Sometimes you see a picture and it just speaks to you. This is one of those pictures. When I saw it, I was completely transfixed. I'm not sure if it is the combination of colors or how they work with the tree silhouettes, but I was completely captivated by it.
I've always had a thing for sunsets. When I was in grad school, I had almost 100 sunset pictures that my friends and I had collected hanging on my wall. This picture brought back all of the fun memories those sunsets brought us as we shared them together.
I printed this sunset picture out and it has been happily sitting on my beading table for the better part of a month. I think its going to stay there for quite some time as I have grown rather attached to it.
I wanted to create a piece that complimented this picture without taking away from its incredible beauty. I have had some translucent peach crystals I have been wanting to use for quite some time, but haven't known how to use them. So I paired them with some basic clear crystals, and I loved how they played together. Using my clear and peach crystals, I made a cha-cha style charm bracelet.
You can check out the other participants and their creations by visiting the following websites.
The Participants for the "Solar Flare Blog Hop":
Shawn Marie Mills
Blog Link: http://shawnmariedesignsatbentwire.blogspot.com/
Blog Link: http://maverickbeads.blogspot.com/
Blog Link: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Pam "The Crazier Sister
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Blog Link: http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/
Blog Link: www.phoenixmagyk.com
Blog Link: http://tumblestonehandmakery.blogspot.ca
Blog Link: http://whimsicalweavings.blogspot.com/
Blog Link: http://createdtreasures.blogspot.com/
Blog Link: http://beadsteaandsweets.blogspot.com/
Blog Link: http://godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com/
Miranda C. Ackerley
Blog Link: http://mirandack.com
Paula Winchester Hisel
Blog Link: http://simplybeadiful.weebly.com/simply-stated.html
Lynn Jobber/Lo/The Creative Klutz
Blog Link: http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.co.uk/
Blog Link: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com/
Simply Beadiful is turning five this year. In the last five years, I have enjoyed creating jewelry, teaching classes, mentoring students and all of the fun things that go into running a jewelry design business. I have also had many opportunities to learn and grow as a small business owner.
Over the past few months, some things have happened that have made me stop and re-evaluate some of my policies and procedures. When I started my business, I made a promise to God and myself that I would do my very best to run my business with honesty and integrity, and do my best to honor Him. That promise extends to my customers. Call me crazy, but I expect the same common courtesies I extend to be extended back to me.
I'm taking this opportunity to outline my policies as a business, both old and new. I want you to have the very best experience possible and I feel the best way to do that is to make sure that we are all on the same page from the very beginning.
As always, I appreciate your business. If you have questions or concerns, please let me know. You can always reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Its no secret that I love owls. There's just something about them that I love. Maybe its those wise eyes. Or maybe its because they remind me of my Grandpa Winchester. When I was little, I remember going with him on campus (he worked at a university) to help install these gigantic owls to help scare away the pigeons. Either way, I'm crazy about owls, and I'm glad to see other people catching my passion for them.
About five years ago, I started making beaded owl ornaments. Each ornament starts with a styrofoam base about 3" wide. Then I add somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 seed beads (number depends on size of beads used). Using small silver straight pins, each bead is lovingly attached to the owl. They have a matching ribbon attached under the beads so they can hang from hooks or branches. This is probably one of my favorite projects because they turn out so darn cute. Who can resist those eyes :)
You can vote for your favorite owl design in both the Jewelry and Component categories starting October 28th.
I'm sorry in advance to all of the other blog challenges I participated in this year, but this was my very favorite challenge I participated in. I LOVE history. Always have. So when I found the Beady Eyed Bunny's History Hop, I was like a kid in a candy store.
The challenge was to pick a time period, research it, and then create a piece of jewelry that reflected that time period. The choices were:
Ancient Egypt (3000BC to 639AD)
China (3000BC to 1500AD)
Mesopotamian (2600 BC to 539 BC)
Ancient Mycenae Greek (2700 BC to 146 BC)
Indus Valley (2500 BC to 1800 AD)
Pre-Columbian (1400 BC to 1500 AD)
Persia (700 BC to 1700 AD)
Etruscan (700 BC to 300 BC)
Ancient Roman (753 BC to 476 AD)
Middle Ages (5th to 12th Century)
Renaissance (13th to 17th Century)
Victorian (18th to 19th Century)
Art Nouveau (19th to 20th Century)
Art Deco Jewelry (1920s to 1930)
Growing up, I was convinced I was born in the wrong century. I adored all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, and always wanted to play "Little House on the Prairie." Maybe it was growing up in Kansas and loving the prairie (most people don't get it, I guess you just have to be there to understand). But when I saw the Victorian period was an option, I knew it was calling my name.
I took this challenge very seriously, and delved into a treasure trove of research sources available (God bless you internet!!). I checked out books from the library and read them cover to cover. I reached out to museums, the Library of Congress, my Alma Mater Friends University's library...I did more research for this one project than I ever did for school!
Traditionally, the Victorian period was from 1837 to 1900. The period's namesake was the fascinating Queen Victoria. She was an eccentric character and had an all consuming passion for jewelry. One of the books I read (Victorian Jewellery by Margaret Flower) said that she loved charm bracelets so much, that she had special charms made and gave them to all of the people who came to visit her--that's my kind of girl! The piece I chose to create was inspired by Queen Victoria's charm bracelets.
A lot of the pictures that I found of charm bracelets from that time period had very large and chunky chains. Women seemed to be fascinated by nature and very "organic" charms, although the items weren't made from all natural materials. The Industrial Revolution was about to explode and metals were becoming easier to obtain and afford.
I received this chain in a package of beads I won earlier in the summer. Is is a very bulky chain that is bronze in color. I wanted to use it in a totally different way than I have in the past, so I used a shortened multi-strand necklace (gold tinged ribbon and white string) as a base, and then ran each chain link through the ribbon. Because it is woven through the ribbon, the chain moves freely, a feature that I love.
In keeping with the Victorian fascination with nature, I wanted to add a couple of charms that were nature inspired. I used a very large silver backed peacock charm, and a bronzed round bird charm. I'm normally a very matchy-matchy person when it comes to charms, so using two totally different charms was WAY out of my comfort zone. But I love how they compliment each other.
I am really happy with how the bracelet turned out! It is a somewhat loose interpretation of my favorite Victorian pieces, but I think it captures the heart and soul of the period.
I spent hours on end researching this time period and falling in love with it. My Laura Ingalls Wilder fascination has grown deeper, and I decided as a follow-up project, I want to research and re-create historically accurate jewelry of the prairie women. I'm excited to share my finds with you as I discover them.
I owe several people a debt of gratitude for their help on researching this project. They are:
Max Burson and Kathy Delker, Friends University Library
Lisa Heckler, Kansas Historical Society
Emily Guthrie, Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library
Ann Hoog, Library of Congress
Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
To see the what the rest of the participants in the History Hop came up with, please check out their links below:
Ahowin - Art Nouveau www.blog.ahowinjewelry.com
Alicia Marinache – Victorian http://www.allprettythings.ca/
Becca's Place – Renaissance www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco www.stringingfool.blogspot.com
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece www.cherryobsidia.blogspot.com
Cooky – Renaissance www.shepherdessbeads.com/Blog.html
Jamie Shipp – Middle Ages www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley www.washoekat.blogspot.com
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan www.sadafulee.blogspot.com
Lady Grey – Victorian www.beadsteaandsweets.blogspot.com
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian www.laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman www.beadyeyedbunny.blogspot.co.uk
LiliKrist - Persia www.lilikrist.com
Melissa – Mesopotamian www.design.kcjewelbox.com
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Paula Hisel – Victorian www.simplybeadiful.weebly.com/simply-stated.html
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau www.city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.com
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com
Tracy Stillman – Victorian www.tracystillmandesigns.com
How do you break up with your houseplant? I've been struggling with this for awhile and I still haven't figured out how to have "the conversation" with my ailing peace lily. Its not personal, its just no longer working. Well...its not been working for a long time, but I didn't want to admit it out loud until recently.
Its a little disappointing that I have the black thumb of death when it comes to plants. My Grandma Park had the most amazing garden when we were growing up. She had a farm and a huge vegetable garden she would take us to. It was the kind you could run and get lost in. Her flower garden was the kind you see in magazines.
She would always send my sister and I home with an African Violet to put in our room. She said you couldn't kill them. Apparently she never saw the carcasses of the previous flowers she had sent home with me!!
I kept thinking as I grew older that things would change for me in the plant-killer department. I had the best intentions of being a master gardener, but other than one summer hanging basket that I somehow managed to not kill, I had no such luck.
About 8 years ago, I received a peace lily as a Secretary's Day present (either it was a cruel joke or the person really didn't know me). It did ok the first year, and by ok I mean I didn't kill is as quickly as I killed most of my other plants.
Every year I was amazed that my little houseplant made it...until about three years ago. Then I realized that my plant was no longer thriving, it was merely surviving, and not well at that.
There were two reasons I kept my plant. 1) A small part of me wanted to prove I could keep it alive. 2) The biggest reason, I didn't know how to break up with it.
How do you break up with your houseplant? You can have "the conversation" with it all you want, but that doesn't really solve anything. Every time I walk past it, I feel a pang of guilt and secretly imagine this scenario:
Me: Sorry plant, but its just not working anymore. Its not you, its me...
Houseplant stares blankly at me. Its leaves are brown around the edges. A small tear roll down its leaf...
Me: I think you would be happy seeing other people, people who care about you the way you should
be cared for...
Houseplant suddenly has a small suitcase sitting next to it...
What do you do with it when you believe it needs to start living somewhere else? I can't just throw it away (although I really really want to). It didn't ask to have me as an owner. Until I figure it out, its going to continue living next to my television, and I'm going to continue feeling guilty every time I pass it.
Every now and then I see something I just HAVE to have. I am a huge fan of things that are silly and unexpected (bacon breath mints and toothpicks for example). So when I see things like this, I have to resist the urge to buy them. But if you want to buy them for me, I won't stop you!!
I'm from Kansas. I live in Kentucky. And thanks to this shirt, awkward moments (like the entire NCAA 2012 Championship Game) don't have to be so awkward for me any more. Getting my friends and family on board, is a whole other story :)
One of my favorite news quotes from this year was in regards to an Italian painting that had been retouched. I think the exact phrasing was "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic."
Now you too can look like this priceless Italian painting. If you do, PLEASE SEND ME PICTURES!!!
Finally, if you are still trying to find a Halloween costume for your pet, you might want to consider the "Chia Dog" costume. If you do, I'd like to see pictures of that as well :)