Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

It's that time of year again -- the big reveal for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party!!!

I was very fortunate this year to be partnered with Cheryl Roe from Kentucky.  Cheryl is a talented lampworker and jewelry designer.  Please take a moment to check out Cheryl's web site.   I have to admit I was a bit late sending my soup out to Cheryl.  I received her package but resisted the urge to open it until I had hers in the mail.  It was killing me not to peek but I wanted to make sure the soup I sent wasn't influenced by what I received. Once my package was in the mail though, I ripped into Cheryl's beads and was over the moon with what she sent me.  Just look at these beautiful handmade beads and clasp -- who wouldn't love them!!

Over the past couple of years, I've started working with more metal and enamel so it was a nice treat to have a beautiful soup of beads to work with.  But what to do with them?  I knew I wanted to make a necklace and earring set and came up with several different design ideas.  In the end, I decided to string the focal along with the purple spacers and sterling rounds on 16g wire.  The wire is shaped to form the front part of the necklace and is attached to the silver chain by Cheryl's round and barrel lampwork beads.  The earrings are very simple with matching silver chain and a pair of the rondelle beads.

And another view........

As is always the case, pictures really don't capture the beauty of the beads or the piece.  I sincerely hope I've done justice to the soup I received.  I had so much fun working with this soup and want to send a big thank you to Cheryl Roe for being my partner this year.

Wondering what I sent to Cheryl?  Interestingly enough, the color scheme of my soup was very similar to what I received.  I created a pendant set in mix metals - sterling and copper and made a clasp to match.  I also made a few copper links and topped it all off with some lampwork beads, crystals, gemstones, and freshwater pearls.  Check out Cheryl's blog to see what she did with the soup I sent.

I encourage you to check out some of the other blogs and enjoy their amazing designs.  Grab a cup of coffee and start hopping. Click here to see the full list of participants with links to their blogs:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Artistic Endeavors

ZentangleOne of my newest artistic endeavors is doodling and it's taking off like wildfire.  When I started, I was just doodling during my work meetings as a way of keeping my mind and hands busy.  My doodles were pretty good; I started posting them on my Facebook page.  I got so many great comments and several people associated my work with Zentangle.  I had no idea what Zentangle was so I did a bit of research and loved what I found.  I won't go into detail about the Zentangle method but you can go here to learn more about it.

Most of what I do is not technically Zentangle but rather Zentangle inspired art (ZIA).  A true Zentangle has no top or bottom, no right or left.  You can look at it from any orientation.  One it becomes a picture with top and bottom, it becomes ZIA.  Either way, tangling is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable activities I've every done.  I can get lost for hours in the shapes and patterns.

My new artistic endeavor has opened so many product avenues, I'm frankly a bit overwhelmed. Etched jewelry components, postcards, cell phone covers, texture plates; the possibilities are endless.  Oh, if I only had more hours in the day.  I've been working with a printer to begin exploring some of my new ideas and hope to have a few items in my store soon (Cheryl Foiles Designs).

Now you know why I changed the name of my blog.  It's not just about jewelry any more, it's about art, jewelry, and co-mingling the two.  I can't give away all my ideas just yet but I hope to have lots of surprises to share with you soon.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm Published

One of my goals for 2013 was to have my work published in a magazine.  I'm happy to report that I've achieved my goal!!  While not a print magazine where I would have to submit my work for acceptance into the magazine, I am still excited about being published in the online magazine, Creative Bead Chat.

Several weeks ago, I saw a call for participants in a 5x5 test group.  Five people would be sent the same five components and would design a piece for each of the components.  When I saw that the components were from Elaine Ray, I threw my hat in the ring.  I simply adore Elaine's ceramic components.  It was a happy day when I received notification that I was selected for the test group.

It just so happens that Elaine and I live only a few miles apart and she offered to bring the components to my house.  I was thrilled when I opened the box to find some very unique pieces, items never before offered.

Elaine Ray Components

Elaine's components really challenged my design skills and made me think outside the box.  I was excited, motivated, satisfied, and frustrated -- all at the same time.  Some of the designs came together nicely and some were made, torn apart, remade, torn apart again, etc. until I found a design I liked.  All in all, it was a wonderful experience - one I would gladly participate in again.

The Final Designs:

The loops in the cone pendant are wrapped with waxed cotton cord.  The pendant is hung on blue waxed cotton cord with a bail of lampwork beads.
This is my favorite piece.  Blue leaf headpins with handmade copper flower bead caps and blue enameled beads make up the pendant.  The pendant is hung on copper chain with a hand made copper clasp.
Another pair of Elaine's leaf headpins, this time used as dangles on a pair of earrings.  The leaf dangles hang from hand embossed and hand forged copper tubes.
As soon as I saw the orange, square component, I knew it would be perfect as a focal clasp on a multi-strand necklace.  The strands include seed beads, freshwater pearls, and copper beads.

And last but not least, the piece we testers dubbed the "stop light".  This one took me awhile and was re-made probably 5 times before I came up with this design.  I love how it turned out with the various copper components to enhance the ceramic focal. 

It was such a treat to see the other designs - such creativity, imagination, and skill.  Visit the Creative Bead Chat magazine to see pieces from the other designers.  You can also visit their blogs to read more about their design process.

Host: Elaine Ray
Designer: Cory Tompkins
Designer: Marcia Dunne
Designer: Robin Showstack hosted by
Designer: Sharon Palac

Saturday, April 13, 2013

BSPB 2013 - The Big Reveal

Another great Bead Soup Blog Party and I'm so excited to finally reveal my pieces.  My partner, Hope Smitherman, sent me a wonderful soup full of a little bit of everything:  glass, ceramic, wood, stone, metal.  It was so much fun to open all of those goodies and I was anxious to get started right away.  The first thing that jumped out at me were the wavy brass spacers and the green Picasso rondelles.  Most of my designs are simple but I try to make them each unique - things you won't see elsewhere. In this first necklace, I used the beads and spacers along with brass chain and the beautiful brass clasp Hope sent me. This necklace has become one of my favorites and I get lots of compliments every time I wear it.

BSBP 2013 Brass Necklace

I started on a copper necklace next but due to a mishap, I had to set it aside for a bit and regroup.  In the meantime, I made a pair of earrings with the ceramic and nut beads along with brass wire beads, Thai silk cord, and brass ear wires.  I love how the nut beads are light on top and dark on the bottom.  It adds depth and character.

BSBP 2013 Earrings
It was time to get back to my copper necklace and finish it up.  The chain for this necklace has copper horseshoe links with gemstones.  Each link is hand forged.  The clasp for this necklace is also handmade - I love my metals!!  The focal for this necklace is a beautiful Tagua nut and needed something to set it off.  I decided to make a simple copper bail that would also serve to link the chain together.

And that's it - my pieces for this year's BSBP.  

2013 BSBP Pieces

I've had such a fun time working with the goodies Hope sent me and I can't wait to see what she did with the soup I sent her.  Please take a minute to visit the other participant blog sites and enjoy the beautiful pieces made by a wonderful group of talented artists around the world.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

7th Bead Soup Blog Party

I'm so excited to be participating again in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party.  This is her 7th event and there are over 600 people from around the world participating this year.  My partner for this BSBP is Hope Smitherman and she has put together a soup for me that has my head swirling with ideas.

But, first things first.  Let me tell you about the package I received.  When my soup arrived in the mail, it was in a bubble envelope just like any other package.  And when I opened it, I found a treasure of goodies all wrapped up so pretty -- there were so many little packages, it felt like Christmas.

Bead Soup all Wrapped Up
My first instinct was to rip into all those little packages but I didn't - I took my time and enjoyed opening each one. Here's a pic of all the wonderful goodies Hope sent.

Bead Soup from Hope

Notice the beautiful pendant in the lower right corner?  I treasure that piece most of all because it was handmade by Hope and sent as an "extra" gift just for me.  Please take a moment to learn a little about my BSBP partner:  Hope's Blog, Hope's Etsy Store, Hope's Facebook Page.

Wondering what I sent Hope?  I decided I would make all of the beads and components for Hope's soup so I got out the copper and enamels and came up with this:

Now to go dig into all those goodies Hope sent me!!  I am part of the second reveal and will be posting my finished piece(s) on April 6th.  Be sure to check back then to see what came of the wonderful bead soup I have to play with.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Finding My Muse

Creative Must
I wish I knew what it is that triggers inspiration and creativity.  Sometimes, the last thing I want to do is look at a bead or a piece of metal.  Other times, I can work all day long and not run out of ideas.  There really is no rhyme or reason to it, so I figure I better enjoy my creative muse when she graces me with her presence.   Yes, this picture represents my muse.  I don't know why because I'm not into fairies or frilly things, but she is what I envision when I picture her in my mind.
Today was one of those insanely creative days.  I finished up two pendants, a necklace, and a pair of earrings.  I worked happily all day in my studio and finished up a couple of projects that were started awhile ago and then set aside for lack of inspiration.  It sure feels good to be productive, especially when I like the pieces I end up with.  If you are a crafter of any sort, you know what I mean.  You can work all day on a piece and then hate it when it’s finished. 
Do you struggle with creativity and inspiration?  How do you handle it?  How do you rekindle the creative flame? 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BSBP Reveal Day

I am so excited to be participating in my first Bead Soup Blog Party and before I go any further, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Lori Anderson for making this happen.  This year is the biggest BSBP yet with 400 participants from around the world.

When I received my beads from my partner, Dawn Pierro, I knew I had a challenge on my hands.  She sent small metal and gemstone beads, several short lengths of chain, fresh water pearls, and a lovely copper focal and clasp.  I've never really worked with such small beads; it took a couple of weeks but the design started coming together.  A multi-strand necklace is what I had in mind. 

BSBP Reveal

I laid out the beads and the longest piece of chain and I loved the look but didn't have enough beads to complete the necklace.  It was either back to the drawing board or figure out how to make this work.  I happened to have some dark olive silk ribbon that I braided for the back of the necklace, and I made a couple of copper connectors to tie it all together. 

BSBP Reveal 2

I'm thrilled with how the piece turned out.  It was definitely a challenge that took me out of my comfort zone but that's what this is all about. 

