Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here It Is Once Again

Yep, the anniversary of the day of my birth is here again. For some reason, in my mind I have aged 2 years instead of one. Could it be because I feel like I was hit by a bus overnight? I was up late again last night/this morning packing and finishing a fringed bracelet. I have tried for several nights to finish the bracelet as I only had 5 fringe branches to add and I kept falling asleep before I could get it finished. I can only imagine how humorous it would have been to watch me trying to stab seed beads with my needle, and not being able to focus my eyes to do it. Thank heavens we are taking off today for a few days with Chris's family near North Platte for Thanksgiving. The whole family converges there for eating/visiting/eating/playing dominoes/eating/hiking/eating...oh did I mention eating? Usually we finish cleaning up from one meal, only to start working on the next one. Our contribution this year includes baked mac and cheese (very simple and yummy), rhubarb pie (made by Village Pie Maker from Eustis, NE), and spiced hot cider. The cider is also easy, we use a large jug of apple cider and a large jug of cranberry juice, mulling spices from Penzey's spice company (WONDERFUL spices), and a whole orange sliced horizontally and floated in the cider/juice. Put it in a crock pot, and tadah!, spiced cider! I wish you all a very peaceful Thanksgiving filled with tons of blessings, and remember if you don't read the label the calories don't count!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Items

These pieces were made by Chris. He made the beads and turned them into earrings.
These pretty cardinals are sitting on emerald Swarovski crystals and there is a pair that is the same, but the crystal is Colorado Topaz.
These are just one set of the Christmas tree earrings he made. There are several varieties. I really like these.
These are my favorite cardinal earrings. Chris tried to make nest style beads for them to sit on, and make them look like evergreen branches. This was the solution, which is very pretty. The birdies are nested on ivory beads with a branch and leaves made on to it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pixybug Bling Part 2

These earrings combine Swarovski moons, silver shade and indigo crystals. They all dangle from sterling heart chain. I think this photo is cool because it shows the facet cuts on the moons.
These are vintage bling! These large crystals came from an old necklace which I took apart, and cleaned the beads. I don't know that they are Swarovski, but they are definitely leaded crystals. I really love this color.

This is my favorite new fringed bracelet. I am not sure what the large rectangles of coral color are, but I think they are so awesome. My favorite color is coral, which my closet can attest to! These beads were some, that as soon as I bought them, I knew what to do with them. The seed beads use a peachy opal finish in size 11 and 8, tiny gold plate size 15, and size 1.5mm cubes also in gold plate that I found on vacation in Missouri. A fringe bracelet by me wouldn't be complete without crystals, and in this case they are size 6mm padparadascha Swarovski.

Friday, November 21, 2008



Pixybug Bling Part 1

I love crystals! If you have read this blog for awhile, you know that. These are even more blingy than my usual! I wanted some really gorgeous sparkling items for the gallery, and these are certainly sparkling!
These stars measure about 1 1/2 to 2 inches and the crystals are top drilled bicones that have the ab (aurora borealis) finish on them.
These gorgeous crystal copper Swarovski earrings use a large twist style bead and the rounds are 8mm size so they really sparkle, as you can see in the reflections from the light of the camera flash.
These are bling-tastic! They use a pear shaped crystal as the drop, 8mm and 6mm rondelles as the base of the earrings. They are similar to the ones that went to Miss Rodeo Nebraska. They would be gorgeous with the little black dress for Christmas parties, don't you agree?
More bling coming tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Life and Times of Bubbles

In the spring of 2007, Mina decided she wanted a hamster. Chris and I were not crazy about the idea, so we told her to do the research and learn about hamsters, and with extra chores she could earn the money to pay for most of the expense, we would help her out. We thought this would be the end of it, that it would be too much work and she would lose interest. She didn't. So in April of 2007, Bubbles the Hamster came to be part of our family. Bubbles was a miniature hamster so when we got her as a toddler she was about 2" long and full grown about 3 1/2" long. Sadly, Bubbles died tonight. We are all heartbroken to have lost such a wonderful and goofy little pet. She was fascinating to watch and much to Chris and my surprise, we loved her as much as Mina did. Bubbles started to be a bit sick last month, and after doing what we could for her, we ended up taking her into the vet last weekend. Unfortunately, it was just time for Bubbles to leave us. So here are pictures I wanted to share, to share the joy that Bubbles brought to our lives.

This was just after we got Bubbles and we were getting her used to us holding her and playing with her.
Mina enjoyed giving Bubbles a wide variety of vacation locations. This one is the Barbie Tent. Bubbles was quite photogenic for a hamster!
This is Bubbles enjoying a snack in her bearing less wheel. If you have ever heard a hamster wheel, you know why we had the bearing less type! Bubbles ran many, many miles in her wheel in her short life.

This is Bubbles playing hide and seek with Mina in one of Mina's doll roller skates. The skate was on loan from Bella, Mina's faithful, loving stuffed companion.

See I told you how photogenic Bubbles was. She is posing cutely, waiting for a nibble of dried fruit bites (specifically for hamsters), a peanut (salted, but not dry roasted) or a pumpkin seed. Her other favorite foods were cucumbers, Cheerios, popcorn, broccoli, and lettuce. She also really loved grapes, but it was creepy that she would eat all of the inside out and then the skins would shrivel up in her cage!

We will miss Bubbles, and though we weren't sure about adding her to the family, we will likely have to find a new hamster soon to help fill the holes in our hearts. She was cute, funny, and even when she was attached to your finger, she was a terrific pet.

Designs by Steph

The blogger is being uncooperative this morning. So we have 2 posts on one day! These are a few more of the new items that are now for sale at Graham Gallery.
This necklace combines green turquoise and sodalite. I found the funky chunk of turquoise that I used as the pendant first and then found the strand of turquoise and Chris and Mina added the sodalite to the idea. We got all of the beads at Beads and Botanicals in Hastings. The spaces between are filled with silver plate seed beads.
This pretty charm bracelet combines glass hearts with gold and blue swirls and Swarovski in chalk white and pacific blue opal. I love the color combinations!
This is my favorite of this group, and of many things I have made lately, and by all the wonderful comments I have received, it will be gone fairly quickly. The pendant is porphry jasper and the necklace combines light pink galvanized and gunmetal galvanized seed beads. I also added jet and antique rose Swarovski. I made the fringe on the pendant and earrings with the same, and the earrings have crystals tucked on the ends here and there through the fringe. Chris said they look like fireworks for your ears!

Chris and Mina's Beading

These bead focals were made by Chris and they were strung up on seed bead necklaces in a jewelry frenzy.
This time it is mushrooms that got strung up on seed beads. My favorite is the one in the middle. Fall colors on both the mushroom and the seed bead mix. Mina made the second from the left. She might catch this bug yet! (Maybe that's not a good thing?!)
This necklace was made by me, and Chris was kind enough to replace the chain bail I had made that didn't work with a sterling one I purchased. It has a ceramic pendant with dragonflies and the spacers were made by Clay River Designs. There are also turquoise, stone, and amber seed beads and you guessed it, Swarovski!
Chris made this clever fellow sometime ago. He didn't really speak to us until last week, when he decided he wanted to be a pendant. The seed bead mix is called "circus", ironic huh?!

Chris made these bead sets and then I strung them onto corded necklaces. The one on the right and the blue and black really glow! Gorgeous!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Last Week Part 2

These are the last of my favorite pieces from last week.
This bracelet is made with gray freshwater pearls and iolite heshi slices. The dangle is Swarovski attached with a piece of silver chain. The sterling heart toggle is one of my very favorite. I have used the style in several pieces. In case, you have never noticed hearts are my favorite shape!
This necklace and earrings (not sold as a set, just pictured together) are made with crystal AB finished Czech fire polished rounds again made into beads, and strung with more of the same to add to the Bling factor! I really love this style of earrings, with lots of dangles for movement.
This copper pearl woven bracelet is complimented by a very pretty copper clasp (I sound like I am narrating a fashion show runway!). The earrings are similar in design to the ones above though this time the pearl diamonds are accompanied by Swarovski crystals on the dangles!
This is all Swarovski! The pearls, crystals, and gorgeous vintage style slider pendant are all made by them! I like the crystal pearls because they are all drilled in the manner of other beads which makes them much easier to work with than freshwater pearls which have tiny holes and are drilled half way on each side so they don't always match up. That is not at all frustrating!

I saved my favorite for last! This is a simple design using silver seed beads, porcelain spacers and hearts made by Clay River Designs, and of course Swarovski crystals to add just a bit of glam. The pendant is ceramic and I got it at the Kearney bead show last spring. The earrings also have porcelain hearts and Swarovski.
So what's next? Check out tomorrow for how Chris and Mina spent a day together!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Last Week Part 1

LOOK PICTURES! Wow, that is something new! Sorry, again. Jewelry making ranks just slightly above the blog posting at this time of year. So let's look at the new stuff shall we?

This necklace/earring set has handmade beads made with Czech fire polish rounds and seed beads, and a lovely millifiori pendant with a hand stitched bail. The earrings don't match each other, but they match the necklace. I stitched the beads and made the bail on the pendant. One of the gals I showed it to at the Hastings Public Library, said it looks like "happiness". Not a bad thing with these gloomy days!
This fabulous necklace also has a millifiori pendant. This time it is a huge heart donut. The bead covers the palm of my hand! I used copper seed beads and Czech fire polish rounds to bring out the copper sparkles in the heart, and picked up a bit of the blues and reds with seed beads.

This lampworked glass leaf pendant was made by Chris. I used a gorgeous copper chain, and wired dangles of glass beads in lovely fall colors to compliment the gorgeous leaf.

Want more? Tune in tomorrow! There's lots of eye candy for your viewing pleasure on its way!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ok, So I Haven't Posted Lately...

I have been busy. Time flies by, and it is two weeks since your last blog post! Chris and I are working hard to get ready for the Christmas Showcase at Graham Gallery. There have been more little monsters made, beads for beaded ornaments, a gorgeous set of creamy ivory beads that were strung with medium emerald Swarovski crystals, mushrooms, and focals on Chris's end of the jewelry design business. From me there is a right angle weave coppery pearl bracelet, 3 necklaces (one copper large link chain with a leaf pendant Chris made an lots of dangles, a double strand light coppery Czech fire polish with a large heart pendant, and a seed bead necklace with beaded beads and a millifiori donut that I seed beaded the bail for), a pretty gold with Caribbean Blue Opal Swarovki dangles and hearts swirled with gold and the same blue shade in a charm bracelet, earrings, and beaded ornaments and tiny fairies made from Swarovski crystals and Lucite butterfly wings from The Hole Bead Shoppe. Those are probably my favorite. One of those late night ideas that came to fruition! In other areas of our life, Mina did fabulous at her first Quiz Bowl competition~they won all four of their rounds! The Boys and Mina did an awesome job, I had a hard time sitting still and being quiet! I never knew that it was so difficult! Her competition was last week on Wednesday, and that day I also learned I had won a 32GB iPod Touch from the Nebraska Lottery (actually the grand prize and it came with a $15 iTunes gift card), a value of over $400!!!! That was a banner day! I got the iPod yesterday, and had fun playing with it last night, figuring out the controls, fighting the computer to put the music on it, and realizing how far behind I am in electronics knowledge! Of course, I usually feel I can hold my own with software, downloads and such, but wow this is something! I have been reading like crazy and beading, Chris and Mina went to help Chris's dad build a barn last Saturday, and I stayed home. I finished one book, and started another. I am reading an older series by Charlaine Harris. They are mysteries with the main character, Aurora "Roe" Teagarden, a sometime librarian, heiress, and generally nice gal, who stumbles into murder mystery trouble! Very easy reads and entertaining. Well, back to work! I will try one of these days to get pics up for you to gaze upon! We need to get pics of everything going to the Holiday Showcase at Graham Gallery, so I will post them here too. Oh, I forgot! We had our first Etsy sale 2 weeks ago! A gal from Red Cloud bought one of Chris's Halloween witches! Very exciting~and it only took us a year and a half to sell our first item! ;)

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