Monday, January 31, 2011

Bead Soup Ingredients (from Melissa)

Goodies I received from my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Melissa.
Gorgeous blues, amber and iridescent purple glass.
A group of luscious glass leaves that shimmer and shine like pools of cold clean water.
And, to top it off....her grandmother's string of AB crystals!
Ahhhh, right now I am stumped excited.  What will I design with them?
A first...working with lampwork beads, that is.
That's the beauty of a challenge.  
To be faced with the unknown, yet excited about the possibilities.
Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.
Henry Drummond

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bead Soup

 Today is the perfect day for making soup, as it is cold and rainy in southeast Texas....something we experience quite way too often this time of year.
But, instead of being "stuck" in the kitchen stirring a huge pot of warm simmering soup,
I am happily sitting in my studio, 
working on "soup" goodies that will be wrapped and put into a box to be carted off to the post office early tomorrow morning.  
It will be en route to Michigan, headed to my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, 
Melissa Mesara.  
I think her blog name caught my attention right off the bat,
Melissa is a lampworker.  
Something I am not, or ever will be!
(I think!)
So how did I get here today?
A question asked of me by Lori Anderson, of Pretty Things, actually.  
She is the originator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.
With all that extra time I have had since retiring (LOL), 
I thought I would give this party a try....
me and around 209 other jewelry artists in the USA and way beyond!
So, here I am, doing what I love best~
putting together a lovely package of goodies.
 And, because Lori has a heart of gold, 
AND connections like PJ Tool and Supply,
she is having a few give-aways along the bead soup "party" road.
The first one is here, and the drawing is tomorrow.
And, since I am not a big metal stamper, 
as you can probably see from above, 
I want to win this cool set of stamps.
Maybe you do too!
You won't want to miss it.
When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, 
or in the life of another.
Helen Keller 
(I too love quotes.  This one if for you Melissa =)

Monday, January 17, 2011

ear bobs & screw backs

My name is Diane,
and 
I have a vintage rhinestone addiction.
This addiction I have no problem denying, 
as I sift through a stash of vintage rhinestone ear bobs and screw backs.
Lately I have received a few questions in regard to "bobs". 
On the supply list for the classes I'll be teaching at Adorn Me! and Art Unraveled, I have included vintage rhinestone ear bobs as a design element.
Last night I listed about nine different "bob" sets, two have been sold.
To see them all, just go here.
This post began after receiving a question or two in the last month, 
regarding the difference between ear bobs and screw back earrings.
I love vintage screw backs and use them often.
But, in both classes, Rhinestones & Rosaries and Etched & Layered
ear bobs are what's needed.
Here is another example of an ear bob.
A beautiful vintage Weiss by the way!
But, here is the difference.
I have here a couple sets of screw backs pulled off my shelf, 
just waiting to be used.  
They may first appear to be the same...especially when looking at them from this angle. But, it is the back that tells the story.  When ordering online, I always ask (if not shown) to see the back of the piece.  
It says more about the age than the front will ever tell.
Here's their backs.
And, 
another pair of screw backs.
And their backs.
So, if you are working on your supply list for any of my classes, here is an example of what you might like to look for in the way of gorgeous vintage rhinestone ear bobs, 
as seen here.
 Vintage Weiss, with prong set AB rhinestones and a stunning baroque pearl.  
This "bob" is sitting on top of a favorite Brass Bouquet filigree focal piece called, 
Festoon Pendant.
I will be teaching a fun technique for attaching these "bobs" in cold-join fashion.
The "g" word never appears in this process!
It whispers the Miriam Haskel style to me.
A style I fell in love with years ago.
 And here is the back of this "bob".
Wow.  
I love to stare at it from this angle....almost as much as the front.
Especially when it has Weiss on it.
 Now that is what I call gorgeous!
My name is Diane,
and
I have a vintage rhinestone addiction.
LOL.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

a hop, skip & a jump into 2011

 I have been soaring with eagles since the end of the year.
I have felt more relaxed and more free than any other time I can remember in my life.
Just after Christmas, I took a trip to deep south Texas.  One I have
made with my husband for the last 15 years.  
We spent time on a 6,000 acre spread....filled with an abundance of wildlife 
(like the Mexican Eagle we saw feeding its chick!) 
and lots of fresh clean air.
 Where we played one day of golf
and then went to eat great Mexican food after wards.
The name of the rustic little town,

But, once home...I had packages to unwrap. 
Congratulations to be had!  
This one from my dear east coast friend,
Who sent me crystal goodies, rhinestone dreams and brass findings!
Thank you Cindy for thinking of me!
 Then, there was a sewing class I had scheduled!
Sewing class?  
Yes, I've been sewing since my 4-H years and in my high school homemaking class.
But, exactly two years ago, yes two, I bought a new machine, as I began sewing leather and vintage lace cuffs, which is also one of the classes I'm teaching at Adorn Me, called
I love this new machine, and it worked perfect for my meager needs.
But, there are gadgets on this Husqvarna Viking machine I wanted to know more about.  When I purchased it, a free class was thrown in.  I NEVER had the time to take it, so one of the very first things I did, in 2011, was finally take the class!
I learned more about my machine, and needles and thread than I ever learned in my teen years! I am so glad I did it, because now I can share it with my students =)
So, onto the next project....a magazine submission must be put into the mail.
It turned out to be fantastic, and I so wish I could share it ALL with you...but not yet =)
Okay, maybe a peak!
Oh, no I can't do it...
but I can share one of the newest rhinestone pieces I received in the mail.
 And, how about this vintage brooch?
This one will look beautiful on an Etched & Layered Cuff, while the rhinestones will be perfect for a Rhinestones & Rosaries piece.
So, back to the submission project.
All, I can say is....it was the most fun I have EVER had putting together an idea!
I was in no rush, no hurry....only a sure and steady relaxed resolve.
Retirement is THE BEST =)
Along the submission path I received a piece of information from my friend Cindy, who
told me about an Etsy dealer & talented artist, Lisa Jurist, of Mudhound Studio.
Lisa sells gorgeous recycled silk sari ribbon, including hand-dyed silk yarn.
I knew I had to have some, so I placed a order, 
and lookie what I received ~
It is luscious and SOFT...which is exactly what I was looking for.
 And, the colors are simply divine.
Rest assured, I will be using some of these sooner~than later.
They have had my head spinning with new design possibilities from the moment I opened the package!
So, now I have jumped into the new year head first!
Welcome 2011!
I have been waiting for you.....
a very long, long time!