Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Threads and Wire

When you are making rings, use monofilament, it holds its shape much better than thread, but it does have its drawbacks.  I ONLY use it for rings. Monofilament will after time, dry out, crack and break, though this has not happened to my rings but it does to necklaces and bracelets that I have made, so  for those types of work I use thread.

If I am just doing a simple bead stringing project, I use beading wire 7,19, 49 are numbers you will see on this type of stringing material, 49 is the best, it will not crimp up on your work and is much much harder to break, 7 is easier to crimp and therefore will break but is really good for practicing and it is cheaper.

If you are doing wire crochet, then start with the thinnest wire, such as 28 gauge or something until you have the technique down to a science then move on to heavier wire.

Now onward, when you are beading, always, always hold your tail in the palm of your non-dominant hand to keep it out of your way. and it is really much easier to weave your beads if you take your working thread and loop it over your forefinger and hold it there with your middle finger.  This keeps your working thread out of your way while trying to get your needle through the correct bead.

Always keep tension on your working thread, tighten up your stitches as you go, not to terribly tight but keep it tight enough that you can see what you are doing and what you need to do next.

Also, learn to remove your work without having to take the needle off the thread.  This will save you so much time, but you have to hold that thread down tight when going back through a bead or your needle will split your thread and unless you are very very good you won't be able to remove more without taking the needle off.

I had to learn to do this well because I have such a difficult time threading the needle.  Fireline and Wildfire are braided threads and they are rounded while the needles openings are oblong and narrow.  Here is what I do.  Make sure you use sharp scissors or cutters to cut your thread length, then take the tip and press it between you flat pliers, this will flatten the end of the thread making it easier to go through the eye of the needle.  I usually fatten at least a half inch, sometimes more, but at least that.  Also be sure you run your threads through beeswax.  It helps prevent tangling and knotting of thread as you are working.

There are many other threads as well, such as Nymo, KO and others.  Personally, I have a lot of colors of both of these and will never use them.  I find that they fray much worse as you work your beads and also they simply do not hold the shape that I like with my work.  Just my personal opinion.  Others love these threads, so get one, give it a try and see what your preference might be.
I hope that this has helped you understand working with wire and thread with beads just a teensy bit better.

Have a great day with your beads.

Be Blessed

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy Monday Morning?????

Yes, I am up, I am alive and I am thankful.  However, today I think I am being tested or attacked, probably a bit of both.  Anger tried to take hold of our household this morning and it is still lurking around.  Of course the homeschooling is always a challenge with my little man, but he is now under an ultimatum, either he does as requested and stays the path or he will be returned to public school.  He does not want to go back to public school and we don't want him to, but there comes a point when there just aren't any alternatives to a situation.

SOOOO, finally got him working on his worksheets and I am just waiting for Meagan to arrive for the remainder of his day, which is Spanish and American History and of course the ever present Math. Now to find something to occupy my time for the afternoon.  I am just trying to decide if I want to work with wire today or stick with my seed beads or perhaps combine them.  I have quite a few new seed beads that arrived just before my trip to NC and I have not used them yet. 

Ok, seed beads it is, today, I will work with 15/0 and 11/0.  Triangles, in new colors and put together a bit differently I think.  I will be sure to post a picture when it is complete.  But for now, here is a photo of an approximation of what I will be doing.

This photo is from Sara Spoltore's website Beads Friends.  She has a YouTube channel as well and that is where I learned to do this particular type of beading.  She is a very good teacher and has two channels, one is in her native tongue which is believe is Italian and the other is in English.  Beadsfriends.com is her English site and channel and the other Sarubbest.com is the Italian site and she also has  YouTube channel by this name as well, so if you understand her Italian better than English, by all means visit her site or channel and you will see many beautiful items that she is happy to teach you.
By the way her English is very good, so check that one as well.

But anyway, this triangle style is what I will be working on today.  I am going to try to devise my own special triangle and put them together into a bracelet.  Wish me luck.

Thanks for stopping by.

Be Blessed

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Catchin' Up

Good Sunday morning to everyone. 

