Friday, December 5, 2014

2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

Today's the day!  Beaders everywhere let go...just a little...even if they're keeping the creation for themselves.  Us beady freaks tend to hoard our favorites, maybe even pet them, or have full blown conversations with them (or is that just me?)  I have so many hoards collections, that it's embarrassing at this point!

But, as usual Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog arranged a solution...and really, what's better than a blog party?  Somehow I missed last year but....Bead Hoarders Blog Hop!! has arrived!!!

Click the image above for the list of over 100 hoarders...I mean participants!


I instantly knew which of my hoards (yes PLURAL...don't judge we all have our vices) I wanted to use.  Last Christmas I got lucky and was paired up with the lovely Donna Millard for a Christmas Swap.  I mean, come on...just look at her work, and even luckier that she sent BEADS!!!!

Olde World Holly Bead 


Mehndi Gypsy Scrimshaw Bird 

I have saved Donna's beads for a year!!!  I always knew I wanted to create something for myself to remind me of her, and to be honest she reminds me a lot of my mom too...double win!!  My silly self has never had a "great" idea.  Beautiful beads scare the daylights out of me!!  Rust?  Not a problem!!  Big honking gemstones?  Sign me up!!  Dinner plate?  Completely doable!  Amazing lampwork beads??  OMG...I have zero idea what to do with them!!!  Nothing like a challenge to kick your butt in to gear!!

Here's what I came up with.  Perfect winter-ish colors.  Donna's birds and accent lampwork beads, my own polymer clay bead cap, and rondelles, luxurious tassel, wooden bead chain, faceted red crackle Agate, wood slices and a few odds and ends.  See the little owl bead in lower right picture?  He's next on my list!

**PLEASE EXCUSE MY PICTURES!!  Honestly, I wasn't drunk when I took them! They were taken at 10 p.m. last night with my phone, but I PROMISE I will repost updated ones this morning!!
Thanks for stopping by and putting up with my pitiful attempts at photography!! ;)




Saturday, May 10, 2014

8th BSBP Reveal Day!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!

It's that time of year again... The 8th BSBP it's like Christmas for bead hoarders collectors!!!  Lori Anderson always amazes me, as the task at hand...Let's just say, I can't even imagine!! *mind blown*



This year I was partnered with Vonna Contino-Maslanka.  Lori couldn't have picked a more perfect partner!  Vonna is a complete doll, and we clicked instantly!  She also sent a remarkable soup...just take a look!!

I mean...come on...look at that!!  The lampwork focal, copper bail, and ceramic focal Vonna made herself, with the heart being extremely meaningful to her. Then there was Bronzite, Czech Glass, copper findings, artisan lampwork, white wooden rounds, Amethyst, Garnet, Topaz, Opal, Black stone, Coral...geez...it's never ending!!!  She also threw in the the blingy hot pink because she knows I'm not a bling girl, and I don't do hot pink!! :)  LOVE HER!!!!

Anyway...on to the real reason you're here!!!!!

First up...and I'll go ahead and throw in a disclaimer that while I did a little editing below...if you're offended by certain curse words....scroll past this picture below...Don't say I didn't warn you!!!  

Here's your last chance....get to scrolling   ;)
















Quartz points/coral from my soup.  The rest is completely my doing.  This was for my
oldest daughter's 21st birthday.  Pick your mouth up off the floor...LOL!  She wanted something to remind her what I was trying to beat in to her head while she was growing up...because she thinks now that she's 21, that she's grown!! LMAO!!  Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea...and I'm okay with that.  Kuchi buttons, stamped solder link, stamped leather, patina'd copper spiral, witch's stone and an assortment of accent beads complete her bracelet.  It's not for everyday wear....but she has worn it out and while she does get some blanks stares, others tell her "to do just that!"  


From here on out, it's all clean...PROMISE!!!


Vonna's gifted red turquoise, clasp, and lampwork with my etched and colored copper bracelet focal.  Brass, wood, bone, and coral.  



