Saturday, November 22, 2014

Be Thankful Blog Hop

Marybeth Rich of Forest of Jewels is hosting the Be Thankful Blog Hop today. Thank you, Marybeth, for such a wonderful opportunity. Since Thanksgiving is next week, this is the perfect time to think about all the things that I am so very thankful. 

I am so thankful to be alive, to enjoy the smell of fresh air, love from my family, and the use of my hands. And I am thankful for the opportunity to make jewelry and components I love, and participate in events like this today. Thank you, Marybeth!!

Marybeth sent each of the participants a package of beads, one of which was a beautiful Czech lampwork tube bead,

The component highlighted in each design is a handmade copper clasp by guest artist Cova Cobalt. She has a Facebook page, Cobalt & Copper. Cova makes some beautiful designs!!

Marybeth also sent a variety of small and large Czech glass beads, rounds small and large,  rondelles, leaves, and ovals in beautiful golds, taupe, greens, reds, and browns. I didn't get a separate picture of those gorgeous beads, but I used most of them in my design. The only thing that was required was the use of the clasp.

I really love the look of stacked bracelets, so decided to incorporate the look of stacked in a one-bracelet design. I love this bracelet, love the clasp, and have already had two offers to buy it, right off of my wrist!!! But this one is mine, all mine!!

I used some lampwork beadsfrom Star Girl Jewelry. Check out her Facebook page. The colors of her beads were perfect for the colors of the Czech beads. The rest of the beads were the czech glass that Marybeth sent in her package, with copper chain and jump rings, some with twisted wire. I only had a few Czech beads left over!

Thank you Marybeth, and thank you for stopping by. I can't wait to see what everyone else made!! Check out the following participants:

Featured Artist:  Cova Cobalt of Cobalt and Copper
Your Hostess:  Marybeth Rich of Forest of Jewels


Gina Hockett of Freestyle Elements
Carolyn Lawson of Carolyn's Creations 
Shaiha Williams of Shaiha's Ramblings
Lisa Knappenberger of LiRaysa Designs
Bianca Medina of Medibeads
Lee Koopman of Strega Jewellry's Blog
Mowse Doyle of Mowse Made This
Linda Anderson of From the Bead Board

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop

Rita of Toltec Jewels, an extremely talented jewelry design artist and maker, blogger and writer, is a huge supporter of the Handcrafted Art Bead community. Hosting blog hops that feature Bead Artists that make the most amazing components for Jewelry Artists to use in their jewelry designs is only one way that Rita supports the Handcrafted Art Bead community. She often buys these beads herself and gives them to bloggers who use them in an original design.  Thank you, Rita, for your amazing talents, support, and hostessing of these fantastic blog hops!!

Today, the featured bead artist is Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. She made the beautiful Anchor Porcelain Beads that everyone used in their designs. There were two colors--

Sapphire or

Here is the necklace I made from the Sapphire color anchor beads. I wanted to represent the water, the wind, the beach, the treasures--as summer's journey ends, so does another begin. The blue beads under the seagull flying over the water represent the water, and the anchors are under the water--usually invisible, but deciding how those anchors weigh in our journey's decisions affect how the journey goes. The treasures are memories and keepsakes of the summer journey, the coral is the substance on which we build.

Featured is a Polymer Clay seagull flying over the water bead by Rebekah Payne. Also included are blue striped glass beads, blue and white ceramic beads by an "artist whose name cannot be known", brass jelly fish, copper sand dollar, etched copper round by Lisa Liddy, blue coral cubes, copper spacers, lampwork glass discs and lampwork glass shells, whose maker's name I cannot remember, light and dark blue chalcedony drops, silk ribbon, and a brass clasp with the featured Sapphire blue anchor porcelain beads by Diana Ptaszynski.

Thank you so much, Rita, for the opportunity to participate in the Anchors Aweigh Blog Hop!!

Take a look at the following blogs to see what everyone made using the awesome Anchor beads:

Participating Artists

Featured & Honored Artist:        Diana Ptaszynski

Diana's Shop:                           Suburban Girl Beads

Diana's Blogs:                          Suburban Girl Studio
                                                 Art Jewelry Elements

Hostess: TJ                               Jewel School Friends

Bobbie Rafferty                         Beadsong Jewelry

Chris Eisenberg                         Wanderware

Heather Richter                         Desert Jewelry Designs

Michelle McCarthy                    Firefly Design Studio

Kathy Lindemer                         Bay Moon Design

Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes

Cynthia Machata                       Antiquity Travelers

Kathleen Breeding                     99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall

Linda Younkman                       Lindy's Designs

Robin Reed                                  Artistry HCBD

Marla Gibson                              Spice Box Designs

Gina Hockett                               Freestyle Elements--you are here!

Renetha Stanziano                      Lamplight Crafts

Marianne Baxter                          Simply Seablime Jewelry        

Christina Miles                             Wings N Scales

Marybeth Rich                            A Few Words from Within the Pines

Shai Williams                              Shaiha's Ramblings

Cheri Reed                                  Creative Designs by Cheri

Monique Urquhart                      A Half-Baked Notion

Jennifer Reno                             Musings of a Crafty Jenny

Shirley Moore                             Beads and Bread

Tammy Adams                           Paisley Lizard

Melissa Trudinger                       Bead Recipes

Jill Bradley                                  JillyBeads

Friday, May 9, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party

It's that time of year again for the Eighth Annual Bead Soup Blog Party hosted annually by Lori Anderson. This year there are almost 500 participants. This is my second year to participate, and I am so happy that my partner is Heather Marston. Heather is a very talented artist! Check out her Etsy Shop where she sells unique supplies for jewelry making. Her designs are showcased on her Facebook Page. Heather also does Torch Enameling, and she is going to be featured in a book authored by Barbara Lewis! Congratulations, Heather!! I loved the soup that she sent, she included a lot of her enameled components. She packaged them up very nicely! Love the fleur de lis!

Everything out of the package!

There are enameled head pins, discs, two focals, two big beads, silk ribbon, and copper teardrops. I loved the 4mm Lapis rounds, green pearls, green enameled beads, brass beads, and some Wooly Wire. I felt special to receive some lampwork beads by Lea Avroch, an enameled hand forged copper clasp, and a few other enameled bits and brass hoops. Wow!!! Do you see the color combo? Blue, yellow, and green to represent the loss of winter and the beginning of spring!

I was able to use almost all of my soup in the following creations:

I started on this one right away. Heather's enameled focal, the enameled big round, the green enameled rounds, enameled headpin and flower on the focal, sari ribbon, a bead from Janel Goolsby, and Heather's clasp that I used some Ranger patina and Gilder's wax on and put in a visible place.

Close up of focal.

The second necklace used an enameled flower by Lea Avroch, as well as some tiny enameled headpins by Lea. I used Heather's enameled headpins to add an accent to the chain connection on each side. The full view:

I also used the Lapis, enameled round bead and a brass lantern bead from Heather's soup, as well as an enameled bead cap and bead from Lea Avroch.

I used Heather's enameled focal, big bead, small round bead, disc drop, and Wooly Wire on this necklace. Two beads by Blu Mudd also made an appearance.

Bracelet with Lampwork by Lea Avroch, Heather's signature enameled fleur de lis, green pearl, and Sari Silk from bead soup.

Earrings using lampwork beads and Enameled Headpins by Heather.

Brass beads, pearls, and Lapis from bead soup.

Mismatched earrings:  Lampwork by Lea Avroch, blue fish beads from soup.

Lapis, green enameled discs, Lapis rounds, brass hoops from bead soup.

Copper teardrops from soup, Ranger products for patina, and brass eyelets.

Use the link list below to hop if you so desire! Can't wait to see what everyone made! The link list failed to load on this page, but you can find the list at:

Sunday, October 27, 2013


One of my favorite blog hops to read last year was Octoberfest-2012 hosted by Rita of Toltec Jewels. Celebrating the turning of the season with either food, family, scenery, or jewelry is also a time to reflect on the turning seasons of what is happening in everyday life as well. Thank you, Rita, for hosing the Octoberfest blog hop again for 2013.

There are so many ways to commemorate what Octoberfest means to each person, but for me it was a time of reflection of what has been happening in my life, the turning and changing of events, for as we know, change is inevitable. I had been "Muse-less" for several weeks, now, and the fog just seemed to get denser with each passing day. My creativity had taken a vacation, and I hoped it would not be permanent. I had not produced one thing during that time, and could not even visualize a simple pair of earrings! For the most part, I knew that personal challenges were taking priority, but I had always been able to get through those by creating with my hands and mind. I was determined to get out of the funk by creating anything for the hop today.

My sweet granddaughter thought that I should make Barbie clothes for her Barbie. I did help her learn to hand sew, and gave her some "sewing lessons". But I needed to make something for me. So....I got out some things to work with that might not be too difficult, and some ideas began to take shape, trying to keep the focus on "Octoberfest".

I used Ranger patinas, alcohol inks, and Lumiere metal paints, along with some Brass stampings from B'Sue Boutiques to make this bracelet.
I added more colorized brass stampings to this etched brass bracelet, along with a discarded, broken earring for the focal.

I love Ranger Alcohol Inks, and the color that appeared on these brass leaves, combined with glass pearls.

These aren't exactly Octoberish, but they were very simple to put together with copper ear wires.

Just couldn't resist a pair of earrings that resembled pumpkins!

Enjoy the hop as I hope you take a look at the rest of the participants below- and thank you for stopping by!

Caroline                                       http://
Andrea Glick-Zenith           
Dolores Raml                     
Karla Morgan                     
Susie Harris                       
Kay Thomerson                 
Jean Yates                        
Kelly Hosford Patterson     
Kathy Lindemer                 
Liz E                                  
Jasvanti Patel                    
Christie Murrow                 
Jodie Marshall                   
Andrea Trank                    
Dini Bruinsma                    
Elsie Deliz Fonseca           
Karla Morgan                    
Vera Lynn                         
Rana Wilson                     
Catherine King                 
Lily Vincent                       
Janice Hidey (Janimar)     
Cory Tompkins                 
Candida Castleberry        
Cynthia Kent Machata      
Alicia Marinache               
Linda Anderson                
Leah Curtis                       
Jennifer Reno (JenRen)    
Robin Reed                       
Tanty Sri Hartanti              
Lisa Lodge                        
Ingrid A.                            
Judy Turner                      
Gina Hockett                      are here!!
Nelly May                          
Tanya McGuire                 
Sonya Stille                       
Carol D.                            
Asri Wahyuningsih            
Ginger Bishop                   
Shaiha Williams                
Toltec Jewels (Rita, your hostess)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pearls, Pearls, Pearls!

Michelle Buettner of MiShel Designs is a real Pearl Girl! She loves pearls, and makes most of her jewelry from.....Pearls! It was only natural that she decided to host a blog hop that showcased items made from pearls. Thank you, Michelle, for the chance to show off some pearl creations!

I am pretty sure that pearls are one of those universal beads that every jewelry artist has in their stash, and that every woman has in their jewelry box. The array of pearls that are available to the artist is amazing, ranging from glass to plastic to shell to the real deal! Some of my favorite pearls are vintage pearls. There are pearls with no holes, with half-drilled holes, little bitty holes, and now there are even some with big holes, and they come in every size and shape.

My creations used just a few of the above kinds of pearls. The first pink and silver necklace has pink glass pearls, pink cultured sea glass, and pink crystals from ZNETSHOWS.

The second one used red and white glass pearls in two different sizes, also from ZNETSHOWS

The necklace shown below used one strand of glass pearls from B'Sue Boutiques, and two strands of real pearls from Integrity Pearls. The big off-white plastic pearl cabachon, as well as the brass stampings, crystals, and chain also came from B'sue Boutiques. The small pearl was a button that I had in my button stash.

