Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Warm colors cuff

After making the collar with cool core, I knew I needed to make something with the opposite side of the color wheel. Here we are! Since I don't work with these colors often, I was especially happy to find color mixes at my LBS to use. :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal!

I have had such fun participating in the bead soup blog party this spring! What a great way to work out of the winter doldrums - especially when working with beads in springy colors and styles. First, my partner Leslie sent me a mix of beads. You can see my original post about it here. It was really a challenge for me to work with what she sent because I don't work with big beads often, generally don't do stringing or wire work, and just couldn't figure out what to do with that butterfly focal. The idea of the brown leather cording came to me early on, but I had a hard time getting it to do what I wanted it to and had a hard time stringing it in a pleasing way through the holes in the butterfly. I ended up first making some beaded beads to match what she sent me and finally, after discarding other ideas, made simple peyote bails for each hole of the butterfly and strung the leather cord through that. I also embellished the bails with Russian leaves and a little rose to go with the idea of the butterfly. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and happy for the chance to push my creativity this way. You can see what Leslie made with what I sent her here.

You can see what other people made with their soups by hopping the blogs. You can find a full list of participants in the third reveal below. Enjoy hopping!

Adlinah Kamsir
Agi Kiss
Alenka Obid
Alison Sachs
Amanda Tibbetts
Amy Sims
Ana Cravidao
Andra Marasteanu
Andria Poole
Angela Perkins
Anja Schultz
Ann Sherwood
Anna Nordeman
Annita Wilson
Arlene Dean
Astrid Boyce
Barb Fernald
Betty James Hoppensteadt
Birgit Klughardt
Bonnie Coursolle
Brandy Thomason McNair
Brenda Sigafoos
Carmen Lau
Carol Wilson
Caroline Dewison
Cassie Donlen
Catharine Temaluru
Catherine Turrell
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Warzocha
Christa Murphy
Christina Hickman
Christina Stofmeel
Christine Hansen
Christine Stonefield
Cilla Watkins
Cindy Cima Edwards
Claire Lockwood
Colleen Vinthagen
Dagmar Liebisch
Dana Fowler
Danielle Kelley
Deb Fortin
Dee Elgie
Denise Milward
Diah Anggreni
Diana Gonzalez
Diane Valasek
Dita Basu
Donetta Farrington
Doris Stumpf
Elizabeth Bunn
Elizabeth Drake
Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Stolarczyk
Ema Kilroy
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Duberry
Fay Wolfenden
Francesca Watson
Gen Smith
Ginger Davis Allman
Giorgia Rossini
Hannah Annear
Heather Otto
Heidi Kingman
Ildiko Jarai
Iveth Caruso
Jackie Locantore
Jacqueline Keller
Jane Pranata Lim
Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Tough
Jenny Vidberg
Jessica Klaaren Http://
Joanna Matuszczyk
Joyce Becker
Judith Johnston
Judy Riley
JuLee Wolfe
June Butt
Karen Mitchell
Kari Asbury
Karin King
Karin von Hoeren
Karla Morgan
Kathrin Lembke
Kathy Stemke
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic
Katy Heider
Kay Thomerson
Kelley Fogle
Keren Panthaki
Kimberly Idalski
Kirsi Loponen
Klaudia Tóth
Krista Quantrill
Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Kristina Johansson
Laney Mead
Lara Lutrick
Laura Guenther
Lauren Potts
Laurie Vyselaar
Leah Tees
Lena Adams
Lesley Watt
Leslie Wayment
Linda Kropp
Linda Newnham
Linda Younkman
Lisa Boucher
Lizzie Clarke
Lora Bright
Lorelle McIntyre
Lori Anderson
Lori Finney
Lucie Bouvier
Malin de Koning
Marina Dobrynina
Marina Kosovic
Marion Simmons
Marita Suominen
Marjolein Trewavas
Marsela Schroth
Martha Aleo
Mary Govaars
Mary K McGraw
Maybeline Tay
Mea-B. Uebler
Melissa Trudinger
Menka Gupta
Merja Sundström
Merja Syrjämäki
Michelle Buettner
Michelle Escano
Michelle Wigginton
Milla Hope
Miranda Ackerely

