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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Gearing up for Florida!

In just a few days, I will fly out to sunny and WARM Tampa, Florida to hang out with the Cousin Corporation gang and meet my new Creative Circle Ambassadors.  We have five new ladies that I will get to enjoy the company of on our trip, Lisa Stukel, Vicki O'Dell, Allison Cooling, and Rebecca Utermohlen.  I will be able to hang out with my fellow Silver Sisters, Suzette Bentley and Lisa Crone as well.

In preparation for our trip, Cousin sent us a nice package.  Mine contained a personalized sand bucket, a lovely beach towel, a package of dried tropical fruit (YUM), sunblock (I greatly appreciate this considering I am extremely pain, er...pasty), and a lovely sea star.  Well.....let's just say the sea star did something for my creative juices.  It sat on my workbench for a couple of weeks before I could figure out what exactly to do with it.  And here is what I came up with......

I glued down Swarovski flat backs to the center of the star using BeadFix jewelry adhesive.  To the back of the star, I glued down flattened 18 gauge silver plated copper wire using E-6000.  If you have never tried to glue anything to a sea star, it takes a ton of glue because the star is very porous.  I put more E-6000 over the wires once they had completely dried just to be on the safe side.  I made a wrapped loop at the the wire.

Using 22 gauge stainless steel wire, I wrapped the top point of the star to give it a more polished look.

I found this lovely elongated oval chain at Walmart in the bead aisle.  With it's twisted rope-like links, I felt it was the perfect combo to the star for a sea inspired piece.  I knew I wanted splashes of color here and there, pearls and shells.  Fortunately I am a bead hoarder so I had tons to work with.

Very few of the beads in this necklace are not from Cousin, the lovely freshwater pearls, the Swarovski flat backs and turquoise gemstone chips.  The thin chain, shells, wooden beads, glass pearls, mirrored glass beads, red gemstone, and mother of pearl coins are are Cousin products.  The bead dangles with the swirl at the bottom are made from 20 gauge stainless steel wire that I curled and then hammered to flatten.