Oct 28, 2012

October Fest Reveal

  Welcome to my October Fest Celebration and Reveal

A Jewelry, Craft, Bead, Home & Hearth Creative Celebration of Autumn

My reveal begins in 1966. My father forgets about Halloween after the arrival his first born. When children knock on the door smiling toothless smiles, yelling out or shyly whispering, "Trick or Treat!" he remembers the holiday. Halloween. With no time to shop for candy, he gives out money! Years later, he retells the story with laughter, motioning towards his half filled mason jar of John F. Kennedy silver dollars. It's October again. My birthday....

Since then, October -- and everything autumn --  nurtures me with rich memories. The splendor of autumnal colors, smells, and traditions is woven into my sense of identity. The fun of growing up with Halloween birthday parties, and dressing up to be anything one dreamed. The crunching of the leaves haven fallen from the trees, the wind, the cooler crisp air, and the longer nights filled with howls and hoots, met with the shorter day's violet lavender grey blue orange pink sunsets, enchant me still.

I decided to make one of my October Fest jewelry designs about owls with the awesome Artisan Whimsy Challenge, "Show Us Your Hooters"!

I created "Under A Spell" earrings.

I brought out my two Green Girl Studio brass owl components, purchased directly from the incredible Andrew Thornton during his autumn sale. Then I hammered, textured, and punched two copper blanks, adding an additional element -- an "Art Jewelry Element" -- to my spell. I decided to use juxtaposing colors and differing organic shapes to the earrings, inspired by the "Mismatched Monday"  Halloween earring challenge at Art Jewelry Elements. I mixed and matched Lisa Liddy's lovely warm Paprika and oh so cool Turquoise custom patinas (Color Me This)  with two copper splashes painted with fire: one splash a Tangerine Tango and the other a rhapsody with blues and greens. The differences were wonderful together, like the autumn sunsets that bewitch me always.

"Under a Spell" Green Girl Studio Brass owl components (Andrew Thornton), Copper splashes on copper discs (custom patinas by Color Me This). They have been updated with my own handcrafted French earwires.

Creating the earrings was great fun. Working outside, sharing with my family as we all designed and decorated together for October Fest was very special. Living in Florida, autumn means that families of birds  return home to the garden for the winter,  flowers are still in bloom.

 As the tropical weather now cools, soft winds from the Atlantic ocean bring the cleanest air and gentlest breezes across the peninsula. The days and nights are lovely. While my family and I enjoyed decorating and designing yesterday, we talked about autumn celebrations, laughing that my grandson was really "Fall in Florida" just looking at him! -- with all the right colors in his (handcrafted) hat and clothing. Indeed, we realized, he was THE representation for Autumn in Orlando -- summer shorts worn with cozy hats and warm clothing is quintessential Florida style! And with a cool Halloween costume's paper sword thrown in, he was a party! 

We set up our big black inflatable cat. When his head begins to move side to side, visitors and trick o' treaters alike, all not expecting an inflatable to actually move, are super surprised!  Meow!  Our sweet dogs, catching glimpses of his tail through the window, are alarmed by him: "There's a huge cat in the yard! Quick, come bark!"

At night the big black cat glows, and next to purple lit "haunted trees" throughout our yard and strands of "candy corn lights" so fine they would easily be any camper's delight, our autumn day takes on an excitement and then a peacefulness as dusk descends, falling on the edge of October.

My other October Fest design is inspired by Marcy Lamberson's stunning red leaf pendant.

Beautiful Red Glass Handmade Leaf Pendant by StudioMarcy

 When I saw the "Beautiful Red Glass Handmade Leaf Pendant" a few weeks ago (StudioMarcy) I was  completely transformed and effortlessly moved through time and space, taken on an autumn walk, sunlight warm on my back,  newly divorced and happily enjoying the woods with my children 25 years ago. Our little family.

Chrissy hugs baby sister Colene while Sarah is silly. Ages 3, 2, 1 :)

Seeing the glass art work, I recalled the intense beauty of fiery red maple trees accenting the fall orange and yellow and brown landscape. How the red trees are astonishing!

I decided to create a red leaf necklace with "dragonberry" red sari silk from Painting with Fire and soft orange sari silk gifted by Lori Anderson for our Pantone Fall bead exchange. I strung rich red pearls and created a loose braid of silk. 

I had received the most unusual and lovely red leaves from Heidi Mansfield Kingman of My Bead Therapy. They were perfect accents to the red leaf focal, and although I had wire wrapped about 60 leaves, I added a few in clusters here and there, and kept it simple to balance the striking color and strong focal-based design.

"Fire to the Rain" sari silk, lampwork glass, and resin necklace.

The bold crimson reds are softened by the orange and dragonberry shades and texture of the sari ribbon. The necklace is soft both visually and physically, and the braided ribbons have an almost quilt like feel: full, yet subtle and flexible. I'm just not good at using sari silk as are so many of you, but it is nice to wear. It's a lovely technique for the cooler days of Autumn, and brings a layer of fashion and a sense of warmth, much like a scarf.

The shapes of the beads and the colorway are like flames, reminding me of warm beautiful fires shared with friends and all our children as we spent time camping together, and bring to mind a beautiful song I hear today entitled, "Set Fire to the Rain" (Adele). I've named the dancing flames necklace after the song, in memory of my daughter Christina (Nov. 1983- July 2012).

Are you a winner? Click here for prize info.

 The Participants
Reveals are on blogs and on Facebook.
You'll find reveals at the Facebook group listed below, and on artists' individual Facebook pages. 

 Fly Well and Share the Love!

Please note: Mary Shannon Hicks is unable to participate today due to the health of her eyes. She looks forward to beading with everyone again next year. Please, keep her in your thoughts, hearts, and prayers -- or stop by her blog to share words of encouragement anyway -- as she must undergo intense medical care for the return of her vision. Let's support her and stay connected with her this Fall :)


Check the OctoberFest Facebook Group for reveals          
And on the Jewel School Friends Facebook page
Host Toltec Jewels            http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com  (you are here .... beware! ;)  
Heather Otto                     http://www.thecrafthopper.com
Mischelle Fanucchi   
Marlene Cupo                   http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com
Shaiha Williams                http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Shelly Graham Turner          http://shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com/
Shelly Joyce                         http://www.aujourlejour-shelly.blogspot.com/
Charlie Jacka
Pam Sears                        http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/
Margareta Saari                  http://magsinhelmet.blogspot.com/
Marita Suominen                 http://momentofjewelry.blogspot.fi/
Lisa Posthumus                   https://www.facebook.com/lisa.posthumusharper
Jeannie Dukic                     
Cheri Reed                          http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com/
Arlene Dean                        http://aglassbash.blogspot.com/
Susan Kennedy                   http://suebeads.blogspot.com/
Dita Basu                           http://www.alankarshilpa.blogspot.com/
Sonya Ann Stille                 http://dreaminofbeads.blogspot.com/
Audrey Allen                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wrapped-Up-In-Magic/145456948869148
Kashmira Patel                   http://sadafulee.blogspot.com/
Kathy Lindemer                 http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/
Kris Mattingly                    https://www.facebook.com/kris.h.mattingly
Lennis Carrier                    http://www.windbent.net/
Shannon Hicks                   http://uptwnsh-fallingintothesky.blogspot.com/
Paula Hisel                        
Karin Slaton                       http://backstorybeads.blogspot.com/
Shirley Moore                    http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com/
Alicia Marinache                http://www.allprettythings.ca/
Valeria G. Rome               
Lo                                     http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.com/
Zoe Marcin                       http://beadsteaandsweets.blogspot.com/
Lawson                http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Kimberly Booth                 http://thepinkmartiniboutique.blogspot.com/
Sherri Stokey                    http://www.knotjustmacrame.com
Tanya McGuire                  http://www.tanyamcguire.blogspot.com/ 
Debbie Rasmussen             http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com/
Christine Stonefield             http://sweetgirldesign.blogspot.com/
Tanty Sri Hartani                http://tjewellicious.blogspot.com/
Sandra McGriff                  http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com/
Stanziano              http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com/
Evelyn Shelby                     http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Colene Waltermire              https://www.facebook.com/groups/426147797447039/?fref=ts
Lee Nova                          

Check the OctoberFest Facebook Group for reveals          


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!


  1. WOW as always! You always put a smile on my face <3

  2. Hi, mine will be up later today - had an unexepected trip to the vets with one of my dogs ... put me back a bit lol (she's fine now) =)

    Lo/The Creative Klutz

  3. Oh Rita what beautiful jewelry!
    The owls are wise just as you are and the fiery red reminds me too of crisp autumn leaves crunching under my feet. I recall walking past the sidewalks adventuring into the woods with you many times throughout the years. As the cold wind would rustle the trees, I always felt safe with you by my side. I held a great deal of admiration for you then as I still do. You have strength, you have conviction, you offer unconditional love, and you are the coolest woman I know.
    You are my best friend.
    Every piece of jewelry you make is lovely, well thought out and beautifully crafted. I am always amazed at how you are able to grasp new techniques and can combine different ingredients with such unique sophisticated concepts. You are a wonderfully talented person and I am proud to be your daughter.
    And Rita Happy Birthday, You must put a little of yourself in everything you make because I believe your earrings remind me of someone… YOU! Magical, beautiful, and wise:) thanks for always being such a good mom. Love you lots, Colene

  4. OMG, Rita - I can sum my feeling up in one word: 'Wow'. Your pictures are amazing, your creations stunning - and your stories simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing so many pieces of you - I hope you enjoy this wonderful autumn too.
    May it bring you more memories to sew together in the sparkling fabric of your life!

  5. Again, you amaze me totally! What great photos, I love the flaming reds and oranges of fall <3

    The owl earrings are so charming ans make me smile <3

    And, what an exceptional and awesome red necklace with those leaves, I'm in love :-)

  6. I am over the moon for those earrings! And your necklace is a masterwork. Thanks so much for inspiring us with the splendor of the season. I visited all the blogs and facebook yesterday, reveling in everyone's creativity. Hope your birthday was grand!

  7. I love your blog post. The photos and content are wonderful. Being an owl fan, I love those earrings.

  8. Love those owl earrings. That top link is so cool. You will have to share more about how you did that. Good luck with the voting.

  9. So many wonderful memories to go along with fall! I love your red leaf necklace - the red leaves in fall are so beautiful!!
    Thanks for hosting a fun party - Happy Birthday!

  10. Love the texture on your necklace and of course your Hooters! Hope you had a wonderful birthday.

  11. I love your design. The colors are so beautiful just like the beautiful leaves in your pictures. The picture of your family is beautiful. This was a wonderful blog hop. Happy Birthday.

  12. Thank you for participating in the mismatched earring challenge! Great job!

  13. A very belated Happy Birthday! Sorry for the delay in posting comments, but Sandy got in my way.
    As always your jewelry is magnificient, and your blog post is inspiring. Enjoyed being in this challenge so much!


Gracias for your comments and for visiting! I appreciate every word :)
Namaste --