I wanted to give an update on what's been going on and why I have not been around like I should have been. 
First, I had a few issues to deal with in getting ready for homeschooling.  Then there was the research, printing and organizing the materials for this years work.  We have added a new person to our homeschool team here.  A friend and co-worker of my daughters is now assisting with the teaching responsibilities.  Jaeden really likes her and responds to her very well.  She is a whiz at science and math so she will be responsible for those subjects as well as some history, social studies and geography.  Of course, I will be putting my two cents in as well, so some of his classes will be with me in those areas, well maybe not so much in the science area.  So welcome aboard to Meagan. We have also added physical fitness to his daily routine, Meagan takes him for a run on the days she is here and when his attention needs to be redirected, she has him do a few jumping jacks in the classroom

I will be taking care of English or as some prefer Language Arts, literature, vocabulary, spelling and general life skills as well as character building and Bible study.  As usual Jaeden is resistant to school work of any kind, so there have been several days of some serious tug of war between he and I but we are getting there.

But in addition to all that, we took a couple of weeks and visited an old friend in North Carolina.  I really was also looking forward to the opportunity of getting to go closer to the mountains and meeting another friend of mine from Handmade Artists Forum.  Debbi lives in North Carolina and this is the second time I have missed the opportunity to get to meet her and her beautiful family.  Sorry Debbi, next time, I promise, perhaps in February, not sure yet.  But even so, we were very busy, taking care of some things for my friend, helping her set up a new computer and trying to teach Jaeden how to swim.

Now that we are back in school, we are also in the planning stages for our fall garden. Pretty much everything grows here in Florida year round, but we are specifically targeting for fall plantings like cabbage, greens and things.  Jaeden has done some precursory work on eating healthier and the benefits of fruits and vegetables and has asked to have more of these things.

The other reason and probably the main reason is that my laptop sort of got fried when in NC,  while setting up my friends wireless network, I left my laptop open and on top of a plastic bin in her work room and forgot to turn it off so it overheated.  I think that most everything was salvageable and it seems to be working ok for now but I can only use it for short periods of time.  The fan motor burned out and nearly fried the hard drive. 

Anyway, I am back now and hope that you will all forgive the absence and that you are looking forward to more features on handmade artists work as well as more of my own creations and peaks into our family goings on.

Take care, live healthy and praise the Lord for each day.

Be Blessed

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A word on the AlchemistsVessel

There are loads of things I could say to describe this artisan.  Well, no, not really, her work is beyond words.  TheAlchemistsVessel describes herself as a self-taught artist who loves to add whimsy and femininity to her work.  She also says that by not being confined to the traditional she is able to be more free in her design.  And design she does.  She is a fantastic Certified Jewelry Designer and Repair technician.  Her work spans many types of media, from chainmaille to up cycled vintage pieces. 

Alix can be found at her shop in Boise, Idaho or online at Handmade Artists.  I will be sure to post all the various places you can find this artist at the end of the post.  You will want to bookmark her sites so that you can come back often and take a look at the newest selection of beautiful creations. 

Alix is meticulous in the detail and design of her work and each piece is unique and will give you many years of pleasure and then hand it down the line in your family for them to enjoy for many more years.

Here is a sample of some of the work that Alix has created.

This piece Alix calls the Queen of Hearts Chainmaille Czech Glass Bead Set.  It is a beautiful necklace and comes with matching earrings.  Great for that special date.

The Azure for Sure Snake ring will fascinate you each and every time that you wear it.  It is completely hand forged from a single length of stock and is twisted by curved by hand with a beautiful deep lapis enameled stone. It is a one of a kind piece and fits US size 9.

If you love chainmaille, then this is an absolute must have for your collection.  Alix makes all her jump rings for chainmaille by hand and these are sterling silver plated (over brass) with Czech glass sapphire beads.  There are earrings to match and if I am not mistaken there is a separate listing for a bracelet in the same style that will give you a perfect set.  This set is collar necklace and earrings.

Here is a gorgeous malachite and sterling silver ring.  Again, this is completely hand forged and the malachite (beautiful) is a grade A stone.  Isn't this just stunning.

And last but by no means last, this piece is called "Seaside Rendezvous".  Beautiful chainmaille. and it shows to all us who work typically with beads only, that you do not need beads to add color.  Alix has many pieces with various colors and they are all just perfect and you can get one to match each outfit.

