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!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Soup, Soup, Soup!

According to Google Reader, I follow 206 jewelry blogs. It seems like all 206 people are in a frenzy over Bead Soup! I'm one of them - believe me!

Now that Terry has received her soup, I can show you what I sent.

Remember this picture?

Well, now I can show you this:

Let me tell you a little bit these materials. I was inspired by my recent vacation in Maine and decided to do a Maine-themed soup!  The Keith O'Connor focal is from The Beadin' Path in Freeport, where I spent a good couple of hours. It reminded me a lot of a sand dollar I found at the flats, and then everything stemmed from there. My one regret is that I didn't find a lobster bead!

The small item next to the focal is a quartz frog - that was just for fun! The shells and pearls are to represent the beach. The earthier ceramic beads from Gaea remind me of the rocky coast. The tourmaline is from a strand I picked up in Tucson this past February. My boyfriend's family has a tourmaline quarry on some of their property and a LOT of tourmaline has been found there. I even have a ring with a tourmaline in it.  The "blueberry quartz"is actually a glass replica of the real thing. Maine is known for blueberries and lobster. I greatly underestimated how hard it would be to find it on short notice, though, so the glass replica will have to do.

While I was at Hobby Lobby picking up the Vintaj charms (flip flop and star fish), I came up with a great packaging idea. I bought a blue pail and some scrapbook stickers and sent everything in this.

Picture stolen borrowed from Terry's blog

I then wrapped all the beads in tissue paper in varying shades of blue and green and sent it off! You should go to Terry's blog post and look at her pictures. When I was putting everything together, it was about 11:30 p.m. and the pictures I took were terrible because it was dark in my bedroom and I had to use a flash so none of the pictures look very good.

So, that's what I sent.  Have you gotten your soup yet?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wish List Monday

I'm joining in on the fun! Amy over at Copper Diem has started Wish List Monday, which is a chance for us bead-loving freaks to get our wish on!  I've always thought Amy had the best beady blog posts, anyway, so this was perfect!  So... what am I wishing for?

I am in love with this double-decker earring bowl! I don't know who thought of taking a bowl and poking holes all around it for earrings, but they are a genius! And this one has DOUBLE the earring space!

Beach-themed stuff, shocking, right? This is a handmade ceramic starfish pendant and I'm just in love with it. I actually got to hold a starfish in a previous trip to Maine and it was very interesting. It certainly cemented my love of the beach!

Tourmaline. I love tourmaline - the colors are just so unbelievable!  Are you sick of me talking about Maine yet? Well, I have another story...  My boyfriend's family is from Georgetown, ME and they have a small quarry on their property, where quite a bit of tourmaline has been found. I was the lucky recipient of a ring containing some of his family's tourmaline a couple of Christmases ago. It was a green, which is mostly what is found in Maine. So it has some special meaning for me.

Look at this beauty!  Julsbeads does it again and I love the swirly blues - also reminiscent of the beach!

Go to the Wish List Monday link below and see what everyone else is wishing for!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Do you love soup as much as I do? I could eat soup every single day. However, summers in Phoenix aren't that conducive to eating a big bowl of hot soup. Good thing there's Bead Soup to hold me over.  Okay, totally lame opening, but let's move on, shall we?

Friday afternoon while I was at work, my cell phone buzzed letting me know that I had an email. A little later, I read it and it was from my Bead Soup partner, Terry. Terry let me now that her soup had arrived and that she loved it! It's always such a relief to hear that they like it, isn't it? She also said that she got delivery confirmation on my soup so it would be waiting for me. Of course, my boyfriend and I had a dinner at my boss' house Friday night and I didn't get home until late. It was the longest night ever because I knew there was some beady goodness waiting for me in my mailbox!

As a side note, when you get something in the mail (not bills, but stuff you order or stuff someone sends you), so you open it right away, or do you wait? My boss was saying that he ordered a new computer and it came a week ago and he hadn't even opened the box yet. I don't get it. I'm the type of person who tears into the packaging while I'm still in the car!

Anyway, forgive my first few pictures because they were taken in my living room with my cell phone camera because the sun was down already.

 Then this morning, I braved the 109-degree Phoenix heat and took everything outside so I could use the light and take some better pictures.

Terry did a blog post saying that she got the ingredients for my soup from a number of different Etsy vendors.

Here's what I got!

That's my focal - isn't it beautiful? This artist makes these out of polymer clay! When I clicked on the link for Hopemore Studio, I was excited because I think these are beautiful!

The gorgeous clasp.

Aren't these pretty? I so admire people who work with metal - it's something I've been too afraid to do myself, but I can admire it in other people!

When I opened the little package with the ribbon, I literally squealed out loud! I've been lusting after these silk ribbons for AGES, but didn't own any because I didn't think I knew how to deal with them! I can't wait to use them in some designs! I'm in love!

Aren't these adorable?

Glass beads in a yummy topaz-type color and jet

The whole soup.

The earthy/neutral colors are not something I normally work with so this will definitely be a challenge for me! While pushing myself creatively is something that's always a bit uncomfortable, it's a good thing to do. I can't wait to sit down at my messy, messy bead table and get to work!

Thank you, Terry, for the gorgeous soup!

Macro Sunday

I'm a little late to join the Macro Sunday craze, but I enjoy the pictures so much, I thought it would be fun to post one of my own.

This was taken in Maine (have I driven you nuts yet with all my talk of my vacation?) :)

This little guy was sitting in a flower box outside a jewelry store i went to visit in Bath, ME.

Have a great Sunday - next up: Bead Soup Ingredient Reveal!

studio waterstone

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Soup

I just finished packaging up Terry's bead soup ingredients and I couldn't wait to show you the sneaky peek!  Here's what I'm sending her...  Hmmm, I wonder what it could be!

I'm especially proud of the packaging.

Erm...that's supposed to be facing a different direction, with the blue on the bottom and the green on top. Ugh - I love you Blogger - I really do!

You'll have to check her blog to see what I sent!

BSBP - Need I Say More?!

First off, I just want everyone to stand up right now and give Lori a huge round of applause and maybe a hug. She's had a heck of a time getting everything put together for the Bead Soup Blog Party, amid some pretty serious personal issues that came up. She is Wonder Woman and  am in awe of the amount of time she spends helping other jewelry designers. So go give her a hug - she deserves it! While you're at it, she also really likes pie. :)

I was on vacation last week so I'm a bit behind when it comes to updating my blog with all the news.  My boyfriend's family is from Maine and we get out there about once a year to visit them.

 While we were playing with our nephews, 

...eating lobster,

...walking on the beach,

...finding sand dollars,

...and sitting on the porch until the sun went down,

...I got an email from my BSBP partner, Terry!

Terry sent me a lovely email introducing herself and her jewelry.  I am enamored with the vintage stuff she has in her Etsy shop and website!  Here are two of my very favorites:

The color combination in the second one is just stunning! I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it! The first one just appeared on her blog today as part of the Mostly Metal Challenge hosted by Michelle Mach.

After spending some time looking at Terry's blog and website, I knew I had to put together an amazing soup for her. I started by visiting The Beadin' Path in Freeport, Maine.

I spent a long time wandering around in there and was thrilled to find the perfect focal for Terry. They wouldn't let me take any pictures inside the store, so here are some exterior shots.

When I found the focal, I didn't really know where I wanted to go from there, so I decided to let it simmer for a while. Once I got back home to Phoenix, inspiration struck! And then I realized it would be easier to find the ingredients back in Maine. I powered through, though, and I think I've put together just the thing. I'll post a teaser picture tomorrow or Thursday. It's going out in the mail tomorrow morning and I will take some pictures before I finish packing it up.  I went with a "theme" - hopefully she doesn't think it's cheesy.

While I was gone, the number of unread stuff in my Google Reader went from 0 to 492! I have some reading and beading to do!

I also made a couple of bracelets for my boyfriend's mom and sister while we were there and I took pictures of those too. I'll update you later - I've probably worn you out for now!

Don't forget Lori's hug! Be back soon!