Sunday, December 30, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas - Day Six...

The sixth gift is from Kristi Bowman.

She sent me a beautifully crafted set of end caps that she made from copper metal clay. They have hints of pink and orange hues in them-really stunning. I have never worked with end caps before, so I am really excited about receiving this set!

Thank you Kristi for this beautifully crafted gift!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

12 days Of Christmas - Day Five...

The fifth gift is from me! 

I wrapped each box in handmade paper that was purchased through 
Distant Village, covered it with a beautiful felted ribbon and tied the name tag with hemp cord.  

 I decided to create polymer clay bead sets for the other eleven participants. I took a polymer clay class with Christine Damm at Art Bliss this past September and really fell in love with the medium! Each person received a pendant and a set of beads. The birch tree was swapped out for a butterfly pendant (which I didn't get a chance to photograph). I felt the Cheri (the recipient) would enjoy the butterfly more.

I hope everyone likes what I created for them!

Kathleen Lange Klik -
Francesca Watson –
Inge von Roos –

Friday, December 28, 2012

12 Days of Christmas - Day Four...

The fourth gift is from Pam Ferrari.

Pam made me a funky and fun necklace with her lampwork glass beads as the focal!
Very eclectic - I look forward to wearing this piece.

Thank you Pam for this beautiful, artistic creation!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas - Day Three...

The third gift is from Donna Millard.

She sent me a gorgeous lampwork bead that she made in beige, pink and yellow. She also hand made the copper end caps-just beautiful! I may hoard this bead for a very long time!

Thank you Donna-it has brought sunshine to my day!

12 Days Of Christmas - Day Two...

The second gift is from Marcy Lamberson.

She made me a beautiful lampwork glass snowflake pendant in a stunning shade of blue! I also adore the bail she created-it is a really fantastic design. Not only are snowflakes my favorite winter motif, but snow has been on my mind a lot lately (I have been wishing for some as we don't often see it in northern Virginia). 

Thank you Marcy-this pendant is a lovely reminder!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas...

After weeks of anticipation, I finally get to open present number one for Lorelei's 12 Days of Christmas bead and component gift exchange! For those of you unfamiliar with Lorelei's 12 Days of Christmas exchange, it involved signing up for either Group #1; the bead and component group or Group #2; the gift group. She then randomly selected 11 participants for each, her being the twelfth. Each of us was to create eleven bead/component gifts and them mail them to the other participants. 

The first gift was to be opened on Christmas day, following each day afterwards for the next eleven days until all gifts are unwrapped. We skip the day that we were assigned, in my case Day 5.

Day One:
The first gift was from Lorelei Eurto...

Tin Snippets!!!
 I am so excited over receiving a set of her unique hand made bead caps, she cleverly named tin snippets.
Thank you Lorelei! I can't wait to incorporate these into my designs...oh the possibilities.

These are the lovely participants of the 12 days of Christmas Swap, Group One:

Francesca Watson –

Friday, December 21, 2012

Inspired Art In Color

Christmas came a bit early this year. It arrived via USPS in the form of a Jewelry Stringing magazine!
The Winter issue has me over the moon because my necklace titled "Inspired Art In Color" is featured in it!

I am a big fan of Elaine Ray's beads, especially her large ceramic coins. 
They set the stage for this bold yet fun necklace!

I was also equally excited to see my necklace featured in the table of Contents page!

The Winter issue is filled with creative inspiration! It has some fantastic designs that add sparkle to your holiday, inspire you with nature and make a bold statement with geometry. Plus, this issue also features the winners of the Bead Star contest! If you don't already own a copy, pick one up at your local craft or book store or better yet, treat yourself to a subscription

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Ornament Swap

Today is the reveal day for participants of Sally Russick's 2nd Annual Holiday Ornament Swap. I was partnered up with the ultra talented and lovely Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati! Erin is an amazing artist and brilliant writer, so I new I would be getting a beautiful ornament that was sure to be a keepsake. I was absolutely right!

This is the ornament that Erin created for me...

She created a stunning cabochon with polymer clay and set it in an antiqued brass bezel. 
A stunning Swarovski crystal dangles from it, reflecting the lights on my Christmas tree in a glorious way!

The ornament was beautifully wrapped  in a holiday motif with her signature, a tiny key. 

She also sent her elegantly designed business cards, one of her scratch off cards that can be redeemed in her Etsy shop and a lovely quote accompanied by a figure skater.

To see the ornament that I created for Erin, stop by her blog.

Thank you Sally for hosting this wonderful event and Erin for adding beauty to my Christmas tree!

Please visit the other participants to see what they created...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My First Jewelry Home Show...

I recently hosted my first jewelry home show. Still new to the idea of inviting customers into my home, I sent out a small number of invitations to my regular customers and neighbors who have purchased from me in the past. 
I scheduled it for Saturday December 1st from 1-4 pm. I thought that having a home show the first weekend of December was perfect timing; close enough to Christmas so that people are ready to start buying gifts, but not so close that they have other holiday events lined up.

This is the invitation I sent...

Maybe a little fancier than necessary, but as some of you know I am a packaging geek! I am a strong advocate for beautiful packaging, right down to cards and invitations! Plus, it sets a tone for both the event and my jewelry.
I included a 10% off discount and also wrote "feel free to bring a friend".
Most people did, which was great as I now have some wonderful new customers!

This is the first view attendees had upon entering.

 We live in a unique five floor townhouse, where each room is on a different level, so I decided that the living room would be the most inviting room to display my jewelry. We rearranged our furniture a bit and ended up with a really nice "retail" space. My husband even found a "fireplace" on Netflix to play on our TV! It helped add some nice atmosphere to the room. The guests loved it!

My tables always have touches of nature-it is my signature style!

 It is always a good idea to serve refreshments at a home show. 
It is the little touches that make an event memorable and fun!

My amazing husband prepared all of the food. He spent the night before cooking and baking! 
He also purchased some gourmet cheese and crackers from Whole Foods.
Here, he is putting the macaroons that he baked onto a platter. Mmmm.

Glassware and coffee cups for organic brewed iced tea and fresh roasted, ground and brewed coffee (Brenton's specialty). We used glassware as opposed to plastic cups because we felt it added more sophistication to the event. Again, it is the little touches that make all the difference.

He also made two types of dips for the bruschetta;  roasted red pepper and artichoke with olive. Tasty!

His chocolate dipped macaroons-these went fast! 

While I expected a home show to be a bit more relaxed, giving me time to talk with my customers, that really wasn't the case! Within half an hour, I was ringing up sales non-stop. I did my best to talk with customers as I was writing up their sales slips and packaging their purchases. I do know that everyone was having fun! My husband commented "those ladies were having a ball trying on your jewelry and complementing one another". I love that there was a "girls day out" vibe going on! It really was a fun afternoon and I feel honored to have been in such wonderful company!

It was a very successful first home show. I got to interact with my customers in a comfortable environment, had a lot of fun and had a great day sales-wise. I have already made plans to make it an annual event!

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 Days Of Christmas...

My packages for the 12 days of Christmas bead/pendant/component swap, hosted by 
Lorelei Eurtohave been received by all eleven recipients! Here is a preview of what I sent them...

I hope everyone likes what I created for them! 
Find out on December 29th, day 5, when my packages will be opened.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop!

Today is the reveal day for participants of the Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop.
The concept was to create an ornament using handmade components or art beads. 

I created the three green and gold links with polymer clay, added in some crystal for a bit of 
holiday sparkle and finished the ornament with a hook that I made from 20 gauge brass wire.

I recently started working with polymer clay. I took a class a few months ago at Art Bliss with Christine Damm and was instantly hooked! I thought this blog hop would be the perfect opportunity to work on some of the skills I learned in her class. I definitely see more polymer clay in my future! Thank you to Christine and Heather Powers of Humblebeads, also the host of this ornament blog hop, for inspiring me!

Please visit the other participants to see what they created...