Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Think Everybody Could Use Some Soup -- Bead Soup!

I can't believe that this is my sixth year participating in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party.  In a nut shell, just in case you are brand new to my blog, what this exciting project is about is getting many, many jewelry designs together to swap beads (the soup ingredients, which must contain a focal and a clasp as well as a few coordinating beads) and then design with the beads that you receive from your partner.  After a period of time, all the participants post pictures of their creations on their blogs -- the big reveal!  It's amazing that Lori can do all of this.  She is the hostess of this event, while dealing with health issues, being a mom and wife and running her own small business.  We all, both participants and viewers, owe Lori a slice of pie (at the very least) for all that she does for the jewelry design community.  Go visit her shops and show her some love, she deserves it!  On to the big reveal.
My partner this round, the 8th, is Sam Siegel of  Sam's Bead Shop.  Sam runs an amazing online bead store.  Boy did I get lucky!  First, I get paired with one of the few male participants, then it's someone who is very generous with his merchandise.  And what beautiful beads and findings.  Look for yourself.  Aren't they amazing.  I'm really not sure what anything is, except, I'm pretty sure that the focal is crazy lace agate.  Oh well, all I know is that everything is gorgeous!

The clasp and beadcaps that were in the mix are beautiful antiqued copper.  Just lovely!

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make the reveal deadline because during the same timeframe as the party, I had two different procedures done to my back and hip and, well ... let's just say that I wasn't up to designing.  Just as I had written to Sam explaining why I wouldn't make the date, I took out the beautiful stones again and the idea for the necklace popped into my head. I got out the wire and the pliers and went to work.  Look how amazing my polymer beads went with the stones that Sam sent.  AMAZING!  I can picture this piece on one of the women in Downton Abbey.
Seriously, I can't believe how wonderful my beads blend so beautifully with these stones. I had some copper links on hand and wired together these earrings. This picture doesn't really show it, but the beads that are dangling there are the same rondelles from the soup that Sam sent.

I used the same links and rondelles in the bracelet.  I added some larger round beads that I had in my stash and used them with the coins that Sam sent.  I wired 12 little dangles to the chain and finished it with a simple copper toggle that I had.  This bracelet is fun and modern compared to the necklace, but I think all three pieces look lovely together.

I also used the rondelles and coins to create this macrame bangle.  The clasp is an antique leather button that I have had forever.  I knotted around some 20 gauge wire so that this wears like a bangle and to give the bracelet some stability on the wrist.

Well, that's it, I hope that you enjoy my pieces and have fun at this year's party.  Don't forget to visit the other designer's blogs and support us when you can. For information on purchasing any of the pieces you see here on my blog, just drop me an email, I would love to hear from you.  I will leave you with a picture of my sweet pup, Bosco, who enjoys watching television from my chair.  He thinks he is a tiny, little lap dog.  I better go join him.  Who could say "no" to that face?  Certainly not I.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Lightening Round!

My latest design for Znetshows was a quick-turnaround lightening round to showcase the beautiful crystals and silver-plated findings that are available from Znetshows.  They had each designer choose two crystal strands and we were sent those choices plus some really nice silver-plated keychain clasps.  For this piece, I used the truly more beautiful than could be photographed, Chinese crystal, glass-nuggets in Sahara green (it seems like that color is sold out, but you can see all of the rest of the lovely colors and treatments for these crystals, here).  The minute I saw these crystals, I thought "macrame!"  I used some waxed linen thread and metal "e" beads in bronze to complement the crystals.  The crown charm that I added at the bottom is an antique that I was given by a friend that I have been waiting for the perfect piece to use on.  I think this is it!  I also choose another crystal, but you will have to wait until next week to see the pieces that I made with those.  If you haven't already done so, go check out the selection of beads, findings, crystals and other pretties on the Znetshows website.  Their prices are fantastic and their customer service, superb!  You won't be sorry.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Orange Crush

I really love this bracelet, created for this last round of the Bead Soup Blog Project and now available at my online store.  Just click here, and it can be yours!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Do Be Do Bead Do's New Online Shop

Come visit Do Be Do Bead Do online at my new location on Squareup, where you can now purchase my designs online.  I'll be slowly uploading designs previously seen here on the blog and new things as they are made.  Shop Do Be Do Bead Do

I'm very excited to finally have an online shop on a site that I can believe in and feel good about. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Znetshows Design Team Beachy Theme Partner Challenge

The newest Znetshows design team challenge was a unique one.  Each of the Znetshow's designer was paired with another and we each chose beads from Znet's extensive stock of beads, pearls, stones, sea glass and metals for each other to design with, using the them "Beachy."  I was paired with Cynthia Machata and she had Bill at Znetshows send me a beautiful selection.

