Friday, December 11, 2009

Expressions of Winter

As most of you all have noticed, Winter arrived here recently. We've had bitterly cold winds and a little bit of snow. The temperature yesterday morning when I dropped Valerie off at school, was an icy 17 degrees Fahrenheit! That's about 70 degrees too cold for me! Even after living here for over 21 years, I haven't been able to get used to the cold. My brother just recently confided that same thought to me. One of these days I will live where winter is a mild 65 degrees!

In keeping with this wintry theme, I have recently created a few pieces that won't melt in my warm house. They are listed in my Etsy and 1000 Markets shops for your perusal if you like. I have chosen a couple of my best photographs of these pieces to share here.


Also, the Monthly Etsy Beadweavers' Challenge pieces are up for voting again. Voting is open to everyone from now until the 15th of December. So please join in on the fun and vote for your favorite 'Peace Piece' at:
Thank you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Plug for the Etsy Beadweavers Team!

It's been a little while since I last updated this blog but there really hasn't been much going on in Beaded Extravagance World. At the moment I am working on this months' Etsy Beadweavers' Monthly Challenge. The due date is November 5th and I just started this project today! I have a week to complete it! I am such a procrastinator but I just couldn't come up with an exotic flower until I remembered some photos that I took 3 years ago while visiting my grandmother on Madeira Island Portugal. She raised all kinds of orchids and these beautiful red flowers whose name I don't know ....yet! But here's a photo of the flower.

If anyone knows the name of this flower, please tell me! Thank you! :)

Ok, now it's time for a shameless plug! As most of you know, I'm a member of the Etsy Beadweaver's Team. This is a group of very talented beaders and one of our members took it upon herself to make this lovely video of every members' work and post it on YouTube. Christina of GoodQuillHunting ( ), thank you for using your computer skills to put together this video showcasing all our work! You're awesome!

Check out the video here:

See you next time!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Hyde Park Square Art Show, 2009

October 4th, 2009

It's 5am and my alarm clock insists that it's time to get up and get my day started. I hear my daughter Valerie rustling up some breakfast in the kitchen already. She's just about as excited about the show as I am. She gets to be 'Raffle Queen' for the day. She will be encouraging all the people who stop by my booth to sign up to win the Fall Fires Bracelet. I lay in the dark, completely confident that I am ready for this show. My checklists tell me so!

And that's how the day began. We arrived at the Hyde Park Square at about 6:45am. I went and registered and found my spot- the same one I had last year, because I requested it. I pulled my car up to the spot and we began to unload. Setting up the tent and putting up the tables took no time at all. It was a chilly morning and still dark out. (Note to self: Remember to buy a Colman Lantern for next year. So much easier to see what you're doing with some light!) My sister Elizabeth arrived a few minutes later and the set-up continued.

The first half an hour after the show start time was quiet, but at 10:30 it seemed like the flood gates opened and we were super busy right up until 5pm when they announced that the show was officially closed. We had a great day with the sun shining and a slight but chilly breeze. We were so thankful that it didn't rain and the wind never picked up to blow away our setup.

At 5 o'clock, 'Raffle Queen' drew a name for our raffle and the the winner is: Jacqui Cowan!! So Jacqui, if you're out there, I've already emailed you, but if you missed it, email me back with your address so I can send you your prize!

A special thanks to my sweet sister Elizabeth who created the raffle tickets and the sign for the raffle too. Thank you also for spending the day with us and helping out with our customers! I couldn't have done it without you! Thanks also to Troy (her husband) for letting me borrow her for the day!
Another special thanks to my adorable daughter & 'Raffle Queen' Valerie for hanging out with mom all day. You did an awesome job getting all those people to sign up! She also did a great job in the sales department!

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to my loving husband , who has patiently endured my stressing out over this show, bouncing ideas off my ideas off him and 2 trips to Hyde Park in one day!

Thank you all for stopping by to check out my work and for purchasing too. We had a fun and profitable day!

Beaded Extravagance

Elizabeth & Valerie at the Beaded Extravagance Booth

Looking down one side of Eerie Avenue....

...and down the otherside....

Valerie at her post!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Down to the Wire!!

Ok, so it's late on the Friday evening before the Hyde Park Square Art Show. About an hour ago I finished the last of the pieces that I will be showing and selling at the show. I feel like I've been beading non-stop for the last few weeks. This, is obviously not the case, but it sure feels like it!

I have my tables set up in the basement of our home just to make sure of the layout. I have 95 pieces ready to sell. I should be ready for this, right? Wrong!! I have paperwork yet to do! I need to finish tagging, making up a price list to keep track of the items sold. I need to buy a new table clothe and receipt book. (My daughter's dog Maggie ate my old one right after the last show! Stinker!) I also have to photograph the last few pieces that I finished tonight. I'm hoping for at least 15 minutes of sunshine tomorrow so that I can get that done. Then, when I've made my check list and gathered all my stuff, I need to pack everything up in the cars. I should be able to accomplish all this on a Saturday, right? Wrong again! I have to work tomorrow! I should have asked for tomorrow off, but I'm new at the bead store and didn't feel it would be right to do so. So, I must make tonight a late night and tomorrow night too. I think I'll be running on adrenaline on Sunday!

Enough of my rambling. I'm here to remind you of the show and to please come if you can. Admission is free and there will be 207 artists displaying and selling their work. The weather will be nice, according to my personal Weather Girl Valerie Meece: 65 and sunny! A little chilly in the morning but we can handle that.

There also a raffle/giveaway that I am having. The lucky winner, (whom Weather Girl Valerie will chose out of a box), will win the one and only Fall Fire Bracelet pictured below. Made of Beaded Beads, (by me), Red Magma Swarovski Crystals, Gold Plated Filigree beads and a Gold Filled Toggle Clasp, this bracelet is a beautiful accessory to your fall outfit!

Hope to see you there!


Beaded Extravagance

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Goodies & Clay!

Ok, so I used my gift card from FireMountain Gems that I received for winning second place in the Cab Category and I bought a few things I needed (and wanted). Thought I would share these goodies with you all.

From left to right: Christie Friesens' 'Under the Sea' polymer clay creations book. Mostly I got it because of the turtles. I just love turtles! The large cream colored bust display which is showing off my winning piece just beautifully. A black leatherette bracelet display which will display my bangle and cuff bracelets at my upcoming show. (2 weeks!) Size 15/0 Gold Luster Rocailles which I was almost out of and needed to make the matching cuff and earrings to Martian Queens' Collar. I started working on the cuff last Thursday. A polishing cloth and a jar of jewelry cleanser. Another bracelet/watch display which my husband has said he'd like to use to take pictures of his watches. (He collects them- the watches I mean!) Three different sized bead scoops. Love them!! And two spools of black Nymo Thread.

This last week I pulled out my Polymer clay and made some fun pieces with it. I made a couple of bracelets with matching earrings for grown ups and then some stretchy bracelets for the kiddies that I'll be selling at the Hyde Park Square Art show in a couple of weeks.

Two weeks from today is the big day! This week I am planning on finishing off working on inventory. I have quite a few pieces all ready made up and photographed, but I need to work on tagging and display. That I will reserve for the following week.

Hope you all have a great week ahead of you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gearing up for the Hyde Park Square Art Show!

As some of you know, on Sunday October 4th, is the Hyde Park Square Art Show. I believe this will be it's 43rd year and there will be over 200 artists show casing their artwork. This is my second year participating in this show and I am very excited about it. I was fortunate enough to be able to get the same space as I had last year- right in front of Tellers Restaurant and just a few doors down from Greaters' Ice Cream (very important!) Anyway, I just thought I'd give you all a little glimpse of some of the items I have been working on for the show.

Thank you for looking!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Exciting Things Happening!

Ok, so it's been a little while since I last made a blog entry, but that's only because nothing much was really going on throughout the summer. But, now I finally have a few items worth blogging about and am ready to share.

