Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bead table Sunday

It's amazing how much work you can get done while "watching" tv.  Tonight I sat down to start working on a necklace to go with my Humblebeads owl bead, and after a couple episodes of House Hunters, an episode of NCIS, and most of a Harry Potter movie, this is what the (almost) finished necklace looks like:

The colors are much prettier in person, but I kept my spot on the couch with my bead tray in my lap to snap a pic.  This is my favorite way to bead--the couch, the fireplace, the dog, and the tv!  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa was good to me

Apparently I was a very good girl this year, because Santa was extra good to me.  For starters, I received these beautiful beads from Humblebeads:

I was creating designs for them in my head last night when I fell asleep.  I can't decide which I like the most.

The topper, though, was Trav signed me up to take a glass bead making class with Robbie Gentry from Heirlooms in Glass.  I've seen her work for several years at the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, VA, and every year I talk about how someday I'd love to take one of her classes.  Now I get to!  The class is on Jan. 19 and 20, in Knoxville, TN, which is about 3 hours away from home.  I'm beyond excited!  I just hope I don't burn myself too badly with the torch.  I'm a bit accident prone! 

And, it looks like we're getting a new addition to our family (and, no, I'm not pregnant!).  Hannah's friend is giving away her guinea pig, and guess who's taking it?  Yep--us.  As if one mostly human dog and two sassy cats aren't enough...  

Off to "do" Christmas with the inlaws now...   

Monday, December 24, 2012

Waiting for Santa

It's Christmas Eve and I've been busy!  The shopping is done, the wrapping is almost done, and the house is only a semi-disaster!  Tonight it's off to my parents' house to open presents with them, a quick visit to the in-laws, then back home to wait for Santa. 

With all the chaos, I have managed to make a few pairs of earrings as gifts for friends.

Now it's off to finish wrapping, bathe the dog, etc.  I hope everyone has a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One more button necklace

I was asked the other day by my boss' wife to make one more button necklace, just like one I had made earlier.  The style is the same, but the button was slightly different, so I had to use slightly different crystal colors.  

Only a day and a half of work left until break!  Tomorrow I'm having lunch with the girls from the office, followed by a doctor's appointment.  I could do without that!  I know she's going to tell me to lose weight and exercise--as if I don't already know that!  I do look in the mirror, you know!

I've finished shopping, but I still have a couple of Christmas gifts to make.  Three to be exact, I think.  And, lots of wrapping.  Fun times!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Baby bracelet

My friend, Nikki, is getting ready to have her second child, a little girl she's naming Susanna Nicole.  Since it's important to teach little girls to accessorize from the start (well, in my little world that's important anyway), I made her this tiny baby bracelet:

I used pearls because, after all, pearls are for girls, and blue crystals that are close to her December birthstone.  Nikki said she hadn't given any thought to what her birthstone would be, so obviously the little one will need lots of time with me! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Easiest earrings ever!

I made these earrings the other night, and I believe these are the fastest, easiest things I've ever made.  

All I did was take some silver earring hoops that I found at Hobby Lobby, and strung on some silver faceted cube beads, also found at Hobby Lobby, and they were done!  I love them.  They're a slightly jazzed up version of plain silver hoops.  I've got friends who may be getting some of these for Christmas.  After all, what girl can't use (another) pair of silver hoops? 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'Tis the season to be...gaudy!

Okay, this piece really isn't gaudy, but I do sometimes have a tendency to overdo it when it comes to accessories--especially around the holidays.  My sister used to make so much fun of me for all my holiday jewelry, socks, etc.  But, then, she didn't have the passion for accessories I do.  I made this necklace the other night, and I love it.  It's another long one, but the white bead isn't as big as the red one I used in yesterday's post.  

The bead catches the light so well, and looks very pretty against red or green.  I have more of the white beads, so I may have to use some with blue, for wintery pieces.

