Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last Day To Enter

It is the last day to enter to win this fun little Spring / Summer necklace.   To enter click HERE

I will be randomly picking the winner tomorrow, February 1st.  Good luck to you all!

Friday, January 29, 2010

How About a Pretty Purple Lily?

I do a lot of crafting as some of you already know. Once in a while I get quite excited with how something turns out. This pair of earrings is among those things. They just feel nice in my hands.

With Spring and Easter coming, I'm hoping they can find a new home!

If you are one of those turned off by "used" earrings the last picture was taken on a photo of an ear, not a real ear.

Lavender Dangling Lily Pierced Earrings

Don't Miss Your Chance!

It is Friday already! I really do not know where the week goes sometimes. Don't miss your chance at winning a Spring choker. The drawing will be on Monday.

Click HERE to enter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

For The Larger Wrist

We can't all be petite. I gave up trying long ago and just became comfortable with who I am in the body God designed for me. I don't know about you, but I absolutely HATE those weight loss commercials that tout the perfect looking model who went from a size 10 to a size 4. What the heck was wrong with a size 10? I was a size 10 once - in 5th grade. Never saw it again.

So, for those of you who aren't a size 4, or even a 10, I have a few pieces of pretty jewelry for you.

Simple Style, Elegant Look - Seed Bead Bracelet - Plus Size

Chunky Floral VIne Bracelet - Plus Size

Luscious Seed Bead Garden Cuff - Plus Size

Double Helix Spiraling Green and Pink Bracelet - Plus size

Don't miss your chance to win a pretty necklace. Enter here: Giveaway

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time For A Blot Giveaway - Pretty Spring Necklace

I haven't had a giveaway in a long time so I thought it was about time I did. I chose this pretty little choker for the item this time. It's perfect for a February birthday with it's amethyst colored glass beads. It is 16 inches long and made of multiple strands of white seed beads.

To enter, go to any of my Etsy pages then come back here and tell me what item you like best.
For extra entries you can blog about this giveaway, twitter it or your favorite item, or send it to your Facebook friends. Be sure to let me know any extra's you done so I can accurately count the entries. I will pick a random winner on Monday, Feb. 1st.

Here are the links to my Etsy pages:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Necklace For Spring or Summer

I don't know about you, but I've had enough Winter already. There are at least two and a half months of cold and snow ahead of us! I got this necklace out of it's box yesterday and got it ready for the Internet. At least we can look at a bit of Spring even if we can't feel it. I named it "Southern Belle" because it reminds me of grand ladies wearing their flowers in the heat of Summer.

This was an adventure to make. I have never used cube beads before. Combining them with seed beads lead to an interesting pattern. It lies nice and flat on the neck. The "flower" is something else I've never tried with my jewelry. It contains sequins. They add a wonderful shimmer to the fantasy of this flower.

I am off to do Saturday chores. Hope everyone is doing well.

Southern Belle - Floral Beaded Necklace

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something For Men

Today I thought I would share some of my more masculine creations with you. Most of them are based on a Western, Native American theme. I hope you enjoy them. For more information on each piece, just click on the title.

Pewter Eagle Pendant WIth Hand Beaded Necklace

Pewter Cross Pendant With Hand Beaded Necklace

Pewter Bear Pendant WIth Hand Beaded Necklace

Hand Carved Bone Buffalo Hunter Pendant with Beaded Necklace

Buffalo / Bison Loom Beaded Choker

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Some Pretty Spring Earrings

Pink Floral Bells - Delicate Sterling Earrings

Pretty Blue Floral Lampwork Earrings

I was right, I didn't get much crafting done yesterday. I was hoping a trip to the casino would brighten our day, but since we left all of our money there, it didn't do much to raise DH's spirits. I wonder if a good swift kick in the pants would work. Nothing worse than a moping husband!

I did get some new things listed last evening. The two above are my favorites out of the group. I love lampwork. I wish I had to tools and the nerve to try it myself. Having neither, I have to purchase someone else's lovely hand work to use in my jewelry creations. The blue in the pair above is beautiful.

I'm off to create now, or take pictures, or something constructive. Hope you have a productive day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's Finally Finished - New Hardanger Piece

Remember this?


It is finally this!

14" Pink Doily

It took me way too long, but it's finished and listed. There were times when I was sure the day would never come. The stitching was completed last evening and I blocked it this morning and took the pictures.

Not only is this one finished, I started another, less complicated one last night. The next one will be blue on white, something I've never tried before. I am going for a Dutch feel with it.

