My dear dear friend LuAnn lives in WA state and they are avid SeaHawks fans.  After all these years of making her birthday jewelry, it dawned on me this year I should make something she could wear on game day.  Duh!  Takes me awhile I guess.  I saw a wonderful bracelet/earring design by CzechMates Trendsetter Svetlana Einy -- using four hole quadratiles, size 11 and 15 sb, and 2mm fp.  I don't usually bead with silver beads, or use silver wire, ... but you have to get out of your comfort palette from time to time, and for this girl, it seemed perfect this year --  LOVE YOU LU!

Next up an incredible pendant design by Penny Dixon - it's supposed to be earrings, and as with many of Penny's creations, if I get one done... I'm feeling lucky.  This one took on a JDreams life of its own at the end, as I made a couple errors (imagine!), which sometimes takes me on a lovely side journey, and things turn out great.  So, on this journey, I ended up adding some little flowers to the bottom round on either side!!  I absolutely love this piece and will post once I have an idea of how I'll finish it.  I used 2-hole crescents, 3mm fp, size 11 and 8 sb, and for the flower add-ons I used pips, 2mm melon rounds and size 15 sb.  This pattern used RAW, and I worked very diligently to get it down.  It took some practice!



A couple more metal projects using stencils and paint -- so much fun!  Thanks to Heather at Humblebeads for inspiring me to try this technique - she does incredible, fun projects and takes us along to explore new art dimensions.  It just takes a steady hand (hard as you get older!!), a piece of metal, some Vintaj paints, and a stencil.  So many options to explore with stencils... I love these sets.  I added some chain and some danglies for the necklaces and assembled some darlin' earrings to go with.  Dress em up or down.  My daughters-in-law look great in these darlin' sets!  Just like new fall clothes, you gotta have a new fall set for your ears and neck too!  :) 



The faster I run the behinder I get!  I have several wonderful creations of late to post, but getting them photographed and ready is another matter and takes me some time.  Enjoying the last of the perfect weather, outside temps and sun seems to take priority this time of year.  But, I'll slowly get back to it.  Here are just a couple... 

The first pic shows 4-tiered earrings, which started as a sheet of 26 gauge copper.  Beth Routhier is a wonderful teacher - and, thankfully, she does not mince words, especially when she tells me to quit using my own fingers to mold the wire or metal.  USE THE TOOLS ... USE THE TOOLS.  Ha.  I love learning something new and this was just that -- cutting out the metal, sanding, embossing with a design, and dipping in patina for just the perfect color effect, more sanding, shaping so it slightly domes, more sanding and then assembly.  You can see that mine are not perfectly cut... I was not providing enough pressure as I was hammering to punch out the shapes, so I have some learnin' to do.  These are so light and dangly - fun!  

Another metal creation, but I purchased all the parts precut.  All brass Vintaj, including the chain. I added my own combo of Vintaj paints to give the sun flower and earring rounds some pop with fall colors.  The options are absolutely endless on coloration...I also added some crystal and pip bead dangles to the chain to give it some movement and to the earrings some lucite flowers with crystal rounds and 1-hole lentils, again for some movement.  Very easy piece to wear!



I combined two special pieces (a necklace and a bracelet) to make this wonderful necklace highlighting my three darlin grandkids.  My MT daughter (in law) had given me a silver spoon/nest necklace with cultured pearls in the middle, and just this year for Mother's Day gave me an adjustable silver bracelet with the three grandchildren's names/birthstone charms, along with a tree of life charm.  Because both pieces held personal significance, I immediately thought about a combined piece, incorporating some copper and making it my own.  So, I set to work, remaking the wire nest in the middle of the spoons in copper, painting the silver tree of life charm, and hanging the individual kids' charms from that.  I also added a couple of different chains including some patinaed copper.  Love the feel of this consolidated piece... and feel our little peeps are with me whenever I wear it.



