For where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also. ~ Matthew 6:21

Saturday, July 23, 2016

PRT ~ Sunny Days Blog Hop ~ The birds and the bees

What a happy time this has been, creating beautiful things from a kit filled with new and interesting supplies!  Lisa never ceases to amaze and inspire me to grow in my abilities through her blog hops.  I challenge myself to try new techniques and color combinations that I normally would not gravitate to and integrate them into a cohesive style.  This year my personal challenge was to add wire~working to my repertoire and I so enjoyed incorporating that skill in these pieces.  Thank you Lisa for being such a huge source of artistic inspiration for me.  Enjoy my collection ~ the birds and the bees!!!

Will wonders ever cease???  I remembered to take this picture of the incredible kit Lisa send me for this event.  My first thoughts were, "Oh my God!  What could I ever do with all of this?"  These thoughts were quickly followed by one of my new creative habits . . . sketching ideas.  I have rarely gone through this step since I started on this creative journey, but it is fast becoming one of my favorite parts of the process!

My first piece was inspired by the gorgeous multi~strand bracelets that I admire so much in the Facebook jewelry groups I am a part of.  I used the bird focal and the blue and yellow beads from the kit, adding only wire and the green crystals for the branch.

love birds

My song birds bracelet uses my kit's green sea glass rounds wired onto strands of beaded wire and closes with the beautiful toggle clasp from the kit.  Two tiny copper birds grace the clasp area.
song birds

And, of course, as a newly certified beekeeper I needed to include my little fuzzy friends in this collection.  These tiny brass bumble bees are set against the honey colored sea glass to create these simple yet stunning earrings.
humble bumbles

This sweet little necklace was not in my original sketched ideas, but when I found the bird piece in my stash and had enough of the yellow polished crystals left from the kit, it just begged to be included. I wire~wrapped the crystals onto the focal piece and added a lovely, hand forged beaded wire chain to create a namesake for this blog hop!

sunny day

My final piece is another "bee" piece and makes me so happy which of course inspired the name!  I have worked hard to be able to make consistently accurate and beautiful spirals and can finally see the progress I have made in my work.  I was excited to find that the free~formed green sea glass actually could fit together like puzzle pieces if I measured and crafted accurately..  I used raw copper wire exclusively in this piece . . . 16g for the focal piece and 18g for the beautiful hand forged chain.

beeing happy

That is all from me for this epic blog hop . . . the morning clouds have cleared and I am going outside to enjoy the gift of this beautiful sunny day!  Thanks again Lisa for all the gifts you bring to our creative lives and to all my fellow artists for their beautiful work and spirit!  Please visit all the sites below and enjoy!!!

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Rosee Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Stephanie McGinley, TBD

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gentle Spring ~ a PRT Blog Hop

"Gentle Spring, in sunshine clad, well does thou thy power display! For winter makes the the light heart sad, and thou makes the sad heart gay."  ~ Charles of Orleans

My incredible challenge kit from the awesome Lisa Lodge!

wire, metal and bead necklace
uses the light pink daggers

bead embroidered cuff bracelet
uses the crystal bicones

wire woven and bead bracelet
uses the pink crystal pearls

wire and bead necklace
uses the white crystal pearls

leather cording and bead wrap bracelet
uses the pink crystal pearls & purple cotton cord

Thanks Lisa for challenging me to witness the beauty of the changing seasons and to capture it in the wondrous variety of supplies you sent.  My heart is truly gay!  Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog and for all the amazing work I know I will enjoy!  Join me in visiting the blog sites of the artists listed below and your heart will be gay too!!!


Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Saundra Farren, Something by Saundra
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Keepers of the Bees ~ Pine Ridge Treasures Ceramic Blog Hop

It was such a great surprise when I received my kit for this blog hop from Lisa Lodge of A Grateful Artist / Pine Ridge Treasures as it contained the most beautiful ceramic bee piece from Gaia beads. Lisa couldn't possibly have known that I was currently working on my Washington state beekeepers certification and had become very passionate about the welfare of our bee friends.  I was so excited to work on projects that reflected this new interest and hopefully help educate people on the importance of bees in our lives.  Healthy bees are critical for sustaining human health and happiness.  Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate many of our most used crops ~  apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash, cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and lots, lots more!  Approximately one-third of our diet comes from insect-pollinated plants and the honey bee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.  Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees.  If the bee colonies continue to collapse, we could end up with just grains and water to sustain us!  This is the biggest general threat to our food supply!  Perhaps you can see why I am so passionate about this cause and why I am studying to become a responsible beekeeper!  