Mowse Doyle
Mrs M Makes
Nan Smith
Natalie Davidson
Natalie Moten
Natascha Marty
Nikki Banham-Hall
Noemi Baena
Norma Turvey
Pam DeBoer
Pam Hurst
Patti Pruhs
Penny Houghton
Penny Mills
Rachel Van-Walsh
Rebecca Sirevaag
Regina Santerre
Regina Wood
Roberta Fauntroy
Rosanagh Watson

Rose Johnson
Rosemary Cheslock
Rossana De Gaspari
Sabine Dittrich
Sam Waghorn
Sandi James
Sandra McGriff
Sandra Wollberg
Sandra Young
Shai Williams
Sharon Palac
Sierra Barrett
Silke Gröber
Siobhán Keogh
Stefanie Teufel
Stephanie Stamper
Sue Hamel
Sue Rennie
Susan Kennedy
Susan McClelland
Susanna Lehto
Suse Stelljes
Susie Hibdon
Suzann Sladcik Wilson
Tara Plote
Terri G.
Terry Carter
Terry Matuszyk
Theresa Frank
Tina Bosh
Tina Noonan
Toltec Jewels

Facebook Participants

Audrey Allen
Cindy Wimmer Muse
Cynthia O'Toole
Deb Floros
Debbie Jensen
Erin Honeycutt
Kaushambi Shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison
Mary Jane Tanner
Valerie Tilghman

Friday, April 26, 2013

Collar so far

Here is the collar I'm making for my friend so far. I think I'm in love!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Next project

Though it has been awhile, I really haven't had much time to work in anything bead related. I had been waiting for a few orders to come in so I could start a retirement present for my friend who has been like my at-work mom for almost a decade now. As I gathered and spread out my orders today it is clear that I overdid it again! And I haven't even looked through my stash yet! Most people would do that first, but not me! Here are the beginnings of what will be a cool color palate collar.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I recently gave in and finally bought the directions for Sabine Lippert's Crownie. I'm wearing it as a pendant today, but am thinking of other things to do than just put a string through it. Since my phone doesn't take the best pictures, this isn't a great shot, but it will do for now.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Earthy tones

I was asked by my husband's aunt, to make a necklace like the one I made for my mother-in-law for Christmas, except in earthy tones. Those colors aren't in my normal palate, but with color help from my mother-in-law since she knew the colors her sister likes, I came up with this.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Soups I Didn't Send

In my efforts to make a great bead soup to send to my partner, I made up a few extras. Just for fun I took photos of those too and thought you might enjoy looking at them, too.

Add caption


I honestly don't feel like I'm good at much most of the time. When I look at this star though, I know that at least I'm good at the bead work I devote so much time to. Now we wait until Christmas. Only 9 months until tree buying time.

It's bigger than my hand and has a suede wrapped piece of PVC pipe on the back for the top of the tree to go through.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Shop

I have added a few things back into my etsy shop. Hopefully I'll add more - it's so time consuming and I'd rather be making jewelery if I have time to than photographing it and writing about it for sale. Anyway, if you click on the picture, it will take you there. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I sent...

Now that my Bead Soup partner, Leslie, has posted pictures of what I sent her, I can post the picture I took before I packaged everything up. You can see her post about what I sent here.

I love the combo I sent her and can't wait to see what she makes!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to make a photobox

My bead soup partner Leslie received the soup I sent her today. Not only did she love the beads, which I will post a picture of as soon as she does, but the girls she showed her soup to also loved the little boxes I made up. So, I told her that would do a little photo tutorial of how to do it. Because apparently Valentine's Day is sitting on the couch and not feeling motivated to do any school work. It's OK. Soon I will have some Richardson's ice cream.

OK. I first saw this idea on Pinterest, except the directions I saw used toilet paper rolls covered in scrapbook paper. Since I didn't have any tp rolls and, frankly, the idea of sending my old tp rolls across the country to a stranger seemed weird. Since I have an abundance of dahlia photos that I normally use for cards, I decided to try it out with those. It worked and I was pretty pleased with myself, to be honest. I had really wanted to send out my soup in some neat package and was happy I managed to pull it together with materials I already owned.

