Author Archives: lilruby jewelry

About lilruby jewelry

My name is Joan Williams and I'm a self taught jewelry designer and mixed media artist. I was born and raised in the Chicago area, and I now live in the Missouri Ozarks with my husband, son and jillions of beads - along with lots of ephemera and stuff that my packrat ancestors saved (and I'm so glad they did)! My passion is creating jewelry that bears the patina of time and travel, using a blend of new components and found objects. I'm also crazy about antiques, horses, flowers, rusty hinges and chipped paint, so you never know what I might be inspired to talk about. I hope you'll stop by from time to time to see what I'm up to! Click below to visit my Etsy shop and my Facebook page, and to see additional photos on Flickr.

BHBSBP reveal!

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So happy to be participating in another of Lori Anderson’s fabulous blog hops! This one is the Bead Hoarder’s edition, and the beautiful idea behind it is to send your partner a bead (or beads) that you’ve been hoarding – something that really is special to you, as a true act of kindness. I love that!

My partner is the very talented Pam DeBoer of Pamela’s Studio. Be sure to check out her vibrant, artistic designs on her Facebook page!

Here’s what I sent to Pam –

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I bought that awesome ceramic focal bead in a great bead shop we happened upon as my husband and I were passing through Savannah, Georgia on a special vacation 6 years ago. I loved this bead because it was unlike any others I’ve ever had – it reminds me of a Calder sculpture or maybe a Picasso painting. I chose a strand of tiny faceted agates and some Czech glass to go with it.

As I was getting ready to send it off I decided to paint the box to match, just for fun!

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I really hope Pam enjoyed creating with it!

Now for what she sent to me-a beautifully detailed poly clay pendant-

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And some great Tibetan clay beads, lampwork rondelles and my favorites – a pair of sweet handmade ceramic birds!

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I ended up making 3 pieces, and they are all very different from each other. First, I used the Tibetan beads along with some pierced sterling beads and lampwork discs from my stash for this funky pair of earrings-

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Next I made a long knotted necklace for the pendant using S-lon cord and sparkly little faceted Czech glass beads-

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Finally, those little handmade birds – I perched them on a rusty tin birdhouse pendant along with Czech glass flowers and beads. Perfect for Spring!

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I had a great time working with these wonderful beads – thanks for hopping along with me!

Click below to visit Lori’s blog and the links to all the other blog hoppers!

http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2017/03/welcome-to-bead-soup-blog-party-bead.html

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A foggy morning

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Oh, I love foggy mornings! Yesterday was deliciously foggy – and my day off – so I happily headed out early before the sun had a chance to burn through. I stopped at a little fishing trail to the creek, and just a few steps in I came across these-

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They’re fairy mushrooms – aren’t they adorable? Like tiny umbrellas for woodland creatures!

Wildflowers were blooming prettily along the trail, and the air smelled wonderful with that sweet, rich scent of late summer here in the Ozarks.

 

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Another thing I enjoy about this time of year are the spider webs everywhere – on the ground, festooned from tree branches, even on sign posts along the road.

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What I really love is when they’re decorated with dewdrops that look like tiny beaded necklaces!

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As I got closer to the water the fog grew thicker, and I stopped at a part of the creek with lots of dead trees and strange growth close to the water that has a cool, mysterious look to it all year long. I love it, and one of these days I’m gonna see if my son can get me out there in his boat.

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That’s a Great Blue Heron on that branch in the distance. So glad I caught him – right after this he took off with a rusty squawk and several flaps of his huge wings.

From here I decided to drive over to Empire Park on Lake Taneycomo. I just had to take a picture of my favorite trees – cottonwoods. I love how their leaves sparkle and rustle with the slightest of breezes!

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As I walked along the lake I saw ducks paddling in the water, and was surprised to see another heron standing motionless by the shore-

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All in all, it was an hour well spent – thanks for coming along!

Lost and Found…

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Found objects, that is.

I participated in a Re-purposed Market craft show at a local antique mall over the weekend, which was fun but attendance was pretty sparse. It was held at a very nice indoor venue and featured demonstrations by FYI guy Jeremy Rabe (who is very charming and gracious!) but the weather was a glorious 80 degrees all weekend, so I guess the lake got more visitors than we did. You just never know! Anyway, the good thing is that preparing for this show rekindled my love for making found object jewelry and sparked my creativity in a way that hasn’t happened in a while.

One of the first things I found to play with was the head of a tiny old hammer-

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With the addition of wire, beads, a piece of an old folding ruler and some nuts borrowed from my husband’s tool box it’s now a pendant! I call this one “Handyman Special” 🙂

 

 

When I saw this fabulous Victorian drawer pull I couldn’t resist – I just love the sweet little bird on the front.

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I carefully bent it and added a verdigris patina, brass chain and some gorgeous Czech glass beads for a one of a kind bracelet-

 

Next up, some sweet little vintage perfume bottles I found at a flea market-

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I had SO much fun making these!

 

Here’s an everyday garden item-

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With a new look!

 

So maybe this show wasn’t a big moneymaker for me, but that’s OK – the creative juices are flowing, and that’s a good thing!

Bird brain

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Or birds on the brain, anyway -so many of the things I’ve made lately feature our feathered friends. One of the main sources of inspiration has come from my own yard – last year we had bluebirds nesting in one of our birdhouses, and I’m so happy to see they’ve come back!

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Bluebirds are especially fun to paint, too!

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I’ve also enjoyed using these brass beauties from B’Sue Boutiques-

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Of course I had to paint and/or add some rusty patina to all of ’em!

 

This vintage beauty was a recent Etsy find, and I couldn’t wait to pair it with some of the other goodies in my stash, like the old rhinestone ring and mother of pearl heart and discs-

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There are still plenty more birds – and other winged creatures – waiting on my workbench, so we’ll what flies out next! 🙂

 

A fine fall day

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A few days ago I had the distinct pleasure of spending a warm fall afternoon wandering around in my favorite city, Chicago. My husband and I both grew up in Chicagoland, but moved from the area over 20 years ago so it’s always exciting to come home.

We took a Metra train into the city, which is part of the fun. That day the Cubs were playing the Pirates at “the friendly confines” of Wrigley Field, and many of the other train passengers were wearing Cubs shirts or jerseys.

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People might joke about the Cubs but they’ve definitely got loyal fans – my mom was a diehard fan most of her life.  And hey, maybe this is the year they’ll actually make it!

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Just a block from the train station is the mighty Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. See those tiny boxes way up at the top? They’re made of thick glass, and the last time I was here I walked out into one and enjoyed the view from 104 stories up – it was fun, and not scary like I thought it would be!

On State Street I noticed that I could see three Chicago icons at the same time – one of the Marshall Field clocks, the Chicago Theater sign and the Marina Towers, so I managed to get them all in the same shot-

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I also couldn’t help but notice a name we’ve been seeing a lot of lately!

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As I walked along I kept hearing what sounded like a parade, and as I came around the corner I saw a marching band performing in Daley Plaza under the watchful eyes of the Picasso sculpture. I think he was enjoying it as much as everyone else!

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Next I went over a couple blocks to Michigan Avenue, as no walk around the loop is complete without stopping at Millennium Park.

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After the usual silly selfie taken in the reflection of the Bean, I was delighted to see some new sculptures in the park. This lovely series of faces are by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, and are beautifully serene.

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This one literally has her head in the clouds!

My last stop was the Art Institute, and as I walked through the little park next to it I came upon a photo shoot of a gorgeous model in a wonderful ruffled skirt in vivid red. She looked like a painting come to life!

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By now it was getting late in the afternoon and we decided to head back to the train station to beat the commuter rush. Even though it was only a couple of hours, I thoroughly enjoyed drinking in the sights and sounds of the city I love – hope you did too!

Mannequin Mania

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I have a new obsession. It involves taking  paper mache mannequins like this one

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and making them look like these, using a combination of craft paint and metal reactive patina paints.

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The process is kind of messy, somewhat unpredictable and so much fun! Best of all, the result is that rusty, grungy chippy paint look that I love, and works perfectly with my jewelry style.

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Since it doesn’t look like I’m gonna be able to stop making these (it’s too much fun!) I’ve started offering some for sale. If you’re local, you can see them, and some lilruby jewelry too – at Harrison House Market in Ozark!

Art of awareness blog hop

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Today is the reveal for the Art of Awareness blog hop, which was created by Lori Anderson of Bead Soup Blog Party fame. I love to participate in Lori’s blog hops and was intrigued by this one, in which we were instructed to think of a word or phrase that has special meaning and have a unique “word bean” created with it by Heather Millican of Swoondimples. (how cool is that?)

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The phrase I chose was “faith is”, because to me faith is what it all comes down to. This has become especially clear to me during the past five years, which have been tumultuous to say the least! But although it’s been tough with challenges and losses of just about every kind, we’ve come through it all with the realization that what seems insurmountable can be handled with faith not only in God but in ourselves, too.

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So for me, faith is the key.

This started out as a necklace, but since I often pray and reflect on my blessings while I’m driving to work I decided to hang it from my rear view mirror to remind me to keep the faith – and also to forget about the rear view (the past)!

Thanks so much for visiting – here’s the list of all the participants!

Lori
Heather
Anderson
Millican
www.PrettyThingsBlog.com (hostess)
www.facebook.com/swoondimples (bead artist)
Candida Castleberry www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
mischelle andrade https://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Paige Maxim http://delightfullittlegems.blogspot.com/
Laurie Vyselaar www.lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Alice Peterson www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Audrey Bélanger http://esperianterra.blogspot.ca/
Karen mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.com
Jean Wells jeanawells.blogspot.com
Ann Schroeder www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Gail Accinelli facebook.com/oregonmadejewelry
Tania Spivey www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/
Mary K McGraw mkaymac.blogspot.com
Shai Williams www.shaihasramblings.com/
Beth Emery storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com
Catie Doman http://drcatie.blogspot.com
Lorelei Eurto Http://lorelei1141.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Katie Nelson https://www.facebook.com/katiebead
Patty Miller http://pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Charlee Griffith https://www.facebook.com/charlee.griffith
Kelli Nelson www.afamilyaffarekelli.blogspot.com
Catherine King http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger beadrecipes.wordpress.com
susan Bowie https://susanbowie.wordpress.com
Jennifer Justman www.soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
K Hutchinson http://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Veralynne Malone www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Evie and Beth McCord http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/
Mihaela Georgescu http://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com
Rebecca Anderso Www.songbeads.blogspot.com
Charlene jacka www.clay-space.com
Kim Stevens www.pickingpoppies.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland Mistheword12.wordpress.com
Sally Russick www.sallyrussick.blogspot.com
Gina Hockett www.freestyleelements.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Sandi Volpe www.sandivolpe.com
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Janine Lucas http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Lori Bowring Michaud www.artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Christie Murrow Www.charisdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
B.R. Kuhlman www.mixedmayhemstudios.com
Lupe Meter www.gesmpccorner.blogspot.com
Lucy Bejarano www.lucybejaranojewelry.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Perry www.mustardbeadbystephanieperry.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld www.beadsforbusygals.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Heather Powers www.humblebeads.blogspot.com
Katie Hacker www.katiehacker.blogspot.com
Kepi Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca 
Gail Vanderster-Zwang www.angelmoose.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Hodges http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com/