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





Posted in handmade | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

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

2nd October Fest Blog Hop: Remember the Old

This hop is being hosted by Toltec Jewels of Jewel School Friends. Once again, this blog hop is a chance for me to share some of my favorite non jewelry related things about Autumn. This is the main time of year that I bake and I wanted to make something traditional to the Season, so I found a lovely recipe for Remembrance cookies to celebrate Samhain from Ye Old Witches Brew Magazine. Rosemary is for remembrance and the idea is that you eat these cookies and think about your ancestors. This recipe got great feedback so I will definitely make these again. Feel free to decorate with icing if you like. There is also no reason why you can’t use lavender, sage, or any other herb you like when eating these year round.


Cookie Cutters

Finished Cookies

My friend and I were also supposed to make corn dollies last weekend, but it got postponed until today, so I will post pictures later if people are interested. We’re going to use the instructions published on Michelle’s blog, Muffin Tin Mom. It’s actually amazing what you can make with cereal grains. I found a fascinating website that shows some work of the Guild of Straw Craftsmen that explains what a corn dolly really is. I can promise you, my creation will not look like this! Wow.

1853 corn dolly

In the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The final thing I’d like to share is one of my favorite songs about the Season:

Thank you for stopping by; please visit the other participants.

Toltec Jewels (Rita, Hostess)

Caroline                                       http://
Andrea Glick-Zenith           
Dolores Raml                     
Karla Morgan                     
Susie Harris                       
Kay Thomerson                 
Jean Yates                        
Kelly Hosford Patterson     
Kathy Lindemer                 
Liz E                                  
Jasvanti Patel                    
Christie Murrow                 
Jodie Marshall                   
Andrea Trank                    
Dini Bruinsma                    
Elsie Deliz Fonseca           
Karla Morgan                    
Vera Lynn                         
Rana Wilson                     
Catherine King                 
Lily Vincent                       
Janice Hidey (Janimar)     
Cory Tompkins                 
Candida Castleberry        
Cynthia Kent Machata      
Alicia Marinache               
Linda Anderson                
Leah Curtis                       
Jennifer Reno (JenRen)    
Robin Reed                       
Tanty Sri Hartanti              
Lisa Lodge                        
Ingrid A.                            
Judy Turner                      
Gina Hockett                     
Nelly May                          
Tanya McGuire                 
Sonya Stille                       
Carol D.                            
Asri Wahyuningsih            
Ginger Bishop                   
Shaiha Williams                
Posted in Blog Hops | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop Reveal

Thank you to Lori Anderson,, for attempting to get us to use the beads we call “my precious.”

I have a lovely lamp-work large hole mandala pendant made by Laurie Ament of Isinglass Design; it was the first thing I thought about when I heard about this blog hop. I received it as a gift after it was donated by Laurie to a fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy organized by UWSLoves. You can find Laurie’s work at Etsy, Facebook,  and on her blog. I’m also a fan of Sheri Chase Jones of Sheribeads. Take the time to look through her sold sections–she can duplicate her glass designs and is great with custom orders.  In trying to match Laurie’s pendant, I thought Sheri’s Evil Queen and Jazzy Jewels spacers were just what I wanted.

I then went on vacation and my carpal tunnel has been acting up and I still hadn’t figured out what I was doing with said beads, when I got an idea. Those few of you who actually read my blog will know I promised to share some new things I am learning and also my mistakes with you, so it seems fortuitous that I now get an opportunity to share with you. The idea came from my spending hours untangling chains that were knotted together and repairing the necklaces. (Yes, I get paid for this.) I wanted to knot some chain on purpose.

Here is what I ended up with.

Necklace 1 Necklace 2

I’m not entirely happy with it, to be honest. Because I didn’t knot where the chain attached to the pendant, it moves, which makes the spacer beads end up being uneven on either side, so I constantly have to move it back into place. The beads are so incredible, I’m not convinced this is the best design to show them off. I like it…I just don’t love it. What do you think?

I had grand plans to make more but with the carpel tunnel, by tendency to hoard in the first place, and my mind frame (it’s hard to be creative when you’re not happy with what you’re making), I have had to “give up the ghost” for this week. Any feedback is appreciated so I can have another go at it with fresh eyes.

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Leah Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
9.  Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden
10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda’s Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine’s Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre’z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D’Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
65.  Tracie Dean, Dean Designs
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama’s Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia’s Unique Beaded Jewelry
75.  Jackie Marchant, Fiddledeedee Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka’s Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda’s Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou’s time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 – For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD’s Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine’s Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl’s Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings ‘n’ Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi’s Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra’s Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge’s Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca’s Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena’s Beady Blog

Posted in Blog Hops, Challenges, design ideas | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Seasons Blog Hop Reveal: Summertime

When I joined this blog hop, hosted by Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures, (, I had no idea what a design challenge it would be. I had no idea what beads would arrive in the mail; I only knew the goal was to create something based on a season, whether it be a season of year, or a season of one’s life. This is what I received:

Seasons Kit

Now to me, these colors just screamed summer. These beads really took me out of my comfort zone. I was about to go on vacation and see a friend of mine who I met in the 90′s, so I was thinking a lot about “old times” and I remembered that I used to either like chokers, or I liked those long necklaces you can buy at places like Pier One Imports or World Market that are from India or Africa. That’s when I knew I wanted to make something long that I could double up. I started to look at what I had to add to the mix.

What I Added

I think I need a bigger dish.


I originally envisioned making a flapper-style necklace approximately 60″ long, and possibly some earrings. The necklace had a different idea.

Here are the earrings:


And here is the bracelet I made to match:


Once I strung all the beads in the order I was happy with, it ended up being 48″ long. Besides the bead kit Lisa sent me, I added: modern and vintage glass including glass from India and the Czech Republic; vintage Lucite; vintage wood; coral; ceramics; and modern acrylic beads. In addition to my own stash these beads came from six different generous jewelry artists I am fortunate to know.



Here’s what was left of my bead kit:


Please visit these other talented artists:
Lisa Lodge, Grateful ArtistKathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Cassi Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Stephanie Sanner Haussler, PixyBug Designs
Leah Mifflin Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
Karin Slaton, BackStory Beads
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Lori Jean Poppe, Lorillijean Creative Corner
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Alicia Marinache,  All the Pretty Things
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Erin Kenny, Beadifultherapy
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Renetha Williams Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Sierra Barrett, Giraffe Can Has
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shirley Jones Moore, Beads and Bread
Dawn Horner, Northern Adornments
Charlene Bausinger Jacka, Clay Space
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Miranda Ackerley, Daze and Days
Posted in Blog Hops, Challenges, design ideas | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments