Thursday, 13 November 2014

Well, Hello!

So where have I been and what have I been doing?  Well, once school started, life seemed to go in fast motion.  We have one in grade two, one in Kindergarten, and one in preschool, and all the organizing and scheduling of life during school makes for pretty packed days and no time for writing.  Still, while it's a bit dusty around here, I haven't been idle craft wise!

One of my newest ventures is polymer clay.  Now, I'm a complete beginner, and I haven't a whole lot of time to work with it (the three reasons being my sons and daughter!), but I've tried out a couple of projects:

The pumpkins became pendants for Halloween necklaces for my children. The rest are attempts at creating some winter pendants.  I'm learning a lot as I go, so I can only get better from here (I hope!).

Of course, I've been creating lots of fall pieces of jewellery, too.  Fall is such a lovely season...I love the changing colours of the leaves, the somewhat unpredictable weather, cozy evenings listening to the rain (and it rains a lot in our corner of B.C. in the fall...)'s a season that makes me really happy.
These stoneware pendants by Bo Hulley are perfect for some fall themed jewellery - though I'd have to say with these necklaces, I think you could get away with them in the spring,too!

Naturally, I had to come up with a fall themed necklace using one of Sally Sutherland's  doll beads.
This little pumpkin fairy is such fun!
I've had a lot of fun incorporating pretty copper leaf charms in several necklaces.  I really like this little acorn necklace with its leaf charm dangles.  The acorn is another one of Bo Hulley's creations.
Another leaf charm dangle necklace, this time using one of Helen Chalmers' colourful and intricately decorated lampwork beads.   I like these ones because it's a way of wearing a beautiful, handmade art bead that's not too big or bold if that's not what you prefer.
Aren't these pretty?  These Czech glass pansy beads are just lovely, and they come in all kinds of colours.  I've been using them in lots of earrings and several necklaces.  I get these little lovelies from my favourite Canadian source for Czech glass beads.

Now it's on to winter and Christmas jewellery....I love making earrings for this time of year.  Two of my favourites are these crystal Christmas trees and crystal snowflakes.  They are just dazzling, and always popular!

 I like these ones, too.....I call them Christmas bauble earrings mainly because the larger beads are round, but you can easily wear these throughout fall and winter.

 This one is fun. I really like designing necklaces with lots of dangles.  This one feels Christmas-y without going too over the top and making it unwearable for the rest of the winter!  I don't create too many pieces that are totally Christmas-y, but there will definitely be a few.
Here are two necklaces with a couple of nature inspired pendants from SummerWindArt.  This shop has become one of my favourites for beautiful polymer clay pendants.  There are so many to choose from!

Now, since I wrote the first part of this blog (the benefits of being able to save and work when you have time!) I've taken a tutorial to learn how to make beautiful polymer clay bon bon beads.  This tutorial was created by Heather Powers,  If you're beady, you'll probably know who I'm talking about.  If you aren't,  she's a very talented artist of polymer clay beads, and as well as making all kinds of beautiful beads, she also develops tutorials for those of us wanting to learn about polymer clay but may not know how to start.

As soon as I came across the information about the tutorial on her blog, I signed up!  I cannot tell yo how excited I am to have learned how to make these gorgeous beads!  Heather's photos are really enticing, and the images of her own bon bon beads had me hooked.  These ones are my first attempt (and I'm pretty pleased with them!) - they still need painting and sanding.

You can bet I'll have more of these made in the near future.  The colour possibilities are endless, and practice makes perfect!  

As always, you can keep up with my jewellery making adventures on my facebook page, which I keep updated on a MUCH more regular basis!

How have the last few months been treating you?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Summer time....and the living is...busy!

Well, it is with kiddos, that's for sure!  I had planned to write a post all about colour - how much I'm inspired by colour; what different colours mean for me; finding out what colours interest you...but it's been a busy day, so I'm going to do the sensible thing and store that idea for a little later.  Between swimming lessons, visits with friends, a two year old who still naps, and keeping five and seven year old brothers busy,  there's little time for blogging.

However!  I do still manage to get things made here and there, so instead of my colour post (which I do promise to get back to, because it should, I hope, be interesting!), I'd like to show you some of the sea themed pieces I've been up to.

I love the beach (I don't know anyone who doesn't, I have to say...), and I've always liked beach themed things.  Needless to say, this does influence my jewellery making, especially this time of year!  So here is what I've been up to...

Sea charm necklaces!  I really like how these turned out.  Nothing too big or heavy  - that's not such a good idea in hot weather - just very pretty and fun.  You can find them here in my etsy shop.

Same idea of a sea themed charm necklace using ivory coloured sand dollar beads in these versions. You can find them here! I purchased both of these beautiful seaside sets of beads from artwithheart.
This one is a little more dramatic - much more of a statement necklace.  It features a beautiful mermaid-with-swirling-hair focal bead by Sally Sutherland (SoulSilver) to which I've added crystal, Czech glass, and sea charm chain dangles, as well as wire wrapped Venetian glass coins in vivid teal and turquoise.  I've even used a seashell toggle clasp!  (I love little details like that....)
I seem to be on a chain dangle kick....I love the motion it adds to a necklace.  This is a gorgeous focal from Moogin Beads.  I've had it in my stash for ages, and then it finally dawned on me that it really is kind of sea theme in colour - and huzzah!   - I came up with the design for this lovely necklace!
Apart from seashore themed pieces, I've also been making some lusciously colourful summer goodies!  I just love this one - a bright citrusy orange moogin bead along with several fun  fruit slice dangles from tooaquarius.

And this fabulous piece!  I could not resist this summery hot air balloon moogin bead...and the gorgeous orange Czech glass beads and the turquoise Czech glass flowers were the perfect additions to a fabulously colourful summertime necklace.

I've been up to plenty more, but I don't want to make this post novel length!  You can check out my other work on my facebook page.  For now, I'll leave you with a few links to some of my favourite shops for sea themed goodies, amongst others!

Stephaniebeads Lampwork Starfish Set
Gorgeous, aren't they?  My first purchase of lampwork beads (and the beginnings of a bead addiction!) was from Stephanie Dieleman.  Her sea themed beads are still some of my favourites.
Starfish Charm Collection Antique Silver Tone 10 Charms - COL255
And BohemianFindings is a favourite for charms of all kinds, including these lovely starfish!

SummerWindArt is a new one to me, and I've just made my first purchase from this shop of beautiful polymer clay beads and pendants.  I'm excited to receive the gorgeous goodies I ordered!
Starfish Pendant Bead Set Turquoise and Coral Handmade Porcelain
Here's a beautiful set of ceramic beads from Bo Hulley.  I have a similar set in my stash, and I'm sure whatever I dream up with for them will turn out to be just lovely - I mean, how can you go wrong with such gorgeous beads?

Pacific Sea Star Earrings; seashore earrings; starfish earrings; beach earrings; summer earrings; green earrings
The last link I want to share with you is for BobbiThisnThat (the shop is closed for a few days as I type, but will be open again soon).  This shop is my go to source for Czech glass beads of all kinds of shapes and sizes, including the beautiful green ones you see here in my earrings, as well as the vivid orange beads and the turquoise flowers I used in the hot air balloon necklace above! Do go and check it out - there are so many beads to choose from!

On that note, I'll leave you to carry on enjoying your summer =)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Busy Times....

Let me blow the dust off around here.....there.  That's better!

I've been busy! In addition to life with three young children and school schedules and the like, I've hosted my own jewellery show at home, done a local farmer's market, and done a show hosted by my mother-in-law all in the space of a month - and for me, that's a really big deal =)

What have I learned?  Well, an unseasonably warm and sunny April day makes for fewer people at a spring jewellery show hosted at home, but I certainly won't complain about sunshine.  A good time was had by all, and a dear friend of mine kindly offered to bring her harp (!!!) over to my house to play during the course of my show.  How fantastic is that?  It was purely out of the kindness of her heart, and it made for such a lovely ambience.

Here's the kind of day it was on the day of my home show.....

....and here's the set up!
Even more fun was that my talented Mum joined me.  She's made amazing knitted and crocheted clothing for us as children (and as adults!), and she makes beautiful things for my own children.  But she's been adding to her repertoire by creating little crocheted critters!  I've already started collecting some...

