Oct 28, 2012

I Heart Macro - It's Sunday!

Happy Sunday Peeps!
Linking up with I Heart Marco today over at Studio Waterstone.
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Pink Roses!

Oct 27, 2012

Saturday Night Cocktails

Saturday Night Cocktails

Whatcha doing this Pre-Halloween Weekend?
Plans? Parties?
Ghostly Gatherings,....Witchy Wanderings?
I've been hanging out over at the new Artisan Whimsy site.
  It's a site that was started by some wonderful artisan ladies after the Creative Bead Chat over on FB got to be so successful and people asked for something more. 

 Artisan Whimsy is loaded with all sorts of fantastic information for creative bead/jewelry minds,...videos how to's, tutorials, jewelry inspiration and ideas, forums and chats, challenges and give-a-ways, events, and fun and informative blog posts.

One of those blog posts is where I learned to pin my own MiShel Designs Etsy items onto Pinterest and then create a set with it over on another favorite site of mine, Polyvore. 
I had figured it out a while back and forgotten how to do this and then when I had tried it again, it was like I'd never done it in my life, so I desperately needed my hand held and told step-by-step what to do! 
Artisan Whimsy's having a
"Show Us Your HOOTERS" Challenge.
Nope, not those kind of hooters,...owl Hooters!! 
Go on over and check it out.
You've got until the 28th (tomorrow) to enter I think it is.
 And, if you've recently added some cool things to Pinterest, why not leave your link or follow me and give me a 'head's up' on what's going on over on your favorite boards!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Saturday Night Spotlights!


Oct 25, 2012

Echo Creative Club - October Reveal!

Welcome to the October Edition of the
Echo Creative Team Reveal.

Remember when I showed you the two pendants that Jeannie had sent me to be used in both the October and November Reveals? 


As I mentioned, I decided to use her wonderful
Cherry Blossom Pendant for the October Reveal.


One reason is because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there's shades of PINK all over the place - LOVE that!!

  The other reason is because the leaf she sent reminded me of my sis's cabin and Thanksgiving,...so I wanted to use the leaf charm/pendant for next month's reveal. (Nov.25th)
When I saw Jeannie's Cherry Blossom pendant I fell in love with it!  Although I take a lot of pictures of flowers, I don't use many of them in my jewelry designs. But this Cherry Blossom is super gorgeous and it also took me back to my childhood,....

Via Lisa Crabtree - Pinterest

Growing up in "Mayberry" (how I lovingly refer to my hometown) we had a beautiful cherry tree in our back yard.  I could look out my bedroom window and see it every day. I loved this tree. I loved how it looked in Spring when it would bloom and how the blossoms would smell. 
Cherries from King Orchards via Pinterest
I also loved the cherries it produced.  I loved them a bit too much.  I ate a lot (I mean a LOT) of cherries off that tree every single year!  So many in fact that each year my body would scream "Enough Already!" and I would break out in hives, covering me from head to toe in huge, itchy, red welts!


I even had to come home early one year from Church camp because I broke out in hives w/in 48 hours of getting to camp - that sucked!!  (My parents weren't very happy about having to come and get me, either!) 


Still,...I didn't learn. I'd eat a ton of those juicy little 'red-devils' every single summer! Until I got in junior high and didn't want to go through all the itching and looking like an massive red-welt for a couple of weeks!

The dark bark of the tree, branches, cherries, cherry seeds and stems 

But I'd still snatch one or two off the tree each year just to temp fate because they were so darned yummy!

However, in my defense,....ya gotta eat a lot of cherries to have a proper 'cherry seed fight' with your brother (who's a few years older than me) who was consistently able to spit seeds a bit farther and faster than I was!  Just sayin',...


I remember one day after school a friend of mine rode his bike over to my house to talk about some of his 'girl problems'.  He was a bit upset and ended up throwing his bike against my cherry tree. I yelled at him for that cause he put a huge gash in the tree and if my dad saw it he would come unglued and yell and my brother and me. 

Well, the tree survived the bike, but when my friend passed away in August of this year that memory came rushing back,...
From the Cherry Blossoms to the Cherries,....
That cherry tree was a source of comfort. It was always there. It always bloomed, always produced the best tasting cherries, it was pretty with or with out blossoms or leaves and was a constant in my life from the time I was born until I left home at age 19.

Anyway, several years after I moved away and after my step-mother had sold our house, I went back to Mayberry and rounded the corner to my Aunt's house where I always stayed when I went home (it was across the street from my old house!) and that's when I noticed it. 
The cherry tree had been cut down!  OMG!  How could it be gone!?! I was so angry. I stormed into my Aunt's house demanding to know why on earth those jerks who lived in my old house cut down the most beautiful cherry tree on the face of the planet! 
She just looked at me, raised her eye brows and said (rather sternly!), "They're not jerks they're kids who grew up here, just like you, and they didn't want to cut down the tree, it got struck by lightning and split in half. They didn't have a choice!  Welcome home.  Now, what do you want to eat?"

"Oh."  That's all I could say. Just "Oh."  And then the tears started to well up. My Aunt looked at me and said, "Don't you dare cry about it. It's just a tree!" She was right. But, to me, it was my tree,...part of my past,...part of me. 

So, when I got Jeannie's Cherry Blossom Pendant in the mail for the Echo Creative Design Team Challenge this month it brought back all those special memories and the comfort of that tree.

I know I'll probably re-design this necklace a hundred more times since nothing will ever be perfect enough,...but for now, this is my "Cherished Cherry Tree".

Thanks so much Jeannie for allowing me to take a ride down memory lane this month with your beautiful Cherry Blossom Pendant and the Echo Creative Team!


Be sure to check out all the other participants this month and see the wonderful designs they've created using Jeannie Dukic's (Jewelry by Jeannie) components.

Kim Dwork

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Cherry Blossoms!




Oct 22, 2012

Kalmbach's Bead Soup's On,...

Welcome to my little cup of Bead Soup! 

Back in September I got a package from Kalmbach Publishing with some 'Bead Soup' from Bead World of Glendale, AZ in the mail.   This was in conjunction with Lori Anderson's new book, Bead Soup (which is a fantastic book and is so unique as far as beading and jewelry instruction books go!)

Here's the original post where I told you how excited I was to receive some 'Bead Soup' from Bead World, a place I regularly shop at (bead soups were sent from bead stores from all over the place to tons of people!).

And just look how fun the beads are that they sent me, too!

    I popped in to Bead World and shared my little goodies with the girls in the store and snapped a couple of pics and now it's time to see what I finally created with the yummy pieces of goodness they so graciously sent my way.

I stewed and stewed (no bead soup pun intended!) over what to create - nothing looked quite right and I haven't worked with crystals for a little while and all these beautiful shiny beads were just 'blinging' back at me. 

Did I want to hand knot something, did I want a link style bead chain,...should I wire wrap a cool pendant necklace or bracelet or should I string something?
Nothing seemed to fit, at least at first anyway.
Here's what I finally decided on.

These are the earrings I created to go with it.

I created these with some Swarovski Crystal Circle Pendants (don't ya just love those!!) and some chain and jump rings from my own stash and a few of the beads from my bead soup.
Here's the Set Together
I decided I wanted the lamp work pendant bead to really stand out,
and this style and design seemed to do this it quite well.
I tried to put one of the Swarovski Crystal Circles in the necklace,..but it just wasn't working for me.
I decided to name her Desert Gypsy because she reminds me of the Belly Dance costumes my sister would make to wear in her dance classes - they were always so amazing!!
And because it reminds me of the colors of the beautiful Arizona Desert!
I wanted to make a bracelet out the remaining beads, but I haven't quite decided how I want that to be yet. 
Thanks to everyone over at Kalmbach for doing this great Bead Soup Promotion for Lori Anderson's new book, "Bead Soup" - this sure was fun!
And, thanks to all the great folks from Bead World - you know how much I appreciate you!!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Desert Gypsies!


Oct 15, 2012

Have You Seen,....

The November issue of Bead Trends Magazine?
Well, you are in for a treat!
The Fall/Autumn inspiration in the November issue of Bead Trends is phenomenal!
I fell in love with Kristin Oppold's "Love is Seasonless" Necklace which she designed with her mother in mind when she was ill with cancer. Not only is the necklace beautiful and inspiring, so are Kristin's words about her mother! 
(Pages 84-87)
Next I have to give a nod to fellow Phoenician, Sara Oehler. Her Jewel School Article (Pages 68-72) is so cool - I mean seriously - she has created these beautifully colorful bracelets with Soft Flex Beading Wire (my FAV!) and crystals - and they are macarame!! Awesome!! 
The cover piece, designed by Wenche Brennbakk is so pretty and loaded with gorgeous pearls!! (Pearls!!) and then Kristy Abner's "Vintage Romance" necklace completely sets the stage for all those cool fall nights you'll have sitting with your sweetie by the fire!  (Pages 12-13).
And of course the 'beachy-girl' in me was dropping my jaw on my desk as I came across Joanne Shockey's "Silver Beach Bracelet!  (Pages 18-19)  It's a stunner, let me tell you!!
And the Designer Highlight on Andria McKee is fantastic!  Her designs are the kind you will want to wear every day! (Pages46-57).
Although I cannot share the entire magazine with you (you'll have to get your own copy!!) I can tell you that I was super fortunate enough to have two of my designs in the November issue of Bead Trends as well. 
My "Stick Around Town" Earrings from my Urban Chaos Collection are beautifully photographed on pages 42-43 and my "Everyday Glitters" leather and rhinestone chain wrapped bracelet can be seen on pages 80-81!

Insert "Happy Squeals" right here!!!
Thanks to Tatia Meyer and everyone over at Bead Trends for all the fabulous work you do each month in Bead Trends. The photographs are always so wonderful and the articles and projects are ones that capture our attention and keep us excited about what we do!!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Happy Squeals!

Oct 14, 2012

Door Porn!

Click here to see
My Bead Table Blog Hop
from Saturday, October 13th.

Happy Sunday Folks!

I have what some people might refer to as a slight obsession with photographing doors (peeling paint, rusty key holes, iron work and all that yummy stuff that goes with doors.)

Click to enlarge photos to see details ;-)
While I was on vacation last month I had the most wonderful opportunites to snap a bunch of photos of some of the above mentioned subjects.

Yep, I went to Door Heaven!!

Oh, the textures!  And the colors,

And the intricate details,....OMG!!

The angles at which I was able to take photos wasn't always my first choice, nor did they all come out the way I wanted them to - but at least I have them. 

Napoleon's "Boat Park" Door - Venice, Italy

If not the way I want them on my computer,
I have them the way I want them in my mind!! ;-)

This was one COOL Cat!!

I'm linking up with I Heart Macro over at
Studio Waterstone today.

Sill So Regal!
If you get the chance, hop on over and check out all the super-cool macro shots that people have posted  - they're always drool-worthy!

Until Next Time,
 Peace, Love and Door Porn!


Oct 13, 2012

My Bead Table Blog Hop - Revealed!!


Remember here, when I showed you what Lisa,
had so graciously sent me for the Bead Table Blog Hop she was hosting? 


And how I told you what a challenge it would be for me since so many of the beads she sent were ones I didn't normally design with?
Well today's the day you get to see what I, along with the other participants, created with our stash of goodies!

Everyone was sent something different from Lisa's bead table and we were instructed to create things using her 'bead table stash' along with little goodies from our own bead tables. We were instructed not to purchase anything (if possible) to go along with our beads we were sent and to be as creative as possible.

So, out of the above goodies that I was sent, here's what they morphed into,....


First up, there's the Red, White And Blue beads which completely captured my attention - I love Red, White and Blue (Go Wildcats!!)  Of course this will get worn over the 4th of July, but also during all the U of A games!!  I know,...I live in Phoenix not Tucson any more but, I'm a Wildcat fan, what can I say!?! 


I took the mother-of pearl pendant that was in the bunch that Lisa sent and mixed in the blue glass rectangle beads (that remind me of Italy, by the way!) and the red disks,...and a few little seed beads and then used one of the lucite flowers and the 'blue coral' beads in the little dangles and another lucite flower as the clasp / connector.  From my own bead table I used the blue seed beads in navy and a mixed blue/white color and I knotted everything on some S-Lon cording. (the bead shop where I shop doesn't carry C-lon and S-lon and C-lon are basically the same material,...mostly the same colors/sizes, too - just FYI). Oh, and I tied on a little bow of recycled Sari Silk that I got from Hampton Artistic Yarns over on Etsy.


That little silver sun charm kept yelling for my attention as did all those yellow and orange beads (Colors I don't normally work with, but that I love and that always capture my attention!)

And then there were all the lucite flowers,....oh boy, what to do with these - this was the challenge!  I don't use much lucite, acrylic or plastics in my work and even less flowers,.....so these were super hard to get in the 'zone' with.  I love how all my fellow beady-peeps I follow can make these sweet flowers look so wonderful and appealing in their designs - me,....not so much. They look forced and  way weird when I use them. That's how I feel, anyway.

However, these earrings happened quite easily,....and they make me want to have spring all over again, even though I love Autumn! 

And then, I'd read a post (so wish I could remember where,...it was from a department store,...I think??  oh well, anyway) and the post had this link to a video showing how to creatively wear brooches,...Was is Nieman Marcus? Oh poo!! It wasn't, but for the life of me I didn't save it and cannot find it - anyway - back to what I created. 
I wanted to create something I don't make very often but really enjoy designing, so I made a fibula/brooch and used the yellow and orange beads and flowers Lisa sent along with 16g sterling silver wire and then wrapped the beads with some pretty green craft wire to make it seem more like a garden. 

It reminds me of Rome,...not because Fibulae is the Latin term for the ancient Roman brooch, but because of the sun and golden colors of the beads and because it was bright and sunny and the grass was such a lovely color of green last month when I was walking through the Palentino and the Forum and there were gardens,...and I'm getting side-tracked again!  (see,...Sidetracked Shelly!! But, you see where my inspiration came from now, right?)

So, last, I turned my attention back to the blue beads,....it's a safe bet,..me and blue!
I wanted to knot some of these cute blue beads into earrings and I had been leafing through my copy of Erin Siegel and Lorelei Eurto's Bohemian Inspired jewelry book again last weekend and remembered Erin's Vintage Glam earrings from page 34 and decided that something similar to those would be nice, so here's what became of those pretty blue beads and that idea:

I think these will be fun with some jeans, a white-T and of course,....a blue jean jacket!
I still have tons of beads left over from what Lisa sent me, but I used as many as I could for now. 
I do have plans for those blue Lucite pods,...earrings of course!  When I get those created I'll post them here on the blog for you to see. 
I want to thank Lisa for sponsoring and hosting such an enjoyable challenge.  It really stretched my creativity and was a ton of fun!!
Please hop on over to each one of the participant's blogs below and check out all the lovely pieces they've created - I know you will be impressed!!
My Bead Table Blog HopYour Host: Lisa Lodge
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Michelle Buettner, Mishel Designs (You Are Here!)
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat's
Mary Anne Klinglesmith Flesch, Hand Crafted Serenity
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures

Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Shelly Joyce, Au jour le jour
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Susan Lloyd, Designs by Susan
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Kristen Stevens, My Bead Journey
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Beads from My Bead Table (and Lisa's)!