Sunday, June 30, 2013

Google Reader is no more....but you can still stay up to date!

Please take a look at this excellent blog post by Not Your Mommas Cookie about an easy transfer of your favorite blogs to BlogLovin' (which I'm going to test drive, as well as Feedly).

Also keep in mind that Blogger is sporadic in delivering emails when you subscribe by email.  No idea why other than to make people tear their hair out.

To my knowledge, you can still click "Follow" and follow me via the interface.  But I'm still trying to figure out where Google ends and Blogger starts.  From what research I've done, that stays.  So please do "Follow" me (Over there on the right, see it?  Those friendly faces?)

I have no idea what's going on.  
I'm subscribed to email, and I don't get them.  
I'm doing some research tomorrow, 
but the best thing I can offer is to book mark me, 
put me on your desktop, 
or check my facebook, 
as I always repost the link there.

I'm trying to find a blog button to put to the right where you can choose whatever reader you want -- Blogger's gadgets of course aren't working an only offering two readers I've never heard of.  

Can anyone help?

As with anything, there's bound to be some bumps in the road, but they'll all work out.  You can bookmark my blog, put it on your desktop...I just hope you come visit me!  I'll be looking for you, too!

(Wasn't Zack adorable at this age?  He knows a good blog when he sees one!)

(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.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Special Necklace with Special Beads

I've been the very fortunate recipient of some amazing beads as gifts, and I want to share with you a necklace I made (and then re-made) from a set I got recently from a dear friend. Since I'm hosting a Bead Hoarders Blog Hop on July 20th, I thought between now and then I'd share some of my favorite pieces and hoarded bead sets.

This necklace is made with a set of lampwork glass beads by Firelily.  I've bought (and hoarded) a lot of her beads and encourage anyone who loves boro to buy from her.  OMG but these beads I got were amazingly beautiful on their own:

A lot of times, when faced with a rainbow of colors like this, I just add a few Bali sterling silver beads and one color of coordinating Swarovski crystal and call it a day.  When beads are this beautiful, designing can REALLY be problematic.  Too much fiddling around and you can lose the integrity of the bead.   Well, I fiddled like CRAZY with these beads and went WAY overboard with my design, but in the end, I think it worked.  A rarity, but the nice thing is, I can always take it apart.

In fact, I started out with a necklace design I was happy with -- and then kept going.  First, I made a single strand necklace with no pendant.  I don't often wear a necklace without a pendant because I are round.  I'm not happy about that, but it is what it is.   A single strand can sometimes accentuate exactly how round I are!  :-)

This is what I came up with first:

You can see that with boro, what color (and what transparency) you choose as an accent can change the way the bead looks.  Then I went nuts.  There are 24 dangles between each bead, sized from 2mm to 5mm -- citrine, butter jade, peridot, and garnet, all on 26 gauge head pins to keep the bulk down.  I used some really exquisite (and expensive) sterling silver beads I'd been hoarding, and even though I didn't have a drop pendant, I DID have a central sterling silver bead to balance things.  I was pleased that even though I chose to pull out three different colors from the beads, I don't think I detracted from the glass beads themselves.

But then I decided to overdo it.

I tried on the necklace, and while I loved it, I felt weird without a pendant.  I absolutely did NOT want to restring, because if you did the math, there are 384 dangles I'd have to restring (and yes, there was a color pattern to follow with each cluster, too).  Holy crap. Just typing 384 makes my hands hurt, but that shows you how much I puffy-heart loved these beads.

To solve the restringing problem, I cut a short length of chain and using two jump rings, connected the chain on either side of the central silver bead. I added a filigree bead component (that is actually the middle bead of a HUGE three-bead pendant I got from Singaraja Imports (click here to see the entire thing).  

Then, to make it just completely over the top and to the moon, I added a spendy faceted Blue London Topaz dangle and even MORE garnet, citrine, butter jade, and peridot, with a sprinkling of some teeny tiny kyanite to coordinate with that Blue London.

When I bought that enormous, expensive tassel, (when silver was $50/gram, eek) I rationalized that either a) I'd use it to make something for me, or b) I'd take it apart so I could recoup some of the cost -- and I did just that by using part of it in the "Ginger Peach Soup" necklace in my book (and oh hey, I used Firelily Beads in that one, too!).

The nice thing about this design is because the pendant is a separate component, I can take it on or off just by opening and closing two jump rings.  I'm not sure this is where I want to end with this piece -- I still have other ideas floating around -- but I thought it was interesting to watch the process.

Just realized that last photo isn't the best, which is another lesson learned.  With boro beads, try to take all your photos at the same time, as time of day really can make a huge difference in how the colors present themselves.

Curious what your thoughts are!  I'm quite tempted to make this a longer necklace by adding more of the small garnets at the end, since I've been grooving on longer pieces lately.  Oh no.  That would involve restringing 384 dangles.  Nope, nope, not going to do that.  What to do instead?  Jump rings to the rescue again, by either connecting another strung length of garnets, or wire-wrapping garnets in rosary fashion, or skipping the garnets and adding decorative chain to reduce the weight (since it's going to be largely behind my neck anyway).

Lesson learned -- the best laid plans may hit a snag, but there's always, always a way to salvage something beautiful.

Stay tuned for more Tales from the Bead Hoard.

(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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Anything Can Happen

Nothing is impossible.  Even if you want to be a bird, you can still fly in your dreams, right?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Echo Creative Club Blog Hop

Today I'm showing you what I made with one of Jeannie Dukic's polymer clay gin blossoms.  I love these pretty flower pendants and used one in a 2013 Easy Wire magazine tutorial....

... so I asked Jeannie if she could send me another, but in a different colorway.  And when she sent it, I couldn't believe how well it segued into a past project I hadn't quite finished.

Last year I ran a Memories and Thanks Blog Hop.  I made one necklace using the beads my friend Mari had set aside for me, but I still had a secret stash of beads she'd given me that were looking for the perfect focal.  Thanks to Jeannie, I got it.

This particular gin blossom has a lovely vintage patina of copper and verdigris green.  Mari had sent me her own blend of Bead Soup -- an assortment of crystals and Czech glass in earth tones, burgundy, and teal.  She also sent two amazing rounds of jasper that have a silky smooth finish.  Using a smaller size copper chain (as the Czech beads are 4 mm to 6 mm in size), I got to work making my favorite jewelry element -- lots of dangles.

Even though this looks like a random assortment of dangles, they actually all match.  I started by measuring off the chain with the teal Czech glass, leaving four links between each dangle.  I cut the end of the chain and wire-wrapped the jasper and reconnected the top to plain copper chain.  For a little glimmer, I used antiqued chain but bright copper head pins, which picked up the copper leaf on the gin blossom pendant.

Then it was a matter of spacing out the colors.  I had each pile of beads in its own color group, and worked my way through each pile, making sure I had the same color in the same link on each side. Most of the time I'm not quite this meticulous in "matching the randomness", but there was a pleasure in putting order to the chaos that got these little beads to me in the first place.

The clasp is a copper flower lobster claw, and I added a couple of leftover Czech glass beads to the end ring.  I like searching for pretty clasps, and this worked beautifully with Jeannie's flower pendant, don't you think?

I really appreciate that Jeannie has been so generous with her beads in the past years, and am grateful that I was able to make this with beads from TWO friends.  You can visit Jeannie's store by clicking here, and if you're a designer interested in participating in the Echo Creative Club challenge, find out more by clicking here.

Please visit this month's other designers!


Jeannie K Dukic 

Jessica Klaaren  

Lisa Lodge   

Thanks for visiting!

(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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop -- sign ups are open!

Sign Ups are CLOSED!  
Stay tuned, as this will be an annual event.

I've been talking about this in the Bead Soup Cafe and I finally got my act together and put together the badge and the information, and sign ups start today!

So what's this blog hop design challenge about?  Well, I've noticed that I'm really, really good at collecting beads, but not so good at parting with them!  I've amassed a scary number of beads that need to see the light of day.  I have excuses -- lots of excuses.  This one is too special, this set cost a lot more than I usually spend, this set needs just the right accent beads.  

Enough excuses!  It's time to play!  Want to join me?  Here's how!

First, comment on this post with your name, email, and blog address.

Second, put the badge on your blog.

1.  Right click on the badge photo (the first one) to save it to your computer.
2.  Choose the Photo Gadget and upload the photo.
3.  Add the link to the space for HTML.  

You may need to click the "Shrink To Fit" box -- 
experiment with it as your blog borders may be different than mine.  
And of course, email me if you need help!

Last, post your creation (or creations!) on Saturday, July 20th, 
and visit your fellow designers!

That's it!  You use your own hoarded stash and make as many pieces as you like.  

Some examples:

These sterling silver necklaces I made for myself using very detailed beads I bought when silver was pretty expensive.  I bought most of them in pairs, thinking I could recoup my cost by making earrings, but I decided to heck with the cost of this piece, *I* needed something!  

This piece revolved around the gold vermeil clasp (a spendy toggle) and the polymer clay rose charms.  I just went nuts with this one, adding lampwork and crystal.

This is an example of holding onto a focal bead until I found just the right accent beads. The focal is electroformed and with the unique coloring, needed some experimentation before I landed upon this design.  A tip -- if you have a special bead that is giving you a color quandry, be sure to take it with you whenever you go to a bead show.

Are you ready?  

Search that hoarded stash!

Sign ups close June 28th.
No exceptions to save me from going out of my mind...

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
  10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine's Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
52.  D'Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
65.  Tracie Dean, Dean Designs
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia's Unique Beaded Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda's Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou's time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 - For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine's Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings 'n' Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi's Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena's Beady Blog

(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, June 18, 2013

Today is not Tomorrow

It's sooo easy to give up
And say screw it, I've had enough.

Living in the moment
Sounds pretty awesome
Unless your moment is miserable.

So I'm trying to remember
Today is not tomorrow
Tomorrow is a new day.

New circumstances.
New chances.

And if tomorrow sucks, too...
Well, I try to feel lucky there are many more tomorrows waiting

If I don't give up.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another week

Writing this on my Kindle while lying in bed, so not sure how it will come out!

It's been a week since I wrote about choosing "determination" as my word for the year, and while I am sorry an entire week's gone by without writing, it's all part of being determined to take care of myself.  My second week on methotrexate hasn't been pleasant, BUT the silver lining is pain is down. I'm just really sick, but this will pass.  I managed to get out and about with Zack one day this week, and I treasured it, choosing books together for his summer reading list....So many I'm going to read, too!

I used to love to write, and I miss hearing from people who read what I wrote, and I am determined to come out of this, whenever it may be, stronger and with more stories in my heart.  Behind the scenes, things are percolating, but instead of ten full pots of soup on a fancy Wolff stove, I've got something simple in the crock pot slow cooking.  Equally yummy, easier on the cook!

Thanks for your comments, both here and on Facebook.  You have no idea what they mean.  They mean a LOT and won't be forgotten.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Determination is so Beautiful

I get a daily email from Danielle LaPorte called a TruthBomb.  I have them all going into a folder in my Inbox to look at when I need them, and today I randomly chose one, and got this:

And you know what?  That's so true.

Beauty comes from so many things.  There's the obvious -- external beauty -- but what's so much more important and valued (or should be) is the beauty of the soul.  And that kind of beauty is hard to fake.  I rarely wear makeup, but when someone does it for me, I can look really good. However, there's not enough makeup in the world to cover up a rotten character.

It's never too late to choose a word for the year -- no need to wait for New Year's Eve to make resolutions or choose a word, right?

So I'm going to claim this word as my own.

I'm determined to be easier on myself.

I'm determined not to let what some think of me get me down.

I'm determined to be the best I can be and not judge myself against others.

I'm determined to find at least one positive thing every day, even in the midst of my worst hours.

I'm determined to live a full life.

I'm determined.

What's your word?

(Your comments mean so much -- thank you!)

(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.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Catching Up

It seems like ages.  In the past I would write almost every day, or at least every other day, but lately, there's just flat out been nothing to write about.  Bed, bed, and more bed. Throw in a visit or ten to the doctor, and there you go.

But there are some things to catch up on, so in no particular order:

1.  Today is Zack's last day of 4th grade and even though he severely objected to my fashion decision to tie my hair back with a scarf, he allowed me to take our photo.  That black thing on the right side of the right photo?  Not my sleeve.  Nope, that's a cast.

2.  A cast, because the kidlet broke his arm attempting to catch a soccer ball in the goal.  Fortunately, it's a minor fracture and will heal in 3-4 weeks.  Fortunately, the orthopedic doctor agreed that a hard cast was not cool, literally or figuratively, so he has a brace that can be taken off for baths.  *I* was never so lucky when *I* broke one of five bones over the years, but then, I made up for it by sticking Swarovski crystals all over my hot pink cast several years ago.

3.  I'm still trying to figure out life with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and now, fibromyalgia, which my doctor said I ALSO most certainly have.  I'm also getting used to an additional drug that is a chemotherapy drug and yes I did freak out all the way home about that.  Thankfully, Facebook has yet again saved me with hooking me up with like-minded people, and after a phone call to a fellow beader on the same regimen, I'm calmer.  I'm likely to feel sick, and I'm likely to lose some hair, BUT I'm getting extensions in a few weeks anyway so phht to that.

4.  In between bed, bed, doctors, and bed, I managed to spend a weekend with my friend Kelley and attended a local bead show.  Took it slow, but it was nice to be around sparkly, inspiring things, and the company was wonderful.

5.  Speaking of beads, after nearly ten years in the business and I don't know how many tutorials I've had published in beading magazines, books, and calendars, I finally had one of my pieces chosen for the COVER.  I completely freaked out (in the good way) when the Easy Wire 2013 magazine showed up!  I actually cried, but I cry at the drop of a hat these days.  Good tears are nice tears.

6.  I am woefully behind in getting the Bead Soup contest winnings out, but I'm getting help this weekend and hope like heck that will get done.  Not my usual modus operandi, where I get things done days before they're due, but I'm just lucky I can make it to the shower.  I'm pretty sure you understand.

7.  Found this on Pinterest, and man oh day, but I hope it's true, and I hope the "up to something" is of the good sort.  I shall choose to think that way, regardless.

And that's about all I have time for!  Thanks for reading, and hug your loved ones (really, really hard).

(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.