Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deadline for signing up to win the pendant is....

Friday, July 2nd!

I'll be announcing the winner on Saturday! So keep posting those comments, and don't forget, if you have a blog, post about the contest!
(See the post below for more info).

Good luck!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jewelry giveaway -- you know you want this!

SO, you've gotten a week of Bead Soup and seen some amazing jewelry artists out there! There have been some fabulous giveaways out there (did you get in on the action?) and now that I'm done with organizing the party, it's MY turn!

If you remember, this was my soup and what I created. I've already sold the bracelet, so I'm going to be giving away the pendant. It's an amazing handmade lampwork glass bead with tons of Swarovski crystals dangling beneath and a sterling silver bail at the top, and it'll accommodate nearly any chain. Wouldn't it be great for fall (I'm really, REALLY looking forward to fall right now!)

Normally something like this would sell for $65 but you could win it for free!!!

Just leave a comment, and if you have a blog, post about it on your blog as well. You don't HAVE to be a follower, but wouldn't that be cool?

Good luck, and have an awesome, beadful day!

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes the blog An Artists Year Off.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party Round Up

The Bead Soup Blog Party was a huge success!

My main goal when throwing these parties is to introduce all types of bead and jewelry artists, get them to know each other through their blogs, and finally, help people break out of their comfort zone by presenting them with a set of beads that they have no inkling of -- they have no idea what's coming their way.

This party, even more so than last party, really had a lot of participants commenting on how hard they worked to create with what they were given. There were LOTS of gorgeous beads handed out by many talented bead artists, by many times, the colors of the style or even the medium was completely NOT in the beaders realm of general comfort.

But that's ok! That was what this was all about. That's what, I think, makes this a great party -- the opportunity to spread your wings and really fly. I also think it gives people the incentive to keep up with their blogs, if they've fallen behind, or to perhaps use their blog in a different way, reaching out to people they've just met or hope to meet.

Thank you so much for joining my party -- it warms my heart to see all the AMAZING work that went into it and to have read all the wonderful posts about the creative process that went into each piece.

As for the photo above (click to make it bigger)-- I wish I could show each and every one of the 90+ participants, so I just took a shot in the dark and pulled eight out of a hat. From left to right, then top to bottom:

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for taking this journey with me.

Lori Anderson

Saturday, June 26, 2010

LAST DAY of the Bead Soup Blog Party

WOW, what a party! Eight full days of blogs and jewelry! Today is the last day, so jump and visit these last few blogs, leave your comments, and be sure to Follow me (over there on the right) so you can be alerted of the NEXT Bead Soup Blog Party!

85. Melissa, One-Eared Pig Beads

86. Rebecca, 2SistersBeadwork

87. Karyn, Releases by Rufydoof

88. Denise, Bling on the Blog

89. Doris, Glaszwerg

90. Megan, Churchy & Her Sailor

91. Jo, Daisychain Designs

92. Jen, VanBeads Jewelry and Design

93. Kristie, Artisan Clay

94. Jess, Vintaj

95. Suzann, Beadphoria

96. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden

97. Michelle, bMichelle

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party, Day SEVEN!

Today is the seventh day of the Bead Soup Blog Party --
please take some time to visit today's blogs!

72. Cindy, Cindy Dolezal Designs

73. Valerie, Hot Art

74. Courtney, Beads by Breul

75. Johanna, Fire Phoenix Creations

76. Shea, gr8findings

77. Julie, Pryce Designs

78. Jeannie, Jeannie's Blog

79. Patricia, Verre Design

80. Christa, Adventures of One Beady Woman

81. Heather, My Muse

82. Susan, Night Beader at Large

83. Sonja, Drachenei

84. Jennifer, Glass Addictions by Jennifer

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just a little eye candy

Interested in purchasing anything you see here? Leave me a comment!

"Tidal Pool"

"Sea Horse and Crabs"
(sea horses on the fronts of the earrings, crabs on the backs)

"Summer Days"


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs. She also writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Day SIX

Today is the sixth day of the Bead Soup Blog party, and I hope you'll visit today's jewelry blogs!

60. Carol, Carol Bradley Designs

61. Wanda, A Frayed of Fibers

62. Diana, Vintage Blue Studio

63. Marieke, Marieke's Blog

64. KJ, Silver Parrot

65. Maire, Maire Dodd

66. Shannon, Miss Fickle Media

67. Dana, Dana's Jewelry Designs

68. Charlene, The Bead Dreamer

69. Elisabeth, Beads for Busy Gals

70. Cathryn, Chile Cats

71. Missy, Melissa Rappaport

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Day FIVE!

Today is the fifth day of the Bead Soup Blog Party! I hope you'll take some time to visit today's blogs:

48. Nan, Spirit Rattles

49. Amy, Copper Diem

50. Malin, Beading by Malin de Koning

51. Anne, Gardanne Glass Lampwork

52. Alice, Alice's Beads and Baubles

53. Barbara, Second Surf

54. Amanda, Articulations

55. Heather, Humble Beads

56. Melissa, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love

57. Kate, Organic Odysseys

58. Patti, PJ Clark Designs

59. Stefanie, Stefanie's Sammelsurium

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here's what I've been reading.....

It's been a while since I've done a book post, so in between all the Bead Soup, here's a quick run-down of what I've read in the past couple of weeks:

"World Without End" is the sequel to "The Pillars of the Earth", and while at first WWE seemed very similar to POTE, I didn't care -- I loved it. I pretty much love anything from the days of 12th century England.

"A Man in Full" is a book that's sat on my book shelf for years. Seriously, it's been there for a long time, languishing. I think I got it as the round-out-the-order book from a book club. I finally got around to reading it, and was pleasantly surprised. Impossible to sum it up succinctly for you, but it had a lot to do with Atlanta, race relations, real estate development, politics, prison life, oh, and quail hunting. How's THAT for a mish-mash?

"The Day the Falls Stood Still" was a bargain book I picked up on a whim at the book store, and I'm glad I did. Set in 1915, it's about Niagra Falls, forbidden love (due to people's "station in social life") and the way Niagra Fall and the hydroelectric plants were making changes on the way of life at the time. I never thought I'd be interested in a book that had hydroelectric plants in it, but trust me, it doesn't read like a mechanical engineering text book.

So now, I'm reading "The Passage". I'm finding that I'm having to suspend all belief while reading it, much like I do when reading Stephen King. The FBI, mysterious viruses, the world gone crazy -- yeah, perfect for the gal who used to cease everything when "The X-Files" came on!

Books. I can't live without them.

Day FOUR of the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Today is Day FOUR of the Bead Soup Blog Party!

Please take some time to visit today's participants:

37. Filomena, Pink Velvet Bird

38. Lyn, Lyn Foley

39. Tari, Pearl and Pebble

40. Rebecca, Song Beads

41. Regina, Regina's Writings

42. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse

43. Whitney, Whitney Lassini

44. Maria, Garden Path Beads

45. Michelle, Life in the Bead Lane

46. Ann, My Critical Eye

47. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Day THREE!

It's Day THREE of the Bead Soup Blog Party!
Please take some time to visit the following participants.....

27. Lisa, Alterity

28. Dale, Dales' Flights of Fancy

29. Melanie, Kookie Designs

30. Christine, A Hot Piece of Glass

31. Nancy, Beading From the Heart

32. Laurel, Rue's Daftique

33. Sandi, Do Be Do Bead Do

34. Nicki, Nicki's Reef

35. Virginie, ViviBijoux

36. Janeen, Wild Vanilla

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Day TWO!

It's Day Two of the Bead Soup Blog Party!
Please take some time to visit the following blogs:

14. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks

15. Kella, Me But a Little More In Depth

16. Emanda, Artemisia Studio

17. Marie, Skye Jewels

18. Loretta, Designs By Loretta

19. Stacy, Sissy and Jack's

20. Joanna, Filcowe

21. Diane, Diane Hawkey

22. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things

23. Anna, The Laughing Raven

24. Marcie, La Bella Joya

25. Lois, Que Onda Q'town?

26. Jayne, Mama's Got To Doodle

The full list of participants can be found by clicking here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Bead Soup Party Has Begun!

The long-awaited 2nd Bead Soup Party has begun! Today starts a week of blog hops and adventures into the designing lives of a wide variety of jewelry experts from around the world.

Today's blogs are listed below,
and the entire list can be accessed here:

1. Lori, Pretty Things

2. Lorelei, Lorelei1141

3. Norma, Moonlit Fantaseas

4. Beth, EB Bead and Metalworks

5. Katie, KatieBead

6. Kimberly, Bahama Dawn

7. Debbie, Prairie Emporium

8. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa

9. Kate, Tropical Blonde

10. Janet, Singing Woods

11. Julianna, Juls Beads

12. Erin, Treasures Found

So without further ado, here's my unveiling, and the reason behind it all.

I was paired with Jennifer Cameron, a fantastic lampwork artist. She sent me a generous selection of handmade lampwork beads and some Swarovski crystals, along with a Green Girl Studios owl toggle:

My first reaction was "OMG, I will never, ever be able to make beads as spectacular as these." I mean, LOOK at them! That murrini! That detail!

My second reaction was mild panic. These are not the sort of beads that I gravitate towards because I am Miss Funky Pants. I work in bright, bright colors. But one of the main reasons for HAVING a Bead Soup Blog Party is to squarely kick oneself outside of the box and push yourself to the limit -- otherwise, really, what's the point? So I set the beads in a pot on the back burner and let them simmer.

The main focal was the first piece I tackled. I wanted to really draw out the beauty in that bead and not let it fall into the darkness of either onyx or labradorite or some other coordinating stone. So I pulled out orange carnelian, blue iolite, and yellow citrine, a ton of 26 gauge wire, and started wrapping tiny 3mm and 4mm gemstones around an 18 gauge base. And this is what happened....

(click for a larger view)

Here's a closer look:

(click for a larger view)

And even closer!

So there's the one pendant. The other pendant was made simply, with a cascade of yellow and iridescent heliotrope Swarovski crystals dangling beneath.

(click for a larger view)

Simple, but with a bead like that, you don't need much!

That leaves the gorgeous round beads and the amazing Green Girl Studios owl toggle, which I adore. They just shouted, "Bracelet, bracelet, bracelet, hoot hoot!"

First, let me show you the adorable toggle:

And now, the bracelet:

So there you have it -- all of my Bead Soup Party Pieces from the lovely Jennifer Cameron's generosity! Please be sure to visit all the blogs that are listed today, and come back to my blog every day until next Saturday to get a new dose of delights!

Thanks for attending!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Open Studio Friday

Jennifer Cameron interviewed me for her Open Studio Friday, so if you'd like to take a look, click here to see what it's all about!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I made these...

...with my very own handmade lampwork beads. Want one? Email me!

"Pink Milkshake", handmade glass with sterling silver and Swarovski crystals, $65

"Many Moods", handmade lampwork beads and sterling silver, perfect for any outfit, $45.


Lori Anderson designs jewelry for www.lorianderson.net and writes for the blog An Artists Year Off. She lives in Maryland.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why don't you take a little trip?

Why don't you take a little trip to my other blog, An Artist's Year Off, and catch up on what I've been doing (or not doing) over the past few months? I'd love your feedback!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Sneak Peek!

The Bead Soup Blog Party starts this weekend and I'm super excited! And just to tease you a little bit, here's a hint of one of the three pieces I made with the stash that my partner sent to me:

Can you imagine what I've done????

The party is SO huge that it's been broken down into an all-out BASH, a Bead-a-palooza, a week-long bead festival that will introduce you to lots of jewelry designers and some awesome blogs. Below is the schedule -- you can find the full list of bloggers by clicking here, and I'll also have a post each day of the party with the list.

So make sure you Follow me (over there to the right) and don't miss a thing!

Saturday, June 19th -- blogs 1-13
Sunday, June 20th -- blogs 14-26
Monday, June 21st -- blogs 27-36
Tuesday, June 22nd -- blogs 37-47
Wednesday, June 23rd -- blogs 48-59
Thursday, June 24th -- blogs 60-71
Friday, June 25th -- blogs 72-84
Saturday, June 26th -- blogs 85-97

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My, how they grow

Thursday was the last day of 1st grade for Zack and when I woke up to take him to school, I totally did NOT expect to feel sad. A lot of moms would say it was sadness over the prospect of having to entertain an active child for three months, but no. That wasn't it.

I realized, yet again, my little boy is growing up.

It's all happening way. too. darned. fast.

And I am so not prepared for it.

Every milestone kills me. His first tooth, his first birthday, the first day of Kindergarten, the first day of First Grade. But I wasn't prepared for the END of first grade to bug me.

I think it might be because next year he'll be leaving the "little school" for the "big school". The little school, as he calls it, is only one story and he's been there for two years. He's comfortable there, knows everyone, and I've volunteered a lot so *I* know everyone, too.

But next year, he'll attend the other school on campus, or "the big school", which is two stories tall and houses half the 1st grade up to the fifth grade. Zack took a tour of it last week and he's excited, of all things, about the lockers. Which have no locks, according to him, but mom remains clueless. On many things school related.

Including, who his teacher will be next year. This year, there was a big upheaval, with the current principal moving to the high school, the principal of two years ago coming back, leaving a vacancy in another school, and lots of teachers apparently moving around. So we're supposed to "watch the paper" (which we don't get) or stop by the school "sometime in mid-August" to see where his name is posted.

Seeing how Type A I am, that bugs me, but I completely understand it. It is what it is.

(What? Me? Type A? You don't say.)

So the summer is planned ahead of us with lots of activities with my little guy. We're trying to hit all the Smithsonian museums we already haven't seen, visit the zoo again, and he has two camps -- one in percussion and one in clay. I'm saying prayers every day that headaches and other things stay away so I can give him as much of myself as possible. I don't know how much longer it will be before Zack won't want to hang with his mom as much, so I'm looking at each day as a gift.

Rick, my dearest of husbands, who's already raised two boys (now in their mid-20's) has been through this before, and tells me that Zack will never NOT love me and need me. But I can't help it. Zack is my only child, and each day is both the last day AND the first day. Does this make any sense to the other moms out there?

So here I sit, typing this while alternately helping Zack with his Legos, enjoying the time, enjoying life, and trying my level best to ignore any underlying sadness that tries to sneak in.

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for An Artist's Year Off.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Easy Wire 2010

Today I got my copy of Easy Wire 2010. I have two projects in it, one for a bracelet and one for a necklace.

I first want to give an enormous shout out to my good friend Cindy Wimmer, who is on the cover of the magazine. This is her second cover, if I'm not mistaken, and I'm so incredibly proud of her!

This is a fantastic issue, with over 50 designs and lots of different styles and skill levels using a number of materials.

EDITED: I removed the photo of the necklace because I JUST found out that a stupid big box craft store, a store I rarely frequent, ripped off a well-known bead artist, and I am SO not down with that. My goal with making the necklace was to create something that a beginner could make with minimal output of money, but it just goes to show you - it's best to save your cash and use things where you KNOW where they came from, and keep integrity intact.

This bracelet is made with handmade lampwork beads and sterling silver in "Lake Tahoe".

Both of these designs will be on my web site soon, but if you are interested in one of them now, just let me know!

It was an honor working with Interweave Press, and I hope to do so again! Look for this publication at your local book store or at the Interweave Store.

Lori Anderson designs jewelry at www.lorianderson.net and also writes for the blog An Artist's Year Off.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Bead Soup!

If you've been following my Bead Soup Blog Party and exploring the participants' blogs, you'll have seen a lot of the Bead Soup that's been arriving in mail boxes all over the world. We also have a Flickr Group set up if you're interested (just click here).

I received a wonderful assortment of Jennifer Cameron's handmade lampwork. The colors are completely outside my normal color palette, so I'm excited to really stretch my creativity. I've already got some ideas and will be making more than one piece with this treasure trove.

And just LOOK at the toggle! Don't you love the owl???

And I've just started lampworking but it will take YEARS before I will EVER be anywhere CLOSE to this talented. In fact, I just don't see it happening at all. I mean, LOOK at this focal!

This is the selection I sent her -- a huge Thai silver focal, labradorite, onyx, and two cuts of this yummy dyed chalcedony that literally stopped me in my tracks at a bead show.

So if you haven't yet participated in one of my Bead Soup Blog Parties, please click and Follow Me (over on the left column) so you can stay updated for the next one!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for www.lorianderson.net and also writes for An Artist's Year Off.