31 December 2009

30 Words::Best Year Yet

{Photo credit: circulating}

New year comes
Hope amid change, dreams built by plans
Setting my mind
on reaching
instead of
wallowing in what ifs
take steps
toward the

Enjoy the day!

25 December 2009

RAW::Be Still, Have Faith

{Photo credit: WhoWatches}

Message on a billboard at the local piano store...

"Be still.

Have faith.

Know that a Savior is coming."

I don't think there is much more to say than that.

My wish for you

...good health and well-being, inside and out...

...happiness in who you are and where you are headed...

...peace in your soul and a song in your heart...

...a wealth of inspiration and the courage to use it...

...at Christmas and throughout the New Year!

Check It Out::

24 December 2009

What Christmas Means to Me

{Warning: Forgive me...my 30 words runneth over!}

(real) ribbon, pretty paper,
glass icicles, beaded garland,
cookies, milk, carrots-with-the-tops, reindeer food
reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"
last minute letters to Santa

angels on high,

white lights,

Santa collection, snowman collection

Madison's "jingles" always first on the tree {RIP good dog, arf}

ornament "I Spy",

each with a story to tell

Snowman stockings waiting to bulge with candy canes, socks, an orange, a special ornament, and one walnut in the toe

later cozying up to the fire with a good book and a cup of peppermint stick tea
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
watching "Holiday Inn" while wrapping presents all night long
waking up on Christmas morning to sort through stockings and thank Santa for favors granted
before cantoring mass on Christmas morning
friends and family, near and far
gathering for eating and opening of way too many presents
celebrating my blessings
{and if you are reading this, you are one of the best!}

Enjoy the day!

22 December 2009

Dreaming and Doing

"I'm tired of dreaming. I'm into doing at the moment. It's, like, let's only have goals that we can go after." ~Bono

Had a bit of a migraine today, so I was trying to stay low. Took the kids to school then went home with the intention of snuggling up. Remember this post? When I got home I realized that I had rescheduled not once but twice the follow up dentist appointment to have them drill another hole in my head and I had to be there in 10 minutes. Too late to cancel. My migraine addled brain was not fast enough to override the thought of drills and cheesy holiday muzak and bright lights shining into my skull as being a bad thing. {Note to self: don't have dental work done when you have a migraine coming on. Not advisable. Ever.}

Got home 40 minutes later only to spot the invitation from my son to attend their readers' theater version of "A Christmas Carol" with son playing both Bob Cratchit and Marley's ghost {chains and all}. Headed back out the door and made it just in time to see the actual chains clinking. On the way home, picked up some scrip gift cards since today was last day for those to be sold this year {my last five checks were all made out to the Catholic School district...maybe I just need automatic withdrawal from them}. Had to make a detour to Walgreen's when I realized that the pictures I ordered were ready and are part of a hastily concocted Christmas gift for my mother, "Mima." Hope I have time to put it together even though the pictures I took were not the greatest. {It is the thought that counts, isn't it?}

Arrived home at 11:00am. No rest for the weary. Saw a pile of unwrapped presents sitting out, and knew the children would not be able to avert their eyes when they came home. Wrapped as many as humanly possible while trying not to move in the dark. Left a few for darling husband. Went to pick up kids at 3pm. Dropped off a custom order to a client. Parked the kids at home while I went to the old house and picked up the mail {yes, I know that you can have them forward it, but they charge you $1 online with a credit card for the privilege of typing it all into the system for them....it is free to fill out the paperwork at the post office, by the way, but the paperwork is confusing and useless when your last name is different from everyone else in the house.} Also picked up some more bits and pieces from my studio so that I could be ready to sell some earrings and charm pendants in the AM.

Now here I am, it's midnight. I need to get some sleep. But I was remiss in sharing pictures of the winning prize from Week Three Inspired by...Sewing Kits challenge. Sorry for the delay! Here it is...

I call this "Bless this Nest."

Brass plated steel curb chain - Fire Mountain Gem
Tiny mother of pearl vintage boot buttons - Etsy
Cranberry freshwater pearls - Rings & Things
Brass bird charm - Michael's
Galvanized steel wire nest
Vintage cloth measuring tape - Etsy
"Bless" resin charm - Lynn Davis, ExpeditionD

The winner, Miss Davinia from down under, is getting ready to go on holiday to Tasmania. What fun! Your necklace and a copy of the December issue of Bead Trends will be mailed next week!

I just received my little white box containing the December issue of Bead Trends. I always squeal when I see that! This issue is one of my favorites so far. I love the idea of repurposed and upcycled and using what you have. So very unique and special. I feel honored that my piece "Going Places" was chosen, and even mentioned by sweet Miss Tatia the editor.

Sharon Borsavage of Livewire Jewelry is a dear, sweet person. She is honored with being the Featured Designer of the month. Her pieces are so full of meaning and emotion. And she takes great care to make her pieces so complete and detailed. I love her work.

Several others that I know are also featured in this issue... Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio, Erin Strother of Studio E Graphics, Mary Jane of Mariedodd, Melissa Essenberg of Chinook Jewelry, Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads, Debbie Goering of Prairie Emporium.... the list goes on. If I have left you out, it was purely unintentional...and if we haven't become friends through Bead Trends yet, then welcome! It is a wonderful little community!

Since my goal was to be published once per month in 2009, this is the last publication to be received. It feels good to know that I was able to actually make good on a promise to myself, especially since I have never been one to stick to resolutions. I know already that I won't be able to be that ambitious in 2010. Due to personal circumstances, I have missed some of the publishing deadlines, with a big one just passing me by this week. Oh well. Perhaps that is not feasible for a goal this coming year. Perhaps the Universe has other plans for me....

Just an FYI...I might get around to posting a 30 Words Thursday and maybe even a RAW Friday...but I will definitely be taking a few days off to enjoy my family. I hope you will be, too.

Be good to yourself this Christmas.

Check It Out:: Livewire Jewelry

Enjoy the day!

21 December 2009

Moving with Velocity Toward Your Dreams

And the winner is.......................


Isn't this button bracelet just the jangly coolest thing?

Congratulations Davinia! Email me your contact info at enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com and I will get your package boxed up for you. I am still waiting on the Bead Trends December issue that is part of your winnings, but my little white box hasn't found me yet (although I hear that it is a great issue!)

I had no daylight with which to take a picture of the winning prize, but I will hopefully today and I will post it when I do. The necklace I created has bits of this

Vintage cloth measuring tape...with the edges frayed and the numbers worn. And as I was using this the fabric was so old it was practically disintegrating in my hand...I love it!

and that

Vintage mother of pearl boot buttons...what every girl at the turn of the last century couldn't live without! Aren't they cute with those little metal shanks?

in it. Plus one of these really awesome resin word charms from my friend Lynn Davis, ExpeditionD. I will show the completed necklace soon. I promise!

We were a small but mighty group this time around. Keeping up with the holiday cheer making has gotten the better of us I presume. But I am so glad that the three participants graced us with their creativity! Using buttons and zippers and snaps...oh my! Just goes to show that you can find inspiration anywhere. What fun!
I have heard from many who were just not able to commit to this go-around that the Inspired by... challenges are intriguing and that if I create more opportunities for fun, you will play along. I promise that I will start up the challenge again in January, if you promise to bring your creativity to inspire us all. {And I never make a promise I can't keep.}

Use What You Have Challenge

I was also heartened by your support of my impromptu "Use What You Have" challenge. {Also, it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who sits and fondles her beads before putting them away!} I am not indicating that we need to stop buying things {because face it, this girl has no filters when it comes to shopping for great deals! And there are bead artists and sellers alike who are depending on us!}, but I do insist that we dig deep into our respective stashes and see what treasures we may find.
Like Christine Damm commented, "What I DO try to do is to start a project using as much as I can from what I already have on hand and only then do I think about ordering anything extra." Great advice. Doesn't mean that I will stop buying art beads...just that I will use up what I have first. Doesn't mean that I won't buy components...just the stuff that I really need. I pledge to try my best to be a conscious consumer and not get the "spendies" as my friend Jenners commented.

I don't think I proposed it, but I like that several like-minded individuals suggested a beading de-stash. I will have to think more about how that could work so that we could all benefit from some surprise packages of some bead-y goodness to brighten our day. Maybe a little secret "bead elf" exchange where we get names of various people, what their favorite colors are, and then we de-stash and send some goodies along, knowing that we will get back some more. That would be fun and inspiring. Of course, I would have to up the ante and challenge the participants to use the new-found treasures in a piece of jewelry with a contest of its own!
What is on your "stop doing" list?

A blogger that I feel blessed to have found this year is Danielle LaPorte. She writes a regular blog called "White Hot Truth: Because Self-Realization Rocks." And rock she does! I promise you she will rock your world if you let her message into your brain.

Today she posted her "stop doing" list. In setting out to clarify her "creativity intentions" for 2010 {don't you just love that word, 'intentions'? It is so positive and open...}, she decided that the stopping is just as important as the starting, and sometimes you cannot start until you stop. When you stop doing those things that don't bring you joy, aren't part of your genetic coding, and don't make the utmost in economic sense, then you are opening up yourself to make time for what matters most. Pure brilliance.

I have to reallly sit down and flesh out this idea for myself, but my first reaction is I think that it is time to stop dreaming about the great things that I can create with these beads I am hording and start doing it! So, for me, it is more of a wake-up call to produce, which will hopefully mean that I will sell more, and thus create more opportunities for myself {by walking through that open door that is just waiting for me}!

And I need to clarify my creative intentions and push myself out of my comfortable nest of reasons why I can't. I need to stop being my biggest entanglement and get out of my way. {Can you all help me with that last part...especially as it relates to persuading my husband to see that cutting back on hours at the day job will result in a happier wife with time to create so as to bring in a more steady income from all this beadiness?}

Danielle also says to sit down and reflect on what sucked about the last year. That will give you the momentum to create your "stop doing" list and spur you to make sure that your intentions are fulfilled.

"If your answers to what you're doing come up no, no, and no to these questions - then stop doing it. Shut 'er down. Take it off your plate. Let it die. Cease. And exhale a sigh of relief. You can move with more velocity toward your dreams." ~Danielle LaPorte

1) What are you deeply passionate about?
2) What are you are genetically encoded for — what activities do you feel just "made to do"?
3) What makes economic sense — what can you make a living at?
If you cannot answer yes, yes, yes to those questions, then they definitely get on your "stop doing" list. Now, go forth and set those creative intentions for 2010.
Check It Out::Style Statement

18 December 2009

RAW::Use What You Have

The e-card picture created by Grzegorz Łobiński for EcardSphere.com.

"Materialism is buying things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people who don't matter."
~Today's Random Act of Wisdom comes from Jeff Mowatt again.

A good thought to remember this holiday season. And one that I intend to process deeper in 2010.
Oh, I know that it is very late in the game to be thinking about this, especially if you are done with your Christmas shopping...but if you are like 43% of shoppers you may have not even started looking for gifts yet so this advice is better late than never! And it might inspire you to look at your purchases in the new year a bit differently so that by this time next year you are less encumbered by the consumerism that is rampant not just at Christmas but all the year through.
Moving has taught me that I really don't need that much stuff. Of course, it is still in boxes in my garage, {and in my old house}, and glutting my new closets, and I will find a place for it all {eventually} or give it away, but it certainly makes me more aware.
The kids know what a big deal this whole move has been. I think that they were quite aware of the gravity of this when we have asked them what they would like for Christmas. Both of them asked for new bedding. Not that their old bedding was worn out, just that they wanted to start fresh. I can completely understand this.

If you know me at all you will understand that I am not always the most practical person. I wear high heels on the ice and rarely dress for the weather. I buy things in bulk because they are a good deal, not just because I will use them. I have more lotions and candles than I could ever use. I think that I do this on the off chance that I might need/want that...{it is a good thing that I don't live too close to a Costco...} so I am fairly surprised that my kids were being so practical. They are getting the chance to decorate their room any way they wish, and I know that is a great gift in and of itself {when I was about 10 and we moved to a new home, my mom asked me what color I wanted my room... I said purple and green, like lilacs. I got baby blue instead. Must be why I hate baby blue.} I wanted to do something special just from me and try to fulfill my pledge to buy handmade {I know I can't do all handmade, but I want to try to do some} so I am painting them each an oil painting to adorn their walls to match...{wish me luck on finishing that project in the next few days...haven't started on Sport-O's yet!}.
So, yes... I did buy them bedding of their choice, but I am also making things to coordinate with it. And we are not going hog-wild buying every new gadget and widget that is advertised just because...

I also have this problem with my bead stash. I cannot pass up a "good deal" on beading supplies. And even if I have a gift certificate to use, I rarely stop at the amount listed. I usually double it at the very least {it's like buy one-get one free then, isn't it?}. I have strands of beads and beautiful clasps and a whole herd of art beads that have not yet found their way into a special piece. Or maybe it is too special to use {does that sound familiar to anyone?} and so I horde my herd in carefully labeled baggies stuffed in towers of Snapware boxes. I get them out and fondle them every once in awhile, but then I put them away for another day. I need to stop that.
One of the goals that I have for myself in 2010 is to use what I have. I need to create more for the Gallery Q, the publications and contests, and for clients... I want to be selling online in 2010 and will need something to stock my site with... but I likely have all that I need. So I declare 2010 a Use What You Have year... well, as much as is possible.... I mean, I can't pass up a bead sale from my favorite Etsians... or a $3 strand table at a regional bead show... can I?

What do you think?

Check It Out::OnSimplicity

Speaking of Use What You Have... you have until 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, December 20th to enter the final Inspired by... challenge. Read about it here.
Enjoy the day!

17 December 2009

30 Words::INSPIRE

To influence, move, guide by divine inspiration
To exert an animating, enlivening, exalting influence
To draw forth or bring out
To spur on
To infuse (as life) by breathing

I want to inspire others and be inspired...
....INPSIRE is MY WORD for 2010....
what's yours?

Enjoy the day!

15 December 2009

Little Joys

"In the course of my research I found that although, of course, some rare stones have amazing and frightening dynastic tales, every jewel, however small or flawed, has its own story..." ~ Victoria Finlay

Are you in need of a last minute holiday gift? Do you have a beader-reader in your bunch? Then I have two ideas for you...

I just picked up a copy of Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay. It was recommended reading by the wonderful Beth at Hint. She has been sharing some of the history behind the jewels she was reading about and I was fascinated. I am only in the Preface but already this is reading like a juicy novel.

This book was inspired by the unique ring that Finlay received for her engagement which features glass mosaic tiles from a famous church turned mosque now a museum...something so unique and "a reminder," writes Finlay, "of how the most precious thing about stones in a jewel box is not always their rarity, their size, or their imperfection. It is their stories."

Finlay goes on to write about not just diamonds and rubies but jet, amber, opals and pearls among other more and precious gems. She says that the word "jewel" is from the Old English for "little joys." I like thinking of the stones and gems and components that I use as "little joys." I think it will only enhance my designs to know the history and intrigue and fascination about the jewels that I am using and maybe inspire me to seek out new stones. I like books that transport me to a place and time, and I think that this will do just that, while enlightening me to the real stories contained in each pretty stone.

I will check back in and let you know what I find out as I go...

And if you have a book, you need a bookmark!

In November, I was sent a delightful little package from Rings & Things.* I used some of the chain in the bracelet that I posted on Monday. One of the other things in the package were these cute little lampworked figural beads...snowman heads, teddy bear, stocking, tree, and my personal favorite, penquin. My daughter thought that these were really nifty and wanted to craft something right away. So we made some bookmarks we like to call "Book Tales" to give to her teachers for the holiday and thought we could give you a little tutorial to inspire you.

