Bead Soup Blog Party 2012

Welcome to the 2012 edition of the Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by the talented Lori Anderson of Pretty Things blog.  Lori partners up all the participants and we exchange beads, including a special focal bead and clasp.  Today is the day we reveal what we have made with the beads we received.   

I was very fortunate to have been paired with Nancy Boylan of Snazzy Doodles.   Nancy creates beautiful  lampwork glass, enamelled metal beads and metal components.  Here’s what Nancy sent me!  Everything here is handmade except the leather and the items in the little dish. 

bead goodies from Nancy Boylan

Bead goodies from Nancy Boylan

I was giddy with joy about receiving such a gorgeous “soup” to design with.

lampwork glass, enameled beads, clasp and leather

Thrilled with my bead soup!

I started with the pendant and designed this necklace.  The necklace includes Nancy’s pendant, 2 of her lampwork glass beads, 1 of the lampwork headpins, 2 of the teardrops beads and the leather she sent.

lampwork glass necklace

“Dot to Dot” necklace

I also used one of  her handmade clasps, which includes another of her lampwork beads. The clasp was so pretty, that I decided to place it at the side where it could be appreciated.  I dangled 2 teardrop shaped beads from the jump ring above the hook.

turquoise lampwork necklace

“Dot to Dot” necklace

I already had a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted to do for the second necklace.  I wanted a really simple necklace so all the attention would be focused on the lampwork beads.

lampwork bead necklace

“Playa” necklace

I named this the “Playa” necklace.  Playa is Spanish for beach.  This necklace reminds me of beautiful tropical beaches we have visited, with their turquoise water and lush green jungle growth.

lampwork glass and chain necklace

“Playa” necklace

The “Playa” necklace used up the larger beads, so I used a pair of the smaller lampwork beads to create earrings. I wired the lampwork beads to a pair of handmade copper components by Melinda Orr.  Then I dangled the last 2 turquoise tear drop beads in front of the copper components.  I named these earrings after Forget-Me-Not flowers, which are kind of turquoise–my brain was kind of zapped by the time I got around to naming these.  If you’ve got a good name for these earrings, let me know in the comment section, please!

copper and lampwork glass earrings

“Forget Me Not” earrings

Nancy was so generous with her beads that I still have more left over.  A number of unexpected things happened this past week, which ended up sapping all my time, (and sanity).  So I ran out of time to make jewelry with all the beads Nancy sent.  Here’s what is still left.  The beads on the right are a combination of Nancy’s beads with carved polymer clay beads by Barbara Bechtel.  I’m planning to make a bracelet with some combination of these beads and use Nancy’s gorgeous copper toggle clasp as the closure.  I haven’t decided what to do with the items on the left yet.  Isn’t that pinwheel cool? Can’t wait to use it!

Below is a list of all the blog hop participants.  I hope you will go visit these blogs next.  Lots of lovely eye candy going on in these jewelry blogs!  Have fun!

Hostess, Lori Anderson,
Alicia Marinache, All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts, Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
Candida Castleberry, Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations
Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson, Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy’s Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris’ Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things
Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikö Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge’s Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten, Jewelry, Art and Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade
Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie’s Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry
Linda Landig, Linda’s Bead Blog & Meanderings  You are here & I’m glad you are!
Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry
Marti Conrad, Marti C’s Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs  My Bead Soup partner
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs
Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky
Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre’z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal’s Attic
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie’s Bijoux
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau


Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna

Bead Soup Goodies

It’s almost time for another Bead Soup Blog Party.  I think this about the 5th one I have participated in.  Hosted by the talented Lori Anderson of Pretty Things, this has become a big event with participants from all over the world.  (To see a map of all the countries participating click here.)

Lori partners up all the participants and we exchange beads, including a special focal bead and clasp.  Tomorrow we will reveal what we have made with the goodies we received.    I was very lucky to have been paired with the super talented Nancy Boylan of Snazzy Doodles

box from Nancy Boylan

Bead Soup box from Nancy Boylan

Nancy is an amazing jack-of-all trades. She creates gorgeous lampwork glass, enamelled metal beads and metal components. Not only that, but she is generous beyond belief. I was stunned when I open her package and saw all that she sent me!  I was so excited when I peered inside this box!

box of lampwork glass beads

Bead Soup goodies from Nancy Boylan.

