Sunday, March 29, 2015

Week #13 - Too many to pick!

 This week, I went a little crazy with the earrings. I made so many that I can't decide which to make #13!  SO - I'll go with..... ones I made for folks with metal allergies.  

One of the things, I've learned over the years of doing shows is that there are WHOLE LOTTA FOLKS who are allergic to metal of some sort.  I started making "metal free" pieces a few years ago and found that there aren't a whole lotta options out there for folks who can't do a metal.  I did, however, find plastic posts.  Genius!  So, these little sweets have them and make them perfect for those awful allergies! 

The beads are wood, coated with resin on front and back, so the posts should not ever come off, and because they are wood - they are SUPER lightweight!  The charcoal and turquoise are PERFECT for spring!  Enjoy!


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop - Package #2 Received!

 As the leader of the group, Bead Peeps, while matching we had a "spare" I picked up a 2nd partner....and what an adventure it has been! =)

Jessica lives in Alaska and has just had her 6th child.  She's SUCH a strong woman!  I can't imagine having 6 children, let in the bush.....homeschooling AND being a wife and mom.  Whoa!

I sent her package a few weeks ago and you can see what SHE received here:

And THIS is what I received:

Some gorgeous spacers, some hearts and a beautiful "message in a bottle".

A beautiful lampwork bead, some blue quartz chips, some heart clasps and a beautiful blinged out crown.  

The deets - So, Jessica made the lampwork piece - oh so gorgeous! I LOVE pink and blue - like LOVE it!  So, that will be fun to play with.  I'm going to see how I can add the hearts in.... I haven't worked with something like that before so that will be a challenge for me. 

She also made the stunning message in a bottle, which features a verse about being healed.  I have struggled for nearly 12 years with chronic illness.  God has used that sickness to bring me to a new place in life, where I'm *artistic* and for those who know me - that's weird.  Before getting sick, I had no CLUE I had a lick of artistic ability inside me.  Isn't that incredible?  This beautiful gift that comes from the ashes of a life that *I* thought was the way life would be, from then until forevermore.  

Going to be interesting to see what comes from these pieces..... so many little time. 

Check back here on May 2 to see what I've made and check out the blogs of the other participants, too!

To be sure you don’t miss out on any of my crazy adventures, you can sign up to follow my blog by email or news servers using the links in the right column of my page. You can also follow me on Facebook get updates about blog posts, my latest jewelry designs, show schedule, and other happenings!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

So...what'd he say?

Today...... after a horrific weekend filled with pain, like I've never known and honestly, wasn't sure I'd make it through the night on Friday.  While that may sound dramatic..... it's truth.  I had so much *pain*.  It was RELENTLESS.  After Friday night, I drove an hour+ to the Twin Cities (my dentist was in Chicago) to an emergency dentist who promptly told me that I had an infected tooth and that it would be a cool $3k for them to fix it.

I don't have $3k.  I cried. Alot.  I'm on social security and am disabled.  I'm not able to work.....I don't have the luxury of picking up a few extra hours to make some extra cash.... my body won't let me.  Imagine the freak out.

Look at that smile! Help me save it!
So, this morning, I went to my own dentist, who agreed that YES I need a root canal.  However, he felt pretty certain, that a crown may not be needed immediately.  More importantly, the cost for the root canal and filling, will be right at $1k - which is MUCH more manageable than $3k, but still frightening because I don't have that kind of money.  I've spent the last several months being VERY disciplined and exercising HUGE self control to save around $600 - which is OUTSTANDING - but the thought of losing all that cash to a tooth and having NOTHING again is absolutely sickening.   (I know, I'm very THANKFUL that I have this savings.... I just HATE spending it!)

I'm asking for help.  I have to.

I have started a gofundme page, which you can find here:  It also explains more of my story and why this probably happened..... and I will be doing a destash again in my Facebook group:  Please share with your friends - I want to raise as much as I possibly can so that I can keep SOME sort of savings. 

If you'd rather purchase jewelry - you can find it here: and I do custom pieces, as well! 

THANK YOU for your friendship and if you would like to help, I'd be forever grateful (as would my mouth)!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week #12 - Long Legged Lola

This week's addition is brought to you by amoxicillin, acetaminophen and delirium. It's been an awful week..... I have a VERY severely infected tooth, which has caused pain like I've ever experienced. I was in so much pain, that I was drenched in sweat. Bad week. After the worst night, I went to a dentist who promptly informed me that it would be $3000 to get a root canal and crown. I cried. Alot. I cried until I couldn't cry anymore....then I wept. I don't have that kinda money.  

So, I'm going to see my "regular" dentist tomorrow, who will look and decide what HE thinks is the best plan. It's going to be expensive and I have no idea how I'm gonna pay for it, but the alternative is to pull the tooth, but then I'd need a bridge or an implant, neither of which is much cheaper.

I have a group on Facebook - Linda's Destash, where I am planning to start destashing jewelry parts, auction style. I hope to get the auction up by Thursday or so. So, if you'd be willing to help - please join the group....every bit will help me pay for this.  I have also set up a GoFundMe page here: if you'd rather not purchase jewelry parts but want to help. 

