Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop!

I know what you're thinking: She only uses her blog for bog hops! Believe me, that was never the intent, but life is so full of other things, I just never take the time to sit down and blog. My excuse this time is that I have been busy setting up my Etsy shop. Finally.

The reason I'm here today is for the Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop, hosted again by the lovely Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures.

Once again, she sent us some beads in a specific color palette and it was our job to create something from it. I got beads in my second favorite color - green! 

What a gorgeous bead soup, right? 

Despite recovering from ankle surgery and wheeling around in a wheelchair for the past three months, I was able to finish three pieces.

I'm starting with the necklace because the pictures turned out better than the ones I'm about to show you. Everything except the pendant and chain came from the beads Lisa sent me.The pendant is one I picked up from a vendor at the Tucson show a couple years ago. I can't remember who it was, but I fell in love with it - it's so delicate and feminine. I've been holding on to it forever because I couldn't find beads that were special enough to use with it. I think I finally found them!  Here's a closeup of the focal:


I also made this necklace

This necklace started with a branch focal I picked up at Michael's a while ago. This one was a bit out of my comfort zone, being a bit asymmetrical. I sold it almost right away, though.

Allow me to apologize in advance for the quality of this photo. I have pretty much figured out how to take good necklace and earring pictures, but bracelets still elude me.

If the colors weren't completely washed out, you would see that the beads that look white are actually a lovely, soft green color. Sigh. I'll get there - just need more practice.

So that's what I did with my green beads.

Head over to Lisa's blog for the full list of participants!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Seasons Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Seasons Bog Hop, hosted by Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures!

She puts together bead kits for us to purchase and then we create a piece of jewelry which represents a season. Either a season of the year or a season in our life. I immediately signed up, sent her my money and waited anxiously for it to come in the mail.

Here's what I got:

How did she know blue is totally my fave color?! 

Alas, life got in the way. I twisted my ankle back in February, and after having some serious pains in it for about three months, I finally went to the doctor and he told me I tore my posterior tibial tendon. I'm having surgery next Friday. I've been in a wheelchair since before Memorial Day and I've just about had it with the whole situation.  The reason I'm telling you this is because I only got one pair of earrings made. Everything but the headpins came from the kit.

They totally say beachy summery to me. I just got back from vacation in Maine and they remind me of the blue sky and blue, blue water on the coast where my boyfriend's parents live, and the rocky coastline. I wear these earrings all the time - they're my "everyday" earrings. By the way, dealing with a wheelchair while traveling is no good. I don't recommend it. Every airport was accommodating except JFK. It was such a mess there, I felt like someone should have been shouting "Candid Camera" at me.

I feel bad I wasn't able to use more of the kit, but I love what I made.

Go check out everyone else's creations. I hope they were able to do more than I was. I'm also participating in Lisa's Challenge of Color Blog Hop and I'm way more prepared for that one...

Here's the list of the other participants.

Happy Summer, all!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Earring Swap Blog Hop

If you're still Bead Soup hopping, my post is here.

Hi, all!

A few weeks ago I joined Jessica's Earring Swap Blog Hop and I was paired with Dyanne of Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations. We exchanged an email and I happened to mention to her that I like blue and green and basically anything beachy. She told me she likes purple and pastel green. We both put our creative caps on and a few days later, our packages were in the mail.

Here is what I sent her:

Picture courtesy of Dyanne. I am a total idiot and FORGOT to take pictures of them before I mailed them off!

As you can see, they are amethyst, peridot and sterling silver. I have been playing around with turning bead caps upside down lately and I love the look. The amethyst rounds are delicious and I got them at the Tucson shows.

Here's what she sent me:

They are amazing, you guys! First of all, I love dangly earrings and these are some serious shoulder dusters! I love the colors and just everything about them! I've worn them twice and both times, people have stopped me and gone "Holy cow! Where did you get those?!" I love being able to tell them they are handmade and one-of-a-kind!

There are several of us in this blog hop - stop over and see what everyone else created for their partners!  If you go to this post on Jessica's blog, all the links are there.  Happy hopping!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bead Soup!

It's time for the 3rd reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party! The reveals were pushed back a little later than originally planned due to some health issues of our lovely hostess, Lori, but it's finally here!

If you don't know what the party entails, Lori pairs you up with another blogger and you send each other a "soup" consisting of a focal bead, a clasp, and some coordinating beads and you make something with your soup and blog about it. Lori is amazing, you guys - she had over 500 participants this time around and it's a LOT of work to match everyone up.

This is my third party and I've never made so many pieces from my soup!

As a reminder, my partner is Diane Valasek of Dragonfly Close.  She and I have been emailing back and forth throughout the party and I already feel as though I have a lifelong friend!  Here is the soup I sent to her:

The focals are from Maria Grimes and Gaea. I threw in some quartz, wood, Czech glass, aquamarine, Swarovski, and sari silk. I can't wait to see what Diane makes with this!

Here is the gorgeous soup I got from her:

My soup consists of a gorgeous ceramic focal, along with a skeleton key, a bone elephant and lemon quartz. I also received some brilliant green sari silk (this picture doesn't show the color), freshwater pearls, amethyst chips, ceramic beads, and some findings. I was able to use almost everything, if you can believe it!

Let's get started:

This first necklace used the ceramic focal, along with some of the coordinating ceramic beads and some pearls. I used my own chain, gold-filled spacer beads, Czech glass, and just a plain gold-filled lobster clasp. I love this necklace, although the asymmetry was way out of my comfort zone. It still kind of freaks me out, just looking at it.

Next, I wanted to use the lemon quartz focal and the amethyst chips and I also used the clasp from my soup. I love amethyst and as soon as I saw them and the lemon quartz, the bracelet just designed itself.

This is the bracelet that goes with the necklace. I used the rest of the ceramic beads, more pearls and added my own spacer beads and toggle.

I have no idea how to photograph long necklaces, so please forgive these pictures. I also had no idea how to use sari silk. I literally doubled it up, tied it to some brass chain, and added the skeleton key to the chain. This is a really long necklace and I love wearing it with a white t-shirt.

These earrings are made with the gorgeous cones I received in my soup, along with some delicious amethyst rounds I got in Tucson.

These earrings are made with some of the other ceramic beads Diane sent, along with some connectors I actually received from our hostess in a Bead Soup giveaway. I thought it was appropriate to use these.

So that's everything. Phew - that was a lot of work! Click here to continue visiting the other participants and show some Bead Soup love to Lori, too!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Hops Galore!

Are you still hopping like a little bunny and seeing the Bead Soup goodness like I am? My reveal is next week and I'm seriously intimidated by all the amazing work out there. Hopefully my creations will measure up!

In all the madness, I've joined THREE more blog hops!

The first one on the schedule is the Earring Swap hosted by Whimsical Monkey Artisan Jewelry

The second is in July and it's the Seasons Blog Hop hosted by Pine Ridge Treasures. She sends you a kit with random beads and findings and you create a piece of jewelry that represents either a season of the year or a season in your life. Sounds like a challenge to me!

The third is in August and it's the Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop, also hosted by Pine Ridge Treasures. Lisa sends you some beads in a specific color palette and you create jewelry with what she sends. She chooses the color palette for you randomly.  I got my kit in the mail last week and I'll post about it once we get through the Bead Soup madness!

I'm so excited to be actively blogging again and creating jewelry. I'm also working feverishly on getting my Etsy store set up. Yes, I've started a business and I'm ready to sell. So be on the lookout for more details!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Day After Bead Soup Day!

And Happy Easter, too!

Yesterday was the first reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party and I have to admit I have a bit of a soup hangover! I'm about halfway through the list, and slowly working my way through. It takes forever because I read the post and comment on it, and then if it's a new blog to me, then I look at their blogs and decide if I want to follow, and then next thing you know, it's an hour later and I'm still reading blogs instead of hopping.

Here's the link to the list of people in the first reveal. The next reveal is coming up, and then my reveal is after that!

Here's the soup I'm working with, in case you need a reminder!

I already have four pieces made and I have at least two or three left in me!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Silly Me!

Just popping in really quick because I realized I never posted a picture of my full bead soup the other day when I received it.  I blame it on age and being frantically busy the past couple of weeks. My boyfriend's parents are here for a week and so are my parents and we've been prepping for their visit and then going, going, going, going. 

Anyway, here it is!

Isn't it beeeeyooootiful????  Diane, you're the greatest!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bead Soup - What I Sent

Remember the teaser photos I showed you?

Well, it's finally time to see what I sent Diane, my Bead Soup partner!

I gave her two focals and two clasps. Who doesn't like options?  The ceramic bead is from Gaea and the lampwork bead is from Maria Grimes. The teal color in the lampwork bead really spoke to me. The silver clasp is sterling from the Tucson show and the other is Vintaj.

 So, we have sari silk, quartz, amazonite, Swarovski, Czech glass, wood, freshwater pearls, and aquamarine beads.  Like I said - the teal spoke to me and I had to play off that color.

 Here's the whole soup. I can't wait to see what she makes with it!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Soup Has Arrived!

My favorite part of the Bead Soup Blog Party is the anticipation and wondering what you're going to get from your partner. When I finally went to the mailbox this morning, I found one of those lovely Flat Rate Priority Mail boxes in my mailbox and I got really, really excited!  Want to see what was inside?  Diane really spoiled me. I'm so lucky to have an amazing partner! We've also been trading emails like crazy over the past couple of weeks and it's like we've been friends forever!

First off, the packaging is my favorite part and look at this super cute make-up bag she put everything in?  I just had to get a picture of that, for sure!

Let's dive in and look at the good stuff...

Sari silk!  OMG, I love me some sari silk!  Here's the problem - in the picture, it looks teal but in real life, it's actually a bright, brilliant, kelly green. I take horrible pictures. I messed with the editing a little bit, but I couldn't get the color right. Sigh.

The findings - two lovely clasps, a bail and some cones. I've purchased some cones over the years but never used them because I'm never 100% sure how to use them. I'm going to use them this time, though  I really will!

The "soup". There are ceramic beads from Blue Moon, amethyst chips, Chinese crystal, freshwater pearls and some funky glass beads that I think she called tortoise beads. I love the pop of color from the amethyst and I'm OBSESSED with freshwater pearls!

Optional focals. The elephant is bone, which I've never worked with before. The key is something she found at an estate sale and I love it!  The diamond is a lemon quartz and I already know what I'm doing with it!

Ceramic focal and accent beads from North Shore Beads out of Lake Bluff, Illinois. Look at those colors!  I had to keep myself from licking them to see if they were a yummy as they looked!

Diane went to a bead show the same weekend I was in Tucson shopping so we got each other things from the shows.

I'll show you what I got her next!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bead Soup!

My bead soup is headed to the mailbox today and here it is!

You didn't think I was going to show you the actual soup, did you???  Heehee... 

I am giving Diane two focals and two clasps, because who doesn't like options?

Stay tuned to see the big reveal!