Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party #8!!

Today's reveal date at the Bead Soup blog party.  I know I'm way late, and didn't even let you know I was participating, but it's been an extremely busy spring, and well... life happens.  Hosted by the fabulous Lori Anderson, the bead soup blog party is an event where two people swap a group of beads, and make items with those beads.  The beads must include a clasp and a focal, but can include anything else the two people want to send.  There are 468 of us participating this year, and all of the creations will be available for viewing today on the blog party.  My partner is Karen Jones, a lovely lady that lives only an hour and half from me, and who blogs at Off the Top Creations.

Karen sent me the following pretties to play with - a gorgeous selection of green beads, some stone, some ceramic, with some copper accent pieces and a few lovely brown pieces to balance it all out.

I picked up an issue of Bead Stringing this week, and used Lorelei Eurto's bracelet recipe to make this bracelet.  I used the glass and wood beads from the soup, combined them with a clasp from TheaToo, and added my own lampwork focal and accents to the mix.  I really love this bracelet, and will think fondly of Karen and the lovely things she sent me when I wear it.

Next, on to what I did with the clasp that Karen sent.  I had quite a hard time with this one, as the clasp was a different shape than what I'm used to.  I tried several different combinations, including one version with hot pink beads, before settling on this.  I also used the copper round butterflies and some of the serpentine that Karen sent, along with chain and vintage glass from my own collection.

 Lastly, I created a quick pair of earrings out of some fancy jasper and a couple of lampwork rounds.  I'm quite happy with these, and think the bronze beads at the top and bottom add a lot to the earrings.

Of course, I also sent Karen some goodies to play with, and if you'd like to see what she's done with these, head on over to Off The Top Creations to see her reveal:

If you want to see all of the other pretties, this link will take you to all of the other participating bloggers in the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bead Soup Hoarder's Hop

It's been kind of a busy and distracted month here - a quick weekend in New York, a work trip to the mountains, a flood, and a friends wedding all added up to not much beading.  I was glad that Lori Anderson is hosting a blog hop this weekend so I could get back at it.

Lori's challenged all of us to pull things out of our stash that we've been hoarding - things that we see as to precious or too expensive to use anywhere else, and put something together.  When she announced the theme of the hop, I knew what I should be using.  I'd bought 5 bone pieces over 25 years ago from a craft store in Edmonton.  Even though I've been beading a long time, none of the 5 pieces has found their way into anything over the years.  That became my personal challenge - use one of those pieces in my work.  When I was designing this piece, I ran across a single earring that was purchased as part of a grab bag in Savannah this spring.  I knew I would find a use for it, and I think it balances out the bone.  It's not a new dangle, but the fact that it has some age (and a few stones missing) adds some character.

 In addition to the bone, I also wanted to use something from my vintage treasures - I hoard anything vintage with a passion, and have amassed quite a collection of things from bead shows in town, as well as a flea market in Paris.  The large dark brown glass beads came out of that collection.  Purchased at a bead show several years ago, they look lovely when combined with the bone.

When I first started collecting beads, I was still in high school, and everything had to be funded out of my allowance and a part time job at a bead shop.  I don't know how much money I actually took home from the bead shop, as my purchases added up quickly, but the discount was very much appreciated.  I still have several relics from that era - I tended to purchase smaller, inexpensive beads so that my dollars would go further.  A few years ago, I cleaned out my bead collection, and the wood and plastic beads were donated to a local charity.  I kept anything that I would see using in a piece - the nut beads were part of the things that I kept, as were the leopard jasper rounds, which were purchased at a local gem show around town. 

"New" components in the piece include the lighter faceted glass, purchased at a local bead shop recently and the two leaf connectors, purchased in New York on my spring trip.

If you'd like to see what everyone else is making, here's the list of participants:

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
  10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine's Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D'Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia's Unique Beaded Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda's Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou's time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 - For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine's Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings 'n' Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi's Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena's Beady Blog

Saturday, June 01, 2013

History Hop - Warring States China - 475BC to 221BC

I'm participating in Beady Eyed Bunny's "History Hop" this weekend.  Each of us is to pick a country and period in history, do some research and then create a piece of jewellery around that research.

I decided I needed a bit of a stretch, so picked China as my country from the list that Beady Eyed Bunny gave, then picked the Warring States period, manly so I could make beads with lots of dots on them!  The Warring States period is known for a specific style of beads, often used as inspiration by modern beadmakers, and is known for layers of dots, often referred to as horns.  I took a class with Larry Brickman several years ago, who introduced me to the style, and since I hadn't used the technique in a while, I thought this would be perfect.

Lets go back to the Warring States period.  It was a period of significant conflict, leading to the conquering and consolidation of seven states of China into the Qin dynasty.  Significant advancements in the art of warfare, including the invention of the crossbow and advancements in ironworking, are likely to have happened during this period.  Because of the amount of conflict and change, advancements in schools of thought, including the rise of Confucianism and Taoism, were thought to be the "golden age" of Chinese philosophical thinking, and this period is included in the time that the Hundred Schools of Thought existed.

In my work, I tried to capture some of these elements in the necklace that I made - this was one of the first periods in Chinese history where mass production was used to arm soldiers in conflict.  This made outfitting an army much easier, and so the scale of military campaigns was greater than in any period before.  I represented this through the repeating elements of small turquoise circles, which would have been time consuming to reproduce by hand, but much easier with mechanical assistance.  I incorporated the "free thinking" aspects of the period into the bold and unusual colour scheme - I don't normally work with turquoise, or orange or green, but they seem to have worked out well in this piece.

My research into jewellery or elements that would have existed around this time uncovered two trends - one was the Warring States style beads, which are easily identifiable by the layers of dots incorporated.   Because of this, they are also known as "Dragon Eye Beads".   The Warring States period was one of the first periods in Chinese history to start creating glass jewellery, although techniques were thought to have been adopted from Europe.  The other trend was to make monochrome funeral objects out of glass, using glass to represent the more expensive and harder to work with material of jade.

To incorporate these trends, I decided to make a disk in the Warring States style at the bottom of the necklace.  This is then hung from cord, and attached with another Warring States style bead to the main necklace with a small bail.   For the main necklace, I decided that I really liked a technique that I used in my "Bead Soup Blog Party" work, which uses a right angle weave technique to set disks flat.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right stringing material - too stiff, and the work wouldn't hand properly; too weak, and the material wouldn't support the stone and glass that is incorporated.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the work - it's a large departure for me from the colours and materials that I usually use, but it's nice to step out of the box once in a while!  I look forward to seeing what everyone else has made!

If you'd like to visit others on this hop, the list of participants is as follows:

Leah Curtis - Indus Valley -
Laney Mead - Māori -
Becca - Art Nouveau -
Melissa - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Tracy Stillman - Native American -
Gerda - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Liz E - Native North American -
Ahowin - Māori (New Zealand)  - 
Jasvanti - Indus Valley -
Lizzie - Art Nouveau -
Julia Hay - Merovingian -
Dini - Celtic -
Caroline - Art Nouveau - 
Charlie - Moche of Peru -
Karin - China -
Niky Sayers - Rome -
Marcia Dunne - Celctic and Mourning Jewelry -
anafiassa - Mesopotamia -
Kokopelli - Native American -
Christa - Native American -
Clair - Roman -
Susan Bowie - Native American -
Gloria Allen - English Romanticism -
Sheila Garrett - Early Russia -

Sunday, May 26, 2013

New again..

The first three or four months of any year are pretty heavy on the travel commitments for me, and this year was no exception.  A long work trip, combined with a couple of shorter weekends away meant that I didn't have time to spend beading or on the computer. 

It did mean, however, that I got to some pretty cool places, and got to poke around some vintage shops in my spare moments.  I always like making something current out of older components, and this bracelet is no exception.  I got the amber glass buttons in New York, and found the dual hole brass and lacquer components on a very, very dated bracelet in Savannah.  When put together with a large clasp, they look like they were always meant to be together. 

I'm hoping to update more regularly from now on - I'll be participating in the "History" blog hop next weekend.  Each of us has chosen a period and country from history and will be creating something to reflect the times.  I've been getting a little more torch time in lately, so decided to try my hand at the "Warring States" period of China, which has a specific bead style that has often been recreated by lampworkers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party #7!!

I'm participating in the Bead Soup Blog party this year.  Over 500 of us are participating this year, and this  is the third of three reveals of beautiful work.  I started with a collection of beads, a clasp and a focal bead from my lovely partner Merja Syrjamaki.  The reveals officially start tomorrow, but I'm heading out for a weekend away, and wanted to put the post up before I left.

I was a bit challenged with this, as I haven't worked with gemstones in the past, and typically don't work with pink, but I love what Merja sent me.  I know she was a little worried about the quantity, but I got three sizeable pieces out of the soup, so it was definitely a generous helping!  First I created a "wine inspired" bracelet, with the leaf shaped clasp, the jasper, green stone and some lovely dark burgundy pearls.

Next up was more reminiscent of my style - a  three tier necklace, with big copper loops for interest.  I used the lovely crystal, rose quartz and pearls that Merja sent me, adding a couple of clear beads, the chain and copper loops

And finally for the focal - I'd had the idea to use the brass spacers as chain after seeing a similar piece in a local jewellery store.  I strung them together with a couple strands of Fireline and a right angle weave technique.  I added the chain accents, along with some lampwork spacers and the pearl drops before adding the brass and crystal clay focal.  All in all, I'm very happy with the way that this turned out.

If you'd like to see what other people are creating, the fabulous hostess of the party, Lori Anderson, has all of the participants up here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bead Soup!!

Blog Candy giveaway winner is Jen Ren!  Congrats, Jen!

Overall Soup - isn't it pretty!

I mentioned before that I'm participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party - a chance for beaders all over the world to exchange materials and create with something new with what they received.  My partner, Merja Syrjamaki, from Findland sent the most lovely soup, and I'm so excited to be working with it!  I have to admit that I tore into the packaging when I got the soup, so some of the photography groupings might be different than Merja had originally intended. Each soup has to include a focal and a special clasp, and could include as many beads as the person wants to send.  I'm looking forward to working with this soup, as I haven't worked much with gemstones in the past, so this is something to get me out of my comfort zone!

I`ve also included a picture of what I sent Merja at the end of the post - included are some of the lampwork beads that I made, as well as a very cool button that I found at one of the local knitting stores.  At almost 2" in diameter, I'm curious to see what Merja does with it!

Clasp and Focal - The focal is created with crystal clay and crystals

Rose Quarts and Pink Pearls
African Jasper and Pearls

"Jade", Keshi Pearls, crystal quartz and brass spacers

The soup I sent Merja - a little bit of everything!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bead Giveaway - Blog Candy!

I created a number of beads for the "Memories and Thanks" blog hop that Lori Anderson hosted a few months back.  I used a number of them in the piece that I created honouring my childhood babysitter.  I quickly realized that I have just too many, and some of them are just too similar to the ones in the finished piece and I won't ever use them in something else. 

 So - what better to do with them than host Blog Candy!  I'll draw from everyone who leaves a comment below on Friday, the 22nd of February, and send the beads off to whomever I draw.  If you do make something out of the beads,  I'd love to see what you created out of the beads.

There's 12 small frosted white beads, 7 small frosted streaky blue beads, one large blue focal with flowers, 3 matching rounds, and two tiny, tiny spacers, for a total of 25 beads.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party - Preview

I'm participating in Lori Anderson's fabulous project - The Bead Soup Blog Party.  There's over 500 of us,
all beaders, and all from different parts of the world. Lori's hosted several bead soup blog parties before, this being the seventh edition, so I'm confident we're all in good hands.

 What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?  Each of the participants sends their partner a selection of beads, which has to include a clasp and a focal bead and a few other beads, which is the "Bead Soup".  Each of the recipients then creates jewelry based on the items, including things from their own stash. On the reveal date, the two partners blog about their creations, along with everyone else on the reveal date in a blog hop.  The result is a whole lot of really wonderful, and often inspirational jewelry.  I found out about the blog party through blogs that I read, and was upset that I missed the last go round.  For this event, I'm partnered with Merja Syrjamaki, from Findland who produces fabulous work, and we're in the third reveal date, on April 13th.  To give you a sneak peek at what I sent off to Merja, here's a hidden picture of what I sent her.  

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Hanging out

 It's a semi-cold and blustery winter day here - nothing like the northeast of North America, but just a few skiffs of snow to make the day seem more like winter than the weather has been.  I shared this picture on Facebook a few weeks ago, but wanted to post here as well.  This is Sabine and Scout, who usually aren't too sure if they like each other, but sometimes show that they share the same household.  Besides, it's nice if someone else cleans the top of your head...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Inspired by Winter Blog Hop Reveal

I'm really enjoying joining blog hops this year.  I had joined a lot of exchanges in the past, and although I loved the time and effort that everyone put into their work, there were times that I kind of liked what I'd made, and wasn't ready to part with the item yet. I love that blog hops allow you to make your own thing, but you also get to check out what others have created.  The Inspired by Winter blog hop is just that - a challenge to design a piece that reflects winter.

I have to admit that the Inspired by Winter piece wasn't what I'd started out to create.  I'd imagined a stunning lariat, the loose end spilling over into a multitude of clear and white beads.  I really enjoyed an earlier piece that I created for a charity event, and always thought that it would be beautiful in white.  And using lots of little clear beads reminds me of hoar frost that makes the trees look like beautiful decorations. That's what I'd intended to create before life got in the way - a couple of trips in January, a weekend away and not enough time meant that I'd have to rethink.  I'm still very happy with what I came up with - a piece that drips clear and white beads from links.  When the necklace is on, it looks very regal, kind of like a snow queen.


The rest of the participants in the blog hop are: