Aug 31, 2014

Art Jewelry Elements Guest Artist Reveal Featuring Leather Feathers by Tree Wings Studio

I'm the Luckiest Lady in the World! 

As a regular reader of Art Jewelry Elements, I am always inspired by the fabulous Component of the Month Design Challenges.  Last month, I had the complete honor & thrill of getting to participate as a guest artist with Francesca Watson and her gorgeous glass cabochons. After creating and posting, I promptly had to have emergency surgery as I'd become very ill. I didn't have a chance to properly thank Francesca or hop all the artists' blogs, so as I offer my apologies, please know my gratitude is great! Getting to create with artists and teachers I have long admired is for me a dream come true and a wonderful challenge.

 When I saw Rebekah Payne of TREE WINGS STUDIO feature her leather feathers as the AJE August component of the Month, I ran to put a pair in my Etsy cart, even before winners were announced, because I had held the magnificent handpainted leather feathers in my hands already and knew how gorgeous they are! I had sent along a pair to my BSBP8 partner, the talented and lovely Bobbie Rafferty of BeadSong Jewelry, to create with and enjoy: 

I shared my BSBP8 story with Rebekah, and asked if AJE allowed readers to purchase components for challenges. After asking Jennifer Cameron (the fabulous creator & editor of AJE), Rebekah shared the good news that I could join her challenge! So, here I am, the fourth guest artist, giddy and excited! 


As part of a design team of artists who participate in quarterly challenges using ceramic components by Moriah Betterley of Blu Mudd, I decided to coordinate my Tree Wings Studio leather feathers with the burgundy & amber autumn ceramics I received for the upcoming September challenge. I chose rich, spicy orange spotted style feathers from the wonderful varieties of leather feathers Rebekah offers at her shop. 

I LOVE these leather feathers! Soft and exquisitely detailed, Rebekah actually creates the design with a wood burning tool and handpaints the suede in acrylics. Working from the energizing pattern of the feathers and the autumnal feel of the Blu Mudd ceramics, I added Czech beads in deep orange with a blue Picasso finish, and topped the ceramic leaf beads with mystic topaz gems, hanging both from delicate Vintaj chain for movement. 

 The gorgeous ribbed lampwork beads, created by Nicole Weltch of NicNac Beads, seemed to be made for the feathers! And so I repeated the touches of copper from the triple balled headpins by hugging the glass treasures with rustic copper spacers, ceramic discs by NaOs Glass, and Swarovski crystals in Volcano -- crystals a friend surprised me with as a gift this week. And although I usually create earwires, I decided on the fine gold-filled leverbacks to accent the beautiful touches of gold in Rebekah's painting.

I entered the earrings in the Blu Mudd "Acorns & Leaves" Design Challenge.
 If you like them, please vote by clicking here for the Blu Mudd page to LIKE my jewelry designs.
You can LIKE as many entries as you wish :) 

Gracias for allowing me to create today. 
I am filled with happiness for my new earrings and am excited about autumn.
Enjoy all the AJE August Tree Wings Studio reveals! 

AJE August Component of the Month Participants

Guest Artists

The AJE Team
Jenny Davies-Reazor -
Francesca Watson -

Aug 20, 2014

Falling on the Edge of October Design Challenge

Falling on the Edge of October
Design Challenge & Blog Hop
Featuring the lampwork art of
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens


When Maryse created her popular "sparkling rocks"in autumn shades, I fell in love! I knew immediately I wanted to share her beautiful beads and hostess a fall design challenge:

Create autumnal jewelry representing October, Halloween, Thanksgiving --
whatever you wish - with SPARKLING ROCKS! Your design should reflect elements of the season: turning leaves, apples and berries, pumpkins, vines ...

Themes of giving thanks, abundance, appreciation, 
bounty, changes, transformation and pathways...

 An autumnal colorway for the harvest, fall foliage, changing leaves...

Each participating artist will receive one sparkling rock art bead.
On Sunday, October 5th, we will reveal our designs and blog hop. 
All artists will be entered to win a $25 GC to Glass Bead Art Lampwork.

 Artists are welcome to purchase additional Glass Bead Art lampwork for designs. 
Maryse is generously offering a coupon for Falling on the Edge of October participants. 
Artists may email me ( for the code. 

Maryse creates sparkling rocks in a variety of colors, and other gorgeous beads!

To participate, please email your artist's name, along with your blog name and blog url, as well as your  mailing address -- with the subject line "sparkling rocks" to toltecjewels(at)

Our blog hop button/badge:

The design challenge is limited to 35 artists. 

I am happy to also provide free shipping; however, if you would like your sparkling rock mailed sooner, you can send along $2 shipping via Paypal and I'll send your bead out now. 
Email me at toltecjewels(at) for Paypal info/arrangements.
 Free shipping will take place in early September. 

Below are the participating artists thus far -- I'm excited and honored to have you all join in! 
Spaces are filling quickly :) When the max artists have joined the challenge, sign ups will close. 

Falling on the Edge of October Participating Artists

Featured Artist: Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens
Maryse's blog: Glass Bead Art
Maryse's shop: Glass Bead Art Lampwork

Toltec Jewels  (hostess)            Jewel School Friends
Shai Williams                           Shaiha's Ramblings
Sherri Stokey                          Knot Just Macrame
Lindsay Starr                           Phantasm Creations
Kelly Rogers                           Beadin' Black & Blue
Jennifer Reno                          Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Melissa Trudinger                    Beadrecipes
Marybeth Rich                        A Few Words from Within the Pines
Andrea Frank                         Andrea Creates Jewelry & More
Sondra Jackson                      Sondra Jackson
Robin Reed                             Artistry HCBD
Kathleen Breeding                   99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Heather Richter                       Desert Jewelry Designs
Gina Hockett                           Freestyle Elements
Mindy Shell                             Kitty's Cache Beading Blog
Debbie Rasmussen                  A little of this, a little of that
Tammy Adams                        Paisley Lizard
Carolyn Lawson                      Carolyn's Creations
Nan Smith                               Nanmade Handmade Jewelry
Evelyn Shelby                          Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Jasvanti Patel                           Jewelry by Jasvanti
Linda Anderson                       From the Bead Board
Dini Bruinsma                          Angaza by Changes
Margareta Saari                       Mags~koruja
Lori Schneider                         Bead Addict
Robin Showstack                    The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Karin Grosset Grange             Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Chris Eisenberg                       Wanderware
Heather d-Entremont              Frugal MacDougall
Linda Younkman                     Lindy's Designs
Janine Lucas                            Esfera Jewelry
Sheila Prosterman                    Cheap Charms
Veralynne Malone                    Designed by Vera
Kelly Hosford Patterson           The Traveling Side Show
Divya N                                    Jewels of Sayuri
Deb Fortin                                Studio 24
Klaudete Koon                         Only Road
Carol Briody                            A Bead's Life

The SPARKLING ROCK FOCAL I asked Maryse to make me.
Click the link to see Maryse's post about them, or custom order one too :) 

 ~ Thank you! ~ 

You will be receiving a group email this week (by Aug. 24) 
If you don't receive a group email message, or if your name & blog aren't listed correctly (or not at all) 
please email me ( and I will make corrections or add you to the group emails.

I'm honored to co-create with you all & look forward to seeing your jewelry art and designs!


Aug 10, 2014

Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Giveaway & Glossi

 The WINNER of $25 Gift Certificate to Happy Mango Beads is...

Congratulations, Rana :) Enjoy! 

Thank you everyone for your amazing creativity and wonderful posts! 
I can't tell you the joy I have in hopping and taking in all the varied and beautiful designs created with your Chicklets! Isn't it amazing to see so much jewelry art inspired by a collection of cool lampwork beads? 

Thank you Sue Kennedy for your art! 
Your chicklets -- and beads and jewelry -- are always the finest. 
You create beauty on earth!

And, I have bad news & good news: this week as I've hopped, my HS has gotten incredible difficult to manage. My right underarm is terrible, and I've been avoiding going to ER for a drain & pack, but... it just isn't getting better. It makes it difficult to use my arm to type, and I feel pretty ill. It's also excruciating! :( So, not to focus on that, but I have gotten about half-way through our hop. If you look at my C5 post, you'll see the names of blogs as I have commented and added you to the Glossi. And let me just say, the C5 Glossi is looking so good! You guys rock! This has been an amazing challenge. 

But... our Glossi just isn't done. I tried, tried, tried -- working many hours a day all week -- but I'm just seriously s-l-o-w going. Please cross your fingers (and toes!) I can avoid ER and the HS flares just heal at home: Goodbye flare.. goodbye infection.. release... 

I will continue to hop and create Glossi pages as I go, and will post our magazine ASAP! I'll also email.
Oh, and please, be sure to check back on several posts that may not have been up yet. As it turned out, a few artists needed some additional time, so be sure to enjoy everyone's posts. They are so good! :) 

I also have a surprise on the way! 

A surprise???
How about some autumn bliss in the form of Sparkling rocks
 for a design challenge Falling on the Edge of October?

These beauties are by Maryse Thillens of Glass Bead Art.
 She is our next featured artist! 

 I adore sparkling rocks. They are gorgeous. 
So seeing Maryse's new Fall shades, I was inspired to share the beauty.

This autumn design challenge is in addition to Octoberfest (which is an open design hop). I've purchased about 40 beads for 40 artists, and I'n hopping you'll accept my invitation to create Fall jewelry. Whether for October, Halloween, or Thanksgiving, this jewelry challenge is to create jewelry including gourds, pumpkins, berries, vines, owls, maple leaves -- anything that you'd find Falling on the Edge of October.

I will post the official sign-ups for "Falling on the Edge of October" on my blog in the next week, but in the meantime if you are interested feel free to send me an email with your name, blog name, & snail mail, with the subject line "sparkling rocks" and I'll count you in! :) 

Again, my gratitude to you all! Choosy Chicks -- and fabulous people - DO indeed choose Chicklets! 
Happy Hopping, Big Thanks, and Great love here for you! 

xxoo, Rita

Aug 3, 2014

Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Blog Hop Reveal


Looking for my HABY HOP REVEAL?


A couple months ago, I asked for help. I had so many chicklets...

SueBeads chicklets, that is! 

So, I sent my chicklets off to artists around the globe, and today, we reveal our chicklets designs. 
They are certain to be fabulous because Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets! 

My wonderful SueBeads! Note how Kennedy's art is so superb, she can create almost exact sized pairs --
a skill even the most experienced lampworkers comment on as her work is excellent and special!
What shall I make next? :) 

With my bead, I decided to celebrate summer and create with soft, opaque peach quartz I've been saving for several years. I kept a pretty peach chicklet for my design & mailed off a rainbow!

From Little House on the Suburban Prairie blog

I love the way the soft peach of the floral lampwork bead coordinates with the warm, soft gem. 

For splashes of summer sparkle, I added bright copper, glowing Czech flowers & iridescent leaf and lots of Swarovski Light peach Champagne crystals along with the natural quartz stones. 

I love this warm & summery necklace, and with such great color, I will wear it often, through all seasons.

Enjoy the hop! And be sure to check back next Sunday for the winner of $25 at:

Thank you everyone for joining in the challenge and sharing your talents.
 I'm honored to create with you all.
 And a special thank you to Susan Kennedy for being our featured artist! 

Guest of Honor & Featured Artist:  Susan Kennedy

Sue Kennedy's blogs:                               SueBeads...A Beady Girl's blog
                                                               Art Jewelry Elements
Sue Kennedy's website                            SueBeads
SueBeads Art Beads                                SueBeads


Toltec Jewels                                           JewelSchoolFriends


Linda Anderson                                       From the Bead Board

Jennifer Reno                                           Musings of a Crafty Jenny

Shirley Moore                                          Beads and Bread

Kristen Stevens                                        My Bead Journey

Marybeth Rich                                         A Few Words From Within the Pines

Jael Thorp                                                jael's art jewels

Melissa Trudinger                                     Beadrecipes

Andrea Glick                                            Zenith Jade Creations

Nan Smith                                                Nanmade Handmade Jewelry

Blanca Medina                                         MEDIBEADS

Shai Williams                                            Shaiha's Ramblings

Carolyn Lawson                                       Carolyn' s Creations

Rana Wilson                                             Rana Lea Designs

Robin Reed                                              Artistry HCBD

Robin Showstack                                     The Crazy Bead Hoarder

Sheila Prosterman                                     Cheap Charms

Karla Morgan                                          Texas Pepper Jams

Kari Asbury                                             Hippie Chick Jewelry and Design

Kelly Rodgers                                          Beadin' Black and Blue

Jayne Capps                                            Mama's Got To Doodle/

Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi                    Micheladas Musings

Heather Richter                                       Desert Jewelry Designs

Chris Eisenberg                                       Wanderware

Kathleen Breeding                                   99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall

Linda Landig                                 

Crystal Thain                                 

Cheri Reed                                    

Heather d-Entremont                     

Dini Bruinsma                                

Lori Schneider                               

Tammy Adams                              

Melinda Orr                                  

Lennis Carrier                               

Cynthia Machata                           

Elizabeth Hodges                          

Debbie Rasmussen                        

Tanya McGuire                             

Charlie Jacka                                

Ev Shelby                                     

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson              

Jasvanti Patel                              

Aug 2, 2014

The Haberdashery Blog Hop

I'm so excited to participate in my friend's fabulous first blog hop! Melissa Trudinger of BEADRECIPES is our hostess with the mostess today, as well as a giftest artist and wonderful person, and I LOVE her idea of having an Australian "haby hop" -- short for a Hberdashery Hop, Melissa explains, since Aussies love to nick-name -- using our ribbons, buttons, fabric to design! Melissa even created a Pinterest board for us. So, without further ado, and despite my fear of ribbon, here goes! :) 

Treasures from Melissa's studio: antique family buttons, ribbons and trimmings! 

For our challenge, I really wanted to upcycle. Often, I receive gorgeous ribbons around art beads I buy. I save them and treasure them because they are so pretty! I wanted to use the soft and shimmering, almost butterfly-like ribbon that Lea Avroch of LA DESIGNS wraps around her lampwork boxes. As luck would have it, I saw an episode of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels (sign up on the website for free to access all the tutorials for the shows) with Cynthia Dies (see Series 2000, show 2013 for the tutorials) who created lots of gorgeous fabric jewelry with cool designs, including the tassel earrings I made. 

I added the vegetable dyed wood barrels, and ta-da: Lea's ribbons are now pretty boho earrings!

I also wanted to incorporate light and lovely organza ribbon into a design, as well as chainmaille, and happily discovered this gorgeous technque for ribbon weaving through my chainmaille resources. The Ribbon Woven Chain Necklace tutorial is easy to follow and is easy to make, yet looks so Boho chic!  

I created a simple chainmaille Japanese flower in copper and silver rings, with a cherry quartz jewel drop for a HABY HOP Cool chain maille choker. The organza ribbon simply ties into a bow in the back to be adjustable. Both my daughters love it! 

And... two designs I created previously I would like to share for our hop as I really worked on my fear of sari ribbon and textiles and jumped into using them for design. I like how both turned out! :) 

As a guest designer for Art Jewelry Elements this week, 
designed with a Francesca Watson handcrafted glass cab:

Wire woven with Swarovski crystal, beadmaille reversible chain, lampwork by Tiffany Smith
(see blog post link for resources to buy the art beads).

Designed with sari ribbon, and made to be reversible too

For the reverse, I added a beadwork bezel, changed the color of the beadmaille chain,
 and added a copper splash.

Blue coral connected by cotton strands and ceramics by Naos. This was inspired by one lucite flower from my BSBP8 partner, the amazing Bobbie Rafferty of Beadsong Jewelry.

I also found a fabulous Art Jewelry Elements tutorial by Jennifer Cameron, "Quick Disc Stack"  for wrapping double ended glass headpins that I used to create flat, attached lucite and Lea Avroch lampwork flowers:

Thank you Melissa for a wonderful challenge! I can't wait to see all the Haberdashery treasures! 

The Haby Hop Artists

Melissa Trudinger                                 

Ann Schroeder                                       

Tammy Adams                                      

Amanda Wacasey                                 

Dolores Raml                                          

Divya N                                                   

Michelle McCarthy                               

DiYana Brooks                                       

Robin Kae Reed                                     

Andrea Glick                                          

Karin Grosset Grange                           

Mitzie Crider                                          

Janine Lucas                                            <-- will post on Sunday

Rosantia Petkova                                 

Susan Kennedy                                      

Leithleach Alainn Seodra      

Kathleen Breeding                                

Shiraz Biggie                                          

Chris Eisenberg                                     

Heather Richter                                    

Lennis Carrier                                        

Rebecca Anderson                               

Jenny Kyrlach                                         

Rita Toltec Jewels                                

Mischelle Fanucci                                 

Karen Mitchell                                       

Carol Briody                                           

Karla Morgan                                        

Carolyn Lawson                                    

Lori Anderson                                        

Jami Shipp                                              

Lili Krist                                                    

Evelyn Shelby                                         

Raissa de Guzman                                

Niky Sayers                                            

Keren Panthaki