Monday, October 3, 2011

Wish List Monday

If you're still Bead Soup hopping, click here for my creation!

Oh, hi!

I could claim that I'm nursing a Bead Soup hangover, and that's why  haven't blogged, but it wouldn't be true. The truth is, I've only visited about 10 of the 362 blogs. Life has interfered with my normal blog visiting, jewelry making, and general leisure activities.

I've worked in the mortgage industry for 7 years. It's been a roller coaster ride - when I first got into it in 2004, it was a very different world. I have been laid off from six mortgage companies in the past 7 years - usually because the company was going out of business. Then I started working for The Very Big Bank. I thought to myself, "Finally! A company I can retire from someday. When I finish my degree in marketing, I can transfer within the company, and I never have to worry about them closing their doors." I was dedicated and loyal and worked my butt off.

Then things went south at the end of August, and have continued to spiral out of control. I won't get into the ugly details, because unless you work for my company in the mortgage business, it won't matter. This is my last week at my job - I was laid off/I quit. It all kind of happened at the same time - I quit about two days before I was scheduled to be laid off. So I'll finish out this week and start my new job a week from today.  I'm very happy about the new job - it's a promotion and it's quite a bit more money. Both good things. I'm sad, though, that things didn't work out at the current place. I'm sad to be leaving my friends (who have all either quit or been laid off already, anyway), and I'm disappointed at the way my company has conducted itself since the incident.

Posting and jewelry creating will continue to be sporadic until my life evens out a bit. I've been on a huge roller coaster since the end of August and it's taking its toll. Please be patient with me and once my head is in a better place, I'll continue blog hopping for the Bead Soup Party. In the meantime, here are some Wish List Monday goodies - the ceramic edition:

I love this bracelet bar. The color, the design, the holes - everything.

I heart Gaea - don't you?  Her bundles are so amazing and this one just really tickles my fancy. Did you know that she hand-picks her bundles and no two are the same?

I must have this mug from Jangles! This is exactly what I need to drink my coffee out of every morning at my shiny new job!

This pendant and the ribbon just speak to me. The colors make me feel calmer and more peaceful.

That's it for this week's Wish List Monday. Go visit my friend Amy over at Copper Diem and see what everyone else is wishing for!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party!

It's the reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party!

This party caught me off guard a little, I guess. I've known the reveal date all along, don't get me wrong. However, I procrastinated, as is my way. I didn't intentionally procrastinate, but the beads were refusing to speak to me!

Remember this?

That was my gorgeous bead soup from my partner, Terry.

I made three versions of this necklace before I came up with something un-hideous. I didn't take pictures of the first three because those versions were ICKY! I finally came up with something.

By the time I got home from work Friday night, the sun was pretty low in the sky so I had some issues with lighting.  That's a crystal AB Swarovski bicone on the left - it's a bit hard to see what it is.  The rest is made of garnet chips from my local bead store. I liked the garnet with the focal better than more neutral colors. I felt like it really let the focal shine.

So...I saw the amazing focal:

... and immediately thought "brass". So I dug out a simple Vintaj brass lobster clasp. The clasp I got from my partner:

... was way too gorgeous to hide at the back of my neck. And I couldn't figure out a way to feature it that didn't take attention away from the focal.

I worked it a couple different ways - I used several kinds of brass chain and made dangles out of the other beads:

...she included in the soup. It was ... blah. Boring. Everything was all along the same color palate and I didn't know how to introduce color without throwing everything off.  I also did an asymmetrical design that definitely did not work. It involved pearls which were screaming "WHITE!!!" and the focal did not like it.

Let me also just say that these colors were challenging for me. I work with "beachy" colors - blue, turquoise, green, etc. Neutrals aren't anything I'm used to working with. So I didn't know what went with what.

The rest is made of garnet chips from my local bead store. I liked the garnet with the focal better than more neutral colors. I felt like it really let the focal shine.

I knew the bracelet had to have the gorgeous clasp from Orrtec Designs as the centerpiece. So I went with the original idea I had for the necklace:

This is three different kinds of brass chain with dangles from the Chinese crystal beads in topaz.

The earrings go with the bracelet instead of the necklace:

I may change these to go with the garnet instead. I may change the bracelet too, quite frankly. I like the necklace, but I'm kind of "meh" about the other two pieces.

Remember these items?

I'm in love with these, but I wasn't able to make anything that did them justice. Naturally, I thought earrings. But I couldn't make them work. I made four or five pairs of earrings with them and I couldn't make anything that didn't make me want to run away screaming.

Remember these?

I've been lusting after all the silk fairy ribbon I see in other peoples' designs, but have never had any. I literally squealed when I saw it! I made a version of the necklace that had the ribbon incorporated but it just didn't look right. I felt like it was out of place somehow. The other problem is that I tried to do that nifty wire-wrapped thing with the ribbon. That's HARDER than it looks! I found this tutorial and tried to use it with ribbon. I've since come to the conclusion that in order for ME to do this, I need a third and possibly a fourth hand. That is going to take some time for me to learn.

I feel bad because I didn't use a TON of the materials Terry sent me. I tried, but they were soooooo gorgeous, I was scared!

I mentioned this the other day, but creativity has been elusive for me lately. There's a lot of upheaval in my world right now and my creativity is suffering. I'm still in love with these materials and am still planning to create with them. I need more time, but I'll get there.

This post is CRAZY LONG so I'm going to stop babbling now!  Please, please, please continue the blog hop. I can't wait to see what my partner creates with her soup!

To continue the hop, go visit Lori and see what everyone else made!

Bead Soup Blog Party

Sneaky Peeky

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know there's a party tomorrow. Right?

I finished my pieces last night about 2:00 am and took pictures tonight when I got home from work in a waning sunlight.

I finally made something I don't think it hideously ugly. Yay me. 

Here's a sneaky peek

Be sure to come back this weekend to see the whole thing! (And if you don't make it here until the following week or month, that's okay too. Because, yeah, it's a big list.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh, the Humanity

Hi, my name is Tara. I make ugly jewelry with beautiful beads.

The Bead Soup Blog Party is coming up. The reveal is on Saturday! The soup Terry sent me is stunning!

The beads have been sitting on my bead mat since I got them. I have been pushing them around, putting other beads next to them, stringing them in different patterns, taking them off again. I made a necklace last night and it was SO UGLY! I tore it apart and did something different. UGLY!


I've had some health problems and there are things going on at work that are getting ugly fast. I'm sure I'm just distracted and not really in a creative place. 

I will have it finished to show you on Saturday for the big reveal! The question is - how many times will I have redone it?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wish List Monday

Welcome to another edition of Wish List Monday! What am I wishing for?

First up, these headpins. Now, make no mistake - I would snap every single one of them within minutes of owning, which is probably why I'll never buy them, but aren't they just stunning?

This painting makes me feel restful and peaceful - something that has been lacking lately...

The name of this pendant is "Sledding Hill". How cute is that?! It reminds me of going sledding with my cousins out at my grandma's campground in Minnesota. This evokes soooo many memories for me.

Last, and most importantly, I wish I were in Maine visiting with my nephews. It was just a month ago that we were there, and I would give anything to be able to fly across the country and give them each another squeeze!

Now go visit Amy and see what everyone else is wishing for!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

It's taken me the whole day to write this post, and I'm no further than I was earlier this morning. I am going to just post the video instead. Ten years ago, I was driving home from work, still in shock, and heard this song on the radio. I had to pull over because I was crying so hard. God bless the USA.

I Heart Macro

This picture is a bit dated, actually. I took is a few months ago when the oranges were growing like crazy around here. This is actually at my aunt and uncle's house, taken probably back in February.

 If it looks yummy, juicy, delicious - it's because it was!


Head over to Studio Waterstone to see what everyone else is taking pictures of!

studio waterstone

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Kit Is On Its Way!

I love Lima Beads. I love getting jewelry magazines because I can find so many new suppliers that way. The ads in Stringing, Bead Style, etc. are just as interesting to me as the jewelry. I found Lima Beads in one of those ads where they mentioned their Big Green Bead Machine. They have a great selection of Vintaj, which I love, and a huge variety of gemstones. I also love that they have art beads by a lot of my favorite artists - Missficklemeda, Gaea, Earthenwood, Jangles, etc.

I also admire Lorelei and Shannon. A lot. They make stunning jewelry. I hope to someday be able to make jewelry as beautiful as theirs. So when they partnered with Lima Beads for a challenge and I saw the kit, I had to join in!

Look at those colors! I feel calm when I see these colors. At peace. The materials they've chosen are absolutely luxurious.

So buy the kit from Lima Beads and make something. Or multiple somethings. There will be a blog hop on October 8.

I've been looking for ways to fine tune my skills, push myself creatively, and get comfortable with materials I don't normally work with. That's why I love the Bead Soup Blog Party so much. I have no idea what my partner will send me and it pushes me to be creative.

Go get your kit! Isn't it pretty???

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Why I Wish It Were November...

November is my favorite month of the year. First of all, it contains my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving. Food, family, friends, football, and fun. What's not to love?

Second, my birthday is in November. Traditionally, my birthday has been a difficult day for me. I was adopted when was about 5 months old and because I was born in South Korea in the 70's and I was wrapped in newspaper and abandoned, there are no records of my birth. The day I celebrate as my birthday is actually a random day that falls a couple of weeks before I was found. They don't know when I was actually born. I've always had a hard time with celebrating my birthday on a day that probably isn't the day I was born. I've come a long way, though, and am finally to the point where I can at least enjoy my birthday celebration. While I never do anything terribly extravagant, I do take care to treat myself a little bit better for the day.

Third, if it were November, September would be two months ago. It's been a rough month already. My company has gone through something completely unprecedented over the past couple of weeks and it's made my life very interesting. It's not something I can get into here, and really, unless you work for my company in my line of business, it would mean nothing if I explained it to you. Let's just say that there has yet to be a day in September where I have not, at least once, hung up the phone and cried. The change the company is implementing is painful for our clients, to say the least, and they take it out on whomever they're talking to. When things are normal, I have about one incident per year at work that makes me cry. Like I said - it's been an extraordinary month.

You know this song?

Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day.

If there were a way for me to sleep until October, I would try to make that happen. So, if any of you rub a lamp and a genie pops out - consider wishing for November for your friend! I'd be most grateful!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wish List Monday...

...The Lampwork Edition

Look at this gorgeous focal bead! I don't know how she does that, but it's simply amazing to me!


I've been a fan of SueBeads since I discovered what lampwork is and this focal is calling out to me.

I don't have a lot of black beads for some reason, but I love these. They're matte with shiny dots! Yes, please!

I can't have a lampwork post without fairy flowers from Mermaid Glass. I have a set of these already and I love them so much, I'm afraid to use them!

Go visit Amy at Copper Diem to see what other people are wishing for!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


When I went to the Tucson Bead Show/Gem Show back in February, one of the booths I visited was Unicorne Beads. I fell in LOVE with their teardrops! How had I never seen those before? They had some $5 strands of discontinued colors and I picked up a few.  I really had no idea how to use them, but one day it kind of hit me. I put them next to some yummy gumball-like faceted agates (also picked up in Tucson), and my favorite bracelet was born!

The colors are a tiny bit washed out because Phoenix has two modes - sunny and hot as hell or nighttime. However, you get the point. I am in love with this bracelet - the colors, the way it feels on my wrist and the simplicity. The sparkles don't hurt, either. :)  I am not a small girl, and I don't like tiny jewelry. That's what makes this perfect for me.

Then, we have this bracelet. This is made with coral chips and wood beads. There are triple strands of the chips between the wood beads. I have since made a similar bracelet but with only one wood bead, which I haven't taken a picture of yet.

In other jewelry-making news, I am still waiting for Bead Soup inspiration. I'm seeing three separate and completely different pieces.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sarah's Sand Dollars

I was on vacation earlier this month - did you know? ;) 

Okay, I've been talking about it a lot. The reason is that I totally found my creative energy while we were in Maine and there was so much inspiration!

One of the days, we went to the Georgetown Working League Fair. Georgetown is a tiny little town on an island on the coast and it's my love's hometown. There are about 1000 year-round residents. His family still lives there and we visit them every year. I love his family, the town, the state, the ocean - everything.

The fair is a small event held at the school and they have some local artists who exhibit.

There are some painters whose work I would love to own some day, but my favorite find was Sarah's Sand Dollars. I don't believe she has a website, otherwise I would show you.

This is a real sand dollar that Sarah found on the beach in Georgetown or caught in her lobster trap. (She has lobster traps!).  She then dyes them and seals them.

This is what happens when the 3.5-year-old nephew gets his hands on your stuff.  Ahem...

This is the back of the card.

Isn't this an amazing find? I have no idea how she dyes them, but I have two sand dollars that I found at the flats and I want to give it a try. I wore it on my trip to The Beadin' Path and the woman there asked me about it. I told her about the necklace and she said the Rit laundry dye would work - it's what they use to dye their lucite. I had no idea! So I may give that a try. I also saw Gilders Paste on Artbeads' Facebook page and I wondered if that would work.

Any ideas?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wish List Monday

What are you wishing for? Here's what I'm wishing for:

I never used to be a shoe girl and then I bought some shoes that were so totally hot, I couldn't get over them. Now? Obsessed with shoes.  This pair is just too much! I love them! In my head, these shoes would go with everything.

I have an unhealthy relationship with ice cream. This ice cream dish is just too fun!

I just had to post at least one thing related to the beach. This focal bead by Jane Perala makes me just so happy!

Last, but definitely not least, Jangled never ceases to amaze me.  Check this one out!

I think those are peacock pearls that she's putting with the pendant.

Head over to Copper Diem and see what everyone else is wishing for!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


It's been a really, really long time since I've shown you any of the jewelry I've made. There's a reason for that - I'm always nervous about doing that because, as you can tell, I'm new to this whole jewelry thing.  However, it's time for me to just get over it.  So last weekend when I decided to head out into the obscene Phoenix summer heat to take pictures of my bead soup, I also took some pictures of some other stuff I've made.

The lucite flowers are hand-dyed yumminess from Bella's Beads & More, sterling silver chain from my trip to the Tucson gem show, and Swarovski crystals.

Aren't those lampworked bubble beads just delicious? They're from Sooz Beads and I love them!

The lampworked beads are from Sue Beads (I love her stuff!), the sterling teardrops are from my LBS and the heart sterling chain is also from my massive shopping trip at Tucson. Um, did you notice that the chain on the left earring is a bit wonky? I didn't notice that when I was taking the picture and did I mentioned it was about 115 degrees out there? I wasn't going to go back out there...

Please don't make fun of my wire wrapping - I'm still practicing.

The sea glass that's in the champagne glass? I found it in Maine - can you believe it? I literally jumped up and down and squealed every time I found a piece! I also found some sand dollars, which I showed you earlier:

I have since cleaned them and dried them - I'll take another picture soon. I have an idea but I may need your advice. Stay tuned!