Friday, March 28, 2014

This 'n That 3/28/14

Today I'm doing another "This 'n That" post, sharing bits of news!

First, I'd like to show you a few packages that arrived in my mail yesterday.   I used to do this more before I became such a bead-hoarder and packages of beautiful beads started arriving more regularly at my door!   Still, I should do this more!  

This week I had the very good fortune to win a focal bead from Judith Billig, owner of Icarus Beads.   I love Judith's work and have purchased a few sets from her.   This is the bead I won:

Lovely lentil lampwork bead from Judith Billig!

Isn't that a beaut?!   I'm seldom so lucky and am so grateful I was this time!  Thank you, Judith!

I also managed to snatch up these beads from Genea Crivello-Knable, who sells her handmade lampwork glass beads, mixed-media jewelry and art at Genea Beads.   Genea actually lives very near me, and I'm looking forward to meeting her soon!    I've been wanting to get some of her beads for the longest time.  This week, she had some beads she was selling on her FB site and I jumped at the chance to get this lovely set in this soft matte teal:

The beads are up-front-and-center and even lovelier in person.
I couldn't help including this photo of all the items she sent though.
In addition to amazing lampwork,
Genea has her product marketing act together too--
very impressive packaging!

A couple more lampwork pieces I'm so happy to have acquired arrived last week:

I've so long admired the unique lampwork of Donna Millardand I'm happy to say I'm now the proud owner of my first beads from her!

I managed to claim these on Facebook, before they made it to her Etsy store!  A beautiful pair from Donna Milliard! 

And for some "knock your socks off" color, check out these lovelies:

I'd like to say these beads have my favorite colors,
but I think you could have any favorite colors
and find them in this cheerful set
from "Glass by Leese!"


Now, in other news....

I finally managed to wrangle me a copy of "Step by Step Wire Jewelry" for April/May 2014!  It's the special "Annual Artisan Showcase" edition and I have two copper pieces published on p. 9!  

I'm just showing my corner of a page here, hoping not to get myself in trouble, but there are so many bead designers in this issue I truly admire! I couldn't imagine myself appearing beside them.  I was honored!

(Copyrighted material)
Isn't that amazing photography? 
The photos of each artisans' beads just seem to pop off the page!


And finally, just want to let you know I added a batch of "Altered Metal Components" to my store during the night!   Some have already been snatched up!   If you enjoy the metals, you might want to take a look and these and other items! 

New shapes and colors!
(Turquoise fans, bottom right, sold)

Watch for sizes on leaves (small, medium, large) 
as well as color (green/coral or green/ivory).
The largest size is green/coral/ivory.
They are all being sold as pairs this time,
but you can leave me a note at the store if you would
prefer only one of the large ones for a pendant.
(Medium is sold out.)

There are also dragonflies
and butterflies in two sizes each!

Many thanks!  Hope you've enjoyed your visit!  Have a great weekend!



Image Credits:


Bead photos by Sharyl

Magazine corner page-- photo of magazine page taken by Sharyl.
See this page for Step by Step magazine purchase info.

Altered metals new in store, photos by Sharyl.


Monday, March 24, 2014

"Love My Art Jewelry" Asymmetry Bootcamp -- Blog Hop Reveal!

The "Love My Art Jewelry" group is hosting an "Asymmetry Bootcamp Blog Hop" this week. I had already begun this piece Saturday when I found out about it, but was anxious to share it here!  

An asymmetric glimpse of my asymmetric necklace! 

This necklace was literally years in the making.
Not that I stopped and started it, but I've been saving some of these beads for a special project for a very long time.

It was actually this new bead which got me started in the right direction.  It was an experimental flat lampwork bead I talked out of my friend, Mike Flint (    

The frit colors reminded me of some very cool beads my pal Kashmira Patel shared with me from India 1-2 years ago!  I had been saving and saving them for something special.  And finally, I was inspired to use them with this pale blue and rust-colored flat lampwork bead.

I decided not to do my usual symmetric design with these, but to place 3 in a row on one side, then use two together and 1 separately on the other side.  (How radical of me, right?!)  I just couldn't make up my mind about how to use the large wooden bead. As a focal hanging down?  As a bead on a chain?  

