Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beading, Holidays, and more!

I think this may be the longest hiatus this blog has ever seen!!!! Life has been incredibly busy the last two months.  As I mentioned back in the fall, I got a new job here in MA.  That's been keeping me busy (tough life having to market all these beautiful menus and properties, eh??)

Earlier this week I decided that I'd blog this Saturday (here we are!)  Went through the pictures in my computer and decided it would just be easiest to let them tell the story of what I've been up to over the last month or so!!  So in no particular order here they are!

Right after Thanksgiving, I gave a huge focus on getting in some beading time.  I committed to sticking to the time and got tons of gifts done for this season!

I went to the bead store at the beginning of the month with the intention of only picking up this:

 But ended up getting all this:

Baked about 12 dozen of these cookies (dark chocolate, macadamia, cherry - yum...hit me up if you want the recipe!)

But I didn't get to deliver about half of them because my husband had to go here and was then admitted for a short stay (all is well now, thankfully, but it was stressful to say the least, but a good moment to stop assess, reassess, count blessings etc...!)

 Worked on a free-form necklace for a xmas gift and couldn't help but photo-document the process.  This is on of my favorite methods of beading and I should do it more!

The holidays meant seeing plenty of my sweet nieces! I can't put into words how much I love these girls! 

 We got two good size snow storms....starting to think we're in the sweet-spot for decent accumulation here in MA!  (yay - was able to put a shovel in this kid's hands this year!)

And speaking of this kid....without sounding too mushy....he was a constant source of strength, grace, good humor and congeniality this season.  Things got stressful from time to time, but he was always there asking if he could help, and just generally bringing good cheer.   Here is is the last day of school before break...when I packed him up with cookies to share at school he said, he better put on his elf hat! 

 Here's another xmas gift from this holiday season!  I also made a handful of things that I forgot to even photograph!

The week before xmas brought two good storms - one dumped 8 inches and the next we got 9!   warm weather and rain the following week made most of it melt away, but we still had a white Christmas since there was still about 4 inches on the ground and we had a few 1inch dustings!

Also made a handful of these pretty snowflakes.  Although I downloaded a book filled with ton's of Sandra D Halpenny's snowflakes, I decided to focus on one.  It was the smart thing to do because after a couple, I barely needed the pattern anymore and was producing them at a good speed! 

Well, I guess that's all for least all that I've documented with my camera or iPhone!  I have missed about the last three weeks of reading my favorite blogs and plan to get to those tomorrow morning!  In the meanwhile, today will be filled with selecting patterns and picking out beads for quilt patches for the Bead-It-Forward quilt in 2014! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ZNet | 7000 Bracelets for Hope

I just love the 7000 Bracelets for Hope project.  It is a campaign aimed at raising awareness that there are "an estimated 7,000 different chronic, life-threatening and fatal rare diseases and disorders affecting approximately 30 million Americans and millions more globally."  

I know personally of at least two people, one who has already passed, and another who continues to suffer, from a rare diseases.  I am proud to support this campaign.   “There are millions of children and families battling rare diseases that do not have foundations to support their awareness efforts or the funding required to propel research forward to fuel new drug development,...The 7,000 Bracelets for Hope™ campaign is a way to let rare disease families know they are not forgotten." 

I've sent a few bracelets in the past, and this time I've teamed up with ZNet to create more!  ZNet has sponsored the blue beads for this drive for designers to create bracelets to send into the Global Genes Project for use with the 7000 Bracelets for Hope campaign.

 ZNet, who I love working with, totally hooked me up with these round 8mm blue beads:

The reason I selected these particular strands, is because I thought it would be perfect to utilize Kristen Stevens' gorgeous Pop Up Pearls bracelet pattern to create some bracelets to send in.  (And heck, I just know Kristen will be happy to know that her pattern is being used for this great cause!)

I worked up a few units in a few different color schemes....and will definitely revisit these...

The set of colors I settled on this weekend however, were all blues!  Here's how it turned out:

I am just getting started.  I can create a lot of bracelets with this stash!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Therese's Treasures Birthday Challenge 2 • Reveal!

It's that time of year again - Therese's birthday!!! Whoop whoop - RAISE THE ROOF!
To review, last year Therese of Therese's Treasures, surprised a group of us bloggers with some gorgeous Golem cabs with coordinating beads.  Her wish was for us to create something with them and reveal our creation on her birthday

This year - she surprised us even further by sending us cabs that she created herself! She learned glass fusing this past year and created a whole bunch of gorgeous cabs.

Here are all the fused glass cabs she created!

I am humbled by Therese's generosity and so pleased to be included in her challenge again. 

I was delighted to receive my package from Therese.  Right away I knew I wanted to bezel this pretty piece.  I pulled some pale transparent green seed beads that matched the middle stripe perfectly and used a silvery thread to create a RAW bezel.

 I was surprised at how thick this cab actually was! But after several RAW rows, the bezel fit nice & snug over the cab.

The cab turned out very uniform, so for the necklace I really wanted to reflect the asymmetry in the cab with the straps of the necklace.  So I did a partial cellini spiral with all the colors of the cab: pink, seafoam green, pale green, and silver.  The rest was done light green pearls.

 I rummaged through my clasp drawer and was delighted to see this toggle.  I thought it was really redolent of the bezel!

It was a pleasure to be part of this challenge again.  I enjoyed the process so very much, and the final result.

Yesterday at the last minute I decided to make some earrings to match.  Earlier this week, I treated myself to Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's Seed Bead Earrings Tiny Treasures Tutorial.  I admit this was a rush job on the earrings(trying to get them done before the sun went down!), but even still I'm pretty happy with them and I can't wait to make more of them.  They work up so fast!! More on them later when I make a few more pairs!

Here is a list of the other participants and friends! I can't wait to see what everyone else made!
Therese and Crystie

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Crystal Crazy & Creative Spark Glossi

Well here's a new and improved update - I've actually been beading since my last post!

Therese, of Therese's Treasures, kindly included me in her upcoming birthday challenge and I've been working up a piece that includes a beautiful piece of fused glass she created!

I'm enjoying the creative process with this glass focal and am looking forward to revealing it mid-month!

In the quick & easy department: I put on a pretty lime green shirt yesterday and realized I didn't really have any earrings that matched it well.  So I had one of those "how fun is it that I can whip up a pair of earrings to go with my shirt" moments! 

Circular peyote - so simple, and versatile!

At this point as I finish up the piece for Therese's challenge, I've already got a few things on deck.

These are going to be used in a project from the Art of Beadwork book I would like to try! 

I went positively crazy ordering crystals from Znet Shows the other day! 

How scrumptious are these Tiaria crystals!?!?!?I'm gearing up for the snowflakes I want to make this year for the holidays.   Last year I did a bunch of snowflakes from Sandra D Halpenny's patterns.   Her instructions are fantastic and although I didn't get to all of them, I did go on a bit of a pattern shopping spree last year and got several other patterns that I can't wait to try this year. Although those larger nuggets...well, I have some plans for those too....

Finally - I can't believe I forgot to talk this up earlier this fall, but I contributed to Znet Shows' new digital magazine called "Creative Spark".  It's put together by Hope Smitherman of Crafty Hope and I would highly recommend checking it out.  There's a ton of great inspiration in there.  And it's so great to see all the creations from Znet's Rings & Bling challenge! 

 Here's the link:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Today I am....

I saw this on Hope's blog (Crafty Hope!)the other day and thought it was cute and figured....even if I don't have anything beady to blog about, a little prompter like this would keep me active on the blog!
Thanks Hope!

Currently, I'm. . .

:  weddings.....for work....I keep a Pinterest page going for work, and this morning I"m looking  up and bookmarking several wedding blogs that I need to make sure I "Pin" this weekend!

Creating: a beaded bezel for a challenge I have coming up in a few weeks.  I'm finally finding some time on the weekends to do some beading! Yay!

Enjoying: my cup of black tea, and cinnamon toast.

Feeling: tired....

Giggling: that I think I gave myself poison ivy all over my (ahem) d├ęcolletage while I was adjusting my bra strap while working in the woods the other day....why was I in the woods?? Well, we live on an extremely busy route and in order to walk my dogs, we have to put them in the car and take them somewhere to walk....there is a yard that abuts us from behind, but that neighbor didn't seem to find a neighborly bone in her body when I asked if I could cut through her yard (along the woods) (I mean seriously - she has a bazillion acres and probably wouldn't even notice me cutting along the side of her yard all of 100 feet) to get into the neighborhood with safer streets.....she said no! So there is decently sized patch of woods that runs along the busy route about a quarter of a mile to the closest street that leads to a walkable I have taken it upon myself to cut a safe path through the woods so I don't have to endanger myself or my dogs on the crazy busy road!!!  Note to self: wear a sports bra next time!  I've got it all along my waistband too...and yes, I recall having to pull my pants up several times while cutting brush! Another note to self: wear a belt next time.
My's meandering....

Listening: to my son and his friend who slept over talk about a Pokemon battle.  Seriously - it's like another language altogether!

:  not listing anything on line, but making a list! A list of all the things I want to do today and a list of all the beading commitments I have coming up!

Needing: more time in this weekend!

Noticing: that this prompt list is in alphabetical order.

Reading: book 4 in the Island of Fog series.  My son is an avid reader.  I came across the first book in this series for him on BookBub as a free listing, and he was hooked.  He plowed through the remaining books and really recommended I check it out too.  I see why he did, it's a really fun fantasy/sci-fi series for middle school ages and I can't put it down either when I'm reading it.  It's a real page turner and the characters are well developed and I keep wanting more when I finish a book to see what these characters' next adventure will be!

Watching: Breaking Bad.  Not right this second...but after the Emmy's last month, my husband and I decided to check it out and now we're seriously 'binge-watching' this show every single night and on the weekends.  Just finished season 4 last night! This show is SO GOOD!  I can't believe I have waited this long to check it out.

Wearing: My pj's still!

Wishing: that someone would come and finish cutting the path through the woods for me! :) In the meanwhile, i need to load these dogs up and get them out for a walk!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop

A few weeks ago I purchased a kit for the Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop.  I' m a huge fan of Shirley, the author Beads & Bread blog....talented beader, homeschooling mom, baker and all around nice gal. And also through this challenge, I've made the acquaintance of Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections, who co-hosted the event with Shirley.

The challenge was to create something with the contents of a kit.  The catch is that the contents were a surprise!  Participants only knew that they would receive 1-2 beaded components from Shirley, 2 metal pieces from Sharyl, and a surprise.  Here was my packet:

Very pretty components!  And here are the rules:
"You are only required to use one of the seed bead pieces from our featured artist, Shirley Moore, for the reveal.   If you can also use some of the metal pieces in the same or other jewelry designs, that would be highly encouraged!    All the rest is totally up to you.   It is not necessary to use everything or to use items in the surprise packet.   I would just as soon see your own inspired designs!    The packet is just a "thank you" and in case you like any inspiration it sends your way! "

Now, even though the only requirement was to use the pieces from Shirley...I felt compelled to make something that included at least one of Sharyl's pieces.  And that was the challenge for me!

All the components are beautiful...the beaded component has great pale green/chartreuse-y colors, pops of pale pink, a dark metally brown, and some really cool cream color delicas (with maybe an a/b finish inside??) these diamonds that Shirley made - but I found myself wishing I had a packet of coordinating seed beads with this piece! And then there were Sharyl's pieces...I was totally drawn to the coin type metal components....finished degrees of gold brightness.  Just gorgeous.  So the challenge for me, was putting these components together.  I had something in mind when I first received the packet, however, it just wasn't working when I was attempting to put it together.

Finally, after a bit of fiddling, I decided to create a simple pendant.  I used only one of the seed bead components and one of the metal components.  By adding some fringe, I was able to bring the colors from both pieces together. The fringe includes bright gold seed beads, some greenish delicas and a dark brown metallic bead.  The crystals matched the greenish seed beads in Shirley's component almost perfectly! 

I confess I only started working on this challenge a few days ago. Though I thought about it a lot over the last couple weeks.  I started and stopped and pulled apart several attempts until I came up with this idea!  It's simple, but I'm happy with the results!

Here is a list of the other participants!

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson -- 

   Candy Wham --  (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog) 

   Angi Mullis -- (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog)  

Shirley Moore -- Beads and Bread       (*Co-Host)     
Laren Dee Barton --  Laren Dee Designs     

Beti Horvath  --   Stringing Fool                 

Tanya Goodwin -- A Work in Progress       

Marybeth Rich -- Forest of Jewels                 

Amy Severino  -- AmyBeads - you are here!         

Carolyn's Creations -- Carolyn's Creations   

Toltec Jewels --  Jewel School Friends  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


First I want to say thank you to all the folks who encouraged me to finish up that weaving from my previous post! And for all the great tips! I am definitely going to work at finishing it in the coming weeks.  In the meanwhile, I haven't picked up a single bead since my last post except to move it, if it was in my way. I better get a move-on however, since I am taking part in Shirley & Sheryl's blog hop with a Saturday reveal!

The good thing is however, I've sorted through what I want to do so now I just need to get into my bead chair and do it!

Still working like crazy but also still having lots of fun.  New England is absolutely gorgeous this time of year.  The colors are stunning. So I figured I'd do a couple of color palettes!

This is a view in front of one of my restaurants for work:

This is one of the centerpieces from a wedding I popped in on to take photos of food:

 And for fun here are a couple of collages....first up is a property on Massachusetts' North Shore called The Crane Estate / Castle Hill.  My company's catering company does lots of wedding here.  It was an overcast day, but was still spectacular! Check out those rolling hills to the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean! Breathtaking!

I came across a flock of turkeys on the way out! (do you say "flock" for turkeys? there was a male on the other side of the bushes!)

Some fun food pictures!

That's all for now....but I'll be back Saturday with some real, actual beadwork!!! Yay!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Art of Beadwork by Jane Lock

Confession: I  did a HUGE happy dance when I picked up a copy of this book and saw my earrings in there!!! Of course I had to send them in to be photographed for the book so I knew they were going to be in there....but actually seeing it...WOW! 

So not only am I excited that my earrings were included in this book....I'm excited to be in a book of such great quality!  It is a great companion book for beaders at any level. I am so impressed by how current and well organized this book is!   I feel like I can speak from authority here having learned everything I know from bead books (that were published 20 years ago!) 

Jane Lock covers it all in this book!  The gallery is an inspirational collection of work.  There is a great reference section covering in detail all aspects of beading...from shapes & sizes of beads to color & design, and everything in between.  There are plenty of pages featuring stitch techniques  And if you are ready to try out all you've learned, there are five tutorials/projects created by super talented designers!

Jane Lock's book is well written and peppered with tons of wonderful little tips and tricks! 

Here is a link to the book on Amazon.
I can't wait to try all the projects in this book!

In the meanwhile - I've been squeezing in a wee bit of beading lately now that I am beginning to feel a rhythm with my new job.  I got a wild hare to try weaving some peyote stitch strips....weaving some's getting a bit frustrating as it falls apart quite a bit.... but I may try to play with it a little more before I give up!

I have had these "satin" delicas for many years now and never used them, but I looooooooove the way they look when they are woven together!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Challenges and challenges!

Well hello there!! It's been a few weeks since I've stepped into the blogosphere.  I haven't read any posts or even attemped to get on and write any posts. 

Lately my world has consisted of mostly this:


And this:
And this:

I'm loving it, but to be honest - between work, back to school groove, and wanting to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather...well...I have only picked up some beads twice this month!!! So it's been a challenge to get anything substantial to write about bead-wise. 

But I did sign up for a couple upcoming challenges.  I figure at the minimum - it will get me to my bead trays! First one up is Shirley and Sheryl's Seed Beads and Metal Hop.  I got my package last week and I can't wait to play with these beads!  Come back on October 19 for the reveal!

 I also tried one of the projects in the "Beading Babes" challenge this time around.  It was the ruffled earrings.  I like this pattern, but I didn't like the way it fell kind of floppy.  I also didn't have any petals so I used daggers instead.  I think I may go through some of the beads again to see if it will stiffen up.  Also - I only did one - and I"m going to use it as a pendant.  These would be bigger than I like to wear for earrings!  (P.S.  Beading Babes reveal is this Sunday on Facebook, but I will be surprised if I find myself near my computer for blogging in the next week!!)

More challenges are coming and I will update as they come along.

A couple weeks ago, I taught a class in Concord, and fell in love with a new craft! Paper Quilling!!!! Oh my gosh!  This is SOOOOOOOOOOO fun!!!!  I'll definitely be doing more of this!

Okay well that's all for now.  Here's to hoping I can find some beading time VERY SOON!  The holidays are around the corner and I have a long list of projects in mind!