Monday, August 3, 2015

Creative Spark E Magazine Summer 2015 issue

Creative Spark Summer 2015

The newest issue of Creative Spark from ZNET is out!  With this being the summer issue, we focused on sea glass, oceans, and creating items other than just jewelry with the sea glass!  My contribution can be found on pages 91-98.  I have a tutorial on making suncatchers using Chinese crystals and sea glass beads.  Hope you enjoy!

Creative Spark Summer 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Almost But Not Quite...Back in Time Blog Hop Reveal Day

The third round of the Back in Time Blog Hop is here!  Well...not so much HERE exactly.

I have been working hard on my project most of the month, but last week I had carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand and a nerve release on my right elbow.  My recovery was proceeding quite nicely, so much so I over exerted my poor arm on Wednesday, doing things I should have known better than to try yet (YOGA, and it was my first attempt at yoga...dumb, dumb, dumb)! Yesterday the pain management eluded me and now, it is more painful than it was last week after surgery!  (P.S. the surgeon Dr. Dolf Ichtertz, from the Hand & Shoulder Institute in Grand Island and the outpatient surgery staff & nurses at the Memorial Community Hospital in Aurora, NE can not be commended highly enough!!  Chris and I have both received treatment and care above and beyond today's "standards" of care from both the Dr and the Hospital!)
Yes, extreme beading can give you tennis elbow!  I have it in both arms!

Incisions from the carpel tunnel procedure.

So our theme for this go round was Early Civilizations.  I thought about the idea for a bit, and decided to try my hand at making a beaded mask.  While it is not yet finished, I do intend to continue to work on it and hope to have it finished in 2 weeks.  I also want to mention that back in May I was to do a reveal for the Bead Peeps Blog Hop, my partner Lori Allain Blanchard had sent me a beautiful selection of beads, and I am about 3/4 way through that project.  I have plenty of inventory for shows built up through the next few weeks, so I am trying to catch up on my challenge projects that have fallen behind the past couple challenges.

First of all on the mask project, I have to give a tremendous thank you to NanC Meinhardt.  A couple years ago, I was able to take a class on free form right angle weave with NanC and really enjoyed the class.  I knew she had made masks and when I ran into trouble even locating a mask form to work with, I sent a message to NanC on Facebook.  She was very gracious and helpful, and told me to give her a call when I got off work to chat about my project!!  I did and we chatted for about 15 minutes after which, I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do, what I should look for in a mask, and the best way to get started.  It is wonderful to have experienced contacts willing to reach out and lend an ear when you need help!

So here is the mask base I started with.
It measures about 7" x 3.5".  Of course, with any project I tend to get carried away, so I forced myself to work as small as I could.  NanC suggested that if I could not find anything in the size I was looking at, I could buy a doll, take the head off, and create a form either by making a base with polymer clay or by cutting the doll head in half with a saw.  She also suggested that if I found a base that wasn't black to paint it black so that black thread would blend in and not be seen.  I did paint it, but the paint scratched off, so I painted a couple coats of acrylic craft paint on it and then added a coat of Modge Podge.  This helped to save the black from needle nicks, but when I started applying the double stick tape to help form the beads and get them to stay in place, the paint and Modge Podge adhered to the tape and wanted to bubble up or just came off on the tape.  This is the type of double sided tape I used.
Ranger Wonder Tape
I believe you can also find it under the brand of Tacky Tape.  We used it in NanC's class so that was what I looked for.  This looks just the same, is just as sticky, but may be slightly less in the package.  This was found at my local scrapbook store (conveniently located in my local bead store where I happen to work part time!).  It is very sticky and gums up your scissors, just a note of caution, don't use your best scissors to cut it.

So here is the mask.  I am doing an Elemental Mask in an African style.  I used size 8 seed beads to fill the space faster, and plan to do some embellishment on the surface after I finish the seed bead work.  The upper right is blue for water, the lower left is an orange AB finish seed bead for fire, the upper left (just outlined) is white alabaster matte finish for air, and the Earth will be represented by a dark forest green ab matte on the lower right side. I am using several beading stitches, right angle weave, peyote, and square stitch.
This the back which illustrates the starter strip.  I glued down a strip of thin suede lacing along the edge of the back.  This allowed me a base to stitch into for my base row of right angle weave.  I started to do peyote stitch to move over the edge and up the front of the mask.  I divided the mask into the four elements using a metallic marker.  The marker wore off, but I just re-marked it to have my boundaries for the beading.

So there is my third project in the Back in Time Blog Hop, here are the links to the other participants:
Jenny Davies-Reazor:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Graduation, Vacation and What is Coming Up!

We have been way too quiet here on the blog!  Life has been pretty full the past couple months!  Mina graduated from Blue Hill High School on May 16.  She was so beautiful in her cap & gown!

When graduation was over, we left for VACATION!  It was our first real vacation since 2008, and we had such a wonderful time!  Mina wanted to see the ocean for her graduation gift, so we took a trip to Washington!  It was the first time she had flown, the first time to ride a ferry, the first time to see the ocean and the first time to ride a monorail!  We visited the Hoh National Rainforest, the Olympic Peninsula, the Rialto Beach, and Forks (Mina & I were both big Twilight fans!).  It was just fun to drive around and be gypsies for a few days!  We planned what we wanted to see,  but left the schedule wide open to "go with the flow" and allow for things we didn't expect.  Here are some photos.

Steph by Marymere Falls.  I was thrilled to see a waterfall in its natural habitat!

Lake Crescent, water so clear you could see the bottom of the lake!

Viewpoint from a drive up a mountain

The 3 of us at Marymere Falls

Chris & I practicing selfies at Lake Crescent

 We also got to do some very fun art stuff too!  I met up with my longtime online friend, Lisa Suver at Shipwreck Beads for a bit of beady retail therapy and then some wonderful Mexican food for lunch!
Kind of blurry but this is Lisa & I

 Chris also got to do so hand picking his own glass order at Frantz Art Glass!  He bought and we shipped it home!
This picture is a bit blurry because he was on the move!
We also got to visit the Chihuly Garden & Glass exhibit at the base of the Space Needle, and it was probably one of our favorite things about the trip!
We also got to visit the Pikes Place Market and had a snack (energy refuel) at Cupcake Royale before our first monorail ride to the Glass Garden & Space Needle.
Chris & Mina in front of the Market

Amazing fresh flower vendors at the Market

A view of the Ferris wheel on the pier (we wanted to ride it but didn't get there).
Wonderful Strawberry & coffee ice creams & a Lemon Drop cupcake
The snack was delicious!  The cake was almost the texture of a pound cake and very tart and delicious!  We had no snafus on the trip until the final step, when our luggage decided to spend a few extra days on vacation!  We arrived home on Tuesday and the luggage got home on Friday!

What is next?  Sandhills Ranch Expo in Bassett this week Wednesday & Thursday, June 17 & 18 where you can look for these!
Ponies, alien, and dragon pendants, chicken sculpture, and new cabochon.

Tiny blown glass vases
Posies and Fairy Garden Fancies (mushroom, penguin, & kitty sculptures in the background)

Sea Urchin (polymer clay focal by Summer Wind Studios) (heart charm by Earthenwood Studios)

Gypsy Charm bracelet with brass bell


If you can't make it to Bassett, we will be at the Flatwater Music Festival next week, June 26-27 in Hastings!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Back In Time Blog Hop...Cave Girl Chic

My life has been a total crazy mess lately.  Too many commitments, too many responsibilities, WAY too much stress, and far too little time to deal with all of it.  But you are not here to hear about all of that!  This is a challenge continuing throughout the year, and it is hosted by Lindsay Starr and Sherry Stokey.

When I was working on my concept, I really wasn't sure which direction to go.  Our theme for this round was "Early Human".  Thank goodness, the Omaha Bead Affair hit at just the perfect time for purchasing the ingredients for this design.  A great amount of my details came from Darcy Horn, The Jade Dog. 
Handmade Polymer from Darcy Horn, The Jade Dog
Darcy is one of my favorite vendors and artists, as her funky style speaks to my artistic tastes!  So I purchased a bunch of these amazing spikes from Darcy (made by her!), some tiny sea urchin spines, and some very pretty Picasso finished size 8 seed beads.  To this mix I added spikes of tumbled picture jasper, Czech glass thorn beads, and some cool snakeskin finish Chinese crystals.  I wanted to make this huge complicated piece, but I just didn't have time and went with the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) design philosophy.  Here is what I came up with and I just LOVE it!  I made a matching pair of funky earrings with natural wood beads and of course every Cave Girl's favorite, Swarovski crystals!  No matter what era we live in, we all need to SPARKLE!

Me wearing my creation, bringing out my Inner Cave Girl

The set

the earrings

Here are the rest of the participants!  Hope you enjoy the Hop!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Omaha Bead Affair This Weekend

The NEW Omaha Bead Affair is this weekend!  We are so excited to be vendors at the new location, the LaVista Community Center, 8116 Park View Blvd, LaVista, NE 68128.  The NEW show is a 2 day event, Saturday, April 11 & April 12 10-5 each day.

