Tuesday, March 9, 2021

 Greetings fellow soupers.  Thank you Lori for such a fabulous event.  You did a perfect job matching partners.  Jill Bradley and I have become new long distance friends and have really enjoyed our partnership.  Our exchange was made early so we both had lots of time to create many beautiful items.

Click on pics for a bigger view.

My goals are pretty much the same in this soup as others I've participated in, however my skills are a little rusty so there were some challenges.  Overall I'm satisfied.  Here are my pieces.

First pass. I made a tassel using Jill's lovely silk.  The silver toned large hole bead was a perfect fit, then I added/stacked 3 silver toned bead roundels and wire wrapped them all with vintage brass wire - 2 toned effect.  I made a necklace out of this weird greasy leather I had on hand, but didn't like the result......

So back to the drawing board, or rather Joanns to pick up some nice chain to better tie it together.  Much nicer look, I think.  It can be worn short or long.

One of my goals was to try and use what you already have.

I LOVE this little happy owl.  My challenge here was to wrangle the leather, make a wire wrapped clap.  I used some of Jill's lovely tan lamp work beads, her amber glass, mixed with some of my amber/green Czech. glass and then some brass spacers here and there.  I love how the owl floats on the branch (also brass that I had in my stash).  I had just enough beads leftover to make a stretch bracelet and decided this owl needed buddies.... 
Meet the Buddies......One of my favorite mediums is metal, Vintaj paints, embossing and glaze so I made 2 goofy little owls to hang out with the necklace owl.  These guys are different on purpose.  The one on the right is hanging out in the blue clouds and the one on the left is crouching in the grass.  Just a little expression of my quirky side.  This really is the very last set of green Czech. beads as I had just enough to finish.  These were painted to hopefully match the necklace, using blue, green (2 shades) 2 shades yellow and some brown - started with a base of white and some brass still showing.  These are fun guys I'll enjoy wearing.

Same day I was able to use all of Jill's wonderful silver pieces to make this fun, lightweight and sweet pair of earrings.  Just in time for Spring. 

Following the rules, this is the silver toggle clasp I was to use.  Along with this I added more silver components provided by Jill.  I had these dancing pearls and just enough fine Softflex beading wire, so this was a quick little project.  

 Back side view.......Coloring Outside the Lines.... 

FRONT VIEW:  I love wire wrapping.  My inspiration for this piece all began with the glass bead at the bottom, wire wrapped.  I decided to made this bead my focal for this piece.  I call this one.... COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES... It's thick and can be worn either side out.  Lots of copper, blue beads (provided by Jill) and a few blues and blacks of my own.  I'm a cobalt nut so this was very nice to make.  I decided to do a bit extra with the heavy wire and made the Y hook.   I love the blue and copper combo.

Finished piece.  Lots of wire wrapping.  I made the clasp, and added a bit of wire to the y. I'm very pleased with this one.  And then, of course... earrings to match. 

So you may have noticed a theme - Lots of blues in this stash.  I LOVE blue, so I'm good with that.  These lamp work beads are lovely.  I had a couple of rings that were a bit worn, so I used my Ranger (Vintaj) patina paint to spiff  just a bit.  Everything turned out perfect, and the space between the wire wrap and 2mm copper ball is intentional.  

Next - a NeCklace.....  Jill sent me this silver leaf - very nice, but I decided to punch holes at the base and add some dangles.  Turned out ok.

Here is the finished piece - I love this one.  I was able to use more of her crystals, some silver rondells and a strand of mixed stones that I got when I used to work at a bead store years ago.  I really love the finished piece.  So fun and the oranges really pop. 

No, we're not finished yet....

This is a skill I learned from buying a kit from Kellies Bead Boutique  in Canada.  I was thrilled to make another and Jill's crystals were the perfect size.  All beads are knotted and then a dab of glue on the C-lon (to prevent knots from coming undone)  Leather is always a challenge for me - but this worked out great and a dab of glue on the leather knots helped too.
Jill gave me this beautiful charm, flower and I just had to add it here.  

Earrings made to match with a big ring at the bottom.  

No, I'm not done yet.... breathe.   

Jill sent this beautiful silk.  I'll admit I'm silk challenged too.  However I do like wire and saw the perfect opportunity to marry the 2 in a fun combo.  I made the silk wrapped bead using a heavy copper - 14 g - as a base, wrapped wire around that, then started wrapping the silk to hide the wire.  Fat in the middle and thinner on the edges.  Then 2 or 3 wraps of copper wire with a mix of copper 2mm balls, some seeds and more copper wire to hold it all together.  There's one lampwork bead at the bottom for interest and of course just enough silk to "tie" it all together - slips over my head perfectly - no clasp required.  

Last piece, I promise.  Whew.  I stared at all these beads, lots of pictures online trying to get a feel, and idea and after 3 days it came to me.  make a wire bangle.  So here it is.  All of the lampwork that was leftover from other projects were used here.  I made a base of heavy sterling and then made 2 spirals of copper wire.  I had only one sterling Bali bead and it fit perfectly.  All the bead caps came from Connie Foxes store that I purchased years ago, and they fit on the heavy wire.  Little beadies came from Jill as did the gorgeous butterfly charm. The clasp was hand wrought by me and it really fits well.  There is just the right amount of movement  (of the beads - just for fun) and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.   

The End. (but really it's just the beginning) .

I have quit beading/jewelry making - several times, but have been at this addiction since 2002.  Of course when you quit something, you usually give stuff away (which I have done - at least twice).  SO, here we go again.  Quarantine and unemployment has provided extra time and this has been really fun.  Thank you all again, especially Lori for coordinating this event.  


Monday, February 8, 2021

Soup is on!


What a gorgeous bead soup I received from my partner, Jill Bradley. Thanks so much, and I can't wait to start cooking!

Ok, I can't wait (just like a kid on Christmas Eve)  Posting these pics early (don't tell). These are the items I made from Jill's soup.  Necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I'll detail each in the next post. Click on pic for a larger view. 


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Brothers Begging.....Coton de Tulears

 Testing January 23, 2021.   Coton de Tulear dog breed

On the left you see a blurred BOO TOO.

On the right his brother Ranger.  

These 2 guys are 9.5 years young, from the same litter and now live in the same town.  Lucky dudes get to have play days - this one was on their birthday and they were excited to meet, greet, and sneak a treat!

(this is a test to see if this blog still works, or to see if I can still remember how to manage it for the upcoming BEAD SOUP exchange.  So far so good.

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)

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.