Thursday, February 28, 2013

Warmer Days and Bright Flowers

Volume 10 Issue 3, March 2013
What's New in March?
The palette of grey and white has given way to the use of more colors in my bead and flower creations. While I thoroughly enjoy the winter colors, I am somehow drawn to bright pinks, purples and blues these days. They are showing up in much of my newly beaded jewelry. The days are longer and the sun is shining brighter on the sparkling snow. These days are still cold, but the air is starting to get a spring feel to it.
We had one day that was warm enough to get out and do a little hiking in some of the surrounding rocks. This was taken at a state park in the area of Butte, MT. This area is full of large rocks such as you see here. There was a lot of snow still on the ground and it was certainly a crisp day, but even at 6,000 feet, the air had the hint of spring in it. This is Pipestone State Park and I will write an article about this when we can get to the top to ring the rocks!
In time for spring, these little flower beads are perfect for showing off the fresh new colors of the season.
As you can see, I went all out with the colors and have enjoyed having these colors on my work bench. This bracelet, along with 14 others are all in the Simply Montana shop in the Gallatin Valley Mall at the moment. I have created dozens of other beads similar to use for online.
Between a box of brightly colored beads and strands of beaded necklaces, my work bench is in full bloom!
Canes: Bright colored flowers and some crazy geometric shapes are showing up in my flower canes these days. I am loving the swirls, squiggles and wild color combinations!
Necklaces: The bright colors of the beads used to create earrings and bracelets for Simply Montana were the inspiration for the newest colors and creations used in necklaces for online.
My website has been the focus of my attention and it is newly updated with all my latest beads and canes. Newsletter readers can take 30 percent off by using coupon code TY30
I have them in my Artfire studio, my Etsy shop and my
Until next month,
Julie & Blu
Things to Look Forward To:
New Products:
New Beads—Euro Style handmade polymer clay large hole beads to fit the popular cable bracelets.
New Bracelets— Because I have set up shop in the Gallatin Valley Mall
in the Simply Montana shop, I have been creating beads and all the goodies
that went with that for a solid month. I needed to stock the shelves, so I
added 14 bracelets, 14 sets of beads, 14 flower earrings and tons of my
novelty earrings. Lots of bright spring colors in my studio theses days!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Purity and Innocence

A white stretch of expanse as far as the eye can see. It is untouched by humans or animals and when the sun hits it, it glistens and glitters in iridescent shimmers of tiny points of light. A fresh snowfall is pristine and adds brilliance to the landscape.

These are the same reasons that designers use white in their designs. The symbolism of purity is portrayed in the color white. White is sanitary and clean, fresh and wholesome and was once the only color that nurses and doctors wore to emphasize the cleanliness of their profession and evoke trust in their skills and abilities.

White is used to symbolize freshness and bridal innocence.

When white enters a design, it brings a spaciousness to the design. There are no hard borders and the design is free to open up and encompass its’ surroundings. A white space around an element draws the eye into the element. An all white piece of jewelry, such as a strand of pearls, provides the eye with simple pleasure. There is no thinking when the eye is drawn to a string of pearls. It is pure in shape and design while pleasing to the eye. The use of a contrasting black dress makes the simple white design dramatic and classic.

White is used with other colors to tone them down. When white is mixed with any color, you get pastels. The white used in a design brings the other colors into focus without overwhelming the eye with too much of a good thing. White and shades of white temper a design. It brings harmony into a design and draws together all the colors of the color wheel. It represents deep winter designs as well as spring flowers. It brings contrast to both an autumn and a summer palette.

White makes a great stabilizer, while being able to hold its’ own in a design consisting of only white. White frames other colors and designs. It opens up space and allows light into a design.

Pearls, mother of pearl, quartz, stone, marble and so many other natural materials are shades of white and utilized in design.

Designers use white to create the mood they are looking for when creating a piece of jewelry, clothing, photograph or other artistic endeavor.

These artists have used white in their designs as an expression of the mood they wanted to achieve.


Freshwater Pearls Glass Gold Seed Beads


16 and a half inch Cobalt Blue Renaissance White Glass Pearl Necklace


Flower Bouquet hand stamped blank greeting card 219


    Handmade "Rag" BurpCloths and Matching Blanket-Geometric Floral


    White Jade with Pink Seed Bead Earrings


    Night Light with Blue and Yellow Millefiori Flowers on White Base OOAK


    Little Girls Skirt - Blue and White Lattice and Lace with Flowers


    White glass pearls two long strands earrings magnetic clasp gift box


    White Formal Tablecloth Embroidered Grapes And Leaves Fringed 48x86


    Pink Rose Flower Lampwork Glass Earrings Handmade Swarovski Crystals


    Snow White Natural Coral Graduated Necklace



    Nested Heart Puzzle - Three hearts in On


    Handmade Necklace Multi Strand Pink and White Vintage Enamel Flower


    Amethyst Chip Porcelain Bead and Crystal Multi Wrap Bracelet


    Etched Bead Black And White Geometric Handmade Lampwork Glass Focal


    Wire Wrapped Eagle Eye Agate Pendant, Quartz and Glass Bead Necklace


    Hand Knit White Wave Lace Mini Washcloth or Dishcloth


    Antique Postcard Beautiful Swans Swimming on a Lake with Lily Pads - Pond - 1909


    Vintage Chunky Bangel Bracelet - White - Swirl - Retro


    White Beaded Bracelet with Polka Dots, Swarovski Pearls, Toggle Clasp


    Pink Doves and White Mother Of Pearl Gemstone Necklace


    Emerging Love - Hand Spun Spirit Cord - Handmade with Love


      Abstract Dichroic Fused Glass Double Bail Jewelry Pendant on White


      White Pearls and Antique Copper Toggle Bracelet


      Three Flowers Blooming in Yellow, Red and Green, Tile


      Hearts and Swirls Framed Wood Wall Art Handcrafted from Oak Plywood


      Chunky Handmade Necklace Snow Quartz Zebra Jasper Gemstone OOAK


      Hand Painted Pastoral Scene on Wood Beads, Coral, Mother of Pearl


      As you can see from the many uses of white in a design, the differences are dramatic. Whether alone or with another color, white is an integral part of any design or artistic endeavor. White is a versatile addition to any composition and should be considered when designing.

      If you are interested in other designs by these artists, they have showcased a wide variety of their designs for Mother’s Day gifts in this blog post:

      That post will also take you to their individual studios and shops on the web.

      Enjoy all that is white!

      Julie and Blu

      Tuesday, February 26, 2013

      Buffalo Bump and Bacon Pizza

      A buffalo bump is a really great little pizza joint down the road from where I am staying. This pizza is way too expensive for what you get, but I have discovered that I adore bacon pizza. The pizza is on a great wheat crust with lots of greasy bacon, pepperoni and sausage. My better half eats a healthier pizza than I do and insists upon his half be covered in vegis with a touch of sausage. While I enjoy a great pizza with onions and green peppers, the thought of having my side slathered in bacon seems so right to me.

      There is no benefit from the wheat crust when the pizza is covered in bacon, but since I have one of these pizzas maybe twice a year, I am good with this.

      While the name of the place is Buffalo Bump Pizza, the name Buffalo Bump is really a description of an event that requires a vehicle and an irate bison. These can both be found within the confines of Yellowstone National Park.

      Yellowstone consists of over 3,400 square miles of parkland. This park wanders between the boundaries of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. It has one road that is part of the parkway, which is a large figure 8 that loops along the perimeter of the park with the center going through the middle. All this land and a relatively small roadway makes viewing wildlife a challenge at times. You would think that there would be little interaction between herds of bison, elk and antelope simply because of the size of the park.

      Not so. The bison apparently are not happy unless they are wandering along the highway, standing in the middle, milling about and generally stopping traffic. The thing about bison, like elk, is that they are extremely large animals capable of doing a lot of damage to cars and people.

      Ranger stations throughout the park, including the entrances, will tell you to leave them alone. They can become dangerous and people have died screwing with the wildlife.

      Do people listen? Nope, of course not. Check YouTube for videos of people and bison.

      Since the bison are herding animals that mill about on the roadways, it is no wonder that the term Buffalo Bump came to mean the smashing of vehicles by irritated bison. The bison are huge animals that can easily destroy a vehicle. Do not let the size fool you; they are quick and can run over 40 mph, which makes them a lot faster than me.

      Bison are not tame cows and people seem to forget that when they see them crossing the roads in the park.

      We were on one of our adventures at the park and came to a halt along with several other vehicles as a herd passed over the roadway. We had Blu with us and he was in the back of the Blazer behind my seat. He was sitting and watching the herd pass by while I took photos, fully aware that some of these guys were getting bit too close to the truck.

      Blu seemed to think it was a good idea to let them know they were too close by loudly barking his displeasure.


      I know that I had some kind of big-eyed moment when he started barking. I was just sure that these two walking by the truck were going to turn and ram into the door. They can do some damage and the last thing you want is those horns shoved through the thin sheet metal door.

      But, they passed quietly and we sat very still while waiting for the herd to pass. They had little ones with them, which made them even more dangerous.




      Driving through bison herds is never a good idea and the best thing to do to avoid a buffalo bump is to let them pass while quietly waiting. Here is someone’s story who did not heed the warnings from all the good people at the park and suffered the consequences.


      I will have my buffalo bump with bacon please and thank you.

      Julie and Blu

      Monday, February 25, 2013

      Checked in Today! Guild Men's Jewelry Design by Pamela Bead Jewelry

      This is a good read on how to design men's jewelry 

      Checked in Today! Guild Men's Jewelry Design by Pamela Bead Jewelry: Hi, I enjoy making beaded jewelry for girls, women, and men. As a woman, making necklaces, earrings, and bracelets for girls and women is ...

      Thursday, February 21, 2013

      Buffalo Jumps and Cooled Lava

      I am told by the locals that no one calls them buffalo; they are bison. This is understandable since the first settlers dubbed them buffalo based upon the known water buffalos and African buffalos, even though it is a completely different animal. The bison that wander the western plains and ranges of the United States are the same animal that the Native Americans hunted. These massive animals are migratory and they trekked up and down the mountains and valleys of the west. Their migratory paths went as far north as the Great Bear Lake in Canada to Durango.

      The use of bison in both cultural events and for survival by the American Natives is well documented in both photos and in petroglyphs that depict hunts and other art relating to the bison. The bison was honored as a source of food, warmth and heat. When a bison hunt began, the hunting party would use the natural landscape of the area to aid them in the hunt.

      The purpose of what is now known as a buffalo jump was to drive a herd of bison off the cliff to their ultimate demise. The members of the hunting party not given the task of driving the buffalo over the edge were in charge of finishing the kill and keeping order on the ground. Skilled runners ran the bison over by appearing in animal skins and running at the herd in order to create a panic.

      These hunts were extremely important in creating a reserve of food and clothing in order to survive the cold western winters. The bison kept the people fed and the bison were honored for their contribution to the survival of the people.

      I took off and went to visit a local buffalo jump that is fighting for funding from the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission. They did get a bit of outside funding to help them to stay open for a bit longer, but it is a lone spot in the Madison River Valley that requires a lot of driving to get to. The jump is far from the opposite of the gulch that the people set up their teepee rings. I did not hike to the top because it was late in the day, and I had already been hiking in another part of the area, so it was time to pack up.

      This image is compliments of the state park website that shows the top of the jump from the information shelter. I only hiked to the shelter and my photos were not very good, so I am using the state’s link. This particular jump was used by many different tribes of Native Americans including the Shoshones. The jump was abandoned after the introduction of horses, which made hunting so much easier.

      The cabin that I am renting is located at the bottom of a buffalo jump, which makes this a very interesting little spot in the world. As you can see, the hill behind the cabin is steep and the other side of it is a huge field that goes back towards the Spanish Peaks mountain range. It is more than 15 miles to the mountains, but the land is relatively flat, which would give the hunters a great place to pick up speed. The hill is rather short in length; it goes behind the cabin and over into the next property for several acres, but it is steep the entire length of the ridge.


