Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sand and Sea Blog Hop Soup!

I can't believe it's almost New Year's Day! The entire month of December FLEW right past. We had a wonderful Christmas although we missed our dear friend, Leslie, very much. She wasn't able to make it in for the holidays this year but we are hoping she can come next year for sure!

I am so excited! I received my bead soup kit for Lisa Lodge's "My Bead Table Blog Hop ~ Sand and Sea".  I am SO thankful for the GORGEOUS kit she sent me. I was secretly hoping to get a "Sea" themed kit instead of a "Sand" themed kit and I was not disappointed.

I've never done a bead soup type of challenge until this past November when I did a Humble Beads bead soup blog hop. When the opportunity arose to take part in Lisa's blog hop I jumped at the chance.

I wanted to share my kit with you so you can see the before and after and see what I do with everything. I am really going to try to stretch my creative muscle this time. I tend to play it safe and work up very symmetrical jewelry. This time I want to try to break out of the box and see what happens.

This first photo shows our studio mascatt, Waldo. He's about 8 months old and he is the official reason I know longer get as much done. LOL. He likes to lay in the middle of my work or to steal my beads. The Second photo shows a close up of the wonderful 'soup' that Lisa sent. Finally, the last photo shows my anal retentive side, I had to sort out the beads by type so I could start to think about how to design with these treasures.

I have until March 9th to work up my pieces so I am going to play around with these beads for a bit before I commit to a finished piece. Right now I am thinking about a multiple strand bracelet but I may change my mind.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Berries and Leaves Challenge

The ladies over at the Artisan Whimsy site have created a new challenge for the month of November. The theme is Berries and Leaves. With it being the lead up to Christmas, naturally my mind turned towards Holly berries and leaves. My entry is an upcycled piece that features buttons and scrapbooking brads. I love  how it came out. These button charm bracelets are a favorite of mine for creating cute themed or holiday inspired bracelets.

Be sure to stop by the challenge site and check out all of the entries! 
This cute bracelet is available in my Etsy shop here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bare Branches Blog Hop

I was lucky enough to get in on Heather Power's blog hop called Bare Branches. She put together a Bead Soup kit featuring her gorgeous polymer clay beads. The theme was icy and wintery and the mix she sent was just gorgeous. It brought a feeling of loneliness with it and I felt that delicious, and self indulgent sense of bitter-sweetness I get every year at this time. I loved everything she sent!

In true Bead Soup fashion, I used most of the mix she sent and added a few extras from my own personal stash. I added some chain, a sewn silk ribbon, som Czech glass and a few brass filigree rounds. I had a lot personal stuff come up in the week between the time I got my beads and the deadline for the blog hop so my design isn't as creative as I'd have liked, but I am pretty satisfied with it.

You should hop on over to Heather's blog and check out her and the other participants' designs. It's always a treat to see what different people do with the same components! I want to thank Heather for putting together this mix of pretties and for offering them up at such a deal. I don't think it will be long before I go back to her etsy shop Humblebeads for more of her gorgeous beads!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Show Off Your Hooters?

The girls over at the ning site, Artisan Whimsy have been showing off their hooters! Owls that is, LOL. They put together a challenge showcasing owls. The challenge was to create either an owl component or a finished piece that featured an owl.

I'm not really crazy about owls, so I had to think really hard about what to create. I went for something fallish and embossed the owl onto sheet copper and then stamped the feathers in with my V stamp. Next came hole punching and then the dangles were added.

For my dangles I used a Russ Powers boro bead accented with Citrine rondelles. A brown glass pearl and crystal were accented with some gorgeous goldenrod yellow Aragonite rondelles. I suspended my plaque from some pretty solid copper rolo chain and finished it off with a hand forged copper S clasp I made.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with how my little owl came out. If you like him too, please go to the Artisan Whimsy site and give me a vote!

What sort of owl creations do you make?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bead Soup Book Review!

Lori Anderson's book is chock full of beadie goodness and is definitely eye candy for the jewelry makers soul. These 32 projects will inspire countless designs. Packed with helpful tips and loads of gorgeous photos! A must have for those needing a boost for their creative muse! Lori's writing style is very personable and warm and her designs are just gorgeous! I give this book an enthusiastic 5 stars!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Little Day of the Dead Project!

I had a great time with this project. It was pretty involved and by far, the hardest project I've attempted so far in my metalsmithing journey. These little Day of the Dead pendants involved cutting with shears and with a jeweler's saw, filing, stamping, sweat soldering, more filing and cutting, more soldering and then finally, antiquing the sterling and polishing. These little skulls are from a project from Joe Silvera's book, Soldering Made Simple.  His directions are easy to follow and I feel like I've learned a good bit from this project. I am still working my pieces too hot, bordering on fusing them instead of soldering, but I am starting to get the hang of most of the techniques. I was pleased with my results so I put these up for sale in my Etsy shop, you can find them here...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Techniques!

