Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dark Cards

This first dark card features the Metallic Echo technique from the February 2006 issue of the Technique Junkies newsletter. I have a huge stash of black cardstock from one of my LSS that closed a couple of years ago (Diane - remember that clearance sale we went to?) and I'm determined to start using it up! The black panel is mounted on shiny silver cardstock, then on brushed gold cardstock. The sentiment is embossed in silver and mounted on gold cardstock and some huge silk flowers.

Then I found a scrap of Opalite Smoosh (February 2005 newsletter) where I used only the silver and gold colors of Opalite Ink Pads. Perfect for this Black Day! I embossed a simple image from Stampin' Up! in black and used three layers of cardstock to highlight the panel. Little bits of ribbon in silver, gold and black were used to "dress it up". Finally, I mounted this on gray cardstock on which I sprayed black webbing spray. I did this outside because of the fumes and you should have seen the surrounding snow when I was done!

The last card is a bit unconventional for a holiday card. It features a variation of the Aged Metal technique from the February 2008 newsletter. I started with pearlized cardstock, embossed in the Cuttlebug. I swiped a copper inkpad over the raised parts and obviously missed a little and some ink ended up in the low parts too. I decided I liked it this way. I added a little gold ribbon and a scrap of "joy" ribbon across the lower third. I topped that with a sweet image from Hero Arts which I embossed in gold on black cardstock.

There you have it! My Black Friday was spent making cards with an underlying theme of , well, black.

If you have any interest in rubber stamping, scrapbooking or paper crafts in general, I suggest you have a look at the Technique Junkies website and consider subscribing to Pat's wonderful newsletter.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Old Men

Thanksgiving was a day of reflection for me. We always had a big crowd at our house when I was growing up. Both sides of the family would come and I would set the big dining room table -- with all the leaves -- for 26 to 30 people.

I have a memory of my two grandfathers having an animated conversation in Yiddish with lots of hand gestures, but no raised voices. These two men, from opposite ends of Russia emigrated to the US in the early part of the 20th century to make their homes in New York City. They were just kids themselves at the time. Somehow, they made lives for themselves and raised families. My parents met by serendipity on a blind date.

So, what were these two men discussing that Thanksgiving so long ago? Life in the "old country"? The state of the world? The wonderful meal that was about to be served? Or was it just a conversation about the price of milk?

I'll never know, but I will continue to think about them both with fond memories.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wilma ... Again?


You see, I have a weakness for pearls. Apparently large, white ones. These are a bit different in that they are quite bumpy.

I've added them to the bottom of my hand forged sterling silver earwires, which have been oxidized and tumbled. I love the steel gray looking finish that results.

Visit my etsy shop to see more photos of these and lots of other jewelry.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving ... Don't Eat This Turkey!


My very talented friend Marcy Lamberson (you may remember her from my Breakfast Necklace post) has done it again! What better way to start Thanksgiving Day than with this adorable and incredibly realistic turkey bead.

If turkey isn't your thing, or if you're a vegetarian, she has plenty of other foods for you to enjoy, like this key lime pie. If you go to her etsy shop, you will also find cupcakes, an ice cream sandwich and some other yummy pies slices!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spoil Me


Just in time for the holidays -- this necklace will tell everyone how to treat you between now and then! It would also make a great gift for that diva in your life.

The vintage image is secured under an acrylic panel, which is riveted to the brass background. The beads hanging below are a perfect complement to the colors in the necklace. There are two styles of brass chain, which meet at a handcrafted brass hook clasp.

This necklace, and other mixed media pieces are available for sale in my etsy shop!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Artisan Beaders Giveaway!!

The Artisan Beaders are pleased to present a little holiday present from us to you! Over the next few weeks, participating members will be sponsoring a giveaway of their fabulous handmade items.


This week is a lovely lampwork necklace from Brandi of Catie's Blue! It features an artisan borosilicate lampwork bead, lemon quartz, aqua apatite, fine silver headpins, and sterling silver findings. The chain measures 18 inches long, and has a 3 inch extender chain in the back for adjustments; the pendant itself measures 1.5 inches long.


