Do What You Love With Passion!

It's been said that if we do what we love, it stops being a job and becomes a passion. I love to write as much as I love to design jewelry. With this blog, I will share both with you!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Partner Exchange: Preparation for Bead Soup Blog Party


Meet my Partner!
7th Bead Soup Blog Party
Our Reveal Date - March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party is the creative inspiration of Lori Anderson, owner of Pretty Things. Lori trade-marked the name and published a book about Bead Soup.  On Facebook one can find Bead Soup Cafe, a group for bead lovers.

Once a year Lori hosts a Bead Soup Blog Party. This year, five hundred women signed up, to be partnered with someone across the United States or in international countries.

My partner is Kristi Harrison, owner of an Etsy shop named Keepsakes by Kristi (kristibasket). This is the link to Kristi's blog. Kristi lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three beautiful children. Her shop has been open since February, 2011 and offers a beautiful vintage appeal in her jewelry.

Please allow me to share some of her beautiful designs with you, below:

Kristi and I were partnered about two weeks ago. The first thing we did was reach out to each other through email and share who we are, a sense of our personal lives, our shops and blog information.  

We created a collection of beads to be sent to one another, specifically not chosen to coincide with the partner's design style; rather, what we might have in our own inventory that might be a challenge to our partner, something they don't normally use or work with. 

The idea is to be challenged in creating at least one piece of jewelry using our gift of beads. The rules require that our bead soup mix contain one focal bead and one clasp or closure, but not a lobster clasp. The remainder of the mix would be any materials and beads that would create harmony with the color(s) in the focal bead and metals. We can use any or all from the mix and add to this any of our own materials.

This is a photo of the bead soup mix that I shipped to Kristi:

The focal bead is at the top of the photo, to the right of the brass chain. You'll note the six yellow dots on the brown lampwork bead. Just below that is a brass leaf motif clasp with closure. Within the autumn mix are a variety of metal findings, including end caps, spacer beads and two leaf charms.  The mix is rounded out with a variety of beads, including smaller lampwork and Czech beads in red, oxblood, amber, yellow, brown, cream and white.

In return, Kristi sent me the following selection:

This color palette is beautiful! It's funny how we both chose to share brass findings, too. I love this clasp set, it is a style I have not seen before and will be lovely on a bracelet or necklace. She included a large focal (Marsha Neal) and two smaller matching ceramic beads, with the suggestion that they can be either for earrings or charms.  Her bead mixture is a beautiful assortment, including a length of sari silk, should I choose to use it.

All I can say at this point is "I am jazzed, Kristi!"  I am ready to take this bead soup, climb into my sandbox and get creatively silly and punchdrunk on beads, silk and brass! (I'm sorry, you have to be a beader to understand this...kind reader, forgive me, please.)

Because five hundred women signed up for this party and blog reveal, Lori had to create three different dates to share with one another.  While Kristi and I will be posting our blogs with photos of what we have created on March 30th, 2013, some 150 other ladies will be doing the same thing. That's a lot of hopping in one day!

I hope you will return on that date and see what we have come up with. Blog challenges are a joy to participate in and everyone is a winner.  I have already won with a very lovely partner and friend I have just met. She may live in Nebraska while I live in Washington, but beading brings girls together   and provides a forum to create life-long friendships. (Ask my friend Lisa of Huzee's Beads. She lives in Tennessee and has become like the sister I never had!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 30th! Come back and see what we have been up to.

"Thank you for reading and have a great day!"

From Nature, Into Jewelry

Thursday, February 7, 2013




"We know the passion our beaders have. Let's show it!"
February 14, 2013

Who doesn't love Valentine's Day? I never tire of giving or receiving flowers - the simplicity of tulips, the beauty of roses or elegant European bouquet. Send them to me everyday, please! I love the colors of pink, red and white during the month of February. Send me truffles wrapped up in a beautiful coffee mug with clear cello and ribbons and I am a happy girl! It's a beautiful season to declare one's love to another. I never tire of sending gifts to my step-mom, my daughters, my husband. Giving to someone else is a delight, for in their surprise and joy, it all comes back to my heart, increased in measure.

Now when it comes to beading, I drool over beautiful lampwork beads! When I found the large puffed heart-shaped beads I used in this design of bracelet and earring set, I fell in love with the accents of purple and green, as well. Here, then, is my offering for Bead Lovers Valentine Challenge:

Bracelet and Earring Set

BRACELET  Strung with quality tarnish free copper wire and copper toggle closure. Three beautifully textured and richly colored puffed lampwork heart shaped beads are the focals of the design. The puffed hearts are 3/4"x3/4" and 1/2" thick. White lampwork beads with pink florals are balanced with copper end caps. Copper spacers and light green faceted crystals complete the design.

EARRINGS  Ear wires measure 1 1/4" in length; overall length is 4 3/8".  Wire wrapped with tarnish free copper wire and strung with one lampwork heart, one white and pink floral lampwork bead with copper end caps. Two green crystals and one green briolette drop with copper spacers complete the look.

Thank you to Artisan Whimsy for hosting this event
and to the gals who generously donated prizes:
Sharyl's Jewelry
Diane Hawkey
Melinda Orr Designs

"Thank you for reading - have a great day!"