Quick & Easy Book Tales


Waxed cotton cord
Crimp beads (optional)
Assorted beads, bead caps
Assorted figural lampworked beads (snowmen, teddy bears, stocking, trees, penquins, etc) from Rings & Things*

  1. Cut a 15" length of the waxed cotton cord.
  2. About three inches in, tie a double knot. (Note: in order to be sure the beads don't slip off, knot the cord twice to make the end larger.)

  3. String a pattern of larger beads, like a red and black striped seed bead, the onyx "hat" and the snowman head. Add a silver spacer and a crimp bead. Then string 1 1/2" of white seed beads for a body. Slip the end of the cord through the crimp and secure (alternately you could tie a tight knot).
  4. TIP: use a needle or a piece of scrap wire to snug the knot to the end bead. Slip the needle through the loop when you are tying and keep it close to the bead. This will keep the knot as close to the bead as possible.

  5. On the other end you will make a smaller coordinating pattern.
  6. Tie a knot in the opposite end an inch or two from the end.
  7. Thread a small seed bead on the end to start. (Note: this will prevent larger holed beads from sliding off.)

  8. Continue with a pattern of beads for about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. (Note: this is a great way to use up leftover or mismatched beads from your stash.) Knot twice at the last bead to keep it snug in the pattern.

(Note: you can alter the pattern and the beads for endless possibilities!)

Now all you need to do is tuck it into a special book and you have an instant gift!

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Rings & Things were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program. These items are for review or design purposes. Find out more about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

What is your favorite jewel? (Can you guess what mine is?)
Is it something precious?
Have you ever had it in a piece of jewelry?
Or is it something that you would just love to have?
Is it the color that draws you or the mystery behind its being?
Do tell!

Check It Out::The Secret Life of Gems

Enjoy the day!

P.S. Don't forget that you have until Sunday, December 20th at 11:59 pm CST to enter the Inspired by...Sewing Kit challenge. I have some great prizes to give away, but as of yet, we have no entries! If we do not get any entries, then I will save the prizes for another challenge...don't delay!

14 December 2009

Inspired by...Sewing Kit

{Photo credit: Skeggy}

Back in day, when it was far more common to darn socks and replace zippers {rather than just buying something new}, every house had a sewing box. Much more than the small tin I have containing a few spools of white and black and navy thread and a neglected and dust-fuzzy pincushion with a few needles to sew on an errant button, these sewing boxes were treasures in themselves.
I remember the one my mother had was quilted and very pretty to look at. And the goodies within used to fascinate me…the cloth measuring tape, silver thimbles and rows upon rows of colored thread. {For the record, I cannot sew. I prefer duct tape.}

And don’t get me started on buttons. I remember counting buttons and sorting buttons and playing with them as a child. I have bought my fair share of mason jars filled to the brim with these tiny treasures just for one button I saw in the bottom. I swear they reproduce in my studio because each time I look in there I see ones I never saw before. {That could explain why I compulsively save each and every button that comes with new clothes…I have zillions of those little baggies containing thread, beads and buttons or snaps from new clothing…I might use it one day!}

For Round Three of the Found Object challenge, ask if you can rummage around in your mother’s sewing kit and create a piece of jewelry that is inspired by what you find there. Touch the buttons. Hold the lace. Play with the zippers. Seek new materials to experiment with. Use them in unexpected ways. I guarantee that you will never look at sewing notions the same way again {and you might start a button collection of your own}.

I have been very fortunate to have been connected to Bead Trends magazine almost from it's inception in 2007. My very first pieces ever published were selected by Tatia Meyer and her crew for the January 2008 issue. I had the good fortune to win the cover challenge for January 2009 with my vintage and found object inspired bracelet "Stroke of Midnight" and I was humbled to be chosen as the March 2009 centerfold...er...I mean, Designer of the Month.
I made it my goal in 2009 to be published once per month in some way shape or form. I am proud to say that I accomplished that goal. And Bead Trends is a big part of that success. I was in every issue this year except for February {I found another way to be "published" that month!}. If you have ever wanted to try your hand at being published in a magazine, this is a phenomenal place to start. Tatia and her entire staff are top-notch, the photography is absolutely incredible {I now have the more amazing portfolio of my best work}, and it is such a thrill when that little white box arrives on your doorstep. I encourage you to give it a try...they are always having calls for designers to submit their best designs. What are you waiting for...go for it!
Round Three Found Object Challenge prizes:

The random winner of this challenge will receive a copy of the January 2010 issue {as soon as I get a copy...haven't even seen it yet!} that features a necklace I created called "Going Places" {see teaser above} which has buttons and vintage subway tokens and all sorts of miscellany inspired by my trip this summer to Galena, IL {by way of a wrong turn in Dubuque, IA} to visit with Jess and Rose and all the lovely people at Vintaj. And the random winner will also receive a piece of jewelry inspired by sewing kits and featuring something special from Lynn Davis at ExpeditionD. Stay tuned for that little lovely and the really funky vintage find from Etsy that is inspiring this challenge!

How it works:

  • Create a piece of jewelry (earrings, necklace or bracelet) using the inspiration.

