Posts Tagged ‘sterling’

Phoenix Society

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Please click on picture for total view

For the last couple of years, I have donated 5% of my total sales to the Phoenix Society as they are doing much needed work for burn survivors. I’ve also toyed with how to do a continual fundraiser through my business and I’m thrilled to announce that I will be premiering a line of awareness jewelry featuring a sterling charm with the Phoenix on it. As we speak the charms are being made so I do not have a charm to show you yet but I was so excited that we (myself and the Phoenix Society) are at this point I had to share!

The Phoenix Society is an important part of our life. For those who know me only online do not know my husband is a burn survivor of 54 years. Until we were in our late 30s or early 40s we had never met another burn survivor.

One day on the noon news he saw a news piece about a burn survivor meeting in Grand Rapids – not far from where we lived at the time. He went to a meeting and met a wonderful woman named Amy Acton. At the time, Amy was head nurse of the Burn Unit at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids and she had started this support group. Through this group Don learned of the Phoenix Society and we were fortunate enough to get some funding through the Phoenix Society to attend the World Burn Congress which is sponsored by the Phoenix Society in Detroit that year.

What a conference! We met a wonderful group of survivors and learned that the Phoenix Society was started by a gentleman named Alan Breslau after he was burned in a plane crash in 1963. After working for many years with burn survivors he started The Phoenix Society – named after the bird that rises from the ashes, renewed and better than before! Alan retired in 1998 and the Board of Directors named Amy Acton as their new chairperson.

We have not been able to attend WBC every year but have attended many over the years. And we are going to World Burn Congress again this year — this time it is in Galveston, TX. Every year, it is held in a different part of the country to make it easier for a variety of folks to attend who may not be able to travel long distances due to physical and monetary issues.


“I am definitely going to take a course

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Please click on bracelet for closer look

on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”

Sometimes that is exactly how I feel! Especially at this time of the year! Art Show applications  flood the table. I look at them, sort and change my mind and sort some more.

“What shall I do” and “Where shall I show”? Pieces of paper flutter to the floor — shall I even pick them up? Am I making the right decision?

Well, one decision I made was to create this bracelet pictured above. It all started with a coil of wire — I’m sure my customers sometimes must tire of hearing that phrase…. But it’s the truth(said in an Edith Ann voice). I had a great time creating it — learned some new things along the way too!

(And as soon as I’ve made my decisions where I’ll be this summer — I’ll let you all know) Stay tuned!

Vote early – Vote Often

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

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As my husband reads the title of this piece over my shoulder and laughs, I know that you can only vote once for me but I would appreciate your one vote per person.

A group of Etsy artisans that I belong to host a themed challenge every month. The last couple of months I really couldn’t wrap my brain around the theme but this month was great! Flowers! I can do that!

I didn’t want to just use flower beads — I wanted a different thought for flowers and then it occurred to me — the Hippy Chick bracelet. Not my own weave design but surely fitting for the challenge. I wove this bracelet to be the whole ‘flower bed’ with an assortment of colors. Unfortunately, it’s a hard bracelet to take a picture of and you will have to settle for looking at a section of the ‘flower bed’. Please click and follow the link to vote. I (and my bracelet) would really appreciate it!

14 South Artists Fall Art Tour

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009


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This weekend I participated in the 14 South Artists Fall Art Tour for my 4th year, I believe. I wish my mind kept better track of things for me!

This bracelet was one of my object lessons about making chainmaille. I had taken my cutting system (although as I was not in my own home I didn’t actually cut any rings) and my other basic tools and showed folks what is involved in weaving bracelets. I had open and closed links that I worked on while folks were admiring the stained glass that was being featured by the hostess — Ann Miller of Glass Artistry. Then when they wandered over to me — I showed them the tools, gave a quick explanation about the tools, etc and then I showed them the little rings and pointed out that about 550 of those little rings were in the bracelet shown above. And that got their attention!

When you have the ability to teach people about what they might buy in the future and why they should buy handmade products from a local artisan it may take a while for it to sink in. Folks need to see an artist’s work at least 5 times, on average, before they will do more than purchase just a small ‘impulse’ buy. If you would like to purchase the bracelet pictured above, please click.

Turner Zimmerman Benefit

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

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There is a young man in our small town. I’ve never met him personally but I’ve was just talking to one of his of his teachers the other day. She says he was ‘just a delight’ in her class. Turner has cerebal palsy — according to about-cerebral-palsy – cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination.

Turner is a growing boy and his parents need help raising money to purchase a handicap accessible van. This van will help Turner and his parents in getting him to his many doctor appointments, treatments and school.

In Brodhead this weekend, there is a ball tournament to raise money. If you are looking for something to do outside this weekend, consider stopping in at the ball park and supporting the teams by watching a game or two. And be sure to purchase a brat or hotdog and something to drink. All proceeds from this tournament will be going to Turner’s van purchase.

Next weekend, July 25 there is a benefit being held in Orfordville WI. For the Harley enthusiasts there is a poker run sponsored by Kutter Harley of Janesville. Knute’s Bar and Grill are having a hog roast for 6.00/plate – McWilliams Hogs are preparing the meat.  There are many raffles and silent auctions going on also. National Mutual Benefit will match funds raised up to 2500.00.

The bracelet pictured above will be among those silent auction items. It is created of sterling and one of a kind handmade lampwork bead with a few Swarovski crystals for a bit of sparkle!

Eye of the Tiger!

Friday, July 3rd, 2009
AlwaysWiredBeadLady Artisan Studio ArtFire Buy & Sell Handmade

This 18 inch stunning tiger eye has the most wonderful chatoyancy! And I’ve checked the spelling of that word about 6 times — apparently, it’s not in the online dictionary. And if you don’t know what it means either – don’t feel bad.
You know when you look at tiger eye and it looks like it’s moving even tho’ it’s not? That shimmer is called chatoyancy.
This necklace would make a great birthday present or anniversary present or just a ‘ All for myself” kind of present!
It’s for sale in my Artfire shop at http://snipurl.com/lp6sy Click on over and buy it! (via artfire)

Mother of Pearl

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Please click on picture for a closer look.

I thought about using the phrase ‘Pearls before swine” but I didn’t want anyone reading my blog to think I was calling them names. When I was first married and had a baby the phrase ‘ What a hog!” was used quite a bit – especially by one of my girlfriends who babysat my son. And of course, he picked right up on that phrase. So much so, that my mother called to complain that my son called her ‘a hog’. I tried to explain that it wasn’t personal and that it was just a phrase he had learned. Yeah, right!!

But this lovely necklace is actually Mother of Pearl — that comes from the shells of mollusks. And it is hand knotted on ivory silk and has a magnetic sterling clasp. If you click on a close up of the picture, you will see the swirls of iridescence in the pearls.

It is an iridescent coating on the inside of mollusk shells. The name originated because because when an grain of sand or whatever the irritant is gets inside the shell, the shell protects itself by coating the irritant with the same material of its lining (nacre) that creates pearls (therefore, this substance is the creator, or mother, of pearls!). When you care for your mother-of-pearl beads, please do NOT use any alcohol as it eats through the nacre, causing irreparable damage to the color and luster.

Mother of pearl has been treasured in jewelry for many centuries. In the 1850s, immense mother-of-pearl masses, created by the continual movement of water washing and turning oysters on seabeds, began being harvested and were used extensively in Europe for buttons, knife handles and jewelry. In China, mother of pearl has been prescribed to treat heart palpitations, dizziness and high blood pressure for thousands of years. In Vietnam, it has been powdered and taken orally to improve vision and remove cataracts. Mystics believe it to stimulate intuition, sensitivity, imagination and adaptability, and help with clarity in decision making. Mother of pearl symbolizes faith, charity and innocence, and traditionally has been used to strengthen the environment and bring greater purity to the atmosphere. (Quoted from Rings n Things).

This particular strand of Mother of Pearl came from the Phillipines.

Two hearts joined together

Friday, May 15th, 2009

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Two hearts joined together in friendship. I really couldn’t find out who this quote was by but I think it fits these earrings perfectly!

I made these earrings this afternoon – again working with the torch since my hubby’s not home! I think they will look equally as nice with jeans as well as that little black dress.

These earrings would make a great gift to a special friend or maybe even your wife!

WisCon 33 Art Show

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

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I can’t decide if I’m nervous or excited! I was accepted into an Art Show at the WiscCon 33! There will be over 40 artists there and I’m one of them!  The partial picture you see above is the necklace that I sat right down and made after getting my acceptance. It is about 17 inches long – more choker length as I think that’s the proper length to show off the lampwork heart. I had purchased the beads a couple of years ago in an online auction – a group of lampworkers had donated some of their beads to raise money for another lampworker who had had a house fire and lost everything. The beads look as if they contain little galaxies in them — swirls and whirls of dots and silver and light. With the sterling chainmaille I think this is the perfect fit for  these beads which I’ve had for close to 2 years – waiting for the perfect place to use them. And I think this is the place! If anyone recognizes their beads please let me know as I’d love to give the proper person credit for them!

The WisCon is a feminist science convention that has been held for years in Madison WI. I’m going to volunteer on Sunday afternoon to work – hopefully at the Art Show. It sounds very interesting and I’d like to see a variety of the folks who attend this show. I’ve been reading scifi since I was about 12 but I’m not sure if what I read is considered ‘feminist’ scifi so after my eyes straighten up I’m going to do some heavy duty reading for a week or two. This year’s featured writers are Ellen Lages and Geoff Ryman.

If any of you reading this blog are going to the convention please let me know.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Saturday, January 24th, 2009


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I love it when a plan comes together! Those words from Hannibal – the leader of the A-Team – were quoted every week after they had eluded the government and made the bad guy pay.

Those words popped into my mind last night when I was looking at the pictures that I had just taken of some of my jewelry. This picture actually captures the colors of the cosmic rings from Swarovski and that isn’t always easily done. I have the light tent that I use, an excellent camera that I’ve learned soooooo many things about and still photographing Swarovski crystals is not an easy thing. Apparently, the planets aligned and things were ‘coming together’. We’ll see what happens next time I want to photograph Swarovski crystals.

This bracelet idea is not original to me – I wish it was. However, I saw the idea in one of my many magazines. If someone knows who the original person was, please let me know so I can give her credit.

When I Goggled the A Team I also figured out where one of my younger brother’s got an oft used phrase of his – I don’t remember it but my brother who is 6 years younger than me does, obviously. “Hannibal’s on the jazz!” In my brother’s butcher shop, it’s generally ‘Phil on the jazz’ but it’s a phrase used often by him when referring to someone else.

As usual, I’ll be posting this bracelet for sale at Always Wired Bead Lady shortly.