One of the girls especially is all excited when I come to their house and show my new jewelry, new beads or even start making something. I bring her beads regularly, and she insist on all doing it herself. She does not have a lot of patience yet, so it is a bit of a challenge, but she loves all craft projects in general, so I am sure she will be one of us.
Regarding Nick - I am more forcing him to become a lover of beads.... "honey how do you like this...?"
Have a sunny day.
These little giveaways make us happy, don't they? So I thought this is my turn now to give something back. So with this post, I am hosting my first ever blog-giveaway. Two of you can win my creations from last sunday - a pair of "my precious three" earrings each.
The "China landscape" earrings with the chinese coins were a quick design idea, while I had the idea for the "blue pond" earrings for some longer time but could not figure out how to get them right. (oh and by the way this is the first time that I have tried chain maille - and it may be the last also - while it looks nice when it is finished, I felt like my fingers would break off).
Why did I call them "my precious three"? Well I have been thinking about things that we are happy about. Most people actually can come up with a very long list, like your family, health and your employnment. But I believe there are a few things that once in a while are precious to you and that we often don't think about mentionning. Like the frosting on top of the chocolate cake. The beautiful sunset on your last vacation. Or that bead giveaway that you just won. So each of those earrings has 3 beads in it, to remind me of those "precious three".
To enter my giveaway, you only have to leave a comment and tell me what your precious three things are today. And I will pick two random winners on sunday March 7. So hurry up, you have time to enter until next saturday.
And hold your precious three close to you.....
One day I was reading one of my daily-go-to blogs (Lorelei Eurto) and I found a link to Lori Anderson’s blog that I need to admit I had not visited before. She was announcing to host a virtual BEAD SOUP PARTY. As I am always looking out for challenges, and contests, with the hope to win something (yes, I am an addict), it was clear that this one was not to be missed.
ACT 1: The concept and rules
So the plan was the following: Lori partnered all of us up in teams of 2 people. Each person had to send a set of beads to the partner, which had to include: A focal, a special clasp, and some corresponding beads. The focal and the clasp had to be used, we were free about the corresponding beads. Everybody had to make some jewelry, keeping the result secret until the big reveal. And today, Feb 10, is the big day, so this entire post is about the big reveal, and all of us 84 participants will be blogging about the party. See the links to the blogs below.
ACT 2: My partner and the ingredients
So how excited can one be – yeah, I am accepted to participate out of Germany. There are actually a quite few people out of Europe, and even one (Dale) out of Korea. This is a truly global event, which makes it just so much more exciting. (Lori, I bet you never thought it would turn into something like that).
My partner is the talented jewelry designer Mel Poxon from Kookie Designs. Please visit her blog here. She lives in the UK and is designing and selling jewelry, and is also a qualified nail technician. She uses a lot of lampwork beads in her designs, from very talented local designers. I appreciate Mel’s style since I think it is very colorful and rich, and I like her designs. I hope you do too. You can check out her Etsy shop here. She is also currently running an auction for Haiti on her blog, so one more reason to visit.
This is what I have sent to Mel:
And this is what I have received from her (except the two focals, that I had already used in my pieces before I took the pictures):
She sent me a wonderful package of beads that I was overwhelmed with. I really like the colors – I am very much a person that wears a lot of blue. Each one of them is a treasure. Some of the talented designers of those beads are Jelveh, Emma Ralph, Julie Fountain of Lush Lampwork, Clare Scott, Cheeky Cherubs, Rob Johnson and Volcanic Lava, just in case you would like to order some of them for yourself. If I would not have to make something to a certain deadline, I would probably still sit here and play with them every day and imagine the things my beads can turn into one fine day.
ACT 4: The making of…
Now here is the tough part. What shall we make? The jewelry I wear is usually more delicate, so I took a lot of time to think how I can use all the beads in one piece. Decision was taken pretty quick – I can’t. Although I had thought about using more of them together, some of those pretty beads are speaking to me: They want to be a bracelet (one that has yet to be made). And my own goal was to make a necklace for the bead soup party. So what will we end up with? A lot of weekends passed, but finally two pieces evolved in my mind.
ACT 5 / FINAL ACT: The big reveal
So for the big reveal, a necklace should be made. I started with the larger focal bead. The gold and blue tones made me want to use copper with it though, and my clasp to be used was sterling. This asymmetrical bead could have probably worked a couple of ways, but here I wanted to try something with coiled wire for the first time, and I love how it turned out. I used some of the beads from my own stash – svarowski sand opal rounds, and dark blue & copper shimmering glass beads, and some copper chain to create those dangles. The chain took another 3 weeks until I figured it out, actually it was just decided yesterday (I even tried to make some myself). In the end I used some copper chain, some copper spacer disks and some more svarowski crystals to repeat the blue from the focal. And the clasp made me very happy too – again made out of coiled wire. I love how it looks, and it was really easy to make. I called it Champagne Decadence necklace.
But here we go – the rules were that I have to use the focal and the clasp. So I needed to make another piece. I used one of the other larger beads that reminds me of a sea urchin as the focal. This color works better with silver, so the clasp would go perfect with it. I thought about sand and water for a long time, and then with a lot of trial and error, this pretty necklace appeared. I was wearing it yesterday for a work dinner with my hair down – and oh my god, did I love this look. It hangs pretty short but fits the length of my hair perfectly.
I again coiled a piece of wire around a thicker gauge, then created a loop and pulled the wire through the bead, and with more wrapping around a piece of leather cord, thus created this pretty dangle. While I first wanted to use one leather up to the clasp, I decided it works good with this chain I had left, and so I coiled the ends of the leather and attached it to the chain, together with some small svarowski bicones on each side. Now that worked well with the clasp. For the dangles I used again some chain from my stash, and added three of the beads I received from Mel to the ends of the chain, all in different lengths. To give it more sparkle, here and there a small svarowski crystal in different shades of blue and voila: the Greek ocean memories necklace was complete. My favorite piece in a very long time. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Mel. For the rest of my beads – check back my blog later to see the bracelet that will be coming up (it is still talking to me…)
Epilogue: Want to see more?
Thank you Lori for hosting this wonderful event. I am so sad it’s over. When do we do the next one? Shall we alternate the people organizing it? I will volunteer for sure. This has been so much fun, and seriously, has been so well organized. A big hug across the ocean from me to you.
The party would not be a party if it was only me. So please go to see the other 84 (!) pieces of jewelry that people have created. Links to their blogs are listed below. Have fun checking them out. And leave a comment and please revisit my blog. And thanks again to you, Lori, for all that fun. A happy day to all of you. Nicki.
1. Lori, An Artists Year Off
2. Mallory, For the Love of Beads
3. Terri, Blooming Ideas
4. Cindy, Sweet Bead Studio
5. Lorelei, Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
6. Kerry, Kab's Creative Concepts
7. Erin, Treasures Found
8. Jeannette, Jeannette Blix Wire and Metal Jewelry
9. Adrienne, Adrienne Designs
10. Nan, Spirit Rattles
11. Laurel, Rue's Daftique
12. Nancy, Beading From the Heart
13. Mary, MK's Creative Musings
14. Cassie, The Glass Beadle
15. Dot, Winchell Clayworks
16. Sharon, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
17. Lisa, Lo and Behold
18. Norma, Bead Dreams and Moonlit Fantaseas
19. Judith, Judith B.
20. Debbie, Prairie Emporium
21. Maria, Garden Path Beads
22. Susan, Kaplan Creations Jewelry and Glass Design
23. Melissa, Melissa Meman: Art, Love, Life
24. Marianna, Pretty Shiny Things
25. Lisa, Joolz by Lisa
26. Cristi, 2 If By Sea
27. Sandra, Marbella Jewelry Design
28. Maria, Greene Earth Originals
29. Barbara, Jewelry of Distinction
30. Leslie, Bei Mondi
31. Loretta, Designs by Loretta
32. Linda, Bella Bead Jewelry
33. Kathie, The Bead Cult
34. Patty, Plays With Fire
35. Nicki, Nicki's Reef
36. Anne Marie, Heart's Desire
37. Mary, Mary Harding Jewelry
38. Jayne, Mama's Got to Doodle
39. Emanda, Artemesia's Studio
40. Whitney, Whitney Lassini
41. Marcie, La Bella Joya
42. Suzann, Beadphoria
43. Jen, Jen Judd Rocks
44. Julie, Credit River Art Glass
45. Janiece, J Birds Garden
46. Kate, Organic Odysseys
47. Laurie, The Mermaid Tale
48. Michelle, My Crazy Crafty Adventure
49. Sue, Sue Beads
50. Janeen, Wild Vanilla Designs
51. Nancy, The Rabbit Muse
52. Kristie, Artisan Clay
53. Regina, Regina's Writings
54. Tari, Pearl and Pebble
55. Lyn, Lyn Foley
56. Beth, Sunshine Daydreamz
57. Cathryn, Chile Cats
58. Emma, Fred Bean's Nook
59. Connie, Cetta Cheese Chatter
60. Juli, Jul's Beads
61. Julie, RockerJewlz
62. Libby, LibbyLeu and Glass Too
63. Melanie, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
64. Katie, My Life and My Beads
65. Zuleykha, Zuleykha's Polymer Clay
66. Rekella, Me But a Little More in Depth
67. Ricki, What's New at Ricki Voges Design
68. Lisa, Lucid Moon Studio
69. Jo, Daisychain Jewellery
70. Lynette, Rock Hill Designs
71. Lynne, Island Girl's Insights
72. Chas, One Woman's Haven
73. Ruthie, Rose Works Jewelry
74. Elizabeth, Turquoise Sky
75. Maire, Maire Dodd
76. Janet, Singing Woods
77. Eileen, Dorset Hill Beads
78. Julie, Miss Kitten's Jewels
79. Joann, Jo's Jewels
80. Patti, PJ Clark Designs
81. Mel, Kookie Designs
82. Erin, Every Heart Crafts
83. Dale, Flights of Fancy
84. Dee, Runako Designs
We are getting ready to go to a carnevals-market to pick out a costume for Meli and myself, since the big carnevals party starts this coming thursday. I hope I will be ok, since I am still suffering from the rest of a strong stomach flu which hit me this thursday. Anyways - wish us luck. Curious what we will dress up with? Bunnies? Pirates? Princesses?
(In case I have offended any nice sewing people, sorry! I am not talking about you).