Category Archives: Things I Love

Oh, the possibilities!

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It’s Bead Soup time again – I’m participating in the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson. This is my 2nd year for Bead Soup, and my reveal date is March 30th.

If you haven’t heard about this wildly popular and fun blog hop, here’s how it works: Lori assigns each participant a partner, and you each choose a mixture of beads and findings (a soup) from your stash and exchange them. On reveal day, you post what you created on your blog. Creating with beads you didn’t choose yourself is a good way to stretch your creativity, and is lots of fun – especially since my partner, Gretchen Nation, sent me an absolute treasure trove of goodies – so much it takes two pictures to see it all! Check this out-

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In this pic you can see vintage beads and buttons, found objects, a strand of fire agates and more!

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Here we have more great buttons and beads, and best of all – Frozen Charlottes! There were five of these little beauties, but I’ve already started creating with one of them. Be sure to check back on March 30th to see what I come up with!

love life

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jewelry 563When I started to make this bracelet, it was with the intention of just making a fun piece to sell for Valentines Day. But as I was deciding how to etch it and what the text would say, instead it became a reminder – to love life – no matter what challenges it holds. My husband and I have experienced some doozies over the past couple of years – illness, the loss of both of our mothers, job loss followed by extended unemployment which in turn has caused financial hardship…all of which equals stress levels that are off the charts! But – love endures – for each other, and for the life we share.
So, instead of a holiday sale piece, I think I’ll keep this one…or at least make another one for me! ūüôā

Remembering Clara – Memories and Thanks blog hop reveal

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When I saw that Lori Anderson was hosting another of her great blog hops I was ready to sign up, especially since this one has to do with memory jewelry – that is, jewelry that’s created to honor the memory of someone who has played a special part in your life.

Clara was my paternal grandmother, and was special not only to me, but to our entire family. Christmas Eves and family birthdays were always spent at Grandma’s house on Hendee St.

Grandma was gentle and soft spoken, but also very strong. She’s been gone many years now, but I can still see her in her dress, apron and cute little old lady shoes. She always wore a jeweled pin on her apron or a necklace, and had tea and cookies every afternoon at 4:00. To this day I think of her everytime I see a box of Lorna Doones!

God only knows what I was jabbering at her!

God only knows what I was jabbering at her!

I’m the youngest child in our family by over 10 years so Grandma was already¬†70 years old when I was born. I knew her as the adorable elderly lady she was at that time, but I’ve always been fascinated by the lovely young woman she once was. So much so that way back in high school I painted this portrait of her –

Grandma's portrait

The image I chose to use for¬†my memory bracelet is from her wedding picture. I photocopied the photo, inserted it into¬†a lovely¬†brass stamping piece from B’Sue Boutiques and coated it with ICE resin. After that it was just a matter of adding a few crystals and a length of chain that I threaded with some tea dyed ribbon.

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I like to think that Clara would have approved!

Thanks so much for joining me on my little trip down memory lane! Now go and check out all the¬†talented¬†artists and their beautiful creations¬†on this blog hop –

http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2012/11/participants-for-memories-and-thanks.html

Challenge of Color reveal!

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When I saw that Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry was hosting the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color blog hop I jumped at the chance to participate. I was intrigued by the premise of the challenge, which is to create a jewelry piece using color palettes that were created by Brandi Hussey from satellite pictures! The¬†images of places all over our planet are from the Earth As Art exhibit, and are breathtakingly beautiful. The other thing that makes Erin’s blog hop challenges so interesting is that she encourages you to go beyond just the jewelry creation part of it and to actually learn a little something about the topic.

Of the two palettes I received, the one I chose to use is called “Lake District”.

Here’s what I learned:

The Lake District, also known as The Lakes, is a mountainous region of Northwestern England. The area is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, but also for being the home of poet William Wordsworth and children’s author Beatrix Potter.
The highest mountains in England are in the Lake District as well as the two deepest and longest lakes. Designated as a National Park in 1951, it’s the most visited National Park in the United Kingdom. Something that made it all the more interesting to me is that it happens that some of my husband’s ancestors are also from that region!

Another good thing about this challenge is that it forced me to delve into my stash of “stones I couldn’t resist buying but have no idea what to do with”.¬†This pendant¬†was the first thing I made-

Pretty close match, isn’t it?¬†By the way, does anyone know what kind of stone that is?

Next, I thought I’d try to pick up on some of the dusky pink and rose brown tones. I had a strand of large picasso jasper rounds and two of these¬†striped stone beads that I thought would work well for a chunky bracelet. I don’t know what those striped beads are either, but they have a wonderful silky smooth texture! I bent a couple of little gears to make bead caps for the picasso bead¬†and¬†wired everything together along with a few Czech glass beads.

So there you have it РI managed to use some of my mystery stones, learned about something new and had a great time doing it! 

As I was writing this post I¬†was having¬†tons of computer issues so I apologize that I wasn’t able to include the list of other blog hop artists¬†here – but please click on the link below to¬†go back and visit them all – thanks for looking!

Erin Prais-Hintz    http://treasures-found.blogspot.com

It’s here!!

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My husband and I love Steve Martin movies and we dug out “The Jerk” to watch a week or so ago. One of my favorite scenes is when the new phone book is delivered to the gas station where Navin is working and he leaps with joy at seeing his name in print. I felt much the same way when I came home from work one day last week to see that the new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry had been delivered-

Because – alongside the work of so many really talented artists – is this article!

This hinge bracelet is my all time favorite found object piece, and was also the easiest to make. From the moment I saw that old hinge with its chippy red paint I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it – it’s too bad inspiration doesn’t usually come that easily!

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had one of my jewelry pieces published, and happily I know of at least a couple more to come, but that jumping up and down joy is always the same – along with a sense of wonder that something I used to only dream of has actually happened. So, if you make jewelry or knit or paint or write – whatever it is – don’t be afraid to send it out into the world for others to enjoy!

My knight in shining armor

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During one of my late night internet searches recently I fell in love with this tiny vintage brass watch fob –

When it arrived in the mail I set about finding something that would transform the little guy into a pendant. After rummaging around awhile I found what I was looking for – an old piece of scalloped amber glass that I acquired years ago.

As I had hoped, it fit in the watch fob bottom perfectly! After that it was a simple matter to add some filigree, a matching crystal and some brass chain. I just love this little guy!

I was really tempted to keep this one, but I decided he’d make a great gift for someone so into my Etsy shop it went. Here’s the link to my shop if you’d like to take a look-
http://www.lilruby.etsy.com

I do still make jewelry….sometimes

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Lately my blog posts have been about anything but jewelry, as my creative urges in that area have kind of gone through a lull. I used to get stressed out about that, but now I realize that channeling my creativity in other ways – like taking pictures of cows or the moon! – helps me to get a fresh perspective that really helps when I sit down at my little workbench again.

I’ve kind of been obsessed with these angel wing stampings lately – I just love the exqusite detail of the feathers, and the way they look in different finishes or with an added patina. That got my spark lit again, at least enough to make a few things!


By the way, the fabulous brass wings are from B’ Sue Boutiques – if you make jewelry and¬†haven’t visited her store yet¬†you really should! www.bsueboutiques.com