I hope to do some more Christmas shopping tomorrow evening.  So much to do, so many gifts to wrap, so many Christmas movies left to watch...  I love this time of year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've been hearing about a photo editing program, PicMonkey, for a while now, but had never used it.  I've been a Photoshop girl since I started my Etsy shop.  I finally decided to give PicMonkey a shot, though, and I love it!  It's so much fun, and I think it's considerably easier to use than Photoshop.  You can add text, borders, etc. very easily.  I played with this pic a little, and wound up simply adding my shop name to the corner.

So cool!  And, yes, it takes very little to excite me!

This necklace is made from the large beaded bead I found at Hobby Lobby last week.  I really like that bead!  I put it on a long necklace (probably about 30 inches--I didn't measure) and I'm wearing it today.  The bead is so big and sparkly--just what I need on a dreary day like today!

Friday, December 7, 2012


Travis and I did our marathon shopping day yesterday.  It's the day we go out and try to finish up all our Christmas shopping.  I have one thing to say.  We're getting too old to do this!  By the end of the day, various parts of my body ached, and I think it might take me all weekend to recover.  Oh, and we didn't finish!  It's okay, though.  We'll get it done.  

We did go to Hobby Lobby, where I found this big, sparkly red bead:

I know exactly what I want to do with it, and with any luck, I'll be able to do it tonight.  If I don't fall asleep first, that is!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

O Christmas Tree

I found this piece of sea glass in my (store purchased) stash of sea glass.  It's shaped like a triangle, and is green, so I automatically thought it would make a great wire wrapped Christmas tree.

I used red and silver seed beads for the decorations and suspended it from a piece of red cord.  Something different...

This Thursday Travis and I are planning to spend the day Christmas shopping.  We have a marathon shopping day like this every year and are usually pretty successful.  He makes an Excel spreadsheet with a column for all the folks on our list, another column for ideas, a column for what we plan to spend on each person, and a column for what we actually spent.  I make fun of his spreadsheet every year, but the one year he didn't make it I couldn't find a thing!  I just go armed with a notepad with various lists on it.  Between the two systems, we manage to get it done somehow!

At any rate, we always have a good time.  Besides, shopping is always more fun than being at work, right?!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Button jewelry

I finished the button jewelry for my boss' wife, using buttons she found from her grandmother and great-grandmother.  I love the way these turned out.

I realize the leaves on the earrings are pointing two different directions.  I actually fixed this, but didn't take another picture.  

I have an old sewing box that belonged to my maternal grandmother and I looked through it a little yesterday to see if there were any buttons.  It was a long shot, because my granny did not sew, but I found a few pretty ones.  I'm not sure how old they are, but they're pretty.  

On another note, I'm getting together with a few of my friends soon for our annual Christmas lunch.  This year, we've decided to bring an ornament to swap, rather than buying gifts for everyone.  I'm now on the hunt for a beaded Christmas ornament pattern.  Something handmade is always more special than something bought, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sinus infections stink!

I've been sick.  And, I hate being sick (as if anyone likes it!).  I broke down and went to the doctor Monday after having been sick for a week with what I thought was a cold, and found out I have a sinus infection.  It's not my first, and unfortunately it probably won't be my last, but I hate them.  After a couple days of antibiotics I seem to finally be on the mend.  The really bad part is I was too sick to go Black Friday shopping!!!  But, at least I'm getting better.  Maybe in another day or so I can get back into the Christmas spirit.  It's hard to be jolly when you're miserable.  

I've been a fan of Jennifer Heynen's (a.k.a. Jennifer Jangles) ceramic beads for a while now.  A few months ago she asked her blog readers to donate items for her holiday newsletter giveaways.  I donated a seed bead bracelet that you can read all about here:


Thursday, November 22, 2012


In honor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I'm offering 10% off in my etsy shop.  Just use the coupon code blackfriday12. 

Have a fun shopping weekend!  Off to do a little Black Friday shopping myself.  

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed day with family and friends!

I plan to have a sale in my etsy shop in honor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Details will be posted a little later tonight.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Potomac Bead Company

As promised, here are some of my purchases from the Potomac Bead Company in Alexandria, Va.  This isn't everything, but these are some of my favorites.

You can't tell from this picture, but the first set of beads are leaf beads.  I love all the different colors in them.  I think the second set is my favorite--love the blue and the ocean theme.  The last are pretty green and brown glass beads.  I also picked up some green crackle glass and a strand of amazonite.  I could have spent a fortune there--if only I had a fortune to spend!

Travis has gone to the movies with a friend, and the girls are visiting their cousins, who have come in for Thanksgiving.  That means I have the house to myself for a couple of hours!  I'm giddy!  I think the dog and I will go curl up on the couch with a book now...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Washington, D.C.

I just got back from a conference in the Washington, D.C. area--National Harbor, MD, to be exact.  I won't bore you with the details of the conference, although what could be more exciting than hundreds of human resources professionals gathered in a room together?  I did a little wandering around, and I saw this sculpture near the Potomac River.

 This is only part of the sculpture.  It's huge, and also has the man's legs sticking up out of the sand.  I tried to convince my boss we need a similar sculpture sticking out of our man-made lake on campus, but he didn't go for it.  

There was a Peeps store nearby, too.  I had never seen one of those--didn't even know they existed.  They had some really cute stuff, and, of course, lots of Peeps.  I brought back some gingerbread flavored ones that were quite good.  I couldn't resist picking these up, too.

I do have a thing for socks, after all!

I also got to visit the Potomac Bead Company, which is a two story (!!!) bead store in Alexandria, Va.  I behaved myself pretty well, all things considered.  I'll try to post pics of my goodies tomorrow.

Today is our last day of work until Monday, in honor of Thanksgiving.  There are many things I love about working in higher ed.  The holidays are, perhaps, my favorite!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Israeli Owl

A couple of weeks ago I went to an event called the Mistletoe Market, held in a town about 45 minutes from home.  I go every year, and usually wind up spending way more than I should!  This year, a vendor was there who makes pendants out of stamps.  I found this one from Israel, and I fell in love with it.

What makes this special to me is the stamp is from Israel.  My husband went to Israel a few years ago and loved it.  He can't wait to go back, and hopefully next time I'll get to go, too.  Plus, it has an owl on it, and you know how much I love owls.  I couldn't get photoshop to work well this afternoon, so I couldn't upload a picture of the back, which is beautiful, too.  It's a piece of brown stained glass.  

I haven't yet decided what to do with the pendant--it deserves a pretty chain to hang from.  I'll have to ponder that for a bit...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More buttons

Last night I made earrings out of a pair of the buttons the lady brought me.  I think I may like these even more than the necklace.

I normally don't use much gold in my designs, but it worked well with these buttons.  I love the leaf design on them.  Of course, I just now noticed, when looking at the picture, that one leaf is pointing up and the other down.  Hmmm...might have to redo one of the earrings to fix that.  Anyway...I had bought some green crystals to dangle from the bottom, but then found these green beads in my stash.  They are crystal-like, and have various shades of green in them.  I couldn't have asked for a better match!  

It's been a long, rainy, dreary day.  Perfect weather for a good nap--if only I had the time!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The other day a lady brought me some vintage buttons that she wants turned into necklaces and a pair of earrings for a few of her relatives.  This is the first necklace:

I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.  It's so dainty!

I went to the Mistletoe Market Friday with my friend, Misty, and her baby, Evie.  I was holding Evie, while we walked around, and she was playing with my scarf.  One of the vendors looked at her and said "oh, do you have grandma's scarf?".  GRANDMA?!  I'm only 38!  Misty is (slightly) older than me.  GRANDMA?!!  I've been traumatized ever since.  A lady at work is selling some type of wrinkle cream that's supposed to be fabulous.  I told her I want a sample.  I also told my boss I'll be needing some time off for a face lift.  

I'll post pics soon of the goodies I picked up there.  One thing in particular really excited me...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What I'm wearing today

Just a quick post showing the jewelry pieces I'm wearing today:

I'm also wearing these adorable fall pins I bought from a (fairly) local lady at an event called the Mistletoe Market last year.

I'm actually headed to the Mistletoe Market tomorrow afternoon with my friend, Misty, and her little one, Evie.  Evie is only 5 months old, and this will be her first shopping experience with Aunt Nee.  They're getting ready to move out of state, so I have to try to corrupt her as much as I can before they go!  :)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Of course, with temperatures in the 30s and snow on the ground, it doesn't feel like Halloween.  Our town got about 5 inches of snow this week, and one of the neighboring towns got a foot.  Unheard of for October here.  Most of the local towns have postponed trick-or-treating until Saturday night, when the weather is supposed to be more cooperative.  I sat in my office today, watching the snow falling, thinking that it felt more like a time for Christmas carols than scary things.

I dressed for the occasion, though.  I wore this bracelet:

I made this netted bat bracelet a year or two ago from a pattern I found...somewhere (I can't remember where!).

I also wore these earrings, made with beads from Heirlooms in Glass:

My favorite accessory, however was these:

My "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" socks!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall or winter?

Is it fall or winter?  That would be the question of the day.  There are some beautiful leaves still left on the trees, but we're under a blizzard warning!  In October!  So far we've only gotten a mixture of rain and snow, but that's supposed to change overnight.  We did get to leave work 3 hours early today, so I can't complain about that!  I don't care if we get 3 feet of snow--as long as the electricity doesn't go out.  I'm a wimp--I admit it.  I'm just not a roughing-it kind of girl.

I made this owl necklace the other night.  I've had the silver owl for a while now, but didn't know what to do with it.  I decided to pair it with some wood beads, with silver spacers and leaves thrown in to compliment the silver in the charm.

I'm so hoping for a snow day tomorrow.  That's one of the advantages of working for a college.  Snow days don't happen often, but there's always the possibility!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Christmas is coming

Two months from tomorrow is Christmas.  Yay!  I don't start my shopping until the day after Thanksgiving, but I am trying to make a few new jewelry pieces for the holidays.  It's hard to get out of the fall jewelry mode, but I made these earrings the other night:

I made these following a tutorial I saw the other day (I don't have the link handy).  It uses 20 gauge wire wrapped with 26 gauge.  My original plan was to use red crystals wrapped with green wire, but unfortunately I didn't have enough green wire.  These are still pretty cute, and very Christmas-y.

I have a packed schedule this evening, so it's not likely that I'll get anything new made.  Volleyball season is supposed to be over tomorrow night, so hopefully we'll get back to having a couple free evenings every now and then.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One week

I cannot believe it's been a week since I've blogged!  My goodness--where does time go?  I guess the obvious places--work, volleyball, more work, more volleyball, painting...  

Travis and I went to the Home Crafts Days Festival this weekend in a town near home.  It was nice.  I was a little disappointed that a vendor from last year wasn't there.  She made really pretty glass beads.  Other than that, and the fact that we were both worn out and sore from painting Hannah's room the day before, it was fun!  

I sold one of my favorite pairs of fall earrings a few weeks ago, so I had to whip up a new pair.

I like them, but thought they were pretty ordinary until I got several compliments on them at work today.  Made me like them even more!

The days are getting shorter and the nights longer here.  Takes some time to get used to the change.  It's only 7:30, but it feels like it should be at least 9 or so!  Still a lot to do before I can retire for the night...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Christmas is coming

I confess.  I don't have the number of days until Christmas counted.  I do, however, have the number of paychecks until then counted, and unfortunately it's only 2!  

I've been hung up on making fall themed jewelry for a while now, but it's about time to shift my focus to Christmas and winter themed pieces.  This is the first pair of earrings of the season:

Just a simple little pair of earrings, but it's a start.  I found some beautiful blue dagger beads last week that screamed "winter" to me, so I'm planning to pair them with white seed beads and crystals.  I just don't have the details of the design worked out yet.  I also have a beautiful glass pinecone charm I bought last year and never got around to using that I plan to use shortly.  

In the meantime, there are still a couple of fall pieces left in me!

Monday, October 15, 2012


It's Monday.  No matter how hard I try to hold onto the weekend, Monday always shows up too soon.  I had a very nice birthday yesterday.  I had a lazy day Saturday, making jewelry while Travis and the girls cleaned the house.  That evening, he grilled steak and the girls made a cake for me.  Delicious!  A girl could get used to this!  I squeezed in a nice nap yesterday, and then stayed up way too late reading last night!  

This is a necklace I made Saturday with a pendant I got a few months ago from a local teen, McKenna Blevins.  She was taking a pottery class, and made some beautiful pendants.

When the class ended she and her mother had some owl pendants waiting to be finished.  I need to find out if they were ever able to finish those and if they'd be willing to part with a few.  

I also made these earrings to go with the necklace, because you can't have a necklace or a bracelet without a pair of earrings to match!

I'm loving this weather.  The temperature is perfect, the sun is shining, and the leaves on the trees are amazing!  I hope it's just as beautiful where you are!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I'm having a lazy, do what I wanna do kind of day.  I slept late, made a few jewelry pieces, and now I can smell my birthday cake baking--courtesy of Katie.  

I finally got around to photographing the pieces made with the large porcelain beads from Fire Mountain:

These are now in  my etsy shop, along with a few other new pieces.

You know, I really wish I could just make the jewelry and have someone else photograph and list the pieces.  It's not my favorite part--it seems too much like work!

It's a gorgeous fall day here, so I think I'll head out and enjoy it!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Finished piece

Monday evening I finished the necklace I blogged about in my last entry.

I absolutely love it!  For some reason the lighting wasn't quite right, and the seed beads appear a little darker than they actually are.  I finished off the ends with chain, and wore it with a mustard colored sweater yesterday.  I got so many compliments on it.  The necklace was much easier to make than it appears.

Yesterday we had no internet or phones at work so we wound up leaving a couple of hours early.  I probably should have started beading immediately, but it was such a dreary day--the perfect day to nap with the dog.  It didn't help that Ralph (my Bichon Frise) gave me the "are we going to go lie down" look.  Needless to say, he won and I got a nice nap in.  I did do some beading when I woke up, and will have pics to post tomorrow or Friday.  


Friday, October 5, 2012

Bead table

I've been working on this piece for the past couple of nights:

It's a spiral rope chain made with brown seed beads, accented with green, purple and gold fringe beads.  I plan to make it approximately 12 inches long, hang a large silver leaf pendant from it, and finish off the ends with chain.  I'm getting close--it's about 8 inches long at the moment.  

I received my order from Fire Mountain yesterday.  The porcelain moon and star beads I ordered (and planned to make earrings out of) were a whole lot bigger than I thought they'd be!  I know, I know...I should have paid more attention to the size, but they looked so small on the screen!  LOL!

Forget earrings--these will make a necklace!  I think I'll string them on some black waxed linen cord, and accent them with metal beads. 

Tomorrow is shopping day with the girls.  Katie wants to spend her birthday money on "Paris" things for her room.  Should be fun!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Yesterday I found out that another one of my necklaces, the Birds Nest necklace, has been accepted for publication in the March 2013 issue of Bead Trends!  Yay!  I had wondered if it would feel as good to be accepted the second time as it did the first, and I have to say it does!  This is the necklace:

Now I need to get it packed up and mailed off.  Then, I'll see it again in the spring! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New beads

I received a gift certificate from Fire Mountain Gems & Beads for having my necklace published in Bead Trends, so I decided to do a little shopping yesterday.  This is what I wound up with.

I love the star shape of these dark gray porcelain beads.  They'll look cute paired with these:

Continuing with the porcelain theme, I bought these:

I liked the facets and color on the cubes.  I like to use wood beads in some of my designs, so I picked up these:

And, finally, I bought three different sizes of these:

Stacked together, they make really cute Christmas trees.  I'm thinking Christmas tree earrings for little gifts?

I can't wait for them to come in!  I'm not very patient when it comes to waiting on beads to arrive!