Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Timeless Wire Weaving

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I've been intrigued by many of the intricate wire weaving designs I've seen lately so was very excited to read Lisa Barth's book; "Timeless Wire Weaving: The Complete Course". It's well thought out with beautiful photos, no surprise since she's also a talented professional jewelry photographer. There are numerous projects covered, from beginner to advanced and everything in between. Illustrations are beautiful and very helpful.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's Here!! The Bead Soup Blog Party!!!

Pin It The big event that we've all been waiting for is here! The Bead Soup Blog Party, heretofore known as BSBP. *smile*

Before I go any further, I MUST say a HUGE thank you to our fearless leader, Lori Anderson. Through all her challenges, she has somehow managed to put together another amazing BSBP! This is the 8th! I've been fortunate to have participated in a few of them over the years. I've made wonderful friendships along the way, including Lori. I'm eternally grateful to her! Please make sure you make her blog a priority! I really don't know how she does what she does with all that's going on. Love you Lori!!

I know I say this about all the BSBP's I've participated in, but this was truly one of the best for me. I got to meet an awesome lady and a huge talent, Kris Lanae Binsfeld of  Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae. We have very different jewelry making styles, but we connected right away. Birds of a feather, as they say. ;) And what a generous soup she sent, all beautifully packaged with a lovely note.

The piece de resistance was this drop dead gorgeous focal that she wire wrapped, incorporating many of the components in the soup. 

My mind was whirling with ideas, but it took some time to formulate the plan, which kept changing every time I picked up the piece to work on. Isn't it always so? I'm a little disappointed in myself that I only made the one piece that I did. I had other ideas in mind for the remaining soup, but life sort of got in the way. To begin with, my daughter-in-law went into labor 4 weeks early and presented us with our 1st grandchild, Alexander Jack. Sorry, proud grandma moment....have to share a pic of my little man at his 2 month birthday.

Been busy helping them with him and also with their move into their new house so not much 'me' time left for the things I enjoy, but he's my top priority right now. (insert heart smiley)

But you came to see beads and what I made with them, right?? Though our techniques are very different, we both share a fondness for recycled materials. I usually work with seedbeads so decided to step outside my comfort zone and do a wee bit of wire work...and I do mean, a WEE bit! ;) Her focal takes center stage of course! I took copper chain that I had in my stash and then intertwined the silk ribbon that was part of the bead soup with some sari ribbon that I've been hoarding and ran it through the links on the chain. I call this piece "Gypsy Treasures" because it's made out of some of Kris' recycled glass components and some of my lampwork and enameled beads, all dangling from the chain and cord in a fun way with her gorgeous focal. The only thing I would've done different is to make it more asymmetrical, but believe it or not, that's harder then it sounds. Ah! We're always second guessing ourselves, right? At least I always am! Still very happy with the outcome and plan to make more pieces out of the rest of the soup when time permits. 

Oh and before I reveal my creation here's a pic of what I sent to Kris. I included some of my lampwork beads. Can't wait to see her creation(s)!

On to my reveal....Kris's focal really makes the whole piece!

One of my enameled beads with a lampwork headpin.

Another fun little lampwork bead with brightly colored dots

A corrugated enameled bead

I just had to add a couple of my bellflowers into this! I absolutely love making these and recently hosted a challenge on my facebook page to see how my customers have used them. They're far more creative then I am, but had to try my hand at it too.

I have a busy weekend for Mothers Day. Tomorrow is my mom's 93rd birthday and then having my family here on Sunday for Mothers Day so may not get to hop much until Sunday night or Monday. Here's the link to all the other blogs. Hope you'll check them all out.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Soup's Here!!

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Are you in the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Hop? I'm sure glad I am! The amazing Lori Anderson, has put together yet another fun-filled hop despite her personal challenges. I'm very fortunate to have been paired up with the super talented, Kris Lanae Binsfeld of Cherish Designs for this year's hop. We hit it off right away and she was very sensitive to my allergies and sent me soup that I could work with. So very much appreciated! AND she sent an amazing assortment to work with. Really has my creative juices flowing!

I tend to work more with seedbeads these, but am excited to see where this challenge will take me. I especially love the hand made wired focal in the lower left. It's made with an assortment of the beads she sent me so I look forward to using it in at least one of my creations.

I also hope that she enjoys the soup that I sent her. I included a lampwork disc bead that I made out of a much sought after glass that's no longer in production. It's one of my favorites! And some matching disc beads as well as an assortment of other beads that I hope will spark her imagination. Can't wait to see what she creates!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: Create Three Dimensional Jewelry

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If you love Miriam Haskell jewelry and want to create your own in that style, then Heather DeSimone's book, Create Three Dimensional Jewelry would be a great resource. She breaks down the mystique behind this eclectic style into easy to understand instructions. I would have liked to see a resource(s) for purchasing some of the unique components in the book

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Enameling Made Easy

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I can't say enough about Anat Silvera's book, Enameling Made Easy. I've been dabbling in enamels for the past few months and just recently got more into it. Her book, which includes a bonus DVD (YES!), is my new bible! It says it's for beginners & beyond and it sure is! It's so comprehensive that I can't think of a single thing that that might have been missed. A must have for anyone interested in torch fired enameling. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Soup's In the Mail!

Pin It You've heard of, "The checks in the mail"? Well, the soups in the mail. lol! Not the traditional type of soup of course! This is even better! It's BEAD soup! This is one of the most fun blog hops I've been involved in, run by the fabulous Lori Anderson. Through all her many physical ailments, this girl has still managed to put yet another Bead Soup Blog Hop together! She's a truly amazing person who I've had the pleasure of meeting and consider a friend. I won't go into all  her wonderful qualities. Suffice to say that I think the world of her.

So, now on to the soup! I am partnered with Kris Lanae Binsfeld of Cherish Designs. It's been super fun getting to know her. I think it was a great pairing on Lori's part. Our techniques vary greatly so it will be interesting to see what she does with the soup I sent her. Can't wait to see what I get to work with as well. 

So, wanna see what I sent out to Kris? Here you go! 

You didn't expect me to actually show you the soup before she gets it, did you? ;)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections

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The author shares her extensive knowledge in great detail, for the tools required and the techniques for the their use in Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections.

She presents her projects two different ways, cold and hot connections, with excellent
photographs and an explanation for each process. And again, explaining each tool and
technique used for each project.

Excellent book for learning as a beginner or intermediate with metal jewelry.