You may not believe the amount of time I spent playing around with these beads, adding and removing other beads, trying to decide whether to keep with my idea of using just Kashmira's beads with the rose-shaped aqua Czech glass or to add other beads too, to put on chain or string?

Slowly, but surely, a design did emerge...  I began by adding some similar wooden beads I had in various shapes, some with a hint of red.   Then I reached for some beads I've been hoarding from another good friend, Natalie Pappas of NKP Designs.

Beads by Natalie Pappas:   Top left, blue and tan flower beads.  Top right, Bluish-brown leaf bead.   Bottom left, red/blue dotted bead and another tan flower.  Bottom right, large chunky caramel bead used in focal.     (You'll also see Kashmira's large wood bead here.  This is part of the long, dangly focal.)

Although I ended up adding a lot more beads than originally planned, in a effort to keep a somewhat balanced look regarding size and color of beads, the 2 sides are not identical.  You see here, and in the photo below, I did use Kashmira's beads as originally planned!  (3 on one side, 2+1 on the other.)  Next time, I'll edge myself further out on the asymmetrical limb, I promise!  ;-)

Beads, minus the focal.

Another "asymmetric photo" angle!

The necklace is actually longer than this, so Kashmira's beads show in the front,
but in an effort to include the focal piece, 
I've adjusted the necklace so it's shorter.

You can finally see the long focal here,
which includes beads from Kashmira, Mike, and Natalie here.
In addition are a sterling plated over 
white bronze "Light of India" clasp 
used as a bail from Lily's Offering and 
rustic patina on copper Greek beads from MayaHoney.

I added a bit of chain and a handmade clasp in the back to make the length adjustable, and wa-la, the finished necklace!

My thanks to Kashmira, Mike, and Natalie for sharing their beautiful beads with me and making this creation possible!  I think I'll call this the "Friendship Necklace!"

And thanks to "Love My Art Jewelry" for hosting this blog hop!  You can see more asymmetric jewelry designs by clicking here!

Best wishes,



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Who Moved My Jewels? (A tale of cheese, bread, and a super sale)

Warning:     This post may make you a bit hungry!   ;-)

You may have heard of a book called "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spenser Johnson.  Even if you haven't, once you've read the title, you've pretty much got the idea of that book. (Here is a summary if you haven't read it and want to know more about the mice-sized people who get all confused when their cheese is moved.)  

Anyway, I went to my local grocery store last week, the smaller of the two I frequent, which I like because I know just where everything is without having to look up and down every aisle for what I want.   Do you know what I mean?  Do you have one like this?  

Well, of course they had rearranged nearly every item in the store!  Forget about the cheese for a moment, think of BREAD!   The bread, which was always next to the bakery items (makes sense, right?)...the bread had been moved 1/2 way across the store next to the greeting cards.   Magazines had been put in the place of the bread.  (Um, what?  And why???) 

Like most folks, I really hate it when things get moved all around, unless it's really for a good reason... or if I'm going to get something out of it!  :-)   So far, I haven't discovered the reason for the rearrangement or the benefits it serves me, so I'm just peeved.

You may be wondering, "This relates to me how?"   

Well, I've decided I have too many categories in my "Sharyl's Jewelry" Artfire store.   So many that I suspect people ignore some of them.    I also have too many items sitting there that need to go visit someone else's home!  :-)   So, I'm thinking, if I'm going to move things around, and get rid of sections of merchandise, the least I can do is make it a win/win situation for all.   (Really, it's the least I can do for "moving the cheese" or bread, or jewelry, as the case may be.)

So, here's the deal:

1.  I'm closing out my "HOPE" jewelry collection.  (I know, that's heartless.  My original intention was to use this section to raise money and awareness for people with rare disorders and other diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.   But I've only sold a couple of items out of this collection in 2 years.   I haven't given it the attention it deserves, I know, but I'm closing it down for now at least.)  After Tues, items will be moved into "Clearance" or other sections and the "HOPE" section removed.   

Use coupon code:  LASTCHANCE to get 50% off items remaining in this collection through Tues, 3/25/14.  (At this lower price, no donations are being forwarded from the sales of these items.   I will continue to make personal donations for such causes, of course.)

2.  I've also closed out a section I started not long ago,  "Mixed Metal and Polymer Clay."   (If I create something that has both, I'll put in one section or the other, based on my whim at the moment.   All items in this section have been moved into the "CLEARANCE SALE" section.)

3. Everything in the "CLEARANCE SALE" section is also 50% off through Tues. using the code:  LAST CHANCE.    In this section you will find:

  •  Items that were already there, marked down, now offered at 1/2 off the marked down price!   
  • New items just moved in from other sections
    (including...  a variety of metal components and polymer clay beads!)  For this sale, 1/2 off the original price!   (This is the first time I've included beads and components in the "Clearance  Sale" section.)
The 50% off only lasts through Tues and you need to use the coupon code:  LASTCHANCE at checkout to get this savings!    (Discount only good in "Hope" and "Clearance" sections.)

After Tues, this special deal ends.  Those items will remain in Clearance at reduced prices (but not 50% off)!  

I hope that finding these items at rock-bottom prices, some below cost, will help ease the pain of moving things all around.  I also hope you'll find some bargains to love and take home!       Win/win.

Best wishes to all,



Swiss cheese:

Shopping cart:




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Introducing "Funky Flat Poly Beads!"

First of all, let me just say "Happy Spring!"   ...Finally!

I'll be showing you some new colors from my collection for Spring shortly, but first, (as my Dad used to say, I must "make a short story long!"   :-)

After playing around with buttons, stamps, cookie-type cutters, and molds as ways to form my polymer clay beads, I recently returned to the first tool I worked with... my hands.

I still love forming beads in all shapes

 and colors, 

...but have hit upon a very basic shape that I'm really loving to use in my designs, and I'm hoping some of you will too!   ("Think round,"... then let your mind wander a bit...)

They can be used in pairs for earrings or as spacer beads in "ethnic," "native," or "Boho" designs.  (I use some of these terms with a bit of trepidation, but hear them used a lot to describe jewelry designs.) Larger ones could be put together or stacked for a focal.   They can be used by the bunches in various sizes, all strung up.   If I say so myself, they look great with other polymer beads and pendants, but also with stones, ceramic, metals, and other mediums.  

Want to see what I'm excited about?!      

It's my "Funky Flat Poly Beads!"  

I know as soon as I say this, there will be umpteen people making these or who have made them in the past that I'm unaware of.  If so, I apologize and hope I've copied no one's idea.   At the same time, flat rondelle beads come in Czech glass, Greek Mykonos ceramic beads, stone, bone (which, sorry, I don't use), wood, metal, sea glass, etc.  I've always used a lot of flat spacer beads in my designs, which is probably what drew me to this shape.  So, hopefully, I'm just borrowing an old shape and tweaking it.  

The beads are hand-shaped so when you "think round," think "organic" rather than "cookie-cutter" round.   

Look for my coordinating beads, pendants, earring dangles, and headpins!

The first batch I've listed in my store are these bright-colored ones, some in solid colors, others variegated by mixing two colors by hand.  Basic colors are teal, lime, and hot pink!  

You can find these in the "Polymer Clay Beads and Buttons" section of my "Sharyl's Jewelry" store on Artfire.

I don't use a pasta maker at this point, I still do it by hand and with a rolling pin.   I make each one by hand, and it's much more time-consuming than many might expect.   The smaller the bead, the harder it is for me to make.

I have other groups I will list soon:  

  • Another batch in softer, more natural colors of variegated beige and white, yellow, and a pastel blue.   (Ready to go in the oven!)  I want to thank all who responded to my question in the Facebook Creative Bead Chat group regarding whether it was a necessity to seal polymer clay.  I was assured it was not.  I love the natural look of these!

  • I actually made this next set first.  They are painted with metallic paints and sealed for a raku look.   (These get baked again, so they require more time, all the way around, but I love the look.)

I have some pendants in similar colors and
finishes to list with these also!

I'm looking forward to getting more of these listed, along with the coordinating components, and I hope you are as excited as using them!    I will appreciate it if you help me spread the word about these!  

I will gladly consider requests for special orders, as well as any constructive suggestions you care to offer here!  For instance, I'd be very eager to hear:
  • Which colors do you like best here or which would you like to see offered?
  • There have been recent discussions about how people prefer to buy their lampwork beads.  I'm wonder the same about these.   Would you prefer larger groups, smaller sets, pairs?   Same size vs. various sizes?   Colors all the same or colors different in a set?

Thanks, as always, for being here, and sharing your ideas and comments for us all to learn from! 

A warm welcome to our newest members!   Now, let Spring begin!  



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Are you "slipping?"

Those of you who just cleaned up your work spaces, do you find yourself slipping back into old, messy habits already?   I know I do.   (Ugh!)  

Well, this is your reminder that you may need to do a daily and/or weekly quick clean-up to keep things tidy.   Which do you think would work best for you?   

I've had times in my life when I set aside time on Sunday evenings to take a quick look--but I mean take a REAL look--around my workspace to see what's where that doesn't belong there!  Then, I took a few minutes to clean-up and return things to their designated spots.  It worked great, long as I did it.   I'm going to try that again.  

What ideas do you have for keeping work spaces tidy?  Drop us a line!  (Anyone can reply, whether you were part of the blog hop or not!  Those who are ALWAYS tidy, we need to hear from you too!)

And, to re-inspire us, I have an updated link to one of our "Clean-up, Fix-up" blog hop participants!     Check out Swaarda's new BEFORE and AFTER photos!   

Please keep your photos, ideas, and comments coming!  We (I) need continued inspiration!  

With thanks,


* * * * * * * *

Image Credits:

Woman with Broom:

Cleaning items:

                                   * * * * * * * *

Monday, March 17, 2014

Are you wearing green?

Happy St. Pat's to all who celebrate!  Are you wearing your green?

I'm wearing this pendant with lampwork beads ~ 
from Crazy Lady Glass (small polka-dot bead on left) and 
Mike Flint from Bagomag (center and far right beads) ~
with a matching green Batik ribbon today!
(Pinch me and you'll be sorry!)  ;-)

For me, I'm a little less about St. Patrick's Day in particular and more about celebrating Celtic culture all year around!  But I do find this holiday the perfect time to celebrate my Irish heritage with others by creating Celtic-inspired jewelry,... 

Find these in "Necklaces" section!

There are many items in "Earrings" section in green too!

...and this year, beads too!   

Top Right:  SOLD!
Find these in "Polymer Clay Beads and Buttons" section

Today is the last day of my holiday sale!  Don't miss out!  Use code:  CELTIC20 to get 20% off everything in store!

See "Altered Metal Components" section!
Enjoy yourselves, and have a great day!  ~Sharyl

P.S.  All 3 prize winners from the "Clean-up, Fix-up Blog Hop" have sent me their addresses already!  Thanks for the prompt replies!  

Please Note:  "Crazy Lady Glass" is currently closed.   "Bagomag" is a new store, opening soon!  More details when the opening occurs!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Clean-up, Fix-up" Wrap-up and Giveaway Winners!

See Sharyl juggle...

Go, Sharyl, go!  

You see what happens when I juggle?  And the next thing you know, balls are all over the ground!   ...Thank goodness I was more timely in getting the blog hop page posted 2 weeks ago than I have been about blogging since then!

I want to SINCERELY THANK all who participated in the "Clean-up, Fix-up Your Workspace Challenge and Blog Hop!"   I'm glad that the idea resonated with you and you took the time and effort to join in!    Thanks to those who cheered us on with comments too!   Every bit helped!  You saw those tidy, creative work spaces re-emerge, and hopefully all found some new, inspiring ideas!  

I promised give-aways of some of the goodies unearthed during my clean-up!   While tidying my tables, I unearthed single beads, packets of beads, components I had made, and more!   I've divided those into 3 groups and added ribbons and something made by a bead artist to make sure you each had something special in your packet.  

Everyone who posted for the blog hop was eligible for the random drawing.   The following 3 people have won a package:

Heidi Kingman
Helen Simon
Natalie Pappas

Please get back in touch with me by Friday to claim your prize.  You can just leave me a message here with your mailing address and I'll ship you your winnings.  I WON'T post your address on the blog!   I'll draw again if the prizes are not claimed.  

Below are photos of prizes, but I'm not telling which one goes to which person, so there's still an  element of surprise!  ;-)

I hope the winners will have fun with their bits of this and that!


Items will be packed in a small plastic storage container, so the beads don't scatter all over clean work spaces!  ;-)

Thank you again!   Best wishes to all!



20% off everything in store through March 17th!
Use code:   CELTIC20

A few of these are Easter-themed and I'm in the process of listing.
Coming Soon!