Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting ready for a new year.

As I think back on past things
I try to remember
what I'm doing TODAY!

Thank you to my friends and readers!

And come back 
January 1st
for a bunch of "thank you" giveaways
you won't want to miss.

It'll be a giveaway to help
make your memories of yesterday
improve your todays.

(powered by pie)

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".

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Santa Needs GPS

This was originally posted in 2011.  I thought you might enjoy one of my favorite pieces of humor, my present to you.

Disclaimer:''No reindeer were harmed during this post.  They're all stunt reindeer.  I can't say the same for the jet pilot."

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Day at the beach, this is not.

A week or so ago I went back to my Lyme doctor to discuss the latest set of tests and yada yada ad nauseum.  An hour later Rick and I walked out with that deer in the headlights look. Thankfully, he's completely on top of everything now, but I'm less so.  So I write.  I write about my illnesses here not to get pats on the back or anything like that.  I just write what I'm living, and this is what I'm living with.  It's not all happiness and beads and pie.

I'm actually quite lucky.  I have a good, knowledgeable doctor, a husband and son who put up with all the many changes Lyme disease and an active mold infection/invasion/whatever you call it brings, and I try to remember there is indeed hope.

But knowing I'm lucky and acting like I'm lucky are two entirely different things.  I've been trying to process what's going on with me and I find myself being sad, angry, hopeful, back to mad as hell.  I think that's probably normal for anyone who gets bad news about their health.  I also think a lot of people in similar situations are afraid to say they're mad, because so many other people have a life that is much worse.  I know this.  I mean, I *really* know this.  But it doesn't help when you're shaking like a leaf from pain or so sick to your stomach you can't move.  To hear "this is good, this means the bad bacteria are getting clobbered!" doesn't do me a bit of good then.  It makes me get all bitey and stabby. 

I guess I'm just not an inspirational kind of person these days, and that makes me all kinds of sad (and mad).  Right now I'm not the kind that can be joyful in the midst of swallowing 15 pills, thinking "at least I don't have to have an IV every day."  And I don't like me anymore, either, which is pretty sad, too.  It's not surprising to me that many people have backed away as if I had a toxic waste tattoo on my forehead.  I don't blame them.  I'm a pain in the ass to deal with right now. 

I miss me.  

My latest appointment brought up a lot of new issues, all of which mean I can be treated that much better, but none of which felt like particularly happy news.  I have an active mold infection (I guess that's what you call it) three times the toxic level expected.  We have no idea where the mold is coming from, and mold is in all sorts of forms.  Most people think of icky black mold, but I learned that all my books, especially my antique books, and pretty much anything antique or vintage I've brought into the house, could contain whatever it is I'm infected with.  I need to see an allergist to find out, but worst case scenario, I'll have to discard a LOT of treasured things.  My life is more treasured, but I don't think there's a single one of us who would cheer to see your carefully curated things go in the burn bin. So we're getting a home inspection, and will go from there.  

I try not to think about it.

Ha.  Actually, trying not to think about it is getting easier.  The doctor said I had the worst case scenario of Lyme and mold together because they both can mimic each other and make it difficult to know what you're actually killing.  And my tests showed that both the mold and the Lyme has entered my brain.

To which I say, getoutgetoutgetout I did not invite you in.  Get OUT.

(OK, time for a station identification where Lori reminds herself why this is all worth fighting.)

That little boy is the love of my life and I have to be here for him.  But many days, I'm not. Adding new supplements and medications to fight even harder has rendered me on some days almost incoherent.  I sleep for hours and hours and don't remember where I am or what day it is or what time it is when I wake up.  Again, all this is good because it means my body is really giving it the good fight.  But I HATE it.  I hate missing an entire weekend of seeing Zack, reading to him, ANYTHING.  

Having this stuff in my brain means it's harder to hide, too.  I stumble, bump into walls, need my cane, walk with stiff legs, all until I can sit and get under control for a few minutes.  I can't go for long drives anymore, which used to be a way I got my grouchies out.  It's difficult to read because I can't remember what I read.  I can't remember if I got all the right presents for the holidays and they're certainly not wrapped.  And I'm having my pretty long extensions, all that lovely pink and purple, taken out tomorrow, in part because I just can't take care of it.  I'm afraid I'll cry when I see what's left.

We also discovered I have a genetic mutation that means I can't process folates, and the medicine I was given when they thought I had lupus was actually toxic to my liver.  Yay.  

But really, I should say YAY! with all sorts of enthusiasm because knowing all this, finally, means I can start to heal.  The doctor says at least 18 months.  That seems short sometimes, forever other times.  And I'm bitter about the year I lost, getting sicker and sicker and not knowing why.  But some people go years without knowing.  I'm trying to be chipper, I swear to pie I am, but it's very, very .... very difficult.

I have no idea what next year will bring.  I know I'll do the Bead Soup Blog Party but it will probably be a little different.  I can't make any real plans, as far as dates yet.  I'm sitting upright at this moment, typing, but tomorrow I could be flat out again.  Or not.  I just don't know. And I HATE that.  I'm going to try to be more cheerful and be easier on myself.  I hope.

I'm just really frustrated.  And I can't seem to put it into proper words.  It all sounds whiny and pathetic and I can't seem to make the lemonade out of Lyme right now, today, but who knows about tomorrow.  

I have absolutely no idea if this post made any sense.  I'll leave you with my best boy, making his mark in the world.  I hope to join him soon, making our marks together.  Ya know?  And I have to fight in order to do that.

(powered by pie)

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".

Friday, December 13, 2013

Handcrafted Christmas Ornament Blog Hop 2013

This is my first year participating in an ornament swap.  I was excited to receive Becky Pancake as my partner, and first and foremost, I have to thank her for her patience in waiting for me to Express her ornament to her.  Dates are all catching up on me and I really didn't want to miss this, especially after the beautiful and meaningful ornament Becky sent to me.

The rules of the blog hop stipulated that an art bead had to be used in the making of the ornament, and it had to be handmade in general -- no store bought ornaments.

I have a tradition in my family where on Christmas Eve, we all open a box, and it's a new ornament for the tree.  I started that when I became an instant step-mom to two wonderful boys and then a mom to Zack.  The idea (in my mind) was for each child to have a box of ornaments to take with them when they had their own place.  It's always fun to see what we picked, except for last year when I hid them so well from myself that the only one I could find was (luckily) Zack's!

I'm still looking for those ornaments.

One of my Radko ornaments Rick gave me when we first married.

Becky not only sent me a handmade ornament, but one with a lot of thought.  She designed the ornament herself after looking through books of old-fashioned ornaments, and she made sure to add dangly bits because she knows how I love that in my jewelry.  She also wrote me (hand wrote!) a letter that made me tear up and cry, in the good way.  That letter is very special, Becky, and a keeper, of course.

Becky is a seed-beader, someone I already bow down to in awe.  So the fact that she made her own pattern, AND incorporated my favorite colors, AND shared a special art bead, is very special.  It's obvious she put time into this.  LOTS of time.  

She said the deep pink art bead reminded her of candy from her childhood, and it's certainly pretty enough to eat, for sure.  And I'm not sure if this was the intention, but .... I've been reading a lot of fantasy novels to Zack lately, and I recently read one that reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, which is the first "big girl book" I owned in Kindergarten.  So this ornament immediately reminded me of the hot air balloon Oz and Dorothy used to leave the Emerald City.  

I made her an ornament with a large hollow lampwork bead and her favorite colors of pink and aqua -- pearls, crystal, and Czech glass.  I was seriously late in getting it to her, (she just got it yesterday), so I apologize for the delay big time.

I made Becky's ornament with a Keysha Koy hollow glass bead (LOVE her work and have a lot of her jewelry to wear).  I made an armature with 14 gauge wire and with hair thin wire, started adding teeny tiny pearls, 4mm pink rose A2X crystals (which I hoard), and new Czech glass beads I got at the latest BeadFest, then added top-drilled pearls at the bottom of the ornament.  I hung the hollow beads with DMC thread, and added a few love knot links of jump rings as anchors.

Now Zack wants one.  I guess I'd better get busy finding more beads!  I showed him how I did the wire wrapping, that it's not that hard, and I may, just may, be able to get him to try it this holiday.

Becky, thank you so much for so many things.  The letter -- that will stick with me forever and you have no idea how much it meant to me.  I read it when I'm down.  The ornament -- sheer bliss.  What a work of art!  And your patience -- I nearly blew this hop and I'm so glad it worked out.  And than you, Sally, for this annual tradition!

Happy Holidays to all -- hug the ones you love, 
write the ones you can't hug.

