Friday, August 24, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Hop - Summer 2012 - Reveal 3!

And this is the day for the final and biggest reveal of this Bead Soup Blog Hop.

First off: Lori Anderson: THANK YOU SO MUCH! This is a huge effort and awesomely executed. Thank you for all your hard work, and caring so much about all of us! It is a big deal for all of us :)

So what is the Bead Soup Blog Hop?

It is the brain child of Lori Anderson of Pretty Things.
The Bead Soup Blog Party is about exchanging beads with a person, a "bead soup" as it were, and you have no idea what you'll get, so it will help push you out of your comfort zone, and have you think about beads you may never have chosen yourself.

This is my second time participating, and the 6th time Lori is hosting it. It just gets bigger and bigger every time. 400 participants this time around, and so she had to break the hop into 3 reveal dates.

My partner this time is Kathy Combs of Torched in Texas. A quick recap of what she sent to me:



I tried to make something from all of the components, but Kathy really spoiled me! This loot will last for a long time :)

I will show you my pieces in the order in which I made them.

First were these earrings:

I had not planned them. I had wanted to make a necklace that day, so laid out all my soup ingredients and observed them. I noticed the headpins, and started playing. I made one coil and liked it. Thought it would look nice in an earring. Started to grab the wire Kathy gave me to make jumprings, and noticed that she already made them for me. So I was one step ahead...but stuck right after that. I had no other copper findings. I would need to either buy or make earwires. I went to Michaels and Walmart that same day and bought some copper supplies. I got this 20 gauge wire that I thought to use. It is a bright shiny pink, but I had no other choice at that point, and made these. I love how the earwire turned out. It has a tiny AB seed bead, matches perfectly with the enameled ends of the headpins. Here's a closer look:

I rather like the contrast of the two wire finishes, so am still debating whether I want to do something about the shiny part or not.

Next up, I had to decide which focal to use first. The one with the two tubes was my favorite, because of the luscious colors and the unusual shape. I toyed with a few different ideas and finally ended up with this.

I made this little dangle first.

I am so in love with those swarovski beads! Gorgeous, gorgeous, utterly gorgeous!

The dangle I attached to a ring I made from the copper wire Kathy gave me. (I am hoarding that wire, it is a very precious thing for me right now!). Like this:

I had a tough time deciding how I should orient the pendant. Like this, or sideways, making it look like a lariat. I don't remember why I decided on this one ;-)

I used some more of the gorgeous, gorgeous, utterly gorgeous swarovskis and the copper clasp Kathy made for me, and finished off the necklace:

It is unbelivably beautiful! The colors are SO pretty, I can't stop looking at it and gushing! I wore it to work the day I made it. Sadly, none of the gals at my new office noticed it. I am still a quiet mouse there, and didn't strut around, grabbing people and showing it off like I used to at my previous company. But when I went to pick up lunch, the cashier was speaking to my neck. My friends think she was talking to something below that, but I know it was the necklace. I just know it! I wore it again today to the mall, and three people asked me about it. So there!

Yeah, yeah, I know you want to see how it looks around a neck...patience, my dear. Here's a picture:

I am not parting with this set. Ever. Not even if someone really, really wants it. And that is something. Because I melt within half a second and give my things away.

And lastly, the-one-I-started-off-not-liking-but-now-I-do:

I decided to use the square focal for a bracelet. Bracelets are very difficult for me to make. Hard to get the size right, hard to make them sit, and hard to get any form of design in when it is for my tiny wrist.
But that is what I did make.

I decided to use the tiny silver beads and clasp that Kathy sent. And to use my brown cotton cord. When I tried sticking the cord into the focal, I realized that the holes were big enough for the cord on one side, and not big enough on the other side. So I decided I will have cord on one side and wire on the other. The two would meet at the clasp.

After a tiny debate about how to do this, I decided to make my very own itty-bitty clasps. I LOVED the one Kathy made, so inspired by that, I made these:

I wanted to make the bracelet half-cord, half, err...something else. I looked for beads that would go with the focal. Found these from a bead packet I got from Lisa of Pineridge Treasures.

I strung the cord with the triangle, silver beads, and finished off the bracelet.

Here's how it looks upon wearing.(Yeah, that's a rolling pin "wearing" my bracelet)
Side 1:

Side 2:

All laid out:

I didn't like it at all. At all. But I decided to wear it to work yesterday. After all it is my baby, I should give it some love. If not me, then who, right? So I wore it all day, and started to like it. The clasps look pretty cool all laid out along my hand. And it fit well and was sitting just right.

