Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge Reveal

Good day to you! I was so excited to have my name pulled out of the hat as a participant for the Spring Fever Design Challenge Reveal! I mean, really. Beads, components and silk from Lesley Watt, THEA Elements and THEA Jewellery; Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads; and Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads.

Here is the amazing loot that I received from these lovely ladies: the silk is from Claire, the birds and leave ceramic beads are by Caroline and the flower connector/pendant and blue/peach beads are by Lesley:
And here is the necklace I created:
In the end I decided to keep it simple. It slips right over my head. I connected the silk to the body of the necklace with twisted copper rings that I made. If you could see what my desk looks like you'd wonder how that happened. Do all of you drag out every single bead and component you own that you think will work in a particular design? It will take me a week to put it all away. I haven't dared to enter my studio since last weekend because it's such a mess.
Here's a close up of the birdhouse connector I made. This is a template in Laura Beth Love's (of Dishfunctional Designs) new book Boho Chic Jewelry. I clearly can't count because there are 3 roof shingles on the left and only 2 on the right..... I need to rework this. I think I would prefer it without the rhinestone connector on it and to do a little decorative painting instead. We'll see if that happens.
I still have a leave and peach bead left to play with. Thank you so much ladies for including me in this very fun hop. Oh, and by the way - spring? I woke to an inch of snow blanketing everything this morning. I sure wish she'd hurry up and decide to stay with us!! Now, grab a cup and hop along to see what all of these lovely ladies created!

Caroline Dewison - 
Erin Prais – Hintz –

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Soups are simmering!!

Well, hello! There's soup simmering everywhere, can you smell it? It smells delicious and looks divine!!

I received my bead soup ingredients from my very lovely and EXTREMELY talented partner Kelly Hosford Patterson of The Traveling Sideshow. Man, I was bowled over and completely humbled! Kelly is so talented and so thoughtful. Sunflowers are very special to me and my family, they represent my son T.J. for us. Kelly knew that because she had very thoughtfully read through my blog. She went all out and I can't wait to sit down and begin creating with the beautiful components she's sent to me.
Here's a group shot of the components of my soup that she made herself. SHE MADE THEM ALL! Oh my gosh, such beauty and love! Here are individual shots of the main ingredients:
The focal and clasp - Kelly created the faux sunflower druzy by crushing gemstones and setting them in resin within a copper bezel pendent she had created. Love! The hammered copper clasp wire wrapped with coral seed beads and including a vintage bead.
How fabulous is this pendant?!
Hammered copper sunflower connectors.
Hammered copper chain.
Talisman trinket box: front, back and interior. How cool is this?!
Fiber wrapped wire, felted beads with swirled copper caps and golden pheasant feathers.
And now, the supporting cast:
Pretty amazing, right!! That's a little black bird by Beady Eyed Bunny in the mix. I am a very lucky and grateful girl. Kelly's written a lovely post about creating my soup here.

Next up, the soup I sent to Kelly. Do you know how sometimes you start with a thought in mind and as you start adding, that thought moves in another direction but you love both and there are parts that go with both? Well, that's what happened when I created Kelly's soup. 
I started with this lampworked focal by Sachiko Kawakita. I have several beads by this artist that I've been hoarding for quite some time. They're beautiful and detailed. 
Then I started pulling together the flavor enhancers. There are vintage metals, lucite, glass and MOP buttons, along with vintage brass earring filigree. There are some black vintage, cut glass (jet?) beads from a broken necklace my friend gave me that she'd picked up at a sale somewhere. They appear to be hand cut. I like 'em a lot.  I've added some pearls and stones - do you see those rainbow druzy beads? I fell in love with them when I saw them, I'd never seen druzy as beads before. I need to get some more!
Then I added some sari silk, and a vintage enameled flower stamping. While I was looking for something in my studio I happened to move a chain of leather color swatches that a friend had given me and a little piece of crochet lace that my husband's great-grandmother had made from another project. As I move them I thought, "I wonder what Kelly would do with something like this?" so I included them. 
I wanted to add a few drilled sea glass chips that I've picked up on my visits to the beach to the mix, to add a little bit of me to the soup. In the process I thought about making some connectors, so I ended up drilling a bunch of glass (Sorry I blew out the holes on the backs Kelly, so that there's a definite front/back. They drilled through before I could flip them over...). This is where things started moving in another direction... Then I remembered that I had some sea glass connectors set in brass bezels with resin, so I added those too.
Then I thought, all that sea glass doesn't REALLY go with the lampworked focal, so I decided to add some soldered pottery shards that I've collected. Then I needed a clasp that would go with that, so I made a couple of sea glass clasps that could hook onto a chain or jump ring into the mix. The green one would even work with the lampworked focal. So, one soup or two, or does it come full circle? I can't wait to see what Kelly makes with the goodies I've sent to her! Check back in May for the reveal!!
I've also sent a soup along to Lori Jean Poppe! I've included a tumbled glass ring, vintage lucite and chain, a slider bead that I made, lampworked beads and clasp by Kim Watanabe and a sterling toggle. I hope she has fun with it and can't wait to see what she makes!