December 29, 2012

A Year of Beads (Almost!)

I thought it would be fun to share the year of disk beads from the 2012 Bead of the Month Club.  Each month I would sit down with the color palette Brandi Hussey had created for the Art Bead Scene and mix up my colors.  From there I would make my disk beads.  We had 20 in the club this year and that's 200 beads a month and a whopping 2400 disk beads over the year! 

Well, it's almost a year in review - there were three months I haven't taken photos of and darn if they aren't packed away in those notorious five boxes I have left of beads to unpack.  I swear I will finish unpacking my studio before the New Year!

I had such a great time with each month's challenge but wasn't sure I was going to do a disk edition of the BOM Club again.  It was so much work.  But since several have asked about it I thought I would open it up to 10 subscriptions for 2013.  For the next year I have a list of my favorite paintings that I have hoped to interpret into beads for a while now.

You can find the BOM Club listing in my Etsy shop.

December 28, 2012

Holiday Memories

Our first Christmas here couldn't have been more magical.  We were all little elves as we worked on gifts, decorated and wrapped presents.  We enjoyed time with our family, including a crazy cookie making party where I swear we made over 200 cookies.  We had Christmas here at the house in the country.  We shared a meal, gifts and many laughs.  This is where my bliss lives.  Surrounded by those I love, in a quite, nature-filled space.  I wake up every day so thankful. 

The house was decorated with simple decorations inspired by nature - pine cones, acorns, birds, trees, lots of evergreen that I snipped from my twin pines outside.

Sweet treats where everywhere - on the kitchen counter I lined mason jars with ribbon candy, candy canes and more. 

This tiny tree sits in my kitchen. I decorated it with sari ribbon, paper and felt roses and tiny Humblebeads pendants that were tucked away in my stash.

We keep our decorations up until after the New Year.  We like to extend the celebration.  We like to spend the week after Christmas watching movies, crafting, doing a little diy, working on puzzles and just snuggled in the house together.  I don't think my teens are digging as much as I am, they are starting to get a little stir crazy.  So some ice-skating and cocoa drinking are probably in order for this weekend, along with a movie downtown - I hope!  

Thank you to all who stop by and read the blog.  Thank you for your support over this year.  Thank you for your kindness, friendship and encouragement.  I'm wishing you the best and brightest for 2013!

December 18, 2012

Winter Whites

I was inspired this month to work up some Art Deco inspired gingkos and a necklace fit for a roaring 20's flapper.  Boy did they have amazing style back in the day.  We are having a 1920's costume party on the Bead Cruise in a few months, so I'm sure you'll see several designs influenced by this time period as I work up something to wear.  I pulled in some muted colors to accent my shabby chic white gingko leaf.  The Czech glass in teal and bronze are accented by a ceramic bead from Gaea.  I love the little touches of sparkle the faceted brass beads add to the beaded links.  I'm so glad I bought several strands of those at the last show!  Although now I wish I had bought them in bulk.  You can never buy too many of favorite beads. 

Here is a close up of the gingko leaf.  I've wanted to make one forever, I don't know what it took so long.  These were first created for the December Bead of the Month Club. 

These beaded links are so fun and easy to make.  Cut 10" of 22 gauge brass wire, fold it in half and create a wrapped loop in the center of the wire.  String on the peanut seed beads on both sides and them create a wrapped loop with one wire and then wrap the other wire around the bottom of the loop.  Trim of the excess wire and tuck in the edges.  

I created these earrings to match the necklace but they are flying off to a good home now!  I used tiny pewter beads from Green Girl Studio with my Birch disk beads.  

December 12, 2012

Winter Inspirations - First Snow

Did you hear that happy sigh?  That deep down in my bones completely happy sigh.  Yeah, that's how I'm feeling right now.

Life here is everything I dreamed it would be.  Peaceful, sweet, calm.  We have had to turn towards each other because the distractions are so much less in a small town.  We've grown closer together over the last month, which is an accomplishment with teenage girls. We've turned inward as the year ends and Christmas beckons us to prepare our hearts.  Our spirits are more alive than they have been in years. 
These are photos from our first snow two days ago.  I woke up absolutely giddy seeing the fields and trees covered in a blanket of white.  These two pines tower in our front yard.  Yep, twin pines.  I think that's what I'd name this place.  These trees are about 30 feet tall.  I don't think you get that from the photo.

