Saturday, December 14, 2013

3rd Annual Handcrafted Ornament Blog Swap and Hop

I'm sorry for posting late.  I had this post scheduled for the 15th for some reason.  :(

For the past few years, Sally Russick has hosted a handmade ornament swap.  I wasn't quick enough to get in on the swapping last year, but I had a good time hopping around and seeing the gorgeous ornaments.

This year, I jumped when I saw Sally's post.  I was paired with the lovely Sandi Volpe.  I have admired Sandi's work for some time and was lucky enough to win this necklace she made.  It has become a staple in my jewelry rotation.

It's it gorgeous?  Sandi made this for the Bead Soup Blog Party last summer.  You can see this and the other pieces Sandi made with her soup in her post.

Sandi is also an awesome metal worker.  You can see the pieces below and a few others in this blog post.

And check out this post to see an awesome pair of earrings.

Okay, on to the ornament.  I absolutely adore it.

Isn't the little penguin the cutest?

Sandi hand soldered the charm and it is double sided.

She completed the ornament with a vintage red bead and black sugar bead made by Raida from Havana Beads.

When I opened the package, I almost had to fight the kiddo.  She loved it so much she ran to hang it on the tree.  I wanted to look at it just a bit more.  :)

Sandi mentioned that she wanted to make something that the kiddo would like also.  I think she rocked it.  :)

Did I mention that Sandi also makes lampwork beads and enameled beads?  She was gracious enough to send a few along with her ornament.  She also included a pendant from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studios.

Sandi, thank you so much!  I love the ornament and cannot wait to use the beads you sent.

Sallly, thank you for hosting.  I am so glad I was able to take part.

If you would like to see the ornaments I sent to Sandi, please visit her blog.

Also, please take some time to visit the participants and see the ornaments they received.
Tanya Goodwin (you are here) and Sandi Volpe

Friday, December 13, 2013

Focusing on Life - 50 of 52

Wow .. I can't believe there are only 3 weeks left.

This week, Sally asked us to look for a pop of red.

I thought these earrings were perfect for the prompt.

These holly leaf earrings were designed by Gwen Fisher.  You can find a link to the free tutorial here.

Thanks, Gwen!

To see what pops of red the other participants found, please visit Sally's blog or check below

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'm In Bead Me Magazine!

A few months ago, Allison, from Bead Me magazine, asked if I would like to participate in the Bead Soup portion of the magazine.

Well, you don't have to ask me twice.  I immediately replied "yes" and received this awesome soup from Fusion Beads.

The colors were spectacular!

I'll give you a little preview of what I made.

A spiral rope?  Well, it is me and I do love my spiral ropes.

If you would like to see the rest of the necklace (and a really cool pendant), check out issue 3 of Bead Me magazine in the apple store.

You can also check out their facebook page and see previews of upcoming issues.

Speaking of upcoming issues, the pendant I made for the Bead Soup feature will be in February issue.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

New Earrings

I have an awesome pendant around which I want to build a necklace.  I scoured the internet for a pattern that might make a cool, almost Bollywood, necklace.

I found this pattern by Heather Collins.

I envisioned several of these linked together to form a necklace.  As I began to bead, I realized that the beadwork was too thick for my pendant.

I couldn't let my work go to waste, though, so I completed a pair of earrings.

I love the way they turned out.

I will be trying a necklace, just as soon as I have some time.

Check out Heather's etsy shop for more awesome patterns.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Focusing on Life - 49 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

And here I am, caught up. (mini cheer)

For week 49, Sally asked us to find sparkle.

This was an easy prompt.  When I saw the email, I knew exactly what to choose.

While we were in Home Depot, the kiddo asked if we could get just one Christmas decoration.  We wandered over and she saw this.

How can you say "no" to Darth Vader in a Christmas hat?

Please visit Sally's blog to see more sparkle.

Or, you can check out the links below.

Focusing on Life - 48 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 48, Sally asked us to give thanks.

There are many things for which I am thankful.  I guess the one person I am most thankful for, and I probably tell him all too rarely, is my husband.

Honestly, I don't know another person who would put up with me.  :)

Please check Sally's blog to see what the other participants are thankful for.

Or, check below:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Focusing on Life - 47 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 47, Sally asked us think about what is central in our lives.

With the kiddo in school full time, I've lost what was a central part of my life for six years.

To be honest, I have been meandering.  I know, with time, I'll find a routine, but for now, I've come to terms with   I know, with time, I will find a routine, but for now, I'm content to drift a bit.

Please check out Sally's blog to see what the other participants centered on.

Focusing on Life - 46 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 46, Sally asked us to reflect.

The end of the year, arbitrary as it is, seems to be a time for us to reflect on ourselves, our direction in life, our goals and our successes or failures.

The holidays, of course, play a role in that reflection.  We give thanks for what we have and stop to remember what is important and what is not.

I chose to take this week's prompt literally.  Thankfully, the kiddo is always willing to help.

Our children are a reflection of us, both in looks and in action.

My husband tells me constantly that the kiddo is a smaller version of me.  If she is, then I hope she can improve on the original.  :)

Please visit Sally's blog to see what the other participants reflected on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Beaded lace and swags

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

I've mentioned Gwen Fisher several times before.  Gwen and Florence Turnour have created some amazing patterns for beaded beads and pendants.  Most are for sale on their website, Bead Infinitum.

Gwen also sews and crochets.  Lately, she has taken an interest in producing beadwork inspired by Irish crochet and tatting.  She embarked on a beaded lace adventure and invited her readers to do the same.

I was eager to jump on the band wagon.  I was able to combine two of Gwen's beaded swags into one necklace using two hole daggers.

I love the way it drapes.

I finished the necklace with a beaded toggle.

This is my first project using Gwen's beaded lace techniques, but it won't be my last.  I have ideas for other projects ... just wait until you see Gwen's beaded lace flowers and medallions.

If you want to make your own, Gwen now has five beaded lace patterns in her etsy shop.

The first is her Athena's Acanthus bracelet.

I haven't purchased this pattern (yet), but it is an awesome cuff and is on my list of things to do.

The second is Beaded Lace Flowers.

These babies are easy to do and bead up very quickly.  Gwen gives instructions for several different flowers.  The pattern is also very easy to alter and create even more versions.  (This is next on my list.)

The third pattern is Beaded Lace Swags.

Gwen gives instructions for nine different swags, ranging from small to large, embellished or non embellished.   These work up more quickly than you would think and produce a gorgeous result.  I combined two of these for my necklace.

The fouth pattern is Beaded Lace Medallions.

Again, I can't wait to try this one.  I see so many possibilities.  The last photo in this listing shows many of these components combined into one amazing necklace.

The fifth pattern in the series is the "Eucalyptus Leaves" bracelet.

This one is brand new and I can't wait to try it.

I highly recommend these patterns.  The middle three don't give instructions for a specific necklace or bracelet and you are free to let your imagination run wild.  All of these components work well together and have the makings for some gorgeous jewelry.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Focusing on Life - 45 of 52

For my Challenge of Color entry, click here.

Again, I fell behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 45, Sally asked us to try our hand at industrial photography.

I snapped this picture of one of my husband's grilling tools.

If you would like to see more industrial photos, check out Sally's blog.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The 4th Annual Challenge of Color

I love this time of the year.  Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Color is an event I have been looking forward to for several years now.

Each year, Erin chooses a color palette or palettes for the participants to play with and the results are always amazing.  The bracelet I made last year is still one of my favorites.

This time around, Erin asked us to either choose an existing palette from or create one with the tools on the colourlovers website.

There was a catch, though.  Erin asked that we choose our colors by names, such as "curry chicken" or "hot chocolate" and, after choosing the first color, we had to use the last word in each color's name as the first word in the next color's name.

For example, I made this palette:

The colors are:
  yellow silk sari
  sari full pink
  pink lemonade
  lemonade stand
  stand by your man

This challenge was a bit rough for me.  I made this palette, had the perfect pendant and a great vision, but couldn't make it work.

Since I was having so much trouble, I decided to change directions.  I scrapped what I had and started with a different pendant, this time one by Nancy Schindler Adams.  I created a new palette.

The colors are:
     burnt peach
     peach blossom
     blossoming blue
     dark blue green mist
     mist of unrest

I was going for an "earthy" theme and I love turquoise and brown together.

I decided to play to my strengths.  I was already short on time and didn't want to be scrambling at the last minute.  As has been my habit recently, I combined bead weaving and chain maille.

This time, I used Kat Wisniewski's "Rapid Track" bracelet, from Blue Buddha Boutique.

I combined the chain with a simple spiral rope.

The copper crystals bring out the browns in Nancy's pendant and I love how the brown and green melt into each other.

I couldn't be happier with how this necklace turned out.

The other palette is still in the back of my mind, though.  I'm hoping without a looming deadline, I can make something awesome.  :)

Erin, thank you for a lovely challenge.  As always, I had a great time.

Please take some time and visit Erin's blog and see what the other participants made with their chosen palettes.