Saturday, March 29, 2014

Focusing on life:at eye level

I have missed the last three weeks of focusing on life because I was not home. I helped set up , worked at, and helped take down the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar. The was a good time. I am always happy when I can promote beading. The second weekend was Bead Retreat. I come home energized when a whole weekend with other beaders. This is one of the highlights of my year.  All that wonderful bead energy is contagious. Someone will say "how do you do that?" and a class will happen. I learn something from every retreat. The third weekend I was at my Mom's.
This week Sally at  asked us to focus on things at eye level. Things that we see everyday. This is on top of my tv and I admire it. It is an Aladdin kerosene lamp from 1938. My friend Les made the stained glass lampshade as a Christmas gift a ,long time ago. Years ago we lived without power and it was our light. Did you know that it can get as bright as a 100 watt bulb? It has a wick that brings up the fuel and a mantle like a Coleman lantern. It helps me remember a past time in my life and is beautiful too.
In the self portrait photo I stood against this wall in my bedroom. Several people commented that they would like to see my "Wall of Women." This is eye level when I walk into my room so I decided to show it this week. I studied 1800's and early 1900's fashions for costuming dolls and I was charmed by their styles. I began collecting pictures that I liked and this just happened. The large black and white portrait on the right  is my husband's Grandmother.  She was quite a lady. I admired her. Can you imagine all the changes she saw in her life. Going from 1900's clothing to wearing pants? The picture below it is titles "The Early Spring Hat" and is a framed magazine page from a by gone era.  The stack on the dresser is also old photos. Please go to Sally's blog to see what everyone else saw at eye level.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's here! It's here! My package from Beth Emery arrived today. Beth is my partner this time for the Bead Soup Blog Party. I am really lucky to have met her. She was really generous with what she sent me. I told her that I liked aqua so this is what she sent me in Aqua. The love grows pendant she made herself. Cool isn't it? I have tried stamping but I was not successful. The seed beads above the focal are from Indonesia. I haven't worked with anything from there before. There are purple lucite flowers and white glass ones too. The aqua glass flowers are on sterling wire. There are large glass coins in the upper right of the pic. You can't see the whole item because I wanted you to be able to read the love grows so I got in close. The same is true of the silk ribbon in the bottom left of the pic. It is aqua and purple. There are amazonite nuggets and ovals which I adore and a ceramic bird too. The brass tags say thrive and bloom which goes perfectly with the love grows pendant. Next there is yummy sea opal. Opal is my birthstone so how could I not like them? Aqua glass pearls are above the sea opal and glass lentils are above them. The dagger is onyx. You can't see them in the pic but she sent me three small Christmas lights. I told her that I liked working with unusual materials so I will find a way to include them in my piece.
It was like opening a treasure box. Here is part two. The cab is charorite from the Charo river in Russia. I'm swooning. I told Beth that I really liked to do bead embroidery and seed beads were ok to send. Boy did she present me with the perfect focal or what? Lots of purple seed beads to work with and C-lon cord, which I have not used.
She was not done yet. This soup is copper colored. She made the copper pendant with the aluminum can heart and the polymer clay magic oval. Isn't she talented? She also made the heart button. The coin below the copper clasp is pyrite and the button next to it is vintage mother of pearl. That bird is sure cute isn't it? The red ring is from Miss Fickle Media. I have been admiring her work for a while. Now I have some to work with.Yeah! The beads to the left of the ring are amber and the beads to the right of the pendant are carnelian. Three different soups to work with Beth really spoiled me. I am one very lucky lady. I already have ideas circling in my head. Please come back on May 3rd to see what I create with all of the wonderfulness that Beth blessed me with.  Thank you so much Beth. Beth's blog is
I am sure she would like a visit.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The largest bead party of the year is the Bead Soup Blog Party. It is put on by the amazing Lori Anderson. If you want to read more about it here is the link
I am participating again this year. It is my third time participating in this wonderful blog hop. This year Lori partnered me with the very talented Beth Emery of Alaska. Beth has now received the package that I sent so I can show it to  you. She likes nature inspired things so I took that into account when choosing her beads. The lampworked focal I purchased from the studio where I took my one and only lampworking class. It spoke to me so I had to bring it home. It felt like Beth to me so I sent it to her. I included bone beads, pearls, birdseye rhyolite, jasper, shell, Czech glass leavers,tigerseye chips, and more. The urchin beads and large corrugated bead are vintage pieces. Beth normally works with darker metals so I included brass to challenge her to work with something different.There is brass leaf chain, clasp,headpins & eyepins, jumprings, a filigree link, twisted & large round links,and  flowers in two sizes to give her a variety to work with. I also included a leather button that can be used as a clasp if she doesn't like the brass one I sent. After I took the pics I found some large gnarled shells that I included. Neutral colors is what I chose for her. I think that the beads under the button are carver wood but I am not sure. Beth said that she likes what I sent. I can hardly wait to see what she makes. Please check out her blog at
It's kind of ironic that Beth is from Alaska as my last partner was Cris Peacock from Hawaii. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Monday, March 17, 2014

If you have been reading my blog you know that I design for They produce an online magazine called Creative Spark. The spring issue just went live today. It has some wonderful designs in it. You should check it out. Here is the link

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I haven't made earrings in months so the other day I pulled out a box of blue bead soup that I got from Michelle Mach and started playing. Both of the blue pairs were made from that mix. My sister requested a pair of long purple earrings so today I made this pair for her. The cabochons are a from A grain of Sand  treasure box. I glued them to Lacy's stiff stuff and embroidered around them then added the fringe. I am pleased with how they turned out. I hope she likes them.