Jun 29, 2013

My Country, Of Thee I Bead, BLOG HOP: Mexico-USA

Centeotl , the Aztec Deity of Maize

Welcome to "My Country, of Thee I bead" blog hop hosted by the lovely Nan Smith of Wired Nan. Today, we are beading or jewelry making in honor of our country. 


I'm a Latina, but most specifically, I'm a Chicana. A Chicana is a Mexican-American woman. A third generation USA born Mexican-American, my grandfather came to the United States longing for education. He became a farmer, and learned English by listening outside the door to University classes. His seven sons all became college educated professionals: doctors, professors, business persons. His dreams were actualized through his children, and his courage is a legacy for all my family. 


Orlando, Florida!
Orlando is known as "The City Beautiful"! Florida is full of sunshine, warm and blooming all year long. It is a tropical paradise with palm trees and flowers and sunshine galore! 




My home, the city of Orlando, Florida, is a world-beloved vacation destination, and a wonderful place of diversity, abundance, affluence, jobs, beauty, warm climate, sunshine and happiness! The sunshine lifts spirits and almost everyone is happy here. People from all around the world come to Orlando to visit Disney and Universal, and people from all over the U.S.A. move to Orlando. It is certainly the wonderful "mixing pot" that America is known as; I feel grateful and I belong here.

For my country, of thee I Bead, I'm celebrating being a Chicana American living in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. by using color. I created jewelry to reflect the Sunshine State and my childhood memories of farming corn.

 A-MAIZING-ING MAIZE and Sunny Florida!


Mochica Corn: 400 A.D. Larco Museum Collection
(Sculpture in Gold)
I grew up playing on my Grandparents' farm, running through the fields of corn. As a child growing up in the U.S.A, I called the maize "corn"  but the term "Maize" is preferred internationally because it refers to a specific grain, unlike "corn" which has complicated and diverse meaning and references in different regions and cultures of the world.

A Minnesota water tower painted to look like a cob of corn, or maize. Farm country celebrates maize :) 

In Mexico, almost every dish is made with maize. Maize is at the center of Mexican food. Virtually every dish in Mexican cuisine includes maize! Maize is the main ingrediant in tortillas, tamales, tacos, qusadillas, enchiladas, tostadas. Below is a photo of Mexican corn cakes by Martha Stewart Living. Follow the link below the photo to try them. I recommend tweaking the recipe by adding a salsa of avocados, cilantro and heirloom tomatoes to the cakes. 



Martha Stewart Living shares a recipe for Mexican Corn Cakes
made with masa harina, Mexican corn flour.

My Chicana celebration is based on gemstones: yellow labradorite from Mexico. An unusual, glowing gem, yellow lab is a form of traditional labradorite. However, yellow labradorite is considered an exotic, often cut and faceted as a fine gemstone. 


My treasured yellow labradorite rough, spiral wraps, drusy quartz.
For my jewelry, I've used the last of my rough of yellow labradorite. 





The pieces are wrapped in golden wire, like presents; rooted in ancient tradition, they are gifts of the earth, Mexican folk art, a celebration of maize and my Chicana ethnicity. 







The focal is a beautiful yellow quartz briolette (some may prefer to call it citrine). I've added Swarovski crystal drops to add focus to the briolette. Cascading wrapped labradorite stones accent the yellow quartz. 





The gold chain becomes rosary chain made of special edition Swarovski beads and Czech champagne rondelles. 


I love the pretty colorway, the warm tones, the soft glowing golden labradorite. The rough seems to glow from within, as does my spirit, creating with maize as my theme. The gems fill with light. 



Thank you to the talented Nan Smith for hosting this fun and thoughtful blog hop! Making Chicana jewelry is completely new to me, and I'm so grateful for the inspiration! The Mexican gems, the briolette drops and the rough yellow labradorite wraps, and the gold maize motif is all very uplifting and happy. Beading as a Chicana, in honor of my North American and my Mexican ethnicity, has been a joy. Gracias, Nan! 

Enjoy the other countries to whom we bead! The participants are:





Nan Smith (host): http://wirednan.blogspot.ca Canada

Dini Bruinsma/ The Netherlands: http://angazabychanges.blogspot.ca 

Stephanie Weiss/ USA  http://uniquelymebwd.blogspot.com  

Ana Cravidao (ACBeads) /Portugal :http://acbeads.blogspot.com


Vera/Germany (USA): veradesigns.blogspot.com   



Jessica Murray/USA  http://whimsicalweavings.blogspot.com 



LiliKrist/   Indonesia: http://http://pcbylik.blogspot.com  

N Vakentine Studio/Canada :  www.nvalentine.blogspot.com  

Karin/Calgary, Canada: maverickbeads.blogspot.ca                                

Diah Anggreni/ Indonesia : http://pernik-manik.blogspot.com        

Karen/Australia : www.overthemoon-design.com                                 

Cath Thomas/  Switzerland : http://samohtac.blogspot.ca                  

Asri Wahyuningsih/USA : http://asribeadwork.blogspot.com     

Crysalis Jewelry Design                                              Denmark ( Canada)

Jasvanti Patel/USA www.jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com        

Lola/USA: http://beadlolabead.blogspot.ca              

Beccy Peterson           Sweden (USA)


Inge von Roos/Germanyingetraud.wordpress.com                

Laurie Vyselaar/USALefthandjewelry.wordpress.com.     

Toltec Jewels/ Mexico-USA: www.jewelschoolfriends.com    <<<< YOU ARE HERE :) 

Anindita Basu/USA: www.alankarshilpa.blogspot.com  











Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, an online community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

Jun 25, 2013

Summer Elements Blog Hop Giveaway





The Summer Elements Blog Hop celebrated summer with gorgeous jewelry designs, tours of French cities, visits to West Africa, Canadian cabin get-a-ways, the Estonia Song Festival, Australian winter, Alaskan camping. Memories of summertime fun were shared and honored: playing in the pool, camping, bike riding, road trips, RV'ing, BBQs. Recipes for delicious summer salads and deserts, and the joys of summer produce like rhubarb and strawberries and blueberries were shared. The freedom of summer's water swept through, with new techniques in jewelry design and sea & surf colorways, in free-form macrame and seashell jewelry. The quiet evening light was admired as was the smiling sun. Seasonal magazines were created and awesome photography was shared. Flowers bloomed, butterflies graced us. It was an incredible blog hop, with creativity to match the stars and moon! The celebration was nothing less than magical --  made so by the talented, high energy, leading edge artists who so generously and beautifully contributed to the Summer Elements Blog Hop. 

You'll find links to each artist's Summer Elements post through the participant list. Simply click on the Summer Elements button/ badge at the right column of my blog to access the participant list. Although each person's main blog is still listed, a new window will open going directly to each individual post. Thank you everyone for your contributions! 

The winner of $25 in beads from Lima Beads (gift certificate) is Gina Hockett! Congratulations, Gina!!








Everyone else who contributed to our hop is also a winner!! You will receive a ceramic art bead/ art button by beadfreaky! Congratulations!



The screenshot of random org: 







Please email me with your name, address, and blog to claim your prize. Email: toltecjewels (at) aol (dot) com with the subject line "Summer Elements winner" and please allow me a few weeks to mail out all the ceramics. You will receive a DC# when your ceramic is packaged and labelled. It may be another week after I print labels before packages are in the mail, however, since First Class must be paid in person rather than online. I add tracking to all packages. 


Special Announcement! 
 I will be hosting the Second Annual OctoberFest blog hop this year. Like the Summer Elements blog hop, Octoberfest is open to jewelry, beads, crafts, poetry, photography, memoirs, recipes, home decor -- any way you would like to share your creativity! Please mark your calenders, and consider joining me on Sunday, October 27, 2013 to celebrate autumn. Sign-ups will begin in August. I hope to see you then :) 



Enjoy your prizes!! Thanks again for a lovely celebration! 
Love,
Rita





Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

Jun 16, 2013

Summer Elements Blog Hop


WELCOME
to the
SUMMER
ELEMENTS
Blog Hop



 Celebrating
our favorite
Element of Summer



Sweet Summer AIR

Sweet Summer WATER



Summertime FIRE


Our Summer EARTH


Summery SPIRIT



One of my favorite elements of summer is the living earth: growing, blooming, flowering. 
The long days lift my spirit.
The gentle evenings nurture my soul.


I love gardening, and healing foods. Every morning I have berries and vegetables to start my day. Summer bounty gives me such joy. I especially love berries, which give my body healthfulness, and often keep me out of my wheelchair. 


Last spring, I thought about the coming summer and asked two incredible artists if they might create custom beads: blueberries!

My wish came true:


I received beautiful polymer clay blueberries custom made by Lennis Carrier of Windbent on Etsy.



And beautiful polymer clay blueberries custom made by Marlene Cupo of Amazing Designs on ArtFire.




I was inspired to create blueberry vine jewelry, and thus began my search and wish for blueberry art beads, after coming across this lovely rustic woodland wedding blueberry crown: 

Sweet Little Sparrow on Etsy creates beautiful wedding crowns, headbands, and pins!  

I created my blueberry cluster:

Blueberry vine made with twisted wire.
Beads, Baubles & Jewels has a video tutorial on this simple branching technique.





