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!


February 27, 2010

St. Patrick's Day fun!

Let me just start off by saying I am not Irish...or at least I don't think there is an Irishman in my past :)  I'm adopted and just recently found French Canadian blood in my veins. This fact allows me to cheer almost as hard for the Canadian Olympians as I do for our beloved Americans...as in U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!

Oh wait....let me get back on track here :)  I was talking about the Irish! Here in Kansas City the Irish are a hearty group of souls and I'm here to tell you...they know how to celebrate!  We have one of the largest parades in the nation on THE day...March 17th...Saint Patrick's Day!  In fact, we have more than one parade as I discovered last year when I volunteered to participate in the parade handing out flyers and keeping little Leprechan's out of harms way.  Wow!  I was amazed at the crowd and then I discovered the parade I was in...well, it was just the "baby" parade. The BIG parade had yet to come....the costumes and floats were amazing!  I don't know how many pair of green socks or how many glittering green hats were sold but someone made a bundle of money. 

However, not everyone wants to go off to work dressed as a Leprechan.  So how does one, who is NOT so inclined show proper Irish loyalty without wearing green tights and hats? Simple....you wear ANYTHING with a touch of "the Green".

Of course loyalty is only one of the reasons we Americans take this so seriously. The other reason is FEAR! I'm not sure what traditions are held in other countries but here in the USA if you're NOT wearing green you are in danger of being "Leprechan Pinched" by anyone wearing green, Irish American or not! And it hurts! OUCH!

A few years ago I found a great tutorial by Alice Korach  for a beaded wire "Sparkling Shamrock Pin".  It was so well written I just had to make one.  I loved it and planned to wear it on St. Paddy's Day!  Then my husband pointed out the obvious...it was NOT a Shamrock.  To be truly lucky and Irish it had to be a Shamrock.  So....using my new found skills and the great tips I'd learned I designed a new brooch in the shape of a proper Shamrock.  The first one seemed a little large for my taste but I wore it anyway.  Suddenly I had people asking where I'd found this brooch. Some liked the large size, others asked if it could be a bit more petite.  I of course, assured everyone I could make more and in TWO sizes!  (Sometimes I wish I could keep my big mouth shut.)

So, here it is...the Lucky Shamrock Brooch in both large AND small sizes. I have just one of each available and listed them in my ArtFire Studio earlier today.  If you would like to have one....I wish you the Luck O' the Irish in getting there first!

February 10, 2010

Check out this amazing Give Away Contest!

Amazing jewelry from an amazing artist!  I love Lisa's work and her "take" on life as an artist...finding her way in the middle of life!  You HAVE to go take a look at her beautiful beadweaving...soooo....what are you waiting for??? Click on the title of this post and it will take you straight to her blog site AND the give away details :)  See you there!

The BIG Reveal......

It's here! The day for the big reveal. The chance to show off the results of a "Virtual Muse Gathering". What's a "muse gathering"...well, it's 80+ bead artists attending a virtual Bead Soup Party then divided into pairs - a feat our hostess Lori Anderson managed to pull off with epic success. The "partners" exchanged packages of beading supplies to use in creating a design just for this event. The only absolute rule in the design: We had to use the clasp and focal bead provided by our partner. I was quite fortunate to have received a lovely package from my partner Debbie Goering of Prairie Emporium Handcrafted Jewelry.

I received two focal beads, both handmade by bead artist Barbara Lewis, and a lovely assortment of stones, seed beads, and a lovely handmade sterling silver clasp Debbie made for the collection.

Now, before I show reveal the finished piece I want to share a little something about my partner Debbie Goering. She did not share this information with me...but there was something about her address nudging my memory. Greensburg, Kansas? Hmmm...Where had I heard that name before? I started my Internet search and it didn't take long to find the information I was looking for.

On May 4, 2007 Greensburg, KS was hit by an F5 tornado with 200 mph winds. The town destroyed, people died, and lives were devastated. The photos and stories are horrific. NOW I remember! I remember crying and praying as I watched the news footage on television. Oh, but there is more....

