Pity Party Day 2 - Inspiration Adventure    Saturday, August 24, 2013

How did the bead stash busting go yesterday?  Did you make anything?  I would LOVE to see it - share a link.  I created a bracelet design and a tutorial. 

Hidden Clasp Bracelet Tutorial - click the link to view the directions.

Once I got the design figured out I had to sit down and make another colorway.  My inspiration for both? The Pantone Fall Color Report.  Love this season's palette!

So that was yesterday's challenge - what's up for today?  Today we aren't going to sit on the computer and look longingly at photos from Bead Fest posted by our friends on Facebook.  Oh no, it's time to get out of the house and find something to inspire you. 

Today's Challenge

You can go to a farmer's market, craft show, festival, museum, gallery, bead store, antique store, book store, walk in the park - whatever you can fit into your weekend that will inspire you. Stuck at home? Talk a walk in your neighborhood with your camera and go on a color hunt, snapping photos of things you find interesting. 

My outing today ties into my friend Erin's latest challenge which calls for us to find inspiration in our hometown.  I'm all about my hometown, I love this place with all my soul.  In fact, I host a fall Bead Retreat here every year to share these amazing surroundings.

I'm going to go visit a local ceramic gallery that is out on a farm today - it's in the middle of nowhere.  I will take my camera and see what my trip inspires.  Do you have something planned for today - treat yourself to a little inspiration!

Share photos from your adventure on your blog or the Creative Bead Chat facebook page.

Oh Big Prize!

So, here is your chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Today leave a comment and tell me what is the most inspiring place you have visited or dream of visiting one day?  Earn another entry if you share my Retreat Link on twitter or Facebook.  You have until Sunday to enter, leave a comment to let me know you shared the link.  I will draw the winners on Monday morning. 

Pity Party Review

Pity Party Bead Sale

Day 1

Pity Party Day 1 - Bust Your Stash    Friday, August 23, 2013

Today to avoid bead envy for those lucky sticks at Bead Fest, we are busting our bead stash!  My challenge for you is to dig in that bead stash and pull out something that hasn't seen the light of day for a while. If you have been to a big bead show, I challenge you to find something from a past bead show purchase.  You can share a photo and story about it.  Create something with it or give it away on your blog or Facebook page.

I pulled some beads this week to bust my stash with a color palette and theme in mind.  I'm going for autumn fields. I will need to darken up my colors a bit with steel wire and darker stones like smoky quartz and maybe some wood. Some how keys starting showing up too! I can't wait to find some time later today to transform these beads into jewelry.  I'm super inspired!

Show above: Vintage Meadows flowers, Humblebeads Disks and Tesori Trovati Simple Truths Pendants. 

In this photo I have a great collection of More Skye Jewels pendants and components - some have been in my stash for a while others just joined the party in May when Marie came to visit me.  I have a few bird pendants from Green Girl Studios. I can't remember where I got the glass encased skeleton key - it's been that long! Ceramic beads on the top from Diane Hawkey, Earthenwood and Elaine Ray.

Now it's your turn!

For the giveaway I will pick one random comment for a $25 gift certificate to my website, If you "bust your stash" today and blog or share about it on the Creative Bead Chat Facebook group you'll be entered twice - be sure to let me know if you do that in the comments too.  I will give you until Sunday to bust your stash and will pick the winner Monday morning.

Check out the Bead Stash Bead Sale details here.

Remember - the more the merrier! Invite your friends to play along and share today's post!

Pity Party Bead Sale    Thursday, August 22, 2013

Okay, wipe away those tears - you are going to need those Kleenex's for drooling! I've gathered together some awesome beadmakers and shops to share discounts with you for the weekend.  All sales are Friday through Sunday. Discount code for each shop is PITYPARTY13.

Humblebeads - 20% off beads and jewelry.

Tesori Trovati - 15% off.

MoreSkye Jewels - 15% off.

Gaea - 15% off.

Second Surf - 20% off.  Also check our Second Surf's Facebook page for one-of-a-kind bead sets through the weekend.

Grubbi - 40% off.

Kristi Bowman Design - 15% off.

The Curious Bead Shop - 10% off.

SongBead - 20% off.

Jewellery Quarter - 30% off.

Olla Podrida - 25% off.

Join me all weekend for giveaways, a weekend of inspiration and connecting with other creative folks online!

*Bead suppliers/makers if you'd like to be added to list, leave your link and discount below.  Be sure to use our code this weekend of PITYPARTY13.

Bead Fest Pity Party 2013    Monday, August 19, 2013

Last year on my blog I hosted a Pity Party for those poor, poor souls who couldn't go to Bead Fest.  And since I'm feeling all sniffly and blue about it again this year I thought I'd host another one this year! I'm not one to sit around and pout for long, so I've come up with a Pity Party (heavy on the party) for us to have together so we don't feel like we are missing out on all the fun and all those beads!  With a little thought I've come up with three days of fun for us to join together, inspire each other and get creative.

You can play along on your blog or on the Creative Bead Chat facebook group. I'm giving you a few days to gather materials and make plans for the weekend.

All weekend - Sale & Giveaways.  I've joined up with some of my beadmaking friends to offer discounts for the weekend and I will be hosting a giveaway each day for gift certificates to my website.

Friday - Bust your Stash.  On Friday we going to go into our bead stashes and pull out something that hasn't seen the light of day for a while. If you'd been to a big bead show, I challenge you to find something from a past bead show purchase.  You can share a photo and story about it.  Create something with it or give it away on your blog or Facebook page.

Saturday - Inspiration Adventure.  Get out of the house and find something to inspire you.  You can go to a farmer's market, craft show, festival, museum, gallery, bead store, antique store, walk in the park - whatever you can fit into your weekend that will inspire you.  I'm planning to attend an antique market that is not too far away.  Share photos from your adventure.

Sunday - Class of One.  Pull out a jewelry book and try one of the projects in the book. Go through a few books and pick a project.  How often do we really do that?  For me the answer is hardly ever!  I need to go through my book stash and find a new project!  Share your results with us.  We'll also share links of our favorite online tutorials. 

That should keep us busy and our minds off Philly!  Who is going to join me?  I'm looking forward to having some fun and being inspired together.

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Saturday, August 17, 2013

" The old age of an eagle is better than the youth of a sparrow." ~Proverb

Sparrow Bead - Sparrow Photograph

Birthday Gifts    Monday, August 12, 2013

I had so much fun blogging for the last 11 days, so I decided to keep going! I had forgotten how much I love sharing about the inspirations and stories behind my work.  Today I'm still all giddy from a wonderful birthday weekend.  The best part of my birthday was hanging out with my sister and brother after the party.  My sister modeled for some action shots with my jewelry for a Look Book that I'm putting together.  I can't wait to show you the new things I've been working on for fall/winter.

There are still many more photos to take, I need the close-ups and styled shots of the jewelry.  But it was a good start and it's nice see the jewelry modeled. (These are samples for my wholesale line.)

What the photo shoot was really like! My sister has a sweet, sensitive side and I was able to capture it in brief moments in between the out takes. This is one of of those times I'm so thankful to live home again.  Being able to spend a Saturday night goofing around with these two: priceless.  

My birthday present this year - tickets to the Mumford and Sons' Gentlemen of the Road Tour.  OMG.  Yeah, I just OMGed.  I'm so excited about this, beyond words!!!!  What an awesome way to end the summer. 

Birthday Day Giveaway Winners    Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for celebrating my birthday with me this week! It was so sweet to read so many thoughtful comments while I prepared to turn 40.  I love connecting with such a caring and creative community.

I had the best birthday EVER!!!!  Above are a few photos from my party yesterday.  My aunt made sure I had a special day filled with all sorts of treats and my favorite peeps! My sister and brother thoroughly entertained me at an after party at my house!  There may have been margaritas involved.  Perfect night!

I woke up this morning and went a little adventuring with my aunt Rosanne. We checked out a local craft fair and headed out of town to a bead shop called the Enchanted Bead. The bead shop is surrounded by a gorgeous flower garden.  It made me want to build a little magical bead shop in my backyard too! Yes, that little cottage was the bead shop. Beads and a garden center mixed together - someone is a genius!  Check out my Instagram for more photos of the today's adventure.

Of course I had to pick up a few things at the bead shop! We spent a while at Michael's too doing a little sale shopping.  Great way to spend 1/2 my birthday.  The other half was spent with Jess and the girls, hanging out around the house.  Jess made us burgers and fried zucchini - my summer favorite dinner.  We ended the night picking blackberries and making smoothies.  A day filled with all my favorite things! 

Do I feel older? Not yet! But definitely blessed and extremely thankful!!!  What a wonderful way to usher in a new decade!

Here are the Birthday Giveaway winners - thank you for playing along!

Winners please email me your address.

