Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Not Rejected, Accepted

via Huffington Post




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, April 25, 2015

Etsy Finds for the Jewelry Designer --Cabochons

Today's Etsy bead focus is cabochons. (The second focus is remembering how to spell it. Middle "O", not "A", Lori!)


I am not a seed beader, so I don't know how to make beaded bezels. I'm a very limited silversmith, meaning I know HOW to make solder a bezel, but I've only done it a few times and don't have the acetylene torch. I don't know anything about prong setting. All I can basically do with a cabochon is glue a bail on it or hope I can find a bezel meant for resin that fits it properly.

My various attempts over the years.


However, I still buy cabochons I find that just draw me in. Lately I've found some super gemstones, because Zack is becoming a rock hound. I have several ceramic ones that sit on a shelf as small, beautiful paper weights. Ditto lampwork glass. Sometimes a bead needs a home even if you can't work with it in the traditional way (yet).


If you've never considered buying a cabochon for any of the reasons above, I urge you to get one and set it on your work table. Let it inspire you to try new things, like wire wrapping it, finding the perfect bail, sewing across it to a leather backing -- the sky really is the limit!


First up is 



Lisa is a ceramics artist who makes unique pieces that remind me of gemstones. She also makes buttons, pendants, and beads, and you can often find her at the Bead and Button show, where her booth was mobbed every time I visited it! 

You can buy her work at



Next is amazing lampwork artist




I've had the good fortune to see Dora's work in person and her beads are what first drew me to her booth. They're amazingly intricate, and her stringer control is wonderful. I would LOVE the bottom left cabochon just to have on my desk to look at!


You can buy her work at 




Finally we have borosilicate glass artist
Wendy Williams of Morning Light Glass



I love the difference between soda lime glass and borosilicate glass. Boro reminds me of galaxies, with layers of depth that can make it both a challenge and a joy to choose which colors to accentuate in the jewelry you make.


You can buy her work at 



I hope you enjoyed the virtual shopping trip! I'd love to see links to your favorite cabochon artists or your own beads and jewelry with cabs in the comments below!


Happy shopping!


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, April 10, 2015

And then this happened.

I posted on Facebook the other day about hating when my negativity takes over. I haven't written much or posted much of substance because I got tired of constantly hearing "you can't really be as sick as you say you are" or "you just want attention" or "I just unfriended you because of this". I thought about never writing another word about living with Lyme disease, depression, anxiety. I realized, though, that I have to be going through this for a reason, and if I quit writing, if I quit everything, I'm short-changing myself and possibly the few people out there who read my words and get it.




I purchased new blog templates last week so I can start a separate blog that talks only about the nitty-gritty, not-always-pretty stuff. I don't plan on it being a negative space, although I'll guarantee there will be some unhappiness there. It's life. It's not always fair. No one said it would be.


I haven't had the energy to work with the designer this week, so you'll hopefully bear with me writing yet another post like this. But guess what? It doesn't end negatively.



So I post my thoughts on Facebook. I'm in a ton of pain, but I'm determined to pick up my son from school and give Rick a much-deserved break, although he swears he doesn't need it. I'm in agony, but I'm also exhausted and I'm trying to stay awake a few more hours. I scan the Facebook feed with half an eye.... and then this happened.



 It stopped me in my tracks.


Dove has had several campaigns meant to empower women and make them understand they are indeed worthy of being called beautiful, that society puts an unfair spin on what beauty is, and shames what it feels is not.


After I watched the video, I thought how I could view "beautiful" as "it's OK to be yourself, even if being yourself means a good cry, days in bed, and feeling stuck, and then writing about it when you want to".


There should be no shame in that.


I viewed "average" as "you can be safe and never write another sad word again, only post silliness and happiness, and no one will ever know how you really feel, but you at least didn't make them roll their eyes".


Average isn't bad. But I don't want to be average.


I have great hope that the upcoming new blog will be a place of reflection, healing, occasional screaming when necessary, and safety. I will be happy to bring THIS blog back to Pretty Things -- jewelry, beads, stories about Zack, books, and all things that make me smile.


Everyone has a story.


This is mine.




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, April 09, 2015

Winner of the "Pretty Birds" Book is....TWO people. Yep. Two.


is reader Pupton!

I'll be emailing you today.

But
I couldn't stop at just one.

Zack wants to pick out his bundle of fabric to send with the book
and *I* want to pick out MY bundle of fabric, so I decided
to buy another book and mail it to.....



YOU'LL KNOW WHEN YOU GET IT!

Thank you!

More book and magazine reviews are coming. 
Stay tuned, and please click follow on the right column --->
so you don't miss anything,
or sign up to receive email notifications of blog posts!





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.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Book Giveaway -- Pretty Birds by Virginia Lindsay

Attention crafters!  Even if you aren't a sewer by nature, you can make these adorable birds in the new craft book "Pretty Birds" by Virginia Lindsay, published by Running Press.


You all know I have a thing about paper. I am a book lover, and a book can draw me in just by the quality of the paper or even the size of the book. I like odd sizes and special touches, and this book is not your standard size, and it has rounded corners.  I LOVE that!

Not shown in this stock photo -- the rounded corners. But they're there.


This book is clever in so many ways. For one, you don't have to rip up your book to get to the patterns. All you need is a SmartPhone or other device that can scan the QR code, download what you need, and you're off!




HOOOO doesn't like owls?  (See what I did there?)




The birds you can make are an owl, a canary, a penguin, a dove, an eagle, a kookaburra (sans the old gum tree), a bluebird, a cardinal, a woodpecker, a seagull, a chick, a robin, a fairy wren (someone make me one?), a swan, a parrot (pirate not included), a peacock (yes, please), a hummingbird (more yes, more please), and a flamingo. 




You can do a lot with these birds -- turn them into ornaments, put them on a stick and display them in a vase, add a pocket on the back (the owl is a good candidate) for your phone, etc. There are lots of ideas and really pretty photos in the book to give you great ideas to branch out even further.


I know how to sew, but haven't for a long time. But having known how to sew, from hemming pants to sewing a dress to making curtains, I can tell you that this book can be utilized by anyone with a willingness to learn. Stitches are simple, and the most fun is picking out the fabric!





I will be giving away my copy of this awesome 126 page book AND some fun fabric if you leave a comment below (be sure your name is connected to an email on your blog or give me a way to get in touch with you). PLEASE pass this giveaway around to your crafting communities of Facebook and share the love and help Virginia Lindsay feel awesome!


Zack will draw a name on April 9th.


Ready, set, bird time!



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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