Friday, October 31, 2008

A Trio of Greens

Today I'm featuring a pair of earrings that use the color green in three forms. Green aventurine is a pale, translucent shade of green. A rondelle of apple green variscite comes next. It is often mistaken for turquoise, but these particular beads are greener than any turquoise in my collection. The third green bead here is a faceted teardrop of green topaz.

These greens work so well together. Here, they are hanging from a textured circle of fine silver and gracefully arced sterling silver earwires.

I have oxidized and tumbled the silver for a shiny, steel gray finish. Sophisticated ... and sweet all at the same time.

They are for sale in my etsy shop.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blank Journals

About a year ago, I purchased a Bind-It-All machine, which ... well, binds books. I've been making these sweet journals and giving them away to friends and family because, what the hell am I going to do with twenty (or more) of these things?? I've sold quite a few in my "other" etsy shop, A Peaceful Life.

Making these books has given me the best reason to buy lots of beautiful papers. I really can't believe the variety that's available. Here are a couple of my favorite little books, all available for sale.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saying Good-Bye to a Friend ...

Earlier this week, I learned that one of my Artisan Beaders team members had passed away. Cori Portalatin was a sweet, generous and kind person who will be missed by so many of us. Her jewelry designs were lovely and she had a style all her own.

My heart goes out to her family.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Color Gradation

Colors fascinates me. I love experimenting with new color combinations and my extensive bead collection give me ample opportunity to play with color. Here are 2 pairs of earrings from my etsy shop where I experiment with the gradual change of color.

In the first pair of earrings, I worked in the Blue-Violet hue family and I'm quite happy with the results. The second pair focuses on the neutral colors of black, brown and beige. This is a classic combination that always works. Both pairs of earrings, featuring Swarovski crystals are for sale in my etsy shop.

Some of my favorite color resources:
The Beader's Guide To Color by Margie Deeb
ColorWorks by Deb Menz
The Colourlovers Website

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Next Giveaway from Artisan Beaders!

This week, the lovely Meri of Elbit Enterprises is giving away an adorable flower brooch! With purple and green, this brooch can transition with you through the seasons. The flower itself measures 1.5 inches wide, and the entire brooch measures 3 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall.

How to enter to win:

Visit Meri's shop, then leave a comment here* with a link to your favorite item. We will be picking the winner** on Friday, October 31st, at 5:00pm EST, so you have until then to leave a comment. The winner will be announced shortly after, so make sure you check back Friday afternoon. Thanks for playing!

* If you don't have a Blogger account, please leave your email address or a way to contact you if you win.
** Winning name will be randomly chosen by using

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Carnelian Earrings

To continue with the fall themed colors, I'm highlighting these sterling silver earrings featuring Carnelain beads in a faceted coin shape. Carnelian is a deep rusty orange color that looks great with browns, beige and all shades of green.

I forged the earrings from sterling silver wire and I fused the circles from fine silver wire. All of the silver has been oxidized and tumbled for a shiny gray sophisticated look. These long earrings will swing freely and look dramatic.

They are for sale in my etsy shop.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Warm, Fall Inspired Necklace

Even though autumn is over where I live, many of you are still enjoying the changing leaves. This necklace features those colors.

I've combined a diamond shaped citrine, a large faceted bead of smoky quartz and a teardrop briolette of whiskey quartz.

They have been wrapped with sterling silver wire and hang from a sterling silver chain.

This necklace is for sale in my etsy shop.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Orange & Copper Notecards

Yesterday was a cardmaking day. I always turn to my Technique Junkie newsletters when I make cards. They are full of interesting and innovative ideas for making unique cards. Thanks to Pat for publishing such a wonderful resource!

I don't often work with the color orange in my jewelry or my cardmaking. Yesterday, I could not stay away from it. Go figure!

The first card is a stylized bouquet stamped on acetate, then colored on the reverse side with an ink and glue mixture . It is backed with crumpled tissue paper. After doing this technique many times, I have learned to use light colored inks, otherwise the stamped image does not show up well enough.

Next is one of my all time favorite techniques. It starts with black glossy cardstock and metallic markers. It truly is magical the way a damp sponge transforms the scribbles into a bubbly background. The image is embossed in gold for a dramatic look.

The background on last card features metallic ink rubbed into the cardstock followed by doing the same with droplets of ink. The results are lovely and muted. This technique always leaves me with inky fingers -- I love that!

Don't forget, all subscribers to the TJ Newsletter always qualify for a 10% discount in my etsy shop. Just be sure to identify yourself in the "Message to Seller"!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wilma Flintstone Strikes Again!

As many of you know, I love freshwater pearls. I've been hoarding these large lovelies -- don't they remind you of Wilma Flintstone's necklace? -- and using them ever so slowly, for fear of running out. I know, it's crazy, but I hear it's not an uncommon behavior among beaders.

These are large, white and quite irregularly shaped. Here, I've suspended them from earwires I forged from 20 ga sterling silver wire.

They are for sale in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Artisan Beaders Giveaway!

The Artisan Beaders Street Team I'm on is doing a series of weekly giveaways! Starting this week, and every Monday for the next few weeks, one of our members is giving away a fabulous item. This week, it's a pair of gorgeous earrings from Broken Teepee Designs. Visit Patty's shop on etsy to view all of her lovely jewelry.

Aren't they beautiful? And they could be YOURS! For more information on how to enter to win, visit our blog. Winner will be picked and announced this Friday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Blog Has a New Look!

Ok, so maybe it's a little subtle, but my blog now has 3 columns! Thanks to my good friend Jael, my blog can now incorporate more "stuff" in the sidebars.

Jael is in awesome polymer clay artist. Check out her etsy shop: Jael's Jewels, and her informative blog .

Here's a sampling of her polymer clay pendants:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Owyhee Blue Opal

Discovered in 2003 in the opal rich area of eastern Oregon near the sacred Indian springs of Owyhee, Oregon, this stone is stunning! While most opals have a characteristic "opal fire", this stone's beauty is found more in depth of color and subtle opalescence. It has a pale blue coloring that is almost milky in appearance.

I've featured this stone in a new pair of earrings. I have put them on handmade headpins and allow them to dangle from a circle of fused fine silver. The earwires are sterling. All of the silver has been oxidized and tumbled for that sleek gray finish I love.

These unique earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Tag is a blogger's game similar to the game of the same name that we all played as kids. I've been tagged by Nicole, aka Beadwright.

Here's how the cyber-version of tag works;
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Seven facts about Vicki:
1. I lived on a sailboat for 7 years.
2. I have a degree in Industrial Engineering -- yes, really.
3. I'm a pretty good cook and an excellent baker.
4. My collection of vintage jewelry is slowly crushing my house.
5. I kinda like the bookkeeping aspect of owning a small business.
6. I have a passion for paper and paper arts.
7. Rick cuts my hair whenever it needs cutting.

I'm tagging these 7 bloggers. Be sure to check them out.


Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yes, I have a fascination with fake food in all forms. I made this necklace from glass beads that I purchased from an amazing glass artist, Marcy Lamberson. She creates the most amusing and whimsical glass beads I have ever seen.

I guess I was extra hungry when I put this necklace together. I usually only have 2 eggs!

Marcy says a cup of coffee is on it's way!

Visit Marcy's fun blog to read all about glass beadmaking, bacon and vikings.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vintage Glass Beads

OK, I admit to having a serious weakness for vintage glass beads. I've been collecting them for about 10 years. I'm always on the lookout for a unique shape or color. Old necklaces are a great source for these elusive beads. Such is the case with the green beads featured in these earrings.

They were part of an unattractive (yes, it was ugly) necklace I stumbled upon in an antique mall in Arizona. I cut apart the necklace and kept the very cool brass clasp and salvaged these wonderful emerald green glass beads. They are a fluted melon shape with a little bit of wear. I'm not sure why, but I love that.

These earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mixed Chain Bracelets

When I first introduced these bracelets, towards the end of 2007, I was using up some short, left-over sections of a variety of sterling silver chains. The few I offered at my shows sold quickly and I consigned the remainder to some of my regular art galleries. They sold quickly at those places too.

Now, I've purchased more of those chain styles because this has become one of my hottest products! At my last 2 shows, I've sold 11 of them. A couple have sold on etsy this year as well.

The photos here are of the bracelet available in my etsy shop. I plan to list more within the next few weeks. If there's a certain color combination you're looking for, just let me know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Custom Earring Order

While doing the Bad Girls of the North craft show in Fairbanks, one of my regular customers approached me requesting a custom pair of earrings. She gave me a few particulars and this is what I came up with. I love the fact they are double-articulated and will move around much more than if the entire length was on one piece of wire.

I emailed her the photo and she loves them. They went in the mail today. This customer just happens to be the mayor of Fairbanks!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Artisan Beaders Street Team on Etsy

Artisans who sell on, often form groups with other like-minded artisans with similar interests and goals. These are called Street Teams. I belong to one group of fabulously talented women called Artisan Beaders Street Team.

This amazing team of mine is made up of 19 members. We all work with beads in some way, whether it is jewelry design, bead supplies sales, or as bead makers. Here is our mission statement:

Begin with a passion for beads. Combine with creativity. Mix with encouragement. The result is Artisan Beaders; a charismatic group committed to providing the knowledge, resources and support to help members succeed in their entrepreneurial dreams.

Artisan Beaders: Infinite Inspiration.

Doesn't that mission statement just make you want to get to know us a little better?

To help you out with that, our team hase put together a Holiday Gift Guide. There, you can see a few items from each of our shops, read a little bit about us, and have direct links to our etsy shops. If you'd like to search by type of item, look under the top banner, and you'll find jewelry and bead categories.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blue Chalcedony Teardrops

This is a new style of earring that I introduced recently. I handcraft the earwire from sterling silver wire and embellish it with tiny gems on the leading edge. Not only is this decorative, but it keeps the main dangle from sliding off the back of the earwire.

This pair features stunning faceted blue chalcedony teardrop beads at the bottom. I used tiny faceted rondelles of mystic topaz on the leading edge.

These lovely earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.