Sunday, September 22, 2013

Winner in Patina Drawing + Blog Hop Updates

Well, I totally miscalculated when I would get the winner posted from the patina drawing!  Apologies!   I submitted an article for the next Bead Chat magazine and had 3 blog hop reveals last week:

I just barely kept ahead of all the deadlines the first part of the week, then collapsed the latter part.   But enough about that, thanks to all for your entries in the give-away!  

The correct answers were:

1)  Vintaj (also known as Ranger), Swellegant, and "Color Me This"

2) Gilder's Paste

Everyone who entered and tried to get them right got one point.  If you guessed both answers and got them correct, you got two entries.    And the winner is:   

Marlene Strait!   

Congrats, Marlene! You are the winner of the patina prize from Sharyl's Jewelry!  You will receive the brass beads and connectors below, plus some special surprise items!   (They are ready to ship, just don't want to spoil the fun for you!)

Marlene, please leave a message for me in the "Comments" section with your mailing address.  
I will not publish it.  
I'll just send your items on their way to you! 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Regarding the "Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop,"  all the packets that have been purchased have been mailed.  I'm beginning to hear from the earlier ones sent that they have been received. Hopefully all participants will have their packet soon!
I'm happy to announce that Toltec Jewels will be joining us for the blog hop, and we still have one vacant spot.   This is the last time I plan to mention here, so if you are interested and didn't get in, please leave a comment at the end of this blog entry!  Sharing the news with your friends is also appreciated.   It would be nice to have all spots filled.  

Many thanks!   Wishing each of you a good week!   

(I've got lots of listing to do in the store.  And I want to move my "shipping center" to a different area of my workroom.  I'm trying to reorganize the space, little-by-little!)  What are your plans for this week?



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Creating with Cabochons" Blog Hop Reveal!

When I saw that Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime was hosting a blog hop on "Creating with Cabochons," I'll admit that my attention was grabbed but my reaction torn. Should I run toward the fire or run away from it? I've been avoiding cabochons since I started making jewelry.  I'm thinking in particular of setting stones in silver bezels.   I see people who do it very well, and some who don't. I watched a video some months back where the instructor seemed to struggle a great deal with it. That didn't make me leap to try it.

I know I'm not ready for that,...but, I've had another idea I've wanted to try for a very long while now, and this gave me the perfect little push to try it out.  So I signed up and gave it a try!  

Not only have I had this idea in my head for nearly a year now, I've had the piece I wanted to use for almost as long. It's not a stone or ceramic piece though.  It's a wooden tile art piece from "More Skye Jewels" (temporarily closed) that I asked Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp NOT to drill a hole in.  This was a departure for me.  Typically I ask for holes in her art tiles, tell her how many, and the placement.  This time I was brave and daring!    (I hope you can envision me in a cape and mask with hands on hips!)

I should have thought to take a "before" photo, but alas...

I was finished with it before I thought to take a picture.   I was slow to join the "key" movement, but really liked the colors in this tile and the simplicity of the piece.  The placement of the key image on the wooden tile seemed perfect for my experiment in framing it with metal.  I cut it all freehand so as to hold the tile in place and avoid covering the main key image with my metal "flaps."

It looks pretty "rugged" and it is.

I had a sort of steampunk image in mind all along.   I cut the frame out of aluminum.   (I had planned to use copper, but this aluminum seemed just the right gauge.)  After filing all the edges, I gave it a worn, industrial look by beating the metal up with stamped letters and a ball pein hammer.   

There is a built-in bail which I made by leaving a longer piece of metal on top and rolling it from back to front.  I bent the sides to frame the tile, then bent back enough to remove the tile so I could paint the metal frame.   I mixed green and black patina to come up with this dark grayish color, and applied several coats, then a sealant.  

I wasn't using a torch to anneal the metal though, (don't even know if you can anneal aluminum like you can copper) although it remained fairly flexible, I didn't want to over bend and break it.  I had trouble getting the flaps to remain flat against the tile.