How to enter to win:

Visit Brandi's shop, then leave a comment on the Artisan Beaders Blog* with a link to your favorite item. We will be picking the winner** on Friday, November 28th, 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 night. 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 Random.org.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cascading Gemstones

These earrings are a design that I never tire of. I always use a different combination of small gemstones, so no two pairs are exactly the same.

In this pair, I used amethysts, garnets, citrine, iolite and tourmaline in several colors. All of the shapes are different, giving these earrings textural interest.

To see the earrings from a different angle, please visit my etsy shop.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New Card ... New Stamp

New rubber stamps always get me a little excited. I received a beautiful card in the mail from one of my Technique Junkie friends using this stamp and I had to have it too. The image is from Paperbag Studios and I purchased it from StampDiva. They carry many lines of stamps from many different artists.For this card, I embossed the image with black embossing powder over a piece of Brayered Madras, from the Oct 06 TJ Newsletter. I then layered it on black, then green cardstock. The card base is Perfect Plum on which I stamped a text stamp in lime green pigment ink, at an angle. There you have it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Black Spinel

When I posted a photo of these earrings to my flickr account, my friend Patty called them "a party on a leverback". I think she was right!I started with a plump, faceted briolette of shiny black spinel. It is topped with a cluster of more black spinel in a tiny rondelle shape, pink tourmaline and green amethyst. The sterling silver leverback earwires finish these earrings perfectly.

They are for sale in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Artisan Beaders Giveaway Continues!

The Artisan Beaders are pleased to present a little holiday present from us to you! Over the next few weeks, participating members will be sponsoring a giveaway of their fabulous handmade items.


This week, we have a charming (pardon the pun) cell phone charm from Ainsley of Kaskaad Handmade Jewellery! Bright and sunny, this cell phone charm features a glass bead and Swarovski crystals, and is sure to make your phone cheery. Please note: this giveaway is for one charm; the photo above shows two different views.


How to enter to win:

Visit Ainsley's shop, then leave a comment on the Artisan Beaders blog with a link to your favorite item. We will be picking the winner** on Friday, November 21st, 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 Random.org

Monday, November 17, 2008

Starfish and Mother of Pearl

I made this card the other day when I was dreaming of the beach. I love this double starfish image from Stampington. For this card, I used the Mother of Pearl technique from the Technique Junkies Newsletter. I brayered over the Lumiere paint with first gray ink, followed by pale plum ink. I added a really cute starfish brad in the lower right hand corner, after mounting the starfish panel on paper of the same color. The card is then mounted on brushed silver cardstock for a subtley glimmering finish.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Serpentine and Brass

There's something wonderful about the combination of olive green and aged brass. In this necklace, I wrapped brass filigree around a large bead of serpentine. I then embellished it with some coordinating glass beads and suspended it from a brass chain. Voila, a beautiful necklace!
This necklace is for sale in my etsy shop.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Labradorite Flash Earrings

I purchased two strands of these fabulous labradorite briolettes from my friend Deb of Crysallis Creations. After I made a pair of earrings for myself, I decided I could *maybe* part with a few of these beads. But it's torture. They are so gorgeous ... words and pictures are insufficient to convey how beautiful they really are.

Labradorite is a gray, mostly translucent stone that can have lots of inclusions. That's what makes them so visually interesting. There is also an element of "flash" that is visible when viewed at a certain angle. These briolettes are full of blue-ish flash.

For these earrings, I topped them with three petal shaped keshi pearls in a creamy off-white color. They hang loosely and move freely. All of the silver is sterling and has been oxidized to a dark gray, then hand sanded, revealing some of the silvery color of the metal. These earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Morning Wind Pottery


My friend Marie Herdegen, the genius behind Morning Wind Pottery, is a wonderfully talented (and a bit quirky) potter. Her works are hand built and always whimsical. She has been participating in our Bad Girls of the North art shows for many years.

I drink coffee from one of her mugs nearly every morning. I serve hors d'oevres from her trays whenever I have guests. I serve olives in one of her wiggle trays whenever the opportunity arises.

Have a look at her website to see why I love her work so much!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Bracelet for Every Day


This new bracelet I've recently listed in my etsy shop is so perfect for everyday wear. It's all silver and is extremely textural. Most of the beads are Bali silver, but I used some Hill Tribe (Thailand) silver as well. The repeat pattern are I used in this bracelet is visually interesting.

Bracelets are subject to a different kind of wear than necklaces or earrings. We use our hands constantly, putting bracelets in some precarious situations! For this reason, I choose to finish this type of bracelet with a super-secure sterling silver foldover clasp.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Artisan Beaders Giveaway!

The Artisan Beaders are pleased to present a little holiday present from us to you! Over the next few weeks, participating members will be sponsoring a giveaway of their fabulous handmade items.


This week, the giveaway is from me! These Cocoa Waves Earrings feature glass beads and natural brass, and are perfect no matter the time of year. These earrings measure 5/8ths of an inch from the bottom of the earwire.


How to enter to win:

Visit my etsy shop, then leave a comment here* with a link to your favorite item. We will be picking the winner** on Friday, October 24th, 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 Random.org.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Garnet Cubes . Earrings


The little bows on these earwires make the earrings look like wrapped presents. And who wouldn't want these gorgeous faceted garnet cubes dangling from their ears?

I formed the earwires from sterling silver wire and made the headpins using a small torch. All of the silver is sterling. It has been oxidized and tumbled for the sleek, steel gay finish that I love.

Have a look at these earrings in my etsy shop for some more details.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bold Color!


I tend to work in subdued and neutral tones in my jewelry designs. That's why these earrings should be a big surprise to anyone who knows me! The opaque chartreuse beads at the bottom of this stack are from Raven's Journey. They carry a wide selection of glass beads that you just don't see everywhere. I purchased these particular beads at a huge bead show in Tucson.

The combination of green and purple works so well. The purple I used in these earrings is more of a violet. The earwires are sterling and I used a decorative Bali silver bead at the very bottom.

As always, these earrings are for sale in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Silk Art

One of my dear friends is a fabulously talented artist by the name of Chelline Larsen. She paints on silk and is inspired by the beauty and wildlife that surrounds her in Alaska. Several pieces of her art adorn my home.

This first one is a small wall hanging that is a beautiful underwater scene. Chelline quilted this piece and embellished it with lots of tiny seed beads and real shells.

This next piece is hanging from the rafter in my home that separates the living room from my studio area. Again, it is an underwater scene that features a huge octopus. The color scheme is among my favorites -- blues, purples and greens.
The last piece is another small wall quilt that I bought for Rick. The raven image is hugely popular in Alaska and these colors are ones that Rick feels strongly about.
My photos do not do justice to Chelline's talent. Visit her website to see more of her beautiful work.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Latest Giveaway from Artisan Beaders!

This week's giveaway is a gorgeous pair of earrings, thanks to Brenda of The Jewelry Box! These earrings feature green aventurine wavy ovals, fancy faceted jasper briolettes, and sterling silver findings, and they measure 2.75 inches long.


How to enter to win:

Visit Brenda's shop, then leave a comment here* with a link to your favorite item. We will be picking the winner** on Friday, November 7, 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 Random.org.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dragonfly and Reed Necklace


This necklace has been in my etsy shop for a while, but I thought I would give it some extra publicity here.

The main component is a large brass disk embossed with a design which includes a sweet dragonfly hovering over some reeds. I topped it with a textured circle. I like the way the 2 circular elements work together. Then I added a filigree wrapped turquoise chiclet shaped bead and a few other beads in lavender and seafoam green.

The large link chain is brass and it is finished with a simple hook clasp.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz was for a long time my very favorite movie. I still love it, but some of the magic has worn off over time.

A couple of years ago, I purchased 2 whole sheets of rubber stamps from the Stamping Ground with images from the movie for use in cardmaking and collage work. I made this card using the Spritz & Flick technique for the background. The technique is from the Technique Junkies Newsletter.

There are some great images of the Wicked Witch that I use when I'm in a dark mood. I rarely use the Glinda images, but the Ruby Slippers -- gotta love 'em.