Day 1 - Midnight Garden Wafer: Lola (Bead Lola Bead)

Day 2 - Floral Pendant & Print (Chicory, Tiger lily or Queen Anne's Lace): Emma Todd

Day 3 - Leaf Pendant and Charms: Tayna (A Work in Progress)

Day 4 - Hibiscus Flower Bud Pendant: Lisa Lodge

Day 5 - Lilac Pendant: Norma Turvey

Day 6 - Teal Hibiscus Pendant: Leilani

Day 7 - House Bead Trio: Lin Standke 

Day 8 - Fox Bead - Gloria Allen Designs

Day 9 - Starry Night Disk Beads: MM 

Day 10 - $40 Humblebeads Gift Certificate: Jennifer Reno

Day 10 Birthday Celebration Giveaway - The Big One!    Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tomorrow is the big day! I will have circled the sun 40 times.  Hopefully I've gained some wisdom during the those years, made a few lives brighter and shared all I could with those I love and cherish. 

The best thing about a birthday is it's a personal New Year - another 365 days to create the life you want, a fresh start, another chance to chase after your dreams.  

Today we are celebrating. My dear auntie has arranged an Over the HIll party for me.  I'm looking forward to some good-natured teasing. I can't wait to spend the day with my family - they are my favorite peeps on the planet!

So it's been 10 days of birthday giveaways here on the blog.  You can still enter each one, just scroll down the blog and make a comment on each day to enter.  Tomorrow I'll be drawing all the winners. 

Today's prize: a $40 gift certificate to 

Shopping spree! Awesome right?  I thought you'd be excited.

Now, let's put you to work for this prize. It's my party, so I'm going to ask for two gifts.

1. Share your best words of wisdom for my next 40 years.

2. Share my giveaway online: tweet, facebook or pin it. 

Okay, I'm off to get spiffy for my shin-dig.  See you all back here tomorrow!!!

Day 9 Birthday Celebration - Wish Upon a Star    Friday, August 9, 2013

Day 9 of my birthday celebration.  The big 4-0 is looming larger than life and I've decided to celebrate this month with giveaways each day on my blog until my birthday. 

Today I will share another fun fact with you about August 11th.  Each year Mother Nature pulls out all the stops with an amazing meteor shower called the Perseids.  The peak viewing for this year is August 11-13th with 50-60 meteors per hour.  That's a lot of shooting stars and wishes to make each year on my birthday.

I don't get to see them every year - many years we lived in the city and it just wasn't possible.

One year Jess had to work late on my birthday. We were a young couple, struggling to make our way in the world. The girls were 4 & 2. It was my 27th birthday and you know how there are just years your birthday comes and goes with very little fanfare - it was one of those years.

Jess arrived home about 9pm and said get the girls ready, we are going for a drive.  We drove an hour to the beach and sat on the shore listening to the waves and watching the stars above. That's my second favorite birthday memory!

This year should be quite spectacular.  We live in the middle of nowhere and the night sky is ablaze with stars all the time. I'm getting my wishes ready!

Photo Credit: Daily Dose of Pixels

So you guessed it, today the prize is a set of my Van Gogh's Starry Night Disk Beads.

What's your favorite show put on by Mother Nature?  Leave a comment to enter today.  Winners will be drawn on August 11th.

Day 8 Birthday Celebration - My Two Birthdays    Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's getting closer, just 3 more days until I'm 40 and instead of freaking out I'm celebrating here on the blog with 11 days of giveaways.  Who am I kidding? I'm still freaking out! But this week has been so much fun to read your stories, birthday wishes and thoughtful comments.  Thank you!

So earlier I mentioned that my 12th birthday was a pretty big one for me.  I was planning my first real slumber party with girls from school.  We had formed a little slumber party posse that year.  I had made this awesome fish pianata from scratch, I was quite proud.  We were planning a bonfire in the country.  All was set.  The day would start with a little visit with my Dad and Step-Mom.  But that morning I got a phone call. And an early birthday present.

I had a new baby brother.  

What? I knew the baby was coming soon, but I had mixed emotions about sharing my day with a little brother.  That was until I saw his sweet little face that day and held his tiny hand.  I loved that little guy from the first moment I saw him.  

Not to fear, the slumber party was an awesome success and Seth and I have gone on to celebrate 27 birthdays sharing our day. Happy birthday little brother.

And I have to mention that Seth is a talented musician and along with my sister Gretchen they have a band called Thirty Steps to Forward.

So today, I'm giving away a Fox Bead.  What is the biggest or best birthday surprise that you have received? Leave a comment to enter to win.  Winners for the giveaways will be announced on August 11th.  

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