Sunday, February 24, 2013

i heart macro: "Fair Amount of Snow"

We finally had a major snowstorm here this week--the first big one of the winter,... and hopefully the last.   We got ourselves a "fair amount" of snow as you can tell from these "half-hearted macros"  (trying to use the zoom to get the closeup rather than really being closeup) ....which I took from inside the house during a brief "shoveling break!"

This one is of the deck railing before it was shoveled.  
(Grainy photo, I'll have to keep working with my new camera!) 
We got about 10-12 inches Thursday morning,
then later, about another 3 inches.   
These first two photos were taken before the 2nd snowfall.

In the back of the house, 
there is a roof that extends from the house
and slants down to a small shed.
When the snow gets heavy, we worry it will collapse,
but there are no volunteers in our household 
to go up on that roof to clean it off.
Luckily, it's still standing.

The icicle photo was taken Friday as the sun warmed things up 
just barely above freezing.
It was still another full day of shoveling.

More snow expected Monday.   

Looks like global warming is taking a break....

* * * * * * * * * *

I've been away from "i heart macro" for a few months, and hoping to join you more frequently again.  I know I'll enjoy viewing all the photographs at:

Click here for more 

Hope you have a good week!   ~ Sharyl

P.S.  Just learned the forecast shows an expected 8-12 inches Monday!   Good golly!

* * * * * * * * * *
This weekend only:    
Blizzard Special!

Handmade embossed copper snowflakes and blue lampwork earrings

Remaining handmade snowflake components and jewelry
reduced again!   Some pieces as low as $5!  
Last chance until next winter!
* * * * * * * * * * *

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Exciting News to Share!

I'm so honored and excited, and must share some news!

Pagoda-inspired red artisan lampwork and enamel earrings

Available for sale at Sharyl's Jewelry

 Earlier today I was named  "Featured Designer of the Week" on the Art Bead Scene blog!    This is a "first" for me so I'm just thrilled!   Never saw that coming!   Thank you so much, Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp for selecting me and the earrings shown above!   

If you would like to see more about this month's challenge, closeup photos on the earrings and inspiration, the bead artists involved, and more, please visit the previous entry on my blog, Feb ABS 2013 Challenge Reveal and Ideas for You!

To view the many delightful entries in this month's challenge, visit the ABS Flickr page.  More will be added as the month continues, so be sure to check back!

You may have seen on my Facebook page, but I've learned from Denise Peck (Editor) that they are just finishing the Apr/May issue of "Step by Step Wire Jewelry" and some of my components will be featured in the artisan showcase!   

I'd like to offer my congratulations to all the winners and participants  in the Artisan Whimsy Valentine Challenge!      Barbara Hanselman won a $15 gift certificate from Sharyl's Jewelry, and Dee (Duane) Clark won a pair of earrings.       Hope both will enjoy their gifts!   (Barbara, if you see this, please send another message to me at the store or on Facebook!  Thanks!)

Please drop a line in the comment section and let us know what is exciting in YOUR life!   We'll be happy to hear your news and share your joy!   

Have a good week!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feb ABS 2013 Challenge Reveal and Ideas for You!

I was determined I had too much work to catch up on to participate in the Art Bead Scene February Challenge.  But I just HAD to take a peak to see what the artwork inspiration for the month was... 

Heijinja, 1941
Tōshi Yoshida
Woodblock Print

 ... and  of course, I loved it so much, I immediately began creating a piece.   

Then, I was so happy with the way it turned out, I decided to submit it for publication. So of course, that means I'm unable to show that one.   Bummer, but I was happy to be so inspired!

In the mail that day, arrived some lovely beads from Gardanne Beads I had ordered, and I was inspired all over again.  This time, I made earrings.   

Red enameled filigree dangles by "Gardanne Beads"

I obviously went for color inspiration in my designs this time,
but the lacy filigree also reminded me of the carvings on the pagoda.
I was attracted to the gray in the print just as much as the red.
It makes such a contrast--the smooth, cool, calming gray
next to the bright, attention-getting red.

Red nugget lampwork by "Gardanne Beads"
Mottled gray spacer lampwork beads from "Art by Lisi"

I used gunmetal wire and ear wires
with silver ox accent beads to keep with the cool, gray look
seen on the roof of the pagoda.

My finished earrings!
It's a very simple design, but I'm happy with the look,
all thanks to lovely handmade art beads!

I'll be listing soon in "Sharyl's Jewelry!"

* * *
More on beads and inspiration...!

In both pieces of the jewelry I made, I ended up using pieces I had on hand, but I had also done some searching and just loved some of the items I found!    In hopes you might be interested in participating in this month's challenge, I want to share with you  a few of the  lovely pieces I discovered!