In other news..... I did create a pair of earrings a few weeks ago that I made as a "backup" pair and this is the week I'm calling them up from 'the minor league'. I call them "Long Legged Lola".... made with Swarovski crystals in 3 different sizes, colors and lengths. I kinda love them. =) I hope you do, too.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Build A Line Challenge - #fail

I have failed. I didn't finish the challenge. Why? Well, the largest reason is that I felt terribly discouraged. Lemme also say this.... I think that I came in to this challenge on a different page than many *maybe not*. I've been making my "idea" for several years, and it's my largest seller. As I mentioned in my first blog post, I have had a piece in my style (crochet) be published in Bead Style, so I wasn't really starting from scratch. I have countless photos of pieces I've made over the years, bracelets and necklaces.... where *I* messed up was not being able (or having the energy via chronic illness and life) to glean from the class where everyone else was. I felt like I was holding out for the last section - and really - where I felt I needed the most help. Along the line.... someone made a comment that really hurt me and if I'm being honest, kinda turned me off. Should I have spoken up, yep. Should I have taken the time to read further into the comments, perhaps.... but I didn't...again, my failure. I'll get through this and I'll go back to learn...and I've got good peeps around me who I'm sure will help me, where and when they can. So, to Brenda - I'm sorry. To my classmates - I've also let you down in not being able to share my wisdom or questions but hope that you will forgive me and still share your wisdom. No matter how far we went in this challenge, we're still all on the road together. Thanks for letting me walk with you, for a while. And...if nothing else....I have an idea for something for designers that may be pretty cool, maybe THAT will be my "line" and my claim to fame if this crochet thing doesn't work out ;)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Swap N Hop Partner 2 has received her package!

 Jessica received her GOODIES!! YAY!

Here's what I sent her:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I went with a tree theme for 2 reasons - first is that we're both Christians and the Bible talks about God being the vine and we are the branches.  The second is that trees remind me of family and seeing that Jessica just had baby #6, I thought it was fitting to carry that through to her goodies.  I included 6 little star czech beads, one for each child. =)  Awww......

Just waiting for her to send her goodies to me now...... been waiting by the mailbox with bated breath!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How Hops and Challenges Made Me a Better Jewelry Designer

Every now and then....something strikes me and I just need to write.  Today, right now, is one of those times.

I was sitting in my bead room working on some new projects and got to thinking about how I've changed since I started doing blog hops and challenges.  In my Facebook group, Bead Peeps, we've embarked on a HUGE task of asking designers to sign up, be paired with someone they probably don't know, swap beads and make a piece of jewelry with what they were sent.  I was thinking about my first swap n hop..... it was an adventure.  I didn't know what I really getting in to, but "the whole class was doing it" so I signed up, too.  =)

Examples of "What the....?!?!?!"

I received my package from a gal in Kentucky.  She sent all kinda stuff I'd never seen before or ever worked with.  She sent some clay beads she'd made, and some antique brass metal pieces - which were by FAR my biggest challenges.  I didn't know WHAT I was doing...but somewhere in the depths of my soul - something came out.  And frankly - to this day (2+ years later) - it's a piece I'm most proud of.  Is it perfect? NO.  It is my taste? Not really.  Is it something *I* would have picked for myself?  Not on your life.  BUT that package of beads GREW me.  It encouraged me to step past my obsession with bright silver and explore other metals....copper, gold, brass, stainless, gunmetal and even (gasp) antique silver.  Thanks to HER, I use other metals now.  CRAZY!  (Read the story here:

My 2nd partner was a sweet gal from Indiana (Whoop whoop!).  She was so wonderful!  She sent me a package of beads that I nearly cried in excitement over.  She had sent this GORGEOUS clasp, the cutest owl bead I've ever seen and Czech beads.  *coughcoughWHAT?!coughcough*  I had NO BLASTED IDEA how to work with Czech beads...let alone ordering them, and frankly - learning a new language.  Words like "picasso" and "pressed" and "firepolished" meant 0 to me.  I just wanted ones like she had sent! So, I learned.....and read...and googled...and asked questions...and ordered. Alot. ;)   (Read the full story here:

 The pieces I made from THAT group of goodies is by far....some of my most proud pieces.  I am still COMPLETELY obsessed by them and get compliments EVERY time I wear them.  I learned a new language, I learned about a different type of bead and I expanded my skillz by making a wire flower to mimic the clasp she'd sent, using some basic wire working techniques to make my owl into a pendant and made my OWN headpins AND earwires (my first EVER).....and I fully blame her... with all kinds of thanks to her, I now own.....THIS....(all Czech glass). =)

Another example....some have heard references to my "favorite color of gemstone" "baby food orange".... red aventurine.  ugh. (and every time I say "red aventurine" "ugh" is immediately followed).  I signed up for a blog hop where I would be sent a "mystery" package of beads and metal parts (again...antique brass).  Now, for those unaware - I HATED IT!  I'm not sure hate is even a strong enough word for my feelings toward this stone.  =)  After a loooong while of sitting and stewing....the deadline was looming and I had to get my rear in gear if I was going to finish....long story longer..... I pulled out a color wheel and went to town.  And guess what? They are AWESOME! Different, cohesive, not too cray-cray....and I'm pretty proud of those pieces, too.   (Read the full story here:

Moral of the Story

So, I want to encourage you that if you opened your package and went "what the....?!", sit with with it....look at it in a different light....this is an INCREDIBLE chance to learn and streeeeeeeetch yourself.

Week #11 - OooOo Sexy Lady!

This week, I decided to go the more.....sassy sexy route.  I've seen other earrings similar to this and couldn't figure out how on EARTH they connected the chain to the earring.  Well, I KNOW how they did it, but not sure which method is the best.  SO - I did it 2 ways.

 Aren't they HOT?!  Also - AWESOME for brides and bridesmaids.....don'tchya think?

The first..... featuring Powder Rose Swarovski Pearls:

The 2nd...featuring Jade Swarovski Pearls:

These earrings are also a lesson in recycling - the pink ones, I used an old necklace that had broken (thus the fear of breakage), but already had the connections attached.  I didn't have anymore appropriate size or color of those connectors, so I used the crimp cups.  =)  

The consensus was that the 1st pair were preferred over the 2nd...... I'm not sure which I like more - to be honest.  I like them both.... the 2nd set, in my mind, is more secure, but who knows.  I wore both of them to see if one might break - and thankfully - no such luck. 

Another week....another "What do YOU think?"

Saturday, March 14, 2015

1 package received - 1 to go!

USPS came through for me! WOOHOO! =) My package to Malta has been RECEIVED!  SO! Time for the big reveal! Here's what *I* sent to Marica.....


Here's what Marica sent ME.  There are more of the beads, just pulled a few for the sampling =)

And THESE little beauties!!! EEEEEKKK!

Part of her "Top Kapi" collection
You can find some like this here:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week #10 - I made it!!

This week, I stumbled upon something to new to me..... some really cool paints.  I can't paint, draw, paste, trace, sculpt or really do anything that involves hand/eye coordination (which is odd since I played violin for eons, but whatever) these paints have been all kinds of fun because they do all the work.  *perfection in a bottle*  SO - I present to you - my first pair of earrings - that I least the danglely parts of....

I used light turquoise Swarovski crystals and orange czech shaped beads (like the fruit orange).  I'm in LOVE with the results of my new little obsession.  Can't wait to play with them and perfect my technique!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop - Partner #2 - Teaser

As a reminder.....a few months ago, nearly 100 folks signed up to be part of an incredible adventure, which is being hosted in my facebook group, Bead Peeps. (We are a group of nearly 1500 jewelry designers/bead makers and general jewelry peoples.)  They signed up, I assigned them a partner...we switch beads and on May 2, we will all post what we made on our respective websites.  I have never led something like this and was excited (and terrified) to take on the challenge. 

I was lucky enough to have an extra partner and both of them are OUTSTANDING! =)  I've been blessed by both of them and am so excited to get the 2nd package on it's way on Monday! 

Jessica lives in Alaska - out in the bush.  Her family mines gold and she is a homeschoolin' momma.  And....CONGRATULATIONS to my partner on baby #6!  Hooray!!  Both Mama and baby are doing great and should be home! WOOHOO!

Here's a sneak peek of Jessica's package:

Any guesses?  tee hee

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop - Partner #1 - teaser

So, my partner Marica, had already sent her package....and I was waiting....waiting....waiting for one last thing to come before I could send. Well...the other day, I found both the last piece for her and her package in my mailbox! EEK! SO - here's a teaser of what went out today - on the way to Malta. (Thankful for home pickups - been a rough, rough week)

I didn't want to be influenced by what she sent, so I haven't opened her package yet.... do you know how HARD it is to have an envelope full of goodness sitting there....staring at you?

I'm hoping to get Jessica's package out in the next day or 2. Thankfully, hers doesn't have to go around the world. =)  I also realized that I need to find a flat rate box for looks like a PO trip is in my future..ugh.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week #9 - Tutti Fruitti!

Seed bead example - itty bitties!
This week, my Swap N Hop partner, Marica, inspired my earrings.  When we first began getting to know each other, I was sure to ask about allergies or if there are things that she'd prefer not to work with.  She let me know that, indeed, she has a SEVERE seed beads (itty-bitty little beads).
She breaks out in hives, gets out her epi....she's terribly allergic.  When she was little, she had to sit at the "no seed bead" lunch table.  It was an awful thing to have to deal with at such a young age.  Thankfully, that allergy has only made her stronger.  She avoids seed beads...and life is great. =)

SO, in her honor, I made these earrings...with SEED BEADS!  =)

I was inspired by an inspiration piece at - instead of using round SEED BEADS, I used rectangles.  I, also, changed up the way that I attach them to my ear wires...but the shape idea came from Artbeads.   I really like these little guys.  They're adorable, fun and sweet as can be - much like myself. =)

AND - they're for sale!  You can find them here: