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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Soup du Jour!

Welcome to the 3rd Bead Soup Blog Party!
What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

~ A focal
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.
Here's what I made!

This was my first BSBP, and I was very nervous at the beginning. Lucky me -- I had the good fortune of being teamed up with the fabulous Beth Bricker of Vintage Sweets. She sent me a ton of stuff - mostly copper, which was something I'd been wanting to work with, but 'til this, hadn't done much. I was also eager to experiment with Liver of Sulfur and this was the perfect thing to use as my guinea pig! Here's what Beth sent me:

She also included some bright shiny copper wire in two gauges. Since the clasp was antiqued, it only seemed right that everything else should be too. So I darkened the wire, the focal, and the Viking braid with Liver of Sulfur and I couldn't have been more pleased with the result. I didn't use everything in the necklace - and the only things of my own that I added were some jump rings, the sari ribbon, and a few copper spacers. Make sure you click on the photos so you can see better detail.

With some of the leftovers, I made a super fun pair of earrings!

And there's still bunches more left over! Thanks Beth - it's been so much fun! Many thanks to the tireless, fabulous, wonderful Lori Anderson who masterminded this whole crazy event. You're the best!

Come see what the rest of us made! 

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life 
3.  Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane 
4.  Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5.  Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6.  Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8.  Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9.  Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto ***YOU ARE HERE***
10.  Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11.  Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12.  Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13.  Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14.  Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15.  Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails 
17.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18.  Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19.  Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20.  Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22.  Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim 
23.  Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25.  Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26.  Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27.  Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads 
28.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30.  Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32.  Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33.  Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34.  Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36.  Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37.  Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40.  Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41.  Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42.  Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43.  Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya 
44.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45.  Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles 
46.  Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig  
47.  Amanda Davie, Articulations
48.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49.  Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50.  Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
51.  Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52.  Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53.  Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54.  Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56.  Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
58.  Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59.  Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60.  Sandi Lee James,  Do Be Do Bead Do
61.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog 
62.  Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63.  Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65.  Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68.  Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69.  Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71.  Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72.  Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73.  Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74.  Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
77.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art 
78.  Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden  
79.  Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

80.  Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81.  Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82.  Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84.  Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85.  Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86.  CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87.  Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89.  Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous 
92.  Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead 
93.  Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations 
94.  Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof  
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio 
96.  Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97.  Cindy Dolezal,  Cindy Dolezal Designs 
98.  Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101.  Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102.  Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations 
103.  Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104.  Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105.  Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106.  Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107.  Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108.  Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109.  Grace Danel,  Grace Beading
110.  Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111.  Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe 
112.  Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
113.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114.  Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles 
118.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
119.  Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart 
120.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven 
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings  
123.  Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass 
124.  Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks 
125.  Hazel Ward, All Those Things 
126.  Brenda Salzano, Salzanos 
127.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee 
128.  Anna Denisova, Anita-M 
129.  Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130.  Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads 
131.  Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132.  Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies  
137.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139.  Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140.  Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141.  Heather Pyle, Welcome to My  Muse
142.  Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143.  Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144.  Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145.  Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads 
147.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul 
148.  Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me  
149.  Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog 

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151.  Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153.  Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area 
154.  Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156.  Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef
157.  Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158.  Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color 
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman 

160.  Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161.  Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162.  Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163.  Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio 
165.  Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167.  Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168.  Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171.  Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172.  Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs 
173.  Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass 
174.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre  
176.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178.  Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179.  Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181.  Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen 
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin 
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels 
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry 
189.  Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190.  Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192.  Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197.  Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200.  Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201.  Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202.  Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203.  Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204.  Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205.  Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207.  Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209.  Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011.  Don't miss it!

Friday, February 25, 2011

I just needed fresh eyes

The earrings I mentioned in last night's post? I reexamined them, only this time, I remembered beads that were not in the usual containers - just what I needed to finish both pairs. One day, I hope I have hundreds of those compartmentalized sorty containers, but I'm not quite there yet. So I've got random things stashed in drawers, hidden away and oft forgotten.

I know everyone's all excited about the Bead Soup Blog Party, but that's tomorrow. So instead you'll have to enjoy the new earrings. I know I should be doing things in bright springy colors, but I'm totally in denial. For those of you who have been dealing with snow all winter, I know spring can't get here fast enough. But in the humid swamplands of New Orleans, where I've been wearing a tank top for the last few nights, I dread it. It's just the harbinger of the miserable hot sticky nasty summers I hate so much.

So! The earrings ;)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finally being somewhat productive again

I made one pair and two unfinished pairs of earrings the other night. The one that's finished is an extra from my Blog Soup, so I can't post pictures of it yet... And like I said, the other two aren't finished. I'll revisit them this evening and see if I can't sort them out. In both cases, it was a matter of not having quite the right bead(s) to finish them. I hate when that happens.

Anyway, I did recently update this necklace by swapping out its previous boring ribbon with this much more awesome sari ribbon. It's simple, but I like it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An advantage of living on the 3rd floor

There's this stupid dove that lives in the tree right outside of our front door. Doves are pretty stupid in general, but this one really takes the cake. A couple of months ago, I watched him as he repeatedly tried to fly upward and away as Craz and I were coming back from a late night walk. But it took him about 10 tries to realize that upward = ceiling. He flew into it numerous times totally panicking until he figured out that he might want to try a different route. Well this morning, he was sitting there picking at the leafless branches for some reason, and he was eying us with suspicion as we walked along the balcony to the door. He didn't stop his frenzied picking though. So I grabbed my camera and went back out to shoot him. After a few shots, he flailed until he landed on a further branch - there is no grace in the way this dove flies - and continued tearing at the branches.

Meanwhile, in jewelry land, I finally made it to Michael's yesterday to investigate their advertised "over 1300 new styles!" of Bead Gallery beads - for 50% off. Wow! It was hard to keep myself in check. I managed to limit myself to 26 strands, and a few of those were even duplicates. I could have gone crazy if I'd let myself - but I was trying to behave. And I got out for just under $100, so that's not bad at all!

I was DYING to make something, but I decided that  the first order of business was proper organization. My storage containers need to be sorted by color and not date of purchase. So that took a couple of hours. Then it was time for a nap. I've had a sinus infection since Thursday, and I am hardly taking it as easy as I should be. In fact once I'm done here, I need to go lie down and watch bad TV for the rest of the day. Forcing myself to work when I'm sick will not help me get better, nor will I create anything wonderful when I have to stop and sneeze every 3 minutes.

While I had my camera out though, I took some pictures of a bracelet I finished Friday night. I'd been working sporadically on it all week. The clasp is sterling and was darkened in Liver of Sulfur last weekend - that was my first experiment and what fun it was! The focal was one of my grandmother's shoe clips. I've been picking it up for ages and putting it down waiting for the right inspiration to strike. I'm mostly pleased with this result, but due to faulty "math" it's a lot smaller than I wanted. I can get it on, but I want it to be looser. My wrists aren't particularly big, but this would do much better on a petite waify sized person. I'm sure there are plenty of them out there lamenting that every bracelet they try on is too big. Hopefully, the right person will find it. And I have one more buckle and clasp for another try - but I think I'll do that one with wire instead of strung like this one. That way, if I need to add to it, it won't require a complete redo.

And for those of you who were wondering, my dog had her stitches removed yesterday and all is well! Thank all of you for your kind words for her this week!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Paper Clay Birds are Finished

I've been working on these all week, with all the time required for drying between steps. There are a couple more I haven't finished - but this is quite a good start. If anyone would like one, just let me know in the comments or email me. Since I don't have an etsy shop set up, I figured it would be easy enough to just do it like this. Each item is $7. Shipping is $2 (any additional items are free). I will send you a PayPal invoice. And I guess it's first come first serve. Rebecca gets first dibs, however, as she was the first person to say she wanted a bird or two!

If I am going about this in a totally horrible or tactless way, please let me know. I just wanted to get these out here and see if anyone was even interested. If things go well, I will definitely start listing things on etsy or somewhere similar. The only bird totally not for sale is the pink one, which was a custom order for a necklace for a very good customer & friend.

I hope everyone likes them! I'm having a blast making them. I'm sure Steve is getting sick of me showing him each new bird I paint like it's a newly discovered Picasso or something ;)

This is everything, below are various close-ups. 
Click any image to see it Super Size!

In other news: My dog's looking and feeling a whole lot better, even though she still has a week to go before she has her stitches out. AND!!! I finished my Bead Soup Blog Party necklace tonight. I never get things done ahead of time either. Go me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BTW, Buddha, & a Big Bruised Belly

It's time for:

Today on my table, I have paper clay beads in various stages. Most are little birds, a butterfly, a couple of big owl faces, a couple of monster heads and one random nothing bead that I was using to test a glaze. Hey, and the butterfly was done from a mold I made of this black butterfly that everyone loved so much.

Also included for your viewing pleasure is a necklace I finished last night. I've been working on it in pieces for days, but I buckled down and finished it last night. I'm so A.D.D. about my projects these days! Plus, I've been spending a lot of quality time with my dog after her surgery this past Friday.

It's difficult to capture the magic shimmeriness of Labradorite in photos, but I think I've done it in the photo above! Click for super close-ups!

As for my dog, she didn't actually have to have a mastectomy after all. They were able to remove the tumors individually. Poor baby - she's got 7 stitches, and a bruise on her belly as big as my hand, but we're finally done with all her surgeries. Hooray! As long as I don't poke and prod too much, she's in good spirits. She started sitting up again yesterday, so that definitely means she's feeling better. Sitting up is her favorite thing to do (besides eating). Here she is looking all woe is me.

Woe is her :(

Monday, February 7, 2011

My latest acquisition

I got a superfabulous OTT Lite™ yesterday and so far I am loving it! For those of you who don't know what an OTT Lite™ is, it's this:

Or at least that's the model I got HALF PRICE! Michael's is having a sale this week on all their OTT lighting. To read all about its awesomeness, and why I had to have it, click here.

And just so you can see how happy it makes me:

Steve was cracking up at his view of me and insisted I pose for the picture. It's pretty funny though, so I had to share it. Pardon my old raggedy hanging around the house on a Sunday shirt.

The OTT Lite™ came in extra handy when I was painting my latest batch of Paper Clay Birds last night - the light fixture over the kitchen table is fun & funky, but it's pretty dim. And my eyes, much like the Old Grey Mare, ain't what [they] used to be. OTT to the rescue!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

uninspired waiting + new birds

I've got several packages on their way to me right now, and I'm eager to get started on the projects I have planned with them, but it might be Monday before any of them arrive. I've made a few things in the last couple of days, but nothing I'm over the moon about. I tried to make a necklace the other night, but it wound up looking like the most boring, uninspired piece of crap you see by the thousands at every craft show you attend. After several attempts, I gave up and went to sleep.

I did come up with a pretty cute pair of earrings for myself to match a dress I've had for years, but rarely wear. And last night, I made another boring necklace, which I'm actually wearing today because it happened to match what I'd put on. I hate feeling so uninspired! Okay, I just got an opinion on it from a coworker, and she said it's cute. Maybe-ish, but it doesn't feel like me. And I want to LOVE everything I make! Funny though, it's the things you like the least that people go crazy over.

This whole jewelry blog community is wonderful and I'm really grateful I've found so many talented jewelry designers to get to know, and whose work I can enjoy, but I have to say - you all are setting the bar high! Of course that's a good thing. But it makes me way more critical of my work, and much less willing to accept half the stuff I put together. I didn't used to care much for focals, the clasps always went in the back, symmetry was a given. I'm so glad I'm over all that silliness!

Last night, I made some more paper clay birds like the one this necklace and this one. I also made a little monster face that's pretty cute. I still have to paint them, but I'll take pictures when I do. Would anyone be interested in buying just a bird? I don't have an online shop per se, but I do accept PayPal, and hey - why not cut out the middle man, right?

Meanwhile, my masseuse again inquired about the status of my recreating the famous butterfly necklace:

So that sent me on yet another search for a similar butterfly.  I found one even better, as well as two more that I just had to have, and they're all pretty big around 4.5 - 6 cm wide. I can't even wait until they arrive! I also ordered a few more similar Cloisonné beads like the one pictured above, but with a bright turquoise base.

In other news, tomorrow my dog Crazers has to have a mastectomy. I'm sure she'll be fine, as this will be her third surgery in as many months, but it's also the most serious. Wish her luck everyone!

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