Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bead Soup Party and Bead Swap!

**** The Party is Now Closed to Additional Participants ***


Art Bead Scene had a lovely post today about throwing a Bead Soup Party, and I thought it was a fantastic idea! I decided to take that idea and make it a virtual party -- won't you join the fun?



Here's how it will work --

First, you must have a blog!

Next, email me by clicking here or using the address in the above photo to let me know you want to go to the Bead Soup Party.

On January 11th, I'll contact everyone with your Party Partner and list all the Party Blogs. You'll then send that person a Party Pack:

~ A focal
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)

When you get your package of beads, you make something with it, take a picture, and post it on your blog on February 10th. Then everyone hops around to all the Party Blogs to see what you made!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your party invitation (the button below), post it on your blog, tell all your friends, and let's have some fun!


(Be sure to link the Bead Soup Party button back to this page so everyone can find the Party Blog List when it's posted!)

Party Participants

1. Lori, Pretty Things Blog
2. Mallory, For the Love of Beads
3. Terri, Blooming Ideas
4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
6. Kerry, Kab's Creative Concepts
7. Erin, Treasures Found
8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry
9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs
10. Nan, Spirit Rattles
11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique
12. Nancy, Beading From the Heart
13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings
14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle
15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks
16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
17. Lisa, Lo and Behold
18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas
19. Judith, Judith B.
20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium
21. Maria, Garden Path Beads
22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design
23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life
24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things
25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa
26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea
27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design
28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals
29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction
30. Leslie, Bei Mondi
31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta
32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry
33. Kathie, The Bead Cult
34. Patty, Plays With Fire
35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef
36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire
37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry
38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle
39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio
40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini
41. Marcie, La Bella Joya
42. Suzann, Beadphoria
43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks
44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass
45. Janiece, J Birds Garden
46. Kate, Organic Odysseys
47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale
48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure
49. Sue, Sue Beads
50. Janeen, Wild Vanilla Designs
51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse
52. Kristie, Artisan Clay
53. Regina, Regina's Writings
54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble
55. Lyn, Lyn Foley
56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz
57. Cathryn, Chile Cats
58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook
59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter
60. Juli, Jul's Beads
61. Julie, RockerJewlz
62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too
63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
64. Katie, My Life and My Beads
65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay
66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth
67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design
68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio
69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery
70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs
71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights
72. Chas, One Woman's Haven
73. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry
74. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky
75. Maire, Maire Dodd
76. Janet, Singing Woods
77. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads
78. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels
79. Joann, Jo's Jewels
80. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
81. Mel, Kookie Designs
82. Erin, Every Heart Crafts
83. Dale, Flights of Fancy
84. Dee, Runako Designs

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've Been Seen at Art Bead Scene!


Head on over to Art Bead Scene to see the bracelet I submitted for this month's beading challenge. Each month, a piece of art is chosen for beading inspiration, and you wouldn't believe some of the amazing entries. The Art Bead Scene Flickr pool is here, and you can see what I mean when I say there are some VERY talented artists out there!


On a jewelry related note -- if you hurry, you can take
30% off jewelry on my web site until midnight December 31st
AND enjoy free shipping
.
This is an annual event and I never discount this low at any other time of the year,
so take advantage now!

www.lorianderson.net

(The only exception? Earring of the Month clubs, which are already discounted.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Book Review: "Half Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved Jeannette Walls' first book, "The Glass Castle", so I was overjoyed when I heard she had another memoir coming out. I got this book for Christmas, so dug in and finished it last night.

This book, about Jeannette's grandmother and peripherally, her mother, filled in some gaps from the first book, which covered Jeannette's life. If you haven't read "The Glass Castle", I'm hear to tell you that her life was interesting, horrifying, daunting -- but ultimately, uplifting. Tonight I'm going to reread "The Glass Castle" to see if I feel any differently about the story and the many hardships Jeannette and her siblings endured having now learned more about the mother's and grandmother's hardscrabble upbringing and background.

"Half Broke Horses" is fascinating, to say the least -- Jeannette's grandmother taught school before she graduated high school, flew airplanes, and helped run a horse ranch, among other things. If you haven't read either book, no worries -- you can read either one firstwith no problem.

Enjoy!
.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

What do you mean Christmas only comes once a year?
Oh, but there are presents involved? And family? And lots of good food? Well. That's ok then.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

(Zack at eleven months old -- photos by Jen Fariello).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Luxury Jewelry

I try to be price-conscious when I make my jewelry. I am well-acquainted with my customer base and know what they like and what they are comfortable spending, and I choose my components accordingly. I love handmade lampwork glass, intricate sterling silver, and gemstones, and I've gotten fairly good at creating a body of work that covers a reasonable price range.

Sometimes, though, I throw caution to the wind and with wild abandon, go for luxury.


I just posted the above piece on my web site last night. It's absolutely amazing if I do say so myself. The pendant is a large piece of rare larimar set in sterling silver, accented with a cultured white pearl and a faceted amethyst. I made lots of tiny pale amethyst dangles to cluster around deeper amethyst ovals and more cultured pearls. The result is really stunning -- and of course there's a price tag to it.

I worry when I make things like this, because at $380 it's definitely out of my normal price range. But I believe that for every piece of jewelry I make, there's someone out there for it. Case in point, the necklace below.....

I posted this necklace on my blog some time ago, never planning to put it on my web site because I was afraid the price would scare people off. But one of my customers saw it on the blog, emailed me, and it's now in a new home.

The point of this post is to say to fellow designers -- be you painter, sculptor, jewelry designer, any type of artist -- don't be afraid to take a chance. I've made a commitment to myself for the coming year to push my boundaries and try new things, and sometimes, designing without limitations can bring surprises. I'm still cognizant of my target market and I certainly don't want to alienate my loyal customers, but a little exploration is good for the soul.


Lori Anderson's work can be seen at www.lorianderson.net. She'll be starting a new blog at www.AnArtistsYearOff.com on January 1st.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank You For Sharing

I want to thank all of you who shared your thoughts in response to my post on what it means to be an artist. I've had a few conversations with friends about it, read your very insightful posts, and come to the conclusion that I need to continue what I'm doing -- making what feels right for me.

I also need to give myself the chance to breathe and to grow, and I'm even more convinced that taking time off next year is the right thing to do. Going from twenty shows to five shows and one fundraiser is a huge change -- and as I write this, I just tore up an application to a show that, while very lucrative for me in the past, would just defeat the entire purpose of what I'm trying to do. It's scary, losing that income, but it's necessary.

One person asked if I wanted to feel less "like a factory", and I do.

I make a lot of jewelry, and I like to do that, and since I have insomnia, I get a lot done while Zack's at school and while he's asleep. But the more time-intensive jewelry I'd like to make requires I not make as many pieces, and that wouldn't be possible with as many shows and the amount of travel I've been maintaining these past four or five years.

So I'm just going to go with the flow. I bought a lovely daily planner, and I'm going to keep a loose to-do list. I don't want to get to rigid, but I don't want to find myself in December 2010 with nothing to show for my year. I'm going to write, explore, goof it up, succeed, and breathe.


Thanks, blogger friends, for being there for me.


Lori Anderson is a full-time jewelry designer who sells her work at www.lorianderson.net. She'll be exploring new avenues in her blog An Artists Year Off beginning January 1st.

The Winner of the Art Beads Gift Certificate Is.....

Drum roll please.....

Winchell Clayworks!

Winchell Clayworks will be notified directly by ArtBeads.com with the gift certificate code. Congratulations, and thank you to all who entered!


(You'll get a chuckle out of this, as this is SO typically me. While I was vigorously shaking up the bag with all the names in it, I upended a full can of Starbucks Doubleshot Mocha. ALL over my desk, coming perilously close to some amazing prints from one of my favorite glass artists, Pipyr, that I had, after a year, FINALLY gotten out to frame. Massive panic, the running around in circles kind. Coffee also all over a stack of receipts, my design notebook, the telephone, and my wedding ring. Ironically, none on the slips of paper with all your names on it!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do You Know Me?

I've been thinking about this post for days -- months, actually. It's one of those soul-seeking sorts of blog entries, an introspective "take a good, long look" posts, and I wonder, how many of you have had the same thoughts?

I started making jewelry back before Zack was born, when I was on a short period of bed rest. I played at it, but quickly got hooked. A move to a new house and a new town and then a new baby squashed that hobby for a while, and it wasn't until about a year later that I dug in with any real seriousness.

Over the past five years, I've learned a lot. I've learned most everything on my own, making a ton of mistakes along the way. When I look back at what I made in the beginning....

Well. Um. Hmm. I guess it's safe to say, I've come quite a long way.

But not nearly far enough. Not in my mind. I want to Be Known.

Just reading that sounds horribly narcissistic, but let me explain. And maybe, at the end of this post, you'll understand what I mean.

Once I figured out how to make decent jewelry, I started the juried craft show circuit with a vengeance. Most years I did 15-20 shows a year, and the shows were mostly 3-day shows. That translates into having to create a LOT of jewelry in a condensed period of time. I wanted to try all these new techniques, but where was the time? Even though I am a full-time jewelry designer, I'm also a full-time mom and wife.

At first, it was all a rush, selling things and making things. But then this nagging thought kept pecking at my brain - did people buy my jewelry because I knew how to pick out pretty beads (that someone else had made) rather than because of the design?


More and more, this has bothered me. I love supporting other artisans by buying their amazing glass beads, but unless I step it up a notch, I'm never going to make a name for myself. Yes, I've been published in magazines, but that's not from their noticing ME -- it's from me sending in a huge number of emails with photos in it, and getting a lot of rejection letters in the process.

I have talked about this recently with another designer friend of mine -- that never ending quest to get noticed, to make a name for ourselves, wondering how others do it. I look at artists I admire -- Stephanie Sersich, Deryn Mentock, Kecia Deveney, Vanessa Valencia -- all who have huge followings. They're also giving and gracious, which I strive to be. I know I'm always disappointed and lose my opinion of those I admire who don't take the time to acknowledge those who look up to them.

(art by Vanessa Valencia)

So what do I do? How do I get noticed in a sea of millions? How do I get the authors of the beading books and magazines to seek ME out instead of the other way around? How do I attract people to my blog and how to do I touch anyone's life, inspire someone to creativity, if I doubt my own?

That's one of the many reasons why I started my new blog, An Artist's Year Off. In order to get noticed, I think I need to set myself apart. Make my own beads. Learn to use the beads I have in innovative ways that don't look the same as everything else. Up the ante with my photography. Something. Wish on a star. I don't know. I'm not going to be like Lana Turner, discovered at a soda fountain.

Well.

I've gone on quite long enough. I didn't write this to have commenters pat me on the back or anything, so please don't think that. I'm interested in how you hurdled any road blocks, how you found your muse, and how you reconciled yourself to yes, you ARE an artist.

Thanks for reading.


On January 1st, I'll start writing An Artist's Year Off, my blog that will be a journey into different art media, a search for who I am in the art world. I hope you'll follow it, and start your own!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Where We Create

I have a new post on Watch Me Create. This one is about WHERE we create, and how it influences WHAT we create and how we feel when we do it. In this particular post, you can explore my office, which is where I do all my computer work, PhotoShopping, photography, invoicing, packing, writing, and planning. I don't actually make any jewelry here, but since so much of my business relies on these things, I thought you might like to explore the inner sanctum.

Click here to read the article.


If you'd like to learn more about the particulars of the collection in my bookcase, you can click here and read in more detail about just what each item is.

So, what do YOU collect?


(Lori Anderson creates one-of-a-kind jewelry in her studio in Easton, MD. She will be writing about her adventures exploring new media in art starting January 1st at www.AnArtistsYearOff.com)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

I love the holidays. I love exhibiting at craft shows, because the energy is almost electric -- people buzzing about and buying handmade (yay for artisans!). I love cold weather, and I love decorating the Christmas tree with my son. It's always a fun tree. I mean, what else would you expect from someone who makes jewelry like this?

When Zack was three, he decided we had to have a white Christmas tree. I have no idea why, and he never could say why -- he just wanted one. We drove all over several towns looking for one that didn't cost a mint, finally finding one. We then went aisle to aisle picking out colorful ornaments, as my traditional ornaments wouldn't do. I have lots of ornaments I've collected over the years; blown glass, annual White House ornaments, white bisque snowflakes, and a few antiques. None of these would do for Zack.

This year I asked Zack which color tree he wanted to put up and he emphatically and rapidly stated, "WHITE." White it is, then. We sorted through ornaments, took a trip to Target, and ended up with this.


(Sorry about the lousy photo, but you wouldn't believe how many times I tried to get a decent shot. Or maybe you would. But it looks a lot (a LOT) better than this picture signifies.)

The garland is made of pop-beads that Zack and I put together. We even used the bracelet and ring blanks and hooked those on the branches. A bunch of sequins exploding out of the top -- this was a point of contention between Zack and I, as he didn't like it and I did. I won.

We added huge snowflakes.....


and an ornament that Zack bought me at his school's Little Shoppers event. I was really touched by that, and I'm not going to put it away at the end of Christmas, but find a place for it in my office.


Speaking of ornaments and not putting them away, I have another photo to show you (also a bad one, also difficult as heck to get a decent shot of)....



This is hung over my computer desk. It's a big vintage-inspired iron wall hanging, and hanging from pink satin ribbon is a collection of Swarovski crystal snowflakes, given to me by my husband, one for every year that I've been making jewelry. Each year I get one, and they're just too pretty to relegate to the ornament box at the end of the season.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a tradition that I started when I married Rick. Each year, he, his boys, and Zack get to open one present on Christmas Eve, and that present is an ornament for the tree. My thought was that when Zack is ready to start his own home, he'll have a box of ornaments to start his own tree. I got a late start with Rick's sons, but I hope it's a tradition they'll carry on with their own families.

If you have a blog with a photo of your tree, or care to share a holiday tradition, please make a comment below!

Happy Holidays!


(PS: Don't forget to comment on the bead gift certificate give away (click here) and become a follower of my 2010 "year of exploration" blog (click here).)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Art Beads.com Review -- Glass and Silver (and another give-away!)

This month, ArtBeads.com asked its blog design partners to review their glass and sterling silver collection. This was exciting for me, because I loooooove the Czech bead selection and I immediately had an idea in mind.

One of the things I like to work into my jewelry designs is texture. The other thing I like to do is add color, and as many color combinations as I can get away with. I've made a number of what I call "Bead Soup" bracelets, and with that in mind, I set to work.

First, I poured all my beads into a pile.

I knew I wanted to make a multi-strand necklace, so I pushed beads around until I got a rough approximation of how many strands I could make and how the beads would look the best. I don't make many multi-strand designs -- in fact, I could probably count how many I've ever made on both hands and have fingers left over. But I wanted to show off all these beads to maximum effect, and cutting three pieces of beading wire, pulled out a hank of tiny black seed beads and strung beads for the next two hours.

You may wonder why that smallish pile of beads took me two hours to work with. Well, it's like this -- randomly placed beads are really not so randomly placed! This type of jewelry needs balance, and I found myself stringing along, only to pull beads off to start over with a few more here, a few less there.

But I think it was worth it.

The asymmetry was a happy accident. I meant for the necklace to lie like a regular necklace, with all three strands hanging from two large rings. However, as often happens, when I dropped the necklace on the table to run and grab the phone, I came back to find that the piece had fallen into a different arrangement. I quite like new look, and if the wearer wants to wear the necklace in a more traditional manner, it can easily be done.

I think of this style of necklace as a "Story Necklace", because each bead can be used to tell a story. I've seen this sort of thing used in nursing necklaces, where mothers tell a story using each bead as part of the tale they make up and tell their child.

I hope you like the necklace, and I encourage you to visit ArtBeads.com to pick out your own beads and create your own Story Necklace. You can buy their Czech beads by the piece, and don't forget to explore their other sections for more design possibilities.

And to make it that much easier to bead, ArtBeads and I are giving a lucky winner a $25 gift certificate to their web site!

All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite section of ArtBeads.com is. Be sure to leave an email so ArtBeads can email you the gift certificate. I'll announce the winner on December 22nd!

ArtBeads is also running a Holiday Cheer Sweepstakes on their Facebook page. You could win a $100 gift certificate to their fan site! Click here to enter.



Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at Artbeads.com, I receive the beads above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Artbeads.com for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

And the winner is....

Drum roll please...

The winner of the Beadin' Path beads is...

Cindy of Sweet Bead Studio!



I really do like giving things away, so I plan to have more of this type of thing in the future -- so stay tuned. THANK YOU to everyone who commented!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Not Too Late To Win Free Beads!

Get those comments in to win free beads! Go to This Post to see the details! You have until midnight tonight!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm Writing A New Blog Next Year!


