Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bead Fest Philly

I went to Bead Fest Philadelphia for the first time. I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful, beady friends, that I hope to be able to make lasting connections with! My husband, Josh and 10 month old, daughter, Nora were unable to make the trip with me. Nora is in the middle of teething and we decided traveling with a cranky, teething baby wasn't such a good idea. So instead, my Mother-In-Law, Nancy Siegel made the trip with me. When we arrived Friday night, we met up for drinks and dinner with my friend and Co-Author, Lorelei Eurto along with Nancy Schindler, Lisa Petrillo, Diana Ptaszynski and her husband, Colin, Mary Hubbard and her daughter, and Melinda Orr and a few others. Later that evening, the amazing Melissa Cable came over to our table. What a treat. A fun night of meeting, drinks and chatting!

On Saturday, at the show, we went straight to the Ornamentea booth, where I met owner, Cynthia Deis and ceramic bead artist, Elaine Ray.
 Ceramic beads, pendant and button by Elaine Ray from the Ornamentea booth.

There, we met back up with Lorelei, Nancy, Lisa and also Kelley Wenzel. From there, we popped over to Green Girl Studios and chatted with Andrew Thornton. Then, it was off to Earthenwood Studio to meet Melanie Brooks...
Ceramic pendants by Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio. Greek Leather from Ornamentea.

And also, Diane Hawkey, who was my Bead Swap partner.
Ceramic beads by Diane Hawkey.

After that, we headed over to meet Barbara Lewis at her Painting with Fire booth.
Enameled metal beads and recycled sari silk from Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire.

Then, a bunch of us met up for a bead swap hosted by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio.
Diana Ptaszynski at the bead swap with a button by her swap partner, Kristi of Artisan Clay.

At the bead swap, I met Kristi Roeder, Jenny Davies-Reazor, Marsha Neal and Anne Gardanne for the first time. After the swap, we all met up for dinner Saturday night at Legal Seafoods, which my MIL and I were fashionably late for. A BIG thanks to Diana for making this event extra special and fun! She even made us all cute "Bead Snob" buttons. The whole experience was so much more fulfilling with the get-togethers and that was the main reason I even wanted to come to this show in the first place. To meet creative, like-minded people and make connections.....and well, the beads aren't bad, either. ;)

Here's the rest of the bead stash I snagged at the show on Saturday:
From top left: Coco shell beads from Priscilla Beads, Hand-rolled paper beads also from Priscilla Beads. Seed beads from Bead Biz and Metal nugget beads from Hands of the Hills.

What a great time! Looking forward to it again next year.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Have you seen my new banner?

Have you noticed my new blog banner? Pretty snazzy, heh? I love it. What's even better is, the lovely Lori Plyler of Studio Waterstone created it for me. That Lori, she is so talented, isn't she? She's definitely one of my favorite artists. I have one of her handmade leather hand bags. I love that, too. Anyway, back to the banner story. I was visiting Lori's blog one day. She posted about some banners she made for her blog. I've admired the beautiful, professional image she creates for her own blog and Etsy shop for sometime now. I got the idea to ask Lori if she might be interested in making her talents available to others.

Luckily enough for me, she was interested! And lucky enough for YOU, too. Lori has decided to make her talents available to all her blog friends and she will create a unique banner for you. She even has a special banner page on her blog. Check that out right here. I highly recommend her. One happy customer here!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mostly Metal Challenge

Metal Love Jewelry Collection
Hi Everyone! Today is reveal day for Michelle Mach's Mostly Metal Challenge. We had 3 challenge kits to choose from with mostly metal components in them. Each kit had a theme and a metal color of either antique brass, gold filigree or gunmetal. Aside from all the metal parts, each kit also came with a few beads and some luscious fibers, which was my favorite part! You know me, throw some ribbon or cord in there and I'm all about it. 
 I chose the Gunmetal Love kit shown above. (Red cord and beads not shown.) 

I liked the overall look of this kit and I had a few ideas for some of the components as soon as I saw them. I ended up using 4 items from the kit: the black metal key ring, the large heart pendant, the red cording and the two ornate bead caps. 
I decided that I wanted to create a collection of pieces that looked chic together as a grouping. Each design in itself is very simple, but they enhance each other put together. I really enjoyed mixing the metal finishes in each piece. Each piece of jewelry has a combination of copper and silver metals. 

Peace Made with Love Charm Necklace
The large split ring/key ring and red cord were from the kit. I made them into a simple charm necklace. I'm such a sucker for charm necklace. Always have been. What I love about this is the large key ring is perfect for making a necklace like this. The charms can easily be taken on and off the split ring without the use of any tools. These charms can be switched out anytime for other charms for a different look. How cool is that? It seems so simple and obvious, but I don't think I've thought of doing this before. I WILL be on the look out for more key rings like this one to make more charm necklaces! Can't help myself.

Our Hearts Beat as One Chain Necklace
Very simple design, but I like the simplicity and symbolism. "Two hearts beating as one." The heart pendant was from the kit. I added the Miss Fickle Media antiqued copper ball chain and the two heart charms. One in copper, one in silver. 

Teal Tassel Earrings
How fun are these? The ornate bead caps were from the kit. I used them as "Cone" findings and made these cool tassel earrings with some teal colored embroidery floss. These earrings are super lightweight and add lots of drama to any outfit.
I hope you enjoyed my challenge pieces! Now, have fun hopping around to see what the others created with their kits.

Here's the list of the participating jewelry designers:
Antique Brass Romantic
Filigree Fun
Gunmetal Love

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bead Soup and August Happenings

A special THANK YOU goes out to Lori Anderson for hosting another amazing Bead Soup Blog Party! It gets bigger and better every time. It's an honor to be apart of this renowned event. Here's a sneak-peek teaser of the bead soup I sent my partner, Anna Sabina of Total Escape Clay Studio. She is a polymer clay bead artist and I can't wait to see what she sends along.

And now, here's a list of a few beady events coming up in the month of August:

Tuesday, August 16th - Michelle Mach's Mostly Metal Challenge -
 I'm participating! I can't wait to see what the other participants made with Michelle's mostly metal bead kits! I choose the Gunmetal Love kit. I'm pretty excited about the jewelry I made for this, so be sure to stop by my blog on Tuesday to see what I created.

Friday-Sunday, August 19th-21st - BEAD FEST Philadelphia -
I'm finally going this year!!! I'm so super excited! I'm mostly looking forward to seeing all my beady friends there. What was that, you said?...What about all the beads lying around? Ah, well...those are a nice bonus, too ;0 Can't wait to see my friend and co-author, Lorelei and Nancy and Kelley, too. I'll be meeting TONS of new beady friends from the beading and blogging community that I've been wanting to meet for years. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. Are you going? Will I see you there? Please let me know if you will be there, I would love say Hi.

Saturday, August 27th - Lorelei's Shadow Box Challenge -
I missed out on this one, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone does with those enameled boxes from C-Koop Beads.

Monday, August 29th - Andrew Thornton's August Reader's Challenge -
Geesh, another one I missed this time. I'm excited to see the results from the ones that did participate, though. It's always fun to see what others create. I like Andrew's idea of creating bead kits for the challenges. It's always interesting to see different ideas come to life from the same components. I really enjoy having a limited pool of materials to work with. Sometimes that makes it much easier to be creative. I will be on the look out for Andrew's September challenge kits to participate next month!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Arm Party

Today, I'm participating in the Bloggers Do it Better: Arm Party! Not sure what an "Arm Party" is? Check out the Arm Party challenge post by Pretty Shiny Sparkly. Pretty Shiny is a fashion and personal style blog authored by Kristina. I stumbled upon her blog a few days ago. I really love her "Bloggers Do it Better" concept. Her latest "Arm Party"challenge is jewelry related so I HAD to jump on board! Right? How could I let this opportunity pass without throwing on a few bracelets I've been making AND wearing lately? I just LOVE the stacked and layered bracelet trend that is so hot right now.

 If you happen to be a DIY fashionista, you can find the step-by-step tutorial for the peace bracelet on my blog right here. You can also find a video tutorial to make a similar linen and silver bead wrap bracelet on my friend, Tracy Statler's Make Bracelets blog. The leather and beaded dangle wrap bracelet, I will be debuting a version of this bracelet soon in an upcoming jewelry collection, so stay tuned for that....but for now hop around and enjoy all the arm candy on the Bloggers Do it Better: Arm Party!