Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Year in Review 

Hello friends!  My last blog post was in the summer just before our big move to North Carolina. A lot has happened, and I am glad, to say the least, that it is all done.  We are here. I decided to write a little year end review for my family, friends and my jewelry peeps.  

It has been a whirlwind of a year.  Starting at the end of January, finding out my husband, Kevin was on a layoff list at Lockheed Martin.  Within months we were signing the contract with Honda Jets, and our move process began. With the uncertainty of landing a job in Atlanta, Kevin's desire to get out of defense, (where he had spent his entire engineering career) along with the move package provided by Honda, it was full speed ahead.   

We moved into our house in August, and the boys started school soon after.  Thankfully we have come very far in making our house a home.  Most things are in the right place, and we have done lots of painting and rearranging of furniture to fit in the new spaces. There are still plenty of projects for the future, but amazingly the downstairs is pretty much done!
Finally, all of the things I had been storing, stashing and hiding for a bigger house, have found spaces in our home. 

A little about Greensboro- (There is still a lot to learn!)

Greensboro is a really pretty area to live in, beautiful scenery with a pretty landscape, not much different than Georgia.  It has a small town feel, with all the conveniences of a city.  We live off of a main road named Friendly.  Our neighborhood is called Hamilton Lakes, with well built homes in the70's.  Greensboro's neighborhoods have no official borders, and many were originally villages before they became part of the city of Greensboro. Luckily the 70's decor is long gone, and 2 out of 3 bathrooms have been remodeled recently.    

Life is a little slower here. People take their time with things.  Driving, oh yes, the difference in driving is major!  I am a pretty fast driver, so this is something to get used to. Plus, Atlanta driving is fast and furious!  People here, are not out and about after 10 o'clock on a week night. If you go looking for a bite to eat after 10, many of the restaurants are already closed!  And, you will feel like the only one awake and driving!  Well, I am exaggerating, but you get the idea of the adjustments we have made.  Life in the fast lane to the slow lane.  I am beginning to like it. 

So far we have not made any real friends yet, just some acquaintances.  But it will happen.  Its a friendly neighborhood off Friendly road.  An area where you find "found" signs posted at the end of streets.  Little mini parks at the corners of the neighborhoods with playgrounds up kept by the city of Greensboro or local garden clubs.  A neighborhood with dog depots available to grab a bag when you need it while walking your dog. A place where people walk up and down the street everyday all day long, for exercise.

Honda Jets-  Honda Jets is going extremely well for Kevin.  He is already doing some lead jobs and the management has been telling him how much they like his work. The company is amazing, they are continually giving T-shirts, and lunches for the employees out of the blue. They reach out to the community frequently.  Recently they had all the employees wear pink t-shirts for breast cancer support.  I just cant get used to Kevin wearing a pink T-shirt!

We are all still in transition and I must say we are in a bit of a rough patch, but it will get better with time.  The kids are having trouble adjusting to everything, especially my oldest two. It's nothing that we didn't expect, but it is still difficult nonetheless.  

As 2013 fades away we are very thankful for Kevin's new job, our new house and neighborhood.  We miss Atlanta terribly, we miss our friends. We are thankful for the decisions we made, that everything went fairly smooth. And we are thankful its all over!

Here's to 2014 being a year of meeting and making new friends. My wish for all of you this year is that you deepen your relationships with your friends and families.  I wish you a year filled with PEACE, LOVE and most of all HOPE.

Thank you to all of my family and friends who supported our move to North Carolina.  So many people were of help emotionally, and we so appreciate it. Thank you!

I am finally making plans for BlueAntiquities and my jewelry.  I hope you will check back and see what I am doing!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Moving to North Carolina!

Hello Friends, 

My husband recently took a new job in North Carolina to work for Honda Jets, after working for Lockheed Martin here in Georgia for 16 years.  Yep, Honda car company is making a jet. Check it out here.  The new jet is a private aircraft, highest and best in it's class, a design conceived 40 years ago, and now finally being rolled out for production in Greensboro North Carolina. So, we are a bit exited, and somewhat sad about leaving Atlanta.  We love Atlanta, and have enjoyed our life here, so as you can imagine, mixed emotions for all of us! We have heard nothing but good things about North Carolina and Greensboro, so that makes us feel good about our decision. It is definitely going to be a change of pace from the life we are used to.

"Home is Where the Heart Is"

 “A little happy house is the strongest castle in this whole universe!” 

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”  -Gaston Bachelard

“This is terrific. What a gorgeous kitchen. You've decorated it so beautifully. Now you’re going to have to clear all the counters. Vases. Books. Knickknacks. Get rid of all that stuff. I mean, it is just beautiful. Beautiful. I love what you've done with this house. Make sure you put it all away.” ~Real estate agent (p.76)” 

I pull in the driveway, turn off the truck, and let out a breath. It's raining and I don't want to run in and get all wet carrying my bags.  My garage door opener has not worked in...um...forever.  The thing gave out a long time ago, and well, I never got a new one, why? Just never got to it, and I didn't know where to get a new one because it was an old garage door opener. It came with the house when we bought it 14 years ago.  We don't park in the garage anymore, we've outgrown the house and park our cars in the driveway. We complain about the size of the house and how we need more living space, and of course there is the fix-it list a mile long.  Sound familiar? This is the point where I remind myself that we are blessed to be living in this house, many are suffering around the world and in the states, without a home, or struggling to pay a mortgage. People in third world countries have 10 people living in a one room building with a dirt floor. It always puts things in perspective and makes me appreciate what we do have. 

My kids have grown up in this house, our home in a quiet, small neighborhood in the suburbs of Atlanta. Really, it has been a good house and a great neighborhood for our family.  One wonderful thing that I loved is the the elementary bus stop right is right outside the door!  So, many mornings the kids were able to catch the bus, simply by me turning on the porch light to alert the bus driver, yes, were coming!

That door there, the door with the brass handle and knob that used to be shiny and new and now is grubby, with the kick plate that needs to be replaced. There are a world of memories behind that very door. Two of my kids went from babies to pretty much grown up behind this door.  And my caboose, he has known nothing else.  When I open the door in my mind, a flood of wonderful memories come floating out like butterflies. I can see them, recall them, experience them once again.  Our kids growing up, losing teeth, having birthday parties, summer nights on the deck, heading to the bus stop on the first day, Halloween trick or treating ,14 Christmas trees in our great room, playing in the snow. Years of memories, and fun times.  

And our neighborhood, lots of great memories and friends made in our neighborhood.  Best friends, life long friends, friends that are like family. We will always have the memories and stories to tell, of our neighborhood ( oh some funny stories of our neighborhood, my friend Kimberly will know what I mean) and schools.  The best of times.  Usually, it is a move or the big happenings in life that make you reminisce, make you look back on the chapters of your life, and sum them up.  My husband once told me, that when looking back, we should always remember the good times and memories, not the regrets and negative or "bad" things that are there in the corners of your mind. That advise has always stayed with me.  

We don't know anything about the buyers of our home except it's a family with 2 kids. I hope they will be good neighbors, and love the house and neighborhood like we did. When they walk into their new home, they will have a shiny new door handle and kick plate on the front door waiting for them, and a new garage door opener in hand, with a little note on the counter, saying "Welcome Home!". 

It's been a good house, a good home full of the best of memories! 

Wishing you all the best, and a happy home,  Laura

Friday, April 26, 2013

Welcome to the FINAL Reveal of 2013 
Bead Soup Party!
Charlotte De La Tour Necklace BSBP by Laura Guenther
Sari silk-fibers, ribbon, pearls, pendant,
handmade copper component-"grow"
Be sure to see the bottom of this post for details of my give away!

I was glad to have a little extra time with the postponed date.
A big thank you to Shay for the wonderful soup she sent me!
Visit Shay's Blog HERE for her reveal. I am so excited to see what
she has been cooking with the soup I mailed her!
Oh and please visit my other partner Linda,  who is revealing what
she created as well.  I have been waiting, impatiently!
Click here. Oh I cant wait to see it!

Another huge thank you to the KIND Lori Anderson for her
amazing Bead Soup Parties!

Well, My reveal is all about flowers!
(Scroll down here  to go directly to pictures of my pieces,  : )

Floriography -The Language of Flowers

Last year I read the current fiction book entitled The Language of Flowers. It sparked my interest in the subject.  I did look around for information after finishing the book, but I didn't spend much time on it. With my curiosity tickled again by my green pendant with  purple flowers, (the must use focal!)I had to find out! 
The pendant is so pretty, by the way.
What do purple flowers mean, does it mean your a creative type like I have heard, when you where a purple shirt?  

Anyway, the history behind the language of flowers has some very old roots in Turkey, but generally it began as a literary tradition in Victorian England, France, and then America during varying times in the 1700-1800's.  By the 1800's, the " language of flowers" was a commonly used phrase in Europe.  Hand written lists were circulating in France. Besides the Language of Flowers Book, there were a group of small floral books which had roots in the almanac, an annual publication with a calendar,
think, " Farmers Almanac".