First, some of you know that I worked part-time for a couple from Church who own a door company. I was their receptionist and my 5 months with them has once and for all confirmed that I dislike paperwork- with a passion! I know that it's an important part of any business, but I just am not a paper pusher! I did, however, learn that there is a whole lot more to doors than just opening and closing them! So, what am I doing now to contribute to my family's financial well being? I have been hired on part-time at A World of Beads in Tri-County! I am very excited to be working with this group of very talented beading ladies! I have shopped at A World of Beads for over ten years now and am thrilled to be able to work in an environment with so many lovely beads and bead related things and be inspired by the ladies I work with and our customers! So, if you live in Cincinnati or are visiting, please come and see us at A World Of Beads Tri-County. Also visit the website at:

My next piece of exciting news is about the Fire Mountain Gems Annual Beading Contest. As you recall, earlier this year I completed my piece the 'Martian Queen's Necklace' for this competition. I finally received it back from its 3 month stay at FMG in Oregon yesterday. They did things a little differently this year in making the contestants wait until their pieces were returned before we knew if we won anything. Last year they listed the winners online. This year we had to wait (impatiently!) for our pieces to return home. I wasn't home when FedEx tried to deliver my package yesterday, so as soon as I got home I grabbed their door notice from my front door and rushed down to their facility in 5 o'clock traffic! I had to wait another 10 minutes while other customers were being helped and 5 more minutes while the clerk was locating my package, then I ran to my car and opened it right up in the parking lot! I won Second Place in the Cabochon Category! Very exciting and I'm so glad the wait is finally over!

My last piece of news is that I will be participating in the annual Hyde Park Square Art Show again this year! It's a juried show and is very difficult to get in to. It is a big show with over 200 artists of all sorts from all over who come to show and sell their craft. So, the month of September will be dedicated to making pieces to fill up my booth! If you're in the area please stop by and check out this show on 4 October, 2009.

Thank you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

2010 BFAC Piece

I know it's been a little while since I last blogged about anything but I've been busily frustrating myself with this years Beading-For-A-Cure piece. The selection of beads and colors this year is gorgeous, but my poor little brain just couldn't come up with a design that would come together. I made three attempts at the original design and it just wasn't working out. Then I made 2 beaded beads that I was intending on using in my design and opted to not use them. Then I just said 'Forget it!' and went with the flow and whala! this is the result.

I started off with 2 Tubular Spiral Peyote ropes and joined them together to form a 'v'. I then added the focal bead and the the bugle bead fringe. Next came the Montee and then I beaded around it with the other assorted seed beads that came in the kit. Lastly, I made a beaded beaded for the closure and a 2 loop loop for adjusting the length. Sweet and simple! Now if only I had come up with this idea 3 weeks ago....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fourth of July Jewelry!

Hello All! It's been a while but summer has had me busy with yard work and a few more hours at work each week and of course, beadwork.

Up for sale in my Etsy and 1000 Market Stores are a Fourth of July Ruffled Bracelet and Earring set. (Pictured below)

I also finished a commissioned piece today. It is a variation of the Zulu Necklace I made a few months back and sold last month. The Client wanted me to use more muted, earthy colors and the piece in the photo below is the result.

Next I'm gearing up to start on next years' Beading-For-A-Cure piece. We have some beautiful beads in lovely colors to work with and I already have a design in mind and on paper. Now we'll just have to see how it comes out!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Big News!

Ok, so it's been a while since I last made a blog entry but that's only because there wasn't much of anything going on that was new in the world of Beaded Extravagance. I have been beading and I also have been working on the backyard a little since our beloved doggies trampled all my Hostas and the pond needed cleaning and rearranging. So, now I'm back to blogging because I have some big news.

Last week Friday I received a letter in the mail from FireMountain Gems letting me know that Martian Queens Necklace is now in the second round of judging!! What does this mean? It means I get to pack her up and send her all the way to Oregon for the final round and hopefully a glamorous photo shoot! I'm really excited about this and am impatient for the results. I will have to be very patient because I won't know about those until August!

My other big news is that I finally have made sales on Etsy! My first was about 2 weeks ago. I sold my Ruffled Bracelet. Then I came home today and was checking my emails and I found that Zulu Diamond Necklace and Ndebele Star Bracelet had sold too! This is very exciting! I'm glad that I've finally started having sales- I was beginning to lose hope.... So tonight I have some packing to do for tomorrow it's off to the Post Office!

On a personal note, this weekend I made a big decision. Most of you that know me personally know that I have grown my hair out to be about waist length. This weekend I had my hair cut and am donating the 16 inch long ponytail to Locks of Love. I've been wanting to do this for a long time and wasn't sure that my permed hair would be accepted. They now allow permed and dyed hair, just not bleached hair. I am happy to be doing this because it will bring joy to some person who has lost their hair because of medical treatments. I have plenty of hair and it grows so fast so I don't mind sharing. Below is a photo taken by Valerie of me wearing Martian Queen's Necklace in my new do!

Have a great week!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009 Duveneck Memorial Art Show

Hello Everyone!
Sorry for the long absence. I was very busily preparing for the 40th Annual Duveneck Memorial Art Show which took place last week Sunday on Mother's Day. We had a beautiful day with sunshine and cool breezes coming off the Ohio River in Covington Kentucky. I had never been to the show- this was also the first time I participated in it. George Rivers Clark Park is a tiny piece of grass and trees on Riverside drive in historical Covington Kentucky. There are some gorgeous old houses there that I wish I had had the time to look at, but as it was we arrived a little late. Parking was at a premium so we unloaded the cars after I got my papers and found out where my 10x10 spot was. Chris (my sweet and patient husband) then had to park both cars a block away while Valerie ( my sweet and not quite so patient daughter) started setting up the tent and tables. I had chosen to enter The Martian Queen's Necklace in the Amos Shinkle Contest and placed it in the center fountain (it's dry!) along with other entries for that contest and the Duveneck contest.

There were a lot of painters at this show- which is fitting because Mr. Duveneck was a painter himself! I had two very talented painters on either side of my tent.

At precisely 10:33am, the judges came out and began making their rounds judging the artists fro the different contests. I found out about an hour an a half later, that I had won first place in the Fine Craft Category! That was so exciting! And nerve wracking too because the judges came around to our tent and presented me with my blue ribbon and photos were taken and questions were asked and I'm just a shy girl who loves to bead! I thought that was the end of that and I could get on with selling my work, but not too long after that a gentleman with a camera and microphone came around and interviewed me on tape! I couldn't stop shaking! Oh well...

At noon the show officially began and the crowds came through to admire and purchase our wonderful works of art. I made my financial goal and I won a prize and I was very happy with that after a long and exhausting week scrambling to get ready for this show!

The great majority of my preparation two days before the show was my booth set-up. I had finally decided what it was that I wanted the booth to look like and there was a flurry of buying of displays and tablecloth, tables and fabric. Then to put it all together and make it look professional and presentable. Two nights before the show, I set everything (except the tent of course!) up in my living room to arrange things so the displays look balanced and pleasing to the eye. I also purchased a tent screen to put around the tent sides because at the Hyde Park Square Art Show last year, people were using my tent as a cut through and it was rather annoying. It also helped to keep the bugs at bay!

All in all, I enjoyed this show and look forward to participating in it again next year! Now, back to my TO DO LIST....

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has left all the wonderful and encouraging comments here on my blog! They are VERY MUCH appreciated!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Keeping Busy

It seems, these days, that I'm always busy getting ready for one event or another in Beaded Extravagance World. First on my 'hot list' for this year was to get my FireMountain Gems piece finished. Done. Next is the Duveneck Memorial Art Show on May 11th. Almost done. After that, I have a commission piece to finish, then next years Beading For A Cure auction piece to do and then another Big Project I will disclose after a meeting with a potential customer this coming Tuesday evening. So, for the next 2 months, it looks like I'll be one very busy little beader! But, here's a peak at what's been keeping me busy these last couple of weeks since I finished The Martian Queen's Necklace...
As I said before, I've been busy building my inventory for the Duveneck Memorial Art show that will be 2 weeks from today. This last week I concentrated on earrings and have quite a stash. The following pictures are a sampling of a few of my favorites.

