I’ve always felt that my journey through jewelry making has been very organic.  I started making jewelry when I needed “quick, easy and cheap” Christmas presents for my family about 5ish years ago.  Little did I know the journey I’d be thrust into.  Simple stringing was my choice for that time, but my mom quickly sent me a jewelry making book that included an amazing bead weaving pattern – and I started out on my first bead woven piece.

Since then I’ve taken on bead weaving and wirework, have made my own cabochons and am looking to make my own metal components soon (just need a saw, and hammer and….everything!)

But I’ve found my greatest leaps and achievements have been through challenges.  If you make jewelry and have never participated in a challenge – any challenge – I urge you to do so.  It pushes your boundaries and makes you think of designs that you wouldn’t have before.  Which brings me to this post.

This challenge was issued by Sarah Rose who runs Jewelry Because, you can read about her great mission here.  What was the challenge?  Create a necklace that represents your personality.  When I first read this I was leaving one store at work to drive for another – and driving is often where I come up with some great ideas – so I thought really really hard about it.  What did I come up with?


So how the hell was I going to make this into a necklace?  I really had no clue – but everyone really wanted to see it! So I felt compelled to at least try.

So I sat down again, this time at home, and put a lot of thought into it – what was my personality?  Ask my cousin or my sister, and they’ll tell you I’m crazy (if you saw any of our videos from my summer vacation you’ll see this).  Ask my coworkers and they’ll tell you I’m kind of quiet and do what I need to do to get things done.  Ask some of my friends and they’ll say I’m an animal lover, or a badass biker, or a great jewelry maker.  But who do I feel I am? I’m all of them!

So this is what I made:  (I’ll explain all the parts and pieces and why I chose them after the pics)

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The gem in the middle is a gorgeous piece of laboradorite with a lot of hidden flash (like me!).  The shape of the stone represents both my tough side (sharp edges) and my flashier side (hidden yet out in the open at the same time).

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The “softer” side of my personality is represented by some shibori silk and a pewter angel wing (everyone calls me Raven).  A little bit of flash/surprise is thrown in with the delica beads that color shift.  The simplicity of the design also shows me as even when I “dress up” it’s simple, very little makeup, very little time spend on my hair.
The “tougher” side is shown through the leather and the dagger(supposed to represent a horn). The leather is a recycled/upcycled leather vest because I ride motorcycles (hubby just bought me a new one for our anniversary!!)).  The delica here also have some flash – and that was on purpose, because sometimes even when being badass you want to look good. (I beaded my name for my leather (see below)).   Notice that the shape of each side also shows these elements – rounded/soft, pointed/tough.


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Since the necklace is split down the middle I decided to do that with the clasp as well – the soft side is the ring, in the flashy delica.  The bar is 2 daggers – pointy and lethal! lol

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The “tough” side necklace is made up of daggers and a lampwork barrel.  They’re wrapped with black permanately colored copper wire.  The wraps are very rustic and elementary, a far cry from the usual neat and smooth wrap I usually go for.

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The “soft” side necklace is labrodorite coins (purchased from Sarah herself) – again they have that surprise flash at unexpected moments – interwoven with random seed beads – you never know what you’re going to get!!


Each of the elements in this necklace was chosen with great care – and I believe is ME, very much so that duality that sometimes I can never even reconcile myself.

Do you have that duality? Could you see yourself in this necklace?

So what does my personality look like?

life * love * beads

Bead Peeps REVEAL!!!! FINALLY!!!!

It’s finally time! The reveal for the very first annual Bead Peeps Swap ‘N Hop! I was lucky enough to have 2 partners so this will be a VERY long post but it will have lots and lots of sparkle and pretties!

The Bead Peeps Swap ‘n Hop is a fun event where you get a partner (or in my case 2), swap some beads, and make some awesome jewelry. The one “requirement” for the hop was including an artisan made component, which you could make yourself or purchase if, like me, you’re just not that talented.

First off a big shout out to our host Linda Anderson of CherryOnTopDesign!  She put a crap ton of work into matching partners and trying to give everyone a great time!  Make sure to head over to her blog and she what she created!