One of my all-time favorite shops is  Bits of Treasures, found on Etsy!  Some of my  very first purchases on Etsy were from this shop,  and I've highlighted some of the pendants from here in the past.    So I especially went looking there for ideas.  I found two pieces I absolutely loved and thought would be perfect for this challenge!   (Now mind you, these are Chinese pottery shards and the artwork is Japanese, but they are clearly in the spirit of the piece.)    

PAGODA - Pottery Shard   $7USD

This one picks up the pagoda image, including a bit of red.

CONTEMPLATING - Pottery Shard Pendant  $6.50USD

This one reminds me of the women in the art piece.

Another approach to the challenge is to be inspired by the color palate.   I went looking for red and gray lampwork and found these lovely beads at Snazzy Doodle Designs on Etsy !

          Red and Grey Lampwork Bead Set  $14USD

I love that each bead is unique.   The colors match the pagoda in the print.
These would be perfect for a more modern representation of the artwork.

Finally, this is a finished piece from BeadKRap on Etsy,  but I inquired and she does sell beads with bead caps upon request.      I've encouraged her to enter this in the ABS Challenge!    This is a store to keep your eye on!  

             Grey Hollow Glass Bead Necklace with Red End Caps 

($50USD for the necklace.)

She explained to me that she makes the caps individually to fit the beads.  

She then rivets the caps onto the beads which are filled with other beads.   
Some of her beads sell for as low as $5 each, 
but you will need to chat with her about specifics.   

I hope these help spark a few ideas for you, and encourage you to participate in the ABS Monthly Challenge!    For even more inspiring beads for the challenge, see what Erin Prais-Hintz at ABS posted!  

Happy Creating!   Thanks for taking a look at my submission as well!   



Image Credits:

*Please note, the woodblock print is still under copyright and is to be used only for inspiration for the challenge.

*Photos of earrings and components for my entry, taken by me.

*The last four photos are the property of the store owners, used here by permission.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine's Wishes and Valentine's Sale!

Sorry, I've been AWOL a bug!   But sending you my best greetings for a Very Happy Valentine's Day!   You are each so special, talented, and dear to me.  And as always, I'm grateful to be mingling with you all!

I also want to thank all of you who participated in the recent  Give-away activities!   Just in case you missed the special offer connected with that event, I have another one starting today.   25% off all items in Sharyl's Jewelry now through Feb. 14.   No coupon needed, prices are already marked down.    This one is open to the public, so feel to spread the word if you wish.

Just a few of the items that might be just-right for Valentine's Day:

True Love Red and Silver Earrings with handmade lampwork

Handmade lampwork beads by Beth Singleton

Black filigree, glass heart and crystal necklace

Focal by Bo Hulley Beads

These and many more, just perfect for Valentine's Day!

Components on sale too!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!   ~Sharyl

* * * * * * * * *

Image Credits:

Valentine girl:

All other photos by Sharyl, 2013.

* * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ramblings about Sundays, Cameras, Photography, and Weather in Kansas

studio waterstone
"i heart macro" --   appearing each Sunday on  "Studio Waterstone"

Sundays and Photography--
What I was doing and Hope to do Again:

I meant to post these funky-Kansas weather photos on  Sunday, but well, I mean to do a lot of things that end up getting done on Day 2 or 3 rather than Day 1.   Last year I participated each Sunday in "I Heart Macro."  (I was always honored they let me beginners like me participate. There are some dynamite photographers in that group!)  Well, one Sunday I missed, then the next Sunday too, then suddenly, I was out of the habit!

I got a new camera just before the holidays, and meant to jump back in.   I not only WANT TO, but I NEED TO jump back in and learn to better use this device that IS so important to our business!   (And besides that, the group is just plain fun!)   :-)     Often I'd take closeups of flowers or other items, which is very similar to taking macro shots of jewelry, but with the benefit of natural light.    Nature and my macro setting did all the hard work for me.


What I've recently learned:

I have been reading a bit, and experimenting with the camera, and even started using Photo Shop Elements to edit (in very basic ways) my photos.   Here is a quick lesson I learned (after I bought one) about the types of digital cameras:

(Yes, I know.   You wouldn't expect a lesson on cameras from me.   It's sort of like in high school when I got an "A+" in Driver's Ed, but was not a good driver.   Turns out the grade was determined by the written tests and the driving test was pass/fail.   I had to explain that A LOT in the beginning!   So I'm admittedly not a great photographer in practice yet, but I'm studying and learning, so here it goes....)

