March Madness! The Component of the Month reveal!

 I love Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month. What could be better? Every week, no – every day – I am reminded how happy I am to be on this team of talented, smart, funny, creative women. And then every month one of them sends me a treasure? Its like your birthday – every month. Its a pleasure getting to know them each a little better by working with their work. And its a pleasure meeting new people out there on the Interwebs; people who win a piece and create along with the team. 

( I know there is a practical marketing side. That we are showing off our creations and networking, and spreading the word about handmade artisan beads/components. But I cant deny the social side!)

OK. Enough gushing, enough sentiment. Let’s get down to the loot. This month’s element comes from Joanne Tinley of Daisy Chain Jewelry. You can find her finished jewelry and her components on Etsy! She made stamped copper hollow disc beads. The amount of labor that went into these! – you can read that best in her own words. 

Daisy Chain hollow beads

I like them all, but I did request a dotty/divoted one. It reminded me of the craters on the Moon’s surface. I have a tendency to try to highlight the CoM piece, and really make it the focal of my design/creation. I imagined these would be larger because of the labor involved – they arrived and are so delicate! My original plan is sketched below (on left): 

CoM sketches

 (I had been planning to sculpt a polymer goddess, faux ivory-ish, and have the moon bead in her arms.) When I received my bead, I decided the dark rich patina wouldnt “read” as moonto most people. That – along with my crazy schedule, a few postal issues… all contributed to a change in plans from the sketched design. So I sat amidst my gems, and started making piles. The first – a lampwork disc by Joanne Z. Second and third – ceramic pendants by yours truly. The color palette was a natural choice as I love aqua and teal with copper. 

moon goddess necklace

I hammered and oxidized long oval copper links to serve as a counterpoint to the “moon” bead as I still think of it. Gemstones are wire wrapped; chain completes the last few inches. (Gems: kyanite, smoky quartz, amazonite, apatite) Its simple, but very much my style. I hope the gentle asymetry balances the composition yet sets off Jo’s bead. And there is a pair of matching earrings –  I am always late to the Earring Hop at AJE but I DO make earrings… 

CoM necklace

(PS: those are SueBeads enameled headpins peeking out of those earrings!)

So – thoughts? I love Jo’s components and truly appreciate the time and energy involved.  As always – a pleasure to work with my friends and their work. Please tune in to the AJE blog to see what every one else – and a few lucky blog readers – created with their treasures!

 

Bead Soup Blog Party 2013 aka treasures by mail…

 I am not going to use many words here… just pictures. Because you see – my Bead Soup arrived from the lovely Jennifer Cabic – and I want to head to the studio. 

 Here is what I sent to Jennifer

My soup sent

Top L to R: my ceramic charm pairs, gems/Ceramic discs – Marsha Neal Studio. Copper pendant – Andrew Thornton. Ceramic labyrinth – me. gems/stick pearls, gems!

Bottom – the ceramic milagro focal, resin clasp with antique postcard, resin focal collaged with vintage stamp. I know I sent a large soup. I have trouble deciding, and well… once I got started…. 

Here is what I recieved:  

Soup received

Brass focal bead, coral, jasper, lampwork, and the most FAB metal clay clasp of Jennifer’s. Oh and that sweet tiny charm, too!

This is a perfect soup. The ingredients are all great quality, and I love that there is a piece by my partner herself. This is not my palette at all – the perfect challenge… and with such nice materials…. I am glad we have a little time to “live with” the treasures, you know – think, fondle, arrange, fondle… 

I will keep you posted! First I have reveals for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month ( Feb 28) and Tesori Trovati’s Challenge of Music (March 1) I need to get to work… 

 

 

Simmering…

Its time to write the recipe, gather the ingredients, spice it up a bit… 

Its Bead Soup time again! 

Bead soup book

 

Lori has done it again, bigger, bolde, better? Well, it was great the last two years I participated that’s for sure!

I am thrilled to be paired with Jennifer Cabic! Her blog is here. ) She creates wonderful pieces in metal clay and copper, instilled with meanings and memoreies. What a perfect partner! 

J. Cabic collage

Her work can be seen in 2 Etsy shops: Impressionisms & Silver Peanut. Those “sealing wax” pieces are to die for! We had a nice email chat and I wish we were closer to share a coffee, or a glass of wine. 

But I cant tarry here – I have soup to prepare… Until later – 

 

 

So many things…

Happy Thanksgiving.

I have so much to be thankful for… my husband, family, my work, my friends.

Photo: One more leg. #holidaze

I travelled yesterday without any stress or mishaps. I am visiting my parents and my sisters, and my little nephew. While I miss my husband and his family – I am so thankful to be spending time with my far away sisters! There are delicious smells wafting up the stairs, and I think another cup of coffee is calling my name…

Photo: Festive. #holidaze

centerpiece

I hope you have a wonderful day with you and yours!

I am also thankful of my online community of friends and family. I recently joined Art Jewelry Elements and am thrilled to be working with such a diverse and talented group of women. We are hosting a Holiday Open House tomorrow! Blog posts every half hour or so, recipes, articles, sales, folklore, and beads… of course! Whether you are shopping Black Friday in the stores or staying at home – stop by and visit with us. Many of the sales will run all weekend. I know I will be adding items to my Etsy store throughout the weekend, and especially on Cyber Monday! Thank you for your interest and support! Until later…

 

 

 

Art Bliss weekend. The third time & charms!

This past weekend was the third annual Art Bliss art and mixed media retreat, just outside DC in Northern Va. I have made it to all three – I wouldnt miss it for the world! Planned and organized by the dynamic duo of Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix – this is my favorite event of its type. Its hosted on a smaller scale, resulting in a more friendly, personable atmosphere than you get at the Beadfest/convention type events. Friendships are made and renewed every year. A very supportive sharing group that I am honored to call friends. 

Art Bliss

The welcoming mascot? Can a mannequin be a mascot? 

We have a winner!

Multi faceted and extremely energetic Dawn Gallup with her door prize win. 

Book signings!

Friday night’s Meet & Greet event was complete with book signings. Erin Siegel, co-author of  “Bohemian Inspired Jewelry” chatting at her table. 

Bead Soup book signing!

Lori Anderson, the creative genius behind “Bead Soup” with Sandi Volpe. 

Kerry Bogert and me...

Uber talented Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Creative Concepts – with me… and her new book “Rustic Wrappings”. 

Kerry's beads and cabs!

Kerry’s work  – colorful and fun. 

The party has started...

Reunion time! ( Me with Sandi Volpe and Jen Judd!)

Sally Russick and I are Birthday Twins. (But she IS younger…)

ArtBliss swag bags!

Sway Bags! The Art Bliss lunch tote and the collaged art of Dawn Gallup adorning our charm swap bag!

The 3rd annual charm swap!

The charm swap! Every year, just for fun, a few of us create and swap hand crafted charms. This year’s theme was “Fall into Bliss”. Its a very cohesive offering, great minds and all that…with copper, polymer, clay and beady beauties. 

The weekend is chock full of goodness and creativity,energy and laughter;  the coffee is on at all times, it is an absolute blast. I can only speak for myself – but I am refreshed and restored when I spend time with my fellow jewelry designers and artists. So often we are alone in our studios, and while I am thankful for the connectedness that the Interwebs provides – nothing beats the real thing. I hope art retreats NEVER go out of fashion!

Oh! Classes – yes! I took two and they were great! Let me get those pictures for you, come back tomorrow!

Up next – POLYMER!

Beadfest bounty.

I wanted to share with you some of the treasures that I brought home from Beadfest. As I may have mentioned – I am thrilled to be a part of this creative community, and found the environment of Beadfest invigorating. I came home with materials, artist beads, and ideas to last me a good while. I do have a tendency to live with the new materials for a while before incorporating them into new pieces. The artist beads and focals are handcrafted by colleagues, fellow artists; I want to share their information here – we all support each other with marketing, blogging, social media… wherever we can. And although I have unplugged these last two days in an effort to feel restored before I dive back into the studio – I am inspired to create with: 

S+S Shivam

Cabochons – S&S lapidary

Gems – Shivam imports. (Labradorite, citrine, garnet, labradorite, spiniel)

Dakota Stones

Dakota stones  – onyx, ?, dragons blood jasper, moss agate, apatite,?, amazonite.

Carol DeeZigns

Gorgeous enameled components from Carol Myers of Carol DeeZigns. Carol is the FIRST certified “Painting with Fire” instructor!

glass clay booty1

Lampwork Strands ( top to bottom) SueBeads, HMB Studios, Gardanne beads. 

Lampwork “stone” – Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Concepts. 

Polymer Buddha – Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf

Matte finish lampwork beads – JoAnne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass

Moon/ocean lampwork focal – Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem

clay metal booty

Left: Ceramic components by Mary Hubbard of White Clover Kiln

Bottom: Bronze pieces by Staci Smith of Staci Louise Originals

Right: Ceramic and raku pieces by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio

Green Girl treasures

Green Girl Studios!

Andrew Thornton originals

Andrew Thornton sculptural bronze components and focals. Andrew was one of my Bead Swap partners…

And – one of the highlights of Beadfest is the BEAD SWAP organized by Diana P. of Suburban Girls Studios. My lovely partner this year was Sandy Miller – and she showered me with goodness! Interesting that it was the ceramic artists I knew, and the lampwork artists that I am thrilled to be introduced to… I was tempted to unwrap one wee parcel each hour Saturday afternoon, but I quickly lost that will power and dove in: 

Bead Swap goodies

From top left to bottom right: Studio by the Forest, Nancy Schindler at Round Rabbit, Chinook ceramics, Outwest glass, Lori Lochner, and Lava Lampwork

 

Thank you to all my artist friends for doing what you do, sharing it with the world, and pursuing the (not always easy) path or a self-supporting artist! Until next year…

BeadFest – these are the people in my neighborhood

My first Beadfest as an exhibitor has come and gone. It was most definitely worth the days spend firing and glazing in a frenzy! I had a wonderful time – seeing my pieces well received, meeting new friends, catching up with old friends. And I managed to fit in a little shopping and a bit of barter (tomorrow’s post). For now – a recap of the booth, and a few of my neighbors. I regret not taking more people pictures…I seem to have focused on the beads. 

My booth

high fire and words

"Mythic Nature" series

Lunar Hare

Lampwork lovelies from my neighbor Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads

 Sue Beads

What patience! Hundreds of raku beads from Amy at Xaz Bead Company

Xaz Bead Co.

One of a kind ceramic focals and buttons from Mary Hubbard at White Clover Kiln.

White Clover Kiln

Green Girl Studios – pewter charms, buttons, pendants…

Green Girl Studios

Lampwork from Heather of HBM Studios. 

HMB Studios

Lampwork focals from Anne of Gardanne Beads. 

Gardanne beads

The show was great, although long hours on one’s feet. The atmosphere was very invigorating, and creative. I am thrilled to be part of this community; I am very glad I took the leap and applied. Although it seems very quiet here at home, alone – I am full of ideas and energy – so thank you friends!

 

 

 

And now without further ado… Bead Soup!

Reveal 1 Banner BSBP

Hello and Welcome to the first Bead Soup Blog Party reveal! If you are here, you are most likely familiar with Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party ( or BSBP…) but if you just arrived from the far flung reaches of the Universe then here is a synopsis: 2 people, personally paired by Lori, exchange packages, beads aplenty. Head to the studio and make magic, whether it be ornate, simple, a new style, a challenge… Share your creations here. (For all the details, including the future Hop dates – Bead Soup Blog Party. )

My partner – what a nice way to ‘meet’ new people! – is Cassie Donlen. Cassie is a lampwork beadmaker, jewelry designer, and artist extraordinaire. Her work was new to me… was I out in the far flung reaches of the Universe? I love every thing she sent me, and she was so generous! Here is my loot: 

BS6 from Cassie Donlen

( For what I sent Cassie – she has great pix on her blog. )

Donlen lampwork

The first thing that popped into my head was “Exotic blossom”. 

I need to pause here, to build anticipation for the reveal and also to give you a bit of back story/inspiration. My Bead soup from Cassie got lost. There were a few tense days – and the Postal Service is NOT to blame. I sent her my address typed incorrectly. (The whole story is posted here in my first BSBP blog. ) Clearly I did retrieve my package. While some people would attribute this to luck, or coincidence – I think there is a message here. The Universe was shouting at me. The message you ask? Well its all tied in to the ‘exotic blossom’ …

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Exotic blossom

I kept the 2 main flower focals together, and added dangles.  The stamped copper reads “Risk” and “Blossom” to remind me to move forward and push the boundaries. I hung the blossom on a link of chain, showcasing another of Cassie’s lovely beads. The green and blue together, contrasted with the red…and the nature of the focal were all so visually appealing that I found myself designing a simple piece to accentuate the focal. I had planned to use the fab copper chain Cassie sent for this pendant, but I needed more red for balance. (Silk from Marsha Neal Studio). This is an amulet to me, and while I may add more charms – for right now it is complete. 

The pendant wasn’t the only creation… The first thing I did was this…

BSBP6 bracelet

…using Cassie’s clasp and focal bead. I admit – it was my favorite bead so it got singled out for deluxe treatment. Strung with copper and glass from the Soup, and paired with copper chain, and hand spun sari fiber. (You read that right. Its not ribbon. It was hand spun from recycled saris. YetiandYarndrygoods on Etsy) I am thrilled with this one, and plan to wear it often – whenever I am not in the Ceramics studio, that is…

On a final note – thanks to Lori and to Cassie for yet another fantastic BSBP experience! I appreciate all the time and effort went into organizing, and the creation of these beautiful beads. Each year I participate I am excited to have a chance to PLAY, to do something new and unusual, to be inspired, abe to experiment a bit. But enough of ME – you, my dear blog reader, have other treasure to view, creations to see!

Here is the link to the complete list of participants in today’s reveal: Bead Soup Blog Party July Reveal. Have fun! And thanks for stopping by…

Treasures by post! Its Bead Soup time…

I was so horrified! To realize that because of clumbsy typing on my iPad I had sent my Bead Soup partner the wrong mailing address! After work I knocked on the door of #10. ( I live at #109…) The resident’s Mom was dog sitting. And yes – there actualy was a package! ( My heart is racing! I could have hugged her!) So here to my relief – is my bag-o-treasure from the lovely and talented Cassie Donlen!

BSBP arrives!

So much loot! The big reveal

( If you are lost: here’s the condensed version. Sign up, get a partner. Send them beady treasures, they reciprocate. Make something fab, test your comfort zone, play and experiement. Blog it, hop around, share the love. Its the Bead Soup Blog Party)

So many packages spilling out, bountious goodness on my kitchen counter! “Be a Bad Girl” I love it… 

First there are the colorful beads of the soup itself…

The color palette!

Delicious copper chain! Spiral beads! And to think she has NOT met me – so perfect!

Copper!

The lampwork – Cassie’s own. What a magical mysterious flower, an exotic bloom…And a sweet clasp. 

The big reveal!

The lampwork glass beads in detail. I love the enamleed copper with the green polka dot drop/head pin…. They are going to have to remain together. I have a tendency to design pieces where “Less is more” and the details of the artists bead can really stand out. That means I have multiple  pieces starting to take shape in my mind’s eye. 

Lampwork details.

I am so thrilled with what Cassie sent, and thank her for her calm patience while I tracked down my loot! She was sooo generous to me!

Her shop, you ask? Why yes – its here. 

What did I send her? Her pix are better than mine. 

We are part of Reveal #1 on July 28th. So stay tuned, its just over 2 weeks away!

You can find all the details and list of participants at Lori’s site… our insanely organized hostess. Can you believe she matches us all with our partners individually?! And there are 399 participants over three reveals?! 

 

Charmed I’m sure! or “The Postman rang thrice…”

Lucky Charms. Hearts, stars and clover? Yes, and more! 

The crafty creative chicas at Ornamentea in Raleigh NC hosted a “Lucky Charm Swap”. Send in 7 charms, made by your own hands. Pay for shipping. Recieve 7 charms! What a deal! So here is the first package of bead goodness: 

charm pkg

charms1

How tickled was I to recieve charms from Diana P. of Suburban Girl and Elaine Ray! Friends and fellow ceramics people – and both hearts. Too funny. 

charms2

Hey wait – Dawn Gallup is my friend from ArtBliss! Thats her adorable clover charm on the vintage Irish postcard. Nice!

And love the other charms – thank you one and all. Check out the origami box this one arrived in…

charms3

But I did say the postman rang thrice… Package number 2! My custom, one of a kind quote bead! Erin of Tresori Trovati drew names from the contributors in her Challenge of Music blog hop. I won; and I love that she found this quote here on my site and surprised me with it! Lovely! Her packaging is top notch…

treasures found

Oops! I untied the ribbon in my excitement before I thought to take a picture…

Magritte bead

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” Rene Magritte

(Hand stamped and hand painted polymer.)

My third delivery – just arrived today from Staci at Artisan accents. We had met at Berks Bead Bazaar – and she sent me some beads I passed up, and regretted leaving behind… So excited – I respect the polymer, although I prefer “real” earthenware and stoneware. I love her antique finishes. 

artisan accents

So tomorrow definitely a studio day; looking forward to designing with the new bits and baubles.  Today was errands, housekeeping, settling in after a weekend out/reunion with the college girlfriends – what did we do? I will post a few pix tomorrow. The hint: “Aloha” …until then…