Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cup of Bead Soup final reveal -- EB Bead & Metal Works

It's time to say goodbye to this month's Cup of Bead Soup contributor, EB Bead & Metal Works.   Check out my last post to see what I was sent and what I made by clicking here.

I saved the best for last -- the amazing lotus blossom pendant.  Made completely by hand, it's a large 2.5" x 2.75" pendant in deep cobalt blue and burnt orange.  It was cut out by a saw from a sheet of copper, then enameled, so definitely NOT factory made.

The beads are also handmade lampwork glass, and I had six left over from the previous river rock pendant project.

I'll let you in on a secret -- I got this particular Cup of Bead Soup a full month early.  I've been sitting and looking at this pendant for almost two whole months and was beginning to despair that I'd ever think of anything good enough for something this pretty, this large, and this special.  I knew I had to make a neck piece, a statement necklace, not just a mere "necklace".

You ready?

I used a fringy chain with hammered round charms, added small nuggets of carnelian and dumortierite, linked the handmade lampwork glass beads between the lengths of the embellished chain, and there you go.... my necklace.  I just wish the photo did it justice.

I really enjoyed how the beads and pendant I was sent REALLY stretched my creativity.  If you would like to try out one of their lotus pendants, click on their shop link below, and then send me a link to your blog post with your creation -- we'd love to see it!

You can visit EB Bead & Metal Works here:

Want your OWN lotus pendant?  
Click here or here, or contact them at their shop for a custom lotus.  
And look at THIS!

Etsy:  Click here

Blog:  Click here

Monday, November 29, 2010

When Cats are Part of the Family

When animals enter our lives as pets, I imagine that most of us welcome them as companions, four-legged-children, parts of the family.  

My cats are most definitely a huge part of my life.  When I lost Buddy, so many of you shared in my grief.  When I started volunteering at the humane society and found Vernon, you cheered.  So now I'm going to ask you to cross your fingers for my tiny kitty, Max.

Max is twelve years old, and he's a rescue kitty.  He's my cuddle cat, too, always snuggling up to my tummy as close as he possibly can when I go to bed at night.  He's a little slip of a thing, only weighing between six and seven pounds.  So you can imagine how he and Vernon look next to each other -- the total Odd Couple.  Vernon at 21 pounds (he's put on more weight) and Max the Munchkin.

"What are YOU looking at?"  

For the past couple of years, Max has been taking thyroid medicine, but now it's no longer working and he's at a critical stage where something has to be done or ... well, or.  So our tiny kitty is going to be going to a special vet in Baltimore, MD for feline radio iodine therapy to cure his hypothyroidism.  We hope.  He'll be radioactive for a few days (so obviously, he'll be away from home during that time) and it costs a lot.  A lot.  A LOT of money.  Deep-intake-of-breath-when-I-heard-the-cost kind of money.  

But that's what you do when cats are part of the family.

Max in my jewelry-waiting-to-be-photographed bowl.
Some people may think we're crazy for spending this kind of money and traveling that far for a cat.  But this is a cat that saw me through desperate times, lean times, on to happy times.   He's a constant, he's a link to my past, he was Buddy's best buddy, and I'm not ready to give up on him.

So if you would, keep this little puff of fur in your thoughts for a minute or two.  The treatment isn't nearly as bad as the alternative (surgery) and once he's had it, he shouldn't have to take medicine again.  I wasn't prepared for this particular phone call this evening, so it helps me to know there are other cat lovers out there, too.


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, November 28, 2010

Etsy Finds and Beading Links

Since this weekend is traditionally a HUGE weekend for shopping, I thought I'd take you along with me through Etsy to ooh and aah at some things I found -- you never know, I might find something that's perfect for your best friend, your neighbor, or even your best friend's neighbor! :-)

Yarn Bowl from TheMudPlace
I love to knit, so thought this was way clever.  This yarn bowl by TheMudPlace has a slot for the yarn to feed out -- pretty AND functional!
This is very neat.  DaisyChestnut has an entire line of vintage spoons embellished with plants and sayings, ready to be stuck into your favorite garden spot or flower pot.  They have other cool things in their store, too!  Perfect for the hard-to-buy-for person.

Snowflake Felted Soap by SoFino
A very clever gift!  Soap is inside this felted snowflake -- when you get it wet, the soap suds up through the wool.  Instant scrubby!  You can reuse the snowflake when the soap is gone, too.
Purse by NzLbags
And OH, I've been wanting this one!  A beautiful hand-knit bag with a pink bow.  Delish.

bead by Lori Lochner
And what shopping trip would be complete without a little something for yourself?  I LOVE Lori Lochner's beads and have a heck of a time parting with any of them.

Hope you had fun!

And now for some beady links (a first from me).....

A Bead A Day
Do you have a quick and easy jewelry project or design that you would like to share with others? Stop by A Bead A Day to pick up an idea or leave an idea!
About.com Jewelry Making
Find out the latest news, including a tight deadline, for an awesome jewelry making challenge sponsored by Rio Grande and Lark Books.
Art Bead Scene
Get your jewelry shop ready for the holiday shopping season with help from Art Bead Scene!
Beading Arts
Don't miss the beautiful Murano glass pendants that Cyndi will be giving away now and all through next month!
Beads & Books
Michelle searches the toy store to get ideas for earring displays for her upcoming craft show. Carmi's Art/Life World
In a two part story Carmi glams up a name tag with jewelery components.
Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Watching your pennies while trying to make fabulous jewelry for gifts this holiday season? Cindy can help you, read on!
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A thrift store find inspires Melanie to make some fun dinosaur tear pendants
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
The latest news from Artbeads : voting and a new sweepstakes!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Happy Thanksgiving! Celebrate the holiday with a special Thursday Giveaway sponsored by Auntie's Beads!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Purple Heart

A Bead a Day recently asked people to send in stories about giving jewelry to people who didn't expect it, just for being them, and I shared a story that has stuck with me.  Over the years, I've given away what I call "Karma Jewelry" to people who've been in my booth and touched me in some way, but this particular person really got to me.

I was doing a show at the beach, and it was very early in the morning when I was setting up. A man in ragged clothes, carrying a backpack on his back, smelling like he’d been sleeping on the streets for a while, came into my booth. He had wild hair and was dirty but his eyes sparkled and he had a great smile. He started chatting with me, looking at my jewelry that was on the table, and started telling me about how he was a Vietnam vet, living on the streets, traveling the beaches where it was warm.

He said, “Let me ask you something.”

I figured he was going to ask for money, so I reached for my bag to give him something.

“Do you like veterans?” he asked.

I told him I WAS a veteran, and was married to a retired Chief Master Sergeant.

“Well maybe you can do something for me,” he said.

I started reaching for my wallet again.

But no.

He picked up a necklace I’d made. It had a dichroic glass heart in purple and red, with purple pearls.

“Can I have this?” he asked. “I got a Purple Heart in Vietnam, but I lost it.”

I put the necklace around his neck, he squeezed my arm in thanks, and he walked out of the booth whistling a tune.

I just stood there, stunned, touched, and tearful.

I’m thankful that I didn’t react like many may have, shooing him out of my booth. I’m thankful that I’d made something that he’d deemed a good substitute for the medal he’d won and lost.

I’ll never forget that man, that necklace, or that morning.

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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Beads of Christmas

Hop on over to Art Bead Scene to see my rendition of "White Christmas"!

Click here to start!


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, November 25, 2010

I hope....

I hope your Thanksgiving looks like this...

And not like this....

Click for a funny column from Dave Barry

If you're a Black Friday shopper, I hope you're faced with lots of available shopping carts....

a photo I took at IKEA
and don't face this....

However you celebrate -- alone, with your family, or with a ton of people, I hope you have a lovely day.  I've celebrated Thanksgiving all three ways, and no matter which way, I always found that pie makes things VERY celebratory.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
  • Pastry dough
  • 1 (15-ounces) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Equipment: a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate (6-cup capacity); pie weights or dried beans
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream (add 1 teaspoon bourbon per 1/2 cup cream if desired)


  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. 
  • Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. 
  • Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes). 
Make it

  • Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  • Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. 
  • Bake until side is set and edge is golden, about 20 minutes. 
  • Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shell until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool completely.
  • Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into cooled shell.
  • Bake until edge of filling is set but center trembles slightly, about 45 minutes (filling will continue to set as it cools). Cool completely.
Cooks' note: Pie can be baked 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday Sale Tomorrow!

Black Friday Sale Tomorrow*
at www.lorianderson.net!

Where you'll see this:

And these.....

and this...

and this.

And if you're in the mood for Christmas earrings, how about these -- 
they look like vintage Christmas ornaments!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

* and I know tomorrow isn't Friday, but I couldn't wait!

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.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1000 Paper Cranes Mission -- My Crane

Remember this post, where I talked about the 1000 Paper Cranes Mission?  I finally had the time to make one.  It's been on my list, but my list keeps eating too much chocolate and therefore keeps growing and growing and becoming larger and larger.


I chose scrapbook paper to make my crane, and while the paper is pretty, and makes nice, strong folds, the paper is too stiff for the body of the crane to puff up like the ones I've made with traditional, thinner origami paper.  But that's ok!  I just left the wings down, and the crane perches just fine.

Here's my crane:

All of the Mission cranes are supposed to have an inspirational word on them, and I chose "DECIDE" as mine.  It's not a traditional inspirational word, but for me, it's a good one.  This has been a year of decisions -- what I want to do with myself and my jewelry, what I want others to see me as, what I want to project with my words.  

Maybe the person who picks up this crane has a hard decision to make about a job, the love of their life, or even just where to go to dinner.  The crane may make them laugh, smile, or hold it in their hand, take it home, and stare at the word for a long, long time.

Who knows?

DECIDE.  Sometimes it's not so simple, is it?  That's why I thought a little talisman might help whomever finds it.  And decisions can trick you, hold off and only later turn into something amazing.  I mean, when I decided to join the Air Force, little did I know I'd meet my husband there -- and even though we only spoke to each other about three times, that decision to join the military followed me even when I got out, all the way to 1999, when I "re-met" Rick via email.  Some decisions may get decided for us now, but won't show the true results for years.

Now, where am I going to hide this little bird?  In the turning stands of Anthropologie in Annapolis, MD, the ones that hold drawer knobs, like these I bought for my bead cabinet ....

Will you be participating in the 1000 Paper Cranes Mission?  If you're not up to making the origami, consider leaving a pretty little note with your inspirational word on it.  Nothing else, just the word.  Think how cool that would be if you found it!

And for another neat "hide it and they will find it" project, check out my favorite glass blower, Josh Simpson, and his Infinity Project.  Talk about a lucky recipient!  And talk about some hard-to-find places!  Be sure to look at his store -- I've met him in person and seen his work -- astounding.  My goal is to own one of his Planets one day.

I hope you enjoyed today's post -- have fun with your creating, and don't forget to DECIDE something today!

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, November 20, 2010

An Etsy Wish List

Several of my blogging friends have a regular feature, showing the things they would love to have on Etsy, so I thought I would borrow that idea.  

I've been on Etsy quite a lot in the past few weeks buying presents for people, but since we built an addition to our house and I now have a tuition bill to pay for Zack, Rick and I decided we really weren't going to buy anything much for each other.  Which is totally ok with me -- trust me, we're happy with just nesting and reading the tons of books we DO allow ourselves and playing hours upon hours of UNO with the kidlet.  And he's going to be just fine on Christmas morning, no doubt about it.

But it's fun to window shop, no?  And who knows, I might find something you'll love to get for someone special in your own family!

"Being Part of the Bigger Picture" by elukka
I love everything this artist does.  You should look back through her sold items and see the massive puzzle she did -- oh my.  Want.  I like all of this line she's done, but there's something about the trees and the lone house that speaks to me.  I so love it.

Bird No14 by Geninne
I actually want a LOT of her bird prints to decorate the wall behind the bed in our new bedroom.  Sigh.  They're so wonderful -- the eyes are so expressive! 

Ceramic Hedgehog by iktomi
I love hedgehogs.  There's just something about them!  I have a cast iron one by my front door (it was a wedding present, can you believe it?).  But I've always loved these.  She makes smaller ones, but I couldn't find one in this color in her store.  I'll keep stalking.

Folded Dinosaur Book by novelbrand
Seriously, I'd like anything from this store.  I love book folding -- some of the things I've seen are utterly amazing (I mean, think about how much THOUGHT went into this!).  

OK, so there are some of my favorites.  Browsing and sharing is really as fun as buying and owning -- we can ooooh and aaaaah together.  I won't lie, though -- if any of those found their way under the tree, I wouldn't object!

What's on YOUR ooh-ahh list?

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.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sneak Preview of Black Friday

I don't mind admitting -- I'm flat out exhausted. 

I've been working and working and working preparing for two December shows, making lots of custom orders, sending out postcards, working on beading challenges, trying to finish Christmas shopping, all while battling the return of my neurologically despicable headaches.  The return of the migraines and color blindness has shortened my work time dramatically.

However, I've been able to make a few things and wanted to preview them here, get your opinion, and offer them for sale first to my faithful blog readers.  You guys just blow me away.  I don't take you for granted.  At ALL.  

So here's some eye candy, and you can email me if you want to snag anything before Black Friday, and in the meantime, I'll be catching up on reading your blogs!

(Thank you for being here, and continuing to read even when I have nothing witty to say.)

Rare rainbow calsilica, red jasper, and Thai silver necklace, $120 (on sale for $108).

Handmade frosted glass and handmade aluminum chain, $150 (on sale for $135).

Handmade lampwork glass bracelet, $80 (on sale for $72).

 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, November 18, 2010

A Few Quick Notes

~ My guest post by Zachary -- he really did dictate all that to me.

~ I'm way behind on reading blogs so please forgive me for my tardy replies.

~ I'm suffering severe headaches again and have been having to spend half my days in bed the past couple of days.

~  Anyone know how to keep the new 20 pound cat from attacking the 7 pound cat?  He seems to think Max is a toy.

Night, all. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blogger -- Zachary Anderson

Hi.  My name is Zachary and my mom is Lori Anderson.  Mommy bought me a camera and I've been taking all kinds of pictures of things and Mommy said I could show you some of them.  OK, some of them are blurry, but she said that was ok.

I like to take pictures of the ceiling fan spinning fast.  It makes funny pictures.  I also like to take pictures of me making silly faces.  Mommy said I couldn't show you my REALLY funny faces because I was sticking my tongue out a lot but this one is still funny.  And there's a fan in it, too.

Ha ha, did I scare you?  I scare Mommy when I sneak up on her and make this face!

This is a picture of a shelf in our living room.  A friend of Mommy's made the frog vase.  The picture is of me and Daddy when I was little. 

I want to show you where my Mommy works at her computer.  It's very messy.  She said it was ok to show you but she doesn't like her picture being taken.  But I said, "Please" and she finally said, "OK".

Mommy's office is pretty.  She has pretty pictures all over the place.  I draw some for her, but some of her friends drew these.

I took this picture of Mommy when she was beading.  She thinks hard when she works.  She teaches me about beading, too.  I want to make glass beads when I'm old enough.

OK, that's all the pictures I have to show you right now.  I hope you liked my story and I hope Mommy lets me come back again.

By Zachary Anderson
Age 7

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Calling All Knitters!

I recently met knitter extraordinaire Margaret Nock at a coffee shop here in my town.  I "met" her on CreatingTheHive.com and we found out we both lived near each other and made plans to meet in person.

Margaret is not only an avid knitter but a published author!  She's written two knitting books:

You can also get her books on Kindle!  Getting them on your Kindle is cool because you can tweak the font up or down as much as you like. 

I love the "Knitavian" book -- here are just two of the projects you'll find in the pages....

If you're a knitter or know one and need to get a great, affordable Christmas gift, check out Margaret's Etsy shop:  margknittinaround. You'll find signed copies of her books, kits, knit patterns, hand knit and crochet items, and she'll even take special orders.

On her web site knit1fortheroad.com, you'll find FREE knit patterns, knitting resources and fun links.

I hope you'll take a look, and tell her Lori says "hi"!  

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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Jewelry Swap Challenge

Many of you have heard of the Bead Soup Blog Party.  It's a bead swap challenge that occurs at least three times a year (the next party date will be announced next week -- save a date in January!!!!) and it's a huge blast of fun and creativity.  We didn't want the fun to end, so there is also a Bead Soup Blog Party Yahoo Group, open to those who would like to participate in smaller challenges, general bead swaps, and things of that nature.  If you'd like to join the group, click here!

Our most recent challenge was to choose a piece of jewelry we had in our stash that hadn't sold for whatever reason, swap it with someone, and make a new piece of jewelry out of the piece our partner sent to us.  

The list was an odd number, so I had the pleasure of working with two partners!

First up, Johanna Rhodes of Fire Phoenix Creations.  She sent me an adorable bracelet created with handmade paper beads wrapped in colorful wire, all adorned with a butterfly and a purse charm.  The beads dangle from a gunmetal chain.

The bracelet, as Johanna sent it to me.
Cute, isn't it?

I wanted to make sure the cool handmade paper beads were showcased, so I decided not to go too wild.  I chose a coordinating color to go with them -- in this case, a pretty light green.  Each bead's edge is painted in silver, so I coordinated that with heavy-gauge aluminum wire to link everything together.  I didn't use the purse charm, but did use the butterfly as a side focal.  The result is a long necklace that didn't need a clasp at all, as it can easily be pulled over the head without messing up your hair.

So there you go!  From bracelet to necklace.  I hope I showcased her beads well!

The next piece came from Sharon Misuraco of Off the Beadin' Path.  Sharon sent me a gemstone necklace made with small aquamarine coins, brown amazonite, and what appears to be a crazy lace agate triangular donut.  I did a little research on the internet on brown amazonite, and it's also called rainbow amazonite.  I've never worked with this stone before, so was happy to give it a whirl.

Necklace as Sharon sent it to me.
Sharon did a pretty job with the wire wrap on the donut in silver, but I'm running low on silver, and with the cost of sterling through the ROOF these days, I'm trying to get a little creative with what I'm doing lately.  So I pulled out some oxidized copper, hammered some copper washers (oh, how cathartic hammering is!), found some orphan lampwork beads, and awaaaay I went! 

When faced with the wrong gauge for the donut bail, I wrapped the wire with more wire.

I didn't use a lot of the aquamarine, but did dangle some between the hammered copper washer "frames".  I also used a lampwork bird by Lori Lochner, paired with a lampwork orphan bead that had been languishing by its lonesome in my bead drawer, and a copper-coated aluminum bead I recently purchased from the Potomac Bead Company.

I call this one "Painted Canyon".

I hope you'll visit the rest of the Bead Soup Jewelry Exchange participants -- their names and blogs are below!  Just click their name to travel to their blog.


And don't forget to save the date for the next MAIN EVENT -- click here for the details!

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.