Spring Awakening Challenge Reveal

Today is the reveal for the Spring Awakening Challenge where I used beads purchased from Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery. Here is what was in the kit and the handmade component Andrew made.

Yes, I did actually sort through it really well; I like to know when I can be symmetrical and when I can’t. These are really my colors, so it is strange that I have a hard time coming up with ideas for these. Luckily, I didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Included in the box, was a lovely postcard advertising the Gallery’s current exhibition featuring a painting by Cynthia Thornton called “Mama Mermaid.” The whole earth awakens in Spring. 

I grabbed a few oceanic, tropical things before I remembered one of the first pieces I ever made. It was actually the second piece of metal I painted; I was so intent on the focal, that I just put it on a chain, so a redo was in order. 

I didn’t change the earrings, since I like the sea glass and vintage glass together, but I reworked the look of the necklace. 

I haven’t used waxed linen before. Oh, I have it here laying around, but it’s sticky! Since it came in the kit, I really wanted to challenge myself to work with it. Since the necklace wasn’t falling apart, I was confident enough to try earrings.

While it’s fun to experiment, these are not really what I consider my style. My style is still evolving, but these are not something I would normally make. With that thought in mind, I tackled Andrew’s polymer clay pendant. How could I still use the waxed linen, but be more me?

I’m pleased with the way the bracelet turned out. This is totally something I would make, just with some new texture. Now, this is where I got ambitious. I love art dolls and spirt dolls…but I have never made one. I blame the beads–they screamed to me and I answered. Many times, I have a very clear vision of what I want, and often sketch it out, but I may not always know how to do what I want to do. Skill level is one of the things I am trying hard to work on this year, so I have stopped selling and devoted myself to classes. 

One of my favorite trees is Birch. I am drawn to it in ways I can’t explain. Paintings, photos, Birch beer, wood art…I want to touch it, look at it, and ingest it. I put out a call to my beady peeps and Andrea Glick said she would send me some branches from her tree. Believe it or not, this is actually what inspired my idea: 

The mini broom, I got at a charity shop, and the beaded flowers my friend Kelli Nelson sent to me that were on my workbench. Andrea sent me the branches and also in the mail that day, was a doll head I had purchased. Bam!

I made a mold of the face and everything flowed from there. Her face is polymer clay. I have a load of recycled upholstery fabric and wallpaper that I like to use, so I grabbed what I though would work well with the beads. Silk sari ribbon is a favorite, so I had to have that! I love resin, so I used the resin to adhere the branches to the broom and while it was still wet, coated the drops with mica powders–hopefully you can see little glints of color. I love wire so I knew that would be incorporated. The final idea of a “crown” came together while visiting a bead shop/glass and mosaic supply shop in Harrisonburg, VA and found these great ceramic tile leaves. 

I hope you like her as much as I do! She hasn’t told me her name yet, so if you have any suggestions, let me know! This blog hop is small so please take the time to visit and see what the other participants have made. Thank you so much for looking. 

Christina Porter http://queenbeedesignsny.com 
Michelle McCarthy of Playing with Clay www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com 
The Host: Andrew Thornton http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com 
Posted in Blog Hops, Challenges, design ideas, jewelry making | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Marsala Valentine Challenge Reveal


Today is the reveal for the Marsala Valentine Challenge where I used beads purchased from Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery.

I borrowed Andrew’s photos to show you what was in the kit and the handmade components Andrew made:



I have to admit the Pantone color of the year underwhelmed me. I love burgundy, maroon, and wine. Two things helped me with this color: Andrew’s blend and this Seeds color palette:


While I like the deeper reds, I find I don’t design with red often. My comfort zone is in the blue and green shade variations so this was a great way for me to become more familiar with this color pathway. I had loads of fun digging through my stash and playing.



Earrings were first so I could dip my toes into the water:






Then, I decided to do a bracelet…which should have been a little, tiny bit bigger I think but it will still roll over my hand if I concentrate. LOL


I finally graduated to necklaces. The lampwork in this first one was made by Valerie O’Neal of Seaside Fire Designs.



And…this is when disaster struck. I was not happy with my third necklace and wanted to redesign it, but I still had not completely arranged my workspace since our move and with things piled up everywhere, I dropped it on the floor. The rake face was made by Harry Wood of Oscarcrow. His little horns broke, which are a shocking white under the glaze. Harry is making me another one, but it is a different color, as is the nature of Raku, and it has not arrived yet. I used black marker on the porcelain and was not happy with that, so I covered it with some Guilder’s Paste that I think matches well. It looks a lot better. I will redesign this and post a photograph at a later date.


Alison Herrington http://www.alisonadorns.blogspot.com/
Dolores Raml https://craftydscreations.wordpress.com
Carole Carlson http://www.beadsophisticate.wordpress.com
Lennis Carrier https://windbent.wordpress.com
Carolyn Lawson http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com/
Michelle McCarthy http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com/
Ann Schroeder http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickjewelrydesign.com/blog/
Shaiha Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com/

On Andrew Thornton’s Blog:
Andrew Thornton, Nancy Noyes-Ward, Donna Hoblit, Cheryl Lee Tucker, and Laurel Ross. http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/

Thank you for joining us. This is a very small Blog Hop so please take a few minutes to enjoy what the other artists made.

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Still time to Bid on Art Charms for BOC

Please visit the fundraiser for Beads of Courage. The auctions end Monday.







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2014 Art Charm Swap and Ebay Auction for BOC

Welcome and thank you for coming to visit. All links in this post should open in a new window. :) Please visit the Ebay Auction here! All proceeds go directly to Beads of Courage through the Ebay Gives program, so bid with confidence. Thank you to Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions for hosting this event. You can visit her Blog, visit her Store, or follow her on Flickr to find out more about her. If that’s not enough, she is also a contributor to Art Jewelry Elements.

So what did I make? This year’s theme is SOAR. At first I thought I would encase feathers in resin. But then, I thought about what would mean something to me personally. It’s probably the fact that Saving Mr. Banks has been making us all remember Mary Poppins. There’s that lovely lyric about “send it soaring, up through the atmosphere, up where the air is clear. Oh let’s go fly a kite!”

So I did this:

Starting BOC charms

In Progress Back of Kites

2014BOC Charm_Aqua

I also sent in one of the Blackbird charms I made so I hope it raises some money too! (https://windbent.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/making-blackbird-art-charms/)

Not your cup of tea? Please consider donating directly to Beads of Courage. Do you make beads? Please consider making some beads to send directly to the children; you can donate them here. Or, find a charm that speaks to you and go bid!

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants

Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

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

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

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

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

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

Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com

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

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

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

Elizabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com

Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

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

Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

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

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

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

Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com

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

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

Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com

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

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


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Art Charm Fundraiser Postponed to November 25


Here’s a little teaser of my charms:


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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                          https://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/

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Art Charm Auction Alert

Stay tuned for more details and save the date.


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