Thursday, March 29, 2012

Art Bead Scene Challenge - March 2012 - Street Scene in Montmartre

Announcement:  Winner of the "More Skye Jewels" Drawing is Mary Day!  Congrats to Mary!...

Street Scene in Montmartre: Le Moulin a Poivre by Vincent Van Gogh
Paris: February-March, 1887
For more information on painting, 
please see the Art Bead Scene page.

All the ceramic art beads in this piece were handmade by Natalie Pappas of NKP Designs Art Beads.   There are 5 types of Natalie's beads used in this piece representing various elements, colors,  and designs of the painting.  The beads were carefully selected from Natalie's collection...

The bead highest on the neck 
has the color and swirls of the clouds.

These silver beads represent the windmills.

The darker blue found in several areas of the painting.

The color and diamond shape found in the design of the cart.  

This is the top section of the pendant.
The tan-color bead with the lines
is reminiscent of the pavers in the painting

The red bead is the color of many of the objects in the art.

I designed the bottom section of the pendant 
to represent the French flags flying, 
while the stick beads are for the fence line 
that works its way across the horizon.

Finally, a look at the pendant as a whole.

There will be a blog tour on March 30th showing other ABS entries.  On that day, please follow this link to see more!

Thank you to the ABS for another wonderful selection of art for our jewelry inspiration.  And another thank you to Natalie for designing such perfect beads for my entry!  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rudraksha Beads by Krista -- Updated!

Since posting this blog entry early this morning, I discovered a message Krista sent me several weeks ago that had become separated from the photos.  I will update the text accordingly.   Updates  appear below in this green font.  Apologies for any confusion and I hope you enjoy the additional notes!

It's been a while since we had a submission from Krista, but I'm so very glad she sent me this one to share with you!     (Hope more of you, especially anyone currently without a blog of your own, will do the very same so we can see some of your work!)

Traditional mala made from Rudraksha beads are not a typical piece of jewelry.  In fact,  they may not be considered  jewelry at all, though they are often worn.   They are prayer beads used in some branches of Hindu religion and in Buddhism.  Similar to  prayer beads used in other religious traditions (such as Catholic rosaries), mala can be used to count or keep track of prayers.    

The Rudraksha is a type of rough seed, and  a mala (the prayer bead chain) consists of 30-108 beads, depending on the religious tradition and the devotee's needs.  The origin of the religious tradition surrounding these beads seems to begin with a story of Shiva from the Vedic scriptures, but the date is widely disputed.  Later, they became a part of Buddhism tradition as well.  

Now,  a look at what Krista sent!  Krista's piece is not a traditional mala, but is in fact a necklace which she designed as a gift.  It is made in the style of a mala and contains 108 beads, but she has integrated Rudraksha seeds with other beads.  

These Rudraksha beads are special in another way too. 
They were sent to Krista from Singapore by a cousin.

The pendant is an "Om" symbol.

For more information on traditional prayer beads, including mala, a short summary can be found at the Museum of  Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia.   Another source for cultural and religious comparisons of prayer beads is available through the "Prayer In America" community resource guide from  NPR in connection with Iowa Public Television. (page 145)

I hope you'll take time to explore this ancient religious symbol and tradition.  If you have comments, corrections, or additional information to share on this topic, please do!    

Thank you, Krista, for sharing these photographs with us!

Peace and good wishes to all!

~Sharyl / Sharyl's Jewelry

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P.S.  If you are looking for the link to comment to in order to be entered in the drawing for the "More Skye Jewels" tile, please click here!  You may comment until Thursday night when MY clock, in Central Standard time, hits midnight to be entered in the drawing.  Please indicate in your comment that you want to be included in the drawing.  Many thanks!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

"More Skye Jewels" Win + Give-Away!

Butterfly ROSE Custom Drilled Ephemera Tile set

A couple of weeks ago, I won a $50 gift certificate to "More Skye Jewels" during a random drawing of participants for the February Art Bead Scene Challenge.  I couldn't believe my luck!

DRAGONFLY 1X1 Custom Drilled Ephemera Tile

This Etsy shop, along with "Skye Jewels" is owned by Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp from Calgary, Canada.   Marie also has a delightful blog, a website and you can find her on Facebook as well!

Fresco 1.5 inch Ephemera Pendant

I say all of this in introduction, because if you are not already familiar with Marie, I'd like you to look her up.  If you do know her work, but haven't visited her shops recently, please do.  Just in the last week I've seen more lovely new things appear there!

Writing Ephemera 1.5 inch Pendant

NOW, back to ME!  :-)   

I got to pick out $50 worth of free merchandise from Marie's "More Skye Jewels" shop which includes ephemera charms and pendants on rustic wood tiles.  But I'm telling you, I had a really difficult time trying to decide how to narrow down my choices to $50  (which is way more than I would allow myself to spend if I were ordering items myself), and still, STILL, when they arrived, I couldn't believe how much more wonderful they looked up close!  

Ephemera Charm Earring Pairs


Now here is where the good part comes in for YOU!   ...I promised to share one of the charms I won with one of you in a drawing.   Marie, however, kind person that she is, offered an ADDITIONAL charm for the give-away!   And it's not just any charm, but one of the newest to her collection! 

Poppy 1X1  Ephemera Tile

(I love the colors and detail in that one!)  

I also requested some of her solid copper headpins.   They are really nice, so for my little part, I'm sharing 6 of my stash of 10 with the lucky winner.   

Solid Copper Headpins

The rules are so simple this time:

ONE STEP:  In order to be included, please leave a comment at the end of this entry saying that you want to be included in the drawing!    That's it!

All who do so by Thu, 3/29/12 at midnight Central time will be included in the drawing.   The winner will be announced Fri, 3/30.   

My sincere thanks to Marie for her generous loot and additional charm for our give-away!  My thanks to the organizers of the "Art Bead Scene" Monthly Challenges" as well!   

Best wishes to each of you!   
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Graphic Credits:
  • All photographs of tiles in this entry are the property of and are used by permission of Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp.
  • Graphic art work on tiles is by Ella Bouchard of Calico Collage.   (The works are copyrighted.  If you have a question, please see this page or contact the artist.)

* * * * * * *

P.S.  Notes:

1. I'll show you when I have some pieces completed using Marie's tiles!   (Winner, it's not required, but I hope you will be willing to share a photo too!)

2.  Up later this week:

  • A work from one of our blog participants who was kind enough to share!
  • Update on the seed-bead followup
  • Announcement of a new jewelry-design challenge (just for members of our blog!)

Have a good week!  

Sharyl / Sharyl's Jewelry

    Sunday, March 25, 2012

    i heart macro: Spring at Last!

    I had a photo or two  I took in the rain last Sunday I said I would include this week.  I think this was one of them.

    The first pretty to show up was this pink tulip!

    But this week I was out in the rain nearly every day shooting photographs of Spring in Kansas, so I'll just pick the best of the lot and include for this week's "i heart macro!"   

       Beginning to open this week!

    Vinca grows wild among the rocks
    along the front of the house.
    Mostly green vines, but in the Spring
    an added bonus of these purple flowers!

    Yes, Spring showed itself in full form this week, but it did so in the midst of a week of showers.   Many of these photos were taken as it was just starting to sprinkle...
    Others, well...

    This little "weed" grows in our yard with the grass.  
    The photo looks blurry for a reason...
    Unlike some of our talented photographers
    who can lean over rivers and snap photos of lizards
    and other water creatures,
    this little beauty of a weed
    landed me and the camera
    upside down in the mud!  :-)

    With the rain coming down harder now, I headed to the side garden, which we refer to as the Japanese Garden.   

    Very bizzare looking plant object.
    Coming from a variety of miniature Japanese Maple 
    we planted last year.

    It looks pink now,
    but this bush will be flaming red later!

    Finally to the back yard, to snap a quick photo or two of the flowering plum tree in bloom.  But now the rain is really coming down!  It looks like only a drop or two in the photos, but I keep wiping the lens and I'm getting soaked!

    #15:  "Bird Paradise"
    Wouldn't this be the ultimate bird-bathing experience?!

    I think with "Climate Change," we may need to revise our old saying, "April showers bring May flowers!"  But it's been very nice having an early Spring!

    More signs of Spring popping up
    Please take a look!

    Thanks for stopping by!  


    March Madness Sale continues this week!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    New "Creative Bead Chat Group" Forming on FB: $400 of Give-away Prizes!

    15 lucky people will win! 

     ~valued over $400~ 

    of amazing handcrafted jewelry, components 
    and gift certificates

    Names will be chosen next Tuesday, 
    March 27th ~ 

    This event will be for members only ~ 

    • This brand new Facebook group already has nearly 400 members and is growing quickly.  It's a discussion you won't want to miss out on...  and now a GIVE-AWAY you won't want to miss either!


    An invitation to the Creative Bead Chat Group and Huge Giveaway.

    • There are great conversations going on.  (I've had a very inspirational conversation just tonight with Melinda Orr herself and learned so much!)   
    • In this group there is a constant flow of people sharing jewelry photos, techniques, tools, methods of learning, marketing, and more!  It's very supportive--no matter your experience level.  

    I think you may like this a lot!   I know I do, so I wanted to make you aware of this opportunity to share (and to win)!

    Best wishes, good luck with the contests, and happy learning!

    P.S.  There's a "March Madness" sale going on in "Sharyl's Jewelry" studio.  Items in the "On Sale Now" section are marked down to crazy-low prices...some 1/2 off! 

    I don't do a big mark-up on my jewelry and try to keep prices low always, but I'm lowering prices on these items to try to make room for new ones!   Hope you visit and see something there you like!   

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    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    i heart macro: Rainy March Day 2012

    You may recall that last week, I went out in the last of the rain, with a fair bit a chill, and took some nature shots.  I hadn't done that in a while and I was inspired by all those I had been seeing here!

    First though, it seemed dark out and the camera didn't want to focus.   Then my batteries ran out.   So I came in the house, changed batteries, went back out in the rain, and by then it was really getting chilly.   It was even darker and I still had trouble focusing the camera, got these few shots, came in, then the lens got stuck.  UGH--not a happy macro camper!   So things are on the right track again, and here are my photos from LAST  week.   

    I took a couple of shots under similar almost-too-dark conditions Sat. evening, but I think those will need to wait for next week!  Ha!   (I'm either behind or a week ahead, depending on how you look at things!)

    North side of the tree, perhaps?

    Think these will be my daylilies...

    ...and iris.

    I transplanted flowers from various parts of my yard
    into a new garden space last year, 
    so I'm just looking at the sprouts and guessing this year!


    Yes, another attempt at a shade garden 
    under the tall old trees in our yard!
    Limbs happen!

    #12:   "Little Bud that Could"

    I can't believe I ever got this bud, 
    but look how gray the sky is getting!
    I shot it over and over and over again, 
    until it finally focused.  
    Then I took 2 shots to be sure, 
    but they are nearly identical.

    Finally, signs that spring has sprung 
    in my little piece of the world!   
    Next week I'll show you what else has sprung!  :-)

    I have a funny feeling others may be thinking of Spring too.
    Let's pop on over to Studio Waterstone to see!

    Click here for more "I heart Macro"

    Thanks for stopping by!  

    Sharyl / Sharyl's Jewelry

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    Image Credits:

    Rain cloud:


    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Celtic Collection on Sale--See Lastest Items Here!

    I think the last--at least the last for now--of the Celtic Collection is in Artfire.   All pieces will be on sale through St. Patrick's Day weekend, then will return to regular pricing.   

    These are all new pieces so I'm not sure when they will go on sale again.   If you are interested, I hope you can get them while they are on sale!

    All things green from the studio have also gone into the "On Sale Now" section!   

    Some, but not all, of these have been shown on Facebook, but I saved a few to share only with you here!  The latest additions:

    Earthy Globe Pendant
    (Lampwork--"Art by Lisi")

    Lampwork -- "Art by Lisi"

    Sold separately, but would look great together!

    Green Agate Pendant and Gemstone Necklace

    Pendant is silver filigree with green agate inlay.  
    Necklace contains Green Aventurine nuggets 
    and China Jade rectangular beads.

    Green Memory Bracelet

    Shades of Ireland Pendant

    Hope you enjoy these!  You can see these and other Celtic and green items in the "On Sale Now" section at Sharyl's Jewelry!

    For daily updates, visit and "like" the Facebook page!

    Very best wishes!  --Sharyl

    P.S.   I had a pair of my earrings listed in an ArtFire Curated Collection early this morning!  Visit the link to see which ones!  :-)

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    i heart macro: Leaping Lizards!

    Forgive me if I've posted these before.   I did actually go out in the rain today and took photos of early Spring, but my camera kept  acting up, so I came back inside to see what I might have taken before you hadn't seen.  I'm not sure if I've shared these before, but they are so bright and cheerful, I thought I would risk posting again.   

    They make me smile.  Hopefully they will make you smile too!

    These are magnets, 
    and my cork bulletin board 
    has a magnetic layer so they work here too.
    I like how this one seems to be 
    climbing up over the edge for a look!

    This one is crawling sideways,
     just "exploring" a bit!

    I've had these magnets quite a while and no longer remember where I got them, but they are one little purchase I've always been happy I made!

    P.S.  If you scroll down a bit you'll see a few new jewelry photos from my new Celtic collection!

    Please visit 

    to see more macrophotography!


    Please check out my new Celtic Collection 
    in the "On Sale Now" section!

    #24:  "Kells Earrings in Teal"

    "Irish Lavender Necklace"

    Have a good week!