So as revealed in earlier posts my partners are Stephanie Haussler of Pixybug Designs and Kelly Hosford Patterson of Pyxeestyx – Traveling Sideshow. You can read about Stephanie here and Kelly here.  I really got lucky because each partner had their own distinct style.  Stephanie works with seed beads while Kelly is a textile artist.

Here is what I sent to my partners:

Sent to Kelly Hosford Patterson.  Artisan Component: Clay toggle, don't recall artist

Sent to Kelly Hosford Patterson.
Artisan Component: Clay toggle, don’t recall artist

Sent to Stephanie Haussler. Artisan components: Cab by Kinga Nichols, Shirbori ribbon by Deborah Weaver

Sent to Stephanie Haussler.
Artisan components: Cab by Kinga Nichols, Shirbori ribbon by Deborah Weaver

What I received from my partners:

Stephanie sent me and awesome collection of seed beads!

  • 4 mm firepolish
  • 2 type of czechmate 2 hole tiles (purple and peacock)
  • pearl druks
  • lemon lentils
  • quartz saucer beads
  • white halo pinch beads
  • czechmate bricks
  • rose halo melon beads
  • swarovski crystalette buttons
  • white 15/0
  • light green 11/0
  • purple seed bead mix
  • green superduo
  • lampwork cab by Chris Haussler (her husband)
Received from Stephanie Haussler Artisan components:  Lampwork cab by Chris Haussler

Received from Stephanie Haussler
Artisan components:
Lampwork cab by Chris Haussler

Close up of artisan component

Close up of artisan component

Kelly send an awesome arrangement:

1. Sari silk
2.  Periwinkle eyelash yarn
3.  Metallic purple Quartz crystal points
4.  Heliotrope Quartz crystal points
5.  Color shift lampwork glass rectangles with murrini (artist unknown)
6.  Purple Zebra Jasper rondelles
7.  Pink/purple/peach Agate coins
8.  Opaque purple cultured sea glass barrel beads
9.  Charcoal gray fresh water pearls with peacock luster
10. Light Sapphire cultured sea glass square spacers
11. Opaque sky blue Tiara glass crystal rondelles
12. Opaque periwinkle color shift Tiara glass crystal rondelles
13. Transparent periwinkle color shift Tiara glass crystal rondelles
14. Transparent lemon yellow Tiara glass crystal rondelles
15. texture copper rectangle beads
16. Hammered copper washers
17. lampwork glass satellites (artist unknown)
18. Upcycled tin Iris petals
19. Handmade copper hook closures
20. “Raven” hand stamped copper bracelet bar with Labradorite, Amethyst & copper wing dangles
21. “Ride like the wind” hand stamped etched copper motorcycle focal

Recieved from Kelly Hosford Pattern Artisan components: “raven” stamped copper bracelet bar with amethyst & labordorite, etched and stamped motorcycle copper square, hammered copper rings, hammered copper clasps (one with lampwork accent)

Close up of artisan components

Close up of artisan components

I was able to make TONS of goodies from each, and some pieces had components from both partners. I noticed that a lot of my pieces were either influenced by other artists or I used a pattern (which is not my norm, I’m not a big pattern person).  And I still have lots and lots of stuff I’ll be adding to my stash (hehe).

This piece I had a lot of fun with.  I was inspired by Beadist Artist from facebook.  She always does these wonderfully asymmetrical bead embroidery pieces with awesome fringe.  I used the lampwork cab made by Stephanie’s husband, pinch beads, peacock czechmate tiles, swarovski crystalette buttons, melon beads, firepolish, 11/0 and 15/0.  I also threw in some 11/0, O-beads, 2 hole triangles and delicas from my stash.  The rope is chenille stitch, the clasp is beaded to match, with a crystalette button at each end of the toggle bar.  This piece marks my first successful fringe, I’m extremely happy with it.

