Monday, November 29, 2010

An Autumn Inspiration

A few months back, I received my `Artbeads Autumn package` of goodies (you can see them in this post)  and I would like to share with you the beautiful necklace and earrings set I created.
 I fell in love with this Antique Brass Flower Maiden Pendant from Artbeads huge selection of pendants! To me, the maiden is celebrating nature, and what better season to celebrate than favorite! So...I decided to create my design around this lovely pendant. I'm sure the stunning maiden pendant would have been fine on it's own, but I wanted show it off a little more, so I topped the pendant with a gorgeous Antique Brass Alter Link and included an Indian Pink Crystal  Roundelle accented with shiny copper seed beads.
To give the necklace the soft vintage look I wanted, I chose round faceted Swarovski Crystal Beads in beautiful Indian Pink and Silk colors. They go so beautifully with antique brass! I finished the ends of the necklace with Antique Brass Plated 1+1 Infinity Link Chain from Artbeads collection of base metal chains. It's a very pretty delicate chain, but strong.
To somewhat mimic the curvy vines from the maiden pendant, I added Antique Brass Branches with Leaves links in a asymmetrical pattern. Artbeads has a great selection of base metal links & components. There are SO many to choose from! The same goes with their collection of clasps too! After looking and drooling over all the gorgeous clasps, I finally decided on a classic Antique Brass Hook & Eye Clasp. I love the ease of it and how perfect it goes with the flow of my vintage design!
These are the matching earrings. I used the same beautiful crystals as in the necklace and incorporated some of the chain too. They've got lots of sparkle and dangle! The earwires are my own, made with antique brass ball headpins...super easy! :) Check out Artbeads Swarovski Elements for your crystal designs. They have a fantastic selection of colors and styles!
Here's a hanging photo of the earrings. I love the way they turned out! In fact, I love the way the complete set turned out! It's exactly what I visioned...a soft vintage design celebrating the Fall season.
Thanks so much for reading about my Autumn inspired jewelry set using components from!

I participate with blogging community, as an Artbeads Design Partner, therefore, I receive products free of charge in return for honest reviews. I have not been paid for my endorsement, as it pertains to the products received. Thank you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shipping Special for Cyber Monday

FREE Priority Shipping for U.S. orders from  
When?.... Now through Cyber Monday, Nov. 29th, at midnight (pacific coast time.)
Includes every item in my shop, even my 

Happy Cyber Shopping!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let it Snow!

We are getting dumped on in the Northwest! At least the northeastern side of the state. And it's cold! Single digits for the next few days.
This is only part of my backyard! Snapped this photo this morning while it was lightly snowing. And no...that is not a real squirrel on the tree. lol!

We're gonna have to dust these babies off and have some fun around the neighborhood! ;-D YEEHAW!!

Vintage Earrings Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Laura! WOOT!! :-D
She wins my Vintage Brass Earrings Giveaway! 
(true random generator result #15)
 Start stalking your mailman soon Laura...your earrings PLUS an extra lil gift will soon be in the mail. Enjoy and thanks again to everyone that entered my giveaway!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Earrings Giveaway has ended...

Just a lil note to let you know my vintage earrings giveaway is now over. A winner will be chosen using The winner will have 24 hours to confirm my email. And...if all goes smooth, I will announce the lucky winner of the earrings (and an extra secret gift) on Monday, Nov. 22nd. Many thanks to everyone that entered! I really enjoyed reading all your great comments. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vintage Brass Teardrop Earrings Giveaway

It's nearing the end of 2010, and I thought it would be fun to have a jewelry giveaway. I really enjoyed making these earrings. There's just something about taking a piece of wire and forging it into something beautiful...I can't get enough of it! :-P
Okay...onto these lovely vintage inspired earrings that YOU could win! They are 3.25" long and have lots of dangle to them. They are designed with antique brass wire that has been shaped, wire-wrapped and hammered into a delightful scrolling teardrop shape. The bead drops are gorgeous olive-green czech glass beads cut with many facets and accented with golden basket beadcaps & smooth peach moonstone gems. The earring ensemble attaches to antique brass earwires (handmade by me) with antique brass chain.
This giveaway will run 6 days beginning today, Nov. 15th to Saturday, Nov. 20th. It is open to the U.S. & Canada.  The steps to enter are as follows:

Mandatory Entry: Counts as 1 Entry - Leave a comment telling me why you would like to win the earrings. (ie: maybe you like the design or you want to give them as a gift.) Please post your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win. Post your email this way; johnsmith (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Optional Entries

1. For 3 Entries: Tweet this giveaway once a day and post (3) separate comments each day with the link to your tweet in at least one of your comments. 