Love everything about this finished piece - truly!  Love the fun of making it by assembling from different creative inspirations.  The lovely therapeutic hammering of wire  (yes, again and still...) from Heather Powers and the coloring / painting prowess (one of her many talents)  of a metal piece, in this case Vintaj, by Beth Routhier.  We started out using colored pencils... yes, exactly!  So fun - and the blending was so awesome.  Unfortunately for me, as I was a newbie at this coloring on metal, I spent much time getting it just so right and then rubbed too hard for the next step and a lot came off, so it was back to square one.  Learning these lessons... an ongoing thing for me.  But oh so much fun.  I did end up adding some Vintaj paint at the end to try and make it pop, which I think I accomplished, and I wrapped some 16 gauge wire around the hammered 12 gauge for fun.  I love it and think that's my signature for hammered pieces going forward.  It just softens it slightly and provides bit more interest to my eye. Also added a few dangles and loosely wrapped the larger blue/green leaf, which is something new for me and something I'll be doing a lot more of.  Isn't it pretty?  And, then too, some fire polish dangles on the chain to pull it all together.  Love it.  Oh, did I say that already?  Thank you to Heather and Beth for providing me the inspirational tools for this creation.

 Some darlin, simple little earrings added as the last pic to wear with...



Best laid plans for showcasing this darling seahorse necklace ... reminder to self - proper lighting is so important for photographing any creation.  When done properly, it highlights the colors and beauty of any finished project.  On the other hand, if the light isn't great, the piece ends up looking to be less than it is.  Unfortunately, this post was not taken at an optimum time of day and the natural light was way too bright.  I can't retake the shots as the piece has gone to a new home, but luckily I was able to reshoot the earrings (last shot).  Love my paint choice on the little Vintaj moons and over the large Czech pear drops they really pop and mesh with the shell chip colors in the necklace.  And, about that necklace... even though the lighting isn't perfect, it is an adorable piece, so well worth showing.  It began with a J-Lynn burnished wood tile pendant.  These tiles from Janice are so light, they truly can make any piece weightless, making it easier to add adornments of different weights from there.  Seems like most of my pieces start out with a heavier centerpiece or pendant, which limits what I can add to it.  On this piece, I kept the whole necklace light by adding a dangle with a painted Vintaj leaf, some 3mm fire polish, and a Czech glass star and flower and "o" rings to finish it off.  Then some colored shell chips and jasper tubes to complete the necklace.   A very fun, colorful summer piece that rests easily on the neck...



A piece incorporating both Tracee Dock [Classic Bead] and Gaea Cannaday in this one wonderful necklace.  I have a stash of both artist's creations and I truly need to quit hoarding them.  So, I chose this incredible, and so unusual, stoneware blue/green/yellow sunflower button from my Tracee stash and started wire wrapping with 18 gauge copper wire I had patinaed.  While it took me a couple of different wraps and subsequent removals of all the wire (#$%^&) plus a few choice words along the way... the resulting necklace is pretty unique and wonderful.  I added one of Gaea's larger round beads in green, with a dangling copper heart, and some 3mm fire polish to both the chain and the dangle.  See what you think -- I think it's pretty fun!  

And, I added some darlin earrings to this set below. Before I finished them I found some small lapis hearts to add to the top.  Love this set -- and, it is now SOLD!



The creative juices are flowing from the end of a hammer...another hammered wire design, using a favorite "go to" artist's pendant, Staci Louise Originals.  There are some truly talented artisans whose work is incredible -- they never disappoint, and you will see their beads and pendants, etc. in my work over and over again.  And, as each artist's view is unique, it helps me change gears to incorporate their style and quality into my own creation.  This hammering art (thanks again, Heather Powers) could not have come into my consciousness at a better time, I tell ya!  Timing is everything and I am really enjoying it. I also incorporated a Golem yellow round in the bottom charm. 



Something cathartic about using a hammer and pounding on anything, but especially metal and watching it transform from it's original form!  Thanks to Heather Powers of Humblebeads, for her generous "Bead Table Wednesday" live podcasts, which truly inspire.  It looks easy when she does it, but I must confess this project was NOT!  I found hammering 14 or 16 gauge copper wire to a flattened state and then centering my hole punch as not to drill right through the whole end ($%^&*@#) a difficult task!  So, I came up with an alternative method to achieve a similar look.  I used 12 gauge floral wire (which looks to be copper but of course is more an artistic wire with a protective covering).  As I continued to hammer and flatten the wire, the coating started to peel, but I just kept going cuz I knew it would work!  Once I was sure I had punched an acceptable hole on both sides of the "U", and had it properly flattened, then I used some light sandpaper to knock off the loose pieces and got creative with my vintaj paints.  LOVE how this turned out.  I also used one of Heather's incredible polymer clay tubular beads and one of her birds.  Totally new style and look for me.  Thank you so much for inspiring me Heather!



I'm kind of hooked on this Tree of Life pattern... and since practice makes perfect on wire wrapping... I'm keeping this wrapping frenzy moving.  This version is slightly larger than my last post, and I used patinaed copper wire,which worked better than the artisan wire I had used last, for both strength and shape.  I also have trouble making the exact same pattern more than once, so I added a few leaves at the bottom.  FUN!  I have not yet come up with the necklace part, so it may end up on chain.  I don't want to distract too much from the beauty of the tree, so we shall see.

Also, in this post a color variation on the butterfly pattern.  Butterflies have such beautiful natural color combinations -- I figure I cannot go wrong with anything I might come up with.  And, ohhh, in person, love these sparklies!!  The center cabochon is such a wonderful match to this pattern - from ArtBeads , an 18x13 oval Paua if you are interested.  Lots of colors available, and they fit the butterfly pattern perfectly with the marbled shell look!!!



I've been looking at this Inspiration project on Fusion Beads' site for awhile - I even printed it off a few times, thinking I would get to it, but didn't, until finally...over a few evenings last week and a bit over the mother's day weekend, found myself with some extra luxury time... so decided to start cutting pieces of wire to see if I couldn't get my own "Tree of Life" pendant put together.  It's a project that's difficult to put down once you start, as there are multiple wires sticking up in a small space ready to be individually wound.  But, I can honestly say I LOVED THIS PROJECT.  It is creative and challenging.  [As an aside, I made my own wire frame on this version, which created a few challenges along the way - I used 20 gauge wire (hindsight says 16 or 18 would have been better).  Sturdiness did become a small issue as I got further along in the wrapping process, as it kept changing shape, even though I had hammered for strength - note to self for next one.] Once I got the trunk wires all wound and was happy with the way it looked, it was just a matter of placing the fire polish bead branches and continuing to wrap.  What about that "fly" you say?  Well... Funny story!  As I was taking the photos, I didn't notice a fly had come to perch right on one of the branches of the Tree - see if you can spot him in one of the shots below.  So so F U N N Y what you can't see right in front of you until it is enlarged!  :)



My newest creations using a Flowering Moon pendant by Gaea Cannaday. Her latest hand formed copper and resin pendant creations are so incredible.  They look and feel so happy and wear beautifully.  The colors in this piece - from the moon, to the rays of hope and love that exude, well, all I can say is thanks so much Gaea for inspiring me...my pictures do not do your pendant justice.  Necklace and earring designs by JDreams.



Happy Pre-Easter Weekend! My beading continues to be a bit sporadic in 2017, hence the distance between posts.  I'm working on it... but it's slow, so I'll just say I've been out of sync... I do hope for the days to return where I bounce out of bed with a new design or color combo in mind, or the happy anticipation of spending time at my beading table, to finish a project I have in process.  The "feelin' it" part of my creative soul is a little lacking... I'm working on that and these beautiful bright colors sure help.  Yes, the reawakening of color in spring inspires - Yeah for that!  So, without further delay, here are a few projects I haven't yet posted -- a couple pairs of Easter earrings just completed in time for wearing; a peyote pair that go with a bracelet from a previous post; a bracelet in metallic tones; and, a new FAVORITE piece of mine - a Budderbye, as our now 7 year old grandson used to refer to butterflies.  I will forever call them that... with love in my heart and remembrance of that first time I heard our adorable boy say ''BUDDERBYE".  It always makes me smile.

And... drum roll... here's that BUDDERBYE I referred to ... a pattern design by Margherita Fusco [April 2017, Bead and Button].  This color combo is incredible in the sunlight.

And, a bracelet in copper tones, which really doesn't photo very well.  It's much prettier in person.  Design called Denali Cuff designed by Carole Ohl.

These darlin primary color dangle peyote earrings were made to be worn as a compliment to the peyote bracelet in my March 6, 2017 post.