3rd Annual Octoberfest Blog Hop 2014

Autumn is my favorite time of the year and Toltec Jewels always has amazing blog hops to inspire us all. When I signed-up to join I didn’t know we were moving to a different state. Eek! I am in the middle of unpacking so my office looks like this:

Unpacking OfficeThat’s my excuse for taking over the dining room table and I’m sticking to it.

Taking OverBesides trying to make earrings, I am painting and recovering some displays to use in the gift boutique that will be selling my jewelry. That’s my good news for this month! It’s so funny the way things go. This is our first month in a new city so we don’t know anyone. I’m sure some of you know how hard it is to break in to a new art scene: they can be cliquish and it can take a while to network. It doesn’t help that I have now lived in four states in the past six years.  Yesterday, I was chatting with a local artist and she liked my jewelry so I will work in her shop and sell there, starting tomorrow. I am really not unpacked enough to do that…

I still wanted to participate in the blog hop, so here are some earrings I put together using my polymer clay beads and some beads I received as a gift. They”ll go great with my costume.

Halloween EarringsI also made a silver pair with lava and crystals.

Halloween Earrings 2I have a few decorations up to get us in the spirit:

Halloween BuffetOf course, I have hung some of my favorite pieces of art to get them off the floor and out of the way while we unpack:

DoD WallIf you saw my post for this same blog hop two years ago, you know I love Day of the Dead/ Mexican Folk Art. I get to look at these year round. I know it might seem strange that Durga is there, but she can hang where she wants! (She is Durga, after all.)

Thank you for stopping by. Wish me luck and I hope you all have a safe holiday season. Please come back November 14th for my Beads of Courage Art Charm Reveal and information about the auction!!!!  Please visit the other participants also:

Participating Artists

Toltec Jewels                            Jewel School Friends (hostess)

Dini Bruinsma                           http://www.angazabychanges.blogspot.nl/

Marybeth Rich                          http:/forestofjewels.blogspot.com/

Mary Govaars                           http://www.mlhjewelrydesigns.com/

Mischelle Andrade-Fanucchi     http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Karin Grosset Grange               http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Andrea Zenith Glick                  http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Nan Smith                                http://wirednan.blogspot.com

Linda Anderson                        http://CherryOnTopDesign.Co

Becky Pancake                        http://beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger                     http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/

Lennis Carrier                          http://windbent.wordpress.com/

Sue Kennedy                           http://suebeads.blogspot.com/

Kim Dworak                            http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com/

Jo-Ann Woolverton                  http://itsabeadifulcreation.blogspot.ca

Jennifer Reno                           http://jenrenjewelry.blogspot.com/

Veralynne Malone                    http://veradesigns.blogspot.com

Lori Schneider                          http://beadaddicted.blogspot.com/

Shaiha Williams                        http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/

Alisa Siceloff                            http://armoredmermaid.blogspot.com

Pam Traub                               http://www.klassyjoolz.blogspot.com/

Cryss Thain                              http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/

Maria Lourdes Rios                 http://mlourdes24.blogspot.com

Kathy Lindemer                       http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/

Carolyn Lawson                      http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Blanca Medina                        http://www.peru-medesigns.com/

Debbie Rasmussen                  www.Kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca

Heather Richter                       http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

Kathleen Breeding                   http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/

Carol Dillman                          http://dillmansdallies.blogspot.com/

Chris Eisenberg                       www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Rebecca Sirevaag                    www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com

Sam Waghorn                          http://palemooncreation.blogspot.co.uk

Sherri Stokey                           www.KnotJustMacrame.com

Gina Hockett                           www.freestyleelements.blogspot.com

Michelle McCarthy                  http://fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com

Michelle Buettner                     http://www.MiShelDesigns.blogspot.com

Dana Hickey                            http://magpieapproved.blogspot.com

Claire Fabian                            http://saraccino.blogspot.com

Cynthia Abner                          http://createdtreasures.blogspot.com

Renetha Stanziano                    http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Jami Shipp                               http://CelebratingLifewithDaMamaShipp.blogspot.com

Charlie                                     http://505indiechic.blogspot.com

Gloria Allen                             http://www.wingsandbeads.blogspot.com/

Lisa Johnson                             http://spudandmrsbutters.blogspot.com

Marde Lowe                            http://fancimardesigns.blogspot.com

Jill Bradley                                http://chat2jill.blogspot.com

Toni Gifford                              https://plus.google.com/+ToniG28

Shawnda D’Arcy                      https://www.facebook.com/JewelryByShawnda

RaMona Woolson                    http://jerseygirlsbeadwork.blogspot.com

Esterina Jagiella                        http://ekleijar.blogspot.com

Sandra McGriff                        http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com

Mary McGraw                         http://mkaymac.blogspot.com

Alenka Obid                            http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com

Marianne Baxter                      http://simplyseablimejewelry.blogspot.com

Ann Schroeder                        www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Inge von Roos                          http://ingetraud.wordpress.com

Robin Reed                              http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Suzanne Berk                           https://www.facebook.com/IRescueJewelryDesign

Mowse Doyle                          http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com

Diana Miglionico Shiraishi         http://jasmineteadesigns.blogspot.com

RanaLea                                  http://ranaleadesigns.blogspot.com

Andrea Rivers                          http://turtlesoupcreative.blogspot.com

Janine Lucas                            http://esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories

Tanya McGuire                        http://tanyamcguire.blogspot.com

Anindita Basu                          http://alankarshilpa.blogspot.com

Mitzie Crider                           http://needfulluxuries.blogspot.com

Deb Fortin                               http://studiok24.blogspot.ca

Cynthia Kent Machata             http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com

Cheri Reed                              http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com

Laurel Hanson                         http://stonewingdesigns.com/blogs/stonewingdesignsblog

Ingrid Anderson                      http://lilisgems.wordpress.com/

Karla Morgan                          http://Texaspepperjams.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson                         www.PrettyThings.com

Louise Mccormick-Glazier       http://lilyandjasmine.blogspot.com/

Jasvanti Patel                          http://jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com

Susan Kelly                            http://midlifegreaterexpectations.blogspot.com/

Lee Koopman                        http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com/

Carol Briody                          http://cbriody.blogspot.com/

Kathy Lindemer                    http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/

Renetha Stanziano                http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com/

Divya N                               http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Art Charm Auction Alert

Stay tuned for more details and save the date.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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:                             http://suebeads.blogspot.com/

Art Jewelry Elements


Sue Kennedy’s website


SueBeads Art Beads



Toltec Jewels                                           http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com



Linda Anderson                                       http://fromthebeadboard.blogspot.com/

Jennifer Reno                                           http://jenrenjewelry.blogspot.com/

Shirley Moore                                         http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com/

Kristen Stevens


Marybeth Rich                                         http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com

Jael Thorp                                               http://jaelsjewels.blogspot.com/

Melissa Trudinger                                     http://Beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Andrea Glick


Nan Smith


Blanca Medina


Shai Williams                                           http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com

Carolyn Lawson                                       http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Rana Wilson                                             http://Ranaleadesigns.blogspot.com

Robin Reed                                             http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Robin Showstack                                     http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/

Sheila Prosterman                                     http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan                                      http://Texaspepperjams.blogspot.com

Kari Asbury                                             http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Kelly Rodgers


Jayne Capps                                           https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com/

Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi                   https://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/

Heather Richter                                       http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg                                       www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Kathleen Breeding


Linda Landig                                           http://lindalandig.wordpress.com


Crystal Thain                                           http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/

Cheri Reed                                             http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com

Heather d-Entremont                               http://frugalmadougall.wordpress.com/

Dini Bruinsma                                         http://angazabychanges.blogspot.com/

Lori Schneider                                         http://www.beadaddicted.blogspot.com/

Tammy Adams


Melinda Orr                                           http://bandanagirl.indiemade.com/blog

Lennis Carrier                                         http://windbent.wordpress.com/

Cynthia Machata                                     http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Hodges                                   http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com

Debbie Rasmussen                                 http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com/

Tanya McGuire                                       http://tanyamcguire.blogspot.com/

Charlie Jacka


Ev Shelby                                               http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson                       http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Jasvanti Patel                                       http://jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com

Posted in Blog Hops, Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Haby Blog Hop Reveal

When Melissa Trudinger (https://www.etsy.com/shop/BohoBirdJewellery) 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 (http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com/) 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 (https://www.etsy.com/shop/GinkgoetCoquelicot).


The charm was part of the exchange and fundraiser auction for Beads of Courage that was hosted by Jennifer Cameron (http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog/2013-art-charm-swap-reveal-and-benefit-auction-beads-courage) 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                                           http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Ann Schroeder                                                 http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Tammy Adams                                               http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html

Amanda Wacasey                                           http://mandyinmystic.blogspot.com

Dolores Raml                                                   http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com

Divya N                                                           http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com

Michelle McCarthy                                         http://www.fireflydesignstudio.BlogSpot.com

DiYana Brooks                                                 http://agapecreationsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Robin Kae Reed                                               http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Andrea Glick                                                   http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karin Grosset Grange                                   http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Mitzie Crider                                                   http://needfulluxuries.blogspot.com

Janine Lucas   (will post Sunday)


Rosantia Petkova                                           http://bairozan.blogspot.com/

Susan Kennedy                                               http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Leithleach Alainn Seodra               http://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/

Kathleen Breeding                                         http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/

Shiraz Biggie                                                 http://secretsongdesigns.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg                                               http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Heather Richter                                             http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier                                                 http://www.windbent.net/

Rebecca Anderson                                         http://www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Jenny Kyrlach                                                   http://anafiassa.blogspot.com

Rita Toltec Jewels                                         http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Mischelle Fanucci                                         http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Karen Mitchell


Carol Briody                                                     http://Cbriody.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan                                                 http://TexasPepperJams.blogspot.com

Carolyn Lawson                                             http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson                                                 http://www.prettythingsblog.com/

Jami Shipp                                                       http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Lili Krist                                                             http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/

Evelyn Shelby                                                   http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Raissa de Guzman


Niky Sayers


Keren Panthaki



Posted in Blog Hops | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

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. http://blumudd.com

Link | Posted on by | Tagged | Leave a comment

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: http://glassaddictions.com/blog/

Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com

Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/

Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.co.uk

Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com

Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Nancy Dale : http://www.nedbeads.blogspot.com

Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca

Cassi Paslick: http://cassisbeads.blogspot.com

Alenka Obid: http://www.pepita-handmade.blogspot.com

Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Shelley Graham Turner: http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com

Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com

Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com

Lennis Carter: http://windbent.wordpress.com

Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com

Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com

Perri Jackson: http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/

Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com

Ginger Bishop: http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com

Jean Peter: http://jeanpdesigns.blogspot.com

Linda Florian: http://lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com

Patricia Pulliam: http://rusticstudio.blogspot.com

Karin Grosset Grange: http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Julie Bowen: http://blog.autochthonous-evolved.com

Susan Delaney: http://ladyflowersbysusan.wordpress.com

Emma Todd: http://www.apolymerpenchant.blogspot.com

Carolyn Chenault : http://carolynchenault.wordpress.com

Terri Del Signore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com

Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com

Cheryl (Lee) Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com

Lori Bowring Michaud: http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com

Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com

Jacqueline Carlson: http://www.beadgypsy.blogspot.com

Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com

Charlene Bausinger Jacka: http://clay-space.com/blog/

Kristi Bowman: http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com

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