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!


December 17, 2007

Valentine Trunk Sale Info for KC Etsy Street Team!

This is a quote from our KC Etsy Blog regarding the Valentine Trunk Show date and location:


Friday February 1st! We got it! We got it!!!

Okay a few details need to be worked out but we are going to the restaurant very soon, and will post details and pictures …. So far,
Here’s the address and the name of the place….

Shiraz Restaurant
320 Southwest Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64108

Broadway and Southwest Blvd.

So.....be there or be square :D

December 14, 2007

My Experiment with Linking Photos to my Store

Ok. I told you I'm not very good at this and for me it's all just a big experiment! I have a hard time just editing the colors on my blog pages much less figuring out how "links" work. Theses are some things I'd like to learn how to do:

Let my friends attach links to their own sites.

Have Links to my favorites lists - books, authors, movies, music, etc.

Direct link my photos to my etsy store instead of to my flickr site.

So, I've got my work cut out and lots of brain exercise to do. Wish me luck and here goes......

This is a link to a pretty Tourmaline and Gold Wire Bangle Bracelet in my Etsy store.

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8321119 So how do I connect this link to a photo and where do I upload that photo from? Hmmmm.... Must think on this! I think I'll go call my super-duper smart son and see if he has any advice for his not so super-duper smart Mom!

Ah Ha! Maybe this is where Etsy mini's come in to play! Let me give that a try......

Hotdog! It worked!! (Dancing around and giggling!)
However, it still isn't showing the Tourmaline Bangle I wanted in the photos. I haven't figured out how to choose which pieces I want to show up in the mini album.
Sounds like a job for another day!

December 12, 2007

It's been a long time!

I've been terrible about keeping up here with the writing on my blog. I upload photos of my latest pieces and designs. Part of the excuse of course has been the busy holiday atmosphere at my house but also the small fact that I'm just learning how to do all of this blogging and uploading and computer stuff! I'd love to feature other designers and artists here but I simply don't know how. So, until I become more knowledeable you'll just have to be patient with me.

beadpen - copper and sand

beadpen - copper and sand
beadpen - copper and sand,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.

beadpen - copper and sand
Copper sands. Copper metallic beadpen with natural sandstone, and jasper, copper, and silver plated pewter beads along with a great lampwork focal bead.

beadpen - evergreen

beadpen - evergreen
beadpen - evergreen,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.

beadpen - evergreen
Deep dark evergreen beadpen, Satin finish with great lampwork beads and sterling silver spacers.

beadpen red and purple lampwork

beadpen red and purple lampwork
Red Satin and Royal Purple - elegant beadpen in red satin finish. Beautiful artisan made lampwork beads in purple ,red,and black.

beadpen - lime green with lampwork

Shades of green - Fun beadpen with pretty lampwork beads and sterling silver beads. Great Gift!

purple shell pin

purple shell pin
purple shell pin,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Large brooch featuring Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls.

red motorcycle earrings

red motorcycle earrings
red motorcycle earrings,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Fun miniature motorcycle earrings!

teal elegance bracelet

teal elegance bracelet
teal elegance bracelet,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Pretty Bali silver tubes with Swarovski Crystal Cubes in Blue Zircon (Teal).

December 11, 2007

Black Gold Amazonite and Larvikite on Sterling Chain

And yet another long chain and stone necklace. This one is Black Gold Amazonite o n Sterling Silver chain. I also used pretty little Larvikite stones - egg shaped to alternate with the Amazonite. It's very pretty and delicate and looks awesome with this season's grey and aqua colors. One of my favorites and yes it's LONG! 45"?

chain and stone necklace - sodalite squares

Another long chain necklace....I'm on a roll! This one is made with Sterling Silver plated chain and pretty little puffed squares of Sodalite. It's dark denim blue color and I just love it with blue jeans and ANY shirt. Another one that's really long. I think this one is 44".

grey pearl chain necklace

grey pearl chain necklace
grey pearl chain necklace,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
These are charcoal grey glass pearls on a Sterling Silver chain. It's a long necklace - about 40" with no clasp. The pearls are two sizes and alternate to give it a little movement.

jay's gifts

jay's gifts
jay's gifts,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
This is one of my fav's and it was a gift I made for a dear friend. He inherited the nail cross from a relative when she passed away earlier this year. His wife asked me to do something special with it. My friend Jay was raised in Israel and speaks fluent Hebrew. He also has an Awesome voice! I had a stamp made that says "Sing" in Hebrew and made a plaque for the cross from PMC. Then I wirewrapped it on with antiqued copper wire, hung it on this goreous soft braided leather cord and voila' - Jay's Gifts was born.

I just love jewelry with a story don't you?

December 07, 2007

KC Etsy gals

KC  Etsy gals
KC Etsy gals,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
KC Etsy Street Team meeting for December was held at Independence Center in the Food Court!
From L-R) KarenKay, FunkyFelter,DumbKids, Monde

Cinderellish had to leave before the photo was taken and adriennedesigns wielded the camera!

December 05, 2007

chained swallows necklace crop1

This is definitely one of my favorites!
This necklace is so sweet. The swallows are only 3/4" from beak to tail feathers! They are made of antique brass as are the chain, ear wires, and wire.

Notice the 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads? There are Cantelope colored crystals sprinkled throughout the design. These are color changing crystals which means the color changes depending on the amount and type of light you are in. At home, under regular incandescent lighting the crystals are a pale purple/lavender color. Under flourescent lighting they turn green and in the sunlight they are a smokey gray color. Great fun to wear!

This necklace measures 18" long (not including the lobster claw clasp). I can attach an extender if you'd like - just convo me before buying so I can send you updated invoice.

The drop in front measures 2-1/2" long.

Check the photos for details - they are enlarged for your convenience. Feel free to convo me for additional information.

Stormy Weather Set

Very elegant and sophisticated. This set reminds me of Spectator shoes and the classic big hats you see in the movies. I love the asymetrical design.

This combination of Black Onyx, Crystal Quartz, and Tourmaline Quartz is perfect for the season! Grey is this season's black and with this you can have it all! Wear it with any color and you'll look like a million bucks :)

Look at the photos and note the difference in the fabrics I used to show these pieces off. Both lavender polka dots and rich, rich RED are equally complimentary!

Make a scene or steal the scene - this set is for you!

Necklace measures 18" with a 3" handcrafted extender.

The earrings measure 1-1/2" from the top of the Shield style lever back earring wire. Very easy and secure to wear!

Blk crystal and silver chandeliers3

These are my retro 70's style earrings made with Bali bracelet connectors and ear wires and Jet Swarovski Crystals. Very Bohemian, very pretty, and very fun to wear!

vintage pink glass bracelet

This bracelet is my idea of "retro feminine". The pink glass beads are just so..."1940's" with that great swirl pattern. I paired them with 4mm round "Rose" Swarovski crystals and 5mm Bali spacer beads.

The colors are soft and delicate and yet the diamond shape of the beads gives it an edgy retro feel. I truly adore the dainty Bali Silver toggle clasp. The entire piece is just a girly girl piece.

Put this piece with a grey sweater or suit to stand out in this seasons most popular color! If you're interested in matching earrings...check my store for a pair that fill the bill.

This bracelet would fit up to a 7" wrist. Please convo me with any questions or requests you have. The diamond shaped beads measure 1/2"x1/2".

Note: The photos show an Awareness charm attached to this bracelet. Please let me know if you do not want it on the bracelet and I will remove it.

vintage pink glass earrings

Love this vintage pink glass with dainty Bali ear wires? Just wait until you see the matching bracelet!

In My Dreams...Ocean Jasper Pendant

Ethereal. That's the best word I can think of to describe this beautiful Ocean Jasper pendant. Dreamy? Yes, that too!
It's like an aerial view of a beautiful lagoon - you know the one they always have in the movies with the giant romantic waterfall? Looking into the depths, layers upon layers of different textures and colors and all of them in soft hues of blue, green, purple, and white and grey.

I added a strand of 5mm faceted white Howlite saucers, Ametrine Rondelles along with 8mm Tree Agate beads and beautiful puffed oval beads of Fancy Jasper. It's very clean and quiet and elegant.

The clasp is a Bali Toggle and it's at the front! The pendant actually hangs from the toggle. It's adds loads of interest and makes it a breeze to hook on your own. At the very back - where the necklace will lay against your neck I used only the smaller beads for comfort. It will also make it so much easier to tuck the back under a collar if you choose.

This necklace measures about 22" long. The pendant hangs down another 1-3/4" and is 1-1/2" at its widest point.

Victorian Sparkle Cuff

Victorian Sparkle Cuff
Victorian Sparkle Cuff,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Heads will turn when you wear this beautiful Victorian style cuff bracelet. It is made up of a hundreds of black matte seed beads and a gold/brass/topaz metallic bugle beads in a looped fringe. It moves and flows when you move.

In the center is a rosette of Topaz Swarovski crystals, black faceted Czech glass and Hematite seed beads. I made this rosette by hand of a mixture of Vintage and Contemporary beads. It is truly one of my prettiest pieces.

Two magnetic ball clasps hold it securely on your wrist

November 28, 2007

Gypsy Black Crystal Chandeliers

These just look adventurous don't they? They remind me of the 70's (and don't ask me how I remember the 70's!) - very
retro bohemian. Some would call them my hippie earrings but I say these are post flower child era...

They are made with sterling silver Bali components and 4-6mm Swarovski bicone crystals. - black or "Jet". The beads are wire wrapped with 20G sterling silver wire.

The earrings measure about 2-3/4" in length from the top of the ear wire. Width is about 3/4" at the widest point.

Fun, sexy, and beautiful! What more could a girl want?

Twisted Pleasures Necklace

Twisted Pleasures Necklace
Twisted Pleasures Necklace,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Are you looking for something subtle but with real presence? Look no further! This is one of my absolute favs. I started out with the gigantor Agate pendant stone with brown, green,and yellow swirls. Deciding to wire wrap it simply with a sterling silver wire frame encircling the stone and a very plain bail, I'd planned to hang it on a heavy leather cord and call it finished.

