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