I remember being a little girl, around 7 years old, when my parents were invited to house sit for some friends. The home was nestled in the middle of plum orchards that stretched on as far as I could see. For some reason, before bath time, my step brother and I stripped down to our skivvies and got on our hands and knees in that dusty orchard. We were like animals tracking through the coolness of the powdery soil, running and hiding among the branches and fallen fruit. After what seemed like hours of play we tired ourselves out as Plum Faerie and Prince Pernicious. Disheveled and with plum stains on our palms and knees we showed up at the back door to the farmhouse, ready for bubbles and clean water.

This necklace is hand stained metal, polymer clay and Vintaj filigree and Vintaj guitar picks that are hammered, colored and sealed. Lucite flowers in shades of plums and greens dangle between the elements giving a feminine quality in contrast to some of the larger brass focal pieces. The colors and textures mirror my memories of the leaves and shadows of the orchards.

Hellooooo Thar! So glad you could stop in! Let’s get right to it!

My Bead Soup Buddy is Staci Louise from Staci Louise Originals. Not only is she an awesome jewelry artist she is a very sweet person and I liked her as soon as I “met” her. Here is the awesome bead soup she sent me!

I didn’t get to use all of the beads but I tried to. Here is the first necklace with the focal and one of the two awesome clasps.

I hammered copper sheet into a puffed sunrise shape and then added a bit of color to the metal to give Staci’s eye a backdrop. Also in this necklace are the chunky copper beads, purple pearls, pale aqua beads, chain and clasp that Staci sent. I drilled a real little ammonite as an ode to Staci (she uses them in her work a lot) and placed it in the center of the side of the necklace. The sides pieces are made of polymer clay with MANY layers of paints and Swarovski crystals and then layered on heat patina and textured copper sheet.

The second necklace features her sweet little agate drop, some awesome sea glass that Staci hand drilled and her gorgeous clasp. I nestled the agate in translucent stamped polymer with a dusky purple center and attatched that to a larger copper flower with a heat patina.

The final necklace uses a very cool copper chunky bead and the best long peachy pearl I’ve ever seen. It begged to be on center stage. I added the sea spikes she sent for the sides.

Finally, I wanted to challenge myself to use some of the black and white beads which I loved but found hard to figure out HOW to use them. I was determined. I finally realized I could not figure out how to put them in a necklace but they were perfect for earrings. So, here’s the first. Fluted lilies with surface embellishment and genuine emerald and turquoise with the black and white faceted balls.

And the second…purple flowers with zombie shells. I loved these so much that I tracked down some of these Pyrene shells and ordered them. I will be making more earrings for sale in the shop using these!

I had so much fun and learned so much about my limits and how to push them a bit. A HUGE thanks to Lori Anderson at Pretty Things/Bead Soup for organizing this whole she-bang. It’s fantastic! You can click on her link to get back to the reveal list.

Have a hoppy day!

Just a quick line in case you came looking for Bead Soup Reveal and didn’t find it…I am in CA and I’m waking up at 3:30 to finish editing the photos for the blog post. Talk about last minute!!!

I spent all day with my tween and younger on Easter vacation….IN MY STUDIO WITH ME. And then we ran into teen issues…ugghhhh. Girls.

SO, it’s 8:30 pm, my husband is finally home, the kids are now upstairs and I’m going to go eat with my man. I finally have time alone and I’m exhausted. I’m trying to finish the blog post and the photo editing and it’s just not happening…yet.

I’m going to set the alarm to EARLY AS HELL and get it done for the east coasters to have coffee and blog hop. I do NOT want to disappoint my bead buddy!!! I love her and she is awesome and I’m doing this thing!

Okay. Going to grab a beer and some salad and see you when the stars are still out CA time AM…


Morning Mist

I’m not sure how I came across this challenge but since I love aged metal and find myself drooling over Vintaj at my local craft store I thought this would give me an excuse to print out a coupon and get familiar with some aged brass and copper. I headed over to their Pinterest page to nail down some inspiration. I found this photo.

Photo Source: 500px.com via Vintaj on Pinterest


It spoke to me, the warm and inviting mist of early morning. The best time of the day for walks in nature and pulling inspiration from a fresh new start. This reminds me of being younger, and walking the dogs in the morning before school. We lived on a hill and when I would just get to the top I could see in the distance, through the morning fog the houses on other hills far off in the distance, shrouded in their own morning mist. I would stand there with my wet hair turning to icicles, just staring while the dogs wanted to break my moment by pulling me down the other side of the hill. The hills of Sonoma County still call me back to witness this kind of majestic silence as they stand tall in the morning mist.

I used an amber hued ammolite for the center of the Vintaj necklace and adhered it with tinted resin. Vintaj natural brass wire became the base for the structure that holds the other brass elements together. Magnolia bead caps hug the tips of rutilated quartz drops and textured guitar picks in brass became petals for yellow chalcedony briolettes. To add a bit of detail I used a nail head rivet and domed the flat rivet decoration that came in the pack with nail heads. All the shades of these beads and the brass mirror the misty mornings on the mountaintop and the shadowy outlines of the trees in the distance.

Here’s the gallery…



February, Fabulous! I just so happen to be working with some new necklace ideas that I’m calling Light Hearted. Why? Because the crystals are hearts and catch the light. And I’m not feeling any more creative than that for names right now.

I’m using polymer clay blends and then adding Swarovski crystals to the clay and embellishing it with little drops of resin. I like the mix between the natural matte finish of the clay and the shiny resin in little pools here and there. It reminds me of nature, dew drops.

Somewhere in all of that I’m adding one heart crystal…bling! Whenever the light catches them I wish I could have the hearts make that sound that the read-along books make when you’re supposed to turn the page. Remember those? I used to have Snow White and I’d sit in my room alone and listen to the lady tell me the stories…ding…a little wand…I digress.

Anyway…here’s what’s on the bench. It was here long before February and hopefully not too long after.



I must begin with a confession…I found Art Jewelry for the first time last week. I looked around and was like YES!!! I’m totally going to get inspired by a Boot Camp! I guess I didn’t search back far enough into the posts…I kinda missed the part about “balled” head pins. I was looking at the post about inspirational headpins more recently and I saw some in polymer clay and thought “Heck ya! That’s for me!” so I spent all day Sunday making headpins. Then…

Um. Er.

I saw the post on Monday talking about “balled” headpins.


So I spent all of Monday balling headpins to wrap around my headpins. It was the best mistake I ever made! So, here are my headpins using balled headpins. This was so fun!

I started by making some faux turquoise polymer headpins. I was inspired by some of the glass headpins when I searched around Etsy so after curing I added a layer of resin. I learned a lot about resin. I learned that the Pavelka brand at Michael’s yellows easily and is too thick and goopy for anything round. I have used that brand before on flat items and liked how it settled evenly though. I did end up switching to some that I had on hand from Epoxies Etc. It was easier to brush on in thin layers and it didn’t yellow. It actually seemed harder when cured but that may have been because it was thinner.


After those little do-hickeys were done I wanted to do something gardeney (totally not a word, I know) so I grabbed my green blends and started making little curls. I left some matte and gave some resin finish.



I moved onto a Renaissance feeling and wanted to try my hand at forming little caps with clay. Stamping them was interesting. They remind me of little mushrooms. I left these matte.



Then, I moved onto beachy stuff. Yup, I was on a fancy beach in my mind.



I used some enamel that I had to cover over the ends of the copper head pins on some of these hearts. I learned that I did not clean the copper well before enameling and the enamel chipped of easily.



Then, I wanted to use a metal eyelet normally used for cold connections as my center tube and this little flower grew right out of that experiment.



THEN….some more stuff happened at my bench.



You can see them in the gallery below. I won’t post ALL the photos up here.

I do want to thank Staci Louise for putting on this fabulously stimulating challenge and give you all a link to the main page. http://www.lovemyartjewelry.blogspot.com/2013/02/art-jewelry-boot-camp-balled-headpin.html