Then my Muse woke up! I started looking at all of the colors in the pendant and pulling strands from my stash until I had this wonderful conglomeration of color and texture! I used large Citrine Chips, Olive Jade, Dark Green Jasper, Assorted wooden beads, Lodolite, Smokey Quartz, Butterscotch Jade, Pale Green Swarovski pearls, and Bali Silver spacer beads. Wow!

I must warn you...if you need something light weight - this isn't for you. It's hefty piece but it is SO WORTH IT'S WEIGHT! I ended the three twisted strands with beautiful handmade Balinese Silver Cones, a hammered Sterling Silver Hook and a nice, heavy 4" extender chain.

The necklace measures 23" from cope tip to cone tip. The round pendant is 1-5/8" wide.

Thai Silver Butterfly and Chunky Red Coral Bracelet

I made this bracelet with large chunks of Red Coral, Tree Agate beads, and Hill Tribe Silver beads from Thailand along with a large Hill Tribe Silver Butterfly focal piece. Hill Tribe Silver is at .975 silver or better. I used a bead and loop closure that's easy to use, secure, and very cool :)
This bracelet fits a medium size wrist. It's chunky and fun to wear. The only one of it's kind and full of personality.

Blue on Blue Necklace and Earring Set

Blue on Blue Necklace and Earring Set
Swarovski has three shades of Sapphire blue...Sapphire ( a medium blue), Light Sapphire, and Dark Sapphire which is the one you see here with the faceted Indigo Quartz Teardrops. In the photos the Indigo teardrops appear lighter in color than they really are. They are truly a dark inky blue and they look great with the dark navy blue sapphire crystals.

I hand wirewrapped each bead set with sterling silver wire.
I also added 4mm Swarovski crystal bicones with the Aurora Borealis (rainbow) finish for extra sparkle.

This necklace measures 16" in length with a 1" extender. Note: the extender actually measures 2" in length but will only add 1" to the necklace...the rest is pure drama!

These would look beautiful at this seasons' upcoming Holiday parties, Prom, or even Bridal set. It can be worn with anything I suppose but it does have a decidedly formal air.

The matching earrings are perfect with the necklace. They measure 1-1/2" long from the top of the French Ear Wire. Just enough length and movement to draw attention to your face but not too much to wear with the necklace. These are very light weight and comfortable to wear too!

In My Dreams...Ocean Jasper Pendant

In My Dreams...Ocean Jasper Pendant
Ethereal. That's the best word I can think of to describe this beautiful Ocean Jasper pendant. Dreamy? Yes, that too!
It's like an aerial view of a beautiful lagoon - you know the one they always have in the movies with the giant romantic waterfall? Looking into the depths, layers upon layers of different textures and colors and all of them in soft hues of blue, green, purple, and white and grey.

I added a strand of 5mm faceted white Howlite saucers, Ametrine Rondelles along with 8mm Tree Agate beads and beautiful puffed oval beads of Fancy Jasper. It's very clean and quiet and elegant.

The clasp is a Bali Toggle and it's at the front! The pendant actually hangs from the toggle. It's adds loads of interest and makes it a breeze to hook on your own. At the very back - where the necklace will lay against your neck I used only the smaller beads for comfort. It will also make it so much easier to tuck the back under a collar if you choose.

This necklace measures about 22" long. The pendant hangs down another 1-3/4" and is 1-1/2" at its widest point.

November 21, 2007

Frosty Winter Garden Bracelet

Frosty Winter Garden Bracelet
I'd been teaching this fringe bracelet class last year when we got an early ice storm. I remember just feeling awed by the beauty of my summer flower garden cloaked in ice, snow, and frost and seeing the bright winter sun turn the whole of it into a glistening garden. This bracelet was the outcome of that storm's inspiration.

Wow her with this elegant bracelet! It has loads of detail and sparkle ... especially by firelight.(wink) The perfect gift for the sweetie that keeps you warm on frosty nights.

Featuring Swarovski crystals in pale blue and sapphire, crystal clear and with an aurora borealis finish too. I also included lots of 4mm and 6mm Swarovski glass pearls in a snowy white.

There are many Czech glass pressed flowers and leaves - some are clear, some have an irridescent finish, and then there are beads that have a frosted finish.

It's finished with a button and loop clasp. The button is a clear frosted flower with a pretty clear seed bead center.

There are oodles of seed beads that go into the creation of one of these fringe bracelets and about 8 hours of work. Well worth it when they come out as pretty as this one.

This bracelet will fit a 7" - 7-3/4" wrist.

This would even be perfect for a Winter Bride! Something blue is already in the garden!

Black and Blue Geometrics

Black and Blue Geometrics
Black and Blue Geometrics,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Argh! I wasn't good at Geometry in school and I don't think it's going to get better now. I can't tell you the exact shape of the large rectangular stone but I can tell you it is gorgeous!
I was told it is a form of Chrysacolla but I'm not sure about that. It appears to be a sodalite with blue onyx mix but it's just too colorful to let it bother me.

