Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A New Cup of Bead Soup -- Spirited Earth

The month of September ushers in a new Cup of Bead Soup and featured artist -- Nan Emmett of Spirited Earth -- Ceramics With Art and Soul.

The Cup of Bead Soup premise is simple -- I send money to an artist and they send me beads, sight unseen, for me to design with.  This way, I hope to push myself outside of my comfort zone, experience new processes, and introduce you to wonderful bead artisans!

So without further ado, let's see what Nan sent me.

I love these ocean pieces!  The blue one with the shell and starfish on it is a bead, and I have a pretty good idea what I'll do with that one.  The other pendants will really appeal to my customers, as I live near the ocean -- now what to do to do them justice?

Nan's work is both rustic and refined, with organic colors and shading and nature themes.  The top two pendants are really going to stretch my skills -- I don't know what I will do yet to bring out the subtle ombre shading.  The bee bead (say that reeeeealy fast three times!) will get used fast, as will the bird pendant. I've got some ideas right off the bat!

There's major "squee" factor here!  Holy smokes.  The flower pendant for some reason reminds me of vintage crockery -- might have to work some vintage beads into that one.  The butterfly moth is also a favorite.  I need to think of something unique for this lovely pendant.  And the heart -- I have a special idea for that one.  SUCH a gorgeous, placid color.  In fact, I'm thinking of taking it to the paint store and having them match it for my bathroom.

And finally, a stash of organic accent beads.  And just as I typed that, I got an idea.  Got to love when that happens.

So there you have it -- isn't that a yummy Cup of Soup?  

You can visit Nan's shop by clicking the links below:

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Difference Between Like and Love

 Today Zack marched into my office with a stern look on his face.

"I don't like you," he said.

Obviously, I was startled.

I said, "But *I* like you. I both like AND love you.  You know that, right?"

He said, "I still don't like you.  I want to replace my like with another love."

(Pastel Illustration by Whimsy Studio on Etsy)

Never change, Zack.  Never change.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Awesome Giveaway from Floridity for Cup of Bead Soup!

Well, it's about that time -- time to thank Barbara Bechtel of Floridity for a great month and get ready to welcome next month's Featured Artist for Cup of Bead Soup.

I made one final piece to end out the month.  I was inspired by Molly Schaller's necklace tutorial in the Fall 2010 Stringing magazine, but changed it up a bit.  I kept the wood, but that's about all.  On one side perches a green polymer clay bird by Barbara, capped with lampwork disks, and on the other, a cluster of glass flowers.  Gunmetal chain keeps the rest simple.

And just for YOU, my awesome readers, Barbara has generously donated a set of beads from her "Whisper" collection.

You want 'em, don't you?  Well, here's how you get them!

1) Favorite Barbara's blog, http://secondsurf.blogspot.com/ for one point.
2) Favorite my blog for one point (or tell a friend they should!) :-)
3) Post about this giveaway on your own blog for one point.

Then comment and tell me what you did!

The winner will be announced in a week, Saturday September 4th.
Good luck!  And thank you, Barbara, for being my inaugural Cup of Bead Soup Featured Artist!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

The Winner of the Three-Pound Bead Bag is.....

As always, my random number generator is my son -- I shout out to him, "Pick a number between 1 and X" and he shouts out a number. 

Melissa, contact me with your mailing address and this huge bag of beads will be on its way to you.  I hope show us a picture of some things you make with a few of the beads on your blog!

A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated.  I don't even know Kimberly Willcox, but I know devastation -- my grandparents' apartment looked like her studio once.  So again, thank you for caring.

photo via KimberlyWillcox.com

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blogs. Beads. Kilts.

Looking for the bead giveaway?  Click here!


Today has not been the best, so I'm going to find a few things in my day to be happy for.

1.  I'm now an official contributor to Art Bead Scene.  I'm honored and humbled.  I have an article up right now reviewing the book "Blogging For Bliss".  I do love to blog, and I love it even more when you let me know you like what you read.

2.  Today I got to open the result of three days-worth of bead shopping on Etsy.  It was like my own private bead show plopped itself down on my couch and said, "Hello, my name is excess!"  The sweetest thing?  This little owl by Summers Studio.

3.  I just found out Diana Gabaldon's "The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel" is up for preorder. If you've read this blog for long, you'll know that I am in loooooove with the Outlander series.  Yeah, yeah, so it's a grown-up comic book, and there's no WAY they'll ever draw the version of Jamie I have in my head, but I don't care.  It's Scotland, it's kilts, it's men in kilts.  What's to hate?

After writing all that, I'm in a MUCH better mood.  Try this blogging method if you're ever down -- you'd be surprised how much it helps!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.  Books rock her world.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two Snaps Up

Zack started 2nd grade yesterday and was all smiles when he got home.  This morning, however, he was subdued and said he had a stomach ache.

Uh oh.

I know my child.  This was 99.9% a stress stomach ache.

I also know my child well enough to not nag him into telling me what it's about.  After one, "Are you nervous?" I let it lie.  We watched some cartoons together, had breakfast, had conversation about other things.

On the way to school, he brought it up himself.

"Mom," he said, "I'm worried.  My teacher has a poster in her room with multiplication and division on it.  I don't think I can do that."

I answered breezily, "Oh, you're good with math, you'll learn it in a snap."

Zack responded, VERY seriously and contemplatively, "Wellllll.  I think it might take TWO snaps for division."

And this is why I love my boy so very, very much.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You can still donate and win!

You can still donate to help artist and jewelry designer Kimberly Willcox and win a HUGE bag of beads from me. Click her for the page with the details.  My giveaway deadline is August 28th, and you get points for blogging about it, Facebooking, and Twittering.

Click here for the Paypal donation page.  Seriously, $1 is fine!  It's adding up!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Healing Begins -- Volunteering at the Humane Society

So many of you came out with condolences when I lost my 19-year old Himalayan cat, Buddy.

The healing process has been hard.  My other cat, Max, will disappear the entire day, only to resurface at night to sleep with me. The sleeping-with-me bit is wonderful, but Buddy was a constant.  He was loyal and kept by my side and in the same room I'd be in all day, even if he was snoozing.  He must have had kitty radar that way.

The other day I went into PetSmart.  I wanted to see the cats they had for adoption, although I knew without a doubt that I was. not. ready. for another cat.

First I spent an inordinate amount of time examining the turtles.  My son and I actually do love water turtles.  Then I worked up to the birds.  I love wrens.  Then I moved to the hamsters.

Finally, I slowly made it to the Adoption Station, run by the Talbot Humane Society.  A woman was volunteering at the time, and all the cats on display at the time were kittens.  And I felt...

Nothing.  I missed my own cat too much.

I chatted with the volunteer, relating why I was there, working up my courage to not cry at the sight of another cat.  She suggested I volunteer as a way to ease my way into things.

What a brilliant idea.

So I'm proud to say I am going to orientation at the Humane Society on September 4th.  I've asked for the Kitty Cuddle and other Shelter functions.  I'm not good at fund-raising, other than handing over jewelry -- I don't do well on the phone.  But I hope this will bring some sort of peace. And you never know.  Rick and I decided that we would adopt an adult cat, not a kitten, so maybe that cat will make him or herself known over time.

And maybe I can do some good.

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She loves cats.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update on Bead Giveaway to help Kimberly Willcox

 If you wondered what I meant by "big bead goodie bag" for the giveaway to help Kimberly Willcox -- let me tell you.  I've filled a gallon bag and it weighs over three pounds with:

vintage lucite
artisan lampwork
Czech glass
cubic zirconia
polymer clay
Swarovski crystal
vintage glass

and most of all


So to get another chance to win, 
please blog about this!

You have until August 28th to get your comments in on THIS POST.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kimberly Willcox - Help an Artist in Need

I subscribe to hundreds of blogs and I actually do read them, even if it takes until the wee hours of the night.

