My first stop at a Fresno bead shop

new beads

Yeah, I meant for the title to rhyme.

Stopped by the bead store today and got a handful of cool new beads. This bead shop is in Clovis and is called Beads Etc. It is a cute little shop with lots of different kinds of beads. Lots of vintage and unique things for every beading personality. Personally, I’m a bold, funky, and retro gal. I thought the little monster beads were particularly funny. They reminded me of Russian stacking dolls. I really dig the big beads best! I met a nice lady named Aileen told me that they have several beading classes. As you probably know, I’m all about the simple project, but these bracelets and necklaces they had on display for their classes were really cool and it never hurts to learn a new technique. Also, since I’m new to the area, I would like to make some new friends and I’m hoping a creative course would be a great way to do so!

And very off subject, does anyone know about stumbleupon and how that brings you hits to your web site. I noticed a lot of hits to my trashy valentines was coming from it. I researched it a little and I get the concept of it, I just don’t know how it exactly is linking to my blog.

I’m pretty tired tonight, so this is a quickie post.

Hope you have a great day tomorrow Swellions!


Pumpkin Jewels

pumpkin jewels

Even though the “Biggest holiday of the year” is upon us, let’s not forget about that one that is just a few weeks away…the one where we throw our last hurrah for fall beauty!

I wanted to create a pretty pumpkin project for those of you not sure what do do with those autumn accents! Adding bling to your pumpkins is super fun and easy and something you can do in mere minutes. I did a couple different versions as you will see and here’s how to do them:

Jeweled Pumpkin Stem

– Mid-weight gauge wire (I used copper)
– large seed beads, crystal beads, gold spacers
– pumpkin with long stem
– round nose pliers

1. Cut off a piece of wire about 12” to 18” long. This will vary based on how long your stem is.
2. Create a small loop at the end of wire with round nose pliers
3. String beads randomly onto wire until desired length is achieved.
4. Make a coil at the end with the wire to finish it off.
5. Wrap it around pumpkin stem and display!

Curly Coils Pumpkin

– Mid-weight gauge wire (I used copper)
– large beads and charms in various sizes (I used resin pendant drop beads, large ab faceted beads, and even a heart toggle)
– ring mandrel
– round nose pliers

1. Cut several lengths of wire in various sizes (mine were anywher from 6” to 12” in length).
2. Coil wire ring mandrel to make long curly design. If you don’t have a ring mandrel, use your finger or a round tube (like lipstick or mascara tube).
3. Stick end of wire securely into pumpkin.
4. Place beads on ends of wire. Make small loops to hold into place if necessary. Since I created this for temporary décor, they just loosely hung on the coiled ends, kinda like ornaments on trees.

Hope you enjoyed this project and are getting inspired for the Thanksgiving days ahead!

Until next time Swellions!


5 things that I’m doing right now

5 things I’m doing right now (or just did, actually):

1) Trying to come up with a reversible design to use on my Our Glass pendant from HHH enterprises. Going to do something cool with it so stay tuned.

2) Listening to My Life on the D List playing in the other room. I like this show, but I think it would be better if it were a half hour. One hour is just too much to digest. Actually I’ve watched Bravo all night tonight. Got my Project Runway and Shear Genius fix that I missed out on last night.

3) Thinking of ways to get my cat to try out her new spinning ball cat toy. Shes not acting interested, but she needs to be…otherwise $7 bucks down the drain.

4) Organized my bead stash. I’m trying to come up with a new system in plastic baggies and those photo boxes (going to use a thick cardboard to divide up the boxes by sections). We’ll see if my plan works. I’m so sick of those plastic dividers turning over and I’d like to find a beading system that actually works for me.

5) Contemplating that I may just need to purge some of my crap. I really need to take another load of clothes to Goodwill and get rid of craft supplies I never ever use. I just keep getting more and more and nothing is given away/tossed to make room. Man, I really wish I had my own place that I owned so that I could get better organized and paint, etc. A place where I was more settled and could actually have a plan to organize or utilize stuff in my decor. Oh well.

Can’t wait for tomorrow! I really think I’m not going to be posting much on weekends anymore. Mainly because I need a break and blogging is, as much as I hate to see it this way, an obligation of mine. I think taking a breather on weekends (not that many people visit the site those days anyway) will be good for me. But you can always check back here throughout the week for new content. Also, I may post if the fancy strikes me. I just want to enjoy my weekends and social activities more and not be stuck to a computer. I gotta get out.

Oh, and here’s Margot’s new video all about Summer CHA. It gives you a little look into some of the crafty rock star designers that were there and the crazy demos and book signings that ensue.

Until next time Swellions!


The best of intentions

If you craft like I do, I’m assuming you have the best of intentions with every purchase from a craft store. You leave inspired with thoughts of that next great craft project churning in your head. Well, if you’re also like me, you find that plastic bag several months later, revealing the sad reality that you never actually accomplished that said project. Case in point:

i intend on making stuff with these

These are random things I purchased over the past couple of months from Hobby Lobby and Michaels with intentions of making stuff. I just haven’t gotten around to it. Don’t know when I will. I’m pretty sure I purchased these things cause they were 50% off or on sale. I’m such a sucker for sales and 40% off craft coupons (about the only time I actually redeem coupons)!

Anyone who comes to my house really can’t believe the amount of crap that I do have. They are always telling me that I should weed some of it out a.k.a. purge, but I can’t do that. Even with vast array of ribbons, pens, scrapbook papers, glues, glitters, paints, beads, felt, etc. there is always, always, without avail, something I have to go to the craft store for. A true crafter has stuff coming out there ears! If they are smart, they somehow find a way to organize it efficiently. I need to study up on that one! Anyway, one purchase I gave into tonight that I did not have on hand was these (I swear, I’ve been eyeing them for a year)…

I finally bought some...

I do have restraint most times when I do go to the craft store. Sometimes, believe it or not, I leave empty handed. These stamps only cost $2, but they are something I always want, but deny myself. Tonight I gave in. It’s not such a bad thing, I just need to find a cool project to use them for now.

I also walked away with this lovely magazine, Stringing. This is actually a splurge for me. I am super cheap when it comes to magazines, but the cover was just so darn pretty and there were a lot of inspiring ideas in there. I just had to get it.

stringing magazine

Yes, this is my workspace. The rug in front of the TV. It’s a mess, but how I do it. I like being able to watch something and relax in the floor. I’ve always done this since I made friendship bracelets taped to my dresser drawer. Must have been 9-10 at the time. Some habits never change.

I seriously wish I had more time to accomplish things, but I guess it’s nice to know I have a stash waiting for me if I ever want to get reinspired by one of those projects. I really need to do that, rather than spending more moolah on stuff I don’t really even have the space for! I seriously need a bigger space.

Be proud of me swellions, I ate pretty healthy today and I walked tonight. Yay. I’m not going to buy bigger pants. I’m not going to buy bigger pants!

Until tomorrow, Swellions!


All content/photos copyright, © Alexa L. Westerfield, 2008

Feelin’ Earthy

bracelet and earring set
Originally uploaded by swelldesigner

I just typed a long blog only to have my program lock up on me. Boo…

This is my creation for the night. I’m happy with it. The natural/earthy look came through (based on the assignment I was given by a friend). It’s nice to feel a sense of accomplishment on a project well done. I don’t know how painters do it. I like being able to whip something up in an hour, photograph it, and upload it and throw it out to the universe. Something very satisfying about that, if you ask me.

Something also very tiring about it…speaking of, I’m outtie.

Weekend Update

Geez oh pete. This weekend went by waaaay too fast. I wish i had one more day to get together, but I guess I’ll have to accept it for what it was.

Friday, I compiled all my ingredients for my cookies and did some shoppin’ at Hobby Lobby (bought some beads, like I needed more of those-ha!)

Then Saturday, I got up and going and made my cookies for the cookie party I will be attending tomorrow night. They were Butterfinger cookies. They turned out super good and I was really excited about them. Here’s a few pics.


I then got together my gifts for a holiday party with my girlfriends. The gift was supposed to be valued at $20, so I got this yummy (and pretty- I’m a sucker for packaging) candle set. I paired it with this jewelry set that I made…

party gift

earrings and bracelet

I used stretch elastic on the bracelet. I saw a bracelet like that at the drugstore a few days ago and thought that was a really good idea, considering that everyone’s wrist size is different and this way, it stretches to fit, but still looks elegant with the toggle and toggle charm. I liked the end result.

I stopped on my way to Jessica’s to help her get ready for the party at our local bead shop, Dandelion Beads, but they were out of the wire I needed. I was bummed.

dandelion beads

I then went on to the party. Everyone brought a dish (I brought pumpkin dip and brownies and cookies – you know, the good stuff). Jessica did a great job on the ham and everything was super yummy.

why does this look last supperish

And, of course, Michaela (pictured) and Parker were totally cute, like they always are. Oh, I totally posed her. She’s so easy to coerce.

an awww moment

After our game, I walked away with this purple purse (thank goodness, I drew the last number!)


My Sunday, was admittedly lazy, but once I got out to Michael’s and got to going, I was fine. I just sometimes need that boost of motivation. I also did some laundry, watched some E!, got my cookies ready for the cookie party I will be attending tomorrow night, got some earrings ready to present, and organized my closet.YAY!


So, tomorrow begins another week. Just thrilled.