Here is everything all together:

One again thanking Lori for hosting, and Kathy for playing with me :-)

Tanya of FusionMuse is putting on this massive effort to put all the participants, their bio and at least one pic from the reveal all in one place. (Thank you, Tanya!!!). Here's the link

Here are the other participants of the third reveal:
Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog
Sally Anderson, Wild Sally Road
Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs
Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jewelry Making: So easy, a child could do it!

And its true! I taught my 11 year old niece and a friend taught her 8 year old daughter. And not just stringing, or macarame, but actually working with wire, making loops, and creating their very own designs!

Jennifer Cameron over at Art Jewelry Elements is hosting a blog hop to help folks overcome their fear of starting out...making lampwork beads in her case. Participants will be writing about how they started, and where they are now. A visual journey full of learning!

I became a jewelry artist quite by accident. I  was heavily into crochet during the beginning of 2011. Had been giving gifts (scarves...nothing else, mind you) to folks that I knew would have opportunity to wear them, and those who I knew would not be crocheting themselves. A friend, who knew how to crochet, one day joked and asked, "So when are you going to make something for me"? I thought about it, and decided to make her some crochet earrings (I had NO clue how to do this...but the decision was made). I was planning on surprising her, and it was all hush-hush. I started looking for patterns online, and eventually reached this post on this blog: Un Jardin De Hilo: Crochet Flower Earrings

This lady has done some AMAZING work! And her blog led me to her etsy store, droolworthy eyecandy!
While I was browsing her store, my friend walks by and in the next 15 minutes or so, we decide we need to have an etsy shop of our own...we could make things like these! Within the week, we shopped for supplies, figured out how to make basic earrings. Eventually my friend decided that she could not take this up at this time. I was a bit disappointed, but had these supplies on hand, so played with it a bit, and came up with first pair of earrings!

My very first design! Must say I still love these, and should make another pair for the sake of nostalgia!

This is my first necklace I go with the earrings. (I gave the earrings and necklace to different people!)

And this is the first pair I SOLD!

I can't tell you HOW big an urge I have to "fix" these photos. But that would be cheating. Because THIS is how I started in Feb 2011.

These are pics of my "first" ones. For more of my earlier designs, hop over to this post I did last year when I started my store.

I had my first jewelry exhibition at my friend's home in December 2011. It was a huge hit and I finally started to think about my own store. Some pics of jewelry I made for that exhibition:

More pics here: For the Project Why Benefit Exhibition/Sale

Right around that time, I signed up for my first ever Bead Soup Blog Hop! That was by far the best thing I have done for myself! I have made so many friends through the Bead Soup Cafe on Facebook, and later the Creative Bead Chat group. I made new friends, learned new techniques, learned about art beads, and have grown in leaps and bounds since then. The latest accomplishment is being published in Stringing Magazine!

What I have learned through this one and half year is this:
1) There is no need to be afraid. You have an idea, try to find ways to implement it. If you can't find it, innovate, try to figure it out yourself. The brown ribbon necklace up there? I did that without reading anything about using fiber and ribbons in jewelry. I knew what I wanted to do, and do it I would! In fact most of the work in that exhibition was purely out of my own head. I was not part of pinterest or FB groups or had any other inspiration pictures. All I had was my materials.

2) Practice: Even if you "know" a technique, you need to practice it to make it presentable (there is no such thing as perfect). I believe all my designs, early and recent, are quite creative. (I have never, to date, created something entirely out of a tutorial, my ADD wouldn't let me). But the early ones are not "finished" as nicely. The experience of doing it over and over and over is one of great value!

3) Ask questions: I am amazed, grateful and humbled by how giving the beading community is. I have learned so much by simply asking questions. One question and I have had so many helping hands! Its unbelievable!

4) Sign up for challenges: There are SO many challenges and blog hops being hosted. Just get on the bandwagon and join in the fun! This is a very good way to get outside your little box and also gain some visibility! This last challenge I did really pushed me way out of my box :)

5) Help others: Even if you are a newbie, I bet there is something you can help out with. So help! Being there for each other is what makes the beading community thrive!

6) Photography is important, and easy: Go look at the previous pictures in this post. And now I will let these other pics do the explaining for this lesson!

You can find more of my work on the Facebook page for Sadafulee.

This post is getting rather long, so I will wind up here. Do visit other participants and join them in their journeys too!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pretty Links that is such a generic name for a blog post.
I read today that the title of a blog post is very important as that is the first thing a search engine looks at.
Can you guess which has been the most popular post on my blog?
The one with this title: "Cocktail Hour Blog Hop: Manhattan". Ha!

