Bead Soup for My Partner

I decided to make the focal and clasp for my bead soup.  I wanted a new metal flower that was a little more tropical feeling, so I searched the web for some pictures until I found a flower that I liked.  Then I sketched it out and set to shaping the copper into my vision.

I’m really, really happy with how this flower turned out.  It’s 2 1/4 inches in diameter because that seemed like a good size to me.  I textured the petals and colored it with a plum patina from Metal Me This.  It’s the first time I’ve added a patina to metal, but it will certainly not be the last.

I also included one of my heart clasps.  I wanted to create a flower one, but I was already running behind and the purple one from my stash seemed to go really well with the other ingredients.

Bead Soup ~ closer view of focal and clasp

The one thing I didn’t do with this focal was punch the petals for stringing.  I had several ideas on where to punch, but I didn’t want to limit Susan’s creativity by selecting for her.  I did include my punch ideas in my card to her.

Bead Soup ~ punch ideas

I promise that I had already decided on a purple and yellow theme for this soup before I opened Susan’s package.  You know what they say about great minds and all.  You might also notice that the yellow rounds on the left are strikingly similar to the rectangles that Susan sent me.

Bead Soup Ingredients for Susan

The only thing I really wish I’d done differently was make the focal smaller.  I seem to have something for the large flowers, but I’m worried that she’s going to be limited because of the size.  I am so very excited to see what Susan does with these soup ingredients.

Signature

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.

Signature

Blogging Break

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney

So… I’ve been gone from the scene for a while.

It was actually planned. Well, at least at the beginning I had a plan.

I didn’t talk about it before I took a break, but it maybe would have been a good idea to explain why I was planning an extended break from my blog and Twitter. I was just afraid to admit it out loud because I don’t like to fail. If I explained what my plan was, then I’d have to come back and say whether it worked out or not.

And here’s the deal, it didn’t work out. Nothing worked like I thought it would. But I learned from my break and some things really changed.

Sometime around the end of the last Bead Soup Blog Party (when last we met), I decided that I was going to put into action what I’d wanted to do for a long time. I was going to make some pieces (30 to be exact) and I was going to finally open my own Etsy store. I wanted to create a line in time for Christmas shopping.

I’ve been designing and creating jewelry for eight years now. I’ve been gathering up supplies (for years), saying I was going to make certain pieces I’d designed, and I finally decided I was going to “quit talking and begin doing”.

I was going to leap right in.

Just watch me.

I’m here on this ledge…

I had a plan. Starting at the end of July, I was going to take 6 weeks. The plan was 1 week to firm up some ideas, 4 weeks to create (all of August), and 1 week to take pictures and post (beginning of September).

You can stop laughing now.

Once I started on creation, I quickly realized that there was no way I would be able to put together 30 pieces. If I was planning on just doing stringing or some wire work, then I might have been able to pull it off. But what I wanted to do was make some soldered focal pieces and bracelets.

Like this…

Soldered Pendant

I also wanted to do some metal work, which was going to take more time than one piece a night. I wasn’t specific enough in what metal pieces I was going to create. I had ideas, but my designs were still forming.

I wasn’t too discouraged because I figured I could put together some earrings pretty quickly to round out my 30 pieces. And I had some simpler stuff I could do too.

But things kept consuming my time. I work full time. I was taking a drawing class every Monday night until 10. I was actually in class 3 nights a week at the end of July. There were birthdays late in the summer, which took up some evenings.

Then, my oldest started Kindergarten at the end of August (sniff), and suddenly my evenings in September were filling up with back-to-school things. I was also working with my sister-in-law to plan the 40th Anniversary party of our parents-in-law in mid-September.

I just kept pushing my dates back and working as best I could. But by mid-September I still only had 5-6 pieces in various states of completion.

Then… at the end of September, I found out about this…

And everything came to a screeching hault.

I felt pretty okay for about 2 weeks after we found out, but then the morning sickness and exhaustion hit.  This one has been especially hard.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older or because I have two other kiddos, but I have had a hard time.  It was probably some where around Christmas that I started seeing some of my energy come back, but I still can’t keep up like I used to.

I am itching to create though, and I haven’t forgotten about my vision to put together a shop.  I’m hoping to create some pieces for Valentine’s Day and Spring.  It may end up being 10 things, but I’m going to try.

Bracelet-to-be

work-in-progress

I’ll post when it happens, but this time I plan to be back before then.

Bead Soup Party: Day 8 (The End)

We’ve reached the end of the second round of Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Party. I’ve really enjoyed my second serving of soup and I’m ready to get the third pot going. I have a bead convention coming up in less than two weeks, so I am very excited to look for something fun for my next partner.

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway from the bracelet pictured in my reveal on Day 3.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment (one per person please).  Comments will close at midnight PST.

Here is the last helping of soup…

Bead Soup Party: Day 7

The party is almost over, which is sad. But there are still lots of lovely blogs to visit today and tomorrow. There are only a couple of days left to win a bracelet by commenting (one per person please) on my piece from Day 3.  My plan is to close the comments at midnight PST tomorrow.

I have an idea in the works for one of the other focals I received from my partner, Kate of Tropical Blonde, but my week has gotten away from me.  I will definitely post when I do get it done.

Don’t forget to visit these blogs today.

Have a good night!

Bead Soup Party: Days 5 & 6

I meant to update with the links every day, but work has been INSANE this week.  We are a small office and one gal is out on vacation this week. I’ve been bringing work home (since I’m lucky enough to remotely connect to our system) and staying up late to get more done.

Make sure you take a moment to post a comment (one per person please) on the piece I revealed on Day 3. You will be entered into a contest for the bracelet pictured at the end of the Day 3 post.

Bead Soup Party Day 5

Bead Soup Party Day 6

I have nothing intelligent left to say tonight.  I hope you’re enjoying the party!!

Bead Soup Party: Day 4

(don’t miss my bead soup from yesterday)

I wanted to start today with a huge thank you to everyone who commented on my Bead Soup piece.  I have loved reading through all the comments. I actually think this is my favorite part of the party.  (Well, okay, cool beads it pretty awesome too.)  I just love getting all of the feedback.

The party continues today, so don’t miss out on some more amazing pieces. I am truly humbled by the talent of the designers in this party!

I promised more pictures of my giveaway bracelet, so here goes…

Here is a closer view of the beads created by Kate at Tropical Blonde. Someone commented yesterday that they looked like candy, and I completely agree.  I wonder what flavor they would be??

The square, brown beads are more of Kate’s lovely polymer clay creations. I added some Carnelian rounds and copper spacers to complete the bracelet.

I made my own clasp for this one too.  I never realized it would be so addicting to make clasps.  I am totally loving it.  If I could find a good toggle design, then I might never go back.  Actually, someone had a lovely stamped one, and I’m considering seeing if I can duplicate it.

So… if you’d like a chance to win this bracelet, then don’t forget to comment (one per person please) on my Bead Soup post from yesterday.