Monday, June 28, 2010

Bead & Jewelry Linky Love

I was forced (forced, I tell you) by circumstances to shop at Whole Foods this morning, and I ended up coming home with this, my all-time favorite chocolate. This is a Naga Bar by Vosges - milk chocolate, sweet Indian curry powder and coconut. Oh, how I love it so. Unfortunately, the price point makes a Lindt bar look downright cheap, so I hardly every indulge, but I decided that today would be the day.

While I sneak off to hide my stash in the pantry, here are some intriguing bead & jewelry links for you:

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows her Steampunk Sampler class made of mixed metals, industrial porcelain, and cold connections

Cindy Gimbrone
Cindy rewinds on wire.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Cherry wood bezels are the stars in this new pendant collection.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a copy of "Metalworking 101 for Beaders" to give away!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
thoughts about creating multiple streams of income as a jewelry artist

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene finds findings worth finding!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
review of a great book: Candie Cooper's Metalworking 101 for Beaders! Don't miss this!

A Bead A Day
Let's have a Tiki party! Lisa found Tiki beads at Big Lots for $1.00 and is looking for ideas!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Always on the hunt for unique components, Andrew spotlights "pinch bail components" from Shoutrinse on Etsy! Jewelry Making
Thinking of selling on-line but worried about the cost? Tammy has discovered three freebie sites for selling your jewelr, crafts, and vintage items.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei's studio is in total disarray. Check out some pics and if you have suggestions, she would totally be appreciative!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off a summery necklace design with components courtesy of

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft

I had a rare chance this morning. I really enjoy the Festival of Fine Craft held by our local art center, but I've had to skip it the past couple years. The Short One has had an unerring tendency to run towards the most fragile object in the fair like a linebacker - giving me (and undoubtedly the artist in question) palpitations. It's been so completely not relaxing to stroll around the fair with him, we've opted for more child-friendly activities instead during fair weekends.

However, I had breakfast with friends from my lawyering days this morning, while the SO hung out with his Dad. We walked around town after eating and came across the festival, so I had a quick chance to look around (and lost my friends twice in the process, due to my distraction).

The first source of my distraction was Steff Korsage's booth. She had the most unusual pendant ring settings for Czech glass dagger beads - the pendants simultaneously had a very industrial yet very organic look. (Sadly, I couldn't find a photo of this particular piece to share with you.) In fact, this describes much of her jewelry. I tried on one of her rings at the booth:

Enamel Ring by Steff Korsage

Beautiful, right? As you know, I love statement jewelry, and these rings are wonderfully hefty. She also had similar settings for druzy quartz cabs that were really attractive. If you aren't already familiar with her work, check out her website here.

I also had the opportunity to see Jill Hurant's work in person. Jewelry Artist had a profile on her work in May, and I was blown away by her black tourmaline and 22k gold granulation necklace. I don't have permission to reproduce the photo of the necklace, but you can see it and the article here. She had the necklace at her booth along with some stunning work in 22k gold (I believe) and raw hematite slabs. (Where does she find those beads? We completely have the same taste in stone.) Jill Hurant is a Saul Bell 2010 Finalist. You can find more information about her work at her website.

After stopping by these two booths and becoming completely distracted, I finally snapped back to my senses and left to spend a little more quality time with my friends (one of whom I had not seen in several years). However, it was certainly inspiring to have that brief opportunity to see such beautiful work in person.

If you live in the Chicago area, the Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft runs through Sunday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Persian Nights

I just finished a new project for the wonderful folks at As you can see, my love affair with their Russian artist pendants continues here. This simple necklace was clearly designed around the beautiful peacock pendant. My goal here was to create an atypical combination of colors for a summer necklace. Really, in the end, though, all I did was take them as much as possible from the rendering of the lacquered peacock.

For example, on the dangle, I really liked the fan shape of the Czech glass maple leaf bead as being vaguely reminiscent of the shape of a peacock's tail. I found one in a "Wasabi Silk" green which is close in tone to the greenery on the focal. The same is true of the ruby red teardrop bead.

For the rest of the necklace, I used two complementary shades of blue to mimic the blue in the peacock's head and feathers. I'm particularly fond of the Czech glass small spade beads, which I think also have a nice peacock-like shape to them. The ones I used are sapphire with a white core. The lighter blue rondelles are 6mm matte aqua glass. Now, I strung these glass beads with faceted pink rhodonite rounds from my personal stash - which I think complement the pink in the peacock's tail feathers quite nicely - but the round rhodonite beads from would work just fine in this design.

So there you have it - an atypical but still summery (in my opinion, anyway) necklace, that would look lovely against, say a nice white linen shirt.

Thank you, as always to to providing me with another great design opportunity.

Please note: some of the products mentioned above were promotional gifts from for review and/or design partnership purposes

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bead & Jewelry Linky Love

The kindergarteners at my son's school made dream catchers earlier this year as a school project. Ever since he found out that they are supposed to catch bad dreams and let good dreams come through, the Short One has been dying to make one.

I'd been dithering over how to find a flexible stick for the frame and never got around to gathering supplies for it. Fortunately, I mentioned this to my mother-in-law, who raised three boys and remembered this project from Cub Scouts. She and Grandpa, who are visiting, took the SO to Michaels a few days ago, and Grandma and the SO spent an afternoon making this. Pretty cool, I'd say. (It is, of course, now hanging on the window near the SO's bed.)

Plus, we had to buy a huge tub of pony beads to get the few needed for the project, so the SO has spent the past couple days stringing necklaces for all of his stuffed animals with the leftovers. Even more jewelry in the house - cool!

I hope you all had a Happy Father's Day.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy touts one of her favorite colors in this week's rewind.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie explores building materials as texture and symbolism in a new set of pendants inspired by a fortress theme

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is fascinated by the beautiful necklace which Jennifer Dangerfield created and reposts her analysis of what makes it so appealing! All jewelry afficionados really must see this lovely piece!

Beading Arts
Do you like Chinese food? Do you like jewelry...?

Carmi's Art/Life World
A button get's glammed up with tear drop rhinestones.

Art Bead Scene
The June Monthly Challenge is a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei got together for a fun beady date with Kerry Bogert, and together they created a necklace! Jewelry Making
If you are selling your jewelry on-line or thinking about it, then you'll find some of these rescources very helpful.

A Bead A Day
What do you think about solar system jewelry? Lisa found a ceramic bead strand that looks like it could turn that solar system science project into jewelry!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off her necklace design that won second place in the Metal Clay category of Bead Dreams 2010.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The Short One is finally officially on summer vacation - his first year of school ended on Tuesday. He brought home a nice self-portrait and these lima bean plants that he'd been growing in class for the past couple weeks. He showed them off to Dad, and they solemnly planted the seedlings in the garden last night.

The SO is inordinately proud of his achievement. As for me, I find it vaguely comforting that - for all of the massive "advancements" to the way we live each day in the thirty odd plus years between my childhood and my son's - some things really don't change much at all.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bead & Button Show - Stash Part I

Well, I started taking photos of the treasure I brought back home from the Bead & Button Show right before sunset - but then the Human Tornado whirled back from the park with his Dad, so I had to stop. Still, I thought I'd go ahead and post what I have, even if I continue this later in the week.

I have been an admirer of Pati Walton's work since Sarah Moran introduced her beads to me a couple years ago (basically, if Sarah likes an artist's work, I'm pretty much bound to like it as well - she has such good taste). I found out from Pati's blog that she would be attending Bead & Button this year, took a look at my budget, and decided before even entering the Marketplace that I would aim to come home with one of her beads. This is it - one of her classic aquarium beads filled with gorgeous murrine fish. Here are shots of the bead from other angles:

She even has a signature cane with the year embedded in the bead (you can sort of see it at the bottom of the last photo). If you aren't already familiar with her work, I urge you to take a look - photos of her gorgeous canes are posted on her blog and there's a gallery section of her finished pieces that completely makes me drool.

I was also particularly eager to see one of Greg Ogden's articulated crabs (a sneak peek of which was posted on Cynthia's blog right before the show). Green Girl Studios had a small bowl of them tucked among their beautiful display. I'm here to say that these little guys are even better in person! They're so tactile - you just want to touch the bead all of the time. Plus, the articulation is brilliant - the crab seems to skitter when it moves:

Needless to say, this wasn't all I came back with from Green Girl Studios - more photos to follow.

Gary Wilson, that most excellent of lapidaries, also had his usual brilliant wares - I just cannot get over the high quality of stones he offers. As usual, I bought a bag of cool supplies there (which will hopefully show up in my work later this year). Plus, I spotted this, the only strand of beads I bought at the show this year:

I love the juxtaposition of the polished with the rough surfaces on this agate, and the fact that they are chunks rather than slices. Once again, these are stones that just beg to be touched and the fact that he offered them in graduated sizes is just, well, sweet. (Gary asked me if I will keep the strand intact or break it up, but my feeling is that the strand really has to be largely kept together, don't you?)

That's it for now - a little more to follow later this week. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bead & Button Show - Connections

Really, one of the best parts of Bead & Button Show is getting the opportunity to meet up with friends that you normally don't get a chance to see face-to-face. Even after three years, I am so completely hopeless about the blogging thing, half the time I forgot that I was carrying a camera at the show. (Last year was even worse - I had my camera and didn't take a single pic of friends.) So, unfortunately, I missed my opportunity to get candid shots of many friends and colleagues. However, I do have a few!

Here's Melanie Brooks, helping a customer at her Earthenwood Studio booth. I wish the photo were a little clearer, as the necklace she is wearing is so completely fabulous. You can click on it to get a closer look, though. Melanie was the first person I really connected with at Bead & Button. I think I met her first at the 2006 show. I wasn't beading back then, so I was only shopping for buttons for my knitting. She had a ton of beautiful ceramic buttons that year, and I bought several sets.

Melanie later introduced me to Diane Hawkey when they traveled together to a Chicago-area bead show:

Here's Diane in front of her booth. I love the inspiration jewelry she had set up behind her bead trays this year. It's a little hard to tell from the photo (once again, you can click on it for a larger image), but one of my favorite pieces of hers, the mermaid, is the focal in the center necklace. The one on the left incorporates one of her new skull beads which I completely love (I purchased one of them myself at the Suburban Bead Bazaar this spring).

I was also happy to visit with Kate McKinnon, the metal clay artist whom I admire most and a lionhearted individual. I wish I had thought to photograph her hands, as well, as she was wearing some of her beautiful rings at the show. As much as photos of the rings are lovely to look at, seeing them actually worn on the hand - well! They are so dramatic and beautiful. As it is, I snuck around trying on various rings she had for sale at her booth, like a little kid playing dress-up, while she chatted with her other friends and customers. Oh, and note the beautifully weighty chain she is wearing around her neck.

No visit to Bead & Button would be complete without seeing Andrew Thornton, at the Green Girl Studios booth. I also met Andrew for the first time at Bead & Button, I think it was two years ago now. Andrew is really one of the kindest, most generous human beings on the planet, as well as an incredibly talented artist and jewelry designer. I actually have the good fortune to have one of his finished pieces in my private collection. Before I met Andrew or Cynthia or Greg, I won a giveaway Cynthia held on her blog. I can't even remember what the giveaway was about, but the prize was one of her brother Andrew's necklaces. His work is both so delicate and precise, it's amazing to see in person. My only regret in visiting Green Girl Studios this year is that I missed a chance to see Cynthia with baby Max.

I would also like to say how lovely it was to meet everyone at the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads booth. I had a photo taken with the group, but of course, idiotically, it didn't occur to me to ask anyone to take a photo with my own camera. They made me feel like family, which was wonderful.

And, of course, I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite lampwork artists like Michele Goldstein and Stephanie Sersich (whose baby, Amos, has the cutest curly hair on the planet), as well as Sara Hardin and Jamie Hogsett at the Soft Flex booth. I had the good fortune to meet artists such as Anne Choi, Katie Hacker, Jennifer Heynen of Jangles, Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Erin Prais-Hintz in person for the first time and also chatted with the good folks at Art Clay World.

So it was a full day! I even managed to squeeze in some shopping in between - and all this within about four hours. I didn't have time to photograph my stash acquisitions today but will try to add them in tomorrow. (I managed to nab one of Greg Ogden's fabulous articulated crabs, among other treasures - you can see a photo of them on Cynthia's blog, here.)

In the meantime, here are your beady links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew hosts the BIGGEST prize in Thursday Giveaway history ever! Find out how you can win a set of beautiful lampwork glass beads by Barbara "Basha"!

Jean Campbell
Check out Black Crow's Gothic Contest winners...fantastic!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi recycles a beautiful tea box to create this necklace..

Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva
The Empress models a statement.

Art Bead Scene
Join the Art Bead Scene Carnival Bloggers as they pay tribute to Bead and Button by creating a statement necklace

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Look at all the fun I have have playing with fire.

A Bead A Day
Do you have crafting or beading get togethers with friends and family? Lisa shares the anticipation of "Craft Night"!

Beading Arts
Shhh...don't tell Cyndi's Mom! Cyndi made her a necklace from some wonderful lampwork beads from!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Lydia Muell's mesmerizing art beads and her free giveaway this week! Jewelry Making
Tammy is proud to announce some of her jewelry designs were recently published in BeadStyle magazine

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei started up a new website, and would love to hear your input on it

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off her entry that won the Grand Prize Gold Medal in the 2010 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Winner, Second Place, Metal Clay, Bead Dreams 2010

I made it up to the Bead & Button Show today for just a few hours - let me state for the record that four hours is simply not enough time to visit the Show. I did have the pleasure of seeing a number of friends and colleagues while there, though, including several I had heretofore not met in person, which is always so wonderful. Plus, of course, I visited the Bead Dreams Exhibit. (Yes, I am grinning like a fool as I upload these pics...)

I have to confess, despite taking my good camera with me, I royally screwed up the photography here - half of the shots of the exhibit that I took are unusable. So, I decided not to sweat documenting the metal clay category (only seven finalists this year) or what have you, and just show you a few of my favorites overall from the exhibit.

Sandi M. asked me what the back of "The Way to My Heart" looked like, so here it is:

It's the key to the maze - it's solution, worn secretly over the heart. Oh, and a couple people asked about the stone discs with which I strung the piece - they are rough cut rose and smoky quartz. Here's "Cabinet of Wonders", my other Bead Dreams entry that made the finals but did not place:

I'm a big fan of Joan Miller's work and am personally very glad that there's a place for ceramic beads and buttons in Bead Dreams once again this year:

My favorite in the set, the tomato button is half obscured, but I think you can see here just how charming veggie buttons can be! Plus, dig that cool button display (that Joan made herself)!

Kim van Antwerp was a finalist with a huge needlefelted bead - I just love this idea, and, of course, I love the koi theme of the piece.

Robert Jennick described his entry to me earlier this year, and it made me laugh when I finally saw it. I think this is a testament to the transformative powers of glass. Here is "Just a Bunch of Nails" in the lampworking category:

Sherry Serafini's "Road Warrior" completely blew me away. I would so wear a necklace like this.

I saw Vanessa Walilko's "Chainmaille Jacket" on-line after the finalists for this year were decided. It's even more impressive in person.

Finally, I thought Shiba Yuko's "Mine" was too cute! The beaded umbrella really makes this piece for me.

I have more photos from the show and have some new stash acquisitions to show off, but my eyes are shutting on me and I'm about to keel over from exhaustion, so I'll have to wait another day for those.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Final Bit of Sharing - Stringing Summer 2010

I feel as if this week has been nothing but shameless self-promo, but I thought I'd go ahead and share this last little bit for the end of the week (well, sort of - I also hope to have photos from Bead & Button to share over the weekend). I just received word from the publisher today that my pieces are on their way back to me - I have two summery necklaces in this issue. If you go over to the Interweave store, you can actually see a bit of one in the excerpted Table of Contents - it's the piece at the very bottom of the second page toward the center that looks like it's strung with blue cloud-shaped beads. These are, in fact, my very favorite rough cut (but polished on the fronts) Sleeping Beauty turquoise.

It's hard to believe that summer is already here, don't you think? I'm not prepared!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Cabinet of Wonders", Bead Dreams 2010

Here's my second piece that was juried into the finals of Bead Dreams this year. Yes, it's another Cabinet of Curiosity, just like last year's entry, only more so, if you know what I mean. It's kind of a monolith, a big, heavy breastplate of a piece. This is my most elaborate divided box to date. I have to admit, I still enjoy making them. This was also my first attempt to make metal clay chain of any true length.