 A little juniper bush in our driveway.  The snow hung perfectly to it's feathery branches.

This had me thinking about the little birds we were watching frantically swooping in our backyard earlier this weekend.  Jess found them entertaining.  Oliver (the cat) found them mouth-watering.  It had me thinking we need to make some find of bird seed thingy for the trees.  I need to google that.  Bird seed thingy. 

Did I mention in my giddiness at sunrise I threw on my shoes, coat, gloves, hat and scarf and ran outside with my camera.  I was greeted by the most amazing pink and purple hazy sky, it was the perfect background for our winter wonderland.  This is the view from my studio.


Inspiration is found in the grand views and the minute details.  Happiness abounds in the Humble Home.

And speaking of happiness, Becky Meverden won the Charmed Pendants giveaway.  Yeah Becky!  She is a frequent Humblebeads shopper, so I was happy to see a familiar name drawn. Thanks to everyone who commented and pinned their favorite collection.  It was fun to hear from you!

And more happiness - check out my latest newsletter for last minute gift ideas.  

December 5, 2012

Teen Stocking Stuffers

As daughters of a jewelry maker, my girls kind of luck out in the stocking stuffer department.  I always make them a few special pieces of jewelry that I tuck in with the bath stuff, hair do-dads, cosmetics and art supplies.  In fact, shopping for those stockings are one of my favorite holiday customs. 

I put together three collections of stocking stuffers based on three new types of tiny charm pendants I'm offering in my Etsy shop.  All the items below are from indie Etsy artists and there is plenty of time to order things for delivery before the big day.  Click on the tiny thumbnails below each collage for links to the products.

Nature Girl Stocking Stuffers

First up the Nature Girl Collection featuring my Charmed Nest Tiny Pendants.  This teen is delicate and reserved.  She loves birds, trees and nests, walks in the woods, poems by Emily Dickinson.  Sweet vanilla, lavender and fresh citrus are her favorite fragrances.  She keeps her face natural and fresh with just a hint of color.  You'll find her in soft sweaters, cozy scarves and woolen mittens during the winter months.  She is a dreamer, filled with hope - she keeps a notebook nearby to write poetry. 

Flower Girl Stocking Stuffers

The second collection is for the Flower Girl featuring my Charmed Tiny Pendants in my willow design.  She's feminine and bubbly with a little boho flavor.  She loves floral prints, skirts and her favorite pair of jeans.  She's drawn towards natural floral fragrances like honeysuckle and lilac.  She likes her florals bold and graphic for a modern look.  She loves to tie her back into romantic twists or swept up. Petal soft colors are her favorites for her eyes with lips and checks stained with a blush of rose. Her day dreams are of true love and she's sure to keep a journal to make sense of the world. 

Artsy Girl Stocking Stuffers

This set is for the Artsy Girl.  She is wild and carefree and completely creative.  Who knows what she'll wear. It could be a t-shirt with a saying you don't get with striped tights and mini-skirt one day.  Or maybe an owl t-shirt with bright teal jeans and a leather jacket the next day.  Her wardrobe is an adventure.  Look for cute, irreverent items for her that are a bit trendy, like my Charmed Tiny Pendant in an owl or mushroom design.  She needs lots of notebooks because her brain in hard to contain.  Pencils that say it all will be a big hit.  Go adventurous with cosmetics - bright and funky nail polish, lip gloss in purple and bath supplies that look like baked goods will keep her happy. 

My Charmed Tiny Pendants are hand painted polymer clay charms on waxed linen cord, they are packaged on cardstock and ready to give!  I have been giving these as gifts since the summer and all of my nieces, cousins and yes, even my daughters have loved them.  I get such a thrill when I see them sporting them - it's like yes, I rate with a teen - is there is a bigger compliment!

I'm feeling all McGifty today, so let's do a giveaway between now and Saturday for one of my Charmed Tiny Pendants of your choice.

Take a minute to leave a comment to let me know which type of girl you are shopping for this holiday season.  Not shopping for girls?  Let me know which girl you are then!  You'll get a second entry if you Pin one of the collages above.  Make sure to let me know you did in a comment below.