Thursday, July 31, 2008

Acrylic Paintings

Home is where the heart as goes the saying. Laurie, a Maine artist will create a painting of your house for you by custom request. I was thinking although I don't live there anymore it would be nice to have a painting of the home I grew up in. I love to drive by there every chance I get. I can still see our underground fort (long since filled in), picture my old room from the front window. I sit parked and daydream of days gone by in the carefree world of my youth. It would be a delight to have that right here in my home and the new owners would probably prefer it as well!
She also has original art as well as prints for sale in her shop of some beautiful Maine landscapes. One of the features of her work is the gallery wrap canvas she has this to say..."For those who are unfamiliar with gallery wrap canvas, it has a wide (approximately 1.5-inch) edge that is painted, so you don't have to deal with the added expense and hassle of framing. The painting will wrap right around the edges of the canvas. Your painting will be finished with a protective layer of varnish, and will arrive wired and ready to hang." This is really nice because the additional cost of framing can be outrageous. Wen I did it for a living people were amazed. They would bring it a print that they paid $25.00 for and spend over $100 easily for the frame. Stop by her shop and take a look at her landscapes and cityscapes. You can find her at

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scrabble Anyone?

Believe it or not these tiles are made on the back of Scrabble pieces! Not only does she have many designs to choose from, she welcomes custom orders. They have a sterling silver bail and a glass like finish. Perfect for putting on a piece of leather or dress it up with a silver chain. If you are the creative type you can make your own beaded necklace to put it on. Jessejane also offers buy 2 get one free! You can start you gift shopping early and get one for yourself...AHHH guilt-free shopping, I love it! They come in an organza gift bag right to your door. If all that is not enough, she even offers gift certificates. Here is what one customer had to say: "Thank you so much for the quick delivery! The pendants are even cuter in person, I can't wait to show them off! The quality is 100% professional as well. Thanks again!" Check out her shop at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I live and work in Maine and I love it here. In an effort to help out fellow Artisans and Crafters from Maine I am going to be featuring all kinds of local work; knit, crochet, paintings, pottery, lighting, clothing, just to name a few. Check back often or better yet just subscribe to the blog. There is a lot of wonderful talent here in Maine and my goal is to show you as much as I can in the upcoming months. Buy handmade!!! Many Artisans accept custom orders and they are very reasonable. Wouldn't you rather give a beautiful, quality handmade item than something mass produced? I will even feature patterns if you have the time and energy to make gifts yourself. I am going back to a desk job full time in an attempt to keep my bills paid so I may not be writing every day although I will certainly try. I was hoping to take a full year off but with the economy today I am not selling quite enough jewelry to live on. I am sure that is true of some of my fellow artisans so I hope this will help us all!

Sock Monkeys

You have got to check out this shop if you are in the market for a card for that special someone and you want something different! These cards are fabulous! What a great pick-me-up it would be to receive one of these in the mail. These days with e-mail rarely do I ever get a card in the mail and it is always a wonderful surprise. These items are sure to put a smile on your face and they are so cute you might not be able to part with them so you better get two! They also have printed T-shirts. Go to and receive a feee smile today!

Monday, July 28, 2008

For The Love of Bags

A tote for every outfit? Sure. with Cassy Lain Totes you can have that and then some. Handmade in Maine, these totes not only come in a wonderful variety of color schemes, they also come in 5 different sizes. They make recycled totes, theme totes, animal print totes, insect print totes and more! Not only that, but they are priced to own from $22.00 for the mini to $55.00 for the jumbo, perfect for a lovely diaper bag and people like me who cannot leave anything at home. Check out her website at You are sure to find more than one you just love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Junior Jewelry Designers

Have you ever seen such sweetness? Pictured are Ella and Diva, my 5 year old granddaughters (4 in the photo) creating their own beautiful beaded designs. They love to create and for a time their bedroom when they are at my house doubled as my studio. It made bedtime very easy as I would read them their story and they would fall asleep watching my work. Naturally they wanted to "work" too so in order to keep their lovely little fingers out of my very organized bead stash I bought them their own. As you can see they work very hard!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Meet My Field Testers

Meet my field testers! With my husband are Ella and Diva 2 of my granddaughters who test all my kids jewelry. Somewhat mischievous and very active as all 5 year olds are, these 2 put my creations to the test. Their mom and my eldest daughter Jessy is wearing one of my felted hats. She also does the trials on jewelry, bags and crocheted items. She is also creative and makes gorgeous hats. I am trying to talk her into opening an ETSY shop. She is a little (a lot) tough on jewelry chasing those little girls and getting into a fair amount of mischief herself. If a design has any defect in it will become eveident when she wears it! The last photo is my daughter Kimberly with a set I made for the dress she is wearing. These gals are a life saver in many ways but as far as the jewelry business goes I could not do it without them all. When I come up with a new technique I like to have them wear it for a while so we can discover any defects or even just areas I would like to tighten up. They are instructed to wear it as much of the day as possible and sleep in it if they can, wear it in the shower, etc... so I can see just where I stand. I like to be as sure as I can that when my designs leave my studio, they will not come back! Thank you girls and your mother/grandmother adores you!


This set is stunning made with 3 lampwork beads by Generations Lampwork and an abundance of genuine Pearls. The 17 inch necklace has 4 woven layers or Pearls, Mother of Pearl, and high quality seed beads. It is finished off with a handwrapped clasp with a single pearl. All metal is 14K gold filled wire, see note below.
I take great care in the design details as well as carefully selecting the gems and pearls for each piece. When I use lampwork beads they are purchased directly from the artisan so each one is carefully selected and I know that it is handcrafted and one of a kind. Many of my beads I special order. These particular lampworks are just gorgeous and although I was not sure when I bought them what exactly I was going to do with them I knew I had to have them. Such is the case with a lot of the beads I buy from Generations.
I am always happy to take special requests if you have a particular color, size, or theme you are interested in. I have done many for the fine jewelry store in town. Normally, she calls with a color scheme she (or one of her customers) want and when I take in the completed piece she is always very pleased.
I have done a number of coastal pieces with octopus, lobster, and fish beads. I also use these beads in the crochet necklaces and bracelets I create.
Having 2 daughters, I like to think that when someone purchases a piece of my jewelry they will be handing it down someday for future generations to treasure.

A note about gold filled wire:
Gold filled wire is very different from "gold plated". 14KT gold-filled wire has 100 times more 14KT gold in it than plated gold. This wire is created by bonding a sheet of 14KT gold to a core of brass with extreme heat and pressure. The end result is a 14KT gold tube totally encasing the brass core. This gives us a lovely strong wire that never tarnishes. The gold surface never wears off, cracks, or peels like gold plate does. It is used to create designs meant for a lifetime.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Made to match

My daughter was up in Maine visiting me last week and she needed to find a dress for an early afternoon wedding she was attending the following week. We went to Kohls and she found this dress but really had no jewelry to go with it. Lucky she has me for a mom I guess. I got to work, selected a bunch of beads and created this free-form peyote stitch necklace with earrings in Turquoise and genuine pearls in yellow and black to match the pearls on the necklace. I am sure she will hear " Wow, that necklace looks like it was made just for that dress". It was fun and a challenge with those colors, I usually work in more muted tones so this was a reach for me, lots of fun though especially because it was made for someone I love so much!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Crocheted jewelry

With or without the bead? I make 2 basic styles of these crocheted bracelets, one with a center focal bead and one without. I crochet them with heavy duty nylon cord (they can even get wet) and high quality Japanese seed beads. You will not see any of those craft store beads in my work. I am sure I can get them cheaper somewhere else but I prefer to get them locally so I can see them. I have been disappointed in buying them on line before, not quite as nice as the photos. The Raku beads are by Keith O'Connor, a Maine artisan; and the lampwork beads are all artisan created, one of a kind, for the most by Generations Lampwork in Massachusetts although I do buy from other artisans from time to time. Certainly I could get cheap imitations or glass beads made by the thousands but I prefer to offer one of a kind quality pieces to each of my customers. When a piece leaves my studio I want to know that it will bring years of lasting pleasure. I have had the unfortunate experience of buying jewelry in the past only to have it fall apart, literally the first time I wore it. It is so disappointing. I have never had a piece of jewelry returned as of yet for anything other than lengthening. Oops, that is not true. I had one piece returned that was one of the very first pieces I made and 2 years later it came back. I repaired it free of charge of course using the materials I use now, professional grade rather than than the "beginner's" supplies. I have learned a lot creating. I use my daughters for field testing when I come up with a new design. I also use my 5 year old granddaughters like when I began making the crocheted bracelets! I thought if they could survive those active little girls they could survive just about anything!


Free Form peyote is a blast! The brown bracelet I worked up first and had so much fun with it I asked my daughter who was visiting to pick out 3 colors of my size 8 beads and the pink and aqua bracelet one came out of that. We went shopping later that day to find her a dress for an early afternoon wedding she was going to so I made her a necklace and earrings to match. The length on the bracelets are a bit tricky, if you make one be sure you don't make it too big...much easier to make it longer then to shorten! They are not really all that difficult, but do take a fair amount of time. Just begin with 2 or 3 rows of regular peyote stitch and then go wild. I have seen tutorials that suggest you make it 1/2 inch larger than your wrist but I would not recommend it. That is what I did with the brown one and it turned out 1/2 inch to large...go figure. On the clasp, these are the first ones I have made this way (on the bracelets) and I have some adjustments to make to them but I like the continuity using the beaded toggle. I think this would be a great project to dive into if one has a artist block. It gets the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shell Jewelry

OOPS! I promised to put up the shell lampwork jewelry. Well, here it is. These luscious shells were made be Generations Lampwork. They were made to order for me, I just call her up and tell her what colors I want and she does a perfect job every time. These little beauties are all surrounded by layers upon layers of gemstones, pearls, silver and gold. These pieces take me about 2 hours a piece to make but I love every one of them. I don't work from a pattern so I just let the gems take me where they will.The nice thing about this style is that they can from casual to formal very nicely. Perfect for vacation!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Although the big June wedding season has come to a close there are still a lot of brides out there who want something a little (or a lot) different for that wonderful and unforgettable day. If you are one of those brides, check out this stunning set with pearls, opalite, sterling and those well- loved fine Austrian crystals by Swarovski. I am also available to make one especially for you that will distinguish you from all the other brides out there with that traditional strand of pearls. We can incorporate different colors and we can even make a more subtle version of your design for your bridesmaids. This jewelry will make a wonderful gift to those special women surrounding you and supporting you throughout your weeding planning. Make a statement!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hardwood Floors and such

Ok, so I have not made any jewelry in the last few days and I am sure you can see why! The photos above are before and after shots of my living room and kitchen after we tore up the ugly carpet. Why anyone would cover these floors is beyond me. It took us only 3 days from ripping up the carpet to the finish...well nearly done. I still have to go around and do a little touch up and fine detail work. Oh and that is Butch over there in the corner and my husband putting on the padding to keep the floors from getting scratched.
This was our first project and there are some things we learned. First I would not suggest trying to sand 2 rooms and a hall all in one day to save on the machine rentals. Secondly, the drum sander of course was great but I was sad to see that the edger did not fit under the cabinets so we have to get a disc sander for that area.
The kitchen is probably next on our list because now the cabinets really don't work and there is some awful plastic tile on 2 walls that needs to come down. I think they glued that stuff on to survive a nuclear blast so when we take that off we will most likely take off the sheet rock as well. It goes without saying the curtains have to go, etc... Tis true what they say that these sort of projects are never as simple as they would first appear.
Once I have the remainder of the furniture out of my studio and the rest of these 2 rooms put back together I can start back to work making jewelry so I have strong motivation! See you all some with some more lovelies

