Monday, September 27, 2010


In Springtime, their soft beauty promises hope and renewal.  In Summer, they offer us shelter and cool shade from the heat.  Autumn arrives and they show us nature's glory and awesomeness.  Even in Winter, the leaves that remain green remind us that even in difficult times, there is survival.   Leaves have always been a favorite motif of mine.  I use them in decorating my home, incorporate them into my jewelry designs, and of course recognize the value of a strategically placed leaf stem or foliage in my floral designs.  I just love leaves, any size, shape or color!  So, of course, when I read the theme for the October Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, I was thrilled!  The theme is "Autumn Falling of Leaves".  This was a challenge I didn't want to miss.

Shortly after learning the theme and starting to think about how I wanted to develop it, my SO and I visited the tiny town of Paxico, KS.  Paxico is surviving by having become a community almost totally made up of antique shops.  It's a delightful place to visit and the shopkeepers are very friendly and helpful.  In one, when I told the lady I was looking for old costume jewelry that I could use in my beadwoven designs, she directed me to the appropriate niche and there I found the perfect focal for my October challenge entry.  It was a silver maple leaf shaped brooch with a red jasper stone set in the center.  It had definitely seen better days but the apparent aging only added to its appeal.  After all, what are Autumn leaves if not aged?  This sad little jewelry box reject now sits grandly front and center in a glorious tribute to the colorful beauty of Autumn falling leaves.  It's surrounded by bead embroidered stylized leaves on a bib necklace with beadwoven Russian leaves falling from the edges.  I hope Mother Nature approves.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Remember the Peppers?

If you follow my random bloggings (and I hope you do!), you'll remember my pepper picture from a few weeks ago.  I found these beautifully colored peppers at the farmers market and deemed them photography worthy, as well as inspirational. 

Well, recently, I have been working my little fingers to the bone getting ready for upcoming shows and I was looking through my bead stash for some quick and easy ideas.  I rediscovered a lovely purple stone that I had purchased from a vendor at the Topeka farmers market this summer.  She always tells me the names of the stones, but for the life of me, I can't remember this one.  It is perhaps a dyed piece.  But whatever it is, it is pretty and had caught my eye in her tray of focal pieces.  It also triggered my memory of the peppers so I decided to work it up in a simple strung style using the pepper colors.  I used amethyst nuggets and chips with Czech fire polish beads and seed beads.  What do you think?