Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Long Weekend

The weekend got away from me before I got my blog work done!  Last night about the time I was remembering I hadn't done my posting, we got to take a trip to the neighbor's cellar as we were in a severe storm, which was producing tornadoes.  SO, the computer got shut off and we gathered belongings in a rush and went for shelter.  Once it was over, I was too stressed to type anything resembling a post.  So, I will get pictures up tonight of the suncatchers and jewelry I made yesterday to share with you here tomorrow!  Hope you all had a lovely long weekend, excluding the storm, we did.  Did some shopping and sleeping and made jewelry, what can be better than that?  We also spent time at home and that was a WONDERFUL change of pace! 

Coming this week: a preview of the mini bead swap with the "Bead Soup Party" group, and my reveal of my project and a blog hop with the others as well on Saturday! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wrapping up a Week of Inspiration...

This week on the blog has been about a LOT of inspiring ideas and pictures!  Tuesday was about a couple of my favorite bloggers, Wednesday my "Time Well Spent" for the Artbeads "What is Old is New Again" challenge, and Thursday was all about COLOR!  Today's post is Inspiring Quotes and Thoughts.  The internet is full of them.  Funny, Serious, Rude, and Emotional.  You can find quotes and photos to go with them.  I use the VeryDemotivational.com site here and on Facebook to share a laugh that often we all really need.  Today, I am going for more of the deep thinking, touching, or whimsical.

From Pretty Things by Lori Anderson & Pinterest
It is so easy to get caught in that negative "Oh what is the use, things will never change" way of thinking.  My counselor once called it "Stinkin Thinkin" which is a fitting description.  Just fight those thoughts with all you are worth!  When they start creeping in to my head, I stop and deliberately tell myself to think of something positive or happy.  Doesn't always work, but it often does.  (Kind of like getting that annoying, repeating song out of your head by singing another really annoying but easy to remember the words to song!)

MaroonBells - White River National Forest
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

(I liked this quote because it brings to mind not only my love of nature and the glorious views She provides for us, but the fact that in Mina's faith statement at Confirmation, she said she finds God in nature.)

Prehistoric Waters, Glenwood Canyon, Colorado photo by Eric Barnes 
This picture calls to me.  It is our current picture on our wall calendar, and I want to visit here to see it for myself.  Strangely enough, we went to Mina's ArtVenture Girl Scout reception last weekend and there was a lovely photo up for bids of a misty river flowing over rocks, and it was taken in the White River National Forest also near Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  Is this some Divine intervention telling me to vacation at Glenwood Springs?  I WISH the funding and time were also arranged by that Divine power!

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.  ~Author Unknown

And one more to leave you with!  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Spend time with your loved ones and remember all that have been lost for our freedom!  See you Tuesday!

May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find your way.
May you always have courage to take a chance
And never find frogs in your underpants!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Color Inspiration

I love color, if you have read this blog very long you know that!  Here are some wonderful groupings to add inspiration to your Thursday!
Mint Chocolate Chip from Fusion Beads

Tutti Fruiti from Fusion Beads

Nocturne From Fusion Beads

Vino from Fusion Beads
The color palettes from Fusion are always beautiful, and I love the way they display them with the actual beads as part of the picture.

Earlier this week Fusion Beads had this on their website, email, and Facebook.  Wouldn't they be fun earrings?!

These Swarovski Mixes came from Auntie's Beads and they are really lovely!
Hippie Chic Mix

Blue Lagoon Mix
Happy Beading!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BTW: What is Old is New Again ~ Artbeads Blog Partner Project

 It began with some of these:
Roman Numeral Clock Steampunk Button
Swarovski Stairway Bead
Antique Brass Splendor Link

Retro Copper Coin Bead

About halfway through:

And this is the first completed piece of the group:
"Time Well Spent"
The project challenge as presented to us by Artbeads.com was to recycle or reinvent an outdated, broken, or unused piece of jewelry.  I chose five of the Steampunk buttons (two small for use as earrings in an upcoming project, two as focals, and one that has a more open design as a link).  I also chose the Vintage Splendor Link shown on the bottom of my piece (part of it is stitched into the design, leaving only about half of it showing).  Not incorporated in this piece are the Retro Copper Coin Bead and the Swarovski Stairway Beads, and a Brass Butterfly piece (the butterfly and the copper coin will be joined in one piece and the Stairway beads will be part of the earring design).  I added some tiny keys from the scrapbook company, 7 Gypsies and the item I recycled was a rhinestone crystal cup chain necklace that I cut apart and you see it wrapped around my button bezel.  I used size 8 grape metallic luster seed beads stitched upright anchored with a size 11 coppery matte finish seed bead that also is in the edge finishing stitch.  It matched the size 6 seed beads that I used around the outside of the metallic luster seed beads.  The dangles by the filigree are Chinese crystal in a coppery metallic finish that pulls together the copper and purple in my piece.  I added the Lucite flower/leaf/clock hand to the top of the pendant by the stitched bail and the chain is a LARGE antique brass ball chain. I didn't use the standard ball chain connector for the clasp, but wired on a antique brass lobster claw and ring.  I really love the finished piece and I have glued up the next one to get it finished hopefully by next week's Bead Table Wednesday post!   

I faced a bit of difficulty in attaching the dangles to the front of the filigree piece and finish the back edge behind the dangles.  I ended up doing them as separate additions.  Another issue I had was attaching my flower to the top and having it stitched in enough to support the weight.  I actually wire wrapped it like an earring to start and then stitched that to the pendant.  I also struggled with those seed beads stitched upright.  I evidently found the tube with uneven cut ones, because they gave me a headache trying to get them standing in a decent looking circle.  When I started out, I snipped a tiny hole in my beading foundation (Lacey's Stiff Stuff) and then glued the button down with the shank going through the hole.  I wasn't sure if I would use it as a connector in finishing the piece, but as I worked, the components weren't heading for a cohesive piece so I cut the shank off and added a piece of thin cardboard for stability and then glued on the ultrasuede.  

All of my techniques I learned a year ago at a Sherry Serafini class, and I was actually thankful her new book came out while I was working on this project.  It gave me a refresher course on bits I hadn't done for awhile.  Thanks to Artbeads.com for allowing me to work with their beading products and to participate in this fun challenge!  Stay tuned, I will get the rest of these fun components put together!

(Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at Artbeads.com, I received the products shown free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Artbeads.com for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where I Find Inspiration...

Some days it is hard just to get out of bed, let alone be inspired to carry on with all that needs doing each day.  I find inspiration in many places, blogs, Facebook, Etsy, photos, and sayings.  These are two of my favorite places for inspiration.  Each morning, at some point I stop by Carla's blog botanicals and beginnings to see her beautiful photos, new beads she has put in her Etsy shop, or a jewelry idea.  This was today's inspiration and blog post about her up coming bead and jewelry shows, and the new designs she has come up with.  This one is GORGEOUS, I really love the Czech glass she has been adding to her inventory and I just got a package of some last Saturday.  Those deep blue ones are my favorite.  Carla is a big fan of Sterling Silver and simple, lovely designs, so it is fun to see her new designs featuring the antique brass metals.

 The other blog I follow closely is Lori Anderson's Pretty Things blog.  I receive Lori's posts via email and they always arrive in my box around 9pm and that is the perfect way to finish off a day.  Lori works hard at many things and is a very helpful, sharing artist.  She regularly posts ideas for bettering your jewelry design business, inspiring quotes and wonderful pictures to go with them, and lovely stories relating to her family.  She is also great at sharing her struggles, helping me to feel I am not alone in my struggles.  She is the mastermind behind the Bead Soup Party (which I greatly enjoy participating in, new mini Party reveal coming soon!), and she will soon be a published author. 
Thanks to both of these wonderful women for helping me each day, and never knowing how much they inspire me. 
I borrowed the photos shown here from Carla and Lori's blogs.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blast from the Past

L-R back row: Scott. Glen, Mr. Hill, Morey, Brian, Michelle, Todd, Trina, Lisa, ME.

 Front Row: Lee, Mike, Mike, Laura, Joel, Kristie, and Peggy

This week is my 25th high school reunion.  I won't be attending, but wanted to share this with you.  We had some MAD fashion sense didn't we!  Can't be too embarrassed when there are all those other people in the picture with me!  I wanted to load some of my other school stuff, but unless I can convince Chris to find my box in the storeroom, that won't happen.  It is buried behind all sorts of flotsam that has collected in our 20 years of marriage!  (Well almost, June 8th is our anniversary).  We have lived in the same house too long!  Our friends and family that move more often than once in 20 years, tell us that is the way to thin out your junk (oh, did I say that out loud?!).  Anyway, this was only part of my class, this group being the Psychology Class taught by Mr. Hill.  

Things that I thought when I graduated from High School that turned out to be COMPLETELY wrong!
  • I never will need to use a computer. (They were just starting an Apple computer lab at school my Senior year)
  • I will never get married (glad that Chris came along!)
  • I want to be an elementary teacher (though I have the degree, and taught two years, uh, NO)
  • If I would ever get married, I can have as many kids as I want.  Nope, one was it and lucky to have her.
  • I would like to write a book (not completely wrong since I write here, but I would still like this to happen)
So how long ago did you graduate and what did you think would happen in your life that proved completely wrong?  I would love to hear from you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Humor

Here are some funny posters from VeryDemotivational.com

Have a Fun and Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Audio Books

I am completely addicted to Audio Books.  I listen to them in the car, at work on my iPod, at home during supper, and when I am in my studio beading!  I tell people I love them because I can read and bead at the same time!  These are two of my recent books I have been listening to.  I love history (sometimes wish I had been a history teacher ~ then I come to my senses!).  The Civil War is a fascinating period in our Nation's history.

This is my current audio book.  Very interesting (though some passages are long and drawn out with battles and too many names).  I learned today that even though Lincoln fought hard to free slaves and give them their basic rights, he disliked Native Americans and didn't deal well with them.  I found that strangely ironic.  I also learned that if Mary Todd Lincoln had been a First Lady these days, she would likely have been jailed for embezzlement.  She was a compulsive shopper with expensive tastes and would file phony bills for reimbursement to cover bills she did not want Lincoln to know about.  Items such as plants and manure for landscaping were submitted, a horse and wagon also, and none were ever present at the Capital.  I heard an interesting story about a Union soldier that claimed to be a Confederate soldier and was even aided by the Confederates to get through enemy areas in order to get information back to Lincoln on the battles.  He had a smart horse that helped him escape a couple times and he was later given the horse as a reward.  He continued to report directly to Lincoln about the conditions in the battlefields until the war ended.

This is the other book I listened to and it was about the assignation of Lincoln.  It was very good (I listened to it twice!) and fascinating.  Based entirely on documentation and journals and news reports, it told the story from a couple days before the shooting to the eventual capture of Booth.  I found the details of the medical treatment the President received after the shooting and the details of Booth's escape and hiding very interesting.

Interested?  Check them out!  What are you reading?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Etsy Treasury Lists

 I have made two lovely Etsy Treasury Lists this week that I wanted to share with you!  The first is a treasury of ravens.  Ravens play interesting roles in mythology and fables, which I am doing some research on for a future blog post.

Quoth the Raven Treasury

I also am very fond of birds and bird nests.  It all started with a Green Girl Studios bead that is a tiny nest with tiny eggs in it and on the back it says "home".  It just spoke to my soul.  I have included that bead in my Nests of Home Treasury List.  Enjoy!

