Friday, July 27, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal and a Giveaway

Welcome! Welcome! I'm thrilled to be a part of Lori Anderson's 6th Bead Soup Blog Party! This is my 3rd time participating, and I'm happy to say I've learned something new each time. About myself, about beading in general, and about the awesomeness of the beading community.
Here's a reminder of the outstanding bead soup I received from my partner, Stephanie Haussler, of Pixybug Designs.

My jaw dropped when I opened the package and saw all the beady goodness she sent. I'm a seed bead girl, so that was totally my comfort zone. I adore lampwork beads, though I have very few, and the colors in these were soo yummy! And then my extra surprise...a lampwork button! Buttons just make me happy, you know?

I don't think I've ever been this inspired by a challenge. My mind was flying with ideas, and for the first time, I wrote them down! :)
I recently saw a fantastic post by Lesley Watts, of the Gossiping Goddess, for a unique bracelet.
So I knew when I got my soup that it was what I wanted to do with the button.
 I used those cute lampwork spacers, and finished it off with the button. The beads between the jumprings are from the soup, and I made the jumprings.
 Those spacers look awesome, don't they?
Next up is the main focal bead. Stephanie really spoiled me, sending 3 of them. This was the largest, and I also had an immediate answer for it. There was a rope pattern in Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving that I had been wanting to try, so that was what I chose for the focal.
I loved the colors in the focal, and worked in that color palette for this necklace.
Here's a closeup of the focal. I made a diamond shape in peyote, from Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork, and folded it on the diagonal to make a bail. Fringe in the same color palette finished this nicely.

 A closeup of the clasp. A simple loop, accented with the black pearls Stephanie sent, and one of the faceted crystals on the flower closure.
Next up was something else new for me. The whole color palette made me think of the sea, and I love the seed bead mixes Stephanie sent me. I have done netting from a pattern before, but never on my own. So, yes, there are a few...oddities, but overall, I'm very pleased with the result. I wanted to make something that looked like a fisherman's net, with different items caught up in it.
 See how I didn't center the closure beads? Good thing it's just going on my wrist, huh? :)

 I do like how it looks on, and it feels wonderful.

I'm telling you, Stephanie's soup kept inspiring ideas! I saw a ring on Pinterest, and wanted to create something similar, so I used some of those adorable orange rondelles.
I used 3 different colors of delicas for the band, ranging from a deep beigy orange, to a rainbow AB that the rondelles are centered in. The color between those two is an ivory lined gold.

(I asked my son to model this for me, his fingers are cuter  younger  than mine!) And bigger, as you can see!
Last, but certainly not least, a very cool necklace with one of the extra focals.
This necklace wasn't really that easy to put together, but it is an easy piece for lots of different styles. It can go jeans and tshirt, or dress casual. I framed one of the other focals with a peyote rectangle, again from Diane's book.
 I used some more of those sweet pearls to attach the pendant to the rope.

 Close up of the focal.

 The gorgeous clasp Stephanie chose for me.
I still have beads left over, and still have ideas, so keep in touch for more pieces!
Now, for the giveaway!

Here is the link for the rest of the participants in this reveal.

I have two of these focals, so I thought a giveaway of this necklace would be nice. If you would like your name in the pot , please tell me in your comment.  I'll draw the winner next Saturday.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Review: 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series

I'm so excited to bring you my first book review. I am most honored to review this book that is so outside my realm of jewelry knowledge. So how can I give it a decent review? Of course I worried about that question. I decided that my perspective would be the same as a lot of you...beginning to explore  the exciting world of jewelry, design, color and concept. I don't have a lot of technical insight to give you, only the way I felt as I journeyed through the book. My children sat with me, each choosing their favorite objects. I think that was what made such a huge impact on me too. This is not just some 'coffee table' book. It is an exploration, a discovery, of new ways to think and create.
 Truly, this is a unique book, and one that is chock full of inspiration.  It is a compilation of the finest pieces from all of the 500 series. 80 jewelers were given free rein to chose their favorites. It is worth purchasing the book just to read their forewords. This book is a jewel for your library, in every sense of the word.
I am blown away by many of the pieces featured in this book. Some, I have to study and ponder....

Some, just make me drool...
Some, spark my creative process...

If you've been wondering how to move to the next level in your jewelry journey, here's your answer. Without a doubt, 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series, is a must have for your jewelry library.
Have a blessed day, Shirley

Disclaimer: This book has been provided by Lark Books for review. All opinions are strictly my own.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Got my Bead Soup!

Squeal!! I don't even know where to start. I missed out on the last Bead Soup Party, so I was thrilled to get in on the first reveal for this go round. Lori Anderson is an absolute genius at pairing people. I don't know how she does it, but I have been so blessed with each of my partners in the past, and this one is just as awesome. I am paired with Stephanie Haussler of Pixybug Designs. Stephanie's husband is a lampwork artist, so he made quite a few beads for me. And Stephanie is a seed beader, as well as multi talented in other beady areas, so she was very generous with seed beads. But enough talk, let me show you!!!!

Don't you just love her handmade note and can? I've had to hide the can, all my kids want it!

 Can you believe this stash? I looked like a crazy woman, dancing around!

 A huge pile of seedies, in all sizes

I should have taken these out of the package, you can't really see the awesome sparklyness of the crystals. You'll just have to take my word for it, k?

 Love this clasp, and two adorable birdies, and leaves. Sweet!!

I was just bumfuzzled over these gorgeous spacers and button. (Yes, bumfuzzled is a southern word, trust me.)

 Sweet pearls, that I already have a plan for....

And here they are!! Not one, not two, but three focals!! Oh. My. Word.  I grabbed a notepad, and started writing furiously, the ideas were just flooding my brain!!! The one with the sandy color is the biggest, and I am just amazed at Chris' talent.
Ok, I've got to go get busy stirring my soup!!! See ya soon!   Blessings, Shirley