Friday, December 05, 2014

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop!

This blog hop was popular last year and I thought we'd try it again!

How often do you take a look at your bead stash and realize you have a LOT of artist beads, or a ton of pearls, or every crystal color known to man, but you haven't made a thing with any of them yet? (Raises hand).  Sometimes I'll collect beads knowing full well I'll never make a thing with them but set them out on display instead, yet after a while, it can get ridiculous and dusting becomes impossible (ha ha... as if I dust...)

For this series of the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop, I made several pieces. The first is a necklace specifically made for a tunic I own (photographed with the necklace), but all of the beads came from random places.  The focal is an amazing bronze owl by TheaToo.  The lampwork beads had been collected from various batches and set aside because I thought they looked cool together, but I wasn't sure about the red. Best leave everything together until I get everything together, I thought (quite profound).  And then I found an antique (they said) Tibetan bead, and things started coming together.

This is a LONG necklace, and if you can believe it, I had originally tried to make it a double stranded piece.  Um, no.  Often I use large beads in my work, and people are always asking, "Is that thing heavy?" and I can honestly say, "Not once it's on."  However, not only did the necklace not hang properly as a double strand, even with average sized lampwork beads, I could have used it as a weapon by whipping it over my head and slinging it across the room like I was in The Hunger Games.  

I linked each bead separately, knowing some wouldn't be used, but I had no idea which beads would "win". I also kept putting it on to make sure the pendant hit just where I wanted and the large tribal bead didn't get lost in the back of my hair.

While the necklace looks quite simple, it took stinking forever to put together. This bead color was too close to THAT bead color, now THAT bead is too low -- I had to let this sit alone for a while so I didn't lose my temper.  But it's easily one of my favorites that I will not sell.

The next pieces are bracelets.  Since I've been talking about larimar on Facebook, I thought I'd show you the bracelet I made myself way back when I had a ton of larimar beads on hand. If I want, I can add a couple of larimar rectangles to the ends and turn it into a necklace. I've considered selling this bracelet when I've been short on money, as these always sell, but I owe it to myself to actually OWN one of them myself.

Of course, I'm happy to make one similar to it as long as I have beads (which isn't going to be for long) and they start at $250, just so you have an idea. I've worked with larimar for a long time, but I just can't afford the good stuff any more (quality beads are going for $800/16" strand, no thank you) and be careful when you buy to read closely. "Larimar agate", "Larimar crazy lace agate", and "reconstituted" Larimar are a big NO. If you're going to invest, get the real thing.

Another blast from the past. This bracelet actually stopped the vendors of White Cloud, who made the large Turkish silver beads, when I wore it to a show. The toggle was made for me by an awesome guy who designed several styles for me but no longer works in silver, so it's very special.

These beads are BIG. My suggestion for wearing large beads is to wire them with thicker wire, not string them. This gives you a bit of "give" and less "chunk", if that makes sense.  (And no, it's not heavy once it's on.)  :-)

I made this bracelet with beads made by an old friend who quit lampworking a long time ago.  I held onto everything she made, and decided I had to do SOMETHING with at least one set, if not more. This is one of my favorite styles to make, linking the lampwork beads with large jump rings and dangling charms from the jump rings.  Swarovski crystal, jade, silver, and a special (and also hoarded) Thai silver toggle makes this one of my favorites for jeans.

This next piece is how I managed to take two relatively expensive bracelets, cut them in half, and make one that is even better. 

I had made a Half Persian chain maille bracelet with large rings, nice and substantial. Then I bought the lampwork beads from Kris Schaible and I decided to mix the two. Once again I used a special lobster claw clasp made by friend (COME BACK AND MAKE MORE SILVER!!!!) and a tassel from White Cloud (again -- not cheap. But I knew I'd use it).  This bracelet now has more interest than just a chain maille bracelet on its own, and I got to highlight the three beads from Kris.

Finally, another bracelet in one of my favorite styles (I guess I know what I like!) with more beads from Kris Schaible.

OMG, right? I added dangles of purple and red glass flowers adorned with whimsical silver flowers, flat vintage Lucite flowers with pale Blue Azore Swarovski crystals, and smaller Thai silver cubes, cut on the diagonal, also adorned with very pale blue beads.  

Why blue?

See those tiny bits of aqua in the lampwork beads?  I wanted to bring them out just a touch, but not TOO much. I experimented a bit, and this was the result.

I hope you enjoyed the trip through my hoarded beads (and, by the way, thse are all in my personal jewelry box now.  And in full disclosure, that's where they were when I took them out to photograph them because I couldn't make something new. Here's hoping I can make more jewelry in 2015!)

To visit other amazing artists and to see what they made with their hoarded beads, please grab a cup of something hot and yummy and settle down to look! (Please hop around, give the people at the bottom some early love, and some people will be posting on Sunday).

