More Bead Soup...

Yesterday I shared the unbelievable Bead Soup mix my awesome partner, Nan Emmett, sent to me (you can read that post here).

Today I wanted to share the bead soup mix that I sent to Nan:

I sent her two etched copper focals, some enameled copper beads, toggles and bead caps and a handmade chain, all made by me.  I also included some antiques copper chain, Czech crystal rondelles, and a set of fabulous lampwork beads made by Mary Cobble of Firebabies.

I can't wait to see what Nan makes from this mix! Check back on May 3rd to see the final pieces and for a listing of all the participants!


Meet My Amazing Bead Soup Blog Party Partner Nan Emmett

I want to take a minute to introduce you to my Partner for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party taking place on May 3rd:

Nan is a phenomenal ceramic bead artist, and I couldn't have been more excited to find out we had been partnered for this hop - woo-hoo!

Here is the unbelievable soup she sent me:
Everything came in these super-cute handmade packages with the sweet cardinal notecard.
Nan doesn't know this, but cardinals are one of my favorite things - I love them!
There are so many handmade components in my soup, so I'll start with three of the most beautiful
 butterfly focals I've ever seen.
Check out these complementary components to go with the butterflies.
Here are even MORE handmade goodies: gorgeous beads in the same color scheme.
The lovely brass filigree toggle and accompanying beads and shields will look amazing with the ceramic components.
And as if that wasn't enough, Nan included these lovelies to incorporate into my pieces as well.  Can you see the cool polymer shield at the top of the photo made by Heather Powers of Humblebeads?
Here's a picture of the whole kit and caboodle.
Honestly, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  It was just plain serendipity that Nan chose the components she did to send to me.  I have a very personal attachment to butterflies and the hope that comes from life change they symbolize, and daisies are my very favorite flowers in the world.  And to have a cardinal on the notecard too?  So cool!

Nan, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being such an amazingly generous and talented partner.  I can't wait to get started!


Up-Cycling Housewares Into A Fun Windchime

Our Prima Bead assignment this month was to use their products in a non-jewelry craft project.  As soon as I received my box of goodies, I knew what I wanted to make, but had to figure out exactly how to make it.

For a few years now, I've been collecting wind chimes that I hang in the huge tree outside my workshop window.  I love the colors that bounce around when the sun shines through the glass, and the sounds they make are so soothing.

For Christmas my good friend Penny gave me the coolest wind chime that was made out of old silverware, and when the wind hits it, the sound is absolutely beautiful.  I loved this idea, and wanted to build on it for my project by using more beads and kitchen items.  

What I came up with is this up-cycled housewares wind chime:

To make the wind chime I used the following materials:

One antique colander
4 antique / vintage / mismatched forks
Lots of 14g copper wire and 19g steel wire jump rings
A huge assortment of Prima beads and charms
10 inches of copper chain

Trying to get a great photo of the wind chime just wasn't in the cards, but I think you'll get the idea if I include some other pictures here (it is warm here in Phoenix, but a bit windy at my house, making it a little difficult to take a non-blurry outside picture):

Here's a close-up of the curled fork tines and the fun beads and charms.  I also used an antique key on the longest fork, keeping with the vintage feel of the piece:

This was such a fun piece to make - it may become my new favorite!

As always, thank you to Prima Bead for their generosity!

** Necessary Legal Stuff: I am honestly reviewing the products above which I have received free of charge from Prima Beads, and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to them.


Guest Designer for Prima Bead - Assignment for February

My first assignment for 2014 from Prima Beads is to be a guest designer - so exciting!  This assignment is a little different than others we have done in that we can only use Prima products (no supplementing from our personal stash) and we had to follow directions from their Turquoise Dream bracelet and make it our own while staying within the scope of the project..  

Now for those of you who know me, you know that I really don't like to follow directions - I'm a bit stubborn that way.  But I followed the directions, put my spin on it and really like the results:

Stormy Seas
To make this bracelet, I used the following items:

The colors in the clasp and beads are so beautifully rich, and the clasp is a gorgeous focal for the bracelet.  I added some clear bugle beads to lighten the look and add some texture.

For my second project, I wanted to carry the three-strand design to a necklace, again using the clasp as a focal point:

On Wings of Angels
To make this necklace, I used the following items:

I really like the graduated look of ombre styles, and wanted to try and reflect that in my design.  I also felt that the piece needed a pop of color, and added in the large red bead with the blacks and greys of the design.

For the tassel, I used the three kinds of chain that I used in the main part of the necklace and added cross charms to the ends of some of them at different lengths, giving it a lariat-ish look.

I love the way this necklace turned out, and will be wearing it this weekend!

Have a fantastic rest of your weekend, and check back this month to see what my March assignment is!


Check Out Who's Featured on the heART Magazine Cover This Month (I'll Give You One Guess: Me!)

I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Carla Devine, Editor of heART Magazine, for featuring my artwork on the cover of this month's magazine:

Inside, I talk about my theory on brokenness, and I also wrote an additional article on art journaling.  You will also find fantastic articles written by other featured artists:
Hali Karla, Bri Martin, Hope Karney and Whinnie Calhoun.

To help me celebrate, heART Journal Magazine has a given me a free issue bonus code to share with others:

** Get your free issue of heART Journal Magazine today! **

Simply download the app https://bit.ly/heARTMag or search for "heART Journal Magazine" in the App Store.

Then on your iPad or iPhone follow these directions using subscriber code: 
shareheart (case sensitive)

- Install the App on your iPad
- Launch the Magazine
- On the Home Page, click on the Yellow subscribe button
- Tap on the Current Subscribers button
- Enter this:
shareheart (case sensitive)

I've got to tell you - this magazine is pure eye candy, and I am certain you will learn a ton from the featured artists every month, as well as from Carla herself.

Again, thank you so much, Carla, for this honor!  You can learn more about Carla on her blog, Color Heals Me


Into The Forest Blog Hop Reveal

Welcome to the 'Into the Forest' blog hop reveal hosted by the fabulous Lisa Lodge of A Grateful Artist blog fame!  For this hop, Lisa sent participants bead kits with deep forest-y colors and we were to make something from our selection.

The selection of beads I received is from the 'forest at night' palette, and has a ton of beautiful deep purple agates, Czech glass and dark ceramic beads with some beautiful large purple and green wheel-shaped beads that I don't know the name of - lol!  Without further ado, here is my finished piece:

"Hope Is The Thing"

I'm not a symmetrical person, and really have a difficult time designing symmetrical jewelry, and this design is no exception.  I used some of all the types of beads Lisa sent to me to create links and made a fun, unique chain from those links.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when designing asymmetrical jewelry is to make sure that the piece stays visually balanced to let the eye flow through the design.

This sweet bird focal from Green Girl's Studios line at Lima Beads is the perfect accent to bring all of these beautiful beads together with the forest theme.

* If you are interested in purchasing this necklace, it is listed in my Etsy shop here.

As always, thank you to Lisa for hosting this fun event!  Please take a few minutes to visit these other artists' blogs to see some more beautiful artwork:
Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Janine Lucas, Esfera Travel Blog
Jasvanti Patel, Jewelry by Jasvanti
Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha's Ramblings
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
Janet Bocciardi, Honey from the Bee
Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Elizabeth Engriser, Bead Contagion
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Kay Mallery,TBD
Catherine Yvonne King, Catherine's Musings
Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs


Merry Christmas!