Friday, September 28, 2012

A Great Site for Bead Lovers

I found a fantastic free site on the Internet a while ago.
It is Bead Swap - USA Home of the Traveling Bead Box, started by the kind and generous Nicole Weltch.

Any one who loves beads, components, creating, and loves to share with others can have a ball after signing up for it. There are swaps of ALL kinds opened to members. None are required. You can pick and choose what most interests you. In some swaps, a traveling box just makes it way down the list of people wanting to be in on it (I am currently moderating the Polymer Clay Box for Bead Makers). In others you are partnered up, within the common theme, and swap according to the rules for the swap. There are other areas on the site as well, for introducing yourself, your latest creations, your website or studio on the Internet, and a live chat room. SO MUCH FUN - SO MUCH TO DO!

The most recent swap I participated in was the 2nd Hand Swap. The premise was to go to a thrift store in your area, and purchase jewelry items costing no more than $3, then send them off to your partner to be remade, and returned to you. OH BOY, GOODIES IN THE MAIL.

Here are the items I purchased at the Salvation Army Family Store:
Butterfly Pin and Multi-strand Bracelet
This is what my partner, Nancy Rocknich, did with them:
 She added the butterfly pin to her amazing seed bead creation in the form of a flower, so it would "look as if it were flitting around in a flower garden." Then she added this pair of earrings to match the necklace.

 These are the items Nancy sent for me to use for my creations:
I have had very little experience working with pins. So they presented me with quite a challenge in the beginning. The first one I tackled was the large silver one. I knew I wanted to fill it in with my polymer, so I made a large spiral cabochon, and buffed it to a high shine. To me it looked like a volcano erupting, so I titled it "Lava Flow". I then used black crystal dangles, from Lea Avroch, to "add to the flow".
 Next came the gold leaf ring. Again, I wanted to fill in the center, but it also seemed to call for a resin topping. So I attached a backing of faux Mother of Pearl, that was in my stash, placed a random selection of gold and clear rhinestones, and brown half shell beads to it. After adding the resin, I couldn't believe it dissolved the tops of the rhinestones, leaving the flat base. Thus my "Pizza Pin" was created.
Finally it was time for the pearl pin. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but not sure it would work out. I dove in and snipped off one half of the pin component on the back, and used the other half as a self bail to attach an eye pin to it. Then came alternating short sections of an oval link chain and sets of pearls and iridescent crystals. From a pin came a necklace I love. IT WORKED!
Thanks for listening to my adventure into this, oh so much fun swap, and if you want to join in the future fun, consider going to the link at the top of this post and joining us all on the next one!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Polymer Clay Possibility

I have talked many times about the endless possibilities of polymer clay. Here are a few examples of the different types of beads that can be made courtesy of the artists of


When you are first starting out with polymer clay, one of the easiest beads to create is a stamped bead. Roll it, shape it, cut it out, and then stamp an impression in the clay with a knife, carving tool, needle, or texture sheet.

Strange Whimsy

Once you start playing with different colors and shades, especially what comes out of the pasta machine, techniques such as faux wood or other simulations can be used on the beads surface.


A clay extruder comes in very handy for making repetitive designs that can then be patched together in endless ways for a mosaic like patterned bead.

Amazing Designs

A lentil is one that is created by repeated rotating of a firm surface against the clay, until the colors of the bead are swirled into a spiral pattern with subtle shading throughout.


Canes are something many polymer clay artists love to create. They envision a design, create it into a 3 dimensional shape, reduce it, and then cut thin slices and apply them to a base bead.

 Artmakers Worlds

One of the most fascinating ways of patterning for polymer beads is the borrowed Japanese technique of Mokume Gane. It is one that starts simply, but does not show it's "look" until the surprise ending.


These are just some of the myriad techniques in the creation of polymer clay beads. Hope I have sparked your interest.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In the Pink





The whole world has gone pink over you, with you, and for you

If you don't believe me check this out!
My hair has never seen hair dye but for you, not only mine,
But his too!
Love ya!
Here is a list of others in the Pink Brigade:
Gail Vanderster-Zwang
Kelley Katherine Hagerty-Fogle
Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten
Mary Howell Govaars
Courtney White Breul
Marlene Cupo  --- You are here
Andrea Beth Trank
Heidi Mansfield Kingman
Sandi Marinaro Volpe


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Appreciation Day for CBC Administrators


by Melinda Orr of: Melinda Orr Designs

by Marla James of: Marla's Mud Mess

by Karen Totten of: Starry Road Studio

by Marla Gibson of: Spice Box Designs


by Keirsten Giles of: The Cerebral Dilettante

These five wonderfully creative, thoughtful, friendly, and at times a little bit kooky artists have collaborated to bring many, many artisans and bead lovers together on this Facebook Group

The current banner of which now looks like this:!/groups/CREATIVEBEADCHAT/

Please consider visiting and joining this group. You will not be disappointed!

