Saturday, December 27, 2014

ABS Monthly Challenge: Dec. 2014 Cathedral Arches in Polymer

It may be hard to imagine how a painting of a nearly empty building could inspire in so many ways.   But when I first saw the latest piece of art for the monthly Art Bead Scene challenge, I was immediately drawn in!   It's no ordinary "empty hallway."  It's a painting of an amazing piece of architecture, full of history, with interesting shapes, and many variations on the color gray!

Some of you know, I used to frequently participate in the ABS monthly challenges, but have taken a self-imposed break from blog hops for a while.  Then I saw this, and couldn't stay away!

Choir of Sint-Bavokerk, Haarlem" 1635
by Pieter Jansz Saenedam
Read more about this painting on the ABS page.

Once I saw the photo, I couldn't get it out of my head!  It reminded me of some of the  architecture we saw this Spring in Europe! 

Notably terrible photography on this one,
but look at the similarities!

So I immediately went to work on a design!

I'd like to claim that I made each of these beads just for this challenge, but it's not true.   I've been into a "gray" mood lately and making lots of polymer clay beads in shades of gray and a granite-like glittery gray.   Some I leave as is, some I paint with metallic acrylic paints, then seal.    I made this batch and more just before seeing this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge photo.

I had intended them for pairs of earring charms, but looked at them all spread out on my counter and started picking the ones that reminded me of the curves in the architecture, the arches, the round pillars, and the multiple shades of gray.


I strung the beads on gray Irish waxed linen thread (from WhiteCloverKiln, Mary Hubbard), some with antiqued brass jump rings. There are dark metallic seed beads used as spacers.  Then I added a bit of antiqued brass chain in the front.    

A lovely soft bit of gray Sari ribbon for the back.   (The ribbon crosses through another handmade polymer bead in granite working as a tube bead so that the length is adjustable, and can be tied to keep in place.)  This lovely soft Sari ribbon comes from TheJewelleryQuarter (Anne Betenson, Cardiff, Wales, UK). 

I used Wooly Wire by Eleanor Thomas on the pendant and at the rings where the ribbon loops through the large jump rings. Wooly Wire is also in shades of gray and serves a practical as well as ornamental purpose.   

I just loved this month's challenge and also that's it's now posted on Pinterest too!   It's inspiring and so much easier now to share our creations!  Thanks to all involved with ABS!   

I made this pair of earrings too,
using many of the same beads and materials.
It doesn't have the "sleek lines" of the painting,
but could be worn with the necklace!
I am proud to say that I think this is the first challenge where
I've made all the beads myself!

Listed in my Metapolies™ store on Etsy!

UPDATE 12/31/14:
Challenge recap and video now on
ABS page!


Beads, jewelry design, and photos by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Metapolies™, Dec. 2014.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Getting my (Business) Act together + Give-away!

calendar December 22Just as 2014 is about to come to a screeching halt, I've managed to meet one more of my goals for the year!   (No need to add comments such as "It's about time!" or "Cutting it mighty close there!"  ha!)  

house with treesI've long wanted to get my own business domain name again.  I had one back in 2011 and let it go with the website I had.   I started on Artfire then, and went with theirs.

The truth is, as I've expanded this year from one store to three, I've found it rather clumsy trying to direct people to "where I am."    3 stores, 2 store names, all those urls!

arrow black gloss Uturn down fat arrow black gloss Uturn up fat  arrow black gloss counter clockwise fat
Sharyl's Jewelry                                                                   Metapolies
(Art Fire)                                                                                            (ACM)

Having 3 online stores may be an odd thing to do in the first place, but it's an experiment of sorts, and I'm determined to play it out a little bit longer.   

 You might recall that in May of 2014, I did some branding work and redid my business cards, (and banners, virtual and physical table ones).  Of course I did that just before deciding I would like to change my business name and open more venues!   Well, as I've been in flux, I've continued to use those cards, adding stickers on the back with the two new store urls.   (Yes, yes.  Tacky, I suppose.   But think of it as moving to a new location.  You "make do" until you get settled in, right?)

The other evening, I finally decided to get the domain name and create a one-page landing site (home page) for all my business needs.

  The url is:  

I do hope you'll check it out 
and give me feedback!

From the one-page website, you can (hopefully) easily get to all my stores and my social media (Blog, Facebook, and Pinterest).
I've tried to optimize it so it works well with computers,  tablets, and phones.    That's made the layout a bit tricky and not quite what I had hoped for.  I'd really like it to be attractive/inviting AND intuitive/functional.   I'm not sure if I've made the mark yet, but I'm going to begin using it.

Some things I can change, but others I'm limited by what this simple system can do.  

Please, please, please...
If you have ideas, suggestions, complaints, do let me know! I'm very eager for feedback so that this works well for YOU and anyone one else trying to find their way to my stores and social media contacts.  How can I make it better for YOU to use?

My main goal is, instead of directing people to 3 sites, I now will direct them to one only. ONE on my business card, ONE on Facebook announcements, ONE when I run into friends and family.  All the same ONE!  

arrow black gloss rightJust:

Hopefully, it's all easy after that!   

As always, thanks for helping me out and sticking by me as I evolve!


We just hit 175 participants on this blog! 

was the 175th person.
Welcome, Val!

I've sent her a small sample packet of Metapolies™ goodies, but want to give the other 174 a chance too!    A look at and a comment on my blog here by 12/26/14 will get your name in the drawing!   (Please make sure I can find you again on Facebook or  email, store, etc.)   I'll announce the winner on 12/27 and attempt to notify the winner.  If the winner hasn't claimed the prize by 12/30, I'll draw again.

I'm hoping to renew my blogging efforts in 2015 and if you are not a member, I hope you will join us!   

Business card/photo:  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, 2014.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Current Holiday Sales Calendar and Special Deals!

Current Calendar of 
Holiday Sales Events:

(Links to all my stores are on blog menu above!)

Ends Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
Use code:   MERRY25
Discount:  25% off every item
(Only components sold in this store)

Ends Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014
Use code:  SPECIAL25
Discount:  25% off every item
(Jewelry and components sold in this store)

Ends Monday, Dec. 22,  2014
Use code:  HOLLY25
Discount:  25% off every item
(Jewelry, components, and holiday ornaments sold in this store)

Additional Savings Reminder:

Shop more than one of my stores on the same day and receive discounted shipping for combined orders!   Savings will be refunded through Pay Pal.

Gift Certificates:

I'm also happy to create gift certificates.  Please send me a personal message on Facebook or a note through my Etsy or Artfire store if interested.   

Happy Holidays!   

Image Credits:
All photos and graphics by Sharyl except
Holly graphic:


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Metapolies BIG Winter Sale and New Earrings on Etsy!

I've updated my Metapolies™  banner on Etsy ...

and I'm announcing a new holiday sale there too!
Use coupon code at checkout:
to get 25% off all items!  
Sale runs through Dec. 16! 
It's my biggest sale of the holidays,
so shop for gifts,
shop for yourself!
Find that special-handmade, 
one-of-a-kind treat
for the holidays!

  • All jewelry comes in gift box with paper and ribbon. 
  • I can send directly to a gift recipient with gift card. 
  • Please read my "shipping" and "gifts" policies for details or ask any questions at by Etsy store!
For jewelry-designers, there are components in  that store, as well as my others.  

For jewelry-shoppers, I've been adding new jewelry items there for you too!

(You may notice me having some fun with wire and metal in each of these!)

Artisan-made Winter Pine Tree Earrings

Tree charms by Mary Harding, lampwork by CrazyLadyGlass, 
WoolyWire by Nellie Thomas

Pale green elongated Amazonite, red cloisonne, light green patinated beads and copper earrings

Silver and Copper Hammered Wire Dangle earrings with Green Ceramic Ear Charms

Emerald Green Charms by Sheri Mallery

Patinated Copper and Brass Hammered Wire Dangles with Embossed Brass charms

Please let us know what YOU'RE working on these days!  Leave a comment!

Thanks and Best wishes to you!     --Sharyl

Photos and banner by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, 12/14.

Clipart from


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving, Traditions, + Holiday Sales Update!

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving!  

For those who celebrate this holiday, many people have their own ideas about how to celebrate (time for eating, for family, shopping, resting, recreation).   

For me, above all else, I like to think of this holiday as a celebration of peace and goodwill among people with differences.  There is a lot of room for that in the world today as much as in history.

But given the more current traditions I mentioned earlier, I thought I'd share with you a few things about how I celebrate:   

1)  I enjoy Thanksgiving feasting too, but as a vegetarian, don't partake in the most traditional of foods, the turkey.   I'm often asked what we eat for Thanksgiving.   (In essence, everything but the turkey and gravy!   Kindly, our family cooks substitute vegetable for chicken broth in dishes.   It's pretty much starch-heaven with a few veggies thrown in!  Yummmm!)

"Eat More Potatoes!" 

2)  Family time-- I have a small family.   Sometimes we gather with my sister and  her small family.  We're still a small group, but it more than doubles the size!  

3) Shopping-- I hate getting out and fighting crowds  in large stores so much that I don't do it much any time of the year, much less during the month of Dec!   I do enjoy shopping small local stores and online though!   There will be plenty of sales this weekend. (I'll help out the economy as best I can!  ha!)  Watch for the upcoming ones at the Artisan Component Marketplace, as well as others of our friends who sell their handmade goods online in any number of venues!    

4)  Resting?  I doubt it!   In addition to my handmade jewelry business (and I'm hoping I'll have lots of visitors this year), I work for a company that provides online chat Reference service to libraries around the world 24/7, including holidays!  We'll be VERY BUSY since most libraries in the U.S. will be closed. 

5) Recreation?   My husband will likely watch sports.   If I'm  lucky, I can squeeze in the watching of a movie at home!   Hope so!    I'll also be online checking my stores and Facebook, to see if anyone has questions.   

6)  Sharing my handmade creations (aka, Selling!)--  Let the sales begin!   I didn't include this in my previous list, but slipping it in now!  I have 3 online stores plus items in a new local art gallery, Art by Avis & Others.   

My online stores are listed below with links.   You can  get 20% off at all of them by using the code  THANKS20.   Sale begins Wed. 11/26 and runs through Mon., 12/1. 

Metapolies™    (components only)
 Artisan Component Marketplace

Metapolies™     (jewelry & components)

Sharyl's Jewelry & Metapolies
 Artfire               (jewelry & components)

Also, if you buy from more than one of my online stores in the same day, I'll combine the shipping and refund you the additional amount!

I'll put out a "shopping guide" in the next day or two to offer some suggestions from my stores and others!    So if you haven't signed up for my blog, please do! (Upper right on this page.)     Also watch my Facebook pages  (personal & business) for holiday sales events!  (Please click "get notifications" after liking so you receive updates!)

I hope you'll share how YOU spend Thanksgiving in the comments!    And whatever you do, hope your day and weekend is grand!

My sincere thanks to all of you!

* * * * * *
Clip art from
Logo by Sharyl 2014
* * * * * *


Saturday, November 15, 2014

"Pine Ridge Treasure's Clay and Metal Blog Hop" Reveal! - Update!

Update: To Lisa and Participants-- I THINK I've been around to all the blogs now, and I'm SO touched by your kind words and impressed by all the designs! I'll be making the rounds again once more, so if I missed one, I'll catch it next time. I'll be posting your designs on my Pinterest page showing the work of designers using my components. If anyone would prefer I not do this, please contact me. I'll post this note in several places, in hopes you all will see it. 

My sincere thanks to Lisa and to all of you! I feel I've been given a lovely gift!  -Sharyl

 * * * * * *
Lisa Lodge's 
is now underway!  

Please hop around the participant blogs and see all the interesting creations:

**Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist     (Hostess)

**Be sure to leave a comment on Lisa's blog to register for one of the two free prizes (one from Lisa and one from me)!

Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes

Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha's Ramblings

Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs

Marybeth Rich, 

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Ann Schroeder, Bead Love

Lisa Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs

Carol Briody, A Beads Life

Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck

Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design

Susan Anderson, La Main Tresor

LeAnne Loftus, First Impression Design

Leithleach Seodra, Alainn Jewelry

My thanks again to Lisa for hosting this event, for her kind words, and her support of me through the years.     Please visit Lisa in the following places:

Lisa's blog,  A Grateful Artist
Pine Ridge Treasures on Facebook
Pine Ridge Treasures Jewelry on Zibbet

And thank you to all the participants!   I'm so excited, I'm going to go begin "hopping!" 

With joy and gratitude for this honor,


Graphic Credits:
Event graphic by Lisa Lodge.


Reminder, you can get to all 3 of my stores from the menu bar at the top of my blog page!     

Join my blog or FB page to keep current on sales and events!


Friday, November 14, 2014

What's New at Metapolies™?

Wondering what's new at Metapolies (ACM/Etsy) and Sharyl's Jewelry (Artfire)?  

1)   Last Sat. was the Grand Opening Event of the Artisan Component Marketplace.  Thanks to all of you who visited, shopped, and participated in all sorts of ways!   And thanks to Marla James for organizing ACM and the event!

The winner of the random prize drawing from Metapolies was....

Marybeth Rich!

Marybeth is the owner and designer at Forest of Jewels on Etsy.
You can find her store's page on Facebook too!

* * * * *

2)  Marybeth and many others (click here for list) will be participating in the Pine Ridge Treasure's Clay and Metal Blog Hop this Saturday organized and sponsored by Lisa Lodge!   While the designers are using packets featuring polymer clay and metal components from my stores, this is all Lisa's doing, and I'm so honored by it!   Over the past year, Lisa has collected the components for her unique designer packets.   (I don't even know what the packets look like!)

The fun part is that I just get to sit back and admire the designers' work.  I'm so looking forward to it!   

Lisa Lodge's Blog Hop
My sincere gratitude to Lisa for hosting this event and her support of me through the years.   Lisa is well-known for her blog hops, but be sure to look her up if you haven't already!

Where you can find Lisa online:

Lisa's blog,  A Grateful Artist
Pine Ridge Treasures on Facebook
Pine Ridge Treasures Jewelry on Zibbet

* * * * * 

3) A couple of weeks back, a few of us Kansas City area artisans hosted booths at the Holiday Treasures Craft Festival in Shawnee, KS.

I was there, of course, taking the photos!

Tanya Goodwin, my lovely friend from
A Work in Progress,
brought fun new chain maille necklaces,

bracelets,... well as some of her lovely,
intricate bead work!
I love sharing a booth with Tanya!  
(This was our 3rd year of doing this event together!)
She's helpful, friendly, and really makes the day pass in such a pleasant way!
Thank you, Tanya!

Next to us this year, for the first time ever, was the team of Mike and Carol.

Mike Flint is a lampwork
and stained glass artist.
And to support his efforts,
Carol made jewelry
to help show off some of his great holiday beads!

Friend, Patti B (not shown), even brought some of her handmade paper bead
jewelry pieces
and demonstrated her skills
in making paper beads for intrigued passers-by!

The stained glass fronts Mike makes for instruments drew much attention too!

Fisherman Banjo
Abstract Violin

TY, Jenna & Kevin!
We had a great day and enjoyed seeing our family and friends who came out to see us and lend a helping hand.  We were glad to meet lots of new folks too!  

Our thanks to all who support us, in so many ways!  Best wishes until we meet again!  ~Sharyl

* * * * *
Image Credits:

Pine Ridge Blog Hop Event Logo by Lisa Lodge

All other photos by  Sharyl, Oct/Nov. 2014

* * * * *