My first piece , Beekeeper, is a bead embroidered cuff bracelet that spotlights the beautiful Gaia focal.  It is captured by golden multi-hued seed beads that represent one product of the bees work . . . honey! The two faceted green stones were also in my kit and complimented the focal perfectly.  A couple of tiny worker bees buzz freely from delicate copper chain and the piece closes with copper fittings and double linked copper chain.  The piece is backed in gorgeous soft golden leather.  


My second piece, Honeycomb, uses the new bead shape of the same name.  This piece was inspired by a Joanne Zammit design and I must admit they were some of the hardest beads I have ever worked with!  When I finished the main part of the focal, it was too flimsy to hang straight, so in an effort to alleviate that problem I used a piece of 16g copper wire and some honey colored bicones that had come in my kit.  To the now solid honeycomb I attached a beautiful glass honey drop and strung the piece from a hand made bead and wire chain.


My last two pieces use the amazing hexagon crystals that came in my kit in a freeform wire focal piece.  One of my creative goals for this year was to challenge myself with a new technique and so I chose to work with wire.  I shaped, textured and antiqued raw copper wire and then wrapped these beautiful crystals into their spots.  The chain for this piece is the first handmade wire chain I ever made and I love it so much!  The matching earrings make this an incredible set!!!


Thank you so much Lisa for the amazing kit that inspired these pieces.  A percentage of their sales will be donated to the Washington State Bee Protection fund.  Please continue to learn more about how you can help protect our bee friends at:

Check out what these other amazing artists created for this Ceramic Blog Hop at:

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Saundra Farren, Something by Saundra
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes

Saturday, December 5, 2015

PRT ~ Charmed I'm Sure Blog Hop

New Blog Hop!
 song birds
Happy December to all my fellow artists!  It is such a delight, especially in the busy-ness of the holiday season, to take time to appreciate the beauty of artistic creation.  Many thanks and a toast to Lisa Lodge for inspiring us to find time to not only create but share and enjoy each other's work.
The motivation for my "charmed I'm sure" piece came from studying from the master instructors that taught at the Autumn Artist Retreat this past November . . . Sarah Thompson and Melissa Cable.  Both of these amazing artists opened my eyes and my heart to working with wire . . . a medium that is pretty foreign to a bead weaver!  Because of their inspiration, I have decided to really explore the possibilities of combining wire working with the bead work that I am already comfortable with throughout this coming year.  
The piece I created with the kit Lisa sent me is my first humble effort in this endeavor.  I first formed my base wire into a shape suggestive of a music lyre.  I then hand wrapped the frame and wired lines of pearls and crystals across it.  From the lyre I strung some of the charms that were included in the kit along with a variety of complimentary fittings I had in my stash. I worked everything in brass tones and blue beads in order for the silver charms to really stand out. Most of what I did felt difficult and awkward but I am proud that I persevered as I now have a actual starting point from which to grow during the year ahead. I am hopeful that by this time next year the growth is obvious and profound!!!
Thank you for visiting my blog for this hop.  Now go grab another cup of coffee and relax and enjoy the other awesome creations in this hop found at the sites below.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karin Grosset Grange (France), Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ceramic Bead Challenge ~ Go With The Flow

Late this summer I found myself in a creative funk, feeling uninspired and without direction.  So when Lisa posted registrations for this challenge I jumped at the opportunity remembering that each of the Pine Ridge Treasure events I had participated in had been very growth-full experiences.  When my challenge kit arrived, I was thrilled to find six discs in primary colors with a rather weathered finish . . . (of course I forgot to take a picture.)  They reminded me of a bouquet of balloons and I knew at once that I wanted to do the floating house from the movie "UP."

The whole movie revolves around the flying house and Carl’s attachment to it. Description from I searched for this on
I searched for the perfect house bead to go with my ceramic beads but could not find what I was hoping for.  I decided to make one out of brass, etch it, layer it with details and stamp it with the words "home is where your heart is."  I laid awake nights happily designing this piece in my head until one day I realized I was OOT (out of time!)  It was so hard for me to let go of my "brilliant" idea and move back into reality . . . I was so stuck that I almost pulled out of the challenge!  I was desperately in need of an attitude adjustment . . . I needed to let go and just "go with the flow."  So I did and this is what happened ~

Go With The Flow
Using the ceramic beads as the focal point, I embroidered around them adding unplanned touches as I went.  I had no design, no vision . . . nothing but the beads themselves and the piece as it took shape to inspire my direction.  The seed beads literally flowed around the ceramic pieces, little dangles found their way onto the beads anchoring the discs, the bottom of the focal piece practically begged for fringe while the chain sprouted beaded beads that flow freely up and down its length.  The earrings just sort of appeared!  I kept creating until the piece told me it was done . . . and then, so was I.  This "letting go" style of creating was an epic and glorious, mountaintop moment for me and without a doubt one that will influence my artistic approach in the years to come.

