July 27, 2012

6th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

I will warn you busy folks who want to look at pictures and not read the blog that mine is long.... for personal reasons.....   If you want to scroll down and just look at my pictures feel free to do that.  I don't mind at all.  Please do stay if you can and leave comments.

I signed up for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party because I have been following each one with great interest and it seems 399 other artists felt the same way.  This has become one of the most popular blog hops world wide all because of one kind hearted blogger, author and talented jewelry designer who goes above and beyond to organize it - the wonderful Lori Anderson.  Many thanks for the countless hours of hard work Lori - we love you!  You make this fun, interesting, a learning experience, great way to meet new artists, challenging and of course a huge party.

 My Bead Soup partner was Terry Matuszyk  of Pink Chapeau who for many years collected beautiful vintage jewelry to sell at antique shows and flea markets as well as online.  She transitioned into making her own jewelry which she now sells on Etsy.  Her jewelry is a classy mix of elegant vintage glitz to shiny modern brass with accents of resin and mixed media.

She sent a glorious mix of brass and vintage beads many of which I had never used before.  These pictures show beautiful shades of blue and green beads  which were carefully tagged as to what they were and where they came from.  I was able to use every type of bead sent except the vintage embedded lucite cabs simply because I do not have my stash of seed beads with me at the moment.  Isn't this a gorgeous Soup mix?
Notice the beautiful jewelry box that Terry included as well.  I certainly had no complaints about all the green beads as it is my favorite color.  But the color of that Sari silk - Wow!  I say Wow!  She has a good eye for color and I had no problem wondering which beads would go with what. 
Sari silk - B'sue Boutiques
Brass pieces - B'sue Boutiques
Vintage embedded Lucite cabs - B'sue Boutiques
Vintage Cobalt beads - A Grain of Sand
Blue glass teardrops - Fire Mountain Gems
Vintage metal Beads - A Grain of Sand
Green Aventurine - Fire Mountain Gems
Rough Cut tumbled Jasper - Fire Mountain Gems
Vintage focals purchased in an auction lot: 1950 Japanese ceramic bead,
vintage semiprecious blue gogo, vintage millefiori gogo

First and foremost a BSBP is supposed to be a challenge!  That is why we sign up - to stretch our jewelry making and artistic abilities and to learn new things from what our Bead partner sends.  

I am in the process of moving - still not moved - and my plan was to return to Alberta, pick up my package from the post office, visit with family for 2 weeks then return to BC and get to work on my bead soup creation.   It didn't work out that way - thus another challenge.  I had some beads here and there but my stash was limited.  Thank goodness my partner sent a great assortment of beads.  

 Sometimes when things are going well, life has other plans.  On July 12th we were given our biggest challenge - the hardest one yet.  My daughter's boyfriend was killed and we have been trying to help her through this tragedy. You can read about that on my previous blog which I posted to help heal a bit. 

 I do not want to dwell on that today as this day is all about BEADS.  I do want to say that Lori very kindly offered to let me postpone my reveal date but I'm glad I told her No, I need to do this for me.  This has been therapeutic for me and I'm glad I did it. 
YAY - I did it!  It was a lot of fun too!
So here are my pictures:

I fell in love with a 1950 Japanese ceramic focal bead in green and blue so wire wrapped two lovely olive lampwork beads and a czech glass bead from my stash.  I wanted to use the vintage semiprecious blue gogo as my front clasp and felt that the tiny green seed beads were a perfect contrast.  I wired them to attach the Gogo.   For the toggle bar, I decided to break up the brass leaf clasp set - I like breaking rules!  I used a section of brass ox chain from my soup and  olive sari silk that I had on hand.  To finish off, I tied little czech glass briolette bundles onto brass rings.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this bracelet and it came together easily.  I used three green Aventurine with silver spacers and a large vintage metal bead as a focal from my soup with topaz and palace green czech glass.   I never like to be too matchy so added three Afghan Green Jade on the other side to add a different shade of green.  I added green chain that was in the soup and used the silver clasp with tiny green crystals.  I had to use waxed linen for stringing as that is all I had.  I added a rhinestone and czech glass dangle.  

The leaf pendant is the other half of the brass clasp and it seemed like it wanted to be a pendant not a clasp.  Luckily I had a lucite olive green leaf which looked nice once I got it placed at the right angle.  I wire wrapped rough tumbled jasper (I love those) and some sweet little jade pillows that I had - except now I think they are too smooth and the color doesn't like to show up in a picture.  I added a green enamel connector and some chain and dangles I had.  The rest is from my soup:  individual brass connectors top left, brass leaves with tiny green glass pearls.  This necklace gave me the most problems to make but I stuck with it.  
Millefiori and the Wow Sari 

I love holding this vintage millefiori up to the light and catching the beautiful turquoise teal blue and green colors.  I decided a simple strung necklace would show off this focal so strung transparent teal seed beads into a shepherd's knot and  picked out teal and green czech beads, blue tear drops and a few from my own stash.  I finished it off with that Wow Sari silk - don't you think it's Wow Sari too?  The colors make me happy.

This bracelet took me literally about half an hour to make.  I was saving those gorgeous vintage cobalt beads and brass bead caps to go with the vintage metal beads in a bracelet.  I didn't want to overpower it with too many as they are rather on the heavy side.  I grabbed the filigree and layered it, added a cobalt czech glass bead and made a flower wire coil and some dangles.  I tried it on hoping it wouldn't be off balance and it fit perfect and didn't slide around - Score!

I even made a pair of ear rings using the same gorgeous cobalt vintage beads - added my own ear wires, dangly parts etc.  Haven't been making many ear rings.  Maybe I will now.  If you care to leave comments, I promise to answer each one.  I love comments!

So enough about me - now go visit all the other talented Blog Hop designers 

July 25, 2012

Bead Soup Challenge? No, Life is a challenge

I look back at my last post July 12th titled Thankful Thursday - it seemed relevant at the time but little did I know by the end of that day I would have very little to be thankful for.  We got the call about 5:00 pm that my daughter's boyfriend had been killed in a plane crash.  It literally sucked the air out of my lungs.  I remember walking outside and gasping for air.  I walked in circles with my husband outside the house waiting for my daughter to arrive home.  She got the news as she drove and I don't know how she made it home.  

That was the day that changed her life and we now try to help her pick up the pieces without the amazing man who was the love of her life.  They had been dating for 16 mos.  He was 36 years old and leaves a 6 year old son who is now an orphan.  His wife died 2-1/2 years ago.  Charlie was a premie - 1 lb. 10 oz and  survived.  He is a fighter and he will continue to fight.  My daughter is strong and she will also survive but right now her heart is breaking in two.  It is the hardest thing in the world to look on as everything your child wanted is gone in seconds.  How do you answer her questions?  How is that fair?  Why did it happen to such a wonderful young man?  There are no answers.   
This picture was taken on Easter weekend  in Edmonton with her three kids. We had so much fun together staying in a hotel.  Charlie is the one with the hat.  He still talks about that weekend.   

Mark was intelligent, kind, caring, made you feel good, made you laugh, always had a big smile, always gave  a big hug, never could do enough to help, was a calming influence, always thought of others before himself, no-one had a bad thing to say about him, had lots of friends and on and on and on.   No doubt about it he has left a big hole in our hearts but  he definitely showed me how to be a better person.   

In three days I will be revealing my creations for the BSBP and yes, it has been a challenge.  Life threw an extra challenge at me this month.  There are many supportive friends that have contacted me and I thank you for that.  My Bead Soup Blog Party partner sent me a lovely sympathy card which I received in the mail today - Thank you Terry  it means so much. 

I look forward to the big reveal day on July 28th.  See you all there!

July 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This is my Thankful Thursday quote:
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the world.

If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, you are among the top 80 percent of the worlds wealthy.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
Author Unknown

All the beautiful Art beads I received this week

I received more beads this week and am excited to show off these cheerful colors to you all.  There are three very talented artisans represented.  Jennifer Cameron makes amazing glass lamp work beads.  I attended her Pajama Blog Party on June 22 and bid on the center gold stripe bead and purchased it for about half the normal price.  I didn't win any door prize - but hey, that's how the cookie crumbles.... Here are more of her beads that I purchased.

Love that teal bead and the beadified key
Another talented polymer clay artist that I have been following for some time is Heather PowersI love the natural look of her beads and in fact she wrote a book called "Jewelry Designs from Nature"  You can order it on her website.  I don't have it but would love to order it.  Maybe one day soon..... 

Bluebird, polymer disks and urchin with silver blue sari silk
Dogwood pendant, owl, and poppy with coral sari silk
The third artist is another glass lamp work bead maker from Vancouver Island - Jane Perala of www.jperaladesigns.etsy.com.  She was set up at a farmer's market at Nanaimo, BC a couple weeks ago so I bought a big handful of her colorful beads.  They are a perfect size for adding to bracelets or necklaces.  All the random beads shown are her beads - like little bursts of color aren't they?

So today with beads of color like this I am thankful and I will be holding up my head and smiling!  

July 06, 2012

Bead Soup has Arrived and it's Yummy

I knew it would be delicious when it arrived as it had a week to simmer in the mail.  My partner Terry Matuszyk knows exactly what yummy things go into good soup.  Terry has had a vintage jewelry business for many years so she has a designer's eye and boy can she put colors together.  I absolutely love the greens and blues she chose for my bead colors. The nice thing is that she generously included a sheet  telling what all her numbered  baggies are.  Many are vintage beads and that will be very special for me to work with.  At the same time it will be a challenge that I look forward to. 

 This beautiful jewelry box was included in my package - how sweet is that? It too was plum full of bead goodies.
   How exciting it was opening her package full of pink.  As I opened each little package I remember saying (to myself), "oh my goodness!"  And that is a good thing!

 Some of the metal findings on her trademark pink wrapping paper with a Pink Chapeau business card

Beautiful brass findings that I am excited to use - some from B'sue Boutiques, some vintage beads, rough cut gemstones that really caught my eye - in green of course.

 These colors excite me:  Focals are Vintage 1950 Japanese ceramic blue/green, Embedded Lucite cabs, vintage semiprecious blue gogo, and vintage millefiori gogo.   Also vintage cobalt beads and vintage metal beads.  I think blue and green make a wonderful match.  I can't wait to get started.  I don't know what I'm going to do but it will be so much fun.  I'm glad Terry put in some seed beads since that is right up my alley as well.  And the color of the sari - I haven't seen one like it!

Thanks Terry - you are such a generous partner  I love everything and hope I do you proud on July 28th.  I have my work cut out for me so I better get busy.