This morning I read a post by Daily Art Muse that touched my heart and has stuck with me like tears in the throat.  This could happen to any of us.

Susan Lomuto writes about fine art wood sculpture and jewelry artist Kimberly Willcox

Heart of Gold, from the Staves series
cypress, bronze, stone, steel, brass, 28″ x 8″ x 8″
Via Daily Art Muse and Kimberly Willcox
Last month, her studio was completely and devastatingly destroyed by an electrical fire.  Gone.  All her tools, many of which were large and expensive.  The entire studio structure.  Insurance has barely scratched the surface and won't come anywhere near to helping her rebuild her livelihood.
(photo via Daily Art Muse)

Imagine if this were you.  Your studio.  Many of us use our art to keep us sane in this crazy world.  Many of us use it as our sole income.  Some of us have supplies that are vintage, rare, or impossible to replace.  All of us would be devastated.

There's a way you can help Karen.  Daily Art Muse has set up a donation button via Paypal, and even if you only have $1, it can grow and help.  If you hurry and donate by Sunday the 22nd (and sorry, I only learned of this today), you can be in the running to win $150 worth of books.  

I'm going to add to that.  If you donate, come back here and comment on the blog and you'll be in the running for a big bead goodie bag from me.  The drawing will be a week from now,  August 28th.

Please Facebook, Twitter, and Blog (for an extra entry) if you feel the urge.  But donate if you can.

Thanks for reading.

Love, Lori

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cup of Bead Soup -- Beading With Floridity

I finished my creations with the beads sent to me by Barbara Bechtel of Floridity, and I'm really pleased because as I'd hoped, I was able to stretch my wings and try some new techniques.

I sold the "For the Love of Owls" bracelet I made last session right off the blog, so I decided to make a "similar but different" bracelet.  This time I had an owl but no hearts, so I used melon Swarovski pearls, vintage cream-colored flowers, and lampwork beads I made myself.  This one is simply called "Green Owl".

Next, I used the smaller pendant from the Whisper Collection, along with the matching accent beads.  I chose to make an asymmetric design, and pulled out some very cool chain I've been hoarding.  I liked how the leaves mimicked the pendant's designs, and the linear spacing between the leaves didn't overwhelm the small pendant.  I also pulled out a copper washer, hammered it and patinated it, and then made my own hook-and-eye clasp.  I don't work a lot with manipulating metal, so this was a relatively new thing for me.  

I call this piece "Whispering Leaves".

My next piece is a bracelet using a link from the Whisper Collection.  Once again, I tried for an asymmetric look, but not TOO far out because I wanted to keep the focus on the "Love" connector.  All of the lampwork glass beads are my own and I also used clusters of Czech glass, bleached wood, one of the Whisper beads from Floridity, and an Anahaw seed.

I made the clasp myself by taking a copper washer for the ring, hammering and patinating it, and bending a heavy-gauge piece of wire for the bar.  This style is not my norm, nor is making my own toggle something I usually do.

I call this piece "On the Wings of Love".

Lastly, my largest piece.  I used a large Whisper Collection pendant and a bunch of my own lampwork glass beads.  Bleached wood just seems to ask to be in all these creations, so I didn't fight it.  

What makes this piece unique is I framed the pendant in a copper ring that I found at Michaels, of all places.  It was an impulse buy I made ages and ages ago for no good reason other than it was interesting.  It was a perfect fit.  The beads and slices of wood are on the large side, so to keep the weight of the necklace down, I added a double strand of copper chain to each side of the necklace.  I made a hook-and-eye clasp out of patinated copper and away we go!

I call this piece "Nature Lover".

So there you have it!  My month of Cup of Bead Soup with Floridity!  I only have two pieces left over -- a large pendant that I have big plans for but need to spend some time waiting for just the right accent beads to make themselves known to me...

...and a purple bird that I'm saving to make a river rock necklace for myself.  

A huge thank you to Barbara Bechtel for being my first ever Featured Artist of the Month for Cup of Bead Soup, and I hope you'll all visit her at the following sites:

Jewelry and Beads: www.floridity.etsy.com
Vintage and Paper Goods: www.kitofparts.etsy.com

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off as well as contributing to the blog Art Bead Scene.  She used to live in Italy and has the waist line to prove it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Are you a Facebook Fan?

Are you a fan of Lori Anderson Designs on Facebook?


If you'd like to be, click here and click Become a Fan.

To thank you, you can now receive FREE shipping on anything on my site

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

For the Love of Shoes -- Sanita and Bead Inspiration

You may remember me saying that due to nasty surgery on one foot (thank you over-training for an athletic event), I can now only wear Birkenstocks or Danskos.  My favorite line of Birkenstocks is the Papillio line, because I can rock out wearing sandals like these:

(Photo via Tobias Mayer, my favorite Birkenstock store)

I went to the mall today and wandered past a store and these shoes stopped me in my tracks.  At first, I thought they were Danskos, but the folks told me that Sanita originally made shoes for Dansko, but that partnership ended in 2007.  ANYWAY.  I was stopped in my tracks by these shoes:
(All Sanita shoe photos from Zappos.com)

I bought them as fast as I could yank out my wallet.  They're the perfect artist shoes, don't you think?  The pattern is actually fabric, like tapestry, and there are several colors.  I thought about these....
and these....
but had to settle on just one.

For now.

So how does this translate to beads?

Well, look at those colors!  Don't you see a bunch of color palettes there?

The Papillio shoes could inspire this...

(Lampwork beads and bracelet made by me)

The first pair of Sanitas remind me of this set of beads by Endangered Creations....


The second pair of Sanitas remind me of these beads by JC Herrell:

And the last pair of shoes reminds me of these beads by Crazy Lady Glass...

So next time you're out shopping, look at patterns in an entirely new way.  You never know what will spark your imagination!

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She has a huge shoe collection.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cup of Bead Soup

I just added two new pages to this blog (look up!) -- "Cup of Bead Soup" and "Bead Soup Blog Party". 

"Cup of Soup" will take you to the Featured Artists that are, well, featured each month.  That way, you have a quick place to go if you vaguely remember something I made that had a cool component, and you want one, but you don't want to dig through tons of blog pages.

"Bead Soup Blog Party" will house the links for past parties, so you can find the links to the party-goers blogs.  It also gives the directions for participating, so if you have friends that would like to join in the fun this January, you can guide them to that page.

Hope you're having a wonderful night~!

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She loves to dance like no one's watching.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

End of Summer -- Etsy Finds (with LEGO (R) and a broken arm)

Today I looked at the calendar and realized it's almost the end of summer.  My son Zachary starts 2nd grade next Tuesday and I just can't believe how quickly the summer has gone!  We did a lot of the things I planned for us -- multiple LEGO (R) creations (this, this, this, and this, among others), a percussion camp, a clay camp, and trips to both sets of grandparents and one of his brothers.  We didn't manage to do the beach or the many Smithsonian trips due to heat, though.  Neither of us likes heat and this year Maryland had record highs and we both decided to wait until fall.
(One we would love to do but will not, as it's $500.  photo via Amazon.com)

We ended the summer with a bang -- or rather, a break. Yesterday Zack sat down too fast and tried to catch himself and ended up landing on the top of his hand.  He immediately shrieked, "I broke my arm!" and began crying in a way that every mother knows means trouble.  It was a cry I've never, ever heard before, so without hesitation I rushed to the ER.  They didn't see a fracture on the X-ray, but with little kids' bones being as they are, he felt there probably was a baby fracture in there, so splinted him for a week. 

Poor kidlet.  Like mommy, like son.

So let's have our Etsy Finds, for the end of summer. Click the titles to buy!

I hope you've enjoyed the Etsy Finds!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and also writes for the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is so glad the heat of summer is nearly past.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Win a Polymer Clay Book at Art Bead Scene!

I wrote a new article at Art Bead Scene -- I'm giving away a polymer clay book.  So if you've always wanted to try polymer clay, click here for details!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010