Are you in North Carolina and want to see Shore Debris in person? My jewelry is available at this Sanford location:

Divine Designs by Nancy, 92 Amarillo Ln

You can also find my jewelry in this Southwest Florida gallery:

Elizabet Bryant Art Gallery, 200 West Dearborn Street, Englewood, FL 34223

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bunnies, Slugs, and Flowers - Oh, My!

I've had an assortment of different pests in my gardents this year.  Previous years, it has been Japanese bettles.  This year, slugs have eaten about 1/3 of every strawberry in my garden.  In fact, I've never seen so many slugs in one place before.  If they didn't leave such a sticky residue all over the berries, I'd consider taking them in side and just cutting off the eaten portion, but now they just look sort of gross to me.
Out front, I have some lillies in trouble... My oriental lillies have lost most of their leaves to the bunnies, but luckily the blooms are higher than those bunnies can reach!
My asiatic lillies, on the other hand, have not been so lucky.  Mister bunny has consumed all leaves and my beautiful buds. 
 I have discovered a new plant this year - the verbena.  I love it when I am at a garden center, pick up a card, and on the back it said "water usage:  arid."  Most of my yard is sand.  Actually, I'm not really sure how I actually get grass to grow, but the soil never holds water and I'm always on the lookout for pretty flowers that will stand up to long droughts.  I've had the verbenas for about 5 weeks now and they have had beautiful bright pink flowers the entire time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bead Shopping!

So a week and a half ago I ventured out to the Intergalactic Bead Show.  I was so happy when my weekend plans fell through and I had a chance to make it to the show.

Not that I really have room for any more beads in my studio, I came home with lots of prizes (so many so that I had trouble carrying my canvas bag out of the place!)

Check out this super cute frog made by Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan of the Thornburg Bead Studio.  Isn't he so cute... he was just asking me to ake him home.  I love the iridescence on his body.  Makes me think he will look good with pearls or paua shells!

Frog Bead, Thornburg Bead Studio

 And I got some excellent looking cabs.  The 3 on the left are turitella shell fossils and the one on the right is ocean jasper.

Cabs from Jewerly Gems & Stones, LLC
 Oh, and Paua Shells... you can't forget those.  I'm always looking for a deal on these.
Paua Shell Strands from Blue Fire, Inc.
 And my real damage was in the freshwater pearl department.  I have a thing for these that I just cannot resist and want to buy up every color I see.

Freshwater stick pearls from Beads Bagan

Freshwater pearls from Beads Bagan

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mixed Metal Mania Project 2

I'm still improving on my metalworking skills with Kim St. Jean's Mixed Metal Mania Book.  Project number 2 in the book was for this pair of twisted paddle earrings:
Kim St. Jean's Twisted Paddle Earrings Project
 Now those paddle earrings aren't exactly my style, so I decided on a flower pendant instead.  Here's my plan:
Vicky's sketch for her mixed metal flower pendant.
 Like normal, I've sped ahead and am completely done texturing my flower, but still need the rest of my pieces:
Copper flower component after texturing.
 Since I was getting the saw back out, I decided to make a couple of more rings for good measure.  I cut out all 6 of these pieces in 1/2 the time I cut out the original 3 rings, so practice does make one much faster:
patterns laid out on Vicky's 24 gauge copper sheet metal
The flower and leaf were made of copper and I used sterling wire for the stem.  The bail is a piece of fine silver bezel wire.  All of my rivets were copper, too.  I'm quite proud of these.  I've taken riveting classes before and cannot reproduce at home (I've tried and given up a few times), but Kim St. Jean's book makes it all look easy.  Here's the flower all put together (after 1 hour with a hard boiled egg and repolished):
Mixed Metal Flower Pendant made by Vicky Brown
 The matching earrings are the copper leaves on sterling silver earwires.  I coiled a tiny bit of copper wire on the earwires just for some added interest (they looked too plain prior to that).
Mixed Metal Leaf (or Teardrop) Earrings made by Vicky Brown
 And I was practicing my stamping on the rings - sayings like "I Love Shells" and "Beach Girl" - so me!
"I love shells" stamped copper ring made by Vicky Brown
Now I just need to find time for the rest of the book!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

More Crochet

I am still addicted to crochet.  Whenever I can be caught without beads or wire in my hand, I've got yarn and a hook instead.  Not sure when I'll find time to eat or sleep again :)

I bought a ring box pattern from NeedleNoodles awhile back and on the third attempt I finally got a box out of it.  Here it is: (pay no attention that the stitches go in a different direction on the top of my box than the one on the pattern picture!)

Crochet Ring Box Made By Vicky Brown of Shore Debris
Crochet ring box using NeedleNoodles' pattern.

My future plans are to make a full sized jewelry box (expanding this pattern a bit) and placing a crochet octopus on top!  I can't wait to start that.

I also made my first pair of slippers.  Good thing it was cold for a few mornings last week and I've already been able to break them in.  I don't find them very attractive and will be looking for a cuter slipper pattern come autumn. I'm thinking tan mary janes with a bright colored flower...
Crochet slippers made by Vicky Brown of Shore Debris Jewelry Design