Designing for Summer in Fall?

This past summer creative mavens Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Lynn Davis of Expedition D organized a beach themed bead swap. Well, things got in the way of me being creative over the summer -- like the sunshine -- and I let my wonderful sea treasures languish in my bead stash.

seahorse photoSeahorse photo by Laurie

Around the same time, I met this wonderful woman who raises seahorses, and she shared this amazing photo with me. Through several conversations, I was lucky enough to learn more about these fascinating creatures, which led to a much better title and description for my tiny seahorse charm now called Flirt. I wanted so much to create a necklace that honored this creative exchange and birth of Flirt, but time slipped away and summer faded into fall.

Then the other day I had a flash of inspiration. What could make me design a summer piece in the middle of fall? Well, hello, a submission to Stringing Magazine for Summer 2010! I've been wanting to submit jewelry designs; however, I'm usually grumbling because I'm two months behind on planning.

humblebeads polymer clay pendantHeather Powers: polymer clay pendants
Daphne Runge: glass bead

Well, not this time!! I've got until the end of December to play with all my beach themed beads and enjoy summer during the colder months. Check out some of this beadrific inspiration like Heather Power's stunning polymer clay pendants that remind me of coral (when you flip one over and it has an etched copper bezel). The gorgeous underwater inspired glass bead is by Daphne Runge, a Saint Louis artist who teaches at Glasshopper Studio.

gaea ceramic mermaid pendantGaea Cannaday: ceramic mermaid pendant and round beads
Erin Siegel: ceramic sand dollar
Lynn Davis: pewter seashell

Though not a part of this bead exchange, I am including one of my cherished summer purchases, a beautiful ceramic mermaid pendant by the clever Gaea Cannaday. One of the best parts of shopping at Gaea's bead store is that you get to choose from tons of glazes. I also have a couple of Gaea's round ceramic beads, Erin Siegel's delicate ceramic sand dollar from Every Heart Crafts, and a host of cool cast pewter charms like this conch shell by Lynn Davis.

silver shell seahorse charm charms jewelryAphrodite and Flirt, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): fine silver seahorse and shell charm

For the bead swap I submitted my tiny Aphrodite shell to the mix, but I hope to also include Flirt my hippocamp inspired seahorse into whatever I create for Stringing Magazine. Using as inspiration the photos from my seahorse loving friend Laurie, I want to tell a story that captures the mystery of living underwater. No matter the outcome of my submission, I'm sure to have fun with all these wonderful treasures that will take me to magical places under the sea and call to mind sunnier days!

If you can't escape the cold this fall and winter, maybe uncovering some of your own summer treasures in your bead stash and piecing together memories will bring you warmth and fun :)

P.S. To explore a special underwater place for inspiration, check out this amazing Youtube video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium called The Secret Lives of Seahorses.


  1. What a great idea! I am also usually behind in the submissions. They are so far out that I am not prepared to switch gears...but I like that you are keeping summer alive in your corner of the world with your seahorse themed piece. I will look forward to seeing it in Summer Stringing because I just know that it will be there! Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. how perfect! can't wait to see what you creat, i'm sure it will be amazing.

  3. Fantastic pieces! I can't wait to see what you create with all those.

  4. Wonderful! Look forward to seeing your submission in Stringing!

  5. haha! Now I'm realizing that I've put my intention out there and now I'm committed :) Thanks for encouraging me along. This is definitely helpful as I play with these glorious beads.


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