Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hats Off Challenge -- Beaders, To Your Gates

Last fall, when visiting old friends in another town, I said, "You should come to Derby some day."

A couple of weeks ago, one of those friends called and said, "So, that invitation to Derby? I'm coming up!"

This inspired several reactions from me:
1) Yay, our friend is coming to visit!
2) Oh, crap, when the heck am I gonna find time to clean this house for house guests?!?
3) Hooray, I get to wear a hat!!!

Now, what you have to understand is that, unless you're willing to sit in the Churchill Downs infield alongside the college kids and the random drunk in a Speedo, you're going to have to invest big money to get tickets to Derby, particularly at this late date.  I mean, mortgage the house - sell a kidney - pawn the children kind of money.

These are scenes from the infield.  Yeah, I'm not gonna be sitting there.
Not being willing to do any of those, we got tickets to the Oaks, the day before Derby -- and hats are just as necessary. 

Kentucky Oaks Pink Out!
The Oaks is a race for fillies, and instead of the Run for the Roses, it's the Run for the Lilies.
This photo shows the parade of survivors before the race,
when breast cancer survivors are honored.

So, the hat that's in the Hats Off Challenge badge?  I'm wearing it to the Oaks. 

Gonna have to balance beading with housecleaning, which is changing my beading plans, but I'm getting ready for the challenge reveal next Saturday.  How are you coming with your challenge?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hats Off! Challenge Update

If you're looking for my Bead Soup reveal, go here!

Last night was the official kickoff of Derby season around here, with an absolutely enormous air and fireworks show called Thunder Over Louisville.  Officials estimated over half a million people went to the banks of the Ohio River to watch. And the crowd was down this year due to cold weather.  I"ve heard of years when there were up to 800,000 people downtown.

Me?  I stayed home in my nice warm house and watched it on television.  I live close enough to the river that I can hear the percussion of the fireworks - most of the fun, none of the traffic or inebriated festival goers.  My mama didn't raise no dummy.


And it also marks the two-week countdown to the reveal for the Hats Off Challenge!  Below is a list of the participants so far.  If you've signed up, first of all, thanks! Second, please check your link to make sure it actually goes to your blog instead of some horrifying and unexpected site.

Arlene Dean     
Cheryl Dunham 
Christine Altmiller
Cynthia Machata
Deanna Riles-Cox        help! I need a blog address!
Debbie Rasmussen
Dini Bruinsma              help! I need a blog address!
Jasvanti Patel    
Jean Yates        
Karin Slaton      
Laney Mead      
Leah Tees                   help! I need a blog address!
Liz E                
Nan Smith        
Robin Reed       
Sally Russick    
Sea of Dreams  
Susan Nelson Bowie

You'll also see some holes in the information -- if you know any of these folks, please help me fill in the blanks.

And if you want to sign up, please let me know (please, with your blog and email address!)

Giddyup, y'all, it's almost time for the challenge!

Friday, April 12, 2013

BSBP7 Reveal! Hooray!

If you're looking for the Hats Off Challenge sign ups, go here!

The spectacular Lori Anderson is throwing another world-wide celebration of creativity, the Bead Soup Blog Hop.  My partner this time is the astonishingly talented Nancy Dale. If you don't know her work, go check it out here, and check out the beautiful things she created with the soup I sent her here.

After seeing Nancy's work, you can perhaps understand why I was a little nervous about doing justice to the soup she sent me. ("A little nervous" = "shaking in my shoes, staring at the wall and murmuring mantras to myself")

And in Nancy's case, "soup" = "soups".  She sent two distinct colorways, both featuring lampwork by JulsBeads.

gorgeous turquoises, creams, sterling, gemstones, and seed bead mix

warm greens and golds, vermeil, seed bead mix
I started with the turquoise mix, wanting to use as much of Nancy's soup and add little (or nothing) from my own stash.  I know it's a sign of hell freezing over - denying myself the excuse to go bead shopping!!  But seriously, Nancy spoiled me so completely, there was really no need to enhance it.

The first piece, a necklace, uses many of the lampwork beads, turquoise and jade beads, crystals from the seed bead mix, sterling spacers, and the silk ribbon that Nancy had tied the bead soup package closed with (too pretty to waste!)  All I added here was my own handforged clasp, and the textured silver rings.

Nancy and I are both beadweavers (though I realize I'm flattering myself to put myself in the same sentence with her name), so I had to do a freeform peyote piece.  I detached the triple strand portions from the clasp, and used the toggle and loop here.

And what would a soup be without a few pairs of earrings coming from it?

Lampwork, turquoise, sterling spacers
Peyote woven bead mix, turquoise, jade, sterling spacers

Sterling triple strand clasp used as earring components, shells, bead mix

There is very little of the blue soup left over!

Then I tackled the green mix, and landed in the middle of a vision that I could only partially complete before time to share.  But if your stomach is strong enough to handle it in its immodestly incomplete state, here it is:

Nancy does some amazing bead embroidery, so I really wanted to do at least one embroidered piece.  I used the green focal as the center of the medallion, and did a play on the bead's tendrils (which have a beautiful blue luster) as an inspiration of the blue tendrils that spread out.  The rest of the medallion was to be filled in with a mosaic of the seed bead mix from Nancy, but I was worried that it would be a little bulky - so I cut out small amorphous shapes from the backing to echo the shapes between tendrils on the focal. Eventually, when the backing is added to the medallion, I'll do a bead edging around each of the cutouts with gold 15s, and edge the outer edge as well.  It's honking big (about 5" across!!), so the necklace that it finally becomes part of will be a real statement!

Thank you Nancy, for being a great partner and a good new friend.  Thank you Lori, for being the hostess with the mostest once again.  And thank you, for staying with me through this extremely long post.  I'd love for you to leave a comment before you go enjoy the eye candy at these other blogs!

Agata Grygiel
Ali McCarthy
Alice Craddick
Amy Severino
Ana Krepel
Andra Weber
Andrea Glick
Andrea Trank
Anitra Gordy Boyers

Annette Rivers
Anu Tuppurainen
April Grinaway
Audrey Bélanger
Barbara Bechtel
Barbara Mason
Becky Pancake
Beti Horvath
Billi RS Rothove

Bobbie Rafferty   You are here! Thanks for stopping by!
Brandi Burdick
Candida Castleberry
Carol Dillman
Carolyn Gebert
Carolyn Lawson
Caron Reid
Catherine King
Cathy Jakicic

Chandra Merod
Charlene Jacka
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Fick
Cherrie Warzocha
Cheryl Brown
Cheryl Dunham
Cheryl Foiles
Cheryl Gangle

Chris Eisenberg
Chris White
Christina Miles

Christine Murrow
Cindy Ritchie
Clare Etheridge
Cory Tompkins

Cris Peacock
Cynthia Abner
Debbie Rasmussen
Debi Levine
Deborah Brooks
Deborah Read
Debra Behrends
Dorota Żerańska
Elaine Robitaille

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Emma Todd
Erin Guest
Evelyn Shelby
Evie and Beth McCord
Francy Inman
Ginger Bishop
Gloria Allen
Hajer Waheed

Hope Smitherman
Ilenia Ruzza
Ilona Hegedűs
Ine Vande Cappelle
Jackie Ryan
Janine Lucas
Jean Peter
Jean Wells
Jeanne Steck

Jelveh Jaferian Johnson
Jennifer Cabic
Jennifer Reno
Jennifer VanBenschoten
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Kyrlach
Jenny Robledo
Jessica Brower
Jill MacKay

JJ Jacobs
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Joanne Tinley
Johanna Rhodes Nash
Judy Robinson
Juli Cannon
Julia Gerlach
Julie Bowen
Julie Panusis

K Hutchinson
Karen Martinez
Karen Vincent
Karen Williams
Karin Slaton
Karyn Bonfiglio
Kat Douglas
Kate Dufour
Kate Mulligan

Kate Richbourg
Kathleen Gallant
Kathleen Lange Klik
Katie Nielsen-Nunez
Kay Bolton
Kayla Potega
Kelli Jacobson
Kelly Patterson
Kelly Ramstack

Kiersten Kern
Kim Sparks
Klaudete Koon
Klaudia Tóth
Krista French
Kristin Oppold
Kym Hunter
Lana Kinney
Laura Guenther

Lauren Fenty
Leah Curtis
Lennis Carrier
Linda Murphy
Lisa Johnson
Lori Anderson
Lupe Meter
Lynn Jobber
Mandi Effron

Marcia Dunne
Margareta Saari
Marianne Baxter
Marie Covert
Mary Ellen Parker
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens
Megan Milliken
Melissa Meman
Melissa Mesara

Michaela Pabeschitz
Michelle Tucker
Mimi Gardner
Mischelle Fanucchi
Monica Phillips
Mowse Doyle
Nancy Boylan
Nancy Dale
Pat Haight

Patina Queen
Patty Miller
Pia Kaven
Rebecca Anderson
Rose Johnson
Roxanne Blanc
Sarah Goode
Sarah Singer
Sarah Strover

Shalini Austin
Sherri Stokey
Sherry Baun
Sheryl Stephens
Silvia Sernicola
Solange Collin
Stacie Florer
Stacy Alderson
Stephanie Haussler

Stephanie LaRosa
Sue Burleigh
Susan Bowie
Susan Kelly
Susan of Libellula Jewelry
Susan Sheehan
Suzanne Fragiacomo
Tammi Sloan
Tammie Everly

Tania Hagen
Tania Spivey
Tanya Goodwin
Tanya Wiles
Tari Kahrs

Theresa Buchle
Tiffany Smith
Tina Holden

Tracey Nanstad
Tracie Dean
Tracy Bell
Tracy Kruse
Veralynne Malone