Saturday, April 13, 2013

7th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

I received the most wonderful soup from Susan of Libellula Jewelry. (She has a shop called Cicada Silver too.) She wrapped each ingredient individually in tissue paper and packaged it all in a handmade box. She labeled everything so beautifully, it was so hard for me to take it all apart. I just loved looking at it and going thru it again and again. Susan does really wonderful metal work. She etches and solders and makes her own jump rings and head pins.  Along with all the metal, came glass, ceramic and gemstone beads.

The first piece I made was this necklace using one of the focals she sent. This etched pendant is colored with a pretty shade of turquoise and bezeled beautifully.Inside the pendant is a little piece of paper that says 'seek peace'. I love that it says that. I also used one of the clasps that she sent. It is a hand formed copper hook. The beads are beads I made out of bright green, turquoise and ivory and then etched. I love this necklace and have worn it already many times.

The next piece is a bracelet using most of the pink beads she sent. The cherry quartz, the pink opal and the pink adventurine carved focal. I just had to add that pop of green with the flower bead. I like that it echos the flowers in the main focal.

 The next piece is a simple pair of earrings. Using the earwires, headpins, hammered rings and turquoise Susan sent. I love how well the balled ends of the ear wires, matched the color of the orange sea foam quartz.

Susan sent me so many wonderful pieces and I just couldn't get all of the pieces done that I want to make. The button clasp is one of my favorite things she sent. I just couldn't make up my mind how to use it. Over the next couple of days I am hoping to get two more pieces done. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Susan was lots of fun to work with. I wish we lived closer because I would love learn some of what she knows about metal. 

Here is how you can get to Susan's Blog to see what she made with the beads I sent her. Here is a link to the rest of the participates in the blog hop

Monday, March 11, 2013

Awhile back I took Kerry Bogert's Aspire to Wire course. It really was so much fun. Every morning for thirty days there was a new project. Really just like Christmas everyday for a month. She is very talented and I learned a lot of different things. Her tutorials where well written and the photos were great! This class has put a lot of different ideas swirling around in my head. I have not gotten to make many of the projects, but here are two. I love how both of them turned out. Hope to work on some of the other projects soon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Look At All These Files!

Is it weird that I love getting tools? A friend of mine just gave me a handful of files. All different sizes and shapes. I am so excited to get them! I have been working with wire and metal for a little bit and I know these will come in handy. Wasn't sure I would use the handles, but we put the one on and it does make it much easier to hold.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Soup I sent Susan

This is the soup I sent my partner Susan of Libellula Jewelry.I was trying to listen to what Lori Anderson wrote in a couple of the emails she sent all of the Bead Soup participates and get my soup ready before I had a partner. And I did pretty much have it done.  I was very happy with the color combination of the two sets of beads I had made and the lampwork focal. It was what metal I was sending with it, that had  me stumped. I finally decided on the brass. I thought it looked good with the colors of the beads and kinda gave it that beachy look that I love, and I really wanted to include that little fish bead(silly, I know). But that made the clasp a bit of a problem for me. I had the triangular one in my stash, but I really wanted to make one. I had recently found the 16 gauge brass wire at my hardware store. So I made a simple clasp with a double wrap of wire. I had recently taken Kerry Bogert's on line course, where she explained how to patina brass and it worked!  I also included a length of brass chain.

I also sent two enamel beads that could be used for a focal. A couple of pressed glass beads and a length of sari silk.

It was fun to put this soup together and I hope Susan enjoys working with it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bead Soup Arrived!

The mail lady brought my soup for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Hop!! Look how cute this box is!! I just couldn't wait to open it!  But first let me start at the beginning. My partner is Susan of Libellula Jewelry and Cicada Silver. She makes beautiful jewelry pieces like this.....

Ceramic Bead & Copper Necklace 
I love the colors and the look of this piece. But look at the copper components she has made aren't they wonderful? Look at this bezel and the clasp! Aren't they wonderful? She also does etching, colors metal, makes bead caps, headpins and I am sure so much more. She is very talented. I am so happy to have her as a partner.

So lets get back to the Bead Soup Blog Hop and the wonderful box,(which she also made!!) Susan sent me. She sent me so many wonderful things. There is no way I could ever say how happy I am with everything that was inside that box. It was filled to the rim, and everything was wrapped in turquoise tissue paper.(I should have taken a picture but....well.... I forgot. You would have too.) I took my time unwrapping every piece. It was like Christmas or my birthday or something. So much fun. I love the way she labeled every  item. Makes it very easy to remember what it all is.

First of all the beads...

Cherry Quartz, Pink Opal, Aventurine, Turquoise, Freshwater pearls! They are all beautiful. The ceramic beads on the left which are from Gaea are really pretty spring colors. And I love the recycled coke bottle glass beads. They are such a pretty color.

And now the metal stuff. Honestly it is all just way too cool!!

This is all stuff she made! Headpins, links, a hammered clasp, jump rings that have been oxidized, the copper beads that she has liver of sulfured and verdigrised, the ear wires, the bead caps. (The only thing she didn't make were the enameled headpins on the left from SueBeads) The PENDANT and The BUTTON CLASP....WOW!!!  I know I keep saying it, but I LOVE these!!!

This is just to show a little closer picture of the etching in the bead caps and the colors.

 And here is a closer view of the pendant and the button. The Turquoise is just perfect! My first thought is the button will go on a bracelet...but who knows.

So, that is everything. I have a bunch of ideas running around in my head. We are in the second reveal, which is April 6th. I will post a picture of what I sent her tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Beads

I don't always get to go out in the winter and make beads. But this past weekend we had temperatures in the 50's, so I went out and and had a great time!  Lots of  blues, greens and turquoise of course, since these are my favorite colors. But I threw in some purple and some red, white and blue too. 

My parents gave me a couple button mandrels for Christmas. These buttons are kinda fun to make. They are kinda thick, but I think they will be great for some of the knitting my mom and Kate do. I also think I am going to use one for a project in the Aspire to Wire eCourse with Kerry Bogert that I am currently taking. Every project has been amazing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Brian's Quilt

I said I would post when I finished. And I did, I finished it last night!! The colors really are so pretty and the swirl pattern from the quilting(that I had someone else do) really looks so good with the swirls in some of the different fabrics.

It is really nice to be done with this project and to have two quilts that will definitely brighten up any room. Now do I start another one or say I'm done with the quilting thing. Its just that all those pretty fabrics call to me....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Trip to Oberlin

Well, I went on a bead shopping trip yesterday. Which is never a good thing. Bead Paradise is a bead store that is about 45 minutes away. I have been going there for forever. When the kids were smaller, they would have to go with me. They would crawl around on the floor and pick up all the loose beads, it would keep them busy for hours.  When I finally finished picking out the beads I had to have, Brian and Kate would take there little pile up to Ruth, the owner. They would be so proud of themselves. Ruth was always so nice. She would bag them up and hand them back to them...they were thrilled! (I wonder if they still have these in there rooms somewhere?)

Anyway, every January she has a big 25% off sale. I think she does it to get ready to go to Tuscan. I can't stay away from a sale!! So I always head over once or twice during the month. I didn't buy a lot and it is really kind of a funny mix, but this is what I got.

This is a strand of Blue Lace Agate. I just loved the chunky rough cut of it. I already have an idea for a necklace, that I may have to fight my daughter for. The different shades of blues stripes in these stones is really so interesting.

I also bought a couple of older strands of spacers. Bead Paradise has alot of vintage beads and findings. I find these older strands really fascinating. They have more detail and some wear and tear to them. I got a  strand of brass beads and two different sizes of Ethiopian silver. Ethiopian silver is not as pure as sterling silver, which is 925 parts pure silver. The Ethiopian silver is only about 833 parts of pure silver. Anyway, I think these spacers are a great shape and cant wait to use them in some of my pieces.

The last little batch of beads i bought is very eclectic. I wanted to get some pure white beads. I'm not sure these are exactly what I was looking for, but I couldn't leave them behind. The turquoise flowers...well they are my color and it is fun to use these in summer pieces. I had to have the oranges because the last time I was there I bought limes...need I say more?

So this was my trip to Oberlin. It is a great store to go to but make sure you have plenty of time to visit, they have so much to look at

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Scissor Fobs

I made a bunch of scissor fobs today! These are so much fun to make. They are great for that small pair of scissors that you are using for quilting, knitting or stitching. I also know people use them for zipper pulls. I have taken the pictures and they will all be in my Etsy shop in the next day or two. Look at

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kate's Quilt

I am embarrassed to admit how long ago I started this quilt, but in the interest of complete disclosure I will...I started this quilt 10 years I ago. Actually, I have a hard time believe it was that long ago, but it was. I decided I was going to make the kids quilts to go in their new rooms. They picked out the colors, nice bright colors. Kate picked green and purple and Brian went with green and blue.  I got the quilt tops done right away, and then they just sat. It took me awhile to find the backing fabric and then someone to quilt them for me. But finally, in the past few months, I picked up these quilts and decided to finish them .So this is Kate's, I finished it last night! I am so thrilled that it is completed. I already have the binding attached on Brian's and hope to finish it up in the next week. I love the colors of both of them! Very cheerful. Now I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with them. As Brian is out of the house in his own apartment and Kate only has one more semester at school and then she will be hitting the real world. I don't think they will even want them.  I am thinking they will look really nice in an extra bedroom with two twin beds in it....hmmm....

Thursday, January 3, 2013


The start of another year! So many possibilities.

I have no idea what the new year will bring. Life is always a surprise. We never really know what is going to be around the bend. I can tell you what I hope to do this year..... 

I hope to be a better mom to my kids. Life has thrown us some unexpected curves in the last couple of years and put us into circumstances we never thought we would be in. And although I believe that we will always be close, they are in their 20's and starting lives of their own. I have to let them grow and make mistakes. And they will have to do the same for me.

I hope do better at telling the family and friends in my life that they are important to me. I never would have gotten thru this without all of them! Everyone of them can make me laugh and cry and then laugh again. I love all of them for this.

I hope to find a real job! One that I can love and grow into. One that lets me be creative...somehow, and work with people so that maybe I can make their life better or easier or happier. Unfortunately, I have no idea what this job would be, but now is the time to figure it out.

I hope to create better jewelry designs. Make better lampwork beads, use different wire, maybe different shapes of wire. I am signed up to take Kerry Bogert's  Aspire to Wire course and am very excited for it.

I hope I get better at blogging...I use all the old excuses of no time, nothing to write, who wants to read what I have to say. But...I do want to keep a better watch on my life and maybe this is the way to do it.

I'm sure there are so many things I should work on for this year. I do know you have to stay positive. That things always seem to work out. And just roll with the Some have said it may not be a good year because of the number 13 or the year of the snake. I disagree, I may not love snakes but the number 13 has always be special to me. So I think it is going to be a great year. One of changes, challenges and growth!