Lori AndersonPrettyThings  (Hostess)

Audrey Belanger
Toki No Hourosha
Jenny KyrlachWonder and Whimsy
Kathy LindemerBay Moon Design
Lori SchneiderBead Addict
Dee ElgieCherry Obsidia
Dolores RamlCraftyD's Creations
Rebecca EdnieEclectic Endeavors

Marybeth RichA Few Words from Within the Pines
Hannah Rosner

Good River Valley

Nicole PrinceBeading for Healing

Jackie RyanKydo Jewelry
Elsie Deliz-FonsecaEliz-Eliz and All That Craft
Mowse DoyleMowse Made This
Evelyn ShelbyRaindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn

Terri GauthierBlooming Ideas

Shai Williams

Shaiha's Ramblings

Andrea GlickZenith Jade
K HutchinsonJumbled Hutch
Marci BrooksThat Nothing Be Wasted
Jo-Ann WoolvertonIt's a Beadiful Creation
Jasvanti PatelJewelry by Jasvanti
Laurie VyselaarLefthand Jewelry
Lisa KnappenbergerLiRaysa Designs

Niky SayersSilver Nik Nats
Sandra McGriffCreative Chaos
Patricia HandschuhThe Color of Dreams

Maria Rosa SharrowWillow Street Shops

Monique UrquhartA Half-Baked Notion

Sheryl StephensThe Babbling Beader
Becky PancakeBecky Pancake Bead Designs
Mona ArnottBijoux Gems of Joy
Michelle EscanoCabby Craft
Denise McCabeCabewoman

Sheila ProseCats With Beads
Kim DworakCianci Blue

Janine LucasEsfera Jewelry
Kari Asbury

Hippie Chick Design

Inge von RoosInge's Blog
Divya NJewels of Sayuri
Debbie RasmussenA Little of This, A Little of That
KJKJ's Beadacious Beads

Ghislaine Kruse-van ErpKruse Art
Ginger BishopLilmummy Likes
Kelly Schermerhorn

Meandering with Kelly

Sue KellyMid-Life Greater Expectations
Rachel MallisMint Monarch
Susan McClellandMistheword
Mary K McGrawMK's Creative Musings
Tania SpiveyMoobie Grace Designs
Stephanie PerryMustard Seed by Stephanie Perry

Nicole RennellNicole Rennell Designs

Tammy AdamsPaisley Lizard
Patty Miller

Cabari Beads

Blanca MedinaMediBeads

Roxanne MendozaRoxi Designs
Claire FabianSaraccino

Donetta FarringtonSimply Gorgeous
Lee KoopmanStrega Jewellery
Deb FortinStudio 24

Cece Cormier

The Beading Yogini

Lizzie ClarkeThe Need to Bead
Elizabeth HodgesThe Whispering Seas
Fay WolfendenTorch Fairy

Nan SmithNanmade Jewelry
Robin Kae Reed                                          Willow Dragon
Melissa Trudinger                                      Bead Recipies
Regina Wood                                                  Gina's Designs

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" via Kalmbach Publishing. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Don't Forget the Bead Hoarder Blog Hop this weekend -- and want to meet Zack?

Don't forget everyone -- this Saturday the 6th is the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop!  You can see the list of nearly 100 people by clicking here (but the party takes place here).

If you are running out of time (I haven't started yet but HAVE planned already) you can always show a piece you've made in the past with special beads, so don't let the time stop you!

I also wanted to let you know that I will begin blog hopping either late Saturday night or all day Sunday because I won't be home.  GASP!  But hold up, there's a VERY good reason!  I'm taking a Zentangle class, taught by Carol Dee Myers, in Frederick, MD -- WITH Zack!

There are still a few seats left (we're taking the beginner class, but there's a more advanced one immediately following) and you can get the information by clicking here.

Zentangling is essentially at Art of the Doodle. It can take your mind off troubles, it can help people who consider themselves non-artistic to find the artist inside themselves, and it's pretty darned addictive. I have had the original kit from and I taught Zack some of the basics with big sheets of paper and crayons. One of his drawings done on official Zentangle paper was published in his school newspaper last year. I thought this would be a great mother-son project, although we couldn't convince Daddy to make a trifecta. He's going to hang out in the rather awesome Frederick library.

If you need a break and want to take a VERY reasonably priced class AND meet Carol (who is a hoot and a half) AND meet my best boy, please click here, message Carol, and join us, won't you?

And what's super-great about Zentangling?  The first syllable.  ZEN.

I do believe we could ALL use some Zen right now.

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" via Kalmbach Publishing. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Need some handmade inspiration for holiday beading? Here you go!

