Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two New Pieces for EA Design Competition

I just entered these 2 new pieces for the Enchanted Adornments Design Competition. I had forgot to mention in last weeks post, that I was going to also enter the bracelet I made for Lorelei.

These 2 necklace have a beachy theme. I am going to list A Walk on the Beach on Etsy, but Beach Comber is going to my sister-in-law as a "thank you" for organizing our recent family trip which was the inspiration for all the "treasures" on the necklace.

A Walk on the Beach: The focal for this necklace consists of 2 metal wheels and a Humblebeads urchin. One wheel has a Green Girl seahorse wired to it, the other an ammonite from Tika. Polyester chain intwined with the pearls reminds me of fish nets. (Inspiration for this one came from Heather Powers of Humblebeads, as she quite often works a beach theme and uses these metal wheels in her designs.)
Beach Comber: A long necklace, to go over the head, with various treasures. A bottle of sand gathered from a beach in Sheboygan, WI. A Green Girls seahorse. Shells, button, chain and cotton cord. All things you might find while walking the beach.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Eye Candy

Good Morning! These new pieces are now listed on Etsy - I created them this weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Penny for your thoughts.....

Here is a necklace I made out of the pressed pennies I previously blogged about. It can be worn long, or doubled up for a layered look. As I researched these pressed pennies more, I found this website dedicated to collectors. I, of course, was looking for a peacock penny and I believe there might be a peacock press as close as the Milwaukee Zoo for the next time I visit Wisconsin!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fun with Owls & Lorelei

Okay, I am not peeking at a certain someone's blog until I get this posted!

A few weeks ago, I filled the 2 Green Girl Studios bezels I got at Bead & Button. I sanded down some tiny owl beads I had and hoped this project would turn out the way that I had imagined it. And it did! So now I had these 2 cool bezels, but designs did not pop into my head right away. So, I suggested to one of my fav designers - Lorelei - that we each design something with the bezels for each other. Today, we are revealing what we have made for each other and sending them off!
I made Lorelei a bracelet. I started with a Vintaj creative hoop that I also got at Bead & Button. The tricky thing about this hoop is that you have to find beads with holes large enough to fit on it. I had found a few that I liked, but was then bummed when the sterling silver letter cube beads I ordered from Art Beads (to spell "wise") were too small a size. I think if I would have ordered the larger ones, they would have worked.
I had already planned to wire wrap some rough faceted tourmaline onto the hoop, so when the "wise" beads didn't work I just added more of that. More tourmaline? Who would complain about more tourmaline? Not me! :-)
I also made 3 peyote stitched tube beads to "sew" around the hoop. These worked especially well because you can make them the size you need them to be, wrap it around your component, and then connect the ends together! Peyote is one of the first techniques I learned when I started beading about 10 years ago. I have let it fall to the side but I am glad to see that I can pick it up again, just like riding a bike! I love how these beads give so much texture to the piece.There are various other beads in silver, brass and wood. And of course the owl bezel! These beads are free to create movement in the bracelet. I tied the open end together with an antique looking ribbon, so that this bangle can be adjusted for Miss Lorelei. She can loosen or tighten the ribbon to her liking. Oh! And the coin! How could I forget the coin! It brought a smile to my face when I saw the bracelet Lorelei posted yesterday on her blog, which included a coin like this. I completed this bracelet on Sunday night, so I thought to myself how ironic that perhaps we were both working with coins at the same time! Lorelei had said her coin had been in her stash for quite some time - mine has too! Maybe it's fate that as she sends a coin out into the world, one is returning to her. It certainly worked in this design.Thanks for doing this with me Lorelei - it was tons of fun!!! Check out Lorelei's blog here to see what she made with the other bezel! I know that's where I'm heading!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting closer to the Edge.....

No, no, I'm not going to jump. :-)

Today, the Ford dealer will be calling me to let me know if they've located an Edge with the options I want. It is exciting and scary at the same time. I've had my current PT Cruiser for 6 years, and before that I owned 2 other PT Cruisers (I used to work for Chrysler). It is paid off and good on gas. I am comfortable with it as I've been in a relationship with PT's for about 10 years now. But, it will need about $2,000 in repairs in the near future (and probably more after that). I get stuck in the snow in the winter at least once or twice. And lately I feel like we are outgrowing it when Jon and I travel with our 2 small dogs and all of our "gear", especially when thinking about adding to the family in the future. We looked at/test drove about 5 other vehicles before deciding on the Edge.

So, in honor of my decision to add payments to my life again, I thought I'd show 2 Ford bracelets I made this weekend. My future sister-in-law requested I make her a bracelet with Fordite, and a bracelet with a key. She and my brother own several Mustangs, and are certainly Ford fans. I was excited about the bracelet challenge as all of my Fordite pieces so far have been necklaces. We selected the smallest Fordite cab I had and I wrapped it in filigree. Kaylan also requested I use leather, so I was able to find a way to weave it through the filigree. I then attached chain to each side and further wove the leather through it. It is finished with a button clasp. For the key bracelet, I drilled a hole at the end of the key so that it could be strung sideways. I used a swivel clasp on the larger side of the key, as it sort of reminded me of a key chain. A simple chain and tiny beaded strand make up the rest of the bracelet. These will look great together or separate! I hope Kaylan likes them! And I hope to be sporting my new ride by the end of the week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Raiding the Men's Department

You might remember a while ago, I posted about a cool jewelry material called Fordite. You can see the posts here and here. I continue to enjoy working with this material whenever I can, and should have some new designs to show soon.

In keeping with the theme of repurposing old things (which I love) and automotive history (which both my husband and I love), I want a Kim White purse!!! Jon actually sent me this link, so it is like he is giving me permission to splurge, right? Hee. Hee. Check out her website here. Wouldn't it be cool to pick one made with Ford fabric, and then attach a Fordite cab to it, perhaps surrounded by filigree?

Why are Kim White Handbags so special? Made from vintage automotive fabrics, Kim White uses dead stock never-used textiles intended for use in American automobiles: cars, trucks and vans. She fortuitously unearthed an entire warehouse of automotive fabric, which may be the last existing stock anywhere in the US, and she is the sole owner of these amazing textiles.

I also fully intend to measure myself to order a top from Etsy seller Glamarita. Ronnie makes clothes from men's ties! How cool is that?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rose Corner Inn

This past weekend, I went to a scrapbooking Bed & Breakfast - the Rose Corner Inn - in Hillsdale, MI.
Experience The Details…Attention to detail, that’s what sets Rose Corner Inn apart from the rest. Our 4,500 sq.ft. 150 year old Italianate home has been painstakingly restored to it’s original glory. Ceilings are surrounded by 12-inch deep hand carved plaster molding and crystal chandeliers glisten in both day and moon light. And it’s not just the details of our home—you will bask in the details of fine living such as luxurious linens with down comforters, 24 hour tea & coffee service, and scrumptious meals and treats.

My very dear friends and I had an excellent time! We were the only guests and we were doted on so sincerely. It was so relaxing and the fresh, homemade meals were to die for!
The wood work, stained glass, 3 fireplaces and built-ins in the home were amazing! It was interesting to hear about all the transformations the home went through over the years - at one time it had even been divided into 4 apartments!
Check out this Art Nouveau wallpaper in one of the bathrooms - it was even on the ceiling! But because of how high the ceilings were, it just worked and was not gaudy.
I got thirteen 12 x 12 pages done, and eight 8 x 8 pages done! It's hard to photograph scrapbook pages, but I tried anyway.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Artful Dressing

Most days, I plan my outfit around what jewelry I am going to wear. I know, this seems backwards. Nothing excites me more than going to my closet after creating a necklace to see what will match it or what neckline looks best. Sometimes though, I may have to go on a shopping trip.

Last week, I got a catalog in the mail and 2 t-shirts caught my eye. I immediately thought of the lovely Heather Power's Humblebeads when I saw these! If you are interested in them, they are from Delia's. They would match perfectly to any Starry Night or Kiss creation!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

And you'll have things you'll want to blog about.......

I..... will..... too. (To the tune of Mr. Rogers closing song).

I've fallen into quite a nice routine this week. Every evening, I have been able to come home and make jewelry, take pictures, organize the studio, and experiment with new ideas - all at a very relaxing pace! I never want it to end! Here are some new little things I am excited about:

I pulled my resin out again to play with some bezels. I got these 2 at Bead & Button from Green Girl Studios - I had no idea what I was going to fill them with. Then I remembered I had these teeny tiny owl beads from Ornamentea, however, as small as they were they still had a little too much "junk in the trunk" to lay flat in the bezel. Since they are ceramic, I took a little file to them and sawed off their back half, leaving a nice flat surface. It was quite a tedious job and I wasn't even sure if it was going to work, but it paid off! A very simple patterned paper is the background.
I have been obsessed with finding places for buttons to fit. Here, they are simply glued into a bracelet from Patera and a bezel from Zoa Art. The larger pendant is filled with resin though and the camera made it look like there is an inclusion in it, but there is not. The resin gave some of the buttons a very faint, ghostly look.I've been collecting pressed pennies from many places over the years with the thought of adding them to my scrapbook pages. But lately, I have seen them show up in jewelry. I saw a woman at Bead & Button wearing a long necklace, using them as links. I think that is what I will plan to do - drill holes at each end to make a piece full of memories from the Detroit Tigers Game, the Binder Park Zoo, the Racine Zoo, and a wildlife reserve in Illinois.Watch for these components used soon in some finished jewelry. And speaking of scrapbooking, I am getting ready to go away for the weekend to a 2 night scrapbooking Bed & Breakfast. I am looking forward to a fun time with good friends in a beautiful old Victorian home with delicious food!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Great Date

Jon is on mandatory vacation this week, so he asked me to meet him for lunch yesterday. Our downtown has great free music events during the summer on Wednesday afternoons and Friday evenings. One of our favorite types of music - steel drums - was this week. Jon said he'd take care of lunch, but I had no idea he was going to get this extravagant! There are tables in the market square, but he went all out with a picnic blanket, basket, flowers - even brought one of our dogs, Mocha (we take turns taking Mocha & Biscuit on our "dates"). He made the most yummy sandwiches with italian meats, herbed goat cheese, and vinaigrette on a fresh crusty bread. Dessert was strawberries, raspberries & blueberries.

The weather was beautiful and the music was relaxing - it was hard to come back to work! The newspaper was there reporting on the event, so this is the picture that was in the front page today! If you'd like to read the article, click here. I could never be a celebrity - I am a shy person and am kindof blushing from the attention.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bead Shopping = Wanting to use my new stuff immediately!

While on my vacation to Wisconsin, I was able to stop at 2 bead stores. The first, in Sheboygan is the Bead Coop. One of the things I got there was this cool raku pendant with writing imprinted in it. I am not sure what type of writing it is, but I liked it. A few days later I got to Eclectica in Brookfield. I had a coupon for them that I got at Bead & Button. There, I found some glass rectangle beads that I thought would go great with the pendant. This necklace will be headed to Etsy - the pictures do not do the shimmery finish justice. When I tried it on, the first thought that came to my head was "egyptian"....... I am not sure if it is because of the tablet looks of the pendant and beads, but I'm sure whoever wears this will feel like a queen!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I am finally getting back into the groove after not thinking about beading during my vacation. Here is a necklace I created last night. I hope to get a lot done in the studio tonight too. I was inspired by Doreen's recent blog posts about her nest of eggs, anxious to use my new Humblebeads egg, and excited to play with an etched piece from Jennifer Stumpf. A delicate chain of dalmatian jasper, blue rounds, delica beads and a button closure - here is the result.

I plan to totally restock my Etsy store, so look for this piece listed soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A week ago today.....

A week ago today, I was enjoying the lake breeze. I really miss living right on Lake Michigan, where my hometown is in Wisconsin. Here in Michigan, we are about an hour away from the Lake and we never seem to go there. I thought I'd share some pics from our stay at Blue Harbor Resort. I have a more extensive album on Facebook, so if you are not already my friend, come find me! Have a great 4th!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Latest Peacock News

Hello! I'm on vacation this week and got back into town yesterday. Last weekend, we spent a few nights in Sheboygan, WI at a resort that seems to be becoming a twice a year tradition with the Trudeau family. My sister-in-law lives in the neighboring town, Kohler, with her family and my brother-in-law comes up from Ohio with his family. We come from Michigan (duh!) and Trudeau parents are still in Kenosha, WI. Then, we spent a few days with my parents in Racine, WI. So the next few days, while I unwind and organize, I will post details from the trip.

First up, a trip to the Racine Zoo - as I seem to love chasing peacocks all over the Midwest! This is the Zoo in my hometown. It is quaint, and I haven't been there in I don't know how long. While they do not have the 20+ peacocks like the Battle Creek Zoo has, they still had a few who were willing to show off for us!
This is the first time that I have seen a peacock putting it's tail feathers up for view!!! He would turn in circles for everyone to see. He did not seem defensive at all - just wanting to show off!Here I am feeding one (we asked if it was okay for them to have popcorn).
I asked the train driver if I could sit in the peacock car for a picture! In the background, you can see the amphitheater where lots of cool bands play during the summer. With Lake Michigan behind it, it's the perfect evening entertainment!We saw lots of other cool animals too, and I got home just in time to purchase this lovely from Nancy!