Monday, March 20, 2017

Bead Soup blogs and Pinterest boards

It's almost reveal time (this Saturday, in fact!). You can preview blogs and Pinterest boards by clicking on a name below. Many of the participants have posted photos of the beads they sent and/or received!

Bead Soup folks -- please click and make sure your link is live! If your name is not linked, I don't have your information, so please contact me. Also, if there is a mistake, please message me. Thanks!

(The jewelry shown was made by me!)

Julia Lund-Trott
Jean Wells
Joelyn Bissing

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bead Soup -- What I Received From My Two Partners

The Bead Soup Blog Party, Bead Hoarders Edition, will come to its blog-hopping party date this coming Saturday the 25th. Be sure to come back here on Saturday for my reveal and the list of links of participants!

The goal of this bead swap was to trade with a partner you don't know, giving them a bead or beads you have hoarded, treasured, and loved, sending them out to be worked up into a piece of jewelry or art. Each participant was also supposed to write a note about the beads they sent -- where they came from and why they were chosen.

I have two partners, Audrey Belanger and Loralee Kolton. First, we have Audrey. This is what I sent her:

The large focal is made by Keysha Koy. I love Keysha's work and at one show I practically poured all her beads into my bag. It was difficult to give one up but it went to a good home!

This is what Audrey sent me -- the front of the pendant....

And the back:

Audrey made this piece using resin. The front is made with a bird from a silk paper kit, adorned with glitter flakes and flowers. The backdrop is from a French dictionary, which she thought was apt for me, an avid reader! This is the only piece out of all my pieces I received that I knew immediately what to do with it. Stay tuned!

She also sent me this ceramic piece:

This one is Zack's favorite. He said he saw the organic birds in the ceramic as pterodactyls! Audrey said she bought this when Moriah Betterly of Blu Mudd stopped making beads and had her final sale.

Finally, she sent this one:

This lampwork bead was part of a custom set of three made by Donna Millard. Audrey's girlfriend owns one of them, Audrey has one, and now I am incredibly honored to own the third. She said this one was the hardest to give up, and I can totally understand why! She also sent some sweet vintage acrylic rose beads. 

Aren't the colors in the lampwork bead totally me?

Thank you, Audrey!

And now for Loralee Kolton! This is what I sent to her:

I sent a set of Jelveh Jaferian. I totally hoard her beads. She is also one of the very first lampwork artists I ever bought from, way back when I started making jewelry. I believe in loyalty!

And this is what I received from Loralee. First, she had a cute box with a sweet glittery heart perched on top:

The heart was quite apt, as when I set aside the cushioning, it revealed a Round Rabbit ceramic heart! This is special to me because Nancy is no longer making ceramic jewelry pieces, but please visit her store to see her amazing sewn goods!

It reminds me of a Victorian summer dress. I've been reading a lot of Deborah Moggach (author of a ton of books but also the film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", which was awesome) and in her books, expats in Pakistan and India take center stage. Maybe that's why I think of this piece that way.

Here's the entire set. I'm a huge fan of vintage Lucite and these pale olive green nuggets just call my name. She also added a strand of matte black Czech glass daggers. I've got to admit, I am lousy with daggers, so we'll see what happens!

She also sent me a gift a week ago, a charm handpainted by Gaea, and if I have time (and I'm already laughing -- extra time? Bosh.) I'll work with it. But it's so special I don't know yet what to do!

 So the hoarding begins again.

Book Giveaway!

It's been awhile since I've done a giveaway! This should appeal to those who color!

I purchased this book, "Color Charts: 50 Color Charts to record your color collection of pencils, paints, and pastels all in one place.

Just click

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Mar 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT. See Official Rules


Friday, March 03, 2017

Fear and how to deal with it

(source unknown)

In the past month, I've learned that two of my friends with aggressive cancer are not getting better (in part because insurance has decided they no longer want to pay for the chemo the DOCTOR has prescribed. As if an insurance person would have the slightest IDEA having never met either person.) 

Then I learned that not one, not two, but three people developed cancer. (Since the first writing, one more friend has developed cancer.)  One was misdiagnosed. One was lucky enough to find it themselves. The newest find, I'm unclear on. The third one -- that one I don't know but it breaks my heart and my I've got a big heart.


There's not a thing I can do financially to help these awesome people. In the case of my friend whose insurance-doesn't-count company failed her, I'd have to raise $25K-$30K a MONTH. As many contacts as I have, I can't come up with that for her, and GoFundMe just doesn't work for that, either. 

For these people I love, The Cliff of Fear can be freaking terrifying. I wouldn't want to even look over the edge. I just hope that everyone involved can hold tight to the hope that it's truly a little jump .... a baby jump. I tiny, tiny, barely there jump. Dust off, move on.

I wish I knew what to do. I pray, I cry, I pray. Two people are nearby. Three are across the country. One is about a seven hour drive away. It's times like this I wish I had a little tiny pod trailer I could hook to the Bug or the van and just go do a round-the-nation visit. Knock on the door, give a gentle hug, take them to chemo if needed, cook something they can stomach, take them shopping for what they would love but wouldn't buy for themselves. Rick and I have been checking out trailers, kind of like these:



I quit like this, but in pink, Or purple.


It's so awesome how these little trailers use every single bit of space.


Is this selfish? But is it OK to be selfish because it would make me feel good, too? Because I would love to do all that, travel, sit in traffic jams, pouring rain or beautiful sunny days, trying to deliver a little happiness..... but I'd like to think my friends would like the visit, too. Instead of exhaust fumes, I'd love to spread cotton-candy smelling puffs of pink. But I'm sure there's an ordinance about that.

The only thing that's stopping me is Zack. I could never spend that much time away from Zack, and Rick could never take that much time away from work. I'd thought about taking Zack with me, have an XBox-less summer, but.... he's fourteen. Maybe before college, when we can just visit spots on the map. I think this should me a Lori-only trip.

It's a dream. I'll put it into my Bucket List but Lord, please let all my friends who are hurting get better before I can put the pedal to the metal.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Falling down the stairs with 90 beads in my hand

Today was the day ALLLLLLL the beads were supposed to be sent out to the partners in the Bead Soup Blog Party, Bead Hoarders edition. Including me, the hostess. But as I've learned in many, many a blog hop, it's kind of like the shoemaker whose kids have no shoes... I'm always the last one to get things done properly.

I was heading out the back door to the yard because we haven't seen sun in I don't know how long, and I needed photos. I took the first photo in the window and then had to PhotoShop the life out of it. I decided I wanted to take the SECOND set of beads (I have two partners) to the backyard and Rick insisted I put on HIS shoes to go down the stairs.

Now, I do not wear a size 11 men's shoe.  No where close. So in my usual graceful manner, I took one step and tripped over my husband's shoe and feel arse over teacup and there went the beads.


Now, this wouldn't have been so bad because the beads didn't break.

However, I had just poured 72 limited edition 4mm Swarovski crystals into the mix, not to mention the rest of the beads.

First we just stood there in shock. Then Rick and I started dancing around going "oh no oh no oh no" and then I got on hands and knees and started picking up beads with the help of the cats. The hard part of it all was making sure none of the beads were chipped. Trust me.... there will be beads discovered from this day forth.

Lesson learned -- take the photos earlier, even if I have to drive to another state to get sun, and don't wear big ol' shoes!

This is for Audrey Belanger.

This is for Loralee Kolton.

You'll get to see the actual beads after they show them off on their blogs!

So that's why I'm a day late, y'all. 

Oh look -- there's a bead on the floor!