Thanks so much to Dawn for the lovely bead soup and for getting me out of the box and trying something new. 

I'm already looking forward to the next BSBP!

Please take a moment to visit the web sites of the other amazing designers (links below) and see what they did with their bead soups.

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Agi Kiss, Moonsafari Beads 
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alison Sachs, Beads by Earthtones
Amanda Dittloff, Passion Smashin'
Andra Marasteanu, Bijoux de Monanage
Angie Szlovak, SweetBeads
Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
Ann Sherwood, Ann's Blog
Arlene Dean, A Glass Bash
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Barb Solem, Vivi Magoo Presents
Barbara Blaszczyk, laboratorim Flory
Bianca Odenthal, Zydies Glasperlen
Birgit Klughardt, GitesBeads
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Bonnie Coursolle,  Jasper Gems
Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
Charlene Jacka, Clay Space
Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
Cheryl Foiles, Get Your Bead On
Christie Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry

Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Cindy Cima Edwards, Live to Design
CJ Bauschka, 4 His Glory Creations
Claire Smith, Embergrass Jewelry
Cynthia Riggs, Cynth's Blog
Dana Fowler, Trunk Full of Treasure
Dawn Pierro, Turtle Moon Designs
Dee Elgie, Cherry Obsidia
Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous

Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Eileen Snyder, Dorset Hill Beads
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Eva Kovacs, Ewa gyongyos vilaga!
Evelyn Duberry, Sheba Makeda
Fay Wolfenden, Torch Fairy
Fen Li, Bead Flora Jewels
Gail Zwang, Angel Moose Enterprises
Geneva Collins, Torque Story
Grace Dorsey, Fan of the Flame
Gretchen Nation,  Art Food Lodging

Hannah Annear, Squintessential
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Heather Goldsmith, As I Bead It
Heather Otto, The Craft Hopper
Heidi Kingman, My Bead Therapy
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Isolina Perez, Isolina Perez
Jacqueline Keller, CreARTelier
Jane Haag, Did You Make Something Today?
Janeen Sorensen, Wild Vanilla Designs
Jean Peter, Jean P. Designs

Jennifer Judd, Jen Judd Rocks
Jennifer L Justman, Soul's Fire Designs
Joanna Matuszczyk, Bizuteria z filcu
Joanne Brown, Jo's Jewels
Joanne Lockwood, Jo Bunkum
Joyce Becker, Joyce's Joyful Gems
Judy Riley, Three Red Beads
Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
Karen Williams, Baublicious
Karin von Hoeren, Creative Ideen

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Kashmira Patel, Sadafule .. always in bloom!
Kate Richbourg, We Can Make That at Home

Katrin Lembke, AllesPerle
Kathy Combs, Torched in Texas
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Kelley Fogle, My Life, One Bead at at Time
Kelly Hosford Patterson, Traveling Side Show

Klaudette Koon, Only Road
Lara Lutrick, Lampwork Beads by Lara
Laura Guenther, Blue Antiquities

Laurie Lalonde, Simply Mod Jewelry
Lilik Kristiani, Soul of My Embodiment
Linda Younkman, Lindy's Designs
Lisa Chapman, Beach Cat Beads
Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures
Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta
Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
Lori Dorrington, Lori's Adventures in Etsy Land
Lupe Meter, Gem's PC Corner
Lynn Davis, LLYYNN

Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin
Mandi Effron, Craft-o-licious
Mandy Williamson, Mimi's Beading
Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
Maria Rosa Sharrow, Willow Street Shops
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
Marjolein Trewavas, Room for Change
Marelene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Marsha Neal, Marsha Neal Studio

Marta Kaczerowska, uhuhu
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry Blog
Michelle Burnett, Reverie and Revival
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Miko Wiropati, Uniquely Yunikua
Milla Hope,  LB Creative Arts and Crafts
Mimi Gardner, Other Curiosities
Miranda Ackerley, MirandackArts
Natalie McKenna, grubbi

Noemi Baena, fuego, metal, y color
Pam Ferrari, Ferrari Originals
Pam Sears, Crazy Creative Corner
Penny Neville, Copper Penny
Rachel Baron, R. Baron Designs
Rachel Myers, Rockabead Jewelry
Rana Wilson, Definitive Designs by R. Wilson
Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
Riki Schumacher, Riki Jewelry

Rose Binoya, Ahtee's Blog
Rossana De Gaspari, Rdegas Blog

Sandi James, Do Be Do Bead Do
Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories
Sarah Goode, Pookledo

Sarah Small, blog by salla
Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Shawn Mills, Shawn Marie Designs with Bent Wire
Sheila Davis, Stone Designs by Sheila

Sheryl Stephens, Babble Bead
Shiraz Biggie, Secret Song Designs

Solange Collin,  Ahowin Handcrafted Jewelry
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Stephanie Dixon, The Dixon Chick
Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
Susan Sheehan, Strands of Thought
Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
Sweet Freedom, Sweet Freedom Designs
Tabatha Dinger, Modernly Created
Tania Hagen, Pelima Jewellery Design

Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
Tracy Stillman, Tracy Stillman Designs