Vonna sent me this cool hinge.  I was lost...but an etched key piece, and antique button later this bracelet was born.  Vonna's Czech glass and chain are also thrown in the mix!  I love it!!



My soup contained a tube of black square seed beads.  Most that have been around know that when it comes to seed beads, I spill more than I string.  I *thought* putting most of them on jump rings would be simple...and it was...but...OMG!!!  It took FOREVER, and my fingers hurt for days!!  It gave the bracelet awesome texture, and I love the Black stone paired with a lonely Golem bead I had neglected for too long.



This is a close 2nd to my favorite piece made with my soup.  I distressed some leather, stamped on it, punched holes in it, took out some much needed aggression, and off I went...where??  Yeah, err... I don't know...so NOMAD seemed appropriate!  The white wooden beads Vonna sent?  Yeah...I torched 'em!  Literally!  The gifted Red Turquoise, and the copper bail that I made in to a clasp with a Kuchi button.  Random Christmas beads, Vonna's rondelles, more Afghan relics, and a little imagination finished it up.  (I wore it last weekend to a show and a few ladies weren't very happy that I wouldn't sell it straight off my neck)



Ahhh....My favorite!  This focal meant a lot to Vonna...tragedy, sad times, lives changed, grief, healing, and above all love is what I feel when looking at it...which I did a lot of while figuring out how to incorporate everything it stood for.  I wanted it to be special...for both of us, I suppose.  Two people that have never met, yet we are SO alike in more ways beyond the beading realm.  The fact that she sent something so personal to create with is a hard task to take on, yet an honor!  I purchased the angel wing from a destash (originally from Swoon Dimples?)  I also had just purchased the large pink coral slices, and while I'm not a pink kind of girl...I love coral in general!  Some vintage Afghan silver beads, lace wrapped PVC pipe, and a brass stamping "live and let live" ...simple yet poignant.  Two people, matched somewhat randomly...yet somehow we're now entertwined .  Definitely wearing this tomorrow (today!!)


Lastly, a piece that WAS complete, until I got a case of wandering fingers restless and decided that the chain part wasn't up to par.  Driftwood collected from Sanibel Island, some wire mesh, Vonna's gorgeous lampwork that I wrapped with plenty of copper coiling, the Black stone from my soup, Pyrite, and Czech glass.  I've set aside the remainder of my soup (Tourmaline, Topaz, Garnet, Opal, Bronziteetc) to finish this off, and I'll get an updated picture posted Monday (show this weekend/)

Now, that it's 11:33 p.m. I realize that I don't have a picture of the Amethyst piece I made, nor the piece I made using those wretched (LOL/JK) pink blingy faceted beads...DAMN!!!  I'm sorry!!

Thanks for stopping by...as always, It was a blast!!  I won't be able to blog hop until Monday :( but PLEASE visit the link below to see all this year's participants!




Monday, May 20, 2013

Earring Swap...Epic Fail On My Behalf

I signed up recently for Jessica Murray's earring swap.  I was paired with the talented Sandra McGriff .   Sandra sent a gorgeous pair of earrings...and I well...completely screwed everything up!!  ARGHH!!  I wrote the reveal date down wrong (by a month)!!!!!!!!  I've NEVER done anything like that, but when I "goof" I go all out!

FACE PALM ALICE

On the positive side, they are in the mail, and the pair I received from Sandra are gorgeous!!   The colors are what I use in my booth at shows, and I even have a butterfly on my signs/business cards...they are perfect!!!

See how well they go together...




I think I'll wear them to my next show!!  

I'm SO sorry Sandra...I hate flakey people, and this time I was the flake... :(




Here's the hop list for the rest of the participants: 


Nancy Smith: wirednan.blogspot.ca
Miranda Ackerley: http://blog.mirandack.com/
Susan Kennedy: www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Shelley Graham Turner: www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com
Ingrid McCue: www.wrappedinsilver.com
Ginger Davis Allman: http://thebluebottletree.com/
Nicole Valentine Rimmer: www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
Stephanie Weiss: uniquelymebwd.blogspot.com/
Spun Sugar Beadworks: Spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com

Facebook:
Beccy Peterson: Beccy's Baubles
Marde Lowe: FanciMar Designs

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shameless Momma Birthday Brag!

If you're looking for my BSBP Reveal please click HERE

As of tomorrow, April 17th, I am no longer the mother of 4 teens and a pre-teen.  DAMN IT!  I must have blinked somewhere in the last 20 years!  Tomorrow (at 3:13 p.m. to be precise) my oldest will make another step in her life (and I'm getting quit sick of all these "steps")...she turns 20!!  I swear it was just yesterday that I was 18 and she was a newborn!

How did she go from this....




To this...




To being a senior in high school...



Then this...






And...






Which brings us to present day (ish)...












She's always been a hardheaded girl (I take full responsibility for that character trait), and although she thinks I'm strict and mean, because the world is gentle and kind in her naive eyes, she's grown (LMAO) and is spreading her wings a little more each day.  But...she'll be perpetually 10 in my eyes.  She works full time, moved to the "big city" and is a full time college student.  Hmmm, maybe strict Momma knew what she was doing all along?!?

HAPPY 20TH LAUREN!!  

There were many days I didn't think one of us would make it this far, but here we are, while we'll always be mother & daughter, finally being friends isn't so bad either!!!  Geez...thanks for making me feel OLD!!!

*And I just realized, my youngest turns 12 next week, and my "adopted" daughter turns 20 on April 30th...good grief...can they SLOW DOWN??? :)



Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party 7...Second Reveal


Before I reveal my Bead Soup creations, I’d like to take just a moment to give mad props to Lori Anderson... AGAIN!!   Even extremely under the weather, she’s put together another remarkable BSBP.  While I’ve always enjoyed “hopping”, this time around, I realized our group is more than beads and baubles.   I have witnessed random acts of kindness on a large scale, everyone being patient and working with Lori, and pitching in to help out when they could.  It doesn’t get much better than that!!

My swap partner is the sweet Cherrie Fick.  Cherrie sent me a gorgeous soup…filled with mesmerizing lampwork, artisan ceramics, and Czech glass in earthy shades.  A Vintaj leaf, buttery sari silk, brass spacers and copper rope toggle rounded it out nicely.  Let me say...the neutrals threw me for a loop at first!  They were gorgeous standing all alone...WTH could I do to improve?  Hmmm...So many color choices, so little time!




I usually keep all of my BSBP creations for myself…I’m greedy like that, but this time I thought I’d try a different approach, and create many pieces, and only a keep a few for myself.  Here’s what became of my madness…


This necklace has made its debut in my Etsy shop...he's looking for a new home!

The centerpiece is a fabric and trim collage bird I made, and stitched to a felt backing.  I added lots of wonky stitching, sari silk, punched some holes, added the pretty Picasso Czech beads from my soup, Swarovski crystals, a Vintaj leaf charm, brass toggle, and a few of my own Czech glass dangles.  I love the shabby and tattered look.




Fire and Ice lariat necklace, using the beautiful disc lampwork from my soup.  Mookaite chips, my freeform copper ovals, and luxurious sari silk.  (I had to wrap the lariat chain around the centerpiece oval several times in order to photograph it in its entirety.)




More of Cherrie’s gifted Czech glass spattered throughout the dangles, and the copper toggle she sent.  “Rusted” polymer clay medallion I created, and then drilled, and added the copper wire framework.  Leather, Kuchi buttons, feathers, shells, and bone complete the talisman.




Ahhh…the beyond gorgeous lampwork focal Cherrie sent me!!!  An upcycled creation using (believe it or not) recycled ice maker water line tubing that was wrapped in hemp, and the sari silk Cherrie sent me. I added copper end caps, drilled through both tubes and set the Vintaj leaf and focal off center.  The toggle was created using reclaimed copper wire and a miscellaneous silver circle I wrapped with hemp.  Bone, Cherrie’s brass spacers, recycled cobalt blue glass beads, and an assorted of silver/brass  tribal beads were strung using waxed linen. 


This piece is available now in my Etsy shop

Spring Summer has finally sprung here in VA, and I decided to make a few pieces that were cheery and bright.  The beautiful ceramics/Czech that I received from Cherrie, as well as a beautiful lampwork bead from my last BSBP partner Jenni Connolly.  I added a wooden cloud, sari silk circles, magenta howlite, lots of copper, and mint green Czech glass flowers.  I love it!!


Earrings are now available for purchase in my Etsy store.

Black Picasso Czech glass (a soup component), my own sari silk, polymer clay spears, and magenta howlite.



These recycled steel beads that Cherrie sent me I completely adore!  They paired perfectly with Scorched Earth's ceramic charms!

Then I decided to break away from jewelry, and make something for my newly funky painted (orange, dove gray and mint green...how's that for an odd combo?) foyer.



Freehand embroidery, with seed beads and Cherries brass spacers and Czech glass, that was given a 3D effect, then stitched on to an upcycled fabric, wonky stitching, and displayed in an embroidery hoop.

And finally...


My husband said Ms. Envy must go, as "one creepy art doll hanging in this house is enough!" :)  So, Envy is looking for a new place to call home, you can click HERE if you'd like to adopt her!

Meet "Envy -The Bohemian Bead Fairy"  Gypsy style art doll with the remaining Czech glass from my bead soup, polymer clay face and crown, soft body and wings.  Accented with earrings, Kuchi coin, vial of seed beads, yarn hair, hand dyed vintage lace dress, wooden sticks, and copper spirals.  I thinks she's fun...my husband thinks I've lost my mind!!

Anyway, that sums up my creations for BSBP 7.  I've had a ball!!  I still haven't decided what I'm keeping...decisions, decisions!!  Thank you Cherrie for a gorgeous soup!  Now, I'm off to hop...you can join in too by clicking HERE!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Guilty! Of Wanderlust!

Maybe having lived in 3 countries by the time I was 10 has something to do with my lack of deep roots?  Maybe, its the simple fact that neither my husband or myself live near any of our families?  Maybe because in just 4-6 short years we'll be empty nesters?  Maybe because I'm still trying to find a place where I truly belong in this world?


Regardless of the reasons I have a severe case of wanderlust.  I blame my gypsy soul...




I've lived in the same town now since 1988, and I'm beyond restless.  Don't get me wrong, I have friends that I wouldn't trade for the world, but I know they'll always be friends, almost family...no matter how far I travel.  




So, we've decided that while 6 years is quite a long time to wait idly for the train, that looking for and researching our new stomping grounds can begin immediately!




Project Wanderlust has ensued!



Photo Credit:  Brad Coy

In December we traveled to Southwest Florida.  The weather was divine!!  The beach speaks to me...but I'm not convinced its "the place!"



Being in the Appalachian Mountains is the closest I've come to being at peace with myself.  Where I feel the most "at home."  So...



Appalachian Mountains from Shenandoah Valley, Virginia



Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia


We decided that we needed to experience a little more than simply hiking the trail.  

Enter....


Luray, Virginia - Great Citees

Luray is famous for its caverns.  I've been to all of them at least a dozen times or more.  But, for some reason other than the great hiking, and caverns,  Luray intrigues me...


Luray Caverns, Luray VA - Wilkipedia


So, we did what any self respecting out-of-towners would do...and rented a mountain cabin for a long weekend!  


Back in the woods, up a mountain.  Secluded.  Hot tub and scenic views included...Hey!  I didn't say I wanted to "rough it!"  Quaint town just miles away...and lookie what I spied while secretly "not planning" our weekend...

That my friends is Shenandoah Moon Beads & Fiber

Its not the mega-bead-store-meca that we're all used to...but its more than I have now!  I just have to wait until mid May until I get there.  4 birthdays, 1 BSBP, and 1 craft show stands in between me and the mountains!



Others on our short list?  

Monterey, VA
Lexington, VA
Berkeley Springs, WV
Cherokee, NC
Blowing Rock, NC
Punta Gorda, FL


The sky's the limit...well, as long as its below the Mason-Dixon Line! ;)