Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Breaking News!!!! What is going on with Forest of Jewels?

Happy Wednesday!  I hope everyone's week has been going well so far and for those of you who got a visit from the Easter bunny, you are enjoying your treats!  I wanted to post today to do a little catch up on what I have been up to lately.  

First, The Jewelry Mojo Challenge is back this week and I am supposed to create a piece based on a song or poem that inspires me.  If you know me well, you know about my deep love of music.  I have been thinking about songs, now I just need to sit down and pick one!  I will be working on this challenge over the weekend, so check back to see what I come up with.

One of the other new things I have been involved with, is that I was accepted as a member of The Artisan Group.   They are a group of handmade artists (anything from jewelry, to body products and even the cutest doggie bow ties) who participate in celebrity gifting as well as working with stylists to get items worn by stars on TV shows.   They are very well received and have products on shows like Cedar Cove, The Vampire Diaries and Hart of Dixie.  They have also had gifting opportunities (think swag bags)  for the Emmy awards and Fashion week.   I am very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to growing my business this way.   Everyone seems really nice too, which is always a bonus.

I belong to a bead swap group, BeadSwapUSA,  and have been lucky to participate in some great swaps.  This month's bead swap was based on the Design Seeds Palette below.

Design Seeds Adore Brights
My partner, Sondra,  sent me a wonderful collection of beads!  There is crackle glass, seed beads, small glass beads, metal connectors and these great tear drops perfect for a pair of earrings, just to name a few!  I am looking forward to working with these great beads.

Finally,  I want to remind everyone that this year's Bead Soup Blog Party has its big reveal on May 3rd.  There are 500 people participating this year and I am really looking forward to seeing all the wonderful designs.  After a bit of a creative block, I am now working full steam on my pieces for the hop.   I have three pieces on my work space right now, and I am hoping to have a forth finished in time for the reveal in 10 days.  Here are a few sneak peek shots of the beads on my work space.  Make sure to check back May 3, 2014 for the big reveal!!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

April We're All Ears Challenge

It is the third Friday of the month,  so that means it is time to reveal the April We're All Ears design!  Each month over at Earrings Everyday, a new inspiration photo is posted.  Those participating then have 3 weeks to design earrings from some aspect of the inspiration piece.  Today is reveal day!  

Here was this month's inspiration:

This month, Erin felt called to the great collection at Pottery Barn and asked us to design something from this table setting.  She was inspired by the colors, shapes and textures in the picture, and I agree, it makes for a wonderful place setting.  Since the main colors in my dining room are that exact same green, I felt that this setting would be at home in my own dining room (that is if I cleared all the jewelry supplies off the dining room table).  

I found my inspiration not in the colors or even that sweet little bird, however.  I originally wanted to create something that reminded me of the olives or the little golden berries so I went looking through my bead stash for just the right beads.  But when I got there, my mind went off in a completely different direction.  I started thinking about the dinner party the table was set for, who would be there and what the host would be serving.  While creating the party in my mind, I decided to create earrings that I would wear to this special evening.  

I am so in love with my design.  Dangling from the floral connectors are tiny bicone crystals in citrine and they are my homage to those little golden berries in the picture.  The larger crystal rondelles are actually two different shades.  The top beads are half-tone silver and the  bottom ones are smoky quartz.  

I find these earrings have a great vintage feel and would look beautiful with an ivory silk blouse.  Picture that dinner party with me; good food, good evening to make memories. 

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed my creation.  Make sure to check out the Earrings Everyday blog to see everyone else's designs from this month's inspiration.  

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Color of Dreams Blog Hop Reveal

Back in February, Rita over at Toltec Jewels announced that she would be hosting a Blog Hop based on dreams.  She asked the participants to reflect on their dreams.  What one is coming true right now?  Or what has been your biggest dream?  Or, if we could be or do anything, what would that be?  This particular Hop is a bit different than those I had participated in the past.  Usually we are given an inspiration color or event to use to design our pieces on.  This time Rita was asking us to focus on something personal and design from that.  I thought it would be an interesting challenge.  After all, I love to design, so why not design from the heart?

