Monday, September 9, 2013

Art Bead Scene Blog Challenge for September "The Autumn"

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the colors in the changing leaves and the spicy musky smell of the woods as it prepares for a long winter.  Fall can also be so unpredictable; one day mother nature will offer you a bright sunny crisp day and the next will be blustery with a snow flake or two dancing among the rain drops.  At the same time, Fall is one of my least favorite seasons because I know winter is just around the corner and I dread the below zero weather that is all too common in the northern states.

Art Bead Scene Blog has another beautiful painting/inspiration for their monthly challenge.  It sort of reminds me of a vintage barkcloth.  The woman in the painting has a Rubenesque Dionysus look to her.   She's leaning back seductively as to be seducing Autumn into it's arrival.  I love the rich earthy colors in this piece and the predominant gold tone with contrasting colors of red and green.  Brandi Hussey added the color palette to this piece - I love the colors she has highlighted.  Heather Powers at Art Bead Scene Blog has posted a lovely detailed description of this painting and its artist on the site

I am not certain how I am going to approach the challenge this month.  I think there are a few directions I could go in.  I will keep you posted as I decide.   Let me know what you think.

Autumn from  "The Seasons (series)", 1896
Alphonse Mucha 
Oil on Panel

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Inspiration for the Weekend

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant
                                                                                                         Robert Louis Stevenson


An additional thought....

 - I have been following a blog site called "Flourish and Thrive" by Tracy and Robin for a couple of months now and I think they have some great business advice.  They also offer a few on-line classes.  This newest business training is "free" and it is called "20 sales in 20 days".  I am going to share a link with you, so if you are interested, check it out.  I will tell you - it is part of a challenge called "20 sales in 20 days".  Enrollment for the challenge ends on September 27, and training begins on September 30th.  I think the training will be helpful and informative - who couldn't use 20 sales in 20 days...             Link: 

I also found a blog site called "Build a Better Creative Business" They also have great advice and I think there is a post about pricing your jewelry, which has some helpful tips. 

Have a great weekend - and Let me know what you think...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Using Paper Garden Ephemera Beads - Idea #3 & 4

Here is another example of a bracelet.  It is a simple bronze colored 2mm leather cord strung through the filigree wrap.  As you can see I took two of the petals and rolled them over to form a tube and strung the leather cord through them.  I think you could add large hole beads/heishi, braid or wrap cotton or linen cord onto them - or whatever comes to mind.  Forgive me for using a silver button - I think a antiqued gold-tone or brass button would have worked better - but I could not find one to save my skin - guess I will have to order some.

With the next idea, I have used a rich dark olive green 1" wide leather strap.  I did not put a clasp or closure on it, however, Tierra Cast makes some great closures for leather.  I could see the ends folded over and riveted with an E or Z hook or a slide added to the ends.  I think there are so many things you could do with a leather band, including riveting large hole heishi to it.  I think you could also stamp some words or phrases onto it.  You could even trace a pattern onto the band, take an X-acto knife and cut out a few windows.   

Let me know what you think....

Ideas for Using Paper Garden Beads #2

I designed this lovely simple bracelet using a Paper Garden Bead, dyed jade, faceted quartz, vintage glass, and antiqued brass.  The bead has rich colors of red, pink, orange, and green - perfect for fall.

A few months ago I was fortunate enough to win Brandi Hussey's book "Understanding Color: Color Theory Made Easy".  It is an excellent book and if you like to work with color, I recommend it.  I also appreciate her e-mails of color palettes and her input of color theory on Art Bead Scene Blog.  In an attempt to show a little of what I learned, and certainly not to copy Brandi, I thought I would show you some of the colors I pulled from the bead and incorporated into the bracelet.  Let me know what you think. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hats? Who Would Have Thought.......

Well this is not a new adventure for me and not something I think I am going to add to my list of things I design.  However, last week my daughter asked me to make some hats for her shop.  I use to make them for her and her sister when they were little.   I was a little hesitant in doing so, as I had not made hats in a long time.  I also thought that it was interesting to find out that my great-grandmother made hats in a hat shop in the early 1900s - and I am sure they were quite fancy.  Mine on the other hand are very earthy and have just a splash of Boho.  I will probably make a few more for her so she has enough to get her though the fall season - I am posting the ones I made.  They are what I call a casual-soft weekend hat.  They have tissue paper stuffed in them so the form is a little off, but they fit great and are a lot of fun.  (I should probably press them a little...)  I also will not tell you how many times I ripped out seams and how many hats I actually sewed to get to these three.  I have just a dash of OCD and perfectionism which has a tendency to stress me out a tiny bit....LOL...  I like the choice of materials she had for me.  The blue/black hat has just a bit of gold thread running through it; the red is a great fall color, and even though you cannot see it on the third hat, there are a few stripes of turquoise that run through it.  The bands are all corduroy.    

Also, a new shipment of beads arrived and I designed these earrings from them.... I love them.  They are 2.5" filigree triangles with gorgeous Swarovski "Sun" Rhinestones and silver freshwater pearls.   In total they measure 3.5"... they are linked to UrsyllaBs on Etsy if you would like to purchase them.

I am still offering a free bead from my new line "Paper Garden" I just ask that you pay $3 for shipping - so send me over an e-mail and let me know.  I will be offering a free bead through the end of September.  I think they would make a great focal for your design.   

Let me know what you think 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Round 2 - Paper Garden Floral Ephemera Beads

Isn't it funny when you become inspired and excited about a new body of work and before you know it hours and days have passed, and soon it takes over everything?   I absolutely love these beads and love making them.  I have a new batch ready so I will post them.  This batch is much more vibrant in color and also has more of the romantic vintage ephemera look that I have been working towards, plus, I think the photo lighting is better than the first batch.  These beads make great pendants or focal pieces and there is so much you can do with them.  They are very light weight and are 2.25 x 1" and a little over 1/8" thick.  If you click on the photo it will re-direct you to my Etsy page.  I have also been working on more ceramic/clay beads and have found a really pretty blue glaze.  I am hoping to have them available within the new few weeks.  I have not been working with the Yixing clay as of late and I am not sure why, guess I am not inspired to do so.  But I think the new beads and the stoneware beads are keeping me busy enough, plus my daughter has asked me to help her make fall hats for her shop.  I use to make my girls big floppy sun hats when they were little, my goodness seems like an eternity ago (thank goodness it is  Let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How to use Paper Garden Ephemera Beads - Idea #1

I am posting a few simple ideas on how to use the Paper Garden Ephemera Beads.  As I put more ideas together I will post them.  I think this simple filigree wrapping works really well for a variety of designs.
 - Add a jump ring at the top and create a pendant
 - ......add another jump ring to the the bottom and add a pearl drop.
 - Add a jump ring on both ends and use the piece as a bracelet focal, incorporating leather cord or chain.
 -  Rivet the filigree to a leather bracelet or a wool bracelet and create a focal piece.

New Ephemera Paper Garden Beads Listed on Etsy

This dreaded heat and humidity has been throwing a wrench into my creating....  I have posted a few new beads on Etsy from my new line Paper Garden and I will be posting more as weather permits; it is too hot and humid for the resin to set.   I found this great old piece of driftwood that had a U-nail and a piece of barbed wire embedded in it and I have used it as the background to my beads.  I am still working on the photographic aspect of my work, but I think it is getting better.  The beads listed below could use a bit more light.  I took them in natural lighting, but they seem just a bit too dark and do not show the vivid earthy colors of the beads as well as I would like them to.  As always, any feedback would be appreciated.  Thank you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Join Me in Celebrating the Launch of My New Line! "Paper Garden"

I am very excited about these new pieces.  They are rustic and romantic and have beautiful glimpses of roses, flowers, and memories of garden beds. 

This collection of beads is designed to have a soft silky well worn vintage look to them. They look as though they have been cut out from a dearly-held favorite old card or picture that gives just a small snapshot of a garden bed.

My inspiration comes from heartfelt memories of warm summer days in my grandmother's garden.  She has the early stages of dementia now but still loves to talk about her flowers.   I have also drawn inspiration from the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes", when Evelyn has brought a fresh batch of "fried green tomatoes" to Ms. Threadgoode who resides in the nursing home. Her walls are covered in old pictures and postcards of flowers to remind her of her gardens back home.

The beads are made from oval wood pieces, floral ephemera, and many coats of resin and sealants. They measure approximately 2-1/4 x 1". They have many uses and can be wire wrapped or have bails glued onto them to make a beautiful pendant.  I also think they would be beautiful wrapped in filigree. 

I love the soft hint of flowers and foliage and the bright garden colors.  The 16 pieces I have posted at do not have holes drilled into them, but I will be posting some that have a hole at the top or two on the side.  I am not sure if I am going to offer that as a "made-to-order" or not.  I will post the 16 I have listed with links directly to them.

I used one of the beads as a focal for the felted bracelet I made.


In celebration of the new line - if you post a feedback comment and re-post the blog you will be entered for a chance to win one of the beads.  I will be giving away three of them to three lucky winners.  Thank you for joining in my celebration!

Thank you!