We are getting ready to visit some dear friends - so of course I wanted to make some baubles to take as gifts.  A while ago I bought a unique focal from the lovely Erin at Treasures Found.  As often happens, I ended up using what was collected around my beading area - in this case, a set of 6 lavender beads that I made. They are creamy opaque encased in clear - a favorite combo of mine :-)

We have made many, many trips with these dear friends, from Italy to Portland, so don't you think the quote on the back is perfect?

I am not sure what their girl will like, but went with the traditional pink and lace.  Could be girly, could be hip vintage-y, so we'll see how it goes over :-)

And in the process of creating and cleaning up a bit, I finally unwrapped some new glass I bought thanks to an awesome gift certificate from my wonderful Aunt Suzanne...so I am looking forward to coming home again to play!

Last month I was lucky to participate in Lori's Art of Awareness Blog Hop.  We picked chose colors and words for beads made by the beautiful Heather of Swoondimples, and used that as our muse to create something.  I picked a yellow beads with the word "brave" in honor of veterans and those that wait at home for them.  My friend Lisa, who I know because our parents served together in Iceland when we were babies, liked what I made.  She wanted something similar to honor a student of hers, Tara, who is fighting cancer. (You can learn about her on the Pray for Tara facebook page) Of course I was thrilled to help out! Lisa and I agreed that it would be nice to do something for both Tara and her Mom.  Heather was super responsive and I got the new brave beads in short order.  Last night I had the right beads, muse and time to pull them all together.  What do you think:

Tara's is a little simpler and girly.  In digging through all my pink-y, brown-y, yellow-y beads, I found the 4 Czech glass hearts and knew they had to go on the Mom's bracelet.  I added the crystals on the chain that match the crystals on Tara's bracelet.  I hope they like them!

Here is my original Art of Awareness bracelet:

The wonderfully creative Melissa at Bead Recipes put out a call to make jewelry inspired by our favorite epic TV show.  There is one show in particular that came to mind - epic hair, epic clothes, epic dialogue, and epic music:  NASHVILLE.  Love it! I mean with a character like Rayna, how can you not?

I love the styling on the show - definitely country, but not stereotypical.  It's more hip, vintage, and of course lots of leather and sparkles.  With that in mind, I started out making something that would go with jeans, boots (naturally) and a flow-y top.  I had one half of a toggle clasp that I strung on a long chain.  On the toggle I knotted with bronze "leather" cord two beads I made myself, some terra cotta spacers of unknown origin, and a key charm that was part of a gift wrap.

For a bit more glam, I put together teal and gray beads from my Paris bead shopping spree, and knotted it up with gunmetal gray "leather" cord and used dark gray chain.  I added dangles of hematite beads - it was one of those healing bead elastic bracelets of my Mom's that broke, so she gave them to me to "do whatever."  (I love getting beads like that :-)) I really like how this one came out.  I am looking forward to wearing it to work to stand out from all the back suits and conservative pearls.

For one of those rolled up jeans, flip flops and tank top kind of days, I paired a "lava" disk with a silver spacer and the last of the teal beads from the necklace above.

You should go check out what the other epic bloggers have put together:

Melissa Trudinger             http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com (Hostess)
Karen Mitchell                   http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Andrea Glick                      http://zenithjade.wordpress.com
Karen Martinez                 http://fairiesmarket.blogspot.com/
Lennis Carrier                    http://windbent.wordpress.com
Lindsay Starr                      http://phantasmcreation.blogspot.com/
Mona Arnott                      http://bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman                    http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Shaiha Williams                 http://ShaihasRamblings.com
Veralynne Malone            http://veradesigns.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld                    http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Kelly Schermerhorn          http://meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Dini Bruinsma                    http://www.angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
Jami Shipp                          http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com.au/

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