Monday, September 29, 2014

Winner of the book "Unexpected Findings" is....


Ali McCarthy 

of



Congratulations!

Please email me with your mailing address!





Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Job

source unknown


My job is to carry myself
and carry my child
and carry my thoughts
(although I may share them sometimes).


My job is to know myself
and to know my friends
and to be as real as I can be
(even when being real is not popular. Or easy.)


My job is to be myself.
My job is to be a mother.
My job is to be a wife.
My job is to open my arms in love.
(And hug tightly.)


I love my job.




  1. Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Stormy path? Sunshine is coming.

I must remember...




Not to mention....





....And ultimately...





Hugs to one and all.






Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway -- "Unexpected Findings" by Michelle Mach

One of my favorite things to do with jewelry findings is find a new way to use them.  I've lost many a toggle bar in my time yet still save the ring, as I know I'll be able to find SOMETHING to do with it.

Michelle Mach's new book, "Unexpected Findings", via Interweave/F+W, is the perfect book for people who want to change up the way traditional findings such as clasps, bead caps, fold-over clasps, and bails are used. There are over 50 projects from Michelle and a cadre of designers such as Barb Switzer, Erin Prais-Hintz, and Erin Strother, to name just a few.  With 143 pages, there will be something for virtually every level of jewelry designer.




This photo shows (center) a piece by Michelle Mach called "California Poppy", using brass frames, filigree, and fabric stitched together.  I love the layering!  The gorgeous fuchsia necklace to the bottom left, "Lotus Blossom", is made with buttons, a vintage Lucite earring finding, cording, and a bezel behind it all.  Very clever, and both show a way to make things that look ethereal quite sturdy by using the proper components, even if those components weren't necessarily meant to be used in that manner.


"Sweet Soiree" by contributor Lorelei Eurto shows a different way to use bead cones.  I've never been good at making multi-strand necklaces, where bead cones usually show up as a way to finish the endings of the multiple strands neatly.  In this bracelet, you can tackle your stash of cones with abandon to create dangles.  They'd also make great earrings!


The beginning and end of the book goes over basic techniques, multiple findings, and ways to adapt them to your taste.  It also includes a listing of where to find some of the findings you may never have seen before.  Most of the instructions come with photos to further explain how to put things together, but a few of the tutorials do require a bit of experience with no photos other than the finished (and beautiful) jewelry.  Don't let that stop you, though -- there are lots of projects of all levels and styles to choose from, from bohemian to vintage-inspired.


Would you like to win this book?

Why of course you would!!!!

To win, just make a comment below
and make SURE there is a way for me to find you,
either by being linked to your blog or email.


Come back on MONDAY, September 29th, to see who wins
(Zack will be drawing the name).


Best wishes, and please feel free to share this
on your blog,
your Facebook,
Twitter,
and your Facebook beading groups.





  1. Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Throw Back Thursday

 Is anyone doing Throw Back Thursday anymore?  I think I kind of missed the boat on that particular thing, but whatever, I'm doing it anyway today.

Summer 1989, Songchon Lake, South Korea, and up to no good.


Around 1993, getting a visit from Santa and friend, complete with gifts.  



Flag football team at DLI, 1988. I'm the one on the far left sitting on my friend's knee, and I knew nothing about football except I couldn't catch one and occasionally had to be reminded which way to run.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Good Days, Bad Days, Real Days



Sometimes I have Bad Days.

Sometimes I have Good Days.

But they are all REAL days.



What you read here is me.

It may be one hour of me.

Or two weeks of me.

But it's me.



All real.

And hopeful.

Even on the Bad Days.


(For more on this topic, click here.)


Addition, due to past comments:


When I say I have to sometimes "fake it"

that does not mean I am fake. 

It means I am convincing myself I DO want to get out of bed

and I DO want to make this a good day 

even though I DO feel like neither of those things are possible.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Help Me Pick a Topic for 31 Days -- A Writing Challenge

My friend Dana suggested I take part in a 31 day writing challenge held throughout October. Writing every day is going to be an endeavor all on its own, and I won't feel a bit bad if I recycle some things from the past, but for the most part, I'd like to make each post unique.

The difficult part is choosing a category for thirty-one days, considering I write about my son, jewelry, vintage stuff, Lyme disease, all sorts of things.  So would you mind helping me by telling me what you would most like to see me write about and share with you?


What is 31 Days?  

31 Days is an online writing challenge started by home blogger, Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in October. 
As a writer, 31 Days challenges you to go deeper into one topic.
As a reader, 31 Days will most likely have a few topics that you are curious about, it’s a great time to get to know some new bloggers.





