Thursday, 13 December 2012

More beautiful art beads...

Guess what? In my last post I shared with you that I won some of Gaea's handmade beads. Well, they've arrived! And they're gorgeous. It's a beautiful set of ceramics in earthy and pastel colors. I'll share photos soon, I promise!

But for now, I have more art beads to share. I won an absolutely stunning set of beads from Caroline of BlueberriBeads. You can see the exact set I won here. And now for some photos of what I've made so far...

In this bracelet, I used Caroline's stoneware dragonfly, copper lentil, stoneware barrel, and her beautiful silvered glass lampwork spotty barrel.

I went with a natural, beachy theme and added some faceted aqua quartz from my friend Tanya of FusionMuse. The beads are wrapped in solid brass wire and finished with a handmade clasp.


Here's another pic of that gorgeous dragonfly bead. This bracelet had a lot of ooohs and ahhhhs at a recent show and will be listed in my Etsy soon.

I've made another bracelet with Caroline's beads that has some scrummy larimar and heat patinated brass chain. It'll have to wait for another blog post, though.

Something that has managed to find its way into my shop, is gemstone earrings. I made two pairs of copper earrings with my handmade rosy ball end headpins. I love how the little balls of copper add that extra bit of detail to these earrings.

Aren't those gemstones yummy? The yellow pair has faceted yellow sapphires and smooth citrine drops. I love how the citrine sparkles.

The red pair has faceted rubies and the daintiest Turundu sapphires. All those little facets add a surprising amount of sparkle.

I love making these little rustic earrings. A bit of sparkle, a splash of color, and just the right amount of femininity mixed with rustic simplicity. What could be better? If you'd like to see more photos, you can find them here.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lucky month

November has been fantastic. I love the Autumn, but it's been more than the colorful trees and cool weather. I've had so much good news this month on my jewelry. Happy customers in my new Etsy shop, commissions, and other news I can't share quite yet.

What I can say is that I've been extremely lucky to win some beads! First off was a bag PACKED with beads from Cazz over at Beadercollie. It took a whole evening to sort through them. There were gemstones, seed beads galore, Czech glass, and everything sparkly in between. I've got tons of new ideas and jewelry in the making!

Then, even more good news. Gaea (does she need an intro?) from Gaea Handmade contacted me. Much to my surprise I won her art beads over on Art Bead Scene. I had no idea! The beginning of November was totally hectic, and I didn't expect to win. So it slipped by. Gaea was sweet enough to contact me nearly 3 weeks later! How lucky am I?

I can't wait to get Gaea's beads, but in the mean time, I have a few commissioned pieces that I'll be working on. I'll share those with you over the weekend.

And since it's been such a great month, I'm going to do a another sale in my shop when I reach 100 favorites (already at 96!). So, if there's something you like, let it be known!

Thanks for reading, and to all my American friends and family, Happy Thanksgiving! It seems like I've got a lot to be grateful for. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

And to my UK friends, I hope it stops raining!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A new blogger in the realm...

Well, well, there's a new blogger in our midst. I'd like to give a warm welcome to Cazz of Beadercollie! She's a fab resin artist of many talents and lover of dogs.

Cazz has a shop on Etsy by the same name, and her shiny new blog can be found here. And what's she up to? A giveaway! She's giving away a big bag of beads to one lucky reader.

Have a look and say hello!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Etsy, discounts, and celebrating...

You know that Etsy shop I said I was working on? It's now open! You can find it here. To celebrate, I'm doing a discount. Use the code GRANDOPEN1 at checkout to receive 25% off your order.

And following on from my last blog post, I've been stocking my virtual shelves with my art beads. Some of my owls have already sold! You'll find more owls, faces, and rustic designs. Check it out!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Meet the Moss Goddesses and other clay musings...

Clay, clay, clay. That's all I've got on the brain recently. Well, there's more than that, but I can't get clay off my mind. I've tip toed in the realm of polymer clay before. I've made a handful of beads, a few faces, and a sprinkling of sculptures. But now I want to understand the clay. I want to experiment, try techniques, and perfect them.

So, I'm back at it. Mostly, I've been playing with acrylics on baked clay. I've also been doing a little texturing and carving. Today, I'd like to show you my Moss Goddesses.

I've never seen this kind of face cabochon before. It all came together one evening. I'd set out to make some face cabs. I started picking up bits from my stash - gemstones, sterling silver...and it went from there.

