May 27, 2014

Octoberfest 2014 Blog Hop Sign Ups

Come hopping on by for my BSBP8 REVEAL?

Looking for  Suburban Girl Studio Waxed Linen Blog Hop?
Here IT iS

Now is the perfect time to plant your pumpkins in time for Halloween....
And the perfect time to get growing for the ... 

The real key to growing pumpkins is planting in time for harvest

Sunday October 26, 2014

 A Home & Hearth Celebration of Autumn's Splendor 
featuring handcrafted jewelry, artisan beads, home decor, 
food, friends & family.

We will celebrate Autumn's Beauty.
Harvest, bounty, gratitude.

Sharing Traditions & Treats 

Candy Apples

Candy Corn (Handcrafted lampwork)

Carved Pumpkins

Drilled Pumpkins
From "How to Drill Pumpkins" 

Polymer Pumpkins
Gorgeous pumpkin beads by Andrea Glick of Zenith-Jade

Purr-fect Pumpkins

The Great Pumpkin

Pumpkins all in a Row

A Happy Home

A Forever Home

 Here's How to Join in Octoberfest:
1) Leave a comment below that you're in
 -- please include your email, blog, artists' name
email me with the subject line "octoberfest 2014" and your
information at toltecjewels (at)

2) Grab the Octoberfest button 
at the bottom of the page and link back to this post
(nice if you do, but not required :)

 3) Create an Autumn Inspired Treat! 
  Get as creative as you wish! 

*Crochet an afghan
A melon afghan light for summer yet cozy for fall.
Beginner crochet project & free instructions here.

*Design Autumnal jewelry
*Design Halloween jewelry

Margot Potter, Ambassador for Swarovski Create Your Style, designed & made this
stunning "Crystal Web Necklace"  -- and she has free instructions on her blog! Love you Margot! 

*decorate your home or yard
*decorate your fur-family

*Decorate your kids, grandkids, your spouse!

Marlene Cupo's hubby goes PINK for Lori Anderson! 

*Have a family get-together
*Journal rampages of appreciation daily for 
30 days in a row (or more!) and share what happens
*Make an online shop for your work

Lorelei Eurto Has a Step by Step guide to setting up an Etsy shop!
Downloadable at the Beading Daily Interweave Store here :) 

* Make a Fall craft
* Make an autumn wreath
*Try a new jewelry technique

Sherri Stokey creates beautiful painted lucite flowers. Free instructions on her blog! 
We love Sherri! 

*Sew a quilt

* Make a cool bead
*Buy art beads   
 *write a poem, dance or sing

* share a recipe, share baking tricks or treats; 
celebrate and brew up something fantastic!


Share your Octoberfest inspired jewelry, beads, recipes,
treats, poems, pictures, experiences, crafts and boo-ti-ful creations 
on  Sunday, October 26th, 2014.

Fly by everyone's creations to comment & share the love!

Check back on Halloween, October 31, 2014
to see if you've won in the random drawings!

Thank you, participants! Enjoy your treats! :) 

Participants will receive treats by beadfreaky (hopefully a custom order for our hop from Christine) and  
Suburban Girl Studio (Diana is creating custom beads for our hop) & more!  :) 

This year, we'll also have a GRAND GIVEAWAY: 


(Well, not so new. It's in my kitchen & was new back in Octoberfest 2012)

NOT! Just tricking...  ;) 

 But seriously, this year's GRAND GIVEAWAY is a treat ...

A Vintaj BIGkick Embossing & Etching Machine

And in addition, we'll have a Pinterest board for Octoberfest 2014 reveals, too. 
(To be invited to post on the board, Pinterest requires we "follow" each other. Please "follow" me on Pinterest & I'll follow you back and add you to the board: 

Sign Ups are open now* so we can get planting & planning for fall.
Simply comment on this post with your email, blog, and artist's name
email me with the subject line "octoberfest 2014" and your information at:
toltecjewels (at)

Our Blog Button this year:



Please note: I update the list every other day so if you aren't seeing your 
name & want to participate, please email me:  toltecjewels (at)   Thanks! 

May 24, 2014

Suburban Girl Studio Waxed Linen Blog Hop

Hopping here for BSBP8? Click here for my reveal. 

Suburban Girl Studio Waxed Linen Blog Hop



...And Waxed Linen Jewelry

I'm excited to take part in Diana's blog hop today because I don't usually work in linen. This was a challenge for me, and I was a little afraid to dive in. To me, the artists who use waxed linen create jewelry that is just cool. They're cool! The designs are cool! And I feel so un-cool, lol. So, I studied my copy of Bohemian Jewelry, explored Pinterest & all of Diana's helpful links, and decided to create a Peruvian thread focal -- handcrafted with brass & decorated with 22k charlottes & hex beads - that would hang from a lovely pearl & charlotte necklace with detachable chainmaille anklet size chain -- something Latina, like me & my daughter, something fun & joyful (In Mexican culture, the greatest gift is JOY). 

And it didn't work. My big idea was a disaster. But from my mistakes learned what not to do & decided to keep on keepin' on with the waxed linen, determined to learn the mystery of cool jewelry making. And I ended up really trying, and created a collection of jewelry while giving it a good go! 


THEA ELEMENTS Bronze bird with stardust chainmaille & sterling clasp anklet.
The handcrafted chain was made for my first waxed linen  jewelry design -- that flopped!  ;) Oh well! 

The Peruvian thread focal I created just honestly looks odd, so I won't show it  -- I don't think waxed linen works for the type of design.The Peruvian threads probably need to not be waxed, or need to be 26g or 28 g wire. 

Not succeeding taught me some good basics --I learned how waxed linen feels and works: how it fills beads and ties wonderfully; how 4-ply can be separated into two 2-ply strings to create interesting designs on one thread (I move from one strand of beads to two strands later in my Butterfly necklace). And as for the lovely cream and gold necklace my daughter wanted, my vision didn't work BUT I did however, come through with the chainmaille part of the design, now the anklet she asked me for. And I started all over and created a Mother & Child necklace, which I love: 


I decided to use the same wire work frame for the Peruvian thread focal idea, but with a different colorway. Instead of the brass frame, I used a dark LOS frame and suddenly everything came together! I created a "mother & child" butterfly focal -- and the butterflies actually are just outside & in front of the wire frame, so they "dance & flutter" -- connected with hematine links & antique copper jump rings, with strung sections of faceted amethyst roundelles and more fancy burgundy AB hematine  -- this time in squardelles.

 Czech lavender & bronze beads wrapped in Vintaj chain are like like a filigree garden gate, and the waxed linen thread then becomes two strands: one made of AB garnet gemstones & silver lined amethyst seed beads and one made of rich purple crystals and amethyst gem rondelles. I even left the linen thread ends as a detail, decorated with beads (something I've seen in the "cool" jewelry***Oh, see update below: there is a reason for the cool tails!). Bees, fairies & pretty little Swarovski charms, and more butterfly findings all jumped in to play in the garden!

The beaded "tails" of Irish waxed linen jewelry are not just a cool design element; they
serve to keep the knots forever knotted. Cutting next to the knots risks weakening them. 
Love that I'm learning as I hop! Thank you fellow blog hop artists :) 

Once I created my Fairy Garden, I felt much more comfortable with linen. I began to get on a roll, and created the quintessential bracelet in linen. I used grey faceted crystal rondelles and smaller grey AB fire polished beads, along with Czech moons, morganite, aquamarine, amazonite, and a wonderful lotus flower bracelet bar by Marti Conrad of Marti's ButtonsNBeads -- all in antique brass and creamy linen. 

I connected the linen strands and wirework chain directly to one side of the bracelet bar; and with another seed bead loop, connected the opposite end and my rosary chain of gems to to a sterling silver daisy for a pop of silver. The sterling daisy is connected to a brass ring and  lobster claw clasp. I added two jump rings to the ceramic for adjustable small & medium bracelet length/sizing. I really like this comforting and soft design because it allows Marti's ceramic art to sing shine. 


I tried again at a cream and pastel waxed linen necklace, and this time it worked! Second Surf, Glass Bead Art & Sweet Birch Designs all create the focal, with blue haze fire agate and fire polished beads in luster mix. 


OHM by Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf, lampwork by Maryse  of Glass Bead Art,
bird by Jess Counts of Sweet Birch Designs, ceramic spacer (above bird) by Naos Glass

And finally, I made earrings with the 22k gold beads I had hoped to use in a design! I strung "love" tags by Kristi Bowman Design, along with keys by Sue Kennedy of SueBeads, lampwork by Glass Bead Art, and enameled headpin earwires in a rich red purple. 

Learning as I hop update: In the "Surf Song" necklace above, I actually tied the linen as I do in my beadwork (square knots) & then covered the knots with antique brass bead caps. Ugh-oh? I may need to restring the necklace & leave beaded tails. And, when I came to making the second earring below, I had actually experimented with starting in the opposite direction so my thread knots and linen ends were at the bottom, near the charms; however I decided I liked the charms alone. Now that I know cut knots are risky, I'm adding glue. I just hope the E600 holds the knots forever secure! I may have to redesign the earrings -- especially because I would not want the beautiful art beads to fall from the earwires.


And here are the charm details. 
"Love is the Key" earrings will be donated 
to Shelley Graham Turner's Alzheimer's fundraising group.  

All together, I had a great time creating with waxed linen. Once I gave it a go, did not succeed, & had to try again, I had learned a great deal. And once I got rolling, I enjoyed using the material. It's sturdier than the silk I use for knotting, and I love the ease of connecting wonderful art beads & gems. Thank you Diana! I look forward to seeing all the wonderful summer waxed linen jewelry the participating artists created! 


Diana Ptaszynski  

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 both her 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.