Friday, March 29, 2013

The 7th Bead Soup Blog Party® -- First Reveal

It's here!

The First Reveal of the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party®!

Today 161 people

(out of a total of 541 -- map to come later)

will show you what happens when jewelry designers swap their stash.

My partner for the First Reveal is Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime.   Sally sent me some amazing beads (and buttons!):

... and I ended up with a non-jewelry piece, a total misuse of clasps (ha!), and a necklace that is now my new favorite.  Take a look!

First, the non-jewelry piece, which is either going to end up on the wall or, if Zack has his way, hanging in the VW so we can see it every day.  I adore the birdhouse Sally made, and totally love the head pins.  I happened to have an extra purple flower head pin (what are the odds?) and decided I wanted to try to make a sort of tree for the bird house.  

First, I cut up a bunch of 14-gauge copper wire and just randomly coiled it and swirled it and hammered it.  Then I started layering pieces to see what might fit.  It would have helped if I were talented enough to sketch ideas, but it wasn't happening this time.  Wing it, baby.  First, I wrapped the headpins in a cluster to the top of my copper wire (there's a loop behind the flowers so I can hang this on the wall with the purple silk Sally sent).  Then I used thin-gauge stainless steel wire to bind things together.

I didn't want the bird house to slide, so I cut the bail (eek, sorry) and restrung it with copper.  While I was at it, I topped the purple roof with a vintage green filigree bead cap.  Wrapping the copper around the "stem" of my tree keeps it in place and it doesn't slide down and get banged around.

I strung some of the seed beads on the stainless steel wire and wrapped those around the bottom bell flower.  And there you have it -- non-jewelry, but much-loved.

Next is my total misuse of clasps.  Sally sent me two handmade sterling silver hook clasps, and I had those sets of disks, and *bing*, light bulb went off.  Earrings!  I always, always wear earrings, even in pajamas (I'm stylin' like that).  So I decided to twist the base of each clasp, add an ear wire, and with a simple open-and-close with pliers, I can link on any of the lampwork disks to suit my mood.

Cool, huh?  I just made sure to twist each base in opposition to each other for balance.  And now I can add any number of disks I've hoarded to these wires!

And my final piece is my absolute favorite.  It took me four hours to make, what with all the wire wrapping and moving things this way and that.  Again, I had an idea but not enough of one to sketch -- I envy and admire people who can do that!

I used the "grow" polymer clay connector and the green Czech glass beads to make a very important link to another important handmade bead (this one by Maire Dodd).  The copper "protect" piece was originally a bracelet curve, but I needed it to be in a necklace so I had more room to play.  I struggled with doing this, but I finally decided I would change the curve to a flat, and as gently as one can whack something with a hammer, I used a rawhide mallet to flatten the curve.  I then wired on an enameled flower (by Carol Wingfield) and filled the center with more of Sally's green Czech glass.

There's a reason why this part of the necklace is important to me.  First, these beads lay over my heart when I wear the necklace.  Second, the words have meaning to me.  My life is changing, and I'm growing with it, even though I sometimes fight it all the way.  I need to protect my heart as well, from the self-doubt that has been growing there for years.  So this "garden of words" necklace is going to get the heck worn out of it.

I love this necklace because just like life, it's full of the unexpected.  For instance, I used two of the vintage buttons Sally sent as links.  I'd had entirely different plans for them, but they just fit. 

I used (to me) an unexpected color palette.  I love me some pink and purple, but I wanted a pop, and Sally's green Czech glass beads led me to use some amazing amazonite I'd been hoarding.  I used the purple Czech glass rondelles she sent and as luck would have it, a recent random Ebay purchase of hot pink dyed jade just seemed to beg to play, too.  

I added soldered copper rings, made a bronze clasp, and used bronze to make my links.  I love the mix of bronze and copper together -- adds a bit of subtle depth and texture.

I ended up using everything Sally sent except for the etched gray lampwork spacer beads, and I'm going to use them in another project that's percolating in my brain soon.

THANK YOU, Sally, for sending such inspiring beads.  Thank you, more than I can say.

Please visit Sally at to see what she made with the beads I sent (shown below).

And here is the list of those in the First Reveal --
a permanent list will be kept here.

Alicia Marinache All The Pretty Things
Amber Dawn Goldish Inventive Soul
Barb Solem Vivi Magoo Presents
Bev Breisinger
Birgitta Lejonklou
Breana Fry Vault 31
Brenda Sue Lansdowne
Carol Dee Myers
Carolyn Chenault
Cassi Paslick
Cece Cormier
Cheryl McCloud
Cindy Wilson
Crystal Thain
Cynthia Riggs
Dana Hickey
Dana James
Darlene Fortier
Deanna Cox Agape Creations
Deb Brooks
Denielle Hagerman Some Beads and Other Things I Like
Denise McCabe Cabewoman
Diana Frey Tattered Adornments
Diana Welte
Dini Bruinsma
DiYana Alcalde Agape Creations
Dolores Raml CraftyD's Creations
Donna Millard Donna Millard Art Glass
Dot Lewallwn Speedie Beadie
Duane Clark dc'z bizzy bead adventures
Dyanne Cantrell Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Eleanor Burian-Mohr The Charmed Life
Elisabeth Auld
Elizabeth Owens Dwy 1996 Shabby Lane
Emily Greer Gaia Copia
Enikö Fabian
Erin Grant
Eva Kovacs
Eva Sherman
Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements
Grace Rotenberg Rivka's Mom
Gretchen Nation Art Food Lodging
Hannah Rosner Good River Gallery
Heather Davis
Heather Marston CSW Designs
Heather Powers
Ingrid McCue
Jacqueline Marchant
Jan Petek Pepper Tree Designs
Janeen Sorensen Wild Vanilla Designs
Jane-Michael Stallings Craft Vacuum
Jasvanti Patel
Jayashree Paramesh Nchantme
Jayne Capps
Jean Yates Snap out of it Jean, There's beading to do!
Jennifer Cameron
Jennifer LaVite Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry
Joan Williams lilruby jewelry
Jodie Marshall Jodie Marshall
Judy Riggs Rigglettes
Julie Anne Leggett
Kat Barron Miller Midnight Kat Productions
Kathy Lindemer Bay Moon Design
Kim Hora KimmyKats
Kim Houston The Pink Martini Boutique
Krafty Max Krafty Max Originals
Kris Lanae Binsfeld Cherish Designs
Kristen Stevens My Bead Journey
Kristi Harrison It's a New Day
Kumi Fisher Malie Kai Designs
Laren Dee Barton Laren Dee Designs
Laura Bracken Laura Bracken Designs
Laura Demoya The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna Laurie's Jewelry Box
Laurie Keefe-Cecere Tree of Life
Lea Avroch lajewelrydesigns
Leanne Loftus First Impression Design
Lee Anne Messerschmidt Adventures in Jewelry
Leslie Schenkel Twisted Chicken
Linda Anderson From the Bead Board
Linda Djokic Lutka and Co.
Linda Sadler Ida Louise Jewelry
Lisa Liddy Metal Me This
Lisa Suver Fanceethat
Liz DeLuca Creative Arty Facts
Liz Engriser Bead Contagion
Lola Surwillo Bead Lola Bead
Loretta Carstensen Designs by Loretta
Lori Anderson Pretty Things
Lori Bergmann Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Bowring Michaud Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
Lori Schneider Bead Addict
Lyn Foley Lyn Foley
Maddison Langford Maddy's Stitching Corner
Magdalena Sikora Poranna Gazeta
Mallory Hoffman For the Love of Beads
Marcella Austenfeld Good to Go Jewelry
Marcy Lamberson Studio Marcy
Maria Clark Sweet Willow Designs
Maria Rosa Sharrow Willow Street Shops
Marianna Boylan Star Girl Shop
Marti Conrad Marti's Clay Blog
Mary Ellen Merrigan Mary Ellen Beads
Mary Harding Mary Harding Jewelry Bead Blog
Molly Alexander Beautifully Broken Me
Nan Emmett Spirit Rattles :: Spirited Earth
Niky Sayers Silver Nik Nats
Pam Chesbro A Fortunate Soul
Pam Farren
Pam Sandy Pam's Eclectic Stuff
Pam Traub Klassy Joolz
Pamela Gangler She Always Loved Pink
Patricia Buchanan Bracelets Too
Patricia Johnson Patricia L. Johnson Glass Art
Paula Hisel Simply Stated
Peggy Gabrielson Georgia Mountain Arts
Rachel Baron R. Baron Designs
Rachel Stanley Catching Hummingbirds
Rain Hannah Honey & Ollie
Rana Wilson Rana Lea Designs
Renetha Stanziano Lamplight Crafts
Robin Reed Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson A Creative Chelle
Rose Rushbrooke The Art of Rose Rushbrooke
Ruth Szapa New Things
Sally Russick The Studio Sublime
Sandi Volpe Sandi Volpe
Sandra Pendragon Pendragon Jewelry
Sandy Richardson Sandy's Coloring Box
Sarah Small blog by salla
Shannon Hicks falling into the sky
Shari Replogle Plays With Paper
Sheila Daniels Cheeky Magpie
Sheila Davis Stone Designs
Shiraz Biggie Secret Song Designs
Shirley Moore Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z Brising Beads
Staci Smith Staci Louise Originals
Stacy Pomerleau Craft En Ville
Stephanie Weiss Uniquely Me - Beads, Wire, and Desire
Sumi Rani Hundred Colors
Susan Sheehan Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzette Bentley Ellie's Bijoux
Tamera Norris Beads and Things
Tracy Choy BumbleBeads Designs
Tracy Stillman Tracy Stillman Designs
Valerie Norton Hot Art
Vicki Holliday Flop Cat Design

Learn more about the Bead Soup Blog Party 


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.


Today I am 44.

Tiara made for me by my friend Allegra -- ribbons down the back, crystals in the flowers!

I like the neatness of double numbers, same numbers.  I also like that I have to do math to figure out my age as I feel like I'm perpetually in my 30s and numbers are just that, numbers.  One year I went nearly the entire 365 days thinking I was one age when I was really another. 

I also like how birthdays are kind of a personal New Year's Day, and I prefer making resolutions or plans on birthdays instead of January 1st.

My wish for this year is obviously to be healthy.  I'm doing what I can do myself, but I'm praying for good doctors with answers.  They don't have to be good answers, just answers.  Along with that, I want to be kinder to myself when I just can't do it all.

I'm wishing for deepening friendships.  I've been blessed with some amazing people in my life and I will not take them for granted for a second.  My goal is to make sure they always know they're special.

And I'm wishing for continuing progress as I write.  I'm scanning all my photos as triggers and this one makes me smile for a lot of reasons.  Smiling is also on the list of things I want to do more this year.

Cards while camping.  That bottle of vodka?  NOT mine.

Tomorrow is the first reveal for the Bead Soup Blog Party®, something that when I started it, I had no idea would become such an important part of my life.  Forming a community of sorts is a pretty awesome thing, and I treasure it.  So please come back tomorrow and see what the first round of jewelry designers created!

Thanks for sharing my day.


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.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kindness, Gratitude, and Love

These days, I may be short on energy.   I may be short on enthusiasm and creative-thinking.  But one thing I'm not short on is acts of kindness, love, and my gratitude for them.

I appreciate so MUCH your emails and Facebook messages, and oh, the phone calls.  Some of those phone calls have come at such a critical moment.  And I'm humbled by your cards and gifts.  Everything from beads to a motivational pencil to a sweet glass piglet has been delivered to my bedroom and they all bring me to tears.  I don't deserve the kindness, but I'm so grateful for it.

Thank you.

A Kind Cornucopia from a lovely blog reader.

Unfortunately, I had to cancel a large craft show this weekend.  HUGE bummer on many fronts, but there just was no way.  No. Way.  I was feeling really grumpy about it when I started sifting through Zack's Thursday Folder.  The Thursday Folder is a folder the teacher sends home with their graded work for the week.   Nestled in between fraction worksheets and pages about the fifty states was a worksheet on families.  Zack had to pick a family member he admired and what traits they had he liked.

Oh, huge lump in the throat.  He picked me.  

In his best 4th grade penmanship, he wrote that I was "artistic, awesome, pretty, kind, cool, loving, short, and understands me."  And then he said he was like me by being "artistic, cool, kind, loving, awesome, and, short."

Bracelet by Cindy Cima Edwards using one of Zack's charms, in this month's BeadTrends magazine.

Bless his heart.

We may be short here, but we cram every inch of our beings with love and care.

In the middle of all the not-fun-at-all stuff I'm dealing with, I'm constantly (CONSTANTLY) worried about being a good mother in the middle of it.  This sheet of paper pretty much took the sting out of the wounds. wounds I've given myself, because it's obvious I'm loved.  It warmed my tired heart to know what he thinks of me and more important, what he thinks of himself.  

I hope all of YOU know how very much you're appreciated.  I have been remiss in keeping up with email and messages ... it took a Herculean effort to write this.  But I hope some of you will read this and know, without a doubt, that I do not take you for granted.

Better days are coming.  I believe this.  And then it will be my turn to shower you with more than just my mental thoughts of love and respect.  I owe you all so much.  

You have no idea.


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.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Introducing my Bead Soup Blog Party ® Partners!

I'm pleased to introduce you to my partners for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party®.  I have one partner for each of the three reveals (aren't I lucky?). 

First, I wanted to tell you a bit about what I sent my partners.  I decided to send beads from my Secret Stash.  What is a Secret Stash other than, well, secret?  It's my hoard of treasured beads I've collected for special projects, usually destined for my own jewelry box.  If you have a similar hoard, stay tuned for the official date for my new blog hop, "Bead Hoarders", which will take place in July.

Boxes hidden stored underneath my work desk.

Putting my soups together to send was (and always is) a source of anxiety.  I think it is for everyone!   It's exciting to put together a packet of beads that you love, but will your partner love them?  That's one of the things I like about this jewelry challenge, though -- the unknown.  I don't think there's anything I can't work with, including a chaotic environment.

Soup bowls being ladled up.

Usually I'm short on the packaging side, which is silly, since I know exactly when the party is going to take place, so you'd think I'd have plenty of time to make something pretty!  This time, I actually DID.  Lying in bed about five days of the week, I've still managed not to be idle, and I knitted and crocheted bags for each soup:

My First Reveal partner is Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime.  I actually had the pleasure of taking an etching class with Sally at artBliss in 2011 and was thrilled to see she had pink stripes in her hair, too!

Me and Sally, apron-clad, working on etching.

I sent the following to Sally -- a mix of large, beautifully tinted polymer clay beads and chain I'd been hoarding for a while.

Sally's packaging was inspirational as well as pretty.....

She sent me an beautiful spring-inspired soup, including an enameled bird house focal Sally made herself (!).  She had no idea I used to collect decorative bird houses until I completely ran out of room and sold almost all of my possessions to move overseas.  Needless to say, I was thrilled!

More beads, decorative head pins, and other lovelies....

Silk ribbon and handmade clasps from Sally's own hands, as well as some AMAZING buttons.  Did she remember I collected vintage buttons?  If not, she certainly nailed it on the head!  These are just gorgeous.

Thank you, Sally!  
Visit me on March 30th to see what I've made with this amazing soup!

Now for my Second Reveal partner, Karin Slaton of Backstory Beads.  Karin is a multi-talented jewelry designer who has a way with seed beads that leaves me wishing I had that skill!  I was tickled to read that Karin remembered exactly which blog post she first read of mine.  It always makes me happy to know my words are being read.

I sent Karin a soup that I'd been hoarding and adding to for a while.  I can't remember when I got the Thai silver elephant bead, but I love elephants (riding one in Thailand is on my bucket list) and I held onto this bead for ages.  I just never knew what to do with it.  Ironically, I got a brain storm just as I was sifting through the beads, but sent it anyway.  Sharing a soup you truly love yourself, I think, lends a special something.   Even if the beads don't fit your partner's style, I think the good intentions help stir up the creative juices.

I made a tassel to go with the pendant from chain from AD/Adornments but told Karin to PLEASE take it apart if something else struck her fancy.  I added a favorite clasp (also from AD/A), aquamarine rondelles, Cape Amethyst coins, Thai silver spacers to go with the pendant, a couple of etched lampwork disks, and a collection of ceramic Kazuri beads I had originally bought for my book but couldn't part with (until now!).

Karin's soup was beautifully presented with an "open in order" theme:

 How exciting!

Package #1 held the focal, an unusual pendant that, while not my normal style, is something I would have snagged had I seen it for its sheer coolness.  Zack is quite enamored with it, too!  Karin said she bought it right before a local bead store closed its doors, so I'm honored to have it.  I'm not sure what the central piece is (it seems like a fossil of some sort, maybe?) but the other stones are smoky quartz and pearl.

Next came a gorgeous, rich assortment of cultured pearls, a sterling silver toggle clasp, and a strand of black gold-plated copper wafers Karin had just bought but decided fit my soup.  Lucky girl, am I!

She rounded out this earth-toned soup with sterling silver disks and Tibetan copal beads, which brought back fond memories of sorting through tons of these beads with a friend at Bead and Button one year.

The final envelope contained a very cool surprise -- a color wheel set!  Even though I usually work in pastels and bright colors, I'm constantly stumped for new palette ideas.  I'm excited to see how this will help me!

Thank you, Karin!
Please visit me here on April 6th to see what I make!

Last but certainly not least is my Third Reveal partner, Barb Fernald.  

The soup I mixed for Barb had some of my favorite colors in it -- pink and purple.  Because the soup was looking too matchy-matchy, I threw in a curve ball with some green jade connector beads that I've never seen before or since.  The donut is made by Elaine Ray and I picked it out by sorting through dozens of them at BeadFest last year.  I added some cornwall blue lampwork beads I made, Thai silver beads, sari silk, a clasp that I originally bought for my book (you don't even want to know what the silver spot was when I bought clasps for my book....), and pewter jump rings.  Those magenta rondelles -- OH I've been searching for more for years.  Those were literally the last four in my stash.

Barb sent my soup packaged up in enticing bundles.....

She was thinking about my son when she took the box to be mailed and asked the post mistress if she had any cool stamps to add to the box.  She happily and heartily complied!

Barb, like all of my partners, is way more talented than I could ever hope to be and made a large part of the soup herself.  For instance, the fine silver clasp and focal....

And then a green palette.  Green has always been a challenge for me so I'm looking forward to this.  I love green and my green bead tray runneth over, so why don't I USE green more?  No clue.

Patinaed bronze square beads and leaves and two polymer clay and copper wire leaves (ALL made by Barb), frosted glass rings, and a variety of seed beads.

More of those cool polymer clay leaves in head pin form that Barb made (they remind me of encaustic art) and some cool African bangles made from recycled flip flops.  I love these.  She said I could just wear them, or if I cut them in pieces, they're hollow, so I could make tube beads.  The possibilities!

As you can see by her note, she sent me these, curious to see if I could do something with them.  Why, I think I can!  (I think.  I'm musing.....)

And rounding out the abundance, three types of pearls, fringy copper chain, faux beach glass, and variscite.  Love it all.

Thank you, Barb!
Come back on April 13th to see what I make!

Everyone spoiled me like crazy and I'm having serious angst about what I sent after I got my wonderful soups.  I really thought hard about what I sent but I can't help but feel I didn't measure up.  Ladies, thank you so much for sending me such thoughtful packages, and I hope I can do everything justice.


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.