I'm excited to unveil my new blog, www.AnArtistsYearOff.com. I hope you'll go over and follow it. It will only last for one year, and I will of course keep this blog, but the new blog will chronicle my explorations into new realms. In the past five years, I've made some (I think) really pretty jewelry -- but it's time to up the bar.

I also hope to encourage anyone who feels that they can't create, or are "too old" to create. I can't tell you how many emails I get about that, or how many people come up to me at craft shows and wistfully say they would like to try but feel that ship has sailed.

I'm QUITE certain I'm going to make a lot of mistakes as I try new things -- drawing, painting, lampworking, and even writing a book. But I'm challenging myself to get over the fear, and just TRY. And get over even more fear and share the experiences.

I'd love for you to join me, comment, share your own journey, and even start your own blog, as a sort of New Year's Diary, a way to see what you started with on January 1st, and what you end up with on December 31st, 2010.

See you there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Designing With Lucite Beads From The Beadin' Path -- Part Two (and a give-away)

Welcome back! Monday I showed you two designs I made with lucite beads I received from A Beadin' Path, and I'm back to show you the rest of my designs (AND to give away some beads, but that's at the end, so enjoy the eye candy first, m'k?)

My personal favorite design of all that I've made is "Secret Garden". For this necklace, I used a focal that has been languishing in my bead box for quite some time. I normally don't work with yellow. Yellow looks awful on me. The yellow in this focal also wasn't bright yellow or pastel yellow, either -- it's a yellow that's hard to define, and I was just flat out at a loss.

Enter the yellow posies and olive green leaves from A Beadin' Path.


They couldn't be more perfect if they tried! Paired with Swarovski's newest color, Indian Pink, I felt like I'd finally found everything to give this polymer clay focal its just reward. I dabbed a tiny bit of glue to the leaves to keep them just so, wired them snugly with sterling to keep them from twisting out of position, and connected it all to a necklace chain that had been accidentally chopped in two. The beaded length and the chain length now fit perfectly together.

Of course, I had to make earrings to match.

Items used:

Yellow flowers, LUC3913YL
Olive leaves, LUC4588GR


Next I switched to earrings. I love using lucite in earrings because it's so lightweight, and with various finishes, sizes, and colors, there's a lot of options out there!

These earrings were made with bright red translucent lucite beads cradled in sterling silver. I went for a flamenco dress look and feel by adding a trio of black Czech glass flowers accented with Swarovski crystal as a "skirt" to the lucite bead.


Items used:

Red beads, LUC4725RD


Now I want to show you how one bead can look two very different ways.

For this first pair of earrings, I used bead LUC4934OR a vintage matte clementine orange bead. I wanted to create a vintage look, and capped the bead with copper filigree, dangled it from a brass oval, and hung them from brass ear wires. "Catalina" is elegant and old-world.


Now I took the same clementine orange bead and dug into my vintage lucite stash and found these ultra-cool beads that resemble handmade marbled Italian paper. I linked them together with a twisted wire ring between, and the look is entirely different -- modern and unique.



I had an absolute blast working with all the beads that The Beadin' Path sent to me and I'm looking forward to the next installment! Thank you!


Now the moment you've been waiting for! I had some beads left over and wanted to share the extras. A lucky winner will receive the beads below PLUS some goodies not seen here -- nothing quite as much fun as a surprise!



To enter, you get a point for each of the following -- make a comment in THIS BLOG ENTRY when you have done any or all of these:

1) Follow my blog
2) Follow The Beadin' Path on Facebook (click here)
3) Follow The Beadin' Path on Twitter (click here)
4) Tweet about the contest
5) Facebook about the contest
6) Blog about the contest

SIX, count them SIX ways to win! And trust me, those who have been in on my bead shares KNOW that I send out great goodie boxes, so you don't want to miss out on this!

Contest ends midnight EST Saturday December 12th.

Good luck!

Disclosure: The beads listed were kindly provided free-of-charge by beadinpath.com. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

Bead Give Away Tonight!!!!

Tonight I'll have more designs to show you with the beads from A Beadin' Path, as well as a lucite bead giveaway opportunity! So keep checking back -- it'll be tonight!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Designing With Vintage Lucite Beads from The Beadin' Path -- Part One

I love old things. A day poking through an antique mall is a day well spent. I also have a decent collection of vintage beads, but it's been difficult to part with them. Lately, I've begun adding more vintage lucite bead earrings to my web site -- it's time to share!

I was recently contacted by my favorite vintage bead store, The Beadin' Path -- would I like to become a Design Partner and receive some beads to create with, then share the designs on my blog?


Well I should say SO! The Beadin' Path not only has an awesome collection of ever-changing vintage beads, but cool contemporary beads, gemstones, and pearls as well.

The beads arrived, and I sat at my work bench, moving beads around, thinking about color and pattern, looking through the other beads in my stash for accents. Here are two of the designs I've made so far.

First, "Vanilla Cream Poppies".
This bracelet was made by clustering charms together, a design I like to use with my lampwork beads. The flowers are made by stacking two different lucite flowers together with a tiny pewter bead cap in front and back. The cream lucite beads are capped in delicate sterling silver, and red coral Swarovski crystal matched the red lucite perfectly. And how about that toggle?

Orange Lucite Flowers, LUC4886OR
Red Lucite Flowers, LUC2699RD

Cream Lucite Rounds, LUC2173YL


Next, "Old Fashioned Christmas".



I made this necklace with a mix of lucite leaves, teardrops, and rounds. I used Tierracast pewter beads and heliotrope Swarovski crystals from my own stash and linked everything to patterned sterling silver chain. The trick with this necklace is first to connect the charms to every other link, and second to make sure that all the charms are hanging in the same direction so you get a clean line and the necklace lies correctly.

The red lucite beads are wired to the front of the lucite leaves, and the leaves are linked to the chain with jump rings. I thought the necklace had a Christmas look, but not TOO much so -- the shades of green keep the necklace from screaming "I'm Mrs. Claus!".


Red Teardrops, LUC4614RD
Olive Green Rounds, LUC2390GR
Green Leaves, LUC4589GR


If you can't find the exact beads to make these pieces, explore The Beadin' Path's web site. They have tons of beads, and get new ones all the time. Vintage beads go fast, so check in often for the new additions!

Be sure to check back here for Part Two -- not only will I have more jewelry made with lucite beads, but I'll have a lucite bead give-away, and you don't want to miss that!


Lori Anderson is a full-time jewelry designer and current insomniac. The Beadin' Path is an awesome bead store in Freeport, ME.

Disclosure: The beads listed were kindly provided free-of-charge by beadinpath.com. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Last Sale of the Season

It's 2am. And I am so tired but not sleepy (does that make a lick of sense?). BUT! BUT! No headache! Let's just keep it that way, hmm? I looked at after-the-surgery brain shunt pictures and I don't want to lose half my hair and get 15 staples. (Shudder with me now.... brrrr gack.)

I ran my email newsletter this evening and am posting the info here, too. My last sale of the season is free shipping until the end of the year. No matter what you buy, no matter how many times you visit, from now until December 31st (when you should be out celebrating the ringing in of 2010), you pay nada zilch zero in standard shipping.

Here are just a few things to tempt you.... now head over to www.lorianderson.net and see what else I've made!






Enjoy!
.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Seven More Things You Didn't Know About Me

I received this Kreativ Blogger award from fellow blogger Simone of "The Romantic Query Letter and the Happy-Ever-After."
Simone is a historical romance writer and I'm honored that she reads my blog!

I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself and choose seven blogs upon which to bestow this award, but as always with these sorts of things, I can't choose -- I read far too many excellent blogs. If you could see my Google Reader, you'd be amazed at how many blogs I like to read and comment on!

I'm recovering from more headache shots (not shots of the fun kind, like a Kahlua Mudslide or a Jell-O Shot, but the cripes-that-stings kind) so my list of seven things will be short and sweet and without pictures. Sorry guys, but I'll make it up to you later!


Seven Things About Lori Anderson:


1) I learned to type when I was eight years old and now type about 90 words a minute.

2) I prefer winter to summer but you'll never catch me on a ski slope.

3) I wish I'd never cut off my long hair years ago (that just popped into my head for no good reason -- very boring thing to know about me!)

4) I plan to try my hand at writing a book next year.

5) I've typed and erased a lot of things while writing this list!

6) I'm scared of the dark and still believe there are monsters under the bed. Well, the monster thing I pretty much have a grip on, but the dark thing? Nope. Night lights all over the house.

7) At the age of 11, I took a taxi from a missionary base in the Amazon jungle over the Andes to reach Bogota. Very very very very very steep cliffs. And if there was a mud slide that covered the road, they'd just dig a tunnel, build a small shrine to light candles for the souls of those killed, and carry on.

I hope that was interesting enough -- I had a hard time with this one for some reason!
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Today I reached 200 followers -- and I'm humbled and thrilled. Thank you! I have followers on Facebook, and I have followers who have me in their RSS feeds and readers, but seeing that number "200 Blogger Followers" makes me so incredibly happy. Thank you. I love you all, and you have no idea what it means to me.


I've been thinking about following and it brought to mind a story I'm going to tell you. Some of you may find yourself nodding and understanding. Some of you may find yourself laughing -- and that's ok! I've told this story to my son when he's having trouble not accepting that he can't be The Best the first time he tries something (He is DEFINITELY my son!).

The Track Team, or
Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.


(photo: ehow.com)

I have never, ever been good at gym. Ever. In fourth grade, I could only do five sit-ups in a minute for the Presidential Fitness Test. In fifth grade, I fell and broke my arm doing the shuttle run for the same stupid fitness test. Two weeks after THAT cast was taken off, I broke the OTHER arm wrecking a bicycle. And my first broken leg was when I was nine months old. Not nine years old. Months. I've since broken my leg two more times (#2 -- running during Air Force Basic Training, #3, stepping into a hole).

Do you see a theme here?


Yet in high school, for some UNKNOWN reason, I decided to go out for the track team.

I've never been a runner. I hadn't been a runner before I signed up for try outs. I basically walked by the sheet of paper taped to the wall and signed my name. To this day I really can't figure out why in the world I did that. Scholastically, I did just fine in school, but socially, I felt like I didn't fit in, and I was always trying to find my place. I wanted to BE someone, to be good at something, and I suppose something deep inside me realized the track team was too small for there to be any cuts (so I'd be accepted no matter what -- bonus!) and if I joined the team, I'd have to try, because I refuse to quit.

After two days, I wanted to quit.

The coach was an assistant football coach, and I know that deep down (and probably not that deep down) he wished like heck he could cut me. I sucked. I was horrible. I wasn't a runner at ALL. I basically joined the team as a lump of "teach me". I had no idea I'd be running so much, which is pretty stupid on my part -- I'd joined the flipping TRACK TEAM. After two days, I was exhausted.

The other problem was since our team was small, we didn't have enough people to cover quite all the events at meets. All the other girls were great (and also not wild that I was crashing the party), but they could only be expected to do so many events. Therefore, I became the Spot Filler. Since the coach never took the time to train me, cut me, or figure out what I might become decent at, I never got good at anything.

One meet, I'd run the mile -- and get lapped. Twice. One meet, I'd try the hurdles -- and fall over the first one. Another meet, I kid you not, I threw the shot put, and barely missed my foot. Keep in mind, in high school I weighed about 100 pounds and was 5'2". Why the shot put?

But I never quit.

I did, however, feel like a colossal failure.

Enter, again, the dreaded Presidential Fitness Test. You remember -- the one where I couldn't do a sit up and broke my arm doing the shuttle run? Oh, and where I lasted on the flexed arm hang only 1.3 seconds?

Here's where I found out that the hours of running actually paid off. I may have been woefully out of my league on the track team, but my insistence of sticking it out really paid off when it came to running the 600 meter run. The gym teacher yelled, "Go!" and I took off at my normal track team pace.

That's when I realized -- I was waaaaay ahead.

Not just a little bit -- a lot.

At first I thought it was a joke, but this wasn't a teenage feel-good movie or a Napoleon Dynamite moment where everyone roots for the underdog. I'd done it -- I'd gotten good at something. It just wasn't what I'd expected to get good at.

I didn't end up crossing the finish line first, but I was most definitely not the last. The look on my gym teacher's face was worth it all, and the feeling inside me was immense. I'd done it. I still sucked eggs at track, and running has never become a favorite past time. But I kept with the track team, embarrassing and humiliating as it was, and I found that winning didn't always mean crossing the finish line first.


There are all sorts of finish lines in life.


Lori doesn't run track any longer, but she does make jewelry. You can see her work at www.lorianderson.net.