Monday, March 26, 2012

Skies are Blue Again - $35.00

Lovely bracelet in shades of blue and silver. Lampwork beads, sterling silver, recycled glass. Chain allows bracelet to go smaller or larger adjustable to fit sizes 7 1/2 to 8" wrists.

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Copper and Green - $22.00

Dangle Earrings with drop measuring 2 inches. Copper Ear wires by Melinda Orr; Lotus blossom embossed Vintaj disc with green magnesite beads.

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Giveaway at Pretty Things

Lori Anderson at Pretty Things Blog is having a giveaway.  Lori is giving away three how-to DVDs by Scott David Plumlee.  Scott  is an AMAZING chain maille and wire artist.  Two of the DVDs are on chain maille and one is on wire work and Lori is giving away all three DVDs to three lucky winners. 

Check out the links below each DVD for a more detailed description and head on over to Lori's blog for a chance to win.   I'm headed there now for my chance.

Have a great day and as always, 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sad Today!

Today's a sad one for me.  My daughter, Baille, is going back to school in Savannah, Georgia after a nice spring break at home in Ohio.  This day is always a depressing one for me.  As a mother I am most happy when my little chicks are gathered around in the nest.  Considering that my youngest chick is now 20 this is  happening less and less as each one continues to sprout their wings and fly away.  

Being my only daughter, Baille and I have our ups and downs - I think it is the mother/daughter thing. We fight, we have bad moods but when it is all said and done we love each other very much and I love having her home to share things with me.  She is my creative partner, we make jewelry together, we craft together, we shop together and when she is away the desire to do these things is lessened for me.  

I had so many projects that I was wanting her input on but she's a busy girl and my time was rationed.  Now the input will have to happen via pictures over our cell phones and an occasional Skype session.   Her course of study in Fashion Design is a stressful one and most of her creative thoughts are spent on trying to get A's and just get through the quarter.  Here's hoping that the next quarter is a successful one and that the ten weeks she is away will pass quickly.  

Copper Blues - $28.00

Earrings using hammered copper and copper ear wires - components by Melinda Orr. Beautiful Lampwork beads in shades of blue and copper accent beads. Drop measures 1 1/2 inch

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway at Tree Wings Studio

Rebekah, from Tree Wings Studio makes the most exquisite little polymer clay beads - the ponies that she makes are my favorite.  Check out these goodies:

Rebekah is giving away three bead bundles on her blog. You could win some by going to her blog and leaving a comment.  (Even though I want the pony beads, that leaves two more sets up for grabs) Go check out her blog before the 20th and leave a comment so that you too can be entered in a chance to win. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Etsy Shop, Shop Marketing and Photography

I'm trying out Shop Marketing to see if this helps to bring customers to my Etsy shop.  It looks like it might be a nice feature.  You can schedule posting of items from your Etsy shop to Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, StumbleUpon and Tumblr.  I did a test with a few of my items to see how they appeared and I appreciate any comments that I get.  I am looking for suggestions on photographs and tags for the shop.  

I have been listing things on Etsy for the past nine months and have had very little traffic.  I have even used the promotional ads that they have available.  It took me awhile to get listings in Etsy because of the photograph element.  Even though I have three very artistic children - all have studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design and all have excellent photography skills, I was pretty much on my own when it came to taking my jewelry photos.  It wasn't until I saw a blog about using the macro setting on your camera that I got decent enough shots to use.  Even though I'm not a young chick, I have no problem reading and learning new things.  I did a little experimenting with backgrounds and when the sun is shining I think the shots turn out okay.  My middle son has given me some pointers on editing photos with LightRoom and I have started adjusting exposures, cropping a few basic things. My kiddies have also been very critical of layouts and not getting too fussy with backgrounds so I am trying to heed their suggestions.  It all it a lot bit of trial and error and being able to take criticism and adjust.  

This morning is a really nice sunny day and so I'm out on my dew kissed deck trying to take pics.  Problem is that no matter where I move my pieces I get a shadow.  Now I must wait until my son gets home from work to see what he suggests.  Also, I'm trying to take pictures of earrings for the first time and I find it really hard to get a shot that doesn't look awkward.   Same goes for really long necklaces.  

The thing I love most about the beading community is the ability to share and ask questions and I am learning a lot from other jewelry makers.  So any comments or suggestions are welcome.  

Enjoy your St Patrick's day and the beautiful weather that most of the country is enjoying.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Southwest style - $40.00

Beautiful mixture of natural gemstones to include turquoise, red sponge coral, amethyst, African beads and seed bead and silver button closure. This is a longer necklace.

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Carved Floral - $23.00

Carved Cream and brown flower accents with brown wooden cubes, pearls and light jade.

Click Here to Visit My Etsy Shop!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Suddenly it's Spring Challenge

Spring is certainly in the air.  The temperatures are getting warmer each day and the flowers are starting to bud in my backyard.  As a welcome to spring Michelle Mach hosted a Suddenly Spring Challenge and today is the big reveal. Twenty Two people are participating in this challenge.  Each person was given the opportunity to purchase a pre-strung bracelet of aqua crystal beads and sparkly crystal rondelles and to turn it into something spring

I certainly could have worn the bracelet as is, it was quite sparkly and the color a very pretty icy aqua blue.  But since we were challenged to re purpose the beads, I had to come up with something different.  My dilemma was whether to stay with something familiar or to go for something different.  I decided that I should probably should go the something different route. I made two bracelets from the aqua crystals in this bracelet and saved the rondelles for another project.  One of the things that I wanted to accomplish was to add fibers to my pieces.   I had purchase some Sari silk back in the winter but had not yet used it in a jewelry piece.  The colors in the silk screamed spring to me.  I decided to crochet a base out of the Sari silk for the first piece.   I rounded up some flowers and leaves that I had in my stash in the same aqua color.  I added them to the base with some artistic wire, added a cute button and immediately had a spring time bracelet.    

The second bracelet was made using memory wire, seed beads, flowers, crystals, and silver along with some sari silk bows for accents.  

Both pieces are totally different but both say spring to me.  What do you think?  Please check out these other sites to see what "spring time" ideas they all came up with and enjoy.   

Michelle - Beads & Books [Hostess]

Andrew - The Writing & Art of Andrew Thornton

Christa - Adventures of One Beady Woman

Dita - Alankarshilpa

Donetta - Simply Gorgeous

Erin - Erin Siegel Jewelry

Heather - As I Bead It

Jean - Snap Out of It Jean - There's Beading to Be Done!

Karen - Over the Moon Design

Kate - We Can Make That At Home

Kay - Palm Coast Art

Kim - CianciBlue

Kristina - Wild Roses and Blackberries

Linda - Lindy's Designs  <----  you are here

Lisa - Pine Ridge Treasures

Marlene - Amazing Designs by Marlene

Michelle - Reverie & Revival

Pamela - Someday Beads

Pam - The Crazy Creative Corner

Renetha - Lamplight Crafts

Sharyl - Catchenthesun

Terry - Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

Therese  - Therese's Treasures

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bead Show Goodies

The International Gem and Jewelry show is in town and once again I had a need to feed my addiction - my addiction to beads and all things colorful.  The show is a smorgasbord of natural stones and silver, copper and brass findings.  There is so many beads that I almost go into shock each time I go to one of these shows.  I can't imagine what it would be like to go to one of the really big shows like in Tucson or the Bead and Button in Milwaukee.  I have always wanted to go to one of these shows but feared that my budget just couldn't afford it.  I thought I would share some of my goodies with you today.  Please ignore the bad photos.  It was just too cold to go outside for the photos and the sunlight through my kitchen window leaves a bit of a shadow.  

Some of the things that I picked up:  Mookite, jade, jasper, Columbian amber, howlite, some really interesting carved wood beads and probably one of my favorites is the large chunky turquoise and brown colored bead that I have no idea what it is.  I'm sure that I asked before I purchased it but my memory being what it is, I forgot by the time I got home.  I also picked up some interesting copper bead caps and copper chain.  The pendant that you see is Red Creek Jasper from a vendor in Texas. 

I'm not sure yet what I am going to make with these wonderful beads.  I probably will wait until my daughter gets home on spring break next week from Savannah College of Art and Design and we can play together.  Beading with my girl is one of my favorite things to do.  I find that while she is away my inspiration is not quite what I would like it to be.  We bounce designs off of each other and just having her to share it with makes it so much better.  Any suggestions as to what you would do with some of these lovelies.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Suddenly Spring Blog Hop

We have been very fortunate this year and have had a very mild winter.  The temperatures are getting warmer daily and it is quite evident outside with the emerging green in my garden that spring is virtually here.  I love spring.  I love the feel in the air in the early morning and the smell in the air.  I love the spring flowers in my garden and perhaps this is my most favorite time of year for the garden with my Virginia Blue Bells and Bleeding Hearts that look so pretty together.  Spring is also a time for lighter jewelry with pretty flowers and airy designs.  

One of my goals this year was to get more involved in beading challenges, so when Michelle Mach offered up another challenge I was right onboard.  I had participated in her winter challenge with the Chinook Designs ceramic focal.  Even though it was very challenging for me to do something different, I enjoyed it.  

Michelle recently offered up some pre-strung bracelets in icy blue for a spring challenge.  The challenge is to take a finished piece of jewelry and recreate something for spring -- new colors, new designs.  There are only 26 participants and looking over the list it is pretty intimidating based on their work.  I could have worn the bracelet as is, it is quite lovely and the colors sparkle, however that would not be meeting the requirements of the challenge. There are ideas running through my head of what I could do with these lovelies.   My dilemma, do I make something that I am comfortable with, something that is pretty but sort of ho hum, or do I work outside my comfort zone and do something different.  

A big portion of this challenge for me is to offer up my work for viewing and criticism - not necessarily written criticism, people in the beading world are generally kind and generous and don't write negative things about your work on your blog, but in my mind. Well I'm going to get out of my comfort zone and go for it.  Check back next week to see whether I did comfortable or something new.  The reveal date is March 13th.  I'm excited to see what everyone came up with and how they transformed this lovely little bracelet into something "spring".

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bead Giveaway!

Check out the fantastic giveaway happening over at  Lorelei Eurto's blog 

Lorelei has some wonderful beads by Hilla Bushari of Hillovely from Israel. Hilla makes these fantastic polymer clay beads and Lorelei has put together a wonderful giveaway.  Go check out Lorelei's blog and Hilla's etsy shop.  I'm sure you will enjoy both.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Hop

Well this has been a fun weekend.  Full of inspiration and intimidation.  I have spent a good portion of the last two days visiting all the blogs of the Bead Soup participants and checking out all the wonderfully creative and beautiful jewelry that has been made.  It never ceases to amaze me at how different we all are and how we can all take something and make things so unique and individual.  Thanks to Lori Anderson for organizing such an awesome event. Even though I was not one of the lucky 200 this go round, I look forward to being one of the lucky ones in the next Bead Soup party.  This was the main reason I started a blog in the first place!  To be to be able to participate in all these wonderful challenges and hops was my goal.  The beading community is made up of so many wonderful and sharing people.   Even though I have been making jewelry for over nine years I still see things new and different and something that I would not have thought to do.  If you haven't done so already, please go to Lori's blog, Pretty Things, and check out the list of participants and start hopping.  I know you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mini Bead Soup Swap

Lori Anderson at Pretty Things Blog is hosting her 5th Bead Soup Blog Hop with the reveal date of March 3rd.  Lori's Bead Soup Blog Hops are so popular that there were over 350 people that signed up to do the hop this time.  Because of the time that it takes to hop to that many blogs, Lori decided to limited the number of participants to 200, and these participants were selected via random selector.  I unfortunately was not one of the lucky participants for this go round, but no worries since everyone that is interested will be included in the next hop.

In the meantime, Keri Sereika of Pink Lemonade put together a mini hop with 13 people with a reveal date of April 1.  I was paired up with Bryna Lumb of Brynas Beadbox.  Oh so exciting!  Here is the soup that Bryna sent me.  She is a talented lampwork artist and I was fortunate enough to get from Bryna a beautiful lampwork focal bead, two additional lamp work beads, and complimentary accent beads to complete the piece(s). 

Our reveal date will be April 1.  While I can wait to get started on my taxes, I can't wait to get started on my jewelry pieces.  Please come back on April 1 (and that no fooling) to see what I did with these beautiful beads. Also check out 
Bryna's blog to see what I sent her.  Check out these other participant's blogs and be sure to come back April 1 for the big reveal. 

Linda Younkman   <--- You are here
Keri Lee Sereika
Niki Meiners
Karan Parker
Judy Turner
Bryna Lumb
Carmen Lau
Cheryl Foiles
Elena Gianni
Tania Hagen
Stephanie Wood 
Lisa Lodge