Monday, January 30, 2017

Swap and Hop Is Coming!

I have been participating in the fun Swap and Hop event for quite a few years now, and each time it gets better and better!  Our swap hostess, Linda Anderson, pairs up the participants, so here's some info about me, what I like, don't like ( bead related Lol) and some jewelry designs I have recently made.  I am also a ceramic bead artist, so I try to include at least one of my handmade beads in each piece of jewelry I design.

I live in Port Charlotte, Florida which is on the west coast in between Tampa and Fort Myers.  I am influenced by all the beaches and sea life surrounding me.  So all shades of blue is seen a lot in my jewelry designs.

But - I also love nature.  Birds and owls are another of my favorite design subjects.  I think shades of brown capture much of nature.

Green is another color I love.  There are so many yummy shades from bright lime to subtle mint.

I like using a crystal accent for some bling in my jewelry and I also like the "other" metal shades like bronze, copper and gunmetal rather than silver and gold.  I don't use seed beads often except for the larger ones for accent beads.  However - a thing on my to do list is to learn how to bezel set my ceramic cabochons with seed beads.  Some day, right?!

See you again when I get to introduce my swap partner :)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Beads of Courage Art Charm Swap and Auction

I have been participating the last few years with the Art Charm Swap and Auction.  This years theme is fairy tales.  Well, I am a bit rusty with this subject, so I Goggled it and a whole list came up. Some I was familiar with, some I never heard of, and some I didn't realize were a fairy tale!  The fairy tale I chose falls into the third category - not realizing it was a fairy tale!  Alice in Wonderland with the little white bunny with pink eyes that lured Alice down the rabbit hole.
I made the charm out of white ceramic clay and painted the eyes and ears pink.  I used a silver plated bead cap to help hide the wire and finished the charm with a faceted pink crystal and silver plated round spacer bead.  I think he's a cutie!  I would follow him down a rabbit hole, too!

I really enjoy receiving the swap charms from 10 participants.  This is what I received:

The best part, though, is raising money for Beads of Courage.  I had the priviledge a few year ago of visiting their corporate headquarters in Tucson, AZ.  Each charm will be auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds being donated.  If you aren't familiar with Beads of Courage, you can read about them here

I will be back to let you know more about the auction - how it will work, the site you can find it on, and with the direct link to take you there.

Thank you to our Hostess, Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions.  She has the huge job of coordinating all the behind the scenes stuff as well as running the auctions.  She rocks!  Please hop around to all the other blogs to see more charms and the read about inspiration behind each one.

charm swap blog hop li

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Olympic Inspired Jewelry

When I think of the Olympics this past summer, I think of the rings used in the logo.  Those rings have been used for as long as I can remember.  This year's tropical setting in Rio, also makes me think of tropical beaches in shades of teal, turquoise and beige.

I used the rings as my inspiration and the colors of Rio to make these ceramic hoop earrings paired with lamp work glass beads:
Then I took closed hammered rings and wire wrapped orphan ceramic and lamp work beads in between them to form a 30" over the head necklace.  I love that I was able to use these beads and make a one of a kind design, too!
Thank you to Melissa Trudinger for hostessesing our challenge!  To see how my friends used the Olympics as the inspiration for their jewelry designs, please visit:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bead Peeps Swap and Hop Reveal

First off, a big thank you to our hostess, Linda Anderson.  It's such a big job to match all of us up and coordinate all the behind the scenes action.  I always enjoy participating in swaps.  Sometimes we are paired up with one person, like we are with the swap and hop, and other times we send in a certain amount of beads, charms, pendants, jewelry, and we receive goodies from random participants.  My swap partner is Jenny Kyrlach from Cincinnati, Ohio.  The best part of the swap for me, is now I consider Jenny a friend!

I read through Jenny's blog and Facebook posts to learn more about her.  She loves purple, dark blue, green, burgandy, forests, nature, aquariums and is a paper bead artist.  And most importantly, no pastels!  I took all that into consideration when putting together her bead package.  Of course, I included some of my ceramic beads that I create.  I didn't take a picture of what I sent, so you'll have to read Jenny's blog to see what I sent.

Jenny actually sent me beads, pendants and finding to create 2 sets of designs.  She totally spoiled me!  First I am going to show you how much she sent me that I haven't even used yet.  I will add them to my bead stash and use them in the future....paper beads, crystals, Czech and lampwork glass and fun polymer clay beads.

For this necklace, I used a ceramic square pendant, paper beads, waxed linen, chain, jump rings and a leaf toggle.  Waxed linen is my favorite stringing material.  It adds color to my design, the knots add to the spacing of the necklace and it is comfortable to wear.  This measures 18" plus the 6" pendant makes this necklace a wonderful piece to dress up a plain shirt.

I made a pair of earrings with some wood beads, bead caps, decorative spacer beads and Vintaj ear wires.  I used 20g Vintaj wire to assemble them.

Now for the bonus piece.  Jenny made so many varieties of her paper beads for me.  In both necklaces, I wanted her beads to take center stage.  I love the color combo of white and black with a pop of red.  It's very classic looking to me.  Once again I used waxed linen for my stringing material, but I used red so it really becomes a part of the design instead of just a stringing material.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the swap and my creations.  After you visit Jenny's blog, please hop around to these other wonderful swap and hop designers blogs to see what they created!

Rachel Mallis

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Halcraft Designer Challenge with Erin Prais-Hintz

I had the honor this month of partnering with designer, Erin Prais-Hintz from Tresori Trevati.  She represents Halcraft and chose some romantic pink and white beads from their Bead Gallery line.  Erin blogged about lace makers and how they go about using spindles and fine materials to make intricate patterns.  I cherish a hand crocheted piece of lace my Grandmother made probably 70 years ago. That piece of lace became my texture for the pendant, connectors and earring charms that I made out of ceramic clay for my design.  Here is the inspiration

The rose quartz pendant with silver cut outs below the bale is my favorite thing I received from Erin. Here is a photo of everything I received and that I made for the challenge (sorry it's side ways):

You can see how I laid everything out, my design was starting to take shape in my mind.  Here it is:

I used the large hole ceramic beads to help cover all the attachment points.  I did a fun twisting technique with the 3 strands of beads strung on waxed linen.  I used the connectors as mini focals on the sides of the necklace and finished the necklace with chunky silver chain.  It lays at 20". and the dangle ceramic charm earrings complete the set.

Close up of the pendant with the lace imprint, pink glaze which has been distressed, and the lovely rose quartz spindle shaped pendant.

I really enjoyed this challenge and can't wait to see what Erin does with the same beads.  She is blogging about her design on the Halcraft site which can be found at

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop

I have a group of friends that get together once or twice a month for lunch and an activity.  There are 5 of us, so we call ourselves the FAB 5.  We celebrate birthdays, take trips, etc.  I feel very fortunate to have a nice group of girlfriends.  And you know what's cool?  My Mom is in the group!  So our Christmas gift exchange is coming up and I happened to make each of them an ornament which is perfect for our blog hop!

I have a lace doily my Grandma crocheted and I pressed a corner of that into ceramic clay and used a 2" round cookie cutter to make the shape.  I wanted to use the word JOY on my ornament and hand stamped that next to the lace imprint.  I either put a hole or wire loop at the top.

Each of my friends have different themed Christmas trees.  Top left is mauve for my friend Jamie. She has a country themed tree.  Top right is for Gina.  Her tree is decked out in a burlap, out doorsy theme, so I used brown and distressed the white so it wouldn't be so bright.  Bottom left is red for my Mom, Sandy.  She has a very traditional tree as does my friend, Susan who gets a green ornament.  I felt they needed a bit of sparkle, so I sprayed them with a light coat of silver glitter spray.  I cheated with the ornament hangers.  They are from Hobby Lobby, but they have a handmade look.

I plan on decorating their Christmas packages with the ornament showing on the top.  But please don't let them in on my plan!  Lol  Please hop around and visit the blogs of all the participants and thank you to Heather Powers for being our blog hop hostess!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Welcome to Faery Blog Hop

I had a lot of fun coming up with my design ideas for this blog hop.  My friend, Betony Maiden is our hostess and she challenged us with the theme, "Welcome to Faery."  So my imagination ran to fairy tales, forests with wonderful creatures and colors of the rainbow.  I narrowed it down to an actual fairy ceramic necklace and an enchanted forest pottery bowl.  First the necklace:

I have an 11 month old Granddaughter named Summer who loves to hang out in my studio.  I have a black velvet mannequin where I display my newer favorite necklace designs.  I had a necklace with a roman coin theme for a blogging back in time challenge.  I loved it!  Well Summer decided to pull my mannequin over and there went my necklace into about 4 sections on my tile floor.  Needless to say, my studio is much more baby proofed!  So I gathered up what I could and put it in a dish for another time.  Well, I got out the dish and redesigned a new necklace with my handmade ceramic fairy pendant.  I love it, too!

 Here is a close up of the pendant I designed for the challenge:
I used 3 ply waxed linen to string my design.  I made a tassel under the pendant and incorporated roman glass, gold findings, more ceramic beads, manufactured sea glass and dyed agate gemstones.

I have been making a lot of functional pottery dishes over the last few months.  I live in Florida so I often have a sea life or tropical theme.  So for this challenge, I came up with an enchanted forest design.  I hand drew a curvy line across the bowl and cut out leaves and flowers to form a vine growing on the forest floor.  I used oxides to color the flowers and leaves and dipped the bowl in cream and green multi tone shiny glazes.  The bowl is food safe, but I think I will keep some treasures safely tucked away instead.

Please visit the blogs of the other participating designers:

. Betony Maiden
2. Tammy Adams
3. Michelle Ann McCarthy
4. Kelly Hosford Patterson
5. Robin Kae Reed
6. Kari Asbur