With the blackened brass chain, I like the overall look of this, but think it needs to be redone, and didn't have the time or heart to start over right after I finished this attempt.   Preferring not to damage the wooden tile, I did not continue trying to flatten the flaps once it seemed it wasn't going to work using the tools I currently have.  I did have plans for finishing the necklace using some miniature black keys and some jasper beads that nicely complement the colors of the tile.  

Forgive me for not completing my work.  I decided against finishing my piece as is.

I learned a lot from doing this, and want to try again, hopefully with better results the next time!  (In addition to doing a better job with the metal frame, I think it needs something at the bottom to hang dangles from, including the miniature key charms!) If anyone has other suggestions for me, please include in the comments.  This did not end up as a "masterpiece" to show off, but turned out to be a real learning experience and work-in-progress.  I'd like to learn more from you about how to improve it!  

Many thanks!


You've seen my example that didn't work so well, be sure to visit the others in the "Creating with Cabochons" Blog Hop.  There are sure to be some excellent examples there. I'm eager to see them myself!  

Our Host:  Sally Russick

D Lynne  Bowland
Alicia Marinache           
Lynn  Jobber           
Jenny Davies-Reazor           
Jo-Ann  Woolverton           
Marde Lowe           
Dawn Doucette           
Mary K McGraw           
Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           
Sonya Stille           
Elizabeth Owens Dwy           
Veralynne   Malone           
Tania Hagen           
Lynsey  Brooks           
Christina Miles           
Holly  Westfall           
Kathy  Lindemer           
Patti Vanderbloemen           

Therese Frank           
Adrienne Berry           
Liz   E 
Tanty  Sri Hartanti           
Ginger Bishop
Renetha Stanziano           
Marlene  Cupo           
Sandi Volpe           
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           <---You are here!
Niky  Sayers

Mischelle Fanucchi           
Tracy  Stillman           
Skylar Bre'z           
Ann Schroeder           
Paula Kramer
Jess Green           
Susan Kennedy           
Stacie  Florer           
Cathie  Carroll           
Susan F.  

Michelle Caballero       
Sabine Dittrich           
Kristina Johansson           
Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           
Melissa  Meman           
Cheryl McCloud         
Michelle  Timms           
Cindy  Pack           
Lynda  Carson

Cynthia  Machata           
Julia  Harris           
Karin  Slaton
Ingrid  Anderson           
Karin Grosset Grange
Jasvanti  Patel  
Inge  von Roos
Molly Alexander

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Patina Sunset Challenge

Melinda Orr, ORRTEC, got me interested in metal work and patinas nearly a year ago now and I'm loving this aspect of jewelry making!   (Melinda is also the founder of the Facebook group, Creative Bead Chat, and the online community, Artisan Whimsy.  AW is currently hosting the Patina Sunset Challenge.  ) 

AW October Challenge: 
Patina Sunset...paint the sky with patina
Sept 18th : Deadline to submit 
Sept 19th: Winners announced
Oct 1st: Bead Chat Magazine Feature

In addition to a workbench full of metal-working tools (and I'm still just getting started), I have a small arsenal of items to color metals with.  
My newest color purchases!

Everything from the basic Liver of Sulfur (used to darken copper--one of my favorites) to a wide variety of color patinas that can be used on a variety of metals (such as copper, brass, and aluminum), these help me create a multitude of looks!

* * * * * *
Just for a bit of fun....  
Can you answer these questions?

1) Excluding the Liver of Sulfur Patina Gel, 
what 3 brands of liquid color patinas 
do you see here?

2) What metal coloring product comes in the silver tins?

How to play:
  • Leave a comment and how to reach you.  
  • One correct answer gets you one chance.  
  • Two correct answers gets you two chances.  You can submit both answers in one message.  I will count as two.
  • I will hold the comments for 24 hours.
  • From these entries a winner will be drawn.
  • The prize will be some assorted metal components by me.

PRIZE = These "Lime Green Lovelies" + ????

* * * * * *
Now, on to the Artisan Whimsy Challenge!   I hope some of you submitted pieces too!

This is my entry for a handmade piece:

It is a large, rectangular, hand made copper pendant, 
embossed with a flower design, 
treated with a variety of patina colors, then sealed.  

Be sure and visit the other contestants on the Artisan Whimsy site!


REMINDER:  I will be holding the comments for 24 hours so that we get original answers!   :-)   I can see your replies, but you won't be able to until tomorrow.  Thanks!  ~Sharyl

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tues last day to buy blog hop packets!

Looking for the "Pearls!" Blog Hop?  --->  Click here!

Tomorrow, Tues, Sept. 17, is the last day to for the original 10 participants to purchase your "Seed Bead & Metal Blog Hop" packets. There are still 3  2 packets unsold.   

I've attempted to reach everyone individually and through blog postings. One email has been returned to me, so I'm concerned that someone may miss out just because they haven't seen the message(s).  I'm trying one more time to make sure everyone in the group is aware they were selected and that they need to purchase their packets by Tuesday night.  Those remaining are: Mary, Sonya, and Angi.    **To purchase your packet, please click here.

I know things change and if it's no longer a good time for you to join in, I understand.  But I do hope everyone gets the message and can participate who wants to!

We do have one waiting to get in.  (Toltec Jewels) After Tues night, I will reopen the event to others who might also be interested if the packets are not claimed.  If you missed getting in and would like to participate, please leave a comment on this blog post.   If we have openings, I will notify you Wed.

If you've purchased your packet already,...  it should be speeding its way toward you!   I've marked the date your package was mailed on this page.   Please let me know if you have any questions!   

Many thanks and wishing a good week to all!



Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Pearls! Pearls! Pearls" Blog Hop Reveal

I've always loved pearls.  My husband gave me a lovely strand as a wedding gift, and as many of you know, I spent the early part of this year creating pearl and crystal jewelry for my niece's wedding.   Those pearls were white, but I've also worked with freshwater pearls in deep purple, lime green, Autumn gold, peacock blue, and other rich colors!  Pearls also come in some surprising shapes beyond the basic round, looking like everything from a stick to a piece of cereal!  But whatever their color or shape,  pearls add a look of luxury, sophistication, and beauty to jewelry designs and fashion.

Shapes, sizes, quality, color, luster, and other factors help determine price.  While you often "get what you pay for" when it comes to pearls, it's also delightful that you can get nice-quality pearls at reasonable prices, and interesting, wearable pearls for even less!   It's all what you want at the time.   

My selection today is a 1/2 strand of freshwater pearls I bought at my favorite local specialty bead store, aptly named, The Bead Store.  :-)   They have an interesting rectangular shape, are wine colored with lots of shine, and  interesting black spots along the ends that look rather "burnt."  These are what I've decided to use for my entry in Michelle's "Pearls! Pearls! Pearls!" Blog Hop. 

Maybe a pearl expert can tell me if those dark ends are a bad thing, 
but in the meantime, I rather think they just add character and charm!   

I was immediately drawn to these pearls, but had a difficult time trying to decide what to pair with it.  I had purchased a lovely jasper donut-shaped stone pendant at the store to use with the pearls, and also bought some unique metal pieces while there.  When I got home, I could not decide between one of these or something else!   Decisions, decisions!   

In the end, I went for this beautiful pottery pendant made by Marti Conrad of Marti's Buttons-n-Beads.  I've been saving this quite some time-- 

I purchased this handmade pottery pendant
 (and the matching pottery beads shown below)
 from Marti Conrad's Etsy store,

and some of her combed buttons in the same matching color, a staple I try to keep on hand, I love using them so much! The soft bluish-aqua looks great with the color of the pearls!

I added Greek Mykonos beads, copper rondelle beads, 
and blackened round brass beads.

I also found some Czeck Picassa glass beads
 that matched the color of Marti's beads very well and added those!

There is blackened chain in the front and the back,
 for a slightly different look,
 inspired by the 1920s. 

I'll add small handmade darkened copper clasp in the back.