From what I've learned, there are basically 3 types of digital cameras:

1)  My old camera (a very basic compact digital camera) was getting pretty old.  I was still fairly happy with it except it constantly ran out of batteries, and then there was that "lens sticking" problem where it would freeze up and not only couldn't I focus, eventually I couldn't retract the lens at all!    It had a zoom lens of 4x, which was pretty nifty when we bought it 15 years ago!  ha!   But hey, it did the trick!  It had a macro setting, I could adjust the exposure, and it pretty much did the rest for me.   My biggest problem, then and now, involves lighting.

2) The new camera has 20x the zoom, but there are other hand-held digitals that will do even more.   That's not what I primarily use the camera for though, so no worries.   It's a nice camera with a lot of features I haven't learned to use yet.   I can use the manual setting (which I seldom do) or the Live setting (which I usually do), make a few adjustments in light and focus, and snap!    But I want to learn to use all the manual features too!    Put it on the wish-to-do list!    The lens is permanent.  It will do a lot of nifty things, but you cannot change the lens for a different specialty lens.   I admit I had no idea about that limitation or what this type of camera was called until I came across this article recently called, "Types of Digital Cameras."   And I now believe what I have falls into the category of  a "Bridge Digital Camera."

3) For those of you with DSLR cameras, all I can say is "You lucky things!"  They are known for taking the best photos, having changeable lens, and many settings you can adjust.    For some of us though, the barriers  are the expense and the learning curve.   (Still I can wish, maybe next time....)


What I did, just for fun:

Now you often see the jewelry photos I take.  More "passable" now, but still needing a lot of improvement.   Last week though gave me an opportunity to use the camera in a way that was not typical for me.

The weather, 74 degrees F one day dropped more than 50 degrees and the next morning I awoke to a snow-covered lawn.   I grabbed my camera... Only thing was, it was ccc-oo-l-d out there!  So I stood in the warmth of my house and shot these, finally trying out that zoom rather than macro capability!

Take note, people, this is probably the only decent bird photo you'll ever see me take!

The wind was fierce!   You can see it blowing off the roof and whipping the  flag around.
No, the photo is not blurry, NATURE was blurry that day!

What I plan to do:

These were fun, but truly, I do want to improve my macro photography. I currently have  3 things I plan to do:

1) Read my camera manual--yes, that has been suggested to me by a dear friend, and I'd say it's time I did it!

2)  I saw this ebook mentioned on a blog today (and please forgive me whoever it was!)  I bookmarked it but forget who it was endorsing it.  Anyway, her photos were fabulous!    So I think it's worth a try.   It's called "Snaptastic" from Kab's Creative Concepts and I'm linking to it so you can find out more too, if you like!

3) I have a light tent I bought last year, but know I'm  not using the proper lamps. I'm planning to research lamps, light placement, indoor vs. out door photography.   I tend to take a lot of photos in the middle of the night, so outdoors is not always an option for me.

So, you'll likely be hearing more from me about photography in the near future.  And hopefully, you'll see some difference in the quality of my photos.    And if you are willing, please continue to  share... about cameras, lighting, your preference for indoor or outdoor photography, or even wacky weather where you live!  :-)   I always love hearing from you!



P.S.  If anyone missed the last blog entry with the Give-Away announcements, please click and take a look!   The coupon ends soon!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Give-away Announcement!

I really can't thank you all enough for taking the time to participate in my Give-away activity this week!   The feedback is very helpful to me, and it was fun seeing which items each of you liked best.   While there turned out to be a couple of favorites, your own unique tastes came through in your wide variety of choices!

Now, on to the Give-away!

I assigned each person who responded a single number in the order your comments came through.   Typically I have a family member draw a name, but this time I used, a random number generator.    We had 24 unique entries and the number that came up was #9.    #9 is Shirley Moore!     I'm giving Shirley a $30 gift certificate so she can make her final choice on her gift from my store.


For the rest of you...

special offerI really wish I could give everyone the item(s) you picked, but I can't quite pull that off.   What I am going to do is offer you a special coupon code for  40%  off any order you make in my store from now through Feb. 8th.  The code is only good for one time, but it is good for your entire order should you decide to use it.   I'll not be posting the code elsewhere.  This one is just for you.

 The code is:    GIVEAWAY40     ...and you will need to type that in as you checkout to get the discount.

The 40% off is good on everything in the store:   jewelry, components, destash beads, even clearance items!  (If you happen to encounter any problems with the coupon, please let me know ASAP!   I'll take care of it for you.)

No pressure intended...
 but should you decide you would like to take another look,
 this is the link to Sharyl's Jewelry on Artfire.
(I don't mean this as a gimmick,
just a way of thanking you all, 
and hope you take it in that spirit.)

Many thanks again 
and hope you have a good weekend!
See you back here soon, I hope!