Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Art Jewelry Elements - Nightmare Bead blog hop

Looking for the 1st Reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party®Click here!

I love Art Jewelry Elements, a relatively new collaborative blog with some amazing art bead makers!  I joined in one of their blog hops run by Jennifer Cameron, a glass artist I just love (and she's also a contributor to my book!).

Her blog hop involved her nightmare bead, so named because it apparently interpreted her daughter's vision of a nightmare.  I really like this bead style (and that's what's in the book!) so of course I had to join the hop.

Here's my bead.

As luck would have it, my friend Carol Wingfield Myers had sent me some enameled beads that matched perfectly!!!  But I wanted to add a "nightmare" aspect to it, so I tried, for the first time, to work with steel wire.

And y'all.... that was a nightmare.

I take off my hat and bow to those who can master this beastly dirty wire, but I apparently should have read up on it first!  Do I coat it with Renaissance Wax FIRST, or last?  I didn't have baby wipes on hand to clean my hands so my trusty t-shirt is now a work shirt.  And I am so GLAD I keep every tool I've ever bought, because I was able to cut this stuff with a trusty pair of Barracuda cutters I'd stowed away.

But I couldn't have picked a better wire, because the color is PERFECT for this bead.

The wire has a finish unlike anything I've worked with (oxidized sterling doesn't match it).  I looped the wire, because my own nightmares and dreams often loop back on each other and I have the same ones over and over, but with elements of OTHER dreams inserted.  Talk about confusing -- is it a dream, or is it real?  The dangles are made with apatite, a stone I haven't really worked with much because it can be brittle (again -- like a nightmare if not used just right).

I had some dyed ribbon that worked beautifully with the beads (a good dream this time!) and then worked out a bail that I'm not sure I'm happy with yet.  The IDEA was to make a bail out of a spiral, but what to do with the ends?  I didn't want my beads falling off (nightmare.)  So I tucked them under, purposely being a little.... organic with them (organic is a great substitute for "oops", "messy", and "that-wasn't-where-I-was-going-with-that-but-it'll-work").  

So there you have it!  The Nightmare Necklace.

Oh, you want more?  OK, then!  My top nightmares (and ones I've heard are pretty common).   I don't fall, I don't show up naked anywhere (a nightmare for all involved!), I don't see scary beasts.  No, it's all about planning.  And college.

:: I show up for college graduation, only to find out I didn't take a class and they yank me out of line.

:: I can't FIND a class I know I need to take, or I find it, but only after a) the class only has 2 minutes left, or b) I show up on the last day -- for the exam.

:: I HAVE my diploma, but suddenly The Men in Black show up at my door to take it away because (oh guess what?) I didn't take a certain class.

Obviously, I have issues with college.  It was easily the hardest thing I EVER did.  The military was easier to manage.

I hope you enjoyed the Nightmare!  Please visit Art Jewelry Elements for more monthly challenges!

Visit the other participants!

Beti Horvath: Stringing Fool
Gretchen Nation: Art Food Lodging
Karen Totten: Starry Road Studio
Kathleen Douglas: Washoe Kat's
Keirsten Giles: The Cerebral Dilettante
Kristen Stevens: My Bead Journey
Lori Anderson: Pretty Things
Rana Wilson: Rana Lea Designs
Shannon Chomanczuk: For My Sweet Daughter


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Welcome to the 1st Reveal of the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party® !

I'm so happy you're here!

So what is the Bead Soup Blog Party?  It's a huge blog hop and beading challenge that has grown into so much more than I ever expected.  There's now a Facebook group for bead and jewelry designers and this October, a book!  To say I'm honored by everyone's participation is a supreme understatement (click here to see the maps!).

As with all my BSBP reveals, this is long, but I hope it's worth it!  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and experience my pit falls, ah-ha moments, and be sure to visit the links to the many talented bead artists my partner sent me!

My partner for the first reveal was Patti Vanderbloemen.  Patti sent me two royal helpings of soup...


After the giddiness wore off, I thought I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do, and even ordered some extra beads for my plan.  But as best laid plans often do, the plan changed.

I knew the blue Bead Soup would be my easiest, so I started on the black, red, and white one first.  I knew I didn't want to mix Donna Millard's lampwork with Marsha Neal's focal, and that focal was my first stumbling point.  I sat there at the table, beads everywhere, and idly picked up a bronze headpin, bronze bead cap by Lesley Watt, and a gold Swarovski crystal pearl from Bead Soup #2.  And guess what?  Brilliant.

I sat with the pendant for a few days and tried to figure out what else to do.  I ended up mixing part of Bead Soup #1 with Bead Soup #2 -- the clasp by Leann Weih became the focal ABOVE the focal, and I pulled out my newest favorite, bronze wire from Objects and Elements, to wrap around an olive green Lucite bead from my own stash.  I also wrapped the link that goes through the clasp with 22-gauge wire for a more substantial and interesting link.

I had bought that wonderful mother of pearl bead at the Bead and Button Show this year and it seemed destined for this piece -- but for some reason, I HAD to use the extra headpin and decided to drill a hole in it to make a link to the (poorly) wrapped Lucite bead.  And remember the gold tangle beads in Soup #2?  They were too bright for this necklace, so I did a QUICK dunk in Jax Brown, praying I wasn't going to ruin them.  I left them in a rustic state because that seemed to work for this necklace.

I wanted to add some color to the necklace, so used multi-faceted dyed red jade from LimaBeads from my stash and square Czech glass beads, also from my stash.  I made a couple of bronze wire cages and stuffed one with white sari silk and captured a jade bead in the other.  I've been super-interested in texture in jewelry lately, so that's what drove the decision.

And here's the finished necklace...

NOT the best photo, but it was 105 degrees outside when I took it and that just had to be that!  I'm rather fond of this.

So that was the first piece, and it made me feel I could actually DO something!  

On to the second piece, with Donna Millard's distinctively patterned lampwork beads.  When working with beads that have a strong pattern, it's important to let the beads do the talking and not have too many other conversations going on in the background.  

I made a pendant for this one with a piece of etched copper from an old project (I save EVERYTHING) and a larger piece of nickle silver.  I stacked a few metal spacers between the two pieces for depth, and riveted some random things in.  The funny thing?  I made this pendant a month before my soup arrived, yet it's perfect with those red beads!

I decorated the links of the red lampwork bead links with tiny copper beads... see them up there?

Then I let the beads do the talking and made a simple linked necklace.  I hope the relative simplicity and modernity of the pendant worked well with Donna's lampwork.  What do you think?

Since I had plans for the clasp Patti sent, I made my own using one of the sterling silver beads I was sent and a lot of wire....

I had one more bead left from Donna's lampwork and the silver beads, and I wanted to see if I could use as much of the bead soups as I could, so I made a two-strand bracelet with bead clusters from the seed beads Patti sent and onyx from my stash.  Here's where I used the silver toggle Patti sent (made by Lesley Watt.)

Then there were the two sets of headpins Patti sent!  I made one pair into a kind of Gothic style:

And the second set is made with some vintage rhinestone beads and photographed against my first wedding cabinet card (I collect cabinet cards, but never had a wedding one!).  It seemed fitting.

So that took care of Bead Soup #1 and part of #2!  

The second soup, the blue soup, I was giddy over because I LOVE fat, chubby lampwork beads.  These are gorgeous substantial beads made by Lea Avroch.  I also love blue, and really need a blue necklace.  I knew I wanted to incorporate my favorite things (dangles!) but I really wanted it LUSH.  

I happened to have a charm by Lesley Watt arrive on my doorstep a couple of days before I started work on the necklace, and since I'd already used the bronze clasp in the earlier necklace, I found another toggle from Lesley and went to town.

And the final piece, which took about three hours of intense wire wrapping.  

I managed to use almost everything Patti sent me.  I only had a few red seed beads, six cultured pearls, a bead cap, and a few Swarovski crystal pearls left over, and I think that's all!

Here's what I sent to Patti, and you can click here to see what SHE made!

And the rest of the BSBP6 Reveal #1 participants! 

Hostess, Lori Anderson, PrettyThingsBlog.com
Alice Craddick,  Alice's Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache,  All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts,  Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson,  AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou,  Create With Spirit   
Candida Castleberry,    Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl McCloud,  One Thing Leads to Another
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream

Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris' Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things
Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikö Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten,  Jewelry, Art and Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade
Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie's Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marti Conrad, Marti C's Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs
Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky
Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal's Attic
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau
 Tina Bosh, Every Good and Perfect Gift
Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna
Next reveal date -- August 11th!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!

A Quick Look at the Bead Soup Book!

I had a quick look at the Bead Soup book these past weeks.  I'm pleased to announce that Jeannie Dukic's butterfly necklace, made with a bead soup I sent her, made the back cover!

Hard to tell in this hasty photo, but the book designer used clever recipe cards and sticky notes in the book to hold key information.  Isn't that clever?  I had an idea about recipe cards but she went the extra mile on it.

Cindy Wimmer took all the photos of the bead soups in the bowls (was it really last summer when we did all this????) and I'll tease you with the soup that my son picked out:

Humble seed beads from our local Ben Franklin (the closest thing we in rural areas have to a Michaels), frog beads by Green Girl Studios, and a clasp from AD/Adornments.  WHAT do you think he came up with?????  Because trust me, he had DEFINITE ideas about what worked and what didn't.  "NO, Mommy.  Seriously?" was often heard while we worked together.

If you're interested in a pre-order with free tutorials and an autograph, look to the right and you'll see the link.  You can also buy the book a little cheaper at the Kalmbach store, but won't receive the free tutorials.

It's almost here -- and I can't wait!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Bead Soup Blog Party® -- Where are we from?

I can't believe it's almost that time!  The 6th Bead Soup Blog Party®, Reveal #1, will be this Saturday!!!!

One of the fun things I do for the BSBP kick-off is to map where everyone is from.  My husband and I sit down and several hours later, we have pins in the map for everyone.  We've learned so much about geography doing this, let me tell you!  I'm ready to win the blue piece of the pie next Trivial Pursuit game!  :-)

So without further ado, here is the entire party, all three reveals, mapped out for you.  Click on the maps to get a larger view!

The Entire Map: 45 US states and 25 Countries

 US and Canada details: 

Europe details:

 Asia and Antipodes details:
(Oops.... I missed Singapore, I'm sorry!)

It never ceases to amaze me how this blog hop keeps growing and expanding.  Each party, we gain new people, but what does that mean?  It's not just about numbers.  Numbers alone don't make a blog hop.  No, what makes the numbers meaningful is they're assigned to PEOPLE, and each person who joins in the fun opens their world a little more.  Not only is everyone expanding their design horizons, they're expanding their network of friends and colleagues -- especially since the Bead Soup Cafe opened its doors on Facebook and took the BSBP from an event to a community.

I'm so excited to see what the first reveal group makes!!!!  Visit me here on Saturday and see what everyone made!

Book Reviews:  More Summer Reading


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicago -- Architecture

Out of the 300+ photos I took in Chicago, I noticed that the majority were of architecture and the interesting lines of buildings and other structures.  Here's a quick little tour with Zack as the guide from the top of the double-decker bus (temperature, 104). 

Celtic church window.

Juxtaposition of the modern
 (Trump Tower, currently the 2nd tallest building in the US) 
and the old (Wrigley Building).

Lake Point Tower condos.

Above Fannie May Candies.  My complaining about how to get a decent shot prompted Rick to look for my Christmas present for this year, a zoom lens.
(Click for a larger photo.)

Don't know why,
but I like the Red Eye.

All that architecture, and I notice the paint on the road.

The John Hancock Center, whose weight is supported by the cross beams you see on the front.  (I about got my head knocked off taking this picture,  leaning out the trolley window upside down).

The Chicago Theater marquee.  
Another "GET YOUR HEAD BACK IN THE BUS!" moment.

Marina City, the first urban post-war high-rise residential complex in the United States.  The bottom part is the garage, but it is MANDATORY valet parking --can you see that all the cars are BACKED into their spots and there's nothing stopping them from going woopsie-doodle out the door?  Yeah.  I'll stick to driving, not parking.

More to come!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm Exhausted. (and I sneak in vacation photos while I'm at it)

I am so tired.

Getting rid of an arsenal of prescription drugs has its pitfalls in some ways -- it can wreak havoc on your system.  At first, I had tons of energy, but right now, I feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

And I'm going to let that be OK for now.

Rick and I watched a movie both yesterday and today so I could rest ("J.Edgar" and "Letters From Iwo Jima", both wonderful).  I finished two books but I missed my book club brunch this morning and was really upset about that but the weather and I guess the travel gave me a killer migraine and I just NOW was able to get upright.

I feel like this fish from the Shedd Aquarium.  Grumpy and crusty.

I took this through glass and can't believe how well it turned out.

Sometimes it's easy to dwell on the bad stuff.  The exhaustion, the list of things that keeps getting pushed off, the web updates that aren't getting done, the jewelry that's not being made.  But I'm human.  Not Super Woman, and even those who play Super Woman in real life AND on TV have bad days -- they're just better at hiding it (which is why they wear a cape).  And which is why they're Super and I am just Woman.

staring out the trolley window in Chicago

The important things this week have been spending a huge amount of time with my son and husband.  The trip to Chicago, while 100+ degrees each day, was worth every second.  We had the TV on for about half an hour the entire trip.  Zack tried lettuce for the first time (HUGE bonus for a kid with severe food issues).  He was a dream rolling with things, enjoyed the museums and the Ferris wheel (which had been an iffy proposition at first) and was an absolute joy. 

making the kidlet smile is the only thing that matters.

So I'm slowly packaging replacement Bead Soups to send out, packing up prizes you've won, supervising thank you notes (you guys at BeadSoupCafe.com have made me cry and Zack thrilled with your coin collections you've sent him.)  I'm praying special parts I ordered for my first Bead Soup Blog Party® reveal arrive on time.   And I'm mourning my friend whose death I just found out about.  More on that later as I share photos with the Air Force family, the classmates who loved him, too.  I know that's affecting me badly.

I learned of John's death before we left for Chicago, and when I saw a flag, I thought of him.

So right now, life is a bit like a Ferris wheel -- it goes round and round and round, and when you're at the top, it's exhilarating, but when you're at the bottom, you feel the weight of all that machinery above you and you just want to get back on the ride and reach for the sky again.

The lesson in all this -- figure out what's important first.  Give yourself the break your body tells you you need.  Do what you enjoy.  Love your family and friends.

And always enjoy the view from the Ferris Wheel, no matter what.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.

Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!