Nests of Home

I also have several other lists I have put together from time to time and you can see those here:
StephanieHaussler Treasury Lists

Have a terrific Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beading Tip for Tuesday

This is from Monday's Beading Daily Newsletter.  Wonderful help with cleaning sterling silver beads and jewelry.  
I hate tarnish, I swear it is the work of the Devil.  Not only do I hate it, I hate cleaning it, I hate the smell of it, and 
it makes me TOTALLY grumpy when I have to sit at a show and clean tarnish from jewelry during set up.  I try 
very hard to keep things sealed to prevent this, but you can't prevent putting the jewelry out in the air at shows, 
and when doing "outside" fair type shows, the humidity conspires with the air and tarnish to make me annoyed.  
Brings to mind Marvin the Martian from Looney Tunes saying "OOH that makes me SOO ANGRY!"  
If you don't subscribe to Beading Daily here is the link:
Beading Daily Email Newsletter

I also subscribe to Jewelry Making Daily and here is the link for that newsletter:
Jewelry Making Daily Email Newsletter

From Beading Daily
Lately, instead of buying brand-new sterling silver clasps, findings, and beads, I've been turning to a few new sources. 
First, I've been practicing my wire working skills to make my own earring findings and clasps using my favorite sterling 
silver wire and beads. Second, I haunt my local thrift shops, junk shops, and antique shops. There are treasures there, 
and a lot of them are sterling silver! And of course, I go back and recycle findings and clasps from older projects or 
projects that I never finished (gasp!).

The only downside to using recycled or up-cycled sterling silver is that sometimes it's in less-than-perfect condition. 
When I get a beautiful piece of sterling that looks like it could use a little loving, I'll clean and polish it up. 
Jean Campbell wrote a wonderful blog about this very topic a couple of years ago, and here's the method that 
she tried for cleaning tarnished sterling silver:

Removing Tarnish from Sterling Silver at Home
Tarnish-Busting Formula
1. Choose a plastic or glass (never metal) pan that is deep enough so that when filled with water your tarnished jewelry 

will be covered.
2. Put a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of the pan.
3. Pour near-boiling water into the pan.
4. Add a couple tablespoons of baking soda to the water.
5. Place the tarnished jewelry onto the piece of aluminum.
6. If necessary, add more baking soda to the dish until you see the tarnish coming off your piece. You should get a slight 

bubbling effect with an odd odor.

You can clearly see the difference in the before and after photos here. Jean also used a soft toothbrush to completely 
remove the rest of the tarnish from the beads and findings, but it didn't take much effort.

Before and After Using the Home Tarnish Removal Solution

We're not sure how the chemical reaction would affect gemstones or other beads, and I would never try it with a piece 
strung on silk, cotton, or nylon thread because of the hot water. But it went perfectly for this bracelet made of sterling silver, 
freshwater pearls, and crystals strung on beading wire.

One word of caution: I wouldn't use the boiling hot water method with any handmade glass beads. If the beads aren't 
properly annealed, there's always a chance that the boiling hot water can cause thermal shock and your lovely 
handmade beads will crack.

Some other suggestions for cleaning up and caring for you tarnished sterling silver beads and findings:
  • For a faster method for polishing silver, try using your favorite tartar control toothpaste with a small toothbrush. 
  • I've found that a toddler-sized toothbrush works perfectly.
  • You can also make a weak solution of vinegar and salt using two cups of vinegar and a teaspoon or two of salt.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Etsy Beadweavers May Challenge

Recently I came across this on Facebook.  I was vaguely aware that the group existed, but the Lord of the Rings challenge caught my eye!  They are currently voting for the winner of the challenge and I have included the links for the individual pieces as well as a link to the Beadweavers site.  I loved looking at all of the designs and wanted to share them with you.  Some day when I can quit all of my jobs and focus I seed beading, I want to participate in a group like this!  They do beautiful work!

click map
Etsy Beadweavers

1. The One Ring - NewWorldElegance
2. Heart Bracelet in Metallic Gray and Bright Red - enchantedbeads
3. Éowyn Beadwoven Pendant - beadn4fun
4. Leaves of Lothlorien Necklace - RareSpecimens
5. The Dead Marshes - 4uidzne
6. The Light Star of Earendil - AngelqueCreations
7. Gollum - Kankou
8. One Ring to Rule Them All - MyOrcaDreams
9. Key to the Shire Beaded Necklace - crystalwonders
10. EDORAS - crownrosegems
11. The One Ring - MelJoyCreations
12. The Leaves of Lothlorien - ElementalNature
13. Shield Necklace - annamei
14. Arwen Evenstar - SpringColors
15. Mallorn of Lothlorien Beadwoven Necklace - MaryTDesigns
16. Goldberry - roseworksjewelry
17. Ash and Ember - The Balrog- HauteIceBeadwork
18. Memories of Rivendell - glimmerstone
19. Greenleaf Bead Embroidered Bib Necklace - beadsandblooms
20. Ring of Fire Beadwoven Bangle - LaBellaJoya
21. Arwen Necklace - tenstoreylovesong
22. Galadriel's Gift to Gandalf - ArtMasquerading
23. Beaded Links - BoonieBeads
24. Shieldmaiden's Neckpiece - flagrantdesigns
25. The Eye of Sauron Ring - bysalla
26. Gandalf Beaded Tapestry - arjarvis
27. Nightingale Necklace - chrysanthemumveil
28. Galadriel's Circlet of Elanor - njdesigns1
29. Sea Green Ornate Necklace - SilverDragon
30. The Prancing Pony Fantasy Bottle Ornament - FrancescasFancy
31. Ent Necklace- Burarum - WhiteRabbitJewels

Sadly, due to the issues with Blogger at the end of last week, you didn't get to read this post in time to vote.  I voted for number 17, Ash & Ember.  WOW, very cool!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Few of My Etsy Favorite Sellers...

For today's Etsy spotlight, I am showing you a bunch of my favorite Etsy sellers.  Just click the caption to go to their shops.  Some I have shared before, some are new.  I could surf Etsy for days! These are sellers   I know personally,  just really love their items, or have bought from them several times!  Have a great day, and I hope YOU find time to surf Etsy today!

beadlady (selling Green Girl Studio designs)


Beads by C (beadsandbotanicals)

ss10001 (Sherry Stokey





Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BTW=Bead Table Wednesday

Halfway through the week, YEAH!  This is what I have been working on this week:

My letter to Sandy, my Bead Soup partner in our "Enchanted Forest/Fairy Tale" mini swap.

The goodies I am sending to Sandy, don't want to show too much and spoil her surprise!  It is really sad how many lonely beads have been forgotten in my stash!  I tend to use the new beads and the others sit quietly in their sectioned bead boxes suffering silently from my neglect.  I am going to try to rectify that!

This is a bracelet I whipped up over Easter weekend.  I used some Picasso finish Czech glass flowers I bought at the Grand Island bead show from Jade Dog Beads and fringed them all into this bracelet.  Looks kind of vintage to me or like an antique painting of a meadow.

This is my big project I am working on, my "What is Old is New Again" project for Artbeads Blog Partners program.  I am loving how it is turning out so far, now if I can figure out how to put it all together!  The cabs on the white backing are vintage earrings I cut apart (they were clip ons).  The piece just above them will be an earring (its partner was missing on picture day) and the two large pieces incorporate Steampunk style buttons and vintage brass filigree from Artbeads.  You can see one of the buttons in the baggie still.  It has a more open design so I didn't want to glue it to foundation and lose the cog design.  Would love to hear your thoughts on it so far!

(Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at Artbeads.com, I received the products shown free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Artbeads.com for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.)

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