Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Show is Set Up at the Bellefonte Art Museum!

One of my favorite necklaces!
We'll be hoppin' at the Bellefonte Art Museum on Sunday, October 4th come rain or shine. Come see us, show's open from 1-4:30.

The photo above is one of my favorite necklaces, made of hand-carved African sandalwood beads. I have a necklace similar to this one that I've worn for years, and the sandalwood beads just get more beautiful with time. This one was extra fun to make because as I chose each sandalwood bead I soon discovered there were about five different artists who made them. I could tell by the shapes. One of the artists was a true perfectionist, and his or her beads are perfectly round, smooth, sanded, and the holes were cleared out nicely. Another carver's beads reflect their maker by their shape, which is a little bit like a cone, fatter on one end than the other. Some carvers may have been young, because their beads were a little bit unpredictable, and the holes were full of wood shavings. It is like the artists left fingerprints as they created their beautiful beads. It was like working with friends to string them.

This necklace is punctuated with African hand-carved bone beads that have been dyed beautiful, soft colors, and different types of silver metal spacer beads. It's strung on FlexWire, and crimped three times for strength. The best part of it that I get a kick out of is that I was having such a good time I kept stringing until it reached 106 inches! So you can wrap it around several times, giving you many options on its length as you wear it.

The other fun part of this necklace is that when I finished it around 2:30 in the morning, I got all inspired to tea-stain it. So there I was in the kitchen, tip-toeing around to get hot water and several tea bags - used PG Tips, "England's best tea since 1930" for its gorgeous dark color. The beads gently soaked up the color after I stirred them around for a little while. Delicious.

The brown hand-carved beads that you see on the glass in front of the earrings were fun to work with too. Same artists - these beads started out unfinished and I took them down in the basement last year and dipped them into a can of rich, dark wood-stain. I stirred them around and let them sit to dry on cookie sheets. Went downstairs several times per day for days to roll them and change out the parchment they were sitting on. I let them dry for a year, cause I wanted to make sure they were dry inside the holes before using them. When I strung them, again on FlexWire, I mixed them with beautiful hand-carved, dyed long bone beads that have the rich dark brown and a bit of beautiful gold in them. This necklace goes around about twice.

I made an effort this year to design earrings that could go with my necklaces, but not be too "matchy-matchy." Let me know how I did.

Pure unfinished sandalwood
There's also a much lighter colored pure unfinished sandalwood necklace mixed with beautiful hand-carved white bone oblong beads. Very lightweight - this one will only get better with time as it's worn, especially if next to the skin. Wraps around about two or three times.

Hawk Inspired Petrified Wood Necklace
The necklace above includes a tea-stained sun/moon face cabochon and a lovely petrified wood cab below it. The design was inspired by a recent nature walk, where we were followed by a beautiful hawk. It includes peyote stitch, stop stitch, and seed beads of glass, tiger's eye, and jasper. A very earthy piece. The earrings I made that go nicely with it are of bronzite. I have a pair of bronzite earrings I wear all the time and the energy they impart is very uplifting, helping me to concentrate and get things done.

The Fun Corner
I'd bet this little harlequin doll gets up and dances around when the museum is closed at night. This is the fun corner, full of color and fantasy. It includes the Mad Hatter necklace from The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, and WonderPrayers, a necklace designed around one of my favorite Mucha images. There are a couple of Rainbow Catcher necklaces and lots of colorful earrings.

Cloisonne Bracelets and Necklaces
I made 11 sets of the ever popular cloisonne bracelets, this time they're a little bit larger than before, including 15 cloisonne beads rather than the 14 I used to use. Makes them a bit more comfortable for those with medium sized wrists. AND I made two cloisonne necklaces, since people have been requesting those. I have a necklace which I like to wear a lot - and it wraps two or three times around. Come try these on, they're way cool, and very affordable.

Heaven and Earth Necklace and Blue Dichroic Cabochon Necklace
The Heaven and Earth Necklace is on display and available AND I made a pattern for it. Be sure to take a peek through the pattern and let me know how I did. The images in the pattern are hand-drawn cause I'm still tinkering with the bead pattern software, but the pattern's been reviewed and approved by one of my master beader friends. It'll give you an idea of what goes into making a piece like this, aside from just the pleasure.

Handmade One-of-a-Kind Lampwork Beads with Fluffy Dangles

The two necklaces to the right are also my very favorites. I wanted to WEAR them! I wanted to KEEP them! But I said NO, you have too much jewelry and now you have to share! So here they are. I wanted to keep them affordable so they come on dark black lace leather, which you can make any length you prefer, with a simple knot in back. I LOVE these and I think you will too. Lots of earring choices to go with them. The pink one on the left reminds me of the fascinating ebru painting we learned at the museum a while back. Very cool.

Bottom Shelf - Choose your own cab and have your necklace custom made!

This year I'm trying something new. On the bottom shelf of the display case on the right is a whole lot of fun. I've brought in a ton of cabochons for you to choose from to have a necklace custom made. You can choose from three styles - the style like the Muchas that includes a peyote stitched border and fringe and seed bead necklace chain, or a simpler style with just peyote stitching and border on a black leather necklace, or one in-between with the cab, the peyote stitching and border, and fringe, on black lace leather. Comfortable price ranges - GORGEOUS cabs. They include square summer cabs, fairytale cabs, and some really beautiful Madonnas. Turnaround time should be about two weeks and I can contact you to discuss colors. Don't forget to ask to look through these cabs, you might just fall in love. Options rock!

It's glowing....
There will be 15 artists at the museum doing book signing for the launch of the "Landscapes of Central Pennsylvania" - get your copy signed and meet the artists. This book makes a great Christmas gift.

Check out our new sculpture that's been installed in the tiny magical Sharon McCarthy Garden, "Warrior Knight Seeking Balance" by Jeanne Stevens-Sollman. It's absolutely enchanting.

Warrior Seeking Balance by Jeanne Stevens-Sollman
Hope to see you there!



  1. What a wonder! Hoping to make the show. The pieces beg to be touched and worn!

    -elli groninger

  2. Thanks Elli! Was a great show : ) Will have some things back up in January, and some new pieces as well.