Thursday, February 24, 2011

Your Name

Jon and I met at a small, family owned forklift business in Racine, WI. I had already been working in the office there for about 2 years before he showed up, but I knew the Trudeau name well because Jon's Dad was best friends with the owner Rick Schmidt. Both the Schmidt family and the Trudeau family raced sprint cars on dirt - the Dad's were now supporting their sons doing it. Young Jon was off at college in Illinois, and after deciding to take a semester off he came to work at Schmidt's. And we lived happily ever after. No, really, it was much more complicated than that! But it was once we started dating that I attended my very first dirt race track experience.

Jon looked up to Rick a lot - considered him a mentor and second father figure. The above picture was taken at the track almost 15 years ago. I love the candid quality of it and how they are both deep in thought about some strategy on the track. This was before digital cameras were getting big so I had to scan this copy in. It's the only picture I have of the two of them together.

Rick suddenly contracted a brain tumor and after fighting it for several months, he passed away. Jon was heartbroken. Still dating at the time, he told me if we ever had a boy he wanted to name him after Rick. And so here were are, 10 years later. Our little baby's name is going to be Richard Alan Trudeau (Rick's full name was Richard Alan Schmidt). It is an honor and so meaningful to us!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Motor City

One of the themes that I will probably always create jewelry around is cars. My husband works in the auto industry and is a huge automotive lover. And now that I am giving birth to a little version of him, I am envisioning carrying the little bundle around the car shows this summer!
I think what first sparked my interest in this type of theme jewelry was my discovery of the material Fordite a few years ago. Fordite is layers of old car paint from the factory that has been cut into cabs for use in jewelry. This necklace features a Fordite clasp, a vintage Ford key, and a ceramic "speedometer" from Melanie at Earthenwood Studio (a Detroit native). Double strands on each side feature different types of chain, pyrite, and red beads.
Now available on Etsy

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gorgeous Glaze

When I purchased a bunch of porcelain peacocks from Nancy at Round Rabbit, the glaze on this one was my absolute favorite! So, he went into my extra special stash of favorite things to wait until the perfect beads or design was concocted. The time frame on that can sometimes be weeks, months, even years. I just looked up on Etsy to see that I purchased him in April of last year - so he had to wait almost a year.

Nancy actually just posted some glazes she was excited about on her blog yesterday! I have always been drawn to glazes when purchasing art...... and I remember the pottery classes I took in high school - I loved the unexpected surprise of the glaze the best! It's hard to give these colors justice in photos or description, but Mr. Peacock is a dusty cobalt blue with an undertone of a pinkish tan. While at Michael's last week for their half off sale, I picked up these ceramic rounds because they appealed to me. It was a lovely surprise when I got home and saw how wonderful they went with this pendant.

There were no other beads needed - let the glaze be the center of attention. I wire wrapped a simple necklace, and even attempted my first handmade wire clasp!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Caution: You are now entering the 3rd trimester...

The best way that I can describe the "trimesters" is like a switch turning on and off. The first trimester I was sooooo tired, had nausea, had a hard time finding things I wanted to eat mixed with extreme cravings. My teeth actually hurt. I had eye problems. All in all though, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. When the second trimester started, I immediately felt awesome! Energized, back to eating semi-normal. There were times when I would actually forget I was pregnant! Now the third trimester is starting and the changes are once again abrupt. Major back pain, sharp pains in my ribs, feeling sluggish and irritable. My big toe and heel hurt. But again, I wouldn't trade it for the world, knowing the end result!

I go in for my monthly checkup today, and then they want to start seeing me every two weeks! It seems like that will make the time go so fast! Also today, I have to take a glucose test where I will drink something I am told tastes like the orange drink you used to get from McDonald's on school field trips. Showers are starting to get planned. My Mom is coming to visit this weekend and she is going to go to a breastfeeding class with me and help me finish up my registries. It's getting more and more exciting and "real" with each passing day!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sorry, this picture is not the greatest.... This is what my bead table looks like at the moment. As much as I try to only work on a couple of things at a time (and put things away when I am done) sometimes my method is to have several ideas laid out at once - kind of like a brainstorm - and then work on things as they excite me. Since moving my studio into the room off of our living room this past summer, my goal of keeping my desktop "cleaner" has been pretty achievable - except for this week.

You'll see at the top a few completed pieces that haven't been put away yet. And then "groupings" of other things. Mostly pendants getting paired up with matching beads. I had created a necklace with a Jade Scott cloud and hot air balloon, but I think it is too complicated and not wearer friendly so that needs a redo. For another cloud of hers I have thoughts of kites and/or birds. Hmmmmm.

Also, in case you didn't already know, Michael's has 50% off their bead strands this week! My Michael's has gotten lots of new strands in so that was exciting! They also started stocking some of the Vintage Grove collection. Happy beading!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello Valentines!

Since it's the evening of Valentine's Day, I won't bore you with lots of words - just pretty pics to look at of some new pieces I've listed on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

So that I can keep some of the pretty things....

It's a hard thing to do, but I've decided to part with some of my Jade Scott pendants. As I mentioned in my last post, Jade had an update last week where I purchased quite a few things. I got my order on Saturday and ever since then I've been on a quest to incorporate her pretty copper, paper and resin pieces into my work. Some of the pieces I've had for a while and some are brand spankin' new. This is sometimes how I work - I gather and gather until I finally get into a mood where I work with one artists' pieces for a span of time.

Just Be.
"be" pendant by Jade Scott
polymer clay Humblebead
red seed beads
white chain
clasp on the side with flower detail
By Sea or Sky
two necklaces in one here, depending on which side you wear!
frame pendant features clouds on one side, waves on the other
Jade Scott hot air balloon and sailboat correspond with the backgrounds
long multi beaded chain
ribbon detail

Just Be and By Sea or Sky are now available on Etsy. But this one... this next one..... I just have to keep for myself. The peacock/heart drop is new from last week, but the little "H" charm I've had for quite some time. I tend to have a weakness for black and white with a pop of color. This is an asymmetrical necklace with chunky stones, cut glass black rounds, and faceted Czech glass donuts. I kinda think the cut "dots" on the black rounds look like the eyes of the peacock feathers. It's basically a necklace stating: H hearts peacocks! Which you know I do!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rainy Days of Spring

I am longing for Spring..... the dirty snow and slush is getting old! The new issue of Stringing - on newsstands on February 22nd - makes me even more excited for the season. It includes four necklace designs evocative of rain, one of which is mine entitled "Rainbow After The Storm". I can't wait to see what the other designers did with the theme!

The necklace in the magazine, just like the one you'll soon see below, features a Jade Scott copper umbrella pendant as well. Raindrops. And a rainbow of pearls. As soon as I get it back it will be listed in my Etsy store.
As soon as I saw this peacock umbrella in Jade's update last week, it immediately reminded me of my peacock rain boots! So this necklace was definitely inspired by them. It also features a Jade Scott cloud and lots of iridescent raindrops all hand linked together. Now available on Etsy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Productive Weekend

I feel a sense of accomplishment this weekend - more than usual anyway. I completed a lot of jewelry (more to show this week), house stocked with food, Jon installed a new hot water heater, and I made about 4 dozen LEGO themed cookies for the Art Center's current Art of the LEGO exhibit and attended the reception today. Whew! And I still have some energy left in me to maybe make some more jewelry....

The cookies were a hit - and yummy too! I have not made homemade roll out sugar cookies with homemade icing in so long... I'd forgotten how good they are!
And without further ado, here is the first batch of jewelry - some of which was shown as inspiration on Bead Table Wednesday. To this first necklace, I added a key and some dyed ribbon to the collection I already had going of the porcelain heart and beads. A very vibrant red and purple creation is the result!
I decided to drill a second hole into the two "romantic" word tags I had so that I could dangle a heart locket off each for some funky mismatched earrings.
The bright colors continued into this pink and purple bracelet, composed of dyed jasper, brass, and acrylic.

All 3 pieces available on Etsy. My next post and listings will be showing some new pieces with Jade Scott pendants. So if you are a Jade Scott fan, stay tuned!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

6 month... 6 month.... 6 month footlong!

You know that annoying jingle about Subway's $5 foot longs? Well, it got stuck in my head the other day when I realized that I am now in my 6th month of pregnancy (25 weeks) and from what I am reading the baby measures about a foot long. Ha!

So here are some recent pics I've been playing around with. I am experimenting with the timer on the new digital camera my parents got us for Christmas, and a cool little tripod my dear friend got me. No more pics in the bathroom mirror - yeah!!!

So far, I am still enjoying getting dressed everyday - loving my body and having fun in my closet. The little one is moving around a lot and it is the most awesome feeling! We are able to start to see some of the movement from the outside. Last night, my little dog Biscuit was laying his head on the bump and the boy kicked so hard that Biscuit jumped up and was like "WTF"??? Both dogs love curling up and laying by the belly at night which I find so endearing. It just melts my heart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I've gathered some Valentine inspired components to work on this week for Bead Table Wednesday. A porcelain heart from Round Rabbit Extra, with which I've gathered some red and purple beads I might put with it (faceted carnelian, dyed jasper, glass hearts). The Vintaj heart was altered by Lorelei Eurto - she gave it some texture and affixed a button to it. Then I've got some word charms from Tim Holtz's collection. Happy beading everyone! Stay warm!