Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Festival, a Few of My Favorite Things and Secret Suppliers!

Hello and a happy Spring to all of you.

Do you know how to tell when Spring has arrived in Texas?
Hail, tornado warnings, ankle deep pollen 
and this..........

Blossoms blown right off the trees.
Yes, it's a bit of a mess but it's also
 sweetly charming.

Spring also brings festival season.
As Texas newbies, we didn't realize that festival season is short. 
It's wedged in there between the seasons of wind and hot.
If you blink you miss it as we did last year.
So this year, we were on top of things and actually got ourselves to the
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival

Downtown Fort Worth is filled with visually interesting sights all on its own.

This festival was wonderful and now we know-
it's not to be missed!
There were so many incredibly talented artists at this show.

First off, we got to see some of our very favorite artists.
We met Jeffrey and Julie Jerman-Melka years ago at the 
One of a Kind Show in Chicago.
Not only do we both love their work, but they are absolutely delightful.
They were here!

It's always fun to visit with them and inspiring to see what new designs they've created.

You can check them out here, 
be prepared to be amazed.....

Mr. Wonderful has a tradition of giving me
their exquisite jewelry for anniversary gifts.

A few years ago, I got this spectacular bracelet.
It's my "go-to" bracelet.  I wear it all the time.

Look what they had this year....
Earrings to match!!
Yes, indeed- an early anniversary present.
I love the casual elegance of the smooth lake stones 
paired with the tube set faceted gemstones.

Here's another of Mr. Wonderful's home run presents....
This one is really special.

Granulation, wee tube settings, forged silver, Biwa pearls....
The photo doesn't do it justice.

If you ever get a chance to meet them and see their work in person, 
don't pass up the opportunity.

I was also really excited to meet glass artist Melissa Schmidt in person.
One of the very first items I ever purchased on Etsy was one of her necklaces. 
I am always delighted to discover that an artist, 
whose work I admire, is a truly lovely person as well.
This is the case with Melissa. 

She makes a wonderful variety of hand blown glass jewelry
Which is GORGEOUS!

What a wonderful keepsake to have.
A personalized necklace, bracelet or earrings with photos of loved ones
or of a special occasion.
The above photo is hers, from her shop

The following picture shows the necklace she made for me.
Apologies, I couldn't get a decent picture, free from glare.
I sent her photos that I had taken of statuary, 
which convey to me a sense of peace.
Memories of special times and places.

This is a necklace I cherish. 

Those of you who peruse Pinterest have probably seen a pin of a light aqua metal wrap ring.
 Made from an up-cycled car.
How cool is that?
I don't have a photo of the artists, but here's a picture of their work.

They were fun and friendly and had a booth chock full of 
awesome jewelry they've made from, yes- cars.
This ring spoke to me.
Why you ask?
Because I used to have an old old old Dodge Seneca in that exact color!
So when you purchase something from 
you don't get the usual litany of materials.  You know- sterling, stone, etc.
Nope!  You get this...
74 International Scout-red and 62 Dodge Lancer-turq!
Gotta love that, right?

Some of you might think it's odd that I buy and wear other people's jewelry when I make my own.  
I absolutely adore the beauty and creativity of other artists work.
Not only do I like to support my fellow artists, 
I am also honored to wear their beautiful jewelry.

So now you know why I'm consistently pinning and fav'ing 
all that handmade jewelry on Pinterest and Etsy.
It's because
resistance is F-U-T-I-L-E!

While my focus tends towards wearable art,
this brother and sister duo from 
do the kind of work I would love to be able to master someday.
In fact, as I entered their booth, I think I exclaimed
"This is what I want to do when I grow up".
Of course we all know, that's not likely to happen.
Take that however you want.

Michelle and Nile's were friendly and enthusiastic!  
And oh so talented!
 Look at this amazing, ok, shall I say it...
mind-bending metal smithing.  

From a disc of flat sheet metal,
using just those hammers on the wall behind Niles.......
these fabulous vessels are born.

Even though they had a video playing, showing the entire process,
and even though I was seeing it with my own eyes...
all my neurotransmitters were short circuiting trying to absorb
how the placement of each hammer blow created these
incredible vessels.

This one literally took my breath away...

I wish this photo captured the depth of each ridge and valley in this piece.
The depth of the design on both the inside and outside was beyond comprehension.
So wonderful.

  I hope that you'll all be able to see these brilliant artists work in person someday.

It's only fitting that the setting for this show
 was amidst the architecturally diverse and interesting buildings along Main Street.
This copper awning seemed perfectly placed.

If you haven't grabbed yourself a refreshing drink and settled into a comfy chair yet,
you might want to do so now.
I've been wanting to share some of my favorite things and favorite suppliers 
with you for quite awhile now.
But you know how my posts tend to become mind boggling epic monster posts even without that,
so I kept putting it off. 

Finally-the time has come.
There are so many talented artists whose vision and components are wonderful-
true works of art.
While I certainly don't intend to omit any of the artists whom I admire,
it's impossible to list them all.
So this time, I'll feature the creators of supplies 
that I have recently worked with.
While I try to always credit the artisan made components I use,
I have tended to keep the wonderful vintage shops 
where I find many of my ooak treasures a bit of a closely guarded secret.  
 I fear that I might regret fostering even greater
difficulty trying to buy their wares,
 as competition
 is already fierce for these items and I often miss out on pieces 
I would love to incorporate in my work. 
That really isn't fair to these fabulous shop owners.

So here goes....

Here are a few (but by no means all) of my favorite things.....

Lampwork beads....

Unique crusty, frosted goodness from

Headpins galore from

So many fantastic choices!

Wonderful molten lava beads from

Every color, shape or style you could ever hope for

Pure elegance from

There are so many talented ceramic artists, 
but I do find myself repeatedly turning to these...

As if Petra needed to add even more irresistable components to her line-up,
look at the colors in her latest raku glazes!

These luscious blossoms from France provide a perfect romantic accent.

This isn't your grandmother's polymer clay....

Wow-just wow!

The colors in the photo above look a bit garish.
The actual colors, while vibrant, are much more subdued and intriguing.


All things metal, stone and glass....

Tracy's work is always innovative and fabulous.

and more of Tracy's metalwork...
yes, she carves metal!

You all know how I love metal casting....
and body parts!
Inviciti makes gorgeous components with both!

Just wonderful!

Suz at The Raven and Pearl not only offers the most unusual mineral and fossil specimens,
she also personalizes the packaging for whatever you happen to purchase from her.
So fun to open orders from her.

If you're looking for something unique, you'll find it here!

I've introduced Frank and his ancient wares to you before,
but in case you missed that post...

all things ancient are available at

If you don't see what you're looking for, just inquire.
Frank might be able to find it for you.

Many of you are very familiar with Kathy Barrick's breathtaking jewelry
in her French Sentiments shop.
Did you know she also sells some of her lovely antique components in her 
newest shop?  She sure does! 
That's where I acquired these wonderful little bits with wee birds
that I am saving (ok, hoarding) for the perfect project...

Ditto with Robyn Parrish's amazing jewelry from The French Circus.
She also sells wonderful components, both old and new, in her supplies shop.
Like these hand clasps....

You never know what you'll find at this next shop.
I have found many unusual treasures there.

From vintage hardware and textiles

to mother of pearl blanks and wee petit point medallions.

Here are a few random things I adore and have collected 
along the way from a variety of sources.
Destined to make their way into necklaces.

And after all that working with metal and components,
some nourishing and necessary goodies to ease the aches and pains and roughed up hands 
from Ellice's shop....

You all know how much I love my photo props.
They don't have to make sense,
they just have to be fun...

Apologies, I don't remember where I got the sweet little crying baby.
Found the bird on a Texas treasure hunting trip.

There's yet another brand new place to find treasures, props and supplies.

Sadly, the mother of my eldest daughter's fiancé has recently passed.  
She was quite a talented needleworker and designed original cross stitch patterns as well.
She also owned a needlework and craft store. 
As a tribute to her, 
these patterns along with her rediscovered cache of crafting and needlework
supplies, as well as vintage treasures are being offered for sale at
Ellice's new shop....

Watch for her 15% off Grand Opening Sale

Here's a sampling of what is currently listed and the type of things that will be offered...

A hollyhock covered cottage cast iron doorstop.

Sterling candlesticks.

Is it odd that everything I look at, 
I wonder how I could dismantle it and turn it into jewelry?
Wouldn't those bell-shaped candle cups look perfect turned upside down 
with a jumble of fantastic materials tumbling out of them
as a tasseled lariat necklace? 

These grumpy little guys crack me up!
Do you guys see cuff bracelets emblazoned with those faces?

There will be lots of buttons!

I couldn't resist this collection of Mother of Pearl buttons.

Those are some of my favorite shops and supplies.
I hope you enjoyed the tour and have possibly discovered a new shop or two.

Wondering what I've been up to in my studio since last post?

When imaginary Kathy brought Faux Kathy to me as my studio mascot,
she thought I needed to find her some dark brown hair, 
but I think she's rocking the blonde do.
I still need to drill holes in her ears before she can begin her earring modeling career.

I finally took pictures of the wonderful goodies
Kathy brought me when she was here.

Hey fanci Marina, it's alternate-Kathy-haul-part-deux!

She has an eye for unusual and gorgeous components.
Doesn't hurt that she still lives in my hometown of Denver
and gets to go to the wonderful mineral, fossil, bead shows there.
One of my very favorite things is going to those shows with Kathy.  So much fun!!

You know how I like to let my supplies percolate for awhile before I use them.
This necklace didn't have to brew for too long....

Amber and turquoise,  Roman glass and lamp work, 
matte tigereye, a vintage hand clasp 
and a carved deer head!!!

Thank you thank you thank you, Kathy!!!!
I am feeling absolutely spoiled and am
savoring every moment of working with these beautiful treasures.

Of course that necklace needed earrings.


You still with me?
I should provide an intermission, eh?
If you're still here,
I got a few things made for my
as well...

Dreams of Long Ago

Colors of the Royal Palace

The Ancient Maiden

Afternoon in Venice

Secrets Unearthed

Ripples in the White Sand

Embers Painting

Ancient Graffiti

Stitched Embers

Fern Forest

Lost in the Woods

The Bohemian Princess

Metal and Stone

Night Stars

Treasures Abound

Cornucopia Duex


Etruscan Dreams

Gothic Romance

Hues of the Desert

Bohemian Mystery

The Decay of Tomorrow

Ancient Adornments

Trilobite in Matrix, unisex necklace
(this trilobite was found on our big fossil hunting excursion with Kathy and Steve a few years ago)

The State
(looks a little like California or Illinois to me)

Pyrite Sun


Raindrops in the Woods

Hard Rock Romance

My Modern Tribe

The Past Reborn

Petite Yet Fierce

Corene's Conglomerate

En Route to Paris

Sea Fan 

Feathers Royale

Dancer in Red

The Roses

Rose and Pearl

Stars Above the Moon Rose

And for a work in progress.

I know, you're thinking "In Progress?"  How could I possibly add anything else?!
The embellishment is complete.
Errr, that's a bit of an understatement, eh?

I love silk painting, I adore shibori.
So what could be better than sewing a bunch of beautiful things to hand dyed silk shibori?
Eh? Eh?
I was originally going to attach it to a brass cuff but am now thinking
 it will be more comfortable attached to a soft, supple leather cuff.


There's also a couple new things listed in the 

yummy fire colored Aqua Terra Jasper cabochons.

I find the teardrop shape especially appealing for earrings and necklace adornment.
So when I had the opportunity to grab some teardrops in a variety of colors and materials, I did.
And got them listed!
Here's a couple of them....

(Insert random thought here....)

We've had some wonderfully foggy mornings.
I love fog.
The soft, muted absence of color.

I realized when I saw the above photos that the fog is the exact same hue
 as these silver coated agates..

It motivated me to get the rest of these pieces listed.
There are numerous pendants and pairs available if you're in the mood for some
 foggy mystery of your own.....

Well that's it folks!

A trip to an art festival, a peak into a few of my favorite things,
a new shop and some new jewels and beads.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Next time, I'll have this custom order finished up and ready to share with you.

Remember these stunning roses and carved bog oak and jet?
The order is almost completed.

Thanks much for stopping by!

Enjoy and be well until next time.


  1. WOW. Just, wow. You made my morning with this post! I finished my morning exercise, got a cup of coffee and sat down to read blogs, as I do every morning before going into the studio. I'm still here, an hour later, with about 25 links open, ready to read! Thanks for introducing me to so many inspiring artists (I'm in love with the Tattoo Tinker duo, their work is incredible). And your work? I didn't know you were into silk painting!!! I've just started experimenting with it a little bit, as well as block stamping, things like that. Your pieces are BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for a lovely start to my day! XOXOXOXO Juliette

    1. Hi Juliette. And you just made my day! Thank you! Silk painting remains one of my all time favorite mediums. I can lose myself in it for hours. And shibori is a blast! I get no credit for creating the shibori used in that bracelet, however. I hope you enjoy painting silk as much I do! Also hope to see what you paint sometime.

  2. You're taking my breath away!! I was in route to shut down the computer before going to bed when I saw you posted a new article and I couldn't resist!!! Now I'm going to make the most wonderful and amazing dreams after contemplating your awesome new pieces as well as all these beautiful supplies full of promises!

    1. Lucie, that is just the sweetest thought ever! I do hope your dreams were wonderful after seeing all the amazing goodies created by all of these artists. Thank you so much!

  3. Oh my what beautiful pieces you made.And thanks for sharing your wonderful sources
    I hate to say it but the weatherman said you are in for more bad weather and even coming up through Oklahoma and Kansas where I live.Take care

    1. Many thanks Alice! How kind of you! Yes, a little dicey for the next few days. Thank you for the heads up. Hoping that you and yours escape the expected severe weather as well. The joys of Spring, eh?

  4. Incredible collection of jewels once again and what a fine group of shops you've thrown me in with. I'm honored! There's nothng about this post that doesn't excite me. You are mega talented , my dear!

    1. Hi there, Kim. Thank you for stopping by. Of course you're part of this group of amazing artists. You all are a constant source of inspiration to me. Thank YOU!

  5. Another plethora of awesome treasure and interesting links. Always enjoy your postings and nice photos. Beautiful new work !
    And as Kim said so well.. thanks for including me among such a fine group of shops. xo

    1. Thank you, Tracy! You might not be aware of how much I appreciate your fearless creativity. You have inspired me more than once and will surely do so many more times down the road.

  6. Whoooooppppp!!! Guess what - I can see EVERY picture!!!!! - And how utterly delicious they all are too! HUGE thanks for including me in such fine company XOX A host of new work - a fresh gasp at every one!! The festival looked fabulous, and, gooooood grief, the talent of those extraordinary sheet metal artists is just mind boggling!! What a wonderful start to my day, dearest Janet, thank youuuuuuu so much for - everything! XX:O)

    1. Woohoo!! Finally! I'm delighted you're able to see all these wonderful goodies. You say the nicest things-THANK YOU! Your work elevates everything I use it in. Thank YOU, Petra!

  7. Wonderful blog! So lovely and wow all the artists! So enjoyed~

    1. Hi Nike and welcome! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to let me know you enjoyed this post. Much appreciated!

  8. OtherJanet, you have outdone yourself. That was the best marathon blog post I've ever seen! What a pleasure to see so many of my favorite people/shops so beautifully represented. Tattooed Tinker is a fantastic find -- THANK YOU!
    (Your own work is looking pretty fantastic these days too...BTW, have you ever found a use for that bird I sent you on the Fanci Exchange all those years ago?)

    1. Thank you for your very kind compliments, other Janet! Isn't it fantastic to be surrounded by so many inspiring people and supplies? Your lovely little bird? Safely tucked into my special things box. I've designed and redesigned a necklace using it a half dozen times. I think I've finally settled on a wrapped aquamarine nugget neckchain with biwa pearls. I think. Or maybe garnet nuggets. Arghhh-you see my dilemma. At any rate, the feathers will be oxidized a deep dark charcoal just at the tip of the wings. It will be fabulous when I finally get it put together. Will send you pictures when I do. I think I've enjoyed the process of dreaming what to do with it as much as I'll enjoy actually wearing it. Thank you again!

  9. just beautiful of you to share your finds with us all...thank you for being a stellar example of what kindness, generosity and good will looks like not to forget to mention a trove of creativity to boot...

    1. Ah, it's my pleasure to share all this talent with you guys. Very kind of you to stop in and to tell me how much you enjoyed it! I do appreciate that, Cynthia! And your kind words mean so much.

  10. So many amazing, glorious things!! WENXDFSDHJJKKLKHF,!!!!!!

    1. Hi there fanci! So glad you enjoyed all these goodies. Yes, amazing and glorious sums up all this talent nicely. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Oh and I meant to say "great job on your YouTube videos"!!!!!

  11. Hi AA - great to read this post - thanks for sharing the festival stuff - really talented metal workers. I'm tired just reading about and reviewing all your creations - love what you are doing with the ectching; and of course you need to cut those candle holders up - so many good elements to be used in your work. Go well, be well and continue creating well. B

  12. Hi Barry, I thought of you as I was watching the Tatooed Tinker's video. The mastery that all of you have over metal is inspiring. No surprise at all that you have that same syndrome- "what could this object become?". Your expertise in up-cycling metal objects is legendary. Those candle cups would become the most exquisite bowls or ladles in your capable hands.

  13. Hi AA - thanks for your generous comments - I had to laugh at the legendary status - though the idea of chopping those candle holders up and making ladles etc is spot on. Go well and continue to create great jewels. B

  14. Ditto 24 times. Not much else to add...your friends, fans, and fiends all agree. You are truly amazing in all things, that is why I love you. Continue to be wonderful....forever.

  15. Hi there Helen. What kind and generous words from you my dear fiend! Means more to me than you can possibly know! Thank you! Xoxoxoxoxox

    1. How did I do managing to reply to your unbelievably sweet comment without becoming a pile of emotional mush? Eh? Eh? Biggest of hugs to your wonderful self and to the first most interesting man in the world. ;)


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