Wednesday, July 21, 2010


 "I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers"...Claude Monet
One of my favorite artists, and one of my favorite flowers.  I've never had any luck with growing them here, in the desert, but my parents have the most beautiful red and orange ones (some from my grandmother's garden) growing in their back yard.  I live vicariously through their flowers, when I'm there.
A new piece is heading for the Etsy shop this evening - finished yesterday.  Made from a vintage, 1920's plate - broken, with tiny "crazing" lines from age (much like my face these days), and now with a new purpose in a necklace.  Bezeled with sterling silver; seed beads galore; fresh water pearls; Czech glass leaves; a few Swarovskis; and some beautiful antique frosted glass beads...I love this little piece.  The pendant itself measures 2-1/8" long by 1-1/2" wide (from ruffled petals to bead embellishments), and hangs from a 20" gunmetal chain, with the toggle incorporated into the pendant, itself.
Trying to stay out of the heat as much as possible this past week - what few flowers I do have are barely clinging to life in our 110+ temps.  Each year I try, and each year I am disappointed, knowing what I am missing out on.  Ah, well...I give the "hanger-ons" that I do have, lots of water, and then come inside, pull out a few pictures of "home", and do lots of imagining/wishful thinking.  Hoping your summer is cool, and brightened by lots of flowers!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Heading over to the Etsy shop to list, but HAD to drop by here first.  I have spent the past several evenings sitting at the kitchen table "oohing and aawing" over my bead stash, while finishing up some projects that have been pushed aside recently.
A formal/black and white bracelet, for a dear friend who just flew into town (boy, her arms must be!), and a Gothic romance inspired one for etsy (while I hate to jump on that Vampire bandwagon right now, I'm not stupid, either...and the colors are so good together).  Both of these are the same pattern bracelet as the one I posted a month ago (beadmetaler), in a picture with the Vampire wine.  Full of Swarovski crystals, crystal rose montees, glass pearls, and loaded with seed beads...sterling silver toggles, both.  The black and white bracelet also sports a vintage glass bead and crystal bauble.
Yes, that's the Vampire wine behind, again!
And, finding myself wrapped into Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" last evening, and not ready to hit the couch, where I would have fallen asleep immediately, I dragged this back out to finally attach it to the satin neck cord.  This is a BEAUTIFUL, vintage coat button - not Bakelite, but a plastic from that era.  1-3/4" wide...2-1/4" with all the beading and Swarovskis on the edges.
This button is is a full 5/8" thick (actually, just a shade over that)...reminds me of an Oreo cookie, for some reason (obviously, I didn't eat breakfast).
As funky as it was already, it NEEDED the piece of zebra print Ultrasuede I found for the back.
And finally, I had to include this.  Though it was not made last evening, I did make this for my daughter's birthday last year - she collects St. Christopher medals (the patron Saint of travellers and surfers), and I had found this 1930's piece (there was a very cool story about it from the person I acquired it came over with it's first owner from the "old country"...however, I AM hungry and can't remember it now).  It looked to have been attached to some sort of base in it's previous is heavy and beautifully detailed - 1-7/8".  I beaded around it for her, added pearls and crystals and a hot pink, Ultrasuede backing - it's one of her favorites (or at least I like to think it is).

The lovely old silver-plated piece, next to it, arrived in yesterday's mail.  This will, somehow, be turned into this year's gift...I just haven't figured out how to use it, yet.  It was a car visor clip, with the lethal looking, sharp prongs still intact behind it.  It's a full 2-3/8" long.  Perhaps a project for the next few days, just to stay out of the 115 degree heat we are expecting - my computer said it was 105 degrees last night at 11:00!  THAT is why I don't pay attention to the actual temperature readings here (those of you from out of state who always ask and I can't tell you - this is why)...can't do anything about it anyway!  Happy weekend - hope yours is cool!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


During my vacation this year, I got to meet an old "pen pal", face to face, finally...Joleen and I have been friends for almost 3 years, but had never done more than chat over the phone, or on the Internet, having met through the eBay group we belonged to.  We set aside a day to meet and play (she, driving to Denver from her home on the NE plains of CO, in Sterling) - and had the most wonderful time doing it.
Like friends do, we had little gifts for each other - and one of us actually remembered to bring it!  Sadly, in the rush to leave Vegas, mine was left behind on the dining room table "staging area".  She arrived that day with the most beautiful little blown glass heart and a sterling silver ring, dangling from the daintiest of chains.  It is etched along the side with the quote, "Wherever you are it's your friends who make your world..."  It will always remind me of her!
As I was driving home that afternoon, it suddenly hit me that I was actually glad I had forgotten her gift (you may be surprised that I actually have friends after that?!).  She had commented several times during the day about a necklace I was wearing that I had made, a few years back, from a piece of an antique china platter.  I knew that what I had for her at home would never do, once I remembered that I had a piece of the plate left over in my stash.  AND, it had Forget-Me-Nots on it...AND it was in blues and greens (she has the bluest eyes).  Perfect!  This was the starting point...bezeled with sterling silver gallery wire and surrounded by the base of beads.
Ending with a ruffle of beads, an antique button, and various little pearls, crystals, and doo-dads (each of the pendant portions of these, excluding the bail, are 2-1/2" long) - these two pieces could not be more different, while actually coming from the same plate (the one with the pansies is mine, and the one I was wearing that day)!  It made this piece even more special to me, as I was working on it, knowing where it was going.  Yeah - I'm glad I forgot my original gift and am keeping my fingers crossed that she wasn't just being nice that day (friends do that, you know).

Saturday, July 10, 2010


It kept growing and growing...from a simple three-crystal project, into what you see before you.  I believe it was all the fault of the "Y-Connector" I was instructed to bring to class this week...digging through my vintage brass, I knew I had just the right piece - little did I know it was a monster in disguise.  Definitely what is being called a "Statement piece", these days (the freshwater pearl at the bottom is 7/8" long - yes, size DOES matter in jewelry).
Colleen (beadmetaler) had designed a beautiful, simple, vintage looking three-Rivoli necklace that I took a class in this week.  She has said before (as any good teacher will tell you) that she likes when we put our own "spin" on things - and, OK! - this may have spun slightly more than her original design.  I love this brass connector...very old, with a great natural patina that only time can produce.  16mm Swarovski Rivolis in "Verde" and Czech Fire Polish in "1950's Refrigerator Green"...and, "ooooooh" - some white seed beads that are lined in 24K gold and cost me a small fortune, but the necklace was screaming out for "MORE" and I was a sucker and bought into its ridiculous demands.
It took two days to slowly evolve into what it is today.  It did look like this for about 4 minutes on Friday, which vaguely resembles (nah - it doesn't) the original pattern we started with.  My friend Jackie finished a delightfully charming, and ("eh hem") simple, piece that she has posted on her blog (onecreativecat), in which she only utilized one Rivoli and a sweet little bird charm, after ditching her evil Y-connector.
I do love it, but it may be awhile before I find just the right place to wear it (and I WILL wear it with jeans - how's that for a statement?!), since we already did Cher's show!  When it starts asking for food and its own room, I will probably have to get rid of it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I do love when I get the time to sew, anymore. Caught up from the whirlwind month of vacation fun I had, I found the time this week to make some pillow covers for my sister-in-law, Karla...she gifted me with a box of great vintage (and older) jewelry pieces for "repurposing" purposes, while back in Denver. She wouldn't let me pay her for it so, in knowing that she likes "kitschy cowgirl stuff" (she mentioned it one day), and the fact that I LOVE a good trade, I whipped together these 14 X 14 pillow covers for her (she did kinda' know about it, as I had to call and ask her for colors in her den - she promised to act surprised when they arrive) motion quilting on the fronts, including around the girls; a great black and taupe heavy, woven fabric on the back that looks like an old 50's Pendelton jacket and; what says "kitschy cowgirl" better than fringe?!  "Happy Trails"!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


And the summer is just beginning, but so far, it's been ALL about the love.  Finishing off the vacation travelogue with pictures that didn't make it into the other posts...working my way backwards from end to beginning.  With thanks and love to my husband and kids for allowing me time away to go relive my childhood; and to my parents for teaching me all about love and compassion, and instilling an eagerness for learning about new places and remembering old ones...ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE...