Saturday, July 28, 2012

6th Bead Soup Block Party!

Four hundred people from all over the world are taking part in the 6th Bead Soup Block Party, hosted by the lovely and talented Lori Anderson! The event has gained so much interest in participation, that she decided to split the reveal dates into three different days; July 28th, August 11th and 25th.

Lori partnered me up with Ann Sherwood from Wisconsin. She sent me an amazing selection of beads!

Ann's reveal date is August 25th, so please stop by her blog then to see what she created with the ingredients I sent her!

This is what I created...

The beautiful artisan beads, Czech glass beads and flower shaped Czech glass beads were part of the soup Ann sent me. I added in freshwater pearls, enameled copper headpins from Sue Beads (love her beads), a copper toggle from The Twisted Bead  and copper links that I forged from 12 gauge copper wire from Dry Gulch.

I had envisioned a design that was similar to the result and was pleased that my idea worked out! It is a very fun, artsy piece-definitely keeping this one for my personal collection!

Next up is a necklace that is designed entirely around the amazing focal Ann sent, a Pennsylvania Trade Bead created by Harold Williams Cooney

I wanted to keep the focus on the trade bead, so I kept the design simple by adding in the four peacock blue lampworked glass discs that Ann sent. From my own bead stash; two Bali sterling silver beads from Riverstone Bead Company, argentium sterling silver knitted wire from Silver Silk and a sterling silver toggle clasp.

My third design idea was to create a bracelet with the artisan glass beads, the four square peacock lampworked glass discs and the really cool pocket watch toggle. I envisioned several strands of antiqued brass chain for the bracelet aspect. I then realized that the toggle needed to be center stage as it is too unique to be used solely as a closure!

Time to play! I dreamed up some ideas, this time focusing on the concept of creating a cuff. I sketched a few designs on post-it notes (they have so many uses!) and grabbed some textured brass sheets that I purchased from Metalliferous. First, I cut out a rectangle and shaped the cuff. Then I applied Adirondack Alcohol Ink in mushroom over the texture. Once that dried, I rubbed Gilders Paste from Kabela Design in antique gold on top of the inked surface. This gave the texture a nice dimension and subtle hint of bronze glow.

I knew from the start that I wanted to place the artisan beads on top of the cuff. I just need to figure out how! I ended up stringing the beads onto five inch brass headpins from Susan Lenart Kazmer's Industrial Chic line. I then punched holes into the cuff to connect the strung beads to it.

I'll have to admit, I wasn't sure my dreamy idea was going to work! But after playing a bit, it turned out better than I anticipated (thank you Staci Smith for your post  "Play is Important")! I am also really determined once I get an idea in my head and I like to see it through!

I still needed to make good use of the fantastic pocket watch toggle. I knew I wanted to create a necklace with antiqued brass chain to complement the toggle and it's style and decided that my circles chain from Lima Beads would work perfectly!

After sifting through my vast and ever growing bead collection, I found the perfect addition; labradorite cut into geometric shapes. This added in the contemporary element that I crave!

Once again, I have thoroughly enjoyed creating new designs with beads selected by another artist. Each time that I have participated, I have pushed my creative boundaries! Thank you Ann Sherwood for the awesome bead soup and Lori Anderson for her absolute devotion to this phenomenal event!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Heading to the Mountains...

I am headed to my summer vacation in the Adirondack Mountains. I am bringing along supplies to make polymer clay beads, something I have been wanting to work on for a while! Please excuse my silence this week while I relax and soak up inspiration from the natural beauty that is the Adirondacks!

See you all in the blogosphere when I return! 
Have a creative week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Five Awesome Giveaways!

The ultra talented Lori Anderson is hosting another awesome giveaway, five giveaways to be exact! She has got to be one of the most generous people I know of. Not only does she open her studio and give away amazing beads, books and supplies but she opens her heart though her writing and correspondence.

One of the giveaways: Lori's book titled Bead Soup

The giveaway ends this Friday, the 13th of July. So head on over to her Pretty Things blog!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Computer Genius...

Yesterday, I realized that my little icon that shows up on blogs I follow is not a clickable link and takes you to an inactive account! My computer genius husband saved the day, as he always does, and fixed the problem. Woo-hoo for marrying a computer savvy guy! So if it looks as though I just started following your blog, it is due to the fact that I have to re-follow all of the blogs I read. Please know that I have been an avid reader for quite some time! This process will take me a while as it is a long list-lot's of talented writers/artists out there! Thank you for inspiring me!

Me and my computer genius aboard the WW Durant on Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks.

If anyone else is having a similar problem, where their link is not clickable or going to the wrong account, send me an e-mail and I will forward you my husband's instructions for correcting the problem.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Walk In The Woods...

One of my January resolutions was to submit my designs to jewelry/bead publications on a monthly basis. I stuck to that resolution up until May! Granted, I kinda fell off that wagon as busier months approached but I did have some success with getting a few of those submissions published. Two of my recent publications were bracelets that I submitted for the April and July issues of Bead Trends magazine for their Inspired By... section.

  A Walk in the Woods: Bead Trends July 2012

"A walk in the woods always inspires me. During the winter and spring seasons, I notice the beauty of the branches. Their texture and angles are so unique. Then as summer approaches, the leaves return in all their glory with the beautiful sounds of the birds. Inspiration is always there - you just have to listen to each season in a different way."

Robin's Nest: Bead Trends April 2012

"A visit to the Pocono Mountains inspired this bracelet. I was inspired while walking through a wooded area; a hurricane had hit the area the night before, leaving the trees dripping with water and the forest floor damp. The soapstone is the color of the forest trees, the quartz represents the raindrops that glistened on the branches and leaves, and the handmade ceramic beads are the robin eggs. The texture of the square toggle reminds me of a birds nest. The elements I selected are fragile yet strong, much like the trees in the woods".

I am honored to be included with the assortment of artistic talent that each issue holds. They are filled with inspiration! You can pick up a copy at your local bead or craft store as well as order a print or digital copy of present and past issues here from Northridge Publishing's website.

If you haven't already submitted your designs to magazines, I highly encourage it. There is nothing so rewarding as seeing your work in print! Making jewelry for a living is very rewarding, but having it published and admired by others is truly a gift!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bead Soup Ingredients...

My Bead Soup ingredients have arrived! The lovely and artistic Ann Sherwood (who lives within walking distance of Bead & Button!) sent me a wonderful selection of beads. I am completely giddy over the treasures she sent me! Ideas are spinning in my head and soon I will be at my bead table putting those ideas into design-can't wait!

These are the awesome collection of beads Ann sent me...

This is the soup that I sent Ann...

My reveal date is July 28th...please stop back to see what I create!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Back In The Studio...

Some new bracelets...

Gorgeous plum lampwork lentil beads created by Cherine Perrin of Flame Crazy.
Soft purple lampwork glass round bead by Patti Tolley Parrish of HotFlash GlassWorks.

Wood and salwag nut beads. 

Large hole beads in:
lemon qurtz
grey/white ceramic

Copper and aqua glass. 

Feels great to be immersed in beads again!