Royal Feather Jewelry Challenge & Blog Hop

I‘m posting from the road now, in Brooklyn- so apologies that this is late…

It has been awhile since I joined in on one of Jewelry designer Andrew Thornton’s jewelry challenges. Andrew has always been one of my most favorite jewelry designers on the planet, and NO one puts together a sumptuous selection of beads- like Andrew. His palates are always studied and interesting. I love it that he is at it again and putting kits out into the world.

How this jewelry challenge works: Andrew selects a theme, matches beads and findings for it in a kit (see below), offers a limited number of kits, we TRY to get them (they go fast!!), we design jewelry, and the BEST part- we blog hop to ALL the other designers to see what everyone has made. Be sure to hop the blog list at the bottom of this note.

Andrew’s Royal Feather jewelry challenge includes beads of royal blues, greens, purples (like the tail of a peacock feather)- with coppers and silvers- and lots of beads including crystals, wood, glass, sequins- along with Andrew’s own very cool crown stamped mystery component! LOVE it!!!

The kit:


42″ long Lariat: My first photos are not the best- but here is my first piece:


IMG_2231 - Version 2

To the kit I added: a few green pearls, one heavy mystic purple/blue quartz point- added to the center (for balance/weight), and a Green Girl Studios pewter hook clasp to one end. I am again making lariats because they are endlessly variable in how they can be worn- opera long length or  doubled to princess length (17-18″), etc.  I just love them.  I will be posting bracelet and earrings when I get back in town this weekend: those posed the real challenge 😉

Please visit the other challenge participants here:

Kari Asbury
Ann Schroeder
Sarajo Wentling
Christina Porter
Tammy Bowman
Tara Linda

* And also on Andrew Thornton’s blog:
Andrew Thornton
Margriet Schnabel
Keisha Russell
Tara Linda
Alison Herrington
Laurel Ross
Marcia Gilbert
Joanne Goldberg
Crystal Lombardo Farrell
Cheryl Lee Tucker

Best Last Minute Gift-Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar/CD! & Auction Winners

Are you stumped for the perfect gift? Are you ready to give up because youve missed posting that holiday gift? Wait! It’s all OK, because you are actually still ahead of the game for New Years!! Your friends and family will forgive all transgressions just for finding them the most unforgettable gift Ever!… the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar and CD!

Time to shout out winners for the silent jewelry auction to benefit Typhoon Haiyan victims: Margriet Schnabel for the Moss Memories earrings, and  JAK for – the 1920 Holiday Ball– Marcasite/pearl earrings. Yay! Contact me soon as possible so I can get your funds to CARE. Thank you for bidding & to Andrew Thornton for the idea. I will be dedicating other jewelry in my shop to continue raising money past the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, it’s that time of year again! Time to remind you that if you are stumped for the perfect gift, or if you’ve missed holiday posting deadlines, it’s OK, because you are still ahead of the game for New Years!!  Your friends and family will forgive all transgressions just for finding them the best, most unforgettable gift Ever!… the 2014 Accordion Babes Pin-up Calendar!

2014Accordion BabesCVR-sml

I’m pretty sure that this is the ONLY calendar on the planet that features 12 accordion-toting femmes~ real musicians, who front bands, write music and tour~ all while demonstrating in genres and countries worldwide, that accordions are officially COOL again! Ha! Imagine that! Producer Renee de la Prade seriously jumped the pond this year by including accordionistas as far away as Canada ;), Norway, and France. 

Happily, the calendar comes with music! a 12 song CD featuring a tune from each musician in the calendar. And after 6 years of doing this- from posing, to sponsoring, assembling, distributing, and promoting with other accordionistas- I can attest (promise!) that this years musical compilation is the best yet. Seriously! Music ranges from rock, to jazz, pop, zydeco, cabaret and more surprises that will beckon your ear with every note. Unbelievably, this calendar/CD bundle of Joy is a mere $15, plus $5 Priority shipping (US only). Please order yours here: You will be supporting the arts and paying my heating bill at the same time 😉 

Here is my first photo submission that got rejected for being too artistic. 😉

Tara Linda 2014 AccBabes 6_10-med

And I am thrilled to say that I’m up-to-date shipping out my orders!! This is me, with more clothes on, mailing them from the road, in a tiny, cold town somewhere in the wild west. 

Mailing Calendars-CO

You can’t tell, but the building is about 20 x 20ft big. Wait, can you believe it?! Near the middle of nowhere in the wild west, they limit parking to 10 minutes? Shocking!

You can also find my music on CDBaby, I-tunes, and digitally nearly everywhere you look. Thank you, so much, for supporting a world with music. xox!

Andrew’s Jewelry Challenge- Reveal!

I took on Andrew Thornton’s Dec/Jan Jewelry Challenge, sight unseen, and was thrilled to see what “jonquil” meant (the only clue he gave us;).

I took on Andrew Thornton’s Dec/Jan Jewelry Challenge, sight unseen, and was thrilled to see what “Jonquil” meant (the only clue he gave us;).

Here is what inspired Andrew’s special color palate;

“jonquil”…traditionally a “spring” color, but while I was walking through the woods in late autumn, I found a leaf that was yellow, tinged with green.  Everything else was brown and gray, but this leaf, left in the middle of the path, was a vibrant burst of color.”

The kit had enameled pieces by Barbara Lewis, ceramic pieces from Diane Hawkey, glass beads from RareEarth, and a mix of Czech glass, chain, Swarovski crystals, and the most gorgeous seed bead, stone, pearl bead blend ever.  The “mystery component” was one of Andrew’s gorgeous copper tree coins. Love it!  Have never worked with such brilliant yellows/golds before.  (I tried experimenting w/ the light- apologies if it is a bit bright 😉

I am relieved that Andrew gave us extra time; since my recent move, gigs, and life… haven’t unpacked all my jewelry supplies.  To this kit I added only a few pearls, a couple of smoky quartz chunks, and gold wire.  Here is my first piece.  Will add the rest very soon…

It was a blast to work with the bead mix; I’m working on a third piece that uses up all- or most- of the generous small bead blend.

This is my first time making hoop earrings. I had planned to add the seed beads up the entire wire- but they didn’t fit on the 18 gauge (note to self for next time…;)

So I’ve visited/commented on everyone’s sites below- but Blogspot only redirects my comments and won’t post them…?? (Ergh! ;().

But you must check out all the gorgeous designs- Folks are so imaginative! Enjoy your blogHop to see others’ creations!

Tara Linda   You are here…

Andrew Thornton Oct. Jewelry Challenge

I enjoy the surprise beads that Andrew Thornton puts together in his design Kits every month; a pre-selected set of components to create anew with.  Equally fun, is visiting the blogs of all the participants to see what amazingly unique creations people came up with using the same materials.

Unlike the first challenge I participated in where I was able to whip something up quickly, this one took longer with so much going on this last week;   Oakland’s city dramas, lots of band rehearsals for a big San Francisco concert we put on last night at the Presidio.  Whew!  Truthfully, the Muses didn’t arrive to help me finish my beady creations until this morning at around 5:30am.  😉

For this bead challenge, Andrew sent us a design kit with a ceramic bead from Keith O’Connor, a terra cotta bead from RareEarth Beads, a lampwork glass headpin from SueBeads, a gorgeous carved blue tiger’s eye round, and a luscious blue seed bead/stone/pearl blend.

Had fun making a ring, a bracelet with multi-strands of the rich luxury bead mix. And I keep making choker/necklaces that adjust from 15-17″. I’m craving owls now (Green Girl Studios).


There were also surprise mystery components including this crazy skull bead- timely for Dia de Los Muertos of course.  After giving him beady eyes and a hat w/ a crystal flower, I grounded him with blue lace agate.

Enjoy your blog hop to the other participants sites!

Tara Linda   You are Here

Andrew’s Sept. Jewelry Challenge~ Reveal

It has been fun watching Andrew Thornton’s jewelry-making challenge grow so popular over the last few months. Today is reveal day and Tara Linda’s necklace and bracelet…

It has been fun watching Andrew Thornton’s jewelry-making challenge grow so popular over the last few months.  I had planned to pass this one up knowing I would be gone 3 weeks of Sept. But when I saw the colors…

I couldn’t resist.  When the package arrived, I sat right down on the floor and finished the first piece.