As you can see, I went a little gothic on this one, adding a nice bluish, purplish patina and little fang-like dangles from the chain. As far as the contents are concerned, I found the little skull (which was carved from antler) in a shop in New York City last year. I thought the brachiopod fossil looked satisfyingly winged-like, so I added that, along with the vintage ceramic teeth and taxidermist glass eye. The other teeth are fossilized shark and spinosaurus.

Here's a shot of the back:

I was rather pleased with the effect of the patina on the back - nice and aged looking. I used my lunar phases pendant as the toggle ring here with an arrow as the bar, for a "shoot the moon" kind of theme.

Again, if you are attending the Bead & Button Show this year, please do take a look! The Bead Dreams Exhibit will be set up (I believe later today) in the foyer in front of the Marketplace.

To see my other Bead Dreams finalist piece, please scroll down to the post before this one or go here.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"The Way to My Heart", Bead Dreams 2010

UPDATE: I originally wrote this post before I found out that this piece won second place in the Metal Clay category of Bead Dreams 2010 (calloo! callay!). For photos from the actual exhibit (including photos of some of the other entries), please go here.

As I understand it, the 2010 Bead Dreams Exhibit will open tomorrow in Milwaukee, so I thought I would go ahead and unveil my two pieces that made the finals in the Metal Clay category. Here's the first one, entitled "The Way to My Heart". This pendant is a three dimensional maze, assembled entirely by hand, out of a multitude of (irritatingly small) pieces of metal clay

As with the binary code, I've always felt that maze designs have pure graphic appeal - similar to, say, a Greek key design. In the beginning, my ambitions were modest:

Here's my original maze design from 2007. Simple, sweet, not even all that difficult to solve. I always sort of had my eye on similar designs, though, especially since my son has been fascinated by these types of puzzles since long before he could say the word "puzzle".

When I started making boxes at the beginning of last year, I found I really enjoyed the whole process of building them. It wasn't long before I had this really wild idea (wild for me, anyway) that these techniques could be used to make other complex shapes, like, well, mazes. I jotted the idea down in my notebook - then let it percolate for another year, as I was too scared to try making one.

As it is, I'm not ashamed to say that this piece really kicked my posterior. Designing the maze was reasonably straightforward. Translating it into clay was not. The amount of clay I had to gather just to roll out the base made me say naughty things. Pieces were measured, re-measured, measured one last time, then cut. Due to the close proximity of the pieces, I had to assemble the pendant a layer at a time, finishing each section before moving on to the next. Each section I completed, I was aware that an incautious move could obliterate hours of work, not to mention a huge investment in the clay itself. This whole process made me sweat.

Timing was a bear. This was the second of the two pieces I made for competition, and I didn't have much free time for anything by the time I started working on this one. It took me weeks of intermittent work to complete. That I actually finished the piece before the deadline had everything to do with the fact that my in-laws were visiting over Easter and that they and my husband took the SO to the zoo that weekend which gave me a solid five hours on my own, during daylight hours, to finish the piece.

I have no objectivity when it comes to this one. I really have no idea if it has any chance of placing in the contest or not. I will say, though, that, as far as I'm concerned, this is the stuff for which contests are made, at least from the standpoint of the entrant - I learned a lot making this piece and traveled well beyond my comfort zone. I'm very proud of the result. So, if you will be in Milwaukee this week, please be on the look-out for "The Way to My Heart" in the Bead Dreams exhibit.

I'll unveil my second finalist piece tomorrow, so please come back!

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bead & Jewelry Linky Love

Superman now lives at our house. (To be honest, it's a little difficult to distinguish him from the Short One when they're asleep - along with the gazillion other stuffed toys that the SO likes to put in bed with him.) A friend of mine tipped us off to a special deal Six Flags was running this week for season passes, so we decided to try it this summer.

The SO appears to have all of the makings of a true coaster aficionado - much to his Dad's satisfaction. (I personally have terrible motion sickness and have been known to fall prey to it even on normal airplane descents, so I'm happy he didn't inherit that from me.)

