Friday, July 11, 2014

I know it is last minute, but go by http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2014/07/calling-all-seed-beaders-book-giveaway.html and sign up for the free beading book giveaway! Lori Anderson is graciously giving away this book and it is a great one!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer at last!

If you are here for BSBP8---Please scroll down one post :)
If not...



Summer is finally here and with it come all sorts of surprises! Like…
We had a rattle snake in our back yard…
Tons of rain and hail all within an hour…
12 year old’s birthday party- ice skating and dinner followed by arcade…
Ok, so the birthday wasn’t a surprise, but the ice skating was… I hadn’t planned on doing much of anything for this birthday, it is sadly on the same day as it was 6 years ago when my husband passed away. My son asked to have the party at the house, but I used every excuse in the book not to have it here. In the end, we did bring all the kids back and they had a really fun time playing outside with the Nerf guns and then a quick football game, then it rained… and hailed…
Not much else on the homefront, I have been working bit by bit, doing some metal work, wanting to teach my son as much as I can but sadly he really isn’t that interested. I started him on chainmaille last December and thought he was really excited about it, but….
So, I have been cutting out earrings and pendants out of copper and brass, doing as many as I can  and then working on enameling them or maybe just putting a patina on them. I like enameling but I’m not that great at it. I just can’t seem to get the right temperature for the right amount of time with the torch and I have a small beehive kiln that is great, but… I am pretty messy, I got  a little bit of glass powder on the brick and fused my pendant onto the brick… sigh… I just don’t know how to keep it from shifting when I place the piece into  the kiln. Either placing it on the brick when it is open or using a little metal spatula… I just can’t seem to keep it steady or not bump it with my finger or drop it… ugh… I just don’t think I have what it takes to do enameling. Maybe I could swap out with someone that loves enameling and doesn’t like to do something I can.  I am getting better at sawing. I have been practicing a lot. I know I have a long way to go but it really is getting easier.
I don’t have a picture to post of the work in progress… well… OK , so I do, I am just too lazy to get up and find my camera.  I am so sleepy right now. I have had a headache all day for the past two days and the birthday party didn’t help. I haven’t slept well in a while and I am getting a bit cranky.
If I get up in the morning and am not as cranky, I’ll put a picture up with this. … don’t hold your breath!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party~~~~~ The Reveal!


First of all, I really would like to thank Lori Anderson, who masterminded this blog hop. She has been an inspiration to a lot of us and she deserves a lot of credit to have gotten this big side show off  the ground!  I say side show, it is more like a whole circus. We have clowns, like me, that play around with beads, and we have lion tamers that tame molten glass into submission and make beads, we have acrobats, like my partner, Skylar Bre'z,  that perform the daring feats with the beads. So sit back and enjoy the show!

the great soup that Skylar sent to me!
It's here!!!
The reveal for the 8th annual Bead Soup Blog Party!!!!!!!!
Yes, I am excited. I have been since sign ups and I am so happy to have been partnered with Skylar Bre'z. She has great taste and knew just what I would love and I have had the most fun playing with the beads she sent to me.


The soup that Skylar sent to me was really a wonderful array of gems. There are pearls, howlite, copper, glass, and a vast mix of crazy pretty beads. Then there is the hank of yarn, that beautiful bound bunch of beauty!  I had so much fun with it, and will for a while, because I used it sparingly. A snippet here and a snippet there... wanting to use it in every piece, but not wanting to overdo it!
I took pieces with me to work on when I went to Beadfest Texas, but honestly, I didn't have time to work much, but I did find some beads and stuff to go along with the soup. Of course I couldn't pass up the pretty hank of hand spun yarn to make the necklace with the copper shell bead and then I found the nautilus shell at Sonoran Beads and little odds and ends that, well, just screamed for me to add to the array. So what I ended up with is a mix of things I had, things I thought were perfect, and things that I just really needed to buy, like the crazy acrylic coral that just set off the set...
Here are my pieces, in no certain order... I made several, I guess I thought I needed to do justice to everything Skylar sent, but really, I didn't. I didn't do the beautiful pieces justice. I just had fun with them, and I didn't get around to finishing everything... I still have a mostly finished "memory" necklace that I just haven't had time to finish up... and a bracelet that I really wanted to get done, but I had other obligations, but will finish soon... and then the glass cabochon with the white daisy in blue and black.I have all the beads set aside and will work on that as soon as school is out   
Earrings to match the Nautilus necklace
The nautilus shell in copper is probably one of my favorite beads, it is really pretty and goes well with my love for shells and all things waterborne. I found the glass Whelk shell and little octopi, along with the glass nautilus shell at Beadfest Texas at the Sonoran Beads booth. I think they went perfect with this. The yarn as well came from that show, from Bernadette Fuentes, who sells this beautiful yarn and also has gorgeous glass beads. She was so sweet and showed me some of her samples and let me ooh and ahhh over her work!
So this necklace was born. It started out with some knitted wire as well, but I decided that it was just a little too much, and took it off, though I used it in the crocheted necklace with the silver focal.      The earrings were just fun!
The lady smelling roses cabochon from Skylar just needed to have a pretty bunch of beadwork around it, I liked the look of the copper oval beads and the reds and oranges to pull out the color of the picture. I used more of the yarn, kind of loosely knotted around the beads. I made two sets of earrings to go with it, and then did a watch as well… what can I say, I’ll probably wear this necklace some!
Purple People Eater
Then there is this one! The purple people eater as I like to call him! It is so cute, it is one that I wasn’t sure how to use, I don’t normally use pendants like this, it's so cute and funky! It reminds me of something that my daughter would do, and that is fun! The painting is great; I am ashamed to say that I have lost the card that came with it identifying the maker. I am so sorry. Maybe Skylar will fill in that blank. I used chain out of the soup and the bar part of one of the clasps and beaded the rest of the clasp. I had these great hex beads that I really wanted to use, but I didn’t like the peyote chain that I made, nor did I like the right angle weave chain, the piece just needed a few beads to make it stand out.
The blue spiral is my favorite I think, though it didn’t come out very well, I used the beads I had on hand to do the bead embroidery, and they were for the most part, pretty crap. I didn’t take the time to sort them, just used what was there, and they show it. But even at that, I like the pattern and will probably take it apart and do another one just like it, using more even beads, and maybe more of the yarn. There is just a bit of yarn on this one, in the ‘chain’.
The crocheted yarn necklace is the one that came first, I just couldn't wait to do something with that beautiful yarn and thought about that focal, the only thing I could think of was to use part of the yarn that was turquois-ish and wire wrap it as the chain. The clasp is one that I had
                                  Then there is the large glass bead, I wanted to use it so bad that I couldn't hardly stand it! Several tries and I didn't like anything that I made. Silk just didn't look good, bead weaving didn't look good, beads alone didn't look good... I thought about just clear line and the bead as the only visible component! It ended up that I did like the silk but it was really bare, I thought about crochet, using the ribbon of silk like thread, but it was still too bare. and the thought of having some wooly thread came to mind, well, I do have tons of wool... and... well, I liked the silk so I just added some roving to the ribbon and crocheted it into the chain. Adding jump rings and some beads, well... it was just right. The earrings are as daring as I will go at asymmetric, I used matching beads and added wool 'beads' and love them!

By the way... did I mention that Skylar sent some yarn?

 Ok, I guess you get it that I love this stuff!!!

Go by Lori Anderson's page (Pretty Things) and see the rest of the list for the other blog party members... SO MANY beautiful designs I am sure... I'll be spending the next week ogling and awwwwing over the  work of so many great designers!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

wonderful weekend so far

We spent the weekend with my daughter... what a fun time. My son and my daughter are funny together, they laugh and cut up even with the difference in age. My son likes to give her a hard time, picks on her and really would have loved to have been just a few years apart in age.
As always, we romped around with the dogs, they don't get along, well, her dog loves our dog, just not the reverse... but they played together pretty well. I just had to post this picture... not of my daughter, that would be normal... me, I'm not so much normal!
My grandpuppy... he's such a big sweety!


