Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Fest 10-28-2012 - Reveal

 To me October means only one thing: Getting ready for the "funnest holiday" of the year!

And, of course,

Oh, how I love seeing how excited the grand kids get.
There is so much preparation: "We have to get just the right pumpkin!" Then there's the decorating, and the inevitable "I wanna be!" The ritual of carving the pumpkin!
As much as it takes to prepare, so soon it's over. Let's pretend it is November 1st and you are looking at that Jack-o-Lantern the kids had so much fun watching you carve (never mind those “eeeew that’s ichy” comments) and wondering when you can chuck it without them getting all upset.
DON’T! Remember Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Yes, I know, canned pumpkin is readily available on the store shelves, but a pie made with fresh pumpkin can’t be beat.
Extra benefits: Teach the kids to waste not, want not, and with a medium to large pumpkin you can get enough to make anywhere between 6-8 pies to share with whom you are thankful.
To begin: Fill a large pot with chunks of the pumpkin, any size and don’t peel first. Cover with water and put on stove to cook until flesh is soft (Add additional water as needed). Once it is soft drain off the water and allow to cool completely. You will find the skin peels off very easily then. Now just put pieces in a colander or bowl with a cheese cloth liner and allow the water to drain out of the flesh. If you are in a hurry, you can put the pieces, a few at a time, in a food processor, and then drain the water from the top. This also saves having to mash the pieces after they have drained. One final drain of the chopped, mushed, smooshed pumpkin (preferably over night) and you are ready for the baking. Extra pumpkin can be frozen for use later on.
 A simple vintage (from a 1950’s cookbook) Pumpkin Pie Recipe

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 pastry shell
Sift dry ingredients together, and stir into eggs. Add milk and pumpkin, and stir well. Line pie pan with pastry and pour in filling. Bake in very hot oven (450 degrees F) 10 minutes; reduce temperature to slow (325 degrees F) and bake 45 minutes longer, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

Oh Wait! This is suppose to be a blog about my polymer clay creations. Well then, how about some earrings to wear while you are in the kitchen?


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Holiday Bling Blog Hop

*If you are looking for the 4th Do-Over Challenge Reveal, scroll down to next post*
On October 6th Shelley Graham Turner and I hosted the Holiday Bling Blog Hop.  We had such a fantastic response, not only from the creative artists participating, but from others, who after seeing all the goodies and fun we had, wished they had joined in as well. Well this is your chance, ‘cause there is another party in the works.

Holiday Bling Blog Hop 2 is now starting!
Same rules as before, except the dates have changed. Here they are:
The best way to do this would be for us to match up partners, so you can decide, between yourselves, what you would like to exchange: handmade ornaments, holiday jewelry, etc. and then mail to each other by November 17th.
Sign-ups will run through Sunday, October 28th, with partners being matched up afterwards. Of course, there will be a Blog Hop involved to show off what you sent and/or received on Saturday, December 15th.
So, want to join the party? Please RSVP via email to: Please include your blog url, and if you are willing to ship internationally.

NOW: Drum Roll Please!

What is a Holiday Party without gifts? We listed all the participants, and then randomized, and we are happy to announce three lucky ladies will be receiving
a $25 Gift Certificate from B’sue Boutiques.
* Leanne Loftus *

* Alicia Marinache *

* Sonya Stille *
Then we put all the commenter’s on our blogs in another drawing and we are happy to announce
* Sandra McGriff *
Is the winner of a $15 Gift Certificate compliments of the very same B’sue.
So winners, keep a close eye on your mailbox! There will be something exciting in it real soon!

Come on everyone lets have (another) Party! Sign up now! 

Respond to this invite by sending an email to: Please include your blog url in the message, and if you are willing to ship internationally. 


4th Do-Over Challenge - Reveal

Jeannie K Dukic of JKD Jewelry runs recurring Do-Over challenges, in which she will send a piece of jewelry from her early days of creating, for a nominal fee, in order for the artist receiving it, to DO OVER. This is the second time I have joined in this adventure and it was as much fun as the first time around. Now are you sitting down? Ready for this? You are not going to believe it!
I didn't use ANY polymer clay in this challenge!
Here is a picture of what I was sent.
Beads, black beads, small black beads, even smaller black beads, LOTS of black beads!
I had received a large spool of link chain in a destash sale on Creative Bead Chat from Melinda Orr, and decided this would be the perfect time to pull it out. (Good thing I had heavy duty clippers). After cutting the appropriate size lengths of chain I pulled Jeannie's necklace apart and started wiring 2 beads at a time to each link of the chain. 
In another destash sale, this time Bead Swap USA, I had received a beautiful batch of Sari Silks from Kelli Nelson and decided to use two of them in red and gold as highlights along the length of the necklace, and to which I wired some of the smaller black beads, for interest.
Finally I added some antique gold and copper double links as spacers, and a 30mm brass lobster claw clasp, also from Melinda to finish it off.

OK, that is for the casual wear, now on to something a little dressier. I had this length of copper looped wire chainmaille in my stash and decided it would work well with my idea.
I wired increasing numbers of Jeannie's beads and added copper tipped black crystal dangle to the ends of each. These went on the connecting links of the chain. In between each graduated strand I added another of the black beads and a black bicone crystal to the middle of the wired loops.
One more destash item, from Gail Hughes, came the free form copper wires which I modified slightly and used to link the central portion to an oval link copper chain.
Love the delicate way it drapes when wearing it!
Time to see the other creative Do-Over's in this Challenge.
Miranda Ackerley

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Bead Table Blog Hop - Reveal

Lisa Lodge of A Grateful Artist - Pine Ridge Treasures comes up with the most interesting challenges, and this blog hop is no exception. She generously sent a whole host of mish mosh goodies from her table to each participant and asked us to create something with them along with items from our own table. I was excited to be a part of this challenge, after the wonderful selection of beads I had received in an earlier challenge by her, and anxiously awaited the package to come in the mail.
This delightful selection is what came:
It was all so light and airy, and full of Lucite components that I am not use to working with, in shades of pale blue, light turquoise, and orange, that I am not use to working with, and a few seed beads, that I am not use to working with!
OK, Lisa you said CHALLENGE, gotcha!

By now you are probably tired of hearing me say I am not a seed beader, as much as I love their work. For me, even trying to string a single strand requires every light in the room on, and a magnifying glass the strength of the Hubble Telescope to get it done. The first thing I did was to collect them, along with that large orange Lucite leaf, and resined the heck on them to get them out of the way! Hmm, seems to look like a seed pod!
My attention turned to the cute little blue Lucite flowers, which I envisioned spaced between polymer clay tiles with a leaf design for a bracelet. I won't even trouble you with the disaster that turned out to be. Anything polymer I attempted seemed too heavy in relation to "the light and airy, that I am not use to working with."
 Soo, I stared, and played, and assorted, and rearranged everything hoping that it would kick my brain into working order.
Then it hit me, light and airy = fun and kind of funky, something I am not use to doing!
First a pair of earrings with the Lucite flower petals, blue beads, and half circles in Lisa's supply, on my silver wires. NOT what you I would expect from me.
Now back to that seed pod and my fun and funky theme. I added more petals, and Lisa's white teardrops to make it look like rain droplets falling off them. Space them out with more of the blue and white beads from Lisa, and all I had to use was my own silver chain.

Nope, can't do it! Must work with my polymer!
Those orange Lucite flowers begged for leaves, but alas, no leaves in the pile. It's my chance! Out came several leaf canes I had for a while in similar colors. There, now I feel better! 
Along with a silver flower charm as the central point, the orange and light blue Lucite flowers, and more raindrops and petals, I finished this second necklace with two tones of blue ribbon, tied to the bouquet, and Lisa's heart with rhinestones and key toggle clasp.
Then one more pair of earrings to go with this necklace, and there you go Lisa.

I believe I met your challenge, even though I am not use to working with it!

Please visit the others in this blog hop, whom I am sure had an easier time of it. But I had a blast!

Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs You are here
Michelle Buettner, Mishel Designs
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat's
Mary Anne Klinglesmith Flesch, Hand Crafted Serenity
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress
Shelly Joyce, Au jour le jour
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Susan Lloyd, Designs by Susan
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Kristen Stevens, My Bead Journey
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Holiday Bling Blog Hop Reveal


to Shelley Graham Turner of Tori Sophia and my HBBH (abv. for the above). We were discussing swapping something Holiday related a while ago, and then decided others might be interested in joining us, and so this blog hop was born.

It is the first blog hop either of us has hosted and we were concerned about the response we would get. Silly us, thanks to our many friends and fellow artists, it has become much more than we could have hoped for. We partnered up everyone, and suggested they discuss with each other what they would swap, jewelery, ornaments, or what ever they chose.

My partner was Mary Howell Govaars, whose work you can see on her blog MLH Jewelry Designs. We chose ornaments, which quickly became a whole new challenge for her. She decided to use alcohol inks to give a glass Christmas ball a unique holiday look, and quickly learned the quirks in handling inks. To say she mastered the technique is an understatement, 'cause look what I got! It will hold a place of honor on my tree.


You could say I cheated a little, when Mary left it up to me to decide. You see I already knew what I wanted to send her. Last year my son had sent me a picture of what my daughter described as "Dr Seuss like" polymer clay ornaments. It was actually a set of three, Joy, Hope and Noel. So I made them for each of my kids for their trees (and sure as shooting, my daughter-in-law asked for one that said Peace), but they were a big hit with the grandchildren. So I set to making another Noel for Mary, for this swap, and she is now an official member of my family!

NOW, here is the best part.
St Nick is joining in the fun and will be giving out gifts on October 20th, to three random participants, and someone who comments below. When you comment, make sure your email is attached, or add it to your comment, then come back on the 20th to see who the winners are.
Thank you to all the fantastic artists who joined us for this event and to you all, for sharing our Holiday Cheer, now please visit the other Merrymakers in this hop.
 Michelle Black made this adorable snowman ornament. He is made from paper clay.

The snowflake earrings she made are acid etched copper. She used a black patina and lightly sanded to allow the copper snowflakes to shine through.

Michelle does not have a blog, and unfortunately her partner had to pull out of the blog hop.

Cynthia O'Toole also does not have a blog, but she sent us pictures of the two pair of earrings she sent to her swap partner, Anindita Basu .

PS: Due to unforeseen problems, some of our participants did not receive their goodies in time for this hop. Please check back later for an update on their blog.

Michelle Fanucchi
Monique Urquhart
Therese Frank
Heather Otto
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Linda Florian
Debbie Rasmussen
Alicia Marinache
Ginger Bishop
Lo/ Lynn Jobber
Leanne Loftus
Rita/Toltec Jewels
Shelly Joyce
Shai Williams
Lori Bowring Michaud
Lennis Carrier
Marla Gibson
Mary Howell Govaars
Shirley Jones Moorehttp://​www.beadsandbread.blo​
Melinda Orr
Marlene Cupo *
Shelley Graham Turner
Sonya Stille
Dyanne Cantrell
Anindita Basu
Dee Elgie
Gina Hockett
Lori Jean Poppe
Charlie Jacka
Stephanie Stamper (Woods)
Mary Hicks, Shannon Hicks