Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pearls, Polymer, and the April Art Bead Scene Challenge!

Do you remember this "sneak peak" from my last blog post?   This will be the last of 3 items I made using glass pearls from Lisa Lodge's "Spring Pearl Challenge!"

The art from this month's Art Bead Scene challenge ...

Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green), 1877-79
by Edgar Degas particular, the dancer with black hair and her costume, inspired my polymer clay pendant for this piece.

I made the pendant from polymer clay 
and used a square rubber stamp I have. 
Then I cut it in an oval shape with a small
cookie-cutter type device.
I painted the center black
to match the dancer's hair
and the petals to match the dancer's costume--
 aqua acrylic paint (though it looks more blue here)
with copper mica powder on the edges.

Above the pendant are two lampwork beads
that remind me of the aqua color and shapes in the painting.
The rounded blue bead and
the green bicone bead are lampwork by EricaBeads.
There are also two sage-gray lampwork spacer beads just above those
in the bead strand.  Those were made by 
Serena Thomas of Taneres on Etsy.

You can get a glimpse of the green glass pearls here.
 I also used some of the synthetic sea glass Lisa Lodge sells.
There are blue and green Czech glass cathedral beads I purchased from MayaHoney.
Some of my "Funky Flat Poly Beads,"
bronze-looking glass seed beads, and more are also in this mix!
I also added a bit of multi-color (blue, aqua, brown)
hand-dyed silk ribbon with glitter edges
from Abby&Ellie as a nod to the swirl the ballerina skirts.

Handmade clasp by me.
I love these little bead caps, again reminiscent of the ballerina skirts.

Full view!

See other entries on the ABS Flickr page!  

Thank you to Art Bead Scene, Lisa Lodge, and the artists whose hand-make art beads were used in this necklace!  It's so nice when opportunities collide and something fun comes of it!  

Continued happy Spring to all!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lisa Lodge's Pearl Reveal!

Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures, frequently hosts blog hops and design events with packets of beads she sells to participants.   I have participated in several of these and wish I could do more, but time forces me to pick and choose!   This time, I joined Lisa’s glass pearl event!
Lisa is good about sending the beads out far in advance,
but I'm not always as good about keeping track of things!
So I marked the envelope and put them in an obvious spot on my desk.
As I found things I was interested in using to go with the pearls,
I added them to the packet!
It was sooo easy!

There were a couple of color choices and I chose a pastel green.   Lisa sent several strands of pale green in 2 sizes and also some creamy white strands! 
There were many more!
This is what's left after making 3 pieces of jewelry!

My first thought was to make a multi-strand necklace, some with green, some with white.  I had made some pearl and crystal necklaces for my niece's wedding last summer (some of you are bound to recall that)!    I wanted to be sure I didn’t just recreate those patterns, but tried something new, so I thought on it a bit longer.   

White glass pearls from Lisa.
Gray matte glass beads from my collection.

I kept wishing I had some gray pearls too, but found some dark gray round matte Czech druk beads in my collection and they were a perfect size to match the white pearls.   My first thought was to make one size of a necklace in gray, the other side in white.  Could I pull that off?  Nope!   As with many of my best plans to create something symmetrical, I wandered away from my plan, but kept the colors very dark and dramatic for this piece.  I didn’t want a classic white-pearl  look (though you’ll see one of those later too)!   

I ended up using the gray glass beads, the white glass pearls Lisa sent, and adding black chain and findings.   I think this one may be my favorite of the 3 pieces made.   I admit though, I do struggle with getting multi-strand necklaces to lay properly, and I’d say I dismantled this piece around 8 times to get it to this state! 

Two blue-gray lampwork beads with necklace chain by
Lampwork by Amy.

Blue-gray and metallic bead above pendant by 
Jennifer Jennings of BlueSeraphim.
Gray flowered wreath by ____.*

*I'm having difficulty retrieving the artist's name who made this.  Help me please! 
 It's a lovely piece
and I know I'll recognize it when I hear it!  Thanks!

Next, I made a more classic white pearl design, stringing it with Swarovski glass bicone crystals in shades of blue and pink.  It reminds me of a white dress my mother once made me.  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted the ribbons and buttons to be pink or blue, so she ended up putting two rows of ribbon and alternating button colors.  I loved that dress and my sister loved it after I finished with it!   So, in honor of that special dress, there are both pink and blue crystals in alternating colors in this piece too!   Likewise, I added 2 small heart charms to the front.  

One was a pink crystal heart, the other an artisan-made ceramic one (pale blue on one side, green and yellow on the other).  Both were gifts with purchases and I liked their similar sizes but very different  textures.   

It started out to be a necklace, but I think I prefer it as a bracelet.  It will work either way!

I have one more to show using the green pearls, but I'm saving it for next time.  It will be my entry in the April Art Bead Scene challenge!   I'll give you a "sneak peak" though so you can see the green pearls!

To see the other entries in Lisa Lodge's Pearl event, visit this FaceBook page!  Lisa has published a photo from each participant!   Talent abounds!  

Thank you, Lisa, for hosting and thanks to you all for stopping by!


P.S.  Happy Holidays!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Meeting friends and making new ones!

Last week, I had the good fortune to meet up with some Facebook pals and make some other new jewelry friends too!   It all happened a couple of days apart!

I took this photo of Kate
during her visit!
I had met Kate McCullough on Facebook well over a year ago and we have kept up since!   She special-ordered a bracelet which I made for her.   At the time, she was making jewelry too and had an Etsy store.  Later she expanded to selling some of her  knitted items too. She sent me a gift of some fingerless mitts, and I liked them so much, I special ordered pairs for all my family (plus an extra set for myself) for the holidays!  I love those mitts so much, I keep a pair in my office here for when my hands get cold while typing and a pair in my car.   I don't think I'll ever go without a pair ever again! 

(Kate's photo again!)

Anyway, Kate has been in art school and now makes wonderful drawings and paintings and sculptures!   When we met in person last week, she presented me with a beautiful bird painting which promptly went on my dining room wall when I got home, just above a favorite antique chest.   It's just perfect for the spot! 

It's too dark tonight to take a photo
of the framed painting as Kate presented it.
Hopefully she won't mind that
I've "borrowed" this one from her FB page! 

Kate and her daughter came to Kansas City for a knitting conference.   So not only did I get to meet both of them, they also took me on a tour of the conference knitting exhibitions.    Like a new jewelry-maker not knowing about art beads, I was brand new to the knitting world!  I never imagined there could be so many types of yarns, so many colors, that wool could be so soft, ...or that a skein of yarn could be so expensive!   But hand-made, hand-dyed, hand-spun is art too! It's beautiful and well worth it!   I had a great day that Saturday and hope they did too!   

Tanya's entry & photo

On the Tuesday following, I met up with my friend, Tanya Goodwin, author of the blog, "A Work in Progress."   (By the way, Tanya just hosted her first blog hop and it was a hit!  If you missed my last blog post visit Tanya's blog to see all the wonderful entries featuring Shibori Ribbon!)  


Tanya and I have done several craft fair events together and this day we spent some time eating and chatting and planning what events we might like to do this year!   We discussed the pros and cons and expenses and challenges and rewards of doing outdoor events!  (That gave us a lot to think about!)  

Tanya was wearing the most gorgeous jewelry, all made by her own hands. Her necklace included a wonderful pendant made by Staci Louise Smith's SLArtisanAccents store.   (The envy that inspired!)  She also had on earrings with components from yours truly and an amazing chain maille bracelet!  All pieces were in a luscious shade of purple!  I wish I had taken a photo of Tanya that day, but alas, I didn't take the camera...


Valorie Tate
Valorie's photo--
yep swiping photos again!
That same evening, I had the chance to meet Valorie Tate, who I had met on Facebook more recently.  What fun to meet her in person too!   Valorie recently opened a Zibbet store called "StudioDelaine."  I bet she might appreciate a "Like" and "follow" to her StudioDelaine Facebook page too!   (Remember, on Facebook, whatever you "Like" also "Follow!")

Valorie had invited me to dinner and a meeting with the Kansas City Polymer Clay Guild, where I made even more new friends!   They were a delightful, talented group of artists and it was wonderful to meet with them.   Though the meetings are on a night when I usually work, I hope I can attend again in the future!  (Did I take my camera?  Of course not!   But trust me, we were there!) 

I had such a great time meeting with jewelry friends last week, and I hope I have a chance to meet more of you in the future!  

Best wishes!


Photo credits go to the following:

Kate McCullough
Tanya Goodwin
Valorie Tate

Sorry and thank you!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tanya Goodwin's "Shibori Ribbon Blog Hop Challenge" Reveal!

Ever heard of "Shibori Ribbon?"  I confess I hadn't until I saw Tanya Goodwin's post that she was hosting a blog hop featuring it!  Well, Tanya is my friend and "almost-neighbor" (and a wonderful jewelry designer), so I had to check out what this mystery ribbon was all about! 

And boy, is it yummy stuff!  There are several people on Etsy who sell it, and I purchased mine at AriaDesignStudio.  My ribbon like others though had its start at ShiboriGirlStudios!   It's beautiful pleated silk ribbon that comes in an amazing array of colors!

I knew immediately I had to join this blog hop, obtain some of this luxurious ribbon (although Tanya graciously gave away pieces too), and try this out!  

I quickly came up with an idea.  I had recently made a polymer clay pendant in metallic blue, purple, gold, and pink. 

I used a "sunflower" stamp,
state flower of Kansas,
but not the classic yellow and brown colors!
The pendant is dark blue polymer clay,
topped with metallic acrylic paints
and mica powders.  Then sealed.

The lines in the flower petals reminded me of the folds in the Shibori ribbon, so I went in search of ribbon to match my pendant.

And I found my perfect dream color!
It amazing how "rich" looking this ribbon is.
The color in the folds is different than outside the fold,
adding depth and texture to the look!

Luckily, I already had copper clamps from a previous project and these worked wonderfully with the ribbon.  I made a copper clasp and added a bit of chain to the back of the piece.

My design was simple and that's the way I planned it.  But it was "too" simple.  I wanted to make it asymmetrical (yes, I keep trying)!  

I made it so there was more ribbon on one side, then added the clasp and a fun mood-bead to the lower side.

In the front, I decided to make a small copper bail with purple patina, then found I already had one made! What luck was that?!

"Yes," I thought, "this will work nicely!"

Then, before I could call it quits, I decided to add a few of my colorful metallic "Funky Flat Poly Beads" to the focal!
More of these colors coming to the store soon!

The beads connect the copper/purple bail
and the polymer clay sunflower pendant.

Now before I show the entire piece, I have to share with you this bracelet I had just made. It too reminded me of the folds in the ribbon and the color seemed just right!

Altered Brass Bracelet in Violet and Gold

The finished pieces.

I'm anxious to see what the others do with Shibori Silk Ribbon.  I'm not sure my use as a chain-substitute was as inspired as it might have been, but it feels so soft against the neck and I love the colors I was working with here!   

I still have another strip of ribbon, so we'll see what else I can dream up!

In the meantime, please let's go visit the other participants and see their creations!   My thanks to Tanya Goodwin for hosting this event and introducing me to Shibori ribbon!

Tanya Goodwin (host) "A Work in Progress"


Sharyl      <---  (You are here!)

Thanks and see you next time!  --Sharyl


Friday, April 11, 2014

Tanya Goodwin's Earring Designs

Sorry for my delay in getting your comments posted from my last blog entry.  I've been away from working wifi for a few days, but connected again today!   I appreciate it when you take time to reply and always enjoy hearing what you have to say!

I have several design challenge blog hops coming up in the next few days, so I'll be preparing those so they are ready to go at the right time!   

In the meantime though, I thought you might like to take a look at these wonderful earrings that Tanya Goodwin made using both metal components and polymer clay beads that I've made!   I confess, she got ME thinking about this, as I've tended to use just one or the other! 
Earrings and photo by Tanya Goodwin

I'll post one of her photos here, but there are 3 more on Tanya's blog, "A Work in Progress."   I so hope you'll take a look!  

For those of you who create your lovely jewelry using my components and beads, I always love seeing what you make, and sharing the photos if that's agreeable with you!   I have a Pinterest page just for this purpose!   

If you've created something that doesn't appear there, please leave me a comment and a link to your photo!  I'll be happy to add it!

If these entice you to try out any of my items, you can find them here:

8 "Funky Flat Poly Beads" (Teal/Variegated Teal)  PC14-050
"Funky Flat Poly Beads"

Brown, copper, and black pendant set  AC14-027
Other Polymer Clay Items
(Includes pendants, earring dangles, headpins, etc)

Extra-Large Fuschia and Lavender Brass Pendant HC13-034
Handmade Metal Components

Altered brass leaves, SMALL, green, coral, 1 pair,  AC14-010
Altered Metal Components

Use code WEEKEND to get 20% off everything through 4/13/14!

Thanks for visiting!   See you again soon!  ~Sharyl

Image Credits:

Wifi symbol:


Earrings:  Photo and earrings by Tanya Goodwin

Sharyl's beads and component photos by Sharyl