Sep 28, 2013

My Addictions...Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti: I think it is time for a giveaway!

 Artist extraordinaire Patti Vanderbloemen is having an incredible fundraiser to both raise funds and garner attention for Miracle Horse Rescue (MHR). For eight weeks, she is donating 100% -- yes, indeed, 100% -- of her Etsy sales to this wonderful organization.

Miracle Horse Network is a non-profit horse sanctuary, and we make a powerful difference in helping older or homeless or rescued horses live with dignity simply by treating ourselves to some of the finest -- and it is indeed, the finest -- art jewelry! Shop for the Holidays, shop without guilt for you & enjoy browsing her beautiful designs at Patti's Etsy store,  My Addictions: Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti 

Patti is holding giveaways on her blog to also raise attention to the Miracle Horse Network. And Patti is also offering a discount off everything in her store through the end of the fundraiser:

9/13/2013 - 9/20/2013    - SAVE 30%
9/21/2013 - 9/27/2013    - SAVE 25%
9/28/2013 - 10/11/2013  - SAVE 20%
10/12/2013 - 10/18/2013 - SAVE 15%
10/19/2013 - 10/31/2013 - SAVE 10%

The community has been incredible in response to her efforts to support MHN, and the 6-8 sales Patti expected have become a miracle in themselves, as thousands have been raised and donated to the Miracle horse sanctuary! Patti writes,

                         "As of September 25, I have raised - and already donated - $1,865.00 to benefit the                                           equines at Miracle Horse Rescue!  I have been gobsmacked with orders (THANK YOU!!)
                              and I am beyond flabbergasted! Quite frankly, I anticipated maybe 6-8 sales over the 7 week 
                              fundraising period ...I never thought I would raise so much money, especially in such a short
                         period of time.  I am truly humbled by this support! I am hoping that I am also raising 
awareness to the plight of horse rescue - all animal rescue!  "

I too wanted to help raise funds, and although I didn't have a lot to spend, I purchased earrings for under a twenty dollars. And I think that is how so much is now accumulating: because we are all giving what we can, and like a miracle, each act of kindness grows into something awesome!

 The power of love is inspiring -- as are the gorgeous earrings I purchased from Patti! Her jewelry designs are simply beautiful, and the quality of her work is outstanding. Honestly, I learned just from holding her work in my hands, and I think I'll be a better jewelry maker from now on.

Here are my new Autumn earrings. I love them!

            "Gorgeous sunshine orange lampwork disc beads, by Sue Beads, 
         have been dipped in frit around the edges to form these fantastic
                             dangles for these earrings. The disc beads have been wire wrapped
 in sterling silver and topped with sterling silver bead caps
 and two matte-finish coordinating lampwork beads by Donna Millard. 
The earrings dangle from hand forged, sterling silver ear wires 
and measure 2 1/4" from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the earring."

Sep 27, 2013

Up and Coming October Blog Hops

Autumn is arriving, and even here in Orlando, the mornings have a chill. October is almost here, and it's time to get out those cozy sweaters. My adorable Chihuahua friend, Pancho, is ready! 

October is a hoppin' month for me and Pancho! I'm participating in 4 blog hops and the Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge. 

Autumn Design Challenge
October 2

I am so looking forward to the Autumn Design Challenge on October 2nd with THEa Elements and Bluberribeads! I am very lucky to get participate, and counting my stars each day as I get ready for the blog hop. Here are the gorgeous beads I received. The brass components are by THEa Elements, and the ceramics are by Blueberribeads. My head is swimming with ideas! The art beads are so pretty!

Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop
October 19

On October 19th, it will be fun with beadweaving and metalwork for the Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop. Here are the lovely components I received. I started working right away! 

Day of the Dead Hop
October 28

Preparing for Octoberfest, I purchased some very cool Day of the Dead beads from Scotland. When Suburban Girl studio organized a quick Day of the Dead/ Halloween Hop, I jumped in!  I think it is a great idea, and as a Hispanic, I'm oh so happy to celebrate my Mexican and Mexican American culture.

Octoberfest Celebration of Autumn
October 27

And the month ends with a party! Octoberfest on October 27th is the blog hop I'm hosting and it is the second annual! I'm sooo excited and honored to share in the celebration of autumn with artists around the globe. I have so many beautiful beads for the event, and more being custom made right now! It will be a lot of fun to create and share because the blog hop is open, with recipes, jewelry, beads, costumes, and more! I can't wait to see what everyone shares. And on Halloween, I'm giving out treats to the participants. I've already gotten some fun new art bead treats for my design, like these polymer clay beauties from Beady Eyed Bunny.

And wow lampwork by Southern Gals Designs.

Happy Autumn and Happy Hopping!


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 Jewel School Friends, a diverse community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and jewelry arts. Join her for Beads of Courage jewelry challenges, blog hops, give-a-ways and of course, cool art beads and handcrafted jewelry!

Sep 18, 2013

Creating with Cabochons: Celestial Bliss

Participating today is a great honor for me. The opportunity to share my cabochon work is magical and I'm grateful for the possibility because of an angel whisperer, Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime

I actually had missed the deadline for joining in this hop and was so disappointed because I'd been bead embroidering cabs all year for a celestial necklace in honor of my daughter Christina, who died last year, and in honor of my other two beautiful daughters, Colene and Sarah. 

I didn't want to be rude, so I quietly watched as people prepared for the blog hop. Weeks passed, and I wished. But when I read an  AntiquityTravelers post about the hop, I could not not ask to be included. It was just a couple days until the reveal!

And then the coolest thing happened. 

Sally read my email just as she was about to email everyone the participant's list! It was right on top as she opened her email. 

And so I'm sharing my celestial cabochon jewelry today. Creating it has been healing and meditative work. And being able to participate today is a gift, an affirmation that angels are among us. 

So, firstly I'm sharing lots of wire work cabs for inspiration. I think cabs are my very favorite component of all. I love them! I started creating with cabs the first time I began making jewelry. 

One of my very favorite bezel techniques uses chainmaille. With a simple Half-Persian 3-1 weave, a strong and versatile bezel can be made for even the largest gemstone cabs. 

The tutorial for this bezel is available on the BBJ website, Series 1600 "World Traveler"  and it's available for free. What a great technique! 

Charoite cab with antique brass chainmaille bezel,
carved amethyst beads, charoite rounds, Swarovski crystals.

The same chain can be inverted also, to create another style bezel.

This cab is seraphinite, the "angel stone" 

In addition, I love to  chainmaille bezel rivoli crystals with a 12-2 Japanese weave.

And I enjoyed creating my first traditional peyote bezel for a rivoli last month for the Summer Color Surprise blog hop! 

Wire wrapping is another of my favorite techniques for cabs. 

Rose Quartz and Cubic Zirconia Faceted Gem

Double Wrap of Larimar cabs, with larimar
rounds, pearls, mystic topaz, and silver beads

Blu Mudd Artisan ceramic made into a cab and wire wrapped

Wire wrapped Drusy quartz

And this year, I began combining wire wrapping and beadwork. Here, I've made a simple wire wrap and added beadwork to the wire bezel. 

Azurite with Beadcomber flower and Humblebeads

I've also been wire weaving, and creating reversible bezels. I learned the technique from Lisa Barth, and a tutorial is available at her Etsy shop

One side of the ocean jasper is held with metal work.

Wire woven Ocean jasper 

The reversed side of the ocean jasper is a beaded bezel. 

Beadwork bezel reversed ocean jasper cabochon

I began creating this necklace last November, almost a year ago! I decided to use all the indigo blue 7 celestial drusy cabochons that I've collected. Most of the cabs are from the lovely Julez Buell and her shop, Julez Jewelz Cabochons on Etsy

When Sally added me to the challenge, I stayed up most of the night and finished the 10 month long project for our hop. I may reach for more Lacey's and continue on creating a bib design, or I may simply focus on adding soft leather backings to the cabs. No matter what, I'm enchanted; I adore all those seed beads!

Drusy Cabochons from Julez Jewelz, sun button by Beadfreaky.

The sun shone as if to say "be happy!" as I photographed 

Thank you Sally for organizing a wonderful cabochon blog hop! I count my lucky stars to be a part of "Creating with Cabochons." And thank you sweet angels for watching over us :) 

The Cabochon Artists:
Our Host:  Sally Russick
Alicia Marinache           
Lynn  Jobber           
Jenny Davies-Reazor           
Jen  Judd           
Jo-Ann  Woolverton           
Marde Lowe           
Dawn Doucette           
Mary K McGraw           
Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           
Sonye Stille           
Elizabeth Owens Dwy           
Veralynne   Malone           
Tania Hagen           
Lynsey  Brooks           
Christina Miles           
Holly  Westfall           
Kathy  Lindemer           
Patti Vanderbloemen           

Therese Frank           
Adrienne Berry           
Tanty  Sri Hartanti           
Renetha Stanziano           
Marlene  Cupo           
Sandi Volpe           
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Mischelle Fanucchi           
Tracy  Stillman           
Skylar Bre'z           
Ann Schroeder           
Jess Green           
Susan Kennedy           
Stacie  Florer           
Cathie  Carroll           
Susan F.   

Michelle Caballero       
Sabine Dittrich           
Kristina Johansson           
Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           
Melissa  Meman           
Cheryl McCloud         
Michelle  Timms           
Cindy  Pack                     

Cynthia  Machata           
Julia  Harris           
Ingrid  Anderson           

Sep 17, 2013

Artisan Whimsy Patina Sunset Challenge

Patina Sunset Challenge

The super talented Melinda Orr is hosting a perfect Indian Summer challenge -- just as the light changes & the days grow shorter, and we ready our homes & lives for fall --  Paint the Sky with Patina!   

The challenge is hosted through her Facebook group,  Creative Bead Chat and can be entered at Artisan Whimsy, her online Arts community

I'm loving the challenge because I recently interviewed Lisa Liddy (interview upcoming) and I personally collect "Color Me This" hand-blended patinas just as I collect beautiful beads! "Color Me This" is a part of "Metal Me This" on Etsy, with over 30 patina colors to choose from! Colors are versatile, ranging from deep, rich shades to soft & subtle ones. 

Colors like "Spice" shown above, "Retro" (Pepto Pink, Cornflower Blue, & Tangerine) and "Tahiti" (Sea Green, Orchid, & Black Pearl) come in 3 packs -- as well as 6 packs. The mix & match sets allow you to choose colors like Red Velvet, Paprika, Sapphire, Inca Gold. And then there's my favorite, buy by the dozen.

I think I have almost every color Lisa has blended! 

My Entry for the Patina Sunset Challenge:

I created both patina components and handcrafted jewelry using those components for both parts of the challenge with my October earrings! I used Color Me This ifn turquoise and paprika to color the copper discs, and added copper splashes made from heating copper to liquid & cooling. I used a copper splash in warm gold and rose and pumpkin tones on top of  the cool vivid turquoise patina, and reversed this with cool olive and peridot greens and iris violet tones on top of the spicy paprika patina. I then sealed the patina and splashes with Permalac in matte to ensure the colors would stay a long time. Lastly, I punched holes in the bottom of the copper discs and added owls by Andrew Thornton. I love the textured, imperfect look of the sky & sunset patinas along with the random shapes & colors of the copper splashes & the hammered look of the brass owls. 

I call the earring design, "Under a Spell"  for the mesmerizing effect a gorgeous sunset has on us. I have found myself many times standing in awe, enchanted, under a spell created the gorgeous colors of the sky at sunset. The earrings are mismatched purposefully, and like an Autumn painted sky, coordinate in awesome blues and reds! 

AW October Challenge: 
Patina Sunset...paint the sky with patina
Sept 18th : Deadline to submit 
Sept 19th: Winners announced
Oct 1st: Bead Chat Magazine Feature

* * * * * *
To enter and to see all the Patina Sunset Challenge Entries, visit Artisan Whimsy! 

Sep 16, 2013

Winners of the Bead Soup Cafe 9th Blogger/Non-Blogger Challenge!

Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Cafe on Facebook has an ongoing community run jewelry and bead making challenge called the Blogger/Non-Blogger Challenge.

The ongoing challenge was created by Marlene Cupo of Amazing Designs by Marlene to meet the needs of jewelry designers and bead artists who wanted to participate in community blog hops, but without the need for blogs.

 Each new round, the previous winner is hostess and is responsible for choosing a new design inspiration photo and offering a prize. The BNB challenges take place regularly at The Bead Soup Cafe' and are great fun! 