  • What do you think, folks? And want to join me and Dana?

House & Home
Simplicity & Organizing
Family Life
Inspiration & Faith
Writing, Blogging, & Internet Stuff
Fashion & Beauty
Food, Health, & Wellness
Personal Endeavors
Too Awesome to Categorize



So those are all the topics you can write about, once a day for 31 days.

Personally, I'm tending toward

Writing, Blogging, & Internet Stuff
or
Personal Endeavors
or 
Too Awesome to Categorize.


What do you think I should do?
And want to join us?




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Eye Candy Day -- the Jewelry Archives

As I prepare for my only fall show this year (Craftsmen's Classic, Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, VA, Oct 17-19), I thought I'd share some of my past designs.  All of these sold long ago, but there will be interesting new things at this show, as my style, while remaining true to me, has been morphing in some beautiful new ways.  I know what my customers like, and I know what I like making, but moving forward at the proper pace is important.  I want my jewelry to still "look like Lori".


There are styles and techniques I'd love to jump into with both feet, but to be successful at almost any business, you have to know your demographic, and making too many changes too quickly, to the point of obliterating your tried and true, your brand, can be a huge mistake. That being said, I've watched several designers cut the cord completely and rebrand from scratch with great success.  It's a brave and scary thing to do, but they obviously had done their market research and knew what they were doing.


Here's the old...I'll show the new at a later date!











Hope you enjoyed that little walk
down jewelry memory lane!





Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Winners of Book Giveaway from Interweave/F + W



Zack and I cut up the names into strips,
removed the duplicates,
and drew the winners of the books!


 "Wire + Metal - 30 Easy Metalsmithing Designs" 
by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson

goes to 


"Mastering Herringbone Stitch -- The Complete Guide" 
by Melinda Barta

goes to


and 
"Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths" 
by Matthew Runfola

goes to



Please email me your mailing addresses!!!!



I have a few more books to review soon!

Stay tuned!



Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

How to Deal With Change

Yesterday I had Zack try on every pair of long pants he owned to see what fit and what didn't. It's a ritual every mother of a growing boy goes through each season.  After putting the pants that fit back in their drawer and the many that didn't fit into a bag for the school rummage sale, I mentally added "buy new pants" to my checklist for today's shopping trip.


As I was driving Zack to school, I looked over and realized I didn't have a little boy any more. Not in the traditional way of thinking, anyway.  He'll always be my little boy, but things have certainly changed.

Zack at age two and a half, and me, loving that he fits in my lap.  


Zack at an Orioles game a couple of weeks ago, age eleven.


For instance, adolescence is already here.  He's almost as tall as I am.  He can sit in the front seat of the car with me now.  But the clothes -- it hit me hard today that when we go shopping, I can no longer go to those cute and adorable stores any more.  No more Gymboree or Hanna Andersson.  It was easy for me to ignore that in Target I was buying him "Bazinga" logo t-shirts in the men's section because Target has always run small for boys and besides, there was no "Bazinga" in the kids section.


original source unknown, but via The Big Bang Theory.


This segues quite well into the changes I've been struggling with in my own life.


I am like my son.  I don't do well with change, and that's an understatement.  It makes me twitchy and bitey and sometimes stabby.  I want to know what's ahead.  I'm a list-maker, the sort who will write something down that I did that wasn't ON the list just so I can check it off. Super Type A.


I've grown up fighting it, thinking that change is not just hard but evil.  And that thought has to metamorphosize into something better.



Life can indeed be a bowl of cherries.


Making changes in my life has been difficult but not impossible.  Recently I made the decision to stop fighting the things that suck the life out of me.  Yes, I sometimes have to fake it a bit to get that smile going and to therefore KEEP going (a smile can kind of force you into action, you know), but that doesn't mean *I* am fake.  And when things really, really hit me hard and lay me low, I won't Facebook or blog about it nearly as much.


However, I'm writing THIS now, because after thinking about shopping in the Young Men's Department for my baby boy, I realized that I can't keep shopping in the Department of Things That Were and cursing when things no longer fit.  There are lots of Departments of Epic Things out there, and "epic" doesn't have to mean world-changing -- it can mean life-changing for a party of one.




Almost all my life I imagined big plans, bigger dreams.  Somewhere along the way, I thought if I gave up anything, closed a chapter, picked up another book, it would negate that part of my existence and make my life less meaningful. That's not true. Difficult to make myself believe all the time, but certainly not true.  The world is full of books -- opportunities, ideas, and things that sometimes fall into your lap with providence and expectation from the stars. Fighting myself and these new chapters isn't helping me at all.  So, change.


I hate that Zack is growing up, because with one child, every first is also a last.  However, I am so fortunate to HAVE him that I'm really excited about his firsts and if I can, (and mothers know this is difficult) concentrate on those moments, not the "oh my gosh, that's the last time X will ever happen." With my personality, it will certainly be a challenge.  But this is where my writing comes in.  If I write about life, everyday life, the mundane to the exciting, there is a record, and re-reading is a joy. Even re-reading the low parts of life isn't a bad thing because inevitably, eventually, the wheel goes 'round and oh hey look, good things again.




So this afternoon, while I enjoy lunch with Zack and shop for his new pants, I'll be in that moment.  I may have to jab myself sometimes to STOP IT and ENJOY, because I can't help that I'm nostalgic and sentimental.  It's quite alright to be sad sometimes, mad at times, hurt at times.  If we didn't allow ourselves those emotions, we'd explode in a big squishy mess.  Now, though, I'm going to try and do my best to learn to give up past things, and live in the moment.  Yet I'll never forget the past, because it formed me.


And that, dear readers, is how I'm dealing with change.




Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Giveaway from Interweave/F + W (three awesome books!)

Today is another wonderful chance to win some of the newest books in the beading industry, this time by Interweave/F+W.  I'm excited to have been able to read these cover to cover, give you my opinion of them, and then have one book sent to three different people (US only, I'm sorry).


First up is the 144-page "Wire + Metal - 30 Easy Metalsmithing Designs" by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson.  Both of these talented ladies really do bring it to this book!


Along with Denise and Jane's work, you'll find other awesome tutorials by favorites such as Keirsten Giles and Cassie Donlen, to name just a few.  Techniques include working with flame, texturing, forming, cold connections, patina and color, and finishing processes.


The designs truly are accessible to beginner and intermediate.  Beginners will find ample instructions to get you started, and intermediate to advanced designers will find a ton of ways to adapt the tutorials to their own taste.  Here are just a couple of examples of the work you can find in the book:

"Camelot" by Jane Dickerson

"Pink Petals" by Denise Peck

If you can't wait and have to buy it now, click here!





Next up is for all you seed beaders and those who would like to learn this amazing art.  "Mastering Herringbone Stitch -- The Complete Guide" by Melinda Barta covers 21 projects incorporating various applications of the herringbone stitch.  There are 167 pages in this beautiful book.


I know next to nothing about seed beading, although I did make a caterpillar bracelet once using square stitch.  I learned very quickly to appreciate the thought and the process that goes into each little masterpiece.


There are 22 pages of basics to get even a beginner started, including seed bead size charts and must-know terms.  Melinda then goes on to cover creative tutorials in flat, circular, and tubular herringbone as well as my favorite, the twists and spirals.  


A portion of Melinda Barta's "Gilded Blossoms" necklace

A selection of Melinda's "Tambourine Bangles"


Joining Melinda Barta are Jean Campbell, Kelly Wiese, Lisa Kan, and more!  Don't be afraid if you're a beginner -- there are tons of diagrams showing you how to make the stitches.  Want it now?  Click here!





Finally, a real treat -- a hardback book of 255 pages!  "Patina: 300+ Coloration Effects for Jewelers and Metalsmiths" by Matthew Runfola is absolute eye candy while being an encyclopedia of color.  


Where do I even begin?  The plentiful chapters contain a coloration gallery, information about how to set up a safe workspace, aesthetic decisions, and color theory.  He compares common metals and their patination processes and then digs into the really great stuff -- how to create all those amazing patterns and patinas properly.






The remainder of the book shows examples of coloration examples using NINE different metals. If you thought you knew it all about patinating metal, you're bound to learn something new and exciting in this amazing book.  And you won't be stuck wondering how he did it -- Matthew Runfola gives a comprehensive listing of colorant formulas, and throughout, beautiful gallery photos of finished jewelry by a wide range of jewelry artists.


Want it in your hands now?  Then click here!




In order to win, please leave a comment below
with the name (or names) of the book you would like.

YOU MUST have a way for me to contact you.  


 I will pick the winners (with Zack, of course) on Friday night, the 19th,
so hurry and put your name in!


Let's give some love to Interweave/F+W and post this giveaway
on your blog
on Facebook
in your beading groups!


Thank you so much to the publisher for providing these books and being so patient with me as it took me quite a bit longer to get this on the blog than I'd planned.  You guys rock!


Ready?
Set?

COMMENT!



Legal stuff:  I was not paid to write these reviews and the opinions stated are my own.  Books were provided to me free of charge.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking on the right side bar of this blog (please and thank you!). She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book "Bead Soup" via Kalmbach Publishing.
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