This was my first challenge based on a kit of materials, versus the challenge where you use your own materials and the prompt is a picture or idea.  My first true challenge was all the small seed beads in the mix- EEK!  Not sure why, but small beads scare me.  I’m not used to including so many in a design  ;).

I started by sorting out the largest beads for the pendant, using others for links on a sterling chain. I knew I’d be making my favorite necklace design of late- a short, adjustable lariat/choker.

Seeing all the wonderful colors reflecting from Andrew’s brassy flower coin pendant, I added a few pearls and seed drops with the same golden red highlights, to pull the same hues throughout. I also added one bright purple chalcedony rondelle to the pendant to help pop the abundant pink & lavender tones in the bead mix.  And then I just had fun…

I strung 2 strands of the small beads but crossed them through single larger beads to make them twist and move together.  I strung long slivers together in sections to add some texture.      Wah-La!

And I added a few black seed beads to sections to give more contrast.  That’s it for the necklace!  I love the way it hangs, and took it to my Alaska gig last week 😉

For the bracelet, I felt green with Heather’s “Grow” link (Heather Wynn-Millican),  & added green quartz. And a few plum jade rondelles.  I may re-string this one with just the AWESOME purple SoftFlex wire instead of copper wire on the links…not sure what I think of it this way. (Feel free to chime in on that thought;)

There are 2 reveal dates- today and Oct. 12th.  It is really fun to see how differently all of us worked with the same materials!  enjoy your blog hop to others treasures.  Participants for the first reveal date:

Lorelei Eurto
Sally Russick
Tara Linda
Paula Kramer
Melinda Orr
Beth Emery

Participants that will reveal on the Oct. 12th date:

Tracy Stillman
Heather Goldsmith
Lori Bowring Michaud
Rebecca Anderson
Debbie Price
Patty Gasparino

Summer Jewelry Challenge- Reveal…

New Summer Jewelry- Inspired by Morning Glory blooms…

Artisan Charlene Sevier at the Bead Dreamer has put out a “Long Days of Summer” Jewelry challenge, and today is reveal day (drum roll please…).  I hinted of my inspiration in earlier posts;  the blooms of these impossibly gorgeous 2-tone morning glories seen here & on my banner.  & here is my piece~

I’ve never worked with bright purple & greens before.

The large filigree pendant is an Andrew Thornton original~ Crown Postale series- patina finished brass with a cool European vintage stamp inlay.  Stones are amethyst “wings” and rounds, amazonite, chrysophase,  crystal, and ribbon from fellow Etsy artisan Abby&Ellie

I call this one “Rock ‘n Roll Royalty”- the regal colors of a morning glory, ready to fly,   a lil’ wild ;).

Hop on over to the blogs of the other participants to see their creations!
Charlene Sevier –

Andrew Thornton

Andrea Trank –

Therese –

Mary Ellen Parker –

Thank you Friends!! & Pieces Sold for Andrew

I made and sold a good amount of jewelry along this tour, and I just wanted to THANK all those family, friends, & fans over the last 2 months who have bought my baubles- helping to support me making music.

I made and sold a good amount of jewelry along this tour, and I just wanted to THANK all those family, friends, & fans over the last 2 months who have bought my baubles, helping to support me making music.  It means so much…I just can’t tell you!  Every little bit matters.   Making jewelry started as a hobby (I worked at HeartBead in Arcata in college!).  But it has now become a serious outlet, even addiction;)   My favorite on-the-road jewelry making moment was being in a little motel in Cortez, Colorado, mid-Nov. when the first snow storm hit- and just cranking up the heat and gettin’ busy!

The most satisfying moment; making 3 jewelry pieces for Andrew Thornton, proceeds from which would go to help him with his new medical bills- and they sold!  I didn’t have time to post them as an auction from my website, so I took them with me & vowed to send him whatever sold. They all sold!  (& I matched the price of one given as a gift…).

What was different with these pieces from my usual, was the inspiration;  Lorelei’s Michael’s challenges inspired me to shop at Michael’s for the first time.  These are the result 😉  I used the brown photo beads, glass blooms, coral, and howlite. AND I started using copper instead of silver.   Andrew you have a $150 check coming to you.  Pls. write me w/ your address.