A little bit of life, love, and artisan jewelry but mostly the

Home of the Confused Muse..

Where you will find the meadering thoughts of an actively artistic brain - as well as my latest creations, events, soapboxes, dramas, crisis, blessings, and life in general.

This is also the home of "ChrissyMarie Jewelry and Accessories", named for my daughter! Twenty-Five Percent of all sales from this line are donated to B.I.T.S. aka "Better in the Saddle", a local non-profit Equine Assisted Therapy Program ....because we KNOW horses help make miracles!


April 20, 2011

Blue Wave Bracelet, My donation to Artists for Japan

A while ago I posted about a movement on Facebook, a group of artists raising money to help the victims of the recent Japanese earthquakes and tsunami.  It's taken a lot of thought about which piece I wanted to donate. I really didn't think it would be so hard! So I decided on my "Blue Wave" Bracelet.  The beautiful focal bead in the center reminds me of an island sitting right in the middle of the ocean...just like Japan.

I used Capri Blue iridescent Capri Blue seed beads for the bracelet base. Then I added the loops which create a wave like movement using Capri blue sz 11 seed beads and  12mm Metallic Capri Blue Bugle Beads. It sparkles like water, is very comfortable on the wrist, and has great movement. The clasp is a pretty matte finished glass flower bead centered with a (you guessed it!) Capri Blue Swarovski Crystal and seed bead. The closure loop is "stretchable" so it doesn't have to be so large to fit over the flower but stretches over it instead making it a bit more secure and leaves less of a gap at the ends. The bracelet is 7" long (not including the clasp) and sells for $70.00. Oh and by the way, ALL of the seed and bugle beads are Japanese! (See photos)

This is how it works...I post my bracelet here. You go to the Facebook page, look at the photos by category (bracelets, necklaces, rings, etc.) and let them know you want to purchase this bracelet. Give them a couple of days to get it categorized. They have a PayPal Account already set up. They notify me and I ship it to you for free! This is all set up in conjunction with the American Red Cross so we know the money is going where it is most needed.  

Note: Before you purchase...these photos make the blue appear...well....blue...almost navy blue. It isn't but Capri Blue is a really hard color for me to capture and I don't know how it's going to show up on your screen. It is definitely more a blue-green or teal blue.  If you have any questions in your mind about the exact color please refer to the Swarovski Crystal Color Chart.
Okay, finally, I think I may actually be almost caught up on my projects!

Live Joyfully!

April 17, 2011

7000 Bracelets for Hope-The Path to Healing

I wanted so much to join my friend Lori Anderson in this Blog Hop for such a great cause. I promised to post about it here and participate in a dependable manner. I was supposed to post this yesterday. I've been feeling rather guilty that I missed the deadline. I broke my promise. Then I was reminded that the burdens of my failures are only temporary. After all, the reason my post is late was due to my own personal physical limitations...of which I have no control.  At least my health issues have names, there are scientists actively working on treatments and looking for cures.

7000 Bracelets of Hope is a about supporting the families of those with rare illnesses that have no cure, few answers, and are just beginning the long and winding journey to healing. The bracelets made will be sent to The Global Genes Project and distributed to these families as a reminder that there is hope and to give them a touch of beauty in an otherwise dark and hopeless place. Please visit their site to learn more about this project and how you can help!

As the mother of a child with a rare genetic illness this was even more more important and closer to my heart than most of the projects I have participated in. I remember the years of wandering lost and alone, along with doctors and therapists who knew little more than I about what was happening to our child. At the time there were few studies being done, few treatment options and little hope of a any real future for our daughter.

When I heard the theme of these bracelets was blue...as in "Blue Gene" blue I knew immediately I wanted to use Sodalite beads but didn't happen to have any in my stash.  I had been holding on to a gift certificate I'd received for Christmas for a bead shop, and thankfully I knew it would be there I could find the beads I needed for this project!

This is my contribution.....

I named this bracelet "The Journey to Healing". It's a long, winding journey, with loops and switchbacks, curves, ups and downs, and sometimes seems absolutely endless. But at the center of that journey is a circle of hope surrounding one life, one disease, one family. The journey, the search, the pain, the constant belief and prayers that around the next turn a diagnosis, a treatment, a cure WILL be found is worth it for someone you love...no matter how long it takes!

There are so many other jewelry artists who answered the call for this project! I was amazed at the numbers and frankly I was overwhelmed at the artistry and dedication to help those families they didn't know. I don't know those families either but I remember our personal journey and for that reason I want to thank all of these artists personally and especially Lori  Anderson who suffers from a rare illness for starting this very special 7000 Bracelets of Hope Blog Hop! Thank You all so very much for caring!!

Here are links to the other Artist Blogs who participated.  Please visit their Blogs to see the beautiful contributions they made.

1. Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got To Doodle
3. Kym Hunter, Creatively Kym
4. Mandy Duffy, Beads for Brains: 365
5. Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
6. Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings
7. Mary Harding, Mary Harding Jewelry
8. Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
9. Amy Severino, Amy's Beads
10. Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by Jennifer Pride

11. Jenny Cameron, Glass Addictions
12. Susan Ferguson, Windrock Studio
13. Mortira vanPelt, Inspirational Beading
14. Brandi Hussey, Brandi Girl
15. Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
16. Angela Barribou, Re: Angela Rae
17. Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
18. Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
20. Nicki Keller, Nicki's Reef

21. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
22. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
23. Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
24. Deci Worland, Gem Trails
25. Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium
26. Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
27. Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio
29. Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady

31. Suzette Bentley, Ellies Bijoux
32. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
33. Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
34. Kate Gardenghi, The Tropical Blonde
35. Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
36. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
37. Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
38. Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
39. CJ Baushka, 4 His Glory Creations

41. Sandra Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
42. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs
43. Kim Roberts, Bahama Dawn
44. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
45. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia's Studio
46. Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
47. Sue Kennedy, Sue Beads
48. Raquel Amaral, Raquel Amaral
49. Robyn Hawk, Daily Jewel
50. Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

52. Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
53. Andrea Robinson, Madame Magpie's Shiny Things
54. John Rasmussen, Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry
55. Breana Fry, Vault 31
56. Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
57. Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
58. Dot Lewallen, Speedie Beadie
59. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
60. Heather Pyle, Aquariart

61. Adrienne Campbell, Adrienne Designs
62. Dee Gordon, Runako Designs
63. Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
64. Susie Hibdon, Vintage Susie & Wings
65. Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
66. Norma Agron, Norma's Clay
68. Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
69. Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
70. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

71. Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
72. Catherine Pruitt, Boo Beads 
73. Deana Hager, Just Deez' Art & Life
74. Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
75. Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass
76. Janet Bocciardi, Honey From the Bee
77. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life
78. Rose Noble, Lady Noble Design
79. Sally Russick, WireWorked
80. Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter

82. Lana Kinney, Something Unique by Lana
84. Karen Bien, Everyday Gypsy
85. Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
86. Cyn Gagen, Creative Edventures
87. Niky Sayer, Silver Nik Nats
88. Deb Beechy, Beetique
89. Marian Hertzog, M's Place
90. Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts

91. Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
92. Charlene Gray, Gray Girl Studio
93. Erin Fickert-Rowland, Elysian Fields
94. Sharon Palac, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
95. Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
96. Christine Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
97. Eileen Bergen, The Artful Crafter
98. Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
99. Rebekah Payne, Tree Wings Studio
100. Mari Aparicio, Mis Amores

101. Tracy Statler, Make Bracelets
102. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
103. Kim Stevens, Picking Poppies
104. Karyn White, Releases by Rufydoof
105. Elisabeth Auld, Beads for Busy Gals
106. Lisa Hamilton, Simply Irresistible Jewelry
107. Serena Trent, All Things Made Jewelry
108. Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Artwerks
109. Debbie La Rue, For the Love of Beading
110. Maggie Towne, Maggie's Bead Towne

111. Cassandra Watsham, Designs by Cassandra
112. Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.

If you are just learning about this and would like to make a bracelet to send in, send your bracelet, including a business card and a note to the family receiving your bracelet to:

7000 Bracelets of Hope/Global Genes Project
24701 La Plaza
Suite 201
Dana Point, CA 92629

March 18, 2011

Something YOU can do to help! - Artists for Japan

A Facebook friend who is also a wonderful jewelry artist and bead seller is helping with this awesome project through the American Red Cross.  It's called Artists for Japan and all artists can help the needy in Japan by donating their work to the cause. If you'd like to participate by donating just click on the link above and go to the "Discussions" page then click on "How to Help".  All instructions are there.

I'm planning to donate a piece for this great cause as well! I'm not sure which one yet but you'll see it posted on the Artists for Japan Facebook page when I figure it out.

Here is the information from the page if you wish to see items donated or purchase an item:

About: Handcrafted beaded art and jewelry to benefit the American Red Cross' Japan relief effort.

Description: This page contains handcrafted beaded art and jewelry. All work has been donated by the artist, with the proceeds going to support the American Red Cross as it helps the people of Japan begin to rebuild.
Purchase of these items will not only make you feel good as you wear the item or display the piece, but will also make the difference in a person's life.

I just want to note that there are many artists, not just bead and jewelry artists who have posted about items they are selling and donating the proceeds from those sales to the American Red Cross or other relief groups. Please take a look at those items as well!

Thanks :)

Rings and Things Design Challenge

You know, every year has its ups and downs and for me the last couple of years have been mostly downs. But you don't want to hear about those!
One of the biggest "ups" has been Rings and Things. They have the greatest items, customer service and fun ways to win free stuff. I've been fortunate to be a winner a few times already so I had to share this latest Design Challenge! I really want these gorgeous copper beads!! So if you want them too we're in competition :)  However I promise to to compete with you fair and square for these groovy brushed copper beads and discs!
 Just click on the title of this post to read all about it on the Rings and Things Blog.  Can't wait to see who gets to play with these awesome goodies and the designs they will come up with! 
Hope to see you there :)

February 03, 2011

I LOVE Artfire Collections!

That is my Blue Daisy Brooch in the middle :)  But goodness...I love everything in this Collection.  I'm always amazed at the talent out there I would never see if it weren't for these great collections of artisan made items...so many lovely things and so little time. 

January 30, 2011

Gift Certificate Goodies from the Bead Browsery

I received a Gift Certificate to The Bead Browsery, a local bead shop in my hometown. It's owned and operated by my friend Brenda MacLellan. She is an awesome designer, beader and an amazing wire artist so visiting her shop is always a drool fest!. 
 Anyway...my awesome husband took the time to find the shop and buy the gift certificate.  It was a real surprise because a bead shop is not where he would normally shop :) For numerous reasons I will not expound on today, it has taken over a month  to go shopping with my free money. Oh My Gosh!, it was so hard to choose what I wanted AND stay within my budget.  But, I did pretty darn good and I love my new goodies so I wanted to share them with you.

She carries "Miner's Dollars", an item I've been lusting over for a long, long, long time.  When I saw she had a new shipment of them in I just knew that was definitely one of the items I was going to put in my basket.  Here it is...
This fellow is quite large and heavy as well so instead of trying to create a piece of jewelry with it I've decided to display it in a mini-plate rack for all to see and enjoy.  It's quite a conversation piece! This isn't the best photo but it is covered in Pyrite and sparkles beautifully.  For more information on Miner's Dollars or Pyrite Suns as they are also called just go here: http://www.zeigleril.com/pages/CoalMinersDollars.htm

The rest of my goodies can be seen here...

I've been working for a while on my Viking Weave and needed a Draw Plate. Then I found a wonderful selection of beautiful blue Kyanite Tear Drop beads so I picked out a couple of sets to make earrings.  One set for me, the other to sell ;)  I'm also getting ready to work on a gift for friends and needed 26 gauge tarnish resistant Brass Wire and of course I knew Brenda would have that item in stock! 
The last item I chose was a strand of Kyanite beads. Actually, I had no idea what they were! I purchased a pretty focal bead when the Gem and Mineral Show was in town back in the fall but the vendor couldn't tell me what kind of stone it was. I just hate that, don't you? Vendors should know what they are selling don'cha think?

Here's a photo of that focal bead...
When I asked around, none of my local friends could identify it.  I even posted it on Face book and hoped for an answer but didn't received a single response! I just decided it really didn't matter as long as I liked it.  Well I found a similar stone pendant at Brenda's shop and I asked her what kind of stone it was. It is Kyanite! Now when I think of Kyanite I think Blue or Green...certainly not Black!  But yes, this is indeed Kyanite and if you get it in just the right light you can see the blues and greens deep inside the stone.  Brenda just happened to have a marvelous strand of  "Rough" or Black Kyanite beads that would look just scrumptious with my focal bead so they promptly found their way into my basket. Be sure to look at the photo below for a closer look.  Won't they look just gorgeous wire wrapped into a chain for my focal bead?!
  And then, sadly, I had to add up my purchases and I was just a tad over my gift certificate limit....but what the heck! I had cash on hand and went home feeling guilt free and satisfied with my new treasures :)  I just love a good visit to my favorite bead shop.  I should go more often! How often do you visit your local bead shop?  I'd love to hear from you :)

The Black (Rough) Kyanite Beads I purchased!

A Pretty Red ArtFire Collection