I usually don't mix navy blue and black but I just couldn't resist it this time. I've been holding onto these pretty sodalite rectangular chunks for a long time and the little 3mm black Onyx beads are a favorite.

Be sure to take note of the handmade Swan Neck Clasp. I made it from heavy sterling silver wire then hammered it for lots of reflectivity.

This necklace measure 16" long with a 4" extender. The chain and wire used are sterling silver as well. Enjoy this necklace with everything you wear!

Swarovski Crystals in Vitrail Wrapped in Sterling Wire

OOOHHH! AAAHHH! I looks like the 4th of July when this little bracelet sparkles.

There are fourteen indiviual Swarovski Crystals with the Vitral finish wrapped in Sterling Silver medium gauge wire. The clasp is a hand crafted hook and loop. Believe it or not there is only one, yes one, very long piece of wire used to make this piece. It't a bangle with a clasp so I prefer to call it a "brangle".

This bracelet fits a small to average wrist. The inner diameter measures 2 1/4" x 1 3/4". It's important to allow for the size of the beads when measuring so a regular wrist measurement isn't quite the same.

Carmen Miranda Meets Prince Set

I know we're coming up on the Fall and Winter seasons but I love purple. I kept thinking about the rain we have here in Missouri in the Fall and "Purple Rain" just kind of led to Prince...besides yellow, red, orange...all of them look great with purple. Well, okay maybe not but just check out the cool beaded beads I made to use on the clasp and earrings in this set. I swear Prince would love to see Carmen Miranda in this bracelet and earrings! Am I rambling or it is just me? Sorry..

I used assorted shades and sizes of purple seed beads along with Bali spacers and findings. The glass beads on the bracelet make a great "jingly" sound when you shake it and the back of the bracelet is really smooth against the skin.
Wearing it just makes you feel good! Gives you a little cha-cha in your step if you know what I mean.

The bracelet measures 7-1/2" plus the bead and loop clasp. My wrist is 6-3/4" and this is a great fit. It moves and slides but doesn't threaten to fall off. Because of the way it's made size cannot be adjusted.

Be sure to look at the photos for detail. I try to show front and back and get the best color possible although with purple it's always a gamble on what color you'll see on the monitor. The earrings are on Bali ear wires and measure 1-1/2" from the top of the ear wire.

November 18, 2007

Yada, Yada, Yada, Blog, Blog, Blog!

I was thinking I might try and get a little traffic on my blog so I sent out an email to a few family members whom I thought might actually enjoy reading it. Remind me not to do that again.

Sometimes I forget that being family isn't always fun. Family members, and I am one so I am guilty of this too, seem to think that by right of being "kin" they also have the right to criticize. Now, I know that it's not always meant to be hurtful but so much of the time we jump to criticize and completely miss what's important.

For instance, I posted a little ditty yesterday about buying handmade and passing down the artistry of our ancestors. I bragged on my mom, my husband, my son and I thought, my dad.

I have since been notified that my Dad was a very good student in grade school and high school. I know this already and in fact mentioned that he is a smart man. I also commented that he wasn't well educated. I stand corrected. He did pick up some college credits of which I was unaware and took some classes in agronomy or something of that nature...another fact of which I was unaware.

When I say "well educated" I tend to think of someone with at least a four year college education and a degree. I didn't mean to insult anyone. I need to say at this point in time that I do not consider myself well educated either. And just for the record, well educated has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence. My dad taught me that. He called people with lots of "book learning" and not much common sense "Educated Idiots". He knew plenty of them. And just so you know, my dad is one of the smartest people I know.

My error was in not mentioning his talent! His talent is in making something out of nothing. He didn't make much money in his lifetime but he never seemed to owe much either. He paid cash for pretty much everything. We always had what we needed and no, I never had to go without anything of importance. Yes, my dad is smart and talented in his own right. He just isn't into crafting things with his hands.

So, there you have it. I've spent one post correcting another. The only problem with that is that people don't tune in to read corrections and retractions. They want to read about something new and different. I had planned to blog about my dad on another day but decided to fix what I broke instead.

When I read the blog of a friend or family member I don't write them correcting their spelling or grammar nor do I feel compelled to "fact check". I enjoy it for what it is, thank the good Lord above for spell checker, and move on. I'd like to ask for that grace here as well. I sometimes misspell words and I sometimes forget to use my spell checker! (gasp!) I'm sorry about that folks, I really am! I know there are people that just can't stand to see an error in print. Oh well. I guess they won't enjoy my posts. That's okay too.

There are a lot of people in the world who don't yet know what a Blog is. Hard to believe, huh? There are even more people who don't even attempt to create a Blog. Yep! That's true too. The world will keep spinning and life will go on without so much as a "blip" on the radar.

Let me make this clear so it's not questioned somewhere down the road...this is MY journal. That means it's MY thoughts on paper for all the world the see if they want to. My risk. If I make a mistake or misstatement that will have an effect on how the world spins or world hunger then please, by all means, let me know! If it's not that important then please, look for the point to the story and move on. If you can't then please don't read at all. I have lots of pretty pictures you can look at and never have to read a word.

Wishing I were as perfect as Walter Cronkite and wishing I had the team of watch dogs he had behind him that prevented him from human error. Good night and good luck....or was that even Walter?

November 17, 2007

Buying Handmade for the Holiday Season

I made a pledge to buy handmade items for Christmas gifts this year. Why? Because I make handcrafted jewelry, my friends make handcrafted items, and I like the idea that we're keeping the artisan lifestyle alive here in the good old USA.

I don't think it really occurred to me just how far we'd wandered from our roots until I started talking to friends my age about things our mothers made when we were growing up. My mother, God bless her little heart, was the answer to a financially challenged household. My dad was a farmer and sold fertilizer. He was smart but not well educated. He made a good honest living and I was proud of him...still am as a matter of fact. But having said that, we weren't rich by any stretch of the imagination and Mom "made do" with what we had.

She was well known in the area for her skills as a seamstress. She made most of my clothes and all of my formals for school dances, etc....these are in hot demand now as Vintage gowns! She sewed for "working mothers" making them suits and dresses to wear to the office. But sewing wasn't all she did..

My Mom was well known for her skills in the kitchen too! She made the best pie crusts in three counties...at least. They were perfect, flakey, confections that just melted in your mouth but somehow managed to stay perfectly dry under a fruit pie filling or my favorite...coconut creme!

She did it all. She cooked, sewed, embroidered, knitted, crocheted, gardened, canned, you name it - she could do it and she did it well.

So while this might sound like a tribute to my parents, it's more about the attitude of the times and what she and my dad chose to pass down to us, the future buyers of America. I don't know many women who can make a really great homemade pie crust anymore. Most pies are "store bought" and the closest thing we get to homemade pie is the crust that you buy in a box, slap into a pie pan, pour in a can of pie filling, and bake in the oven. That's home baked but that's not homemade. My mom called it "scratch" cooking. I guess I never had the proper itch because I don't cook from "scratch" now. I still used her recipes though and I hope to pass them down to my kids.

I was looking at a dress pattern she used about 30 years ago for one of my formal events. It was an incredibly expensive pattern for those days - she paid close to $15.00 just for the pattern. Funny thing is, she completely redesigned the front of the dress for me. She could have made her own patterns and she did sometimes, she just used the "store bought" ones to save a little time. Her creativity just wouldn't allow her to "color inside the lines" even when she had a great pattern.

The talent she shared with me and so many others has not been forgotten. I hesitate to use her latest embroidered tea towels because I know they will likely be her last set. Yet, even though I seldom dry my dishes at all, I want my daughter to see the handiwork and appreciate it for what it is.

I'm tired of going to big department stores and buying what's cheap, disposable, and easily replaced. I want things in my life that mean something. I don't want to see my kids lose the ability to handcraft the things they love.

My husband is a talented and patient man...most of the time. He's smart and creative and he puts up with me...most of the time. He's taking the space in my basement that was formerly used as my son's bedroom and my laundry area and making a space for me to work, a studio of my own. He uses his hands (and power tools) and his brain to figure out what will work the best for me in a limited amount of space.
There will be handmade shelves on the walls, wonderful task lighting, and fresh paint.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have Fibromyalgia. I also have what my doctor calls an "Insulted Brain" from two previous craniotomies, Bacterial Meningitis, and a wicked Staph infection. I'm incredibly blessed to be alive at all. Having fingers and toes is a real bonus and that is not a joke! What I did lose was my organizational skills and I've lost some ability to remember both old and new information. I have become a scattered mind in a middle-aged body...that's kind of scarey for me.

Bless his kind heart, he is so much better at understanding what I need and how it needs to be made than I am. He knows that I need lots of storage space - but visible storage. If I can't see it, I can't remember I have it, and I won't use it.
Today he built shelves for me - open, contemporary shelves. Handmade. He thinks about the perfect drawer pulls that won't stress my hands and the ease with which my chair will roll across the floor. He integrates his skill with my weakness and is creating a place for me.

He is a craftsman. Like my mother, he has a vision of what he wants to do and he creates it. I envy that ability! What makes me even more proud? He is teaching our son to be a craftman in his own home. My son talks about building bookshelves ... not buying them. He does his own home repair whenever possible and his idea of a great visit from Mom and Dad? Taking time off from work so he and Dad can work on the house and he can learn new skills.

Pass it down. Not just the furniture and the "stuff", but the skills it takes to create them and the mindset that feeds creativity.

Later, I'll post photos of the progress we're making in my studio. I can hardly wait to get started crafting in that space. My space. Hmmm, sounds like some high tech internet thing doesn't it? LOL!

Masculine Exotic Wood BeadPen

Masculine Exotic Wood BeadPen
Isn't this pen beefy and made for the manly man? I know my husband thinks it's great and he's a pretty tough critic. This one was actually featured in a Newspaper Fashion Article down Texas way. The fashion focus was on unique masculine gifts. I do think this fits the bill. Please note the ink is blue and this pen is metal. It has a replaceable ink cartridge. I used exotic wood beads, with washers and nuts from my husbands garage stash. Can't get much more masculine than that!