Of course, this is a very small selection of the wearable art that has been created by The Alchemist Vessel, so you will need to check the links below to get a look at all of the scrumptious pieces that she has to offer.

Thanks for taking a look and I'll see you again soon.


Be blessed

Friday, September 12, 2014


Let's take a look together at some wonderful leather and bead work done by a couple, Debbie and John of Handmade Artists.  They are Thunderroseleather.  They work in leather and beads all done by hand in Arizona.  They work typically in western, mountain man and native American style with some "old west" thrown in as well.  The work is beautiful and having had some leather, I know from experience that it is time consuming to complete a project.  In fact, my project was never completed and I have never started another one.  Nope, when I am ready, I will get my purse from Debbie and John.

There are many thinks I could say here, but words will not describe to you the work that this couple produces.  I can however tell you that they are lovely people and I really enjoy getting to know them on the Handmade Artists Forum.  Come on over, you don't have to be an artists to join us on the forum, get to know John and Debbie and you will see for yourself.  Also take a look in their shop at all the beautiful items there.

Here are just a few.
This beautiful black fringe cross body handbag is great.  You can use it with any fashion you choose.  This particular one does not have bead work on it but if that is what you want, Just let them know and they will work out what you like and trust me you will be happy with the results.

Don't like to carry a purse but need to have something to tote your phone in other that your back pocket, well this little beauty is just the ticket.  Again, non-beaded, but just ask, they aim to please.

These are so adorable.  Beaded and blessed.  It almost, (heavy on the almost) makes me wish I was younger and had a newborn again.  Yeah, ALMOST.

Need a toddler size?  Well here you go.

Last but not least, I think this is my favorite bag.  When I can, I am certainly going to be purchasing one of these.  Just wait and see me carrying this around town.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the beautiful leather bags.  I know I enjoyed trying to choose from all they have to show you just a sample.

You be sure to go take a look see for yourself.  You can find them in all the right places.


Thanks for taking a look and I will see you soon.

Be blessed


Now I am off to the races featuring from Handmade Artist the wonderful Kris of the shop Lisianblue.  Kris also has a shop Reflections where you can find so much to choose from.
Kris lives in New Mexico and spends a lot of time helping to take care of her grandchildren whom she loves to oblivion as we all do our grandchildren.  But for her art, she does many things.  Kris says that she can not just do one type of creation, that she must do different things in order not to become bored.  She also tells us that she won't do anything if she can't do it well.  Well yay for Kris.  You will find many things in her shop that will delight you and tickle your fancy.  I did and if I had the 'dough' I would probably spend much of it in her shop.

When I say she does a lot of different things, I mean "really"?  She does candle making, paper creations, gift cards, paints on glass, fine art with oils and pastels, bead work in jewelry and on clothing as well as sewing, cross stitch, wood working and much more.  Just send her a message for what you desire and she will get it done.  Right now I think she is geared up for fall and winter with beautiful knit and crochet hats, scarves and OH she also knits and crochets washcloths.  You just have to go take a look at her shop.  There is something for everyone.  Here are some examples of the things that caught my eye.

This is a cutie, in fact, I bought one of these for my grandson and he just loves it. She will do them in any color you like.

These winter white hexagon washcloths are a great idea especially for a special guest during the holidays perhaps.

This bib scallop trim with a lovely little flower to dress it all up is just fantastic and I love the green and purple together.

Last but not least is this beautiful cable knit fisherman's cap.  It is gorgeous and I hope that this closeup photo will show you exactly how good Kris is, the detail is perfection.

Here is one of her art pieces.  I love this, of course I love poppies but this is gorgeous.  Such talent.

And here is a hand painted, stained glass pendant of a butterfly.  I really love this piece.

Please stop by and check out all the locations so that you don't miss a single thing that Kris has to offer. 

You can find her at the following places.


Make sure you say hello.

Thanks for taking the time to share this with others as well.

Be blessed

My Friend with the European Touch

The shop and work that I am featuring today is a wonderful lady who shows her pieces in many places by I met her on  Handmade Artists Forum.  Monika does the most beautiful tile pieces that you will ever see. But do not be dismayed, that is not all that she does.  She does, sewing, crochet, painting, charcoal drawings, as well as quill and ink drawings.  She is simply amazing.  Monika grew up in Germany after WWII and it was during that time that, following her parents example, she began to reuse/reinvent items that would otherwise not be useful to anyone.

Her art is inspired from things around her and her thoughts, but it is also inspiring to so many others no matter what their art of choice.

Not only is Monika a fantastic artists in all areas, but she is also a very good friend who is kind and gentle and always has kind things to say.  I am honored to call her my friend.

Here are a few examples of Monika's art.  Do be sure to check out the links below for the full experience of Myeuropeantouch

Shabby Chic Violin

Quill and Ink Drawn Landscape of Tesdorf in Germany

Shabby chic padded clothes hanger

Handmade Shabby Chic Year round wreath  

This cake dome looks good enough to eat does it not?  Absolutely stunning work.  Please be kind to yourself and go take a look at Monika's shop and all the other places that you can find her.  You may be sorry if you don't.

Here are all the various places where you can find Monika.

Her Shop: http://bit.ly/1rL5A9 
Her  Blog: http://bit.ly/1qHnwlr
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1uzNLvS
Twitter: http://bit.ly/1zmJ8nL
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/X4GW6y
Video: http://bit.ly/1gi5Ww5
Flickr: http://bit.ly/1qk81ic
HGTV: http://bit.ly/X4JIc6

Thanks Monika for your inspiration and you gentle kindness.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Surprise Feature - Quilling by Sandra White

For this week at Handmade Artists, our blog ring leader has decided that we are to do a feature on a surprise artist.  Now I am not saying that this artist work is a surprise, but her work is amazing and since I also do some of this type of work, I was completely surprised by the detail in her work.  Obviously, I need to practice for many more years before I could claim to be an artist in this realm.

The artist I am speaking of is Sandra White of Quilling by Sandra White.  Click on the link and it will take you to her shop and you can see for yourself the awesomeness of her work.  I had been playing around with this age old art of quilling for a while, but when I saw her work, I was inspired to do more study and much more practice.  There is no comparison that I have found to the detail and beauty of her work.

Sandra is from New Hampshire and she has been creating these beautiful pieces since 1975.  As she says, times have changed from her first show, selling ornaments to what she does today.  You can clearly see her love for the outdoors in her work.  Nature and quilling have never come together quite so beautifully as they do in Sandra's work.

Let's take a look and you will see why I admire this artist so much.  She in undeniably the most talented quilling artists I have ever seen.

I found this beautiful piece on her Facebook page.  Go take a look, you won't be disappointed.

This gorgeous Puffin, aahhhh-maaa-zzzing

Can't you just see this Loon in flight?

I can see this Monarch butterfly flitting around my house, can't you?

I hope that you enjoy looking at all the beautiful things Sandra has to offer and be sure to check out her links. 

Handmade Artists Shop

Be sure to visit Sandra and while you are there check out all the other amazing artists. You will find only handmade on this site.

Be blessed,

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Featured Artists

This week I would like to introduce you to an exceptional gemologist John Rasmussen and his wife Debora.  Together they are Rasmussen Gems.  You can find them by clicking on the link.  Their shop is on our wonderful Handmade Artists Shops

John has mastered several different careers in his life thus far.  He was educated in Geology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.  and he began a teaching career in geology.  Ten years or so of that and he decided that medicine is where he wanted to take his professional life and worked in emergency medical services until he retired when he turned back to his first love, rocks.  He has also studied at Gemology and Jewelry Design and Repair at: International Gem Society, Gemological Institute of America and Penn Foster Career School.  So to say the least, he knows what he is doing and loves doing it which is the absolute best combination in the world.

Debora previously designed swags and wreaths custom made for home decor.  Since she is now disabled she creates the beautiful beaded jewelry that you find in their shop. Personally, I think that makes for one dynamic duo.

Let me give you a taste of their work, just a tad to get you hooked then you can visit them and find the piece that you can't live without.  If not, no worries, just contact John through his shop or at one of the contacts listed below and he will gladly create your ideal piece for you.

Oh my, I almost forgot, silly me.  John also works with all types of metals creating beautiful pieces.  His wire work with some of his gems is outstanding as well.  You will be glad when you visit his shop.

This piece is 8 gauge wire, can you believe it, dapped and forged with silver solder.  Amazing, beautiful are just a couple of words that could be used to describe this piece.

Just look at how beautiful this tiger eye cabochon has become.  To the untrained eye, like mine, in its original form, the comments would have been something like "oh, what a pretty rock".  Now look at it after John has done his magic.

This banded Agate is amazing.  I just love agate, don't you. You can find it in his shop.
Of the tons of stones that John has, this one is my favorite Carnelian.  It is just stunning.

This Dendritic agate with the copper wire work John has created a beautiful pendant. The copper wire just makes the lines in the agate pop don't you think?

This one is called Potpourri Beaded bracelet.  Maybe potpourri, but beautiful.  The colors are fantastic together, there is glass, metal, rhodocrosite and quartz.  Imagine.

And in one of my favorite colors, Debora has created this beautiful necklace and earring set.

Talk about dressing up that little black dress, how about this jasper and onyx necklace and earrings. Wow!
You just gotta love playful pinwheels.  This necklace is wonderful and colorful and there are earrings to match.  Love the blues and reds together.

Ok, so maybe I did a little more than a tad, but hey, there is so much more to see at their shop, not to mention, they are eager to create your special item, just ask, that's it, just ask.

Find them at the following locations.

Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry, LLC

You can also message John through his shop at Handmade Artists.
I hope you enjoy taking a look around his shop, but while you are there, be sure to check the hundreds of other artists there on the site.  They are all dedicated to entirely handmade products.

Thanks for visiting.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Featuring A Dynamic Duo

This feature is about two people who are absolutely unstoppable.  I am not sure they even take a minute to breathe.  Well of course they do, but you catch my drift.  Very busy and extraordinarily talented in many areas.  Yes and I am talking about Larissa and her husband, Eric. 

As Larissa says in her profile, she sees herself as "a lawyer, teacher, face painter, artist, photographer, sewer, knitter, baker, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and pet owner".  Whew that is a lot. Plus, they are now beekeepers.  Imagine that.  Oh and she forgot one.  She also gardens, grows her own veggies and stuff.  Takes my breath.

Larissa created amazing hives for her bees, hand painted with Winnie the Pooh characters and fish and it was awesome.  I am sure her bees just love their home. 

Her husband Eric, loves to cook, smoke and grill and has developed his very own sauces which he just bottled for sale and shipment and on his way home from bottling, sold many cases out of his car.  God has truly blessed this couple and now you will see first hand the results of all those blessings.  Just take a look and then I will tell you all the places you can find them.

These beautiful cards show off some stunning roses that she photographed in New Jersey and in the Bronx.  I just want to put them to my nose to take a sniff.

Below you will see a design entirely Larissa's own.  You will not find this anywhere else in the world.  She started out making one of these for her nephew, I believe for a gift and as she progressed she showed her work to many artists at Handmade Artists Forum in our "What are You Doing Today" feed.  Isn't it amazing.

Oh, I also forgot to tell you, Larissa is an actress.  The photo below is based on her character "Flossie" in a theatre production of "Cinderella Confidential".  She also made each one of the cast members a "Flossie the Cow" as keepsakes.  She also created a lot of the costumes for that production. 

Now lets move on.

And here we have her hand knitted wash cloths.  Yep, scarves, mittens, washcloths, you name it, she does it.

Here we have some of her other talents.  She makes candles, soap, insect repellents to name a few.

 Fudge Chunk Soap
Shaving Oil

Lip Balm

 Insect repellent

Moving On again.

Face Painting. Isn't this amazing? 
Wild Animals


Domestic Animals

So as you can see, Larissa can do it all and Eric, he pretty much does it all too, here is his sauce.

So there you have it, or at least a synopsis of the awesomeness of this amazing couple.  I don't know about you but I am totally envious of this talent even though I would never try to do all these things, why try when I can just make a few clicks and have it shipped to my door.

Oh and here is just a glimpse at the beehive.  She is a fantastic artist, all of this is freehand and yes, we can show it and she can use it because it is not an item that is for sale, so there is no infringement on any one's rights. At least I hope not.

Now for my earlier promise, here is where you can find them.


So there.  There is no excuse.  Let's go shopping.

Have a blessed day


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Last But Not Least - Handmade Artists Shops

For my third and final post for this particular feature, we have the Handmade Artists Shops.  There are hundreds of shops here and you can find anything your little heart desires.  It is great for shoppers as they can browse at their leisure and find just the right item, and if they have questions, they can email directly to the creator.  Also, shoppers will not find any reselling on this site, it is all handmade always.

The creators of this site, Andrew and Kimberly Kitchen are some of the greatest handmade artists that I have had the pleasure of doing business with and they are always on top of issues and questions that any of the shop owners may have.  They listen to our suggestions and if the suggestions are something they believe would benefit the site as a whole and all the other shop owners, they give it serious consideration.

The mission of the site is to showcase handmade and show the world that buying handmade may cost you just a bit more, but hey, you get a piece of art that has been created from the heart and inspiration of a human being, it will not come from some machine somewhere.  We have shop owners from almost everywhere, but all are dedicated to their craft.

To take just a piece of their mission statement to show you what the site is all about please read the following excerpt.

Our primary mission for the Handmade Artists' Shop is to support handmade. There are so many mass produced items out there that it often feels that the world has lost the respect for the small, independent merchant. It is so easy to go to one of those mega stores and get everything you want in one stop. Some of us think it’s better to take some time and create something with our hands and our imaginations. Our goal is when you visit The Handmade Artists' Shop you will feel the passion and understand that we truly love and support handmade.

So when you are looking around at all of the creations of all the artisans on the site, now you can better understand why we are there and what we all stand for.  HANDMADE IS BETTER.

Help support the small businesses of those who create art from the heart, support the local small businesses in your area, you won't be helping some person you will never meet to get another home as I have seen written many times before, you will be helping a mother and father put food on the table for their children, put clothes on their backs and perhaps if we are loyal to them, they might be able to send their children to college.

Let's band together and support Handmade Artists.  Come visit the site, you won't regret it and I believe once you have tried it out, you will be back again and again.

Be blessed

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Other Half

Here we go, yes the other half of my previous post showing the awesomeness of Kimberly Kitchen.  Well now you get to see the half, Andrew Kitchen.  They are simply an amazing couple.

Andrew is the owner of Handmade Artists along with Kimberly.  This site was created in response to Kimberly and her desire for a place where handmade and the artists who create it could be showcased and uplifted like nowhere else. 

Andrew has a shop of his own and his amazing chainmaille takes the spotlight.  I for one don't do chainmaille even though the thought has cross my mind to try it, I have just decided to leave this to the handmade professionals like Andrew.  Take a look at a few of his pieces and you will clearly understand why I made this decision.

Here are Silver and Copper Dragonscale Earrings.
Amazing right? Yes, keep on looking.
All rings are hand coiled by Andrew.  

The Braided European 4 in 1 bracelet is a spectacular sight to see.  Andrew calls this a showstopper, I have to agree wholeheartedly.  I just can't imagine making all those rings by hand and then putting them together.  This is an amazing piece and weighs in at a bit over 3 ounces and is about 1 inch wide.  Intricate and spectacular are just not the right words, but right now that is all I can think of. 

That is a peek at Andrew's work as far as his handmade, but if you look around the shop and check in at the forums, you will find the true worth of Andrew.  This site began as a forum and it grew and grew until they revamped it into a site where any artist can show, sell or just come and talk about their work.  They are always around to listen to your ideas, your complaints, and to offer support that you will find nowhere else on the Internet.  Andrew stands true to his words here on this site.  There are only handmade items to be find here, no reselling allowed. 

Please do yourself a favor and come by Handmade Artists and take a look for yourself at Andrew's beautiful work, pick up a piece or two for yourself, but more than that look around and you will find that this site is truly about handmade and supporting those who create it and Andrew is always ready with his bullhorn to pronounce it to the world and we all at the site love him for it.

Clink on this link Chainmaille by MBOI and check out Andrew and his work. You can also find him on Facebook and here on Twitter.

Then click out the forum and you will see many, many artists hanging out and discussing all kinds of issues and just being friends.  I am proud to call Andrew one of my friends.

Be blessed