I started on pins yesterday. Last year, at the Hyde Park Square Art Show, one of my best sellers were an experiment with polymer clay cabs that I made of some very colorful choices. I made them on a whim and my first sale was one of these pins before the show even started! So, I decided to make more of them this year. I call them my Tropical Candy Pins because of the colors that I use. I stick to the same color pallet but change the designs. I don't draw any of the designs- these pieces are as free form as I get! I just bead as the beads and colors direct me. They are fun and easy to make and hopefully they'll be good sellers this year too!

Last week Saturday, I had the opportunity to have a few of my pieces juried for this year's Hyde Park Square Art Show. It's a big deal here in Cincinnati and one of the best art shows to get into. Last year was my first year getting into it- beginners' luck some would say... But hopefully I will get into it again this year because it draws a LOT of traffic. So please keep your fingers crossed. I took Martian Queen's Necklace, Mars & Her Stars bracelet and Tigereye & Turquoise Necklace & Bracelet set to the jury. I think the judge was suitably impressed....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It Is Finished!

Well, it is finally done! The Martian Queen's Necklace has finally been completed, the photographs have been taken and burned to a disk, the entry forms have been filled out and all was mailed to One Fire Mountain Way in Grants Pass, Oregon. And though I am relieved that this project has come to an end, I am sad not to be working on it everyday, but that's how things go with all my beading projects... now I can sit back and admire all my hard work and sigh a great sigh of relief that I got everything sent of by the deadline!!

So, what did I accomplish this last week? Here goes...
I spent the first couple of days last week working on edging. I started off with edging the cutouts- I wanted to get the painful stuff out of the way first. Edging cutouts is like doing yoga... you have to get very creative about where you place your hands, where your needle is going into the fabric and where it's coming out etc. I used a brick stitch edging and worked with the size 15 Rocailles in the Gold Luster and Dark Copper. The Gold Luster I used for the cutouts and the neckline of the collar. The Dark Copper I used for the outside of the collar.

I then sewed the two connector pieces I had made the previous week to the ends of the necklace and began working on the pieces for the back of the necklace. I wanted to make the whole piece eye catching including the back so that if the wearer chose to wear her hair up, the back would be almost as beautiful as the front. I initially made two netted tubes using Antiqued Brass 3mm beads, my size 15 Gold Luster Rocailles and the Copper Delicas and made 2 netted tubes. I changed these later to one tube after finally making up my mind on a simple wire hook and eye closure.

Then came the part in the process that I believe was most time consuming considering the amount of real estate I had to cover... The Fringe. I love fringes but you spend so much time maneuvering your thread so that it doesn't get tangled up in what you've already completed that it takes so long to complete! It also didn't help that I kept coming up with more ideas for a fuller looking fringe! So to begin with, I sewed another layer of edging in brick stitch with the Copper Delicas and the 2mm Brown Goldstone Round beads. Then I start in the center and worked my way to the right and began with the main fringes using all the beads I had used in the main part of the necklace, some Dark Copper 2 cut Bugle Beads and Brass Fancy Drops.

I decided that what I had just completed wasn't full enough, so I added another layer of fringes.

Once that was completed I went through yet again and added the size 15 Gold Luster Rocailles to the Copper Delicas in Picot stitch.

This is where I decided to changed the netted tubes form two to one and so I spent some time pulling out all my work on them and and starting over to make one tube. I added a length of chain and some beautiful bead caps and threaded 20 awg wire through them formed a hook and attached that assembly to the necklace with jump rings. I also added a dangle of beads and my last fancy drop to the chain. That completed the entire necklace!

Then I had to wait for a sunny day to take the final pictures for the FMG contest. That day dawned yesterday. I used my light box and set it so that the sun shone through the side. My shadows were very subtle and all in all, I am very pleased with the outcome of my pictures!

Thank you so much for following me through this process. Your comments have been welcome and very encouraging. I love beading and this has been, by far, the biggest project that I've undertaken to date. I spent about 47 hours in the past three weeks working on it and I'm very pleased with the outcome. All the components for this necklace were purchased from FireMountain Gems with the exception of the Brass Flower Stamping, the Bead Caps, the Antique Brass 3mm Round beads and the Brass chain- these I purchased from Accessories Susan. Please check out her store at : She's got some really great stuff!

Next on the list.... pad my inventory for the Duveneck Show on May 10th

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Final Stretch!!

Well, it's here! The final 5 days that I have left to finish The Martian Queens' Necklace. I'm so not done! But, before we get into what I have accomplished, I have an announcement to make!

For the past week or two, some very talented bead weaving ladies have been very busy writing up a proposal for our very own 1000Markets Market! We submitted the proposal to the Powers That Be at 1000Markets and it was accepted! We are very excited about this new venture that we hope will attract many more bead weaving enthusiasts- both buyers and sellers. If by chance, you have a store in 1000Markets and are a bead weaver and wish to join this market, please contact Dini

The market is not up and running yet, so we'll take your information and get back to you as soon as possible.

OK, so back to the thing that has occupied 34 hours of my time in recent weeks. This week I spent quite a bit of time just finishing the rounds on the left side of the necklace, matching up what I did on the right side. When I finished the rounds I decided to add two of the gold pearls to the ends of the necklace to help taper it off.

I love the way the sun was making all those flecks of gold sparkle in the Brown Goldstone Cabs! Anyway, I then set to bezeling the pearls and two 2mm round Brown Goldstone beads and added in the Bronze Delica's to fill in the spaces. After that I trimmed off the remaining Pellon.

When that was complete, I set to working on cutting out the cutouts. I love the idea of cutouts, but they are a pain! If you get over enthusiastic (like I did on one cutout) you may end up cutting a stitch by accident and spend time mending your bead work! Be patient with yourself! I learned the hard way... So, after that was completed it was time to glue the entire piece to a sheet of Nutmeg Ultrasuede. I use E6000 and spread it all across the back of the piece and set it carefully into place. I put one of my big FMG catalogs on top of it and waited for it to cure.

While that was curing I worked on bezeling two cabs I had glued to Pellon. These cabs will be the transition links between the main body of the necklace and the "chain" part of the necklace.

Then I glued those two links to the Nutmeg Ultrasuede as well and waited for them to cure. When curing was complete, I carefully cut the excess Ultrasuede away and now I am ready to begin edging. And that's where I am at now! Tune in next weekend for the conclusion of this creative endeavor! Thank you!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Been Busy...

Hello All! I know that this blog is coming late but I've been a very busy beader!

The first order of business was to make a gift that my sister requested for our cousin Claudia in Madeira, Portugal for her birthday and graduation. I don't want to say much more about it just in case Claudia decides to check my blog and I spoil the surprise! So she'll just have to wait and see when she gets it!

I also spent some time working on my ohter commission. It's been giving me headaches! I ended up ripping out about 3 hours of work because it didn't match up. I decided to set it aside and concentrate on my FMG contest piece.

The countdown has begun. I have 12 days left before I have to ship photographs of the piece to FMG in Oregan. After 22 hours of beading, I am FINALLY almost halfway finished!

When I last blogged about this piece, I had just begun bezeling the cabs. The base row consisting of galvanized Copper Delicas topped with size 15 Gold Luster Rocailles in a peyote stitch. I had to make sure that my base row of copper beads was an even count so that my peyote stitch would work out. This is no easy feat because cabs don't care how we decorate them! You either have too many beads or too few beads so there's a lot of juggling involved.

Next I bezeled the pearls with the Gold Luster Rocalles and Dark Copper Rocailles. I was trying to bring out more of the oxidation in the brass stamp with the Dark Copper Rocailles and I think it may have worked ok.

I added more of those same beads to the pearls later to create depth and texture. I then began the task of adding rounds of beads around each cab. The first row being the Galvanized Copper Delicas and then the Gold Luster Rocailles. Where space allowed me, I added 3 more rows of the Galvanized Copper Delicas.

I also added a row of 2mm & 3mm Brown Goldstone beads to the inside of the collar. The original plan was to use heishi and gold beads but it just wasn't sitting right with me. So out came the seam ripper (for the hundredth time this week it seemed!) and the heishi beads were gone. I like this look a lot better!

I then realized, before I do any more rounds that I had better start working on an outside edge befor things got too close to the edge. I used a Dark Copper Rocaille and 2 Gold Luster Rocailles and slanted them upwards along the outside edge. I also added a picot stitch around the pearls with the Gold Luster Rocailles.

Then I set to working on filling in the rest of the right side with rounds of the Copper and Gold beads. The unbeaded spaces are meant to be cut outs. The concept drawing had a lot more cut out and they were larger, but not everything works out like we have imagined and drawn it! So this is where I am with this project. Next- the left side! Until next time...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kicking it into High Gear!

Well, I'm beading like crazy this week. My components finally came in on Tuesday and I was finally able to make some progress on the projects I have lined up on my desk.

The first item on the list was a beach themed bracelet for my cousin Judy in South Africa. I had made a similar bracelet using charms I had collected on vacations over the years. She saw a picture of it commissioned me to make one for her. She loves turquoise and the beach theme appealed to her. The picture below is the result. I don't do a lot of chain and wire wrapping- it's hard on the hands and fingers, but I like the look of it.

I also just listed a new item on Etsy and my new 1000Markets store. 1000Markets is a new online arts and crafts store similar to Etsy. They are very choosy about who they let participate so you have to be juried in. I was sitting on pins and needles for 4 days waiting to hear! In the end it wasn't my product that was found wanting, but my lack of online computer saviness! (Is that a word?) Anyway, I'm happy to say that I have a store with them and look forward to selling my beaded art there. Check it out here:

Back to my listing. The Tsarina's Necklace has taken me quite some time to finish. Not because it was so labor intensive, but because I was suffering "beader's block". I couldn't decide on a strap design, I went through several ideas for closures, then there was the problem with the dangles... but it all came together eventually. Please check it out in my Etsy or 1000Markets store but below is a preview picture of Tsarina's Necklace.

Last, but not least on my list, is my contest piece. I finally settled on the name and have decided to call it The Martian Queen's Necklace. I recently watched Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles and I guess I still had Mars on the brain when I came up with the concept for the piece. So far, I have spent 6 hours on it. I try to spend about 2 hours a day working on it. It will take me a while to complete it and I don't want to get burned out working on it too much. Besides that, I need time to work on my other commission piece and items for my stores too. (I've become very adept at this time management thing here lately!) This week I received the rest of the components I needed to start on the piece and started by planning and carefully measuring where all the cabs would be placed. O don't follow any scientific method, but my method seems to have worked because everything seems fairly far. We'll see how well I did once I start beading in the gaps.

Basically, I used a lined piece of paper and a ruler to line everything up. I used some heishi beads I'll be sewing on later as spacers and finally started the pain staking process of gluing the cabs to the Pellon. Yes, it was pain staking because I kept bumping my cabs out of there assigned spots! But, I finally got it done and then left them over night to cure.

The next day the fun started! I began by beading around the base of the center cab with copper lined crystal seed beads. Then I measured off where the brass stamp was going to be placed on the cab and continued to bead up in peyote stitch with 15/0 gold lined crystal beads. Around the base I added a circle of 4mm copper Swarovski crystals and beaded around the 2 smaller cabs next to the center cab. I also added the gold Freshwater Pearls and lastly, I glued the brass stamp to the cab and Pellon and let that cure overnight.

Then last night I began beading around 4 more of the cabs and I'll continue on like this until I have them all bezeled.