Friday, April 7, 2017

Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop Reveal...

Today is the day for the 3rd annual Bead Peeps Swap -n- Hop...

This swap was again hosted by Linda Anderson . This is the 3rd year she has stepped up and hosted this swap so that some of us beady jewelry artists can swap some beads with a partner, create some awesomeness from said swapped beads and then share it on our blogs/Instagram for the world to see! I love doing these swaps it pushes me to work with and/or through things that I naturally do not gravitate towards or would not typically purchase and work with.  Every time I participate I like to try a new technique whether it be something small or something substantial, I try to push myself a little.

So this time my partner was Dana Philips. She makes ceramic beads and pendants. When I found that out I was so excited!! I love earthenware, mugs, plaques, beads you name it I love it! I was hoping to get some whimsical, cute animal or a pendant stamped with something, but what I got was much different, we are supposed to have a challenge and it was a little challenging, but in a good way. I am totally ordering a couple of pendants from her, the ones that I will order will be whimsical and / or a cute little animal. 

Okay now on to what we sent each other. The first batch will be what I sent to Dana.


All the pendants were made by yours truly. If you know me then you know that I adore soft soldering, love everything about it! As you can see I soldered 5 pendants for Dana. In case it's not obvious there's a real butterfly wing pendant, a real four leaf clover pendant ( my brother-in-law finds so many it's uncanny, one would think would have better luck than he does), the blue one is Kyanite, the gray is labradorite and the orange is aragonite, all gemstones. Then the others are 2 verdigris pendants that I patinated, the round one has vintage metal flowers attached. Then the cloche pendant is one that I assembled there's a cutie pie gnome(love gnomes) a little moss and a tiny mushroom that I made and painted. Then of course I threw in some coordinating beads, some toggle clasps and ribbon.

Now onto what Dana sent me.

The lampwork focal is Lorna Johnston, the little lampwork beads are by Jill Cage, the flower drops are from Bandana Girl ( Melinda Orr). The ceramic beads are made by Dana, I didn't know what the focal was, I was a little embarrassed I didn't want to be insulting in any way but I was clueless. Dana said it the seed from the tree of life series and it's named  Ellcrys, she also made the 5 ceramic beads and the headpins. She then sent a vintage key (right up my alley) some reclaimed brass beads and some oversized brass lobster clasps.

Now what I made with everything I was sent and of course a little bit about the how and why.

Really loved these drops. I wanted to use something a bit more colorful but after trying out, I don't know 10 combos, I decided that I liked the shape and muted colors of the Jasper beads the best.

Now these were made with  the lampwork beads that I was sent. I love the color purple so I had to use them somehow. I'm not a fancy girl, so making fussy things is hard for me, but these beads were beautiful and they called to be made fancy, like something you would wear to a party or with a formal gown ( you may not think so but that just goes to show how plain and unfussy my style is). I don't usually make my own components but I couldn't find any ear wires I like with the design so I made them myself out of 20 gauge sterling wire I even added the little bead and hammered to keep them in place. I really like how they turned out.

I rarely work with lamp work beads. I love them, I own many, especially sculptural beads, but to me they are something that I would collect like little tchotchkes, little pretties that you display, not something I make jewelry with. So this bead was hard for me. I had to think on it for a while and then I had one of those light bulb moments and I just knew what it would become, something for me to wear. I love long necklaces and have been making myself necklaces that I can layer and this became something for me to wear. I made the tassel using a couple of pieces of scrap leather that I had ( I cut apart leather clothing from thrift shops when I can get them for a reasonable price), cut a fringe and then rolled them together and added them to a bead cap. The bead cap was a bright silver so bright you could stop traffic with it  and I hated it so I added some Novacan black to give it that dark color I wanted. Then or course I wire wrapped some crystals and some leather lacing to finish it off. I left the ends of the leather undone so that I can adjust the length as it suits my needs.

Okay Dana said this was the tree of life seed, but having gone to Catholic school when I first saw the seed it reminded me of the Sacred Heart  that used to be one of my scapulars. The sacred heart symbolizes Jesus Christ's physical heart and his divine love for humanity. The tree of life thing had me stumped so I rolled with what I thought it was when I first saw it, so I paired it a vintage religious medallion of Jesus. I also used pearls, some brass chain, brown leather and one of those oversized lobster clasps that Dana sent. I must admit this turned out to be my favorite piece, this is for sure mine to keep. I can't wait to wear it.

This is what became of the vintage key. I tied a little vintage lace to it. Stacked some vintage mother of pearl buttons to hang the key from. I also soldered a large mother of pearl button into a connector  ( I simply couldn't pass up soldering and using something I soldered in a design). For this I have been hoarding this vintage silver chain I had to use it for this piece, I think it's sterling, the original clasp was broken but it was stamped.

And lastly I asked Dana which of my focals she was going to use and she said she wanted to work with the labradorite or the butterfly  I only had time to work on one so I chose the labradorite since I'm obsessed with  this stone.

I made a super long necklace this is one continuous piece. That can be worn different ways, there is no clasp at all. This one is also a keeper for me. So it's my soldered pendant and a smattering of labradorite beads, then I added the briolette drop to a jump ring at the end of the long chain. I cannot tell you how much I love this piece.

I want to thank Linda for hosting and Dana for being my partner I can't wait to see what you came up with! Oh and here are the other participants.

Linda Anderson (Hostess)
Hope Smitherman

Seed Beaders

Until next time,




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bead Soup Blog Hop 2017......



I am so glad to be able to, again, be part of one of my favorite blog hops. It's been a few years since this one last took place. I would like to thank our lovely hostess Lori Anderson  for all the hard work and time she has devoted to make this exchange and hop happen for all of us!

I would love to introduce my partner Heather Marston. She is a busy mom, enamel artist and also teaches preschool. It was unfortunate, but we really didn't get to know one another very well, but our families and careers must take precedence, when folks are busy.  But I was sent a fun, yet challenging variety of hoarded goodies to work with.

This is the batch of hoarded goodies that I was sent. There are some Czech beads, a really big focal (neither of us know what the stone is) a couple of her enamel pieces, a couple of ceramic focals and lastly a couple of banana shaped beads.

Next is what I sent to Heather...


The top picture is what I hoard the most and that's labradorite. I love everything about it. I am always drawn to it. The 3 focals I have been hanging on to for quite a while. The others are  some strands of labradorite from my collection, let's be real I can actually call it a collection. The second picture it one of the other things that I tend to hoard and thats vintage crystal beads. I love them, they are very different from the modern crystal beads that you can purchase,  I think that it's the cuts and facets that set them apart.


I was so excited to open my package, there were a couple of things that I wasn't sure what to do with. I wanted to use or make something with every last thing I was sent, but I have a life outside of my studio and just couldn't pull it off. Believe it or not the bananas were the first thing my weird brain gravitated towards, I instantly knew what I wanted to do. So here's what I did with the banana beads.

He is totally going to hang from my rear view mirror of my car. I'm not exactly sure what it's called but that's what it is.

Then I just had to make a necklace with this enamel piece, it's beautiful. The colors are rich and the combination of colors is perfect. 

Next this is how I used the spotted Czech beads. I used 2 part epoxy putty ( for the first time) to make this ring. I really do love how it turned out. 

I took a picture of it on my hands and boy does summer need to get here soon, I need to load up on lotion and maybe get a manicure. Needless to say I will not be posting the picture of my pretty ring on my ugly hands!

The next one is my absolute favorite piece. I like simple, when it comes to jewelry that I personally wear. The ceramic focal I was sent was my favorite color, purple, I had to make myself a piece with it and this is what my personal style looks like. They are separate pieces and I have decided that I am going to make a load of similar style necklaces, in different colors, length, gemstones and charms, so that I can mix and match and layer them to match my clothes. I can't believe I never thought of doing that before.

Okay I am going to be super honest here, this focal was the hardest for me to work with, but I felt compelled to make something, since Heather had hoarded it and then shared it with me. I was stumped. Lori said no matter what, we are all jewelry artists so we can make something out of anything and that's what I did.  I tried a style that I have never worked with (tribal like) and even did some knotting work, also something I have never tried. I worked this piece for ages and just when I was about done, the thin leather cord broke from me over working it. I used so many colorful words, you have no idea how many, I mean so many. But I finally made it through making it, but after this I never want to look at it again. If someone wants it, let me know I will gladly send it to you! 

 I want to  thank Heather for being my partner and Lori for putting this all together. I hope everyone has fun hopping and I can't wait to see everyone's creativity! I almost forgot here's the list of participants....



Till Next Time,



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Getting to Know One Another....

For a blog hop that I participating in, the hostess wanted us to give a little intro on who we are, what we like and don't like and maybe show some pictures of what we make.

A little about me...

-My name is Maria Rosa but all my friends call me Rosa, big ethnic family with too many Maria's so it's always been Rosa for me.

- My day job is managing a local health food store, which I love! I get to help people feel and be well on a daily basis.

- I love music! I try to always have it in the background of my life if possible. My taste in music is very eclectic. People think my Pandora is funny it goes from a song from The Sound of Music to Tim McGraw to My Chemical Romance, to the Beatles, it's all over the place.

- I'm not a big fan of movies ( I can't sit still for long). I'm also not a big fan of T.V. but I do love some Jeopardy, I have loads of useless crap clogging up my brain so I do pretty good at answering "clues". My husband seems to think I should take the online test. Thanks for having faith in my brain, I don't have as much faith as him.

- I am bilingual I speak Italian and English. I currently am trying to learn Spanish so that I can be trilingual? or maybe it's multilingual, I think that would be awesome.

- The reason I'm trying to learn Spanish is that when I retire (too long from know) I hope to do so in Costa Rica. It's amazing, beaches and rain forests it's one of the most diverse places on the planet, I would love to live there and the language they speak is Spanish.

- I like things to be simple. I'm not an over the top kind of person. I don't dress flashy, I live in a humble home, I drive a modest car ( but i would love a 69 Chevy Impala or and old farm truck someday), I don't think life is about what you have it's about who you are! Material things just don't impress me that much.

- I'm not a huge fan of the color red. Not sure why I just don't.

- Purple is my favorite color.

- I love to cook. 

-I find washing dishes by hand relaxing.

- I also love to read.

- I also enjoy soft soldering. If it can be soldered I will try to do so!

On to seeing some things that I make....

 Found feather pendant, soldered by me.
 Vintage clock hand earrings.
 Pendant made using broken vintage jewelry bits.
 Necklace made using a vintage projector slide, vintage religious medal and some sparkle.
 Soldered butterfly wing connector, made by be, then beaded.
 Soldered butterfly wing pendant, also soldered by me.
 Religious earrings and bracelets made using vintage components.

See you soon,


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winter Happenings....

Lots Going on this time of the year....

For me at least. Summer is the time where I can take things a little slower but now I am chugging away at so many things.

-Dilemma there are 2 blog hops that I want to participate in but they are really close to the same time and I'm not sure if I will be able to do both :( So I will have to do some contemplating but I am gravitating to one more than the other.

-Had an amazing show right before Christmas this year. I don't really do shows but the organizer of this one sought me out to participate. It was all local artists and crafters. I worked hard to prepare, but the people were so nice and I sold a ton. I am grateful to all who purchased from me and I hope that you and your loved one's are enjoying my creations!

- My husband is a pretty good guy. Whenever it snows hard he goes out and clears so many peoples snow for them he does my mom's, sister's, neighbor's, my work (so I don't have to) and a couple of others ( he works as a bridge carpenter so when it's really snowy they don't work). This year my neighbor sent these cookies that she decorates as a thank you. They are so adorable!! And delicious. She is very talented.

-We had a beautiful Christmas, it was so relaxed and nice. We did no rushing around. I am truly blessed to have so many people that love and care about me. My son is becoming a fine young man he is so caring and kind and just happy and grateful for anything you do for him, which always makes me want to do even more for him. Here he is too early (he claims) on Christmas morning, he looks like a grown man but he is only 15. I am lucky to be his mom, for sure!!

I asked what gift he liked most of all and he said if he had to pick one thing it was the Full Metal Alchemist Pocket watch. It's from an Anime that we watched together.

- I couldn't leave out this handsome fellow, his name is Dozer and I just love him to pieces he is only a little over a year old but he is a supersized sweetie pie. People are scared of him since he is so big but he is the most loving, gentle and smartest dog that I have been around.

- I always resolve to do things in the new year but this year I decided to do something daily that shows someone, anyone that people are kind and care, whether it be holding the door for someone, saying hello at a passerby, listening to someone who needs a ear, lending a helping hand to someone in need or hugging someone while they cry. I think that if everyone did something like this just once a day our world would just be overflowing with kindness, that's the type of world I would love to live in!!

See you soon,