Saturday, March 4, 2017

My Soup - so far, so good

LINK TO ALL SOUP CHEFS:   http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2017/03/welcome-to-9th-bead-soup-blog-party.html

(Good think I created, photoed and posted early; Got sick for 2 weeks and just couldn't work) Enjoy!


Greeting soup travelers.  I had some very specific goals for this soup:
1.  Use as many of Christine's beads as possible (she provided a lot, see post below for pics)
2. Try to make something different from what I would normally make.
3. Find my MOJO after being away from creating for a year (we moved twice, sold our home and everything was packed)
4. Try not to buy anything but use what I have.
5. Challenge myself by not falling into my rut of easy stringing or ball on a stick earrings, like I usually do.
(there's nothing wrong with either of these styles but I just wanted to try and challenge myself)

GOALS REALIZED?  I think YES
I had a ball, was fun digging into all these beads and dragging out mine to come up with something fun. Also was fun trying some new things.  

Project #1:  A fabulous blossom focal.  Totally screamed leather and cowgirl to me so I gave it my best shot, but was not happy with the look, the way the beads did and did not lay correctly and the fact that a leather wrap is best suited for a bracelet.  Back to the drawing board after taking the whole thing apart.



This is the revised version - and I totally love it. I'm a short necklace kinda gal and since turquoise is my birthstone I knew this was going to be a favorite of mine.  It's about 16" long and perfect for me.  I had these Picasso 9mm rounds and the Swarovski 6mm rounds so combined with the  nice wire wrap I made, using her 2mm crystals I think the whole thing came together great (with chain at the back and a clasp I made from copper, not showing in pic). Inspiration:  a similar piece from Artbeads.com (of course not the exact same, but giving credit where credit is due).  Strung on Softflex medium professional beading wire.

My next challenge was to tackle the gorgeous lampwork beads (I got 2 of the same).  My choice was a pendant rather than using both in earrings, while lovely, just a bit heavy for me.  My photo does not do this bead justice, but it is gorgeous.  The bail is a new style for me (found it in the book mentioned below) and is really easy to make from 16g wire.  My base was 16 g also.  First you make a frame, set aside some beads to compliment each other then start building your creation.  This is the 3rd of these I have made - so fun and colorful.  Inspiration from Build your own pendants by Kimberly Sciaraffa Berlin.  Her instructions are great, loads of pictures and many different ways to make a pendant.  Check it out.
I used her big lampwork lentil bead in the upper left, her large amethyst and the rest of the beads were mine.  Wore it the other day and got 2 compliments.  yea  This is 2 1/2" long, fyi 




The big guy SEA of Dreams

This is a large sun catcher. I have made 8 of them in the last couple of months (snowed in here, using my beads).   I got some inspiration online from Celestial Elements NM (ETSY).  Beautiful suncatchers, spendy too.  The base wire is aluminum wire used in the florist business (I got mine from the dollar store... yes, for a dollar).  Fabulous to work with and comes in colors.  I used the big lampwork bead at the top, Christine's gift of pearls, black rondells, starfish (2, which I painted) and all of her larger Swarovski crystals in this piece.  I love it and it really sparkles in the sun.  The lampwork has a few streaks of yellow gold - just enough to pop. This is 7" long.


Wire bracelet:
All the turquoise beads you see are from Christine.  I have only made one other of these bracelets before and decided this would be a fun combo of colors.  6 rounds of a base of African Christmas beads, then lots of other colors, shapes in between including more of Christine's gifted beads.   I love it.  Guess I'm a color nut.   Very comfy to wear, no clasp.

 What's a soup without earrings.  The above combo of 3:  Wire wrapped seed beads over silk over a brass spring, and used her wooden topdrilled lightweight beads.  Long, light and lovely. Commercially made wires.
Next pair challenged me to get ready for St. Pat's day, I used her green Swarovski and my sterling trinity charm, plus made sterling earwires.  3rd pair is used her green seaglass beads.  I mixed some Vintaj colors in blue and green and embossed 2 copper plates, buffed, finished and made copper ear wires.  This is one of my traditional designs - my favorite kind to make, lots of steps but fun.  Like a mini mural on your ears.


The green sea glass teardrop was the first pair I made.  Using Para wire for one spiral and some stubborn finer brass wire for the seeds (I'll never buy it again - does not stay where you put it - impossible to work with, but I wrangled it into submission).  The last pair matches the Blossom necklace, using the same Picasso beads and some copper wire wrapping to top it off.  These were my own idea.  I found myself dreaming of beads, designs and colors.  Does that mean I got my MOJO back?

Christine sent me a whole lot of sea glass, for me to "play with".  This is a 1.5 " long glass pendant - she gave me at least 5.  More playing to come - but I just quickly put together this wrap to see if it would work - it did.  Can't wait to get to the others.  I want to methodically and carefully plan what I might like to make with the rest of the gorgeous glass.  Many ideas have flowed in and out of my brain but I haven't grabbed on to one yet.  

