Friday, August 31, 2012

Challenge of Travel: Romania

I do not know why, but I have always imagined Romania as being an incredibly mysterious and completely fascinating place.  It is a country with a long and sadly often war-wracked history, but despite its difficulties it is a country full of natural and cultural beauty.

To read a quick overview of Romania's history, you can go here:

Now to get a quick visual of some of the beauty Romania has to offer, courtesy of Flickr and their respective owners:

Romania 3 092



Alba-Iulia, Ighiel,2006 Romania 009

and this collage is just amazing!


As I looked around at all of the beauty in this country, I felt a little overwhelmed... what could I create as my tribute to such an incredible place?  I decided to use the almighty Google and try to discover if Romania had some secret jewelry techniques I could pick up on, or some commonly used motifs... anything.  What I finally found, that sent my mind working, was something that is sometimes called "Romanian macrame", but is more commonly known as Romanian point lace :).  Here is an example (not my own):


I was reading this lovely blog I found ( while looking up this type of lace making.  As I read, I realized that the base of this, was a crocheted cording (which, fortunately, the lovely Sunshine included a tutorial on her blog).  Now, I warn you, I learned to do a very basic crochet about a million years ago.  My mom taught me how to make granny squares, a knowledge which I had since forgotten.  But, this being a challenge, I decided to truly challenge myself. I wanted to make a wrap bracelet, using this fabulous method of crochet.  This required much patience on my part, which is one of the reason I didn't stick with it in the first place I think lol.  From her video and notes I was able to get started though! I started out practicing trying to use waxed Irish linen thread, which turned out beautifully, but was so difficult to use for me.  My hands ended up very sore after.

I ended up doing three little crochet wrap bracelets in the colors of the Romanian flag (blue, yellow, and red), they can be worn together or separate.  As aforementioned, my skills in crochet are a bit erm, lacking.  I got better as I went on, the first bracelet (red) has the most "wobbly-ness" and the last (yellow) has the least lol.  All in all, even with my goofs, I am very proud of these.  It took me quite a while to make these, but it felt wonderful when I finished each one :).  The yellow one's clasp attaches to this absolutely gorgeous bit of filigree work from Fallen Angel Brass that reminded me of the ornate lace designs and embroidery you will find in Romania's cultural dress.  Without further ado... my Romanian pride trio:

Travel Challenge: Romania

Travel Challenge: Romania

Travel Challenge: Romania

And if any of you are interested in learning, here is the link to Sunshine's wonderful tutorial :)

My little girls (6 and 4) love these bracelets and are begging for them in pink and light blue, I might just do them!

Other fun links to check out:

One of the ladies in their history I found fascinating:

Postcards of the Romanian royal family (historical), these are amazing!

Romanian Culture in 101 Photos:

And my personal favorite... Romanian fairy tales!

I hope you enjoyed this whirlwind taste of Romania with me :)  Thank you SO much to Erin for hosting this wonderful wonderful challenge!  Now onto other countries you go!  I tried to copy and paste the list but my blog decided not to cooperate, so here is a link to Erin's blog where you can find the list!

Happy Travels!  :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

Bead Soup 6: The Third Reveal!

I am posting a tiny bit early in order to attempt to catch the midnight East Coast deadline :)  Here we go!

My wonderful partner for this last reveal was the lovely Cynthia Riggs, you can view her blog and her soup post here:

Cynthia sent me the most wonderful soup and I have both loved working with it and getting to know her.  She is such a kind and lovely person, I am so fortunate :)  Here is the link to my original post with my soup:

And here is my first piece that I created!

Gypsy Soul Necklace

This piece has the gorgeous enameled filigree flower Cynthia made for me and the clasp she included, along with some of the lovely green czech tear drops and sari silk she sent.  I added large sky blue glass seed beads and a little Vintaj chain.  I love how cheerful this necklace is, I think it is fun and has a bohemian flavor ;).

Next up...
Wander this World Earrings

These earrings feature a pair of blue czech glass beads in a really fun shape Cynthia sent, along with some of the red vintage czech glass and the pair of sweet keys she enameled in blue.  I used Patina Queen's wire to form the ear wires and Vintaj large brass rings.  These are really long and make gorgeous music as they sway, perfect for wandering the world... 

And last but not least...

Wisdom of the Forest Bracelet

This bracelet features the beautiful green czech glass Cynthia sent, I paired it with a sweet owl charm from Patina Queen, dark green agate, and a cute little czech maple leaf.  It is all hand knotted on Irish waxed linen thread from White Clover Kiln on Etsy.

I really enjoyed my soup this time as always.  Thank you so much, Cynthia, for being an awesome partner.  Thank you, Lori, for being such an incredibly dedicated hostess :)  Now... on to the rest of the party!

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry 

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog

Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs

Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bead Soup 6: Second Serving ;)

Hello dear friends!  I am actually not participating in this second serving of bead soup, I'm in the third serving coming up later this month :).  BUT many of my good friends and other incredibly talented and wonderful bead lovers are!  So have a seat, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or chocolate) and get hopping!  :)

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 

 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

e (or tea, or chocol  Enjoy!  :)  And I left up my sizzling summer sale for a wee bit longer, help yourself to 30% off of anything in my shop using the code:  HEATWAVE  in the coupon code box at checkout.

But hurry, the sale won't last much longer :)  Happy Saturday, friends!


Friday, August 3, 2012


“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

I love my tree :)

I know, I just wrote a post the other day, but... a beloved friend of mine just lost her son.  And it was another one of those wake up calls to me.  Hug your loved ones, make sure you tell them you love them.  Life is too short, too precious.  I am so grateful to all of you for being my friends, for giving me support.  If you have a minute, would you mind going and getting to know Robert?  Jean wrote a beautiful tribute to her wonderful son.

And here is where you can leave messages for the family here:

Thank you for taking a moment to read my post.  My prayers, my love, my heart go out to my friend Jean and her family.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let it go... and breathe.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.” 

― A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin to Pooh

I have been a very, very naughty blogger.  I know.  I really have.  Did you ever have a space of time where you just had to keep telling yourself, breathe?  One day at a time.  One step.  One moment.  One breath.  That has been my summer.  My beloved husband has been gone on an internship since the beginning of May and will not return for another week and a half.  I have three small children, my parents are over two hours away, and I have only two close friends in my town.  I grew up a Navy brat, as I've confided before, so I am no stranger to life without Daddy for stretches (even long stretches) of time.  But I have never had to do without my husband, the father of my children, my best friend, the man who tells me when I'm acting silly, the one who holds me when I cry... never for so long, not since we have been married.

What have I learned?  I have learned that I am indeed, as Christopher Robin tells Pooh, stronger than I seem.  I am also braver than I believed.  Whether I am smarter than I think is still up for grabs ;).  I have learned that I can do it on my own, but I am so very grateful that most of the time I do not have to.  I have a new appreciation for what my mother, and all other military wives, went through when I was growing up.  I do not even know how to put into words how incredible their sacrifice is, how much I admire them, how much I appreciate them.  (that goes for single moms and single dads as well, even more so, you are all HEROES).

Where does the odd title of this ramble come from?  My struggle this summer.  I tried the first week or two to continue as I had, making jewelry at night, photographing, listing, updating my store.  But as everything fell upon me, the grocery shopping (with three children ages 6, 4, and 2), the store runs for other necessities, the normal things, the cleaning, the dishes, the playing with the kids, mowing the lawn, weeding my plants, sending packages... on and on.  It started to overwhelm me.  Until I realized something.  This insanity?  It is, praise God, temporary.  So guess what?  I decided to let it go.  To breathe.  Instead of staying up until 2am (before a 5am wake up call by my son) trying to make jewelry after staying up late to sweep and mop... I went to bed at midnight.  I chose to read during some of the time the kids were sleeping, some nights?  I was truly naughty and didn't do my chores before bed either.  I have gotten some pieces done, but only when I was ready to do them.  And honestly, the pieces I have made?  I really love.  I really felt inspired.  I let the blog go too, which I feel a bit guilty about, but I knew, being the wonderful friends you are... that you would understand :).

So, let me share with you some of the pieces I have done.  This first is a favorite, I used all of the silks from my palette for Marsha Neal's silk color challenge:

Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box

I paired the silks with some gorgeous Fallen Angel Brass, swarovski crystals, and three gemstones out of my stash.  I love the way it turned out :)

Here are a few others...

Steam Punk inspired bracelet
Featuring FAB and a gorgeous boro from Amanda at Seashore Glass

Sea Breeze Earrings
More Fallen Angel Brass with beautiful ceramic tiles from Marsha Neal Studio.

Last, but surely not least, a special order I did for an incredibly special and lovely young lady:

Live Laugh Love

Fallen Angel Brass, gorgeous sari silk, a Vintaj blank, czech glass and swarovski crystals :)

The end is in sight, my husband will be home the middle of this month and hopefully all will be back to normal!  ;)  Oh!  And I'm having a sale in my shop for a limited time!  20% off anything in the shop if you use the coupon code:  SUMMER  at checkout (you have to make sure to use the coupon code box in Etsy or the code doesn't work).

I hope you are all having an incredible summer!  Once I hit 100 sales in my shop I will have a fancy giveaway, any ideas for the giveaway?