I don't anticipate getting much done craft wise today. DH had his knee repaired a week ago and I have to get him out of the house so he stops moping around like a lost puppy. The casino sent us a comp for a lousy meal we had there before Christmas so I think we will go try our luck at the slots - AND the restaurant again.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Few More Valentines

Here are a few more of my Valentine's Day items. I didn't make a lot of them because I've never done this type of jewelry before and I'm not sure how the reception will be for them. It's a lot easier than working with the tiny beads, that's for sure!

For those of you looking for more Hardanger, the piece I showed earlier in the week should be done today. The next one I start is going to be a lot simpler, that is for sure. I'm estimating close to 125 hours went into the current one. Way to long if I want to sell it!

I'm off to create. Have a great day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Was Featured On an International Blog

Good day to all of you. I have a short post this morning just to tell you I was featured in another blog. The main language for this blog is Spanish, but if you scroll down a bit they have included my English response to their interview questions. They have also included a few of their favorite items.

I'm off to work on more jewelry. Have a great week end!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some Pretties For Valentine's Day

With less than a month to go I was cutting it pretty close by just getting these new items listed. I had picked out a lot of heart charms on Etsy several weeks prior, but I had to wait for the money to come in before I could commit to purchasing it. Luckily, no one beat me to it and once the money hit my PayPal account, I bought it. Then of course, there was the wait for the USPS to deliver it. Luckily, I found a seller who ships promptly and they arrived quickly.

Normally I have a hard time getting excited over making anything for Valentine's Day. It's pretty much just another day in the year here. Way back at the beginning of our marriage I started getting the excuse of "I didn't have any money" instead of a gift and that's pretty much how it's always been. A romantic my DH is not! This year I felt I at least had to give it a stab, thus the order for the hearts. When they arrived I was thrilled. I didn't realize they were going to have spaces for stones to be set, but they did. Not only that, I actually had Swarovski Crystals that fit! I went to bed late that night because I just had to get them all set. It's a diversion from my normal beaded items, but I was thrilled with the results. Above are some examples. The rest can be seen either on my Etsy or Art Fire pages.

I sure hope there are some more romantically inclined hubbies out there who will buy something. That would really make my Valentine's Day special this year.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little Bit About Hardanger

Several of you asked me how Hardanger is done, so without writing a complete book I will briefly tell you.

As shown yesterday, I start with a blank piece of even weave material. Don't make the mistake of using Aida cloth that is made for cross stitching. It is even weave, but it is also interwoven so pulling threads out is next to impossible.

I start with the outermost part of the inner pattern. In the doily above, it is the top of the hearts. Most pattern instructions tell you to start with this part because once you get that right, the rest is much easier to line up. It usually takes me several false starts to get it counted out right.

Once I get that part finished, I usually do the blanket stitch around the outside and then the rest of the pattern. The open spaces you see are after everything else is stitched. 4 threads between each pair of bars are cut and removed. That leaves bare threads that are wrapped with a smaller size thread. You can see the final results in the top picture. Sorry but I don't have any pictures of the bare threads at the moment.

This doily is a relatively easy one. Only 4 stitches are used in the entire thing, blanket, bar, satin and the wrap. The one I pictured yesterday is much more involved. That is why it has taken me so long to get where I am with it. Each one of the medallions took me approximately 2 hours to stitch. There's almost 24 hours in work right there!

There are books on the market with Hardanger designs. If you decide to try it, be sure to find one that has beginner instructions in it. Many of the books I have give only a picture and a graph with very few directions. You have to know what the graph means and how to do the stitches first.

I'm off to make some Valentine jewelry today. The hearts I order JUST arrived yesterday. I'm cutting it close.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hardanger In Progress

I started with this and over 100 hours later

It's still not done!!

Almost, but not quite.

Hardanger is just something you can not rush. Count, count count....stitch, stitch, stitch, ( OOPS) rip out, rip out, rip out, count, count......

Someday soon it will be finished. Think anyone will be willing to pay me $1000 for it? No? Aw heck.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

OOAK Sculpted Necklace Makes A Comeback

Ms. Tillie

Meet Ms. Tillie. She is a very flamboyant, some times wacky, and never shy lady. She loves her new spiked blue hair! Wear her and you are sure to get noticed in any crowd. Actually, you may have met her before if you are a long time follower. Tillie has been with me for quite a while. In fact, I didn't even try to sell her for a full year. She just sat in a box all sad and depressed. I decided to take her out, spiff her up and try again.

Tillie was created on a whim a couple of years ago. I was bored I suppose. Crafters tend to get antsy when they do the same thing over and over. At least I do. I saw a face on the line of this made out of polymer clay and knew I could do it with beads. I had a lot of fun creating her, along with her sister, Millie and her cat, Felix. They will be posted in the next few days.

So, Tillie is out of her box and she's really hoping someone will find her and fall in love with her this time. We both know that all it takes is the right person at the right time and she will have a new home.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

How Cold Is It?

Here is the thermometer at my house this morning. Hope you are staying warm where ever you are!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

3 New Gilded Birds

Oh my, have I been having fun creating these new pieces! They are in no way jewelry related, but what a welcome change they are. Thank you Becky for sharing your talents with your mother!

I am hoping some florist or decorator finds these little gems and just has to have them for an upcoming event. There are some doves in the works, but doves have been done to death these days. I like the colorful ones myself.

Here to share their beauty with you are:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Clearance Sale

Ever find yourself drowning in stuff? I have boxes of jewelry that just has to get out of here so I am gearing up for a big jewelry clearance sale. Since Etsy makes it practically impossible to have a sale without changing every single item one at a time I'm popping on over to Art Fire where they make it a snap! Here is where you can find me: Forbes Farm Gifts Art Fire is secure and as safe as Etsy or Ebay to use. It's just packed with great handmade stuff! If you haven't been there, it's worth a look.

If you are interested in saving 30% on any purchase in my shop totalling $25.00 or more, all you need to do is pop this code into the check out page. D093298575-071D33DD5C

Mention you saw the sale in my blog and I will pop a surprise into your package.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Something New - Gilded Birds

My mother used to say I never finished anything. That may have been true as a child, but it was how I prepared myself for the craft world. Ever changing interests keep me from becoming completely dull and boring. While my interests still jump from one thing to another, I do complete MOST of what I start these days.

My daughter, Rebecca, made several of these for her sister for Christmas. My heart skipped a beat when Holley opened the box and unwrapped the first bird. With each bird she opened I grew more in love with them. Becky was kind enough to share how she made them and off we went (in a snowstorm) to buy the supplies. I've been up to my eyeballs in glitter every since. It's even been seen floating in my tea.

If you would like more information on these birds just hop on over to my Etsy shop. More are in the works.



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Grandma Hausmann's Fine Stitching

This is my Grandmother, Catherine Hausmann. The Great-Great part was for an album for my Grandson. Below is some of her handiwork.

Yesterday I mentioned my Grandma's stitching so I thought I would share some of her work with you today. What she did wasn't Hardanger, although the process is similar. I believe I am correct in saying this type of embroidery is called "Cut work". I found some patterns that must be similar to what she used. The pattern was transfered to the material, stitched and then cut. Unlike Hardanger, there is no counting involved and once the pieces are cut out there is no more stitching involved.

Grandma's work was on a much finer material than I use. Both pieces are done on a fine linen in ecru with ecru thread. The thread is finer than what I use also. I wish I could find more of her work, but I'm afraid it has been lost over time. My mother used Grandma's doilies for 50 years. These two weren't used much and survived my mother's incessant cleaning. She did like to wash things!

Grandma was German, although in the back of my mind she was born in the US. I may be wrong. I know for certain Grandpa was born in Germany and came through Ellis Island on his was to Wisconsin where they lived in Milwaukee for a good portion of their lives. My mother and her 3 sisters were born and raised there. That is where Grandma tried, and failed to get my mother interested in sewing. I guess it skipped a generation. Grandma Hausmann would be proud to see me sitting here creating more pieces of beautiful linen to pass on to the generations. Provided that is, no one washes them to death like Mom did!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hardanger Doilies Are Here

The history of Hardanger is quite vague. Some say it began during the Renaissance period. Just where is another question up for debate. I've seen everything from Norway to Persia. Today it is mostly associated with the Nordic countries. In my mind, I think Scandinavian. Whatever it's origin, it is a beautiful art that was almost lost. Thankfully, it has been revived for the modern era.

Hardanger is also sometimes called White Work as many of the original designs were done with white thread on white material. My German Grandmother did beautiful pieces in ecru. The design is painstakingly counted out, stitched and then cut. In most designs, after threads are removed, more stitching is required before the design is finished.

I don't know what attracts me to making things that are so tedious! If it's not tiny little beads, it's counting out every single stitch to create these. It's the challenge I guess. Both doilies shown probably took 30 hours to create. Obviously, I'm not going to get rich making them. I just love doing it.

Here's the links if you would like to see more pictures and get individual details.