Friday, November 15, 2013

Beads of Courage 2013 Art Charm Swap and Auction

Back in September I decided to take part in Jennifer Cameron's Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Auction.  The rules were I had to make 11 charms that were about 1" in size.  
Kristi Bowman

The charms must be made by hand and sent to Jen by a specified date. This years theme is Love.  
Julie Bowen

Once Jen got everyone's charms, 40 artists participating, she had the task of sending each of us back one of our own charms and 9 more from other artists.  

Susan Delphine Delaney

The pictures scattered throughout this post are the charms I received.  
Shai Williams

The 11th charm is being auctioned off to benefit Beads of Courage and it starts TODAY!  Meet me at the AUCTION (click the word auction to go there) and bid your heart out!!

Carolyn Chenault

If you have never heard of Beads of Courage it is a wonderful program used in hospitals and treatment facilities for children and families coping with serious illness. 

Cheryl (Lee) Coopman
Through the program children receive beads starting with one for each letter of their name and adding beads for each milestone they achieve.  The Beads of Courage program has shown to reduce stress and help children understand their illness by giving them something tangible to help tell their story.
Andrea Glick

With their colorful strands of beads, some so long they are wrapped several times around, children are able to talk about their illness and be proud of their accomplishments

Artists from all over the world create and donate their beautiful bead creations to be used for the "Act of Courage Beads" given to acknowledge the milestones in a child's treatment journey.  

Toltec Jewels, Marlene Cupo and Olla Podria

This year alone they expected to give out 100,000 of these artisan beads.

my charm front side
Since the theme for this year is Love I decided to form wire into a heart and hammer it to strengthen and flatten a bit.  I found some pretty scrapbook paper which I sealed and attached the the back of the wire heart.  
My charm back side
I then poured resin into the center of the wire.  I finished my heart off with a little blingy dangle and the word "home" on the back since that is where I always feel the most Love.

Thanks for stopping by and learning about this fun exchange and incredibly worthy cause.  

Let's go see the rest of the charms in the blog hop and don't forget to bid at the auction. 
Jen Cameron:
Toltec Jewels:
Vanessa Gilkes:
Caroline Dewison:
Lesley Watt:
Susan Kennedy:
Nancy Dale :
Alicia Marinache:
Cassi Paslick:
Alenka Obid:
Renetha Stanziano:
Shelley Graham Turner:
Monique Urquhart:
Shai Williams:
Lennis Carter:
Cheri Reed:
Moriah Betterly:
Perri Jackson:
Mallory Hoffman:
Ginger Bishop:
Jean Peter:
Linda Florian:
Patricia Pulliam:
Karin Grosset Grange:
Julie Bowen:
Susan Delaney:
Emma Todd:
Carolyn Chenault :
Terri Del Signore:
Cory Tompkins:  (you are here)
Cheryl (Lee) Koopman:
Lori Bowring Michaud:
Andrea Glick:
Jacqueline Carlson:
Michelle McCarthy:
Charlene Bausinger Jacka:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Octoberfest Blog Hop - Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

Sorry for the late post... I had a crazy busy week and then we drove over to New Orleans yesterday for my husbands family reunion.

I decided to post a recipe that I want to make.  I'm not sure but I think this is what someone made for the reunion and OMG they were so delicious!!!

the following recipe came from the blog Simmer 'n Stir

Photo Courtesy of 

Halloween Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes


  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.
3.Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
4. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
5. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together.
6. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.
7. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey but somewhat firm.
 I ate these completely cooled and they didn't need anything, to me they were perfect as is!  If you want to be a little fancy you can serve with fresh whip cream or a sprinkling of powdered sugar over the top!
Thanks for visiting and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the lovely Rita, hostess of this hop.  Please see what everyone else  shared for Toltec Jewels' Octoberfest Blog Hop (click the words to go to the page with everyone's links)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Summer Elements Blog Hop

This is my entry for Toltec Jewels Summer Elements Blog Hop.

My inspiration for this bracelet was water, as a water sign (Pisces) I have always loved being close to the water.  In the summer I like to go out in the boat or just relax on a float soaking up the sun.

Check out everyone else's inspiration below...

The Summer Elements Blog Hop Participants: 

Toltec Jewels (Hostess)
Marlene Cupo         
Cheri Reed              
Ailsa Cordner          
Nan Smith               
Sherri Stokey           
Christie (Charis Designs)
Carolyn Lawson       
Susie Harris              
Andrea Glick-Zenith 
Nelly May                
Melissa Trudinger     
Dini Bruinsma           
Kathy Lindemer       
Cory Tompkins        
Robin Reed             
Gina Hockett           
Karen Martinez       
Jasvanti Patel           
Solange Collin          
Karla Morgan          
Anindita Basu           
Alicia Marinache      
Andrea Trank          
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell
Mischelle Fanucchi   
Tanty Sri Hartanti     
Shaiha Williams        
Mary Govaars          
Becca Sirevaag        
Lennis Carrier          
Regina Wood           
Sue Kennedy           
Kathleen Breeding   

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Jewelry is in Bead Chat Magazine!

The June issue of Bead Chat Magazine has published a few of my jewelry pieces!  

Back in April I found out about Artisan Whimseys (AW) 5x5 Test Group. This group is comprised of 5 AW artists who test 5 identical samples from the host for that month. The host for the June issue was going to be Elaine Ray, a sweet and talented ceramic artist.  I was chosen as one of the testers and Elaine sent me the following components:
Elaine Ray Components for June Bead Chat Magazine 5x5 Test Group
My job was to play with these components, comment on them and create with them...FUN!!
I started with the leaf headpins, these earrings came to me pretty easily, I love headpins and I LOVE how these came out!!

Elaine Ray Leaf Headpin Earrings June 5x5 Beat Chat Magazine
Next was the square component.  I think it looks like a pendant and would make a great one.  I also saw it as a bracelet focal and I really wanted a wide flat piece of leather to go through those wire ends.  I asked the hubs if he had any leather and he offered me an old leather glove!  

So, I cut out a strip and wired it in place...voila!
Elaine Ray Component bracelet
Next up was the dark blue dangle.  All the loops had me stumped.  I thought about dangling chain or connecting strips of macrame between the loops but nothing seemed to come out the way I saw it in my head.  I did end up trying a section of wire macrame inspired by Lesley Watt (see it at the top on either side of the glass art bead)!!  Here's what I made:

The last piece had me completely stumped!  My mind kept going to a "Stop Light" which didn't help.  Once I changed my perspective and opened my mind a bit I thought of a planter box or trellis.  I made this one into a magnet.

Here's a picture with all of the jewelry pieces I made together

This experience has been so much fun!  I loved "meeting" Elaine Ray and working with her components.  You really need to check out Bead Chat Magazine  now, you can see what the other 4 testers did with these same pieces!  

The whole magazine is full of gorgeous Eye Candy and some seriously talented people.  I am so happy I got picked for this challenge!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bead Soup Reveal - It's Here!

This is my second year participating in the BSBP and I really love this experience.  My partner this time was Gloria Allen and she sent me this awesome mix of beads:

First up I used the silver swirls and clasp that Gloria handmade together with the pretty blue glass rondelles to make a bracelet.

Next I used the pink beads together with a cute robin's egg blue vintage style bead I had in my stash.  Gloria has inspired me to make my own clasps too, this is one of them.

There were so many great beads in my soup, here are the earrings I made 

these gorgeous handmade glass beads were made by Two Sisters Designs.  

I swirled and wrapped more wire, this time in enameled silver.

Last up is the focal bead also designed by Two Sisters.  I wanted to make something really special to showcase this beauty.  

I used copper wire to create a swirl component to hang it from.  I hammered the swirl to harden and strengthen it (this is one heavy bead!).

I wire wrapped tiny peanut glass beads to the wire swirl.  Swarovski crystals sparkle and dangle from under the focal bead.  

I used Liver of Sulfer to darken the wire.

Some of the pretty pink glass beads Gloria sent are knotted in waxed linen to create the rest of the necklace.

Yep, I made another clasp...this time copper wire was formed and antiqued.  I love how this one came out.

I still have so much soup left and lots of great ideas.  Thank you Lori for such a great party and thank you Gloria for so many wonderful beads and components!

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and then go see what Gloria made with the soup I sent her:  Gloria Allen Designs


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Window Dressing

mannequin for necklace display
My friend Ann Marie, who also happens to be one of my best jewelry customers, recently gave me an awesome gift...a dress form (mannequin).  She somehow acquired it from Victoria's Secret and wasn't using it anymore. I am so excited!  The height can be adjusted on the metal scroll stand and it is very solid and sturdy.  

adjustable dress form, mannequin

I hope to use it a lot for necklace photos.  This is a great reason to make more jewelry!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

BSBP #7 Bead Exchange

 I am part of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party again this year.  My reveal date is next week, April 6th which is coming up really fast!  Before the reveal I wanted to show you what I received from my Bead Soup partner Gloria Allen.

Let me start with the focal...
I am a bit obsessed with this bead!  This lampwork borosilicate focal bead is really thick with lots of incredible layers and the colors are just beautiful!  It was made by Two Sisters Designs and came with two smaller matching pieces.  I wish I could capture the sparkle that is wound inside of the yellow side of this bead.  I carried it around in my pocket for a few days (I couldn't help myself) and when I held it in the sun the sparkle was so cool!

Gloria sent another focal bead that she hand wrapped with wire.  She also made me some wire swirls and a clasp...
Here is a picture of everything Gloria sent, she was very generous....

Here's the soup I sent to Gloria...
funny how we sent very similar colors.

Come back next week on Friday, April 13th to see what I make with these beautiful beads.  There are so many people participating in this blog hop that Lori had to break us up into 3 groups so we didn't shut down the internet with so much activity all at once :O)

Check out the 1st reveal here...Lori Anderson's Pretty Things Blog.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

10 Free Magazine Subscriptions Giveaway

Have you heard of Zinio?  It is a cool site with TONS of great magazines ready to view on your laptop, computer or any digital device.

They were nice enough to contact me to do a 10 magazine giveaway right great is that?

10 readers will win a magazine subscription of your choice from Zinnio's huge library.  This is not just one issue either, it is a subscription...and it's free!  
I am so excited because they have titles like: 

  • Easy Wire
  • Stringing
  • Creative Jewelry
  • Bead Star
  • Bead and Button

You don't have to be a beader or jewelry artist to win though.   They have lots of other crafty choices as well as categories including entertainment, science, sports, travel and more. 

Want to try out a new magazine but just can't decide which one?  Well, here's your chance!

About Zinio

  • Thousands of top magazines from around the world.  You can browse and purchase subscriptions or single issues instantly from your computer or mobile device to read wherever and whenever you like
  • Explore section lets you read - even without a subscription - thousands of articles from your favorite magazines and share them with friends
  • Use on iPad, iPhone, Android mobile phones and tablets, laptop or desktop
  • For use on Kindle Fire, follow these steps:

How to win:
REQUIRED: Leave a comment below about your favorite magazine
I need a way to contact winners so be sure your comment either links to your profile or type in your email address.  I will also post the winning names in the comments. 

Increase your chances of winning (make sure to post a new comment for each)
1. Folow my blog (or comment that you are already following)
2. Like my facebook page 

Winners will be chosen on Saturday February 23 at 8:00am CST. 

While you're waiting to find out if you won go check out their site.  Click a picture below for their current specials now through Feb 21.

Zinio has also offered to give me a free subscription for running this contest (and I'm taking them up on it)! Just wanted you to know.