Art of awareness blog hop

Standard

Today is the reveal for the Art of Awareness blog hop, which was created by Lori Anderson of Bead Soup Blog Party fame. I love to participate in Lori’s blog hops and was intrigued by this one, in which we were instructed to think of a word or phrase that has special meaning and have a unique “word bean” created with it by Heather Millican of Swoondimples. (how cool is that?)

jewelry 2884

The phrase I chose was “faith is”, because to me faith is what it all comes down to. This has become especially clear to me during the past five years, which have been tumultuous to say the least! But although it’s been tough with challenges and losses of just about every kind, we’ve come through it all with the realization that what seems insurmountable can be handled with faith not only in God but in ourselves, too.

jewelry 2885jewelry 2887

So for me, faith is the key.

This started out as a necklace, but since I often pray and reflect on my blessings while I’m driving to work I decided to hang it from my rear view mirror to remind me to keep the faith – and also to forget about the rear view (the past)!

Thanks so much for visiting – here’s the list of all the participants!

Lori
Heather
Anderson
Millican
www.PrettyThingsBlog.com (hostess)
www.facebook.com/swoondimples (bead artist)
Candida Castleberry www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
mischelle andrade https://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com
Paige Maxim http://delightfullittlegems.blogspot.com/
Laurie Vyselaar www.lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Alice Peterson www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Audrey Bélanger http://esperianterra.blogspot.ca/
Karen mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.com
Jean Wells jeanawells.blogspot.com
Ann Schroeder www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Gail Accinelli facebook.com/oregonmadejewelry
Tania Spivey www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/
Mary K McGraw mkaymac.blogspot.com
Shai Williams www.shaihasramblings.com/
Beth Emery storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com
Catie Doman http://drcatie.blogspot.com
Lorelei Eurto Http://lorelei1141.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Katie Nelson https://www.facebook.com/katiebead
Patty Miller http://pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Charlee Griffith https://www.facebook.com/charlee.griffith
Kelli Nelson www.afamilyaffarekelli.blogspot.com
Catherine King http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger beadrecipes.wordpress.com
susan Bowie https://susanbowie.wordpress.com
Jennifer Justman www.soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/
Cassi Paslick http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
K Hutchinson http://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Veralynne Malone www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Evie and Beth McCord http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/
Mihaela Georgescu http://michellemaya2005.wordpress.com
Rebecca Anderso Www.songbeads.blogspot.com
Charlene jacka www.clay-space.com
Kim Stevens www.pickingpoppies.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland Mistheword12.wordpress.com
Sally Russick www.sallyrussick.blogspot.com
Gina Hockett www.freestyleelements.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Sandi Volpe www.sandivolpe.com
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Janine Lucas http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Lori Bowring Michaud www.artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Christie Murrow Www.charisdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com
B.R. Kuhlman www.mixedmayhemstudios.com
Lupe Meter www.gesmpccorner.blogspot.com
Lucy Bejarano www.lucybejaranojewelry.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Perry www.mustardbeadbystephanieperry.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld www.beadsforbusygals.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Heather Powers www.humblebeads.blogspot.com
Katie Hacker www.katiehacker.blogspot.com
Kepi Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca 
Gail Vanderster-Zwang www.angelmoose.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Hodges http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com/

 

 

Peekaboo

Standard

Apparently all babies love to play peekaboo – even equine babies! I was hoping to get some pictures of a couple of foals at a neighbor’s ranch, so I just sat on the ground with my camera and waited, hoping that curiosity would bring them close enough. The little guy here is a Missouri Foxtrotter, and he’s 3 weeks old.

Forsyth and area 1096

His mama, bless her heart, brought him right to me – but he was shy and kept trying to hide behind her. At first he peeked at me through the cover of her tail-

Forsyth and area 1107

Then he inched around her and peeked under her belly-

Forsyth and area 1105

Finally, he got brave enough to come closer!

Forsyth and area 1109

Have you ever seen such a sweet face – he’s so adorable!

Forsyth and area 1110

Forsyth and area 1112

But now the game was over, and with a saucy flip of his tail and what looked for all the world like a wink of his eye, he and his mama moved off to the far side of the pasture. I’ll have to stop by and see if he wants to play again in a few days!

Joyful Muse Component Challenge

Standard

A couple of months ago I accepted an invitation to “test drive” some of the delightful components made by Miriam from Joyful Muse. She asked that designers who accepted the challenge would use at least one of them in a jewelry design, and then share the results! Here are the components I used-

jewelry 2526

A pair of ribbed connectors painted a rich brick red.

jewelry 2531jewelry 2530

And a very cool reversible spinner pendant!

Since I normally use darker colors and brick red happens to be one of my favorites, I tackled the ribbed connectors first. I layered them over some metal washers that I picked up at an antique show and wired on faceted turquoise blue Czech glass beads for a cool pair of  earrings that have a retro yet steampunk look to them – I like ’em!

jewelry 2723

Now for the pendant – I will admit right off the bat that although the spinner pendant is an ingenious design and beautifully made, I don’t normally feel comfortable working with pastel colors so I struggled a bit with this! But after stewing about it a while I started digging through my bead stash and was able to put this necklace together using some Czech glass and crackle painted metal beads – I think it’ll be perfect for Spring!

jewelry 2700

I enjoyed using these well made components and want to thank Miriam for the opportunity to work with them! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop to see more – http://www.JoyfulMuse.etsy.com

September in January

Standard

Mother Nature gave us a gift today – a beautiful 60 degree day that seemed more like mid September than mid January! We decided to take advantage of it and get outside, and since we’re just minutes away from Arkansas we headed to the Buffalo River area which is endlessly beautiful. Missouri is gorgeous too, but when you get into the hills in northwestern Arkansas you really know you’re in the Ozarks! We ended up at Steel Creek, which is a state park we hadn’t visited yet.

When we got to the park at the bottom of a steep, winding road we were rewarded with views of huge bluffs decorated with frozen waterfalls like this one.

Arkansas 359

Below the bluff is the creek – quiet, shady and very cold at the area where the mountain blocks the sun, and bright and sunny just around the bend.

Arkansas 331

Arkansas 336

Arkansas 348

There’s a horse camp there also, and we saw a group of riders enjoying the trail and crossing the stream – what could be more fun than that!

Arkansas 347

 

Arkansas 368

Warm sun, clear skies and driving with my husband through the beautiful blue hills of the Ozarks equals a perfect day off and a great way to shake the mid -winter blues!

 

 

Look Homeward, Angel

Standard

Way back in high school I read “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe. I don’t remember the specifics of the story ( it was a long time ago!) but I do remember being captivated by it, and I suddenly thought of it again as I fashioned this sweet little angel.

Charlotte angel

The antique doll used here is called a “frozen Charlotte”- these tiny ceramic dolls are dug up by the thousands from the ground by the German factories where they were once made. I was fortunate to receive several of them from my partner in the Bead Soup Blog Party a couple years ago ( thanks Gretchen!). It’s rare to find one that’s completely intact, but I don’t think the imperfections take away from their beauty – the missing arms just give opportunity for wings to sprout, and that’s exactly what happened here!

I used rusty black filigree pieces from B’Sue Boutiques to make these wings, and added some very old lace scraps along with what I believe to be the oldest (and my favorite) button in my collection. A little wire and some tiny rhinestone spacer beads are the finishing touch, and she’s strung on vintage cuckoo clock chain.

jewelry 2569

This little angel doesn’t need to look any further for her home – I’m keeping her with me!

Looking for magic

Standard

It’s the reason why I’ve gotten into the habit of taking my camera everywhere I go – even if my only planned destination is Walmart or the gas station. I never know when something will catch my eye – the way the sunlight hits a leaf or a field of dandelions, the quiet dignity of an abandoned house or my favorite! – the glow of the plump full moon as it suddenly appears over the hills. I’ve come to think of it as looking for magic, and I never know when it’ll happen. When it does though, my heart beats faster, I jump out of the car and lose myself in trying to capture it.

I don’t have an expensive camera, and I have so much to learn about photography but now and then I manage to get a shot that sparks my imagination and gives me a little feeling of that magic. Here are a few of my favorites-

frosty

Weeds decorated with caps of frost.

Forsyth 262

Sunday morning sunlight bursting through the trees.

Forsyth 080

Just some cows in a field, but the sun and the mist give it the look of an old painting.

Forsyth 327

A suddenly bright sunset reflected in the rain slicked street right after a thunderstorm.

palesun1

The sun rising through heavy lake mist, making it look more like a full moon.

lit up

The sunset lighting the window of an abandoned farmhouse, making it look lived in again, even if just for a moment.

fluff

Huge fluffy dandelions!

Moon 038

Moon 112

Moon 141

And the moon – always the moon!

BSBP8 reveal!

Standard

The time has come and it’s reveal day for Bead Soup Blog Party #8! My partner this year is Kim Paige of Red Tree Studio. Kim is a very gifted artist who specializes in metal clay, and *wow* is her work amazing!

Before I show you the fabulous soup she sent and what I did with it, here’s what I sent to her-

Soup #1

BSBP8soup1Collage

This was the first soup I sent to Kim – a handcarved mother of pearl pendant, some large irregularly faceted cut glass beads in the palest shade of pink, three kinds of pewter beads, tiny garnets, a moonstone and sterling clasp and silk ribbon.

And here’s soup #2. While the first one was all soft and pastel, this one was darker and more rustic-

bead soup 004

I sent wood agate and bone beads, metal studded wood cones, vintage white hearts, an oversized toggle,  large ceramic focal and a sweet little Czech glass owl. Two soups, two very different looks!

 

Now for the soup I received from Kim – wow!

BSBP8soup2Collage

Leather cords, bronzite, bone, wood and shell beads, copper beads and chain, a beautiful copper S hook clasp – and Kim’s specialty – exquisite metal clay leaves and branches. The detail is incredible on these! Kim told me that she used blueberry leaves from her backyard for the texture.

 

….And here’s what I came up with-

 

First off I paired one of the leaves with pretty copper beads, tiny cobalt blue agates and a bird charm that I painted to match.

bead soup 014

bead soup 008

 

 

Next, I used one of the little branches along with some fire agates for a bracelet that reminds me of Springtime in the woods-

 

bead soup 012

bead soup 033

 

 

 

Then, I used another of the leaves along with Czech glass, a rusty metal flower, sari ribbon, cuckoo clock chain and a vintage skeleton key from my grandmother’s basement for a rustic boho necklace.  This will be a favorite that I’ll wear often!

bead soup 056

bead soup 061

 

 

Next up, I decided to use the S hook clasp as a bail for an amazing rough cut amethyst from Plum Bazaar, which is the wonderful bead shop in downtown Branson where I started working a couple of months ago – yes, it’s definitely a dream job!

bead soup 028bead soup 041

 

 

OK, on to the exquisite curved leaf focal – this was the biggest challenge for me. I tried several different chains, silk ribbons, beads of all colors – but in the end I decided to keep it simple and just let the beauty of the leaf speak for itself. I threaded it with some copper micro ball chain and three strands of tiny jade tubes. Simple and lovely!

bead soup 020

bead soup 034

 

 

Another great find from Plum Bazaar led to this bracelet and earrings – these are vintage copper coins from India. I punched holes in them, painted them with cobalt blue Vintaj patina and then sanded them back. The bright copper beads and chain from Kim add just the right accent along with tiny blue agate beads.

bead soup 030

bead soup 071

 

 

Finally, I used the same process on a couple of the white bone beads – painted them and wiped it back – for one more pair of earrings. These are strung with some pierced sterling silver beads I’ve had forever. I think they have a nice summer-y look to them!

bead soup 066

So there you have it – 8 pieces for the 8th BSBP! As always, I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it, and I so appreciate Lori Anderson’s hard work and dedication for putting it all together each year. Now, go check out all the other bead soupers!

Here’s the link:

http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2014/05/welcome-to-8th-bead-soup-blog-party.html