Saturday, October 4, 2014

Future beading and jewelry posts will be combined with my regular blog, which you can find here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reveal! Gemstones and Metal Blog Hop

A while ago now, I signed up for Lisa's Gemstones and Metal blog hop. Lisa, of Pine Ridge Treasures, hosts blog hops periodically, with different materials and themes. I love joining them --receiving the package of materials to work with, and then working with them. It's always fun!

This time I received a rather enormous package of picture jasper and bronze findings. As a geologist, I have quite a love of rocks, and the intricate patterns on this gemstone makes it one of my favorites. I've made several pieces but I will have a good supply of the jasper for a while!  I'm quite happy about that :-) To see what she sent, see this previous blog post.

The first thing I did was to place some other color beads near the jasper, finding that it went beautifully with green, red, and blue.

This very simple bracelet was my first piece, combining the jasper, bronze findings, and very pretty clasp that Lisa sent with some dark green beads.
Then I combined some light blue pearls left over from my 8th Bead Soup blog hop with the larger pieces of jasper to create some earrings.
Then I made these earrings and realized how much I liked the red with the jasper.
So I made a necklace (that I'll be giving to my mom). This one combines some dark red czech glass and freshwater pearls.
Then I got tired of using red, so I strung the jasper cubes with some lighter colored czech glass and silver findings. This one sat on my table for a while, as I tried to decide if I liked the combination. Finally, I put it around my wrist and found that I liked it very much. Definitely a keeper for me. I liked it so much I made a pair of earrings to go with it.
And finally I decided to make a necklace for my sister. I had a pendant from Erin Prais-Hinz's line of Simple Truths, and the coloring worked well together. There's extra chain at the end because I want to wait and see how long she'd like it to hang before finishing it off.
I have to admit, I had NO bronze findings when I received these beads. So although we're not supposed to purchase materials for this blog, I did purchase bronze chain, and some bronze jump-rings. I couldn't find any bronze wire guards, so that's why the first bracelet doesn't have any wire guards :-)

I had a lot of fun playing with these wonderful gemstones, and I'm looking forward to seeing the gems and jewelry that the other participants have been working on. The list of participants is below, and I hope you'll hop around a bit!

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Margaret Pelech, Big Margaret
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (May be delayed a few days)
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Cassi Renee Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things (May be delayed a few days)
Marde Lowe, FanciMarDesigns
Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
Leithleach Alainn Seodra, Alainn Jewelry
Lisa E. Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gemstones and Metal Blog Hop

(*********For the Bead Soup Reveal, click here.*************)

I've joined another of Lisa's (of Pine Ridge Treasures) blog hops, this one with a gemstone and metal theme. The reveal is July 19th.
I received a beautiful batch of picture jasper and bronzed components, and I've been having fun playing with it. In fact, I've been busy making pieces because I'm having hip-replacement surgery on July 7th, and want to make sure this is all done and ready to go before that. (I had my left hip replaced last spring, and didn't expect to need the right hip done so soon, but such is life. At least I know what I'm getting into this time!)

Here are some pictures of the soup I'm playing with:

I hope you'll come back for the reveal!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Reveal!

Finally! The reveal of the 8th Bead Soup Blog Hop! As a reminder, here is the Bead Soup I was sent, from my partner, Clare Etheridge (she blogs at Cats Eat Dogs).

The first piece I created with the soup used up most of the small beads and the lovely Botswana agate. I strung them on memory wire, and I've already worn this bracelet several times. I thought it was appropriate to photograph it with some natural stones.

The second piece I created is a lanyard. I wear a lanyard at work every day (the card is the key to my office and classroom), so I've made and purchased several lanyards. I wear a lot of blue and brown, and I know this lanyard will get a lot of use. It makes use of the blue pearls and the stick pearls, plus I created some additional polymer clay beads to match.

As you can see, up to now I haven't used the focal or the clasp! But I did in the next pieces. First, I put together some of my own PC beads and freshwater pearls to create a bracelet in my favorite color schemes: blues and browns. I used the clasp from my soup in this piece.

And finally, the focal, which really was my biggest challenge with this soup. It's larger than I usually work with, and although Clare did send me a second, smaller, focal, I really wanted to use the shell focal. That is really the point of this challenge: to work with materials that are a bit outside of our comfort zone :-) I paired it with some turquoise colored beads.

I really enjoyed playing with these beads, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Clare did with the soup I sent her! I hope you'll visit her blog, and if you'd like to see more bead soup reveals, you can find the complete list of participants here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coming Soon . . .

The 8th Bead Soup Blog Hop is coming very soon ---Saturday May 3rd -Saturday, May 10th! (a little postponement due to a heroic battle for health by our hostess).

I've been working with the soup my partner sent to me, and I have several pieces I'll be able to share! Below are some polymer clay beads I made yesterday, one of which is intended for one of my BSBH pieces :-)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Playing with some beads . . .

I'm playing with these beads (this is the simmering stage):
This is going to be a lanyard. I added a few more of the blue and white porcelain beads after I took the photo. I'm trying to decide if I need to pick up either the pink or yellow? Or just leave them in the focal and keep it to blues and whites in the chain?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Bead Soup Received and Sent

I have now sent and received the bead soups for this years blog hop! I'm very excited to be participating for my second time. The basic rules are that two people exchange bead "soups", and that each soup contain a focal and clasp. There is no requirement for other beads, but most of us also send some coordinating beads. This time I've been partnered with Clare Etheridge of Cats Eat Dogs. She has an Etsy store, if you'd like to check it out --many of her pieces are casual wrap bracelets, such as this one:

Cats Eat Dogs Etsy Shop
Or this one:
Cats Eat Dogs Etsy Shop
And she also works beautifully with wire, as shown in this adorable Bird's Nest ring:
Cats Eat Dogs Etsy Shop
Clare sent me a wonderful bead soup that is going to challenge me: Beautiful components, many of which I haven't worked with before.  This photo includes the main components of the soup, with a beautiful shell focal, a vintage silver focal, and two clasps. There are also wonderful shell pieces, pearls and Botswana agate, as well as lovely blue freshwater and stick pearls.
There is an additional selection of smaller beads and findings (almost a soup by itself!).
And then finally a vintage mother of pearl button and some beautifully clear quartz pieces.
I'm a geologist, and that Botswana agate caught my eye right away. There is a closer shot of it here (lower right corner):
Agate is a form of quartz that forms near the surface of the Earth (rather than deep inside, like most quartz crystals do) and has multiple colors due to different trace elements that are in the liquid it is grown from. This means that agate can take on many different forms and many different colors. I love the subtle markings and colors of this Botswana agate. I am looking forward to working with this soup! It's such an inspiring challenge to work with items that someone has picked out specially for you.

I know that Clare has received her soup, so I can also share a photo of what I sent to her:
I hope she enjoys working with it! All the participants will be back, sharing our pieces on May 3rd. I hope you'll stop back by then!