This moss goddess was my prototype. I just made her and decided to see what would happen. She has two emeralds and a ruby in her forehead, plus a sterling silver nose ring and spiral on her cheek. The moss and painting was done after baking. I liked it, but I wasn't over the moon about moss. I shared some photos of her in one of my groups on Facebook, and peopled liked her. Must be something right! She was even popular enough to prompt a commission.

And so my second moss goddess was born. This one has rubies and just a silver nose ring. The application of the 'moss' is a lot neater, and I'm seeing even more potential. I've already started on other beads with a similar moss application.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the moss is most definitely not real moss. That would be something!

I'll be playing with clay again today. I plan on working on some rustic cats (RustiCats! Naming them is as much fun as making them) and will share some faux leather clay books and owls with you in the future. For now, I leave you with a tiny Pebble Owl. He's the mere size of a penny...

Monday, 29 October 2012

Giveaway - don't miss it!

Another exciting giveaway has come up. Tanglebeads is doing a giveaway of $90 worth of stock from her Etsy shop. If you win, you choose what you get! Tania makes beautiful lampwork beads and jewelry.

Have a look at her blog to find out more.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Blog neglect and pretty jewelry...

I've been meaning to blog since the History Hop. But things have been incredibly busy. A jewelry show, working on a new Etsy shop, swaps, commissions, and every day life have kept me from my little blog.

The good news is I have lots of pretty things to show you. And, since pictures speak louder than words, I'm adding quite a few.

I've been using brass in my wirework recently. Specifically red brass or 'Nu Gold.' It's gorgeous. The colour is something like gold filled, it's very responsive, and fantastic to use. Heather Rats of Mama's Craft Room swapped me the wire, and I can't thank her enough for introducing me to it. (Check out her Autumn Harvest necklace a couple posts down, soo beautiful!)

I love making my own earwires, so, naturally, the first thing I made was earrings. Here are a few...

Brass, lampwork by Tania Grey, and agate gemstones
Agate gemstones, brass, and vintage glass melon beads from Old Bicycle Shop

Brass, lampwork by Tania Grey, vintage lucite, and glass crystals

Hammered brass and glass crystals

Hammered brass hearts

Brass, lampwork by Tania Grey, and vintage glass beads from Old Bicycle Shop

Hammered brass and magnesite

Some of these earring sold at my show, but the rest are going in my Etsy shop, once it's open. But I couldn't stop with earrings. How about some other rings? I started with a couple of wire wrapped gemstone rings.

Moss agate and garnet wire wrapped rings in brass

How about amethyst? The color of this stone was hard to catch in our overcast light in England. You'll have to believe me when I say it's a beautiful, intense purple.
Faceted amethyst gemstone and brass ring

 I thought I'd try a different style of ring. I made the bands differently on these and used glass pearls. These took a lot less time to make, but are still lovely.

Glass pearls and brass

And finally (yes, finally!), another gemstone ring. This one has a rose quartz in the center with a peridot stone either side. I'm liking the look of these 'trio' rings, and will try my hand at more.
Rose quartz, peridot, and brass ring

I just realized there's another turquoise ring I didn't photo, but it's a lot like the moss agate one. These are so fun to make and were popular for ogling at my show. Hope you've enjoyed seeing my new work, too!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

History Hop Reveal!

Today is the reveal day for the History Hop. It's a hop that takes you back in time to appreciate the beauty and styles of jewelry - from the ancient to the 20th century.

This is the first blog hop I've hosted, and I couldn't be more pleased that 20 other artists decided to join me. I'd like to thank Sandra Wollberg again for sharing the beautiful blog hop button she made for us. Thanks Sandra!

And thank you all for participating! Now let the fun begin...

Ancient Rome

Ever since I went to the British Museum in London, I've been in love with Roman jewelry. That's probably the reason I started this blog hop. 

At the museum, I recognized some of the gemstones that Romans used. Carnelian, onyx, lapiz...Serpents, wire, bangles, and gold were popular.  I found a lot of helpful information here and used it as a reference for my design. 

What did I make? I didn't have a plan, really. I ordered some very thick 2.9mm brass wire from my friend Tanya, of PloiThai. I immediately started working on a bracelet. But instead of cutting it down, I used the entire length to make a meandering zigzag. What did that look like? A snake!

Coiling serpents were often used in Roman times and symbolized immortality. Mine wasn't real gold, but the brass polished to a beautiful golden shine. I shaped my snake, hammered it, and etched in a pattern for the scales. 

