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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beading Back in Time - 60's Baby!

For this chapter of the Beading Back in Time Design Challenge, we could choose any time period in history that inspired us.  I really had to think about this one.  My favorite time would be the 80's....the music, the hair, my teenage years, college, fashion, etc.   But as far as designing a piece of jewelry, nothing stood out for me.  One of my favorite sayings is Peace, Love and Happiness.  That takes me right to the 60's!  I was born in 1968 and I like peace that's how I decided on my theme!

I used mid fire buff ceramic clay to make a peace sign bead in lime green, a heart bead in pink and a smiley face in yellow.  I accented the color with a neutral oxide stain.  So that's my Peace, Love and Happiness brought to life!  I love to work with waxed linen, so I choose a beige color to blend with my clay beads.  I used an oversize black lobster claw clasp with a black piece of chain to adjust the length that features a fun pink accent at the end.  I followed the bracelet pattern designer Lorelei Eurto shared in Bead Style last's a perfect design to highlight my theme beads!

I used lime green glass disc beads along with black and pink seed beads on 4 pieces of waxed linen.  I think the colors represent Peace, Love and Happiness and that is what the world needs today!  Please visit the blogs of the other designers that can be found at 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Superstition Blog Hop Reveal

Happy Friday the 13th!  I am not a superstitious person normally.  So today I am going to wear my fun black cat necklace and walk under a ladder.  Just kidding....why risk it!  Lol

I was one of the lucky winners of our hostess, Tammy Adams of Paisley Lizard, focal black cat polymer clay thank you for that!!!!  We could tell Tammy what direction we wanted the pendant hole or no hole at all.  I am really into tassels, so I chose a vertical hole.  She made the gray, black and silvery white backgrounds different as well.

Sorry I am not good at identifying gemstones, but I have all my beads stored by color.  So I reached into my black and gray drawers and found some great stuff!  The black gemstone barrel shaped beads were the perfect size and I loved these black and gray speckled gemstone chips.  I love to string with waxed linen.  It is strong and tying knots is easier than crimping, at least in my book!  I am a ceramic bead artist, so I always include some of my beads.  The 2 gun metal 10mm discs on the top and bottom of the cat pendant are my beads.  The tassel is made from rubber tubing cut into various lengths with the gemstone chips at the ends.  The tubes reminded me of the cats tail!  I used a large black lobster clay clasp to finish my necklace.  I hope you like it!

Please hop around to all the other designers blog posts to see what they designed with their black cat pendant!  And if you'd like to see more of my beads, please visit

ammy Adams (Hostess)
Renee Hong
Betony Maiden
Coral Law
Lee Koopman
Jeanette Belmont
Shai Williams
Beth McCord
Robin Lynne Showstack
Lori Blanchard
Deb Fortin
Michelle McCarthy
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Kim Dworak
Divya N

Karin Grosset Grange
Mowse Doyle
Rebecca White
Shawneen Fagnani
Catherine King
Brook Bock
Kari Asbury
Nan Smith
Carolyn Lawson
Linda Anderson
Ann Schroeder
Melissa Trudinger