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Friday, September 28, 2012

The Invasion of the Leaf Beads

My last order of jewelry supplies included 2 bags of leaf beads.  A total of 190 beads.  Both are in different sizes, with different holes for connection and with different color tones  Little did I realize that I would soon get really tired of leaf beads.  I really wanted to use them all up to avoid more storage (I'm doing my best to down size before I move).  But, I think the leaf beads have won the battle and will be added to my storage.  In the past couple of posts you've seen my leafy creations.  Today's pictures are of my final leaf projects for the season.

Can you guess what I don't like about this pair of earrings?  Working quickly and with low light I 'thought' the leaf colors were the same on both earrings.  It turns out the blue is actually purple and the green is actually turquoise.  Part of me likes the fact that they are different, so these babies will be just for me.  Let's see if anyone says anything while I'm wearing them.
The other batch of leaves are more muted in  color and slightly larger.  I started out by making 4 strands of linked leaf beads.  When I assembled the pendant I decided that 4 was over done. 
Anyway, I ended up with 2 extra strands that were completely different. Since I really didn't want to make 2 more pendants, because by then I was so done with leaves.  I added a 3rd strand of a solid colored leaves.  It turns out that my favorite pendant is the one with all the mixed colors.
Thank you again for stopping by my blog and being patient with me as I tried, yet failed, to use up all of those leaf beads.
Have a day full of happiness,

Monday, September 24, 2012

More Leaves

All sorts of groaning pun titles wanted to be published, but I just couldn't pull it off. (Jewelry That's Leaving Me. or Don't Leave Me Alone With Wire.)  (Goan!)  For the past several days I have been focused on jewelry that has a leaf theme or symbol.  It's that time of the year when the lovely shoppers want something that reminds them of the autumn weather.  So I am obliging.
These necklaces have given me a hard time.  As simple and straight forward as the design appears, I continued to struggle.  Questions like; Should I design a drop in the front? Should I use one color leaf or multi-colors in each necklace?  Should I join the back links with jump rings or add in another element?  Why on earth did I make it so difficult?
Then it came time to assemble all of the parts and that became a challenge.  I needed to make sure the leaves were facing the same direction.  Plus, I wanted the loops to all be opening from the same direction.  And, finally, the spiral links needed to be facing the same way, with the open link facing the same. The orange leaf necklace was the second one assembled and it gave me the most challenge.  Perhaps I was tired.  Perhaps I was thinking too much.  Either way, I finally completed them both.
 Thank you for stopping by.  I hope that your designs are easier than my recent creations.

Have a joy filled and creative day,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Leaf Fell Onto My Work Space

I was gathering up some supplies to make this rose glass pendant and a bag of green leaves magically fell into the pile.  Perhaps a slight exaggeration!  I was planning on wire wrapping a new flat glass bead as a pendant.  The initial idea was to make a spiral and hang it from the bottom, but when I was getting my supplies together I noticed a little zip locked bag full of green leaves laying on the top of a pile of beads (somebody, aka me, needs to put some things away).  So I quickly made the decision to attach a leaf to the bottom of the new pendant.  After all, it is the Fall season and customers always seem to want a symbol of the current season or holiday.  Let's hope this pendant goes home with someone.

If this one sells I'll make another, but I think I'll change the design a tad bit.  I'm not fond of the little loops on each side of the Swarovski crystals.  Next time I'll make little spirals. 
After the wire and crystals were wrapped on the glass bead, they were very loose.  I turned the pendant over and added a kink with the flat nose pliers.  Whoa La!  Nice and secure.
I'm still in the mysts of sorting and downsizing,for my eventual move, so my blog posts are going to be brief for a while.
Have a great day and thank you for stopping by to read my blog.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Leaves of Change

It is that wonderful time of the year when the air has turned brisk and the leaves are changing color.  There is so much change in my life right now.  As I wrote in an earlier blog post, I have decided to move from this magical wonderland.  As soon as my house sells I'll be packing up the studio, again, and moving to Warrenton, VA.  It's a beautiful area in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with lots of horse pastures and about 20 vineyards.  And yes, there are even more opportunities to sell jewelry, but I'll also be able to teach jewelry classes again.


The falling leaves have inspired me to make some leaf jewelry. There is an incomplete leaf necklace on my work table that I hope to finish soon. I did however, finish a few leaf pendants and earring sets. Yes, plural. Because I sell in several venues I need to make multiples. Anyway, this leaf was inspired by a design I found on Pinterest and I must apologize, because I don't remember the designers name. I put my own twist on the pendant, naturally.  I used 18 gauge copper that I forged to add some shape and to work harden. Then I added some 4 mm crystals with some 24 gauge wire.

Since a lot of folks want sets I decided to go ahead and make matching earrings, but I used 20 gauge because the 18 gauge wouldn't fix in the crystals.

Now I need to get back to sorting and cleaning out closets.  There is no sense in packing and taking some of my 'collectables' to my new home.  I might as well begin purging and down sizing now.
Thank you for stopping by,

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What Happened to August - Selling My House

I just realized that I haven't posted in a over a month!  GADS!  That's unlike me, but I have been distracted.  I have decided to sell my home and move back to Virginia.  (Here's the listing for the sale of my home for even more pictures  Link to My House For Sale ) This time I'm moving to Warrenton, VA.  It's in the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and about a 45 minute drive to Reston, Va (where I moved from).  The decision didn't come easy.  I have spent weeks thinking and worrying about taking this action. I love my home, living close to family and living in the mountains. But, I miss and need some of the benefits of living in a more populated area, like teaching, more fairs and festivals, taking classes and going to the Expo Center to buy wholesale beads and gems.  This list goes on and on.  I am considering buying a condo in the Canaan Valley, WV area, so I can live here part-time.  Now, there's a great idea!  I'll have the best of both worlds.  And while I'm in my condo I can visit family and all of the wonderful friends I've made here in WV.

Here's a mega Hybiscus from my yard.  She's the size of a dinner plate!

I always like to post pictures with my blogposts, so this time I'm posting pictures of my house for sale.  But, I promise you, there are several projects on my work table that I'll be blogging about very soon....there are a lot of leaf projects for this Fall selling season.

Here's a picture of the family room that I use as a studio.  Let's face it!  It's never this tidy! 

Here's the front of the house and my new flower garden! The family room/studio is behind the window on the far right, in front of my vehicle.  There's a door leading to the outside, on the right side, that makes my life so easy for loading and unloading my fair setup and tent.

I will miss this wonderful covered deck.  I make a lot of jewelry sitting here and looking at the mountains.

My favorite place to make jewelry is in the back, behind the table, near the back railing is another bistro table with 2 swival rockers.

I must admit, I make a lot of jewelry sitting in the recliner, with a tray on my lap, while watching TV.  I love to multi-task!  Don't you?

The story of the traveling jewelry tray.  Yes, I have been known to bring my wire and tools to the dinning room table, so I can stare out the sliding glass doors.

And when I'm not making jewelry, I'm planting vibrant flowers, like these Crape Myrtle bushes.

A one last picture to leave you breathless.  Another dinner plate size Hybiscus!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting.  I'll be writting very soon about the new wire creations from my work table.

Have a joy filled and creative day!