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Recent Fall Inspired Jewelry    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oh, September - you just whizzed right passed me. The last two weeks were a blur.  Really, October 1st?  Is that right?  Just doesn't seem like it should be October yet.  I'll blink and it will be New Year's!!! 

So what's a girl to do?  Make jewelry like a fiend to capture all this fleeting beauty around me!  What do you think of that Birch Forest Necklace?  I'm smitten!  I used Swellegant to add patina to the leaves, connectors and clasp.  Oh, that's some good stuff!  I think my favorite color combo right now is copper, teal, cream and bronze.

This one make me super happy! Just love everything about it.  It's already found a new home, so I hope the owner is as giddy wearing at as I was creating it.  Lisa Peters - that girl can make a leaf! The lampwork is Thornburg Studios and then my branch bead.  I has an awesome stash of vintage chain that looks like bark - I use it like it's gold!!!

This piece will be making it's way to my website site. I did a series of leaves and pinecones recently - more on those later.

Oh, and pinecones - gloriously patinaed pinecones.  I'm working on more - but you can find them in an ancient bronze coloring here.  They have been super popular lately.

And while I'm all drunk with the changing colors of the season, farmer's market hauls and antique shopping bliss I decided to have a one day jewelry sale to celebrate all this autumnal goodness!

Use discount code HARVEST for 20% off your order on my jewelry website.

AND

if you don't follow me on Instagram - you should!  I love sharing all the beauty of my small town, my big adventures and the daily joy of creating!

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Monday, September 23, 2013

"Reason clears and plants the wilderness of the imagination to harvest the wheat of art. ~Austin O'Malley"

Golden Yellow Bead Wobbles - Golden Wheat Photograph

 

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Sunday, September 15, 2013

 

“If the cherry trees had to wait for understanding they'd never blossom.” ~Marty Rubin

Cherry Blossom Tree Pendant - Cherry Tree Photograph

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Sunday, September 8, 2013

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Acorn Pendant - Acorn Photograph

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop    Saturday, August 31, 2013

Erin of Tesori Trovati is hosting her 2nd Challenge of Travel Blog Hop today.  Erin challenged us to have a Staycation and find something inspiring to share about our town.

Welcome to South Haven, Michigan - a tiny tourist town on the shores of Lake Michigan.  We are famous for our beautiful sandy beaches and amazing sunsets scheduled every night!  You can walk our entire downtown in less than 10 minutes, although the cute shops may have you stopping to linger over their goods.  In the heart of downtown from April until October is the Farmer's Market and that is the start of today's Staycation Inspiration for me.  

While our town caters to visitors year round, we really shine from Memorial Day to Labor Day when our population swells with city-weary souls looking for some quite time, hints of yesteryear and a place to breathe. 

As a new resident of this place and a bone-a-fide country girl now I've taken notice this year of our under appreciated farmers.  I've watched as empty fields came to life this spring, as markets filled up with goodies and upick farms filled with tourists and locals alike.  I've been inspired by a book called the Feast Nearby about a woman who lived in a Southwest Michigan community and her quest to eat local all year round. I have been so enjoying the harvest of our local farms, as summer ends I find myself wanted to capture all of it to savor over the fall and winter seasons  This has led me to explore freezing produce, making jam and very curious about learning to can my own food.  And also discovering the joy of taking part in harvesting our own food at local upick farms.  We picked blueberries last week and peaches and apples are up next.  

So my inspiration are those farms and more specific - blueberry farms.  South Haven is the self-proclaimed Blueberry Capital and hosts the National Blueberry Festival every August - actually during my birthday - so of course I'm going to love it.  For my jewelry inspired by the farms of my home town, I first went with the color palette of blueberries - the rich blues, purples, greens and brown that you see in the fields.  And then I mixed in feathered friends - or maybe more like enemies to the farmers - bits of sparkly ribbon are tied in the bushes to keep the birds away.  

My first necklace features a Green Girl Studio pendant, on the back it reads, "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." While farming and gardening is dirty, hard work there is a beauty to it's rustic simplicity and it must be a love for those who work the land.  I included a 'dream' bead by Diane Hawkey because living here is a dream come true for me.  I pined for 10 long years for my sweet hometown here in Michigan. This necklace has a ceramic nugget also from Diane and one of my copper branch disk beads.  Tiny glass beads in the navy hues of fresh blueberries dot the gunmetal jump rings and chain.

These earrings grab hold of that abundant feeling of fields of berries.

Wherever there are berries, birds are not far! For this necklace I have a pendant filled with art beads from top to bottom: Green Girl Studio, Earthenwood Studios, Sharon Pribble, Thornburg Studio and a Humblebead Leaf.  Diane Hawkey, Earthenwood Studio and Sharon Pribble are also all Michigan girls.  Shop local!

I love these flowers from Vintage Meadow.  Blueberries turn the loveliest shades of purple when cooked down and stirred in yogurt.  I paired them with a collection of bead caps and glass..  

Living in an area where there is a farm in every direction I can attest to one thing - farms are peaceful! But breathing and farms are even more practical - all that vegetation clean and purify the air we breathe.  Hence the term - fresh country air.  Of course that doesn't apply to when fertilizer comes into the picture - but we won't dwell on that fresh country air.  I added an owl to this necklace to represent that down home wisdom that farmers pass from generation to generation.  The beads: Green Girl Studio, Humblebeads, Golem Designs and Tesori Trovati. 

Similar theme but for me, adding in the crow symbolizes how we will always have challenges to face - much like those farmers who must contend with birds.  There is one farm that has a cannon like noise that goes off every 10 minutes or so to scare the birds out of his peach trees! So when those little rascals known as life's problems start pestering you, just breath and come up with a plan to stay productive and keep them at bay!

