Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Samhain & a Sale!

Happy Halloween, Happy Day of the Dead, Happy All Hallows Eve, and Happy Samhain to all!   

Giant pumpkin on my front doorstep! 
Photo by Sharyl.

For those wondering about Samhain, it's a Celtic harvest festival celebrated during these days we tend to call Halloween, and since I have a good Irish name, I'm going with that one as the code for my sale for the next few days!   

Visit my
Sharyl's Jewelry Artfire online store
through Sat. Nov. 2 
to get 20% off 
all jewelry and components!   

Use the code:  SAMHAIN at checkout
 and get the reduced price!    

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For more Halloween fun today, please visit Tanya Goodwin's blog,  A Work in Progress, to see her delightful Halloween/Day of the Dead jewelry, a few pieces made with my metal components.  Each and every piece she makes is so very creative!

Hand beaded earrings by Tanya Goodwin.
Photo by Tanya Goodwin.

Thanks, and a happy, safe holiday to you and your families!  ~Sharyl

A new, yet very old, edition to my work room!
Details in a future post!
Photo by Sharyl.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

"Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop" Reveal!

Welcome to the "Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop" Reveal!   Thank you all for joining us to take a look at the special designs created for this challenge.  
A special thanks to Shirley Moore, co-host of this event, who handmade all the seed bead components that went into each packet.   And our thanks to the participants who purchased their packets and created jewelry using our components.   It is always a thrill to see our works taken and made into some new and lovely creation at the hands of talented designers, so we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for this opportunity you give us today!

We have 11 participants, including ourselves.  The list will be provided at the end of this page, so you can hop from blog-to-blog to see all the entries!   Please do so and leave a message so everyone will know you paid them a visit!  

On my page, will be not only my entry, but those of two other designers, so please keep reading, scrolling, and enjoying until the end!  

* * * * * *

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson  -- (Co-host) 
"Sharyl's Jewelry"

The inspiration for my design started with this diamond-shaped seed bead piece made by our co-host, Shirley Moore. Like everyone else, I honestly wasn't sure what was in my own packet until I opened it, and that was just the way I wanted it.   

Even though I had assembled the items in the packets, trying to make sure each person would have some kind of inspiration to draw on in terms of colors, fabrics, beads, etc, I found myself rejecting parts of what I had put in my own packet when I created it!   Items in my packet included:

Out of my batch of goodies, I ended up using the diamond seed bead piece (by Shirley), the 2 round green patina brass components (by me), some of the jump rings, and the sari ribbon. 

I added 9 handmade lampwork beads in greenish shades from a chain of "orphan" beads I purchased from Eleanor at LilysOffering some time ago.  I also included creamy-colored stone beads, and three types of copper beads.   

In the back of the necklace I used the soft sari ribbon. It simply ties in a bow.   It's plaid in yellow and lime colors.

For the front of the necklace, I made an embossed bail to match the lime green round disks I later used for earrings. From this I hung a lampwork bead and Shirley's beaded diamond.

 When the necklace was complete, I made coordinating earrings, using my lime green patinated components from the packet, dark green lampwork beads (still part of the orphan chain), and other small accent beads.   

I'll admit, I spent more time designing this piece, putting it together, taking it apart, trying it a variety of different ways... than I normally do.  It didn't come easy to me this time.  I was really hoping to do Shirley's piece justice and I hadn't worked with seed bead work like this before.  I certainly enjoyed integrating it into this jewelry though.   And I look forward to using my 3 little beaded balls in another piece soon! 

* * * * *

 Candy Wham -- (Participant)

The package Candy received.

Candy reports, "I made earrings using the handmade ear wires, the discs Sharyl made, the (carnelian) beads included in my package, the copper twist looking jump rings, and the fabric that was tied to box. With that I wrapped around the darker jump rings sent. I also used my own gears, copper daisy beads, vintage and Czech beads and copper wire." 

The ribbon wasn't the yellow sari ribbon from her packet, but brown and dusty pink cotton batik fabric tied around the gift box.  "I had to use the fabric, I loved it!" says Candy.


Sharyl's Comments:  What a great idea for integrating textiles into jewelry design! I love how it's wrapped between the beads!  Framing the copper bird disks with the gears also seems inspired!   What delightful earrings!   I love them top to bottom!

 Angi Mullis -- (Participant)

The package Angi received.

Angi used the copper leaf embossed and patinated discs and Czech glass beads, along with delicate bead caps and white flower petal beads to create these lovely earrings!

And just look what follows! The multicolor brown hand-dyed silk ribbon is integrated with copper chain and shell beads...

... which make up the back of the necklace.   (Isn't the light lovely in this photograph?!)

