Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bead Friends Are The Best Kind Of Friends...

Sometimes the postal carrier brings beads that I have ordered and then there are times when he delivers bead goodies that are complete surprises! I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful treasures I have received in the mail over the past few months. Gifts from friends I have made in the jewelry/bead artisan world. 

Karyn Bonfiglio of Plus Size Bangles sent me this gorgeous agate focal. Karyn was my Bead Soup Block Party partner last year and knows that my design style is mostly bold and modern. She had purchased this focal and thought I might enjoy designing with it. It was so thoughtful of her to send me this natural beauty! I have been contemplating incorporating this focal into a design of either a long pendant necklace or a choker style necklace. 

These beautiful lampwork discs were sent by Cindy Ritchie of Simply Cindy. I met Cindy a few summers ago at the Arts in the Park craft show in Inlet, New York while vacationing in the Adirondacks. I have been purchasing her lampwork beads each year-she is one of my favorite vendors at this particular show. The coral and gray remind me of the many sunsets I have seen in the Adirondack mountains. I have already designed a cuff bracelet with one of the coral discs and am envisioning a necklace with several of the others.

These stunning earrings and metal beads were a gift from Stacie Florer. The earrings are a new design that she has been working on-a brilliant design if you ask me! I met Stacie while taking one of her classes at ArtBLISS last September. She taught us how to make these cool metal beads in her class, but I have yet to master them as beautifully as hers. She is a fantastic teacher and I highly recommend taking her classes-you will leave inspired!

These breathtaking seashells were created by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio. I met Michelle a few years ago at Bead Fest. She lives along the coast of Florida and finds her inspiration in nature and by the sea! I love working with her bold starfish, seahorses and sparrows and am working on a simple necklace with the seashell as the focal and an ocean inspired bracelet with a variety of sea inspired charms.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies for these beautiful and inspiring gifts. 
It really makes me feel special to be thought of by such talented artisans!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reston Arts Market - My First Craft Show Of The Season...

This past Saturday was my first craft show of 2013. I was one of 50 vendors that participated in the Reston Farmers and Arts Market at Lake Anne. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was assigned a spot in a fantastic location right beside the lake!

My tables are always adorned with nature inspired elements. This table has one of my favorite words spelled out in wooden letters: create! New this season are the gorgeous shelves that my husband made for me out of red oak, stained in an espresso hue named Kona. They have hinges so they fold flat; easy to transport and store. Brilliant idea from my brilliant husband!

Some of my pieces inspired by the sea. 
A closer look at one of the gorgeous shelves my wonderful husband created for me!

Also new this year is the addition of curtains. This particular market doesn't allow any walls to be put up on the tents, so I tied them to the poles creating a welcoming entrance. I love their nature inspired pattern!

This table showcases my other favorite word: inspire.

One of my colorful new designs for summer.

A cuff bracelet that I created from brass and copper sheet. 

This necklace was published in the April issue of Bead Trends!

My most recent design, a tribal influenced multi-strand necklace.

A view of some of the artisans at the market.

It was a beautiful day that brought a lot of people out to enjoy the market. I had a wonderful time meeting new people, seeing some of my regular customers from last season and having a good day sales-wise. I look forward to participating in the market again soon!