The big party day is here. I finally managed to take some time away from my busy schedule and finish my pieces this morning - yes, so much about my room for improvement in planning....

What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

Our wonderful host Lori Anderson from Pretty Things is hosting the 3rd bead soup party today, and it is also the third time I participated. If you have not yet participated and are a beader and have nothing to do in August, then make sure you join the next party.

 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

~ A focal
~ A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
~ Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.

My wonderful partner was Janna from Palimpa-Lim and as soon as I will finish this post, I will hop over to her blog and check out what she made with my beads. 


But long story short - here are the THREE things I made with Janna's beads (and I am proud to say that I used only her beads and added nothing from my stash except wire and one clasp!):

So first I made those earrings (last week), since I could not decide on a necklace and had a mental block. I really love them, especially that they are asymmetrical, and I have already worn them a lot.

Then I started this necklace with the gorgeous resin leg pendant that Janna made for me. I also use her blueish atlas beads with a few garnet accent beads. This strand has two clasps, attached to the main clasp, so if I want to wear it separate, I can just detach it. I added this clasp from my stash (you will understand the reason when you look at necklace number 2), and the chain too. A little flower, more garnet and glass and gemstone dangles, and done was my first piece, which is light and simple and gives just the right credit to Janna's wonderful pendant.

I came up with the idea to make two necklaces, since I wanted to use Janna's resin clasp (she also made this one) in the front, and that was not possible with my first design. So I used in as another focal / clasp at the same time - it says "unendlich" which means "infinite". Janna's piece really touched me, and I had to think about infinite love, and infinite life. So I attached her leaf / heart dangle for "love" and a nest for "life". All the beads are really gorgeous, but I am so in love with these recycled cast glass beads that I need to ask Janna where she got them. Need more.

Needless to say all three are keepers.....

I am planning a challenge myself (my first one actually). So if you are sad that the party is over, come back here next sunday and join for a nice small challenge with a cute little price to win.

So I hope you enjoyed my piece of the party. 
Thanks for stopping by.
Please leave a comment (and leave Lori a comment tomorrow and you can even win some beads....) and come see what the rest of us made!  

The party people:

1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life 
3.  Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane 
4.  Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5.  Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6.  Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8.  Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9.  Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10.  Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11.  Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12.  Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13.  Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14.  Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15.  Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16.  Deci Worland, Gem Trails 
17.  Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18.  Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19.  Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20.  Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21.  Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22.  Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim 
23.  Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24.  Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25.  Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26.  Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27.  Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads 
28.  Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29.  Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30.  Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31.  Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32.  Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33.  Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34.  Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36.  Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37.  Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39.  Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40.  Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41.  Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42.  Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43.  Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya 
44.  Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45.  Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles 
46.  Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig  
47.  Amanda Davie, Articulations
48.  Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49.  Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

51.  Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52.  Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53.  Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54.  Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56.  Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57.  Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio 
58.  Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59.  Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60.  Sandi Lee James,  Do Be Do Bead Do
61.  Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog 
62.  Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63.  Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64.  Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65.  Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66.  Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67.  Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68.  Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69.  Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71.  Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72.  Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73.  Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74.  Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76.  Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium 
77.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art 
78.  Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden  
79.  Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

80.  Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81.  Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82.  Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84.  Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85.  Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86.  CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87.  Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89.  Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90.  Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91.  Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous 
92.  Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead 
93.  Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations 
94.  Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof  
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio 
96.  Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97.  Cindy Dolezal,  Cindy Dolezal Designs 
98.  Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101.  Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102.  Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations 
103.  Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104.  Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105.  Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106.  Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107.  Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108.  Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109.  Grace Danel,  Grace Beading
110.  Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111.  Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe 
112.  Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo 
113.  Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114.  Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116.  Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles 
118.  Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie 
119.  Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart 
120.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs 

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven 
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings  
123.  Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass 
124.  Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks 
125.  Hazel Ward, All Those Things 
126.  Brenda Salzano, Salzanos 
127.  Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee 
128.  Anna Denisova, Anita-M 
129.  Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130.  Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads 
131.  Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132.  Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies  
137.  Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138.  Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139.  Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140.  Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141.  Heather Pyle, Welcome to My  Muse
142.  Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143.  Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144.  Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145.  Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146.  Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads 
147.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul 
148.  Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me  
149.  Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog 

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151.  Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152.  Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153.  Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area 
154.  Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156.  Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef            YOU ARE HERE !!!!
157.  Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158.  Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color 
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman 

160.  Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161.  Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162.  Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163.  Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio 
165.  Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167.  Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168.  Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169.  Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171.  Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172.  Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs 
173.  Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass 
174.  Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre  
176.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178.  Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179.  Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181.  Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen 
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin 
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels 
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry 
189.  Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190.  Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192.  Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197.  Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198.  Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200.  Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201.  Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202.  Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203.  Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204.  Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205.  Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206.  Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207.  Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208.  Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209.  Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210.  Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

The next party's sign ups begin August 1-3, 2011.  Don't miss it!

Bead Soup - continued

So not only did I receive a package from Janna, I also sent her one. And I need to say, with this one I had the most fun of all three bead soups. You might remember one of my previous posts where I explained about the metal-smithing class I took at the end of last year.

So I decided that I will not only challenge Janna in terms of my beady components, but also myself in getting her something handmade. You know Janna is talented, she makes really nice enameled beads and resin pendants, so I thought I should make something just for her. She told me she liked brass, so off I went to buy some and sawed, filed, sanded and polished a little flower pendant for her. The same process led to a tiny copper heart, which I attached in the end to the flower pendant.What you see in this picture is the pendant in an unfinished state, since the drilling of two holes became a major event (i.e. my dremel multi-tool came without drills, and when I finally got the ones I ordered, the fixture of the tool was too large for the tiny drills, so we had to buy a new fixture, plus obviously that I was not very skilled in drilling...) The whole time while I was making this, I was thinking of the words "un coeur pour une fleur" (a heart for a flower - with Janna obviously being the wonderful flower :) - yes, I know this is kitsch....)....

But for sure the bead soup wasn't complete with that. I showed the pendant to Stefanie of Stefanie's Sammelsurium, and she had the perfect matching clasp - thanks again !

I need to say that I head a hard time finding matching beads for the brass pendant. I have not been working with brass very often (= never), and that yellowish color is not something I use in general. So I went with greens and browns, hoping that one of them would suit Janna's color scheme. I got her a variety of gemstones, ceramic beads and a pendant from Indian Creek studio, lampwork beads from Kelley Wenzel and an unknown lampwork artist based in Plymouth, MI, some industrial chic components from Michaels (which you can't get in Germany, so my dear US friends, if you ever want to make a German girl happy, you know what you have to do, right, Janna and Stefanie?). 

There is also sari silk, rubber tube, and a alcantara ribbon, nut beads, wood beads, a nut charm and a bronze bead and some glass beads from France, chinese lacquered paper beads and a copper dragonfly charm from Summersstudio.
So Janna - ready steady GO!
Let's see what we can come up with. I am so ready for beads again - work has been keeping me away. Worked the entire weekend last week, this past weekend was purely dedicated to taxes, but now I am having a break before I need to go to Valencia, Spain (hello sunshine!) for work next Monday and Tuesday... so this weekend will be very beady.......

Shoes and cell phones

This is a picture of my shoes.
The story behind it is that they are new (see the part that is still shiny and white). I just bought them when we were in the US, at DSW (THE store, I just love it). They are Ryka's, running shoes. I didn't buy a new pair of running shoes in, let's say, 10 years? Or more? Why? Well because I did not need them - did not go running. But since November, I got on this trip, that noise in my head that tells me that my "youth" is almost over, and if I do not get slim right now, nobody will care in 10 years from now. So those shoes became an icon.

I started my fitness program in November. And it is working. Ok, slow in terms of weight loss (plus it keeps me a bit away from blogging you might have noticed), but it took quite some time to collect all of it, so I guess it is only fair that I need to be patient. I do my little hour every day, and added running to the plan since the weather is getting a bit dryer (not nicer, but dry at least).
That heavy mud on the bottom actually makes me proud, that I can do it, and stick to it. And eventually get to where I want to be. So to you, my friends who are hesitating of going where you want to be.... if I can do it, you can do it too.

The only suggestion: if you go running, make sure your cell phone stays at home or is secure in one of your pockets, otherwise you will lose it on the way, and have to re-run all the path, only to discover somebody else has picked it up before you. But if you are lucky, this person who found it will actually answer the phone when you call her, and let you know that you can pick it up at her house. Ok, you might be stepping into a deep puddle of mud while getting out of the car when you pick it up, as you are so excited to get it back. And your (formerly suede) shoes may look like that... But that's life.
Have a happy day and keep smiling.
And don't forget to kiss your valentines.

Bead Soup from Janna has arrived !

I know, work, baby and all that daily life stuff is keeping me really busy. And yes, I know this is no excuse to stop blogging...
But I have been active in the meantime. I prepared a bead soup for my wonderful partner, the lovely Janna of Palimpa Lim. She lives in Germany too, although a few hours away from me, but it is soooooo nice to finally meet some more people that have fallen for beads as well. 
Janna makes beautiful jewelry and I really like her blog as well. But I won't tell you too much about it, I would rather like you to hop over there yourself, and read and shop and leave comments (because in the end, that's what this is all about, right?)
So more about what I sent her in another post, but in the meantime, I need to share this package she sent to me.
This is so cute, I do not even have words for it. But looks at it yourself.

 This is what I saw when I opened the envelope. The large package even include a tiny sweater for my baby from the store where Janna is working (it is really really cute, but she hasn't worn it yet, so I do not have a picture to share - but it will follow....).

Janna packed all the beads in these cutest envelopes - each envelope is different - and she labeled them like soup ingredients (in german, in case you wonder what these weird words might mean): Herbs, Pasta, Bones, glass noodles, spring onions and so on.

And when I opened the envelopes (with Stefanie by the way, and these are her pictures - yes, I know the quality is a bit different :) ) - there were lots of ooooohs and aaaaaahs. 
I love the colors of this soup (Janna was kind with me and did not send me bright pink flower and heart beads), but I got pearls in a wonderful brown and dark blue color, enameled beads (by Janna), a number of gemstones (Onyx, Nephrit, Prehnit, Howlit and Garnet - no guarantee for gemstone name translation into english). What you can't see well on this picture are the beads in the lower right corner - cast glass beads - GORGEOUS ! Then there are a few bone beads, metal components, and these cute glowing "Atlas" seed beads - I love this color. Janna took them from her treasure box as her source for them is drying out, so I feel really honered to get some of them. The glow is just great. And sari ribbon.
And I know - I saved the best for last, as I realize I do not have a close up shot of the pendant and clasp that Janna made for me - Copper with resin - TOP! If I ever learn to do resin pieces like those, I will get rich. I thikn we need to convince Janna to start to sell them, so I finally get a source for resin pendants in Europe and do not need to buy them always in the US (I am learning, but it will take some time until I get there).
The pendant is a leg - so cute, and the clasp is a toggle with the word "unendlich" which means infinite in german. This soup is perfect as it is. I don't even know what I would want to add.... I need to get close ups of that too.
Dear Janna, thanks a ton for this lovely soup. And I am so glad that I have met you. I can truely say you feel like a new very close friend, even if we have just met a few weeks ago.
And to Lori - thank you for hosting this party. All of my bead soup and bead swap partners have become really close friends. And who does not need more friends.
Have a good night all you beaders and readers.