Friday, July 19, 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop Reveal

This was one of those blog hop ideas I'm so glad I came up with.  Tons of people collect things and then store them away because they're "too special", "too expensive", or in some cases, you just KNEW you HAD to have it but had no idea what you would ever do with it. This is true for designers with fabric, paper, paint, beads .... you can fill in pretty much anything there.

Today over 160 jewelry designers dug into their stashes and chose something they'd been hoarding to work with.  I hope you'll take the time to visit everyone, and I'll be posting permanent links at my page dedicated to blog hops (see the aqua tab to the right)?  Comments mean a LOT to bloggers, and since this hop is about special beads, I'd love for everyone to get a special comment.

Before we start, I want to share with you some of my hoarded stash.  I'm famous for biting off more than I can chew, so I wasn't able to make something from every collection shown here, nor was I able to photograph every collection I own.  But this will give you an idea of my addiction.

My first two hoards collections I'm showing are also the ones I started collecting almost from the beginning of my jewelry making career.  The handmade ceramic beads shown above are from Joan Miller, and almost every single one I picked out at a bead show.  I have one necklace I made for myself and then I guess I had a freak-out that I couldn't do them justice.  Stay tuned another day, because I WILL be working with these.

My second grouping is from Stephanie Sersich, and while I've actually made a few things with her beads, they've all been for me save one, which went to a very special client.  I also own a signature necklace of Stephanie's that I wear ALL the time.  I do that a lot -- wear Other People's Jewelry and not my own because I just love what all of you make!  It's impossible not to be happy around these beads.

Next comes a gorgeous painterly stash of polymer clay by Barbara Bechtel.  I absolutely adore her work, both in polymer clay and in 2D art.  In fact, Barbara and I first "met" when I bought a painting from her on Etsy, and we didn't realize who each other was because our Etsy IDs were totally different then.  She saw her painting hanging in my lampwork studio, and it was an awesome moment for us both.

Next comes unique raku ceramic pieces from MAKUstudio.  I bought all of these two years ago at the Bead and Button Show and let me tell you something -- her booth was MOBBED. It was the very first hour of the show and it was insane, people reaching over other people, elbowing -- just a frantic feeding frenzy.  I had never seen her work before but obviously freaked out as well and brought a lot home with me that day.

Next up is Lori Lochner of who torches amazing boro beads.  I looooooove boro but having seen how that glass works... it's nothing like soft glass and I'll never be able to do it (don't tell me I *can*, because I have experience behind trying and um, no, I most certainly CANNOT).  Even if I COULD make boro beads, I'd still buy hers, because they are so gorgeous.


I actually had more hoarded beads pictures but figured I'd best get on with the show!  As I said, I had intended to make at least one thing from each of these groupings, but I've been told if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.  Well, he laughed and laughed, and laughed some more.

I was very deliberate in my choices and made two pieces, both which have IMMENSE meaning to me right now.  I knew I wanted to work with a MAKUraku piece, as while raku is gorgeous, it always stumps me.  The colors are sometimes hard to match, and the style is most certainly not my usual style.  Yet, they spoke to me, and I had to have them.

And here's what I made:

It was so apt that I chose the heart with the nails through it after spending part of this past week lying in the hospital not sure if my ticker was working right or not.  Thankfully, heck yeah, it is, but I see my heart as having nails in it like these -- hurts, pains, personal struggles, betrayals by friends, fears -- you get the idea.  But do you see -- there's no hole in the middle of the heart, but a smaller silver heart that while small, can hold the world.  Nothing can hurt that heart.  No nails will ever touch it.

Here you can see a close up of the colorway I used.  The raku in this particular heart had a blue/purple glow to it, and I found a set of lampwork beads by Firelily (whose beads I both hoard AND use faster than fast, if that makes sense).  I added fuchsia Swarovski crystal to pull out the pink undertone, and found two twisted copper barrel beads I bought from I forget where.  You may have to look hard, but the links of all the beads aren't round, they're squared.  I made my link, and then with pliers squished the circle so it had a flat bottom. 

I also modified the pendant.  Originally, the bail was in the divot of the heart, in the middle, but everything *I* did make the heart rotate too much (this is a long necklace so there's some swinging going on, if you get my meaning).  I held my breath and clipped the loop with flush cutters, and then used steel wire to make two bails around the nails.  I've only used steel wire once (so I need someone to tell me if I need to treat this or not), but before I used it, I brushed it down with a ScotchBrite pad.  And finally, the loops connecting all the beads together are from a copper/oxidized silver chain I took apart link by link.

I made one more piece, and it's actually made with a pendant that didn't make it to picture day when I showed off my Barbara Bechtel beads, because it was REALLY being hoarded and hidden, I guess!  But when I found it hiding out in the drawer, I realized -- this was serendipity.

Must. Use.

"Be a Lamp Unto YOURSELF".  Not to others.  YOURSELF.  I've wanted to be an inspiration and a lamp to others, want so much to make a difference somehow to people in the world, but I've totally lost myself in the process.  I can't be any good to anyone until I'm good to ME.

The polymer clay pendant by Barbara is ringed by a green patinaed circlet from Miss Fickle Media.  I used two shades of bronze to link more Firelily beads, dark green Swarovski pearls, and a bronze clay component and toggle by THEA Elements.  I ended the piece with a double length of olive green suede.

At the last minute, I added a bit of sparkle with the Czech glass rondelles.  I figured, lamp, light, it works.  But I also didn't like the jump rings just kind of hanging out (and I couldn't think of anything clever. I'm not clever when I try to force things.)

