Monday, December 29, 2008

Family News

We have survived Christmas! All events are finished, and though I had/have the flu last night, I feel very thankful. Our family (extended and immediate) has or will be expanding soon. In our immediate family, Chris, Mina, and I have invited a friendly, new hamster to live with us. Our new little friend, is a Winterwhite dwarf hamster. He is still "he" as we decided to get to know him a bit before naming him. His fur is sooo soft, and beautiful white with a thin gray stripe down his back, and the tips of his ears are gray. He is used to being handled by pet store attendants and slightly overweight, but we are especially thankful for the "used to being handled part" as he hasn't latched on to any of our fingers, and is just as curious about us as we are about him. In our extended family, Chris's brother Brian and his soon-to-be bride Angie, will be adding a sweet baby to our family in July. The group of 3 cousins, Mina, Daniel, and Nick, were a bit thrown by the idea of a new baby! Very exciting and happy news. Otherwise, all are happy and healthy, and we enjoyed visiting with Chris's family on Saturday. What's new with beading/bead making? Aside from finishing the beading on some Christmas projects, I have had a break for the last couple weeks, but am itching to get back to it. Chris has started working on some beads for Valentine's day, so we will get new pics of those up here soon! He is working at learning some new techniques, and will hopefully soon be taking a class from Leah Fairbanks in Omaha the end of Feb/beg of March. We hope that the Valentine beads will soon be in at Beads and Botanicals, as soon as Carla is ready for them. Happy New Year! Be safe, have fun, and I will be back here next year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

'Tis the Season

Merry Christmas! I hope that you have not been run ragged with all the holiday "chores" that we think need to be done for the "perfect" holiday! I don't want to be preachy, but I think we should all spend more time in church (or wherever you worship) to remind us what is really important. Let's really analyze what we need to do, versus what we think has to be done. Will the world stop turning if the cards don't get mailed, the cookies don't get baked, presents don't get wrapped, or decorations put up? With the beading business filling our days, we didn't think we would get our tree up this year, but Mina had some things to say about that! So we compromised, we put up the tree, our stockings, and the Christmas quilt Chris' Grandma gave us several years ago. That did make the house more festive. When decorating the tree, we put up the most meaningful ornaments, and left the rest in the box. I didn't put the beaded garland on the tree, just the lights and ornaments, and it is very pretty. I did get my cards/letters done, I do enjoy receiving card and letters from friends and family. Chris and Mina made some cookies for a couple Girl Scout things that needed snacks. The presents (fewer this year, we just don't need anything) are wrapped and under the tree. Yesterday, we spent a great deal of the day at church, bringing into focus what is really important. I was lector and Chris ushered, then in the afternoon, Mina was a narrator for the Christmas program. It was very cute. I really enjoy the peace that settles over me in church. On Saturday, Mina had program practice in the morning, so Chris and I ran to Hastings to drop off penguin earrings for Graham Gallery (they sold out!), and stopped quick for breakfast at McDonald's. Those poor workers. I have never been witness to so many surly, grumpy, horrid people that early in the morning. One guy, who's order wasn't typed in quite right, stood and berated the gal behind the counter until the manager stepped in and took care of it, giving his breakfast (and the guy he was with) for free. Did he say thank you? No, of course not. I felt so bad for the gal behind the counter. There was another couple that were almost as bad, and after being snotty to the cashier, Chris witnessed them being snotty to each other. I just don't understand being that unpleasant all the time, when it is just as easy (though sometimes difficult) to be polite, smile, and say please and thank you. I think we all learned those words as small children. My greatest wish for you, my devoted blog readers, is that you have peace and comfort this holiday season. Take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and slap that smile on your face. Enjoy the little things around you, and try to not remember the ugly ones! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This is the necklace that matches the foiled twist earrings I posted a few days back. I designed this necklace to be worn with the toggle as a design element. It is a dragonfly toggle, the dragonfly is the bar and it fits through a round with flowers on it. I used silver beads, pink seed beads and pink Swarovski to finish it out.
I really love this necklace. I got the large rounds from Carla at beads and botanicals, and I loved them because they look like ocean waves. I used Swarovski crystal and cream colored seed beads to finish.
This is one of the German mushrooms left from an order Chris made for a customer last summer. I loved them so much that I wanted to make one into a necklace. I used medium emerald Swarovski crystals, bright read teardrop beads and seed beads to finish.