And so, we have done it again, Lisa Lodge . . . the platform and the growing . . . and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your inspirational community.  Thank you and all the artists that participated in this challenge and to Grubbi Beads for the amazing materials we were so privileged to work with.  Until next time, just go with the flow!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Water's Edge ~ PRT Beach Blog Hop

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to live on the water's edge.  I spent much of my childhood swimming and surfing the ocean off Malibu beach and hours roaming the sands that edged those waters.  I spent a year at Pepperdine University overlooking Malibu where my studies were challenged by the constant call of the waves to me.  I overcame many odds to become one of the first female lifeguards on this same stretch of beach and spent a summer blissfully employed in paradise.  Many years later I fell in love with diving and followed the sandy beach out into a watery wonderland.  I have spent months teaching diving on a remote island off the coast of Honduras dreaming of one day settling on my very own sandy beach. 
My lifelong dream was realized this year when Paul and I bought a beautiful cottage on 2.5 acres of Hood Canal waterfront in Washington.  We christened our home "little blue" and delight in the forest path and stream that leads us down to our very own water's edge.  With the beautiful treasures Lisa included in my challenge kit, I created pieces that capture and celebrate the exquisite natural beauty of our piece of paradise.  I am blessed beyond words that my dream came true and am so happy to share Water's Edge with all of you. 



 sunshine toggle clasp


Paul and I on our beach
sunset from little blue
Thank you Lisa for including me in this epic blog hop and for all the beautiful treasures you sent that allowed me to create these unique beach pieces.  Thanks to all who visited my site and I invite you to spend some time viewing the other beachy beauties that my fellow artists have created!  Visit their sites at the links below!
Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
Susan Anderson, La Main Tresor
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Margaret Pelech, Margaret Pelech's Blog
Lisa Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Carol Briody, A Beads Life
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Rosee Floss Hanemaayer, Silver Penny Artisans
Saundra Farren, Something by Saundra
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool Jewelry
MaryAnne Kelly Hobbs-Fernie - TBD
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Kelly Fletcher – TBD
Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
Diana Chavis - TBD

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Art of Awareness ~ agape

"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, 
not with the fanfare of epiphany, 
but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and 
slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."
Khaled Hosseini, Kite Runner

Pretty Things

Many thanks to Lori and Heather for coordinating this occasion that brings awareness, presence and understanding to many human conditions and life challenges.  Each artist was invited to select a meaningful word, representative color or a person to honor in an artistic creation while shedding light on some area of challenge or struggle. I personally have used this time of creation to feel more deeply the blessings of my life, many of which have been the result of times of struggle. I look forward to witnessing to the journeys and discoveries of the other artists who have poured their hearts and souls into their creations.  I invite you to join me by following the links at the end of this post.

I asked Heather to create a forest green bead with the word agape' on it.  Her work is so beautiful and inspired me tremendously in my artistic endeavor. 

I chose this word because of a recent struggle with cruelty and abandonment by the very people I should be able to trust.  I chose green because it is a color for those battling depression and also symbolizes peacefulness and renewal.  My road out of the darkness and despair from this traumatic time is teaching me so many things and helping me to identify areas in my life that I need to improve in . . . mostly the ability to forgive and to love more fully . . . unconditionally.  Through my work, I strive to become a stronger, wiser, more gentle person. 

AGAPE ~ unconditional love

My piece is based on a design by the amazing Susan Schwartzenberger and I feel that it represents the immense power that flows from those who love freely.  I choose muted rainbow colors that spoke to me of hope and possibility in my continued journey and the work I need to do.  The golden crystals remind me of God's presence in my life and the thankfulness I have for His guidance through the darkness.

We know that forgiveness is not optional--

we are to forgive as we have been forgiven.
But forgiveness is not natural.
It goes against everything that cries out for fairness.
The thing that we need to forgive often involves pain--
from the sting of an unkind word to the 
deep gash left by an abusive relationship.
We are often left holding the pain, 
knowing the one whom we must forgive
will likely not acknowledge nor ask for it.

While we cannot afford to dwell on pain for too long,

we cannot afford to ignore it either.
We live in a fallen world where everyone
has experienced the pain of wrong choices.
When the wrong involves a violation of trust, 
or results in a life altering consequence, 
it can become even harder to forgive.

Then Peter came to him and asked, 

“Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins 
against me? Seven times?" "No, not seven times,"
Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!"
Matthew 18:21-22

I have a responsibility to forgive . . . even if it is daily seventy times seven.  Only then will I truly understand and achieve agape . . . unconditional love.

Thank you for visiting my wanderware blog site.  Check out the Art of Awareness blog posts of these artists:
Millican (hostess) (bead artist)
Laurie Vyselaar
Mallory Hoffman
Evie and BethMcCord