Irregular, Misshapen, Tarnished - PERFECT!

As you can tell by the title of this post I am currently obsessed with imperfection.  I found tons of irregular, misshapen, tarnished gunmetal beads in my stash.  I believe these were inexpensive beads I bought many years ago from a local big box store when I first started beading.   I kept the beads but in the back of my mind I was never planning to use them, because who has time to pick through the bunch trying to find the perfect ones?   Looking for a challenge and armed with a positive attitude and a desire to create something organic I put them to use, and voila! 

I was able to use the irregular beads along with some metal beads and buttons and create the designs below.  I also discovered a really fun technique.  After making a wide cuff style bracelet, I folded it in half, sewed it up, adding beads where needed to create this texturelicious bangle.  Love it! and of course I'm obsessed - for a while anyway.  Moral of this story - never throw away any beads.


I recently visited New Orleans last month, and I was so inspired by the "Crescent City".
For me New Orleans is a melting pot of many things:  people, food, and architecture.  I was able to find inspiration in all these areas.  The "City" is much like the Gumbo for which it is known.  I think of my jewelry designs as gumbo sometimes.  I try to design using a multiple techniques, colors, and bead sizes in one piece in an effort to create unique details.    The piece below was designed while I was visiting New Orleans.  I used my latest obsession: Picasso beads - love them! 

This pendant is now available online at: or at Baker's Bead Shop in Cocoa Beach, FL.

New - The Interlocking Loops Necklace

Okay, I finally finished the chunky links necklace I was working on, and it's now in my Etsy Shop.  I absolutely love this necklace it drapes beautifully, the length is great, it closes in the back with an easy beaded toggle, and it is so comfortable to wear.  I designed this necklace using 2 of my favorite colors which happen to be on trend right now!

The matching earrings compliment the necklace perfectly and are also really comfortable to wear.  I plan to offer a tutorial for the earrings in my shop soon.  I also will be making another set like this in a different color combination - stay tuned!

Back to the Beads (for a minute)

I'm currently finishing up this necklace made up of large loops.  It was inspired by a necklace worn by a national news reporter.  The stitch I'm using is cubic right angle weave or CRAW for short. This is a stitch I learned a few years ago from a David Chatt tutorial.

I thought it was a neat stitch at that time if you wanted to make geometrically shaped jewelry.  Now I appreciate the stitch for the beautiful drape it gives my pieces, and it's much more fun to work with.  The colors I used in this necklace are 2 of my favorite and are on trend for 2014/2015 season.

Scrapping Project #2 - BRAVE

This is my second scrapbooking project.  I'm trying to be freely creative , but part of me wants steps to follow or a process.  This is part of my process - it helps me get started and then I feel my way through the rest.  Maybe it will help you too!

Disclaimer:  I love the shabby chic, imperfect look.  I'm not that into the picture perfect layout and I love to embellish!
  1.  Pick an interesting or sentimental picture.  It's true a picture says a thousand words.  The subject matter gives you a lot of direction on how to proceed, when it comes to what type of embellishments to use, and how to title your layout.
  2. Choose the layout papers. Use the colors in the picture to help you decide if you want to go monochromatic or complementary with the embellishments.
  3. Mat your photograph - it helps it to stand out as the focal point and it gives the eye a place to rest when you use a lot of embellishments.
  4. Of course you need to consider the elements and principles of design.  I'm working on this right now I just rely on my eye and what I think looks good to me.  I do know colors are important because they add to the story you are trying to tell.  Color evokes emotions and feelings.  Contrast helps give your layout interest, and Texture is just amazing - I love texture because it brings life to the layout.  More later, most importantly have fun showcasing your memories.


Supplies Used:
Die Cut Flower Shapes
Embossed Die Cut Flower Shapes
Dry Wall Tape (for texture)
Inks, Dyes, and Paints
Alphabet Stickers

Obsessed with Paper

Okay, now my latest obsession is paper (again).  This time I'm delving into the world of scrapbooking.  I have no interest in the cutesy, perfect, looking scrapbooking.  I want to scrapbook the way I make jewelry:  with no boundaries, and no rules.  A little shabby, a little chic, and a whole lot of adventure!  So here goes - my adventure into scrapbooking. 


Mallory on vacation
The picture was taken in the Bahamas while on vacation - her beautiful smile reflects the fact that she was enjoying the moment!  I took my cues from colors in her top, and the blue of the ocean.

Supplies Used:
Core'dinations Paper
Drywall Tape
Die Cuts

On to the next. . . .

How To Choose The Right Beads For Your Project

Last year my daughter Mallory and I attended the annual Rock and Gem Show in our county.  Mallory bought a beautiful, but rather large stone, even though at the time she had no idea what she would do with it.  After a while she decided she wanted a bracelet.

We took the stone to our local bead shop to find seed beads to help build this bracelet.  Needless to say, Mallory was overwhelmed at the choices available.  She didn't know where to start.  I taught her a quick 3 step process to help her choose the beads needed to complete her bracelet.
Mallory's bracelet
1). Decide if you want a monochromatic palette (subtle shades of the same color as your focal piece), or a complementary palette (colors that are opposite your focal piece).

 2). For a monochromatic palette look for hues that are lighter, darker and a different texture than your focal piece.  For a complementary palette get your clues from your focal bead - look at the bead or stone and search for subtle flecks or variations of colors.  These variations become your complementary colors.   If you are unable to detect any variations, then use a color wheel.  Search for the color of your focal piece on the color wheel then look at the color(s) directly opposite of it - these will be your complementary color(s).

3).  Add some metal accents (gold, silver, or copper) to your piece, it also serves to provide interest to your piece.