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Chubby is here at last! This is one of the sweetest lampwork beads I have ever seen and what a personality! These darling beads are the creation of Generations Lampwork.
In the first photo the necklace was created for MPBN this year and features not only the 2 fish, but also one of Generation's beautiful shells. The piece was titled Rendezvous at the Reef and was selected by a jury for inclusion in the annual art show to benefit MPBN.
The second photo is a choker/necklace I crocheted using those wonderful Japanese seed beads and the third photo while also crocheted is a roll on bracelet.
I am planning another necklace in my usual design with gemstones shortly.
In addition to the fish this talented pair of lampwork artisans make exquisite shells which I will feature next trip!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lobster Jewelry

Allow me to introduce Larry and Loretta from the Lobster family. These wonderful and whimsical beads are made by Generations Lampwork and can be found at The first examples are made with those wonderful beads surrounded by a reef of gemstones and pearls. I typically make these at 17 inches which is 1 inch larger than choker length due to the added bulk created by the design. I can make them any length with an adjustment in the price. I use either Sterling Silver or 14K gold filled findings in all my creations (see note on gold filled wire below). I make a variety of styles in this technique which of course can be seen by clicking on the links to the left.
For the crocheted pieces, these are bracelets shown here, I use only high quality Japanese seed beads. They are quite uniform and come in a variety of sizes and beautiful finishes. For a medium they are crocheted to around 7.5 inches depending on the size of the lampwork I will incorporate into the piece. Through experimentation I have decided to use only a heavy duty nylon cord. These can get wet and dry quite nicely to their original size and they do not stretch out like the cotton threads and cords. My granddaughters (twins of 5) get great wear out of theirs as does my 20 year old step-son who wears his all the time. I wore one for a solid week including in the shower, to bed, and work just to see how it would hold up and the results exceeded my expectations.
Next I will show you the cutest little chubby fish lampwork jewelry...these little guys really have a personality!

A note about gold filled wire:
Gold filled wire is very different from "gold plated". 14KT gold-filled wire has 100 times more 14KT gold in it than plated gold. It is created by bonding a sheet of 14KT gold to a core of brass with extreme heat and pressure. The end result is a 14KT gold tube totally encasing the brass core. This gives us a lovely strong wire that never tarnishes. The gold surface never wears off like gold plate does. It is truly a piece of jewelry to last a lifetime.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Gallery Opening

A new gallery is opening in Portland, Oregon. CUBE Gallery at 4136 SE Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, OR 97215 opens Sunday July 6, 2008. The gallery opens on the 6th at 6PM, thereafter the hours are 10 AM to 6PM Tuesday through Sunday allowing the two artists and owners, Kimberly Kent and Shannon Bodie a little time to pursue their passion in creating some the art to be displayed.
Although involved in a variety of mediums, Kimberly specializes in encaustic painting which can be seen on the web at There Kimberly states "My current work represents the expressionistic landscape. Born of intimate plein air studies that bear the torch for my larger oil and encaustic paintings. Working in plein air allows me to see the natural world with all senses, not just my eyes. To experience nature as the precious gift we were given and have the responsibility to protect."
"Shannon Bodie has been working in graphic arts for over 17 years. After study as a fine artist, she joined Lightbourne in 1994 and became partner in 1999, where she continues Lightbourne’s reputation of outstanding service and award-winning design." (from The web link to the gallery is and is not a complete site at this time but they are working toward that end.
In addition to fine art, jewelry, and pottery the gallery will offer classes in a variety of media.


I have really enjoyed creating designs using there wonderful lampwork beads by Margo Lampwork. I have sold a number of them, they are quite whimsical and a lot of fun. When I have worn them, I really get noticed! I also make jewelry with fish and lobsters with beads made by Generations Lampwork, those will be in the next few blogs so come back and see! Or you can visit or and check them out...unless of course they sell before you get there. But I will be posting photos of them here.
These 3 are all different designs. the first is free form peyote stitch and was tons of fun although it does take some planning ahead of time. The second is a crocheted beaded necklace with genuine Pearls and Black Onyx, and finally my usual design weave using a variety of gemstones and Sterling. Check back soon for Chubby the Fish and Larry and Loretta Lobster! They are really cute!