Monday, September 28, 2009

I heart Mondays

Can you make a wrapped loop? Then you can make this necklace. Can't make a wrapped loop? Come see me on Sunday and I'll teach you how. Not near Milwaukee ... hmm ... we'll have to work something out.
This is one of my gift hearts. I needed to stretch away from my normal color comfort zone, but I've been wearing this all day and it makes me happy. Next week I'll show you what I made with the millefiore hearts.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Design exercise

I believe little design decisions can have a big impact on the jewelry you make. At my last book signing, I was demonstrating how to make plain and wrapped loops. I had a strand of crystals and some headpins. I decided to take my own advice and see how many different looking earrings I could make with the exact same materials. Here's how far I got, in between chatting and talking books ...
Come visit me at my next event:
Sunday October 4
10 am - 4 pm $2 admission
Free parking
Wyndham Airport Hotel
4747 So. Howell Street
Milwaukee, WI
More info:

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Now that I've finished the book and taken a little break from jewelry making, it was fun to take some time and play. Making jewelry just for me helps me explore new ideas and push myself into new areas. This week I had great fun with some unusual Swarovski products from Artbeads.

I had never seen this crystal-wrapped faux suede before, and now that fall is here, I was in the mood to experiment with browns and coppers. I used the smoked topaz and golden yarns blended with indigo-crystal accented copper chain. I really like the combination of soft and hard materials. To finish, I used a topaz rock pendant. For me, it gives the right weight to the design while keeping with the natural theme. What do you think?

Next up, I wanted to experiment a little more with my copper wire. I love the combination of the indigo with the dark copper. Isn't this copper ball just the cutest thing? I made it in the same way you'd begin to ball yarn, and just strung crystals along the way.

Once you start working with new metals like copper, you quickly realize that if you've made a necklace, it's time for coordinating earrings. I'm not a fan of matchy-matchy, but I love to coordinate.
And just because I couldn't stop, I made a silver pair.
If you're a crystal geek, you know that Swarovski has recently discontinued its line of bicone crystals (5301) and replaced it with the new Xilion cut 5328, seen here. I'm happy to report that from a distance, they look just like bicones, but the sparkle is significant. If you have a stash of bicones, you can easily blend them with the new cut. These have a 2x AB finish.
Thanks, Artbeads, for letting me play.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Should I ...

Make soup, or


Monday, September 14, 2009

I heart Mondays and my friends

We were lucky this summer to see our dear friends of 19 years when they stopped for a quick overnight visit during their family vacation to Wisconsin and Illinois. Although the visit was short, it was delightful (and intense as we tried to pack a year's worth of conversation into 48 hours). My friend was so nice to bring me a special hostess gift. What I love about this is that she went out of her way to stop at a bead shop (not her thing, she's a cook as you'll see here) and select each of these beads just for me. She even had the owner write down the names of the stones, lest she forget before she gave them to me.

Clockwise from left, we have fluorite, Czech glass, died magnesite, and millefioriI especially like the Czech glass, because it's drilled horizontally -- not that common with hearts. What will I make? What would you make?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Work

Months ago, I bought some shell pearls from Rings & Things with the express intention of including them in my book. As I was planning the projects, I would pull them out, and they would sit nicely on my work table. But, they never quite made it into the book. I'm not complaining, though, because now I can keep them all for myself!

This is a simple set, but I love it. Shell pearls can be chipped where the hole is drilled, so I maximized my collection by using bead caps. I'm a little concerned that the beadcaps will ding the pearls over time, but since I'm keeping these for me, I'll have to risk it and see. I'll let you know!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One for the road

Photo by Meredith Buckingham

Sometimes while you're navigating this journey of ours, you forget that the path is right in front of you ... you just need to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on. It doesn't matter if you're mainstream or on the road less traveled or facing the fork and not knowing what you should do. Just do something, remember to go slow enough to smell the dandelions, and steady enough to stay the course.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I heart Mondays and my backyard

We've had a nice, long, lazy weekend and we've been spending our evenings in the back yard, enjoying the sunset, eating really good fresh food, and then enjoying the bonfire after dark. These end-of-summer days seem precious and I'm happy we've slowed down the pace a little and just kicked back. Happy Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

National Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month and this year's theme is Reuse, Remake, Restyle. So no more excuses ... it's time to get out the machine and get to work. What I love about restyling is that the hard work is already done for you. You don't have to try to get a sleeve to fit perfectly, or make buttonholes, or install a zipper. You can concentrate on the fun and fashionable part of the project instead.

In Altered You! you'll find projects to restyle a strappy summer tank top into a school-appropriate T, a pair of shorts into a cute flouncy skirt, a bulky sweatshirt into a bolero-style jacket, jeans into trimmed-out capris, even bed sheets into a beach wrap.

Send pictures of your creations to karinbuckingham (at) yahoo (dot) com. I would love to see them, and if you'd like, I'll post them to the blog.

Find out more about National Sewing Month here.

Friday, September 4, 2009


So this episode of Runway left us all saying, "huh?" With so many cute looks on the runway, we were so surprised to see Ra'mon and Mitchell in the top spot. Clearly we're not fashionistas, and we do live in the middle of the midwest, but even if that green thing was Avant Garde, it didn't do it for us. Glad to see Mitchell gone, though, and maybe next week they'll get down to business.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Delish Dessert

I really like to cook, but I barely make time to "fix" anymore, especially not desserts. I'm a grab and go weekday cook -- closer to short-order than chef. I make almost everything from scratch, but it's usually no more than five ingredients tossed together and either stir-fried or sauteed, grilled or baked, and must fit into the rotating categories of Mexican, Asian, Wisconsin-American, or Vegetarian.

That said, I love having a reason to find a new recipe and try it out. We're part of an occasional dinner group aptly named Blue Moon. This was my dessert, from our latest get together.

I compiled it from a few of the choices in Pam Anderson's fabulous The Perfect Recipe for Having People Over. And although I could have made the sorbet, I didn't. I went to our local gelateria and selected Lemon Basil, Orange, and Peach. Yum!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And they're off...

The girls are back in school, I'm back to early a.m. dog walks (it's dark already!), better work hours, and hopefully a little more time around the edges for artful crafts. I have lots to catch you up on (you've been on the edge of your seat, haven't you?). I'll be getting back to regular I Heart Mondays, and hopefully making lots and lots of new things. So stay tuned, and hold me accountable if I don't deliver!