By NO means is this the entire catalog of bead makers I love.  I love so many and have tried over the past ten years to buy at least one thing from each of them.  Buying handmade is so much better when you consider you're helping support someone else's dream, of making a business making pretty things. You, after all, are probably in the same business! There's SUCH a difference between handmade and factory "handmade" in sweat shops, and having visited a sweat shop in Korea (they make blankets and quilts), I have a strong aversion to the working conditions that happen. 

Not only that, friends of mine who are really good at what they do get knocked off, and often these knock-offs appear in large chain stores. If you see an obvious knock-off, please let the bead maker know privately. On occasion, they give a license to make such beads, but sometimes, it's just plain theft.

OK, off the soap box, on to the pretties!

By Earth Elements -- comes in various colors, too.
Keysha Koy hollow glass beads -- I love her work!
An all-time favorite lampworker, Stephanie Sersich, makes magic happen with glass.

My collection from Round Rabbit -- originals all the way.
Sign up to get a head's up when her things go on sale, because they go quickly!

via Pikalda Beads - she has a ton of wonderful beads!

This should whet your appetite!  If you're participating in the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop on the 6th of December, I my have just become an enabler, making you buy more to add to your collections!  But seriously. Whenever possible, support handmade!

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" via Kalmbach Publishing. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014


 I posted this on Facebook but it bears repeating.

It's great if you can put things down and walk away,
leave them by the side of the road
and never look back.

But if you can't, if carrying that load is a part of life,
try carrying a little less at a time.

(And bend with your knees, not with your back.)

In all seriousness,
take care of yourself,
and hug the ones you love.

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" via Kalmbach Publishing. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So... what ARE the stories????

Some people have asked, due to yesterday's post, WHAT stories do I have?

Well, most are in Korea, Italy, and Japan.

:: While riding a train in Italy for the first time, in a coach just like the Hogwarts Express, everyone decided to nap.  Everyone who knew Italian very very well was snoring, leaving me, who at that time only knew enough Italian to order dinner and count to four in order to teach an aerobics class.  I was exhausted from being in Venice all day, but terrified of where we might end up, so I held my eyelids open to stay awake (and repeatedly counted to four).

Taken by me from one of the Venice canals.

:: Teaching English in Korea.  Technically, not my job, but a secondary job.  I taught men from the (translation may vary) Animal and Plant Breeding Institute. They wanted colloquial English, slang, how to have a real conversation. They not only took me to a museum in the middle of nowhere (no other American there), but treated me and the other teacher to not one but TWO amazing sit-on-the-floor-old-style Korean dinners when we were getting ready to leave the country.

We have no idea who the guy in the middle is -- he was in NONE of my classes!  All of these men were scientists. Notice the parmesan cheese and the salad dressing?  This particular dinner was "let's see how we can do with American food."

:: Running home the last night in Korea from the clubs, in the pouring rain, with my friend Jenn and Tak. I was staying in Jenn's house as my dorm room had been relinquished and there was no room in the inn (literally). Tak tucked us in and made sure we were asleep before he left. Nothing like running in stocking feet in the rain down bumpy-lumpy alley ways in the dark, laughing like idiots. Wonderful, and memorable.

:: Singing Meatloaf's "Love By the Dashboard Light" in a club with a couple guys singing the male parts (natch) and me, Jenn, and Katherine singing the female parts. Joy.  One of those moments you keep in that special place in your brain for no good reason other than it was mega-awesome.

:: My two week trip to Japan to see my best college friend, Jen (different Jen from Korea-Jenn).  She graduated with me and went to Japan to teach English. She was fluent, as was her Australian and awesome husband-to-be (pictures coming). Snow-closed roads (in April), rotating sushi bars, biking, and lots of laughter.  Best. Vacation. Ever.

:: Why this was not unusual.  At all.  And nope.  Wasn't drinking.

:: Just exactly WHY I joined the Air Force -- the best decision I ever made, although I didn't know it at the time.

After graduation, a year and a half later, the door to the barracks still made me nervous!

::  Lessons learned, mistakes made, joys found, loves lost, friends found, and a love of travel that sticks with me forever.

A trip to San Fransisco, post language school.

And then there are other books -- raising an Asperger's child when I'm pretty sure I have many of the same traits; words to live by (and why they've worked, or haven't worked); there's a lot!

Over the holidays, I have several tasks (after family time).

One is to finish all blog hopping. Yeah, I know. Second is to clean out my lampwork studio and see what is what.  Third is to share bits as I go along my writing. There's a reason for being sick. There is. This must be it. And if it's not, I have my history written for Zack. Some I'll vault until he's ready. Some he'll help with. 

And now to scan sixty billion photos. OH, for digital back then!


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" via Kalmbach Publishing. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

So I have these stories....

(Found via Pinterest, attributed to author Anne Lamott)

I posted on a private Facebook group today about some personal fears I have about writing my story -- you know, REALLY writing, for publication. I've stalled quite often when I wanted to write some of the more gritty stories here, because I've been told that's not nice, no one wants negativity, etc, etc, oh-my-aching-head.

I rather love the quotation from Anne Lamott above. It's quite true. However, truth goes both ways, and I have considered that a LOT in the past years, trying to carefully not "out" someone on my blog, be they friend, family, or alien.

I think what I'm left with is this -- the gritty stories are meant to be written in book form, looked over by an editor, hopefully accepted, and printed. Then people can decide if they want to read them or not. I can (and will) use "ID-changed-to-protect-the-perpetrator", but in some cases, that will be impossible, and I look back to Anne Lamott's quotation.

My journals, and these aren't even all of them -- everything from early Korea and earlier were destroyed.

On my blog, I can tell other stories. I'm Photoshopping my airplane photos so when I have less of a headache, I can tell the long story of me flying an airplane (twice) and what it meant to me. I've mentioned before that writing as if writing for a book is a lot harder than writing for a blog post. I don't know if anyone else finds that true, but I do. When I sit here, it just sort of flows from my fingers. Memoir stuff, I worry incessantly that no one wants to hear it, or it will be boring, or it will fall into the "you had to be there" category.

But I'll never know until I try.

(Anyone know a good publisher who's willing to take a chance on me?)

Who knows what is behind Door #1.

One thing I'm finding true -- not everything needs to be written publicly. That's the beauty of private Facebook groups, messages, emails, phone calls, and the delete button. I often cross the line for some people, but I do think when I have something to write (especially now, since I so recently got my behind and my head handed to me on a platter for writing about MYSELF). I will think twice, but I'll still write.

But I have these stories. Some are really, really interesting, some have incredible morals, some are hilarious, and some are tear-jerkers (never ask me about snow in November, for instance). I don't know why I have to go through all the pain and mental agony that Lyme, Babesia, Mycoplasma, and non-alcoholic liver disease bring into my life, but there has to be a reason. Maybe writing that book is the reason. Maybe I need to not fear negative reviews, or anonymous emails, or anything like that. I'm sure every author at every level has had to deal with it, so that makes me no different and no more special -- suck it up, buttercup.

Therefore, I'll write my stories. Currently, I only write privately for Zack, because in case something ever happens to me, I want him to know without a doubt how much he means to me, and the things he does that tickle me pink. But I have my own stories.

And I'm going to tell them.

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" via Kalmbach Publishing. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop Participants -- Mark Your Calendars!

Below is the list of the participants for the 
2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop.

Further information before the reveal date of Dec 6th
can be found at

(the Blog Hops header to the right).

Lori Anderson  (Hostess)

Audrey Belanger
Jenny Kyrlach
Kathy Lindemer
Lori Schneider
Dee Elgie
Dolores Raml
Rebecca Ednie Http://
Lili Krist
Marybeth Rich
Hannah Rosner
Nicole Prince
Deana Hager
Jackie Ryan
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Mowse Doyle
Evelyn Shelby
Lisa Johnson
Terri Gauthier
Patti Pruhs
Shai Williams
Andrea Glick
K Hutchinson
Marci Brooks
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Jasvanti Patel
Laurie Vyselaar
Lisa Knappenberger
Mary Lindell
Niky Sayers
Sandra McGriff
Patricia Handschuh
Erin Prais-Hintz
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Kathleen Breeding
Monique Urquhart
Jackie Locantore
Sheryl Stephens
Becky Pancake
Mona Arnott
Michelle Escano
Denise McCabe
Carolyn Lawson
Sheila Prose
Kim Dworak
Iveth Caruso
Deborah Apodaca
Elizabeth Bunn
Janine Lucas
Kari Asbury
Inge von Roos
Divya N
Debbie Rasmussen
Klaudete Koon
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp
Ginger Bishop
Kelly Schermerhorn
Mischelle Andrade 
Sue Kelly
Rachel Mallis!Blog/c1jlz
Susan McClelland
Mary K McGraw
Tania Spivey
Stephanie Perry
Mitzie Crider
Nicole Rennell
Nicole Valentine
Karen Mitchell
Tammy Adams
Patty Miller
Blanca Medina
Stephanie Haussler
Roxanne Mendoza
Claire Fabian
Bridget Torres
Donetta Farrington
Lee Koopman
Deb Fortin
Susan Walls
Cece Cormier
Heather Otto
Lizzie Clarke
Elizabeth Hodges
Fay Wolfenden
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Nan Smith
Jayne Capps
Robin Kae Reed                            
Melissa Trudinger