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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Winner of My Book Blog Hop Giveaway

Here's my latest piece designed using Cindy's beautiful 
Double Infinity Links.
It was also one of my class samples for the class
Rhinestones to Infinity
I taught this past weekend
in Round Top, Texas
The class was a huge success, 
and this link was the star of the class! 
This was Kristina's finished piece.
Isn't is wonderful?
Just one of many...
So, without further ado...
I'd like to announce the winner of the contest I had for the 
 It is:
Susan Marling
Congratulations Susan!  
I will send an email your way, 
to get your physical address, 
so I can mail some goodies to you!
don't forget to go back to Cindy's blog to see the 


P.S.  I will be teaching this class, Rhinestones to Infinity
at Ephemera Paducah in Kentucky~May 2014.
More detail will be posted soon,
but why not sign up for their mailing list,
so you won't miss any of the class details when they come hot off the press! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's All About the Link

Today is my day
to give a shout out to a great friend,
Cindy Wimmer's new book, 
and is the next stop on 
the Book Blog Tour 
that began on Tuesday.
Yeee....haw, welcome to Texas!
It's hard to believe that it has actually been way more than a year since 
Cindy asked me to be a part of the design team for her upcoming book.  
How could I resist, 
as everything Cindy does it so meticulously wonderful
and top notch!
Her wire work is drop dead gorgeous, 
which you will certainly see for yourself, once you get your very own copy. 
if you haven't ordered yours yet
I'd be so thrilled if you'd leave a comment here
as the publisher, Interweave
will be giving away a copy of Cindy's book from each of the 
blog hop stops.  
This means you have 6 chances to win!
 I have to tell you I felt a bit intimidated at first,
as wire links are not my main focus when designing jewelry.
I can wire wrap myself out of a barrel~blindfolded...
(well maybe not blindfolded)
well, that's another story.
But, if you know me at all, you know
I always love a good challenge.
So, this is how it began....
Cindy gave me, along with all the team designers,
the option to pick two of our favorite links out of the 30 she showcases in the book.
With these links, we were to design a piece of jewelry.
I chose two I thought would fit into my "style",
which was
Double Infinity
Little Orbits
Green with Infinity
Found on pages 128-131 in the book,
showcases the Double Infinity link.
This picture was taken just before it was sent off to Cindy & the publisher.
I am going to play a little game with those of you who already have the book, 
or if not, 
you can also look here
as pictures from the book (where you will see a picture of my necklace) scroll across the slider window seen in the middle of the page.
This will kind of be like the game, what do you see different in the picture!
There has been a slight change in the ultimate design of my necklace =)
Just leave an answer here on my blog, 
in your comment, 
I will also have a drawing from those who left an answer, 
at the end of the hop.
The prize will be a (sur)prize!  
So, please leave your email address so I can contact you on October 21st, 
if I can't link back to you via your comment! 
The next link I chose,
Little Orbits.
Amber Skies 
showcases this link that Cindy places in the "easy" category.
This necklace, and how it's made, 
can be found on pages 100-103 in the book.
Another fun project, using some super fun links.
Cindy really did a superb job writing this book.
the links are quite unique and exciting to master.
Thanks so much for stopping by and joining in on the hop.
Today you can also visit 
of Art Bead Scene.  She has joined us on the tour, 
and this gives you yet another opportunity to win 
Please hop on over to 
Christine Damm's blog tomorrow
to see what she has to share with us
regarding her
"missing link" journey.
Before you go...
one last recap of all the blog hop stops:
October 15-Cindy Wimmer (Sweet Bead Studio)
October 16-Tracy Statler (Make Bracelets)
October 17-Lori Anderson (Pretty Things)
October 18-Kerry Bogart (Kab's Concepts)
Today:  October 19 (along with me)-Heather Powers (Art Bead Scene)
October 20-Christine Damm (Stories They Tell)
then head back to Cindy's blog,
to see all the winners announced on
October 21st! 
There will be giveaways each day, but the winners will all be announced all at once on Cindy's blog on the final day - October 21st.  
She will be giving away additional prizes:  
a set of lampwork beads used in the book, wire, and her favorite coiling tool, 
just to name a few.
So, that's all for now....have FUN on the tour,
and I'll see you back here on October 21st!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It's Antique Festival Time

If you've been with me for any amount of time, 
you know that twice a year I trek to Warrenton and Round Top
for the semi-annual Antiques Week.
It's HUGE and several trips are in order each & every time.
Yesterday was just my first for the Fall Show, and it was a bit early.
I like to slip in there way ahead of time...
which means some of the vendors haven't yet arrived.
I am fine with that.
I always go back, and then they are there.
I don't fret about missing something.
I have decided that if I was meant to have it,
it will be there.
Whatever IT might be!
I must admit,
I had no intention of buying the vintage baby doll and compact you see above.
But, they called my name, and they came home with me.
The top drilled baroque stick pearls....
well that's another story.
I have an idea bouncing around that involves these beauties,
and I was looking for them.
 It always amazes me when I enter a booth that is stuffed full of stuff.
Yesterday, proved no different.
I always make an effort each show to visit Cathy, 
the lace lady from Oklahoma.
She has WAY more than lace in her booth, and I always make a point to visit her...
mainly for vintage lace, tulle, netting, and such.
This time I brought home one itty bitty bundle of lace,
a good group of vintage rhinestone buttons,
the crackled baby doll
and this dainty silver compact purse.
Inside was half of a ticket...
When I carried all my purchases up front to pay,
she said...."I almost kept this one for my compact collection".
Not only did this make me feel like I had picked up a winner of a piece,
but she had thoughtfully remembered it, 
mentioning she regretted parting with it.
I get that...
Each time I design a piece of jewelry,
then sell it...
it feels like I am getting rid of part of my family.

This batch of necklaces will definitely make 
me feel that way when they leave home.
  Kind of like letting your baby go...
maybe that's why this one came home with me.

Friday, September 20, 2013

No Hill for a Stepper

Melanie and I 
At the beginning of the trail,
about to climb 
Old Baldy,
in Garner State Park.
It's been almost a month since we returned home from our annual week long RV trip
to a great RV park situated on a bluff just above the clear crisp water of the Frio River.
It's nestled among beautiful gnarly live oak trees and several pretty high hills
(which are considered mountains by this Texan).
The trip is definitely one of the highlights of my year.
I think we have been going to this park for well over 8 years.
I went with one BIG goal in mind...
to once again climb, what is known as,
Old Baldy.
Mind you, it would not have been my first trip up to the top, 
as I have climbed it probably 3 or 4 other times.
But, not for awhile.
I was determined to do it this time....
a gift to me on my 56th birthday!
I, along with my daughter, Melanie, 
took out the very morning of my birthday to conquer 
"the mountain".
It is quite inspiring when you reach the the top, 
as there is a huge additional pile of rocks there...
with the United States flag flying high and mighty in the wind
(when it blows)! 

I have to tell you....it felt good.....going up,
but especially good coming down!

I have been traveling quite a bit this past year to teach.
Tucson, AZ., Houston, TX., Coronado, CA., Round Top, TX.
Phoenix, AZ.
I have one more teaching gig for the year, and it's next month, 
once again in Round Top,  
Art Retreat at The Prairie.
I am way excited, 
as I will be teaching three new classes.
 From Rhinestones to Infinity
 This is a fun new class for me.
I have incorporated a huge vintage rhinestone brooch into this design,
along with some beautiful links called Double Infinity links.
These links were designed, and came straight from my friend Cindy Wimmer's book, 
The Missing Link,
 which will be out next month.
I, along with many other wonderful jewelry artists, 
was thrilled to be one of her guest designers.
Cindy has a pre-order link for it 
I'll also be teaching another new torch fired enamel class
Ruffled Poppies
Lots of fun techniques in this class!
Scroll down the page and read all about it here.
Last, but certainly not least,
I'll teach a fun bangle class on Sunday.
Birds of a Feather   
So, won't you come flock with us in Round Top? 
 I can't begin to tell you how much fun we have at this intimate setting.  
And, how can you not love anything Rachel Ashwell inspired?

~ diane~

Friday, July 12, 2013

Heart Love

My Double Heart
(coming to Art Retreat in the Desert~February 2014)
(*edit....not coming to Art in the Desert in 2014!*) 
I admit, I am in a state of euphoria right now,
as we are fast approaching the end of Session I 
Artful Gathering, 2013.
It has been a great class, with many beautiful creations being born.
Makes a teacher proud, I tell you!
Drops of Crystal was the name of the class, 
which consisted of 3 of my favorite chandelier crystal creations.
In less than a week, the second session will begin.
This class really put me over the top,
as it is so in-depth, I just know it is my best one yet!
I put together a little trailer....just so you can see what I mean.
And, to top it off...
I am having a little giveaway in conjunction with the beginning of 
Window to My Heart!
 Share it on your social media site, whether it be Facebook or your blog,
or Twitter...
then let me know,
and I will put your name in the hat
to win one of my class kits.
 The winner will be chosen on
Monday, July 15th, at 3 pm CST.
I hope you can join me....
I would be ever so honored!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Coronado Dreaming

The time went by way to quickly....
is now a sweet, sweet memory packed away 
in this itty bitty brain of mine.
I had loads of fun with two of my fellow teachers and dear buddies,
Riki Schumacher & JoAnnA Pierotti.

I knew this one would be special.
But, they all are.
Think this one just a little more though =)
On Friday I taught one of my favorite cuff classes,
On a Wing.
(side note:  I'm teaching this class at Art Unraveled,
and it's filling up fast =) 
Here's my Friday buds.
Sally, Mary, Jan
Dawn, Joan, Marilyn, =) and Crystal
Saturday was another great class day,
as I taught 
By the Sea,  
which is one of my gilding with solder classes.
I love teaching this technique, and have to tell you I never tire of it! 
What a special group of ladies on Saturday....
Marilyn, Joan, Ann
Sally, Celelesie, =) and Celeste
Here's a few of their creations.
I love the amazing attachments they brought along to place on their collars.
Sunday I taught one of my torch fired enameling classes that I call
I love teaching this class.  
But, the tiny mother of pearl belt buckles are becoming more & more difficult to find, even though I think I might have one more batch =)
 Here's a couple of student's pendants.
Aren't they just the best, and so full of personality?
Oh, don't want to forget....
we also went on a group field trip that Saturday to The Attic, 
a sweet antique shop on the island...
all planned by our lovely hostesses
Barb & Erin.

What a great group of ladies!
BTW....I have just finished a second enameling class,
it will premiere at  
Art Retreat at The Prairie,
in Round Top, Texas...this Fall.
Barb is about to open up registration any day now....
Hope to see you there,
or at my next teaching gig, 
which is next month...
in Phoenix, Arizona!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hopping into Spring and Artful Gathering Hopping

Life has been hopping here at the Cook homestead...in more ways than one!
We just had our grandchildren over this past weekend, and needless to say, 
they had a blast at PawPaw & Nana's house.
They jumped and hopped and wrestled, 
and we laughed enough to fill up a hot air balloon!
Alton is 4, and loves driving his Jeep and riding his bike.  You would not believe how much Samantha, who is 14-1/2 months, loves to ride around in the backyard with her brother.  She is one little girl who loves to ride in a Jeep!
She fits right into our Jeep driving, Bronco bustin' & 
Land Rover driving group!

We've had unseasonal cool weather here, 
and we've been lovin' every minute of it!  
Usually by now we would be running the air conditioner full blast...
Yee haw, is all I can say!
We are getting so close to opening up class registration for 
Artful Gathering 2013....
May 1st is just around the corner!
Now...on to the hop news...and...
David Everett!

Celebrating Artful Gathering 2013 Online Art Retreat

Blog Hop your way for chance to win!

From June to August 2013, ArtfulGathering.com will be presenting TWO exciting semesters of premiere online video workshops offered by fabulous artists who are known nationally and internationally. We are all very excited to share our knowledge, skill, and creativity with you, and we hope that you will join us for this AMAZING annual online event.

Blog Hop with us for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate towards an Artful Gathering 2013 online video workshop(s).

(Gift certificate applicable to 2013 workshops only and does not apply towards kits or dvds).

Each week I will announce the next featured blog for you to visit, and there you will find a new secret word or words that you will need to collect along your way. Once you have collected all the words from each blog you visit, they will work out to say a very artsy phrase. Here are the rules:

  1. For your chance to win, you must collect all the secret code words and submit them upon the final destination blog in May. A random drawing will be conducted from those participants who have submitted the complete collection of secret words.


  2. Only one winner will be randomly drawn from the list of participants who have collected all the secret words.


Remember to collect all the secret words. These words will work out to say a very artful phrase, and you'll need all the pieces to be eligible for the final prize drawing!

Please HOP over and visit the Amazing

David H. Everett

(Pick Up the Next Secret Word)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WoW! It's All Good

 I have been so very busy preparing for my online classes 
Artful Gathering
and my in-person classes
it's been ALL good!
I do hope one day we get to meet...
in either one!
If you've been hopping along with the Artful Gathering Blog Hop,
this week is my turn to be in the spotlight!
Hope you are enjoying this little trip down the yellow-brick road!
All in fun....

 Artful Gathering Event Registration is Open!


 I'm the Spotlight Artist for The Artful Gathering 2013 Blog Hop!

 Follow along with me for fun, creativity, and a chance to win a

 $200.00 Gift Certificate for The Artful Gathering Marketplace Opening Soon. The winner can apply the certificate toward any 2013 online art workshop(s).

 *kits and dvds not applicable.

 Register to the event here


 I'm presenting My Brand New On-Line Workshops at


at Artful Gathering 2013!

 Come Hop With US!

 Hop Rules:

 If you would like to hop with us and meet all the super awesome Artful Gathering 2013 Art Instructors, and have a chance to win a random drawing prize in our random drawing, then hop with us! Each week, I will announce the blog for you to visit, and off you go to meet them, and to pick up the newest secret word.


  1. For your chance to win, you must collect all the secret code words and submit them upon the final destination blog in May. A random drawing will be conducted from those participants who have submitted the complete collection of secret words!

  2. Only one winner will be randomly drawn. The winner will receive a $200 gift certificate for a 2013 Online Video Workshop(s). *Not applicable to workshop kits or dvds.*


  3. This weeks word is .....painting

     Next week, I'll announce the next person to hop to. Good luck!!!