Dec 1, 2012

My Winter Garden: The Floral Holiday Blog Hop

Welcome to a virtual botanical Holiday garden tour! Host Lisa Lodge of Grateful Artist invited ten of us to create jewelry with a Floral Holiday motif  -- such a lovely idea to welcome in December!

Starting the holiday season with flowers gives me a home sweet home feeling of comfort and Holiday cheer! Here in Orlando the winter flowers are still in bloom; my hibiscus, aloe vera, Mexican petunias, echincea and bougainvillaea are happily growing in my winter garden. In fact, I hear a lawn mower in the distance a I am writing my post! The red birds and other migrating feathered friends are happily enjoying the warm sun, and at dusk, night birds will begin to sing.

The floral mix Lisa sent along is a lot like my garden with rich dark green leaves and pretty blossoms.

 I loved the pretty green, white and blue colorway.

 I also liked the wavy pineapple jasper focal, and because I have some cool pineapple jasper links, I may return to creating with the gemstones, but for now I decided to focus on the lucite flowers and glass leaves. The green blue and white colorway was a perfect compliment to a floral lucite focal I've had tucked away for a special project.

Everything went beautifully. I relaxed and began weaving beadwork using pretty Czech seed beads in the same white green and blue colorway -- a fun seed bead gift from my spouse a few weeks ago-- and I created a gold wire wrapped bezel for the lucite cab using half-round and fancy flat German wire.

Gorgeous shimmering white beads from Sue Beads that I won from Sue Kennedy during AJE's fab Holiday Open House even arrived!

So, I added Czech white leaves and tulips from my stash, along with some Czech green daggers and freshwater pears, beadweaving a spiral of lush floral components on blue luster seed beads. I didn't follow a pattern, but created free-form spiral beadwork to reflect the colorway.

Then, a Holiday flip-out.
Before I had added the last four turns to my bezel, the cab flipped out as I adjusted a rosette! I laughed: OK, no biggie, I thought, finishing my adjustments and adding a pretty love knot of jump rings ... but when it came time to put the cab and my necklace together, it had seemed to vanish! After looking for two hours, taking a break so it would think I didn't care and then re-appear, looking again, and again, and again, and still not finding where in the world it flipped, I decided I had made a bracelet.

Where or where can the cab have gone?? The custom wire work bezel and pretty necklace waits .....

So, I took away my necklace components and ended the beadwork with two soldered jump rings, ready to add a clasp or re-add the shimmering white winter beads by SueBeads, the golden love knots, pretty pearls. I'm happy with the luscious leaves and as the pretty custom bezel waits, sooner or later, the focal will be found. That's life, and I know that eventually it's all bound to become all it can! For now, I'm grateful to have a beautiful winter garden bracelet thanks to lovey Lisa and the Floral Holiday Hop!

Enjoy all the Botanical Beauty on everyone's blogs!

Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog

Kimberly Flood, Goddesses and Beads

Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs

Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress

Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things

Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson

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. Great piece. I love the bracelet - very festive and wintery!

    Sorry to hear about the cab.....

  2. Rita - that has to be one of the most beautiful bracelets I have ever seen (I adore blues and greens). I am sorry about your cab disappearing. Hope it turns up soon. I can picture your garden looking at the bracelet, and it is so pretty and restful. I am glad you participated, and wish you very Happy Holidays!

  3. I love this. It does look like a winter garden. The cab was telling you it wanted a different home so I can't wait to see what you come up with when you find it.

  4. Well, it does make a beautiful bracelet:) I hope you find the cab, though!

  5. Oh my Rita your bracelet is luscious. In fact it's very seasonal too! Great attitude about the cab, "don't sweat it." Laughter is the best medicine. I just know it will turn up and probably in the last place you expect.

  6. When we lost things like that in the house my mom will turn a glass upside down (some people will also make the sign of cross on top) and leave it like that until the lost object appears. It always works (it is basically tricking your subconscious into thinking you're not looking for the object anymore, and the subconscious will actually do the work for you) :)

    That being said - your 'bracelet' is gorgeous! I hope the cab comes back soon and I can get to see it set in that beautiful bezel (something I need to work on learning how to do it :))

    Lovely, as usual!


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Namaste --