Audubon's Kingfisher

Audubon's Kingfisher

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Festival Lights Challenge - Reveal

Welcome to the Festival Lights Challenge Reveal!

Orange. A color that I have reservations about.

So why purchase a kit full of orange beads? Challenge myself? A moment of insanity? Add more beads to my hoard? I am still not sure why I did it but I am happy with the end results. I also ended up with a pair of orange Keen sandals...needed something to go with the beads :)

Along with orange there was yellow (eek) more orange (what did I get myself into here) hints of green, purple, pastel blue, red...

Here is the kit (there were a few beads that escaped the photo as well as the orange silk and waxed linen cording)

And the lovely focal created by Andrew:    
The focal looked so much like a steampunk talisman that is the direction I went with it:

For this next set, I used elastic strectchy cord for the first time ever. It was fun to use and achieved the stack bracelet look I was going for:


For this set, I wanted something Bollywood inspired. It's not a style I have tried before and admire greatly so I hope I did the pieces some justice. I made a necklace, 2 bracelets, and 2 pairs of earrings:
Here is a close up of the chandelier earrings:

And here is one more bracelet, the thai silver bee bead was from Sabine, my Bead Soup Blog Party partner in 2013.

And last but not least, a pretty, boho style necklace based off a pattern I saw in Create Jewelery Magazine. The original Artist's name is Erin Strother. My Thanks to Erin for the inspiration!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Good Earth Challenge - Reveal!

Hello and welcome to The Good Earth Challenge Reveal!

I was so excited when I received my beads I did not take a picture of the kit before spreading beads all over my desk.

Such is life...

Our Host is Andrew Thorton, here is his wonderful and inspiring blog:  The Writing and Art of Andrew Thorton

I have to say this was one of the most challenging things I have done in a LONG time. I love earth tones so I got the kit thinking this will be great, a nice easing back into comfy beading time. Nope. Got the beads, spread them out. Got instantly stuck. They sat on my desk for weeks. The deadline loomed. Nothing was speaking to me. The beads and my muse both turned their backs on me and walked away.

Then 2 things happened.

I met a lovely Red Tailed Hawk during a trip to the Zoo (according to my messy notes, his name is Gunner. I sure hope that is right! ) He was a wild hawk that was injured and is now visually impaired in one eye. He is a fantastic raptor ambassador and very beautiful.

He is the inspiration behind this bracelet:

The beads and brass feather are from the kit. I painted the feather to look like a Red Tailed Hawk tail feather and added chain to complete the bracelet.

Then my Boyfriend and I went hiking to Franklin Falls near Steven's Pass:

How amazing is the earth to have such beauty, texture, and color! I also saw my first Hermit Thrush (part of the same bird family as Robins) and was stuck on adding birds to my designs (I am an avid Birder so my brain pretty much as 2 channels, beads and birds)

The hike inspired these 3 necklaces and bracelet:

All beads in the bracelet were from the kit. I added the charms and chain. Colors were in the kit but remind me of the cliff walls and greenery around the falls and the brave swallows that live on the sides of the cliff.

I used the waxed linen cording to make a fun knotted necklace inspired by the mist rising off the waterfall. Carnelian, Rutilated Quartz, Apatite, Aquamarine, vintage Tibetan bead with turquoise inlay and Green Girl Studios pewter dragonfly link.
Tulip glass beads, the smaller green pearls, the amber glass beads in the back and the "Eggs" inside the nest were all from the kit. I could not get past the idea that the strand of cream and gold glass beads looked like eggs. I tucked in some moss gathered on the hike by my Boyfriend inside the wire wraps. Most of the birds here have nested and hatched the next generation, however, their nests can still be seen through the branches on the trail to the falls. 
I was obsessed with the idea of creating a dream catcher pendant with my kit (with many failed results littering my desk) I have been up most of the night getting this out of my head and made into beads. I have not seen an owl in the wild this year. Maybe this little guy will bring me some luck! All beads are from the kit except for the small glass links on the feather charms. Bronze Owl  Coin by Andrew Thorton.

And with time running out, I ended up having to choose between the focals. The little leaf pendant sits on my desk, waiting for some kind of strand to make a necklace out of it. No such luck (It is so pretty though!) I was shocked at first when I saw the amber rondelles, they looked so much like the Tibetan copal amber beads I always want but can't afford. I added white bronze spacers, Thai Hill Tribe silver leaf charms and spacers, wood rondelles, coral discs, and czech glass turquoise rondelles. It is super chunky and light weight, and way out of what I would consider my comfort zone as far as style. Please forgive my camera for making the amber spacers look like cheetos. They are MUCH lovelier in person.

Thank you for reading this far! I can't wait to visit everyone and see what they made. I am already eyeballing the teaser for the next kit coming out soon...

And a million Thank You's to Andrew, this was indeed a Challenge!

And here is everybody!

 - You are here - Christina Hickman 
Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Kim Griggs, Deb Floros

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hello and Welcome! Bead Soup Blog Party #8 reveal

Hi everyone!

Here is the link to all of the wonderful people that participated:
BSBP #8 Blog address list

Here is a reminder what I received from my wonderful BSBP Partner, Cheryl Gangle of Rock Candy Jewelry, visit her here at Rock Candy Jewelry Design

And this is what I sent her:

I have to admit, I was very excited with my bead soup but a little overwhelmed too. I had no idea where to start, I had like 20 ideas at once.

I started with the mixed strand set of seed beads and the pretty copper clasp. They had to go together for some reason, and I wanted to keep the seed beads as they were as much as possible. I ended up with my first ever super multi-strand necklace. Finishing the ends was fiddly but I kept going. I also included some of the sunstone rondelles and nuggets and copper chain from the soup, along with a strand of inky dark freshwater pearls, garnet swarovski rounds and a copper feather charm.

Next is a fun multi chain and strand necklace (I have never been a big fan of making multi strand anythings as they seem fussy but these beads demanded it. I used Copper chain, sunstone rondelles and nuggets from the soup. I also added faceted citrine teardrops, garnet rounds, faceted ruby rondelles, and copper lotus charms. I rarely if ever use stones anymore (they have achieved "Hoarding" status) and I had fun digging through them to find the right ones to go with the sunstone.



And from the bag of orphan handmade lampwork beads, of course I had to go for the fuchsia ones. Lol.
I wanted to keep the design simple and elegant so the lampwork beads would stand out. This includes 3 of Cheryl's lampwork beads, copper bead caps and filigree beads,fuchsia and indian red AB Swarovski's and vintage burgundy glass pearls.

And the focal that stumped me...for about a week the poor thing sat all by itself on my desk. I re-read the note from Cheryl that came with the beads and read that this focal was a Kazuri bead. Curious, I looked up Kazuri beads and discovered they are made in Africa by local Kenyan women as a means of sustainable income (How cool is that?!). You can read more Here . I decided I wanted the focal to stand out, at the same time I wanted to add visual interest. This is where I got stuck. At work a few days later, my friend Mary was wearing one of her (many) cheetah print blouses. She loves cheetah print. And presto! Lightbulb moment! I found a wonderful cheetah/leopard print ribbon at Lima beads and here is the result, of which I gave to Mary (she loved it.)

These next 2 pieces I posted earlier as they were also part of the 7th Annual Do-Over Challenge. Some of Cheryl's beads were perfect for the projects I was working on and ended up in a necklace (teal lampwork  bead above the ceramic owl pendant and some of her copper chain)

And a bracelet (dark brown matte oval glass beads)

Whoo hoo got done with this one last necklace at 11:15pm on the 9th. Yay me! Sunstones and coin pearls from the soup. Added erinite swarovski's and labradorite.

Happy Blog Hopping all!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

7th Redo Challenge...2nd try is the charm

I participated in the 7th Redo Challenge! Really! Don't let my blog fool you. I swear this is the last time I try the auto post feature. I just does not work for me at all :(

Ok, now that I am done ranting here is what I received:

The rules say I should use at least 50% of what I received. The triangle beads on the first necklace would NOT cooperate with me. At all. They are still in a little baggy on my desk.

I did redo the second necklace into 3 necklaces and a bracelet so here they are:

The leather laces and the polymer clay heart are from the redo pieces. I tore everything off the heart, painted it bronze, then nailed and glued on some watch gears, pieces, and a swarovski flat back. I really wanted the heart to stand out so I added a simple chain tassel at the bottom.

I used the turquoise glass drop beads along the chain and mixed in with the leaf charm chain at the front.

A matching bracelet, also using the glass teardrops:

And last, but not least, and my favorite of the group:

Black Rhinestone chain and leather laces from the swap were used in this piece.

I hope the late post does not disqualify me for the next round!

Here are the linkys to all the other wonderful people that participated:

Jeannie K Dukic  Our lovely Hostess
Christina Hickman -Yay you found me!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014


I am still in shock....bear with me....

Somehow I won beads.
Vintaj has a monthy giveaway on their blog. Each month, the entry part is something different. This month was an essay.

This is from the Vintaj blog,

The Winner of our Field Journal Giveaway!

We asked you to tell us your story of a special collection you’ve started or a memorable trip where you collected special treasures to enter our Field Journal Giveaway. Once again our 70+ blog readers blew us away with their tales of travel and sentimental treasures! The winner of our Field Journal Giveaway, who will receive this stash of lovely handcrafted Polymer Clay nature pendants, charms & beads by our friend and Art Bead Partner Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Vintaj embellishments is…..Christina Hickman!! 
“My Boyfriend and I went on a camping/fishing trip to Yakima. On the first morning there, we woke up to a stunning red and grey sunrise, and as I got my camera out to take a picture, a raven flew overhead. Later, we found a bead shop in town. The owner was cutting some new cabs, he handed me a piece of Serape Jasper-it has brilliant red and grey bands and it looked like the sky that morning. I bought the cab on the spot, along with a beautiful Ellensburg Blue Agate, which the owner also cut. The agate I had made into a ring, which I wear daily, and the jasper is part of a bead embroidered necklace that also has a raven.”
Congratulations Christina and thank you to all of the talented writers who participated! Stay tuned for our next giveaway, details coming soon!
Please check out the Vintaj blog to read all of the wonderful and inspiring essays written :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bead Soup!!!

I apologize to my Partner, Cheryl, for posting the AMAZING soup she sent me so late. I have been working ALOT.

I was really stumped on what to send Cheryl, I was packing beads the day I mailed them to her. My Boyfriend, Mike and I decided to go for a mini-hike to clear my brain when it hit me! Send home in beads. I love Washington, I have lived here for 14 years now and can't imagine living anywhere else.

In our fun questions-and-answers emails, Cheryl mentioned visiting Portland and loving it.

We Pacific North-westerners have such a wonderful and inspiring landscape, we have the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, the ocean, and the sound. Mike helped me pick moss and pine leaves to add to the box, and I found some little glass vial pendants and voila! Moss in a bottle :)

I had so much fun putting this soup together!

Here is one of the places we visited, and the inspiration for the soup colors:
Mukilteo Lighthouse:

I received some very carefully packed little boxes full of goodies (which I did not take pictures of, my bad) I want to make something with the pretty plaid ribbon that held them together...if I can find it....

My soup Beads from Cheryl:

She even found vintage shoe clips (grey and navy) and a sash buckle  (apple green and yellow) (Top, on ORIGINAL cards!) I am not 100% sure I want to use them, they do have a special place on my bead desk-with my collectibles, for now.

I had been slowly incorporating copper in my work, and I was thrilled when I saw the chain, clasps, and filigrees. I love the sunstones! It is one stone that I love and have none of...and it is the state stone of Oregon, where I am from originally. I also have quite a few Celtic silver pieces, so when I saw the triskele pendant and connectors I was shocked. It was so interesting how Cheryl sent things that have so much meaning to me!
The Kazuri pendant will make a really neat necklace for my friend, Mary. I am just waiting on a component I need to come in the mail. One of the orphan lampwork beads is already part of a necklace-and I have a few ideas for the rest of them. They are so pretty-I want to horde them lol!
I have a day off tomorrow so I am planning on diving in!

THANK YOU! For the amazing soup:)

Friday, March 7, 2014

I got my Bead Soup Blog Party Partner!!!!

<doing a dance>
SO Excited!
For BSBP #8, I was paired with Cheryl Gangle of!

Ok so that is it for now (more to come, I promise)

Off to figure out which soup to send :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Edwardian Inspired Blog Hop

Hosted by Beading Daily :)

I have a huge hoard of vintage beads in various states of repair/disrepair/awaiting inspiration.

Let me say how much I love swarovski pearls. They saved the day for both pieces.

This poor baby was missing the whole back half and the clasp-the front dangle section and a about 15 beads on each side of it was all that survived... I wonder what happened to it..anyway....I added some swarovski crystal pearls and I am pretty happy with the results. I think it was originally a Czech glass necklace from the early teens. I have never seen beads in this barely there shade of palest pink.

And this lovely confection of design was rescued from a Goodwill store- I could not believe my luck when I found this sitting alone in a baggie. $16.00 later and it was home with me. There was originally 2 long oval beads on each side, but one was crushed to dust at the bottom of the baggie-along with the pearl on the drop. The little blue beads in the back were knotted on faded cotton that was also falling apart. I cut each little bead off the cord and wired them. I added some pearls to make up the missing blue oval and got creative placing the left over one-no bead left behind! I guess this would be opera length (it comes past my navel) but looks just as amazing doubled up. I am 100% sure this was a Czech glass piece too judging by the assembly and pendant. I think this was more 20's.

A close up of the pendant:

I had a blast digging through my stash...I have some amazing purple glass beads that I did not get to in time but now that the box is out...

Friday, January 31, 2014

Has it really been that long???!!!

To quote a co-worker: Holey Tacos!

Honestly, I have just started beading again after a few months (busy), hiking (not enough) and health (stupid hands...and ear which is a long story) have taken priority.

Several things lit a fire under my a**:

The lovely Emma over on the Beading Daily Forms has created a color palette challenge. I will be revealing my colors and designs on the reveal day, 2/5/14.

Beading Daily is having a "Downton Abbey/Edwardian Design Challenge" which is right up my vintage bead hoarding alley. Reveal day is 2/1/14 (got to wrap one thing up and then will post.)

Bead Soup Blog Party # 8 is around the corner (omg! squee! yippee! yay!)...I often read Lori's blog-bless her she had a plate full of life and just heaps beads on it. And pie.

I finally broke through the wall on my Raven embroidery project....Add turquoise and voila! I have a ton of new ideas now and I think I am ready to approach him again.

I just starting poking through my blogs list and found Charlie over at Clay Space has a Hunger Games Challenge going (see button on my blog)-I am a month late so I missed District 1 but that leaves 12 more (if she is counting 13.) Which is right up my Hunger Games obsessed fan girl alley.

Beads and desk are dusted off, beads are all over the house, and once again I am looking out at the world and thinking "I wonder what delicas I would need to make that in beads...or those colors look amazing together...where are my beads...oooh lookie new swarovski that a real owl feather....Laura Mears has new designs...the cherry blossom tree has buds on it....

Yep, I think I am slowly crawling back toward the light. Those beads are just so sparkly!