About a month ago I invested in an embossing machine. I've been using it to create some new jewelry using Vintaj brass disks and then colorizing the metal with patinas from Vintaj and from Lisa Liddy's Color Me This line. Every project has been a joy and I am totally in love with the technique. Embossing is so easy to do and the results are stunning! I encourage everyone to try out the technique!

Here are a few pieces that I've made recently with these techniques.

All of these pieces are available in our Etsy shop at

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bead Love!

Today our mailbox was stuffed with two great packages! First, I received some silk sari ribbons in the mail from my friend Vonna. She spoiled me with awesome! I have been wanting to try my hand at using silk ribbons but I never seem to have the cash on hand to purchase the overflowing basketful of ribbons I choose everytime I look. I am a terrible one for making decisions on new stuff. She took the guess work out of my choices and sent me some amazing colors. The wine and the blue green are my favorites but I think I'm going to work with the goldenrod yellow ones first.

My second bead love package was from Terry Jeanette Carter from over at Tappingflamingo Blog. Terry and I were partnered up in a Pantone Fall 2012 bead swap in the Bead Soup Cafe group on Facebook. The idea was to exchange beads based on the Fall color palette designers are using this season. She and I both tried to hit every color in the palette and I think we came pretty close! I think my favorite thing is the glass saucers in the teals and blues mix but I would be hard pressed to point at something I wasn't tickled with. I want to thank Terry again for being my partner for making this exchange so fun!

Friday, September 7, 2012

1 Love Letter by Clairy Browne

1 Love Letter by Clairy Browne

Rome and I LOVE the musicians they feature in the Heiniken Beer commercials. We've been singing the Love Letter song for a month now. Who ever thought up the commercials should get kudos for choosing such amazing tunage. I looked up the singer of Love Letter tonight and I am totally in love with this groups sound. Very bluesy and funky 50s. I'm going to get the album as soon as I figure out if it's North America compatable. The group is Clairy Browne and Bangin' Rackettes and they are from Australia. Check out the link and enjoy the tune!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Techniques!

I tried my hand at something new this past week. Riveting...seriously. LOL. I riveted my first items together and it was SO much fun. I'm searching all over for more things I can jam together with a rivet. I don't know why I waited so long to try this out, it was really very easy.

I also stamped out my first word. That will take more practice to perfect but I enjoyed doing that too. I need to find more inspiration for words and blanks to try this out on. I'm LOVING learning all of the metal smithing techniques.

Here is my project piece. I used a 34mm Vintaj brass blank and riveted on the 'flower' bead cap. I then stamped out stem and leaves and finally added the word 'blossom' and another flower to the end. My spacing isn't great yet, but I think this one has lots of character.

My beading group, The Bead Hive, has a new inspiration up this month. I LOVE this color palette and wanted to use the colors for a project.

I decided to use my new pendant with the crystals picking up the colors from the inspiration palette. I used rose, olivine and amethyst crystals and the brass chain picks up that tone from the palette nicely I think.

What would you make using that color palette? Does it say Fall/Autumn to you too?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall is in the Air

It's that time of  year again! Time to start thinking about Fall and Winter. I hate to put away my oceany colors and Summer clothes. I know it's going to be hot for the next month or so, but it's definitely time to get busy designing Fall and Winter items for our shop. Pretty soon it will be time for Pumpkin Festival here in Milton, WV and that means our town will be totally transformed into a Fall paradise.

I just perused the Pantone Fall 2012 color palate and there is so much to LOVE this coming season! My favorite is Ultramarine Green followed by Pink Flambe! The softer Rhapsody and Rose Smoke colors are uber romantic!

Pantone Fall 2012 Colors.

Rome and I just listed a bunch of great new pieces in our Etsy shop!  You can see the color influences from the pantone scheme here. You can find all of our gorgeous jewelry at

Sedona. Features Arizona mined Chrysocola and Aqua Negra Agate. It falls in the Ultramarine Green group.

Principessa offers some of the warm romantic pinks from the Fall color trends, both Rose Smoke and Pink Flambe!

Tangerine Orange and pink lampwork beaded earrings! Simply, Tangerine!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Trying again!

So, I had a blog before and I let it languish and fade away. I was not a very good blogger. I would post frantically for a few days and then it would sit for months on end...I going to try to do a better job this time.

I thought I'd share some of my latest items created for the shop. I was lacking inspiration last weekend until I stumbled upon some great shell beads at the local craft shop. I wish I'd found them sooner! Here are some of the items I made last weekend!

These items are available in our Etsy shop at thepinkmartini