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Archive for January, 2010

From My Soup Partner

I received the goods from my Blog Soup Partner, Susan Kaplan, several days ago, but I just now have a chance to take and post a picture.

Susan creates beautiful lampwork beads, and I’m lucky enough to receive one of her gorgeous pendants and some coordinating beads. She also sent me some Blue Goldstone, which I’d never heard of before and is a lovely deep blue.  In the yellow tones, she included some amber rounds and some glass beads that are a bit deeper in same color tone.  There were also some fossilized coral pieces and sterling spacers.

It’s a great assortment of beads and a fantastic start on a necklace!  I have to confess that these are just this side of my color pallet.  I love blue and brown together, but I haven’t worked with the more earth tones very much at all.  But I’m loving beads that I probably wouldn’t have given a second thought to before.  It’s so perfect because it meets the spirit of the Bead Soup Party of being inspired by something new.

I have no idea what I’m going to create.  All I can think is to just string them, but I really want to do something more thoughtful. I’m going to go through some magazines and hope to hit some inspiration.

Thanks Susan for the awesome package!!  I hope to do it justice!

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I mentioned about a week ago that I had put together a sketch and started creating the piece.  On Saturday, I was able to spend all hours at another metal night.  I originally really wasn’t planning on working on the piece, but I inadvertently did.

I was punching out some brass metal discs and then cupping them.  Then I got the brilliant idea to punch holes in them and stitch a crystal in the bowl on to my heart.   I ordered some 2mm Swarovski crystals, and they are a great fit.

I only made 10 of the little bowls, and now I wish I’d made a bunch more.  This is going to be a fun little technique to work with.  The only problem is that I don’t love how the crystals lay.  I don’t want the holes pointing up, but they are having trouble cooperating.

I kind of want to liver of sulfur the entire piece again because I don’t like how the polishing is uneven.  (I was playing around with some techniques.)  So I might cut them off and try stitching them again.

Overall, I’m really happy with how this pendant is working out.

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Bead Soup Partner “Ingredients”

When I saw the post for the Bead Soup Party, I almost instantly knew what I wanted to send. I bought some fantastic pieces at the Bead Bazaar from Loot! that seemed ideal for this exchange.  I’m also not completely convinced I want to make the bracelet I was originally thinking, so I kind of wanted to see what my partner would do with one of the pieces.

I really wasn’t sure what to pair with the Loot! piece.  I went through my beading stash, which is out of date for my current aesthetic.  Stuff that seemed really great when I bought it seven years ago, shows my immaturity as a jewelry designer now.

I did find a few semi-precious beads that seemed like they would work. A friend on twitter recently sent me some beads, so I added some pieces from her stash. On the Saturday before I shipped the package, I received my lucite order from Beadin Path, and they seemed like a perfect fit!

I’m a bit unsure about what I’m sending.  I had remembered the Loot! pieces being bigger, so I thought about sending two, but the one I really liked didn’t seem to have a complementary piece.  The sets I’ve seen from the other designers are just amazing.  Lots of handmade pieces, and I’m just starting to make components by hand.  Hopefully my partner, Susan Kaplan, will still like what I’m sending.

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I have a couple of designs that I’ve been working through in my head for the last few weeks. On Saturday morning, I hit a little patch of inspiration and had to do some sketching.

I’m not a big planner. One of the things I really loved about jewelry when I started was that you could just dive right in without a plan.

String. Slip beads off. Add new on.

Tired of the design? Snip off the crimp and move on.

As I’m doing more metal work, it’s not nearly that easy. In fact, there’s not much going back once you’ve committed and attacked the metal.

I’ve started sporadically keeping a sketch book. I found it really handy as I was working through designing the metal daisy I submitted for Use the Muse III. I haven’t been very faithful with drawing or adding to it, but I try to keep color ideas I’ve seen from magazines and other little bits I find around.

So, back to early Saturday morning, I was struck by inspiration while I was laying in bed and trying to fall back asleep.  Once my oldest was awake, I decided I needed to locate my sketch book and work some things out.

I got a good start on a couple of new designs.  I’ve been dying to try them out on the metal ever since.  I finally chipped out some time last night after a long evening of financial paperwork.

This is the first, and simplest, of two designs.  Since Valentine’s Day is coming up in slightly over a month, it seemed like the best choice.  The other concept is another metal flower, which I am extremely excited about – if it works out.

Sketch 1

Here is the work-in-progress. I was actually going to do more last night, but I couldn’t find one of my punches and it was just a few minutes before midnight. Since I’m up around 5am, it didn’t seem like a good idea to continue on.  I’m hoping to find the time to work on it more in the next few days, but I’m making no promises.

Heart WIP

So far, I’m really happy with how my sketch is coming to life.

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Bead Soup Party?

I was reading (well, skimming) through some of the blogs I follow, and a post from Art Bead Scene caught my eye about a bead soup party on another blog. I love this phenomenon of blogging. You start out at one blog and before you know it, you’ve nearly clicked your way into a whole other world.

While it might not look like it at first glance, I am just starting up this blog. I am moving some posts from various blogs and consolidating them here. Basically, it amounts to a lot of back-posting since I’ve been in the conceptualizing process for a while. I’m not really at a point where I want to make myself public because honestly, there’s quite a bit of construction still going on.

But I was intrigued by the idea of a bead exchange. I’ve been really working to push my creativity in the last few months, and in the process, I’ve discovered more about my style and pushed myself to be more creative than I thought possible.

So, in spite of the fact that this blog is not quite ready to go “live”, I decided to sign up for the party. I am so excited about the exchange and creating something new. I’m looking forward to the inspiration.

While I’m not entirely sure all of what I’m going to send in exchange. I know exactly what my focal component will be. I hope my partner will like it.

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