As of late, there is a common thought that there was a set of meanings for flowers that everyone knew. Although the inclination to associate flowers with sentiments is universal, there were many sets of meanings. Which begs me to question, how many women got the wrong message? 
There is also the thought that people used flowers for secret communications, and at first glance there is information that this was so.  But, my further research showed this was not the case.  However, the popularity of the Language of Flowers books and meanings were well loved,
and were used by poets, writers, artists and designers.
 And still today, the language of flowers is a popular topic.
 I found many floral shops, blog postings, and lists on the subject.
 The original books have been
reprinted and can be purchased on Amazon!

A special painting I received
on the day I was finalizing
this floriography post!
Purple Flowers and the Focal Pendant- (See below photos)
The pendant was made by Sharleen Newland 
who sells her beautiful ceramics on Etsy. 
 These flowers are generic, but here
 are some purple flower meanings.

Purple carnation-whimsical
Purple Lilac- first emotion of love
Purple Violet-Daydream

Some flowers on these lists that I viewed during my digging, have 2 sets of meanings. Negative and positive, which begs another question, how would one know which meaning the giver was sending in the sentiment?
 A black ribbon for a negative expression, perhaps?  Ah, kind of fun to imagine.
Shall we add a skull and cross bone charm to the Tussy Mussy? I know, silly thoughts.

Lavender- Devotion- ( Positive) Mistrust (Negative)

It is believed that the all of the Language of Flower books derived
from a book by Louis Cortambert, under the pen name of Madame Charlotte De LaTour.
This was a small book with what seems to be the first dictionary of
flower language.
Charlotte De Latour Necklace

Charlotte De Latour Necklace
Created By Laura Guenther
Partner-Shay Williams
BSBP 2013
Please visit Shaterra Clay Studio, on Etsy You will find wonderful ceramic beads, leather, and pendants.
I wasn't sure what I was going to create with my soup ingredients,until I visited Sharleen's shop.  Her photos and colors are what got me inspired.  I knew I was going to use the pearls, and the pendant, but I didn't know from there, what I would do.  I played with the ingredients for a long while, mixing and matching. It was actually quite fun to look at them in different ways, after being frustrated with myself! With each challenge I am doing, I am realizing I can enjoy the process of ... "How can I?" rather than fight it.

Detail-Copper Bail Component-Grow

I came up with the copper envelope tube component,
(bail thingy! ) because I wanted to tie in the copper chain with the rest of the design. I liked the copper because of its contrast and unexpectability.  Is that a word?
I wore the necklace yesterday for a bit, and it feels really nice on, it has a nice weight, and the
twisted strands hang well together, staying in place.

Bead Soup ingredients- freshwater pearls, blue ribbon cording, and focal pendant.

Floriography Key Chain

Red Daisy-beauty,unknown to possessor
Daisy (general)- innocence, faith, simplicity

For this key chain I added some very old African trade beads, copper, ribbon, and made the chain tassel.
I love these big lobster clasps on key chains and book marks.

Floriography Keychain- BSBP
Laura Guenther-Shay Williams
Bead Soup Ingredients- Large Lobster Clasp, Large copper toned bead, glass beads

Wildflower Dreams Book Mark (Give-Away)
Honey Suckle-Devoted affection
Wildflower Dreams Bookmark
BSBP 2013
Laura Guenther-Shay Williams

Bead Soup ingredients- Purple, clear, green glass beads, 
silver "Dreams 're made of love" connector.

If you would like to participate in my Give Away
please follow my blog,  leave a comment on this post, and your entered. 
Contact me if you need help to follow my blog! lkguen@comcast.net  
Sorry for the long post!  Thanks ahead of time for your visits and comments.  I love to hear from everyone, and I value each and every comment, even tho I can't reply to each one. 

I cant wait to see everyone's creations!
All the best! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

~Heart Full of Love~
~The Love Necklace~

I want to share this project with my readers. It's a necklace I
made for a friend on Facebook. 
 I admire this person for several reasons.
The first is her devotion and love to her family.  
She nurtures her nieces, nephews, grand kids, 
and her extended family. 
 She always has positive things to say about other people, and encouraging words
for her friends and family in her posts.

Recently, she lost her oldest son, to unexpected health issues,
on Christmas Eve. He was in his 30's.
 I am amazed at her strength and ability to comfort others in her time of sorrow. 

I wanted to create something in memory of her son. She saw
a pendant similar to this one, and told me, 
this would be perfect,  
and later we began referring to it as "the Love Necklace".

~The Love Necklace~

Her son loved music and I think he was quite an artist himself.
He also loved playing drums, and hanging out with his Mom.

I made the glass tube bead on the left side of this picture
with his name on the outside, and sheet music on the inside. 
 My friend can pull the wire up, and open the vile,
and insert something inside if she wishes to. 
I also created the little music connector with copper, and mica.
~Heart Pendant~ 
Soldered copper, brass wing stamping,
 acid free paper,vintage dictionary text,
brass screw, patina, and resin.

She doesn't know what the final necklace looks like, only that I
was going to create the heart pendant. I hope she likes the design.
The length is adjustable, by the ribbon at the back of the necklace.

(For my jewelry making friends, I struggled with the resin, I have had beautiful results and many bubbles in pieces. I follow all the tips and tricks about bubbles, but there they are! Rats. These were small and really I think they didnt take away from the design. But sometimes a bubble ruins the the piece.
 Do you have this problem?)

I hope this necklace brings a little comfort to her heart.
With Love and Prayers...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

               Bead Soup Blog Party 2013- Reveal 
Welcome Guests and Our Hostess Lori Anderson!
Special Thanks to my Partner Linda!
Linda will be revealing her design in the 3rd reveal here...
Please follow my blog, I will be doing a give away for my next Bead soup Reveal! 
Fossil Feud Necklace
When I was working with my Bead Soup from Linda I began thinking of the Wild West because of the  leather and colors of the beads.  The handmade ceramic focal pendant looks like a fossil unearthed.  This caused me to do a little research.  I ended up learning about the great Fossil Feud which was during the Wild West Days of America.  My first piece is a tribute to the 2 men behind the story.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

Here is the story....

It's the Wild West, in the late 1800's.  The days of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and Buffalo Bill.  It's also the  days of cattle drives, and the last of the buffalo hunts. The great land ownership quest is going on all along the western frontier with white settlers taking advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862.  The California gold rush and the wagon trains on the Oregon trail and others are over.  The fights among the white settlers and the Native American Indians were raw and happening all across the west.

Another fight was going on in the late 1800's that I had not heard of, maybe you have.  The big feud, is now the famous feud of 2 men, and is called The Fossil Feud.  It was between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. They were paleontologists, who amazingly discovered 136 new species of dinosaurs in North America. Previously scientist only new of nine.


The extinct animals that Cope and Marsh introduced to science include many dinosaurs commonly known today, such as Triceratops, Allosaurus, Brontosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus. They also named and cataloged innumerable, long-vanished species of mammals, fish, and birds. Today, more than a century after their great discoveries, the names Cope and Marsh–like Lewis and Clark or Stanley and Livingstone–remain linked together in history books. Unlike these other famous duos, however, Cope and Marsh hated each other with a passion. Cope and Marsh clashed for 20 years as the discoveries of dinosaur and extinct species intensified.

Marsh discovered a site in Como, Wyoming, where there was a mother lode of dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period, a stage in the Mesozoic Era that ended 135 million years ago. In the first year of digging alone, Marsh’s men shipped 30 tons of bones east, including those of Allosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus, Camptosaurus, and many others.

Although the 2 men were known for their hatred of each other, they amazingly discovered so much in a short period of time. The digs were difficult, with harsh climate conditions, and often there were Indians that would would have to be fought off. It's a shame they are known more for the feud between them, rather than the amazing fossils they found, unearthed and showed the world.

Marsh and his crew

Fossil Feud Necklace
I used the blue ceramic rounds, focal pendant, leather and clasp, and a shell bead from my soup.
Can you find the shell bead?
Gorgeous leather and pendant from my sweet partner Linda!
I created 2 components to go with the soup Linda sent.  I took a donut shell bead (from my bead soup) and made it into the vintage looking text bead with the word, " nature".  I also made the glass tube bead that holds the "fossil finds" (chip beads from my soup) of Cope and Marsh.


I was determined to use the leather, since I dont know what I am doing when it come to working with it.  The leather Linda sent was really a nice grade, easy to knot and work with.
I chose the blue beads because they were the only ones with large holes...ah, easy decisions, this is good!

Fossil Feud Necklace BSBP 2013
Laura Guenther-Linda Younkman

Impressionism Bracelets

The term Impressionism is derived from 
Claude Monet's painting, Impression Sunrise.   
I love all of Monet's many paintings.  I really love his painting, 
Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny I decided to use it as inspiration
 for these bracelets, because of his lush display of natural colors.                                                                     

Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny by Claude Monet-1885

For these bracelets, I used the pale green faceted stone beads, the red faceted beads, and the braided leather.  I purchased a magnetic clasp for the wrap bracelet.  Again, this leather is gorgeous, which you can not appreciate from the photos. These look really cool together when worn.  Thank you Linda!!!

I decided to keep this bracelet simple, and I must say
it does really look great on. I am very happy with the 
results.  You can't tell from the picture, but it is a really cool bracelet.
I made the connector to go with the beads from vintage brass, tin
patinas and  mica.

Love this leather!

Thanks for visiting BlueAntiquities!  Enjoy the party!  Be sure to check back for the third reveal.
My partner Linda will be revealing what she created and I will be revealing another bead soup!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bead Soups from My partners

From Linda Younkman I received 2 gorgeous bead soups that can be mixed and matched!

I love all the things Linda sent! Especially the gorgeous leather and focal pendant!

From Shay Williams I received a lovely grouping, with a variety of choices. I love the glass beads and 
the copper beads the most, but everything is pretty!

Thank you Ladies! I am very excited to play with these beads and components!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bead Soups for my Partners

For Linda Younkman

I had already wrapped some of the hand made pieces for Linda before photographing. 
These photos do not do the soup justice, it is a really pretty grouping, at least I think so, and I think Linda does as well. 
 They were some enamel headpins, and a wrapped fabric and wire link.  I made the enamel pendant with the nature design. I also included other focals. 

I am having camera troubles, so not a really good picture, 
but you can basically see what I sent Linda.
There are more beads than what you can see here.
 I was in a hurry to make the post office. 

Bead Soup for Shay 

I created the long floral metal and tin pendant. I added some hand made enamel star headpins, and key hole charm. 

I will post my pictures of the soup ingredients I received, shortly.
Thank you for visiting! I am excited to see what the 
ladies create with these beads and components! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meet my partner for the 3rd reveal! There
was a bit of a mix-up resulting in Shaiha
helping out with an extra partner.
Thank you, kindly.
                               ~Shaiha Williams~
 My second partner is Shaiha of Shaiha Designs, who 
 lives in the beautiful state of Washington.
She writes a fun blog which you can visit here.
 She reads lots of books, loves tea and chocolate and designs jewelry.
I think we will get along!
Shaiha also participates in all
kinds of jewelry challenges and edits books for a living. 
She and her husband have a few pets, I believe. ;)
Check out this amazing multi-layer necklace
she created with freshwater pearls and sterling silver
The wire wrapping on this necklace is so pretty and well done.
I want this to wear with jeans,
and a simple top, either long, or short.
 I love the design placement of the beads, chain and clasp
in this necklace. I like that the beads will
swing back and forth when you wear it.
Shaiha has recently started selling her jewelry online.
You can find it on Goodsmiths
 I have mailed some tasty ingredients to Shaiha, 
I can't wait for her to get them. We are in the last reveal.
Shaiha, I've enjoyed getting to know you,
and I look forward to our

Monday, February 18, 2013

It is time for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party for 2013.
This years event has over 500
jewelry artists from around the world. I am truly excited!
 So, let me introduce you to my partner for the second reveal
on April 6th.
~Lindys Designs~
I have the pleasure of working with Linda Younkman again this year.
 She was my partner last time, and I am thrilled to
work with her again.  She is an incredible lady, involved with many things.
She has an Etsy shop, is an assistant administrator with Artisan Whimsy,
writes a blog, and has 3 children that have all attended SCAD college
in Savannah GA.  I am impressed with her use of color and materials.
She also knits, sews, quilts and does crochet.  Linda has a wonderful spirit and
is an artist at heart, passing down her love for arts and crafts to her children.
Linda has an amazing family life!
She is retired, travels with her husband, and her family 
supports her in her jewelry endeavors, going with her,
when finding local bead shops while traveling.
She has beautiful pieces for sale  now in her Etsy shop.
I am inspired by her use of leather and her amazing bracelets.
She has added some skills since our last BSBP! I
got lost in her ETSY shop for
awhile checking out her

This orange weaved bracelet is amazing!
I want it! ;)

These 2 pieces are lovely with color and choice of materials,
don't ya think?

I really like this bracelet. It has great tribal appeal.
Visit Linda's Blog here to follow her jewelry journey.
Thank you Linda, for your partnership... I am preparing
your delicious ingredients..."oh yeah!!! This looks fun..."