Monday, March 12, 2012

Suddenly Spring

Suddenly Spring Challenge

Ah, yes...Michelle Mach's "Suddenly Spring" challenge.  We were challenged to take the bracelet you see here, and cut the stretchy cord.  We promised to make one, two, or many pieces of springlike jewelry from these crystal components.  So, with no further ado, here's what I made, with some additions from my own stash of beads and findings, and without very many of the crystal spacers, I confess.  I just couldn't fit them in, you know?  They just didn't work for me.  Moving on.

I made this pair of earrings first.  They're light and bright and swingy and springy.  For each earring, I used three separate ball-tipped antiqued copper headpins, two with tiny aquamarine AB round crystals (with a turquoise seed bead sitting atop each) and one with small antiqued copper daisy spacers on either end of the large aquamarine crystal rondelles, a tiny turquoise seed bead sitting on top, and then the same tiny round crystals perched above.  I cut the headpins to different lengths, so each dangle is a different length.  I attempted to add crimp beads above the dangles, go.  The beads swing free, as you can see.  They're attached to a jump ring, which in turn is attached to antiqued copper ear wires.

Now, why will this picture not rotate?  Whatever...I've tried and tried, with no success; time to move on.  I used round white shell "windows" that are stuffed (literally!) with the aquamarine crystal rondelles from the original bracelet.  I used frosted opal AB teardrops in between each glittery window. 

Here are the matching (coordinating?) earrings...the same white shell "windows" with the aquamarine rondelles inside; little silver daisy spacers and turquoise seed beads on top, and then a trio of wire-wrapped tiny round aquamarine AB crystal dangles. 

And finally, the necklace.  What is springy-er than a sweet little bird's nest, full of eggs?  I used one of my decoupaged wooden tiles, some silver chain, and added eye pins strung with the aquamarine crystal rondelles and using the crystal spacers, as well!  Check it out:

And that's it!  I made four pieces of jewelry and used a good portion of the "ingredients" from the original bracelet.  My trouble spot was the spacers...I just wasn't feeling them.  Can't wait to see what everyone else has can peek at everything here: 

 Michelle - Beads & Books - [Hostess]

Andrew - The Writing & Art of Andrew Thornton -

 Christa - Adventures of One Beady Woman -

 Dita - Alankarshilpa - -

 Erin - Erin Siegel Jewelry -

Heather - As I Bead It -

Jean - Snap Out of It Jean - There's Beading to Be Done! -

 Karen - Over the Moon Design -

Kate - We Can Make That At Home -

Kay - Palm Coast Art -

 Kim - CianciBlue -

 Kristina - Wild Roses and Blackberries -

 Linda - Lindy's Designs -

Lisa - Pine Ridge Treasures -

Marlene - Amazing Designs by Marlene -

 Michelle - Reverie & Revival -

Pam - The Crazy Creative Corner -

Pamela - Someday Beads -

 Renetha - Lamplight Crafts -

 Sharyl - Catchenthesun -

Terry - Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry -

 Therese  - Therese's Treasures -

Big Weekend

Truly, this was a very big weekend for me, in every way!  Saturday I received some GORGEOUS charms from the Ornamentea charm, to be exact, each so beautiful in its own way that it's hard to describe.  So I won't try...a picture is worth a thousand words, etc.

This is an overview of what arrived in the many little opportunities for excitement.  Here they are, individually, in the order they were opened.

From Becky at LadySmyth Metals, a beautiful metal charm.  I don't it made from PMC?  How was this made?  It is so, so intricate and beautifully finished. 

From Cynthia at Ornamentea, a beautifully crafted woven wire basket charm, to hold all the luck I can find (and lately I've been finding quite a bit!). 

From Elli, in her own words: "Embossed, sanded, sealed brass ingredient for you".  So freaking sweet!

From Erin at Tesori Trovati, one of her kanji symbols, this one representing beauty.  Erin's work is truly beautiful, and I confess that I'm one of her "groupies" (ugh,that sounds pathological, so I'll change my wording a bit)...I mean, one of her faithful blog followers and great fans. It is a thrill for me to have something created by Erin.

Ah, the sweetness of this little beaded cardinal, made by Doreen.  Bead weaving is on my "to do" list; I've never even attempted it and want so badly to learn.  Look what Melissa made!  I think the peacock feather is made from shrink plastic, another genre I've yet to play with.  It's connected to a pretty antiqued silver filigree piece.

And finally, look what Janet did!  A beautiful little beaded cube, finished off with a crystal dangle.  I'm telling you, bead weaving is going to be my next adventure. 

Thank you all so much for the incredible charms...each is gorgeous, and they are all so different!  The ladies at Ornamentea did an amazing job of choosing a variety of different charms for each participant.  Thank you all so very much for hosting this swap!

And now on to the other reason this was a big weekend for me: I hosted a sleepover for my two youngest grandchildren, Emma and Drew.  Emma was over the moon with excitement when she heard that Drew would be joining us.  Drew was a little, ummm, less excited.  He is almost 11, and quite blase about Younger Women.  In fact, he doesn't really see the benefit to spending a lot of time with someone who is only Almost Nine.  However, I plied them with a movie (I Bought a Zoo?  We Bought a Zoo?), that turned out to be very enjoyable for all three of us.  A good movie with popcorn and soda, followed by a visit to the Dollar Store and dinner out...what's not to love?   Given the fact that they were both not home, and they had a level playing field, they played Hide and Seek for what seemed like hours, and finally fell asleep in the living room after watching horrible, annoying TV for awhile.  And in the morning (sadly, I had forgotten all about Daylight Savings, and realizing that I'd "lost" an hour was devastating), this is what I saw:


I can't help but notice some things: piles of Dollar Store debris everywhere, and the total absence of cats. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012


That's an acronym for "Guide Dogs for the Blind".  My daughter and son-in-law are puppy-raisers for this amazing group, and today, for only the third time, they got to meet the puppy truck and were given an "infant" to take home and raise from scratch.  Most often, they take older puppies who have had some difficulties in other homes, and decide whether the pups can move on to more serious training, or if they need to be "career-changed".  The babies are adorable...there's nothing like a baby...but they are a lot of work!  Here's Emma with the newest baby:

It's too much, isn't it?  His name is Pegasus, and he is eight weeks old.  And if the stars align, someday Pegasus will belong to someone whose life will be exponentially richer thanks to the gift that this family has given.  To take these puppies into your home...take them to work, to the grocery store, to the restaurant, to the do this for more than a year, and then to surrender this incredible creature to the organization for serious's more than most of us could ever do.  And yet, this is what they do, over and over again. 

And if, for one reason or another, the puppy isn't deemed acceptable to lead a vision-impaired person through life?  Well, either the puppy is trained as a different kind of service dog, or someone on a long waiting list will get the pet of a lifetime.  In fact, Emma's two "house dogs" were raised by her family to be guide dogs, but Janna was too sensitive to noise, and Luna was too sensitive to smells.  Guide Dogs for the Blind cannot flinch at loud noises, and they cannot be distracted by smells. 

So whatever the future holds for little Pegasus, he will be impeccably mannered and one of the most delightful dogs you'd ever hope to meet.