Friday, August 15, 2014

We're All Ears...better late then never...It's Reveal Time!

I'm a bit late with getting my design created, photographed and posted...I had a great idea earlier this week when I saw this inspiration photo for this month's We're All Ears challenge. Click on the link to see Erin's post about the inspiration. When I sat down last night to start putting things together...I was struck by an even better idea! The new idea of course required testing out a new to me technique and overnight drying please forgive my tardiness but it was all in the name of learning :)

I really loved all the color and the long lines in our inspiration photo...I wanted to mimic this look in some way. Originally I had planned to use magenta waxed linen not chain. I also decided on a mismatched design so I could include as many of the colors in one pair of earrings without getting to cumbersome.

So my decision to switch to chain last night came when I was looking up different ways to use alcohol ink and I discovered it could be used on perfect is that... I think the metal adds an element of glimmer that better mimics the picture then my original waxed linen plan. I'm very pleased with how these turned out.

I hope you will stop by the Earrings Everyday blog here to see what Erin and the rest of the participants created!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dark Bloom Design Challenge Kit...Reveal time!

So it's time again for another Andrew Thornton design challenge reveal! This month is Dark Bloom...a gorgeous blend of black, grey and silver to perfectly accent the rich purples and pinks...a fantastic palette!

In case, you haven't been following or aren't familiar with Andrew's design kits, I will mention just a couple of things...he is VERY generous with the contents of our kits. We get a premium blend of seed beads and assorted glass, a clasp, waxed linen, vintage glass, czech glass, crystals and the "mystery" component, a surprise until it arrives in your mailbox :)'s a wonderful way to get inspired! So for any who follow my blog you know lately I've been creating a lot of bracelets...particularly the stacking/layering style. I love them and they allow for such versatility. I think the nature of the bead styles in these kits lends nicely to these bracelets. The sizes of the beads are well suited to lots of them being worn together and Andrew coordinates everything so just seems right.

I don't do much designing with seed beads anymore...they tend to be stoppers or fillers for larger beads...but with this kit I decided to challenge myself to use more of the beautiful premium blend which is mostly seed beads. I'm experimenting lately with making my own jump rings, so this bracelet came together with the marrying of a personal challenge to use the seed beads and wanting to experiment with more ways I could use my handmade jump rings. Oh, and one of my first attempts at making ball headpins! I love how this turned out...simple but so stylish! All metal findings made by me, all beads are from the kit.

This bracelet shows another of my latest design favorites...Irish waxed linen. This stuff is great fun to design with comes in 30+ colors, creates durable designs this has replaced my use of flexible bead wire pretty much completely. I hate using crimps, I never feel like they are secure and even though its "flexible" beading wire still has a stiffness and lack of me anyway. Waxed linen has flexibility, movement and a boho feel that I really like for my designs. So every thing in this bracelet is from the kit except the copper snap clasp.

For this bracelet I went a simple design so the polymer charm would really be the focus. This was our "mystery" component, handmade by Andrew. I'm sure the flat black beads are some type of gemstone, but haven't had a chance to look them up. I used some of my handmade twisted jump rings, gunmetal clasp and faceted glass. Focal, beads and clasps are from the kit. All jump rings are handmade by me.

For this double wrap bracelet I used glass beads from the 4 mini strands to make the different sections, separated by acrylic chips from the premium blend and the rest of the waxed linen. Added a snap clasp and VOILA!

Earrings to coordinate with any of the bracelet designs...

and last I loved the look of my first bracelet with the seed beads and jump rings so much I thought it would make a nice necklace design too. So that's it for me...all the bracelets can be stacked together or worn separately and the earrings and necklace coordinate nicely with everything. Thanks to Andrew for another beautiful and inspiring kit! If you are interested in playing along the kits sell out fast so keep an eye out on Andrew's blog...I believe the next one is scheduled to go on sale tomorrow evening ;)

I hope you will hop around now to the other participants and see what beautiful designs they created!

Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington, Geri Colgrove, Crystal Lombardo Farrell

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Busy week ahead...and a Sneak Peak at the Festival of Lights Challenge!

The coming week looks like it will be very busy for this Hippie Chick. I will be sharing my Dark Bloom Design Challenge Reveal, Thursday, August 14. I hope to complete a design for the Earrings Everyday monthly be shared Friday, August 15. And I received my Festival of Lights Design Kit last week so time spread that out on the desk so it can properly "speak" to me :) I am also just under a month from my next trade show...and not feeling the least bit ready...YIKES! 

So let's have some pretty bead pictures to distract us from all this craziness! So this is the teaser Andrew offered on his latest design challenge. I have managed to get a kit for every challenge he has offered, except Radiant Orchid...I'm still a little sad on that one...I love purple! These challenge kits have really inspired me and it's been a wonderful summer of creativity from the challenges and it carries over into my other muse has been loving me lately so I'm just rolling with it!

Each kit is filled with, crystals, some vintage, all perfectly coordinated!

More glass, a generous amount of Irish waxed linen...

and what he calls the "premium blend"...this has a bit of everything...seed beads, crystals, sequins, acrylic, glass, a little of this and a little of that! And again perfectly blended to match the kit. I know you're thinking how great are all these much stuff to get the design muse flowing...but there's more!

The "mystery" goodies...some months it's one item...other months its several! It's a mystery until the package arrives in our mailbox and always has it's own special public reveal date...if you want to see you'll have to stop back by on August 18th for the big reveal!

Other exciting things are happening and I hope to be sharing them soon! In the meantime I hope you'll stop by on Thursday, August 14th for the Dark Bloom Reveal...


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets...REVEAL TIME!

So when the lovely Rita of Toltec Jewels tempted us with a chicklet bead and a blog hop I could not pass up the opportunity. I love Sue Kennedy's beads and her chicklets are simply divine! So many wonderful colors, when she first started offering them I had to add them to my collection...a lot of them! ;) But enough about that...

Rita offered sign ups and I believe was limiting to 20 sign final count I think she let just over 40 of us in on the fun! Thank you for being such a generous hostess! After sign ups I patiently...well mostly...waited for the arrival of my chicklet... 

Here it is fresh out of the envelope...colors selected at random but how perfect is it that I got a lilac, purplish one? If you don't know me, I'll just say it's PERFECT! Now in the meantime I had managed to snag a couple of Shine On Collaboration Kits from Staci Louise Originals and Genea Beads. These two lovely ladies have created some awesome collaborations and the Shine On kits were no exception. I rarely make jewelry for myself but I specifically purchased the kit to design something for me...but rebel that I am...I wasn't going to just follow the kit design/instructions. Anyway, I tell you all this because the kit was on my table when the chicklet arrived and as they say...the rest is history!

I decided on a charm style design and selected several special personal charms to add. So the picture above was a sneak peak in progress I shared on Facebook a while ago...

Aren't Genea's beads delicious? Deep, gorgeous colors!

and a close up of the charms which include a sterling silver pentacle, a goddess offering, blackened brass wing...yes from Fallen Angel Brass...and a lampwork headpin from the kit. The small dangles on the pentacle are faceted moonstone and crystals. Also, a peek of the beautiful coloring in polymer clay star focal made by Staci.

and of course my gorgeous perfect with this palette :)

one more up close of the charms, focal and beads all together...and finally...

Here is the entire necklace. I've worn it several times...both my daughter and mother have tried to steal it right off my neck! But this beauty is all MINE! 
THANK YOU again to Rita for her generosity! Thank you Sue, your beautiful beads have brought me much joy and inspiration!

This is a blog hop so I hope you will visit the links below to see what other choosy chicks made with their chicklets! Have a great week! ~Kari

Guest of Honor & Featured Artist:  Susan Kennedy
Sue Kennedy's blogs:                               SueBeads...A Beady Girl's blog
                                                              Art Jewelry Elements
Sue Kennedy's website                            SueBeads
SueBeads Art Beads                                SueBeads

Toltec Jewels                                 

Linda Anderson                              
Jennifer Reno                                  
Shirley Moore                                 
Kristen Stevens                               
Marybeth Rich                                
Jael Thorp                                        
Melissa Trudinger                          
Andrea Glick                                   
Nan Smith                                        
Blanca Medina                                
Shai Williams                                   
Carolyn Lawson                              
Rana Wilson                                    
Robin Reed                                      
Robin Showstack                            
Sheila Prosterman                            
Karla Morgan                                   
Kari Asbury                                      you are here :)
Kelly Rodgers                                  
Jayne Capps                                     
Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi        
Heather Richter                                
Chris Eisenberg                                
Kathleen Breeding                           
Linda Landig                                     
Crystal Thain                                    
Cheri Reed                                        
Heather d-Entremont                       
Dini Bruinsma                                   
Lori Schneider                                 
Tammy Adams                                 
Melinda Orr                                      
Lennis Carrier                                   
Cynthia Machata                             
Elizabeth Hodges                            
Debbie Rasmussen                         
Tanya McGuire                               
Charlie Jacka                                    
Ev Shelby                                         
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson             

 Jasvanti Patel