This long necklace can be worn several different ways, and used large white glass pearl rondelles from ZNETSHOWS

Want to check out the other participants' pearl creations? Just click on the links below, and you will be taken to Pearl Heaven!! Have a great day!

Freestyle Elements------You are here!!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

ZNET Shows Summer Challenge and Giveaway

Earlier this spring, I was invited to participate in a Summer Challenge and Giveaway for ZNET Shows. We were teamed with partners that picked out seven items from a list sent to us by Bill of ZNET Shows. My earlier picture of the items that Gretchen McKillip, my partner, sent me wasn't very clear. Here are a few items that she picked for me: Mini gray glass pearls, sea glass flat rounds in a peacock color, and crystal strands in hues of clear, blue, purple, and blue jade. Other items were a strand of kyanite barrels, a labradorite focal, gunmetal clasps, and a strand of black button sea glass. Our theme was "The Beach".

There are many beaches around the world, and each one provides a different inspiration and visualization. There are dark sands, light sands, a spectrum of water colors, and rocky beaches galore! But my first inspiration piece has to do with----Treasure Hunting!!! When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of finding a lost treasure on the beach or around the rocks.

My first piece is with the labradorite focal accessorized with chain, from ZNET. I added wrapped clear crystals from the stash I was sent, as well as the kyanite barrels, crystals, and grey pearls made into dangles from the focal. The focal had some great flash!  The inspired treasures remind me of gold, diamonds, pearls, and valuable stones! And a golden beach with blue water treasures!

On the beach is a multitude of wildlife. One of my favorite beach friends is the turtle. All three turtles in this piece are from ZNET, I used some Gilder's paste and Lumiere paints to colorize them. Representing the water that turtles love so much is the peacock colored seaglass and crystals, along with some yellow ZNET crystals.

Next on the agenda was a bracelet. I had an idea that didn't work and I kept working with it, using teal crystals, chain, the Kyanite, grey pearls, and clear crystals with a the black seaglass buttons. I think it fits, as the sea and the beach have many colors of moodiness, so does this bracelet.

Beach jewelry doesn't need to be worn at the beach to evoke thoughts and memories about your favorite beach. The next necklace reminds me of the beach in so many ways, and has become one of my favorite pieces to wear. The bluesy waters, the light brown waxed linen cord, the greys of a cloudy day and waves washing over the rocks, and a casual feeling. Does this necklace evoke beachy memories for you?

What would a beach theme be without earrings? I used the clasp as part of the earring components, in both the dangle and the "bow" at the top. These remind me of a stormy day, with wind, water splashing, waves rolling, and rocks getting pounded--and I love these!!

Be sure you go over to the ZNET blog and enter the give-away they are having for a selection of their beads.

You can enter in several ways.
  • First leave a comment on the ZNET Blog
  • Follow the ZNET Shows Facebook page.
  • Follow the ZnetShows blog (either through a FeedReader, Google Friend Connect, or some other method.) (Leave comment to let them know you did this)
  • Tweet, Share on Facebook, or Blog about the giveaway. Each of these methods will earn you an entry. (Leave a comment with your link for each way you did this.)
That's SIX chances to win!!
The giveaway will be open until 5pm (Eastern time) July 19th.
Good luck!!

Thank you,


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Znet Shows Mini Conch Shells Mini Challenge

I received four pairs of  Mini Conch Shells from Znet Shows cultured sea glass collection---and oh, what beauties they are!  They went so well with other specimens of Znet's sea glass that I had in my possession, I loved designing with them! Thank you Bill and Znet!


Here is a sneak peek at the beads that were picked out for me by my partner, Gretchen McKillip, for the next Znet Shows Design Challenge, with the theme of "The Beach". I can't wait to show you what I am doing with all the lovely beads that I received for the challenge---stay tuned!!