There are lots of returning vendors and NEW vendors (do you see a pattern here?)!  Also NEW this year are CLASSES!  Still plenty of openings to sign up!  

Would you like more information?
Here is the NEW website for the Omaha Bead Affair!  Check it out and there is a discount coupon as well!!!

Want a sneak peek at what Chris has been working on for the NEW show?

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Big News, Slightly Late!

Goodness, time does get away!  I meant to post this when I received it a couple weeks ago and completely forgot!  I HAVE MY DESIGN IN BEAD & BUTTON MAGAZINE!!!!

This piece was a magic creation from beginning to end.  I picked up the MAKU Studios heart one day while I was working at Julie's Xpressions.  I started on it, and everything came together wonderfully and even the cord design was my own!  The piece contains screw-in spikes, double hole pyramids, vintage Swarovski crystals in bicone and margarita flower shapes, hand dyed flowers, a vintage button, scrapbook embellishments, and teardrop seed beads.  The necklace is half Tilas, peanut beads, and O beads.  The piece is backed with metallic leather and is embellished on the back as well!  I am thrilled with the responses I have received, and feel blessed to have a piece published!  I even finished it in time to wear it for our family pictures and to have an artist shot taken!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My First Tutorial is in the Newest Issue of Creative Spark EMagazine!

Last month the Creative Spark designer group (for ZnetShows, wholesale bead company) was contacted by Hope Smitherman, (our group leader and editor of Creative Spark) to create designs for the new issue and a few simple earring tutorials would also be needed.  I decided to try my hand at the tutorial since Chris and Mina had done some last year for Soda Lime Times.  These are the earrings I created.

I used small rolo chain with the globe beads and crystal cupchain to create the porcelain butterfly earrings.  You can find my tutorials in the newest copy of Creative Spark!

Creative Spark Winter 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop, Part 2: Meet Lori Alainn Blanchard

I too am participating in the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop!  My lovely partner, Lori Alainn Blanchard, lives in Ohio.  Lori & I are paired up in the Seed Bead category of the Hop.  Here are a few of Lori's beadiful, beautiful creations! 
Sugar Skull bracelet, design by FunPatternDesigns, beaded by Lori
I thought this was an appropriate design to share since it is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras Time!  Lori used the pattern and added some of her own touches when she beaded it.

Alainn Jewelry on Facebook
I was very taken with these Pop Culture bracelets designed and beaded by Lori.  Aren't they fabulous?! (You can also find Lori on Etsy: My Alainn Jewelry ).

Lori and I had quite the conversation about our "fur kids".  She has dogs and cats (with one troublemaker in the group).  Here are the photos she shared with me.
Not sure which one is the culprit, but they look like they would be fun to live with!  Lori also shared with me that she is the baby of her family, she is 29 (gosh I felt so OLD!), and has been with her husband for 7 years.  We share a love and passion for seeds and all the new shaped seed beads.  We also enjoy beading objects and bead embroidery is a favorite. 

I have quite the stash of goodies pulled for Lori, and can NOT wait to see what she has for me!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop partner Introduction, part 1

Hi there dear readers!  Part time blogger Chris here, getting ready to introduce to you my partner for the 1st Annual Bead Peeps Swap N Hop!  This is my second hop that I have been involved in.  I  participated in Lori Anderson's final Bead Soup Blog Hop last year.

That was then, this is now.  This year my partner is Stephanie Stamper, from down in the Sunshine State.  She has an orange tree at her house!  Living in Nebraska, growing citrus is a rather strange idea!
 She has been making jewelry for about 10 years now. 

The last few of years or so have been a bit crazed and/or blessed for her as she is a full-time mommy of three little boys, age 4 and younger.  Being the middle one of five boys myself, I can only imagine life from the other side. She does not have as much time to play with her beads as she would like, but it has not stopped her from adding to her stash.  Stephanie and I have been chatting back and forth, learning about each other and exchanging ideas. 

As I type this, part of Stephanie's goodies are sitting in an old peanut butter jar at my elbow, while the rest are cooling in the kiln.  Gee, the deadline for shipping her stash is over three weeks away and I nearly have everything ready, except for the packaging.  How in the world did that happen?

I have been looking forward to this Swap.  I expect to learn some new things while I learn a new technique or two.  Bring it on. 

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