Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Reveal Day!

It's Saturday, March 31st and the Big Reveal Day.

I am up before work posting my pictures and looking at the beauties that my Bead Soup companions are posting on their blogs.  Delicious Soup was cooked up by my official Bead Soup partner, Mary Ellen Merrigan.  We exchanged a group of precious beads and left it to our partner to design something fantastic.  Before we get to my creations, a link to her project and the inner workings of talented jewelry design goddess  "ME".  Did I mention she shows her work at a real gallery?

Visit her blog to see what she made out of the soup I sent as well as the story behind the fantastic butterfly focal she gave me.  The focal was special enough to stand on its own and I was tempted to make a lovely brooch out of it.  However, it was also special enough to want to wear often and my new job isn't really a "brooch" type of office.  I  decided a fun necklace that I could wear with jeans and a t-shirt might be a better option.

I took the large butterfly she crafted out of old earrings and a silver concho, and combined it with a silver chain, mixed metal capped blue-green pearls and odd bits of filigree and silverware plated stampings. I added copper butterflies to carry over the theme. Mary Ellen was thoughtful enough to enclose the leftover Delicas that she used in her bead embroidery so I embellished her butterfly with fringe and included  a sample of the beautiful crystal briolettes that she picked up for me in Tuscon.  I was lucky to have such a thoughtful partner!

Butterflies mean "Metamorphosis" to me and, as if she read my heart, the theme followed through my work on the other pieces in my projects.  My projects I hope capture the hopefulness of the future and the fond memories of the past.  My Life is undergoing severe and painful changes with the loss of my beloved partner of 13 years, Carl.  I am much like a butterfly, reinventing a new me in my flight through life alone.

Mary Ellen gave me a lovely clasp for my butterfly necklace but when the necklace was done, it just wasn't the right piece for such a chunky necklace. I've always coveted something from Green Girl Studios so I was so excited to get the clasp!  It is beautiful on its own and sooner or later, it is going on the FRONT of a necklace.  Until I figure out how to do that, I have placed it on a jade donut and embellished it with a couple of blue green crystals from my Soup, silver leaves and some jade green and pale blue seed beads from my stash.  (Yes, I loved those crystals!)  Lots of peyote stitching finished the piece.  I started noticing how many lovely colors complemented those crystals!  The butterfly clasp closes the "Jade Queen."

In my package was also a nice mix of lighter and brighter green beads.  Not much left to do but embellish a pendant that I bought at the same time I found the focal for Mary Ellen's soup. Synchronicity !  The green in the pendant matched the beads perfectly.  I believe this is another Suzy Komar pottery pendant from the same artist where I purchased Mary Ellen's focal.  "Summer Heat" portrays the summer to come in Oklahoma, when the heat bakes away the blue green hues, leaves turn paler and seeds from native plants are brown.  It is Oklahoma's own peculiar kind of summer beauty. and perfect for lazing about on the patio, grilling meat and veggies and watching birds.  A fond memory of the past.

Last but not least is a piece that is wearable, straight-forward and unfussy.  A few more of those lovely blue-green crystals are woven with golden glass pearls.  "Sunset on the Pier" reminds me of those lazy evenings in my teenage years spent gazing out at the Pacific ocean and the setting sun. It was a long way, in both time and place, from where I am now.   It is important to remember that the sun will rise again the next day and we will have another chance to make memories, even when we aren't young anymore.

I hope you enjoyed my creations.  Please visit the other blogs in the first reveal!  ...And don't forget the mistress of them all, Lori Anderson, and her book, Bead Soup.  What a wonderful thing Lori has invented.  It brings our creations to light!

You will find links to all the other party bloggers here too.

Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Freeform Peyote Challenge

Welcome to my little corner of the
Freeform Peyote Challenge

Terrible picture but this is what happens when you finish after dark on the night before the HOP'!  I'll try to get some better pictures at daylight. 

I stretched my wings a bit with this one.  I always like symmetry in my art..both in balance and light...and in this piece I had neither.  Still, I like it.  Maybe it is because it is in my favorite color of purple.

Much love to Mandi and Karen and all who participated!

Adventure Guides

Mandi Ainsworth
Karen Williams

Bobbie Rafferty
Sarah Meadows
Katherine Gale
Leanne Kirsch
Jean Hutter
Nancy Dale
Judy Riley
Natasha Wiegelman
Pam Chesbro
Stephanie Woods
Romana Tschunko
Bette Greenfield
Mary Harding
Melody Marie Murray
Shirley Moore
Sally Russick
Therese Frank
Tanya Goodwin
Christine Altmiller
Lea Paličková
Ivona Šuchmannová
Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten
Kay Haynes
Tammy Bowman
Alisa Lehman
Lori Callahan
Tami Norris
Jane Kettley
SaraBeth Cullinan
Julie Schmidt Bowen

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This was my piece for the Oklahoma Bead Society bead challenge last year.  Outside the realm of my usual seed bead romps, it combines wire wrapping and semi precious stones with metal embossing and patination.  I love wearing it.  It won the Intermediate division in the contest.  I titled it "In the Forest of my Childhood Imagination".  I've forever loved the deep green of forests and in my childhood often imagined that fairies, like the ones in the necklace, lived within.  Must be the influence of my Irish-Scottish blood on my father's side. 

It has been a long time since I've been on this blog.  A Big Change has happened in my Life.  Another 13 chapters of my life are over and I'm beginning Chapter 59 on another path.  Who knows where this one leads? For the first time, I have no responsibilities other than myself--No caretaking or parenting to take up my time.  Also, for the first time I have no parachute or someone to send out the troops if I get into trouble.  I know that I must look for the joy of life, practice forgiveness and develop a new responsibility for myself.  Sounds serious.  Now, back to beading!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Oh yes, Halloween is over, stores are displaying numerous Christmas trees and I've given Kyle and Caitlyn their marching orders for their annual Christmas List.  Last year, Kyle's list came in 2 days before Christmas and I had to tell him: Too Late. Christmas shopping was over.  His gifts were wrapped and waiting for a ride to his tree. 

Whatever happened to Thanksgiving?

I don't even put up a tree any more.  My sole concession to Christmas is setting out the ceramic Mr. and Mrs. Claus my Mom made years ago.  I don't hear sleigh bells and while I may catch myself humming a Christmas Carol or two, I certainly don't play Christmas music.  Oh, Bah Humbug.

There are, however, gifts to be given and budgets to be made and Christmas treats to be pondered.  We could all use a little help in the budget area.  I plan to try to win as many of my Christmas gifts as possible.  A good start might be Lori Anderson's nice little book giveaway.  I know some of my crafty friends might enjoy one of these books.  Why don't you enter too?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time to Party....Sari Party!!!! Ribbon galore...

One of my favorite suppliers is B'Sue Boutiques and not just for her gorgeous goodies but also her generous spirit.  This lady is high energy and encourages interaction with her customers.  She is also a great teacher and posts teaching videos on You Tube.  So, not surprisingly, she is sponsoring a blog hop  and here lies the challenge:  Sari Ribbon. 

It's gorgeous stuff made from the material that women from India wrap around their bodies.  It is silky and colorful and...and...and...raveling.  In fact, that's its main draw...the fibers unraveling all around the ribbon.  It's enough to make a person who loves symmetrical design cringe. 

The whole experience brought forth memories of the time I took Singer sewing classes.  I was the only "civilian" in a class of retired nuns.  While they were sewing inset pockets, I was ripping out my zipper so many times that the fabric started to unravel.  Oh, the horror!  It was my first...and last...attempt at sewing.  So, to take on this challenge was an exercise in stepping out of my boundaries.  All in all, I like my simple little project.  It is wearable and lightweight.  There is cheerful color and a bit of sparkle. It has symmetry and the "ravels" are under control.  ' Hope you like it too.  Thanks for stopping by.

Be sure to stop by the other participants' blogs listed at the bottom of this post.. We have some really creative people in the group!

Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop
Vickie Wills

Susan Kennedy

Michelle Mach

Michelle Lee Hardy

Ruth Crawford

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

Diana P.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy

Connie Rios-Relyea

Jennifer Justman

Deb Davis


Cathie Carroll

Rosemary Cowit

Georgene Lockwood

Cathy Buckley

Harry Wood

Sonya Stille

Mary Deis

Heather Goldsmith

Susan Rouleau

Terry Matusyk

Pam Chesbro  (You are HERE and thanks for stopping by!)

Mary Shannon Hicks

Janice Everett


Kristina Johansson, Maneki

Kris Binsfeld



Catherine Jeltes


Sharon Palac

Deb Beechy

Jean Yates

Patrice Pfeiffer

Dorcas Midkiff

Lynn Perry Bennett

Linzi Alford


Cynthia Wainscott
Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp
Alice Craddick
B'sue Boutiques Creative Group

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mostly Metal Challenge!

Ah, it was such a GOOD idea.  Michelle Mach, former editor of Beading Daily, was having a challenge.  Kits were mailed out for a small price and I could test the waters, dip my toes so to speak, in the world that I see in the beading magazines:  Designer Challenge.  Yes, no credentials required although I notice we have some pretty impressive names participating in the challenge.  It did seem like a good idea at the time and I had a brilliant idea for my piece.  In fact, it was INSPIRED!  I couldn't wait to get started and I found just the right Stuff in the Romance Kit as well as my stash recently received from B'Sue Boutiques. Thank you so much Michelle.

I should have known it was just too easy.....

2 weeks ago, my beloved aunt and constant terror of the Forest Hills Nursing Home, 94 year old sharp-tongued, endless bundle of energy Aunt Irene, became extremely ill with an infected kidney.  My cousin and I are her guardians.  She was not expected to recover.  After all, she is 94 years old and her kidney was so swollen and infected that it blocked her colon and extended her abdomen.  My cousin and I spent hours in the hospital the first and second week and she fooled the doctors and survived. However, the prognosis isn't good long-term and  the illness has taken a toll on her.  I've not had time to do much of anything besides attend her in the hospital.  (And Read.  There is a point of light in every dark cloud! )  We hope to move her to a lovely hospice facility in our area soon.

So, I spent today throwing together my project.  It isn't what I initially imagined but I feel good that I got anything done.  My initial idea was to cover the background painting with seed beads...a nod to the Pointillist artist, George Serault: Beads of light and color instead of brush strokes of light and color.  No time for that, so I leave it to you to use your imagination and think...what if she had the time?

There's a nod to Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine in there somewhere.  I hummed the song "Sunday" the entire time I worked on the project. Love that song.  It is inspiring.  You can take a look at the kits we had to choose from here:

Please visit the other blogs participating in Michelle's great challenge.  They are spectacular.

Antique Brass Romantic

Filigree Fun

Gunmetal Love
Thanks to B'Sue Boutiques where I find so many of the different elements for my work  In this piece the brass scalloped blank backing, the monkey,and the lovely paper flower as well as the elements in the Romantic Kit are from her online shop.  I bought the painter's palette from her too on her Etsy shop BSue1441. 

And thanks as always to the members of the Oklahoma Bead Society for their constant encouragement.

Thanks again Michelle Mach for allowing me the privilege of participation!
Happy Hopping!