I didn't want to cover the snake, so I wire wrapped gemstones around the circular part. I dug through my stash and found carnelian, lapis lazuli, tiny topaz, and some blue sapphires Tanya sent me.

 I secured the stones with more brass wire creating a decorative pattern as I went. I didn't want to over complicate it. See the sapphires? There's a tiny topaz nestled between them.

The bangle can be worn with the snake going up or down the arm. It's a comfy fit mid-forearm or works well around the wrist with the tail trailing along your hand.

 Going up...

...and down.

I'm planning to make more Roman inspired jewelry, as well as exploring other time periods. I love how naturally this piece came together. It's Roman inspired with my own wire twist.

Below is the full list of participants. Be sure to check out their blogs as they post throughout the day. I can't wait to see what everyone made.

Happy hopping!

Ahowin - Art Nouveau
Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A glowing commission and gemstones...

Davida of Old Bicycle Shop commissioned me to use some of her beads in a wirework piece. She sent me these gorgeous but challenging fluorescent beads. I was a bit stumped at first. I don't normally use beads like the leaves. But I mulled it over for a day and the ideas began to flow...

This is probably the most complicated and detailed bit of wirework I've done. I started with the center leaf, carefully wrapping it and designing as I went. I added some of the small, yellow beads to the wirework and attached one of the beautiful faceted green beads above. The design grew from there.

From the center leaf, each set of outer leaves has a gradually less complex design. I wanted it to linger and trail like vines, mimicking the leaf style. By far, I think the hardest thing was repeating the same wirework on the outer leaves. I'm one of those wireworkers who doesn't like doing earrings because of the symmetry, know what I mean?

Once the focal area was finished, I wrapped the large, faceted yellow beads adding a twist of wire on each bead for a bit more sparkle. The beads are beautiful and  sparkly enough, but why not? More sparkle the better!

And on that theme, I decided to do a two strand style of chain to finish off the necklace. It was time consuming to wrap all those little faceted beads, but well worth it. The necklace really shines.

I added a handmade extender chain so the necklace can be worn or displayed at varying lengths. It's finished off with one of the faceted green beads.

I have to give credit to Davida. She chose the beads and left the design to me. The colors and sparkling facets were perfect together, even if they were a challenge for me.

I keep checking Old Bicycle Shop to see if these beauties are in stock. Not yet, but I'm sure they will be! Davida also stocks a variety of unique and vintage beads, which I've used before. Have a look, you won't be disappointed!

Where are the gems, you say? Davida also chose an apatite and silver plated wirework pendant I'd previously made. I updated the pendant with a chain and a handmade extender.

A tiny apatite drop from my friend Tanya of PloiThai and FusionMuse finishes off the chain.

Hope you enjoyed the eye candy! And check out Davida and Tanya's shops for more beautiful beads and gems.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

History Hop - we have a button!

Sandra Wollberg has kindly made a button for us to use in the History Hop. It'll help as a little reminder for the reveal date on October 13th and links back easily to the rules and list of participants. The button Sandra made features a beautiful piece of art by Alphonse Mucha.

To add it to your blog, copy the code in the box on my sidebar. Go to your blog, click Design, Layout, Add Gadget, and paste the code into an HTML Gadget. Arrange it where you want on your sidebar, save, and you're done!

You can still sign up to the hop, just make sure you give yourself enough time to create. Let me know what time period you choose from the list here, and I'll add you.

If you asked me to choose a time period for you, find your name on the list below. Everyone should have a time period and their blog link listed. Let me know if anything has changed. Have fun!

History Hop participants so far:

Ahowin - Art Nouveau
Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

La Vidalerie Challenge

Recently, I joined one of La Vidalerie's challenges. They have beautiful gems and handmade findings in their shop, as well as holding metal smithing classes in France. The first part of the challenge was a giveaway - 10 lucky people won a pair of their Swan earwires.

I was one of those people, and the earwires I received were not only beautiful, but flawless. The next step, the challenge, was to create a pair of earrings with the earwires. I thought the elegant shape and size deserved something a bit different.

I came up with these beautiful chandelier earrings. They're dripping with precious gemstones in ruby reds and yellows.

The gems are 10 tiny faceted rubies, 6 faceted Turundu sapphires in yellow and red, and 4 tiny faceted yellow sapphires. The gems are gorgeous and the little facets catch the light beautifully. All of the gems came from my friend Tanya of FusionMuse and PloiThai

Each stone was individually wrapped in .925 sterling silver. They, especially the briolettes, were way more fiddly to wrap than I thought. The gems are 5-7mm and have the tiniest holes. 

The sterling silver chandeliers came from my stash. A very lovely designer called Lynn Davy in the UK gave them to me. I've held onto them in hopes to do something special with them. I just knew these tiny, precious gems would do them justice.

Everything came together to make an elegant, dramatic, and romantic set of earrings.

There will be many more entries in La Vidalerie's challenge. Voting will take place nearer the end of this week (I'm told) on their Facebook page. Keep an eye out!

History Hop Participants - still time to join!

A few of you were worried you weren't in the History Hop, so I've updated the list again to show all of the participants so far. This list was made at 7:20am EST today, so if you joined before then and aren't on the list, I haven't received your info, for some reason.

There's still time to join in. I haven't put a deadline for joining, yet. So long as let me know your choice with enough time to add you to my list, and you give yourself enough time to create, I'm happy!

History Hop participants so far:

Ahowin - Art Nouveau

Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

And again, thank you all so much for joining in! I didn't think this would be nearly as popular as it's become. I'll update this list as more people join in the fun. If you'd like to join, leave a comment here with your details. See you on reveal day, October 13th!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

History Hop Update

Thought I would post a little update for the History Hop. So far, we have over 12 participants! I've listed everyone who up to this point has joined. I used the names and blog links I found on your profiles. Please let me know if they're wrong or any other info I've left out (that means I couldn't find it!). Also let me know if your blog links are not working.

Otherwise, you're in!

History Hop participants so far:

Ahowin - Art Nouveau
Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

Thank you all for joining! This should be so much fun. I can't wait to see what you create! I will periodically update the participant list. Any questions, just email me!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

History Hop - join in!

Are you inspired by history? If you said yes, then this could be the blog hop for you! The History Hop is a chance to immerse yourself in a period in history and create jewelry with that inspiration.

Your challenge is to select a period from the timeline below (or I can choose one at random for you!), research it, and create something to reflect that period. I'm hoping you'll not only be inspired by the style of the period, but also the materials that would have been used.


How it works: 

Choose one or more time periods. If you'd rather it be a surprise, I can choose a period for you. Remember, you only have to choose one!

Post a comment here or email me with your chosen time period. I'll put all the info together for an easy to use blog hop list, so we know where we're going!

Create at least one piece of jewelry for your period. You can make as many as you like, but one finished piece for each time period you choose is all that's required.

Reveal on Saturday, October 13th.

Hop the blogs - I know there are going to be some amazing creations, so enjoy the hop!

Info I need from you: your chosen time period and your blog address, if you're not commenting with a Blogger account. Otherwise it's hard to find you!

There are 14 time periods to choose from. Click on the names for a great site with descriptions, history, and photos for each time period.


Found one you liked? Email (click on my profile to contact me) or comment here with your choice(s) and that you'd like to participate. All you have to do from there is create and wait for the reveal day! I hope there's enough info in the links above, but if you need help finding any other resources, just ask!

Let's get creating!

History Hop participants so far:

Ahowin - Art Nouveau
Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Tribal Steampunk

I recently entered a challenge on a forum I go to. The theme was Steampunk, and after a lot of deliberating and switching plans, I came up with this.


Now, I know it's not totally Steampunk, but it's definitely getting there. I couldn't help but add a bit of the faerie, tribal style I've been playing with.

In all, Tribal Steampunk took about 4-5 hours to make. That was the work alone - I can't bare to think about the design process. There were so many beads a textiles that I'd pick up and would match...others wouldn't, no matter how much I wanted them to. You know how it is.

For this necklace, I started with the tiny, copper book. I made the cover out of copper sheet and cut out 12 tiny pages from sketch book paper. I antiqued the pages with a tea patina, and bound it all with copper wire. On the front cover of the book, I added an old, Irish coin with a beautiful bird, a vintage Swarovski crystal, and a wire wrapped LED.

From the bottom of the book hangs my very first wirework key. I'm really pleased with how it came out. And for a bit of extra detail, I wrapped two faceted emeralds onto it.

Next, I added some repurposed green velvet, amethyst drops, and more copper wirework reminiscent of feathers to carry the bird theme. The focal area hangs from a piece of sea glass I found in the River Thames in London, England. The chain features vintage glass beads from Old Bicycle Shop, lampwork by Tan Grey, silk, and frayed, feathery fibers. The fabrics were dyed with tea to match the antiqued pages.

And the really cool thing? You can open the book - you can write in it.

I used an old brass clasp I recycled from a vintage necklace to close the book. Just an extra touch to keep your secret notes safe.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A giveaway and a challenge...

A few days ago, I received a beautiful pair of  Sterling Silver swan earwires from La Vidalerie. They're hosting a number of giveaways, and for this one, everyone who wins a pair of these earwires will create a pair of earrings. Each one will then be voted on, and the winner will receive a £25 gift certificate. La Vidalerie has beautiful gemstones and findings, so I hope I have a chance!

La Vidalerie is doing other giveaways - check them out here! And keep an eye on their Facebook page for all of the great entries and voting.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Curtis the Teddy Cat

There is a special glass artist who lives in the Netherlands. Her name is Christina, and one day, she made something amazing. From fire and glass she formed the most beautiful teddy bear. He had a sweet face, cute little ears, and his little arms and legs moved like a doll's.

Someone saw this teddy and loved him. She thought he was beautiful and how wonderful it would be if Christina could make a cat. On that alone, Christina went to work with her flame. And created Curtis the Teddy Cat. A Teddy Cat? You ask. He looks like a cat, but with no tail, still like his teddy friend.

Christina sent Curtis on a long journey by air and by land. And finally, he was taken in his cozy box to his new home.

Curtis started to wake and looked a little bit sad. (I think he missed Christina.) 

But I called for him. "Curtis" I said. With his little lilac cheeks and his pink nose, he looked up at me.

Curtis began to play and forgot his long journey. He knew he was safe in his new home.


But Curtis will never forget that artist in the Netherlands. Nor how lovingly she made him, or how carefully she packed him, or what a wonderful person she is.

Thank you SO much to Christina for not only sending me this adorable work of art, but also naming him after me. I am truly touched!

And if you want to see more whimsy and charm, visit Christina here.

Thrift Store Blog hop - Reveal!

With everything going on - the BSBP, the Olympics, the fleeting summer, life in general - it seemed like I joined this hop ages ago. And in case you've forgotten, here's a little reminder.

Sarah Goode of Pookledo started a great little challenge. We were meant to buy an item for £1 ($1.50) or less from a thrift shop and use it in a piece of jewelry. I found this sweet copper ring.

After fiddling around with it a bit, I decided on what other components to use. I chose some ceramics in pale purples, blues, and pinks by Tania Grey. I wrapped, strung, and tied them to some sage green silk I hand frayed.

Once I decided how, but not where to use the ring, I made a copper clasp to match.

The closure works surprisingly smoothly, but finishing off the bracelet took a bit of effort. I had to make everything just the right length, or else it would be too loose and flop on the wrist.

Even though I'm not big on hearts, I made a copper heart link to keep the theme going. The pastel colors are gentle on the eye, the hearts add a touch of sweetness, and the style is refreshingly bohemian. And that silk is SO soft.

Don't forget to check out what everyone else has made. The full list of participants is below. Happy hopping!

Sarah -
Deb -
Kimberley -
Skye -
Ambra -
Beti -
Emma -
Shelley -
Tammie -
Leah -
Denielle -
Keri Lee -
Rochelle -
Pam -
Ingetraud -
Audrey -
Julie Anne -
Sharyl -
Micheladas - 
Lo -
Kala -
Dee -

Friday, 27 July 2012

BSBP6 Reveal!

Today is the long awaited Bead Soup Blog Party®. This is the 6th BSBP held by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. And it's my first. I'm excited, nervous, and a little bit surprised it's finally here.

There are 400 participants this year, and I was paired with the very talented glass artist Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens. Maryse sent me a wonderful soup with her own 23ct gold foiled lampwork, gold vermeil beads and clasp, and two gorgeous lampwork focals.  She also sent some beautiful sari silk, vintage components, and leather cord. Here's a reminder of the soup I received.

I went to work straight away. In total, I made 5 pieces for the reveal. For my first piece, I used the gold vermeil toggle clasp. I chose to do a simple design, incorporating the leather cord. I used Maryse's lampwork, some of the gold vermeil, and crystal quartz gemstones I already had.

My inspiration for this piece was the beautiful, varied colours of the lampwork. They had a Moroccan feel, and I tried to keep this rich palette mixed with gold. It was actually harder to design than I thought. This bracelet was a refreshing new style for me. Here's a closer look at the brushed gold vermeil clasp I used in my Moroccan Bracelet.

For my second piece, Sea Princess, I used some of the extra beads and silk Maryse sent me. I wrapped more of Maryse's lampwork beads with 14ct gold filled wire and made up the remaining length with the pink silk she sent me. I made my own clasp for this bracelet with the same gold wire and used an old coin from the Third Hellenic Republic as a focal piece. That coin was hard to wrap!

There are also tiny lampwork beads from Tania Grey called Little Wishes. I couldn't resist including them since they matched Maryse's bead so perfectly. I think this picture shows how special Maryse's beads are. Look at that flash of color...

Here are some closer shots of the focal coin. I added some faceted gems for an extra touch of sparkle.

And here's a final shot of the front of the coin (the back of the bracelet).

My next piece features some lovely little gems from Tanya of FusionMuse. It seems like fate that I received her free Beads for Blogging and was inspired to use them with the vermeil beads and leather Maryse sent me. I added some matching magnesite stones and created my very first lariat - Boho Chic.


The focal area has a vintage rhinestone ball and a vermeil bead Maryse sent me. This necklace is fresh and simple. There's no need for a clasp, as it's the perfect length to slide over your head.

Are you tired yet? I promise there are only two more! As everyone hopping probably knows, the challenge of the BSBP is to use the clasp and focal your partner sends you. Maryse very generously sent me not one but two focals. I'm glad to say I was inspired and challenged by both of them.

The first one I used was this gorgeous vessel style bead. The flash of yellow matched a strip of sari silk she sent me beautifully. I knew what I was going to do straight away and decided on an asymmetrical design.

One side features the vibrant yellow and purple silk. I mirrored these colours with deep purple amethyst and lemon quartz gemstones.


For an added touch of detail, I wrapped one of the tiny, faceted lemon quartz at the bottom of the focal. It added a bit of extra sparkle and draws the eye down Maryse's lampwork. Can you see the flecks of purple on the focal?


To finish this necklace off, I forged my own copper clasp. It fastens to a chunky copper link meeting the sari silk.

And now to share my final piece for the sixth Bead Soup Blog Party®. It's something very different for me. The second focal Maryse made for me was filled with whimsy. I wasn't sure what to do at first. I loved the lacy black pattern - the pool of blue and the chunky shape.

The earthy colors made me think of gardens, and I soon came up with my grand plan. I know this cuff is a bit crazy, but I'm happy. I'm happy because I was pushed out of my usual styles and created something very different. Faerie Garden cuff took about 5 hours to make.

This garden green velvet cuff features vintage beads and chatons, Czech glass flowers (never used those before!), and that magical focal. I wrapped the vintage chatons I received from the Old Bicycle Shop in Vintaj bead caps.

Maryse's lampwork is surrounded by Czech glass flowers and beads that sprawl along the soft velvet. Tiny dew drop beads sparkle amongst the flowers. A border of vintage speckled drops were hand sewn with fine copper wire onto the velvet.

For closure, I made a chunky, whimsical copper clasp.  And one of those vintage chatons sparkles at the end of the cuff.

And those are my 5 creations for the Sixth Bead Soup Blog Party®. This has been a wonderful experience for me. And I hope the rest of you hopping will enjoy my creations! The fun's not over yet, though. There are hundreds of blogs to hop to.

Here are all of the participants revealing today, July 28th.

 Hostess, Lori Anderson,
Alice Craddick,  Alice's Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache,  All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts,  Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson,  AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou,  Create With Spirit   
Candida Castleberry,    Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl McCloud,  One Thing Leads to Another
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson,  Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris' Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things
Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikö Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten,  Jewelry, Art and Life
Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade
Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie's Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry
Marti Conrad, Marti C's Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs
Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky
Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal's Attic
Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau

Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna

For the full list of participants in the 3 reveal dates, go to Lori's blog here. And while I send you in her direction. I want to thank you, Lori, for doing this! This has been a wonderful experience, and the fun's not over yet.

Thanks to Maryse, my wonderful partner for sending me a beautiful soup and sharing your talent. And to Tanya of FusionMuse for keeping us on our toes and working hard on the much awaited reveal website. We'll find out more about that as the day goes on.

Now...I'm off to hop! First stop, Maryse's blog.