Thursday, December 15, 2016

Finals are DONE and New Ocean Focals

Hallelujah! I've taken my last final and class are over until January! I celebrated by making a handful of ocean focals and posting them on Etsy. 

I'm still running a sale in my shop until December 17 - now's the time to pick up some great beads at a great price!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

5 Holiday Gifts Under $20 and Sale Announcement!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, it's THAT time of year again! Yep, we all need lots of quick little gifts to show gratitude and appreciation for all those people in your life. Teachers, office assistants, co-workers, and bus drivers are just a few of the people you might need a quick "Thank You" gift for. And if you're anything like me, your time and pocketbook are already getting stretched pretty thin.

No worries! I've put together a handful of quick little gifts that you can whip up in 10 minutes or less. Why? Because while a Starbucks gift card may be quick and easy, it's also really impersonal. Nothing says "I was thinking of you" quite like a lovely gift that you made.

It's super easy! All of the non-lampwork components are found at a craft store near you, whether that might be Hobby Lobby, Michael's, JoAnn, or A.C. Moore. My personal favorite (this week) is Hobby Lobby, because they have all of their On a Cord necklaces, bracelets, and stringing materials on sale for 50% off!

Ready? Here we go!

1. Elastic Bracelet/Hair Tie - Most of us have hair, right? I'm betting that's a pretty safe assumption to make. :) I have girls, and I'd be willing to bet you that if we have 1 hair elastic in this house, then we probably have 876,123,865 of them. (Give or take...) But what I've noticed is that while they might have ONE in their hair, they're usually wearing 2 or 3 on their wrists. Why not add a bead and make them jewelry too?!

What you'll need:
 - fold-over elastic
 - scissors
 - big hole lampwork bead (Etsy store)

I saw tons and tons of fold-over elastic at JoAnn's last week. Prints, solids, ombre, ruffled, glittery - you name it, they probably have it. Another great source if you have time to order it would be The Ribbon Retreat. (No kickbacks here, just sharing a really great source I've used in the past.)

Cut your elastic to 8" long. Slide a big-hole bead to the center. Fold the elastic in half and tie a knot, sliding it as close to the edge as you'd like. Done! Wasn't that super easy?!

Here's another tutorial that I found that includes hair ties and headbands!

2. Keychain -Who doesn't need a cute keychain to fondle? Seriously! And this project could NOT be simpler or faster.

What you'll need:
 - key chain rings
 - leather lace (or hey - vinyl cord would work too!)
 - big hole lampwork beads (Etsy store)
 - scissors

Key chain rings can be bought in the jewelry or leather supply section of any craft store. Ditto for the leather lace.

Knot your leather lace around the ring using a lark's head knot instead of your normal square not. Click HERE if you don't know what a lark's head knot is. Thread your big hole beads on the doubled leather strip. Use as many beads as you like! Then knot the leather below your final beads and trim to any length you like. Done! How easy was that!?

3. Convertible Necklace or Bracelet - Here's another idea that is just so simple and yet popular and practical. My girls and I made bunches of these to give as gifts for their friends.

What you'll need:
 - wide silk or synthetic ribbon
 - big hole lampwork bead (Etsy store)
 - scissors

I found my ribbon at Michael's for 3.99 each, but I know they carry it at Hobby Lobby and JoAnn as well. If you want to go "high end", you can opt for the gorgeous, hand-dyed artisan silk ribbons on Etsy: Here, Here, or Here (among other places). Just keep in mind that it will increase your item's final price. Again, no kickbacks, just sellers whose artistry I admire.

Simply thread your big hole bead on the ribbon. Wrap multiple times before tying and tucking loose ends under the back for a bracelet. Tie at the ends for a full length necklace or thread through twice for a choker-style necklace.

4. Leather or European charm-style Bracelet - Probably my favorite of all the ideas I'm presenting here. Super quick - like 2 steps - and this style of jewelry is so very popular right now!

What you'll need:
 - Leather bracelet or european charm bracelet
 - big hole lampwork bead (Etsy store)

My leather bracelet came from Hobby Lobby and cost me less than $2. (Regular price is $2.99 and I used a 40% off coupon!) They come in a choice of brown or black leather and have magnetic closures. Could NOT be easier! They don't have the european charm bracelet style at Hobby Lobby, but they do carry their own versions at both Michael's and JoAnn. I got one at Michael's, but I forgot to photograph it yesterday. I'll update this blog post as soon as I get a picture taken. Anyway, it ended up being around $4 with tax after I used a coupon.

So what do you do? Take the bracelet out of the packaging. Add a bead or 2. Done!! Wrap that pretty thing up and cross another name off your list!

5. Build a Snowman Pendant - This is the project that takes the most time and supplies, but it is still super-duper painless!

What you'll need:
 - fine silver wire or 3 1/2" head pins
 - wire cutters, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers
 - necklace
 - small silver (or substitute your preference) beads (to use as spacers)
 - lampwork snowman bead set (Etsy shop)

Wire wrap snowman beads in order, largest at the bottom to smallest at the top. Use silver beads between the lentils as spacers. (Beads will twist and the pendant will not lay flat if you leave the spacing beads out.) Make sure you make the opening for the pendant wide enough to slip over the clasp of your pre-made necklace OR wire wrap directly onto necklace. Voila!

So there ya go! Five super easy, inexpensive, yet AWESOME little gifties you can make in no time at all. And to make it all that much easier (and even LESS expensive), I have joined Etsy on Sale. From now until December 17th, items in my shop are now discounted 20% and you don't have to do anything! No codes to remember at checkout - nothing! Sales prices have already been applied. (No further discounts available on items already in my Sale section.)

Go forth and create and have a GREAT time doing it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Talk about your blessings more than your burdens.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don't.

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

Imagine what could go right instead of worrying about what could go wrong.


I know I've posted this before, but I needed reminding today. :)



Sunday, November 13, 2016


I got bitten by the European charm bracelet/necklace bug and Went. To. Town. making big hole beads this weekend! I actually made more than I have posted on Etsy, but there are only so many hours of sitting at the computer and editing photos that I can make myself do each day. I'll get to the rest of them later this week.

These will make SUCH AWESOME PRESENTS!! Hobby Lobby has these great real leather wrap bracelets for $2.99 that these are PERFECT for! With my 40% off coupon, the brown leather bracelet cost me $1.90 (including tax!). I'm wearing mine and have been since I bought it on Friday. If they wear as well as I think they will, I know what I'm doing for Christmas/teacher presents this year - woot woot!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New Focal Beads!

I just posted 10 new focal beads on Etsy today. Yes, I realize there are only 9 pictures, but there was an image loading snafu for Blogger this morning and I'm waaaaaaay too stressed out and busy to go back and figure out which bead got left out. Lol!

I hope you all went and voted today. I did (did I mention already that I'm stressed out?!) and I took Elinor who turned 18 this year and is finally old enough to participate in the election process. Now I just need to avoid anything else political until we find out which ridiculous clown got elected. Ugh.

Going to make beads and binge-watch Luther on Netflix. Ahhhh... my happy place!