Greensburg, KS is now one of the most well known small towns in the world! Why? Because her residents decided to take the absolute worst that Mother Nature had to dish out and not only survive and rebuild but to make a statement in the process. Today Greensburg is the "Greenest" little city in all of Kansas and probably the United States. Now I remember the little Kansas town featured in all of the news reports about living, building, and growing "Green".

Aha! It is amazing what a little research and information can do to spark the imagination and inspire the creative Muse in each of us. I returned to my worktable and took another look at the ingredients Debbie provided and what I saw was GREEN! The reaction was immediate...I knew I had to design a piece honoring this creative woman and the people of Greensburg. In it, you will find "elements" of nature...some raw and some refined. The angry sky before the storm and the seeds of change that followed. Look closely for the details and let your imagination do the rest.

"Elements from Oz"

I used as many natural beads as I could find from my private stash...wood, bone, clay, stone, Buri seeds, copper, silver, and many beads depicting nature such as the large lampwork bead (left) reflecting an angry sky. The focal bead is of course, the “eye” of the storm. I chose to attach it with an unusual Bali Silver bead that, quite frankly, reminded me of a "handle"...something to "Hang ON!" to. The leaves are glass of course but I loved the different shapes and colors. Leaves fly and swirl during a storm but they are also the first hint of new life here in the Midwest.

I hope this necklace, as small and unimpressive as it may be, will convey just a little of the respect I have for Debbie, her talent, and the town of Greensburg. They have taken us over the rainbow" to a real and beautiful new "Oz"! Thanks Debbie for the inspiration!

These are a few close up "crops" of the necklace for more detail....

To make this "Blog Hop" easier for everyone I've included the links to the Blogs of EVERYONE participating!  So, get a drink, put your feet up, and prepare to be impressed! Personally I would suggest literally "hopping" around instead of just going down the list or better yet...start and the bottom and move up! Please be sure and leave comments and if you are so inclined...press that magic "Follow" button :) 
We LOVE it when you do that!!

1. Lori, Pretty Things 
3. Terri, Blooming Ideas...You Are Here
4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
6. Kerry, Kabs Creative Concepts
7. Erin, Treasures Found
8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry
9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs
10. Nan, Spirit Rattles
11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique
12. Nancy, Beading From the Heart
13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings
14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle
15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks
16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
17. Lisa, Lo and Behold
18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas
19. Judith, Judith B.
20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium
21. Maria, Garden Path Beads
22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design
23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life
24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things
25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa
26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea
27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design
28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals
29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction
30. Leslie, Bei Mondi
31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta
32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry
33. Kathie, The Bead Cult
34. Patty, Plays With Fire
35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef
36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire
37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry
38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle
39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio
40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini
41. Marcie, La Bella Joya
42. Suzann, Beadphoria
43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks
44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass
45. Janiece, J Birds Garden
46. Kate, Organic Odysseys
47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale
48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure
49. Sue, Sue Beads
50. Janeen, Janeen 365
51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse
52. Kristie, Artisan Clay
53. Regina, Regina's Writings
54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble
55. Lyn, Lyn Foley
56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz
57. Cathryn, Chile Cats
58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook
59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter
60. Juli, Jul's Beads
61. Julie, RockerJewlz
62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too
63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
64. Katie, My Life and My Beads
65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay
66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth
67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design
68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio
69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery
70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs
71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights
72. Chas, One Woman's Haven
73. Chas, One Woman's Haven
74. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry
75. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky
76. Maire, Maire Dodd
77. Janet, Singing Woods
78. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads
79. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels
80. Joann, Jo's Jewels
81. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
82. Mel, Kookie Designs
83. Erin, Every Heart Crafts
84. Dale, Flights of Fancy
85. Dee, Runako Designs