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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Readers!

What a wonderful holiday it has been!  I made jewelry pieces for my sisters, daughters and friends.  We celebrated the season on the 15th with the 28th Christmas Party yet.  Almost 70 people came and the food just kept getting better and better and better. The cookies we shared were magnificent and I am sure we have all gained 5 pounds.

Last night (Christmas Eve) our friends who own the beautiful Tsuki Nursery (Japanese Maples) here in Olympia, WA came and had Zuppe di Pesce to celebrate the season.  The mussels, clams, scallops and fish were superb in it's tomato sauce.  The wine was sublime, the bread great....the company was magnificent.  We celebrated till midnight.

This morning it was coffee and gift opening with the family. Everybody got the nicest things.  My sister who has a shop called Ashar ( gave me two of the most beautiful copper peaces.  The bracelet is made from wire wrapped crystals and a beautiful handcrafted copper toggle clasp.  She made a pin that is a bow (all wire wrapped and made of copper)!  It is absolutely the dearest and most beautiful piece. I can't wait to put it on my coat and to go out in it.  She also made an "S" pin for my husband's overcoat.

BluJeanBeads was busy with initial jewelry made from upcycled materials and scrabble tiles.  I also gifted with art tags and banners that can be used to state positions:  Jo's says "Read Banned Books", 'Nae's cautions her to make Music Not War and my sister's says "Art before Housework!"

My husband got a hand felted handcrafted cover for his Kindle.  I hope he will enjoy protecting his little machine with it.

Dinner was good, we watched old holiday movies....had

A joyous day.....Hope yours was equally as good, quiet and fun!

Love to all,


Friday, November 16, 2012

I have so been neglecting my wonderful little blog.  I have been so busy I have hardly had time to breathe.  Fall and the start of the school year is a busy time for me.  I have been on the road visiting schools and talking to teens about life after high school.  6 career fairs in two weeks.  About 400 miles a week.

In October, my sister and I participated in a Ladies Day Out event at my friend Tracey's nursery: Tsuki Nursery here in Olympia.  We had a wonderful fall day (with rain, sunshine and more rain) in the northwest.

Len made cassoulet, crostini, pizza, black bean tapanade and a black rice salad. I made 13 bean soup.  We had crackers and cheese, coffee and wine and of course: art for items...handknit stocking caps.

The weather was cold and crisp and the maple trees were in their fall glory.  We had booths on the inside of the greenhouse and the maples were our backdrop.  It was beautiful and people couldn't believe how wonderful it all was.

My son has been home on leave from the daughter has visited several times from Seattle. I have been in my studio space (a corner of a back bedroom) just creating a way.  I have created 6 really fun charm necklaces with handmade charms, found objects and glass beads.

I sit so long at school events, I have been taking my knitting and have been knitting little cuffs/wrist warmers.  All they need is some button and felt embellishments.

A large bag of mixed up, crazy colored, shiny glass India beads came home with me from the local bead shop last weekend. I poured them all in a bowl one night and sorted to my hearts content.  21 pairs of earrings came from this bead decadence plus two bracelets and a necklace.  

Leather lacing has been fashioned into several bracelets and hardware has become pendants.  The creativity in my little tiny blocks of time has just been pouring from me.  I am having so much fun and plan on sharing my creations with my sister's at Christmas time.  They love to get and to give handmade we have fun exchanging our art.

I will be doing a Christmas show in a few weeks and hope my beautiful creations go to new homes.  Then I will have space to showcase the other ideas I want to make.

All is good, in the world of crafting/creating/art.  I'd love to see what you are creating....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jewelry Show Season

It seems to be jewelry show season....harvest time events - a good time to share your autumn themed items, orange or old gold colored pieces and pre-holiday items.

Last Saturday, I did a show for Kokua here in Olympia that supports children and adults in our community who have disabilities.  The fair booth was high and the sales were low but at least BluJeanBeads was representen'.

When sales don't go as hoped you have to decide whether it was a bust or did you do something for your community.

I followed the advice of someone on line that said you should have a statement piece on your table to draw the eye and "the crowd."  It worked....I had two wonderful charm necklaces....I wore one and displayed the other larger one.  People loved it....women came up and had to feel all the charms....

I think (with wanting draw others to my table) I created a niche item.  I am going to make more charms and more charm necklaces.

I will report how it goes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

School is Around The Corner but Summer Hasn't Left

I don't know why people always equate school with fall.  Summer ends on September 21st so we have a little be well...summery!

In the last three summers, the Northwest has been blah....not enough warm weather till late in July.  Then it gets dry with a couple of days in a row of scorchers:  above 90 degrees.

So what? We get about three really good days to dazzle in our summer dresses.  Then it is school....people start thinking about fall and boots are on sale in the major department stores before we can get our latest pair of flip flops.  Just doesn't seem fair.

But I am loving the colors of fall this year that I see in the fashion world: that deep burnt orange, magenta, deep reds, mustard and old gold yellows, teals and dark greens.

