Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jewel Box

While poking through boxes of my stuff in Mom's basement last weekend, I came across a hat box full of beaded jewelry. Ridiculous, right? This is no way to treat all these fabulous beads.

Most of these pieces are from the very first few issues of Stringing magazine and from Stringing Style. Back then, it was mostly just Jean, Dustin, Danielle and I designing for the magazine because we didn't have a budget to pay anyone else. This meant making dozens and dozens of new pieces. We would spend Fridays making jewelry, often all congregating at one of our houses and watching movies as we created. Those were fun days!

So, back to the box o'beads. There are many forgotten treasures in here, along with pieces that never made it to print for a reason. Some need to be reworked. Some are great designs that I'd like to make again with different components. There are a few ideas brewing in my head about what to do with all these beads. As usual, with beads the possibilites are endless and the inspiration is beginning to overflow...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Playing with Wire

Elegant Dangles are a new pair of earrings I made with my mom in mind. I always think of my mom when using the Elegant or Sophisticated Trios wire sets, mostly because she almost always wears some form of red or black, but also because she is elegant and sophisticated!

Find instructions for these earrings in the School of Design on the Soft Flex Company site. Or, to be more precise, right here. If red and black aren't your colors, try making these earrings using one of the other Trios sets, there are ten in all. Or, mix and match any three colors of Soft Flex wire. I'm designing a pair using citrine, red jasper, and fluorite wires and some little turquoise rondelles that I've been hoarding for awhile now.

Isn't it lovely just how much a new pair of earrings can perk things up?! These are especially quick and easy to make and I'm going to feel like a rock star when I'm sporting my new pair. Yaay!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Communique

The pool is open! The pool is open! The pool is OPEN! Guess where I'll be this weekend?!

Well, considering it's supposed to rain for the next few days, I'll probably be working on Stringing tech edits instead, but the pool is where I hope to be...

Check out what some of my crew were up to this week:

Sara Hardin (AKA SoftFlexGirl) wants to spread the word about the Soft Flex
"Flex your Creativity" Beading Contest!

Kristen Fagan created two adorable scrapbook pages for her sisters bridal party album.

Have a lovely weekend! xoxo

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A lovely compliment.

Don't you love it when there is a special surprise in your mail box? A snail mail surprise will always be my favorite kind, but every now and again I get an email surprise that's just as sweet. Earlier this week I was treated to this:

Isn't it gorgeous? Susan Ivey made her own version of my Brass Garland necklace (one of my DOY projects) from the April/May issue of Beadwork and I just love her color choices! The earrings are pretty great too. I might have to make some of my very own...

If you want to see more of Susan's work, check out her etsy site. Thank you for sharing your work with me Susan!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Playing with Wire ... for a New Book!

At the end of 2008, my friend Jean Campbell asked me to make a project for her new book, Steampunk Style Jewelry and I was more than happy to oblige. I made a bracelet using Artistic Wire and Vintaj Natural Brass findings and it's a piece that I just love. I'm not going to show it just yet though, sorry. Jean says the book will be out around January of 2010! Check out Jean's blog for more information about the book, including a list of my awesome fellow designers, and find more information about the book here.

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your book Jean!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I heart the Huxtables.

Those who know me exceptionally well know that I love The Cosby Show. Always have, always will. I wanted to be a part of that family so badly in the 80s! On the Today show this morning, there was something of a cast reunion as seven members of the Huxtable family met to discuss the 25th anniversary of the show. Seriously? It's been 25 years?? Wow.

As if seeing Cliff, Clair, Grandpa Huxtable, Theo, Rudy, Olivia, and Elvin wasn't treat enough, this video came along and made my day. Long live the Huxtables!

IndecisionAn Indecision Exclusive!
Barack Obama Is Cliff Huxtable
Funny Political VideoPolitical GamesJoe Biden Jokes

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Communique

Oh, man. I'm always happy when Friday comes along and this week is no exception. Now that I'm finally feeling better and almost walking normally again, I'm looking forward to tonight's movie night (I even get to pick the flick!), having dinner at my dad's tomorrow night, seeing Mom and Grandma to make up for my absence on Mother's Day and going to the high school graduation party for one of my cousin's on Sunday. It's going to be a great weekend!

Check out what some of my crew were up to this week:

Sara Hardin (AKA SoftFlexGirl) wants you to take a look some
sparkly bridesmaids' necklaces by Jennifer Worick.

Kristen Fagan gave a plain wooden lazy Susan a punch of personality!

And finally, becasue it's always good to end the work week on a high note, I leave you with the super-hot Jonathan from Make Me A Supermodel. I don't know who was eliminated this week, as the episode is waiting patiently on my DVR, but I'm willing to bet it wasn't Jonathan. He's just too gorgeous. What is it about cowboys?! Sigh...

Have a lovely weekend! xoxo

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Explosion of Hawaiian Blossoms for Grandma

The majority of my family lives only about 45 minutes from me, a fact that I'll forever be grateful for. It's pretty rare for me to miss a family gathering, so I was really disappointed when allergies-turned-cold kept me from the Mother's Day party last weekend. Luckily, I rallied enough to finish and deliver Grandma's present - yaay.

My Grandma is adorable. There's really no other word for her. She's smart and sassy and a total flirt (a trait that she successfully passed on to me, or so I've been told!). She also has an exceptionally green thumb. She has an amazing sun room full of plants and flowers and an entire windowsill full of orchids in her kitchen.

When we were in Hawaii, I tagged along with Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Auntie Karen to a gorgeous botanical garden on Maui. As I ran around doing my best to avoid the mosquitoes, I managed to snap quite a few close-up shots of orchids and other tropical flowers. My plan was to make a photo album for Grandma for Mother's Day.

The pictures all turned out great and as I was prepping my materials for the album, I saw a blurb on the local news about an "Explosion Box." It looked fun and easy to do and after a quick Google search for instructions, I got started. The box consists of three layers of cardstock, paper and pictures. Each piece is cut to a specific size and when all four sides are folded up and the lid is placed on, it looks just like a little square box. The "explosion" occurs when the lid is removed and the sides fall open.

I'm sad that I didn't get to see Grandma's reaction, but this picture tells me that she loved it. Isn't she cute?!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Playing with Wire

These Golden Rings earrings are just one of the many free projects available on the Soft Flex Company website. One of my favorite parts of the job is making projects for our School of Design (writing the instructions, not so much...). These earrings are great because they were made of short little scraps of Extreme 24kt Gold beading wire that I had left over from another project. In the past, I've always just thrown these little scraps away, but now that I'm doing my part to help the environment AND save money, my scrap pieces are definitely coming in handy.

This earring design has proven to be so popular - at bead shows and when I've worn them around town - that I've been experimenting with other colors of wire and findings. Because there are three levels of rings on each earring, it only made sense to try making them with some of the Trios sets of wire. In addition to the gold, I've made them using Tranquility, Elegance, and Renewal. When I get some free time, I plan to make some of my very own using Vitality and Serenity (currently my favorite color combinations).

Are you going to attend the Craft & Hobby Association Summer Show in Orlando this July? If so, Sara and I are going to teach a version of these earrings using Extreme Champagne wire and sterling silver findings. If you're a member, we hope you'll sign up and join us!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Communique

Mom, Dean, and I at Casino Night on the cruise.

My Mom's birthday is always within a week of Mother's Day. We usually celebrate the two together, however this year Dean and I were able to see her on her birthday and we'll be with her again Sunday. One of the things I'm most grateful for is my relationship with my mom. We've always been close and for that I'm extremely fortunate.

My mom is one of the most thoughtful people in the world. She's always putting the needs of others before her own and always does it in the most stylish way possible. She has a great laugh, a huge heart, and is never without her signature red lipstick and nail polish. Mom makes the best teriyaki chicken and rainbow jello in the world and always gives me cards that make me cry.

Mom, thank you for being you and for always encouraging me to be me. I love you! Happy Mother's Day!

Check out what some of my crew were up to this week:

Sara Hardin (AKA SoftFlexGirl) wants you to check out the
Soft Flex May Spotlight on...Beading Article, Free Project Idea, Book Review, Bead Store & Designer Features.

Kristen Fagan is passing along the free Etsy success e-book featuring tips on marketing, packaging, customer service and more for all you Etsy sellers!

Happy Mother's Day to all the fabulous moms out there! Have a lovely weekend! xoxo

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A klutz's perfect Hawaiian day...

The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.
-Leonardo da Vinci

Earth Day (April 22nd) was both my favorite day of the cruise and the worst day of my vacation. Early that morning, the ship docked at Kona on the big island. It was a beautiful sunny day and as we rode on the tender from the ship to shore, the view was just like the Hawaii of my dreams. We rented eleven scooters and rode all around the city looking for a good snorkeling spot on the beach. I love, love, loved the scooters and kind of wish I had one of my very own...

As we began snokeling I had some trouble getting my mask on and while walking into the water stepped on something really sharp and poking. I brushed it off, went back to swimming, and was treated to the sight of some amazing fish. My foot was stinging pretty badly, so when I got out of the water and noticed all the little black dots on the bottom of my right foot, my mom suggested I go show the lifeguard. She said they were sea urchin spines and that there wasn't much to do about getting them out as they fall out on their own.

Then she mention that she would like to take a look at my other foot. I looked down to see a huge bloody gash in my left heel. I have no idea how it happened, because I didn't feel a thing, but it did not look good. We got back on the boat and went to the infirmary to have it looked at. The nurse said highly recommended stitches and I started to freak out a bit. I am not good around blood or medical talk (I fainted at the hospital while visiting my brother in pre-op). The nurse gave us an hour to decide and my mom and I headed up to our room. I was afraid of the needle more than anything else, but I knew the stitches were pretty inevitable, so I took two generous shots of Jack Daniels and was a tough kid as the doctor put three gnarly stitches in my foot.

Thanks to some fabulous painkillers from a generous family member, I managed to enjoy the rest of the trip, even as I walked around on the balls of my feet to avoid hitting the spines and stitches. I was able to walk on my right foot again when we got home, but I'm still nursing the left foot - my calf is getting huge! The stitches were taken out this morning and replaced with five little strips that are squeezing the two sides of the gash together. The stitches weren't as tight or as plentiful as my doctor would have liked, but it's healing a bit and hopefully I'll be able to walk normally again soon.

I can't wait to get a pedicure!