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!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sparkle Blog Hop Reveal!

Today is the reveal for the Sparkle Blog Hop, hosted by Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures. Here is a reminder of the beads I received:
It was a beautiful selection of sparkly blue, green, and translucent white. Using mostly beads from this mix, along with a couple of extras from my own stash, I created three things: earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace. Here are photos of the sparkly jewelry.

I really enjoyed playing with these beads, and I'm looking forward to hopping to see all the other participant's creations. I hope you'll join me!

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes

Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life 

Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation

Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Janine Lucas, Esfera Travel Blog

Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs

Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations 

Dolores Raml, CraftyD's Creations

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Cassi Renee Paslick (you are here!), Beads: Rolling Downhill

Annette Rivers, Mama Owl's Mess

Tammie Tusher Everly, TTE Designs

Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons

Norbel Marolla, She Flies Again Jewelry

Karen Burg, KEB Designs

Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti



Sunday, January 19, 2014

February Blog Hop!

Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures hosts many wonderful blog hops, and I'm participating in the one for February.

Here is a photo of the beads that I received, and they are very sparkly!
I love the colors --kind of a winter blue with a hint of green. I hope you'll come back to visit for the reveal!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Reveal: Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Auction

This is the second time I've participated in this particular blog hop and Charm Auction Fundraiser for Beads of Courage. This exchange is a lot of fun, but it is also for a very good cause. Beads of Courage makes medical procedures for sick children into a life-affirming event, rather than just one more surgery. "Every bead tells a story of strength, honor, and hope."

Jennifer Cameron, a glass artist, hosts this exchange and auction, and it's no small task for her. I enjoy participating both for the personal challenge, and for the cause.

The most important part of this blog post is about the auction: we are trying to raise money for this organization, so PLEASE click on this link. The charms this year are awesome, and both the charms and the organization are SO worth your time and money.

This year's theme was "love".  

I'm not a religious person --I find my spiritual home in nature, and believe that the experience of being in nature is one of being loved by the Earth. Each season has it's own beauty, and all those aspects sooth my soul. As I walked through my gardens this September, goldenrod was blooming. I picked a few branches and used them to create my charms. (This method occurred to me in the first place because my blogging and beading friend Karen shared a "pin" with me, about using plants to create pendants with imprints.) I needed something small, since these charms are intended to be for bracelets, and the hybrid goldenrod I have growing in my garden seemed just the thing.

I also stamped the word love on the backs, and attached wire-wrapped hearts to each one.

Here is a sampling of the charms I received from other participating artists. This is such a fun part of this swap --retrieving the package from the mailbox, and pouring the contents out on a table to drool over. Remember, these are all available at the auction, and any money you spend goes straight to Beads of Courage!

My daughter, who's 13 and makes jewelry herself, was with me and immediately claimed these several charms as her own. 
I love how many different styles are included, and each is so unique and beautiful in its own way. There are many other charms too, since each of us only received a sampling of all the charms created --so spend some time looking around the auction, and maybe do some holiday shopping!

Below is a list of the participating artists, and a link to their blogs, where they will show off their charm.

Caroline Dewison:

Charlene Bausinger Jacka:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finished Necklaces

I have managed to finish two necklaces for my mom for Christmas. The first turned out completely different from my original plan, and then I used the beads from the original plan for the second.

Here's the first, using the Queen Anne's Lace pendant from Thea Elements.
 Although I found this necklace incredibly difficult to photograph. I'm very happy with how it turned out --I like the mix of colors and textures, and in addition to using some of the beads I purchased on my last trip to Ann Arbor's Bead Gallery, I also used some beads I recently won from Baubles and Beads in Berkeley, CA.
 So, after making this one, I still needed to create a necklace using the fresh water pearls, so I combined them with some blue.

I had enough to make a matching bracelet as well, and found a lovely lampwork bead in the same color to give it an accent.

I'm really happy with how these all turned out. I think I am always happiest with jewelry I make when I have a recipient in mind.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Making Gifts

It's that time of year, when I'm making gifts. I finished a pair of earrings today, but I can't show those, because the recipient might read this blog. But I thought I'd show the components for the necklace I'm making for my mom. Last year I made her a necklace, and she often tells me how much she loves it, how many compliments she's gotten on it, and I see her wearing it all the time. I'm hoping to have a successful repeat, in a different style.

When we were visiting this summer, she gave me a baggie with a broken string of freshwater pearls. It was a necklace I had given her many, many, years ago, and it had recently broken. She asked me to take them and perhaps reuse them in a new necklace. So, in this necklace I'm making I would like to include at least some of those pearls. Today I opened the bag she had packaged them in (which lived in my purse for a month or two because I'd completely forgotten about them) and as I poured them out, out poured her scent. Certainly all of my life (and probably before that) she's worn Joy perfume. It used to be her one Christmas present from my dad during some very lean years. It's wonderful how a scent can bring someone into the room with us.

I purchased a metal focal this time (last year's was lampwork), from Lesley Watt, the owner of Thea Elements. She makes marvelous components, which I've long coveted, but she's in Britain, so shipping has always deterred me. But finally I couldn't resist, and it made sense with the shipping to get two items --so I bought a connector to use in a bracelet for myself, and a focal of Queen Ann's Lace for my mom's necklace. 

Here is what I'm contemplating, as it sits on my table. 
I don't know if I'll stay with the blue . . . we'll see what evolves.