Monday, October 29, 2012

REVEAL: Kalmbach Bead Soup Party


I remember it like it was yesterday... I opened my mailbox very gingerly, just hoping that IT was in there and Ba-Bam!

I AM THE CHOSEN ONE!! Well, okay maybe not THE chosen one, but ONE of the chosen ones! I felt so lucky.
When Lori Anderson announced her new book, Bead Soup: 32 Projects Show What Happens When 26 Beaders Swap Their Stash , she told us all about an exciting opportunity being provided by Kalmbach Jewelry Books. If we signed up we might just be lucky enough to be selected to take part in a special Bead Soup Party! The entries poured in and all of us were just holding our breath, watching our mailboxes! One by one my friends were popping up on Bead Soup Chat, waving their golden tickets like Charlie Bucket! I crossed my fingers and toes, just hoping I'd be so lucky. And I was!
I opened my package and what did I receive? I was estatic to find a beautiful creamy green, brown, topazy mixed bead soup from Studio Baboo of Charlottesville, Va.


Also included in the package were instructions:
" Use enclosed soup along with other beads and supplies you have in your collection to create a beautiful necklace. You have until October 31, 2012 to finish....."
Uh-oh! A NECKLACE! I am terrible with necklaces! BUT I wanted to play so I had to follow the rules. I started to prepare by making loads of looped eye pins and wire coil pieces. Uh-oh! The wire was too big to fit through the holes in the beads! what was I going to do? I had stringing wire but how would I fill all that wire? I had a few larger stones and some pearls of various sizes. plus a tube of seed beads. Oh Lord, help!
Finally I decided the best thing for me was to attempt a floating bead necklace. I decided to make it a multi-strand necklace. I had a nice clasp that was provided in my soup mix but I wasn't sure how to attach the strands. I watched a few videos on YouTube (don't you love YouTube? Always has something I need).
The necklace took me a full day to complete. The bead lineup wasn't the hardest part, it was lining up the strands to work together. I probably made it harder than it had to be but I got 'er done. I am satisfied with the results. Not my best work but for a first attempt it isn't bad.
I tried to take a full length photo and didn't have much luck. I took lots of closeups of the beads though. Here are a few photos -
A special thank you to Lori Anderson and Kalmbach Publishing!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Octoberfest!  ... and it's RITA's birthday too!

Octoberfest is being hosted by Rita of Jewel School Friends.

I love autumn. I love the colors, the textures and the smells.

I am visiting my sister in Central New York and it is one of the most beautiful places to be in the fall. The leaves are out in all their glory. There are all kinds of fun activities happening around town. Corn stalks and pumpkins on the porch! Scarecrows on the lawn. The aroma of cinnamon and apples! YUMMY!

I love yellow and orange mixed with copper - so to celebrate the season I created these earrings.

Lampwork beads made by Johanna Stephenson of Canyon Echoes
and the copper polymer charms were made by me!


Here's a little treat to make at your house -    
The recipe made with butternut squash
is from Family Fun magazine

Thank you Rita for hosting Octoberfest...and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!


 Follow the Octoberfest Hop...
Shelley Graham Turner  YOU ARE HERE!
Lennis Carrier
Host - Toltec Jewels

Saturday, October 20, 2012

HOLIDAY BLING BLOG HOP : WINNERS and Special Announcement

On October 6th,  Marlene Cupo and I hosted
We had a
Everyone said they had a ball, not only the creative artists who participated, but we heard from readers who after seeing all the fun we had - as well as all our LOOT! - contacted us to say, "Hey, I want to play too!"

So in the holiday spirit we are making ALL of their wishes come true! (well NOT all their wishes, but this one anyways!)

Yep, you heard me right, Holiday Bling Blog Hop 2 is coming!

Same rules as before, except the dates have changed. Here's how it will work: 
Sign-ups will run through Sunday, October 28th. We will then draw names and notify you of your partner by e-mail soon after.  It will be up to you and your partner to decide what it is that you want to create and exchange (handmade ornaments, holiday jewelry, etc). Finished items should be in the mail by November 17th.
Saturday, December 15th will be the Blog Hop where you will show off your goodies! Your blog post should include what you created for your partner, your process in creating it and what you received from your partner.

So, do want to join our party?

If so please respond by e-mail to  by the deadline of October 28th and include the following information:

  •  Your Name
  •  Your blog's url address
  •  Whether or not you are willing to ship internationally

What is a Holiday Party without gifts?  As promised we are awarding prizes to THREE lucky randomly-chosen participants from our first Holiday Bling Blog Hop!
     Drum Roll Please!
We are happy to announce these three lucky ladies will each be receiving a $25 Gift Certificate from

 *  Leanne Loftus *
*  Alicia Marinache *
*  Sonya Stille *
And,  we chose one name from all those who left comments on either Marlene or my blog, and the winner of a $15 Gift Certificate from

B’sue Boutiques
Congratulations to Sandra McGriff
  *** Special thanks to Brenda Sue of B'Sue Boutiques for her donation of the $15 Gift Certificate awarded to our lucky reader!
Winners, keep a close eye on your mailbox! There will be something exciting in it real soon!
Remember if you want to sign up for Holiday Bling Blog Hop 2, e-mail us by October 28th!

I am Shelley Graham Turner, and I approve this message

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

REVEAL DAY: Mismatched Earrings Swap!

It's reveal day for the MISMATCHED EARRINGS SWAP hosted by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. 

THIS one WAS fun!
I was so-o-o lucky and got matched up to swap with our hostess, the Royal Nerdness herself,  Diana Ptaszynski!

In addition to being a really zany chick, she is a real sweetie and just happens to be a fab ceramic artist! I love her glazed goodies :) And guess what? The earrings she sent me are dripping with them!

Although she has lots of goodies in her repertoire, my favorites are her pieces made with the copper patina glaze! Teal-y greenish with a hint of rusty-brown!
Yum, yum, yummy!

BUT the swap story doesn't end there....

NOW MY turn.

When I contacted Diana to find out some things she liked or didn't like she told me "I'm open to anything! " ..oooh you sure? I can get pretty crazy when I am let loose?! "YUP" ,she said!

In our many convo's Diana had told me about her love of all things nerdy, dorky and just plain quirky! She also had been talking about how much she was looking forward to attending FaerieCon next month where she would be attending the bad faeries ball dressed as Medusa!  (WTHeck?!!)

So I took her lead and began researching this whole faerie thingy.  And then the Medusa thing...

Want to see what I came up with? I just bet YOU DO!  :)
You have to travel to New Jersey to see them -  But I promise you they ARE mismatched and something ONLY a self-proclaimed weirdo would wear...Diana says she likes them - I REST MY CASE!  :)

                 CLICK HERE FOR THE EXPRESS to Diana's Blog!

Thanks Diana for hosting this blog hop and for being a great partner. I had fun and received some really cool earrings..WIN-WIN!!

Let's see what the other artists did with this challenge -

Diana Ptaszynski    MY PARTNER!

Lisa Liddy

Charlene Jacka

Shelley Graham Turner  YOU ARE HERE!


Sunday, October 14, 2012


I have some very special news to share with everyone!!

I joined a new group  - 

ARTISAN WHIMSY is the collaborative effort of the artists behind the Facebook group, Creative Bead Chat, lovingly referred to as "CBC". CBC is currently over 1000 members strong!  The administrators of CBC - Melinda Orr, Marla James, Karen Totten, Marla Gibson and Keirsten Giles -  are all great artists!  
These ladies along with their appointed team leaders have created a online forum where like-minded artists can socialize, show off their work, learn new techniques, share ideas and a whole lot more!   It's a place to come to meet up with a fun-loving bunch who will both share in your triumphs and support you in your dark days.  I promise that you will feel welcome and understood there. You will make long-lasting friendships, I have! Honestly I'd say they are more like family to me! I love CBC, but with the addition of  ARTISAN WHIMSY, what can I say? I AM in heaven!

But the most exciting part of all this...

If you have been following my blog you know all about my featured artist interviews - BFF "Beading Friend Fridays".           

If you don't you can CLICK HERE to read some of the past interviews.  

Well, the ladies behind  ARTISAN WHIMSY have invited me to move it on over to their website. I will head up a team responsible for member interviews. We will begin with a monthly feature blog post with hopes to be able to post more frequently in the future. I cannot tell you how flattered I am to have been asked to head up this venture!  I am so excited! 

Our first interview is scheduled for Monday, November 5th, please be sure to come by and check it out!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PLAY DATE artist: Heather Otto of Made in Mama's Craft Room

Play Date artist (PDa) is a new feature here on my blog. I send out a package to my playmate which includes some of my handmade components (beads, charms and/or focals) along with a few coordinating beads and findings. My playmate and I will both create a piece of jewelry using those same select components plus some of our own stash.

This week's playdate is HEATHER OTTO of Mama's Craft Room!
Heather is such a crafty girl, hopping from craft to craft AND doing them all with LOVE ! Heather is a happy girl, a VERY loving mama, and just an all-around doll! That's why I am giggling-happy to be playing with her this week, always nice to have company that you truly enjoy being around.   Find out more about Heather  by clicking HERE.

We both started with this little package which included one of my new beads, OLIVEr with a TWIST

Remember we didn't HAVE to use all of the pieces in the pack, just these focus beads, OLIVEr with a TWIST.
My "OLIVEr with a TWIST" beads

I tried something new this time, stringing! Well, what I refer to as stringing. I don't know what the true definition of stringing is but to me it means no wire loops or chains, JUST wire and beads! I also don't usually do necklaces, just don't think it’s my thing. I never know what to do to fill all those spaces in between beads! Sort of like a conversation, I never was good at small talk. I babble when I get nervous, AND for some reason, silence makes me nervous.
So here are a few photos of what I came up with…

I tried to add a little nature and texture by adding wooden pieces – they ended up making the necklace have a little more texture than I wanted due to the way they just wouldn't lay flat. BUT the more I looked at it, the more it grew on me. I kind of like the way it changes the shape of the necklace- not just ‘hanging there’. What do you think?

So, I wonder what Heather did with her OLIVEr with a TWIST beads? LET’s go take a peek, shall we?  CLICK HERE!
Thanks for coming by and be sure to tune in next week for our next episode!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

REVEAL DAY: Holiday Bling Blog Hop

Created by Rita of Toltec Jewels

It's finally here...REVEAL DAY for our Holiday Bling Blog Hop!

What is the Holiday Bling Blog Hop you ask...

Back in August my friend Marlene Cupo and I were talking the holidays, yes in August! What can I say, we are proactive! We wanted to swap ornaments. Then we decided to open it up to our other friends so everyone could have some fun,  and HBBH was born! The plan was to partner up people and the partners would then decide what they'd exchange – could be handmade ornaments, jewelry, decor, whatever – it just had to be Holiday themed. With all of our diverse backgrounds we said they could choose any holiday, but it should be a winter holiday. Examples given were Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa , Ashura, Bodhi Day, or Boxing Day.  

After signups the partners were assigned. I was very lucky (did I tell you I have great bead Karma!) and got partnered up with Rita of Toltec Jewels! Turned out that Rita is THE Queen of Christmas. She loves the holidays and goes all out! She has SEVERAL trees decorated throughout her home.  So CHRISTMAS as our holiday choice was a no-brainer.

After some discussion back and forth it was decided we would exchange window ornaments! Hmmm, what the heck am I going to do? Off to the library I went. Loaded with about a dozen books on holiday decorating I began my research. First thing I discovered was that holiday decorating books are probably the largest, heaviest books in the library. They are NOT make for reading in bed!
So after reading book after book I still didn't have a clue, and since I don't have Martha Stewart on speed-dial I was at a standstill (story of my life!).

What to do?  DING! Go back to one of my former haunts - stained glass! Hmmm... I don't have any of those tools anymore. AH-HA but I do have some clay! See I may not always have an idea but I AM resourceful so I knew that once I was on a path I'd figure out how to get it done.

First I went online and googled "christmas coloring books" under images. I chose a picture I liked - this one ------>>>>

I extruded some black clay and used it to outline the design. Once the whole image was outlined I baked the clay. Then I filled each cavity with translucent clay. Around the outer edge, the background of the image, I filled with translucent clay mixed with bits of silver leaf. Just to give it a little sparkle. Within the designs I gave each section its own texture. I embellished some: drawing in the veins in the holly leaves;  building up the bulbs to give them a rounded appearance; adding embossed designs to differentiate the two bulbs.

Then I baked it again. This was a pretty tedious process so I did take shortcuts! I SHOULD have really colored each clay before I filled the cavities, creating a richer color but I didn't - not this time around anyways! I ended up 'painting' the finished mini-window (6"x6") with alcohol inks. The colors weren't as pretty as I had expected. The translucent clay kind of dulled them, but it was acceptable for a first try - I guess.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product...


Wasn't 100% happy but I put hours into it, so I sent it along to Rita.

AND then Rita sent me her holiday bling...and it is BLING!

I opened the package to find my very first 2012 Christmas card!!

Then I peeked inside the box... red and green loveliness!

Look at this beautiful holiday windchime! Isn't it the cutest, blingy-est, holiday birdy-est thing you ever did see? AND it sounds great and bling-bling-blings in the sunshine!!

And then on top of that, she sent me a cute little change purse with a chainmaille Christmas tree charm inside. SHE MADE THAT! Amazing, right?!
Man it's only October and I am already have a grand start on a beautiful Christmas (my first one without snow too! I'm gonna miss NY!)... so a special thank you my friend Rita!

Oh don't be sad and feel left out... we can't have that!  St Nick is joining in the fun and will be giving out gifts to three randomly-picked HBBH participants.  BUT in addition, ONE lucky blog reader will also be receiving a gift. To enter just leave a comment below.  When you comment, make sure your email is attached, or add it to your comment. Winners will be chosen and announced here on October 20th, so come on back!
Now GO, look at what everyone made and exchanged...go on, get some inspiration because the holidays ARE right around the corner!

PS: Due to unforeseen problems, some of our participants did not receive their goodies in time for this hop. Please check back later for an update on their blog.

Michelle Fanucchi
 Monique Urquhart
Therese Frank
Heather Otto
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Linda Florian
Debbie Rasmussen
Alicia Marinache
Ginger Bishop
Lo/  Lynn Jobber
Leanne Loftus
Rita/Toltec Jewels
Shelly Joyce
Shai Williams
Lori Bowring Michaud
Lennis Carrier
Marla Gibson
Mary Howell Govaars
Linda Younkmann
Shirley Jones Moore http://​www.beadsandbread.blo​
Melinda Orr
Marlene Cupo
Shelley Graham Turner         YOU ARE HERE right now!
Sonya Stille
Dyanne Cantrell
Anindita Basu
Dee Elgie
Gina Hockett
Lori Jean Poppe
Charlie Jacka
Stephanie Stamper (Woods)
Mary Hicks, Shannon Hicks

And let me be the first to say...HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

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