I loved this blog hop because it forced me to open up my cherished drawers of special beads and realize that for one, I need to make more jewelry for myself, and for two, I need to share the wealth with my customers.  In the coming months, you'll be seeing more "hoard specials", and I do believe this will be an annual event, so stay tuned this time next year for another edition of Bead Hoarders.

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
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
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
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.

All Gears and Gaskets Working

All my gaskets and gears are working.

Some are rusty. 
Some take a little extra "oomph" to turn.
Some won't turn on certain days 
(but nothing a little WD40 won't fix, right?)

I'm pushing.
I'm working.
I'm resting.
I'm living.

Don't let your rusty gears and gaskets
get in the way 
of living your life.

We don't turn on all the faucets  
at the same time in our house, do we?

It's all going to be fine.

(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, July 17, 2013

Back From the Hospital

I wanted to take a quick moment to thank you all so very, very much for your prayers and your concern the past few days.  Thanks so much to my friends Kelley and Red for updating friends on Facebook about how things were going, and I was overwhelmed with all the well wishes.  I firmly believe in prayer and good thoughts and I am convinced it was because of the constant stream of concern that came through that got me in and out and in much better shape than it could have been.

There's a lighthouse sending me light right now from all of you.  Thank you.

A quick update, if you like.  For a few days I'd been having severe chest pains but thought it was because I've been on some seriously harsh medicine and hadn't been eating much.  I decided to go to the gym on Monday to see if I just needed to get moving to feel better.  Kind of stupid rationale, but I figured if it WAS acid or an esophageal spasm, then working out wouldn't make me feel worse.

Twenty minutes into the workout I realized things weren't going right, that I was in cold sweats, not regular hey gal, you're getting a good work-out sweats.  I called my doctor, and was told to go immediately to the ER, which was two miles away.

I was seen immediately, given nitroglycerin several times, a chest X-ray, and a CAT scan in case I had a blood clot in my lung, which would have made sense as I've been lying down about 90% of the time since October.  Because they couldn't rule out heart attack, they admitted me and decided to give me a stress test in the morning.

I don't do well at doctors or hospitals (who does?) but what helped (other than your wonderful notes of encouragement and prayers) was my husband and son coming in to see me before bed time.  Zack had brought his Nook in and made me a get well card:

And I also made sure to ask for the stuffed hippo Zack's given me for particularly bad pain days.  I can't tell you how many people peeked in the door just to smile at that hippo.  Teddy bears and rabbits they see a lot of, they said, but not hippopotamuses.

The stress test showed that my heart was fine, and it also showed I truly despise tread mills.  The doctor decided the lupus and rheumatoid arthritis were probably starting to mess with my body, this time affecting the cartilage in my rib cage.  I have something called costochondritis, and while it's not life-threatening, boy it hurts like hell.  The best way to describe it is being stabbed in the middle of the chest and then being hit again with a brick.  Anti-inflammatories, heat, and rest and I should feel just fine in a week (plus I had acupuncture today).  But the doctor also told me to realize I can probably count on adding this to my long list of "what the heck is wrong with that chick?".

Now here's the really AWESOME THING about all this.

A few weeks ago, a woman I know only via Facebook (Lisa A., a TRUE ANGEL) emailed me that she'd talked to her own doctor in Connecticut about me, and her doctor said I should see a specific doctor in Washington, DC.  Rick checked and we found out our insurance WOULD allow me to change doctors.  Then we found out the doctor wasn't taking new patients.  

Enter this amazingly kind woman from Facebook again, who told her doctor, and that doctor personally contacted the doctor in Washington, DC (seriously, woah, WAY beyond the call of duty but FULL of good karma).  The doctor in DC said, true, he was no longer taking new patients, BUT he DID see patients at the Washington Hospital Center at a special Lupus Clinic in the rheumatology department, and if I sent my blood work and patient files, they'd see if I was a candidate.

photo credit

Within an hour of Rick bringing me home from the hospital, we got a call from the center.  Rick told them about what I'd just been through, and that really clinched it -- I'm in.  I go to see the doctor in Washington DC next Tuesday.  

NEXT TUESDAY.  Not in three months, as we expected.  

No one can tell me that Facebook is a waste of time, and no one can tell me there isn't power in prayer and healing thoughts.  No one.  

Thank you all from the bottom of my happy, healthy heart.

(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.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love (And elephants. Oh, and baggy pants, too)

Mmmm, yeah, I know, I get punchy when I can't sleep.  I start surfing the net because the random book I picked up is a fictional account of (their words) side show circus freaks.  Since the little bit of sleep I HAVE gotten has had some cuh-ray-zee stuff going on (elephants do NOT freaking skateboard, but they did in my dream.  Nor do they do it while snapping off gang signs with their trunks because elephants don't have fingers and the gangs get all confused and no one can play or fight or anything because is it too much to ask a young man to PULL HIS FREAKING PANTS UP?  Then you could use sign language...problem solved.

No, this post started before that horrible nonsense about gangs of psychotic pachyderms with no fashion sense or manners.  As my soon-to-be-daughter in law sat on the couch planning her wedding, I found some posts about love and self-respect and right now, they're very apt --whether you're married, single, or in between.

It starts within, and like elephants running over a freshly sown field, you can feel all is lost.  Try not to.  Keep looking for the gems

And tell those darned elephants to pull their pants up.

(All images are from Pinterest, and when I get my computer back tomorrow, I'll be searching out the original sources.)


Hug the ones you love.
Tell them how you feel.  
Life is short.