Patti Vanderbloemen lives in Northern Virginia and loves crafts of all kinds, particularly jewelry making. Her favorite jewelry incorporates handmade beads such as lampwork, ceramic and Precious Metal Clay (PMC). Each item of jewelry Patti creates is truly one of a kind — check out her store called “My Additions” on Etsy!
Patti is currently creating 75 bracelets for the 2012 Rare Tribute to Champions of Hope event to be held in September in Newport Beach, CA. She is an amazingly kind and generous person – read for yourself!
I joined the 7000 Bracelets for Hope Blog Hop last year. A group of designers – over 50 – were asked to create handmade bracelets to distribute to families fighting rare diseases. The only criteria was to make a bracelet using materials in the blue family of colors. I was inspired and created not one, but four bracelets – which I hope brought as much happiness to four women as it did to me in creating them. I feel honored to create these bracelets for hope – each one is a labor of love. When the recipient looks at the bracelet, he/she will know that ‘someone out there’ is cheering them on, keeping them in their prayers, and giving them hope for a brighter tomorrow.
My favorite artisan bead maker is Susan Kennedy of SueBeads. Susan is a lampwork bead artist – my all-time favorite handmade bead of choice! I have commissioned Suan to make the majority of my beads for the event, and she has begun the process and bead sets are on their way. I have been buying beads from Susan for some time now and I have given her creative license to simply provide me with beads in “shades of blue and/or blue green.” My hope is incorporate a charm with the words “hope”, “believe” or “faith” into the designs.
I was inspired to start my store called “My Addictions” and make jewelry by the craftiest of crafters, my mother. She had taken several lapidary classes when she lived in Florida several years ago, and her daughters and grand-daughters were the recipients of her beautiful designs!
I spend hours hunting for crystals, gemstones, and especially handmade artisan beads and components. For me, the bead always dictates the design…whether it should be made into earrings, necklace, bracelet, anklets, or even rings. I began by using sterling silver, but have recently ventured into copper, brass, and bronze. The warmth and depth of these metals enhance the beauty of the chosen component.
My “studio” began as a small, tool-type storage box that I would empty out onto my kitchen table on a daily basis. Then, when my beads and supplies outgrew my storage box, I bought another box. Soon, there were plastic storage bins everywhere in my kitchen.
I now call my basement my “studio,” and it’s complete with four separate work tables, several Ott lamps to compensate for the almost non-existing natural light, and a few storage cabinets for my supplies. Mind you…it is an unfinished basement, next to the lawn equipment to boot! However, some of my jewelry making entails soldering, sawing and filing metal, etc., so it can become quite messy! An unadorned, unfinished concrete floor is perfect for the job!