Saturday, April 19, 2014

7th Do Over Challenge

Although this is the 7th Do Over Challenge, this is my first time participating.  

Here is the necklace that Jeannie sent me to "do over."

Here is my new piece.

I took a beaded piece I made for another challenge, ran wire through the center of it and wire wrapped some pearls to the ends.  I then attached the lovely wire-wrapped pearls Jeannie created (there was no way I could take apart that perfect pearl chain!) and created a lovely bracelet that feels really nice on my wrist.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and thank you Jeannie for creating such a fun challenge! Please check out how the rest of the participants reworked their pieces from Jeannie. I won't have time today or tomorrow, but I will hopping like the Easter Bunny on Monday. ;-)


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Focus on Life 2014 -- Week 12 -- Expression

Once again, I am behind in my Focus on Life adventure.  I have most of my pics ready to go, but finding time, and ahem-remembering-ahem, to post them on my blog seems to be a big problem.  I'm working on it though, and I'm here today, pretty much on time, with my picture for the week.  Go me! ;-)

Week Twelve:  Expression

My kiddos expressing themselves through music.  I could watch their beautiful, creative hands all day!


See more expressions below ...

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Focus on Life 2014 -- Week 6 -- Quiet Calm

Week Six:  Quiet Calm

Waiting for my deck chairs to emerge from their wintry blanket.
This girl is ready for Spring ...


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Focus on Life 2014 -- Week 5 -- Get Outside!

Week Five:  Get Outside!
My first response to this week's prompt was:  NO!!!!!  The small, but constant, bouts with snow and the paralyzing Polar Vortex were enough to contend with on a minimal and only-as-necessary basis.  But to go outside on purpose?  NO!!!!!

But then one night, while checking outside for a package, I saw these sweet little bunnies, sheltering themselves from the wind, hunkered down in front of our house for the night.  Their bodies were as still as could be upon seeing me, while their fur was in perpetual motion from the strong wind.  I didn't want to disturb them by taking a flash photo, so I just let them be, but I couldn't get the image of them out of my mind. The next day, when I went to grab the paper, instead of finding bunnies, I found remnants of their presence ... four little bum prints with accompanying piles of thanks-for-the-hospitality droppings.  Ha!

(Two of the four bum prints ...)

(bum prints three and four ...)

The real gift they gave me, however, was the opportunity to spy these little red buds on our bushes that I had never noticed before.  The picture below is my favorite ... I love the depth of it and the off-center focus.  I also love the untouched snow and lack of droppings!

Thanks for dropping by!  (Pun absolutely intended!!!)


Monday, January 27, 2014

Focus on Life 2014 -- Weeks Three and Four -- B/W Selfie and Word

Week Three:  Black and White Selfie

That's me and my halo ... a bit askew I know, but I'm working on that. ;-)

Week Four:  Word

My daughter crocheted this for me (knowing just the single crochet stitch and without using a pattern) five years ago when she was just ten.  It is one of my most prized possessions.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

30 Words Thursday -- Red Sky in the Morning

“Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.”
Sure, that’s one way of looking at it.
I prefer the “Look-at-that-gorgeous-sky!!!” mentality of right now!
 A perfect, visually blissful moment in time.

If you'd like to share a picture and write about it using exactly 30 words, (or if you want to see what others have shared) please go to Treasures Found for "30 Words Thursday" details.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Focus on Life 2014 -- Week Two -- The Silhouette

Week Two:  The Silhouette

I am obsessed with the sky and I am constantly taking photos of it with my cell phone.  I take more pictures of the sky than of anything else.  The quality is not as great as I would like it to be, but I love how the sun lights up the clouds and causes the silhouettes of the trees to be so beautifully detailed!


Sunday, January 05, 2014

Focus on Life 2014 -- Week One -- The Minimalist Photograph

Happy New Year everyone!  I'm starting the New Year with a new, lighter look for my blog and a renewed determination to fully participate in Sally Russick's Focus on Life 2014.  I didn't get very far last year, but I hope to do better this year.  Scratch that.  I WILL do better this year ... even if I miss a week here or there, I'm committed to the project.

Week One:  The Minimalist Photograph

Once again this year I've chosen to go the Ali Edwards' One Little Word(SM) route versus the New Year's resolution route. I've been doing this since 2011 and my words so far have been RECEIVE, SPARKLE and ACTION.  This year, my word is HEART and already I'm feeling its positive energy.  Last year's word burned me out because I took ACTION with me everywhere I went and never -- EVER -- said NO to anything.  It was a great word, but I never really tethered it to anything.  I guess that's why I often felt like a balloon spinning around the room as the air within was released.  I guess it's also why I ultimately spent a bit of time rocking back and forth in a corner and pretty much disappearing for a while.

I'm much better now and ready for all the wonderful things that 2014 has to offer.  This year, however, I'm focusing mostly on those things that speak to my heart.  If I stay true to my word, I have a feeling it's going to be a fantastic year!

Wishing you all the very best in 2014!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Echo Creative Club -- December 2013 Reveal

♫ "I'm so glad we had this time together,
Just to have a laugh, or sing a song.
Seems we just get started and before you know it,
Comes the time we have to say, 'So long.'" 

Thank you Jeannie for letting me be a part of your Echo Creative Club these past two years.  I am grateful for your generosity and the opportunity to create with your beautiful art beads.  I hope you like this last piece.  It's called Sedona's Magic Carpet.

December Blog Hop

Dagi --  http://www.kokopellidesign,
Jeannie K Dukic -- http://site,
Lola Surwillo --
Maureen Connolly --

Echo Creative Club Jewelry By Jeannie
Echo Creative Club
Flickr group

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013 Echo Creative Club -- December Sneak Peek

Welcome to my last hurrah for the Echo Creative Club.  I will be turning this "awesome blossom" into either a piece of jewelry or a Christmas ornament for Jeannie's December Echo Creative Club reveal coming up on the 25th. Stop back then and see which way my creative muse decided to go. In the meantime, there are only six Gin Blossoms left for sale (and ON SALE) here.  There WERE eight earlier today, but I bought two for myself ... sorry peeps! ;-)


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Birthday Challenge 2 -- Happy Birthday Therese!

I have never, ever, ever, ever, EVER missed a design challenge deadline ...


Until today ...

Earlier this month my sister's husband passed away very suddenly and I have been there for her these past few weeks. As the big sister (in more ways than one I'm afraid) I was hyper focused on her needs and everything else just sort of slipped away.

Therese, I am so honored to be a part of your birthday celebration and I'm very sorry for not being able to create something with the beautiful, handmade cab you created for me for the hop today. I know you'll understand because that's the kind of friend you are, but I'm still so very sad about not properly participating.

Happy Birthday Therese!  Wishing you a year that is overflowing with love, joy and happiness!

Blog Hop Participants:
Lola (you are here)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop

I miss my kiddos being little and trick-or-treating. I miss the dreaming of who or what they would want to be, the layering of the bits and pieces of their costumes and the rummaging through the treasure of candy at the end. So I made my own little trick-or-treaters ... aliens for my earlobes. They're sweet yet sugar free! ;-) The green and orange "body" is a glass art bead by Robert Jennick.

Happy Halloween!

Blog Hop Participants:
Diana Ptaszynski (our delightful hostess ... thanks Diana!)

Kathleen Breeding

Dianne Miller

Lisa Liddy

Toltec Jewels

Laura Medeiros

Veralynne Malone

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Stephanie LaRosa

Lola Surwillo (you are here)

Nicole Valentine Rimmer

Sarajo Wentling

Dawn M. Gallop

Friday, September 27, 2013

Polymer Clay Collective -- Conversations

I belong to a group on Facebook called the Polymer Clay Collective. People of all creative levels gather there to talk about and share their love of polymer clay and the beads, figurines, jewelry, and art created with it.  We recently started a feature within the group called “Conversations” for the purpose of getting to know one other better. Today is my day to share answers to the feature questions …

Tell us a bit about where you live.

I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin ~ home of the annual Bead and Button Show! Although I’ve always found the bead show to be quite awesome, it wasn’t until last year, when I had the opportunity to meet online friends in person and make new friends along the way, that I realized how incredibly lucky I was to live so close to this show!

Beyond beads and buttons, Milwaukee truly is a “Great Place by a Great Lake.” We are known for our Beer (Miller), Brats (Usinger’s and Klement’s ), Racing Sausages,

Cheese Curds (if they’re the right consistency and temperature, they squeak against your teeth as you bite into them =), Friday Night Fish Fry, Summerfest Music Festival, and all things Harley-Davidson, just to name a few.

We're also known for hosting all four seasons, the current one being my favorite.

The Fall Firework Finale as I like to call it, is that time of year when many trees explode with color and give you ample time to enjoy and soak in their beauty before disappearing under a blanket of white snow … which can also be quite beautiful … sometimes.

What do you do when you’re not polymer claying?

I’m a mom to three teenagers and a wife to one incredibly supportive husband. I chauffeur, cook, clean, read (I’m a self improvement junkie with many, MANY necessary renovation projects in the works), make jewelry, crochet, embarrass my kids, laugh a lot and enjoy the company of my dear sweet family and friends whenever possible. I’m currently in the process of looking for fulfilling part-time employment … easier said than done I’m afraid

What did you want to be when you were little and do you think you ever will be?

All my life I’ve wanted to be an entertainer … a singer, actress, comedian … anything would do, really. Unfortunately, every opportunity I had to fulfill my dream always seemed to result in memory loss, lips so quivery they were visible from the back of the room, or the annihilation of each and every sentence I attempted to speak. Put me in front of a roomful of friends and I will totally rock it! Put me in front of a roomful of strangers and, assuming I have not passed out, I will most certainly come across as dazed and confused. So, do I think I’ll ever become a performer? Believe it or not, I do still secretly hope that one day I will have enough courage (liquid or otherwise) and, more importantly, enough good material to do an open mike night or something just to say I did it. I promise to let you know when I do …

Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know.

I wore an eye patch on my glasses for nearly a year to eliminate the double vision caused by Graves Disease before having surgery to correct it.

(I recently found a photo of me wearing this patch, but then somehow managed to lose it again -- you'll just have to use your imagination as to the beauty I was to behold.)  As you can see, it looks JUST like a beige toilet seat lid and it completely intrigued those around me. Some tried to spy the gross disfigurement they envisioned behind that toilet seat lid. Others were so sweet, always offering to help me with my groceries and such. I had to decline knowing they might just freak out seeing me get behind the wheel of a car.   Mostly, however, people made poop and potty jokes … every … single … day.

The good news regarding the eye patch is that the lack of depth perception improved my pool, bowling and dart games tenfold. (I was quite the bar athlete back then!) My volleyball and baseball teammates, however, eagerly awaited the repair of that bum eye!

Tell us your polymer clay story: What made you first try polymer clay and how long has PC been a part of your life?

Polymer clay has been a part of my life since 2012 when I began participating in Jeannie Dukic’s Echo Creative Club. Although I had been making jewelry for years, it wasn’t until 2011 that I really starting learning about art beads and getting to know different bead artists from different mediums. In late 2011 Jeannie put out a call for designers who were interested in participating in her Echo Creative Club by designing with and blogging about her polymer clay art beads. From the moment I received my first art bead from Jeannie – a beautiful gin blossom – I fell in love.

After designing with her pieces, I wanted to try my hand at creating my own polymer clay beads. I loved conditioning the clay with my hands in the beginning because I didn’t really know what to do with it beyond that! I loved making molds, making clay pieces with the molds, and then squishing them all back together again because I sooooo wasn’t ready to commit to the permanence of baking them! Now I use a pasta machine for the conditioning process and actually even bake some of my pieces. ;-) I'm still, however, very much a PC newbie … there’s just so much to learn!

What’s your favorite PC technique?

Anything “organic” that requires a minimal amount of precision. =)  Mokume gane is awesome too!

What are your art/design inspirations?

I don't know that any one thing or group of things inspires me, but I love working within a color palette, as well as with art beads and gemstones.

Show us something you’ve made with polymer clay:

My clay pieces ...

Jewelry made with my favorite art bead of Jeannie's -- the gin blossom:

Question from Elsie Deliz-Fonseca: What is your favorite polymer clay creation and why?

My favorite polymer clay creation is a bracelet I made for a blog hop a little over a year ago and is a bracelet I often wear.  I love the rich colors!


If you’re still here and reading this, thank you so much for sticking with me! In two weeks, on October 10th, Ginger Davis Allman will be our “conversationalist” and I am so looking forward to getting to know her. I’m a huge fan of her work and have several of her tutorials on my wish list! My question to her is: What kind of creative routines or rituals do you have?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Echo Creative Club -- August 2013 Reveal

♫ "Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?" 

Turquoise Birdie -- See all the other available colors here.

Thank you Jeannie for yet another opportunity to play with one of your lovely little works of art!  I love the details of this birdie -- the clever heart wing and the teeny tiny yellow beak!  Oh so sweet! 

August Blog Hop
Lisa Lodge
Lola Surwillo

Echo Creative Club Jewelry By Jeannie
Echo Creative Club
Flickr group