Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Soup is Simmerin'

Delicious Ingredients

My soup mix from  Melissa Mesara arrived this week !
I am THRILLED ! Her lampwork beads are Gorgeousssssssssssssss!!!
She even made me a darling  little manatee !
I named her "Sassy "after Homosassa Florida were I  met the manatees.

In the past I have challenged myself to use all of my soup goodies in one design.The bead soup rules  only require that we use the focal bead and the clasp .We are allowed to make as many pieces as we like.
But,I have always had fun trying to make all my ingredients fit into one"pot". However, this time I have two ideas in mind. I have one plan for"Sassy".I want to make something special,so I can see her everyday.
I have another design idea for those wonderful glass beads.

 I'm in the second soup group. I have until the April 6 reveal date to bring my design ideas to life . I hope the ideas in my head will work out when I actually have the beads on the table. Sometimes I have a vision.But ,the beads seem to have a mind of their own.
We'll see if that happens with my new soup plans !
In the meantime, I am excitedly waiting for the first group reveal on March 30  
This week feast on beautiful beadie inspiration
check out the 7 th Bead Soup Board on Pinterest 
Bead Happy,
My  Soup from Melissa

the Soup  I Sent

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Recipes for Soup

Cooking up some Bead Soup

Bead Soup 2013 is cooking .
For me it's the Superbowl of beading
permit me a little segue .... way ta go Baltimore RAVENS  !!! 
k ..back to beads
My partner is  Melissa Mesara
By mutual agreement ,we will be mailing out our soup mixes tomorrow .
Rules of the challenge include working outside your comfort zone
But ,how far out is too far?
How do you balance trying new things with developing a personal style?
To keep our designs fresh and interesting we should branch out .
However,for those of us that sell our creations, a recognizable style is a plus.
When I think I'm trying something brand new , am I inadvertently choosing from my comfort zone?
Can I choose something entirely new and make the component or technique my own?
Sometimes I feel like a mime in an invisible  box.
I'm pushing from all sides unable to get out .
That's why I LOVE  Bead Soup ! Somebody else picks the ingredients.
I know my own taste didn't influence the choices.
I have the opportunity to  take my surprise ingredients and make them into a soup I  like.
Sometimes a big challenge ! But ,always great FUN!
If you didn't get to sigh up for Bead Soup 2013 , consider pairing up with a friend .
Each of you can create a bead mix for the other .
Be sure to select"out of comfort zone components " .
see what you can create
and Bead Happy!
My Past "Soups"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

ABS February Challenge

Unexpected Spring

It's time for the February ABS challenge!
Long before I saw this month's art selection I was in  Spring mode!
Clay in an array of delicate pastels covered my work bench.
Spring is all about pinks, purples, sky blue...right?
Wait ...
Maybe not!
The wood block print by  Toshi Yoshida definitely said SPRING.
But, the color palette was very unexpected.
How did  shades that usually say Autumn to me, take me to a warm day in early Spring? To tell the truth I'm not sure!
But, I decided to see if I could use those colors  to create a necklace that would shout Spring when I wore it.
My starting point was a stash of wonderful rolled birch bark beads.
I love ,love ,love these beads!
I made some delicate apple blossom beads for my "branches".
I never pass up a chance to make a flower bead..LOL!
I tinted the beads in an slightly orange  tone rather than pure pink or white.
I decided my focal would be a heart. Spring is the time for romance after all .I textured the heart and it's companion beads to give a look reminiscent of  carved cinnabar.I realize that's more Chinese that Japanese. But, I hoped it would give my heart a bit of an oriental feel.
I had so much fun with the challenge of of using what I though to be unseasonal colors to create a decidedly seasonal piece .
I think this necklace will be perfect with an ivory linen dress !
I hope Spring comes soon!
this week
work in an unexpected color palette 
Bead Happy !

Sunday, February 3, 2013



I am always seeking sources of inspiration . I am a regular at ABS and Pinterest.I visit blogs and roam ETSY .I "take time to smell the roses" and appreciate nature's seasonal displays. From these sources I borrow color combos,shapes and themes. However,there are times when my muse comes up with ideas that are not from sources of direct inspiration.Instead my muse decides to create just from absorbing a feeling.
I missed posting  my blog entry last week. I was busy with chores left undone while I took a short vacation.
 My family fulfilled a life long dream .We met wild manatees !
We took a fabulous private tour on the Crystal River in Florida.Manatees winter there seeking the warmth of the natural springs and the less than natural power plant.You can not scuba dive with them .But if you follow the rules, you are allowed to swim and snorkle with them.
 I have read so much about the plight of the manatees. I was aware of their docile,gentle natures. I knew they were curious and often approached humans . I was told they sometimes even come up close and roll over to have their bellies scratched. I couldn't even imagine this ! They can weight between 1,500-1,800 lbs.
My hope for the trip was just to see a manatee ..hopefully while I was in the water with it.
I had decided that if  I saw  just one manatee in person  , I would consider my journey a success .
The day of our excursion dawned cloudy and very chilly.
Being bundled in my winter jacket didn't make me eager for a swim. But,as the boat slowly skimmed the water,manatees rose to breath.They swam closer to have a look at us. They rolled and frolicked  all around us. WOW Amazing!!! 
Then we donned our wetsuits and quietly  slipped into the water.
The idea was to silently float ,hoping to observe not disturb them .

OMG !!!I felt like I had just entered a dog park with a tennis ball !!!
 They really did come up to investigate us. They really did roll,rub and invite us the scratch their backs and sides !!! A young one even took it's flipper and pushed my daughter's hand down to scratch it's itch!
Words can not express the wonder of this time spent with the manatees.
Returning from our trip, my hubby asked me if  I was going to make some manatee beads. No...instead I made my usual flowers. But, I used a blend that gave a sea glass like finish . I worked in the colors of the sea and river. I did not any employ any direct creative inspiration.
But, I was  certainly  inspired !
I was filled with the serene beauty of  Homosassa Florida  in January. Every view seemed gentled by the Spanish moss that hung everywhere.
 The trusting , friendly manatees had touched my soul. 
This week my beads were created not from what I saw 
But, because of the way I felt 
This week
instead of seeing your  inspiration
be inspired by a feeling
Bead Happy