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This ring was really fun to make – I didn’t have a direction when I started bezeling the rivoli, I just wanted to try to use the superduos to do it.  The waviness kinda threw me, and I almost ripped it apart, but I pushed through my un-comfortableness and ended up with this! It’s kinda big on, I think they call it a cafe ring.

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I LOVE this bracelet.  You may notice some oxidation on the bar, and that’s because I’ve worn it so much since finishing it(the wing flaps wonderfully while on the bike!)  Purple is my favorite color so I was stoked when I saw these zebra jasper.  I pulled out my coiling “machine” for this one to make the wrapped bead you’ll see on the right.  Originally I was not going to include the melon bead, but I needed a medium “spacer”, and I noticed the headpins on the amethyst and labordorite were the same color.  It’s the perfect length with it included!  The style of the bracelet, stacking the jumprings, was inspired by Dhea Powers.  I made a simple pair of dangle earrings to match the bracelet.

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I felt really special when I received this focal – this was a new medium (etching) for Kelly, and she knocked it out of the park! I debated back and forth whether to add lots of rondelle dangles, which was my original plan.  But it just didn’t seem to fit, so I went with simple.  I chose to put the clasp at the side because it would be a crime to hide something that awesome!  Then I chose rondelles that matched the lampwork bead to dangle from the corner.  I made 2 sets of earrings for this one in case I wanted something lighter.  The first set uses hammered rings and lampwork beads to match the toggle.  The second set is just a few stacked rondelles.

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These earrings were just quick throw togethers, but oh so sparkly!  I love the tin petals and how they make ting ting noises with the rondelles against them as you wear em.  I debated adding more to each of them, but didn’t want to overdo it.

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Silver is more my color so I wanted to use some of the zebra jasper for this bracelet.  The wire is silver-filled (my first use of it), the toggle is plated.  The sea glass barrels picked up the lighter tones in the jasper beautifully, I don’t know that I captured it that well.

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I love the way this bracelet looks – it’s the Maze Lace pattern by Sabine Lippert.  To keep the profile low, I modeled the toggle after the thread path used for the bracelet.  Very sleek.

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I got this awesome pattern from Pinterest (my downfall!!) while searching for ways to use 2-hole tiles as I haven’t worked with 2 holed beads a lot.  The pattern is by Alex Argai – she makes a lot of patterns with tila/2 holed tiles and superduos.  The clasp was an interesting venture.  After I made the bar I tried to reinforce it enough times to make it sturdy.  And it was pretty sturdy…..then I tried to attach the necklace.  I had run out of the beading needles I normally use (which are super cheap but I’ve never EVER broken one), so I had to use some I had picked up while out recently (not so cheap as I only got 4 needles for $5).  I managed to break ALL of them within an hour.  As I was attaching the bar, one of them broke inside of the superduos.  As in NONE of it was showing…..but it did make the bar really straight and sturdy so maybe it was a good thing?

Beads used from Stephanie: czechmate bar/rulla, pearl druks, peacock czechmate tiles

Beads used from Stephanie: czechmate bar/rulla, pearl druks, peacock czechmate tiles

superduo toggle clasp

superduo toggle clasp

So that’s what I made! I still have tons of things left!  Seriously don’t even feel like I made a dent in either stash I received.

Make sure you head over to my partners to see what they made, you can find the complete list of participants here.

Check out the Pinterest board I created just for the hop….if you’re a participant I can add you so you can post your items there as well!

ALSO – here’s some gorgeous picks of my golden boy modeling a piece with beads from each of my partners.  I’m surprised any of these came out decent as he kept thinking I was trying to play ball with him…..

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NOTE: I have moderation on for all comments, so don’t freak out if you don’t see yours. This also guarantees I’ll see each bc it’ll ping right to my phone


So this is probably my 7th post in 3 months about the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop but it’s just that awesome!

Today I received my package from my 2nd partner Kelly Patterson.  Seriously I didn’t even get out of my kitchen before opening it! And I might have squealed a little….

Kelly tried a new medium, etching, to do the very personalized focal for me and it’s absolutely perfect. She also did stamping for both the focal and bracelet bar,  which she hung a piece of amethyst & labrodorite from. Raven is my riding name, and actually what I prefer to be called, some people are shocked to find out it’s not my legal name after months of knowing me……


There’s so much beady goodness I don’t even know how to describe it all!


Included was a varied selection of agate, cultured sea glass, jasper, rondelles, freshwater pearls, personalized components and more!   

My little inside beady goddess is glowing like she just had an awesome day beading&riding, drank a little, ate some chocolate and is watching Magic Mike in person……yup yup I’m happy!

Now on to what I sent her…..somehow she managed to wait almost 2 weeks with the package before opening it because she didn’t want to influence her……Seriously don’t know how she did it 🙂


I sent a selection of gemstone and crystal, an artisan clay clasp, a coral focal, some liquid patina and some eyelashy yarn.  Can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

Oh! I even decided to keep the “raven” confetti that she put in with her note !

Vintage Organic Challenge

ANOTHER POST! This must be a record….So I sometimes get beads from Lisa Lodge for her challenges.  Today is the Vintage Organic Challenge.  I received some gorgeous beads:



I started creating the rivoli piece as soon as I got the beads, but set it aside because I know how hard it is for me not to share things.  Then I kept looking at it and the necklace part just wasn’t coming to me…..So within the past 10 days this is what I’ve created!


I’m not spectacularly happy with the clasp (magnetic) on this one so I’ll probably be taken apart and redone at some point.

The “pattern” for the rivoli bezel is my own – created as I went.  It’s also reversible since I finished the back





This was a very simple set I did – it started with the earrings.  Dainty and spring like, perfect for the weather we’ve been having lately! (I used ALL the metal flower beads on this one, which I’m kinda sad about, but it is really cute)




This pattern was offered as a freebie in one of my facebook groups and is (translated) by Kariti Lenita Barre. (Bangle a la Gemstone)  This is the first bangle I’ve created [sucessfully] so I want to send a big shout our to Kariti!




I still have LOTS of pearls and jasper gemstones left…..SOOOOO many possibilities!

Thanks for reading!

Posting fool! (Have a drool rag handy)

My third post in a month! I’m on a roll! This will be a little of this and that, and a whole lot to drool over….

So if you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I’m participating in the 1st annual Bead Peeps Swap N Hop hosted by Linda Anderson.  This is my 2nd hop of this nature.  My partner this year is Stephanie Haussler, you can read about her here.

Both of us were excited to get started and mailed our packages out almost the same day. So now I can show you what I sent her. Drumroll……..


The cab is by Kinga Nichols (if you’ve never seen her work, Google it, she’s amazing).  The ribbon is by Deborah Weaver.  You can’t see it that well but the clasp matches the cab, it’s a leaf.  The seed bead options included delica, several colors of seed beads, 15/0, pearls, 2 different types of triangle beads and montees.

Now for what Stephanie sent me.




Isn’t it gorgeous? Her husband Chris (who is also participating), made that lampwork cab and I love it!
She included a gorgeous selection of 2 holed beads, 11/0, 15/0, druks, lentils and an amazing purple mix!

I do have to say though, I’m stumped. I’ve only had the beads about a day so I’m letting it simmer, but so far nothing has popped out at me.  2 holed beads always drive me crazy(in a good way), and I’ve never worked with czechmates or tiles so it’ll be fun but very challenging.

I’ve had lots of beady mail lately.  I (finally!) got my dragon scales so I can start my dragon soon (the 15/0 Stephanie sent will actually work perfect for his belly!). And got the beads for seed bead and glass challenge :


This weekend is the vintage organic challenge, I’ll prb have to post early Friday bc I work all Saturday, but this is what I’ve been working with:



So excited because all the beads for my partner FINALLY came. I won’t even go into the horrible experience with ordering I had….suffice it to say I WILL NOT be ordering from that company again.  Anywho…..here are some nice teaser pics of what I got my partner…..all packed and ready to go early next week




As a side note…..NOT keeping all of these was really hard because I really fell in love with this palette as I was shopping

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for what I receive and the hop on May 2nd!