Becky can be seen at 

Other participants and their magic can be seen at:

Sally Russick (hostess with the mostest) and Beth and Evie McCord

(powered by pie)

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".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Beauty of Hidden Treasure

The past months have been very intense on many levels.  One of the things that happened was the incredibly untimely death of a dear, treasured, much-loved friend, Stan.

Last month, Rick and I had just come home from a weekend away when the phone rang.  I was helping Zack with homework when Rick walked into the bedroom with a stricken look on his face and said, "We need to talk."  

That's never good.

And it wasn't.  Stan passed away from a chronic disease and only a few members of his family knew and then only a little before it happened.  It rocked our Air Force family of linguists.  Rocked it to the core, I dare say.  He was an icon, someone people knew about if they didn't know him personally.  Those who knew him personally were forever touched by him in some way -- by his amazing talents, how he always had people's backs and wasn't afraid to stand up for friends, by his dry sense of humor.  

I knew him not only from Korea but from reuniting for a time after I left the Air Force and started college.  The photo above is from my first trip to visit him after leaving Korea in 1991, so that places the photo from 1997.  (That smile!  Why does it make me cry now?)  

It was an amazing trip for a million reasons, but one was the intense conversations.  We kept up those intense conversations via email and letter, and I'm so lucky to have kept paper copies of many of them.  At the time, we were both pretty damaged souls, and I feel that during those visits, we helped heal a few hurts.  

When I left Korea, he and I had started to really bond.  It was bittersweet, my leaving the Air Force, but I knew I'd done my tour, and as much as my heart tugged at me to stay in and make it a career, I suppose my brain knew I still had a lot of things to do in life.  Stan believed the same thing for me.  

One night, before I left, he gave me a present.

Stan gave me a book from his own shelves, a book by the philosopher Nietzsche.  He had marked it all up, underlined and highlighted passages, written in the margins -- it was his favorite book, he said, and he was passing it on to me.  Those kinds of gifts are just intensely personal and amazing, and indicative of the type of person he was -- generous to a fault for those he cared about.

When I took the book off the shelf the day Stan died, a letter fell out.


I have opened and closed that book so many times.  Yet I had never found the letter he hid between the pages until the day he died.  A love letter, and it tore my heart up.  I had other such letters from him, but to have one show up, suddenly, hidden since 1991..... chills.  A message.  I needed it.  No one can tell me that wasn't divine intervention.

Sigh.  This post really stinks as a eulogy to him, but I've tried writing it a million times and this is what I can write.  The rest is in my heart.  I left out far more than I could have put in, but I've shared it all with his son and will be sending him copies of the letters and pictures I have.  And I hope his son doesn't mind me sharing the following photo, because it helps heal my heart to know that Stan's last years in particular were so joyful to him because of his grandson.  I've never heard him talk with such complete and total peace.  

I miss you, Stan.  You are loved.  Not were.  Are.  

(powered by pie)

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".

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

When Life Gives You Lyme Instead of Lemons, You Can Still Make Lemonade, Right?

Just a quick note from the comfort of my bed.

I know it's been a long time since I last wrote, and for those of you who follow me on Facebook, you already know the what's up.  Forgive me for using Facebook rather than my blog, but my blog post about everything that's been going on in the past few weeks may or may not happen.  Facebook forces me to be a bit brief, and my blog has always felt like a sanctuary to me, a place where words take time and marinate (along with decent photos) and frankly, I've just withdrawn a bit because my blog was starting to be "Icky Things No One Really Wants to Hear About" instead of "Pretty Things".

However, and however, and yet still ... however.

I'll give you one of the reasons I've been remiss.

In a nutshell, after seeking a second opinion on my Lupus diagnosis, I hooked up with a doctor who specializes in Lyme and related diseases.  For the past year (yep, it's been almost exactly a year) I've felt so sick, so tired, so Not Right.  I've been taking Lupus drugs for a while but didn't  get that much better.  I always wondered about Lyme disease, but whenever I was tested, it would come back positive, and then the secondary test would come back negative, and none of the doctors felt it was worth pursuing because more extensive tests aren't covered by insurance and are pricey, so they said, "Nope, not Lyme."

Enough of that nonsense.  I wanted to get better.

Sixteen vials of blood later (which included the expensive out of pocket test) showed I absolutely do have Lyme disease.  It also showed a whole myriad of things I wasn't expecting....My mold exposure count (or whatever you call it) was high.  Platelets too high. Estrogen too high.  Vitamin D not being absorbed.  And insulin resistance, which explained why I kept gaining weight so rapidly, with or without help from pie.

Quite a lot to take in!  And quite a lot to treat.

I'm currently under a rigorous antibiotic regimen as well as using some more holistic approaches to handling everything else. I've been on a restrictive diet and have learned to embrace the nebulous quantity that is the kale smoothie.

But I am tired.  Nay, freaking grumpy and exhausted.  I have enough energy to get Zack to school and that, folks, is about that.

Me being me, I feel incredibly guilty for missing deadlines, being totally zoned out, and feeling I have absolutely nothing to contribute right now except excuses.  I have so many ideas, so many things that need to get done, so many plans.... But right now my body is running the show, and it's telling me to slow down or I'll make things worse.  It's telling me it's OK to be in a vile mood sometimes when all I can do is stare at the ceiling fan.  My life isn't over.  It's just stalled for now.  I have no idea how long it'll be until I feel more like myself.  (Months, say some.  Years, say others.)  I'm trying to embrace the chance to rest,  But it already feels like it's been a lifetime of resting, and I'm kinda over it.

I guess you could say, things sort of suck right now, and oh, I know, I should be very glad I'm being properly treated (Lord, let's hope so this time), but I'm not going to lie.  I'm Bitter, Party of One a LOT of the time, and the effort it takes to be brave and cheerful -- right now, I do not have that.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe next week.  But not today.

Which, in a rather larger nutshell than I intended, is why I've been absent.

I'm trying very hard to make lemonade out of Lyme.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

winner of "The Missing Link"

Please take a trip to to see if you won a book!

The winner of my journal goes to Cassie Renee...send me your address and you' able to start drawing your designs!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"The Missing Link" Book Tour Stops HERE Today!

I'm so happy to have been asked to participate in helping Cindy Wimmer bring her book, "The Missing Link", to fruition.  It seems like years since we tossed ideas across dinner, and now she's created the MUST HAVE book for anyone who want to learn wire techniques as well as those who are already wire fanatics.

I have two pieces in the book using several links taught by Cindy.  I used copper and bronze and learned a LOT.  I was very nervous about being in a book that centers on wire.  While I love wire, I distinctly remember the first time I met Cindy.... she was wearing a long, amazing necklace, very similar to the one on the cover of her book.

I constantly want to steal everything she makes, but this particular necklace just always drew me in. With this book, I'll be able to use my favorite hoarded beads and make my own necklace.  The beauty of wire is it often has a mind of its own, so even though I'll be following Cindy's instructions, chances are my piece will be quite different than hers.

Case in point -- some of my first trials.  Below are examples of what happens when you use a smaller gauge wire and create a larger frame than defined, as well as what a link looks like when it's hammered versus left alone:

Both of these links are MUCH larger than your link will be if you follow Cindy's instructions. It's also an excellent example of why you should buy the book and not try to guess and try to reproduce from the photos you'll see throughout the book tour.  Cindy has it down to a science, from the exact gauge that works to the exact measurement to turn your pliers.  Now, this doesn't mean you can't experiment.  Obviously, as shown above, I did.  I'm not at all happy with my first experiments BUT, I plan to wrap them with tiny gemstones and work them into another design. Win/win.

Some links lend themselves well to adjusting gauge.  In this example, I made the same link but with different gauges.  Depending upon the size of jewelry you're making, you'll find that many of Cindy's links are easily adaptable.  You can also play with oxidation or leaving the metal raw.

I'll leave you to look through Cindy's book to see the necklace and charm bracelet I made, but I'll show you another necklace I made using several of her creative links, using polymer clay components from Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf. (click for a larger photo)

Now here comes the fun!  

Each of the reviewers will be giving away a copy of Cindy's book.  
All winners will be announced on Cindy's site on October  21st

If you leave a comment on each of the reviewer's blogs, 
you get that many more chances to win a book!

In addition, I'm giving away a journal for you to sketch out all the ideas I know will be bursting out of your head when you read Cindy's book!  I'll also announce the winner around the 21st.

Please visit each blog this week to see some amazing work,
inspirations, and don't forget to comment for the giveaway!

Oct. 15 -  Cindy Wimmer 

Oct. 16 -  Tracy Statler  {Make Bracelets}

Oct. 17 -  Lori Anderson  {Pretty Things}  (here!)

Oct. 18 -  Kerry Bogert  {Kabs Concepts}

Oct. 19 -  Diane Cook  {rosa & josies}

      and     Heather Powers {Art Bead Scene}

Oct. 20 -  Christine Damm  {Stories They Tell}

Oct. 21 -  Cindy Wimmer  {all winners announced here!}

(powered by pie)

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.

Things are going to change....

I haven't been around much, but I've been keeping up with things as I can.  There are some exciting things on the horizon...My first craft show in a YEAR is this weekend; Cindy Wimmer's Book Blog Tour kicked off today; a new blogging eBook coming out.  For fun, the Anderson family now owns a tandem bike (for Rick and Zack) and I got a retro pink Schwinn.  Yep, I'm getting a basket.  No, not getting tassels. Yes, my bell is cool, with a pink peace sign on it.  I can't wait to be strong enough to take it grocery shopping.


I haven't made a ton of jewelry, but what I've made, I feel, has taken me over the bar a little bit.  Not everything. But more and more I'm making things for aesthetic beauty and sentimental reasons without boxing myself in due to the cost of the beads I use.  Of COURSE I pay attention to demographics and their price points, and my booth isn't going to suddenly be filled with mega-watt designs, but I'm determined to break out of a few molds.  There for a while, I *seriously * considered selling the business.  But it's not just about the jewelry, or just me.  More on that some other day.

Zack will soon be offering his resin pendants in his Etsy store, so stay tuned!  We're planning to load it up all at once and shout (swinging a bar through a triangle), "Come and get it!"  Plus the awesome guys at PJ  Tool & Jewelry Design sent me an amazing kit I know you'll love.....Bezel Effects !  As always, there will be a giveaway of their goodies, and OH, I need to show you their new soft-strike aluminum.  I work with kids and stamping and these new blanks are terrific!

When my show is over in two weeks, I have a list.  Sorting LEGO kits while watching movies is high on that list.  Knitting.  Doing some more intensive, creative jewelry design.  Lighting up my torch again.  Starting Zack on piano is another.  And always in the background....writing.  I'm writing, Zack's writing with many things planned, but only one thing at a time, and no guilt if I have to nap.

Medically, things may have taken a sharp 180 and I'm kind of starting all over again.  I'm going through acupuncture, physical therapy, and yet more new doctors, but more on that once I get a final answer.  Tired of the "we think it's...." garbage.  For now, I'm allowing myself to rest on the bad days and enjoy the hell out of the good ones.

Things are happening.  

(powered by pie)

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.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Winner of the copper wire is....

Bead Recipes

Zack pulled your name out of the bowl,
so send me your mailing address and this
and a few other goodies will be on their way.

Congratulations, and stay tuned for the next

(powered by pie)

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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Directionally Challenged -- Baubles and Beads Design Team Reveal

I was excited to be included in the Baubles and Beads Design Team challenge this month.  The very awesome thing about getting a package of beads in the mail that I didn't choose is being pushed to think outside my comfort zone.  In this case, I was absolutely and completely lost.  Everything was very cool, but my mind was completely blank, blank as blank can be.  I had no road map, lost my way, and had no directions.  "Go forth and create!" they said.  Well, OK then!

To remind you, these are the components Baubles and Beads sent to me:

A very eclectic mix!  Hmm.  Well, I rarely work in gold tones.  And I'm not a geometric sort of gal, either, so the pyramid squares and circle grid blew my mind a little (who knew the power of beads?).  I loved the fall colors of the Chinese knotting cord, and the brass hex beads and Swarovski pearls are elements I love.  I love Czech glass, particularly when it's in a cool shape like the royal blue ovals, and the bronze leather strap was something I haven't seen anywhere else.  And then a roll of wire.  Wire, I adore.  Not as much as pie.  But I do like wire.  (More on that in a minute).

I made three pieces using almost everything in the package.  

The first piece involved the circle grid.  I lay in bed one day and thought, "I could embroider that."  And so I did.  For the longest time, the embroidered circle sat on my work bench, taunting me.  I wanted so much to use it in a bracelet, but every design I tried made me twitch.  "Not. Right."  Giving up on an idea is horribly difficult for me (VERY Type A here -- no, really?) but I gave in without giving up and dug into trays and bins and created this:

I used the raw brass connector and wove two colors of the Chinese knotting cord through the frame AFTER I lightly sanded the edges of the grid.  Raw brass can sometimes have a sharper edge in places, so use a small flat file and lightly file in only one direction before using.

I also used the bronze Swarovski crystal pearls, and the brass hex beads provided me.  (I absolutely LOVE those hex beads.)  From my stash, I added a lampwork bead, a couple of leaf beads, dyed jade that matched the cording, and chain in a matte finish.  I intentionally mixed the raw brass with oxidized brass for a subtle color shift.

Then the brain took another holiday and I thought about the scalloped collar stamping.  I really wanted to design the HECK out of that thing, but all of my ideas required a lot of risk.  

One idea required a significant style change (say hey steampunk).  While I own tons of watch pieces and rivets and such, I have absolutely ZERO experience with steampunk, and if I started punching holes and messed up -- well woops, there goes my piece.  Then I thought about etching, but I quickly realized that while I've done that once (in a class), I didn't want to practice with ammonia or ferric acid or any of that sort of thing and once again, risk not only messing up my piece but blowing something up.

I did a sketch and came up with this idea, but the metal is thick, I didn't have the right saw blades, and AGAIN -- cut into the metal, screw it up, buh bye project.  But it's a cool idea and I will have to buy some of the collars and try it anyway at a later date.

So I asked Zack.  I flipped the piece across the table and said, "What's that?" and without a second thought he said, "A tiara."

OMG this is SO my kid, because I have to admit -- the first time I looked at that piece, *I* immediately thought, "tiara".  So tiara it must be.

I still had that embroidered circle -- could I use it?

Meh.  If I could have etched the brass or seed beaded it or something impressive, maybe.  But I wasn't coming up with anything impressive at ALL and I really, really  wanted to do something different.  Lying in bed, watching a movie, my brain must have realigned itself, because I suddenly had it -- buttons.  While searching for buttons, I found some fabric and glitter and things just started coming together.

A little more about the filing.... I applied the Modge Podge Matte one night, and it was dry the next day.  I had planned to tear off the excess paper as I wanted some of the oxidized brass to show here and there around the edges.  In some places, though, the Modge Podge wasn't quite dry enough so the paper just would NOT cooperate.  Using the file, though, I was able to neatly remove the paper quick as quick.  

As for the German glass glitter, it is a very very fine powder glitter, so I recommend wearing gloves if you're going to do a lot of manipulating. This type of glitter is ground-up glass, and if you get it under your fingernails, it can cut.  Get it in your eyes, you can scratch a retina.  Get it on the cat , and you just have a confused although decorative cat who won't feel like licking himself for a while.

The final result:

I have to say this is my favorite piece.  I used vintage mother of pearl and vintage crystal buttons, and a couple of Swarovski crystal flat backs and hot-glued that bad boy together.  There are SO many people who do this vintage style MUCH much better (like my friend Diane Cook), but I'm still rather happy.

If I keep on and make this a tiara, it's going to need combs wired on or satin elastic or .... something.  And after I made it this far, I thought it looked pretty good flipped upside down as a neck piece, so I may finish it up with some tiny rhinestone chain and pearls.  Zack was very proud of me, which matters the most.

The last piece used the blue vintage-style Czech glass beads, the hex beads, and the Swarovski pearls again:

I used two lampwork beads from my stash and used the hex beads as end caps and added texture with the Swarovski glass pearls and a brass bird charm.  This style comes naturally to me -- I actually made it yesterday while talking to a friend and she was surprised I got it all together as quickly as I did.  Go me!

There you have it -- done, done, and done!  I'm proud I didn't give up, I'm proud that I didn't beg off sick, and I'm proud that I did stretch myself.  Thanks to Baubles and Beads for their contribution of goodies!

You can visit the other Design Team partners by clicking here:

1.  Get 20% off your order at
until September 30th by using code BPSEP

2.  Visit THIS LINK to comment and win the exact kit shown
at the top of the page.

3.  Leave a comment below on my blog to win
a roll of 24 gauge antique copper non-tarnish wire.

WOW.  This was a long one.  I hope you had fun!

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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.

Teaser for the Baubles and Beads Reveal

Tomorrow I'll be posting what I made with the goodies sent to me by the folks at Baubles and Beads -- yep, I actually made not just one but three things (almost all done today, in fact)!  I can't believe it myself, either.  

Above is a tease of what I used on one piece.  Vintage book pages, vintage mother of pearl and crystal buttons, and German glass glitter.  

See you tomorrow!

(powered by pie)

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.