Sunday, January 29, 2012

Art Saves

Torch-ured Heart by Painting With Fire on Etsy.

The kind and very talented Barbara Lewis of Painting With Fire, is guest curator this week over at the Art Saves blog. Today, she is sharing one of my blog posts that she found moving and inspiring. I feel honored that she chose to include me along with posts from some other wonderful folks for her special event. I enjoyed reading some of the posts she highlighted from others and I will go back again and finish reading the rest of them. Some folks are new to me and some are friends I visit on a regular basis. Head on over and check out Barbara's feature at Art Saves and all the bloggers she highlighted from this past week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

African-Inspired Cuff

I made this beaded cuff bracelet last night. It reminds me of intricate multiple strand beadwork made by women in Africa. I love channeling the inspiration of other cultures into my jewelry designs! It's kind of like armchair traveling, but with beads. Bead traveling...I think that's one of the things I find the most fulfilling in my work.

Here's a few photos of how it looks on. I love it!
I think I may do a little tutorial on how to make this bracelet. Keep an eye out for that soon!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bohemian Knotted Earrings Workshop

 Bohemian Knotted Earrings Workshop
Bead Fest Philadelphia August 2012 
Saturday, August 18th 8:00am-11:00am
Registration now open!  
Click here to go to the instructors page and scroll down to find my name.

YAY! I can finally announce my BIG, huge news. I will be teaching this Bohemian Knotted Earrings Workshop at Bead Fest Philadelphia in August this year! I decided I wanted to start teaching again. I miss it. I've always had wonderful experiences teaching. I used to teach lots of beading classes when I worked at the Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery when we lived in Amesbury, Ma. I always had such awesome students in all my classes. I miss that interaction. I miss seeing those faces light up when they are having a great time creating something. I miss being apart of that fun. It's been over a year since I taught a class. I've been away too long. I really do love sharing the joy of beading and jewelry-making, so I'm going to return to teaching....And apparently, I'm going to eeeeease myself back in by jumping right onto the national stage. Eeeeek! It's only January, though. I have plenty of time to teach some smaller classes in between now and then. And speaking of that, I actually will be teaching this same class next month, Saturday, February 11th from 10-1pm  at the Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery! If you are local, check out the class schedule and come see me!

Anyway, back to telling you about the workshop. For months, I worked hard developing these original earrings designs and now, this class for you! The earring projects for the class are based on and inspired by an earring project I made for our book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. Each student in class will make 3 different pairs of earrings using various knotting techniques. Colorful gemstone rounds are knotted onto artisan-made copper and silver components by MISS FICKLE MEDIA!!! Yeah, a big thanks to Shannon for making me all those rings and ear wires for my class!

Class description:
Learn simple knotting techniques to make a trio of bohemian chic earrings! Using waxed linen cord, you will learn 3 different ways to attach colorful beads to a ring component.

Students will learn basic knotting techniques to make three pairs of stylish earrings. Techniques covered in class will included: lark's head knot, half-hitch knot, overhand knot and how to use knotting tweezers for precise knotting. Using waxed linen cord, students will learn 3 ways to use knots to attach beads to a ring component. Students will have the following color choices for each pair of earrings: red, orange, green, turquoise and blue.Variations on the three designs made in class will also be discussed, so student will be able to expand on the techniques they have learned. 

I'd love to see you in class! Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Vintage Seed Bead Bracelets

When my husband came home from helping his grandma for the day, he handed me this old tin box. Inside held a long strand of colorful vintage seed beads. Grammy Siegel knows I make jewelry. She was cleaning up around her house and thought I might like them. Do I ever! I love them! As soon as I opened the beautiful aged metal box, I was inspired to start creating right away.

I decided I would make one of my signature multiple-stand bracelets to really show off the seed beads. I pulled out some purple Irish waxed linen cord. Then, I looked around in my stash for a few rustic beads to compliment the nature of the seed beads: An orange Kieth O'Connor ceramic bead, a copper African trade bead, and a Hill Tribe silver flower button for the closure.

Here is the finished bracelet! 

After I finished the first bracelet, I still had a some beads left over, so I decided to make a second piece. I strung the seed beads onto some 24 gauge wire and wire-wrapped them around 2mm leather cord to create this second bracelet. Simple, but I love the effect!

I'm thrilled with how these both turned out!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


  THANK YOU to all those who left me encouraging messages on my last post. I am grateful for your good thoughts and letting me know I'm not alone. I wanted to share my experience with the good intention to perhaps inspire awareness in others. I know now, I was unconscious of what I was really doing to myself and I thought others might be in the same boat I was in. I received wonderful emails and messages from some of you. Most of us don't realize how powerful our thoughts and feelings are and how much damage can be done with being negative to ourselves. I know I thought as long as I was sweet-as-pie to everyone else and gave myself fully outwardly to the world, that was ALL that mattered. We don't think that what we think and feel inwardly has any real, tangible affect, but it absolutely does. The great news is, we can change all that around by being aware of ourselves and thinking good, happy thoughts! I know this knowledge will always be with me now and I will remember to be aware of what I am thinking and try to keep good, happy thoughts with me at all times. I hope you will, too.

On other note, some of you expressed an enthusiastic interest in my Chakra Meditation Pendant! I'm thrilled! I thought about and I think this item is unique enough, so I'm offering a few of them in my newly opened Etsy Shop. Please excuse the appearance, the shop is a work in progress! If there are others that would like one, I can make more, so just let me know if you would like a pendant made for you. I'm so happy for your interest! Thank you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's Be Kind to Ourselves, Please.

Chakra Meditation Pendant

I'm thinking a lot about self-care and self-kindness in the new year. For the past few weeks, I've been using meditation as a tool for coping with and releasing some negative emotions and anxiety. You see, I have not been feeling good physically and most important of all, I have not been good to myself emotionally. In fact, come to find out, I've been inner trash talking to a point that shocked me when I recently became aware of it. 
 For the past few months, I've been feeling a little lost about where to put my time and energy. I've been struggling with whether to focus on growing my jewelry-making career such as, selling jewelry, teaching classes, working on more publications, blogging, and networking or to focus more on family and home life such as, fixing up my house, decorating, organizing, cleaning, cooking, doing more for my daughter, Nora, and generally making life more pleasant and comfortable for me and my family. Up until now, I've been an all or nothing kind of gal. I pick one thing and focus on that with a one-track mind. So, for me, integrating all of these things into one life is difficult for me to grasp, to say the least.

The following is the inner trash-talk dialogue that went on:
"You really should be able to do both but, unfortunately for you, you can't multitask. Ha! You've never been able to. You used to be able to get away with it before you had Nora, but now, your slowness and total lack of any kind of time management skills is completely exposed. Maybe if you were someone else you could do it, but there's no way YOU could keep all those balls in the air. Why can't you seem to get it together enough to get more done in your day? If you were a good mother, you'd be feeding Nora better meals that this, too. If you were competent, you'd be able to make jewelry and keep the house clean. You'd be absolutely mortified if someone walked in and saw this house in the state it's in right now. This is disgraceful...."

And on it goes...I've said this and much, much more to myself many, many times over the months. I would never, ever, ever in a million years, talk to someone like that. I wouldn't dream of treating someone else like that...EVER. So, why on earth am I doing it to myself??? Crazy, isn't it? Well, needless to say, I won't be doing it anymore, I will try anyway. I think it will be a process, but at least I'm more aware. Awareness is the key. It is the first step. You can't very well change something until you become conscious of it first. 

Listen to that inner voice, BUT please, make sure it's a KIND voice. 
Thank you.

I made myself this Chakra pendant inspired by my meditation practices.