Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday Wellspring: Beadwork by Amanda

I'm doing another giveaway for the RNEST (Rochester NY Etsy Street Team) weekly giveaway Link here: (sorry, my editor is acting all wonky and won't let me do any HTML) You'll have to visit the blog and comment there to be eligible, but here's the details!
Many congratulations to Donna - the Random Number Generator drew your lucky number 4 to win Gock's Frocks' fun Vintage Skaters Winter Twirl Skirt!
And now bubbling up from the well this week, is a fan favorite: Beadwork by Amanda! This wonderful artisan is offering the winner a choice of a circuit ring or mini circuit pendant.
Beadwork by Amanda will be offering FREE SHIPPING throughout November on any purchase - just put RNEST in the message to seller when completing your purchase!
And now for the rules (This giveaway is open to THE WORLD!!)

to Beadwork by Amanda, heart the shop, and then leave a comment here telling me your
favorite item.
Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment letting me know- or if you
are already, leave a comment saying you're a loyal follower.
separate comment for each):
1. "Like" Beadwork by Amanda on Facebook.
2. Tweet and blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here with the
3. Fan RNEST on Facebook.
The winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Tuesday,
November 23 and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall with Artbeads

This installment of beading with Artbeads products is two-fold. As expected, the theme this time around is fall. However, to add complexity and excitement to the challenge, we were encouraged to design jewelry based on the fall color forecast put out by Pantone. Here's what's in for fall.
I so love the vividness of these colors! This first necklace is a combination of colors including lagoon and a border on lipstick red and living coral. While it doesn't quite make use of a color scheme based on color theory, red and turquoise are always stunning together.
While I usually tend to shy away from colors that aren't bright, I still have a soft spot for colors that just "click." The beads in this next set are all from Artbeads. I was drawn to the movement and range of the focal bead, and the pretty glass rondelles just complimented it perfectly! Endive and golden glow with a bit of chocolate truffle are represented in this set.
Next is a couple pairs of earrings. The first matches the purple orchid color in the form of amethyst Swarovski crystal. I wanted to create something a little more glitzy and lush to juxtapose it against the warm, earthy hues usually associated with autumn. The larger crystal is called a graphic, and it's really cool! The facets make an otherwise odd shape look really interesting.
Finally, I've paired my all time favorites, blue and green, or in this case, lagoon and woodbine, with copper to create a pair of earrings that really feels like autumn. The leaf beads are really pretty and have other bits of color mixed in.

That's it for now. I'll have more in the near future. I received some really pretty copper leaf beads and I've been toying with the color scheme tool alluded to above. If you need your crafty fix and live in Rochester, NY, pop on over to Mayday Underground next weekend.

Please note that I have received the products free of charge from and that I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid to do so.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hiatus, Again

Apparently I can't keep a blog. When I go 2 months without any posts, you must know something is up!

Well, what do you know! Something is up! Things actually.

The second Mayday Underground show is coming up in less than 2 weeks! We've been preparing like crazy getting everything organized. This round of Mayday should be even more awesome! We have more advertising, more support, more vendors, and a better time in the year for a show! Plus it's going to be a luau craft show! I'm so excited! You can check out the Mayday Website or visit us on Facebook and share Mayday with all of your friends! I'm pretty sure I'll find plenty of gifts at this show :)

Aaaand I started graduate school. I'm going for my PhD in chemistry. Physical chemistry to be more specific. I would go deeper than that, but even I don't know what I want to do for my thesis. It will have to do with nanomaterials or polymers and their electronics, but other than that it's up in the air. Plus I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear anything more specific than that!

The structure is so different. Just like the transition from high school to college afforded a lot more freedom, graduate school is another step in that direction. I will take 5 classes of my choice (I'm taking quantum chemistry and solar cells this semester) in the next year and a half, and I have to TA 7 units of undergraduate chemistry. This semester I'm teaching 2 general chemistry workshops and 1 lab. Then I have to take the cumes, exams that no one is fond of. Then add 5 years in a lab, and hopefully I'll come out with a PhD. Simple, right?

So that's why I'm not around. If you're looking for jewelry, have no fear! I'll have the next installment of the blogging for beaders program with some designs inspired by the colors that are "in" for fall.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Line of Jewelry Available Online!

I just opened up my new jewelry shop on Etsy- Azure Seas. To my surprise, I was featured in a treasury this morning! Not only is that so awesome, I'm just shocked my jewelry wasn't buried, as I'd expected, so someone was able to find it for their treasury! Here's the treasury and some of my new things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Circuit Sale!

Click below to read more about cuff links and to purchase them at 10-20% off my usual price! Use password "summer" to access the deal!

If cuff links aren't your thing, take 15% off your entire purchase at my shop by entering summer in the message to seller. I'll honor the discount by refunding it through Paypal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Home Improvement

I don't think I will ever remove another tile floor. Don't ever kid yourself into thinking it's an easy, do-it-yourself project! Hehe, what's that about hindsight is 20/20? While I absolutely love our new floor, it was one of the most tedious projects to date. It took nearly 4 straight days and an odd array of tools to get the old floor up. The guys kept asking, was it really worth it? What's wrong with the old floor, it's white, everything goes with white?

Try explaining to a guy why a stark white floor doesn't look as good as a tannish/yellowish/brownish floor when your cabinets are warm maple colored and the walls will be a soft yellow, and that all of the appliances are black. White just doesn't work. It's too harsh, too plain, too hard to keep looking white, and it would be the only white thing in the room.

Before the floor went in, we had to remove all the old cabinets (all 5 of them) and remove the old tiles and base moulding. Here's the "before" photos. Notice the extreme lack of counter space and sweet particleboard countertop.

The kitchen cabinets on their way out... (to be painted and used in my craft studio!)

Here's a random dining room shot just to show the disarray. Any flat surface became fair game for tape measures, levels, screwdrivers, drills, you name it (and kitchen cabinet boxes in this case). Note the awesome bed sheet curtains. We'll have real curtains eventually, I promise!

Next, the old floor was taken up. We didn't think it would be that bad, but anytime you got a corner of the tile up, the rest just shattered. We used chisels and hammers, shovels, a huge ice cutter thing, a crow bar, and just about anything that could be used as a lever/wedge. My brother models the shovel method (which I don't think worked that well).

Then the backerboard with a layer of mortar underneath went down. It's also called cement board. The *nice* thing about remodeling an old house is that the floors aren't very level. This made installing the floor particularly tricky.

After the backerboard and mortar settled in, it was time to put on the new tile. We used a ceramic tile, so it will be very durable. That's really important because the doorway next to the kitchen is a high traffic area.

The tile took about 6 hours to get down between mortaring, adhering, measuring, and cutting. Our kitchen is a goofy shape, it's rectangular with one wall that has "steps" taken out (which makes the room smaller) for ductwork. Plus it wraps around a small wall and goes towards the side entrance. The tile laying went smooth by the windows, but got funky when we got closer to all of the doorways.

I had a little too much fun photographing the tile spacers. The sheer quantity (400 or so) reminds me of containers of beads.

I don't have a full photo of the completed floor, but it will come with a photo of the completed kitchen. We still need to finish several other projects. We still need to tile the counters with black granite, install the stove hood, put up the breakfast bar, finish framing out the "hole in the wall (shown below)," put on the cabinet hardware (since the cabinets are up), and install the tile backsplash. That sounds like a lot more now that I've written it out!

I'll post more as we move along! If you have any questions about putting in a tile floor, we have become experts of a sort.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christmas in July Mega Giveaway

Join us in celebrating the holidays a bit early with Etsy-wide Christmas in July sales! RNEST members are jumping on board with a few great deals of our own. The sales will run from July 15th through 25th and we're launching the celebration with a quadruple giveaway!

Check out each of the following four shops and enter for your chance to win one of the fabulous prizes - four lucky participants will win! You'll get one entry for each of the following (leave a separate comment for each on the RNEST Blog):

Check out each of the shops and give them a heart, then leave a note here with your favorite item from each shop.

Follow the RNEST blog - or leave a comment saying you're a faithful follower.

Become a fan of RNEST on facebook.

Blog or tweet about the giveaway.

Beadwork by Amanda:

Sale: 20% off any item in the shop

Giveaway item:

Key to My Heart Necklace


Sale: 15% off all items + FREE shipping to all New York State Residents

Giveaway item:

Vintage Button Ring

Crafter's Haven:

Sale: 20% off any item in the shop

Giveaway item:

Wire Crochet Necklace in Shades of Red

The Quilted House

Sale: 20% off any item in the shop

Giveaway Item:

Mini Gift Tote - Green Flower Power

The giveaway is open to US and Canada and ends Tuesday, July 20. Winners will be chosen by the random number generator and announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring!

Visit the RNEST blog HERE to enter!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Beading

Preparing an old house over the summer, between work, is a really tough thing to do! Between the painting, priming, sanding, chiseling, nailing, moving, weeding, and general disarray, the beads get pushed away. I even went to a bead show over my lunch break last week and haven't even had the time to look at them and marvel in their awesomeness!

However, before things got displaced and relocated to boxes, I was able to make several summer inspired items. The idea was to stick to bright colors seen in the summer months. Summer is pretty short in upstate New York, so I try to soak it in while it lasts!

These tanzanite earrings remind me of some beautiful perennials growing in my back yard. I'm not sure what they're called, but they are long stalks with graceful little bell-shaped purple flowers. The flower looks like a very delicate version of a lilac mixed with an inverted tulip. These earrings are made with Swarovski crystal teardrop pendants and bicones.

These sweet earrings are a combination of lucite flowers, czech glass leaves, and Swarovski crystal.

My addiction to seed beads prevails! While most of these beads are already part of my stash, the new purple iris size 8 seed beads are a delightful addition. They coordinate perfectly with my lilac colored size 11 seed beads. If you want to make your own pendants like this, I sell the tutorial in my Etsy shop here.

Although these are quite simple and delicate necklaces, they really pack a punch in the sparkle department! The top necklace makes use of a Bermuda blue faceted Swarovski teardrop. The color flashes in a variety of deep blue-green colors and is just beautiful. The bottom necklace features a cubic zirconia teardrop pendant with a small lucite flower. There are lots of lovely glass items to choose from to use as stunning focals.

Check back soon and I'll have a coupon code good for 10% off anything at Artbeads through July 31. They're also having a sale right now!

Please note that I have received the products free of charge from and that I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid to do so.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I think housewatering sums it up better. We closed on the new house Wednesday morning and stopped by last night to get things started. We have the apartment until the end of July, so we're going to take our time, paint, and get everything prepped before we move.

We brought some small boxes along with painting supplies with us. I started taping off the living room (colors to be disclosed soon!) and Chris was getting the music set up. He wanted to wash his hands and discovered that no water was coming out of the faucets.

We went downstairs and saw a few ceiling tiles were on the floor, and for some reason the laundry tub was moved to a different wall. Things looked fishy. I called my real estate agent to see if someone had gone back to the house after the final walk through. She said there hadn't. We went back upstairs to see if anyone had gotten in somehow.

All of the doors and windows were locked. Except one, of course. Since the house is old, the wood by the lock was rotted and half of the lock was on the floor. We figured someone stood on our recycling bin, reached up and let themselves in.

When we went back downstairs to try and figure out why you would break into an empty house, we discovered that many copper pipe sections had been removed. We found pipe insulation laying around and cut off pipes everywhere. There was water dripping from a pipe that was at one point connected to the water heater. The main water line is nowhere to be found and all of the pipe leading to and from the first floor bathroom was removed.

We had a police report filed. That was fun. We had to wait almost 3 hours for them to come, and it was almost 11pm by the time we left. They offered to have a technician come by and try to take fingerprints, but Rochester had other ideas for us since there was another shooting that night so the technician wouldn't be ready to come until even later- maybe not until 1 or 2 am. I don't know about you, but both of us had to go to work today, we're leaving for Syracuse for a craft show, and we still hadn't packed so we really needed sleep (and food and water). They said it would be difficult to pull prints from wood anyway so we told them not to worry about it. They took some photos and then we went home.

According to the one quote we got (we'll get at least 2 more quotes), it's going to cost $2000 to repair because all of the pipes were twisted and ripped out.

The emergency dispatch lady told us we were pretty lucky. Usually burglars leave the water on. At least our basement just had patches of water- no more than half an inch in places.

But really? What kind of a house warming is that?! If I do well at the show this weekend I think I'll be okay- just as long as the bad things don't start piling up. I'm just glad we didn't move any valuables in yet.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

iFixit: Welcome to Repair 2.0

I came across this video and thought I would share. It brings up a good point, and I think the project is a great idea! As it is, I've had my computer for 4 years and hope to keep it running as long as possible.

Here's a more fashionable way to handle the waste problem:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Guest

We were just sitting at my booth at the Lilac festival and a little guest popped by. He would have stayed for dessert too since he didn't seem to want to leave Chris's hand!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Other Side of the Brain

I just came back from a materials science conference yesterday. There is some pretty cool research going on out there!

Science is cool stuff. Enjoy science-y handmade goodness in the form of a treasury I made using Treasury East!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where I've been...

I promise I have not fallen off the edge of the earth! Things have been really busy so the blog needs a little dusting :)

As referenced to in the previous post, I organized an indie craft show with a friend. It was a huge success! More info can be found on the facebook page and blog, but here's a visual recap of the event.

In other news, I'll be a homeowner soon! It's an awesome old house with all of the original hardwood floors. In the coming months, I'll be sharing photos of the improvements and projects that we do!