pretty well.
From there, I moved on to learning other techniques including pearl knotting (which is my favorite thing to do, but doesn't seem to sell well so I don't do it often).  My mother loved pearls and passed that love on to me.  (It's all her fault! =) )

Next, I used a beautiful piece of crystal and brand called "Thunder Polish".  It was my first experience with crystal and I was hooked!  Until very recently, I used nearly exclusively, Thunder Polish.  I love their colors, their shapes, sizes and was the perfect price point for someone starting out and not really ready to invest in premium items.  

As I moved to the next section, I used some of my absolute favorite beads, mother of pearl shells.  I use them in so many ways, it's ridiculous!  I LOVE them!  They're INCREDIBLY versatile, unusual, come in a variety of shapes and sizes and lend themselves perfectly to nearly any application you can dream of!  I also used these beads in my 2nd piece of work that was published by BeadStyle magazine!  =)
So, next we have the pretty little lime green ball.... this piece also holds HUGE significance for me... it was a bead used in my FIRST published piece...also in BeadStyle.  When I made the necklace, I wasn't a huge fan of it.... but apparently it's pretty special because another editor asked for the same piece for her magazine. =)  Because it's already been published, I can't use it...but it REALLY changed my life.  It gave me industry validation that what I'm doing is....good.  I felt like a ROCKSTAR!

Which leads to the flower fits so perfectly with the way this last year has been.... a year of excitement, opening myself up to new opportunities, learning new things, building my business, meeting people and blooming into the person I believe God made me to be. 

The next bead is called a "Divine Rock", which fits perfectly in to my story.  I truly believe that God has given me this gift.  He has used the good and bad (notice the matte section which is somewhat fractured in the middle) in my life, including chronic illness, to turn my ashes into beauty for myself and others.  It symbolizes the fact that prior to 4 years ago - I had NO IDEA I had a lick of talent in designing jewelry.  I give ALL the credit to God for this.  I'm SOOOO excited to see where He's 
going to take this!

AND FINALLY - I used Swarovski pearls in blackberry and gold.  I went with Swarovski because one of my dreams is to become a Swarovski Ambassasdor.  I have NO IDEA how to go about this....but it's a dream!  I would just LOVE to be known as someone who is an expert and does fantastic work with their beauties!  I chose the purple (not just because of the flower) but also because it represents royalty, innovation and creativity.  The gold, because it represents opulence, success, generosity, wisdom and knowledge - all attributes of Swarovski Ambassadors =).   OH!  And if you're an Ambassador and could pass some info on...that'd be AMAZING! =)

I CANNOT WAIT to see what my future holds, but I know who holds it.... and I know I'm excited about the ride!

Check out my other friends here:

Honorary Guest and Featured Artist: Patricia Handschuh
Patricia's blog:              The Color of Dreams        
Patricias Etsy:               The Color of Dreams
Hostess: Toltec Jewels   Jewel School Friends

Kay Thomerson            KayzKreationz
Audrey Belanger           Toki No Hourousha

Alicia Marinache           All the Pretty Things
Terry Carter                 TappingFlamingo
Lori Schneider              Bead Addict
Jenny Kyrlach              Wonder and Whimsy
Asri Wahyuingsih          Asri's Beadwork
Dini Bruinsma               Angaza by Changes
Karla Morgan               Texas Pepper Jams
Debbie Rasmussen        A Little of This, A Little of That
Veralynne Malone          Designed by Vera
Kathy Stemke               Vintage Memories Jewelry Design
Mowse Doyle               Mowse Made This
Heather Richter             Desert Jewelry Designs
Lori Poppe                   Adventures in Creativity with LorilliJean
Jayne Capps                Mama's Got To Doodle
Andrea Glick                Zenith Jade Creations
Kathleen Breeding         99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Becky Pancake             Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Karin Martinez              Fairies Market
Miranda Ackerley          Mirandack
Penny Houghton           Smelly Nelly
Carolyn Lawson           Carolyn's Creations
Chris Eisenberg            Wanderware
Christie Murrow          Charis Designs Jewelry
Monique Urquhart        A Half-Baked Notion
Eve Shelby                  Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Cryss Thain                 Here Bead Dragons
Jasvanti Patel               Jewelry By Jasvanti
Nan Smith                   NanMade Handmade Jewelry
Sue Kennedy               SueBeads
Jean Yates                   Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Debbie Rogers             Debbies Treasures
Marybeth Rich             A Few Words From Within the Pines
Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread
Shaia Williams             Shaiha's Ramblings
Kathy Lindemer           Bay Moon Design
Linda Anderson           From the Bead Board
Judy Turner               Silver Rains
Gloria Allen                Gloria Allen Designs
Regina Wood              Ginas-Design
Robin Reed                Artistry HCBD
Mary Goovars            MLH Jewelry Designs  (please visit after Wednesday, April 9)
Marlene Cupo             Amazing Designs
CJ Bauschka              4 His Glory Creations
Robin Showstack        The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Cynthia O'Toole          Sparkles and Sweets
Jael Thorp                 Jael's Art Jewels
Renetha Stanziano       Lamplight Crafts