Friday, July 27, 2012

The Soup is Served!

I’m so thrilled to be participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party! Two years ago I was a bystander, and watched in awe, and now I am one of you! Each participant was assigned a partner, and exchanged a focal bead and a clasp that was something other than a simple lobster clasp. We have to use at least both of those items. 
My partner, Denielle Hagerman, is a lampworker. That means she makes her own beads from glass. I was so excited to have a partner that was going to be making beads for me! She found out that I was a gardener, and made me bead soup that was very nearly good enough to eat! Here is what she sent me: 
 I knew right away that the black raspberry was going to be my focal bead. I have a red raspberry patch, and I just love the raspberries. I also remembered I had these lovely pale sage, green leaf beads that would be fitting raspberry leaves. Mr. Chocolate, my husband, always says that the raspberry leaves, in the fall, hang down over the berries and protect them from the frost. I wanted my leaves to do the same, yet without totally covering the raspberry bead. My first year browsing through all of the first BSBP’s I also found one of my new favorite material sources, B'sue Boutiques, so it’s only fitting I use one of her brass platings in my first BSBP. No affiliation there, I just totally love the stuff she carries, not to mention the tutorials she has on the internet. Of course the dragonfly is my favorite. While I had some difficulty deciding how exactly to finish the necklace off, I just had to ask myself, “what do YOU want to wear?” Once I did that, it was clear. This is something I would wear. I love dragonflies, I love this necklace, it’s very “me”. I love silver, too. I didn’t want to use the clasp Denielle made on this necklace, because I wanted to link the leaves into chain, and there was no chain the color of her clasp. All in all, I am very happy with this necklace. I love the dragonfly, and the raspberry bead is so amazing! I love the way the purple and the green play on each other, and especially how the Picasso finish on the purple beads echoes the color of the leaves. I even used a clasp with the bumps that repeat the texture of the glass of the raspberry bead.

 My second piece was a lot more difficult. The bracelet beads were a bit big, and almost too big to make the curve for a bracelet. I made some additional “blueberry” beads to go with it. The problem is that the flower blossom constantly turns to the plain glass back. But that blossom! It’s AMAZING! It looks just like a strawberry and a raspberry blossom! I totally love that blossom! I just wish I could keep it from turning. Anyone have any ideas? The other thing is that ADORABLE BEE! Can you see it? I put it on top of the shorter of the two strawberries. Isn’t it so adorable? I don’t like cute. I mean I really don’t like stuff that’s cutesie, but this is ADORABLE, and that’s just totally acceptable. I am not sure I am going to keep this piece like this. I may take it apart and make another necklace, I just did not think I could carry off two necklaces, or come up with another necklace with these beads that didn’t go into the “too cute” zone. I also used Denielle’s clasp on the bracelet. 
 She MADE it! Isn’t that amazing? She said it wasn’t too hard but was very time consuming. I’ll bet it was! I did not use the lady beetles in the bracelet because I had one more piece in mind. 
I usually wear an ankle bracelet in the summer but I never take it off. One year the beads were from somewhere questionable and the color all bleached out, so I have learned to use all glass beads. I saved out those adorable lady beetles and the other beads Denielle sent for the cheerful ankle bracelet. It has plenty of green and yellow in it, my favorite colors, some sparkle, and the lady beetles. They are some of the most beneficial insects a garden can have. It’s my Gardener’s Dream ankle bracelet!
  Now that you’ve seen what I cooked up, take a look at the soup I sent Denielle.
 Why don't you see what Denielle cooked up with her soup, and then check what's cooking over at the other tables?
 Hostess, Lori Anderson,

Alice Craddick,  Alice's Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache,  All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts,  Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson,  AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou,  Create With Spirit   
Candida Castleberry,    Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl McCloud,  One Thing Leads to Another
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson,  Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie

Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris' Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things

Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikö Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten,  Jewelry, Art and Life

Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains

Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade

Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie's Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry

Marti Conrad, Marti C's Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs

Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky

Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal's Attic

Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau

Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna


Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Color Surprise Hop

I was thrilled to get the yellow package from Lisa. I found some beads I hadn’t even noticed in the picture and those were the beads I actually ended up using. The nuggets I chose were called lime turquoise by some gem dealers I talked to. I thought these beads were more green than yellow, which suites me just fine. Green and yellow are my favorite colors, so having a little of both is perfect. I wanted a bead to use with it that echoed the length of the beads, and I found these great baroque freshwater pearls. I pared them with the potato chip silver bits. I really didn’t want to add any weight to the necklace. The nuggets are quite heavy, and in an effort to keep the necklace light, I considered chain, some other small lime turquoise beads, but what really worked in the end was the ribbon. I think I may look for some tie-dyed silk in the future to replace the formal satin, but until I find the perfect combo of dyed ribbon, I think the satin works rather well. 
 Aren't these beads and pearls lovely?

Now let's go see what the others made! 

Your Host: Lisa Lodge

Audrey Belanger

Lisa Boucher

Eleanor Burian-Mohr

Marlene Cupo

Marla Gibson

Alicia Marinache

Inge von Ross

Stephanie Stamper

Diane Valasek

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bead Soup Has Arrived!

My bead soup partner is Denielle Hagerman. She’s a very talented glassworker. She has an etsy shop, MustardSeedBeads. I think this showcases her beads nicely as she has a very young blog. You can find her blog at, Some Beads and Other Things. 

I must say that I was very excited to find I got a lamp-worker for a partner! It was also a bit intimidating, as I find hand-made glass beads a bit intimidating. I have bought them, but to use them is another story. Using them is akin to using the fine china. Now, I will tell you that my own mother will serve burgers from the grill on fine china. I have learned to use my china on a regular basis. But lampworked beads! Well, those were to be used when I get “better”. Just recently I have realized it’s time to actually use those beads, and life is too short. I deserve to put those very cool beads into a necklace, and I am “good enough”. So in fact, this will be a great exercise in stretching myself!

I told Denielle that I love gardening and everything to do with it, and she embraced that when she sent me my totally yummy bead soup! Look what she sent me!

I have to say that black raspberry is my favorite bead. It has so many facets, and catches the light in so many ways. The bee is adorable! She made the clasp, isn’t it great? My only issue is that I have absolutely no gunmetal. I will have to do something about that, or mix my metals. The strawberries say bracelet, but I think that lovely blossom tells me necklace. The black raspberry already told me what it wants to be.

Denielle also found out I just had a birthday and sent me this adorable birthday cupcake! I’m love this bead, no calories and it lasts forever.

I'd also like to mention that Lori Anderson of Pretty Things is having a giveaway. Go on over and check it out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Helping Hands in the Garden

This year I've suffered from an old hand injury. I suggested cutting back on the garden, but there was a huge outcry from the masses. Instead I was offered help. I've always had help planting, which entails opening the beds, and that much-hated activity...weeding. Well, it's hated by most, but I find it very cathartic, peaceful and relaxing. Still, right now I am limited in the amount of weeding I am able to do. This year, however I had help without complaint; not one moan, groan or even one huffy breath! In fact, I would even say they helped me gladly. Certainly, the dogs were happy to be out in the garden once more. That is, however, after Bandit got her toy out of the tree.
 The world would of course stop if Bandit didn’t have a toy to play with. Just like our last two dogs, Browser and Bandit also seem to like the garden. Bandit was walking through the beds. It’s not that she’s not smart enough to stay out of them, it’s just that she’s sort of a clod. Things weren’t totally critical at this stage, so we just tried to reinforce not walking in the beds, and keeping to the grass paths. 
 We took planting a bed at a time, and while we didn’t get it all done right away, Mr. Chocolate and I were able to finish up over a week and the following weekend. Here is the result after about a week after the first round of planting. 
 This is the result just a couple weeks later.
 This ended up being a wonderful salad. YUM!