Friday, January 19, 2018

We're All Ears :: January Reveal :: Ultraviolet

One of my newest Tesori Tesserae ("treasure tiles") on display at the Gallery Q
Purple is a color I can get behind. I don't always care for the colors that Pantone selects, but this one has me excited. Especially since I seem to have all the purple beads in the Universe in my studio! It is a mult-tasking hue that has so many different facets, so many layers. And I love the way purple plays with other colors. I love purple with orange or red, all the shades of blue, emerald or mint green, soft butter yellow and of course, black and white. I love purple!

Right before I found out what the 2018 Color of the Year was, I met a client at the Gallery Q where I exhibit my work. She was looking for fun earrings. In talking to her, she asked me to consider making her some custom earrings and I gladly jumped at the chance. She is always sporting really dynamic and intriguing hats (due to a medical reason), and she said that she had recently ordered a custom made-to-order hat that she wanted me to use as my inspiration.

Isn't this model just the BOMB in this pretty felt cloche?! My client is going to rock this beautiful hat!
Serendipity that the color the year was PURPLE!

First up, I did a variation of earrings that she tried on featuring flattened lentil beads by Heather Powers of Humblebeads. Trust me, they are far more purple than they seem (funky lighting was not working for photos!). I pulled out some tiny brass leaves that I painted in variegated tones of purple, and wrapped a few gold charlottes for some texture.

Second, I did another variation of some earrings that she had seen in the gallery that went with necklaces by the same name that had a sort of dreamcatcher vibe. These little silver charms are so much more lively when I paint them with Vintaj metal patinas. Some of my coveted faceted pearls in a bright magenta color and brought in a spicy copper bead cap and rhinestone rondelles for a bit of bling.

Finally, I used some of my favorite beads ever from Heather Powers. The patchwork quality of these beads and their shape are awesome. I especially love the coral orange colored blooms. I found that I had these little carved coral flowers that were perfect. 

I let the client know that they were in the Gallery Q and she came right over last Friday. I happened to show up when she was looking through my case, so instead of swapping out the displays, I spent time helping her try them on. I let her know that I can go back to the drawing board and she was under no obligation to buy any of them.

We spent a lot of time together that afternoon and she kept finding other things in my case that she couldn't live without, including several pieces that she said she was going to give to friends "who were so nice to her." When all was said and done, she ended up buying all three pairs of earrings...and six other necklaces and bracelets, too! I was flabbergasted! That is the single best day of sales (almost $400!) for me at the Q, ever. I am quite honored. And I told her that she is officially a collector and a Superfan! And I think that she is going to ROCK these earrings with that hat!

I am very much looking forward to seeing what you created with one of my favorite colors! Your turn!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I'll Follow The Sun...

These completely knock me out of the winter doldrums! Stunning enamel charms by Cathleen Zaring of Blue Hare Art Wear.  I wanted to set that color off to its fullest, so I went with all black as the companion piece.  Extra fuzzy fabric beads by SagaHus  gave me the impact I was looking for....bold but still soft.  All you would need is a black top and you'd have an outfit!

Hot enamel spikes by Spurwink River Arts!  I wanted to add more pattern but it keep a modern clean line, so I went with a nice thin black and white stripe with a pop of red on the top.  They have a nice tribal vibe.

I'm looking out the window as snow flurries whirl around a grey sky in Chicago.  However, it's nice and sunny inside :D  Hope I've brightened your day, too! 

Loralee xo

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Zesty Lemon Curd

Snowstorm outside my window today. I am so happy I don't have to leave my home. As a contrast I have instead played with those large and bright yellow facetted acrylic beads. I love them. Got them very cheap at a clean out sale in an online Swedish shop some weeks ago. I only wish I had bought more of them. Aren't they great. Sometimes I don't understand why things are not popular with other people.

I am very into larger and longer earrings lately. These fulfill those requirements. The materials make them still very lightweight.

I strung the yellow acrylic beads on 4-ply ochre waxed linen cord together with size 11 matte gold  metallic sead beads and egg shaped white distressed resin beads. They are attached to the handmade earrings hooks  in heavily oxidized Sterling Silver via square profiled pewter rings.

All my best,

Monday, January 15, 2018

All things Inviciti


So I am busy busy busy, making lots of new things for a Facebook showcase over on The Jewellery Show on the 26th of this month. This will be my first showcase since November and I always get a little nervous, especially if I've had a gap. Will people like my new creations? Will anyone show up?! And if i take a break from making things, I always feel so rusty! Sometimes the creative spirit gets a bit....stuck...

So what's needed is some inspiration via post. And the wonderful Vincent & Nooma of Inviciti kindly obliged. They make the most beautiful pewter and painted charms, and a little package from them popped onto my doormat on Saturday and suddenly I was on a roll! Funny how that happens sometimes? How it can be so hard to create and at other times, it just flows?

So here's a group shot of everything together
Look at that gleaming pewter! So here's the first pair with some delicious lampwork by our very own super talented Kimberly of  Numinosity (by the way -have you seen her instagram feed? It's a visual feast! She has quite the eye for all things interesting, grungy and beautiful). Teamed these with some twisted silver plated rings and spacers and the Inviciti charms, of course.
The next couple of pairs have gorgeous lampwork nuggets by Maryse Fritz-Thillens. The first pair, a striking pinky purple colour, with silver plated spacers, co-ordinating czech glass and some silver-plated leaves too, just poking through the charms
Love these star charms. Just a few little twisted jumprings and spacers in this pair (possibly my favourites?)
And finally, keeping it simple with a little stack of Roman glass rondelles. Just love that these are ancient. Amazing to be able to wear a little bit of history in your lobes :-)
So that's me done for this month. All of these will be available over on The Jewellery Show on the 26th. Pop on over and say hello if you can. If they don't find a home there, they will be off to Utterly Lovely Stuff

See you next month
Sue x

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hello 2018!

New Year, new ideas?  Well maybe not this time.  I'd only remembered my post was due today, yesterday.  I'm amazed I was able to make anything at all as I got nowhere in my efforts last night.  I tried again this morning and here are the results.  I hope you like them. 

Group shot of all 3 pairs.

 Lampwork headpins by Linsey Peck, lampwork sparkling rocks by Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, blinged up with Swarovski spacers plus Czech glass and brass findings.

 Lampwork headpins by Linsey Peck, lampwork sparkling rocks by Maryse, ceramic rounds by Jana Bliznokova. 

 Lampwork headpins by our very own Kimberly Rogers, lampwork sparkling rocks by Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens.  

They will be listed in my Etsy shop today. I will be back towards the end of the month with more designs, hope you pop back to see what I've been up to - hopefully not last minute designs 😁

Suhana <3<3<3

My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Coronas, Crowns, & Diadems...

Lately I've been making earrings finished off with small crowns, or coronas...

These earrings can be purchased at Two Trees Studio, here 

The earrings above, "Night Gardens," are new in my shop, made with gorgeous lampwork rondelles by Terry Turner and beautiful flower headpins by Pati Walton.  I'm not really sure what has caused my current infatuation with these little crowns in recent earrings.  I'm not sure we ever really know what moves us to create in our own particular ways, but I think that's part of the fun.  I like the idea of letting creativity have its way!  I do know that I love these little bead caps with their open-wire scallops--there's a gentle femininity to them--and I really enjoy using them to cradle colorful little beads, usually Czech glass rondelles in lots of colors.

The earrings above are brand new, also with beads by Terry and headpins by Pati.   I had an awful time getting a good photo of them because it had been raining here for days, and the gloom left me with not enough light to do justice to Terry's beautiful lampwork beads...but the rains finally stopped and the sun came out!    😊 

The pair above is also new, made with Terry Turner's beads and gorgeous copper pieces by one of my all-time favorite artisans, Kristi Bowman-Gruel.  This time my "crowns" are lavender-dyed jade beads with bead caps made like flower petals rather than scallops--though you might notice that my favorite scalloped bead caps still make an appearance!  πŸ˜‰

I hope you're all having a great start to 2018.  Love and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to you all, and I will see you in a couple of weeks!  πŸ’—


My shop

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Short but not so sweet.

                                                              Happy 2018 everyone!

The trees have gone and the decorations are down for another year. As exciting as it is to put them up with Christmas to look forward to, I'm never sorry to take them down again, tidy up and get back to some semblance of normality!

I don't know what it is, but maybe the overabundance of dΓ©cor has made me yearn for some simple, clean lines. I'm also conscious that my earrings can sometimes get too long and complex for some people, and there are occasions when even the most boho of us need a pair that's short but still stylish.

My earrings this week feature heavily oxidised silver shells by Helen Backhouse - for such small shells, they have an incredible amount of detail and a beautiful curve. To complement them, I raided my stash of  ocean jasper - one of my favourite stones, because it has so  many different shades in. The first pair has distinct pink and grey tones, the second green and honey. It's fun picking through.  And the gloss offsets the grungy shells nicely.

                              Add some killer earwires, and you have plenty of style in a small package.

Short, but not-so-sweet!
See you in two weeks

                                                                     My Etsy shop

                                                                 My Facebook page

New year greetings

Hello peeps,
How are you all doing? I hope you had a wonderful festive season and started the New Year happy and with a smile.
Reading Jetta's post from yesterday I can only nod my head in total agreement. This week I received my order of gorgeous new beads from Petra from Scorched Earth on Etsy, but sadly wasn't able to make any new pair of earrings. So we have to do with a pair I made a while back (2014) with her wonderful charms, a variety of Czech glass beads and earring wires from Lucy Haslam of Faerystone.

Wishing you all a wonderful day, full of joy, laughter and singing birds.
See you next month.

Monday, January 8, 2018

A New Year

My creative juices are taking a break right now. I bet you have the same moments sometimes. The holidays were a blast of activity and buying new beads. I am going to rest and let my muse decide where she wants my inspiration to take me this year.

Thankfully I had created these bright and cheery earrings during the holidays after splurging on an order of cookie tin charms from Star Spirit Studios. I have always loved to mixed turquoise and cherry red together. I stacked blue Pacific Apatite chips on top of dark red Czech flowers. The delicate stems on the flowers are picked up in the black of Lucy Haslam's ear wires.

I have one other pair of earrings I created before the new year. And if I am still letting my Muse take a rest I will still be able to post in two weeks ;) Sometimes a rest is just what I need to reenergize my love of jewelry making.

I hope you have a fabulous day. And don't forget to stop and smell the patient when your creativity seems to be gone. It might just mean another stage of your personal style is trying to blossom.

Friday, January 5, 2018

We're All Ears :: January Inspiration :: Color of the Year

Drum roll please.....The winner of the Emergency Earring Making Kit is....

Micheladas Musings

Please send me an email at with your address and I will send out a little goodie package just for you!


In the history of the Pantone color forecasts, I can honestly say that this year is the first year that I totally agree with their choice. 


Not just purple, but Ultra Violet.

There is something about a purple. It is royal and mystical. It is velvety and vibratory. It is cozy yet all-encompassing. It is connected to some of the best icons in my life, like Prince. There isn't a purple that I don't like, I honestly feel like I have hoarded all the purple beads in search of the perfect purple that is not too PURPLE or even PURple, but more like a purple. (Remember that commercial?)

So all hail to PURPLE!

According to the Pantone website

A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.
I am more than ready to welcome in the idea of being thoughtful and dramatically provocative, combining creativity and intuition with an eye toward a more hopeful future. Because that is how my 2018 has started off....with a creative ultra violet bang! I have hit the ground running and I need the guidance of the mystical purple to light my way!

I fully embrace that this color, more so than the others of recent years, is really something that transcends all seasons. It is a color that works well throughout the year. And I quite like the color combos that the Pantone people have created for us and they also did these cool blended Color Harmonies within each palette. Here are a few of my favorites:

PURPLE HAZEPantone Color of the Year 2018 - Color Palette Purple Haze
KINDRED SPIRITSPantone Color of the Year 2018 - Color Palette Kindred Spirits
DRAMA QUEENPantone Color of the Year 2018 - Color Palette Drama Queen
INTRIGUEPantone Color of the Year 2018 - Color Palette Intrigue
DESERT SUNSETPantone Color of the Year 2018 - Color Palette Desert Sunset
So tell me, what is your favorite color combination with purple? Let's crack into our purple stashes and make an Ultra Violet explosion of earrings for the reveal on January 19th!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Criss-Cross Applesauce

I know, what does applesauce have to do with this?  Do you remember that saying from when you were a kid?? ... No, you say, I'm just ancient!... lol.  Well, maybe I should update it to "criss-cross awesomesauce"...that'd work, too,  lol!

 The pairs of earrings below have a couple things in common,  a wonderful cross-over wire pattern and cool bar-beads which lend to that tribal look I love so much.  

The amazing hand painted focal beads are by Nooma Cav of Inviciti. They are made of wood so they are super lightweight even though they are on the larger side.  I used painted round wood beads in green to draw that magnificent color back to the top.  The ceramic red bars are by Michelle McCarthy of FireflyStudio and she makes them in an array of colors.  

Stunning enamel pieces by Cathleen Zaring of Blue Hare; Polymer accent beads by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  I adore the detail in Heather's beads, it brings so much to a design of a smaller scale like earrings.

It's freezing and kind of grey here in the mid-west, it was so nice to play with some bold colors!  

Thank you for stopping by!!

Loralee xo

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Shell Lantern Brass

Wishing everyone a very happy new year 2018.


Lovely lucite beads in a milky very pale blue with gold/brass
Small firepolished facetted brass/bronze colored beads
All the other components are in brass

All my best,


Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

So, another new year begins! As I type this, there are only a couple of hours left of 2017, and I am struck (as I always am on New Year's Eve) how quickly time passes, and another year is over. But there's definitely something quite appealing about new beginnings isn't there? A fresh start, an opportunity to do things differently. To be better, kinder, healthier etc etc. And only a few more months of Winter here before Spring starts to make an appearance.

And so I've been pondering on that theme -freshness, newness. I found these rather stunning ceramic leaf droppers by everyone's favourite ceramic artist Petra Carpreau. I love the varied shades of green in these, and the bronze accents

I wanted to pick up on the gorgeous colors in the glaze on these leaf droppers, so added some pretty green Greek ceramic spacers and layered them with some very lovely coppery textured jump rings from Smitten Beads.

A simple, rather rustic design to bring in the New Year, but I hope you like them. They'll be available in my next showcase over on The Jewellery Show on Facebook at the end of the month.

It just remains for me to wish you a very happy, healthy and creative 2018!

Sue x

Utterly Lovely Stuff