Month: August 2011


“Monet's Garden”: New Necklace Design | Elysian Studios

“Monet’s Garden”: New Necklace Design

Categories: jewelry

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My new necklace design was inspired by this beautiful purple enameled key made by Laura Guenther for Blue Antiquities. Immediately, I began to think of the precious nature of a vintage key.  

What would inspire someone to wear it? 

The key to a secret place…a beautiful place…a secret garden… Monet.

The purple beckoned the pinks and greens.  Natural elements soon followed: pearls, botanical shapes, and a sweet little Vintaj brass bird (seen better here).  In fact, the gorgeous tones of the hand-finished Vintaj brass components were an easy choice to complete the design and accentuate the key.

I dressed the necklace up for a day at the office or special meeting by pairing it with a simple knit tee under a cream blazer.  However, this could be worn around town with a drapey solid-colored  knit tee and jeans, or with a simple, flowy summer dress to a garden party!

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April 2011 | Elysian Studios

Celebrate! Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Discipline Your Creativity, and Learn to Fly!

7000 Bracelets for Hope:The Global Genes Project


The Global Genes Project exists to unify, support, build awareness and raise much needed funds for those affected by rare disease. 

“Rare Disease affects over 250 million people worldwide, and the largest percentage are children. There are over 7,000 rare diseases that have been identified all with very unique needs, but many with little to no support.

In order to really help this community they need to be viewed as One. One community of millions, impacted by disease. Rare disease is not so rare, and the community is much more likely to garner the support, attention, and resources it needs if it is viewed as one.” -The Global Genes Project

Lori Anderson, who authors “Pretty Things,”  took the initiative to organize the beading community to create bracelets for the 7000 Bracelets of Hope campaign.  

“To help raise awareness we’re asking 7,000 jewelry designers, volunteers from the craft community and various artists to donate one bracelet to this campaign to show their support for kids living with rare disease, disorders or conditions. These bracelets will then be distributed to participating families in December 2011.” – The Global Genes Project

I have made this bracelet, on behalf of Elysian Studios, to support this campaign.  I hope it shares love and support with a family that is caring for a child with a rare disease, and will be praying for it’s recipient.


This bracelet is composed of elements that have a symbolic meaning:

Handmade Denim and Blue Satin cord: Represents the unifying symbol of denim that is a trademark of the Global Genes Project.  This denim was up-cycled from a pair of my son’s jeans.  This fabric has seen many active, play-filled days, and I want the bracelet to carry a prayer with it for that joy.

Copper chain and findings: Copper has a history of being known for its healing properties.  Not only is this metal soothing to look at, but it is said to have medicinal and healing effects on one who wears it.  Copper chain, hand-coiled and spiraled wire, clasp and charms have been included in this design.


Watercolor Patchwork:  A small circle of an original painting from my watercolor journal has been snipped and covered with resin in a copper bezel for the focal of the bracelet.  The painting was a simple patchwork of colors.  This represents the many people involved in the rare disease community.  Patients, families, doctors,research institutes, and pharmaceutical companies all play essential roles in discovering treatment and cures.

Heart (Love): Love is an essential component to the cure for any disease.  Knowing you are a part of a community, prayed for and loved is vital to the well-being of everyone, especially those facing the difficulties of illness.

Feather (Virtue):  Courage is a virtue, and one that is greatly needed by those suffering from an illness.  I pray that the children, families, doctors and researchers have great courage to stand together and combat these diseases.


Tree of Life (Family Tree):  More than anything, a family unit is critical for surviving the difficulties of a rare disease.  It is my prayer for the recipient of this bracelet that they have a strong family of loved ones, doctors and friends to assist them through the challenges of illness.

I have signed up, and will be mailing this bracelet off to a very deserving member of the Global Genes Project family!

Wanna see something cool? Check out all of the other artisans participating in 7000 Bracelets!

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2.  Jayne Capps, Mama’s Got To Doodle
3.  Kym Hunter, Creatively Kym
4.  Mandy Duffy, Beads for Brains: 365
5.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
6.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa’s Clay Happenings
7.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Jewelry
8.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
9.  Amy Severino, Amy’s Beads
10.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by Jennifer Pride

11.  Jenny Cameron, Glass Addictions

12.  Susan Ferguson, Windrock Studio
13.  Mortira vanPelt, Inspirational Beading
14.   Brandi Hussey, Brandi Girl
15.  Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
16.  Angela Barribou, Re: Angela Rae
17.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie’s Sammelsurium
18.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
19.  Jean Yates, Snap Out of it Jean, There’s Beading To Be Done!
20.  Nicki Keller, Nicki’s Reef

21.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions

22. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
23.  Carrie Tahquechi,  Carrie T
24.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails
25.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
26.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
27.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
28.  Linda Landig, Linda’s Bead Blog and Meanderings
29.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady 
30.  Deb Price, Green Shoot Jewellery Designs 

31.  Suzette Bentley, Ellies Bijoux  
32. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads 
33.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread 
34.  Kate Gardenghi, The Tropical Blonde 
35.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre 
36.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me 
37.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co. 
38.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
39.  CJ Baushka, 4 His Glory Creations 
40.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash 

41.  Sandra Richardson, Sandy’s Coloring Box 

42.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 
43.  Kim Roberts, Bahama Dawn 
44. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle 
45.  Emanda Johnson, Artemisia’s Studio 
46.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
47.  Sue Kennedy, Sue Beads
48.  Raquel Amaral, Raquel Amaral
49.  Robyn Hawk, Daily Jewel
Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

52.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry

53.  Andrea Robinson,  Madame Magpie’s Shiny Things
54.  John Rasmussen, Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry
55.  Breana Fry, Vault 31
56.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
57.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
58. Dot Lewallen, Speedie Beadie
59.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
60.  Heather Pyle, Aquariart

61.  Adrienne Campbell, Adrienne Designs

62.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs
63.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
64.  Susie Hibdon, Vintage Susie & Wings
65.  Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
66.  Norma Agron, Norma’s Clay
67.  Ana Novak, Cat’s Pajamas, Dog’s Tuxedos
68.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
69.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
70.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

71.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs

72.  Catherine Pruitt, Boo Beads
73.  Deana Hager, Just Deez’ Art & Life
74.  Lupe Meter, Gem’s PC Corner
75.  Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass
76.  Janet Bocciardi, Honey From the Bee
77.  Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life
78.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Design
79.  Sally Russick, WireWorked
80.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter 

81.  KJ, KJ’s Beadacious Beads

82.  Lana Kinney, Something Unique by Lana
83.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman … Art, Life, Love 
84.  Karen Bien, Everyday Gypsy 
85.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
86.  Cyn Gagen, Creative Edventures
87.  Niky Sayer, Silver Nik Nats
88.  Deb Beechy, Beetique
89.  Marian Hertzog, M’s Place
90.  Kerry Bogert, Kab’s Creative Concepts

91.  Judy Riley, Three Red Beads

92.  Charlene Gray, Gray Girl Studio
 93.  Erin Fickert-Rowland, Elysian Studios (you are here)
94.  Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden
95.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
96.  Christine Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
97.  Eileen Bergen, The Artful Crafter
98.  Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
99.  Rebekah Payne, Tree Wings Studio
100.  Mari Aparicio, Mis Amores 

101.  Tracy Statler, Make Bracelets 

102.  Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
103.  Kim Stevens, Picking Poppies
104.  Karyn White, Releases by Rufydoof
105.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads for Busy Gals
106.  Lisa Hamilton, Simply Irresistible Jewelry
107.  Serena Trent, All Things Made Jewelry
108.  Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Artwerks
109.  Debbie La Rue, For the Love of Beading
110.  Maggie Towne, Maggie’s Bead Towne

 111.  Cassandra Watsham, Designs by Cassandra

112.  Mary Ellen Parker,  BeeTree by m.e.

Color Inspirations: April {Cerebral Cerulean}

“Boho Beach”: New Jewelry Collection by Elysian Studios



These are the first two pieces in my new “Boho Beach” jewelry collection.  Featuring multiple strands in glittering orange, pearly creams, and vibrant blues, these pieces are meant to be statements that easily coordinate with a casual, beach wardrobe.

The first necklace features a hand-linked, clustered focal.  Multiple links of colorful glass beads, quartz stone chips, and sparkling crystals, hang from a Vintaj “Eternity Garden Ring.”  For the necklace, two strands of quartz crystals are intertwined and highlighted with fire-polished rounds, orange stones, Vintaj jump rings, and linked dangles of glass and wood beads.  The piece is finished with a Vintaj Hook & Eye clasp set.  I also made a coordinating pair of earrings.

The second necklace sparkles with strands of goldstone, Crystazzi pearls, Carnelian faceted rounds, and metallic glass beads.  The glass starfish focal coordinates with the blue/copper tube and round beads.  To add to the “boho” vibe, I added a swaying fringe of natural suede lace that drapes down the side of the necklace- it is so fun to wear!

All that’s needed is a straw cowboy hat, a beach with gently crashing waves, and a Pina Colada! Well, a girl can dream….

Artists at Play:Rings & Things Bead Show in Denver


Rings & Things made a stop in Denver on their 2011 Bead Tour, and I was so excited to attend my first wholesale show!  I went armed with a list, notebook, calculator, and ample time.  It proved to be a great show, and I am thrilled to be a new customer of Rings & Things!

Though they had wire, jewelry findings and crystals available, I was primarily interested in shopping for semi-precious gemstone beads. Brimming with excitement, I browsed the many tables for hours.  I felt like I was back in my college geology course while I curiously examined the vast array of colors, sizes, styles (and prices) of gemstones.


I think it’s important to attend one of these shows if you are new to the jewelry business.  Not only is it an opportunity to buy inventory at a discount, but seeing gemstones in person is much more informative than browsing a catalog. Rings & Things has a beautiful catalog that’s well-organized with brilliant full-color pictures, but it makes a difference to see gemstones up close.  You can better appreciate their true color, opacity, weight and shape.

As a “show newbie,” I was daunted by the task of selecting beads for my business.  They are all so beautiful- how can you choose? 

First: I established a reasonable budget, and I was determined to stick to it! 

Second: I researched a few bead catalogs and magazines I had to familiarize myself with names of stones, and which types I was drawn to.

Third: I made sure all my beads were organized before I attended the show, and I wrote a list of “holes” I had in my inventory. 

Fourth: I attended the show with the resources I needed to successfully meet my budget goals : notebook, calculator, and time!

Here are some of the lovely beads I bought

(which I am excited to start working with!)


Rhodonite, Pink Crazy Lace Agate, and Rose Quartz




Goldstone, Citrine and Yellow Jade (Serpentine)


Olive Jade (Serpentine)


Moss Agate, Lizardite (Serpentine),

and African Green Jasper


Blue Lace Agate and Sodalite


Smoky Quartz, Red Creek Jasper,

and Brown Snowflake Obsidian


Snowflake Obsidian, Howlite, Moonstone, and Black Onyx

I had a great time, and was equally giddy when I brought my treasures home to show off! I will definitely be attending the Rings & Things show again next year.  In fact, I’m sorta a huge fan of theirs now that I’ve had the opportunity to experience their service and product! 

(I’m also realizing that I totally love rocks…especially smooth, shiny colorful ones!)


April Fool’s Day {giggles}


Art Tour: Navajo Street Art District | Elysian Studios

Art Tour: Navajo Street Art District

Categories: Art Tours, Colorado, Denver, galleries


Located in the Lower Highlands neighborhood of Denver, The Navajo Street Art District is one of my very favorite areas to find contemporary local art.  Most of the galleries are cooperative galleries run by the artists themselves, so I love the feeling of community you get when strolling through this quaint neighborhood.   Much of the architecture dates back to the early 1900’s, and I love the design and details of the buildings!


Next Gallery is one of the newest Co-op galleries in Denver.  There is usually a solo exhibition in their front room with a space in the back for art from all of their members. Across the street is Edge, offers up experimental art, and the Bug Theatre.  The Bug was built in 1912 as a nickelodeon movie house and now offers both classes and contemporary theatre performances.


Pirate is a small gallery that offers art which is quite edgy. Their shows feature a particular artist or theme, and rotate about every two weeks.


The little gem of the district, for which I have a soft spot in my heart, is Zip 37 Gallery.  Zip is one of the oldest artist-run galleries in Denver.  The art here is right up my alley, and I’ve met several of the artists who are very nice, hard-working, down-to-earth people.  There is always a solo show in the front gallery space, and the rest of the members have their work displayed in “The Back Room,” where you are sure to find something delightful!






One of the newest galleries in the neighborhood, which I think has a lot of potential, is D Gallery.  This is a privately owned gallery that has curated shows.  They have a beautiful selection of Abstracts, Landscapes, and Handmade Jewelry.


Whether you live in Denver or are just stopping by for a visit, The Navajo Street Art District is a wonderful destination! They have fabulous restaurants, and lots of community events, including the First Friday Art Walks!

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