  • Post your picture to the Flickr account here.

  • If you are so inspired {and I hope you will be!}, feel free to create as many pieces as you like for each weekly challenge and post to the Flickr account, but your name will only be entered once. (For extra BONUS ENTRY opportunities, see below). You have until 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 20th to post to the Flickr account.

  • Check back on Dec 21 when I will announce the RANDOM winner of the previous week’s challenge.

In the description of your picture be sure to add the following:

  • Title of the piece

  • Found objects incorporated into the piece

  • Short description of your inspiration (optional)

  • Your Name

  • Your email address

  • Your blog or website


  • If you use an art bead in your piece {art bead is defined as a bead or component created by yourself or another artisan}, be sure to point that out in your description {with a link to the appropriate artisan’s website, shop or blog} and you will have an extra entry.

  • If you blog, Facebook, Twitter, sky write or take out a billboard to publicize each week’s challenge, be sure to let me know {leave a comment on that week's challenge} and your name will be in for an extra entry.

Go and get inspired today!

Enjoy the day!

And the Winner is......

Mallory Hoffman!!

You are the random winner of Week Two Inspired by...Grandma's Jewelry Box challenge. Congratulations! You will receive a copy of BeadStar magazine {let me know if you want me to autograph it for you *wink* ;-)}and the bracelet {read all about it below}. Please email me (enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com) your address information so that I might send this off to you asap!
But wait!!! There's more!

I am not satisfied with just one random winner....I think there should be two! And the second random winner is.................................
Sissy Sparrows!!

G'day! How cool is it that we picked up some new players this round?! Welcome to the Aussie girls Julie and Donna, the Sissy Sparrows! I love that we can instantly connect across the globe. {And even more cool that it is gorgeous summer there at the same time it is the dead of winter here...glad that someone is warm!}. Sissy Sparrows is the winner of a copy of BeadStar magazine as well! Email me (enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com) your mailing address and I will get this out to you to continue to be inspired!

I was a complete slacker this week...I should have posted the winning bracelet that I promised at the beginning, not the end. Maybe the suspense was too much {or the Ghosts of Christmas-Shopping-Not-Finished scared other entries away} and that is why there were less baubles this round. Oh well. I have to say that I love what was submitted...a small but mighty bunch of creatives you are! But I have been receiving all sorts of feedback that is telling me that you like these creative challenges and you would like to see them continue. And I will happily oblige!

As I mentioned the Humblebeads I ordered for this challenge never found me...so I dove into my stash and came up with not one Humblebead...but four! And I finally found a sliver of daylight in which to photograph this piece.

I call it "Revamp'd" because that is what I did to it!

I started with a gold-tone circle pin, you know the kind...everyone has a grandmother or kindly aunt who wore one of these on their lapel. I checked the back and found that it wasn't a precious piece, so I knew it would be okay to break off the pin {and file it down so as not to poke Miss Mallory!}.

Next, I wired the Humblebeads wafer bead with gorgeous olive, cream, brown and a dash of purple on it to the circle. The hole is in the middle, but I like to be able to see the gorgeous patterns that Heather uses, so I came up with this way to wire it on to show off the bead more.
I had another repurposed piece of jewelry with a shimmering beaded-bead. Thought that would give it a little bling.

I used a doubled length of chain from Rings & Things {NOTE: I am a Rings & Things blog partner. This chain was part of my November package in exchange for blogging about the products with my honest opinions.} This chain is described as "Hammered oval cable bulk footage chain"... I liked the soft brass color and the cool hammered texture, and thought it complemented the tones in the other beads well, without being overpowering. The only thing that I dislike about chain like this is that it is soldered. I hate wasting links in a piece, and because I was having logistical problems when I created this, I actually wasted three links. Drats. Please tell me that I am not the only one that this happens to {and what do you do with those wasted links...is there some way to salvage them??}...

From the chain I dangled all sorts of beads...repurposed vintage corrugated beads, teardrop amber colored something from an old earring, three little Humblebeads and an amber glass bubble from Cindy Gimbrone {amazingly, she uses a router of some sort to cut a little groove on the side and then wire wraps them. She sells these babies, and it is so much better to buy them than to attempt to route them myself...especially when I am tool challenged!!}

Nothing goes better with vintage than Vintaj {and for the record...I am NOT compensated for loving their products...I just want the world to know!}. The Vintaj hook clasp was embellished with three little vintage copper spacer beads and a little wire wrapping with Vintaj 24 gauge bronze wire.

When I got done, it just wasn't right. So I let it sit overnight. I decided there wasn't enough of that green color, so I wire wrapped some tiny Miyuki cubes in my favorite khaki green color to the gold {former} pin. And then I decided to add a few of those dangling from the chain. {Oh, Mr. Miyuki...you complete me!}

So.....there you have it...."Revamp'd" especially created for Miss Mallory! {Can I get a woot! woot!} I was Inspired by... my Grandma's jewelry box. And you have all inspired me in so many ways. Let's keep this party rolling!

Stay tuned for the third week of this first Inspired by.... challenge! I will post the details later today.

Enjoy the day!

12 December 2009

Everything Old is New Again

"Don't throw the past away
You might need it some rainy day
Dreams can come true again
When ev'ry thing old is new again"
~lyrics from The Boy from Oz sung by Hugh Jackman
Need a little inspiration to transform your upcycled jewelry into new, fresh treasures? There is no place I would rather go than to my resources shelf.
I would never use any of my magazines or books as a step by step, but rather as a point of departure. I think that I like to see how different I can make it. Besides the fact that it would be nearly impossible to duplicate every component used, I believe it is a true testament to the innate creativity in us all to come up with our own spin on our inspirations. That is why these challenges are so cool...so supportive...so encouraging. I hope you will find the time to make yourself a little retro bling for the holiday repurposing those forgotten treasures.
Hurry! You only have until 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, December 13th to enter your photo at the Flickr group to be entered to win some great prizes.
Speaking of said prizes, the Humblebeads that I ordered to create with this week have not found their way to me. I am at so many different addresses these days, that I fear the post office may be more confused than usual. So I will have to concoct something other than planned...stay tuned!
In case you need a little inspiration, I picked up two of my favorites as inspiration for Week 2 Inspired by...Grandma's Jewelry Box. I love to see the fresh uses of materials in these two books and the great photography that really piques my interest and gets me excited about seeing everyday things in a new light. {Have I told you I have no filters when it comes to buying new books? Even if it is a technique that I would never be able to try on my own, or really don't even see myself doing, I cannot help but buy the book. I have all sorts of them. In 2010 I plan to try to limit myself to just one book a month. That will be tough.} Actually, I would actually encourage you to buy books that are outside of your normal creative comfort zone.....sometimes those books are the ones that have the best inspiration because I don't have that particular skill so I have to be inventive.
The first is Amy Hanna's Rejuvenated Jewels.

I fell in love with this book from the moment I saw the cover. Not only does Amy have the most amazing treasure trove, and has traveled all over to find it, but she has this amazing sense of style when it comes to combining them. There is a timelessness to her designs....vintage yet modern. The book is very well laid out, the directions are clear, the pictures are beautiful and I love hearing the story of where she found the precious bits that she uses. Amy Hanna also has a blog called Living the Artful Life where she tells the stories behind her creations, her passions, her life. She is a beautiful lady with a whole lot of style. Check her out if you have some time.

The second resource is Vintage Redux by Brenda Schweder.

I had the good fortune to meet Brenda at the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee last summer. She is a bold and bright and beautiful lady with a lot of fresh ideas. Her book Vintage Redux shows a much kitschier and playful style than Amy Hanna's. Both styles have their place in the whole repurposing jewels trick. What I liked best about this book is that it helped me to see the diamonds in the rough of the outdated 80s jewelry that I just couldn't part with. And breathing fresh life into those old oddities is a great way to kickstart your creativity.

If you don't already have these resources, they are great additions to your wish list.

When you get new resources (books, magazines, etc) do you sit down and read them cover to cover? Do you buy only resources for one particular style of jewelry making or do you try to branch out and pick out resources that run the gamut?
Do you ever follow the instructions exactly, or do you use it as a jumping off point for your own designs?
Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

11 December 2009

RAW Friday::True Costs

{Photo credit: David Seah}

Random Acts of Wisdom

Sometimes it costs more to do nothing than to do something.

{in an email from Customer Service Guru Jeff Mowatt.
Read more at his website www.jeffmowatt.com}

Wednesday was the first snow day of the season. The way it was coming down on Tuesday, I knew it would be a snow day so I made sure to bring over as much of my studio as I could possibly use in one day {that is the one room in the old house that hasn't been cleaned out yet...I don't trust anyone but myself to screw that up}. You would think that a day locked inside a cozy house with hot coffee and cocoa, festive Christmas music and warm slippers would be ideal to create in. But I fretted the day away because I could not find one little padded mailer containing two tiny sterling silver charms destined for a custom piece that I have to start creating like now, dammit. Did I do any creating? No. Not one bit. I was so wrapped up in the fact that I couldn't find this bitty baggie that I couldn't move on to anything else. And I couldn't get to sleep that night either {that or the wind howling outside at 3am might have something to do with it.} The only thing I did manage to do was to find the box and unpack the junk drawer contents from my old house to my new.

What did this big bunch of nothing cost me? Precious time in my quest to get it all done.

Today I have a new focus...I have re0rdered said charms {I consider it a slight cost to losing my sanity searching for said charms...oh, they will show up, when I least expect it...and by then I will have no real need for a sterling silver pair of socks and tennis ball charms. Go figure.}...I have let myself move on to other projects {like the 16 charm necklaces that were due by lunch today}... and I have pledged to use up what I have in stock {let me tell you...it is a LOT!}.

And I have realized that doing nothing did indeed cost me more than doing something. Anything at all.

Have you ever been in a situation when you just had to "do something"? Maybe you procrastinated, or forgot what it was you had to do, or you were so restless that you couldn't wait to jump out of your chair and start the doing?
Or...Have you ever been in a situation when doing nothing was a bad choice?
Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

10 December 2009

30 Words::Winter's Gift

{Photo Credit: Fractal Artist}

Frosty shadows lengthen
Creating cool blue snow-dune landscapes
River waves frozen in mid-peak
Stark branches reach for
what little sun
Winter’s gift comes wrapped in
hot cocoa and snow angels

Enjoy the day!

{REMINDER: Inspired by...Grandma's Jewelry Box challenge going on now. Last time to upload your photos to the Inspiration is Everywhere Flickr account is Sunday, December 13th at 11:59 pm CST. Winner will receive a copy of Bead Star magazine and a custom piece of jewelry from me. And who knows? Maybe there will be a bonus winner too! Looking forward to more of your inspiration!}

09 December 2009

A Pinch of Creativity

"Enthusiasn is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity." ~Bo Bennett
Today is the first snow day of the season. The kids were home. Snowballs were thrown. New friends in the neigborhood were forged over snow forts and snow angels. Hot cocoa was prepared (actually Ovaltine, but they don't know the difference!). I even made a trek to the old house (still not completely empty) to load up some of my studio that I knew I would need today to make those found object inspirations....well, here it is 4:30 and I have yet to touch a bead. But I did get some fab-u-lous surprises in my mailbox from Kerry Bogert at KAB's Creative Concepts and from my Charmsters swap.... I will tease you and save those for another day. :-)

Looking for some found object inspiration? I want to introduce you to a resource to spur your creativity.

First, my friend Jennifer Heynen at Jangles is having an Open House starting in...YIKES!...like RIGHT NOW! Get over to her blog to join in the fun, including door prizes on the hour, sales and tons of fun. If you recall my last post when I mentioned the necklace that won me the 2nd place in the Heart Category? Those were Jangles beads and I see that she is offering some of her hearts at her Etsy site. Check it out!

And if you want more incentive, see these great sets of Jangles beads and hand selected found objects she calls "Eclectic Sets." (I plan to get me one of those!

I also wanted to mention that we have some entries into this weeks Found Object Challenge...Inspired by...Grandma's Jewelry Box. Click on the Flickr account link on the top right to get there. Here are a few of the gems you will find there...

Check It Out::Jangles

Enjoy the day!

07 December 2009

Inspired by...Grandma's Jewelry Box

{"An Affair to Remember", featured in Bead Trends October 2009, vintage silver belt buckle links, old sage green grosgrain ribbon, smoky quartz, faceted pearls, swarovski bicones, green sage freshwater pearls, vermeil and sterling spacers}
Sorry for the radio silence this weekend. We moved into our new home this weekend, but my computer is still at the old one {and I am supposed to be cleaning the house right now for the showing tomorrow! Wish me luck! And don't tell my husband that I was blogging!}

First I have to say that YOU have inspired ME with your show of support and playful attitudes toward my first ever Inspired by... challenge. Would you like to do more of these? We still have weeks two and three of this Inspired by... challenge...so stay tuned. But if you would like to continue to be inspired, let me know, comment about it, send me a message in a bottle, or email me and I will come up with more fun with my friends.

Such a great response to the first challenge. Some of you were so inspired to keep on making jewelry. And that is what it is all about. I promised a random winner the Swirly Girl earrings and the one of a kind mixed media painting by Kerry Bogert. And the winner is...............................

Sue Beads!

Congratulations SueBeads! Your name was randomly chosen. Contact me at enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com to tell me where to send your prizes.

But wait................................there's more!

A last minute surprise arrived in the mail over the weekend from my friend and amazing artisan bead maker, Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studios. She sent me a goodie package to share with a second winner of my Hardware Store challenge. Talented and generous is a dynamite combination! A selection of her Steamstones and Bits similar to the ones shown below:
(Note: not all of these are in the gift pack, just one little rust colored one like the one on the top row, along with a large round gear, two small cog beads and a skeleton key connector. Yippee!)

Thanks, Melanie for the awesome extra prizes!

And the winner of the bonus prize is...............................


Congratulations KiwiBeads! {By the way, you went above and beyond with this challenge...you were most certainly inspired!} Please contact me at enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com with an adress to send your prize!

Week Two – December 7-13
Inspired by...Grandma’s Jewelry Box

When I was a child, I lived in Minnesota. During the holidays of Christmas and Easter we would travel to my father’s hometown of Stevens Point, WI {smack dab in the middle of the state}. The first place that I always went during my time at Bousha’s house {Polish for “grandma” I would guess} is to her bedroom. In the soft smelling quiet of that room I would gingerly sit on her impeccably made bed and open the cream colored leather box on her bedside table. I loved to touch the powder blue silk lining that box and to run my fingers over the treasures within.

Bousha, like most women of her generation, had a box brimming with sparkly rhinestone pins and clip on earrings. Those sparkly baubles held my attention longer than any other toy in the house, and I always snuck away from the festivities to sneak a peek in her jewelry box. When she died in 1986 I was a freshman in college. It was very hard on me. It was right before Christmas {needless to say, my first semester of finals was a disaster}. When all the cousins and relatives were descending on her house to claim furniture and objects to keep, I made straight for her bedroom. I have her blue silk lined, cream colored leather jewelry box, and even some of the treasures that it originally held.

One of my most favorite places to find inspiration is in the jewelry that was special to a family member. No matter if it is very high end, I like to preserve that memory for my clients. While we might not wear brooches anymore, I think they make wonderful focals for necklaces. The strands of costume jewelry often have some fascinating color combinations
{that you can’t quite see from a black and white photo} and while the style may be outdated, there is some wonderful components there. Some of my favorite things to use are clasps from broken necklaces that have beautiful filigree or rhinestones, strands of vintage Swarovski crystals or imitation pearls, and chains of all sorts.