A close-up of the copper bail by Sharyl and the twisted seed-beaded component by Shirley Moore.

A final look at the complete necklace by Angi Mullis.   

Sharyl's Comments:  I find this so beautifully done, with such attention to detail. There's even a dangle of the brown ribbon at the end of the beaded pendant! Although it wasn't at all required, it looks like Angi used every piece she received in her package! (I'm also so in awe of the photography here! The tree and lighting really make a dramatic setting for Angi's jewelry!)

                                               * * * * *

Other Participants:

I'm really impressed by what I have seen so far, but there is more to come! Please visit our other participants below:

Shirley Moore -- Beads and Bread       (*Co-Host)     
Laren Dee Barton --  Laren Dee Designs     

Beti Horvath  --   Stringing Fool                 

Tanya Goodwin -- A Work in Progress       

Marybeth Rich -- Forest of Jewels                 

Amy Severino  -- AmyBeads                         

Carolyn's Creations -- Carolyn's Creations   

Toltec Jewels --  Jewel School Friends   

Thank you all for visiting today!  We hope you enjoy the event!  ~Sharyl & Shirley

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All jewelry and components currently 20% off. 
Use Coupon Code: FALLSALE

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Countdown to "Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop!" -- Final Details!

Here are the last-minute details for Saturday's blog hop!   Please let me know immediately if you have any last minute changes and I'll repost!    Hopefully all is good to go!  

1.  The participant list and links to blogs appears below.  Participants, please add this to your blog pages.  

2.  Cindy Wham and Angi Mullis, I asked for your photos and text by today (Wed.).  I'll look and see if you've sent a message to me via Facebook or my email.   You may have.  If not, please get to me ASAP!   Thanks much!   I'll need by Thursday night at the latest so I can add to my page!!!   

3.   Everyone, please have your blogs ready to post by 11:30pm Central time Friday night, so that we can all go live by midnight.    The blog hop is Sat. Oct. 19, and many people start looking for pages at midnight.  It's really a drag if the pages are not ready.   Sorry to harp on this.   

Hope you all had great fun!   I  know I found it a real challenge!   I finished my jewelry last night so I'm about to start on my own blog page now!   

I'm so anxious to see all your creations!      ~Sharyl


Sharyl McMillian-Nelson -- 

   Candy Wham --  (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog) 

   Angi Mullis -- (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog)  

Shirley Moore -- Beads and Bread       (*Co-Host)     
Laren Dee Barton --  Laren Dee Designs     

Beti Horvath  --   Stringing Fool                 

Tanya Goodwin -- A Work in Progress       

Marybeth Rich -- Forest of Jewels                 

Amy Severino  -- AmyBeads                         

Carolyn's Creations -- Carolyn's Creations   

Toltec Jewels --  Jewel School Friends   

* * * * * *

New winner announced for Patina Prize:

Mary Anne!

Please leave me a comment here with your mailing address.  I will not make it public.  Thanks!

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20% off at Sharyl's Jewelry 
all week!

Use this coupon code at checkout:

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

"This and That"

Growing up in my small town, there was a lovely woman who wrote a chatty little column in the weekly newspaper called "This n' That by Pansy Penner."  In that column you might find out which friends had paid her a visit, who had their in-laws over for dinner and what they served, what former high school student in town won an award 15 years ago, who was ill that week, who went on vacation, who celebrated a birthday or anniversary, and any other news of equal importance to her and others in town!  It was a way to keep up on things you would not find out anywhere else, and sometimes it was just a hoot to read.   Stories about gatherings often ended with this phrase, "A fun time was had by all!"   It's funny how after all these years, some of these words, phrases, and stories have remained with me.   Just little bits and pieces of this and that...

That's what today's blog post is...some bits of news I want to make sure you hear about!

#1 --  Blog Hop Reminder!

First of all, a reminder to all participating in the "Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop,"  Shirley Moore and I hope you've enjoyed creating your jewelry from the pieces you were sent!  The blog hop is Sat, Oct. 19th.

  • Your pages should be ready to go live Friday night around 11:30pm Central time.  
  • If you are posting your photos and text on my blog, please have to me by Wed. so I have time to get added to my page!   If you are on Facebook, please send your file to me via private message.  If not, email me at sharylsjewelry (at) kc (dot) surewest (dot) net
  • I will repost the list of participants to be included in your blog pages later this week.  

#2-- SALE!

I'm putting everything at Sharyl's Jewelry on sale for the next week, through Sun, Oct 20, 2013, at 20% off!   Please use this coupon code at checkout:  FALLSALE

SPECIAL! 11-piece Autumn component set, altered brass AC13-059

#3-- Local Event:  

For any of you in the Kansas City area, I will have a booth at the Holiday Treasures Craft Festival Sat., Oct. 26, 9am-4pm, in Shawnee, KS!  Tanya Goodwin will be joining me!   Come visit us!

#4--Prize Winner of Components:

The winner of the patina prize did not claim her gift, so I will announce a new winner soon.

 * * * * * *
Now, "This and That" news can't be just about me, but must also be about friends and neighbors!   So are some newsy bits about others I'd like to share!

#5--TreeWingsStudio Updates:

Rebekah Payne of TreeWingsStudio is having a sale and a give-away!   Check out these precious items:

These 3 darling items will be given away!
Visit the Tree Wings Studio site to find out how to sign up for the drawing!

And just in case you fear  you may not win, why not purchase an item or two while the TreeWings Studio store is having a 15% off sale!  

#6--Amagazine Launch for Lisa!

In other news, this week, Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures launched  new magazine today on Amazine! Here is the link if you would like to "follow" her:
She kindly featured some of my components in her first issue!

#7--Local friends!

Finally, last week I met up with two local jewelry people from the KC area, Tanya Goodwin and Tracee Dock!   I will link to their pages and tell you more next time, but in the words of Pansy Penner,  I assure you, "a good time was had by all!" 

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Image Credits:  


20% off sale:

Sad Face:

TreeWingsStudio photos by Rebekah Payne, used by permission.

Sharyl's Jewelry photos by Sharyl.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Polymer Clay--Take 1!

A couple of months ago, I was following a conversation on Facebook, and saw people showing photos of polymer clay beads they had learned to make following a tutorial, 
"Rustic Beads and Components from Polymer Clay Project Fimo- Boho Distressed" written by Ginger Davis Allman of TheBlueBottleTree

Tutorial Rustic Beads and Components from Polymer Clay Project Fimo- Boho Distressed
Photo from The Blue Bottle Tree store on Etsy.

I never thought I wanted to make polymer clay beads, but these really appealed to me!   I bought the tutorial from Ginger's store, purchased the items I needed, but got off to a very slow start.  First, "real life" kept getting in my way.  Then,  I started reading more about polymer clay, much of it conflicting, and was unsure how to begin.  Until last night, I finally just waded in and gave it a try!

So here are my first 8 beads.  
And yes, they are a bit wonky!   

I just experimented with techniques and tried to get the hang of it.   The top two I made holes in the top, the bottom ones have holes running through the beads.  While the hole in the upper left looked huge, and I was just having some fun with those, they actually turned out the right size!  (What I learned:     Use larger holes!)

My trimming around the beads could have used some improvement, but I filed them as smooth as I could after baking.   Still, they didn't turn out very well shaped.  I'm not completely sure how to improve that.  (Suggestions?   Maybe laying them flat rather than on the skewers? Would their design go flat if I did that?)

After I made the beads, I baked them according to the directions, then I painted them.   Had I not looked back at the directions at the point to read up on sealing options, I would have missed the step that instructed me to bake again after painting!   (What I learned:  Must bake after painting!)

After they cooled, I experimented with different types of sealants.  Some of my sealants had color, some were clear.  The color of my clay was a light gray.  I had purchased more colorful clays too but thought I would start with this one.  I don't think I applied enough layers of color--paint or color sealant.  They look more transparent than opaque.  (What I learned:     Need more color!)

Well, as I said before, they look a bit "wonky" but I wasn't aiming for perfection.  I was "pleased enough" with my first 8 beads!    I did wonder if I had anything "usable" here.   What do you think?   

I thought about it a bit, and finally decided to use a few of them, just for fun.    This first piece, I think would have to be for me only, wearing at home with a pair of jeans!     It's not a "show piece"  (or a "show off" piece), but it will be a fun remembrance.

I'm a little happier with the pair of earrings that follow. Those long beads are "mood beads," and I think these are just a whimsical mix of colors and textures, so I can get away with my first-try wonky blue beads!  

For anyone interested in learning more about polymer clay, I encourage you to:

1) tune into Kashmira Patel's blog, Sadafulee...Always in Bloom! where there has been an ongoing sharing recently about how to get started with polymer clay.   There are beginners there, but also experts sharing, and it's very helpful and inspiring!   

2) purchase one or more of Ginger's tutorials on polymer clay.  I bought the one on rustic-looking beads, but there are many others!  

3) go to YouTube and watch videos, read blogs, follow discussions on Creative Bead Chat, Artisian Whimsy, and other web opportunities for learning.  (And remember, your local library is another good source for information!)

Thanks for joining me for the first look at my polymer clay beads!   Hopefully I'll have more to show you as time goes on, and my skills will greatly improve!   Please, share your experience working with this medium!