Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Soup Mix

Bead Soup Mix
My Bead Soup mix is here!!!
I think the tastiest food is made with the best fresh ingredients .
Just  look at these ingredients!!!
This yummy soup mix was sent by my partner  Melissa Meman .
Everything is so delicious !!!
Melissa made the focal  and toggle  herself..AWESOME!!!
She enameled the big  metal beads herself   too !!!
GORGEOUS components!!!!
I am a very  lucky lady to have such a talented Bead Soup partner!!!
Melissa 's ETSY shop is filled with lovely jewelry creations  and some very beautiful  crucifixes .
Be sure to check out her designs !!!

A Sample of Melissa's  Lovely  Jewelry  Designs

Now  that I have all my wonderful  ingredients on hand,
how shall I combine them ?
Am I in the mood for a simple refreshing creation , something spicy and complex or something bold and hearty ?
Baking calls for precisely measured ingredients .
But, making soup gives you a bit more freedom.
You can add a bit of this and a pinch of that, until  the taste and texture is just right.
When you are cooking  "real "soup it's hard to take things out.
Does any one remember TV's All in the Family episode when Edith told Gloria her soup needed " a little less salt " ? LOL !!!
Luckily with bead soup you have the option to remove some components . You are able to switch things around as often as you please ! Some people can do all this on paper, sketching designs until they are satisfied with the result .
I have to "taste " things as I cook . I lay out everything on my bead board and start moving things around .
I design a lot like I used to do the old  Rubrics Cubes.
I just keep moving things, hoping they will all fall into place.
Even after all is strung and done I might undo and redo!!!

This week we had an Earth Quake !
This  weekend a hurricane is coming !
I'm really not sure what kind of soup I'm in the mood to cook !!! Maybe I should have let the quake shake my beads into some sort of pattern !
If the storm makes my electric go out , I might be designing in the dark...that should be interesting !
But no matter what , I  know the process will be FUN !!!
 Bead Soup is meant to be a challenge .
It is a way to think outside the box .A chance to work with components picked by someone whose designs differ from your norm !
Thank you Lori Anderson for all the long hours you spend matching partners!
The challenge is Beady Adventure of Mixing and Matching .
So many beads,so many kinds of soup, no recipe to follow......
I just have to add the focal , add the toggle then add a bit of this and a pinch of that...
stir everything up and have the result ready to serve you on September 17 !!!    Time to start cooking !!!
this week
pick some new or unusual  ingredients
try cooking  up your own mix of creative soup
Bead Happy !
Start Cooking

Saturday, August 20, 2011


The Frost Fairy's Garden
When kittens and puppies play, they are practicing skills they will need as adults. Playtime for human children is also about important learning experiences.
Some authorities refer to children's  play as their "work".
My playtime is my work time homework time !!!
 How do I play ? I enter challenges ,contests and bead swaps! 
 As I make my ideas come to life , I learn new skills ,
perfect old ones and often invent techniques along the way !!! 

Coming up soon is the AMAZING Bead Soup Blog hop !
Next week I'll introduce you to my exchange partner and  give you a peek at the "bead soup " mix she sends me to work with !!!
Working with beads someone else picked for me, is an extra fun,extra challenging design lesson !!!!

I Love participating in Bead Soup , Art Bead Scene and all other challenges. I just set my imagination free  and allow myself to have fun !!!When I started to enter challenges and blog hops  I decided that I would create designs to keep for myself . I don't design with  any concern for whether it will sell or if it is in rules !!! That way I'm able to just play around with the new concepts .
I only have to please myself !!!
I usually add some of my own polymer clay creations to the design .This gives me a better feel for how  people use my beads. Sometimes it sparks ideas for new beads!
It's a great  way to see what works and what doesn't !

This year I took a GIANT leap..
I finally  got up the  nerve to try  a magazine contest !!!
I entered the"Winter Wonderland "challenge at Stringing Magazine.
You can see all the entries and vote for your favorite here

 For me it was a bit intimidating !
My design included some crystal quartz and very shiny silver !
 I had to buff up my photography tecniques to get a good picture!
Hopefully I gained some photography skills.
I still need a lot of practice !!!!!!!
I did learn it is probably wise to consider how photogenic a design is,before creating it for a magazine contest !!! 
I also had a chance to play with some rather weighty, gemstone beads ."Stringing" them on wire worked well . It is a tecnique I'll probably use again .I am currently in love with rough cut stones !

I think my challenge play time, was time well spent. 
Play time should be FUN. You should be learning.
But ,you should not really feel you are hard at work studying.
The new knowledge should just sneak into your head while you are smiling and  laughing !!!
This week 
take time to play 
Bead Happy !

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer " Time "

Time for a Summer design challenge !
This is just a  little hop , skip and  jump !
The idea was to select a photo that represented what you love about Summer and create a design based on that theme.
Sounds simple enough ...right?
But, I Love Everything about Summer and I have about a zillion photos to pick from!!!
Sorting through them all, I realized they had one common theme....  Quality Time !
Somehow in Summer we give ourselves permission to slow down  and live life at an easier pace.
What are all the picnics ,barbeques and vacations really about ?
I think they are about spending quality time with family and friends.
The photo I picked is of  my granddaughter Caroline and her friend Sophie at the beach .
They seemed lost in thoughtful conversation.

To create my necklace I gathered up some things to represent  the passage of time .
I  selected a hour glass , a "snail's pace shell" and a "take time to smell the roses "bead .
Then I added shells and sea glass my daughter and I gathered walking on the beach .
We love to walk the beach searching for little treasures.
But, the real treasure is the time we spend together .
I picked one of my amazing custom Bottle cap beads from Glass Garden Beads
Drinking the Bahamian brand beers to collect the caps, is the one and only bead project my husband has ever taken the time to help me with ! lol !!!
I added a wonderful little escutcheon .It has palm trees on it !
How perfect is that !!!
To me it is a symbol of  a  Secret Garden...
the hidden mystery and beauty of life, only noticed if we take time to search for it.
So many of our hours are spent rushing here and there,
hurrying to finish this and accomplish that .
My children are grown with busy lives of their own .
Some weeks a quick text or a short e-mail are our only communications.
During the Winter ,our holiday get togethers don't seem as relaxed as shared Summer gatherings.
Maybe the heat of Summer causes us to take things at a slower pace .
Maybe just the concept of "on vacation' gives us permission to change gears.
For me, the beach clears my mind of the everyday to do list .
When I am  beside the ocean ,conversions seem to flow like the tides. A very special time of  give and take .
I treasure those moments of  sharing  hopes and dreams , thoughts and feelings.
I am grateful to see that my granddaughter is learning to experience those precious  moments .
Demands of modern day  life seem to call for a hurried pace . 
For me Summer is about  slowing  down .
Summer is the season we can take time to enjoy  life's simple pleasures.
Summer is the season to  "stop and smell the roses "
this week
stop a moment 
slow down
spent a bit of  quality time with someone special
Bead Happy.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dress Up

Time again for  the ABS  challenge !!!
This month's inspiration is Illustration for American Cresent Cycles, 1899 by Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell
Gorgeous !!! I love those colors together !!! 
While searching through my stash for elements that might work ,
I heard something calling  my name!
What was it ? 
Funky little vintage copper chain fringes !
When I placed them on my copy of the poster, they just disappeared right into that fabulous hair .
They seemed made for this challenge !!!

I don't often make earrings . But, these seemed to make themselves !
The elements just fell into a collage of mixed metals and created a design for long glam dangles.
I seriously doubt any of my friends would identify long dangle earrings  with me...LOL !
Wearing them  made me feel like I was playing dress up .
I felt like I was a little girl  trying on Mom's high heels.
I was just  pretending  I was a fancy grown up lady.
I imagined I was the  woman in the poster,with long copper hair and skirts blowing in  breeze.
I wouldn't have thought to created  earrings  like these  for myself .
But , I'm very glad I did !!!
Just wearing these earrings lets me  feel a bit different ,
maybe be a bit different ...just for a while.
Big girls  should play dress up too !
We can step out of  our  usual daily persona and have some fun  !
Just for a night , be a gypsy , a movie star  ....whatever we please.
Sometimes all we have to do is change our jewelry to change the way we feel !!!
How GREAT is that !!!
this week
instead of creating based on how you feel
design for how you want to feel !!!
dress up
Bead Happy !