Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Butterfly Place

Nora and I visited our first butterfly garden yesterday. The Butterfly Place. I've been wanting to visit this near-by sanctuary for years. The local Mom's group I'm a member of, organized a meet-up here, so it was the perfect excuse to finally go. Of course, it was an awesome opportunity to photograph all the gorgeous butterflies for some creative inspiration! (And get some new pics of my Nora girl, too!) Here's our day at the Butterfly Place in pictures:

 Nora checking out the butterfly identification card: "Hmmm, now let's see here..."

Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia)

Small Postman butterfly (Heliconius erato)

Rice Paper butterfly (Idea leuconoe)

Cairns Birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus)

My Nora girl dressed like a colorful butterfly holding her Grammy's butterfly cane!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jewelry Stringing Spring 2013

The Spring 2013 issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine is OUT! I downloaded the digital version. I've been eagerly awaiting this season's issue. I LOVE the new direction and focus of the magazine towards ultra chic, hip, stylish jewelry. The designs have a new look and vibe with themes focused on fashion-forward trends. I think it's the only way to go and the Spring issue did not disappoint. So many fun, vibrant, SUPER inspiring designs. Just loved it. There were many pieces in there that I thought were way cool and clever. Got my creative juices flowing and wheels turning for fresh, new design ideas!

I'm even more proud than ever to have my designs appear in this publication. They really did a spectacular job with the images of the jewelry. Interweave always does a fabulous job with the photography, but I think they out did themselves with this Stringing issue. I contacted Chloe Chatenever, one of the editors over at Stringing and asked if she'd send me the photo of my necklace and bracelet in the issue. I'm excited to share my published designs with you here!

Misty Lilac 
Necklace and Bracelet as seen in Jewelry Stringing Spring 2013.

Looking for soft, feminine, wearable jewelry for Spring? Make my Misty Lilac necklace! Find the full instructions in the Spring 2013 issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine on newsstands soon or download the digital version now if you can not wait a second longer, like me. :)
 Happy Spring beading...and knotting!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lucky Charm Swap

Please join for their annual Lucky Charm Swap exchange! Make 6 charms of your choice, mail them to the Ornamentea shop in Raleigh, North Carolina and receive a set of 6 charms back from different artists around the world in March. The charms are due by February 22nd, so don't wait! Click the link above to find out all the details and join in.

Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it? Yep, I think so, too. That's why I'm participating this year. I made a set of my lucky clover charms for the swap, just like the one pictured below.
I happen to be an Irish lass myself, so I HAD to make my sweet, little, wire-wrapped clover charms! I love these. I posted a how-to tutorial for this charm last year. If you missed it, you can check that out here. Be sure to get in on the swap. I want to see YOUR charms.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LOVE Color Block Bracelet Tutorial

It's time to show you my designer project for February! Click the link to go to the tutorial for my LOVE Color Block Bracelets. These are cute and right on trend. This little bracelet would be perfect any time of year. Color blocking is still a hot trend. I love creating segments of color with wraps of waxed linen cord, like this. I also can't get enough of these faceted cube beads. LOVE!


- 1 Love Charm
- 23 filed cube beads
- 1 9mm lobster clasp
- 1 5mm jump ring
- 1 2" head pin
- 1" of extender chain
- 24" of Irish waxed linen (I used Cobalt)
- 2 18" pieces of Irish waxed linen cord (I used Garnet and Petunia)


- Scissors
- Ruler
- Chain nose pliers
- Round nose pliers

1. String the lobster clasp to the center of the 24" piece of waxed linen cord. Use both cords to form an overhand knot after the clasp as shown.

 2. Use both cords to form an overhand knot 2" from the previous knot. Use both cords to string 22 filed cubes. Attach the jump ring to the LOVE charm. Close the jump ring and string it over the filed cubes. Use both cords to form an overhand knot after the cubes as shown.

 3. Use both cords to string the extender chain. Use both cords to form a slip knot 2" from the previous knot as shown. Trim to 1/4".

 4. Use one 18" piece of linen cord to form a square knot at one end of the bracelet as shown. Wrap the linen cord around the base of the bracelet until you reach the knot. Use the cord to form an overhand knot around the bracelet. Form another overhand knot against the last knot as shown. Trim to 1/4".
5. Repeat step 4 for the other side of the bracelet.

 6. Use 1 headpin to string 1 filed cube; form a wrapped loop that attaches to the end of the extender chain as shown.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wellness Words Jewelry REVEAL!

Today, my friend, Tracy Statler, is hosting a jewelry-making challenge over on her blog, Make Bracelets! The challenge is called, Inspire Change: Wellness Words Jewelry. The idea is to choose a positive word, phrase or mantra that you want to incorporate into your life and create a piece of jewelry around it. I love this idea and I love the trend of inspirational jewelry that hold meaningful messages. Tracy calls it "healthy" jewelry and I couldn't agree more! Messages in jewelry help us to be mindful. When we are mindful, we are more self-aware. When we are self-aware, we are in alignment with our true self. When we are in alignment with ourselves, we are in a state of well-being. So, yes. "Healthy" is very appropriate!

Many folks choose a word at the beginning of the new year to use as a guide, a mantra to help them achieve a goal, a dream or simply bring positive energy into their lives for the coming year. I have not intentionally committed to doing this in the past. However, this year, a word and a phrase chose me. I wasn't particularly seeking out a word, but when this thought came to mind, it resonated with me and I felt strongly about it at the time.

My word is:
as in
'Expand your horizons.'

I'm extremely excited to show you the jewelry I created from my inspiration word and phrase:
 Expand Your Horizons Necklace
 My necklace design features some of my most favorite materials. I braided a cord for my necklace with Irish waxed linen along with Hill Tribe silver beads, tiny carnelian gemstones and ties of silk ribbon.
 Custom-made pendant by Tesori Trovati on Etsy.
I enlisted the help of artist Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati(Treasures Found) to make me a custom pendant with my phrase, 'Expand your horizons.' Erin makes a collection of pendants she calls 'Simple Truths'. Her pendants are right in line with the concept of this challenge. I knew she'd be a perfect choice for what I was looking for. Actually, Erin and I have quite the serendipitous relationship. It's very interesting how this particular pendant came to be. Long story short, the pendant above was a gift to me from Erin because of this happening. Honestly, I didn't 'do' much, even if you consider posting a link on Facebook doing anything. No, really, Erin brought it all upon herself to achieve her success. I think it is so incredibly cool how her journey with her 'Simple Truths' line of pendants has come full circle in such a fantastic way. It tickles me silly to think that somehow I was a tiny piece of the puzzle that brought it all together for her. The universe works in amazingly beautiful ways. It makes me smile and I will gladly accept this token of appreciation and gratitude on the Universe's behalf. :) Thank you, Erin. This pendant has great and deep meaning for BOTH of us and that makes it even more special to me.
 EXPAND Bracelet Set

I also made myself a set of stackable, adjustable leather bracelets. Made with Greek leather and wraps of Irish waxed linen cord for pops of color and texture. Each bracelet is adorned with an individual letter that spells out my word EXPAND when stacked together!!! How cool is that?!? This idea could be used to spell out any word or name. You could even swap out the letters from time to time to spell out new words to suit your mood. Love this idea. All materials for the set of leather bracelets from These could possibly be a new Ornamentea tutorial coming soon! Stay tuned for that.

 I hope you enjoyed my wellness word jewelry. Thanks for joining me today. A BIG thank you to our challenge host, my friend, Tracy Statler for this inspiration and opportunity to explore and express our words in jewelry! Please visit Tracy's blog. Below is the list of participating jewelry artists in the blog hop today. Enjoy.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's inspired creations!