Art Charm Auction Alert

Stay tuned for more details and save the date.


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Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Challenge (c5) Reveal

I’m honored to be a part of another design challenge led by the generous and talented Toltec Jewels aka Rita Avila. I always find it fun to see what other designers will do with the same bead. The featured bead was made by Sue Kennedy of SueBeads.


They’re all so pretty it wouldn’t matter which color I received, right?

I love to age, paint, and patina brass…but I love raw brass too. It may have to do with my love of vintage things and yard art, and it’s not for everyone since it is not finished, polished and may age in strange ways. Even though this blog hop was scheduled on Sunday and I had a different blog hop on Saturday, I made this piece first and it influenced my other piece. I don’t like to match, preferring complementary pieces and I love to use whatever I find lying on my table so I ended up with a nice set without purposely trying. All I need to make are earrings now.

First I curved the stamping on my mandrel.

1 blankThen I beaded it here and there.

2 cuff

Finally I added my colors to complement the bead. I really wanted to highlight the bead and make it the focal so I hope Sue likes it.

3 beading

4 whole

Please join me in seeing what the other artists have made:



Guest of Honor & Featured Artist: Susan Kennedy

Sue Kennedy’s blogs:                   

Art Jewelry Elements

Sue Kennedy’s website

SueBeads Art Beads


Toltec Jewels                                 



Linda Anderson                             

Jennifer Reno                                 

Shirley Moore                               

Kristen Stevens

Marybeth Rich                               

Jael Thorp                                     

Melissa Trudinger                           

Andrea Glick

Nan Smith

Blanca Medina

Shai Williams                                 

Carolyn Lawson                             

Rana Wilson                                   

Robin Reed                                   

Robin Showstack                           

Sheila Prosterman                           

Karla Morgan                            

Kari Asbury                                   

Kelly Rodgers

Jayne Capps                                 

Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi         

Heather Richter                             

Chris Eisenberg                             

Kathleen Breeding

Linda Landig                                 


Crystal Thain                                 

Cheri Reed                                   

Heather d-Entremont                     

Dini Bruinsma                               

Lori Schneider                               

Tammy Adams

Melinda Orr                                 

Lennis Carrier                               

Cynthia Machata                           

Elizabeth Hodges                         

Debbie Rasmussen                       

Tanya McGuire                             

Charlie Jacka

Ev Shelby                                     

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson             

Jasvanti Patel                             

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Haby Blog Hop Reveal

When Melissa Trudinger ( offered to host a blog hop focusing on jewelry design using components from the haberdashery department–buttons, ribbons, lace, etc–I jumped at the chance, since I have a plethora of such things just sitting here unused. Apparently, my brain didn’t engage with the fact that I can’t sew. As usual, I got an idea quickly and went with it…until I realized I needed something to sew on, and something to sew with. My husband when out and got me some needles and thread.

1ThreadIt’s a good thing he repairs his own clothes and will be able to make great use of these because I have no idea what to do with them. Wire, however, is my friend. I’m sure there is something you’re supposed to sew beads on, but since I have no idea what that is, I grabbed my wallpaper. I love using wallpaper.

At this point, I should tell you that I am in the process of packing to move. I decided to use things on my table so I wouldn’t have to put them away to pack; I have done this before with mixed results, but I like making myself use what is lying around.

2PartsI had my husband drill some holes for me while I cut out my wallpaper. My necklaces tend to be around 16-18 inches but I wanted to make a longer necklace this time. Longer necklaces tend to twist around when I walk, so I wanted the focal to be double-sided. As I was using brass and steel, I decided to paint the back of the wallpaper silver and go for a mixed metal look by adding gunmetal wire.


There was a broken necklace on my table that someone sent me (my friends know I love to recycle and re-purpose so I get some interesting things in the mail on occasion).


There was some silk sari ribbon along with a charm/pendant I had already started as well as some shell buttons from Rita ( on my desk also.


It’s at this point things went “pear shaped.” The screws I had did not match in size and didn’t fit in the nuts. Then, I had a little melt down when I realized that if I used the screws in the holes my husband drilled, I still had no way to hang the focal. D’oh!


Round two of drilling commenced and I realized that I really wanted to hammer the plates also. Once I looked at the charm I had thought to use to hang on the bottom, I remembered an amazing beaded charm (on the right below) I own made by the talented Karin Grosset Grange (


The charm was part of the exchange and fundraiser auction for Beads of Courage that was hosted by Jennifer Cameron ( last year.

This Haby challenge turned out to be more difficult than I envisioned. I’m really pleased with the final product. Here is the “front”:

Front 1

Front 2

And here is the “back”:

Front 3

See that little blue dagger? That bead was in a little bag of mixed beads that Melissa sent me, so she is in my necklace not just in spirit, but literally too!

Please visit the other designers participating in the hop:


Melissa Trudinger                                 

Ann Schroeder                                       

Tammy Adams                                     

Amanda Wacasey                                 

Dolores Raml                                         

Divya N                                                 

Michelle McCarthy                               

DiYana Brooks                                       

Robin Kae Reed                                     

Andrea Glick                                         

Karin Grosset Grange                         

Mitzie Crider                                         

Janine Lucas   (will post Sunday)

Rosantia Petkova                                 

Susan Kennedy                                     

Leithleach Alainn Seodra     

Kathleen Breeding                               

Shiraz Biggie                                       

Chris Eisenberg                                     

Heather Richter                                   

Lennis Carrier                                       

Rebecca Anderson                               

Jenny Kyrlach                                         

Rita Toltec Jewels                               

Mischelle Fanucci                               

Karen Mitchell

Carol Briody                                           

Karla Morgan                                       

Carolyn Lawson                                   

Lori Anderson                                       

Jami Shipp                                             

Lili Krist                                                   

Evelyn Shelby                                         

Raissa de Guzman

Niky Sayers

Keren Panthaki


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Blu Mudd Design Challenge #4

Cast your vote for your favorite design(s) by clicking “LIKE” on the photo of the piece(s) you like the best. Please also leave a comment letting the designer know what you liked about their designs. The results of the design contest will be announced on June 7th at 10 pm EDT. (Please note, comments do NOT count as votes.)  

For my entry, I used B’Sue Boutiques Rusty Black brass components, Blu Mudd ceramic components, vintage and modern Czech glass, vintage Japanese glass, and a Birch stick. :) 

Thank you to Moriah Betterly for the opportunity to participate.

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Making Blackbird Art Charms

blackbird backgroundBlackbird charm colorsBlackbird toolsBlackbird etched paintedMaking blackbirdsPainting blackbirdsAdding birds to discsFinal blackbirds 1Final blackbirds 2Final blackbird closeup Blackbird by The Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
You were only waiting for this moment to be free





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Art Charm Exchange/Auction Benefit for Beads of Courage

This is the first time I’ve participated in this annual event. Thank you very much to Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions for hosting this event, and all her hard work with charm distribution and coordinating the Ebay auction that starts today. If you are new to this Blog Hop, the point is to create art charms, have a fun exchange, and auction some off to help raise funds for Beads of Courage.


This year’s theme is: Love. We were asked to create art charms that mean “love” to us; I also wanted to have something in keeping with what the charms are being used to raise funds for. My inspiration was the idea that love is in the air, and all around you. Whatever your age, hospitals can sometimes be scary places–you may not fully understand what is being done, you may have to spend time alone or with strangers with strange equipment, you may be afraid for yourself or a loved one. I wanted to make a charm that would be cheerful for a child, to remind them that they are loved all the time, even if they may not be where or with whom they want to be while they (or their relative) may be experiencing an illness. This was the teaser picture I posted on my Windbent page a few weeks back.


I also promised my readers this year to share with them the up and downs–successes and failures of my craft making year–so here is the behind the scenes view of my art charms. This was the original concept drawing:


First, I started with lead and nickel free double sided bezels and some brass charms. I hand painted the background, with Vintaj patina, painted in three layers to add some variation to the “sky.”

2BackgroundI then cut the loops off the brass charms and painted them.

3Painting BalloonsI decoupaged handmade paper to the sky for the clouds. This added depth, but was more transparent than I wanted, so I painted them with Lumiere paint.

4CloudsI added the balloons and the rhinestones and then prepared the Ice Resin.

6ResinI did not want them to dome because that would make it hard to level the other side of the charm. I found that if I put too much resin in the bezel, the glass of the rhinestone disappeared and it looked like a sticker–less resin allowed the hearts to stay three dimensional, so I adjusted the rest of the charms. It was challenging to stay within the working time for the resin while making 22 of these. The original idea for the back of the charm was to use stamps, but I couldn’t find anything small enough. I hand wrote them with acid free, archival black ink. The ink did not want to stay on the paint and really wanted to mix with the resin, which I was not prepared for. Here’s what I ended up with.


Below are the charms I received in the swap. Each of these has their own story to tell so please follow the blog hop links down below.

Fotor1114222531 Fotor1114221658

If you like any, or all, of these charms, please go to the Ebay auction to bid on the charms. You get handmade art charms and we all raise money for a worthy cause. Win! Win! Please visit the other participants of the 2013 Art Charm Exchange and Beads of Courage Auction.

Jen Cameron:

Toltec Jewels:

Vanessa Gilkes:

Caroline Dewison:

Lesley Watt:

Susan Kennedy:

Nancy Dale :

Alicia Marinache:

Cassi Paslick:

Alenka Obid:

Renetha Stanziano:

Shelley Graham Turner:

Monique Urquhart:

Shai Williams:

Lennis Carter:

Cheri Reed:

Moriah Betterly:

Perri Jackson:

Mallory Hoffman:

Ginger Bishop:

Jean Peter:

Linda Florian:

Patricia Pulliam:

Karin Grosset Grange:

Julie Bowen:

Susan Delaney:

Emma Todd:

Carolyn Chenault :

Terri Del Signore:

Cory Tompkins:

Cheryl (Lee) Koopman:

Lori Bowring Michaud:

Andrea Glick:

Jacqueline Carlson:

Michelle McCarthy:

Charlene Bausinger Jacka:

Kristi Bowman:

Posted in Blog Hops, Challenges, Charity, handmade, jewelry making | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

2nd October Fest Blog Hop Part Deux

(Rise of the Corn Dollies)

My original October Fest post is below. My friend and I were supposed to make corn dollies last week, but due to illness (both mine and the cat’s), it got postponed until today. I’m usually quite bad about follow-up posting so I thought…no time like the present. Please see the previous post for the link to instruction on how to make these.

Corn husks

Folded over husksHead of corn dollyAlmost armsCorn dolly armsAlmost finished corn dollyFinished female corn dollyMale corn dollyFinished male and female

My attempt at a cat...

My attempt at a cat…

Posted in Blog Hops, design ideas | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments