Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Seven Reveal!

And here it is, the day we've all been waiting for, Saturday! It also happens to be the First Reveal for Lori Anderson's most recent Bead Soup Blog Party. This years event is the biggest to date! Over 500 blogs and a second hop has been added for those beady peeps who don't have a blog but really wanted to participate. Wow! This has become one heck of a party! This is my third time to participate and I can tell you the fun and excitement over reveal is just as great the third time as it was the first! Kids at Christmas is how I can best describe it! Ok Ok no more tortuous wait. You came here for pics and pics you shall have!

But first....a reminder of what I received.

Bead Soup 7

Welcome to My Reveal - Woodland Fae

This first photo, while not strictly Bead Soup as none of the components came from my partner, is I think still appropriate. You see some time back Lori had a caption this photo contest on her blog. I won! The focal on this neck piece was a part of the prize package she and Zack sent me. I wove the collar and added a second piece of filigree and as it felt a part of the rest of todays collection I choose to show it here. Thank you Zack and Lori!


I love the stamped brass filigree rings you see all over Etsy. I had one, once upon a time, I loved that ring. Paige has claimed this one.


Courtney, my first partner from Party #5 sent so many wonderful beads that I ran out of time before I ran out of beads and ideas. Jennifer sent these cool little enameled gears. The color on the gears made me think of Courtneys beads and sure enough the first pair of earrings was born!

I realize the clear crystals become one with the ice, so a second photo

The filigree of the ring kept whispering to my muse "wouldn't more flowers be sweet?" So I faux enameled some head pins and answered my Muses call.


Another pair of earrings she said to help beckon the spring.


Now those sweet little butterflies spoke to my muse. Reminding her I had a clasp to use. A bracelet became of that.

Bead Soup 7- the Clasp

Now you've heard the story of my evolving design. That is if you've been reading along with me the last several weeks.
When I pulled the beads together for my design I began the process of taking away and creating several other pieces in doing so.
This second bracelet was born of the remaining Soo Chow Jade as I noticed how sweet it looked next to the Art Nouveau stamping when I had accidentally knocked over the container while reaching for the bead caps.

Bead Soup 7 - Soo Chow Jade bracelet

I love this three stranded necklace. It was the first of the take aways. I began by creating the beaded chain and quickly realized the Soo Chow Jade worked beautifully where I had planned for the chain. I remembered I had the abalone heart and quickly went to work creating a filigree design to grace it.

Bead Soup 7 - Wrapped Filigree Abalone Heart
Bead Soup 7 - Wrapped Filigree Abalone Heart

My second necklace was born of the same taking away process. This time I wanted to see how the glass drop looked with another piece. I had had it as the center of the floral focal. But I had to take it off the flower to see when I noticed how much more beautiful it looked with the lamp worked focal Jennifer had made. Wrapping the lamp work with several pieces of filigree it became the focal belonging to the Soo Chow Jade.

Bead Soup 7 - FIligree & LampWork

My final piece was the first designed and the last made. It was a learning experience that I'm very happy with. It proved to me I am capable of the fine art of taking away. It can be a hard lesson to learn, exuberance often overloads a design and knowing when to stop can be hard. Taking away is sometimes the best thing you can do for a piece.
As I was very happy with the floral, filigree, and scrolling design of the front I didn't want the back to detract from it. Once I had learned to paint the copper with a flame I knew I could back the pin adding to the design rather than detracting from it. But I also wanted the back to be as pretty as the front. Enter etching. It made my pin back as pretty as the front.

The Pin itself however proved a little tougher, I had intended it to be a fibula. The position of the etching on the metal though, restricted where I could saw. This turned out to be critical. Twice, just as I was finishing the pin and about to turn it - it snapped. Out of room to saw a third attempt I used what little room I had left to create a bracket. Using a large gauge wire I balled one end and forged the other until I had a nice clean sharp point. The results, I'm quite happy with!


So, there you have it. I've used almost all of my soup. I hope you've enjoyed your visit with me today. I've really enjoyed cooking for you and hope I've served up a small feast worthy of the Fae who inspired it. Before you go please join me in hopping over to Jennifer's blog, Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry, and let's take a peek at what she has cooked up for us!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Three Days to Go Until Reveal...

As I write this post, I'm working out this weekends reveal post and editing the pics I took this morning.
I finished my final piece yesterday and I'm very happy with it. I learned several new skills making it, some I've talked about already and the rest I'll tell you about this weekend. You need something to look forward to right? Ooooh you're looking forward to the pics! Ok then, I have quite a few for you so I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed!

Saturday's post is going to be very picture heavy!

For todays post, let me remind you who my partner is and all the wonderful goodies she sent me.
Jennifer Lavite of Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry is my wonderful partner. I popped over to her blog to see if I couldn't find a little snippet to give you a better idea of who she is. Honestly I thought I'd find a post on some of her lamp work, but instead this post jumped out at me.
I love being surrounded by piles of ribbons, jars of buttons, and boxes and walls full of beads. I feel like a lucky person. This has been such a fun challenge, with a trinket here and a flourish there, a variety of jewelry has been created. We can't wait for the reveal to show what's been made with the beautiful Bead Soup we received from Dana Hickey of Magpie Approved. One thing for's so easy to make things that you love work together!

If that doesn't tell you exactly who she is, I don't know what would. I believe she has got what we would all love to have, what we should all aspire to.

If you love what you do, you shall never work a day of your life.

Not to say there is no work involved, but that work is worth all the effort put into it, because it fuels you in return. <3

I'll leave you with a bit of my inspiration and a hint of what to look forward to this weekend.

The Goddess known as Danaan, Danu, Anu, Anna, Don, or Dana is the goddess of Manifestation Magic, Artistry, and Abundance in Irish Celtic mythology. The Tuatha de Danaan are her people, now know known as the Sidhe or faeries. Pretty apropos I think, I'm also a Virgo. :)

See you Saturday! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Little PlayTime Before I Finish

My new toys arrived and I played very happily until I realized it wasn't going to work for what I had in mind. Never one to be deterred for too long I found another method to use and I think I'm going to be very happy it turned out the way it did!

While I was playing I learned several new techniques! Yay me! While annealing a piece of metal I quite by accident turned it some oh so very pretty colors! Then I HAD to do it AGAIN, just to see if I could.... oooh even prettier the second time! I can paint copper with fire! Golds, blues, reds, and oranges! WOOT! Controlling the pattern is going to take some time but the fact I can do it makes me a happy camper!

I have been able to emboss since at least Junior High. I have a pair of Copper horses my Dad framed with horse shoes from one of my horses. I've since shrunk the designs and made pendants but I knew there was another way. Raising they call it. Playing around I was able to raise a heart using the hammer and an edge of the anvil. It's rather rustic, even more so once I added a little texture and some patina, oh what fun! Look for that to make an appearance in the shop soon!

Continuing on the theme of changing the surface of metal, today I set up a salt water etch. This is quite a bit like Science in the name of Art and I felt every bit like a kid watching the water bubble and the metal swirling around. The results were plain fun and I have a wealth of design ideas running through my head!


Here are some simple tutorials on electrolytic etching using a salt water bath.

They are basically the same way I did it. With a little help AND encouragement from my friend Cheryl of Get Your Bead On. She shared hers and gladly answered questions, even going so far as to write up how she did it too. I used a battery charger and a nail, Cheryl used the D batteries and a scrap piece of copper. Both ways work beautifully!

Count down to Reveal has begun be sure to check back in on the 30th! or sooner if you like!

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

a touch of filigree...

My final focal piece is finished. Well, except for the finishing. The tool I've been waiting on seems to be meandering around the Ft Smith processing center. It's been there nearly a week now, or so the tracking says. sigh There's always plan B if need be.


While I've been waiting, and waiting.... I decided to work a little on some of those sketches. Actually cut apart a couple vintage pieces to harvest the beads and crystals and decided I need to reorganize my stash - didn't do it, just decided I needed to!

A little filigree, a little weaving. Sterling silver wire woven into a heart and topped with a touch of filigree. A nice little bit of Chalcedony in the center and an Aquamarine drop at the bottom. I couldn't decide if I wanted to oxidize it or not so I took a looksie around Etsy. hmmm it's about a 50/50 split, some do some don't. But I still couldn't decide so I posed the question in a forum, again 50/50. So we'll leave them as is and let the silver do it's own thing, and hopefully they sell before I HAVE to retake the pics to show the "new" color lol

A little weaving a little filigree

I should have these listed in my shop sometime this week.

Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


It's finally happened, I ran out of business cards. Most of you know my computer died in October. My business cards, Etsy banner, and related fonts and logos etc were all in a folder ready to be backed up but hadn't been.

I thought I knew which fonts I had used and could easily find them again. Wrong. I had used two fonts in my shop name I just didn't like the way the capitals looked and thought the capitals in a different font suited the look better, but not all three just the D and the S. Then I used a third font for the smaller type as it read better. I found the main font and the small font but I can't remember the script I used for the capitals and after hours of looking I haven't been able to find it either.

Here's the banner from my shop.....

I did find some fonts I liked while looking though and played around a bit. This is what I came up with....

I think the frame could be a touch thinner but I like the look. Alan and the kids agree it matches what I do better too. Funny thing is this is the same font Paige used to make up a card for me in her business applications course a couple years ago, she's pretty proud of herself for that one! So I guess I'll be redoing banner and cards in the very near future - but first I need to get the margins aligned. I test printed a page and it cut the tops off, I think those we'll make into earring cards, I'm out of those too!

Just so you don't think I didn't do anything wire this week......
My AREtsy team leader made a call for donations. Her daughter has just won Miss Western Arkansas Outstanding Teen. This is in the Miss America pageant system, so I felt a little bling was in order. 14kt gold filled, lots of swaros and an A grade lilac Chalcedony. They are so pretty I think I might just make another pair for the shop!

Spring is trying to spring around here..... I'll need to get into the garden and do some more weeding and transplanting soon, I can see little bits of green popping up and I'm going to actually have blooms on a couple daffodils this year!!

Last but definitely NOT least my second bead soup focal is coming along and I REALLY like it so far!

Sooo that's what's new for the week!
Thanks for stopping by!
See ya next time!