Wire wrapped gold filled and sterling bangle charm bracelet

This one took a while to make but it was fun!
This is a combination bracelet and bangle. The base is heavy sterling silver wire that has been wrapped in 14K Gold Filled wire. During that process I left small loops of wire to attach charms. This is reminescent of a design I saw in a magazine a while back, I can't remember which one but I like mine better.
There is a mixture of natural stones and sterling silver beads on this bracelet. The clasp is a handcrafted Swan Neck. Fits up to an 8" wrist.

To Sleep and Dream or NOT!

Hmmmm....I'm up again. Not to many years ago it wouldn't have been a big deal to be awake at 1:17 am but I'm not 25 anymore and "it", the night, just doesn't have the mystique it used to.

That's okay really. I don't have the same mystique either. But then again I'm looking the big Five O in the face and I don't really care much about the feminine mystique.

Oh, I had my day! I have the pictures to prove it. What's funny is that I can still recall what I was thinking in those photos and it wasn't very nice. I was probably grumbling about having to look the look and walk the walk because I was never a "girly girl" to begin with.

As I near my 50th birthday (2008) I'm glad that I didn't put much stock in outward appearances. I also find it ironic that I design jewelry for my livelyhood. Until I actually started selling my designs I seldom ever wore jewelry at all....even then it was at the urging of my friends who wanted to see me succeed. I love my jewelry! I'm proud of it and I am thrilled to see others wearing it. But it's not always comfortable for me to wear jewelry - mine or anyone else's. I can't tolerate anything around my throat and yet I design great necklaces and chokers. Go figure.

I love bracelets, they are the mainstay of my style...and rings. I almost always wear a bracelet or two daily and usually one or two rings. Maybe it's because I work with my hands and I can enjoy looking at them while I work. By the end of the day I'm ready to take them off too but at least I enjoyed them the entire day!

Earrings.....love them, love them, love them! Easy to design the sweet simple plain ones for "working girls" who really do work in offices and such. Most of them even go to church on Sunday and they wear them there too. The earrings I prefer are not "office" or "Sunday School" earrings. I like mine long, swinging, baudy and bodacious. The louder the better! Problem is, my preferred earrings take longer to make and they definitely require more imagination. I don't make as many because they are time consuming but that's okay, I don't sell many of them either. I tend to give the wild ones away for gifts :)

Today I was told that I have several southwest/native american designs in my store. I don't agree with that. There are only two that are strictly native american. The others may have a tribal feel but tribal and native american do not mean the same thing to me. Tahiti - that's tribal! Western - horses and cowboys and rodeo's - that's not southwest or native american either. The only thing southwest about wire wrapped stones and designs is the hundreds (maybe thousands) of retired old men and women who have packed up their tools and wire and moved on down to Arizona for six months of the year. Well, ok, there is one exception to that, it depends on what they wirewrap...if it's Crazy Horse Jasper or Turquoise then, yes, it's probably Southwest design.

Did you know that Red Coral is becoming endangered and therefore quite pricey to obtain. Most of the red coral you see on the market today is dyed and if that helps save the true reds than that's what I'll use too. High quality dyed red coral looks as good, works as well in projects, and lasts beautifully. It can be pricey too but only if you don't know what you're buying :) I really hate wearing a piece of "color enhanced or dyed" jewelry and getting caught in a rainstorm. Looking down at a hand that is bloodred because the dye is running down my fingertips is a real bummer. I wash all of my coral strands when I come home from buying trips. If they start running...let's just say they run all the way back to the shop where I purchased them.

Got a little lost in that explanation, after all I'm almost 50 and it's almost 2:00am! My brain is soooo past it's bedtime!

My point in this discussion is that much of the red stone you see in Southwestern Designs these days is not Coral at all but is actually "Red Jade" - another dyed stone that holds the color well, and is actually very pretty. I think it's an agate in real life :D

Chalk turquoise is another stone I'm not happy with. This, to my understanding, is the ground dust left after drilling and digging for Turquoise. This dust is then mixed with water and press into molds. I have major issues with that and unless my clients request chalk turquoise, I will not be using it.

I guess it's a good thing I'm getting sleepy because I dream about jewelry designs and stones and wire wrapping! I should sleep tight tonight!

Have a good night and don't buy any chalk turquoise!

November 16, 2007

labradorite wire wrapped pendant001

This stone is just gorgeous! I love Labradorite in pretty much any setting but this one was elegant and yet flamboyant to match the flashing colors in the stone.

I used medium gauge square sterling silver wire to make this pendant. I don't use patterns so the shape they take on is as new to me as it is to you! This one is a favorite and it's taken a long time to let it go.

I hope you enjoy it!

All pendants come with a 16" Black Satin cord. If you would like one of a different length please let me know.

dichoric glass and sterling silver brangle002

I got a little carried away making twisted wire beads - experimenting with different sizes and shapes of mandrels, different gauge wire. The result is a kind of manic mix of texture. I knew I would need just the right beads to go with my wire ones...

Then I saw these beads. When I look at them I see blue -light, dark, navy, aqua, metallic and then I see green in every shade I can name. Purple, hmmmm, in just the right light I see purple....and black too! The twisty tube shaped ones remind me a little of a caterpillar.

I had these really cool Bali beads that have a flower design but even in that design I see a twisted rope texture so sure enough I had to include them as well.

Well, by now I had enough texture for three bracelets so I thought I'd better calm things down a bit and I used simple little polished sterling silver beads as accents. A classic swan-neck hook and loop make the clasp a breeze to use and add a charming artsy look to the bracelet.

This bracelet/bangle/brangle fits a medium size wrist - I'd say up to a 7-3/4" wrist at most. It's comfy to wear, is strung on heavy gauge solid sterling silver wire and has an antiqued finish to accent all the little details.

the captains gold bracelet006

I just can't think of a great name for this bracelet! Can you?

blue swirl dichroic pendant necklace

Wow! This makes a statement doesn't it? No, "statement" isn't really the word. It just screams "Look at ME!" And you really should too! It's just gorgeous if I do say so myself.

I bought this 2"x2" dichroic pendant from an artist by the name of Elaine LaFlex-Green in Billings, MT. She said she loved it but could never quite "see" it in finished piece. I guess her Muse went on vacation ... and a good thing for me!

It took a while for my Muse to get used to working with a pendant this charismatic. I tried several differnt things and then another artist friend came my way and handed me a spool of painted leather. It was irridescent and she just hadn't been able to use it - her muse must have gone on vacation too. The minute I saw it I knew just exactly what I was going to use it for....

And this pendant was on it's way to having a derserving cord. I kept thinking that as much as I loved the leather it really needed a partner in crime and that had to be Sterling Silver chain. So, recently I attended a great gem show and ran right into this chain! And here it is. The Big Blue Swirl was born :D

I love the Sterling Silver Swirl bead so I wire wrapped it and Swarovski Crystals right onto the chain.

This piece takes center stage and I'm thinking you won't need to wear much jewelry to go with it!

The necklace measures 26" in length from end to end - that includes the two inch width of the pendant. The drop on the pendant is just a shade over 2".

November 15, 2007

A Refresher Course in PMC and Thankfulness!

Hello! It's been the most beautiful fall day. The temperature was cool and breezy and the sun was shining. The trees here in Kansas City are the prettiest they've been in years!

I went to a friends house to work on a commissioned piece of jewelry and her home smelled like the great outdoors. She was burning a "Sage Stick". My goodness, it smelled like spices, roasting marshmallows, bonfires, and cedar. Yum! Somebody break out the cider!

My friend Dana and I had lots of work to do so we didn't get to play outside or really enjoy it much but just the view through the windows of her kitchen was enough to fuel the soul.

Dana is a PMC - Precious Metal Clay - Instructor and Artisan. If you aren't familiar with it...it's organic clay impregnated with Fine Silver. You shape it, mold it, sculpt it into whatever design you can come up with
and after a short drying process you fire it in a kiln at very high temperatures.

The piece I needed to make was small and had a very rustic feel so I didn't have to spend a lot of time on the design - just a small rectangle stamped with a clean rubber stamp. The rubber stamp presses the design into the clay scupture. Mine happened to be the Hebrew
word "Sing".

It's an amazing process. When the PMC sculpture is fired in the kiln, all of the organic material burns away and the piece becomes a 99.9% Fine Silver piece of jewelry. It appears to be a snowy white at first but that soon disappears when you start brushing away the outer layer. Suddenly you discover this gorgeous piece of .glossy silver. There are all kinds of options you can utilize to accomplish any number of finishes. I just needed mine to look like a rustic little sign. That was easy!

Now I need to cook up a pot of Liver of Sulpher to blacken the letter depressions in my sign. This will make the letters of the Hebrew word really stand out.

Once I'd pretty much prepared my piece for antiquing in LOS I noticed there were lines and whorls on the sign. As it turns out, it was my signature....my fingerprints. I guess that takes care of any question about the identity of the artist huh?

It was just a great day. Fun, beautiful weather, learning a craft from an expert who happens to be a great friend and teacher. I realize just how lucky I am to have access to those things that make me happy and how very fortunate I am to be able to pursue my art.

It was a blessed day. Thanks Dana.

Note: I posted several pieces of jewelry here today. Most of them are available in my store: www.adriennedesigns.etsy.com. If you don't see them give me a call and I'll be happy to assist you in locating the piece.

Thanks for taking the time to read this little blog.

Blush Pink Splash bracelet

Blush Pink Splash bracelet
Blush Pink Splash bracelet,
originally uploaded by Adrienne Designs.
Another really fun and oh so delicate seed bead bracelet that took many hours to make. This is called the Splash bracelet because the loops appear to "splash" like water when you drop the pink foil beads in the center. Very fluid and incredibly comfortable to wear.

Red Smokin Hot Swarovski Caterpillar bracelet

Just in time for the holidays!

I have a bracelet just like this one. I've had a lot people ask to buy it. So, I made another and here it is. Photos, at least mine, just don't capture the gorgeous color and sparkle. The seedbeads on the loops are a silver lined red and they have a lot more color than you see in the photo. I topped those off with Swarovski crystals in Siam, Garnet, Burgundy, and Ruby!

Wire wrapped Amethyst Donut Pendant on Satin Cord

This piece is a very pretty little Amethyst donut wire wrapped with loads of detail and sterling silver wire as well all Sterling Silver nuggets and some very cool coils. It hangs from a 16" black satin cord with sterling silver clasps. I wish you could see how pretty the color is and the stones quality!

Black Gold Amazonite Bracelet

Black Gold Amazonite Bracelet
Another chunky stone bracelet from Adrienne Designs! This one is Sterling Silver wire wrapped around some great big Black Gold Amazonite coin beads. I've added a couple of small rondelle beads to the extender chain too. The disks measure about 1-1/2" across. All Silver work is hand crafted including the hammered Swan neck hook clasp. By the way, the "black gold" is pyrite sparkling in the black tourmaline crystals in the amazonite.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

November 12, 2007

=Etsy Street Teams and Me

Well today was a completely gloomy day and I stayed buried in my computer for most of it. I have Fibromyalgia (gasp!) and days like today when rain threatens and the weather fronts move in and out, I really don't feel much like moving. However, that said, life does go on and I really have to participate....not doing so makes me really cranky.

Two really good things: I joined two street teams on Etsy.com. The Kansas City Etsy Street Team - a group of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas artist working together to advance the handmade cause and share ideas for sales, art shows, etc. I'm so excited to get involved with local artists interested in supporting each other!

The second group is JET - Jewelry on Etsy Street Team. This is a large group of jewelry artists at least 300 strong working to support one another in the arts but also sponsoring contests online, sharing ideas and professional business practices.

Joining a street team benefits everyone involved and I'm looking forward to the sharing of ideas and support. My one concern is this: am I really a "group" person?

My church encourages participation in small groups and although I know this is a beneficial element for most people....some of us just aren't the "group" type. I realize that a local small group is probably more restrictive than an online group of many but I get a bit anxious just wondering if I'll be able to keep up and participate the required amount. Is that weird or what? I don't think I'm going to freak out and quit or drive myself crazy trying to fit in but it does raise the question ... "What is right for me?
I can tell you that I don't really feel comfortable in a small group at church - I can find any number of reasons not to join one - the wrong day of the week, they meet too early in the morning, they meet too late at night, they're too old, they're too young, they have kids, they don't, etc.,etc.,etc. I don't like feeling like I have to be a part of a group to be a part of the group.

Believe it or not the two subjects of Fibromyalgia and groups really do have a connection. I think my struggle with group memberships has a lot to do with chronic illness. You just never know when you're going to feel well enough to participate so it's very intimidating to commit to a regular meeting. The beauty of joining online groups is this...you can attend meetings in your jammies! You don't have to look good, feel good, or even sound good. If you want to attend but refrain from participation it's okay and perfectly acceptable in an online group. Just try getting away with that in a small personal live group.

Most people outside of my family and really close friends don't even know I have Fibromyalgia. It's not a part of my life I like to share and it's not a part of my life I like to acknowledge so it's not surprising I don't talk about it much. I think I'll give this group thing a try - despite my personal health issues. I may even be required to attend a meeting with the KC Etsy Street Team at some point but I think I can handle that on occasion.

What are your thoughts on group meetings and memberships? Do you like being a member or do they freak you out?

See you soon!

November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning Lazy

Good morning! It's just wrong for me to be feeling so lazy on this Autumn Sunday morning but it's kind of overcast and muggy outside - I discovered this when I took "the Brode" out for his morning routine. "The Brode" is Brodie my Westie - the one on my lap in the profile photo. He's my great buddy and I don't know what I'd do for entertainment if it weren't for him..

Anyhoodle, back to this lazy morning. Normally I'd be sitting in church but it was just too warm in my bed this day with my snuggly d.h. and the quiet sounds of a sleeping house to disturb the ambiance.

So, I finally dragged myself out and decided that this would be a great time to check out my little store and see how sales are looking. Come see my newest listings at http://www.adriennedesigns.etsy.com/ ! I have all kinds of lovely things and just posted a Storewide 20% off Sale through November 30th. That is a great sale not to mention the free shipping special I'm running too!
These are a couple of my latest listings... a Swallow necklace ( I have matching earrings at the store) and this really long chunky stone and chain necklace - made with 12 different stones and brass chain. Very trendy!

Also, I had a request for more earrings! I must admit to having them but not listing them because I really am not a fan of photographing earrings....but I did get several pairs of earrings and a few new bracelets and necklaces listed at http://www.adriennedesigns.etsy.com/ and many of them would be just great for holiday parties, formal occasions, weddings, etc. Very sparkley and fabulous in a Marilyn Monroe kind of way.
Here are a few:
That's it for today. I'm going to wriggle back into my bed and dream about Turkey Day!