Category Archives: My Life

BSBP8 reveal!

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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

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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-

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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!

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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.

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

 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

 

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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!

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!

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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love life

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jewelry 563When I started to make this bracelet, it was with the intention of just making a fun piece to sell for Valentines Day. But as I was deciding how to etch it and what the text would say, instead it became a reminder – to love life – no matter what challenges it holds. My husband and I have experienced some doozies over the past couple of years – illness, the loss of both of our mothers, job loss followed by extended unemployment which in turn has caused financial hardship…all of which equals stress levels that are off the charts! But – love endures – for each other, and for the life we share.
So, instead of a holiday sale piece, I think I’ll keep this one…or at least make another one for me! 🙂

Remembering Clara – Memories and Thanks blog hop reveal

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When I saw that Lori Anderson was hosting another of her great blog hops I was ready to sign up, especially since this one has to do with memory jewelry – that is, jewelry that’s created to honor the memory of someone who has played a special part in your life.

Clara was my paternal grandmother, and was special not only to me, but to our entire family. Christmas Eves and family birthdays were always spent at Grandma’s house on Hendee St.

Grandma was gentle and soft spoken, but also very strong. She’s been gone many years now, but I can still see her in her dress, apron and cute little old lady shoes. She always wore a jeweled pin on her apron or a necklace, and had tea and cookies every afternoon at 4:00. To this day I think of her everytime I see a box of Lorna Doones!

God only knows what I was jabbering at her!

God only knows what I was jabbering at her!

I’m the youngest child in our family by over 10 years so Grandma was already 70 years old when I was born. I knew her as the adorable elderly lady she was at that time, but I’ve always been fascinated by the lovely young woman she once was. So much so that way back in high school I painted this portrait of her –

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The image I chose to use for my memory bracelet is from her wedding picture. I photocopied the photo, inserted it into a lovely brass stamping piece from B’Sue Boutiques and coated it with ICE resin. After that it was just a matter of adding a few crystals and a length of chain that I threaded with some tea dyed ribbon.

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I like to think that Clara would have approved!

Thanks so much for joining me on my little trip down memory lane! Now go and check out all the talented artists and their beautiful creations on this blog hop –

http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2012/11/participants-for-memories-and-thanks.html

It’s here!!

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My husband and I love Steve Martin movies and we dug out “The Jerk” to watch a week or so ago. One of my favorite scenes is when the new phone book is delivered to the gas station where Navin is working and he leaps with joy at seeing his name in print. I felt much the same way when I came home from work one day last week to see that the new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry had been delivered-

Because – alongside the work of so many really talented artists – is this article!

This hinge bracelet is my all time favorite found object piece, and was also the easiest to make. From the moment I saw that old hinge with its chippy red paint I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it – it’s too bad inspiration doesn’t usually come that easily!

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had one of my jewelry pieces published, and happily I know of at least a couple more to come, but that jumping up and down joy is always the same – along with a sense of wonder that something I used to only dream of has actually happened. So, if you make jewelry or knit or paint or write – whatever it is – don’t be afraid to send it out into the world for others to enjoy!