So from now on, I am going to try to make my blog titles more "searchable"

I know, this title doesn't really say much about what I am going to say ;-) Anyhoo...

Today is the reveal day for the Blogging Link Challenge set for 20 of us by Peggy Johnson of the Charm Barn.

She sent me this:

I was to make something with these really amazingly beautiful tortoise shell finish acrylic links. She sent this color to 10 of us and black ones to the other 10. Her only requirement was that we use the links so that they are "visible" when the piece is worn. They need not be the focal point, but they should be an important part.

She is going to put up pictures of everyone's creation and is also hosting a little contest on her blog. You get to choose two of your favorite designs.

I fell in love with these links the minute I saw them. But. Yeah, there's a but. They are BIG! Bigger than anything I have ever used! Each link is at least an inch long. Peggy has made bracelets out of them, so that was definitely something I was not going to make. A single link sat perfectly snug on my finger, and would have made a SUPER ring. But. Yeah, another one. But, I don't know how to make even a simple wire ring. This would certainly be more complicated. I was thinking maybe putting a bead in the center and then using stretchy elastic as the actual band. Oh well, we'll see. I still have some links left to try that idea out.

Are you losing patience here and want me to move on to what I DID make? Alright, alright, I will show you. It is not like anything I have ever made before. And yet, is my mostest, favoritest necklace yet.

See...scroll down a bit, you will agree too!

The links had slight color variations in them, which I absolutely loved! I used everything chunky...a big heart, large split rings and swivel lobster clasps...the kind used in key chains.

Here's a pic on a bust, so you can get an idea of the size.

This has been the most difficult challenge for me, but I enjoyed every bit of it.
If you would like to get some for yourself, here's her store: Willow Branch Beads 

Do visit the other participants to see what they have made. This is such an unusual component, I promise you will see lots of eye candy!

Shelley Graham Turner  -
Miranda Ackerley -
Denielle Hagerman  -
Janeen Sorensen  -
Audrey BĂ©langer  -

I hope Peggy's contest is up and running when you read this. If not, do check back later!

How I Found My Way Into "Jewelry Stringing" Magazine

Edited to add a section in the end for Chloe's comments for international artists.


Let me start off with thanking everyone who joined me in my crazy excitement over getting published. That is everyone who left comments on my blog and on Facebook and sent emails. A big hug back to you all, I feel much loved :-)

A lot of people asked me HOW I got my design published. While I remember what all I did to get there, I sort of forgot why I wanted to get published in the first place! I had started the process when I had not even seen a jewelry design magazine before, the Bead Soup Cafe and Creative Bead Chat groups had not yet been started on Facebook, and I was less than a year old in this field. So even I was wondering about what made me do it. Thankfully, I had written a blog post about it :)
The question at that time was should I Submit My Designs To Stringing Magazine?
You will have to go read that post to find out more ;-)

The magazine publishes their call for submissions wayyyy ahead of time. When I looked, they had put up guidelines and themes for the entire year of 2012. I was too late for Spring and Summer, but was in time for Fall and Winter. What impressed me was the prep-work they did! For an issue coming out in September, they set the submission deadline in March. 6 months!

There were two ways to send in the submissions:
1) Pre-submission by email: You can submit pictures of your projects to them. The deadline for this is about two weeks before the "in office" deadlines. They review the pictures and respond back if they want to look at anything for further consideration. This does not guarantee that the pieces will be included, just means that they would like to take a closer look.
2) Just send everything, the piece, the instructions, everything to them directly without the pre-screening.

I went with option 1.

The Fall themes were: Jewelry made with multiple strands, clasp as focal, oversized beads, silk cord or earth tones.

The Winter themes were:  Jewelry made with fire-polished beads, a geometric motif, or a lacy look; choker-style necklaces.

They were also looking for earrings and bracelets for the galleries. Now, when I submitted, I had not actually SEEN the magazine before, so I had no idea what galleries these were! But I sent in my pictures anyway.

For Fall, I sent these two earrings that I made out of clasps. I guess I had completely misunderstood the theme. They were looking for necklaces and bracelets with the theme, and I sent them earrings!

For Winter, I sent in this necklace (at least with this one, I was not too far off what they wanted)
(psst...isn't this set gorgeous?)

Before I tell you what happened next, I have to say this: The folks at Stringing mag are THE best! Very helpful and friendly, and extremely prompt!

So I emailed these pictures and they got back to me the next day that they have received my submission, and will get back to me when they wrap up with their Spring/Summer work. About 10 days later, they wrote back, asking me to send in the chain earrings and the lace necklace, along with instructions for the necklace. Their submissions guidelines has sample instructions, so writing it up following that is quite easy.

I mailed the pieces to them sometime towards the end of Feb. I heard back from them beginning of April that the earrings were selected. They were hanging on to the necklace until they got around to working on their Winter issue. There was some paperwork that we got out of the way in May (contracts and tax forms, etc). And I got the magazine in my hands in August. The necklace was not selected and they sent it back to me along with the necklace.

So that was my story. I emailed them quite a lot with all kinds of questions, and they were always very patient and courteous and friendly (you can tell I can go on for a while about how much I liked working with them) every time.

Brenda Sue at B'Sue Boutiques has also done a blog post about submitting to Stringing: Don't Make It Hard. As she says, it is quite easy! So go for it!

Stringing just put up their guidelines for Spring 2013 submissions. Do take a look and go ahead, take the first step :-)

I am going to ask Chloe from Interweave to drop by here and comment in case I have missed out anything.

Here are links to submission forms for some other magazines too if you would like to explore:
Bead Trends: I had submitted once to them, never heard back
Bead Style: I have never submitted here

These are the ones I know of and have looked at. I bet you can go to the website of your favorite magazine and find their guidelines.

I would like to end with: magazines are always looking for fresh ideas and designers, and actually do look forward to seeing your work. So don't be scared, shy or whatever else it is that is holding you back. Just do it :-)

Note for international submissions:
Good question.

We don’t have any special instructions for international submissions per se, but there can be some trickiness surrounding shipping to and from other countries. Customs laws are different in pretty much every country, and often international contributors will notify us of any special shipping methods/labeling that needs to happen on our end. We have heard that in some countries there are hefty fees that need to be paid before packages containing returned jewelry submissions can be claimed by their authors. It is a good idea for international artists to look into the specific customs laws/fees in their country so that they know what to expect and so that we can do everything in our power to make the shipping process a smooth in both directions.


Chloe Chatenever
Assistant Editor
Jewelry Stringing Magazine
(970) 776-1468


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


From this day on, this blog belongs to a published designer. No, no, it is still mine. I am the published designer :-)

Yup, you read that right! Just received my copy of the Fall issue of Stringing magazine.

I had been waiting to get it for a few weeks now...a lot of my designer friends already have theirs.
I came home to this sitting on my doorstep:

I hurried inside, took a picture (well, its an ordinary looking package, but its a very big deal for me!), and opened it to find this:

I quickly took a picture (well, its an ordinary looking package, but its a very big deal for me!), and opened it to find this:

This picture I did not take. My friend Amy of Copper Diem sent the pic to me last week when she got her copy and she and I both are impatient people and didn't want me to wait for me to get my copy to see the page!

Then, I hurried onto page 91, to find this:

Proof that earring number 4 is MINE! Mine, mine, mine!
Yeah, am going a bit nuts about this, but am so super excited :-)

Here's a bigger picture of my earrings:

Wow...such an old picture, am glad am doing better with pics these days!

Ok, am done :-) You may now begin congratulating me ;-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

There's a GOOD reason for everything!

I was sick most of last week with bad sinus infection. It comes and goes as it pleases, its actually a frequent visitor of mine. One that I am sick of. Literally. Pun intended!

I was surrounded with aloe infused Kleenex for the good part of the week, cursing the infection, thankful for the Kleenex. This was me

And now, as I write this with my hands still shaking, I am saying, I am glad I was sick!

One other thing: I am quite well known for cluttering. Never a good thing. But in this story, it was a good thing!

I know you are very curious.

I dressed up all nice and dandy, in a cute little black and white skirt, and spiky silver-grey sandals (you get the idea, I was basically quite happy with myself). Am driving merrily on my way to work on a busy expressway, where I can't really pull up on the shoulder. And I feel something lightly touch my knee. 
I didn't see what it was, but I did see a strand of spider web. Not sure how I stayed calm enough to drive to the next exit and pull over. It was a small, dingy street with not a single parking spot available. I know, so lucky, right! I actually parked in front of a gate not caring who comes out of it. Won't be as bad as a spider.
So, right, I pull up, put the car in "Park", and am about to switch off the ignition, when I see this ON THE KEY!

(While I love taking pictures, and I love blogging: I did not click that picture. It was the exact same species. Fat and juicy. **shudder**)

Now you can see why my hands are still shaking!

Now you can see why me being sick was such a good thing to happen to me. There was a big wad of Kleenex lying there in the cup holder. And that's where me not cleaning up after myself turned out to be a good thing as well. While I was really tense seeing the thing crawling so close to my leg, I am quite an expert at killing spiders. They walk into our home all the time, and scare the hubby witless. So its my job to take care of them. I picked up the spider with the Kleenex and threw it out in the bushes. I know I littered, but please cut me some slack for it, ok? Just for today? Ok?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beads for blogging - the finished pieces

I know, I know, I am very very late in writing up this post. But better late than never, right?
This time I will blame Facebook for my tardiness. I had already shared the pics there, so didn't feel the urge to write up a blog post.


Before I begin, I encourage you to visit Tanya's blog and sign up to get your own set of beads if you are into making jewelry too. Here's the link to sign up: Sign up here
Tanya is doing this as a way to "pay it forward". Which has worked out well with me, since one necklace is going to a friend and her newborn baby, and the other two pieces I am putting up for sale, with proceeds going to Project Why.

Here's a recap of what Tanya of  Fusion Muse sent me:

I managed to use most of them. First started with the green heart and amber resin beads. I wrote about my concerns about the nursing necklace in this post. Thankfully, my friend liked the pendant, and went on to finish the necklace. The challenge was the cord. I didn't want to use plain cotton cord, the pendant was heavy, if the baby pulled at it, it would hurt mommy. I thought of making a square-knot cord like I did here.
I went to the store to buy the thread for it. Michaels didn't have anything in the color I wanted. But I did find a really pretty ribbon. So I settled for that. And finished off the it is..

 I am loving the ribbon. It is giving the necessary support, and is subtle enough to not be overwhelming. Me happy :-) Here's another pic.

Next up, I worked with the multi-colored mother-of-pearl beads. Had so much fun with them! I got to use my new velvet thread with it :-)

The pendant is by Beth Nadler. And fits very well with this month's Art Jewelry Elements theme :-)

Last, I used the little turquoise beads. I am SO in love with these earrings!

I got to use ALL my favorite colors, and my favorite new velvet thread :-)

Thanks Tanya for this bundle of fun! I totally, totally enjoyed working with all you sent to me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I think I have a problem with learning. (Yeah, I know, that sounds strange!)

I see SO many things that I would like to learn to do myself. I make plans, I dream, sometimes I even buy supplies. And then I move on to the next fancy, new thing to dream about.

But I am noticing that blogging and Facebook are helping (imagine that! FB is helping with something. I thought its sole purpose of existence was to eat up all your time!). Anyway, blogging and FB are helping me a little bit with it.

I learnt macrame knotting (only ONE kind so far though) because of a blog post I saw, and can't find anymore. I posted on FB that I was trying to find it. So many people helped me with links and tutorials, that I was pretty much shamed into learning. How can I let all their efforts in helping me go waste. So this is what I learnt that time...the basic square knot.

Next up, was hoops. And wire wrapping. I will be a bit nice to myself and say that I DID try both these things before and failed miserably. The hoops: because I didn't know what kind of wire to use, and wrapping, because I felt I needed three (four would be better) hands to do it.

Then Shel of MiShel Designs...ok, you need a short break from MY blog and detour onto hers. You will thank me for sharing all that eye candy!

Welcome back, isn't MiShel awesome!!!

So she put up this tutorial for making hoops, and added these delicious designs of various things you could do with them. Tutorial is here. Oh, don't go back there again, let me finish what I am saying...
I commented on the tutorial and asked her a few questions. She was SO helpful, that I HAD to give it a try. I did just that yesterday. The tips she gave me worked perfectly, just like she had mentioned. Basic hoop made, I felt I needed to add wire-wrapping to it, like she had for some of her designs.  Alicia of All The Pretty Things had been giving me wire wrapping tips, so I put them to use.

Not entirely happy with the first attempt at both..the hoop and the wrapping. The hoops are wobbly, the wrapping is uneven. But I know where I need to make changes the next time around. Am glad I tried it out finally!

Here's the result. Its not done yet, but here it is:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The view from their window...

Mrs Bakshi of Project Why just shared this slideshow. It is a photography project made by the 4th and 5th grade kids studying there. Some amazing shots of friends, family, games they play, their lives and their environment, and lastly of the little kid photographers themselves.

These photographs may not win awards and accolades, but they are an amazing view of the world from their eyes, something a lot of us may not see...what struck me most was the "water" and "food" sections.
And the "family" sections. You can feel the love in their eyes!