Although I am having some trouble moving away from my light summery pinks and blues, bright yellows...I will....I have too....I am being compelled.  But I choose to wait....late in September!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Fun

It was hot this weekend.  In the 90's and what made it hotter was going to the Potlach on Squaxin Island.  The Canoe Journey was held in Olympia WA this year.  Over 100 Indians paddled into Olympia and some had come as far way as Alaska, Canada and New Zealand. Yes, the Maori were representing.

My sisters and I joined the festivities. It was exciting to see the Native Pride and to celebrate with our sisters and brothers around the Pacific Northwest.

I had a great time admiring (what else) everyone's jewelry and the cedar hats.

Look for the canoe journey online.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

First Bead Show

A week ago, my sister ( and I went to the Puget Sound Bead Festival in Tacoma WA.  We had always heard that you can go crazy at these sales so we made a game plan. We decided what we wanted to purchase and took only $50.00 each.

We found free parking which was great and decided on just an hour or two then lunch.  We paid for our fee and went to the show room. It was breathtaking....about 100 vendors.  I was looking for handmade lampwork glass beads and pendants and my sister was looking for copper and bronze findings.

We looked at every shop in the first hour, then went back to the booths that captured our eyes and bought our products.  We each got what we wanted and were able to have a tiny bit of money left in our wallets. Actually I came back with $20.00 and had purchased 15 pieces!

We also ran into some old friends, made some new friends....collected business cards for shops that were of interest so we can visit them online.  We also talked to vendors and received some great tips.

A good day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Jade

Until my friend Alicia had a red jade necklace that she gotta compliment on, I didn't know that Jade came in any other color than green. I didn't even know that there was a difference between Jade and something called Jadeite, and that Jadeite was a natural stone.  I thought it was something made up in a lab.

Well, I have learned that Jade is so strong it was once used for weapons and tools.  On a Mohs scale of hardness it rates a 7 which means it is harder than steel.  Jadeite is the higher quality of Jade and it comes in a variety of colors: Red, Green, Blue and Lavender.

My bracelet I call Red Jade but it is surely Red Jadeite.

Beaded Bracelet, Red Jade, Silver Accents, Deep Red Color, Fits Average Wrist, Flower Dangle

This might need to have a trip out of the jewelry box today...It is so pretty.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Finally the Tile Debut

Well it is more than a tile debut....

I took the time to make this into a wonderful, crazy, busy, charm necklace.  What do you think?

The focal point Blue Heart

Day of the Dead pendant and flower pendant

Monday, May 21, 2012

Urgggh Tiles

I am still not ready to show you my scrabble tiles.  They are getting better but still have some shrunken middles and some bubbles. But they are getting better.

Maybe I should have made like two at a time till I figured this out. No not me, I had to go ahead and cut out 50 little squares of paper from a gardening catalog then glue them all on tiles, then coat each with glaze.  Now....when you are learning and take this as a lesson is to not get so gungho with your plans and product.  Start small......

What was I thinking?

Hey I am still gonna get there.

On top of all of this crazy tile creativity and slowness I have also landscaped and rebarked my garden....about 1/2 of an acre.  Planted up my veggies....purchased annuals (they still have to go in) and weeded and fertilized my roses.  I have also mowed both back and front lawns, mulched and did 3/4 of my jewelry inventory for my online business:

Oh....whatelse have I been doing?  Oh yeah, tending to my daughter's sadness, my funky truck that has a starter problem, entertaining family, building greenhouses and driving 3-400 miles a week to sign kids up for a college scholarship (day and evening and night job).  Just that....

But those darned tiles....

Friday, May 4, 2012

More on Scrabble Tile Pendants

I am still working on perfecting scrabble tiles. Oh my goodness. They are so cute but unfortunately some of the pendants have kind of like a sunken middle where I used the Diamond Glaze.  Maybe I should have worked from the middle to to the outside instead of the other way round.

Then tonight....I started a few more....I found another product which is brush on.  I tried that.  It is still wet so I still see the brush strokes in my two trial tiles.  What is this stuff....let me go see to tell you....Oh it is "Triple Thick Brilliant Brush On Gloss Glaze" and it comes in a little pot.  I purchased it at Michaels.

Then I tried on another tile, a Jolly Rogers motif with "Aleene's Paper Glaze" that I found also at Michaels.  I tried putting it on the tile by filling in the middle first and then filling in the edges....I see tiny little bubbles on the edge.

Tomorrow morning I will assess the work and maybe after that I will try a trial of regular two part resin and will let you in on the comparison.

I didn't kow about Diamond Glaze until I met, Christine Hansen at a street fair. She is the co-author of the book "Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry" with Peggy Krzyzewski.  She told me she used Diamond Glaze because you didn't have to mix resin at the right temperature and it was goof proof.

Well being the want to "know more" person I am....I got on line and researched some more and realized that there were tons of tutorials and videos for making scrabble tile pendants.  All were about pouring on resin to make a rounded, slightly magnified pendant.  Was that what I wanted?  Or does a more flat organic look work more for me?....maybe both.  So tomorrow, when everything dries, I will know more.  These first efforts may meet the landfill - although they are cute...or maybe I will make a first effort charm bracelet just for me so I won't waste product.  But any which way, I will report to you, dear reader.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Learning Old Tricks in New Ways

Making Jewelry in my Jam Jams is one of my favorite blogs. Christine offers such cool tutorials and her techniques will make jewelry making so much easier.

Follow this one for making consistent and nice looking simple loops:

I go in fits and starts with my jewelry making. I haven't done any wire work in a little while. I am so busy thinking about Spring that I have been looking at seed catalogs, working in the yard, etc. It inspired me to create a line of Scrabble tile pendants yesterday.  I have about 20 or 30 drying on the dining room table. They feature flowers, vegetables, gardens, and other cute garden inspired pictures - gnomes.

They are cute.  When I am finished I will take a picture to show you all.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March-ing On

We are moving forward into Spring. We have had a wild ride this month with snow, wind, power outages and whatever. In the middle of it, I placed an order for some beads from Rings&Things in Spokane and they were at more door in a mere three days.

Have you ever ordered from them? They are great.  You can find them at They are relatively local for Spokane, WA which is the eastside of the state; I am on the westside. Their products are good and reasonably priced. I received a kit for making resin pendants with everything I need for the fraction of a price if I was buying the pieces separately.

Being a person of color, I love ethnic jewelry and they have a great selection of African trade beads and that is what I bought. I have made one bracelet so far and can't wait to dive into the other beads.

Check out

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Colors for Spring

Yesterday it snowed and rained most of the day... and it was cold.  Today I went outside and cut back some trees that were shading my garden spot. I am a jeweler but my first "lust" is gardening...weeding...pruning....clipping and mowing.

I came in and turned on HGTV because decorating is another passion of mine.  And I was cruising around on my email (cleaning up files) and read one of my favorite jewelry blogs. 

Look at the link below:

Spring cool is that!  Now I can choose beads in the spring color palette from my stash and get to beading. Wahoo!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Online Shopping

When I do my online browsing and shopping, I look for things that are either in my hobby interest (books, gardening, yarn, knitting, gemstones and a glass beads) or I look at clothing.  I love to drool over items I cannot afford, like anything Oscar De La Renta, or a certain Dooney Bourke bag I have had my eye on. Or I look at boots.  I love boots and have bought several pair online.

I love to  look for jewelry especially if it is handmade, vintage or antique jewelry.  I love old Mexican Taxco silver and copper pins.  I often look for something slightly quirky and unusual or something really old and often Middle Eastern or African in design.  I don't purchase many pieces, as I love to buy the components and put it together myself.  I make some for you....some for me.

Since becoming a jewelry artist, I no longer am drawn to commercial jewelry.  I still think it is lovely but I would rather have that  handcrafted piece that is "one of."  I love hammered silver clasps and chunky gemstones.  I also love edgy pieces like my "silver" washer bracelet with large silver lobster claw clasp with one red coral bead.

I still want to know your favorite online items.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking for Feedback

When you are shopping online what do you look for:

1.  Clothing
2.  Shoes
3.  Books
4.  Handbags
5.  Jewelry

Let me know?  I will let you know what others have said.  This is very unscientific.....just my own curosity.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Feeling the Love

Valentine's is one month away from today. I know you fill the pinch from the holidays but that was LAST year and this year is now. Live in the moment. Show your love with hearts and flowers, chocolates and beautiful scents.....delicious meals and delicious wine.

Show your affection with a bauble. You don't have to spend alot if you use handcrafted sites such as Etsy or Artfire. In fact, check out my page Http:// or my sister's shop: Http:// You will be able to find a gift that speaks to your heart's desire. 

Look for simple heart jewelry at simple prices. That will make it even more beautiful.

Something like this may please your fancy:

Or this:

BluJeanBeads has whatever your heart or hers desires.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Is Coming Already

I was at the department store that houses our pharmacy and I noticed all the Valentine's candy, valentines, little sweet gifts and sentiments.  Didn't we just celebrate Christmas and Hannukah?  I think I remember....I still have my Christmas trees up as today is the Epiphany (Celebrates the day the Wise Men showed up); the final day of the the Christmas holidays for me.

Things are moving just too fast. My Etsy teams are asking what stock I have for Valentine's day.  I think I have something that will do on my site: I remember making some beautiful little enamel heart earrings. 

I also have a pearl necklace with a sterling silver heart locket that is very sweet. It would look lovely around the neck of the one you love or around your neck if you are a bride to be. 

Children love hearts so I have a variety of millifiori heart earrings that would be darling on a little girl and some crazy foam heart earrings that are edgy and fun.

So yeah, I guess I am up on this next holiday.....Are you?