Day 7 Birthday Celebration    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome to day 7 of my birthday giveaway event.  If you are just joining us - to celebrate turning 40 this year, I'm hosting 11 days of birthday giveaways for my blog readers.  Leave a comment on any of the birthday posts to enter. (Some posts have a little 'homework'!)

Today is a super sweet day in the Humblebeads studio.  Jess (Mr. Humblebeads) and I are celebrating 20 years of marriage.

1. We met in art school - our first conversation was about drawing paper and we both remember every word!
2. I was a teenage bride at 19!
3. We were married in South Haven.
4. We started making and selling jewelry together during our first year of marriage.
5. Jess introduced me to the world of beads with a necklace he made me.

That fall when we returned to art school Jess did a series of prints and sculptures that celebrated our marriage with a house theme.  Over the years we've created and collected items for our home with the house motif, as we both see it as a symbol of our family and home that we've created.  

So today's giveaway? A trio of house beads like the one shown above plus two surprise ones.  

Leave a comment to enter in today's drawing - make sure you include your name! 

Day 6 Birthday Celebration    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Today's Birthday giveaway is inspired by one of my favorite events of the year - the Bead Cruise!

I created this pendant a few years ago for the gift bags - we gather together quite the swag bag from our sponsors each year.  I do my part to make them awesome.

I kind of wait for the Bead Cruise like kiddos wait for Christmas Day.  All. Year. Long!

I'm super excited about next year, we have so many talented people traveling with us, old friends returning and new cruisers who have been long time online friends who are planning to join us. Can't wait!

That's life isn't it? One day rolling around in the memories of yesteryear and the next day dreaming ahead of events looming on the horizon. Yep, that's my life - sweet and precious memories, good things to look forward to and in the middle is the creamy center of the mundane; the drama of raising teens, enjoying the every day moments, working away and small pleasures of life.

It's all worth Celebrating!!!

"The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." - Robert Louis Stevenson

My birthday is in 5 more days.  Until then, check back each day for a new giveaway.  I have another free project coming up this week.  If you missed any of the past 5 days, you can still enter.

So for today's giveaway leave a comment and tell me where you'd go on your dream vacation.  (P.S. - my dream, dream vacation would be a trip to Scotland!)

One lucky winner will receive a Hibiscus Pendant shown above. 


Day 5 Birthday Day Giveaway - Nostalgia    Monday, August 5, 2013

It's day 5 of my birthday celebration giveaway and today I have a a Lilac Pendant for one lucky winner!

These pendants hold special meaning for me. Whenever I smell lilacs I'm instantly transported back to my childhood home.  Our backyard was surrounded by lilac bushes that were as tall as trees.  In the late spring/early summer when I'd wake up in the morning, the air was always heavy with their fragrance. 

If we were lucky that morning, my sweet great-grandmother - who was our next door neighbor, would come across the yard bearing a little gift wrapped in tin foil.  Sometimes it was homemade blueberry muffins, other times banana or zucchini bread. Zucchini bread with a little pat of butter and a cup of tea - favorite breakfast ever!

Both of those memories are tied together whenever I see lilacs.  I need to plant a bush or two in my yard! 

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus

This sums up life here in South Haven.  Even though it's my hometown and I grew up here, it's not the same town and I'm not the same person.  I can even walk the the halls of my high school without wanting to scream, running out the doors!

Thank you for all your sweet comments over the last few days, I have been reading each one. It's so nice to have your encouragement, and to read your stories and sweet birthday wishes.  I have read each one and thank you!

Okay - today you have to work just a wee bit for this pendant.

1. Head over to my Floral Bead section and Pin or share your favorite on Facebook or twitter. 

2. After you do that leave a comment to let me know what is your favorite floral themed Humblebead! 

On August 11th one random winner will be picked to receive a Lilac Pendant.

(Please don't leave an anonymous comment - I need to be able to contact if you win!)

Day 4 Birthday Celebration Giveaway - Fleeting Moments    Sunday, August 4, 2013

Welcome to day four of my Birthday Celebration Giveaways.

Today I'm thinking about fleeting moments.  Time just flies, it feels like I was just 12 yesterday and now I'm looking at 40 in just a few days.  (You'll find out later this week why my 12th birthday was so memorable.)

I think for me, the hardest part about turning 40 is knowing this is the last year before my oldest daughter heads off to college.  Time has never felt so short in my life.  I can't even really wrap my brain around what it will be like to have her off on her own.  It just seems so bittersweet I can't stand to imagine it for more than a few seconds at a time. If I could freeze time it would be this month, right now, these fleeting moments.  The weeks before school starts again, when none of us really have a care in the world. The girls still feel like mine.  Moms do you know what i mean? 

For today's giveaway one lucky person will win one of my new Hibiscus Flower Buds. To enter leave a comment below. 

(Make sure you leave your name, anonymous comments can't be entered - I don't know who you are!)

And now I will leave you with my favorite song that fits right in with today's theme.

Day 3 Birthday Celebration Giveaway    Saturday, August 3, 2013

Today's giveaway is all about my favorite time of year - autumn! I know, it's just barely August and I pinkie swear I'm all trying to live in the moment and enjoy the summer while it's here.  But I can't help but feel a little giddy at that thought of crisp mornings, leaves changing colors and warm comfy scarves and sweaters.  Absolutely giddy I tell you!

Rejetta Sellers has an earring project in the new issue of 101 Bracelets, Earrings and Necklaces that just happen to use my Leaf Charms. Yeah! And even better, they made the cover! Which also happens to share space with a necklace from one of my dearest friends, Erin Prais-Hintz.  Who, also happens to share my birthday! Love it!

Today I'm giving away a pendant and charm set of my Leaves

Leave a comment below telling me your favorite season. 

One random will be picked on August 11th. (My birthday!) You can still enter the first two giveaways until the 10th. 

If you'd like to make my day, check out my Inspired by Nature Retreat and pin one of my photos or share the link on Facebook or Twitter.

Day 2 Birthday Celebration Giveaway - Summer Wildflowers    Friday, August 2, 2013

Today's blog post let's you see the other side of my creative life.  Here is a watercolor painting that I made this week.

I went to art school and had dreams of being a gallery artist.  Of course, life and family happened and beads took over while we made ends meet and raised our girls.  I had all but abandoned painting and drawing during those early years of parenting. When both my daughters went to school and after I had been on a steady diet of delightful picture books for 6 years, I decided I wanted to illustrate those books too!

After a few years of learning the craft and industry I've had some success in the field, but never pursued it full-time. My dream has been on the back burner since our move to Michigan.  Life was once again getting in the way.  And I got in the way. I never felt my work was good enough, I could always see the flaws.  I made a lot of great excuses of why a manuscript wasn't ready or reasons to not work on marketing my illustration. Why do we do that to ourselves?  Some days I wish for a little more naive enthusiasm - you'd be surprised how far that can take you!

But I haven't given it up and still dream of illustrating enchanting books for kids.  In fact, if I could make a birthday wish it would be to work on creating books over the next year - both illustrating and writing - both for the children's market and the bead market.  So where are my candles?  I have a wish to make!

These three wildflowers are my favorites that grow along side the roads here in my hometown.  Queen Anne's Lace, Tiger Lilies and Chicory - love, love, love them. See them up there in the painting and here they are in bead form. My love for Michigan is shining through in both art forms! 

So you are here for prizes, no? Not birthday wishes! 

Today you can win a print of my Flora and Fawn and your choice of one of these pendants!

If time and money were no object, what would you spend your days creating? Leave a comment for your chance to win! One random winner will be drawn on August 11th. 

P.S. You can still enter yesterday's drawing too! Come back tomorrow for another birthday giveaway. I will have a giveaway each day until my birthday on the 11th and then all the winners will be announced.


Midnight Garden Bracelet Tutorial & Giveaway    Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hello, hello dear friends.  Today is August 1st and that means 10 days until my birthday!  But not just any birthday, this is the big 4-0.  I'm slightly freaked out.  I certainly don't feel like a 40 year old.  Instead of moaning and groaning though, I decided to celebrate.  Because my life is filled with amazing people, events and places and it's so worth celebrating!

And since it's is my 40th birthday and that's nothing to sneeze at, I have 11 days of birthday giveaways for my blog readers! You just never know what it's going to be, so check back each day.  All winners will be announced on the 11th.

First up, a tutorial!

Midnight Garden Bracelet

Wafer Disk Bead

3 ceramic nuggets

Rizo glass beads in two colors

Size 11/0 seed beads

2 lengths of 6' brown waxed linen

1. Thread one 11/0 seed bead onto the middle of one length of waxed linen.  String the wafer bead onto both ends of the waxed linen and pull it up to the seed bead, tie an overhand knot at the back of the wafer disk bead.

2. String on one Rizo bead and tie an overhand knot.  One thread will be straight and the other at an angle, thread the next bead on the angled thread and tie on over hand knot.  Repeat for four inches. (My bracelet is 8 1/2 inches - adjust your size accordingly.)

3. Tie on the other piece of waxed linen under the wafer disk bead with an overhand know.  Repeat and make sure this knot is very tight.  Add a drop of beader's glue if desired. Trim the edge of the thread.

4. On the new thread string five size 11/0 seed beads and tie on overhand knot.  Repeat until it's the same length as the Rizo beads.

5. Tie all four lengths of waxed linen in an overhand knot. Thread two lengths of the waxed linen through the ceramic nugget.  Thread the other two lengths of waxed linen thought the nugget - but on the other side of the whole.  Tie all four threads together in an overhand knot under the nugget bead.  Repeat with the other two beads.

6. With two of the waxed linen threads repeat step 4 with 6 sets of seed beads.  Tie all for threads together at the base of the last nugget bead, forming a loop. Repeat with another knot.  Trim threads. 

Resources: Wafer Beads: HumblebeadsCeramic Nuggets and Waxed Linen: Fusion Beads.  Rizos and seed beads: Whimbeads.

Now, let's get this giveaway going because a tutorial is great, but not Birthday Celebration great. My first prize is a set of Midnight Garden Wafers

How do you win them? Easy peasy - share this tutorial online somewhere and let me know you did in the comments below.  I'll pick one random winner on August 11th. 

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Purple Branches Lentil Bead - Purple Flower Photo

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Its wonderful when you can bring sparkle into peoples lives without fading away from your own true color. Keep the hue in you" ~ Dodinsky

Peacock Feather Headpins - Peacock Photograph

Inspired by Nature Retreat    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is all this lusciousness you ask? Why these are the class samples for my next Inspired by Nature Retreat and you are invited!

On October 18th we will gather in South Haven, MI for three days of creativity and inspiration.  We'll make metal leaves and bead caps, polymer clay leaves and headpins that look like berries and acorns.  And then we'll create lovely hibiscus flower buds.  We'll create jewelry all weekend with our new components. 

Visit the Inspired by Nature Retreat website for complete details and to sign up today!  I only 15 spaces and they will fill up quickly. 

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