Thursday, December 25, 2014

Greetings To All My Blogging Friends

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Wishing everyone a Joyous Christmas and Happy New (and improved) Year! May 2015 bring all that is good :)

Favorite ornament from my good friend and talented
crafter, Judy (unfortunately she's not online)

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop 2014

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We all love hoarding collecting, but once in awhile we need to CREATE! This is the idea behind the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop. I participated in Lori's event last year and she kindly agreed to host again, so I signed up. My post will be brief as the list of bloggers is fairly long. Suffice to say: my hoard is much larger than it was last time! 

Other than buying NOTHING new to use, I had two priorities: finish a project that has been languishing; and use one of my older focals. I chose this lovely pendant by Round Rabbit, accompanied by recycled glass from my favorite supplier of Indonesian beads, Yukidesigns, with mother-of-pearl and cultured sea glass. I stopped at one design. Baby steps :)

My camera is on its last legs, but my sister has offered me one of hers (she collects cameras like I collect beads!) I MUST take her up on that one of these days ;)

Oh, right, also a swirly lentil in polymer clay made by me (it's been around forever!)

Thanks for visiting :) Keep the fun going and hang out with these other designers:

Lori Anderson PrettyThings Blog  (Hostess)

Audrey Belanger Toki No Hourousha
Kathy Lindemer Bay Moon Design
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Shai Williams Shaiha's Ramblings
Lisa Knappenberger
Mary Lindell
Patricia Handschuh
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Kathleen Breeding
*THAT'S ME* Monique Urquhart*****
Michelle Escano
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp
Ginger Bishop lilmummylikes
Kelly Schermerhorn Meandering With Kelly
Rachel Mallis Mintmonarch
Susan McClelland
Mary K McGraw MK's Creative Musings
Tania Spivey Moobie Grace Designs
Nicole Rennell Nicole Rennell Designs
Nicole Valentine
Karen Mitchell Over the Moon
Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard
Blanca Medina
Stephanie Haussler
Roxanne Mendoza  Roxi Designs
Claire Fabian saraccino
Bridget Torres
Donetta Farrington  Simply Gorgeous
Lee Koopman   Strega Jewellry's Blog
Cece Cormier The Beading Yogini
Lizzie Clarke the need to bead
Fay Wolfenden Fay Wolfenden Designs
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Nan Smith Nanmade

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Last Chance to Bid on Art Charms

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**THIS EVENT HAS CONCLUDED! Thanks everyone who supported us by visiting, bidding and buying. It was a great success again thanks to Jen Cameron's hard work!!**

Just a reminder... the eBay auction benefiting Beads of Courage  will be concluding starting tomorrow evening (December 1, 2014 EST time) and over the following two days. Many one-of-a-kind charms are available, with auctions concluding at various times (times should appear in your local time zone). 

On my last post, I shared the charm I made. Here is a peek at some more: one beautiful example from each participant. Please note some donated more than one, so it's worth a look to discover them all!

Again, click here to visit the auction and help a wonderful children's charity :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Art Charm Swap 2014 Reveal

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**THIS EVENT HAS CONCLUDED! Thanks everyone who supported us by visiting, bidding and buying. It was a great success again thanks to Jen Cameron's hard work!!**

Welcome to the reveal and blog hop for the 2014 Art Charm Swap and fundraising auction for the Beads of Courage program, which supports seriously ill children in many hospitals internationally. This year thirty-six bead artists have participated, each creating original charms on the theme of "Soar", and exchanging them under the inspired guidance of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. This event culminates today with the opening of the Ebay auction, selling charms donated by each artist, with all funds being donated to Beads of Courage. So visit our blogs, check out the charms on eBay, and bid on any or all... they make amazing one-of-a-kind Holiday gifts!

I wish to thank Jennifer for her dedicated efforts, year after year, in making this an event I eagerly anticipate. Thanks also to my fellow participants for sharing your beautiful designs and wonderful stories. A complete list including links can be found at the end of this post.

I had a hard time deciding which "soaring" creature/object I would feature (there are so many beautiful ones, as you will see), but finally chose the delicate honey bee... which, it has been argued, can barely fly, let alone soar :)

To report that bees are in trouble, with some species even verging on extinction, is probably NOT news to any of you. Domesticated bees provide not only honey, but pollination to a wide array of food plants, and their care is of the utmost importance.

What do the bees want from us? It may interest you to read this amusing but poignant bee Manifesto from a politically astute honey bee, translated by Rusty Burlew, the thoughtful Washington scientist, bee advocate and writer of Honey Bee Suite.

So (finally) here are my charms, lovingly hand-shaped using artist-quality (Kato) polymer clay. Designed exclusively for this event, they are a tribute to our irreplaceable garden friend, the hardworking honey bee.

The charm up for auction is in the right-hand column, at bottom

Jen takes awesome photos, so I couldn't help sharing these she took of the charm for sale:

Thanks so much for all your hard work, Jennifer!

There are many awesome expressions out there, urging us to "reach for the top", and I appreciate them all, but I took a slightly different slant. Here are MY TOP PICKS FOR REFLECTIONS ON "SOAR" (the ones that inspired my original motto found on the back of the charm):

"Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar."
  -William Wordsworth, British Poet Laureate, 1798. A favorite of gardeners.

"Be wise; soar not too high to fall; but stoop to rise."

   -Philip Massinger, English satirical dramatist, from a 1621 play. An admonition to  politicians and others "serving the public".


One last linkie :)

**About six weeks ago, as I was getting ready to pack up my charms, I was thrilled to discover this awesome bee box made by Therese Frank. Take a peak! Isn't this the coolest? It is like the big sister to my charms.**


Most of our designers are presenting their charms today. Please check in with them when you get a chance. Thank you for viewing and, hopefully, participating in our auction supporting a wonderful program :)

Jennifer Cameron: Glass Addictions
Alenka Obid: Pepita Handmade Art
Alicia Marinache: All the PrettyThings
Andrea Glick: ZenithJade Creations
Caroline Dewison: BlueberriBeads
Cassi Paslick: Bad at Being Mom
Cate van Alphen: Fulgorine
Chris Eisenberg: Wanderware
Cory Tompkins: Tealwater Designs 
Elizabeth Auld Beads for Busy Gals
Genevieve Gabbert: MasuDesigns (FB post)
Jami Shipp: Celebrating Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor: Jenny Davies-Reazor
Kim Dworak: CianciBlue
Lennis Carrier: Windbent
Lesley Watt: The Gossiping Goddess
Mallory Hoffman: For the Love of Beads
Melissa Trudinger: Beadrecipes
Michelle McCarthy: Firefly Design Studio
*YOU ARE HERE* Monique Urquhart: A Half-Baked Notion*****
Nancy Dale: NEDbeads
Nancy Smith: Nanmade
Niky Sayers: Silver NikNats 
Renetha Stanziano: Lamplight Craft
Shai Williams: Shaiha's Ramblings
Sheila Prosterman: catswithbeads/cheap charms
Susan Delaney: SusanDolphinDelaney
Susan Kennedy: Sue Beads
Terri DelSignore: artisticaos
Toltec Jewels: Jewel School Friends
Vanessa Gilkes: Culturezine

Saturday, November 22, 2014

**Save This Tuesday November 25th**

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**THIS EVENT HAS CONCLUDED! Thanks everyone who supported us by visiting, bidding and buying. It was a great success again thanks to Jen Cameron's hard work!!**

This is a friendly reminder that the 2014 Art Charm Swap, Blog Hop and Auction for Beads of Courage starts next Tuesday November 25th, 2014. I will be revealing my charms, specially created for this event, and I am very excited to share my inspiration. In a future post, I will also talk a bit about, and share some photos of, the beautiful charms I received from other artists in the swap.

Here's a sneak peek:

O.K., I'm not allowed to show you YET!

A special thank you to Terri, Nancy, Rita, NikyJenny, Mallory, Melissa, Caroline and Michelle, who made the lovely charms I received! 

The Beads of Courage program is a wonderful cause which assists seriously ill children in several countries. All funds raised in our auction of donated charms will go towards helping sick kids overcome difficult moments in their treatment. You can help, too, by bidding and buying wonderful, one-of-a-kind creations... getting a jump on Holiday gift-buying AND supporting a truly worthwhile cause. See you on Tuesday!

**Save this link to the eBay auction so you'll be ready to bid when the charms go LIVE on Tuesday**

Friday, November 14, 2014

Grow Your Blog 2015 Sign-Ups

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Just a quick PSA... I'm happy to pass on the news that Vicki of 2BagsFull is once again hosting her wonderful Grow Your Blog event! As in past years, the party starts on January 25th, but Vicki leaves the post up permanently, and it is a source of visits the year round. It is easy to sign up but it must be done at the link above ONLY! 

**The deadline for entry is January 17th**

Last year was my first time participating and I had a ball! I discovered hundreds of new blogs and am still following many of them (what can I say? I love blogging!)

Here's my post from last January: Grow Your Blog January 2014. I hope you will all check out Vicki's invitation and consider joining us :) 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Tea Pot Challenge

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We bloggers in the Northern Hemisphere are facing another winter :( Looking for a way to keep warm as the mercury plunges? How about a lovely collection of decorated tea pots? The French blog Parole de Pate features their Tea Pot Challenge entrants on today's post (click on link).

From the whimsical to the sublime, with links to the creators' blogs, they are sure to warm our creative souls, if not our bellies :)

Now for a cuppa...

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Art Charm Fundraiser 2014 Coming Up!

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**THIS EVENT HAS CONCLUDED! Thanks everyone who supported us by visiting, bidding and buying. It was a great success again thanks to Jen Cameron's hard work!!**

Coming up later this month, November 14th 25th to be precise, is my all-time favourite blogging event, the annual Art Charm Exchange and fundraising auction for Beads of Couragea wonderful program which assists seriously ill children to overcome difficult moments in their treatments.

I have sent my charms for the swap, including one which will be auctioned to raise money for this great organization. Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions has been coordinating this event for the past five years, and puts in many hours receiving, redistributing, repackaging, photographing, listing on eBay and of course managing the online auction and ensuring buyers have a great experience. Thanks so much Jen, for your dedication to a truly beautiful cause!

If you have never bought on eBay, you'll be surprised how easy it is to register to buy. You can register today and be ready for the bidding on November 14th 25th. It's great fun and all money raised goes to Beads of Courage :)

Here's a sneak peek at my charms:

All will be revealed on November 14th 25th!

And here's a look at Jennifer's center of operations:

"Santa" Jen getting ready to load the sleigh!

That's boxes to U.S. participants on the right, international charm swappers on the left... I believe this year we have gals from Australia, Slovenia, the U.K. and Canada.

I'm eager to receive my package of charms. It's always a fabulous surprise to see how everyone interprets the theme, which for 2014 is "SOAR".

Looking forward to the auction and hope to see everyone on the 14th 25th!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Easy Photo Collage With PicMonkey

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Ever wonder how to make those cool collaged photo groups to share your creations on Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc? Link below the photo:

I sneaked in a collage of some 2012 Art Charm Swap and
fundraiser  creations. Info on this year's event coming...
this weekend!

Genea Crivello-Knable of Genea Beads recently uploaded a great Youtube video to get you started. Check it out!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

No Octoberfest for Me :(

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My apologies to anyone looking for my Octoberfest post. I let the hostess, Rita, know I wouldn't be taking part, and she removed me from her list, but I notice a few participants may have inadvertantly published an older list which included my blog. Sorry for any inconvenience. I hope to be able to join everyone for the next blog hop! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Violin Made Of WHAT??

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Thought everyone might enjoy this short video featuring a violin MADE OF BURLAP, by self-taught inventors Christos and Areti, who create all sorts of amazing eco-instruments in their studios in Komotini, in the northeastern part of Greece. See lots more on their website ArtEcoArt

I'm no expert, but this sounds pretty amazing to me!

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

**Last day to Sign Up for Art Charm Swap 2014**

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**THIS EVENT HAS CONCLUDED! Thanks everyone who supported us by visiting, bidding and buying. It was a great success again thanks to Jen Cameron's hard work!!**

Just a quickie post. Today is the final day to get in on Jen Cameron's  Art Charm Swap 2014... you can sign up at this link only. I have loved taking part the last two years. Not only is this a fun way to swap with other artists, but the event also features an auction which benefits the Beads of Courage program for seriously ill children.

Here are my charms for 2012

You can also view some of the beautiful charms I received in the swap for 2012 and 2013 by checking these links.

There are still a few available spots in this event. Do check right away for details at Jen's post here. I hope to see YOU there this year!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge

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Welcome to the reveal and blog hop for the Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge, sponsored by Rita/Toltec Jewels of Jewel School Friends. Rita generously provided these gorgeous little anchor charms handmade by the talented Diana Ptaszynski. 

Photo shamelessly stolen from Diana's shop ;)

Thank you, Rita, for sharing your awesome idea and being so generous with your gifts :) And thanks, Diana, for creating these inspirational gems!

I was very tempted to make an earring pair with these (well, not really... I have been "off" on earrings this year LOL). Anyway, these are the designs I created:

A little cuff hand-sewn with craft rope and highlighted with waxed linen... I wanted something casual to wear on vacation. It has a peek-a-boo window to showcase one of Diana's charms:

Also a short strung necklace featuring the second charm, with some mother-of-pearl, Indonesian recycled glass and silver charms (lots of circles):

Thanks for visiting and check out these fellow bloggers :)

Featured & Honored Artist:         Diana Ptaszynski

Diana's Shop:           Suburban Girl Beads

Diana's Blogs:           Suburban Girl Studio
                                     Art Jewelry Elements

Hostess: TJ            Jewel School Friends

Bobbie Rafferty             Beadsong Jewelry

Chris Eisenberg             Wanderware

Heather Richter            Desert Jewelry Designs

Michelle McCarthy           Firefly Design Studio

Kathy Lindemer            Bay Moon Design

Dini Bruinsma            Angaza by Changes

Cynthia Machata            Antiquity Travelers

Kathleen Breeding           99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall

Linda Younkman           Lindy's Designs

Robin Reed              Artistry HCBD

Marla Gibson             Spice Box Designs

Gina Hockett             Freestyle Elements

Renetha Stanziano            Lamplight Crafts

Marianne Baxter             Simply Seablime Jewelry
Christina Miles              Wings N Scales

Marybeth Rich          A Few Words from Within the Pines

Shai Williams            Shaiha's Ramblings

Cheri Reed              Creative Designs by Cheri

Monique Urquhart (THAT'S ME!) A Half-Baked Notion

Jennifer Reno             Musings of a Crafty Jenny

Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread

Tammy Adams               Paisley Lizard

Melissa Trudinger              Bead Recipes

Jill Bradley               JillyBeads  

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