Saturday, September 06, 2014

Anchors Aweigh Blog Hop Reveal!!!

Just a little blurp...I am sorry my page was not put up earlier, I had it set up to post last night at midnight and it did not post the page...ARGH. But here it is...and thanks for stopping by!

Here it is!  I was so excited about winning these beautiful Anchor beads created by Diana Ptaszynski. My hubby is a retired sailor, so when Rita from Tolec Jewels put this blog hop together I was all over it, probably the first person to request them!  I received my little package of joy within a short time and had to make a pit stop at the bead store almost immediately!   LOL  These beads got to travel to DC in July when hubby and I went on our vacation and to visit our son in Baltimore (and we made a little pit stop in Germantown and got to meet Lee and Bill from Znetshow...very nice people).  Although I didn't have much time to play with the beads, I think they enjoyed the trip! hehehe

So, before I even started putting this all together, my first idea was to make a multiple wrap around bracelet I have been coveting.  But as you see, my plans had changed some.  I don't remember what I did first, but I put a few fun elements in this piece I think that really make it work!

I enameled this really pretty filigree finding I got at our local bead store.  I had the perfect colors of enamel, so it went rather smoothly with that piece.  Then I knew I wanted to add the beads at the I put a piece of chain on it and threw on the was way too plain and simple for me, so I made the AHOY charm from resin clay. I made two pieces which I tried to resembled wood with a little texture on them.  Added some metallic rub on silver and gold and those looked great!  Then I thought it needed a little more I added the seahorse charm which I patina'd yellow.  Now it was starting to look good... 

I strung on some beads on both sides and thought I needed something that was going to give this some wow power..then I made the LOVE MY SAILOR resin I was quite happy at this point...the necklace was looking really good... But I thought it still needed something to break up the colors just a little...and then I remembered I had these beautiful ceramic beads I received from my very first bead soup partner.  It is the light pink bead you see on the right side of the picture... That was the perfect bead...I just love this necklace!

Then, last, I made these great bracelets using memory wire.  I am now a fan of memory wire.  With having 2 of the anchor charms, I didn't want to just make some cute earrings...I wanted MORE...and I think I got more accomplished! I tossed in that cute turtle which was a perfect match with the colors.  I have decided that this set is going to be ALL MINE! I wear it frequently and get lots of great compliments.  

Without this challenge, I would not have created these, so I really appreciate the awesome anchor charms and generosity from Diana, and opportunity to create with these charms from Toltec Jewels..

Take a peek at all the other Jewelry DIVA'S...  :-)

Participating Artists

Featured & Honored Artist:        Diana Ptaszynski

Diana's Shop:                           Suburban Girl Beads

Diana's Blogs:                          Suburban Girl Studio
                                                 Art Jewelry Elements

Hostess: TJ                               Jewel School Friends

Bobbie Rafferty                         Beadsong Jewelry

Chris Eisenberg                         Wanderware

Heather Richter                         Desert Jewelry Designs

Michelle McCarthy                    Firefly Design Studio

Kathy Lindemer                         Bay Moon Design

Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes

Cynthia Machata                       Antiquity Travelers

Kathleen Breeding                     99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall

Linda Younkman                       Lindy's Designs

Robin Reed                                  Artistry HCBD

Marla Gibson                              Spice Box Designs

Gina Hockett                               Freestyle Elements

Renetha Stanziano                      Lamplight Crafts

Marianne Baxter                          Simply Seablime Jewelry        

Christina Miles                             Wings N Scales

Marybeth Rich                            A Few Words from Within the Pines

Shai Williams                              Shaiha's Ramblings

Cheri Reed                                  Creative Designs by Cheri

Monique Urquhart                      A Half-Baked Notion

Jennifer Reno                             Musings of a Crafty Jenny

Shirley Moore                             Beads and Bread

Tammy Adams                           Paisley Lizard

Melissa Trudinger                       Bead Recipes

Jill Bradley                                  JillyBeads

Friday, September 05, 2014

Anchors Away Blog Hop coming soon!

Ok, here is my sneak peek for the upcoming Blog starts on this Sunday so stop back by and let me know what you think.

Hmmm....I wonder what this will look like?? hehehee...come back on Sunday.. :-)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Preparing for the RAW event

I have been super busy preparing for this event and I sure hope its worth all of the work...  I have not only made jewelry but I also made the tags, labels, I even made my own displays...  I have some stuff already but I want this event to go very well for me and I want to present myself as being not only professional but also quite creative...and FUN!  So first I want to share with you the tags I have been working on.  Its all a learning process for me since using the Cameo Silhouette is still a piece of new machinery for me.

So what I did first was do the hunt...I went to Graphic Stock and found a really nice graphic I thought would go well with my style.  Below is the process with which I went through to create it.  It looks like a lot of work, but really it goes fairly fast.  I use PaintShopPro and Photoshop to do most of me editing, but with this particular image, I used PSP.  I removed the background and some of the shadow and put a white circle on the top.  Then step 3, I put the image into the Cameo software, (by the way, it only accepted a jpeg image, so dont try to use a png!), traced out the image.  Once I was happy with the results of the line drawing, I grouped the pieces then copied and pasted them and put as many shapes as I could on the page.

Save the file..always save before you cut or print..I have made enough mistakes over the years that its something I automatically do.  Although the Cameo software does a nice job of autosave.  Then step 4 as you see is the final results after cutting.  I am going to eventually put another little label on the bottom half of the tags that say THANK YOU.  I found the exact shape on Graphic Stock and digitally cut out each label and saved them with different names...  I am really liking Graphic Stock.  There are far more designs I can use for more than just eye candy!  Anyway, I hope you like the tags...  When I get the second label made and adhere it to the tag I will show it to you then.

More fun stuff coming soon!
Thanks for stopping by..Chris  :-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RAW update!

Hi Everybody, 

I have been hand-selected by RAW:natural born artists to show my work at their next artist showcase in Sacramento called COMMUNIQUE, but I need your help!

The event will be held at Ace of Spades, 1417 R St on Thursday, August 14th at 7:30pm. The event is 21+ and the dress code is cocktail attire. 

I'm writing to you to ask for your support to be a part of this amazing event! Not only can this event help me network with other great local artists and expose me to 700+ attendees, it can help me expand nationally as well. Here's how: 

RAW is providing me with a video interview and b-roll footage of the event, as well as head shots and photos of my display to help me to further promote myself independently. 

I'll be eligible to win the RAW artist of the year award locally, and have an opportunity to compete against other city winners for the national title to [perform/showcase] at the RAWards award show & ceremony in LA. 

AND I will have an opportunity to showcase again OUT-OF-STATE at any other RAW location of my choice!

All I have to do is sell 20 tickets to help promote the event. Your support would be greatly appreciated. The tickets are only $15 and need to be sold by Thursday, August 7th in order for me to participate. If you buy them from me you also save $5 because they go up to $20 at the door. 

You can purchase tickets right from my RAW artist profile: 

If you are not available to attend that night, you can still purchase a ticket to support me and my work. This will open up a guest list spot for me to invite someone who can attend [clients, record label owner, gallery owner, etc.]

I am currently running a special just for those who purchase tickets on my behalf.  You will receive a 50% discount code plus a special surprise for my Etsy and Handmade Artist shops. If you live locally, and would rather get the discount on an event I am participating in, please let me know.

Thank you so much for your support, I couldn't do this without you! 

Christina Miles XOXO

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


 Well, first off, let me announce the winner..  


 has won this pair of fun beautiful earrings and I am sooooo happy for her.  And I would also like to THANK ALL of you who participated, I really truly appreciated all your shares and comments very much. This has been a fun thing for me to do and I am going to plan on doing more in the future. I hope you enjoyed this and please try again at my next GiveAway..  I also wanted to Thank ZnetShows for those amazing sea glass beads...

Hugs to all....


Monday, July 07, 2014


Yes, its my very first time for doing a "GIVE AWAY" and I am rather excited about it.  I did some research and checked out other designers give-away so I can see how I was going to do mine. So, this is it..  :-)

For those who are new to my blog, I am a designer for ZnetShows.  We often receive a beautiful handful of beads to create with. Many of our creations are put into their magazines and are also sometimes posted on their blog or website.  This set of earrings was created as part of the recent "Summer Days and Nights" challenge. I did not put them in the magazine so that I could use them as a bonus design on my blog, hence this Give-Away.

These are beautiful cherry red sea glass beads from ZnetShows.   I hand forged the copper wires and added the size 2 rondelle for that extra bling.  These are approximately 2 1/ inches long including the wire.  The copper is sealed with Clear Guard. 

Rules: well, I dont have  All I really ask is that you leave a comment on this post.  Below I have a rafflecopter form and would greatly appreciate you filling it out and share the love of my blog.  Its not mandatory, just appreciated. I will put your name in the raffle for each item you fill out and complete on the form. So if you only fill out one of the items along with a comment, I will put your name in twice, etc.

Thank you so much for your interest and your participation...  PS, I do plan on another give away in you might want to join my blog and like my FB page to see what I have coming up next..I will give you a hint, its not jewelry, but you can create something fun with it....and perhaps a few extras fun things tossed in!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

My New Watermark for my Photos

You know how it goes when you want to leave that special watermark on your photos and you want something that stands out..something that is YOU and represents what you make.  I am constantly changing my watermark signature to find the one that really works and stands out.  

I was looking online one day for who knows what..hehehe and I saw this beautiful signature that was so simple and it had this cute simple flower that was I think blue and the rest of the signature of her name and then her website...I LOVED it...  But you know me, I can not do simple. 

 SOoo, I did the hunt on Graphic Stock where I have found so many amazing graphics already.  I searched for WINGS since my business is Wings N Scales..Wings represent Fairies and Scales represents Mermaids just in case you didn't know... So I found this great graphic that is a PSD file so I can edit it in Photoshop..YAY.

So, this is the image I found and fell madly in love with. This image is a JPG, so what you see is what you get.  The PDS file has all of the layers.  So, I separated the layers and kept just the woman and the wings and got rid of the background. Then changed the colors.

Then once I found the picture I wanted, I needed to find a fun font.  I usually go to, the trick is finding a font that is free for commercial use.  They are there, but take some time to find them.  Most are for personal use.  Always read the rules before you install them on your computer just in case you want to use them for anything that is considered commercial.

I think this turned our rather cute dont you?  Now this is a jpg so its not the file I use for my watermark but I just love the colors...sooo me!  I thought maybe the girl was too large at first, but I think any smaller would have been not as powerful or noticeable.

I would love to hear your feedback on this.. 

If you think its too colorful, or to big.. I can always change it, or leave it alone!  


Friday, July 04, 2014

ZNETSHOW “Summer Days & Nights”..Magazine reveral

Another bundle of pure beachy joy by Znetshows was sent to me along with many other designers to see what we could come up with for the "Summer Days & Night" challenge.  I will tell you this, you will be quite excited to see all the creations in this magazine. We were also asked what our "PERFECT SUMMER" would be like...  Well, you see how I write a NOVEL sized blurp.    So believe me when I say...mine was a bit wordy and really there was no room for it in the I am going to tell you what my perfect summer is to me here on my blog.....lots more room to write and probably bore you to death!!LOL

"My idea of a perfect summer would be sitting on the beach with my toes in the sand and enjoying the cool breeze on a hot day. Of course I would have a hat on and some sunscreen slathered all over my body and a huge pair of sunglasses on.  I would be sitting next to my hubby while he reads. Then also, I would have to have my handy dandy camera with me so I can take millions of pictures only to pick out 10 of my favorite ones later. As for night time, sitting at an outside restaurant eating my favorite fish and chips and having a nice glass of wine or ice cold beer with my hubby...yea, he has to tag along just about everywhere I go, he can be fun!"

Now for the more exciting part of this post...the Magazine.. 
 You can find me on page 74-76.

 To see all the participants visit Znetshows Blog

So, with all the yummy beads, here are some pictures which are not posted in the magazine.. Remember this picture below, this is what I started out with.

This is what I made for my evening wear...its beautiful.  I am quite happy with the finished piece

 See the yummy Swarovski ravolis?

 I bought these great pewter beads at Beads On Main when they had their big sale, its so pretty and is double sided

 And the fun beaded rope..  I watched a quick video on You Tube and got to work..once I got started it was pretty easy to make...but is a very loose stitch so I put the sari silk in the middle for added strength and stability of the beads.

I added a metal filigree backing to the Swarovski rivoli which gave the beads better support and it made it so much prettier I think.

This red design was just an added piece I had to do.  I made the polymer beads, was lots of fun to see this piece fall into place.  I had no idea what I was going to do with all the red hour glass sea glass beads other than the dangle part.  

 I made the dangle part first and beaded a loop on the top not really knowing what I was going to attach it to.

 I made the large beads first...which I think turned out really well..Then I had all this scrap clay I didnt want to waste, so I ended up making the ring you see here.  Little by little this piece came together and I am in love with it!

 I had this clasp for another creation I was going to make, but then decided it looked really good on this necklace...

 Here are the beads, they are quite big for me, but I am getting used to the larger beads.

This is my day time piece.  Now this one, I am going to keep.  It is amazing and very summery and beachy.  I had these beads sitting on my table for some time...not knowing what I was going to do and the deadline was getting closer and closer.....and closer.

It fits me perfectly..LOL

Here is a close up of the starfish pendent I made with polymer clay

 I actually made the bracelet first.  I love this bracelet too...all the dangly beads...

I kept the cording ends long so I could keep them as part of the design element...

Love this clasp...its rather large, but look how fun it is...and its easy to handle for those with larger fingers

I just love this color combination. Sunny, beachy and bold...

I thought the earrings would look best with the same dangling strands of cord with all the same beads tied on.  

And for a fun pair of earrings for my almost final piece.

I have a perfect top that will go well with these earrings..

This is my final piece.  I made these last but did not put them in the challenge.  I had run out of time.  

Now for the real fun part!  Yup, I am going to do a "GIVE AWAY" with this pair of earrings. I have never done one before and have seen lots of other designers do this and I have actually participated in a few.  If you are interested in my GIVE AWAY, please make sure you leave a comment.  Once I get my rules squared away, I will send you a little message and post it on my blog.

Thanks sooooo much for stopping by and checking out the new magazine!


Blog Hop Participants:

ChristinaMiles <-----me----->

Monday, June 30, 2014

Graphic Stock review

I was given this gift from Graphic Stock and was asked to do a review of their digital products.  In doing so, I was given full access to their website and was able to pick and choose any of the graphics they have on their site. The beauty of this, is that any of the graphics I download I get to keep for life...and I can use them on my commercial website without paying an extra fee as many other graphic sites charge.  Being that I create slideshows for students who graduate in the program I work at, I can have so much more fun with the variety of designs I have to choose from.  I also do my own website and my sisters so, this is going to be much more fun once I start updating our sites.

So let me begin with how much I honestly love their website.  

Its very user friendly.  Once I logged in, I was able to move around the site very easily.  I am going to show you some screen shots I took of my dashboard and explain what I see.

This is what you will fist see once you log in, you can see on the left are your account management options.  It tells you the date when you opened your account and welcomes you by name.  Just below that are a couple of search engines where you can get to work right away looking for a specific graphic 

This screenshot is on the same page as the picture above only it has drop-down menu's where you can explore the different categories if you just want to browse around and see what the have. The first time I did this, I must have spent hours looking much to see!

This is a screen shot of the images on the DESIGN ELEMENTS category.  You can see that I have it set to 48 images per page and look how many pages there are..OMG..I could not even look at the all.  One thing I do want to know you can search by file type too...look where it says VECTOR, RASTER, PHOTOSHOP near the upper middle area.  You check off these boxes and it will refine your search for these file types.  

This is what you see when you type in jewelry, you see all the different ways you can search for something you are looking for.

Here are some examples of what they have when I looked up Jewellery. Pretty designs.

These are GREAT! I love banners, and these are perfect of blogs and even websites.

I love these too...LOL  now as I mentioned earlier, I create slideshows...and one of the best parts for me is how to make the slides FUN for the with this picture, I would take it apart and use the mustache on one student, put a pipe in their mouth..or maybe add the glasses to a teacher...anything to make the pictures stand out...  I will eventually add more examples of this particular image later..  :-)

One thing I really like about Graphic Stocks images is they give you a variety of designs using some of the same elements.  Look at the difference here... and again, I could use the graphic above and put it in my own background or maybe one of the other backgrounds I find here...

As for my conclusion of this review, I will say this... Graphic Stock is AWESOME..and I am not saying that because I am being partial to them.  I have used other graphics from other sites and have had to pay per item, and had to pay more for commercial rights.  Some graphics I have paid up to $30 just for that license plus the price of the graphics.  With Graphic Stock, that is not so.. You pay an annual fee, you get full benefits of their graphics including commercial rights without an extra fee.  And as always with any graphics on line, they are copyright protected, so your only limit is to not make money off of them, claim them as your own and a few other limitations which you can read in the Support Center before you decide you want to join in.

So, what are you waiting for?  Check out their website.

I promise it will be worth all 7 days to explore everything they have :-)

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you take advantage of their offer..


Friday, June 27, 2014

Flight of the Dragonfly Challenge

I love dragonflies, they are so amazing to watch and a little scary when they buzz by your head if you are not expecting it.  I decided to join in on the Dragonfly challenge presented by KraftyMax on the Bead Soup Cafe Facebook group I belong to.  Not one design is the same in this challenge.  I decided to paint up my dragonfly.  I have 2 paintings, one I actually was able to finish before the cut off date. So here are the examples of my creation..This is a Blog/No Blog Hop, so those who have a blog to share I have listed them below my images..

I found these awesome beads at Beads On Main, its one of our local bead stores and she has some amazing stuff there...I also got the square link/connector which is beautiful!

I started to make the bead-work on the sides and didn't like how it was turning out, maybe 3 times I had to tear up the pieces I started to make.  I ended up using the glass cylinder beads and just love how it finally fit into place.

Before I put the bead work on and tightened it all up to fit both sides nice and snug, I glued a nice peace of leather on the back side.

And finally the sari silk was the last thing I added.  I made the J hook clasp and beaded up a little band around the wire which is wrapped around the silk that is looped around the end of the hook. Phew...that was a mouthful!  Hehe

This is a better view of the pendent.  You can see now where the word DRAGON is written and FLY, and the heart.  Now, see if you can find my signature...LOL

Here is a close up of the clasp, simple and does a nice job!  Its quite comfortable too.  Its made with blackened steel wire and I sealed it with some really good spray..sorry, too lazy to go find the brand name...LOL  I will get it later.  :-)

Finally another cabochon I painted for this challenge but didnt have enough time to get it finished.  I think this one turned out quite lovely.  It is painted with watercolors and sealed with resin.  It is still in the works and hope to finish it soon.  I struggled a lot with this pendent.  I am not all that experience at beadwork, I consider myself a beginner/intermediate beader.  I wound up being a tad too loose once I got to beading the upper half, but I found a way to tighten it, and I am quite pleased with the finished work..

I am very happy to announce that I am FINISHED with the second dragonfly.  I need to start naming my pieces.  I think it would be great if I had the wits to come up with some fun names...but no..I just am not all that good at it...Hmmm...I think I need to call my BFF in NY.

Wow...are you feeling the love???  This dragonfly looks grumpy though, but when I had a nice close up picture, that is really what their faces look like...those frowns...  Its hard to see in this picture, but the yellow beads I bought to match the body of the dragonfly.  The yellow and black beads were mixed on the strand and I just knew they would match quite well.  And those huge lavender see them in person they are beautiful and add some magic to the dragonfly.

I went shopping the other day at Michaels, and found these great dragonfly pendents.  I thought...hmmm..I might use this sometime, and they were on sale..which is always a benefit! I didnt know I was actually going to use the pendent in my design, but when I finished the beadwork, it looked a little naked yea, the dragonfly looks really nice.  I added some patina to kind of match the dragonfly painting.

I struggled some with the clasp...wasnt really wanting to make the J hook, but I did.  I refused to go to the bead store one more time...cuz you know you cant just buy one thing there...  So after I wrapped the wire around the fabric and still needed something to tie into the was just too plain for me.  Then, the flower spoke to me...and I put it all together and it was done.. Ahhhhh...   The fabric, just so you know, came all the way from Ireland.  When hubby and I went there several years ago, I saw this fabric in one of their side shops..  I love how it shimmers, and being that at the time I was making lots of mermaid dolls, I thought this would be a great piece to bring home.  Funny thing is, I never used it to make any of my dolls yet..and that was probably...hmm...10 years ago now...maybe 8.  It is a purple fabric with a blue shimmer, perfect match!

You can visit my flickr page to see all the photos I have taken of my designs

Thank you very much for stopping by and please take a peek at some of the other participants...