Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Ocean Blog Hop Reveal

Hello!  Welcome to The Ocean Blog Hop Reveal.  Several month's ago, Lisa Lodge over at The Greatful Artist announced that she would be hosting an ocean themed blog hop and I had to jump right in.   If you know me, you know I love the water and the beach.  It is one of the bonuses of living in Florida, so I couldn't wait to participate.

Lisa sent along a great collection of beads and findings to use in my creations.  This first picture shows the siam colored crystals, round metal connectors, and star fish charms.  In the green bowl is a collection of beads in a multitude of shapes and sizes.

The second photo of what I received shows the crystal rondelles again, along with some pretty yellow barrel beads and two wonderful tangerine colored sea glass pendants.  

After spending some time studying all the wonderful beads, I needed to come up with my ocean inspiration.  Usually, when you think beach or ocean you think blues or greens.  But, I thought more about my experiences and I remembered a trip I took down to the Florida Keys and a snorkeling adventure.  There is nothing more beautiful than the life under the water.  Aqua colored water, white sand, fish in all sizes and colors, and incredible coral.  (remember not to put your foot down!!)  I used my memories of that trip as my inspiration for my designs.

Coral Under the Sea

I made this bracelet to represent the coral in the ocean.  I used the siam colored crystal rondelles for my coral then highlighted them with dark blue crystal rondelles to represent the water.  The smaller crystal bicones in blue, light blue, and sea green can represent either water or small fish darting in and out of the coral.  If you look closely in the picture, you can see clear glass teardrop beads.  Those were part of the mix of beads in the green bowl above.  They stick out from the bracelet just like the branches of coral would do from the sea floor.  

It is a bit easier to see the clear beads in this photo:

The second piece I made for the blog hop is a fun pair of earrings.  I used the sea glass pendants and those fun star fish to make a pair that is just perfect for a summer day.

Sunset Beach
How fun are these??  Imagine yourself on the beach or boardwalk, enjoying a relaxing summer day with family or someone you love.  I think they are just perfect for that day at the beach.

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a peek at my designs.  I love participating in Lisa's Blog Hops and creating jewelry based on a theme. The next Blog Hop of Lisa's I will be participating in is the Gemstone and Metal one coming in July so make sure to watch for that post as well.

Now it is time to enjoy the rest of the party and hop along to see what the other participants have designed.  Please use the list below to see all of the ocean themed pieces.

Ocean Blog Hop May 31st Reveal:
Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Marybeth Rich, A Few Words from within the Pines  You are Here!
Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out
Mary Ann Macri Jacobs, Trucksville Crafts
Jeanne Steck, Gems by Jeanne Marie
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Margaret Pelech, Margaret Pelech's Ocean Blog
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs

Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations

The beautiful cultured seaglass for this hop is from ZnetShows.  Check out their awesome selection! ZnetShows Cultured Seaglass

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party

Hello,   My reveal post for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party is here  Please stay awhile and read my more recent posts and thank you for stopping by.

May We're All Ears Challenge Reveal

Zigzag Nerite shells - Neritina Communis -
Atlantis Shell Company

A few month's ago, the Earrings Everyday blog started a monthly challenge where at the beginning of the month, they would post an inspiration object and then the participants had three weeks to create earrings based on that inspiration.  This month's piece were these beautiful Nerite shells.

When I first looked at them I thought I would create something sea or shell based.  However, I have been doing that a lot lately in my regular designs, and the main reason why I joined this series of challenges was to push myself outside my design box.  Using inspiration photos that I don't choose has really helped me to do that.  So,  I decided to focus on the colors in the picture and use those as my inspiration.  Here is my design:

Focusing on the red, white and tan colors in the shell I picked beads that reminded me of those colors.   I have very few red beads in my stash because I don't often work with that color, but I just love these crystal rondelles in velvet red (is that not a great color name?)  To add a bit of contrast the center crystal rondelle is slightly larger and is in a melon opal color ( I so love the color names!!)  I used a Vintaj brass connector because the lines on the shells inspired me to add something vertical to my design.  In the end, they came out very Art Deco looking and I really like them.   The ear wires aren't in the pictures but they are brass fish hook wires.

Here is another couple of looks:

Thank you so much for stopping by and please make sure to check out the others participating over at May We're All Ears

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge Week 6

Ok, I admit it, I am behind on the Mojo Challenge.  Three weeks behind in fact.  But,  I got caught up in the Bead Soup Blog Party and that seemed to take all my time for the other challenges I had focused on.  I made a promise to myself that I would do as much of this challenge as possible, so I went back and finished the piece I had begun weeks ago to go with this week's theme.

Sarah's Rose
For this challenge, Heather encouraged us to find a song, poem or quote that inspired us and to then design a piece of jewelry from that inspiration.   If you know me, you know I am a very musical person.  My mother was a professional singer, and there was always music in my home.  I learned to play several instruments and I sung in choirs and choruses all the way through college.  Some of my friends say I think in song!  I often can pull song lyrics to fit any conversation and I am a great partner for trivia games!  

Knowing all that you would think this would have been an easy challenge for me. wasn't.  Why?  Because I have too many songs that inspire me!   I listen to music while I work on my jewelry designs.  I find it relaxing and it helps me focus on my work space.  So, I thought over some of the music that called me lately.  Jazz is a personal favorite genre, and one of the songs I have been listening to lately is Stacey Kent's So Many Stars.  You can find a video of the song here  The first stanza,  

"The dawn is filled with dreams
So many dreams, which one is mine?
One must be right for me
Which dream of all the dreams?"

Read more: Stacey Kent - So Many Stars Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

We all have dreams, and like I talked about in the Dreams Challenge a few posts ago, my jewelry work is a big part of my hopes and dreams.  Along with love, health and happiness.  We can all find our dreams, they are there for you just reach out and take them.  Here is my necklace, inspired by the song.

Sarah's Rose

I went with a jazz theme for my design.  I can imagine sitting in a dark jazz club, in some incredible dark purple dress and wearing this as my necklace.  If I really get lost in the image, its Chicago in the heart of the Jazz Age.  The focal is a black rose highlighted with clear crystals.  The glass beads are faceted black rose lampwork beads.  I love how the roses seem to float in the beads.  In between the roses are cube-shaped crystals in light rose.  These cube beads show up throughout the strands of the necklace as well.  I finished the necklace with crystal bicones in jet with an Aurora Borealis finish. 

I love this piece, it is classic and very feminine.  I enjoyed the challenge of getting to match a song to piece of jewelry very much, and I may explore that opportunity with other designs in the future.  I also enjoyed doing something in such a classic color like black, and adding just a bit of color for accent.  

Thanks for stopping by,  I will be back on Friday with this month's We're All Ears Earring Challenge and a birdhouse themed design challenge as well.  Until then, enjoy!

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party Big Reveal

Today is the big day!!  Time for the reveal of the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party!  This has been such a fun experience I am a little sad to see it over.   I have been anxiously awaiting revealing the pieces I created, looking forward to hearing what you think.  But, I will miss the excitement of putting together a soup for my partner, waiting for my soup to arrive, chatting and getting to know everyone in the Facebook group and finally, working on creating pieces that I have just fallen in love with. 

Before I begin the reveal, I want to give a big shout out to our hostess, Lori Anderson at The Pretty Things Blog  She took on this Herculean task of partnering up almost 500 people as well as communicating with us all through the process.  She made me feel that I was just as important to this party being a newbie as anyone else and I always felt welcomed.  Everything she did would have been very difficult for anyone, but considering what she is going through in her life while doing all this is amazing.  Thank you Lori, for all you have done to make this happen.

If you remember,  a few weeks back I posted a sneak peak at my soup sent to me by my partner, Melissa Nehls Packer over at Melissas Cheap Frills  It was great to get to know her and to put a soup together that  I hoped would challenge her as well as work with other things in her stash.   She sent me the wonderful soup in the picture above and in the closer up photo here. 

I put my soup away for a few weeks while I worked on a few other projects I had on my list and started really focusing on it about three weeks ago.  At first, I really was overwhelmed.   I loved all the colors and the beads that Melissa had sent me.  Her handmade focal made me so very happy!  Why was I overwhelmed then?  Because I was afraid I couldn't do all these beads justice.  Or that other designers in the party would come take a peek at what I created and not think it measured up.  After talking to a few of my beady friends though, I realized that those were unfounded fears and took the jump to start creating.

Coming together on my work table
Here are a few shots of me working on putting the beads together.  There is a great up close shot of the handmade focal.  I so love that little bird.  My signature piece that contains the focal and the clasp, took quite a few of the main beads I was given.  They all just seemed to work together and I went outside my comfort zone to make it come alive. All together, I created three the come...3....2....1....

Tea Time Delight

I took the fantastic black floral barrel beads, crystal spacers, blue glass rounds and the larger of the two clasps Melissa sent me and put them together to create this necklace.  While I was studying the beads from the soup on my bead board, I kept feeling an Asian inspiration.  Peeking into my stash, I found these wonderful cherry "quartz" chips and my inspiration kicked into overdrive.  I love the way the pink and red hues in the glass chips picked out the flowers in the large beads. Adding the blue glass beads adds a nice contrast to the cherry chips, and I used two siam colored faceted rondelles to set the barrel beads off from the body of the necklace. 

Close Ups

When it all came together, I can imagine a woman having tea on a large balcony overlooking a beautiful tropical landscape.  Somehow, I always come back to my love of history and vintage, classic looks.

Here is a closer look at the focal Melissa made for me.  I fell in love with the wonderful little bird the minute I pulled it out of the packaging and I new I had to make a very special necklace for it.  The resulting piece is my signature piece for this blog party.  I was able to put together several different pieces that all highlighted the sweet bird, but I kept taking them apart again.  I really wanted this necklace to be different; to stretch me creatively and to definitely take me outside my design box.  After all, that was the whole idea of the party to begin with.  Melissa had sent along some beautiful beads in my soup, and they all just worked together so perfectly.  Here, let me show you.

Romantic Flight

While this necklace is outside of what I design in a lot of ways, it still has that classic, vintage touch that speaks very much of Forest of Jewels.  The main difference is I went asymmetrical.  I never do that!! But the large white floral bead along with the pink glass beads really deserved a lot of attention too.  I just didn't want to take anything away from the bird focal, so to make both aspects shine, I separated them and give them each their own special spot on the necklace.  

I used the aqua glass rounds that Melissa sent me as the transition part of the necklace.  I added aqua spacer beads and light rose crystal rondelles to capture the color of the bird in the focal.   The reminder of the necklace is made of clear crystals and glass pearls in pink and pistachio green.  Finally, I used the second clasp that was included in the soup. This piece would be perfect for a garden party or a summer wedding, and I can see the wearer in a soft pastel or white dress walking across a perfectly manicured lawn enjoying her special day.

But wait...there is more :)  Well just a little bit more.   I made earrings to match the necklace.

This photograph gives a really great look at the detail of the pink glass beads I was given.  They  are very lovely!  The earrings are made from components included in the necklace, clear crystal bicones, the pink glass beads, aqua crystal spacers and aqua glass beads.

I have absolutely loved working on my designs and it was a pleasure to get to know so many talented jewelry artisans throughout this experience.  Again, I want to thank Lori and Melissa for all they did.  I hope that there will be more blog hops hosted by Lori in the future.  I would love to participate.  Thank you for stopping by and taking a peek at my designs.   There are over 460 other participants, so please, over the next few days stop by their blogs and see what they designed.   You can find them all listed here:

8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party Participation List
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