Can't wait to see what everyone else made. Thanks for visiting my page. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Christine has really blessed me with a fabulous SOUP.

Her  card, the perfect message for this exchange...... read on

I imagine, therefore I am free
Dreaming is an act of pure imagination
Growth contains happiness
Create it is the spirit that creates
Become to live is to be slowly born.

Her letter, describing the history of beads ......

Turquoise flower hoarded for several years (artist unknown).  Also included some triangle wooden beads, a few top drilled crystals and a strand of 2mm firepolished, and turquoise stones.  She also loves turquoise and it's MY birthstone.  What a nice combination of beads. I love them.

Lampwork beads purchased when (mystery artist) was closing her shop.  Her intended earrings didn't materialize.  ooooh lucky me.  I love these colors, and the coordinating beads of kelly green crystals, black roundels and amethyst faceted rounds will be fun to work with.

Seaglass, seaglass and more seaglass from ZnetShows.  She loves working with this and wanted to share some with me.  Again, how lucky I am.  I do wirewrapping and always wanted to try working with seaglass. Stay tuned....

And every bracelet or necklace needs some kind of claps.  She covered that too with 3 choices.  

Thank you so much Christine.....

Friday, February 17, 2017

Anticipation. Bead Soupers, tic tic tic... the clock keeps ticking....

In anticipation of my package arrival next Tuesday from my Bead Soup partner Christine, I have been practicing new ideas, techniques.  Crocheting and knitting have never come easy to me (too tight in the shoulders, too cramped in the hands and too challenging to read and figure out the patterns, stitches, etc).  This year I did successfully finish a couple of dish rags that cheer up my kitchen.  Since I have mastered the chain stitch and since I do have a lot of (cheapy) colorful beads (and am still trying to reduce my stash) I decided to make a couple of long strings of beads and use as necklaces or whatever.  Here is my finished product, picture taken on a South facing sunny day, through the window.  Lucky me.



Color wheel was just that.  I used my color wheel to artfully string on beads that were close to the color wheel pattern in the correct order, and single crocheted each into place, one at a time.  I had a different size hook than pattern called for so in no time at all I used up all the white yarn.  Oh well, you can still wrap it twice around neck and use button closure.

Then I went for my RED stash - love these 2 colors together.  GREEN cord was a left over from another (unfinished) project, so I went to town on that one too.  Am happy with the way they turned out - love all the different colors, shapes, sizes of beads in each necklace.  I leave them in my south facing window and watch the sun shine on each - brings me a little joy (and I actually finished something... yea.)

Enjoy your sunny day, where ever you are.

Joyfully yours


Friday, February 10, 2017

Bead Soup, Hoarders Edition 2017 Partners Announced.... (drum roll please)



Just read the name of my Bead Soup Partner for 2017.  I'm  all ready (overachiever), beads packed, notes written, and all I need is an address and I'm ready to go.

BEAD PARTNER IS:  CHRISTINE STONEFIELD.

More soon.  Can't wait to e-meet her.


Saturday, February 4, 2017


Turquoise, copper and earth tones, a nice combo.  Still experimenting with wire wrapping techniques from
the book mentioned in a previous post.  I have so much wire, so many beads so much inspiration.  I do love the simplicity of this piece built on really heavy copper wire, accented by 4mm beads and stones.

joyfully delicious!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Blue Moon Sun Catcher

Large Sun Catcher

Lately I've been trying to use up beads, all different sizes, colors, shapes, eras, prices.  I found a great source at the dollar store, florist section.  12 g wire, soft and pliable, great for making shapes.   It comes in gold, purple, red and apple green. This is my 5th one, all different ... this is one of the more simple designs, at 8" long.  Not sure what to do with them, other than gifts. Any ideas?  As an aside, this same exact wire is sold on Amazon for $4.95.  Check out your local dollar store for some real deals.

My process:

sketch a simple design (then do your own thing)
Shaped the wire
chose a combo of complimentary beads
started wire wrapping with large seed beads and silver tone wire
used purple wire for 2nd wrap
painted Vintaj moon lady, punched hole at bottom and hung a bead
Swarovski crystals, seeds, fluorite teardrop, and lots of other beads
added some metal swirls at the top and wrapped some beads in there too


Friday, January 27, 2017

Bead Soup Countdown



Follow this post/blog for more on the above.  Write these dates on your calendar, be prepared to be wowed by all of the fantastic art pieces to be made with beads gifted from surprise partners. Tomorrow, sign up day.
This will be my 3rd opportunity to be a bead soup chef.  :-)  Let's get cookin'  

joyfully yours....