Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ON SALE, baby!

Keeping it short and sweet! I really need to clear out and make room for some new stuff, and wanted to try out the Etsy on Sale app, so from noon today until midnight Jan. 31, my whole Etsy shop is 40% off.

Shop 'til you drop, chicas!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Big Reveal

Yesterday I told you about my first blog hop challenge. Well, today is the day of "the big reveal!" We were each assigned two satellite pictures from the USGS, with a corresponding color palette. Wow, talk about inspiring! I would never have guessed a USGS photo would inspire colors for a piece of jewelry. At first, I thought the Okavanga Delta was going to be my favorite, with the pretty shades of green and fuschia. In fact, I vowed not to buy anything for this challenge, but just use up what I already had, and I had some tourmaline, chalcedony, and peridot that I thought would be perfect:

And I made this bracelet. Which is fine. I like it.

And I started on this pendant that incorporated the shape of the delta seen in the photo:

But I still wanted to try the other palette and see if I was more inspired. As I looked at this palette, I realized it was one I used to use a lot. When I first started beading, I fell in love with olive jade and smooth, dark wooden beads--lots of chocolate brown.

I found myself falling into the same clean, modern style that I tended towards when I was first beading:

But it isn't really the style that I work in these days. Though I think the clean, modern stones-and-metal style is beautiful, I really love to incorporate something that has a history, like found and vintage objects, collage, and Czech glass. I put it aside, and came back the next day.

The next day, as I was digging around, I came across a resin pendant I had made, which incorporated a scrap of a vintage French letter. I hadn't quite decided what to do with it, and I thought "Maybe..." so I started piling green, gray, and brown beads around it. I added a vintage tassel. Some silver chain. After playing for awhile, I came up with a necklace and earrings that fit both my style and the color palette:

This was such a great challenge for me! I had gotten stuck in a color rut, and also had forgotten about so many pretty stones I had in my stash. I had moved away from using stones at all, really, because I love Czech glass so much, but I love the earthy, organic quality they bring to a piece. This was just what I needed to jump-start my creativity! Thanks so much to Erin and Brandi for this challenge!

Please go blog hopping and visit the other artists!

ALSO Check out my project--cocktail bling rings--on Jewelry Making Daily today!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blog hop!

My very first Blog Hop experience!

As you may have noticed, I'm not a prolific blogger. ;-) It is my goal to do better in 2013! My friend and Nunn Design Team Member, Erin Prais-Hintz, however, is a blogger extraordinaire. When I saw she was running a Blog Hop Challenge, I decided it was time to give it a shot.

But what a crazy subject! From Erin: 

"The Challenge of Color
The Challenge goes like this... select your favorite palette from one of two unique palettes sent to you. These amazing palettes were created by my friend Miss Brandi Hussey who is my color guru. The pictures are from the Earth As Art exhibit from the United States Geological Service taken from the Landsat 7 satellite. Hard to believe that these fantastical places are all right here on our tiny planet! You need to make something...a piece of jewelry, or an accessory...anything that captures the colors from your palette. You can elect to do both if you wish."

So, our color palettes came from US Geological Service satellite maps. Check out the two assigned to me:


Beautiful colors, right? Who'd have thought? Tomorrow, November 30, is the big REVEAL, where everyone posts what they made. Stay tuned!

Here is the link for the entire blog hop list. Be sure and hop around!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

mermaids underwater

The long, HOT summer is getting to me. 
Time for an indoor craft with images of cool water and mermaids.

This is a project I did for Nunn Design that was featured last week in Jewelry Making Daily's free E-Book: 
6 Free Mixed-Media Jewelry Projects: How to Make Jewelry with Leather, Fabric, Paper, Glass and More

To get your copy of the book, download HERE:

Underwater Mermaids Resin Necklace

by Stephanie Gard Buss

Nunn Design sterling silver Grande Pendant Circle 
Nunn Design Bathing Beauties collage sheet 
Nunn Design sterling silver conch charm 
Nunn Design sterling silver ring toggle 
Nunn Design sterling silver twig toggle bar 
Nunn Design silver filigree bead cap 
Nunn Design two-part epoxy resin 
Nunn Design silver jump rings 
Nunn Designs ilver head pins 
silver eye pins or wire 
pearl beads 
JACQUARD-Pearl Ex Powdered 
Pigments Series 2 
glass glitter 
glue or paper sealant 
Wire cutters 
Round or chain nose pliers 
Small paintbrush 

Nunn Design jewelry components:; JACQUARD-Pearl  
Ex Powdered Pigments Series 2:; glass glitter:  Rose Mille or

STEP 1 Cut your image from the collage sheet. Glue it in the bezel  
setting, then coat with glue or sealant to seal the image. Set aside to dry. 

STEP 2 Using eye pins or wire, link glass pearls together into a chain until 
they are the length you want for your necklace. Attach the toggle clasp 
at each end. 

STEP 3 String a pearl onto a head pin, add a bead cap, and finish with a 
loop on top. String a small pearl onto a head pin and finish with a loop on 
top. Attach a small jump ring to the conch shell. Slip all three charms onto 
a larger jump ring. This will drop from the bottom of your bezel pendant. 

STEP 4 When glue is dry on the image, dip a small paintbrush into your 
pigment powder. Here I wanted to create depth around the image, so I 
used the darkest color in the crevice, then a richer blue around the image. 
This is totally freestyle — do what you wish. 

STEP 5 When you are happy with your image, it’s time for resin. Mix  
two-part resin according to manufacturer’s instructions. Gently pour into 
the bezel but not all the way to the top. Allow the resin to set for about 
30 minutes; then carefully sprinkle glass glitter where you want it and 
allow it to finish curing overnight. If you put the glitter in while the resin  
is still very liquid, it wants to draw itself together into a clump. 

STEP 6 After leaving it to cure overnight, mix another small batch of resin 
and finish filling the bezel so it domes nicely. Also, if you don’t cover the 
glitter with this second layer of resin, the edges of the glitter will poke out 
of the resin and be scratchy. 

STEP 7 Finish your necklace by attaching the pendant to the pearl bead 
chain and attach the charms to the bottom loop of the bezel with a 
jump ring. 

Voila! You have your cool, beachy necklace. Now go and wear it before summer's over! :-)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bead & Button 2012

Wow. That was really really really FUN. 

This year was my first time at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. I went specifically to meet Becky Nunn in person, as I am serving on her Innovation Team this year and it was a great opportunity to meet her and two other members of the team: Erin Prais-Hintz (www.tesoritrovati.comand Rochelle Nation (  Erin got me hooked onto polymer clay--which will be a whole different blog post--and we had a great time urging each other on shopping for gemstones!

Aside from shopping, shopping, shopping, I took two classes. The first one,  Wrap-Around Shabby Chic, taught by Kieu Pham Gray,  was fun and entertaining, but nearly drove me crazy as it was not only bead weaving, but bead weaving with TWO needles. I hate bead weaving--what was I thinking? Precision is NOT my strong suit. I think I can safely say I will never make one of these bracelets again. Sorry Kieu, it's not your fault--I'm hopeless!

The second class, Mini Wearable Altar, taught by Cheri Lenart and Linda McNulty, was totally awesome. The teachers, sisters of Susan Lenart Kazmer, were wildly creative and funny. And I not only got over my fear of resin, I learned about how to layer items in resin, and had a supervised lesson in mini-collage. I've been collecting bits and pieces of interesting ephemera forever. Finally, I have a way to incorporate them into jewelry beyond the standard bezel setting. We also learned how to cast in resin, and how to use resin with a backless bezel or frame. Some of the bezels we used were far too big for me to comfortably wear, but I was introduced to the idea of tying them up with lots of sari silk and using them as wall art. Hmmm....  

And then, there was the shopping! Great deals from Nunn Design, fantastic vintage findings from Sandy Schor, the most beautiful sari silk, and Czech glass colors I've never seen before...oh, I can't wait for next year!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Olla Podrida

I love, love, love anything vintage, and I've opened another Etsy shop to sell some of my amazing crafting finds.

I love the quality of old games--the wooden pieces, the beautifully rendered artwork. For all we have gained with digital production, there is a rich quality to these drawings, that we seem to have lost. Look at old storybooks--I love Virginia Lee Burton's--like "Mike Mulligan" and "The Little House." I think I was born at the wrong time!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Nunn Design and Crystal Clay

I've been so blessed to be on the 2012 Nunn Design Innovation Team. Every month or so, we get new Nunn Design products to play with, and I've had so much fun with the new Crystal Clay. Crystal Clay is a two part epoxy clay that dries hard, but you have about an hour to play before it sets. It's great for those hard-to-place vintage finds like buttons--if you can embed it into the clay, it will stay there. Here's a few pieces I did for Nunn:

Monday, February 20, 2012

spring greens

Spring is coming--I can tell because here in Minnesota we're getting the heavy, wet snow that heralds the coming of hockey and basketball tournaments--and SPRING! We always get the wettest, heaviest snowfall when spring is right around the corner.

Today I'm posting a necklace with the softest green of spring, wrapped in a rustic Vintaj brass leaf. Set off by Swarovski crystals the color of St. Patrick's Day, this delicate beauty is an homage to March's arrival.

Soft green vintage style Y necklace, $64.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blushing berries

I am so in love with these beads-- creamy, with a luscious peach blush. These are the last pair I have and I can't find any more!

Accented with a lovely bit of hand-dyed vintage ribbon from my dear, talented friend Leslie of Myrtle Sletta's.

Blushing berries long hook earrings $24.00