Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Little Inspiration

                                                                       Source: via Amanda on Pinterest

Go ahead, hate me - but this is the view I want while looking out my window. Personally, I can't wait for the snow to start falling. We had such a non-winter last year. This year, I want to spend countless hours outdoors walking through it, tobogganing, and making snow angels with the kids. I will of course completely take this back by the end of January. :-)

I pulled out my stash of copper pipe the other day, with plans to make more of those pendants I posted on the beadfx blog a while back. However, as usual I got a little distracted, and pulled out my felting supplies.

Not quite sure where I'm going with these yet...will they be little bullet shaped things, or maybe round them out? Whichever way I go, I'll be sure to embellish them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall cold season has begun

Sigh, the kids are back in school for only two weeks before we get hit with some sort of nasty bug the kids brought home from school. All four of us were down yesterday, and thank goodness almost everyone is back to normal today. I've still got Isla at home, as she seemed to get the worst of it.

The bug put a bit of a dent in my studio time, but I did manage to get a little bit of playing in while vegging out on the couch. I've long wanted to make one of those Chan Luu inspired bracelets for myself, but it was so far down on the list of priorities - it's been shelved for a while. I finished mine late last night, and now I'm working on a second one for my mom (the second one is coming up far neater). The girls of course now want one each. I think I may be busy for a while ;-)

I have a love/hate relationship with thread, which is why I very seldom do beadweaving type projects. While working on these bracelets the thread gets tied up and knotted in 'everything' - it even got knotted up on my big toe at one point! Yeesh.  I do love the look of these, and the finished bracelet was worth the frustration of working with the thread. ;-) 

I think I'm going to have to go on a hunt for my button mandrel - These would look fabulous with a nice big colourful handmade glass button!

Thank you DanniandChels for the clear instructions on the video.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Isn't this the most beautiful creature?

Ever? Is it possible to fall in love with a slug? My goodness this little slug is gorgeous - and it's blue! Jewelry/bead inspiration for sure.

from wikipedia

Glaucus atlanticus (common names sea swallow, blue glaucus, blue dragon, blue sea slug and blue ocean slug) is a species of small-sized blue sea slug, a pelagic aeolid nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Glaucidae. This is the only species in the genus Glaucus,[1] but is closely related to Glaucilla marginata, which sometimes is included in Glaucus.[2]"

Image by lostandcold via Flickr

Look Ma - I made something!

I've been puttering around the studio for the last week or so since the kids went back to school. It's been far too long, and I think I needed the adjustment period to reacquaint myself with a place that felt bizarrely foreign. 

I've found all sorts of goodies that I suppose I never got around to listing, or maybe they were earmarked for beadFX - but never made it there either. Some I'll list, and some will actually go to the shop this time. :-)

I spent the entire day yesterday on the torch - It felt wonderful, relaxing, and I tired long before my creativity did. I'm looking forward to spending much of the weekend on the torch - I've missed it, desperately.

On my workbench, I have a large coffee tin filled with glass that is literally about 4-7 years old. Treasures can always be found among these old stashes, but it's questionable as to what exactly they are. I always try to keep incompatible glass separate, but this can is a complete mishmash stash of stuff. I suppose at one point, I was cleaning up my bench - and swept it all in there. Anyway, I came across a lovely rod of a glass that looked as though it might shift colour in the flame - possibly a muted orangey red. Not wanting to mix it with any other glass, I decided that leaves would be perfect - and managed to make a dozen of them. We'll have to see what the kiln fairies give me.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer has flown by...

"The little things?  The little moments?  They aren't little."
-  John Zabat-Zinn 

I'm sure many of you thought I disappeared off the face of the earth - well, I guess I kinda did for a while - at least the online world. I've spent the summer enjoying those little moments of bliss with the girls. They're getting older and starting to grow into independent, funny, smart, and thoroughly enchanting little people. I knew this time was the most precious, and I've cherished every single moment - including the times I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration, or absolute terror. (another story for another time)

They're back at school and I'm both relieved and saddened. I'll miss the days of sleeping in, watching movies, long walks, reading countless fairy books, and of course spending the hot afternoons by the pool.

I am looking forward to getting back into the studio - It's been so long, I'm almost afraid I won't know what to do when I get down there. However, it's all neat and tidy - and I plan to fire things up tonight and tomorrow. No particular goal in mind - just to create 'something'

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The blossoms have bloomed

I finally stopped making more blossoms long enough to actually list some on etsy. The weather has been so lovely - my magnolia is blooming, the apple trees and the beauty bush are budding, and I'm so looking forward to the gorgeous displays of pink blossoms in the garden.

I really need to get out there and do a spring clean up. The nice weather arrived much earlier than usual, and the weeds are already starting to take over the garden. Now, if I could only enlist the help of the kids...I know....I'm dreaming ;-)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Blossoms

Coming soon to etsy - as soon as I can stop making more long enough to clean and photograph them ;-)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Thought I'd share a shot taken by my budding 8 year old photographer.She spent a few hours wandering the neighbourhood taking photo's for a social studies project. I love the colours in this one - the red really pops.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Citrus Berry

Just finished an inspiration for beadfx - Citrus Berry. I love how the bright pop of orange changes the feel from holiday-ish to something more fun and casual - and the dangles! Super long jingly dangles... :-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm still here!

Yikes - it's been far too long again. I've been crazy busy over the past month, as we've started some home cleanup projects, visiting family members, kids crazy schedules, and so on. I don't really have too much to post about other than that I am in fact still here, and really itching to get back into the studio.

In the last month I've barely spent any time down there other than to create some Inspirations for beadFX.

I did manage to get these made up, and I really like the design, but I think they may be a bit too heavy to wear comfortably.

And another positive note - I have a camera again! I think I may just spent the next two weeks worth of evenings sequestered in the studio, and see what I can come up with. I need a serious dose of creative inspiration. Etsy updates coming when I actually have something new to show ;-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bust Form Challenge - done!

I'm almost finished my bust form. I think a few more modifications might be in order. What do you think?

Check out the beadFX blog for details.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pinterest made my day

And of course all the wonderful folks who pinned and repinned!

Quite a while ago, I wrote a blog post on how to make copper pipe pendants - I wrote this before Pinterest even existed (I think)...  Doing a search today on more from, I discovered this:

Wow! And it just kept going and going. I guess I should dig out the copper pipe and make some more of these. LOL

More experimenting with metalFX

I've just published a blog post on beadFX with a little more information regarding the process used to embellish the pewter clasp. Have a look on the beadFX blog if you're curious about the process. It's quite a bit of fun!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Close up (sorta) of the clasp

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments on the bead soup jewellery! I had so much fun making those pieces - including the leather bracelet, which was a hilarious disaster. LOL

My picture taking ability is somewhat limited. I don't have an actual working camera, just my iphone. Sometimes I seem to be able to take a somewhat decent pic, most times not. They always look fine on the screen, until I bring it into photoshop elements - where I can see just how bad they are ;-)

 A few of you commented that you would like to see a close up of the clasp - Hopefully, this helps a bit. The picture still isn't great, but is much better than the last one.

I used a silvery nail polish, painting one section at a time. While the  polish is still wet, I brushed on the metalFX,
using a paintbrush. Once the polish is dry - the metalFX stays in place. For a more permanent (somewhat) finish - coat with a spray lacquer. 

I plan to do some more experimenting later this week with using clear nailpolish as a base. I think it will give a more subtle sheen.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hoppity, Hop!

Finally, it's reveal day! I've had so much fun participating in the blog hop, and I can't wait to participate in the next one as well. Lorelei sent me a fabulous collection of beads - What luck to get some an awesome partner!

Here's what I got:

Fiber - Silk Ribbon
         - Silk Cording
         - Fluffy Ribbon
         - Waxed Linen in 2 colours

Strands - Czech Glass Coins
             - Wood Tubes
             - Wood Rondelles

Headpins - Lampwork Headpins from KelleysBeads

Pewter - Mamacita Beadworks

Ceramic - Charm pair, shards - Marsha Neal Studio
              - Large pendant - Round Rabbit Extra
              - Bird & Egg - Summer Studios
              - Dotted Round, Connector - Gaea

I'll admit, the fibers stumped me for a bit, as I've never used any sort of fibers before really. They are so much fun to work with! I've now got quite a list on my must buy one day list ...which is far too long as it is. :-)

I've accented the pewter clasp above with nailpolish and metalFX - I wrote a bit about the process in an inspiration I did for beadFX. You can't really tell in the picture above, but I used wild lime metalFX to match the connector from Gaea. ...And the bird - Awesome!!!

My favourite earrings!!!

Ok, the leather was a huge struggle. Lol... My sewing skills are pretty pathetic. Snort. The bracelet looks great on, but most certainly will never be sold ;-)

I love using button closures for bracelets, and the handmade headpin really added a nice pop of colour.