The first piece that I created, Sunset Beach at Sunset, used the pearls (BDS1923-07), crystals (RS144-123) and antique copper base metal spacer beads (M0191-AC), plus a copper toggle that I had in my stash.
This necklace, the second piece, Mermaid's Memory, is made of the two different colors and sizes of cultured sea class (S03-46FIVE and S04-B47FIVE), wired into links with the beautiful aqua tera jasper (BDS1886-02), and made into a long 24" chain, which closes with a beautiful morning glory and vine clasp (M0314-AS).  For the pendant, I used one of Znet's mini-conch beads in blue, one of my shell pendants in polymer clay and enamel, a silver sun and wind charm and a tiny bottle filled with mermaid's tears (ok, seed beads).

This was a really fun challenge, as I really like to design with beads that others have chosen for me.  I hope that I have done my partner and Znetshows proud, this round, and am looking forward to the next.

Head on over to Znetshows or click on any of the product code links to go shopping.  Znet's website is like going to a bead show from your computer.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Welcome Back and Thanks for Commenting

I'll get down to business, the winner of the earrings pictured below, is Susie of the blog, Vintage Susie & Wings.  Send me an email with your address and I'll get these out to you post haste.
As for the sale of my pieces, I'm trying to decide how best to offer my jewelry for sale.  I'm not happy with Etsy or Ebay, and Wepay is just too finicky for my purposes.  Anybody reading this have an idea for me?  There must be a way to sell directly from the blog at the click of a mouse, no?  I will gift anybody who can help me set this up with a $100 gift certificate towards my pieces (and free shipping) for their time and expertise.  Thanks, loyal readers and fans!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pull up a Chair, Soup's Ready!

Welcome to the 3rd reveal of the 7th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party!

Before I begin with my reveal, I want to thank our hostess Lori Anderson for all of the work she has done for this event.  Faced with terrible pain and health concerns, she still managed to get all 500+ participants organized and worked diligently to keep this party going.  Thank you, Lori, we appreciate and admire you more than you realize.

For this round of the party (this is my 5th time participating), Lori paired me with Suzann Sladcik Wilson, the very talented writer and designer.  Suzann even sent me a copy of her new book (autographed, even) along with a very generous selection of beads.  Unfortunately, I did not take a photo of the raw materials before I immediately started creating.  There was lampwork, a wonderful pendant that she made, shells, silver, ceramics and glass beads.  The clasp was an adorable daisy.  When I saw the lovely polymer clay pendant, I knew that it deserved something "big."  I decided to make a bead-embroidered cuff bracelet to highlight the lovely flower.  I used three different sizes of seed beads, little 11s, some 8s and little squares.  I also added some sterling leaves and flowers (the flowers were also from Suzann, the leaves I picked up at my favorite bead store).   I've never attempting something like this before, and many hours later, I finished this cuff:

When I started the design process, I had planned on mounting the finished embroidery onto a brass blank, but instead I just lined it with black ultra-suede and added a silver clasp from my stash.  I am IN LOVE with this bracelet and very proud of myself for completing it.  

Because it was so time-intensive (and I seriously doubted I would be able to finish it in time for the reveal), I decided to use the lovely lampwork that was in the ingredients to make this bracelet, you know, just in case.
I added the glass rondelles and used the silver accents clasp that were in the mix.  I also made a pair of dangling earrings, adding the round blue ceramic beads that Suzann included in the mix of soup ingredients.  I wired them together with some emerald ab crystals (it's hard to tell from the photos, but the center of the  lampwork beads are clear, emerald glass -- amazing) from my stash finished them with simple sterling fish hook ear wires.  I'm really happy with this set, too.  It's amazing to me how much my skill level has improved since participating in this blog hop!

I still had quite a bit of cultured sea glass (in fact, I sent some to Suzann in her soup ingredients) left over from the Znetshows design team challenge that paired wonderfully with the (huge) strand of shell chips that Suzann sent.  I made this bracelet and earrings to match with those components and some tiny crystals. Until just this minute, I hadn't realized that I used copper findings in the bracelet and silver for the earrings.  Oh well, separates!  Because of that little whoops, I am going to give the earrings to one of the people who take the time to comment on this post.  If you'd like the earrings, come back next week to see if you have been chosen.  In fact, if you like my facebook page or become a new follower here, let me know that you have and I will enter you twice.

So, there you have it.  My designs.  I'm really proud of my work this time around.  It might sound like a bit much to some, but the Bead Soup Blog Parties have changed my life.  I've been made a member of the design team for Znetshows and I've been challenging myself more and have been focusing on my finished pieces instead of bead making.  In fact, I will be showing at a Summer Art Walk in Monrovia this year, and I am in the development stages of a new way to offer my pieces for sale online (instead of etsy).  If any of my readers have any advice for me, I sure would appreciate it.  

I am honored to be among the 500+ talented designers who have participated in this event.  Please take some time to visit the other artists who have contributed their stash and designs to this wonderful event.  You can begin here, with Suzann and then continue with the list, available here.  

All of these designs will be available for sale within the next couple of days.  Please come back and visit next week, if you are interested.  Thanks again for stopping by, pour yourself a beverage and enjoy some more soup!