He also was able to exchange high fives with Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl and Scooby-Doo during our visit, which was a definite plus in the SO's books. As you can see from the photo, he's currrently working on maintaining his secret identity.

I hope everyone else had a nice weekend. I can't believe it's Bead & Button Show week, finally! I'll be sharing my 2010 Bead Dreams entries Monday or Tuesday, so please do check back. In the meantime, here are your bead and jewelry links for the week:

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is thrilled to be in BeadStyle magazine's July All Star issue, with pals Tammy Powley, Heather Powers, and Katie Hacker who made the cover so beautiful! Come and see!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
The prize for this week's Thursday Giveaway comes courtesy of Green Girl Studios! Find out how you can get ahold of these fine pewter beauties!
The Staples of Jewelry Making

Art Bead Scene
Gearing up for that big bead show coming up? ABS has the top ten tips for your bead buying trip!

Jean Campbell
Jean reviews Nathalie Mornu's Leather Jewelry, a bang-up book.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie celebrates her 1000th blog post with Ten Days of Giveaways!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
A set of smokey quartz beads inspires a new necklace.

Katie's Beading Blog
Get the 411 about BeadStyle's gorgeous All Star Issue!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe is having a "City of Love" giveaway!!!

Beading Arts
Chapter two of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Altered Surfaces" begins the exploration of the exchange between mixed media and bead embroidery! Jewelry Making
Tammy is getting back to the basics, starting with jewelry making tools. What is your must have tool?

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei has been answer some of her reader's questions from a previous giveaway post. Read up on what everyone wants to know!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A handmade bezel results in a new necklace for Carmi called FAITHFUL.

Strands of Beads
It's Melissa's turn to review Kate McKinnon's fabulous Sculptural Metal Clay

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 Grand Prize Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest

So, I've had this wonderful secret I've been keeping for the past month. Toward the beginning of May I had an unexpected phone call from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, congratulating me on winning their 2010 Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework & Chain Jewelry-Making Contest. "Wow!" I thought. "I placed first in the Necklace Category!" It wasn't until we were well into the conversation that I realized Fire Mountain Gems and Beads had actually awarded me the Grand Prize Gold Medal, for my entry "I Think, Therefore I Am 2.0".

Some things are so far out of the realm of possibility that it just never occurs to you that it might happen, you know? I nearly passed out - that evening, my husband kept telling me to snap out of it, I was in such a daze. (There's a very incoherent quotation from me on the Fire Mountain Gems & Beads website that comes directly from that telephone conversation.)

Anyway, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has now made the formal announcement of winners in this contest, so I can finally share my news and the necklace with you. The photo of the piece at the top of this post is the one I submitted originally to the contest, based on which the piece was juried into the final round of judging.

As you can see, I am continuing to fiddle with my love of binary code as a design element and ended up combining it with my more recent preference for box-making in this design. I had trouble coming up with a frame for the piece, but ultimately chose a Shinto shrine gate as my inspiration here, which I think works well in a cyberpunk setting.

The code states "I think" on the front of the piece and the words "therefore I am" are scribbled in a rough graffiti-like manner on the back of the piece. The quote, of course, is from Descartes, and I mean it to be a reference to artificial intelligence in this setting. I strung the pendant with a strand of beautiful cut black tourmaline, green aventurine and amethyst. Oh, and for the button, I used my binary code "Geek Love" design - the partial word "love" is inscribed across it.

Thanks for visiting. I think I'm going to go celebrate at the park with the Short One now.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


To be honest, I called this necklace "Harmony", because the large brass beads in it reminded me of Chinese chime balls - you know, the type that come in a set of two and chime gently when you exercise with them in the palm of your hand. Perspective is a tricky issue, but the beads in this necklace are actually all quite oversized. This is a necklace that Wilma Flintstone would love to wear - very, very chunky. (Note the cool ceramic flower button by Diane Hawkey set in the clasp.)

It's been kind of a bad day. If I didn't have other obligations, I'd seriously consider throwing clothes in my suitcase, tucking the Short One (undoubtedly squawking) under my arm and hopping the next plane for an exotic, relaxing locale. As it is, I'm going to have to settle for the necklace and a pina colada, or some other fluffy drink. And maybe a shirley temple for the SO. Or something like that.