It’s Bead Soup time again!

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Once again I’ve signed up for Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party, which is the major event each year in bead/blogging world! This is the 8th year for the party, and my 3rd year participating. How it works is this – Lori pairs up the participants and you then swap bead soup ingredients for each other to create with. On reveal day you do a blog post showing what you designed with the soup you received from your partner. It’s lots of fun and a great way to challenge yourself to create with beads and components that someone else chose for you. My partner this year is Kim Paige of Red Tree Studio. Her metal clay work is elegant and simply amazing! Before I show you the incredible soup she sent, here is what i sent to her-

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I’ve been hoarding these oversized pale pink cut glass beads for a few years – I love the way they’re cut, but because I’m “pastel impaired” I haven’t been able to decide what to do with them! (I saved a few just in case I ever figure it out though!) I paired them with a hand carved mother of pearl pendant from Plum Bazaar, which is the awesome bead shop in Branson where I just started working.

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Next I gathered up some pewter beads – some with dragonflies, and some that remind me of ocean waves, along with a pair of large filigree beads. I added some tiny garnets, some hand dyed silk ribbon and a sterling and moonstone clasp. I sure hope Kim likes what I’ve chosen – it’s surprisingly hard to decide what to send to someone you’ve never met!

One thing I do know is that I’m absolutely thrilled with what Kim sent – just look!Image

A great assortment of stone, bone and wood beads, copper chain, leather cord and two fabulous clasps! That in itself would be a wonderful soup, but now for the really exciting stuff!

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Aren’t these amazing? Kim made these from metal clay, using blueberry leaves from her yard for texture. And finally, this stunning focal -

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I’m so excited to start working with these gorgeous pieces – I only hope I can somehow do them justice. Thanks, Kim, for a truly wonderful soup!

A frosty fog morning

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When I looked out this morning and saw that it was both foggy and frosty, I forgot all about my coffee and grabbed my camera. Knowing it wouldn’t last long, I drove to Swan Creek, which is just a few minutes away. It was so pretty and I hoped I could get some good shots!

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There was a wonderful thick, white coating on everything – transforming even simple weeds into beautiful little sculptures.

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The fog gave the creek a monochromatic dreamlike look – these look like black & white photos but they’re not!

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Even barbed wire looked like it had grown soft white fur-

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I so enjoyed taking these photos, and I’m glad I did – an hour or so later the sun came out and it all disappeared!

Arkansas getaway

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My husband and I took a much needed mini vacation last weekend and headed down the road to nearby Arkansas, taking our time and stopping  here and there on the way to our hotel. First stop was Eureka Springs, where I did a little bead shopping (Czech glass, yay!) and where we saw two very different deities -

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The Christ of the Ozarks, a seven story tall statue high atop Magnetic Mountain that overlooks the town below, and

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the Goddess of Feminine Cosmic Energy, also known as Aza, or Adora Zelina Astra. Each was equally impressive in their own way!

As we continued on our way to Bentonville I spotted one of my favorite things to photograph – a fabulous abandoned farmhouse-

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It’s hard to explain, but somehow I see a dignified beauty in the skeletal remains of old falling down buildings and always feel compelled to take their picture before they’re gone forever.

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After a couple of days of relaxing (comfy hotel bed – yesss!) we headed back home – but on the way out we spent an afternoon at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I’d heard a lot of good things about it, and they were right – it’s amazing! I’ll show you about that next time – stay tuned!

The welcoming committee

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My husband and I took a few minutes this evening to walk by a nearby lake and enjoy the sunset. As we were headed back to the car, a  trio of snow white ducks got out of the water and walked over to where I was standing. I assumed they were looking for a food handout and that they’d start squawking at me when they realized I didn’t have anything for them.

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When they got to me though, they stopped.

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And they just stood there, calmly regarding me with their dark eyes and cheerful orange feet. This went on for several moments, with me snapping picture after picture and with them just silently watching.

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Then, they turned to each other and had a lengthy conversation amongst themselves while I stood there and laughed  at how cute they were.

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Finally, as quietly as they came, they turned in unison and headed back to the lake while I walked back to my husband feeling utterly charmed by my encounter with the welcoming committee of Rockaway Beach!

Bead Hoarders Reveal

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Once again I’m happy to be participating in one of Lori Anderson’s great blog hops – this one is for those of us who are bead hoarders, which I’m sure is pretty much anyone who makes jewelry!

The packrat hoarding gene runs deep in my family, so for me it goes beyond beads – to ribbon, scraps of leather, old pieces of lace, watch faces and parts, micro mosaics, etc., etc., etc! All those things I found here and there over the years that I just had to have, knowing I’d find a use for them “someday”…..

For this piece, I decided to use something from my treasured micro mosaic collection-

(click on the pics to see close up)

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Micro mosaics are made from extremely small pieces of glass that’s artfully arranged in beautiful patterns, usually with a floral motif. They’ve been made in Italy for centuries, and I’ve been fascinated by these tiny works of art for a long time.  I rarely use any of them because I love how they look in their little dish on my workbench!

I forced myself to part with one though, and chose this one-

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Once part of an old brooch, these three tiny hearts are soldered together. Aren’t they sweet?

For the base of my pendant, I used this pretty filigree piece from B’Sue Boutiques in my favorite finish, rusty black. I also added a hint of color with metallic craft paint.

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To add just a little more color and texture, I pulled out some of my ribbon and decided to use a scrap of multi colored gypsy ribbon-

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And with some soft blue Amazonite beads (also hoarded for years) and a few more rusty black pieces from B’Sue, this is what I came up with-

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Now the decision will be – list it in my Etsy shop  – or hoard it? :)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and be sure to visit all the other fabulous blogs here:

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
10.  Erin Guest, Renlish11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry – you are here!
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda’s Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine’s Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre’z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D’Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
65.  Tracie Dean, Dean Designs
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama’s Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia’s Unique Beaded Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka’s Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda’s Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou’s time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 – For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD’s Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine’s Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl’s Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings ‘n’ Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi’s Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra’s Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge’s Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca’s Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena’s Beady Blog

Supermoon!

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I’m kinda obsessed with the moon anyway, so I couldn’t resist the urge to try to capture it tonight. I drove out on some country roads nearby until I spotted it coming up over a farmer’s field.

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It took several dozen shots to get these two halfway decent ones, but oh, it was gorgeous!

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5×5 Challenge

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This past month I participated in a very intriguing challenge, along with 4 other Artisan Whimsy members. It’s called 5×5 Testers, and works like this: five artists are chosen each month and each are given five identical components to create with. At the end of the month, all of the pieces are revealed and are featured in the beautiful Bead Chat e-magazine. To see it, click on the “Glossi” link on the right side of the page.

The results are fascinating, as each artist interprets the pieces in their own unique style. I wish I’d have thought to take a picture of the components before I used them (d’oh!), but I do know that some of the other team members did.

Here’s what I came up with-

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I decided to work with this filigree piece first. This was the easiest piece for me, since I work with this style so often. I enhanced just the center of the filigree with Vintaj patinas, and curled the ends under at the sides. At first I was going to join the chain with jumprings, but instead I inserted a headpin with tiny brass beads to work as stoppers. Some absinthe green Czech glass drops swing from the filigree.

Next came the X shaped piece of brass. I gently shaped it with bailing pliers so that it fit the curve of my wrist, and carefully wound hemp cord around the legs and over the center, adding a few African trade beads as I went along. Some vintage cuckoo clock chain and a lobster clasp was added to finish.

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When I saw this large, kind of open weave brass ring I knew I wanted to make a bezel with it, but wasn’t really sure how to go about it. After reading about the process on the ICE resin website, I decided to attempt a backless bezel with resin. I set the frame on a piece of packing tape and poured just a little resin in to cover the inside of the frame. After the first layer was dry I cut a piece of heavy scrapbook paper and laid it in for a background, and continued to add several thin layers of resin, letting it cure between layers. To finish, I painted a brass bird charm and glued it to the front. A couple of tiny bead caps painted with Vintaj patina became little flowers to hide the holes in the bird’s wings.

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Next I tackled the little square of copper. The edges were pretty sharp, so I filed them a little, and then coated the square with Vintaj patina. Once it dried I sanded it here and there for a distressed look, and added a rusty metal flower layered with a bright Czech glass flower bead. It’s strung on bright turquoise suede cord.

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Finally, the domed copper disc! This pretty much had me stumped, and I put off dealing with it until the very last minute. I thought about somehow winding wire through the slots but couldn’t come up with anything I liked, so out of desperation I just started punching holes in it. I had some bright colored embroidery thread laying on my table so I used it to make knots in the holes, and glued a flower shaped Czech glass bead to the front. It’s a little weird, but I kind of like it!

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This challenge was a great exercise, and forced me to think outside my normal creative box! Thanks so much to Melinda Orr for letting me participate, to Alicia Marinache for moderating the challenge, and to Heather Kelly Marston, who generously provided the materials!

Here are links to the rest of this amazing team’s blogs and their fabulous creations -

Charlene Bausinger Jacka     http://www.clay-space.com/blog

Lesley Freedom   http://www.sweetfreedom-designs.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman     http://www.heidikingman.blogspot.com

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson  http://www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Heather Kelly Marston      http://www.cswdesignsbyhehe.blogspot.com