Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Done Hopping - Now What?!?

If you're looking for my Bead Soup Blog Hop post, look here.

All through the blog hop, I was so inspired by everyone's work I couldn't wait to get back to the bead table.  So I've picked up an unfinished project that I promised to get back to, and started working on it again.

She's not finished yet, but this little sea nymph is getting a little closer to completion.  She's growing little by little, wave upon wave...

And these are some shells that I picked up, thinking specifically of adding them to this necklace.  I'm not sure I actually will, but that's part of the fun of freeform -- you never (okay, I never) know what you'll do next.

And since promising to reveal completed works on this blog seems to motivate me to actually get them completed, I'll keep you posted on how it's going....stay tuned!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Post Hop Recovery

My Bead Soup Blog Hop post is here - go look if you haven't already been there!

 Y'all, I am on eye candy overload!  It took a week of hard, concentrated work (poor me, I know) but I finally made it through all 362 posts of the Bead Soup Blog Hop, and in the spirit of David Letterman's Top Ten, here are a few things I learned:

1) Beaders are incredibly generous.  Generous with their bead soup, generous with their creativity, generous with opinions, encouragement, and kind words.  And anyone who's looking for a home for their blog hop creation can send it on to me.  Anything I can do to help... ;-)

2) These hops are a fabulous way to meet people, find new blogs to follow, get new followers for my blog (THANK YOU!!), and generally find fellow travelers on this beady road.

3) These hops are also a great way to add to my beady bucket list - you know, all those things I want to learn to do, the techniques I want to try, the tools I must buy (don't tell my husband I'm adding to the collection), bead artists I NEED to buy from (again, don't tell my husband), etc, etc...

4) You can sit and stare at a pile of beads for weeks without a single inspiration.  Pressure to meet a deadline, however, can kick that inspiration in the butt and get you moving right quick.

5) There are a heck of a lot of talented people out there.  I mean gobsmackingly, headbangingly, jawdroppingly talented people.  I was humbled and honored to be alongside them in this hop.

6) Even if a particular piece on the hop wasn't entirely to my taste, the care and thought that went into every creation was awesome, and that never failed to blow me away.

7) Photos count.  A lot.  Nothing is more frustrating than to see a picture of something that looks fabulous except that the photo is itty bitty and dark and there's no way to enlarge it.  People, I'm getting old.  Scratch that, I'm not getting old, but my eyes are.  I need bright and big photos, kind of like a two-year-old's picture book.

8) I'm so impressed by people who can incorporate sari silks into their work without making it look like an afterthought or a bandage.  I'm pretty sure any attempt to use ribbon in my work would inspire a full on "bless her heart" from anyone who saw it.

9) If I'm going to spend countless hours staring at a computer screen, being inspired by gorgeous jewelry is a pretty damned good way to do it.  And it makes me miles happier than I am after spending hours staring at excel spreadsheets and budgets.

10) Lori Anderson is a goddess.  Need more proof?  After planning and coordinating an event that makes the Norman invasion pale in logistical comparison, she's already planning the next one.  I hope I'll be lucky enough to be one of the 200 chosen randomly to participate, but even if I'm not, I'll be there hopping around to see everyone's fabulousness (fabulosity? spectacularity?)!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Soup's On! - My Bead Soup Blog Hop Reveal

Hungry for more bead soup eye candy? Bleary eyed yet from going through 350+ posts? Ain't it great?

I was paired with Cindy Cima Edwards, and she sent me a great mix of green gemstones, glass, crystal and brass. You can see why I did a happy dance on my front porch when these arrived, no?

Moss agate, Russian serpentine, green aventurine, sesame jasper, Swarovski crystal, Czech glass, cat's eye, Vintaj brass

And from that wonderful mix, I cooked up not one, not two, but THREE portions of beady yumminess!

(1) The filigree and chain were where I knew my challenge would be, as those aren't compents I use a lot in my work. But I had some sesame jasper beads in my stash to match the focal, and when I noticed little flecks of mauve in the jasper, freshwater pearls I'd been hoarding seemed perfect. I went asymmetrical with the triple strands (which could still use a little post-hop tweaking, but hey, time was ticking!), and voila:

From the soup: sesame jasper focal, green aventurine, Vintaj bead caps, chain, flower filigree, clasp
From my stash: sesame jasper beads, Czech firepolished glass, freshwater pearls, oval brass filigree

(2) Then, since my real passion is beadweaving, I wanted to do something in that vein. The dark green moss agate beads were a perfect match for a bead embroidered pendant I'd made a few months ago that I'd just been hanging on a neckwire. And since flat spiral was on my to-do list, this was a perfect opportunity!  The pendant slides on the necklace (a little to the left in the bottom picture, but I'm a little askew myself, so...)

From the soup: Moss agate rounds
From my stash: bead embroidered pendant, glass seed beads, my own fabricated clasp

(3) And then, to use as much of the soup as I could before time ran out, I made a fun pair of mismatched earrings (even though in the photo, they look like they're sized for an elephant!).  You can really see the mauve flecks in the sesame jasper in these pictures.

From the soup: Vintage brass bead caps, bead , jumprings, charm; green aventurine
From my stash: sesame jasper, brass earwires and headpins
This was my first time in the BSBH, and it's been a blast! Thanks for visiting -- I hope you'll follow my blog (the "follow" button is on the left of this page under the post archive if the  link here doesn't work), leave a comment, and/or like me on Facebook and we can get to know each other better!

Now go grab a mug or glass of your favorite beverage, curl up in a comfy seat, and enjoy the rest of the hop!  Here's the link to the full list: http://lorianderson-beadsoupblogparty.blogspot.com/.  And thanks to Lori Anderson for coordinating this whole shebang -- this woman could conquer the world if she wanted to, she's just that organized.

Taste Test - A Sneak Peek of the Bead Soup

Here's a peek of my bead soup results.

Okay, it's a highly pixelated peek that looks like a bad Klimt forgery.

Come back tomorrow to see what it really looks like...
See you around the hop!

Monday, September 12, 2011

How I Know It's Monday, or Why No One Calls Me Miss Manners

So at work today, I went to a luncheon, represented my employer at a table with colleagues, enjoyed our meal of curried chicken salad and couscous, and listened to a speaker talk about how the experience of a horse sitting on her head led her to completely change her life.
And no, that was not how I knew it was Monday.

The confirmation came when I realized, after driving several of my colleagues back to the office, that the blob I kept noticing in my peripheral vision was not a clump of mascara.

It was a piece of couscous that I had somehow flung into the air while eating, which lodged itself in my eyelashes and lived there for the next two hours. 

Happy Monday!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Post-Show Rants and Mahler Symphonies

This weekend I did an art show -- a new show for me.  Lovely weekend, steady crowds, and some truly lovely people who made soul-enriching comments about my work.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth.  You were rays of light throughout the weekend.

Except maybe for the man who was looking to buy a bracelet that he could pass off as his daughter's school assignment to make a "native American inspired piece of jewelry."  Sorry, sir, but just because you're willing to abet your daughter in shirking a homework assignment because you think it's a waste of time, I am not all that eager to help you.  And no, I cannot suggest somewhere else you might be able to find something.

Sorry.  Stepping off the soap box, and putting my rant away.

Though I do I feel sorry for that little girl, and I thank my parents for never letting me resort to the easy way out in school.

Anyway, after two days of standing on the asphalt parking lot the show was held in, my dogs are barkin'.  (Again, for those of you not raised in the South, this one means "my feet are tired and they hurt."  Bless your heart.)

So I've got the dogs elevated, and I'm luxuriating in the Great Performances broadcast of Mahler's Second Symphony with the New York Philharmonic on public television.

Some other day I'll tell the long and involved story of why this work of music, this orchestra, the performance hall, and a live concert broadcast all resonate down to the very deepest parts of my heart and memory.

But for now, I wish for each of you the memory of a people, places, or experiences wonderful enough to make you both weep and laugh for joy just to think of them.  I feel blessed to have memories like these.  Have a wonderful week, y'all.  May it be enriched with special reminiscences and people who bring light to your life.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sand Between My Toes

Aaah, the feeling of cool sand between my toes...

That's the dream.

The reality?  I needed to add sand to my tent weight bags in preparation for a show this weekend.  But it's too dark and rainy to do this outside on my porch.  So I did it in my front hallway, spread out on lots and lots of newspaper.

What could possibly go wrong?

Um, yeah.  So apparently my aim when maneuvering 40 pound bags of sand is a little off.

Ah, well.  At least the bags are full, and I was forced to find discovered where my vacuum cleaner had been hiding.  So, all in all, score!

Now fingers are crossed that prepping the bags means that there won't be any wind or rain all weekend.  After all, a girl can dream, right?