My Bead

Rita kindly sent one polymer clay bead to each participant to use in their design.  These lovely beads are made by a local Floridian, Patricia Handschuh over at The Color of Dreams Boutique  When mine arrived, I was absolutely in love with it. It was almost like she knew I dreamed of gardens full of flowers. :)  I love the delicate purple hue as well.

When I first started thinking about what to design, I spent some time making a list of my dreams.  Those that had come true, like falling in love and becoming a mom were quickly added to the list.  I also thought about places I long to travel, like England and Italy.  But there were other dreams, like the one that I am currently working on coming true; a successful jewelry business where I get to spend my time doing something I truly love.

I settled on that dream, because it is starting to bloom.  I love spending my time creating, gathering inspiration from the nature around me, photographs I see and even stories I read.  As my business grows, my dream will open into a beautiful flower, just like the one I was given. So how did I interpret this dream in my design?  Let's take a peek.

I wanted very much to work with components I had never worked with before.  Since this is all about capturing my dream, one part of that is opening myself up for new experiences.  I accomplished that by using macrame. The hemp cord is in a blend of pink, orange, and purple (matching many of the colors in Patricia's shop).  I used the clay bead towards the bottom of my piece to symbolize that my dream is just beginning to bloom.

At the center of the necklace, is a metal cage, that contains two sparkly crystal rondelles.  Those are my dreams; each little sparkle ready to become a new design. I then added crystal rondelles in teal and violet followed by metal charms that are stamped with "dreams." Next, I used metal hearts with clear crystals to represent all that I love.  Finally, a bit of pink chain completes the piece because, I can't leave behind my love of pink and the soft femininity I love to bring to my designs.

Here is one more look:

It has been so much fun participating in this Blog Hop!  There are lots of participants, so please take a moment to stop by their blogs to see their designs!

Honorary Artist: Patricia Handschuh
Patricia's blog:            The Color of Dreams        
Patricias Etsy:             The Color of Dreams
Hostess: TJ                Jewel School Friends
Kay Thomerson           KayzKreationz
Audrey Belanger          Toki No Hourousha

Alicia Marinache          All the Pretty Things
Terry Carter                TappingFlamingo
Lori Schneider             Bead Addict
Jenny Kyrlach             Wonder and Whimsy
Asri Wahyuingsih         Asri's Beadwork
Dini Bruinsma              Angaza by Changes
Karla Morgan              Texas Pepper Jams
Debbie Rasmussen        A Little of This, A Little of That
Veralynne Malone          Designed by Vera
Kathy Stemke               Vintage Memories Jewelry Design
Mowse Doyle               Mowse Made This
Heather Richter             Desert Jewelry Designs
Lori Poppe                   Adventures in Creativity with LorilliJean

Jayne Capps                Mama's Got To Doodle
Andrea Glick                Zenith Jade Creations
Kathleen Breeding         99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Becky Pancake             Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Karin Martinez              Fairies Market
Miranda Ackerley          Mirandack

Penny Houghton           Smelly Nelly
Carolyn Lawson           Carolyn's Creations
Chris Eisenberg            Wanderware
Christie Murrow          Charis Designs Jewelry
Monique Urquhart        A Half-Baked Notion
Eve Shelby                  Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Cryss Thain                 Here Bead Dragons
Jasvanti Patel               Jewelry By Jasvanti
Nan Smith                   NanMade Handmade Jewelry
Sue Kennedy               SueBeads
Jean Yates                   Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Debbie Rogers             Debbies Treasures
Marybeth Rich             A Few Words From Within the Pines  (you are here)
Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread
Shaia Williams             Shaiha's Ramblings
Kathy Lindemer           Bay Moon Design
Linda Anderson           From the Bead Board
Judy Turner               Silver Rains
Gloria Allen                Gloria Allen Designs
Regina Wood              Ginas-Design
Robin Reed                Artistry HCBD
Mary Goovars            MLH Jewelry Designs
Marlene Cupo             Amazing Designs
CJ Bauschka              4 His Glory Creations
Robin Showstack        The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Cynthia O'Toole          Sparkles and Sweets

Jael Thorp                 Jael's Art Jewels
Renetha Stanziano      Lamplight Crafts

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