Beads: Humblebeads and Diane Hawkey.

I think this is my favorite of the bunch - the back of the pendant reads: "Love feathers the nest." I created a wire nest to rest above the bird. So sweet and adorable, the little bird pendant from Tesori Trovati mixed in the Vintage Meadow, Humbleabeads and Thornburg Studio.

And lastly, a pair of simple earrings carrying the same color palette of those blueberries fields that are almost bare by now!

Visit Erin's blog to see what other designers created inspired by their hometowns!

If you'd like to join me in South Haven this fall to see what all the fuss is about join me for my annual Inspired by Nature Retreat.  

Challenge of Travel Sneak Peak    Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm gathering my materials and inspiration for my friend Erin's Challenge of Travel blog hop.  This year is stayaction - exploring our hometowns and creating jewelry inspired by the theme.  Now, if you follow my blog, you know I seriously love my hometown and need to excuse to celebrate it's awesomeness.  I'm looking forward to stealing away some time before this weekend to create a few new pieces of jewelry. Join me back here on Saturday for the reveal.

Michael's Beading Challenge Reveal    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Challenge: Create jewelry using the beads curated by Lorelie Eurto.

Current Crushes: Waxed linen, navy blue beads and tiger lilies.

Inspirations: Garden in late summer or flowers along the edge of a forest.

Humblebeads: Tiger Lily Pendant, Disk Beads in Navy and Lime.

From my stash: Vintage chain, copper-plated leaf charms and misc. findings along with brown Irish waxed linen.

Nifty Trick: Tied chain to the end the necklace, covered the knots with jump rings embellished with seed beads.

Mission Accomplished!

Partners in crime: Lotus Garden Bracelet

and Hanging Garden Earrings.

To see the rest of the clever designs who rose to the challenge visit Lorelei's blog.

The End of Summer and Pity Party Winners    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This fluttered down to my feet the other day.  Really, it doesn't seem right? I'm not ready to give up these carefree summer days! Fall is my favorite time of year, but I don't know - summer just passed by too quickly.  And I'm slightly obsessed with learning how to do things like can, make jam, salsas and relish, my own tomato sauce, freeze veggies like they are going out of style and cracking the mystery of old-timey things like root cellars before fall arrives!  I may even try my hand at butter thanks to a tip from my facebook friends.  Homesteading, prepping, our grandparents probably just called it part of daily life - these things are far removed from us today.  But I'm on a path of discovery. I'll share more later. 

Click here for more beady autumn inspiration!

We had a long unexpected day of traveling yesterday!  How did your weekend go?  Did you follow along and join in or was summer's siren song keeping you outdoors and enjoying a few non-beady moments?  I'm afraid I fizzled out on Sunday.  We ended up doing family things and just chilling, like one should on a mid-August Sunday afternoon.  I will have to wait to play with metal and petals this weekend.

We have three winners:

Friday's $25 gift certificate goes to: Kathy Lindermer

Saturday's big $50 gift certificate goes to: Michele

And Sunday's second $25 gift certificate goes to: Despina

Pity Party Day 3 - Class or One    Sunday, August 25, 2013

Did you get out for an inspiration adventure yesterday?  We spent the afternoon out soaking in nature and visiting a very creative ceramic studio that is down the road from me. It was our last weekend to go blueberry hunting for the summer.  I live in an area with farms in every direction and our little town is in what is known as the 'fruit belt'.  My next adventure is going to be apple picking.  I love going straight to the source and getting fruits and vegetables.  So clean, so good and so close by! I need to learn how to can food.  That's on my wish list - I would like to find an elderly lady to teach me how to do it so I don't kill of my family though!

Our second adventure took us a few miles down the road to a farm/studio/gallery.  There is a group of artists who live along with lakeshore that have banded together called the Blue Coast Artists and this studio is part of that group. I couldn't believe we waited all summer to visit this place, it's been on my summer bucket list since April!  Khnemo Studio features ceramic work by Dawn Soltysiak and other artists.  They teach classes, hold workshops and studio open houses.  They have a huge gallery upstairs and a smaller one downstairs and in the middle is the working studio where you might just catch the artist in action.  Outside there are chickens roaming around, peacocks in an area near the barn and vegetables and honey for sale.  It's a very peaceful place. I felt inspired and energized by our outing yesterday.  Mission accomplished!

Today's Pity Party theme is a Class of One. I've never actually taken a class at a big bead show since I usually work them, but classes are a big part of the fun.  So today let's pull out a favorite book or online tutorial and give it a try.  I know this may be hard today since Sunday might be your family day, so maybe your task for today is finding a project that you'll work on later this week.

I'm going to gather with my beady partner in crime today and try out a project or two from Melissa Cable's very inspiring book, Metal Jewelry in Bloom.  With minimal tools and lots of creativity Melissa shows how to create a garden in metal.  It's quite amazing and one you should put on your list of must have books!

How is your Pity Party going this weekend?  Have you had a chance to shop? I did! Have you busted your stash?  Did you go on an inspiration adventure?  It's been a fun way to avoid all my horrible jealous feelings of missing out on Bead Fest.  Be sure to share with me on the posts from the last two days to enter to win a gift certificate from Humblebeads.com.

Today's giveaway is a another $25 gift certificate.  In the comments share your favorite online jewelry tutorial with me. I will pick one random commenter on Monday as the winner.

My tutorials that I'm sharing are the ones here on my website, I have quite a collection of free projects that I've designed for my readers over the years. There are two pages of projects, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page.  Share your tutorials in the comments below!

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