Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Around the Lake: CC7A February Reveal

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Welcome to my reveal for the February edition of our friendly design challenge. This month, the Creative Continuum of Seven Artists (CC7A) is celebrating the beautiful components we received from Christine Altmiller of One Kiss Creations:

Mine is the pretty one! (*TeeHee* spoken like a mother, they're all gorgeous... mine is the one furthest right). Christine created these wonderful components using her awesome beading skills. She says, "I chose a theme: Round and Round.  I bead in circles a lot.  I like the rhythm and the flow of expanding the circle.  I could not decide if I wanted to bead around rings, beads, or rocks so I did a little of each and sent them on their way."  

There is a sad story of how MY little component went ROUND AND ROUND in circles thanks to Canada Post, spending over a month en route, but we'll save that for another time :)

As soon as this gift finally arrived, I knew immediately how I would be using it (which seldom happens to me). Christine kindly included some extra copper-coloured seed beads, and I had a few leftover seeds and bugle beads from my cross-stitching days (ancient history). All I needed to add were some coordinating polymer clay spacers (created with the circular motif going round and round), and voilà:

Christine enclosed a note attesting that this rock was collected on the shores of Lake Michigan; its surface is quite smooth, I imagine from the constant caress of the lake waters over millennia. As you can see, the "back" is unmarked:

Christine had beaded a bezel around my rock in such a way that either face could be used. I chose the pitted side to be the "front" of my bracelet, just because I liked the unique character it displays. Sometimes our cracks and faults remain visible, even with the passage of time, don't you think?

In fact, this beauty is so well bezelled, I couldn't help making everything about my project reversible. This is my first time featuring so many beads in a design, so perhaps if I had known what I was doing, the result would have been more professional... but I love my bracelet with all it's "faults".

Thank you so much, Christine, for inspiring me to try a new technique :) I didn't have the proper materials (I used some fishing line as my thread... that's a no-no, yes?) I am still pleased and proud to show off my newest creation, and tell everyone I am wearing a gift from the shores of Lake Michigan.

And thank you, Alicia, for inviting all of us on this wonderful adventure. Loads more creating ahead of us!

Do check out what the other members of the Creative Continuum of Seven Artists have shared:

Christine... One Kiss Creations 
Cynthia... Antiquity Travelers 
Emma... A Polymer Penchant 
Sally... The Studio Sublime 
Therese... Therese's Treasures

**Dear Blogger,
I see you are hiding my CommentLuv comments
I am most displeased with you.

I apologize, dear readers, especially:
Alicia, Christine, Cynthia,
Emma, Sally, Therese,
Cassi, Janet and Traveling Cats,
who kindly commented

I am sorry your comments 
are no longer visible below.
I will once again attempt to rectify this.

In the interim,
please know I DO have your gracious comments
on my CommentLuv account,
and I appreciate and value 
your time and thoughtfulness.

Future comments WILL appear
in the default Blogger commenting system.

Blogger, you are a cad**

Yours truly,
this clueless victim author

Monday, February 24, 2014

Upcoming CC7A Blog Hop, Part 2, February 26

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Last October, Alicia Marinache of All the Pretty Things proposed a small group of us exchange components and choose themes for a friendly design challenge. The Creative Continuum of Seven Artists (CC7A) was born. You will find Alicia's introduction of the artists at her blog link above. 

This Wednesday is the reveal date of our creations using the beautiful components we received from Christine Altmiller of One Kiss Creations:

Each member of the group got something unique; mine is the gorgeous piece furthest on the right. I'll just share what I made on Wednesday, but here's a hint: it is VERY different from anything I have ever done. Please do drop in and view the goodies. I know I can't wait to see what everyone has created :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

ABS Challenge February 2014

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“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can be grateful that thorn bushes have roses.” 

― Tom Wilson, Ziggy cartoonist/author

I've been less hit than miss with the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. Happily, this month's painting has remedied that!

The Rose Garden, 1920  by Paul Klee
Oil on cardboard 19 1/4" x 16 3/4 "

Very much not my usual, this artwork immediately had me grabbing bits to form a whole. I was a fibre aficionado for many years, and I think it was the ABS reference to a "patchwork quilt" that may have kicked my reptilian brain :)

Last year, Linda Landig offered some interesting destash components, and I received these bold pieces of fossilized coral in a trapezoid shape, and with lovely "sunburst" patterns. I love how they mimic the buildings in the painting, but also have the look of paving stones in a garden.

Growing between the paving stones you will spy my own rose cane slice, in a more rudimentary shape. I previously used this Cindy Leitz design in lots of ways.

This little purple stoneware house bead, by Finland's Szilvia Vihriälä (elukka), is one of my favorites. I adore these and can't stop collecting them. Szilvia sells them, along with her inimitable wall art, lovable dog sculptures and much more, at her Etsy shop.

I also love the streaky, crackled glaze effects on the beautiful ceramic round from Desiree Malan's South African studio. You can purchase  these individually hand-shaped beads at Earthbutter Studio and EarthButterBeads, packed with the gorgeous colours of Africa. Coincidentally, Desiree is one of the ABS sponsers this month.

For the necklace cording, I visited Colour Complements, where Lorraine Stobie of British Columbia over-dyes her own "one of a kind" embroidery threads, including this unique viscose ribbon. I combined two colourways to mimic the wonderful colour shifts of the painting. 

Here is my necklace:

Visiting the Garden

I really enjoyed the challenge this month. Check out the ABS flickr page for lots of art-inspired jewelry.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pearl's Latest/Winner's Choice

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She is doing it AGAIN! Pearl Blay of The Beading Gem's Journal is having ANOTHER giveaway! If you'd like to win a Modahaus TS320 photo studio ($80 value) OR the Steady Stand kit ($53 value),  please make a comment on Pearl's post

Modahaus TS320 photo studio (middle size) shown with camera


Steady Stand kit (shown with Ipad)

This giveaway is international. It ends at 6 pm EST Monday, February 24, 2014. Please check the post above for details and how to get extra entries :) Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

100 Pairs 100 Days: Part 5

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***Still hopping for the "2014 Grow Your Blog" Party? I know I am :) Click on this link.***

Here is my newest installment of the "100 Pairs 100 Days" Challenge hosted by Amy Freeland of  Copper Diem. This time I am featuring earrings in a wide range of red/pink/orange hues. How cool that we are now at the halfway point of your challenge, Amy? 

Amy is a longtime supporter of Ears to You, a wonderful morale-boosting organization, which distributes earrings to women undergoing cancer treatments.

Here is my fifth set of 10 pairs (#41-50), featuring polymer clay beads by the UK's Hazel Ward, of Continuum DesignsBelgian designer Ine Vande Cappelleand some by yours truly :) Those cute little lampwork beads (with tiny bunny dangles) are from American glass artist Julie Burgard of Indian Creek Art Glass.

The last two pairs I shared previously: I created them for the Art Jewelry Elements earring challenge. 

It's never too late to join Amy as she creates for a great cause :) I will be back on March 1st to share Part 6 :)

**Close-ups, and details and on components, are on the 100 Pairs 100 Days Pinterest board**

Saturday, February 15, 2014


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Yay! Today is the day I get to announce the winner of my Grow Your Blog (GYB) Giveaway, these three pairs of earrings, made by me from gorgeous artisan components. (Or the winner may substitute for other designs from my AJE Earring Challenge submissions, as available.)

I had a comment "malfunction" on my post (explained here), but was able to retain all the comments. I had 45 comments on the CommentLuv system (IntenseDebate) which are numbered 1-45:

Then my default Blogger commenting system kicked in (??) and the 22 subsequent commenters appeared:

So a total of 67 comments. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Grow Your Blog, especially Vicki Boster, our fabulous hostess!

Without further ado, here is the number as selected by the Random Integer Generator at RANDOM.ORG:

Number 43, which belongs to:

Sheryl! I will send you an email, Sheryl :) Thank you for playing along. (Despite both of us having technology issues, Sheryl managed to contact me. Hurray!)


Sorry for the delay in posting, folks. Browser issues (but when you use an ancient computer as I do, that's almost every day LOL).

I am nowhere near done visiting the wonderful bloggers who participated in GYB. Looking forward to meeting all of you!

Friday, February 14, 2014

♥ Celebrate LOVE Your Own Way ♥

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Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! At my house we don't make much of a fuss... we've never gone for flowers, candy, expensive meals or trips. I think it was the most fun when we were in elementary school and exchanged little pun-filled cards with all our classmates. But I couldn't resist sharing some "furry love"... I know many of you love fur-babies as much as I do. Since my own cats refused to pose for the occasion (truth be known, they run the other way if the camera appears), I have borrowed this:

Photo Credit © Jeanne Butler

And this sweet little Youtube video, seen on Tastefully Offensive (WARNING: contains heartwarming displays of affection):


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GYB Giveaway Reminder

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Just a quick reminder: if you haven't yet thrown your name in for my earring giveaway, you have until this Saturday, February 15th, 10:00 am, Atlantic Standard Time. I will be drawing and announcing a randomly selected name at 11:00 am. Thanks to everyone who has already entered!
You must comment over on this GYB post (not here), and I must have a way to contact you. No other requirements and open to everyone!
Here is the prize (all three pair): 

Sunday, February 09, 2014


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Well, I finally decided to sign up for a BSBP, folks. You can, too, but only for another 12 hours. Yep, Lori has decided to limit the sign-up to one day only (which is wise IMHO) and have one reveal day as well. 

You want in? Click on this link and follow the instructions carefully. You have until 12:00 noon EST today. Lori has a time zone converter on her post so everyone is on the same page :)

Saturday, February 08, 2014

100 Pairs 100 Days: Part 4

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***Still hopping for the "2014 Grow Your Blog" Party and GIVEAWAY? Click on this link.***

Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympic broadcasts wherever you live. Here in Canada, a lot of the action takes place when it is night here. While I wouldn't call myself a huge sports fan, I certainly enjoy the reports of athletes meeting and sharing their passions with their counterparts from around the globe. Not to mention all that pageantry and colour :)

I am posting a day early for my latest installment of the "100 Pairs 100 Days" Challenge hosted by Amy Freeland of  Copper Diem. (Too much goin' on tomorrow!) Amy is a longtime booster for Ears to You, a wonderful morale-boosting organization, which distributes earrings to women undergoing cancer treatments. 

Here is my fourth set of 10 pairs (#31-40), featuring polymer clay beads by Belgian designer Ine Vande Cappelle, American Rebekah Payne, and some by yours truly :) In honour of all the folks celebrating the day of LOVE, I've added Swarovski "Crystal Passions" hearts in a RAINBOW of colours. Happy Valentine's Day):

It's never too late to join Amy as she creates for a great cause :) I will be back on February 19th to share Part 5. Think I'll be going back to a colour theme :)

**Close-ups, and details on components, are on the 100 Pairs 100 Days Pinterest board**

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Funky Chicken Giveaway

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***I know many of us are still on our marathon "2014 Grow Your Blog" Party and GIVEAWAY; if you are one, click on this link.***

I haven't shared very many giveaway posts yet this year, but this one is irresistible:  the  U.K.'s Linda Newnham is giving away her adorable chicken beads via her blog Earthshine. Click the link for the correct post, and to read all the ways you can enter!

Also check out Linda's Etsy shop Earthshine Beads and her beads and jewellery Facebook page.

This draw will take place Monday 17th February. I just learned I won one. YAY!

Thanks for offering these cuties, Linda!

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