 Nancy packed a lot of goodies into such a small box.  Here is my new stash!!!  Be still my heart!  Lampwork glass beads, including a large focal and a strand of graduated beads, lampwork head pins, enamel beads and pin-wheel, leather, two handmade clasps and a dish of coordinating commercially made beads.

bead goodies from Nancy Boylan

Bead goodies from Nancy Boylan

And how did I feel about this phenomenal bead soup?  Well this says it all:

lampwork glass, enameled beads, clasp and leather

Thrilled with my bead soup!

And here’s what I sent to Nancy.  The ceramic dragonfly focal bead is from Shaterra Clay Studio.  The beads in the lower left hand corner are leopard skin jasper and the pretty leaf clasp is brass.

dragonfly ceramic pendant, leaf clasp and beads

Bead Soup sent to Nancy Boylan

Please come back tomorrow, July 28th, to see what I made with Nancy’s beautiful beads.  There will be links to all the other jewelry designers as well.

Puget Sound Bead Festival

It’s Bead Table Wednesday and my bead table is filled with new bounty from the Puget Sound Bead Festival. On Sunday, Kristi Bowman and I met in Tacoma and spent a pleasant afternoon together feeding our bead addiction.

shopping for beads

Kristi Bowman and I at the Puget Sound Bead Festival

I didn’t take many photos of the Bead Festival, but here’s what I have.  The tables were all just laden with temptations!  A whole lotta bling going on in this booth.

Bead booth with crystals

Puget Sound Bead Festival booth

And here we have lampwork on the table with finished pieces above.

lampwork beads booth

Puget Sound Bead Festival lampwork beads booth

My favorite bead shop in the world, is Wynwoods Bead Studio in Port Townsend, WA.  It’s a couple of hours from my house, but we visit Port Townsend fairly regularly to walk the beach and visit the many art galleries.  Lois Venarchick, the owner, seems to have a particular gift for finding unusual beads and I always visit her shop when I’m in town.  She had a booth at the bead festival, too.  So I had to drop by to say hello.

wynwoods booth at the bead festival

Wynwoods Bead Studio

So, do you want to see what treasures I brought home with me?  Of course you do!  I was trying to be a bit budget minded, with medium success.  Here’s my haul.

These lampwork beads came from Unicorne Beads.  The lady at the booth was super friendly and helpful.  There was a price break on purchases over $100, so Kristi and I combined our orders.  The savings get passed on in reduced  jewelry prices, so everyone wins!

Goodies from Unicorne Beads

Unicorne Glass

Most of these stone beads were among my first purchases.  Kristi and I looked at these pumpkin shaped coral beads and loved them, but the price was quite steep.  So we decided to move on and maybe come back later.   At the end of the day, this coral was still calling our names, so we went back and bought one strand to share.

stone beads

Stone Beads

Who could resist this adorable polymer clay chickadee???  I couldn’t!

polymer clay beads

Polymer clay beads and patin’ed brass charms.

Of course I also had to pick out a couple of the copper components that Kristi makes!  I chose a pair of her Copper Paisley Leaf  Headpins and a pair of Copper Earring Bails.

Handmade copper headpins and earring bails

Handmade copper headpins and earring bails by Kristi Bowman Designs.

So I’ll leave you now with a couple of pictures of Kristi and I goofing off at the show.  If you’d like to see pictures of Kristi’s bead purchases from the Puget Sound Bead Festival, as well as her pictures from the show itself, hop on over to the Kristi Bowman Designs blog.  Enjoy!

Kristi Bowman

Kristi Bowman showing off some beady eye candy!

Linda Landig

Me, acting silly and holding several strands of beads by my ear, as though they were super-beady earrings.


Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

Beads of Clay Design Challenge Reveal

Beads Of Clay, also known as BOC, is a nonprofit organization that promotes and educates others about creating and using artisan-made clay beads.  I’ve met the nicest, funniest and most creative artists through this group.  Recently BOC added a Design Team to their organization.

Four times a year, different groups of 5 jewelry designers are given a collection of BOC artisan clay beads and asked to design one or more pieces of jewelry with them.  I was included in the first group to give it a go.

BOC necklace challenge

Before the team received their beads, we were given this picture of what was to come.  The directions were:

The black and white picture is a teaser. It shows you everything you will receive, but without color. Look at the shapes and think about them first. Then when you get the pieces, you can write something about this experience and include it in your blog post with your finished designs.
1, Does looking at the shapes without color, help?
2. Did not knowing the colors make it more difficult to consider a design?
3. Did the design style change after seeing the actual colors?
artisan clay beads

BOC beads in black and white

So before I saw the color picture, I spent some time thinking in B&W.  I did a preliminary sketch, although I rarely sketch my designs ahead of time.

jewelry design sketch

Beads of Clay necklace sketch

In the end, not much stayed the same!  The pendant is still there, (duh!).  I kept the chain as an asymmetrical element.  I did write a note that maybe the brick shaped pieces should go elsewhere, and indeed, they became an inspiration for another necklace, which ended up using the shell shaped beads as well. It was an interesting exercise to design without color or actual beads.  It reinforced something I already know about myself.  I am a kinetic, tactile learner.  I have to have the beads actually in my hands.  I often have the initial inspiration as a mental picture, but that is just a starting point.  I’m definitely a hands-on designer.

So, eventually all these gorgeous beads arrived!  Let me take a moment to identify each artist represented below.

Sharleen Newland, of Shaterra Clay Studio, made the sun pendant.

The rectangular raku beads are by Duane Collins, of Elements Pottery.

The rounds and the fan-shaped beads are from Golem Studios.

All the other small ceramic pieces are from Marsha Neal Minutella, of Marsha Neal Studio.

The Vintaj brass pieces are from Marla James, of Marla’s Mud, who organized this challenge for us.

artisan clay beads BOC

Beads Of Clay Design Challenge beads

As it turned out, I started with those gleaming rectangular raku beads.  I bought some forest green Greek leather cord so I could make a knotted leather necklace.  When I went to Bead Fest in Philadelphia last April, I picked up some very cool, light green African recycled glass, which looked awesome with the green tones in the raku.  I got the small rustic striped beads in Philly also.

artisan necklace by Linda Landig Jewelry

“Rustic Raku” necklace

I added some commercial ceramic beads, some carved wood, 2 bone beads and some African brass beads that I already had in my stash.  I finished the necklace with a cool button clasp made of horn and metal.

necklace by Linda Landig Jewelry

“Rustic Raku” necklace

I then dangled the 2 fan-shaped beads from the ends of the leather.  Let me tell you, the leather was so short at that point that I had the hardest time tieing those knots at the ends of the dangles!  Lesson learned:  allow more cord than you think you’ll need!  The “Rustic Raku” necklace is now available in my Etsy shop.

I kind of let the second necklace go till the last minute.  I finished it Friday afternoon!  The colors were so bright and happy that I had a lot of fun while I was designing it.

beads of clay necklace by linda landig jewelry

“Laughing In The Sunshine” necklace

In addition to Sharleen’s pendant, I had some round beads she made that were already in my stash and had the same light brown-tan glaze color.  Score! So I used one of those beads to accent the pendant and I wired a brass bead cap and a gorgeous lampwork disc bead by Radiant Mind beneath that.  I love how they all work together to make a striking pendant.

artisan clay necklace by Linda Landig Jewelry

“Laughing in the Sunshine” necklace

The BOC beads fit together color-wise, but they were all different shapes, sizes and textures.  I felt I needed something to unify the whole design.  After a little experimentation, I decided to place one wood and one turquoise Greek ceramic spacer bead between every bead on the necklace.  I think that repeated pattern was just what this necklace needed. Then I added a swirly lampwork glass bead, that I think was made by Serena Smith and  I included a carved turquoise polymer clay bead by Barbara Betchel, of Second Surf.

The “Laugh” connector is something I found at Michaels a couple of years ago and it fit in perfectly with this sunny theme.  I dangled Marsha’s donut-shaped piece from it and placed a little brass bird in front of it.  Suddenly I realized that these beads were telling a story of a sunny day, with clear blue skies, birds overhead and someone laughing with joy on a warm day!  Hence the name, “Laughing In The Sunshine” necklace.

close up of clay beads in an artisan necklace

“Laughing in the Sunshine” necklace

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my thought process as I designed these necklaces.  I encourage you to read the blog post about this challenge at Beads Of Clay and then please visit the other 4 awesome designers to see what they made with the same BOC beads.

Beads of Clay

Lesley Watt

Staci Smith

Susan Kennedy

Katie Nelson

Ceramic Beads & A Touch Of Lampwork

Bead Table Wednesday

I have been on a crazy ceramic bead buying binge lately!  I confess to being addicted.  So here is what is lying all over my bead table today.  I tried to label everything correctly, but if you see an error, please let me know.  I have a several lampwork beads scattered about as well.

Artisan lampwork and ceramic beads

Artisan lampwork and ceramic beads

As you can see, I have a large number of beads by Bo Hulley and I’ve already made a pair of earrings and a bracelet with beads that were part of this ceramic bead bounty.

Someone on Facebook (I can’t remember who it was) suggested I should name these earrings “Tequilla Sunrise”  The name fits perfectly.  The Tequilla Sunrise Earrings are in my signature rusty orange, brown and red colors.   When I saw the sunrise charms on Bo’s Facebook page, I knew I had to have them, but they sold out right away.  Bo was kind enough to make another pair of these delightful charms just for me.    Beads and components in those colors just sing to me, so designing earrings with these charms was a breeze.

Ceramic Sunrise Earrings

Tequila Sunrise Earrings

I also made this happy little bracelet!  We have lots of birds where I live, because our house is surrounded on 3 sides by woods.  The air is always full of bird song here, but in the morning it is especially loud and lovely, so I named this bracelet “Morning Song“.   The beads are strung and knotted on waxed linen cording and I tied a bit of sari silk on one side for an accent.

Green Ceramic bird bracelet

Morning Song Bracelet

Green ceramic bird bracelet

Morning Song Bracelet

The Tequilla Sunrise Earrings are available in my ArtFire shop and the Morning Song Bracelet  is available in my Etsy shop.


Visit the BTW Flickr group and see what others have on their  bead tables.

link to BTW Flickr group

I Heart Macro – Peonies

I ♥ Macro Sunday!

Not satisfied being just a pretty garden flower, peonies are exuberantly  large, with ruffled depth and petticoat-like ruffles.  I love to snip the stems short and float the blossoms in shallow bowls or stemware dessert glasses.

peony just before blooming

Peony bud

peony bud, just before blooming.

peony bud bursting open

peony bud about to open up

peony bud, stating to open

peony starting to bloom

peony bud reaching skyward.

peony in full bloom✿✿✿

Lori of Studio Waterstone  hosts a weekly blog hop of close-up photos.
Visit Lori to get links to more great macro shots.

studio waterstone

Venice Please

Long ago, in our early 20’s, my husband and I backpacked around Europe and visited Venice.  I wasn’t working with beads then and was completely unaware of Venice’s long tradition of exquisite glass making.  Now, I wish I could return to Venice, please.  I’d visit all the old glass blowing shops and go out to the island of Murano, to which the members of the ancient glass blowing guild retreated to guard their glass trade secrets.

Here is a slide show with info and pictures about the Venetian glass tradition.  Murano Glass Ancient Tradition   It is produced by a Venetian glass company and obviously they hope you will make a purchase, but the slide show and YouTube clip on this site are fascinating and show how the glass is made.

purple and orange ventian glass earrings

Venetian glass earrings

I recently purchased some contemporary Venetian glass beads from DaviniaDesigns.  This artist went to Italy to study traditional glass making.  She met her husband there and now calls Venice her home.  She has her glass studio right in the heart of Venice.  I bought four pairs of beads from her.  Today I’d like to share the first set of earrings I’ve made from her gorgeous beads.

Purple and Orange Venetian glass earrings

Purple and Orange Venetian glass earrings

I paired the Venetian glass with Swarovksi crystals and sterling silver.  I totally fell for the ridges on these beads.  I just think they add so much texture and interest.  The perfectly parallel ridges contrast so nicely with the more organically placed swirls.  Thinking of those lovely swirls made me decide to call this design “Venetian Swirl“.

Purple and orange Venetian glass earrings

Purple Swirl Earrings