Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BEAD SOUP BLOG PARTY (Dessert anyone?)

Anyone Still Here?   Hello, Hello?  I brought some wine.  Actually, I brought some whine.

So, the Bead Soup Blog Party BIG REVEAL DAY was Saturday....last Saturday.  I just had to take some pics and finish a pair of earrings and I was ready to go!  I got home on Friday afternoon, ready spending the rest of my day doing the finishing touches.  I felt ahead of the game!

Then I got home......

A car was going about 80 MPH down a RESIDENTIAL STREET (25mph limit), took the corner at that speed, swerved to avoid a car coming in the other direction, lost control of their car and rant INTO my house.  And by INTO, I mean the hood of their car was in my breakfast nook.  (I've included some disaster pics at the bottom to see the mess).  The car was gone, but there was a little Police Report there, so it wasn't a hit and run.  Apparently they even have insurance.  And didn't kill any children walking to school.

Needless to say, the past 5 days has involved cleaning, getting inspections done, meeting with contractors, dealing with insurance, blahblahblahblah.   Fun.

So.....FINALLY!.....I got a sec to take those pictures and do this blog post.  I suspect everyone's passed out from days of partying but, I've got to post, because I got a beautiful Soup to work with.

My partner was Lora Bright (LABweorc) and you can go to her blog and see all of the magnificent jewelry she made from the soup I sent.  

ALL of the beautiful Turquoise!!!

I made a necklace and a bracelet.  Of COURSE I didn't finnish the earrings, so that's just going to have to be 2nd dessert.  And who doesn't like 2nd dessert?  (Especially when Dessert spelled backwards is STRESSED).

The Necklace

I have been obsessed with experimenting with an E-Book I bought from Lorelei Eurto  It is something I can do while traveling or staying overnight with doggies.  That technique makes up the chain in the front.  I added a Golem Studios bead with Lora's focal, the craggy turquoise, some great wood beads (Stinky Dog) and fancied a large stone and leather clasp for the back.  (That part was a bitch.)

I often test wear my jewelry to see if they are functional, but who has time to wear jewelry these days?

The Bracelet

I took this large, gorgeous focal and used it as the center pieces of a multi-strand bracelet.  I REALLY wanted to get away from the typical red/turquoise palette, but, after I got done with everything, I needed a pop and I didn't have the fuchsia beads I really wanted to use on hand.  I really like the Pearls with the Turquoise.  I want to play with this more in the future.  The clasp is one of my last remaining Daisy Chain Extra pieces.  

So, the earrings will be completed either on an rare free day or an insomniac night.  I'll share when I get them done.  

For the entire list of hoppers (500!!!)  Visit Lori Anderson's Blog.  I have yet to start hopping myself.  (Insomnia night are coming, I'm sure)

Now, about that's a few pics of the aftermath.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Bead Soup is out of the Box!

My Soup from my partner Lora Bright (LABweorcactually arrived in the mail a while back, I peeked at it but didn't have a chance to photograph it until today!  Lazy?  Busy?  A little of both?  Well, Busy is a given in my life, but I also have been getting ready for the fantastic Craftcation
 business conference which starts this Wednesday.  I'll be gone quite a few days and I can't just wear my ratty ole dog walking clothes.  I have to look cute for DAYS!  Plus, I want to show off my jewelry in the best way possible.  Outfit planning is a MUST!

But, back to my bead soup.....I'm going to have some fun with this.  It is mostly incredible turquoise in shades of blue, green and brown.  I'm thinking about going in a direction I don't normally go in for this.  We will see what transpires.  It is not going do do anything but percolate in my brain for at least 2 weeks.  

So, here's my soup!  And It is Rupert Approved!

That beautiful turquoise rock in from my own collection or photography props - mostly pieces of word, rocks, shells, driftwood etc that I've had since I was a child.  

Meanwhile. this is the Soup I sent.  It is a wild mix of lime and purples with a lot of art beads in there.  Even looking at it now, I realized I didn't tag the Elaine Ray large purple lentil in the 3rd row and I've forgotten the name of the glass bead artist in the second row.  There's lots of fiber mixed in as well.  Lora does mostly Chain Maille, so I can't see what she does with this soup!

Meanwhile, I'm going back to work on my VERY long to do list which includes FINALLY getting a few items in my Indie Made shop!  It's about time!!!  I also did a great photo shoot with the amazing Roger Fojas and have a beautiful jewelry shot I will be using all over the place.  

I will update from Ventura - I'm taking LOADS of exciting and informative seminars.  I can't wait!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Meet my Bead Soup Blog Hop Partner - Lora Bright of LABweorc

This is my first time participating in the Bead Soup Blog Hop and I was paired with Lora Bright of LABweorc.  Each of us answered some questions about ourselves to get to know each other and our motivation and work inspiration.  Here's her answers.

What are some of the highlights of your life? (college major, job path, children, winning the lottery, etc.)

I got my BA/MA in English from a small liberal arts college in the South, and then ended up teaching English in Hawaii. I spent a good deal of time "in my head" and disconnected from a lot of things (though I hid it well on the surface) until I discovered belly dancing. I threw myself into that fully for five years. During that time, I became fascinated with the jewelry we wore and wanted to make pieces. I'm also an amateur medievalist (I'm not fond of much post-18th century literature other than sci-fi/fantasy), so chain maille seemed to work with both the dance and the literature teaching. Right before I moved back South, I had moved into a cave (literally-a small room in the side of a hill built under a mansion near Waikiki). A small bead store resided at the bottom of the hill, so I walked down one day, bought a chain maille book and TINY jump rings to make my first byzantine weave bracelet. 
I ended up moving from Hawaii when my mom discovered she had Hep-C and needed treatment/possible liver transplant. Soon after the move, friends introduced me to a man I chose to marry (an elopement); he ended up being a diagnosed sociopath with a host of addictions. Before I discovered the depths of his problems, I got pregnant. I had a really sick pregnancy, so my then-husband bought me a bunch of wire, a jeweler's saw, and some pliers and encouraged the chain maille. I spent most of 3rd trimester making badly-done piles of jump rings and very amateur necklaces. Five months after my son's birth, everything blew up, and I had to file for divorce and move in with my sister. The abruptness of the separation as well as the recovery from an abusive relationship stunned me: I started to chain maille reflexively, spending hours a day "working" while my mom babysat. When I came out of the shock, I had several hundred dollars in orders, a fairly decent skill set, and a host of connections in the art community. I'm currently tutoring, teaching in homeschool co-ops, the lead instructor at a brand new belly dance studio, and saving to open my own business.

Other than jewelry making, what are you passionate about currently and why? 

I am passionate about belly dance and teaching through projects/arts. I have a hard time focusing, so belly dance gets me moving, provides drills and multiple "distractions" (music, moves, color), and opens up new areas of exploration (costuming, styles, jewelry!, workshops, etc.). I learn through doing, so I like to teach that way, and I'm working on creating mini-camps that focus on eras and their arts as a way to immerse students in a time/culture. 

How do you characterize your creative process? (messy, inspired, thoughtful, etc.) How do you inspire yourself/seek inspiration?

I'm mostly messy and unplanned/spontaneous; however, I look at a lot of pictures, so I know that seeps into my subconscious.

What is your jewelry style? How has it evolved? My style is mostly abstract bling. It has become more intricate and delicate as I have explored different sizes of rings. 

How do you deal with creative blocks? 

Tutorials as well! I'm still new at chain maille, so I have many weaves to even attempt much less master, so creative blocks are usually more a matter of laziness or lack of rings.

What new styles/materials would you like to explore?

I want to do copper sheets (pounding/stamping/etc.), leather, and sterling silver. I also want to develop a distinctive line of cabaret costumes and tribal/fusion costumes that use the chain maille and jewelry making. I also want to learn woodworking to make small boxes and do silver inlays.

How did you become involved with the Bead Soup Blog Hop? What positive things did you learn from your last hop?

I think I heard about it through my mom. I definitely enjoyed having an array of beads to work with, and I learned not to get stuck in one idea (I ended up making 3-4 pieces out of my soup instead of one like I originally thought I should). 

What other interesting thing(s) should the reader know?

I'm teaching my 23-month old how to bead/maille, and I'm setting up a small part of my business as The Laughing Falcon (his name is Falcon) to teach him young how to do business. My mom is doing much better, so she and I are beginning to collaborate with her polymer clay and my chain maille.

Amy's Soup was mailed off to her last week and, it is supposed to arrive tomorrow!.  Here's a sneak peak of what I sent her....

I got the soup Amy sent me yesterday, but you'll all just have to wait until tomorrow to see it. ;)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Hop

I'm finally participating in Lori Anderson's amazing Bead Soup Blog Hop!

 Lori has been doing this hop longer than I've been making jewelry.  I'm thrilled to be a part of it this go around.  There's even a published book about the blog hop.  It's famous!

Meanwhile, I've been trying to keep up with my jewelry making.  I made (and sold) a LOT of jewelry over the holidays, both at Bella Cosa and at shows.  I also sold to existing clients both locally and via Facebook.  It's been hard to keep up on everything else.  I'm working on a re-brand not and have an amazing new logo and packaging in the works.  It is all super exciting - and time consuming!  One day, maybe, this will be a full time job and not something I fit in around my other (overwhelming) work.  

Meanwhile, here's a few recent pieces that still are looking for homes.  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

2nd Annual Challenge of Travel Blog Hop - Long Beach Staycation

Once again, I'm participating in the Challenge of Travel Blog Hop.  Last year, I had a blast "visiting Japan".  This year, the theme was the Staycation Edition.  The lovely Erin over at Treasures Found is our gracious hose and you can find all of the other blog participants linked there.  

 This is my gorgeous city, Long Beach, California.  I am surrounded by lovely vintage objects, architecture, and history (and don't forget the Pacific Ocean).  My house was built in 1927 and is a Spanish Bungalow.  There are many wonderful neighborhoods filled with charming Craftsmen, Tudor, Spanish Revival and other classic style homes.  

When  first started making jewelry, I hadn't discovered art beads yet and I would simply create my pieces after looking at classic pieces from the eras I loved.  

Below are some of the more public site of my fair city and my great influences. When Long Beach became the permanent home of the Fabulously Deco Queen Mary, the city got even more vintage clout.  I've stayed at the QM before, and it really is lovely and very vintage.  I can picture someone on the ship wearing one of my creations.   

I've gotten rusty at making the type of jewelry I used to make.  I find so much inspiration from art beads in my current work than I found it difficult to go back to just being happy with my fantastic vintage bead stash.  But, for this exercise, I decided to concentrate on the Vintage and not so much on the Art Beads (although there are a few pieces with resin pieces I have done in the past.  I've included both old and new, mostly because I want to use this exercise as my own inspiration, Incorporating some of the vintage shaped into more modern jewelry using art beads.  We will see where this takes me.

Meanwhile, some work - both old and new - using vintage inspiration. But first, a valid excuse as to why my photos are quite a nice as I'd like them to be.....May I present Sid in my handmade photo booth.  Grrrrr.  Thank you Koolaid Man Sid.  Oh Yeah. (NOOOO)

Here's a VERY early piece I made that was COMPLETELY 1920's inspired (but not a vintage bead to be found).

New piece (that I LOVE) with vintage bakelite, lucite and crystal beads.  

A couple of 1940's Style pieces.  I could wear this style every day and be happy. My vintage stash makes me happy in general.

This is an older 1950's inspired piece that I made for Disneyland's 50th Birthday using vintage beads and a resin collage I made out of old Disney ephemera.

This is the real deal!  Simple yet elegant.

Vintage lucite with a modern twist using a little bird pendant I drew.

And the only pair of earrings I've included.  There are very simple and more 1930's.

A whole mess of vintage and vintage inspired that really should be on the dresser in the boudoir of the Queen Mary Stateroom.

That's my little staycation for now.  I guess I didn't really stay put, I just traveled back in time.  

Please check out the other bloggers listed on Erin's Blog.  There will be many treasures found there, I'm sure.


Monday, August 26, 2013


Lorelei Eurto  hosts some pretty interesting blog hops.  I just happened to have a trip to Michael's planned when I saw her invite for a Michael's Challenge.  The concept was simple,  Lorelei choose a few "ingredients" and we made things out of them.

Here were the pieces we were all supposed to purchase:

I was able to find all of the items EXCEPT the Owl buttons.  Oh well, never mind, I just added a few things from my own stash and added a pop of red into the mix and here's what I came up with.....

I added a pewter Owl from Green Girl Studios, a brass button and some Japanese cord I had on hand with the Michael's beads to make this piece. The amazing Roger Fojas Photography took the beautiful staged pic of the necklace.  (The bracelet and earrings were not done yet, so you just get my boring photography for those.)

The Bracelet was inspired by the lovely leather bracelets Lorelei has been creating lately.  I found this suede also at Michael's and used some antique Kimono fabric I had just scored at a garage sale.  I also added a red wavy lampwork disc from Serena's Beadery (along with a few bits of the Michael's stash).

For the earrings, I used just two of the Michael's beads (plus these little red beaded beads) and made a simple, but festive pair of earrings.  I even made the ear wires!

To see the other blog hop participants, visit Lorelei's blog for the entire list.