Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Garden Necklace

"Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As I scan the social networks I see the most delightful images testifying to the beauty that only winter brings. One photo in particular was this one by Joan Regal Ahier from the Dalles, Oregon. Although she considers herself to be an amateur photographer, her talent captures the essence of many a moment like no other I have seen. I used this photo as inspiration for my Winter Garden piece.

A nearly monochromatic work, this 18-inch necklace is meant to mimic an ice-covered garden in winter. In it you will find all of the delightful elements a lady loves.
The upper neck of this stunning piece was accomplished with dainty silver pearls and sterling silver beads to rest comfortably on your neck. As the neck transforms into the main body there are shimmering Swarovski crystals peaking out from the weave to catch the light and add flashes of color the way only these lovely Austrian crystals can. Next the weave (and the fun) begins!
I used sparkling crystal AB seed beads to give the effect of sunlight in the ice-covered trees and frosty Magatama beads to capture the look of snow on the ground. The lovely opalescent flowers give the sense that the temperature change came quickly and suddenly thus freezing the flowers in place. It serves to remind us that Spring will return again, the branches will turn green once more and blossom. The slight breaks in the weave not only allow more light to play on the necklace, but also allows for me to incorporate gemstone beads into the piece. As with most of my pieces this one draws to a close with a sterling lobster claw clasp. On the other side is an oval jump ring for added security, also in sterling.

For a piece that is nearly absent of color this necklace shimmers dramatically!

Blog for Beads by contributed a large part of my materials in exchange for my honest evaluation of their merchandise in my blog. I am not paid to endorse them in any way.

New Crochet Rope Design

In a recent edition of Beadwork magazine I saw a bracelet in there I really liked. The problem was that no matter how many times I tried to weave it using the directions and technique in the magazine I could not get it to work.

I have been doing bead crochet for with some time so I though perhaps I could come up with a pattern with the same beads and a similar look. This was the result…

splendid! I will be ordering more of these beads!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Peace Through Pampering does it again!

"There is nothing more soothing and relaxing than a hot bath, unless you're sitting in a stew of alcohols, polymers and artificial colors. Then you dry off and slather on lotions, usually also full of alcohols etc. And somehow this is supposed to be good for us?! After my daughter got a UTI from using bath salts, I chucked them all and formulated a natural solution.I start with coarse dead sea salts; world renowned for it's high concentration of minerals and healing elements. Solar evaporated atlantic sea salts give the base of the softening properties. Dendritic salts are quick dissolving and help hold the fragrance of the essential oils. Epsom salts are added to help relieve and ease aches and pains. Lavender is one of the most soothing and relaxing scents available. Chamomile flowers add a minor sedative effect. An excellent combination for getting ready for a fantastic night's sleep.This 4 ounce glass jar is sealed and securely wrapped for shipping. There are no chemicals or colors, only natural salts and essential oils. The glass jar is recyclable or reusable, please be kind to the environment :)
Using the enclosed wooden scoop, pour a scoop full into running warm (or hot) bath water, sink in and enjoy. "
Also in Sandlewood!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Great Find on Etsy!

Can’t you just see how scrumptious her sugar scrubs are?! I was one of the Guinea Pigs she refers to in her product description She will be listing her bath salts tomorrow so stay tuned for more all-natural, non-toxic, healing, soothing products from Barbara.
"I loved the sugar scrub I purchased from a major retail outlet, until I read the ingredients. A whole list of chemicals that I couldn't pronounce and didn't want. So began my first 'mad science' experiments to make a product that is good for the body, soul and environment.So I began with a list of ingredients that nourish your skin. Organic sugars that naturally exfoliate. Sweet almond oil to moisturize and soothe skin. Apricot kernel oil for it's high vitamin E content and skin softening. Grape seed oil for toning and healing. Scented with sandalwood and lavender essential oils, forming a synergy of scents to boost confidence and relax the mind.Then I sent a batch out to my 'guinea pigs', family and friends that were willing to give me honest feedback. They overwhelmingly love it and want more. However, as with any product with natural carrier oils, this will make your bathtub or shower slippery; so please use caution and common sense when using.This large 8-ounce jar is sealed and securely wrapped for shipping. Please note that I do not use emulsifiers, preservatives or artificial colors in this; this is a full jar of high quality oil and organic sugars. The heavy walled jar is labeled for recycling, so please recycle!
Simply smooth on skin and rinse with hot water. It will literally leave your skin as smooth as a baby's bare bottom"
Look for more scents to come!
The jars are dishwasher safe and because I re-use a lot rather than recycle so I use mine for beads and other small trinkets.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lucite Flower Earrings

Here are some nice little treasures for your ears and you can see more at Divella Delights.
I have been having a good time putting these together, getting ready for Spring. In Maine we like to dream early, think of our gardens while the snow flies.
The flower earrings make a great gift if you are just trying to find a little something without breaking the bank. It is always nice to say 'I was thinking of you' and this is a great way to do it. I can even put a nice little gift card in with your gift boxed jewelry for you and mail it right to your recipient.

Som New Designs

O.k. So. I have been having lots of fun and staying really busy although I guess you would not know it from these pages! I have had some special orders keeping me busy and sold a Winter Frost so had to make another...remember? The first one is going to Bead and Button to be featured in the June 2011 issue! I had to picture the Winter Frost here again and then some others I have been working on. There are a few more and of course you can pop over to Divella Delights and see them.
Oh did you hear? I am now in a boutique in Harvard Square Dahling! Cambridge, Mass...nice!
Is that little fish lampwork bead adorable? It is made by Generations Lampwork, fun stuff!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Beware of "Artisan Created"

Whew...back from a few days in Boston and time to get back to work.
We left off discussing great jewelry findings (before the bath products).
Today I want to talk about Lampwork beads.
I have seen several sites lately who boast "artisan created" when talking about lampwork beads. This to me is misleading most of the time. When I saw that I could buy an unlimited amount of the same exact bead I began to wonder.
When I buy lampwork beads from an artisan each one is different, even if they are a "matched pair". This makes sense to me as an artist so I never gave it another thought. These mass produced glass beads are not the same. If you were ever curious about how these stunning beads were made I have a great link for you. After reading this you can clearly see that no 2 beads can ever be exactly alike unless you are melting the glass in some sort of mold. I do not consider that as artisan created. The beads that I use are truly artisan created, made by the artisan…one bead at a time with a torch and glass rod…by hand. This of course, does make the bead more costly but I look at it this way…I can buy an original painting or I can buy a print; a less expensive reproduction which a million other people are going to have. Perhaps if the prints are a limited edition only 500 other people will own them…still. The original makes it more valuable and there is not another anywhere. If you want to find some great (truly) artisan created beads check out my 'Link' page. Pictured here are some beads by
Generations Lampwork