Aug 31, 2013

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop: My Stay-Vacation in Orlando, Florida!




When Erin announced her second annual Challenge of Travel Blog Hop would celebrate our homes, I was delighted! I love my home. Moving to Orlando, Florida many years ago was the best thing my family ever did. Our lives have changed so much for the better, and living in a beautiful city and natural paradise is a dream come true. 

Much like the suburbs of New York, Orlando is made up of many suburban cities and towns, lovingly all called "Central Florida." The huge city is full of diversity, a melting pot of international people, my beautiful neighbors.




Living in Orlando -- called The City Beautiful by the world -- indeed is beautiful! Orlando is full of water fountains, natural lakes, parks, birds, flowers, treasures, art museums, events, international visitors, beauty, and fun! There are breath-taking scenes everywhere I go ....


Downtown Orlando Lake Eola


I live in a wonderful area of Central Florida that includes Longwood, Casselberry, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, and Eatonville. 


Altamonte Springs

Some say we're in Maitland, Florida




Maitland is one of the oldest incorporated suburban municipalities in Central Florida, previously inhabited by Native Americans, the Seminole Indians.Recently, Maitland became a suburb of Orlando and according to Wikipedia, "the area has always been a vacation spot because of its climate, location to theme parks and people. Maitland has recently become a location where affluent individuals have come to reside, with picturesque parks along lakes, which attract many boaters."

 Maitland has places with magical names like Lotus Lake and Druid Hills. I live in a little neighborhood off of Forest City Road. Everywhere there is a mix of rich natural beauty and the finest comforts for world travelers stopping by. 








The greatest gift of living here is the gift of happiness. Here, there are many jobs and interesting and various things to do, and the sunshine pours out daily, lifting everyone's spirits. People here are so happy, and life is daily joy.


Lily Park

Some say we're in Altamonte Springs

Even going to the grocery store in Altamonte Springs is fun, and a sight for the eyes, a delight for the senses with elegant water fountains, fragrant tropical flowers, trees that bloom all year long, bird song, and of course, palm trees! My grocery is in Altamonte Springs, a 5 minute walk from home.





 150,000 Central Floridians at Altamonte’s Cranes Roost Park to celebrate the 4th July!



Altamonte Springs!




But best of all, we live a short 5 minute drive from Eatonville





Eatonville was the first ever African American town in the US formed after the Emancipation Proclamation, and is known as "The Town That Freedom Built."



Eatonville was home to anthropologist and author Zora Neale Hurston. Some assert her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God is based on Eatonville. 



Knowing I live where Zora lived is an honor. 







The annual Zora Neale Hurston Arts Festival of the Arts and Humanities is held there every year, and Hurston's former home is now her art museum.



I wanted to create jewelry to celebrate the diversity of Orlando! 



Even on my very block, neighbors are a melting pot of differences! Like the rainbow lights changing in front of my home, our neighborhood is a rainbow where there are Hispanic families, Jamaican landlords, African-American & white "inter-racial couples, gays, Cuban immigrants, Asian americans, the Disabled, the Elderly... 

I finally found a bead representing a woman of color! 

Soul Silver has diverse beads. It arrived today & I LOVe it! 





Wanting to be sure to include my Blog Hop post, I will have to create later, but what wonderful jewelry she will become! 

In addition to our prosperous, beautiful, and diverse neighborhood, I must also share the wonder of living on a peninsula! The air is fresh and the skies are blue. The ocean is a 45 minute drive away.
I step outside, I smell the ocean air.



CoCoa Beach, Florida










Larimar Wire wrapped Focal with Mystic Topaz Gems & Pearls

My daughter wears the larimar necklace :) 


More swimming as our pool is just a doorway away! My backyard is a super fun place and a tranquil retreat. The sun shines. My palm tree grows. Our fountain relaxes us. Hibiscus bloom.





video


video











And I couldn't celebrate my Stay-vacation without celebrating the history of Florida's journey to the moon & drusy moon jewelry!






The moon in my neighborhood











Enjoy the other Blog Hop artists "stay-vacations" 
inlinkz at Treasures Found.
Happy Travels! 







Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco 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. Join her on FB for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, blog hops, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

Aug 24, 2013

Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop



Lisa Lodge of A Grateful Artist has created a jewelry making challenge just perfect for summer: color! Today we celebrate the colors of summer in jewelry created with colorways of beads Lisa sent us as surprises.  





 I love color -- in fact, I can't think of a color I don't like -- so color challenges are always fun for me, no matter what color I'm working with. Yet when I received my beautiful mix of purple and lavender beads I was delighted. The color is soft and pretty. Here is the mix I received:







The beads are a beautiful color, with lavender Czech, brilliant violet cubes, small pearlized cubes, and purple iris seed beads. There were antique silver findings and pretty soft metallic gold tones. There was a little of everything to take off from and create some really fun jewelry. 

So firstly, I created simple floral drop earrings. I added  carved garnet leaves and antique copper rose beads to the the two pretty Czech flowers Lisa sent me. I like linear earrings, and I'll wear these to transition from summer to Autumn.

Summer to Autumn Floral Earrings
"Garner"




Looking at the beads,  I was drawn to the soft yellow gold (with a touch of rose gold) beads. There luster and interesting faceting kept catching my eye! They were the perfect color for trying out something with my new bright 16 AWG copper wire and 20 AWG rose gold wire. I had just enough of them to create wire-work earrings in an India style paisley design:

Paisley Patterns of India
"Indian Summer"



Inspired by the 3 pretty bicones in my mix, I added more of my own bicones & a rivoli crystal to create a lovely beadwoven summer flower :) I varied a lush pattern by Hannah Rosner, using purple iris mags I had on hand as low-lights to coordinate with the Heliotrope rivoli and to make the soft AB pink crystals pop. The lavender Czech leaves were from another mix Lisa had sent me, so I made some botanical fringe :) This will be a birthday gift for a friend.

"Fairy Flower"






But... I'm still Inspired!! LOL, what next? 

The Color Summer Surprise challenge and my bead mix really got me thinking. I'm inspired to keep going! I'd like to create pretty peyote stations with the 3 violet cubes. They are just the right size for my pattern, so maybe earrings are in store:

Peyote cubes?




And I'd like to create a multi-strand necklace with the soft Czech. How perfectly the lovely Czech beads match pretty seed beads I have on hand. Together, I think they'll make a very cool monotone, luscious lavender necklace:


Lavender fields?



Enjoy the rainbow of art and artists today! I let Lisa know that my daughter was having a brain MRI and some serious health issues were challenging our family; I was still in the hop, although my comments on your jewelry would be late. I hope she passed along the message to everyone! xxoo Rita

The Participants:
Your Hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Chris Eisenberg, Wander Ware 
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Charlene Bausinger Jacka, Clay Space
Renetha Williams Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Leah Mifflin Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Toltec Jewels, Toltec Jewels for Jewel School Friends <-- you are here :) 
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Julie Lockhart, Copar Aingeal
Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Mowse Doyle, Mowse Made This
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations





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 JSF, a diverse community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and jewelry arts. Join her on FB for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, blog hops, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!

Aug 19, 2013

The Gossiping Goddess and Blueberri Beads Blog Hop



If you act today, you might be a lucky winner enjoying a very special blog hop this Autumn: The Gossiping Goddess and Blueberri Beads are joining together in a beautiful art jewelry challenge. They are offering 20 sets of Blueberri ceramic beads and THEA Too components at a reduced price ( £10 GBP (inc. shipping) per set to 20 lucky people)  for artists to create with in a blog hop on October 2nd. 




The drawing is tonight8pm GMT on Monday 19th August 2013,  so gallop away to quickly enter & good luck my friends!




Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco 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 JSF, a diverse community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and jewelry arts. Join her on FB for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, blog hops, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!