And used the blueberry "vine" for a blueberry necklace. I used soft sari ribbon for the large, lovely leaves of blueberry vines. 


My daughter says she feels like a goddess wearing the special summer necklace! We both giggled and had fun wearing the whimsical necklace :)  



The depth of colors using both Marlene's and Lennis' beads created a rich, delicious blueberry plant. A delight!



Blessings and thanks! 
Enjoy our Summer Celebration of jewelry, beads, crafts, poems, recipes, and fun!


Thank you for joining in my blog hop! I'm happy to enter all the participants who've shared in a giveaway. I'll be posting the winner of $25 in beads (a Lima Beads gift certificate) by next Sunday. Click here for the winner.



Thanks again everyone! 

Summer Elements Blog Hop Participants: 

Toltec Jewels (Hostess)     http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com/
Marlene Cupo                   /http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com
Cheri Reed                        http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Ailsa Cordner                    http://www.bramalfiebeadsetc.co.uk
Nan Smith                         http://www.wirednan.blogspot.com/
Sherri Stokey                     http://www.knotjustmacrame.com
Christie (Charis Designs)    http://charisdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson                 http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Susie Harris                        http://jewelleryjunkie.blogspot.com/
Andrea Glick-Zenith           http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Nelly May                          http://smellynelly.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger               http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Dini Bruinsma                     http://angazabychanges.blogspot.com
Kathy Lindemer                 http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins                  http://tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Robin Reed                       http://willowdragon.blogspot.com
Gina Hockett                     http://freestyleelements.blogspot.com
Karen Martinez                 http://www.fairiesmarket.blogspot.com
Liz                                    http://beadcontagion.blogspot.com
Jasvanti Patel                     http://jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Solange Collin                    http://www.blog.ahowinjewelry.com
Gerda                                http://gerdascraftsblog.blogspot.com
Karla Morgan                    http://texaspepperjams.blogspot.com/
Anindita Basu                     http://alankarshilpa.blogspot.com/
Alicia Marinache                http://www.allprettythings.ca
Andrea Trank                    http://heavenlanecreations.com/
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     http://deelitefuljewelrycreations.blogspot.com
Mischelle Fanucchi             http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Tanty Sri Hartanti               http://tjewellicious.blogspot.com/
Shaiha Williams                  http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Mary Govaars                    http://mlhjewelrydesigns.com
Becca Sirevaag                  http://godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Lennis Carrier                    http://windbent.wordpress.com
Regina Wood                     http://www.gina-design.blogspot.com
Sue Kennedy                     http://suebeads.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding             https://www.facebook.com/99BOBOTW










Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning jewelry techniques. She is the host of Jewel School Friends, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

Jun 14, 2013

The First Annual BEADALON Design Contest


Exciting news! Beadalon is hosting its first annual design contest, and the winner will receive a $1,000 gift certificate to Beadalon.

Designers may enter as many times as they wish, using at least 50% Beadalon beading wire in their original design. Any additional stringing materials used must also be by Beadalon.

Checking out the contest, I learned Beadalon has some very cool new German wire with five new distinct patterns.  They are beautiful patterns of wire! I most often use Beadalon German wire for my wire wrapping, and I'm very excited to try the new styles. Here is an example of Beadalon twisted square wire and half-round half-hard wire used in my wire wrapping: 

Larimar cabochons wire-wrapped using Beadalon German wire; with silver beads, Czech  crystals,
mystic topaz rondelles, and freshwater pearls on a chain of larimar beads, aquamarine squaredelles,
 mystic topaz, Czech rondelles, and Swarovski crystal embellished freshwater fancy pearls. 

I also use Beadalon satin copper, gold, and silver beading wire for my stringing. And I just learned there is also a new color of beading wire: satin antique brass in 7, 19, or 49 strands. Yippee! That is a color I'm really into using in designs right now! 

Here is a design I created using the beadalon Satin Copper beading wire with chainmaille. Fantasy faceted quartz crystal beads are strung between two chainmaille chains to create a cuff bracelet. The satin copper wire blends in with the tarnish-resistant bright copper coated metal jump rings beautifully:

Chainmaille cuff bracelet with quartz crystal fantasy (micro) faceted beads; made
with tarnish resistant bright copper rings and Beadalon satin copper stringing wire.


So, here are the design contest details:



This is going to be fun! Hope to see many of your designs in the contest. For complete information, go to Beadalon's website, and good luck!  


p.s. I wasn't asked to say anything nice about Beadalon, or the contest. I just saw the announcement at the Beads, Baubles, and Jewels group on Facebook and wanted to share :) 

















Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Fransisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning more jewelry techniques. She is the hostess of Jewel School Friends online, a community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and Jewel School. Join her on Facebook for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!