Sunday, January 8, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!  I can't believe we are already a week into 2017!

The holidays were nice.  I did a little baking for my son's teachers.  The recipe I followed was for "Saltine Toffee Cookies", but I substituted graham crackers and they were a hit!  And they are very easy to make!  (And I positively loved the little mini tree decorations!!!)

On Christmas day, I scored this awesome Ott Lite caddy!  I love it!!!  Props to my husband for paying attention when I went wild seeing something similar several weeks earlier!

We also went on a lovely hike in the woods near our house.

Just before the holidays I sold a couple of "Earring of the Month" subscriptions so lately I've been very busy prepping earrings to send off to subscribers this year! I just love making earrings.  Whether they take an 30 minutes or an hour and a half, it's a great way to fit in some quick and satisfying beading!

Bead Soup Blog Party
In other beading news, I'm super excited to see the Lori Anderson is reviving her Bead Soup Blog Party! I have met so many lovely beaders doing that and I always love to see all the creations from the packages people received.  It's a brilliant concept and I enjoy it on every level! Mark your calendars, here is some more info:

Bead-it Forward is a little on the quiet side these days. I think for the 2018 round there will have to be some changes to make it more viable.  I've learned a lot over the last few years working on this project.  Seems that people love making squares.  They love seeing other beaders' squares.  They love to see what has been done with the squares.  However, it seems that assembling the quilts and objects as well as auctioning or selling the final products, is where things get stopped up. I seriously have a lot of  squares that still need assembling and a lot of finished projects that need to be sold!   I am hopeful the we will see a lot of squares for the 2017 fantasy theme.  We've received a lot of really fun patterns!   Also - if you are interested in obtaining a quilt - there are many quilts available on this Etsy site:

Switching gears now, I've had some really great luck with winter birding lately! And I mean LUCK!  I had heard rumors of a snowy owl at Duxbury Beach (about an hour and a half or so from my house), so one morning I trekked down there.  When I arrived there, I saw that most of the parking area was under construction, and the only area that wasn't under construction was chained off.  Given the time investment, I could not let that deter me.  I parked on a street near by and walked through the only open path I could see to the beach.  Just as I stepped onto the beach the owl was literally flying right in front of me!!!!  Imagine my surprise and delight!!!  Ad to top it off, she landed about 20 feet away!  Then she just sat there and posed for me for about 10 minutes.  I think I only took one more step onto the beach to get these shots!

Another tip I received, was about a large flock of cedar waxwings on a highway visitor center near by my town.  This spot was super close to my house so another morning I headed that way and was treated with a flock of about 100 or so cedar waxwings munching away on some berries.  They are such pretty birds and super fun to watch!! Warning - lots of photos here!!

I didn't make a lot of resolutions (okay, I didn't really make any), but I do hope to blog more frequently this year! A lot of my fellow bead bloggers have been wondering if the activity of blogging is dying out, given the ease and reach of other social media.  And I wonder the same thing! Time will tell I suppose! I'm love using Instagram, but I do enjoy the narrative qualities of blogging and the ability to share a lot more photos.  And I'm so immensely grateful for all the wonderful people I have met (virtually or in person) through this blog that I'd hate  to miss out on any future opportunities!  HAPPY 2017!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy December!

Happy December!

I've been super busy with beading since I last posted as I participated in two craft fairs!  In my last post I had picked up some buttons for a cuff I was working on.  And since then I started working on some holiday peyote cuffs, from some patterns I picked up through Bead & Button.  They are so super holiday-ish!

The "Christmas Sweater" cuff called for some sweater buttons.  So naturally, I took another trip to the fabric store, and naturally picked up more buttons than I went in for!

The black buttons on the end there inspired me to create yet another cuff of the "Boho Scroll Pattern"! Now I have three! lol!

So basically every spare moment I've had in the last few weeks has been beading to stock up on product for the craft fairs.  The first one was so-so, but the second one was huge and very well attended!

In the meanwhile, I also did a custom set of jewelry for a friend.  One day she commented on a pendant I was wearing that I made YEARS ago! It was from LaBellaJoya's tutorial, "Carnaval Pendant".  I purchased that tutorial years ago and was shocked to find the printed version in my files! But I went ahead and made a few pieces with the "Carnaval" pendant as the focal.  It's a fairly easy pendant to work up and Marcie's instructions are excellent!

Turns out she is allergic to metal.  So I used leather for the necklace and sewed on some beaded clasps.

I modified the pattern (by basically not completing some of the final rounds) for a bracelet

And earrings (I did learn she can wear titanium! but that's the only metal!)

These just screamed fall and that was perfect for her dress and the fall wedding she was attending!

And speaking of fall - thank you so much to all the folks who voted for my palette during the Halcraft color palette challenge!  It was a close race, and that is understandable,  just look at how pretty these pics and palette are!

Halcraft was very kind to send me a stash for participating! I look forward to playing around with the fun strands!

Other than all the beading, I've mostly been working! Which I enjoy so for that I am super lucky.  Have you ever seen Lucie Fink on Refinery 29?  I'm totally obsessed with her "Try Living with Lucie" series.  I really enjoy seeing her work and I think she is an admirable young lady! She is a stop motion video producer and seeing her work inspired me to give it a try.  If you go to my Instagram (link on the right sidebar), you will see some beady ones I did.  But I also brought the stop-motion fun into my day job for some gift card promotions for the holiday season.  Here is a round up of the videos! I had a blast doing them! IT's super time-consuming, but I really think the result is worth it!

And finally - one of my bosses teased me last month about achieving a rite of passage at my company.  That rite of passage is wrangling an escaped cow back into pasture!  I stumbled along this fella enjoying some of the greens outside his enclosure!

I can't say I actually wrangled him....but I successfully spooked him back through the fence! But in any case I'll take credit for the wrangling!  hahah!  I don't think he was too happy with me!

Now, it is time to brace for a small New England storm about to fall on us this evening!  Happy December y'all!

Friday, October 28, 2016

TGIF Morning Edition

As I titled this post, I realized many of the previous TGIF posts contained a glass of wine! This morning, though, it is a cup of tea!

Lately I've been working on another peyote cuff that is similar to the cuff I did to match a dress over the summer.  This time it's a bridal piece for a friend's niece!

Instead of a pearl clasp, which I did last time, I thought a button clasp would look nice on this so I carted this to the fabric store and came up with a few options.

 I think I'll be going with the glass buttons.  All the delica beads in this cuff are clear glass and lined with the color (pink, white, and off-white-ab!) so I think the glass will play off that very well.  Stay tuned to see!

And of course, how could I resist picking up a few more buttons.  I thought these were so pretty that I plan to make a couple bracelets to match the buttons!

I also have been working with polymer clay lately too!  My nephew is planning to be Teen Titan "Red Robin" for Halloween this year.   And what do you know! Turns out polymer clay is good for more than beading! (p.s. the gold border on the final Red Robin emblem is actually an inner needle point hoop that was painted gold!)

And finally - to whet your whistle, here are a few cocktails that crossed my camera's path this past week!

Seriously - it was only my camera's path...not my mouth!

Enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Happy Autumn!

There was a lot of talk the we would not have good foliage this year in New England because of the drought....but let me tell you , that couldn't be further from the truth! Just stepping outside, or taking a ride anywhere is a huge treat to see all the spectacular colors!

So when I saw that Halcraft was hosting a contest for fall photos, I knew I had to submit something because my photo albums in my phone and on my computer are overflowing with New England fall foliage photos!  This is one of my views at work, and it was one of my favorites from last week so here is the one I submitted:

Fortunately I was selected as a finalist in the contest!  If you have a moment, I'd be grateful for your "like", if you like the photo/palette.  Just visit Halcraft's Facebook page or click here! All the photos and palettes are quite gorgeous so I encourage you to take a peek! Erin of Treasures Found is selecting the prize beads so I couldn't be more excited for this opportunity!

Here are some more lovelies from my albums if you are in the mood for fall!

There has been plenty of beading in my life lately too!  Over the summer, a friend of mine in D.C. extended a huge favor to me. Since then I've been attempting to make her something bead-y as a thank you.  I struggled a bit coming up with something I thought would be fitting for her, and ended up with this lariat/earring combo!

For a while, as I was working on this, I wasn't sure how I wanted the lariat to meet up at the neckline, but finally decided to build a loop in the strand for the opposing side to enter!

And finally - there are plenty of Bead-it-Forward quilts (finally!) available online!! There are still several items left over from last year's animal theme, and now there are many space themed items available too!  Check it out here:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wedding Jewelry, Bead-It-Forward, Blue Ribbons and more!

Once again, I'm stunned at the amount of time that has passed since my last post (why does this feel like confession.....#formercatholicstruggles)!!

The summer passed at a lightening speed and fall is in full swing!  Work has been busy, but it's been an interesting and fun few months for which I remain grateful that I'm in a job that I enjoy so much! Here are a few moments from the recent past:
Farm dinners! 

Bridal magazine editorial shoot with this gorgeous white horse! 

Caught in the act snapping pics for social media and web updates!

My stepdaughter's wedding came and went and it was a lot of fun to see the bridal party wearing the jewelry I made for them!
My husband hand-painted these boxes and added initials for each of the bridal party!

So pretty! 

Close ups of the earrings and bracelet each of them wore!
I had a huge thrill at the beginning of fall when two pieces I submitted to The Eastern States Exposition.  Also known more commonly as The Big E, this is a multi state fair that takes place in Western Massachusetts which I attended annually as a young child and pre-teen! Anyway - they both won a blue ribbon!

In other beading news, I'm have a few bead projects on my table.  One if for a good friend who did me a huge favor recently and I am otherwise getting geared up for a few craft fairs coming up for the holiday season.  Pictured here are some of my own designs, but also Kristen Stephens' "Pop Up Pearls" and Sabine Lippert's "Scheherazade Pendant".

In Bead-It-Forward news....2016 space-themed quilts are coming together slowly, but surely!  Once they are laid out, I glue the squares into place and then tack them down with a needle and thread and one bead at each corner.  It's a slow process, but this batch should be on the site (and on an Etsy site for purchase) this week!  Proceeds will go to The Healing Garden in Massachusetts.  We just sent them a check for $500 from an event at Quilts & Treasures a few weeks ago! Can't wait to send them more!

The 2017 fantasy theme is bringing forth some very fun patterns!  Here are a few, but head over to the site to see more! A big thanks to all the pattern contributors!

And finally a few autumn images!