Charm swap – sneak peek

Here is a peek at the charms I’m working on for a swap with the JouJou Girls. The theme is Valentines and who doesn’t love roses for that particular holiday? I am so excited at how they are turning out – even better than the picture I snapped with my cell phone (if I do say so myself). I just have the wire wrapping (ala the Deryn Mentock technique) left to do. I made some extras for other uses… maybe an addition to my OWOH giveaway!


Charity auction and Christmas swap

The Charmsters, a charm swapping group that I belong to is holding a charity auction on eBay. The auction is for a beautiful hand crafted charm necklace. This necklace features 15 soldered, Christmas-themed charms. Each beautiful charm has been created by a member of the group. We collaborated to make a very special work of art which can be yours just in time for Christmas. You can leave the charms on the necklace as shown or remove them to be worn individually. This would be a perfect gift for someone special. All you have to do is go out and bid on the item.

One hundred percent of the sale of this special item will benefit A Place to Bark. This non-profit is a no kill foster and adoption rescue dedicated to the welfare of animals and was founded in 2001 by artist Bernie Berlin.

Please help us support Bernie’s efforts by bidding!

Here are thumbnails of the charms from the swap.

Here is a charm on the necklace but not in the swap.

Time flies by

I cannot believe that it is the last day of September. Where does time go? I have so many projects going on, it’s hard to stay focused long enough to finish anything. I have made some slow progress on my studio. I still have quite a bit of work to do but I’m getting there. I kind of veered off from the plan I originally worked out with Brandie. But since I’ve been taking my putting things away, I’m really optimistic about the finished product. My dad finished my work table but I haven’t painted it so it’s not in the room yet. I thought I’d post a couple pictures anyway.

when I want to solder, I'll put the fan in the window for ventilation

I got the greatest bins for my paper at the Container Store!

I've got to be the worst photographer but I sure hope it looks better in the first two pictures than it does here. What do you think?

some of my favorite things

I had this little settee outside but it was really getting dirty and fading. I spent more on it than I really should have and didn’t want it to get trashed so I brought it into my room. It’s not really functional  (although, three boxes fit nicely underneath) but it’s too cute and it makes me want to be in there. The doll is something I had made in my daughter’s likeness. The artist did a good job, I think. Amber was a little freaked out when she saw it.

I finished my trades for Art & Soul. I think I like the packaging better than what’s inside. 🙂

trades for Art & Soul

what's inside

A while ago, I dropped my laptop on the floor and the corner of my LCD cracked just a little. I managed to make it worse and now abut a quarter of my screen is not usable. I bought a new one but I don’t know if I should attempt to install it myself. I think I’ll be calling on my brother… time to cash in on all that babysitting.

I’m also working out all the final details for Deryn Mentock‘s JouJou Workshop. It is going to be a wonderful time. Good food, great people, and lots of fun. It’s also a time to learn something new and invest in yourself and your well-being. For me, it’s so important to persue activities that nourish my soul. When I surround myself with other like-minded, artsy-types, I feel an uncommon energy… a co-mingling of our strength… synergy… I’m sure you know what I mean. I hope if you’ve considered attending, you take this opportunity and savor the experience; you will not regret it. Please leave me a comment or send me an email if you’re interested in knowing the details. Hope to hear from you.

Black & White swap

I participated in a  black and white themed charm swap recently. Here are pictures of the beautiful artwork. I showed my mom tonight when she was at my house and she was impressed with everyone’s creativity. 🙂

Denise MaresBrenda WamplerAmy HuffJade AdamsAllegra SmithDonna BarnitzLori BergmannLaurel StevenZhuliaKristine ZakarisonMelissa MerrillSusan Bates-BezekLori GuerinAmber DawnKathy LaFleurRena DeinChristine Hendry

Sunday evening already?

This weekend was very busy. I got a new cell phone on Friday and I am so happy with it. I had been with the same company every since I got my very first cell phone, which was more than 10 years ago. I get a nice corporate discount with the new company. And I’m on a plan by myself. *yay!*

I babysat my nephew on Friday night while my brother, sister-in-law, and niece attended a wedding. He is such a cutie; reminds me so much of my brother when he was a baby. Saturday, I took one of the dogs for a haircut. She came home with a bow in her hair… adorable! I tried to snap a picture of it but her hair’s so messed up, you can hardly see it now. I should take it out before it turns into a big knot.

I got together with some of my art friends last night. My friend Melissa gave a demo on altered books. She is so creative and I have admired her books for a long time but never started one myself until yesterday. It will be a good thing to work on when I’m not consumed by other things.

In preparation for Art & Soul, I made some charms this week, 104 to be exact. I finished them today and I’m really pleased with how they turned out. Now I just need to package them and I’ll be ready for trading. I can’t believe it’s only a couple weeks away! *yay!*

I ordered all the supplies for my classes that I didn’t already have, mainly sterling wire and metal clay. I’m glad the price of silver has dropped a little since I first thought about placing my order. I’m so excited to take some time off work, get together with friends, learn some new things, and make art. If you have never attended an art retreat, you should do it! It’s a wonderful experience. The energy when you have so many creative people in one place is awesome.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Round robin fun

I sent off my round robin charm on Tuesday. I can’t wait to see how things progress with all the participants. There are ten people in all. So far these charming ladies have posted pictures to their blogs:


I am so excited to be included in such an exciting swap with such talented women.

Charming charms

I was so excited when I got home and found a package waiting for me. I had heard a lot of buzz from different bloggers about Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae‘s book, A Charming Exchange. I knew by looking at the cover that I needed to get my hands on it as soon as I could.

Yay! The book is a wonderful work of art in itself. So many amazing artists collaborated to make this a masterpiece. The photography is stunning; the artwork is gorgeous; and the instructional demo-like lessons are very detailed; not to mention, the wealth of valuable resources referenced. I didn’t realize one of my art-friends is a contributor… way to go, Marci! And one of my favorite artists, Deryn Mentock, also contributed some beautiful pieces. Oh, how I love vintage coin purses. If you share my passion for those old, worn, kiss-locked pieces of leather, you’ll also die for The Shepherds Amulet… it is enchanting and delightful. Go out and get this book… it will definitely wake up your muse.

Speaking of muses… I have so many ideas swirling around. I only wish my “studio” was better organized so I could work in there. I have a professional organizer coming on Saturday morning to help me get a plan together for working through the mess. I am hopeful that change is just around the corner and I can become more engaged in my creative projects. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I am really thrilled about a round robin charm swap I will be participating in and eager to get started. There are 10 participants and it will take months to complete. The participants are all members of the Charmsters group I belong to. Each participant has taken their time to decide a special theme for either a necklace or bracelet. Each of us will create our own first charm. I am planning on using one of the soldered pieces I made in Stephanie Lee‘s class and embellishing it to fit my theme: Architectural Garden. My vision of the theme includes rough stone, weathered statues, patinas on tin, old architectural pieces, salvaged gates and finials, song birds, garden angels… a special place of peace and sanctuary. Everyone’s themes are so heartfelt; it’ll be a reverent exercise creating each unique piece. I’ve been making some eBay purchases (take a look at this, this, this, and this!) lately and hope to use some of my found objects in my work. I can’t wait to begin!