Friday, 16 June 2017

We’re All Ears June Challenge

June has been a month with insect based inspiration challenges. The Earrings Everyday monthly challenge is in that group. For this challenge it’s all about fireflies, some of the most amazing little creatures

If you have never had the chance to see fireflies, or lightning bugs as they are sometimes called, I hope you have that opportunity one day. I was one of the many children enchanted by them in the town where I grew up

Fireflies in action

The natural colours a firefly produces can be yellow, pale green or red. I tried to imitate the flash of the bioluminescent glow that is produced by these insects but didn’t have anything in those colour ranges that would work. In the end I decided to work with Blue Goldstone and made these

Night Flight

The silver sparkles on the man made gemstones has always appealed to me and this seemed a perfect opportunity to bring them out of the cabinet. I used gunmetal for the ear wires, chain and head pins to keep the focus on the beads

Night Flight
 The tiny blue goldstone beads hanging off of the chain are my attempt to represent the synchronization that these insects display in their flashes

These earrings will be added to my shop this weekend.

Please visit the Earrings Everyday site for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Pretty Palettes May Design Challenge

For their challenge this month, Molly selected some lovely succulents for the Pretty Palette inspiration

Succulents from the Greenhouse
The focus is all on the greens in all shades. Of course we need other colours for contrast and I used them well.

The same as last month, I made a necklace that started with an embossed teardrop, this one with a darker green and with gold on the embossing. This time I decided to luxe up the look to the max. 

Meant To Be
The oval beads are jade with freshwater pearls sitting between each gemstone. The pearls are dyed in a colour combination called Treasure Mix. Doesn’t that sound just lovely? To my eye the colours of the pearls pull out the background and the creamy colour on the one plant. I continued the luxe look with 14 Kt gold fill for all the metals

Meant To Be
The necklace needed earrings to go with it so of course I obliged

Looking at the plants again I decided to put the inspiration to work again with memory wire bracelets.

Slide into Green
The larger bracelet has heishi shell, olive jade and aventurine strung on the memory wire from lightest to darkest and back again. I like the effect, it flows so nicely

I liked it so much I decided to make another with more heishi shell pieces, this time with some in the natural white and some dyed a pale pink. After all there’s some light pink peeking out of the bottom right corner of the last photo, right?

Touch of Blush
Everything will be added to my shop this weekend.

Please visit the Halcraft site for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Art Bead Scene May Challenge

May’s inspiration for the monthly ABS challenge is this painting by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle
There’s 2 ways to go with this artwork, emulate the fragmented view seen from many angles, or take inspiration from the colours. Since the Cubism movement has never really appealed to me I chose to focus on the colours


First up came this bracelet. The cream and red colour of the ceramic button, made by Sienna Orlando a local artist, pull from opposite ends of the artwork, quiet creamy white background and a splash of colour that grabs the eye. I followed it up with green and copper beads that pulled other colours from the artwork, and added more of the red and cream in 2 of the strands and the loop for the button

I’ve got the Rhythm

This lariat style necklace took the colours from the artwork in a different direction. This one focuses on the muted green and brown colours, reflected in the dark green of the porcelain beads, all created by Leslie Watt and in the brown of the waxed cotton cord

I hope you enjoyed seeing my interpretations. Both pieces are available in my shop

Do go to the reveal on the 31st and see what everyone else made. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Honey Do List May Challenge

The inspiration photo that Eric Wentling took for the May challenge was of a brass sculpture sitting in a garden of field grasses and fruit trees

Photo courtesy of Eric Wentling

That tree with its beautiful spring flowers is the star of the photo. This month though I just wasn’t feeling it for that pinkish purple colour. Instead I focused on the sculpture and the grasses. From those came this necklace


The antiqued brass spacer beads, bail for the pendant & clasp evoke the sculpture while the green and yellow green serpentine beads reflect the grasses and background trees. Flowers are a necessity for gardens and daisies are perfect for one like the garden in the photo

The sweet polymer clay flower was created by Heather Powers of Humblebeads. I used an antiqued brass bail and ring to attach it to the necklace of serpentine gemstones and antiqued brass spacer beads

I hope you enjoyed seeing my necklace. It is available in my shop

Do go to the reveal and see what everyone else made. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Friday, 19 May 2017

We’re All Ears May Challenge

The challenge this month is all about trash transformed, taking something otherwise neglected, forgotten or discarded and making it into something of beauty, substance and ingenuity. “There is a fine line between trash and treasure” and this challenge is all about walking that line. We were given this lovely collage of transformed treasures for inspiration

I must confess that recycling items into art is something that has intrigued me for a long time. I’ve actually been collecting interesting tin containers, old watch parts and broken down electronic parts to experiment with, but never took that first step until now.

All cut apart, prepped and waiting for a decent disc cutter, there were several tin containers sitting in my stash. I took advantage of a sale earlier this year and bought a Pepe disc cutter package with a 14 hole disc cutter, sized from 1/8” up to 1”, urethane pad, holding base and 8 centre punches for the larger disc holes. So excited! It sure beats the cheap newbie punch I bought several years ago

I put the new disc cutter to good use and made these earrings

All of the red circles came from a Christmas tin. The red colour is not solid, shifting and changing shades throughout the tin

I added clear faceted glass rondelles to these 1” discs and used silver plated wire and leverback ear wires

Triple Decked

For these earrings 3 sizes of tin discs were put together with silver plated ear hoops and oval jump rings. The pretty light mint discs came from a tin covered in cheerful dots which I pulled in along the edges. The earrings hang just over 2 1/2”

Garden Fruit

Some small tea tins are the source of the discs for these earrings. There are many fruit and leaves on the tins. It will be a lot of fun playing with them. For the earrings I added red glass faceted beads and used silver plated wire and leverback ear wires again


The final pair use 4 different sizes of discs from the red tin. I simply reversed the smallest and 2nd largest discs to the silver back so that there would be contrast and more depth. To make these discs I selected the best area on the tin, tightened down the disc puncher, marked the hole location with the centre punches then punched the discs themselves out. Some minor sanding of all edges, completion of the centre holes and doming came next. The bright and cheery yellow bead is a handmade lampwork glass headpin on a copper wire made by Samantha Capeling. The copper wire was used to form the loop and the trailing curl. All I had to do after was add the copper leverback ear wires

I hope you enjoyed seeing the earrings. They are available in my shop now
Do go to the reveal and see what everyone else made. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Monday, 1 May 2017

Art Bead Scene April Design Challenge

I’m running a little late with my challenge post. The last week of April ended up being much busier than I expected. The inspiration for this month’s challenge was this artwork by Paul Gauguin. You can read all about it here

Matamoe or Landscape with Peacocks, Paul Gauguin, 1892, Oil On Canvas
The warm, no hot, colours of the tropics grabbed my eye from the first time I looked at the artwork. I have to admit I had a little trouble trying to imagine how to design with them. Then, I took a walk through my art bead collection and these happened

Other Worldly

This amazing art bead from Sue Kennedy, with different shades of opaque orange and a silver trail with dots, was buried away in my stash. I had bought it probably 3 – 4 years ago but could not picture a design that would be suitable. The agate ring surrounding it is one of more than a half dozen I bought about 5 years ago. I had used up the smaller ones and still have 4 left of this size.

The combination fits perfectly with some images of Saturn taken from the Cassini spacecraft except mine imagines a fiery world. The pendant is finished with sterling silver and waxed linen in 2 complementary colours

Found at the same time as the first lampwork bead is the one used in this necklace

Burning Sky

Burning Sky

The lampwork bead in this necklace is from Robyn Kirkman of FireSong Creations in Australia. It was a bit of a wait before it arrived but not as long as I expected and well worth it. Unfortunately it again sat in my stash for a couple of years. The transparent bead is a cheerful vibrant pink with black stringers and dots. I used black and light pink wood beads, almost a whole string of farfalle beads, aka peanut beads, in an amethyst rainbow, black leather and silver plated metals with this one

Both necklaces are available in my shop

Please visit the Art Bead Scene site for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Friday, 28 April 2017

Pretty Palettes April Design Challenge

The challenge this month from the Halmark team Pretty Palettes creator was based on 2 sweet spring illustrations from Heather Powers. You can read more about Heather’s creations here

I chose this one to build my design with

Handpainted design by Heather Powers 

The jumping off point for this necklace was the pretty embossed teardrop in the light mint colour. To showcase it I gathered some mint glass beads and mother of pearl rounds, both I had bought at Michaels quite some time ago. To these I added some peach aventurine rounds that are close to the recommended colours, a multi coloured glass flower and some rectangle shaped chain

Mint Sprigs

I had 2 of the mint coloured glass beads left and decided to make a pair of little stacker earrings using the 3 bead colours. It gives a nice finishing touch. Oh yes, all the metals are silver plated

Mint Sprigs

The set is available in my shop

Mint Sprigs

Please visit the Halcraft site for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Honey Do List April Design Challenge

For this month the hope was to capture spring in all its early season glory. Being in Minnesota, and with a cool spring so far, there wasn’t much glory yet. Eric Wentling did capture this sweet photo of a chickadee perched on red dogwood twigs

In honour of spring I made this pendant with a totem anchored by a red leaf

Bring the Spring

 I used several ceramic beads by different makers, all strung on a waxed cotton cord, tied to a gunmetal jump ring and suspended from a large antiqued silver plated ring. The makers?

Ceramic leaf – Leslie Watt
Ceramic Melon bead – Gaea Cannaday
Sprocket beads – Joan Miller

The pendant is available in my shop

Please visit SJ Design for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Saturday, 22 April 2017

We’re All Ears April Challenge

The challenge this month was based on eggs in all their forms. Easter eggs, natural egg images, egg colours, egg shapes, whatever struck a creative spark

The inspiration photos of Ukrainian pysanki eggs are amazing and each one is a little treasure. There’s just something about them though that never works for me. Maybe it’s because they just feel too busy, too overwhelming with all their intricate patterns and colours

 For me the natural world, with its many amazing egg colours, shapes and textures, is a better fit. I went looking online and came up with 2 beautiful images. This first one I found online a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I forgot to save the link and have not been able to track it down again

Those purple speckles on the cream background are gorgeous. They inspired this pair of earrings


The ceramic drops, though not quite egg shaped, are an excellent interpretation of the egg. They were created by Natalie McKenna of Grubbi Ceramics. I added glass button drops, also called mushroom beads, in a colourway called summer thunder. I picked out the ones I thought went well with the ceramic drops and used waxed linen in a light purple to tie the stack to antiqued bronze jump rings. The jump rings hang from brass ear wires that I antiqued very lightly.

I also found this image of Lewin bird eggs, this time on Pinterest.

These eggs inspired this pair of earrings


The top egg felt like a close match to the ceramic drops, again from Natalie McKenna. As with the first pair of earrings I used more of the glass button drops from the summer thunder colourway. This time I used a bronze wire for the totem and bright brass ear wires for the final touch.

I hope you enjoyed the earrings. They are available in my shop

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mother’s Day Sale

The most important women in our lives
We love them
They love us
Let’s celebrate Moms

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Available at the Dufferin Museum

My jewellery and jewellery storage pieces are available in the Gift Shop of the Dufferin County Museum & Archives, now until the beginning of September

My journey with the museum began during the Christmas 2016 season when a good selection of my designs were available in the Gift Shop there.  Despite the terrible winter weather during much of the show period it was a success

The museum has a reputation for promoting not just the history of the area but also cultural and life impacting events throughout the year. In support of their events schedule, there is now a rotating schedule of vendors in the gift shop, and my jewellery is included in the first group. I also make jewellery storage and display units and have some in the gift shop too

 Come and seethe variety of handmade products from local artisans available in the Gift Shop. You may find the perfect item

The Dufferin County Museum & Archives 
936029 Airport Road
Mulmur, ON L9V 0L3

Tuesday to Friday 10:00am until 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am until 4:00pm
Sunday 12:00 noon until 5:00pm
Monday Closed
Archives and Archives reading room are closed on Sunday and Monday

Admission plus HST
Adults   $5.00
Seniors $4.00
Children (5 to 14 yrs.)  $2.00
Children (under 5)   Free
Family $12.00
Our building is fully wheelchair accessible and provides ample parking for our guests

The DCMA continues to welcome group visits. One of the best things about the DCMA is that there is something here for everyone. Other great reasons to come to the DCMA include great hospitality from friendly staff and volunteers, a huge collection of local artifacts, amazing views over the hills of Mulmur, and a unique architectural space.

To get more information about bringing your group to the museum for a tour visit or call 1-877-941-7787 ext. 32