Here are examples of prizes from challenges: 
Goodie Bag Prize from a BNB Challenge -- Hosted by Robin Reed
Jewelry Prize from a BNB Challenge -- Holiday art bead necklace by Marlene Cupo

As the winner of the 8th Bead Soup Cafe BNB Challenge, I have the honor of hostessing the 9th round.  I decided to double the fun by creating two colorway inspiration photos: 

A modern art colorway, Teal Goddess:

And a folk-art colorway,"Time Flies" by Frida Kahlo:

I also came up with two prizes, one for each photo inspiration. The two first place winners will receive one of two first place prizes: a $50 gift certificate to Lima Beads or a bountiful bead goodie bag, with additional items added for each participant who posted an entry.

Round 9 First Prizes:

The start of the Bountiful Bead Bag

However, once the challenge began, it was obvious to me that two winners would not reflect the talent, beauty, and contributions for this round! The artists of the BSC came through with the most beautiful work! Go to the photos at the Bead Soup Cafe to view the album. Although the next hostess is not in any way required to do so, I decided to offer additional prizes for the 9th BNB Challenge. The outpouring of fine art jewelry and the exceptional entries of the artists were an inspiration, and I'm so impressed. 

With so many beautiful, well thought out & excellently created designs and beads for the 9th Blogger/Non-Blogger Challenge, I created the following prizes: First Place, Runner Up, Third Place, Hostess Choice, and Honorable Mention. The contributing artists made this challenge one of the finest, and I thank you everyone who participated. Please know you created truly incredible jewelry and beads!

First Place

First Place for Time Flies:
Esterina Mestoko Jagiella 
"Inspiration of Life" 

First Place for Teal Goddess:
Kandice Seeber 

Winner of 50 Goodies Bead Bag: Esterina Mestoko Jagiella
Winner of Lima Beads $50 GC: Kandice Seeber
Next Hostess: Esterina Mestoko Jagiella

(First in list wins Goodie Bag & is next Hostess)

Congratulations Esterina and Kandice! 
You created beautiful art! 

Runner Up

Runner Up for Time Flies:
Robin Showstack "Time Flies"

Runner Up for Teal Goddess:
Kelly Hosford Patterson "The Fairy Goblet" 

Winner of 25 Goodies Bead Bag: Robin Showstack 
Winner of Lima Beads $25 GC: Kelly Hosford Patterson

Congratulations Robin and Kelly! 
Beautiful work!

Third Place

Third Place for Teal Goddess (Tie):
Dhea Powers * Java Bead

Third Place for Teal Goddess (Tie):
Birgit Klughardt 

Third Place for Time Flies (Tie):
Stephanie Gard Buss * Max & Lucie Jewelry

Third Place for Time Flies (Tie):
Agnes Keh * Me Made Jewels

Winner of 10 Goodies Bead Bag: Agnes Keh 
Winner of 10 Goodies Bead Bag: Stephanie Buss
Winner of Lima Beads $10 GC: Dhea Powers
Winner of Lima Beads $10 GC: Birgit Klughardt

Congratulations on Gorgeous Designs Agnes,Dhea,Birgit,and Stephanie!

Hostess Choice

 Stephanie Gard Buss

Kelli Nelson

Catherine Shattuck "Poseidon"

Serena Trent * Pink Ice Jewels

Marlene Cupo *Amazing Designs by Marlene

Alison Baird * Beads By Alison

Lennis Carrier * Windbent

Gloria Allen * Gloria Allen Designs

Andrea Glick * Zenith Jade Creations

Dini Bruinsma * Angaza by Changes

Paula Winchester Hisel * Simply Beadiful

Stephanie Weiss

Leah Mifflin Tees 

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca

Sam Waghorn * Pale Moon Creations

Dolores Raml

Honorable Mention

Serena Trent * Pink Ice Jewels

Shalini Austin * Jewellery By Shalini

Marie Covert Thistledown and Swaddlings

Veralynne Malone

Sandra McGriff * Skye's Creative Chaos

Alison Baird * Beads By Alison

Anzia Parks * Anzipanz Designs

Robin Reed

Agnes Keh * Me Made Jewels

Hostess Choice & Honorable Mention Winners 
will receive an art bead for each winning design! 

I didn't award prizes to every design, nor did I pick only one design per artist. I thought a great deal in deciding the hostess choice & honorable mention winners. 
Congratulations on Superb Designs!

Gift Certificate winners, please message me with your email 
Good Bag & Art Bead Winners, please message me your mailing address

Meet the Artists 
9th Blogger/Non-Blogger Challenge


Designs by Vera

shop link:
FB page: 
blog link:

Max & Lucie Jewelryéi-jar-my-creations/




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!