I actually squealed in delight when I saw this pendant. I've long, long been admiring the beads and components @ round rabbit. This necklace is quite long - I used the entire length of the silk. It's just tied into a small bow at the back.

Thank you Lorelei again for being such an amazing partner, and of course a huge shout out to Lori for organizing this whole thing!

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs

32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)

41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)

76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reveal day tomorrow!

Yes, I've been awfully quiet these last few weeks. A big case of far too much to do, and nowhere near enough time to complete it all. - nothing new :-)  Of course, tomorrow (March 3rd) is reveal day for the Bead Soup Blog party! 200 artists will be revealing their designs all on one day. I can't to see what everyone has created! The goodies I've made with the fabulous selection of beads and fibers that Lorelei sent me will be posted here tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bead Soup has arrived!

I just got Lorelei's box in the mail. The box itself is gorgeous with owls. It will be perfect to carry the beads in that I take to beadFX regularly to sell in the shop, much better than the zip lock baggie I usually use. :-)  Be sure to check out Lorelei's blog later today for her post on what I sent over to her.

Thank you Lorelei. You truly spoiled me - I adore everything you sent!

Now, onto the goodies!

Scrumptious art beads!
Lampwork headpins from Kelleysbeads
Pewter toggle and buttons from Mamacita Beadworks
Ceramic charm pair and shards from Marsha Neal Studio
Large pendant from Round Rabbit Extra
Bird and Egg from Summer Studios Etc
connector from Gaea

Czech glass and wood beads

Silk and fluffy ribbon!

Coral suede, and waxed linen

So many possibilities for creating! Stay tuned for the Blog hop party on March 3rd. Lorelei and I will reveal our creations on that date.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2 new hearts

I managed to get up 2 new awesome hearts on etsy. I'm smitten with them for the moment, and about to head back down to the studio to make some more, along with dogtags, and maybe some buttons for those Chan Luu inspired bracelets. I think I need to make myself one of those!

I'm still having camera issues. I just can't get a decent picture out of the loaned camera. It's quite old, and every single picture is coming up insanely blurry. These two were taken on my iphone, which seems to work ok for the bronze items, but not for the lampwork beads.  I have a whole whack of beads to post, but they'll have to wait until I get my new camera. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Evil Sneak Peek

 I know, I know.... Here ya go Lorelei! These are now on their way to you.  This is so much fun :-)  For those of you just tuning in. Lorelei and I are partners in the 5th Bead Soup Blog party. Be sure to check out the link to see all of the participants.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Angry kitty

Don't ever run out of cat food...even for a few minutes. Yeesh, you'd think we were starving him. The dog ate all of the cat food last night, and while hubby is off to buy more, he just can't get here fast enough. Sam is currently trying to assassinate me by getting under my feet, and swatting and biting at my ankles. So much for my cute little kitten. The sweetest thing ever - unless he's hungry ;-)

A camera!

Whew, Thank you to my wonderful sis in law for the loan of hers! New etsy listings coming up on Sunday!  Both shops will be getting an update, mostly though I've got tons of beads and components for the bead and finding shop.

Today is studio day. I've got a kiln load of bronze to fire, a torch session, and my most important task is of course to finally decide exactly what I'm sending to Lorelei. Her package is shipping out on Monday. I'll post a little teaser then :-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

No etsy listings for a bit

I mentioned before that my camera is broken.  Well, I just spent the last hour trying to get decent pictures of jewelry and beads with my iPhone.  It's just not happening. While I can certainly get a decent enough pic of a group of things to post on the blog. The close ups are beyond terrible.   I will continue to work on new goodies, and as soon as I get my new camera I'll plan for a massive update on both shops. As much as I'm tempted to run out and get a cheap camera, I think it's best to wait and get the DSLR that I really want. I should have it by sometime in early February - so really, only a few more weeks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kids crafting weekend

This past weekend was primarily spent indoors. 1) It was far too cold to actually go out. Saturday I think it dipped to -20! Sunday wasn't much better. The kids and I pulled out the craft supplies and made these:

We had so much fun! These were made with the regular cheapo craft felt you can find at Michaels. Of course, I'm now lusting over the sumptuous looking  pure wool felt I've found on etsy. I just can't decide which colours I want. Some of the shops I've found stock between 50 and 70 colours. I want them all! I will behave though :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party!

I made it in! I was trying not to keep my hopes up, as there were of course so many entries, and only 200 possible participants. For once, I was one of the lucky ones, and even luckier - my partner is non other than the awesome Lorelei. 

Hmmm, now to think about what goodies to send her! Obviously, it's going to have to be something pretty fantastic. I cant wait to see what she does with whatever I come up with. 

In other less fabulous news, my camera is still broken. I can't decide if I should wait and save up for the camera I actually want, or just go get a cheap camera until I can afford the one I actually want. Tomorrow, I'll see if I can get a decent picture from my new iPhone. The camera on the newer version is better than the old one, but will it be good enough? I have lots of stuff to post on etsy, so I think I'll give it a shot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Yup, see that above? That's what I get when I try to take a picture from my newish camera. Sigh....I've been on a roll trying to get lots of goodies ready for etsy, as this year was the year I was really going to focus on my jewelry/beads again.  According to some research, this problem is fixable by Canon, but will cost about the same as a new camera.

Hubby was going to buy me a new DSLR for my birthday,  to replace to SLR that was getting a little old (plus, I lost the battery charger for it). A new battery charger for the SLR I have is very specific and hard to find. The cheapest I found was $120 plus shipping.  Since my birthday is not until March, I think I'll either be getting a very early birthday present, or will have to suck it up and buy a new one myself. With the work I do, not having a camera is simply not an option. I can't work without a camera...  Off to hunt kijiji. Etsy updates are on hold til I find a new one. I'll still be making stuff in the meantime!

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's time....

                                                                     Source: via frecklesqueak on Pinterest

A new year finally. 2011 kinda sucked to be honest. I'm glad it's over, and more than ready to move on. Today is the first day the kids are back at school, and I just realized that it's completely quiet. I was only tempted momentarily to turn on some music, or the news as background noise while I work. It's blissful the silence, and I think I'll savor it a wee bit longer.

I'm looking forward to the new year, and making some fairly dramatic changes in my life. One, I need to work on time management. Although I work from home, I work on three completely different projects. Two are completely creative, but one of them has me working on all sorts of tasks - everything from data entry, to writing, to design, to customer service. I love it all, but need to better fit the tasks into very specific time slots. It's been too many years of erratic sleeping, and possibly working too much (but not very efficiently). That's my goal for this week - come up with a workable time management plan, and stick to it.

With the erratic sleeping, also came erratic eating. I'm very good about giving the girls healthy meals and snacks. Unfortunately, they eat far better than I do! Dinner is at 6 for them (and us), but when you're still awake at three am - it's too easy to eat again. I can guarantee you, it's not something healthy at that point. ;-) A friend posted a picture of me on facebook from New Years eve. I can't tell you how much I was tempted to delete it. Really, my god...what has happened to me? I think it sometimes takes a picture like that to really give yourself a kick in the ass. I mean come on, there is really no excuse for that. Yeah, I've been busy, and stressed out, and have a recurring health issue...blah, blah, blah... I can come up with excuses for days! It's time to just snap out of it. So that's changing as well - my diet, and damn it, I'll get some exercise somehow.

I also can't wait to really get back in the studio. Bear with me for a week or so while I sort out how I'm going to manage my time both with jewelry/beadmaking, and my other two projects. I'm sure I'll figure it out. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party

Signups have begun! The blog party is limited to 200 participants this time around, with the participants being chosen by lottery. I've put my name in, and fingers are crossed that I get a spot!

In other news, I have an increasing pile of goodies to both photograph, and list on etsy. I'll admit, that the editing and listing process is far from my favourite part of the online selling process - and I have a bad habit of letting it pile up to gargantuan proportions, while I continue to blissfully work away in my studio creating even more items to add to the pile. ;-) I've decided that once that number passes 10 (and we're well past that), I will not allow myself to make anything else until they're listed. Both shops will be getting updates today! .... once I've had more coffee.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Latest batch of fast fire bronze

Squeeee! I'm a little excited ;-) Not so much for the pieces themselves (although, I love how they came out), but mainly for the fact that I've had yet another completely successful firing of the fast fire bronze. I'm now hooked, and I can move past the testing phase. In batches past, I was nervous about spending too much time creating designs, that may/or may not survive the firing process. And lets face it, simple cutouts with stamped texture gets more than a little boring.

I made these last night while watching a few episodes of Work of Art - a reality TV show similar to the project runway theme. While I generally hate reality TV (and this show really isn't much better), I did find I was inspired to create. Made it though 5 episodes - I think I'll break open another pack of clay tonight and watch the rest ;-)

These will be going up on the jenniferbeads etsy site soonish. Still need to clean them up a bit.