Side note #2: no seed beads ended up on the floor during this picture session so I’m calling it SUCCESS

Meet ….. Ms. Pixybug!!! (Stephanie Haussler)

So partners were announced yesterday for the 1st Annual Bead Peeps Swap N Hop on Linda’s Blog.  Within 10 minutes I had found out that my partner was Stephanie Haussler of Pixybug Designs and starting perusing her blog. I was delighted to see that I had visited her blog just recently as just a few weeks ago she had posted for a Blog Hop she had participated in called “Back in Time” and I LOVED her piece..  So innovative.  See it below

Fairy Stone by Stephanie Haussler

Fairy Stone by Stephanie Haussler

It’s slightly confusing on the blog because there’s also a Mr. Pixybug as Stephanie and her husband are in business together and share the blog – but thankfully her husband is a glassworker and she’s a seedbeader. But less then 12 hours later we had become “friends” on Facebook and had a nice long chat.

So what did we chat about? Well I know she has a 17 yo daughter and 3 cats, will celebrate her 24th wedding anniversary this year, cannot fathom magatamas & how to make them work and bead embroidery is her escape as “me” time as compared to the work she does for the business.  She’s been in business for about 8 years – after her husband gave her the ultimatum of “sell or no more buying!” (I would laugh at my hubby if he said this)


Stephanie, her husband Chris and daughter Mina

Suki, Luna and Sabrina

Suki, Luna and Sabrina

Her color palettes are brighter for the business and more earthy tones for her bead embroidery but her seed bead collection is expansive and she works at a bead store! So lots and lots of potential! Not picky, and only allergic to base metals, means lots and lots of options!


Bead embroidery piece by Stephanie Haussler

I can’t wait to finalize what I’m going to send her.  I already have a pretty good idea as I’ve spent the past 3 hours scouring the web, and making collages on picmonkey to see how it’ll all work together as well as thinking what I can pick from my own stash.

So make sure you come back next month to see what I received and sent and again in May for the big reveal!!!

Beyond the Bead Soup

BSBP 8 Blog Post Here

After finishing my BSBP pieces I hit the “wall”.  You know, that one where you see all of the projects you have lined up in your craft area, and you know there’s a ton of stuff you could be doing right now, but the inspiration just isn’t there.  It lasted a few weeks, longer then I would have liked, but I have gotten a few pieces done since then.  One of them sold, which I was extremely happy with (because it helped me buy more beads! lol) Now my vacation has started and it seems like there is an endless list of what I could be doing right now:

-ripping up carpet

-moving my bead/craft room to a bigger room

-working on pieces

-setting up photo area/taking pictures so that I can list on Etsy


-cleaning/putting away clothes (I think 5 weeks is the limit for not putting away clothes)

-just plain doing nothing!

So far I’ve gone grocery shopping, cleaned the litter boxes and semi-prepped dinner for tonight.  The hubby is off doing a biker weekend with his church, so it’s just me and the doggies home.


Here’s a few things I’ve finished in the past few weeks:


First soutache work – just some simple earrings.  These are SOLD


Second pair of soutache earrings (the ruby 6/0 seed beads are from my BSBP partner Lisa Suver)


Bobbin Earrings – made to look like the delicas are thread


Bobbin Necklace.  This lampwork bead was bought from Laura Arns of Arson Studios.  The “milky” wire wrapped beads were originally part of a necklace from years ago, but it became part of my “tearapart” session a few months ago.  I think they work really well with this piece.  This is SOLD.

I’m also working on a beehive inspired piece from one of the stones/faces I bought from Kristie Brigham of Sculpted Windows.  So far I have a bee, a few flowers and some honeycomb.   I’ve literally run out of bead buddies (I have 2 and use each 1/2 independently), plus I’m also working on a blog hop piece for Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop that will be on July 19th.Here’s a sneak peak of what I got (excuse the horrible pictures): this is Sodalite& Sterling Silver




Come back in a few days and hopefully I’ll have some pieces listed in Etsy!