A close up of the German mushroom.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Fairies

These are the fairies I designed using Lucite butterfly wings from The Hole Bead Shoppe in Oklahoma and Swarovski crystals. These are the two sets I had finished, and I have a couple that are just the earrings, though I could make them into sets. They come in all sorts of colors too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

These are some fringed Christmas bracelets I made. The holly one on the left I have shown to you previously, the other two are fringe that have buttons on them. The red/green/white has tiny varied shapes of buttons and cookie cutter beads on the fringe, the white is snowflakes with glitter and iridescent finish on some of them.
This fringe is a simple one using a stone focal and slices of stone and seed bead fringe. There are also burgundy Swarovski crystals by the focal.

The snowflake button bracelet.
These are simple strung bracelets, but very pretty. The pink/peach uses foil squares and the new Indian pink Swarovski and the blue/black one is just some fun glass beads. I thought the blue black beads looked slightly animal printish when I bought them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Beads by Chris

This is a fun display of beads made by Chris that was on our table at the Craft show. I love that you can stand up the beads, so if you wanted them for something other than jewelry, you could do that as well.
These are the penguins. Chris made the larger one as a prototype, and he also made the ice cubes.
Christmas trees. I think the ones on the left look like they have candy sprinkles on them.

The Christmas gang hanging out together. We have sold a great number of penguins, made into earrings and just as the beads.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New Earrings

Today's post shows you some of the new earrings I made for the show. These stars are similar to the bling stars pictured in an earlier post. This time I used colored Swarovski crystals (Purple Velvet and Padparadascha).
These are made to match a necklace (pink/gray) and a bracelet (blue/black) that I made and will show in another post. I like to have things that match but don't have to be sold as a set. Some people want sets, but most do not. The pink and gray are some of my favorites from the new items. The gray bead is foiled glass, and of course, the pink ones are Swarovski. I really love the hearts. The blue and black are just fun glass beads that I got on sale, and paired them with black Czech fire polished beads. These cuties were made by Chris, and I thought they HAD to have dangles.
These are just some odds and ends earrings. Cows, pigs, and a couple pair that match up to some other jewelry. The earrings in the rusty brown color and the necklace they match sold and one of the pairs of piggies went with a larger piggy that was made into a seed beaded necklace. The others went up to Graham Gallery with our Christmas display.

Bracelets tomorrow!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Pictures finally!

These rings were made over the Thanksgiving holiday for our nephews, Nick and Daniel. Mina calls them other things, but that is another story! This one was made for Daniel using gunmetal finish seed beads and hex cut black ab seed beads.
This one was made for Nick (who has broken his arm 3 times in the same place~the last time on the Monday before Thanksgiving so his fingers were a bit swollen). His uses intense blue seed beads with the gun metal finish ones.
More pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The End is Near...

The end is in sight. The Blue Hill Holiday Craft Show is Saturday, Dec. 6. We have been producing like mad people! Oh my goodness, you should see the wonderful winter beads Chris has been making! We have penguins and snowmen, tiny pigs, tiny cows, most of which has been turned into earrings. The snowmen he made last night are amazing. The hats on their tiny heads have floppy brims and holiday trim, and the have scarves that are twisted glass, so they are multi-colored. I have been working on a frolic of tiny fairies, made from Swarovski crystals and Lucite butterfly wings from The Hole Bead Shoppe in Oklahoma. Some of the fairies come as a necklace/earring set and some are just earrings. I used organza (sheer) ribbon to make the necklaces. Last night, I also made a necklace and some earrings that match, but aren't a set. The necklace has a pendant of mosaic abalone and is strung with black Czech glass with the AB finish. I started a necklace with gray twist glass beads, gilt lined pale pink seed beads, and pink Swarovski crystals. I fought with that until bedtime, trying to get the pattern right, the length right, and enough beads to fill the length I needed. I think I restrung the silly thing 3 times before giving up and going to bed. So there's the update, we will post pics of things this weekend after the show, so you will have new stuff to look at soon!

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