2. For 4 Entries: Mention this giveaway on facebook once a day and post (4) separate comments each day with the link to your facebook message in at least one of your comments. 

3. For 5 Entries: Blog about this giveaway on your personal blog, then post (5) separate comments including your blog post link in at least one of your comments. 

4. For 10 Entries: Purchase an item from my shop, then post (10) separate comments tealling me you bought an item. 

If you participate in all or some of the optional entries, please remember to post all the separate comments so that all your entries get counted. A winner will be chosen using the `true random number generator` at Sunday morning, Nov. 21st. This next step is very important! The winner must confirm my email announcement within 24 hours of receiving it. If not, I will have to choose another winner using the same procedure above. I'm hoping to announce the lucky winner on Monday, Nov. 22nd. 

"Have fun & Good Luck!"
psst...the winner will receive an extra gift along with the earrings. ;-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And the coupon winners are...

Carapace & Brandy!! YAY! :-D

Carapace has won the exclusive 20% off coupon for an item at Ashlyn Design!
Brandy has won the exclusive 30% Off Coupon towards a jewelry item in my etsy shop!
Ladies, be sure to check your email soon for your coupon info.
"Congratulations Carapace & Brandy
and many thanks to all for playing!"
psst....mark your calendars, my jewelry giveaway event starts tomorrow. ;-)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Guest Blogger Feature & Special Coupon Giveaway "Ashlyn Design"

 Hi everyone! I'd like to introduce to you a very talented and new friend of mine, Lori at Ashlyn Design. Lori and I became online friends through Etsy's current Bootcamp challenge. One of the tasks of the challenge was to find a mutual etsy seller to brainstorm ideas, inspire and support....a `bootcamp buddy.` I decided to go for it and participate in the challenge, when Lori contacted me to be buddys. Well, after reading about her and learning about her amazing talent, I couldn't refuse! So now, I have a new friendship that I think will last much longer than the bootcamp challenge. ;) I'd like to share a little about her with you, so without further my friend & buddy, Lori.

If you and I met… say at a bead show, "wink-wink," what would you tell me about yourself?
Hi! My name is Lori Bergmann and I’m so glad to meet you! (shaking hands and winking back). I’m a bit of a “Renaissance” artist because I love to dabble with a variety of artistic mediums and techniques—you name it and I’ve probably tried it or am planning on it someday! I’ve been an artist all my life and after college, spent a good chunk of time as a graphic designer and then worked as a full-time freelance scrapbook and paper crafts designer and writer for magazines and company consultant for about 10 years. But I’m currently obsessed with making my own glass beads (lampworking) and incorporating them into my jewelry designs. I moved to Washington about 4 years ago and am enjoying living here with my wonderfully supportive hubby, two slightly hormone-unbalanced teenage daughters (most people say that’s normal, right?), and two hairy dogs that like to shed and drool on anything that breathes. (Okay, enough about me—let’s go check out some more booths together!!)

How did you get started making your beautiful lampwork beads?
About 5 years ago, I was attending an annual trade show for the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) and saw a company offering “make-and-take” fused glass pendants and also had someone demonstrating how to make glass beads on a small torch. I was immediately smitten, as I’ve always loved watching glass blowers at work and there’s just something about how light shines through glass that is totally mesmerizing to me. I took one of their basic bead making workshops later that year, bought my kiln, and started collecting other supplies and tools. But I was still busy doing other freelance design work and then we moved, so I didn’t set everything up and get serious about it until about 2 years ago. I learned mainly on my own, by playing and experimenting, reading every book on lampworking I could get my hands on, watching You Tube videos, and joining a great online community called Lampworkers Etc. (

Your muse is calling you, beckoning you to create...where do you get your ideas and your inspiration from?
I get most of my inspiration by things found in nature, because I feel that God is the greatest artist of them all and looking around, seeing all the amazing colors, patterns, and textures in the world never fails to sweep me into a creative mood. But the graphic designer in me also loves clean lines and geometrics, so I often combine the two ideas into my work. I’m always on the look out for inspiration in anything I see—whether it’s a texture from a home decor magazine, a color combo from a Target store ad, a vintage doodad from an antique shop, or native patterns seen during my travels.  I like to keep my eyes and ears open, and constantly jot down ideas and sketches in a small notebook to reference later when I’m in the mood to work on them.

What drives your passion to create?
I think I’m one of those people who was born needing to do creative things—in one form or another—or I just don’t feel fulfilled inside. I love working with my hands, interpreting my thoughts and feelings into something tangible and unique that no one else in the world has.

Name an artist or designer (past or present) that you would love to meet and why?
I would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci. Not only because I’m a big Renaissance fan and adore all things Italian, but I think his personality fits mine in that we both love artistic and mechanical/graphic design, as well as enjoy a variety of other intellectual pursuits. I would love to pick his brain, watch him at work, and learn more about the person who left behind such a legacy of amazing art and ideas that were light years ahead of his time.

What can we look forward to from you and your work in 2011...any big plans or events?
I always seem to have at least a hundred different design ideas swirling around in my head at any given time, so I couldn’t even begin to guess which ones will fight their way out over this coming year? LOL But I definitely plan on working more often with metal clay and combining it with my glass beads. I’ve also been planning to do animal portraits and/or sculpture work for quite a while now, so I think you’ll be seeing some of those soon! I have an article scheduled to come out with Bead Unique magazine and am hoping to do more published work throughout the year. 

Lori makes the cutest acorn beads, and I just had to share my newest favorite, `Ivory Swirl Acorn Bead.` For all you Autumn lovers out there, this is a must have for your Fall designs!

This is just a small taste of Lori's gorgeous art glass beads. To see more of her beautiful designs, visit her etsy shop @ Ashlyn Design. But don't go yet! Lori has donated an exclusive 20% off discount coupon towards any 1 item in her etsy shop for one very lucky reader who will be chosen in a random drawing by me this Sunday, Nov. 14th. Also visit Lori's blog to view my interview as well and enter for your chance to win an exclusive 30% off discount coupon towards 1 item in my etsy shop too. :)

To enter the drawing for Lori's fabulous coupon, just leave a comment here on my blog.

**For 3 more (optional) opportunities to win:
(1) Help spread the word about my and Lori’s etsy shops and our special coupon drawings on your own blog.
(2) “like” Lori's Facebook page.
(3) Follow Lori's blog.

**Please add a separate comment for each of of the above tasks and include a link back to your site, along with your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner. Good luck!

**Drawing will be held this Sunday, Nov. 14th, so make sure to get your entries in before Sunday. 

Thanks to Lori for giving us a sneak preview into her crafty world! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Raining & All I Wanna Do Is....


This is my pretty girl, aka: my shadow & protector, `Joy.`
She enjoys her cat naps, especially when it comes to Sundays and rain...she's nappin all day.

lalala...I can't see you! lalala...I can't see you! lalala,,,

Ah ha! my eyes covered, maybe she'll stop snappin my picture now.

Wake me when it's time to eat.
ahhh...the life of a pampered & loved cat! ;)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Inspires You Contest is having their very first "What Inspires You Contest!" 

It's so cool, because it gives artists the chance to not only show off their amazing talent, but to let everyone see their inspiration behind it. Artbeads wants to include everyone, so they have divided the contest into 2 categories; "Necklaces" and "Other Beaded Designs." You have until November 22nd to get your entries in, so click here for all the details OR click on the photo above. Have fun and good luck!