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Hop~~

There is a slight hiccup with the Bead Soup Blog Party reveal that is set for this weekend, nothing major, but it is delayed by a week. There are a bunch of people sighing with relief right now! ha.
I have several pieces done but haven't had the chance to photograph them yet, other than the process. We have had wind and more wind, I know I should build a light box, but hey, I love natural light.
Anyway, I am kind of sighing myself, this will give the weather here a chance to settle down, and for me to either photograph outside or find a reasonable place to do it inside.... I haven't written the blog yet, I know what I want to say, I just procrastinate and I finished the cloak I was working on, and I need to clean house, run errands and do a million and ten things... so this is actually a good thing!
Lori Anderson is quite upset with herself, having to postpone, is hard for her, but we are all big girls here (sorry if there are any guys in the hop) and we can roll with whatever comes. Really. REALLY! If you can't deal with a delay, then you might not have a good grip on reality. Things happen, life happens, we all have times when we are overwhelmed with it... so no big deal!
The new reveal is set for May 10... I am so excited, like Christmas morning coming and I have presents under the tree!!!  I want to tease and pique interest in the event so here are a couple of pictures that will give you an idea of what I have for the blog hop....
Come back next week to see what  else there is... oooooo I can't wait!!!



Friday, April 25, 2014

This Doesn't Count as BSBP

This past month, or maybe a little more than a month, our lives have been turned upside down and over again, and then some. I've tried to pretend that we are ok here, and that there isn't any need to panic... but.... PANIC!!!
Events happen that you don't plan for, even if you plan, they are not always going to go the way you planned. Like death.
Like illness...plumbing, wiring, dishwashers...
Like old age...
We have had a series of events in the family, and in friends and well, just the day to day  running of our lives that make me stop and scratch my head and say ... what next.  You know my Father-in-Law passed away, well, that seemed like the beginning, well, nope, it was after several other events.. but that was one of the toughest events in recent history. Then we had illness, trips, more illness, my Mother, and more illness, and well... the bumps in the road just seem to keep coming.
I have neglected most of my work, hoping for a break in the action, but it seems that I just don't catch a break.
I suppose everyone knows that I don't put a lot of planning into my work anyway. I pretty much work on a whim. I figure out as I go, and I don't do much more than a sketch of what I want something to be when it is finished... and usually it doesn't even turn out to be what I sketched... and sometimes I sketch out really detailed-down-to-the-bead and seem to not ever be able to finish those. I'll put them away and just never finish them, because I feel constrained to not change the thing. I feel like I can't go outside the box so to speak.
Heaven help me though if I don't write something down... like an idea, a way to work out a problem, or that solution to a tricky math problem that just pops into my head... because if I have to stop and do something else and come back to a project... I have probably already forgotten what I was doing.
I do that all the time.
I was working on a cloak for a lady when my Father-in-Law passed away, then I had a trip, then illness, and by the time I had a day to work on it, I had forgotten how to insert the pockets and leave an opening a well on a reversible cloak... I know how to do that. No... come to think of it, how do you do that?
The same with my jewelry, if I have an idea.. .I can pull the beads and findings, attach a little note and will probably remember what the concept is.  If I don't sketch it down and kind of show myself what I was thnking of, I will never get around to working on the project.
I have some beads that have set on a shelf for a few years now, because I can't remember what I bought them for. But then again... isn't that restraining to me, to keep them thinking that I will eventually know what I bought them for in the first place? Shouldn't I just use them and get it over with? Yeah, I probably should. I just leave them though... thinking it will pop into my head like that math problem.
So just to be fair, I took some beads off the shelf and made myself use them. I have had these for a while now and I can't believe that I am using them  for a project that isn't what I had planned on... And to be fair, I wouldn't have except that I wanted to use some of my BSBP beads... I thought they would be pretty with some green... and they are.
This is not a project for the BSBP.... but maybe it is? I am after all using some of the pearls from the stash that Skylar Bre'z sent. I love them and will have enough for a few more projects. I used them sparingly. That's why I say this isn't really the BSBP project... I just felt good today and thought to keep myself busy and somewhat out of trouble... I'd make myself a necklace and matching bracelet. I can't physically do much right now, and I'm having another bout of problems with my eye. Sooo....


I haven't yet gotten back to the cloak, My mind has been on it, and I figured out how to finish it, and I wrote it down and sketched it out so I can't forget! ... but just haven't been physically able to be up and do the work. Probably will have my Mom again this weekend and it seems to wear me out worse and worse every visit. She isn't that big a problem, but it is like having another kid in the house. I feel like I can't just sit and work and ignore her. She has to have her medications and needs help to get dressed and I still keep an eye on her if she needs to go to the bathroom. I am always afraid that she will trip over the dog, the rug, the threshold, the bathroom rug... sigh...
I guess I worry too much.
I am hoping to be able to get back to work in earnest the first of next week, and to finish up my BSBP pieces. I have several in the works, and yes, I will use the rest of the pearls on one of the pieces and if there is time... will make a matching pair of earrings and maybe a bracelet with the leftovers...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wowza!!! BEADS!!!

I preface this blog with a note about being sick... please, if you are sick, contagious, sneezing, coughing, sore throat... please don't go out, don't attend festivals, programs, concerts.... or wear a mask... please!!!!
Sorry, my bad.
I've been sick you see. Man flu... or my girl version of it. My son and  best friend got sick and I swore I wouldn't catch it, but did.

Bead Soup has been on my brain for several weeks now.   First with the announcements of partners, the pairing then unpairing... and subsequent repairing... no... yes? is that right...repair? I suppose so, I got a new partner, one that is quite wonderful!!! Skylar Bre'z is totally awesome and probably just the right person to pair me with... thank you Lori Anderson!!!  Her blog is BrisingBeads Designs and she has an Etsy shop at BrisingBeadDesigns go by and give them both a look, her work is wonderful!

So I had packed a bead selection before I did the Scottish-Irish Faire in Midland, thinking that I would send it as soon as I got done with the weekend, but when I got around to really trying to get ahold of my partner, I found out that she had dropped out of the Blog Party. I was shocked and sad, but then when they paired me so quickly with Skylar, I knew that it had to be for a reason. I think we were meant to meet. So, I had the package, and thought I'd get it in the mail, but didn't, there were a series of crazy, catastrophic and totally normal events that happened. Sometimes it seems that best intentions just go astray. Skylar just had surgery and she still got my soup out! She was so gracious about me being late... I thank her profusely.

Skylar received her package today, so sorry for the delay... sigh... I made the two polymer clay cabochons, guilded them with copper leaf, and thought they were kind of neat.I found the domino with the face at the local bead shop, I don't know who did the work but I didn't like the way it was finished, so I guilded the sides with copper as well. There are two stone cabochons and a fused glass pendant and an assortment of stuff! The favorite thing I sent (my favorite!) was the four pieces of Venetian Glass that Mona Mitchell had brought back from Venice, she told me not to get too excited about them, they are made by young apprentices to practice their glass work,
by young, she said she meant really young kids. I loved them anyway, whether they were made by kids or not. I think they are pretty. I sent three colors of silk that I dyed, a couple of strands of lampwork beads, some crystal and some glass pearls and some copper and silver end caps and clasps. some stone rosettes, stone beads, mother of pearl beads and an abalone shell. I happen to love shells... I love working with them. Sooo... I had most of the stuff already picked out, I just added the two rock cabochons and.... when I found out that Skylar did felting, I added some curly roving and a skein of turquoise wool.

I received my package about a week ago, I was in the midst of family crisis and being sick and didn't get to look at the stash.... What Skylar sent to me was amazing!!!
I really love the colors and the beads that she chose. What a selection!!! there are the turquoise that I love but also this beautiful assortment of copper, lampwork, pearls, and glass... such pretty things!!!
... I am drooling still, thinking of all the things that I can make!!!!
I just  love, love, love the large glass bead. It is absolutely beautiful!!!
There are so many things in here that I don't know if I can list everything!!! There are several glass cabochons, a copper plated glass pendant, copper beads. turquoise and glass and ceramic and metal... and... and.... there are vintage beads as well, several clasps and chains.... and the Pièce de résistance... a skein of beautiful yarn!!! I am so excited to work with all this. I think I might have to pack it up and take it with me this weekend to Bead Fest Texas!!! I have some down time and I might need to do some creative stuff!! LOL! Seriously, I think I might take a few things. I am taking all my tools anyway, can't hurt to get started now!
In case I didn't get a good picture... LOOK at the beautiful skein of yarn that is just waiting to be fondled and drooled over....

I thank Skylar so much for sending me such wonderful items... in such a varied palate. I can't tell you how excited I am that we are getting to know each other... 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Families

I thought about posting about a lot of things today, but I had to stop and think about what was really on my mind.
My Father-in-law passed away this week and it got me to thinking about my husband and my Father and my brother. I look back with fondness to all three of them. It is bittersweet memories with them. All three left way too soon for human likes... and I am sad still, even after all these years that my Father is gone, and if I should live so long, Even after the same amount of time will be still missing my husband and my brother  I am sure, that they both went a month apart was hard... but... with all things, the pain is softened with time. .
My Father is always on my mind it seems, though I was pretty young when he passed away, I have al these memories that make him still close.
He was a fun man, though I guess I didn't realize it so much when I was a kid. He had a fun sense of humor, really dry, most like an Englishman, though his family was Scottish for the most part. Maybe the sense of humor is the same? I don't know.
He would talk about something and walk away, come back later on and pick up on the thought like he never stopped talking. I could always follow the thought but I think it drove my Mother crazy! He just kept thinking about something until it worked itself out.
I was allowed to go fishing with him, since I could sit for a while without talking. I guess that was what he enjoyed about fishing... the peace. Our house was noisy when I was little. A normal house I guess. My oldest brother was already moved out but when he was home it got noisier, and the other brother and his buddies, playing records and laughing, my sister playing the piano or her friends laughing and cutting up, me and my best friend, I am sure the loudest.... I guess going fishing was a relief!
My brother, James, also let me come fishing with him some, he would even slip a little goldfish on my hook to make me feel better about sitting quietly. I loved him for that!  My dad would just let me sit or wander around, not ever saying much, and never asking if I wanted to fish, 'cause usually I didn't.... I just liked the solitude. I guess my Father and I were more alike that i had thought.

I was sitting at the gravesite, thinking about my husband, his grave stone right to my right foot, thinking about how he and my son were together, and how different and yet alike they were. My husband never saw a stranger, my son painfully shy like me... My Father and my husband were a lot alike that way. My dad had friends all over the country, and I am sure all over the world for that matter. He was a good and kind man, never met a stranger, went out of his way to help people.
My son will be the same way later on. He just needs a bit of growing up and time away from me. Though, he will always be quiet I think. He just doesn't have a lot to say to other people, he will always keep one or two close friends to talk to...

I was tremendously proud of the way my son handled himself this week. Since his Father passed away, he hasn't been around that side of the family as much. Before his passing, my husband spent a lot of time with his own Father, and we were at their house the night before he passed, laughing and joking around. He worked with his brother so they were pretty close, spending so much time together, but he did put some distance in there at times... So, after his death, I took I took my son  over to see his grandfather as often as possible, but we never knew when he was in the hospital or when he was gone for any reason, we just didn't have any way of knowing much... but we went often enough I guess. Sadly, in the years since the death of my husband, my brother in law hasn't been very close to my son, the other brother lives away and it is fewer and further between when we see him, but he is probably closer to my son... that and his wife is the sweetest person you could ever imagine... and my son dotes on her.
This week has been filled with people in from different parts of the country, friends and family together and talking and laughing and it has been nice. My son loves the larger families, he wished for years that we had a huge family.... sadly we don't. My family is scattered around, and even the ones that are close, aren't. My son has said over and over that he misses everyone, but this is not an easy way to get together.
I don't know much about my father's family, I have been searching for their past, but usually come up empty handed... I traced his mother's mother's side of the family back to them coming to the states back in the mid-1600s but the rest is so hard to find. My Mother's, Mother's side of the family is back to somewhere in the 1100s, but other than that I don't know a lot either, not much left there, or that I can find.  My brother James passed away the month before my husband, my oldest brother lives away, and my sister doesn't speak to me, not for a while now, she has her own reasons...
So, we feel kind of alone now.
My mother is still alive, but it is harder and harder for her to come to the house, I have a truck and she can't hardly get into it, and it is hard for me to go to see her. Since I haven't been able to drive for so long, it has taken it's toll. I depend on everyone else that can take me to do anything.
Well, that should be enough of me going on the way I have.
I will post again tomorrow with my Bead Soup arrival, it got here earlier this week but I have been so busy I didn't get to stop and look at it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Disaster averted

Whew! Thank goodness!
I was anxiety ridden yesterday because the woman I was partnered with for the Bead Soup Blog Party had dropped out, me, being the ever so doubtful, thought she probably read my blog and decided that I was a lunatic and didn't want me as a partner....
But Lori Anderson, her husband Rick, and Lisa Liddy stepped in and found another match for me... which I believe was a totally better match in the first place!!!
My new partner's name is Skylar Brez and her blog is full of wonderful things. Brising Beads Designs is the blog, and it is full of women's history (She's working on her PhD in History) and she has pictures of some of the prettiest stones that she has to work into bead embroidery... her facebook page has some of her work, that is absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to get to know her...
I forgot completely to take a picture of the soup that I put together... I can't imagine that, how do you forget that... I've been oohing and ahhhing over the pictures of soups that have already arrived at their destinations, and I didn't take a picture yet... sooooo... I'm carfully unwrapping and going to take a picture in a little while as the wind is up but should subside soon. Then off to the Post Office with the little package of sunshine!!!
I am so excited!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party!!!

I have been so excited about the BSBP this year, I really enjoyed the party last year and was so excited to get to meet someone new this year. There are so many wonderful jewelry artists out there, and I haven't met many of them, I am kind of slow on the uptake on Blogger, I don't quite know how to find people on here. I have to find them somewhere else and then go to their blogs, so I am kind of lost when it comes to jewelry blogs, BSBP is a great way to find bloggers who have jewelry as their main interest.
I can't say that jewelry is my only interest, but it is a huge interest...

So I was so excited to get Lori Anderson's email stating that I had been accepted into the blog hop, and believe me, that was an ordeal in itself. I guess that using gmail isn't my forte either, I haven't understood how it works for a while now, since the changes that they made, I haven't been receiving my mail like I thought I should.... and low and behold, I started digging around and there were a ton of emails that I hadn't seen... I thought I hadn't been accepted, I thought maybe I did something wrong... I knew I made the deadline, but thought something else had to be done.... sigh

So, I was at the Midland Scottish-Irish Faire over the weekend, and I just left a message on the Bead Soup Cafe site for my partner, and friended her, and sent a message, and subscribed to her blog....and hadn't heard anything back, which is ok, it's just been a few days, and then today.... she messaged me that she dropped out...

 I am so sad.

So what do you do???

If all else fails, I will use the bead soup for her as my own, and have my own self as my partner? I can write myself little messages of encouragement? I can surprise myself with a package? sigh.... I can make something and post it.