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