      When this cabin was built, the owner excavated untold number of arrowheads and buffalo teeth. The teeth are still visible as I have found them under the front porch when I was gathering up hanging pots for my summer flowers. The owner has a collection of these arrowheads; all of which consist of obsidian rock, giving the cabin the name Obsidian Point.

      Obsidian is a result of cooled lava, which is extremely understandable since I am currently residing in an area that is a result of Yellowstone’s crazy geological activity. Obsidian breaks easily, creating sharp points that are utilized in tools and arrows. It is glass and not a rock. Way cool, huh?

      It does not take much to entertain me and these historic events simply cause me to have a lot of wow moments. I can stand in the front yard and imagine the hunters driving the bison over the cliff and the rest of the people involved celebrating the hunt. When I first found the tooth, it really brought the history alive for me and made it much more than a story.

      I cannot wait to see what spring brings; maybe I will find an obsidian point!

      Julie and Blu

      Wednesday, February 20, 2013

      Black is Always a Classy Choice

      Black is used in designs to create contrast because our eyes are trained to see things in contrast. The contrast of colors creates a moment of intense focus that we enjoy for a variety of reasons.

      Black is used to represent drama and to bring life to lighter colors, like yellows or white. Black is a solid color with a sturdy steadiness to it. It is solid and stable.

      Black is dominant and can overwhelm if too many dark colors are used. It is best to not use black on black, unless of course, you are Morticia in The Addams Family. Then it works perfectly fine with a pale white bone china face.

      Black can stand alone, but it really deserves a companion color that will enhance it and make a statement. If it is paired with red, it is very classy and a little bit naughty. If you pair it with white, it leaves no room for compromise. It is, after all, black and white.

      While too much black can become overwhelming, such as in mourning, there is no reason not to use black in designs that are created for evening wear or for demanding attention. The color black is a perfect accent to bright metals, like gold or silver.

      In clothing, it is slimming and dressy. It is perfect when there is somewhere to go that demands elegance. It is not welcoming or warm, so if you are in a standoff mood, dress in black and keep everyone away from you. They will, however, admire you from afar and murmur about your “chic-ness”.

      Enjoy these back in black classic examples from our Mother’s Day selections. Mom needs something classy for her elegant days.

      As you can see, these examples show how many different ways that black can be used in design.


      Bamboo Garden Dichroic Glass Pendant and Earrings Set



      Black Onyx Dangle Earrings, Betel Nut Beads,

      Earthy Elegance, Handmade



      Annealed wire Pendant with Cat Eye Gem


      Bracelet, black and white, lava, shell


      Large black tan brown maple leaf glazed

      ceramic leather cord pendant


      Sterling Bali Beads and Black Obsidian

      Gemstone Choker Necklace


      Antique Yemen Silver Inlay Black Coral Prayer Beads


      Amazonite Black Onyx Rhodium Pewter Sterling Silver Earrings



      Tektites White Agate Rhodochrosite Gemstone

      Necklace Handmade OOAK


      Tourmaline Black Agate Gemstone Carved Moon Necklace


      Black and White Rectangle Fused

      Glass Post Earrings, Sterling Silver


      Black and white Swarovski crystal beaded hoop earrings


      Vintage Napier Earrings -

      Round, Black, Rhinestone, Goldtone


      Black Lava Necklace Volcanic Gemstone

      Silver Toggle Handcrafted


      Black Obsidian and White Howlite Multi Wrap

      Gemstone Bracelet


      Yin Yang Polymer Clay Pendant with Gem Stones,

      Black and White


      Black Onyx Olive Green Agate with

      Crystal and Copper Pendant Necklace


      Black and White Tablecoth Hand Fringed,

      Reversible, 52x67


      Handmade black pearl necklace with

      Swarovski crystal silver 17 inch


      Hand Knit Black and White Playful Plaid

      Dishcloth or Washcloth


      White Flower Earrings on Black with

      Siam Red Swarovski Crystals Dangle


      As you can see, black is perfect with or without other colors, but each additional color gives black a new meaning. Give mom something classy and then take her somewhere elegant.


      Enjoy and share

      Julie and Blu