I wish I had some glamorous dress from the 1920s to go with this, but in the meantime, I think it will look great with more casual outfits too!  (That's the fun of pearls!)

I hope you've enjoyed my entry in the Pearls blog hop! Please hop over to the other entries too!

Pearls! Pearls!! Pearls!!! Blog Hop Participants:

If you have trouble linking to pages, 
please return to our host's blog at:

Many thanks for joining us today!  

~Sharyl and all!

* * * * * * *

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"Seed Bead & Metal Blog Hop" Participant List

Participants Announcement! 
(Last update:  9/18/13)


Sharyl McMillian-Nelson -- Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections

Shirley Moore -- Beads and Bread                    (9/13)

Participants:                                                      (Date packet mailed)    

1.  Candy Wham    (will post on Sharyl's blog)    (9/14)

2. Laren Dee Barton      Laren Dee Designs       (9/11)

3.  Mary       MLH Jewelry Designs    Position Open

4.  Beti Horvath  --   Stringing Fool                    (9/15)

5.  Tanya Goodwin -- A Work in Progress         (9/11)

6.  Marybeth Rich-- Forest of Jewels                  (9/11)

7.  Sonya Stille -- Dreamin of Beads/SAS Jewelry Designs  Toltec Jewels

8.  Amy Severino  -- AmyBeads                          (9/13)

9.  Carolyn's Creations -- Carolyn's Creations    (9/15)

10. Angi Mullis -- (will post on Sharyl's blog)      (9/17)



1.  Toltec Jewels --  Jewel School Friends   moved up


Packets now for sale!

You can now purchase your packets at:

  • Please carefully check your Participant # and name here against what you see in the store.  Some names are very similar!    
  • Packets not purchased by Sept. 17 may be offered to alternates.     

Artisan Whimsy "Bead Chat" Magazine/Color Update:

This is the color palette that will be used for the Nov. 2013 issue.  We've based the colors of the items in your packets on this palette.  You will be welcome to enter your items for consideration to be published.  The deadline for entry is Oct. 22, just after our Oct. 19 reveal date.   If you would like to be considered for the online publication, headed by Melinda Orr, send details and images regarding your creations to:

Design Seeds are color palettes created by designer Jessica Colaluca.

Other Notes:
  • Please feel free to add the Blog Hop image (shown at the top of this page or to the right) to your own blogs!
  • Please report any errors, additions, changes you would like made to your listing for the blog hop to me.   I'll correct so we get it right for the event! 

Thank you all for your eagerness and participation!

~Sharyl and Shirley

* * * * * *

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seed Bead & Metal Blog Hop Sign-up!

Announcing the 
Seed Bead & Metal Blog Hop!

Hosted by Sharyl's Jewelry &
Featuring the beaded work of 
*Shirley Moore!*

There is a smaller version to the right of page. 
Please feel free to copy to your your blog or Facebook and share!   Thanks!

This Fall, I've partnered with Shirley Moore to host the "Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop!" Shirley is a seed bead artist and the author of the "Beads and Bread" blog! 

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, know that I'm in awe of those who practice this particular art form.  I welcome this opportunity for us all, whether we normally create seed bead jewelry or not, to design using a small piece made by Shirley!    (And if that was not challenge enough, we're combining that with some metal components my me, to see what you come up with!  I'm looking forward to some very creative responses to this challenge!)

Blog Hop Basics:

  • This is a small blog hop, open to 10 participants. (Shirley and I will participate, but are not included in the 10 openings mentioned.   These are just for YOU!)   
  • The reveal date is Sat., 10/19/13.  (That means we need to be ready to launch our pages by Friday, 10/18/13, 11:30pm Central time.)    
  • You do NOT have to have your own blog!  Anyone wanting to participate who doesn't have a blog is welcome to send me the photos and text they want posted  2 days prior and I'll put on my blog the day of the reveal.
  • Although the packets contain pieces of seed bead work, and while we certainly welcome others who do bead embroidery, crochet, etc., it is not at all required.   Designers simply need to integrate these pieces into their jewelry designs in some way.
* * * * *

Packet Details:

  • Component packets contain handmade items from both Shirley Moore and myself.   Each packet is US$18 plus S/H. (S/H within the U.S. is $2.50. Kansans must also pay sales tax.   I will ship to other countries, but postage is significantly higher and packages can be delayed. Please consider whether is it is likely you would receive the packet in time to participate if you volunteer.  Many thanks!)
  • Each packet is unique, but contains 4 types of things:

#1: 1-2 beaded items handmade by Shirley
It's difficult to estimate size, but most of the pieces are approximately 1" x 1".  
This photo shows 4 examples.  
The top two items are individual pieces.  
The bottom examples are a bit smaller and 2 pieces each.

#2:   1-2 handmade metal components by Sharyl.
Round pieces shown average around 3/4 inch.  But some are larger, some smaller.  
Other pieces are larger and rectangular.

In each case, the items sent could be used in a variety of design functions. (Examples: you may have 2 of something and could use them as earrings, in a necklace, or a bracelet design. You may have a piece you could use as a pendant or a clasp or a bracelet focal! The items sent are not clearly defined in their function. All the more fun for you!)

#3:  There will also be an additional metal item(s)
 made by Sharyl...

...that may be 1 or more handmade metal components, altered metal components, or wire components or findings. (For example:   That might be bead caps or components I've purchased pre-shaped then added patina, a necklace or bracelet clasp I've made from wire, handmade ear wires, a bail, an item that could be used as a dangle or pendant, etc.)  All these items have a hand-made touch to them though!

#4:   Small surprise packet...

...with additional items, just in case you would like a little more inspiration to get you started!

* * * * *

Design Guidelines:

You are only required to use one of the seed bead pieces from our featured artist, Shirley Moore, for the reveal.   If you can also use some of the metal pieces in the same or other jewelry designs, that would be highly encouraged!    All the rest is totally up to you.   It is not necessary to use everything or to use items in the surprise packet.   I would just as soon see your own inspired designs!    The packet is just a "thank you" and in case you like any inspiration it sends your way!  

* * * * *


We're taking the first 10 who sign up this time, so don't delay!   

--To sign up, please leave a comment on this blog post indicating you want to be a part of the challenge. 

--Leave me your  name, your blog name, your blog address (or an indication you want to appear on my blog instead).      Having a way to contact you always comes in handy too--whatever works best for you (a Facebook name, email address, store URL, etc.) 

--This will be considered a commitment that you plan to purchase the packet and be a part of the reveal.

**Once I have 10 volunteer participants, I'll announce them on the blog.   (Keep watching!  I will make an announcement by Sept. 16th at the latest, even if we don't have 10.) At the time I make the announcement, I will also put the packets for sale in my store, reserved in your name.   A link and instructions will follow at that time.    (Participants will have one week to purchase.   Any packet left unsold after one week will be offered to the next person waiting in line.)

Each set is one-of-a-kind.  The packages are already boxed.  Each contestant will purchase their package but the precise contents will be a surprise.  I've put them together in ways that I would love to get anyone of them...and hope you feel the same!  Boxes will be randomly assigned to participants, including myself!  :-)
* * * * *

BONUS!  An Extra Opportunity:

We believe there will be an opportunity for participants to submit your designs to the online magazine Bead Chat published monthly in connection with Artisan Whimsy, edited by Melinda Orr.   The deadline for entries is Oct. 22 to be considered for the November 2013 issue.   We'll confirm that and share more details in the near future.   Participation is not required, but it's a great opportunity!  

My thanks to my co-host for this Challenge and Blog-Hop, Shirley Moore!   And my thanks to all of you!   

Please help us spread the word by sharing on your blogs and/or Facebook!   

I hope that many of you (10 at least) will be eager to participate!     Let the fun begin!  


P.S.  I'm certain to have left out some detail.  If you have questions, please ask!

Graphic Credits:

Photo of bead work by Shirley Moore.
Photos of metal work and findings by Sharyl.