I've got sunshine


I am very happy today. I have received the sunshine award. I have walked around the house the entire day saying "I got the sunshine award" probably every 5 minutes. Can you tell it makes me happy?
This award is given to "bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world."

I like my blog. I actually started it last year in June, initially more writing for myself as I did not let anybody know I started this. I am very much about protection of privacy. Slowly people unknown to me started to read my posts and comment. And that has become so exciting for me. To get in touch with the sweetest people out there in the universe, and even if they do not know that I read their blogs, they seem like my closest friends, as I participate in their lives. Thinking that people do participate in mine (through reading my blog) is amazing to me. Thank you to all of you who read, comment, give advice, joy and happiness to me. And apologies for all my english mistakes - you may not know that I am German, so please understand and have a little bit of patience for me and my grammar issues.

The tradition demands that I will pass this blog on to the Extra-Cool-Happy-Blogs that are inspiring me every day. My first person on the list would be Cathryn's Chilecats - but she has actually given it to me. But please go visit her blog, and read for example, how cats decide on winners for a giveaway or why the national guard is close to protect her neighborhood.

So I have decided to pass this award on to the following people:

I am not sure if they have received the award already but hope they will enjoy it - they just stand for so many people that brighten my day up with their notes. Thanks to you all. You have inspired me a lot.

Butter Side Down

This morning I ate my breakfast standing on the counter (a bit in a rush to get to the gem fair again - I'll blog about it later - and the baby wanting to play with me) - that was when the incident occured. My piece of bread fell down. I mean butter side down. I hope that this won't be an indicator for how the day will continue.

Don't miss my giveaway (see earlier post)

I realized I made two posts in a row about giveaways - first mine and then the one from Emanda. Please scroll down to not miss out mine..... ;-)

Emanda's challenge

Emanda from Artemisiastudio is hosting also a giveaway on her blog - a beautiful bracelet. She is celebrating her 100's post in a few weeks, and until then, you have time to enter. Check it out here. She had the wonderful idea to find a budding artist and help them to grow their skills and love for beads and beading. I have two of those. One of my nieces, and my boyfriend ;-)
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.

My addition to Giveawayland

A lot of people have hosted giveaways on their blogs recently, and if you believe it or not, I have participated (yes I am an addict). And this past week, I won my second giveaway - a $ 25 gift certificate from Artbeads - Lisa of Lucidmoonstudio was so kind to pick me randomly. Thanks a ton Lisa - I have already spend a lot of time in their online store to find out what could be a nice addition to my stash.


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.....

Cathryn's Chilecats

Chilecats became one of my 5 daily-blogs-absolutely-not-to-miss when I found it through the bead soup party. Cathryn is such a sweet person, and a lover of felines. Her stories are adorable. I feel like reading a book, starving for the next chapter to open. Please go to her blog and show her some love, leave a comment or participate in her giveaway - two lovely pairs of earrings.

Slow sunday

So I am really really slow today. And just found out that we have an appointment for a brunch at 12:30. Quite frankly, does that mean I have to get dressed? I mean today? I mean brush my hair and put makeup on (because without doesn't work today, that's a given)? Oh my. And what about my polyclay plans for this afternoon..... I think I need another coffee.

Giveaway on Painting with Fire blog

I just found out that Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire has a new blog. And for this occasion she is having a giveaway - one of her beautiful sets of torch-fired beads. I recently got one in Dusty Rose, and really can't decide which one my next favorite color would be. Dusty Blue or Mandarin Orange? Jump over to her blog to find out yourself.

Support Katie's walk

Katie was also a participant in our recent wonderful Bead Soup Party, and she is auctioning the necklace she made for a good cause. She will participate in the Avon Walk for Breastcancer in 2 months and wants to raise $1,800 in donations until then. So go over to her blog, make a bid, or two or three and help her raise money for a good cause - plus you can get her gorgeous necklace.

Lisa's having a giveaway

Lisa from Lucid Moon Studio is having a giveaway as part of the big Bead Soup Party reveal. There are all kinds of goodies she wants to make people happy with. Just leave a comment on her blog and get a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from Art Beads, the Fall 09 issue of Stringing, a copy of Easywire, or the greatest owl pendant that she "just experimented with". Or just go and visit her blog and admire her necklace with the pretty polymer pendant she made.

Carneval - Altweiberfastnacht

So how would I translate Altweiberfastnacht? It would be something like "old-ladies-party-night". This is the day where we start carneval at 11:11 am. The females take over control. We cut off the ties of the guys (and give them a kiss in return) and we dress up and the entire city is going crazy. Outside parties everywhere, samba drum groups in the ice cold snow weather, and oh gosh, how much fun that is. So this year it is the first time with baby, so I skipped the "drinks outside in the cold" part and went to a party of a mummy friend instead. And we got dressed up - me as a flower and Meli as a bee. No real need to explain, I guess the picture explains it all. More to come - carneval lasts until Tuesday night.

Bead Soup Party - THE BIG REVEAL

Prologue: Looking for a new challenge
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.

Party Participants:

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

More beads coming in.....

Yeah, I just found out that the Gemexpo is happening in Cologne at the end of the month. I found the nicest stuff there last time, and it is the only fair that I know in this area here. Further in the south there are more shows since the area of Idaroberstein is very well known for gemstones and jewelry business. You need to check back later to see what I bought. It will take place on the weekend of 27th & 28th in the G├╝rzenich hall in the center of the City.
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?

Good morning !


Winterwonderland


Since we are really burried in snow, I thought I do something nice for our bird friends. So yesterday I put some birdfood out in the snow and these two guys came by and ate it all - they didn't leave a grain for the smaller ones. But I got a picture in return. I think they are really pretty with their powdery grey and purple colors. They look nice in the snow. A theme for a necklace?

Very pretty giveaway from Rockhill Designs


Do you like giveaways? I love them - it si so exciting to check back and see who won. Plus look at this one from Lynette at Rockhill Designs. This is one that I absolutely adore. I really hope I win it. Thanks Lynette for sharing with us little bloggers out here.....

Nerds

So why do people have to be nasty. Here is what happened. I have been unburying my very very very old sewing machine from the basement, because all the sudden I am caught by the idea to make a quilt for my sweet baby. And guess what happens - I have never been sewing with that thing. I have never been sewing period. Plus - obviously I have no user manual for that thing anymore. Anyways. I am all decided about doing this. So I go to the web to find a user manual - not possible - except on these "download the user manual after a personalized websearch from one of our search specialists (aka very expensive)"-websites. So I go to find a forum for sewing people. I had so good experiences with the beading people, so I decide I will try it, right? And believe it or not, there are 5 comments. 4 of them are complaining about the way I asked the question, the location where I posted it, and other stupid comments about why they are not going to help me. Here is my answer: you sewing people SUCK.
(In case I have offended any nice sewing people, sorry! I am not talking about you).

Wire-wrappers

I found a new website called wire-wrappers.ning.com. Since I have the most fun with wire wrapping, this is my page. It looks like there are not a lot of members yet, but I especially love the Sma Bla page. Check it out - the jewelry is amazing. And oh by the way... we are snowed in - 8 inches already and we get another 8 tomorrow. And I have a terrible flu. Should be a good start to keep the bead soup simmering, no?