Here's how I did it!
1. You'll need a pair of scissors, double sided tape, and a photo. I used a 4x6.

2. Fold in one of the 4" sides of the photo.

3. Fold the remaining card in half.

4. Sticky tape along the length of the originally folded over flap.

5. Flatten down your tube.

6. Using the scissors, cut the ends in a dome shape.

7. Repeat on the other end and your flattened tube will look like this.

8. Unflatten your tube and fold in one of the sides toward the center of the tube. Pinching it when it is folded helps to make the crease. Repeat on the other side and then the other end.

9. Finished box!

It Arrived!

My bead soup from Leslie arrived today! What a great Valentine's Day present, as it turns out. How did she know these are colors I love, love, love?! I haven't used this typed of bead before and can't wait to make something with these!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Soup is on!

Yesterday I received my partner for the Bead Soup Blog Party, Leslie Wayment of AA Beads & More in Sebastian, FL. After being intimidated by making and sending a soup for someone who owns a bead shop and has access to pretty much everything, and being undecided on which of the soups I had already made to send, my stash called, I was inspired, and I put together a new one. I know it is the right one to send because I love it and want to keep it for myself. But, I know, that if I did keep it, it may never get made. I have so many projects floating around in my head. I can't post a picture of what I'm sending until she posts that she received it, but I will show you the cute little packaging I made out of some of my dahlia photos. I'm quite pleased with myself about that.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A budding beader

As R sat down to her beads tonight it reminded me of these photos of her first beading experiences which also coincided with her first day of preschool this year. Tonight she started a necklace to replace one I lost earlier this week and I was amazed at her choice of color. I always feel that I'm working on my color combos, but she seems to have it down. (Though if you saw the outfit she chose for our snow day yesterday, you might disagree.)

Kiddo #1 and me beading.

It's coming along

What a week and a blizzard will do to one's embroidery project!

Today on the pond...

Clear skies after 2 feet of snow in 24 hours.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Last year, once I became more comfortable with bead embroidery, I made this clutch based off of Jamie Cloud Eakin's design in her book Dimensional Bead Embroidery. It took forever, and I've only used it once, but I love it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Summer of Earrings

I made a lot of earrings in the summer of 2012. Here are the ones I took pictures of. 

Sold these right out of my ears while out to lunch with friends.

Love these so much they ended up as keepers!

These kind of remind me of the feather earrings the kids are wearing these days.

Embroidered Pieces

Man I wish I still had this brooch now that Valentine's Day is coming up.

Pendant with dichroic glass pieces

Pendant with dichroic glass and Swarovski crystal rivoli


I never really got the idea of a UFO (unfinished object - in this case) until I made this cutie. It's a ring that goes all the way around with 4 more of these same stones. It's too small to be an actual ring and too small to be a pendant, plus it would look weird. So it remains somewhere in a baggie waiting for additional inspiration.


Last spring I was loving links and making chains of them. I wonder what happened to this necklace...As it turns out, not only is my beading supply area a mess, but my dresser is a mess as well. Hm, perhaps I'm...messy? Nah. It's just semi-organized chaos. I also made the earrings below during the link love phase.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Because I have time for this...

I believe back in 2008 (wow!) when I started my first blog - dedicated to family pictures and updates after the birth of my firstborn - I started with a similar first blog post. Of course, then there was only one little one, I was home on maternity leave, and it was winter, thus my gardening hobby was on hold. So I did, actually, have time for this. Plus it was fun and an easy way to keep the family updated without having to send out mass emails to people who may or may not be actually interested in every adorable thing my child did.

Bead tray on the kitchen island. My current work in progress is a giant embroidered star. It will be a tree topper for the Christmas tree. It will be a pick up and put down project over the year since I obviously have some time before the next Christmas tree!
Now, five years later, I'm not certain I do. I've thought over the past few months about starting a blog to highlight my progress out in bead land. I used to think that I was crafty - and still do mostly, thanks to the amazing headache inducing 'I can do anything' glory of Pinterest - but mainly I'm a beader. And, as it turns out, I'm not into the bead stringing I was into as a kid; I do mainly beadweaving and bead embroidery. For me, it is the perfect combination of playing with the beads I've always loved and doing the sewing/needlework I also love. Time in my life seems to be on the short side. In fact, most people I know who comment on my bead work are amazed that I have time for it at all. However, despite a full time job teaching high school, taking courses during the school year toward my master's degree, two young kids, a husband, and a house, I fins the time for this bead love of mine and am now hoping to blog about my progress. To be fair, though, my husband does (probably more than) his fair share around the house, but still, Phew! That's a lot!

Just over two years ago I had only a tackle box full of beads left over from childhood and college sitting idle in our home office. My last project prior to my bead rediscovery had been back in 2004 when I made necklaces for all of my bridesmaids to wear at our wedding. Even this was a simple stringing project based off of a necklace I had purchased at Ann Taylor. As it turns out, my mother-in-law caught the beading bug probably around the same time Chris and I got married. I have always been impressed with her work and her sense of color, so for Christmas 2010 she gave me a copy of Mastering Beadwork my Carol Cypher, I headed off to my local bead store and was re-bitten by the bead bug.

My stash this morning doesn't actually photograph that poorly. I'm not sure the picture does justice to how much there really is.
I had stopped beading in college mainly because stringing wasn't my thing and I didn't know other techniques existed out there. At the time it was also hard to get beads. The closest big bead store I knew of was in Boston, and I couldn't get there often enough to support a hobby. Now, beads are everywhere! I have a great little store close to my work, you can buy beads at Michael's, and Oh, the internet! What a source of beady amazement! Now, my bead stash has grown to such monstrosities that it has taken over the office desk, and I typically have beads strewn all over the kitchen island where I do most of my work. I have had New Year's Resolutions both this year and last to  "bead my stash" so hopefully I can use up some of what I have instead of buying more.

At any rate, though I have been thinking about starting this blog for awhile to showcase my work, the impetus for starting today is because of this fabulous thing called "The Bead Soup Blog Party" put together by the talented Lori Anderson. I first stumbled upon this party of sorts a few years ago and loved the idea of it. Since then it had been on my future "to-do" list. This morning I saw that signups for the 7th edition of this party end today, AND that it is the only party she's doing in 2013. So, if it's not now, then I have to wait for at least a year! What happens in the blog party is that beaders with blogs who wish to participate get paired up and send each other a "bead soup" mix of beads and other certain items for the other beader to make something with. Then on a specified reveal day, they post on their blog what they made with what they were sent and everyone who participated can hop around via links to each others blogs. Hundreds of people participate from around the world. So, later today my plan is to sign up and also maybe post some pictures of my work (and fold laundry, shower and get dressed, feed the family, do some lesson planning for the upcoming week, clean, read to prep both for teaching and for the my master's courses that start up again this week...)

Peacock Cuff

I could be perfectly content keeping all of the things I make. When something takes a long time to make I tend to fall in love with it over the hours and I work. I would have kept this forever too, but managed to find a buyer before getting too attached.

First Star

I made this first start ornament as a present for the kids' daycare provider. The photo is blurry because I'm still learning to use the camera on my phone, but it is bead embroidered. I love it so much I almost kept it. Instead, it became the inspiration for the giant tree topper start I'm making.

Lucky Lady

My biggest beady supporter has to be my mother-in-law. She had great color and design sense and talent, and she also encourages my work and is always interested in what I'm making. Since I know she likes my stuff so much, she often ends up with beaded presents. Here is some of what I've made her over the past two years.
Birthday 2012 - From a design by Jean Power in Beadwork magazine.

Christmas 2011
I also made her a bead embroidered brooch for Mother's Day last year.  I'll have to look again later for a pictures of that if one exists.

Here is this year's Christmas necklace. It has really nice blues, but obviously the lighting was not good when I took this picture.