Today is a special day to thank all of them for their continuing hard work and dedication to it, and for all of us.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


There is a fantastic round robin traveling around "Blogworld"! After a whirl wind summer of Challenges and Blog Hops, where I met so many new friends, had inspirations of all kinds given to me, and was challenged in many directions, I have to pass along the love!

 Therese Franks of Therese's Treasures  posted about the meme going around. There are several blogger joining in and I am definitely one of them. "Borrowed" the Rules from Therese and they are fairly simple to follow. Hope you join in this sweet way to share the love of what you do, and give to another handmade artisan.

Here’s How It Works:
I’ll send a surprise gift to the first three people who comment on this blog post. The gift will be a handmade surprise by me and will be sent to you some time in the next 365 days (yep, mystery gift at a mystery time).

Here’s what you need to do:

Leave me a comment and make sure you include your email address (if your profile doesn’t include it). I’ll email you for your snail mail address and ask a few questions (likes/dislikes, favourite colours, sizes general stuff like that). I will ship International.
To complete signing up you MUST play along too. To do this you must blog a similar post and pledge to make a surprise gift for the first three people who comment on it.

That's all there is! Do you want to join in sharing the LOVE? Comment below and I’ll sent a thoughtful handmade gift to the first three people who do.

Let the SHARING continue!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Challenge of Travel Blog Hop Reveal Day by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry

Have you ever dreamed of a South Pacific adventure?  Hawaii, BoraBora, Tahiti, Fiji?  How about even further? Many paradise setting weddings have taken place in the Federated States of Micronesia. The four islands are rustic, unspoiled by “civilization” and provide unending adventures.
Look at this sunset!

Here is some Wikipedia information about:
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands (270 sq mi) of area in the Western Pacific Ocean as part of the Caroline Islands, spread over almost 1,678 mi longitudinally just north of the equator, some 2,485 mi southwest of the main islands of Hawaii and about 1,802 mi north of eastern Australia. Each of its four states is centered around one or more main high islands, and all but Kosrae include numerous outlying atolls. The capital is Palikir, located on Pohnpei Island, and the largest city being Weno, is located in the Chuuk Atoll.

The FSM was formerly a part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, a United Nations Trust Territory under U.S. administration, but it formed its own constitutional government on May 10, 1979, becoming a sovereign state after independence was attained on November 3, 1986 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. The FSM has a seat in the United Nations.

The topography of the islands is basically ancient lava cones rising out of the ocean and surrounding land and vegetation that has developed over generations. This was my first thought in creating something to represent all four of the states – LAVA BEADS.
The surrounding waters are a mass of coral filled seas, which delight scuba divers and researchers have been observing for many years. Ahh, my second inspiration – Coral.

The inhabitants are simple people who live on what they can harvest from the sea and land. One of their main staples is breadfruit. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to fresh-baked bread. OK add one more item.

I was fascinated reading about the ancient practice, in the state of Yap, of using huge stones for currency. Apparently the age, size and intricacy of the stone, determined the degree of wealth for its owner. Sounds perfect for a focal!
The Federated States of Micronesia are (politically correct) referred to as being Polynesian outlier. For me, the polymer clay beads I created for this necklace, are very Polynesian. 

 From the granite clay Yap "currency" focal,
to the lava beads and the coral accents, they all are. I strung them on green waxed linen cord which continues up wrapping around forest toned Sari silk and end in a knotted and lava bead closure. Did you notice the "breadfruit" beads, courtesy of Lisa Lodge?

So here now, is my tribute to this fascinating place on the globe, that was so much fun to visit, if only from the chair in front of my computer.
Thank you Erin for a great blog hop and the opportunity it brought me.
Here are the other participants, so have fun in your travels!

Monique Urquhart
Niky Sayers
Therese Frank
Raychelle Heath
Joan Williams
Sherri Stokey
Regina Santerre
Raida Disbrow
Kristi Wodek
Sally Russick
Melissa Trudinger
Tracy Stillman
Sandra Wolberg
Tanya Goodwin
Susan Kennedy
Beth Emery
Lisa Cone
Tanya Boden
Inge von Roos
Erin Prais-Hintz
Dee Elgie
Carolyn Lawson
Lisa Stukel
Elly Snare
Shelley Graham Turner
Mallory Hoffman
Paige Maxim
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Evelyn Shelby
Holly Westfall
Rebecca Siervaag
Toltec Jewels
Lee Koopman
Laren Dee Barton
Cindy Wilson
Kathleen Lange Klik
Shaiha Williams
Jennifer Justman
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Lola Surwillo
Kim Hora
Leanne Loftus
Patti Vanderbloemen
Marcie Carroll
Marlene Cupo - YOU ARE HERE
Ine Vande Cappelle
Tammie Everly
Alice Peterson
Elisabeth Auld
Susan McClelland
D Lynne Bowland
Denielle Hagerman
Rebecca Anderson
Mischelle Fanucchi
Kari Asbury
Cece Cormier
Emma Todd
Debbie Price