Sunday, November 6, 2011


Today I stumbled upon this quote:
"It's weird ... you know the end of something great is coming, but you want to hold on, just for one more second ... just so it can hurt a little more."

I am writing this post with that bit of pain. This might not be the end, no one can know that for sure, but it certainly will be a break.
I'm standing here - well, actually I'm sitting in a rather comfy chair with a cat snoring behind me - to represent all of the wonderful people who were part of this blog as authors. This is not a speech at the Academy Awards, so I'll refrain from thanking everyone individually.
I bet you know yourself how it goes sometimes ... life gets in the way and there comes a point when you just have to take a time-out, go into hibernation, call it what you will.

We won't disappear from the surface of the Earth, though. How about coming over to our forum and meet us there?
And who knows, maybe some day when life has calmed down, we might be back here as well.

I don't just want to thank our authors of course, but also you, our readers. It was nice to have you here and we hope you'll keep us in good memory.
Okay, the sheets are on the furniture to keep it from getting dusty, the windows are closed, the oven and the coffee machine are plugged out for now. Time to turn off the light and lock the door.

Goodbye and have a great time ... wherever you are.

Picture from

Friday, November 4, 2011

Favorite Tool - Borosilicate

My current favorite tool is more of a supply, it's boro glass *swoon*sigh*. I've been playing with it a lot this month and have fallen in love. It's got such etherial colors and something about it has just drawn me in. I stole the above photo from the Glass Alchemy website. I've been using their colors more than others, I like the consistency and I also like that's it's North American made. Plus the owners are just plain wonderful people!

How can you not love this glass? I adore the beads I'm getting with this glass. It reminds me of Double Helix but something bit different, I can't quite put my finger on it yet.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Make it happen

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance." - Bruce Barton

Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter Crafts

What is your favorite craft project you've tackled lately?
Care to share a link?
Winter is here and there will be some dark nights perfect for crafting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Color Report: Quarry

Today we wrap up our series on Pantone's top 10 colors for Fall 2011 with the lovely Quarry. This light, slightly greenish sky blue is found in aquamarines, crystals, and many shades of glass as well:

Handcrafted Aquamarine and Purple Crystal Beaded Earrings by beadorigami

All jewelry items featured above were created by members of the Starving Jewelry Artists Team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at and here on ArtFire.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkins and me

The first time I met a pumpkin it was in a small glass bowl. It had been one of the Sunday lunches at my grandparents' place. My grandma was a good Swabian cook. I feel my mouth water thinking back on some of her dishes. My mouth goes dry however thinking of that pumpkin. It was a compote, something I'm not too fond of anyway, it was kind of sweetsour and I hated it. From then on I was sure those things and I would never become friends.

Hand felted pumpkin pin cushion by A Latvian

I was wrong and I found out about that on my first US trip. A first hesitant bite and yup, we were friends. It was pumpkin pie which did the trick. Unfortunately I don't bake, so if any Americans read this, don't let anything keep you from sending me pumpkin pie, thank you very much.
Years later I had to stay at home for a few months after surgery. I didn't quite know what to do with myself after a while and started some experiments one of which was a huge pot of pumpkin potato soup. For someone who is not just no baker, but also no cook, I was impressed with myself and it's still one of my favorite dishes.

Pumpkin bracelet by Melissa Vess

I never took a picture of the first (and only) pumpkins I carved for decoration at my workplace. I didn't have the right tools and the pumpkins were too small, but they shriveled up so fast that they did look pretty spooky after all.

Pumpkins watercolor ACEO by Tweeart

Do you like coconut? It goes pretty well with pumpkins, you know. I have a delicious recipe a friend gave me - pumpkin coconut cake. It doesn't even matter if the roasted coconut flakes get a little too dark. Not that that would ever happen to me *cough cough* Actually that's what I did after I burnt the first batch of flakes ... cough. Oh well. I have talents of my own even if they are rarely seen in the kitchen.

Ok, I gotta go, I have to prepare the pumpkin patch for Halloween. Will you be there to join Linus and me while we'll wait for the Great Pumpkin? ;-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Studio Goodness

This set of ceramic bells is one of my favorite things in my metal studio. The wind almost always blows out here
in Metchosin and these are often making a pretty noise in the window.

My inspiration board is one of my favorite things in the glass studio. The clock would be a close second.
I have two large inspiration boards that need to go up in the metal studio. I'm always printing, clipping and glueing
things up to go on the boards. I have a large collection waiting for the metal studio.
Do you have a studio? If so what's your favorite bits of goodness in it?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Colours

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  It's one of my favorite weekends of the year.  There are so many good things about it.  Thanksgiving is the peak of the fall harvest.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful and make for great eating.  Many of us will get together with our families and enjoy a turkey dinner that could end with pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream. 

This is also the prime time to see the gorgeous fall colours that we are so lucky to have in eastern Canada. Our maple, oak and poplar trees are showing off bright red, orange and yellow, so it's a feast for the eyes. It's the perfect time to go for a walk in the bush. The leaves crunch underfoot and release the aromatic smell of fall.

Photo by Pierre Bona

Today's jewelry picks are inspired by the season.  With these handmade pieces, you can have a little bit of autumn with you at all times.

Autumn Leaves Handpainted Pendant Necklace by Jewelry Art by Dawn

Fall Harvest Pumpkin Lampwork Pendant by Melissa Beads

Embossed Copper Oxidized Cuff Bracelet by AM Designs by Angela

Autumn Honey Agate Leaf Necklace by BeadSire

Picasso Jasper Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings by Shiny Adornments

All jewelry items featured above were created by members of the Starving Jewelry Artists Team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at and here on ArtFire.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Color Report: Orchid Hush

Today in our series on Pantone's top 10 colors for Fall 2011we take a look at Orchid Hush. This near-neutral color has little in common with its often bold namesake; rather, it's similar to a light grayish lavender, sometimes found in fluorite, chalcedony, or very light amethyst. 

All jewelry items featured above were created by members of the Starving Jewelry Artists Team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at and here on ArtFire.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Color. As a glass artist I am blessed by color. The color palette to choose from in glass is endless. If you can find the exact color you want you can always mix it!

Purple has always been one of my favorite colors, I even painted the metal studio walls a rich violet.

What's your favorite color, why? Does it make you smile, sigh, laugh?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday Style: Beachwear

Is there anything as enjoyable as spending and ending a day at the beach?

Thinking of friends in the Southern hemisphere and an end of Summer vacation in Ocean City, Maryland have inspired me to celebrate Beachwear this week.
I am taking the flip-flops, tank tops, sundresses and crop pants on one more trip before putting them away for the Winter.
Beach fashion is fun.
It is comfortable.
It is colorful.
And yes it is stylish.

Why stroll the boardwalk in your shorts and a beach tee when you can throw on a beautiful yet comfortable sundress like this one created by etsy seller GoGothic from Toronto Ontario. 

Own the boardwalk in this cornflower blue sundress.
 Perfect for a day in the sand these handcrafted copper sea star earrings by etsy seller RedBirdJewellry of Dorking England will complement your bikini or your sundress.

Don't forget your jewelry like these textured starfish earrings.
Flip flops don't have to be boring shower shoes. Check out the colorful ribbons and flowers on these by etsy seller PetalnPearlBoutique of Worcester, Massachusetts.  

Fun and funky these bright flip flops will make make your feet as happy as the rest of you.

Don't forget the bag to carry all  your beach goodies in. I love this over sized, strong and beautifully styled tote by etsy seller MeilingSketchbook of Moorpark, California.

Pack up your towel, sunscreen and waterbottle. You are ready for a day at the beach.
This fantastic lampwork necklace by etsy seller MelissaBeads of Colorado reminds me of a day at the beach. Looking at these colors I picture beach umbrellas, kites and surfboards dancing in the waves. 

Vibrant and fashionable beach ball necklace.
At the end of the day get ready  for cocktails and a beautiful sunset by adding a cover to your swimsuit. Consider this powder blue wrap by etsy seller SLCSLC of Great Britain. 
Cover your suit and find a deck, a Margarita and a view of the sunset.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have you ever wondered?

I have been playing a lot with colors lately. As some people might know, I jumped on the bead looming wagon. There is this computer program you can use to make your patterns, Bead Tool. Boy, I tell you it's addicting. It takes me back to the times when I was sitting in school, listening to one or the other lesson, a piece of graph paper in front of me, doodling away or making colorful patterns by filling out the little squares. I found an interesting article from 2009 about the doodle phenomenon.
That's exactly what I'm doing now, only I'm using a computer for it. It makes it more difficult to chew on your writing tool, true, but then again that's an ugly habit anyway.

Oh wow. I wish I could doodle like that!

Rainbow doodle original watercolor painting by Delinquent Unicorn

You can approach the color question very scientifically. You can use a color wheel, our member Camilla wrote about that here. You can put colors next to each other to let your belly decide what he likes best together. You can go tone in tone or absolutely crazy. You can go by the trend or you can pick blind if you are brave. Playing with color is so much fun.
We had a challenge in our team before. Use a color you don't like (here are the results). We should do that more often, may it just be to push our brain off that one track we usually like to take.

Have you ever wondered what the first humanoid felt like when he mixed two colors together and got a new color? Did he stare in disbelief or did he gather all his friends to show them his or her new trick?
Oh my. I have been rambling, haven't I? Let me show you a few examples of splendid color.

Lampwork beads are always a great example. Look at the soft shimmering colors in these lentil beads. Can you see the subtle rainbow?

Golden Sun lampwork beads by Nicole Valentine Studio

What better to show color than an opal? I could drown in this stone and I'd do it happily (yeah, so I'm a nut for opal, sue me!).

Silver koroit opal ring with gold accents by Rio Rita

Red, orange and turquoise. I admit it that's a color combination I probably wouldn't have thought of. I'm glad someone did, it looks stunning.

Bright turquoise and lampwork necklace by Northern Girl Jewelry

Are you ready now to color up your life? If you are afraid, start with an easy experiment ... mix some cherry and banana juice. Nice, eh?

By Cat's Wire

All jewelry items featured above were created by members of the Starving Jewelry Artists Team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at and here on ArtFire.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Important SJA Forum Announcement.

The Starving Jewelry Artist forum is temporarily down. We have outgrown our current hosting plan and without prior notification the hosting company took it down. We are unable to resume service with the current host without a significant increase in hosting fees...30 times more than we have been paying.

Please bear with us while we sort out this situation. We are looking for a reasonably priced host, which may take a little more time. We truly appreciate all the support our members have given us that has enabled our forum to become the "Largest Jewelry Forum" on the internet. Thank you all for your patience.

We have set up a temporary forum... url will be updated to soon so that members checking in will land on the temporary home.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 2011 Blog Carnival

Where has the time gone?  It is already the end of September, which tends to be a busy time of year for many of us.  September often signals a return to routines as students are back in school and summer holidays are over. 

September is a busy time of year for many members of the Starving Artists Team too as many members are gearing up for holiday craft shows (yes, already!). 

Some of our members are taking some time to participate in the team blog carnival this month.  This month's topic is:  What is on your mat/workspace?

To see what our team members are working on, please follow the links below to their personal blogs.

Bead Sophisticate


The FamiLee Jewels

Northern Girl Jewelry

Friday, September 23, 2011

Identifying Gems: Describing Color

I may, or may not, have mentioned at some point that I am a Gemologist. What on earth does that mean? Along with a lot of other things, I learned how to put a gem through a series of tests to determine its identity. Because I earned my degree at the Gemological Institute of America, I will be using their terms and descriptions. Other gem labs may use different terms.

The gem identification process separates gemstones by a combination of eliminating options through positive test results. A gemstone needs, at minimum, three positive results. Some require additional testing.

To begin, I describe the color: hue, tone, and saturation. Pigeon's blood red, cornflower blue, and grass green may evoke pretty pictures, but they fail to describe the characteristics if a color in a scientific manner. For that, I turn to a special color wheel and two scales.

The color wheel provides a range of hues to compare my gem to:

Tone describes how light or dark a gem is.

Saturation describes how strong or weak the hue is.

The color description of this stone color can be parsed two ways: Medium dark, moderately strong, slightly yellowish green (tone, saturation, hue). Or, slyG 6/4 (hue tone/saturation).

Next time: transparency.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Color Report: Nougat

Continuing in our series on Pantone's top 10 colors for Fall 2011we take a look at Nougat, a light, creamy tan-peach color. This neutral hue is a must for any wardrobe regardless of the season, and goes great with pearls and silver.   

All jewelry items featured above were created by members of the Starving Jewelry Artists Team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at and here on ArtFire.