For Round Two of the Found Object challenge, see what might be lurking in your own jewelry box of outdated jewelry. Never through it out! There’s treasure there! Mix the rhinestones with new crystal colors. Take apart those outdated triple strand necklaces and turn it into a bracelet and earrings. Ask your grandmother
{or mother or aunt or older neighbor…} if you can make something fresh from their jewelry. Use them in unexpected ways. I guarantee that you will never look at an antique store or flea market table of broken jewelry bits the same way again {and you might start going to more garage sales in the process}.

By the way, did I mention a little contest called Bead Star? Put on by Interweave Publishing every spring? Last year I challenged myself to enter 7 of the 9 categories. {I only managed to enter 6 of the categories, so I failed to reach my goal.} Surprisingly, three of my six pieces made it into the top 20 in their categories. I have since found out that there were over 2000 entries. After the 26,000+ votes were cast, one of my entries entitled "Good Advice" took second place in the Heart category. Bead Star is on sale at newsstands everywhere as of December 8th. But I have an extra copy for the random winner of Inspired by... challenge #2!

{"Good Advice", second place Heart category, Bead Star competition}

Round Two Found Object Challenge PRIZES:
A copy of the 2009 Bead Star issue featuring my necklace “Good Advice”, winner of 2nd place in the Heart Category and a bracelet using found objects from Grandma’s jewelry box and featuring a
Humblebeads bead {I didn't have time to make it this weekend, but I will soon to share with all of you!}
In keeping with challenge #1, I will also share a BONUS prize {to be determined later...}

How it works:

  • Create a piece of jewelry (earrings, necklace or bracelet) using the inspiration.
  • Post your picture to the Flickr account here.
  • If you are so inspired {and I hope you will be!}, feel free to create as many pieces as you like for each weekly challenge and post to the Flickr account, but your name will only be entered once. (For extra BONUS ENTRY opportunities, see below).
  • Check back on Dec 14 when I will announce the RANDOM winner of the previous week’s challenge.

In the description of your picture be sure to add the following:

  • Title of the piece
  • Found objects incorporated into the piece
  • Short description of your inspiration (optional)
  • Your Name
  • Your email address
  • Your blog or website


  • If you use an art bead in your piece {art bead is defined as a bead or component created by yourself or another artisan}, be sure to point that out in your description {with a link to the appropriate artisan’s website, shop or blog} and you will have an extra entry.
  • If you blog, Facebook, Twitter, sky write or take out a billboard to publicize each week’s challenge, be sure to let me know {leave a comment on that week's challenge} and your name will be in for an extra entry.

Go and get inspired today!

Enjoy the day!

04 December 2009

Random Acts of Wisdom

{"Hammer Cuddle" Photo Credit: tiffa130}

"The only tool you need is kindness."

{Surprise message found on the tag of my last bag of Woman's Dong Quai Tonic tea..."revive for your body"...by Yogi Tea}

I think this might become a new feature for Fridays....Random Acts of Wisdom...or RAW. I am always inspired by things around me, particularly messages and words and phrases. I never took the time to really look at my teabags and now that this is the last one I am discovering this overlooked treasure. (There were also messages printed on the box!)

Have you found a Random Act of Wisdom someplace unexpected? A fortune cookie that speaks to your heart? A message scrawled in graffiti? An advertisement copy that is more than just selling widgets? Do tell!

{And let me know what you think of this new feature!}

P.S. You have until 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, December 6th to enter the first Inspired by...Hardware Stores challenge. There are 6 amazingly creative entries so far. Go here to view them and leave them a comment!

Enjoy the day!

03 December 2009

30 Words::Divinely Designed

{Photo Credit: Kiwiken}

no such thing as
you are divinely designed to create
all you need to shine is
within you
stop second guessing
cut yourself some slack
make something
~ anything ~

{Photo Credit: illusionsbaroque}

{NOTE: Both designs above were submitted to the Inspired by...Hardware Stores challenge going on now. Last time to upload your photos to the Inspiration is Everywhere Flickr account is Sunday, December 6th at 11:59 pm CST. Looking forward to more of your inspiration!}

Enjoy the day!

01 December 2009

True of Heart

An update to the Inspired by...Hardware Stores challenge....
You know that Kerry Bogert at KAB's Creative Concepts has graciously donated the grand prize for the first week. She completed it yesterday and blogged about it here.
This piece is entitled "True of Heart" and is so beautiful I am wishing that I could enter something to win.

O, NEVER say that I was false of heart.

Wouldn't it be fun to have this little gem in your studio or on your desk or someplace that you like to be inspired?

I am so excited by all the comments that people have left for the first challenge. I can tell that the wheels are turning, the inspiration is flowing, and an added bonus is that you are finding your way to your local hardware store to buy local {yea for local!}. I just know that you are all the sort of people who can find beauty in unexpected places...including the hardware store. I am looking forward to seeing your creations popping up in the Flickr account.

Have you found a unique piece of hardware that you care to share with the rest of us? Some of my favorites are locking washers, rubber "o" rings, compression springs, aluminum ferrules, and clear vinyl tubing...

What hardware store finds have you discovered to be beautiful? Do tell!Enjoy the day!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin