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Friday, March 31, 2017

Design Challenge 2017 -- The Reveal!

Okay...Here it is...the big reveal of our Cousin Creative Circle Ambassador Design Challenge!

On March 6th, I told you guys about our 2017 design challenge we do as Cousin Corporation of America's Creative Circle Ambassadors. (See post here.) All of the ambassadors received the same package of beads, findings, charms, etc to create with. We were able to add in anything from our private stash of beads, charms, connectors, chains, etc to create unique pieces that fit our personality.

Speaking of personalities, here are our Ambassadors:
The Girlie Girl - Rebecca Grafton
The Mermaid - Dawn Doucette
The Die-Hard DIY/Professional Blogger - Jennifer Priest
The Crafty Mom - Rachel Goodman Nielsen
The Laid-Back Author - Lisa Crone
and me - The Wandering Gypsy

Our styles are so different from each other, yet we always seem to be able to create commonality with our pieces.  I'm so excited to share our designs.  You can click the above links to see what my creative sisters have come up with.  Below you can find mine.

Ombré Plum Tassel Druzy Necklace

The items used in this necklace came from the new "Tassel it Yourself" line as well as the standard Jewelry Basics line CCA has.

This faux druzy didn't start out all sparkly.  It was a dull, flat white. Very little shine to it at all.  The druzy is a piece of acrylic resin that has been shaped to look like a druzy.  I fell in love with a strand of ombré plum crystal beads and knew I wanted to do something fun with them.  While I was painting my toe nails, I had this brilliant idea of using the glittery polish on the druzy piece.  The color is "Salsa" and is made by China Glaze.  It was the perfect fit for those lovely crystals.

I also removed the connecting clips from the druzy.

I had this lovely sort of pale copper colored chain that seemed to go well with with coloring around the faux druzy.  I also had a lovely brown leather tassel from the same line as the faux druzy that I wanted to use as well.  The only issue was the jump ring was silver. I needed gold.  Not a big deal. I switched it out for a gold colored one to match the color scheme of the necklace.

I decided to use a short section of chain (four links long) to attach the druzy to the necklace instead of a standard jump ring just to be different.

I arranged the lovely crystals in a pleasing pattern and strung them on 19-strand jewelry wire with the chain sandwiched within the pattern and attached them to the chain.  I didn't use a clasp since I used such a long piece of chain.

I created bead dangles out of some of the left over crystals and attached them to the bottom of the druzy.

The second project was another necklace using blue Calcite stones, brown ceramic beads, beaded link chain, a cross pendant, beaded tassel, polished cotton knotting cord and silver plated beads to create a lovely layered piece.

The Blue Jean Bohem Necklace

The blue Calcite is from the Boho line, the beaded link chain and tassel are from the Tassel it Yourself line, and the cross and ceramic beads are from Jewelry Basics.

I kept the Calcite strand to a choker length so add to the layered look.

The brown beads came strung on hemp so I attached fold over ribbon clamps to each end so I could create the necklace.

I took pieces of the polished cotton knotting cord and folded them in half then strung on the silver plated beads and secured the ends with more old over ribbon clamps. I attached the two together to form the second layer.

I added a jump ring to the cross connector and attached it to the beaded link chain.  Again, I removed the connector clip from the tassel so I could attach it directly to the cross.

The end result is a gorgeously casual necklace that could very easily be worn with a dressy outfit as well.

I hope you have enjoyed these two pieces and hope you look over the other what the my fellow ambassadors have created.  Happy Beading!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Design Challenge 2017

Long time no post!  I know....I've been very, very, busy.

Anywho!  We have another design challenge coming up!  The Creative Circle Ambassadors will be creating pieces using identical beads, findings, etc. Just like last year.

This year, our lovely Dawn Doucette picked for us ombré purple crystals, faux druzy stones, blue gemstones, silver and black spikes, rainbow colored jump rings, cross pendants, beaded chain, brown ceramic beads, and some stunning rainbow diamond cut crystals.

What will we all make of it will just have to wait and see!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Make It Monday DIY: Whimsical Memory Wire Ring Featuring Charms Made With Swarovski® Crystals

On Saturday, I posted a tutorial of a super cute ear cuff with a peacock feather charm.  Today, I am showing you how to make a adorable beaded memory wire ring using more of charms made with Swarovski® Crystals from Cousin Corporation of America available exclusively from Michael's Craft Stores.  There are links below for my fellow ambassadors' projects using these lovely little charms as well.

This ring is fun and easy to make, and it will become your favorite go to ring in no time.

Ring Sized Memory Wire
11/0 Seed Beads (Yeah....tiny ones)
1 Sunshine Bumble Bee Charm (or charm of choice)

Memory Wire Cutters
Memory Wire Finishing Pliers (I HIGHLY recommend these over round nose for this project)

Skill Level: Beginner

Craft Time: About 45 minutes

Separate three to four rounds of memory wire and cut in line with the end of the wire.  Using the smallest part of the Memory Wire Finishing Pliers, form a loop at one of the ends of the memory wire.
Bead your wire in any pattern or solid color of your choice.  I used TOHO Galvanized Silver,  Starlight Galvanized Gold and Hematite for my Bee ring. Bead up until you have about a 1/4 of an inch of wire left and form your end loop the same as you did your beginning loop.

Attach your charm with the clip onto either one or both of the loops.  If you want a more adjustable ring, clip the charm on only one of the loops.

Enjoy your new fun ring!

DIY Wine Charms by Rebecca Grafton
DIY Gift Packaging by Rebecca Grafton
DIY Skull Necklace by Jennifer Priest
DIY Back To School Ideas by Jennifer Priest
DIY Ideas by Lisa Crone
DIY Handmade Card by Rachel Nielsen
DIY Bookmarks by Rachel Nielsen
DIY Dangle Ear Cuff by Shelly Owen

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Weekend Whimsy DIY - Wire Ear Cuff the Interchangeable Charms

It's been some time since I have done a blog post. So, why not do a tutorial?

Today's tutorial is a super cute and trendy, easy to make spiral wire ear cuff with an adorable interchangeable charm.  These charms are made with Swarovksi® crystals and are available exclusively from Michael's Craft Stores.  These little beauties are put out by Cousin Corporation of America.  The charms come in a variety of shapes such as bumble bees, flowers, hearts, owl, and even birthstone colors.

Cousin Corporation sent the us ambassadors a few of these charms to play around with. At the end of this tutorial are links to the other projects done by my fellow ambassadors.

I chose this lovely peacock feather charm to start with.

1 Paradise Shine Peacock Feather Charm
20 gauge wire

Ruler with both standard and metric measurements
Round Nose Pliers
Bail Making Pliers (optional)
Eye Protection

Skill Level: Beginner


Cut a 4 inch section of wire.  Lay the wire against the metric side of the ruler, and measure 4 cm from one end of the wire. Bend the wire back over itself using round nose pliers.

Measure 3 cm from the bend and and then fold the other end of the wire over forming a "Z" shape.

Using your round nose pliers form a loose spiral on each tail end of the wire.

Wrap your form around the barrel of a pen or use the larger barrel of bail making pliers to curve the form into an ear cuff.

Slightly bend the back of the ear cuff inward slightly to grip the lobe.

Add your charm.  These charms come complete with a little lobster claw clip and make it super easy to change out your charm to a different one.  You can make your charm a permanent addition by using chain nose pliers to open the jump ring connecting the clip and the charm and removing the clip.  Tighten the spiral at the bottom of the ear cuff so that it is not as open.  Attach the charm using the jump ring and then close the jump ring.  Personally, I like that I can change these out.

Happy crafting!

DIY Wine Charms by Rebecca Grafton
DIY Gift Packaging by Rebecca Grafton
DIY Skull Necklace by Jennifer Priest
DIY Back To School Ideas by Jennifer Priest
DIY Ideas by Lisa Crone
DIY Handmade Card by Rachel Nielsen
DIY Bookmarks by Rachel Nielsen
DIY Whimsical Ring by Shelly Owen

Monday, April 25, 2016

Be Mindful

"Be Mindful"

While at our annual Creative Circle Ambassador retreat this year, we were given a bracelet with the words "Be Mindful" stamped in it.  I didn't think much of it at the time it was given, but I did appreciate the bracelet.  Above every doorway in the Cousin building was a poster that had the same words, but had no clue as to what they meant.  We had not given an explanation as to the meaning of this phrase when we were given the bracelets. At first, I found it rather odd, however, I think we were to interpret the words for what they meant to us. I began to think about the phrase "Be Mindful" throughout the day and into the evening.  The next morning right after my devotional time, I began to pen out what those words were resounding in my spirit. So here is what those two words spoke to me.

What does "Be Mindful" mean?  I have heard these words throughout my life in one form or another I am sure as we all have. "Mind your P's and Q's", "Think before you act" those sorts of things. But what does it actually mean?  In what context are these words used? How can I apply their meaning?

Be Mindful:
of others
of my attitude
of my words
of my actions
of my surroundings
of myself
of the moments

Of Others:
As I am mindful of others, I take second place. I can lay aside selfish ambition for a great good - the good of others. It is not a detachment from my "reality" but rather an involvement in the reality of others.  It is loving my neighbor as myself. It allows me to see the truth behind the motives of others and observe the true nature of their heart without a preconceived judgement on my part.  It is to put myself in the other person's shoes and see from their perspective and not my own.  It is to give grace, compassion, and mercy to others as it has been given to me.  Being mindful of others re-centers us to a higher focus and a greater good. This one thing affects all the rest - attitude, actions, words, surroundings, ourselves and the moments.

Of My Attitude:
I have often heard it said, "your attitude determines your altitude". As I am mindful of my attitude, I can keep myself humble. It is with a lowly heart and a gentle spirit that I can see more clearly that which is more important than me. Sometimes, a little adjustment can bring a great increase.  If I choose to take the higher ground instead of allowing my emotions and nasty attitude to take over, then I am the victor, not the victim. I can choose to fly free or to remain in bondage by my own attitude towards situations or people.  I refuse to allow myself to be a slave even to my own selfish desires and motives. How I react to or act on a certain situation reflects the deeper nature of my own heart.  If my attitude remains neutral or one of love, then my heart is pure.  If my attitude stinks, then the truth of my heart is revealed as tainted by my own selfish desires.

Of My Words:
We have heard it said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me."  This statement cannot be more wrong.  Our words penetrate and wound deeper than any mere stick or stone ever could.  The power of life and death is held within our tongues. Our words have the power to heal and uplift or they can be instruments of hurt and offense.  Things we may say thinking nothing of them may hurt others.  As I am mindful of my words, I can speak life instead of death, grace instead of judgement, comfort instead of pain.  I choose not to speak corrupt communication so that the hearer of my words can be uplifted and encouraged and not made to feel less.  When we speak our opinions about something or someone we know nothing about, then we are revealing the true attitude of our hearts.  If we criticize that which we don't understand, then we reveal our own ignorance.

Of My Actions:
The old saying, "Actions speak louder than words" holds true.  If I betray my words with my actions, then I have made myself a liar.  If I say I love yet my actions show the truth of my hate, I have revealed the truth of what lies in my heart.  I have proven myself to be double-minded in full view of the world. If I say I respect my boss but behind his back talk about him and run him down, then I am proving by my actions that really hate him by my words.  Our actions will reveal our hearts and motives when our words never will.  I can show that I am a true friend by my actions when my words may fail.  I chose to "be mindful" of my actions so I will not betray my words.

Of My Surroundings:
This one is rather tricky.  If I keep my focus on the here and now, then I will miss the coming soon.  If I focus on the coming soon, then I miss the here and now.  It is like Yin and Yang, a give and take, a push and pull. There has to be a balance to it or we will get off focus and miss the beauty of it all. As I am mindful of my surroundings, I can both act and speak accordingly. If I am oblivious to what is going on around me, I am opening the door for failure, harm, and missed opportunities.  I must see the world around me and purpose to be a partaker of the grander scheme of things. I must play my part on the stage of life until my scene is done. I cannot do this if my head is stuck in the sand or up in the clouds.  I must see life from both perspectives of heaven and earth. I must see from heaven to help a hurting world. I must be able to see from earth the pain of my fellow man.  If I see from a heavenly perspective, then I gain the knowledge to be the help to a hurting world.

Of the Moments:
There is a saying that life isn't measured in the moments, but in the moments that take our breath away. Even though this statement rings with truth, when we are mindful of even the smallest of moments we become aware of growth potential.  As I am mindful of the moments, I become (sometimes painfully) aware of the stretching of myself and give myself permission to venture out of my little small box and experience the more. As we shift our focus to be mindful of the moments, we see those defining ones that change our perspective and alter the course of history.  It is in the moments that life is truly lived.  I love this quote by Dr. Seuss, "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory".

Of Myself:
This almost seems to contradict the very first "be mindful of", however, it is a needful thing. As a wife and mother, my family comes before my own needs.  However, if I neglect myself I cannot be the caregiver my family needs.  If I neglect my own health and well-being for the benefit of others, I will crash and burn resulting in me not being able to help others.  I cannot put others first, mind my attitude, actions, and my surroundings if I myself am not in a good place. When the day is done and gone, I have to take an inventory of my own self to see what I need so that I can face the next day ready for what may come.

I hope you take these words and interpret the meaning they have for you and apply them to your own life.  Always "be mindful".

Monday, April 18, 2016

Meet the Raziela Designs Brand Ambassadors for May 2016 through August 2016

We are excited to announce our three ambassadors for the upcoming quarter (May - August) Imani Dakota Badon, Lisa Joy Hudson, and Calla Thompson.  All three ladies will bring something special to our program.

Imani Dakota Badon:

My name is Imani Dakota, I'm 19 years old. I have no brothers or sisters, and I live with my mother in Jackson, MS. I attend Relate Church in Byram, MS where I teach a children's class. I am very creative and love to draw. I like fashion, jewelry, and music.

Lisa Joy Hudson:
My name is Lisa Hudson. I am 27 years old and am a country girl with some city girl flare. I basically like to play in the dirt but look pretty while doing it. I have an adorable one year old daughter and have been married to the love of my life for almost 7 years. I love animals and have several including 2 horses, 2 dogs and a cat. I love getting power tools for Christmas or my birthday, and Home Depot is my favorite store. I love being handy and can put some boys to shame. Re-finishing and designing furniture is one of my favorite past times along with interior design. I work part time as a Chiropractic Assistant, where I get to interact with patients and help to improve their quality of life. I love people and love to make them feel valuable and bring joy into their life! Sometimes I have no filter and am the girl that says what everyone is thinking. I can be loud, but when I'm alone I'm quiet, Basically because I have no one to talk to. I wish I could Play softball everyday for the rest of my life.......

Calla Thompson:
My name is Calla Thompson, a logistics agent for Global Women's Development Project in Virginia.

I am very bohemian at heart, but I love to dress up in chic glamour.

I have love and understanding for artistic expression, with the curiosity that belongs with being analytical. In my experience, I found I like using both sides of my brain to analyze situations, then utilize my creative abilities to passionately design solutions.

Marketing gives me the ability to analyze and create at the same time, while building relationships with the right kind of people. I am well-versed in creating, planning and development, relationship management, logistics coordinating and leadership.


We are super excited to have all three of these amazing ladies on board.   Make sure you follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay in the loop of their individual style. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

DIY: Crystal Bridal Necklace

Are you or someone you know getting married?  Do you love the look of expensive bridal jewelry?  Then this tutorial is for you!

Here is a super sparkly bridal necklace that looks expensive but is easy and cost-effective to make.  The gorgeous crystals are Crystazzi® brand from Cousin Corporation of America and are available now at A.C. Moore Craft Stores.  They have a brilliant fire to them that is just stunning.  Make it for your bride-to-be friends or make and keep for yourself just in case.  :)  Happy beading!

1 pkg Crystazzi® Crystal AB Pear (36756227)
1 pkg Crystazzi® Crystal Rosaline AB Bicone (36756402)
1 pkg Crystazzi® Crystal AB Cushion/Saucer (36756466)
silver plated link chain
15 silver plated head pins
5 silver plated eye pins
4 silver plated 4mm jump rings
1 silver plated 6mm jump ring
1 silver plated lobster claw clasp

Chain Nose/Flat Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Flush Cutters

Skill Level: Intermediate Level Beginner

Craft Time: About an hour

Techniques to know:
Forming Loops
Cutting Chains
Jump Rings


1. Make the following: 1 large pear dangle, 4 small pear dangles, and 10 bicone dangles by threading a bead onto a head pin and forming a loop.

2. Make five cushion crystal connectors by threading a crystal onto an eye pin and forming a loop.

3. Measure and cut the following two lengths of chain: 18 inches and 4 inches.

4. Find the center link of both chains. To help you do this, thread an eye pin through the end links of each chain. Hold the chain up. Look for a link in the center part of the droop of the chain and slide a head pin through that link.  Set shorter chain aside.

5. Attach one of the cushion connectors to the center link of the long chain.  Attach a bicone dangle to the 4th link from the center link. Attach another cushion connector in the fourth link over from the bicone. Attach one more bicone and one more cushion in the same manner.  Repeat for the opposite side of the center link.

6. Using a 4mm jump ring, attach the center link of the short chain to the center cushion connector.  Attach another 4mm jump ring to the 10th link over from the center of the short chain to the bottom of the next cushion connector. Attach the end link of the short chain to the next cushion connector. Repeat for opposite side.

7. Attach the large pear dangle to the center link of the short chain. Attach a bicone connector five links over from the center link of the short chain. Attach a small pear dangle to the same link of the small chain as the second cushion connector. Five links over, attach another bicone dangle. Attach a small pear dangle to the last link of the short chain. Repeat for the opposite side.

8. Using the 4mm and 6mm jump rings, attach the clasp to end of the long chain.

 9. Wear your shiny new bridal beauty.