As for the farmer's market, I'd done two of them before Christmas, and this one was no different.  Not a lot in the way of sales, but I handed out plenty of business cards and chatted with lots of people.  Never a bad thing!  I won't be doing more of these markets, because I don't think my work quite fits in with it (lots of people with young kids...there's not much time for leisurely perusing of one of a kind creations with small children in tow!), but they were fun, and they also made me realize I need to work on my display a bit more - things like raising my table, finding new ways to hang my necklaces, putting out fewer items etc.  These were good learning experiences!

The sale hosted by my mother-in-law was a really successful one.  She'd done a marvelous job in getting the word out about the sale, and many lovely ladies visited throughout the day and went home happy with their purchases.  It's so interesting to see what people choose for themselves or for gifts. 
It's also fun setting up in someone else's home (no house cleaning to do, unlike when I host my own!) and seeing how best to display the jewellery.

So what now? Well, one of the things I really need to get down to is to working on adding more items to my etsy shop and improving the photos of items I've already listed.  Slowly but surely I'll get there.  There's always the challenge of finding time to actually create pieces as well as all of the business end of things, as WELL as my real life as a busy Mum!  (Wouldn't have it any other way, by the way!).

And I have managed to create some pieces lately that I'm really happy with.....

Apart from being springy or summer pieces, do you notice a theme with all of these different pieces?  If you guessed colour, you're spot on.  Guess what my next blog post will be about? =)

And I promise I'll try to get to it sooner so it doesn't become essay like in length!

 I'll leave you with one last photo - this is the view I get to look at with the back door open on a warm, sunny spring day as I sit at the kitchen table creating....

Not bad, eh? I hope you're all enjoying a lovely, creative spring, too =)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

It's Spring! Sort of....

It is one rainy and very chilly day here in Delta, B.C.  Hard to believe that the first couple of days of spring were beautifully sunny!  Still, that's spring for you....capricious.  Regardless of the vagaries of the weather, my designs have definitely taken a springy turn as you can see!

Here's a pretty spring bracelet in pastel shades of mint and pink.  This was also and experiment in asymmetry for me - one I'm really happy with!  House bead from elukka, and polymer clay birdie from tooaquarius.

I mentioned these gorgeous tulip beads in my last blog post - here's what I've done with some of them - lovely, colourful and vibrant spring earrings and.....

....a fabulous statement necklace!  I just love this piece.  It makes me happy to wear it! (It was a treat for myself =) )  You can find these lush, colourful tulips here: ekkaBoutique.  I dare you to find just ONE favourite colour combination - I found it impossible...there were too many gorgeous combinations to choose from!

Here's something a little more subtle, but no less lovely and springy...
.....a delicate pair of sparkling tulip earrings.  Aren't the lampwork tulips lovely?  These tulips are from IrinaS.  Her beads have an almost ethereal quality to them, and she makes many kinds of floral beads, which, as you might have gathered, is right up my alley.
This is a piece with another of Irina's beautiful beads...this time a large, hollow lampwork focal.  Some sterling silver bead caps and daisies and a cluster of Czech glass flower beads has turned it into a gorgeous springtime pendant necklace.  You can find it here in my shop: Glorious Spring.
And here's one of my doll necklaces - I've called her my cherry blossom fairy.  Her beautifully patterned dress in pink and white made me think of cherry blossoms, so I've adorned the necklace with clusters of delicate pink and pale green Czech glass flowers to give an impression of cherry blossom time in the spring. You can find these beautifully made dolls by Sally Sutherland here - SoulSilver  I have such fun working with Sally's unique creations - she creates dolls in so many different patterns, colour combinations, and, well, personalities! - that it's hard to stay away from her shop!

Last one for this post!  I've used a focal bead from another favourite artist of mine, Mindy MacGregor of mooginmindy.  Mindy's beads are tiny canvases of amazingly intricate designs and eye catching colour combinations.  I have several more of her creations in my stash just waiting to be featured in  new, one of a kind pieces!  I've said before that her beads are a joy with which to work, and it's true!  They are happy beads, I do think.  This particular piece is just made for spring...daffodil yellow, lilac purple, and plenty of lovely floral beads.

I think you might have guessed that I rather like spring....=)  For my next post (which will arrive much sooner than this one did!) I have some beads from my stash I'd like to share with you for more spring enjoyment!