Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bead Journal Project 2011

I'm very excited about deciding to participate in the Bead Journal Project 2011.  BJP is a group of people who have decided to create 12 beaded journal pages, one per month, for a year.  The goal is simply personal development and providing a pathway to expand our own artistic creativeness.

One of the goals for myself in 2011 is to increase awareness of myself as an artist.  I am looking forward to not following any rules and letting my muse have her way on these monthly projects.

We can use any medium in our projects as long as we also include beads.  I'll be using some of my dichroic glass cabochons and using bead weaving to create my journal pages.

I haven't decided on any particular theme, but I have decided to keep my projects small (no more that 3" x 3") so that I don't get overwhelmed and give up.  I guess that's my worst fear.

I hope to share my progress and my creations with you all throughout the year.  Happy Beading in the new year to one and all!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bead Mavens Ice Queen Challenge

The Bead Mavens recently held an Ice Queen Challenge and the winners have been announced.  You can view all three winners on the Bead Mavens website and also on their blog

I was one of the donors to the prize pool and so I got to "meet" the 2nd place winner, Cindy Holsclaw of Bead Origami.. Cindy gave me permission to display her beautiful winning necklace.  The necklace contains 17 individual Pagoda Beaded Charms in a beautiful Icycle blue color.

You can read more about the necklace on Cindy's blog.  She also has her own website and Etsy shop where she sells her beadwork as well as tutorials - one of which is for the pagoda bead used in this necklace.

My donation was a gift certificate for something in my Etsy shop.  Cindy chose one of my dichroic glass cabochons which I called "Symphony."

It's a bold piece and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Cindy might use it.  Congratulations to all the winners of the Bead Maven's Ice Queen Challenge.  Every entry was outstanding.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Inspires You? provided a beading contest entitled "What Inspires You?"  Voting opened today, November 23 and ends Wednesday, December 8. Winners will be announced Thursday, December 16, 2010.

There are two categories - a Necklace Category and a General Category and you can vote for your favorite in each one.  Click on the first name in the group and it will show you the original inspiration and the creation it inspired.  From there you can click on the "next" tab and see all of the beautiful entries in each category.

Congratulations to everyone who entered and good luck!  The prizes are fabulous!

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the Winner is...

In honor of reaching 200 sales in my Etsy shop, 43 people commented on my blog and/or let me know that they tried but couldn't due to technical difficulties.  All 43 names went into the hat and my husband pulled out the name "Cali."  Cali won one of my Walk on the Wild Side dichroic glass cabochons I called Midnight Mystery. 

Congrats, Cali!  I left a comment on your facebook page!

Thanks to everyone who commented (or tried) and to all those who have been such an encouragement to me over the past year!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Big Dreams Start Small

Little did I know when I opened my BeadsForever Etsy shop in November 2007 that it would bring such joy to my heart.  I didn't make a big splash when I opened my shop.  Far from it!  It wasn't until almost a year later that I sold my very first item, a necklace I named "Bronze Delight" which combined beadweaving with one of my polymer clay cabs.

Today I had my 200th sale to a very dear facebook friend - one of my dichroic glass cabochons.

While 200 may not be a very large number to many of you, to me it is a huge milestone!  It took a lot of determination and perserverance to stand alone and keep putting one foot in front of another.  I'm so happy I did not give up and let my little dream die.  I praise God for giving me faith to continue on and thank my friends who encouraged me to keep going.

To celebrate this milestone and to thank you all, I am having a giveaway.  Whomever leaves a comment on this blog post will have a change to win this new Walk on the Wild Side dichroic glass cab called Midnight Mystery.

To enter this giveaway just leave a comment on my blog (say anything you want) and your name will be put in a hat for a drawing on November 15, 2010.  Only one entry per person.  Please leave some hint as to how I can get in contact with you to get your mailing address (if I don't know you already).

Remember, big dreams start small.  It just takes a little faith, courage and perserverance.  What's your dream?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leafy Greens are Good For You!

For the past few weeks I've had the pleasure of collaborating with Marsha Hedrick, a porcelain artist I met on facebook.  Marsha created some new porcelain pendant and end cap sets and she asked me to use a few of them with the Kumihimo braiding technique to create some necklaces.  Here is a picture of the Leafy Green set from Marsha's website, Amazing which I used to create the first necklace.

For the Kumihimo braid, I used two strands of multi colored fiber, two strands of metallic gold cording, two strands of green and amber triangle beads, and two strands of size 8 transparent dark green seed beads.  I used the round braid pattern to create a 15" necklace.  The slider pendant fits snugly on the 11mm diameter necklace braid.  I attached a bezeled glass drop from the hole in the slider pendant.

After tying off the Kumihimo braid ends, I attached the porcelain end caps and metal toggle closure using needle and thread.  Another option would have been to use wire which can be securely attached to the braid ends and then inserted through the holes in the end caps.  I chose to use thread because I wanted to use matching beads to extend the closure.  The total length of the necklace with the end caps and closure is 17".

Please check out all the other new pendant sets on Marsha's website HERE.  And great news, all the new items are currently on sale!  Stay tuned for more collaboration pieces to be shown soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hidden Glory - Colors of Fall

The theme for Artbeads current blogging design partners is "Colors of Fall."  It was fun to select these gloriously colored artisan lampwork beads for my project - colors I wouldn't normally choose, but that fit the theme perfectly.  I was delighted with the colorful coral and beige mix mini Kaleras lampwork beads in coral, tan, and brown, with hints of blue and green.  To go with the lampwork beads, I chose some Toho Natural Picasso size 11 seed beads and they were a perfect match.  Artbeads has a huge selection and variety of Toho seed beads to choose from.

I added some other seed beads for contrast and created this bracelet which I call Hidden Glory.  The glory of the orange lampwork beads is hidden within the more common browns of autumn.  The bead weaving stitch is the Oglala stitch, named for the beadweavers of the Lakota nation in South Dakota (a great state where I was born)!

I'm very happy with how the bracelet turned out and will be listing it in my Etsy and Artfire shops.

My evaluation of Artbeads' products is given honestly and freely and I receive no compensation from Artbeads for my participation in their group of blogging design partners.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If You are Afraid of Clowns, Don't Look

I was exposed to a new bead artist by a facebook friend this past week and immediately fell in love with her work.  The artist is Uliana Aleksandrovna and her website is way too hard for me to pronounce but you can click here.  Google will translate the site from Russian into English and it worked wonderfully!

Uliana is located in Ukraine, but I didn't let that stop me.  I spent a lot of time looking at her beaded works of art and I kept going back to the Clowns.  I couldn't resist - so I sent an e-mail to her via her website to ask about purchasing them.

She is not on Etsy and doesn't use Paypal, but it was explained to me that I could send payment via Western Union.  Having never done that before, I ventured into a Vons store in San Diego where they have offer Western Union to their customers.  It was so easy - just a form to fill out and cash in hand to pay.  I was given a "Money Transfer Control Number" which I e-mailed to Uliana.  After she confirmed that she had received the money, she mailed the package to me and amazingly to me, it arrived in less than 1 week!

Here is the most joyful beaded work of art I have ever seen.  It makes me smile just looking at it.  If you are afraid of Clowns - don't look!

And part of the joy of the piece is that you can turn it over.

And to top it all off, the clowns came in a beautiful gift bag closed with a hand beaded "closure."

I definitely know how to buy presents for myself!  And I'm so pleased with my gift!  Thank you Uliana.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beautiful Artists and Their Works of Art - Part 1

This post has been on my list of "to do's" far too long.  I confess I have been procrastinating and I'm not sure why - especially confusing because the subject matter is so dear to me.

It is so rewarding for me when someone uses something I've created to create something even more creative and beautiful.  This series of posts will feature those artists who have purchased one (or more) of my dichroic glass cabochons and turned them into works of art.  My deepest gratitude to each of you.

The first artist I want to thank is Anita Martinez whose Etsy shop name is Turiana07.  She purchased one of my dichroic glass cabochons and turned it into this masterpiece she called "Celestial Wings."

It all started with one of my dichroic glass cabs I called "Scuba Diving Twin B."

There are many other beautiful works of art in her Etsy shop like this necklace she calls "Aztec Princess."

Be sure to stop by and let her know how beautiful her work is.  Thank you Anita!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Artbeads has Cool Beads

For my Artbeads Summer Project, I chose this fun ceramic bead to incorporate into my beadwork.  Artbeads has lots of stoneware pendants from which to choose.  Even the back of the pendant bead is cool.

To go with this "Cool Bubbles" ceramic bead, I chose several matching colors of size 11 Delica beads in a wonderful Matte AB finish like these Miyuki Transparent Matte AB turquoise Delicas (DB0862) or these Miyuki Transparent AB Matte Tropical Teal Delicas (DB1283).  Artbeads has a wonderful selection of seed beads from which to choose.

I decided to create a spiral herringbone rope using needle and thread and adding two beads at a time.  The colors of the seed beads matched perfectly with the colors of the pendant.  I'm very happy with the finished necklace and have placed it for sale in my Etsy shop.  I call it Cool Spots because we all need a cool spot to relax now that the summer heat has arrived.

I hope you'll check out  I'm sure you'll find some more "cool" things there.  I am delighted to be a part of Artbeads blogging group.  I do not receive any compensation from them for blogging about their products.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

And the Winner Is ... (Plus the Contest Answers)

The winner of my guessing contest is Deborah L. Gray-Wurz, owner of Sneekbead on Etsy.  You can also read more about her on her blog "Bead Indulgences."  Just for posting her answers here on my blog, she wins any dichroic glass item of her choice from my Etsy shop.

The answers to the contest are:

     1.  Millifiore Glass  (although I do admit it looks a lot like Christmas candy!)

      2.  1/8" Diamond Copper Mesh

      3.  Fine Silver Wire

These items are all available from Delphi Glass and are part of their "Ring of Fire Contest."    The contest is open to all artists - not just glass artists.  They also have Pressed Flowers, Mirrored Tiles, Krafty Blok, DG3 Art Gel Glaze, and Recycled Glass Tiles.  All you need to do is purchase one item, create something and enter it in the contest.

The prizes are fantastic.  Grand Prize Sponsor: Jen-Ken Kilns Delphi Ez-Pro Deluxe 15-6 Kiln – Fuse glass and ceramics in one kiln
  • Choice of instructional video from Glass Craftsman
  • Choice of Best-Of Glass Patterns Quarterly instructional CD
  • Choice of book from Wardell Publications

All Delphi award winners will receive:

  • $50 Delphi Dollars

  • Multi-media craft pack, including KraftyBlok from Diamond Tech Crafts

  • Choice of instructional video from Glass Craftsman

  • Choice of Best-Of Glass Patterns Quarterly instructional CD

  • Choice of book from Wardell Publications

  • Delphi’s Favorite award winner will be featured on one of Delphi’s catalog covers.

    Artfire will award the following:

  • Free Lifetime ArtFire Pro Account

  • $100 Shopping Spree on ArtFire

  • Free ArtFire Pro Account 1-Year Membership with Graphics Package from ArtFire’s designer

  • I originally purchased the Dichroic Scrap package and created this as my entry.  I call it "Say It With a Flower."  You can vote for your favorite entry here.  Just click on "View Entries" and choose your favorite.

    I hope you will be encouraged to enter the Ring of Fire Contest sponsored by Delphi Glass and Artfire and their Sponsors.  Have fun!

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    How Joy Gets Spread Throughout the World

    Today I received a surprise gift from a Facebook friend.  I have not met this friend in person yet, but I'm excited that in just a few short weeks I will.  She is a reminder to me that we can all make the world a better place by being thoughtful of others.  Here's the beautiful pendant created by ViSart on Etsy that my friend purchased and mailed to me.

    My friend bought the pendant for me simply because I had posted a link to it on Facebook and had said that I loved it.  I originally saw the pendant on Polymer Clay Daily.

    A short while after she purchased it from ViSart, I introduced my new line of DichroCentrics - a layered glass cabochon with a hole in the middle (dare I call it a bead?).  I'm sure you can tell that the pendant by ViSart was the inspiration for my new line.  I called this necklace "Lizard Tango" and entered it in the BeadStar contest.

    I call this one Rhubarb Pie:

    And this one I named Tangerine Dacquiri:

    You can see more of my DichroCentrics and other dichroic glass cabochons, buttons and pendants in my Etsy shop.

    So the world was made happier today by the thoughtfulness of a friend.  I hope we will all pass on this spirit of joy to brighten the world even more.

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Can You Guess What These Are? Plus A Little Giveaway

    Here are three pictures of items I just received in the mail.  Let's see how good you are at guessing what they are.   Whoever attempts to guess what all three items are and what purpose they are for (even if they are wrong) will have their name put into a hat for a drawing to win a dichroic glass cabochon of their choice from my Etsy shop.

    Just post your answers here on my blog and be sure to let me know how to contact you.  The guessing will end Monday, May 17, at midnight.  The winner of the drawing plus the correct answers will be announced on Tuesday, May 18.

    I haven't decided yet what I'm going to make with these interesting pieces, but I have a pretty good idea.  You'll have to check back to see what develops and find out the answers.  Good Luck!

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Ring of Fire Artist Challenge at Delphi Glass

    Ring of Fire Artist Challenge is a new contest sponsored by Artfire and Delphi Glass.

    This contest was designed for artists of all crafts and abilities. All you have to do is create a project of your choice using one or more of the products from the Ring of Fire. You can also incorporate elements from your favorite craft. Whether you're interested in fiber, glass, paper, jewelry, fabric or any other craft, this contest is for YOU!  Check out the contest rules.   You can also check out the fantastic prizes  here.

    I purchased the scrap bag of dichroic glass and created this pendant which I called "Say It With a Flower." 

    If you would like to help me win, you can vote for me on the Delphi Ring of Fire Challenge site.

    Etsy Beadweavers May Challenge

    The theme for the EBW May challenge is Embedded Colors in the World of Insects.  The entries have been posted on the EBW blog.  You can view them and vote for your favorite from May 9 and May 15.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Making Gifts for My Family

    One of the things I love best about being an artist is making gifts for members of my family.  I never did like shopping for gifts for people.  But I do like planning and creating handcrafted gifts as they are truly from my heart.

    I recently made two necklaces - one for my Mother for Mother's Day with beading around a petrified palm root cabochon ...

    (even though brown is not her favorite color, I chose it so she would have an excuse to go out and buy a new outfit to match)

    ... and another for my sister, Sherry, who loves turquoise - a belated birthday gift.

    The necklace for my sister was made by beading around one of my dichroic glass cabochons.  The beaded chain on both necklaces was made using the herringbone stitch.  I love using that stitch.

    I often daydream that my gifts will one day be heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation.   Well, one can dream, can't they?

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    April EBW Challenge Winner Announced.

    Isabella of bead4me won the Etsy Beadweavers April Challenge "Light as a Breeze."   She calls her necklace "Sakura Japanese Flowering Cherry Blossom Beadwork Necklace."  This is the 2nd win in a row for her!

    You can read more about the other winners on the EBW Blog.

    Friday, April 9, 2010

    Etsy Beadweavers April Challenge - Light as a Breeze

    The Etsy Beadweavers (EBW) April Challenge is now open for voting.  The theme is Light as a Breeze.
     Vote for your favorite from April 9 - 15 on the EBW blog.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Etsy Beadweavers Treasury Makes the Front Page

    Little Stone Design created this beautiful treasury and it made the front page of Etsy.  Congratulations and Easter Blessings to all!   Read more about the Etsy Beadweavers on their blog.

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    Artbeads Valentines Day Creation

    A few weeks ago, I gave a little preview of my Artbeads Blogging Partner creation which was supposed to be in honor of Valentines Day.  I had ordered these beautiful ceramic hearts as well as several types of beads that I thought would look good with the ceramic hearts - some cute mother of pearl heartssterling silver roundels, 1.8mm square cut beads, and 4mm Druk cherry red beads.  Artbeads has a great selection  of Valentine's Day components which you can find HERE.  (Good to know for next year!!)


    I had originally intended to make a bead embroidered cuff but when I started beading around the large heart I discovered some problems.  The larger ceramic heart bead is about 5mm thick and I was having a hard time figuring out what size beads looked good next to it.  I was also perplexed about what to do with the inner cutout part.  After several attempts I decided my idea wasn't going to work and I had to come up with plan B which came together much easier.

    First I created two different pendants with the ceramic hearts.

    Both pendants can be hung from the same beaded necklace "chain."

    I plan on listing this necklace in my Etsy shop and will donate all proceeds to the relief efforts in Haiti.

    I am delighted to be a part of Artbeads blogging group and I receive no compensation from them for blogging about their products.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Dichroic Glass Buttons

    I am very excited about my new dichroic glass buttons.  To make a long story short, I found out my husband had purchased a drill press several years ago (which I never knew we had).  I purchased some diamond drill bits and learned how to operate the drill press.  In just a few minutes I had created my first button out of one of my dichroic glass cabs. 

    After drilling the holes I had to put the button in the kiln again to round out the holes.  After this first success, I was excited to make more.  Here are two of the next ones I made.

    Rosita Pisarchick bought two of my buttons and created this beautiful bracelet that she called "Peacock Struttin it's Stuff" using one of my buttons for the closure.  I'm lovin' it!

    Rosita has several shops on Etsy. She sells her beautiful beadwoven jewelry in her CrownRoseGems shop. She sells vintage and antique buttons in her ButtonStash shop.  She sells Jacquard and woven trims in her Trim Goddess and Trim Goddess2 shops.  She is one busy lady keeping up all those shops!
    It's always an honor to see my work displayed on someone else's creation.  It motivates me to make more buttons (which I have done).  Here's a couple more that I'm getting ready to list in my Etsy shop.

    I think there should be a National Button Day!  What do you think?