Friday, August 24, 2012


I love Lori's Bead Soup Blog Parties!  They are fabulous.  A party right in your own house, where you can cozy down with hot chocolate and beads. What could be better?  Maybe getting to create something with a wonderful bead soup!

I love the reveal date, too.  I get to show off what I made, and I get to see what other people have made.  And today is the day!

So, just in case you don't remember, here is the faboo soup that my partner, Rose Binoya sent me.

Now, I have to be honest with you.  I loved the soup, but I had absolutely NO idea what I was going to do with that focal.  I've never worked with key-holes, and I am not a bead stitcher.  I was worried and fretful, and really wondered what I was going to do.

I thought and thought and thought, but was completely flummoxed until 2 weeks ago.  I was laying in bed dozing off when suddenly an idea came to me.  Fully formed and with a surprising amount of detail.  Just so you know, dear reader, I do not create that way.  Mostly my creations are as much the process as the end result.  I tend to kind of discover what I'm making as I go along.  I might have a general idea, but I rarely go into projects with them complete & fully formed.  So, I lay there for a couple seconds thinking, "Will I remember this idea in the morning?", and came to the decision that even IF I did, I probably wouldn't remember every little bit.  So I scooted out of bed, came downstairs and drew it.  My drawing leaves MUCH to be desired, but I still want to share the picture.

I sometimes draw a picture of what I'm going to make, but rarely does it end up looking the same.  I am delighted at how much my necklace looks like the picture.  I had a lot of fun putting this piece together, and got to use a lot of different techniques.

I don't have access to the metal-smithing shop during the summer, so I chose to create the heart from polymer clay.  I painted it, and glued the key-hole to it.  Then I used a pre-cut metal shape and stamped the words "Set it free" into it. I went over the letters with my black Sharpie, and used alcohol inks to give it texture.

I backed the metal with leather, and then wire-wrapped the birds, the key and the mint crystals from Rose with some green ones I already had.  I am very pleased with this piece.  And I had so much fun making it.  Thank you, Rose!  I would never have made this piece without your soup!
Next, I LOVED the beautiful button toggle Rose sent me, and I needed to use it.  I wanted to create a fun bracelet.  My sister had found an explanation of how to create button toggles, but I hadn't yet jumped into making them.  Now that I've seen how cool they are, I want to make some myself.  I used the purple crystals from the soup and paired them with green crystals, stones and a few wood beads.
I loved this little garden bracelet so much I ended up with another picture of it from a different angle.

Then I used those fantastic Lucite flowers and created a pair of wire-work earrings.  These look like some earrings I made over the winter, but I think this new pair is more fun.  I used glass pearls in the ones I made before, but Rose sent me some little tiny Lucite flowers, too.  I layered them with the pearls, and I really like the end result.

Finally, I only had two of Rose's lovely purple crystals left, and I wanted to make a pair of earrings with them.  I still had the lock and key image running around in my mind, and these reflect Rose's key-hole focal.
I enjoyed playing with this wonderful soup, and am delighted with how many pieces I was able to create.
Thank you, Rose!  You sent me a wonderful soup.
Thank you, Lori!  You throw the best parties.
Also, for you, dear reader, I have a give-away!  Yup, freebies!!!
Leave a comment, and next week on Saturday, the 1st of September, my girls will help me select one lucky beader to receive a pair of my hand-painted polymer butterfly charms!
And off you go, to the next reveal!
Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart *My sister*
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle, Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation, Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope, LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place *YOU are HERE*
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog *My Bead Swap Partner*
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog

Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila
Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs

Solange Collin, Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Soup!

As part of Lori's Bead Soup Blog Party, I have been matched with the fabulously talented Rose Binoya of Ahtee's Blog.  Rose creates lovely and intricate wire pieces, such as this:

And this:
Beautiful, just beautiful.  I love twisting wire into jewelry, but I do not have the patience to do the intricate weaving and tension work involved in Rose's wire art.  I had seen the pendant in Jewelry Affaire, the magazine, and had fallen love with the copper twisting and the wonderful wire wrap around the central turquoise bead.  And then I get paired up with Rose by Lisa!  Pretty cool.

Rose sent me a wonderful soup to work with for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party.  I'm excited and nervous.

I love that key hole focal, but I have no idea how I am going to use it...  I've never worked with a focal piece that's wide and short!  I've got some ideas percolating, and I've worked on some drawings.  I hope my ideas work out, 'cuz I'm not sure what I'll do if they don't!
I'm envisioning some polymer clay, some metal work... 

Me and sparklies are so closely entwined I should have been a raven.  I've never met a sparkly I didn't fall passionately in love with, so those glass crystals have found a home where they will be adored.  I love using Lucite flowers in my wire-work, and am looking forward to seeing what I can do with those new shapes.  I've never worked with the cute little four petal flowers.

Isn't that button clasp great?  Beth and I have just started playing around with the idea of buttons as wired clasps.  I'm in love with these clasps and am looking forward to creating a home for this one.

Check back in on Saturday, August 25th for the reveal!  I expect to reveal something fabulous and fun.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) Pearl wire necklaces!

I like making these necklaces for many reasons.  I love working with the wire and quality pearls, the necklaces are lovely and sell well.  I also enjoy the fact that I have improved in my ability to making them.
The funnest part is making sure that each of them looks different.  I use different leaves and glass sparkles to create a slightly different mood with each pieces, while still maintaining the basic simplicity of the design.  At first I wasn't making the earrings but specific customers have asked, so I have started making something just in case a customer asks.

2) School starts in four days!
My girls go back to school next Tuesday, and I'm delighted, thrilled, ecstatic, even a little joyful.  Even though I hate to see summer dwindle away, I am ready to turn my children over to the keeping of the school district.  They have been at loose ends these last weeks and demanding more entertaining.  I'm ready for them to be entertained and learn and see their school friends.

3) Re-working necklaces
I've continued the process of remaking all the wire necklaces into new pieces.

This necklace used to be a circle of wire, but I've taken the central portion of the necklace and turned it into a large pendant.  I'm really pleased with these new/old pieces.  I've had many of them for a couple of summers and they needed a face-lift.  Hanging them on wire gives them more flexibility in length and a little more durability.
It's fun to re-imagine these pieces, and I'm so happy to see them looking good.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturday, I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) Necklace Remakes
This week I took apart 5 wire necklaces that I've had forever.  Well, maybe not forever, but at least 2 summers, and possibly more.  I am keeping the main ideas for each piece and then re-working the main structure.  Here's an example of a re-worked piece in progress:
This piece used to be a complete circle of gold wire, with a clasp at the back of the neck.  It had five flowers made from the vintage brass beads and 15 gold e-beads wrapped around them.  I unwrapped the back half of the necklace to create a pendant.  I'll hang this smaller piece from chain, instead of having wire go all the way around. 
I've added wire loops, green butterflies, and some sparkly beads.  The pendant is now much stronger than the original piece as I have worked with the wire, wrapped and wrapped additional wire around the original two twisted wires.  I haven't quite finished the piece yet, but this photo was taken about half-way through the remaking process.
I find it to be a fun and challenging process to remake these necklaces.  It's not the same as totally creating a brand new piece, and I like finding new ways to inspire the creative juices to flow.

2) My feet are finally feeling better!
I'm still stuck in the stupid boot, but my left foot is not hurting as much.  My right ankle (the sprained one) is feeling better, although it is still quite impressively purple and green.

3) The Olympics!

I love watching the Olympics- seeing the contests, hearing the stories, and coming to care for the competitors.  I want them all to win...  They've all worked so hard, and fought against so many odds.  I was way more involved this year. I don't know why.  Better interviews?  More sleep?  My girls are old enough to be interested?  Probably all of the above.

Bead Soup Blog Party

Today is the second reveal date!  I am not part of the second serving of soup because my reveal is not until August 28th, two weeks from today. 

However there are some AWESOME pots of bead soup out there to view.  You can find the list of participants HERE.  Go, Look, Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Red Flower Remix

I've had this red and copper wire necklace hanging around for at least a year, maybe another summer, too. But I think I made it last year. I loved the necklace, but it has sat on my table for a year or so...

It is pretty, but it doesn't really fit in with what I am creating now.  So today I began the process of recreating it.  I am not sure how it will turn out.  I hope it will be smashing, a lovely floral & lace bauble to caress the neck of any maiden. 

The first step in the remixing process was to unwind the wire down to the flowers I am keeping, only the three in the center.  And I shall work out from there.  One big change: I am going to use chain and a lobster clasp so that the necklace has more flexibility in length. 

At this point, I don't know what else I'm going to do to it...