Challenges and Collaborations

The Kalmbach Bead Soup Party

by Cindy on November 9, 2012


Today I have a little something to share – a project made for the Kalmbach Bead Soup Party.  As you may know, Kalmbach is the publisher of Lori Anderson’s recently released book, Bead Soup.  I was happy to contribute jewelry designs to the book and had fun participating in the publisher’s party as well.

Bead stores across the U.S. contributed bead sets to the publisher and jewelry designers were randomly selected to participate.  I received a generous set of beads from Studio Baboo, a bead store in Charlottesville VA. Coincidentally I’ve been to this great shop in person – on one of our family treks to visit the University of VA, where my brother attended medical school.  Never thought one day I’d be making a piece of jewelry sent to me by this bead store – just amazing how things turn out on the path of life.

My received a beautiful, Fall-colored bead soup with a stone (Jasper?) focal, crystals, seed beads, a golden toggle clasp and all sorts of pearls.  I used many of the beads and also added beads from my own stash.


I recently found the most incredible 1953 dress form while antiquing in Hagerstown, MD.  I have my husband to thank – and will share the story one of these days when I do a dress form blog hop.  I’ve been dreaming of doing one for some time – so stay tuned!  I dressed up the flat stone focal with a little sweetness factor – a few of my favorite carved mother of pearl roses and some wire wrapping.  I then went to town adding multiple strands of pearls in all sizes.


Thanks, Kalmbach and Studio Baboo for this fun challenge!  Looking forward to seeing more of the Kalmbach Bead Soup creations on their FB page!

– Cindy


The Do Over Challenge

by Cindy on April 23, 2012

Time for another fun jewelry challenge!  Today’s challenge?  The “Do Over”  hosted by Jeannie Dukic!  How’s this for a great idea:  Jeannie sent us a piece of jewelry that she made in her early days that she no longer intends to sell.  We were to take the piece of jewelry and run with it.   It was interesting anticipating what she would send !  Let me show you what came my way….

Well now I thought the necklace I received was pretty as it was!  I had plenty of  yellow jade nuggets, a  silver-colored ring, and coral sticks to work with.

Now on to how I reinvented this piece!  I didn’t have the heart to cut apart all of those yellow jade wire-wrapped links, so I decided to work with them.  I doubled them up as two strands in the back of the necklace.  I played around with the placement of the silver ring, but in the end, I kept it in the center.  I coiled wire around the ring to add some texture, and added a cluster of beads with a sterling silver leaf. Everything was then oxidized.

The necklace is now shorter and has additional color with the turquoise beads, but yet keeps the Southwestern look.

If you would like to join Jeannie’s next Do Over Challenge, you can find all of details right here!  Now on to visit the other participants….. I’m looking forward to seeing their Before and After pieces too!


Cilla Watkins

Michelle Mach

Alesha Conklin

Molly Alexander

Cindy Wimmer  (You are here!)

Mary Govaars

Marlene Cupo


Charlene Jacka

Julia Johnson

Carolyn Lawson

Pamela Orians

Linda Younkman

Shelly Joyce

Judy Riggs

Cary Scholes

Shaun Mullin

Thanks, Jeannie, for a fun challenge!  And thank YOU for visiting today –



Wrapped, Stacked & Layered Challenge

by Cindy on April 21, 2012

Tracy Statler of Make Bracelets issued a challenge, one that caught the eye of many of us in this jewelry community.  We were challenged to make a collection of bracelets, stacked-wrapped-and-layered – sound like fun?  In Tracy’s words:

The trend of wrapped, stacked and layered bracelets has been around for awhile and it shows no signs of stopping!  Bracelets of all kinds mixed together in new and unique ways are bigger than ever. The coolest part is this bracelet layering Paloozza can be adapted for all styles!


For my stacked, wrapped & layered bracelet collection, I narrowed down the daunting realm of possibilities by picking a color scheme and components that I knew I wanted to work with.  I paired both bronze and brass metals with mother of pearl to create an eclectic yet cohesive grouping of bracelets.  This was the perfect opportunity for me to try a few new techniques – it was like each bracelet was a mini lab experiment.


After taking the mesh bangle class last weekend at Bead Fest, I was interested in seeing what SilverSilk was all about out on the showroom floor.  Now we didn’t use SilverSilk in class, but rather vintage mesh chain.  The Silver Silk chain is somewhat similar though and is made with very fine knitted wire.  They offered a kit that is much like the leather wrap bracelets that are popular now.  I loved this alternative – incorporating wire rather than the traditional leather version…I added a bronze wire hook clasp.


In this next set of bracelets, I did use a bit of faux suede and knotted it with new brass beads I bought last weekend from Hands of the Hills.  The clasp is plump, round antique button.  For the wire bangle, I attached a vintage mother of pearl buckle to a piece of half-round red brass wire that was first tumbled smooth.


I love how this next bracelet turned out…what could be better – the combination of sari silk ribbon and old rhinestone chain!  If you’d like to learn how to make a braided bracelet like this, check out the fabulous tutorial on Miss Lovie’s blog right here.


I just had to mix in some straight wirework.  I used brass wire for this bangle, along with new rose bud components from Hands of the Hills (can you tell I spent a bit of time in their booth at Bead Fest?).  You can find my tutorial to make a similar wire bangle in Denise Peck’s book, Wire Style 2.


I really had fun with this next bangle.  I’m drawn to jewelry that combines old bits and pieces with a touch of fiber.  In this bracelet, I used a brass strip as the base to stitch old mother of pearl and rhinestone buttons.  I even stitched on a few seed beads.  That’s what I loved about this challenge – the excuse to purposely mix things up!


Thank you, Tracy, for hosting this FUN challenge!

The list of Challenge participants – let’s see how everyone stacked and layered their bracelets!  (you are here!)

Thank you for stopping by!

– Cindy