Soup Ingredients from Susan Sheehan

My Bead Soup Blog Party partner for the 7th swap is Susan Sheehan.  When I saw her name in the email from Lori, I thought, I know this gal.  But it took me a little bit to figure out how and why.  For now, I’m just going to keep that my little secret…

Susan’s beautiful soup showed up on my doorstep a full three days before I even shipped mine to her!  She was quite on top of the whole exchange, while I had been mired in a week of stomach flu immediately followed by five-year-old birthday party preparation.

I would like to say that I showed tremendous restraint and waited until I’d shipped her package, but in a move much unlike me {I blame the illnesses and stress ~ I needed a fun little break}, I tore open that box and went through all the lovely ingredients.

Susan is a glass bead artist {something I hope to learn one day ~ probably after I have all three kids in grade school}.  And she sent me some lovely creations and supplies from her stash.

Bead Soup from Susan Sheehan

I’m not sure I can specifically name everything she sent me.  But there’s a string of olive pearls, some Swarovski crystals, some fun green waxed linen, a set of yellow stones I can’t identify {but have some in my stash and love}, and some glass discs I’m pretty sure she created.

The pendant reminds me Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night even though it’s flowers.  The painting was the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw it.  The clasp is a fun style of clasp that I’ve admired for a long time.  I just hope I can do this soup some justice!

Bead Soup Close View  from Susan Sheehan

I’m looking forward to letting some ideas simmer in my mind while I gaze at these lovely ingredients over the next couple weeks.  I’m certain our March 30th reveal date will be here before I know it.

Make sure you take a few moments to browse Susan’s shop for some other really lovely beads.  She and I seem to share a love for flowers.


Week 7: Picnic Table

I thought last week’s theme of Texture was difficult.  This week was Symmetry, and I could not find anything that I felt was symmetrical and interesting to photograph.  I think my problem is that I wanted to take the theme too literally.  I was stuck on the idea of photographing a building or structure, and I lean more towards natural things, which in my mind, aren’t symmetrical.

I took the kids to the park late Sunday morning and tried a couple different things.  But they really weren’t working out.  As we walked back to the car, I noticed the picnic benches and got struck with the idea of symmetry and vanishing point perspective.

Week 7 ~ Symmetry

When I uploaded the pictures, I realized my focus was all off, but it makes kind of a different perspective ~ something a little less expected.  And if it was perfect, then it wouldn’t be called growth.

Still not thrilled with this theme, but it’s stuck in my head now, so maybe I’ll run across something else in a few weeks that I like better.  I really like these challenges because it makes me think not just of my photography, but also my subject and composition.


Week 6: Bus Sighting

My little 20-month-old daughter is very fond of watching the school bus pick up the neighborhood kids every morning.  Her older brother has brought the bus to her attention, so they frequently watch out the window for it to arrive.

Earlier this week, I decided to snap a few pictures of her waving to the bus, and as I was taking pictures I thought, I really love how the light captures the texture of her hair.

Week 6 ~ Texture

And a light bulb went off.

The theme for this week was Texture, and I was really struggling with what I should try to photograph.  I’m pleased that this one just sort of worked out.


Week 5: Recovering Babe

Low-light photography was the theme for this week.  Unfortunately for me, the theme for my week was stomach flu.

I’m constantly trying to get a good low-light picture of baby girl sleeping, but every time I try, I seem to instantly wake her up.  Not exactly the scenario you’re looking for at nap time or ten at night.

This image was from day two of the stomach flu.  She was napping wrapped up in her towel.  For some reason, she really liked having the hood on her little head and the towel wrapped around her ~ even fully clothed.  If it made her feel better, I was not one to question it.

Sleeping BabeThis image was taken with her laying on our bed and lit a bit by the natural light coming in from our window and my bedside lamp.



Happy House Earrings

There are 100 reasons why I haven’t had time to work out any of the jewelry ideas swirling around in my head, but there are at least 101 reasons why I should.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided I would spend some time on an idea that I’d been thinking about for several weeks.  I wanted to see if I could cut glass.  I’d had all the components for a bit, but just hadn’t sat down to try it out.

I figured out how to take a 1″ by 3″ piece and cut it into four 3/4″ by 1″ pieces.  I wanted to test it out and see if they’d work into good soldered pendants, but as I looked at the four pieces of glass, the idea of earrings popped into my head.

I grabbed the nearest tablet of scrapbook paper, flipped back the cover, and viewed these cute little houses.  I selected a pair that coordinated, but did not match and tested it out.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out!

Happy House Earrings

I also added this cute little coordinating paper on the back, which I almost like better than the houses.  That gave me another idea, but I’ll have to save it for another day.

Happy House Back

I can’t tell you what a joy it was to take something from vision to finished piece in about an hour or so.  I need to be doing this more often.



Week 4: Rainy Weather

The theme for this week was weather.  I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  I honestly say that without sarcasm ~ even during the wet winter months.

We moved here when I was five and I consider myself a native.  For the most part, I enjoy the rain.  I love the sunny breaks, but unless it’s that misty stuff that lasts all day long, I do not go nuts with the days of rain.

I wanted to capture the unusual freezing fog we’ve had the past couple weeks, but I never got out at the right time {this seems to be an issue for me}.  This evening, I walked out to our driveway in the rain and had the idea of trying to catch the drops falling in the puddles.

Rainy WeatherI really liked how this turned out.  I was only out for a couple minutes because I have no rain gear for my camera equipment {imagine that!}, but it was worth it.



Are You Ready to “Cook”?

It’s time for the lovely Lori Anderson’s 7th Bead Soup Blog Party sign up!

Sign-ups are going on right now until Sunday the 27th on Lori’s Bead Soup Blog Party page.  All you really have to do is have a blog and sign up for the party.

Bead Soup Blog Party 2

Lori will assign you a partner around February 3rd.  You will need to send your partner a focal piece, a nice clasp (no plated lobster claws) and some coordinating beads by February 10th.  That’s all there is to it.

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

Once you receive the ingredients from your partner, you have a few weeks to create your piece and then all of the participants will reveal on one of three different dates: March 30th, April 6th or April 13th.  You just decide on the date you prefer when you sign up.

Bead Soup Blog Party 1

I’ve participated in three different exchanges (pictured above) and it’s just so much fun every time ~ picking the ingredients, waiting for your fun package, figuring out what to make, seeing what your partner created, and hopping around for days (and days and days) to see what everyone else created.

It’s a seriously so fun and so creatively inspiring.

So what are you waiting for??? Sign up already!