Bead Soup Blog Party!

 It's Bead Soup Blog Hop time! This is my third time to play. It is always a treat to get beads in the mail, open up the package and look to see what I received with which to work. THis time, my partner is Laurie Hanna of Laurie's Jewelbox. She has a nice, organic, earthy style. Check her out and see what I sent her.

This is what she sent me. She made the lampwork focal. I never know what I am going to get when the package comes in the mail. I always hope it is something out of my normal color palette. Purples are not a palette I ever choose for myself, and I have received this palette more than once. Are my partners discussing this??

 So, I took one look at these purples and knew I had to use them all. It really is a nice palette, and one I don't normally work in. So, that adds to the challenge and the fun.

 I put Laurie's focal in the center and worked outward using all of the purples.

 The round purples are stone, so the bracelet has some weight. I love that!

 I kept the purple pearls to do a second a bracelet. The clasp Laurie sent is pretty and delicate. It didn't really fit with my first design. Which is OK. It allowed me to make two pieces. 

My normal style is usually bolder than this, so it was fun to make something quiet...more subtle...but with a little sparkle. The clasp is perfect.

Grab a cup of tea, curl up on the porch swing, and visit the rest of the participants! I know I can't wait......

Soak up a little Vitamin C!

 Hostess, Lori Anderson,

Alice Craddick,  Alice's Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache,  All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts,  Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson,  AW Jewelry
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou,  Create With Spirit   
Candida Castleberry,    Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl McCloud,  One Thing Leads to Another
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson,  Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie

Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris' Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things

Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikรถ Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto Jewelry

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten,  Jewelry, Art and Life

Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains

Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe
Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade

Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie's Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry

Marti Conrad, Marti C's Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs

Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Patricia Johnson, Patricia L. Johnson Glass Art
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky

Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal's Attic

Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs
Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau

Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna

Journals, Mosquitos, and VBS

 I have been away for 8 days in the way north of Wisconsin with a group of high schoolers from church. Our mission there was to share Jesus with children on the Chippewa and Potawatomi  reservations. Not working much with kids, I did not know what to expect. I was happily surprised by the high schoolers on the trip. They had open minds and hearts, worked hard, and invested their whole selves. Pretty awesome.  

Man, did they have the most brutal mosquitos I have ever seen! Or felt. And scratched. We are all covered in welts. But, pleased with the way everything else went on the trip.

And, how beautiful are the native kids????

In between Vacation Bible School and some work projects, I gave the girls blank journals so they could note what they were doing and learning. The journals were made of watercolor paper. They had permanent markers, watercolor pencils, and water brushes.

 They traced stencils or drew their own designs, and watercolored them in. They really did a great job.

The most awesome part was that I saw several of them actually continuing their journals throughout the week. 

A little Vitamin C added to the week!

If you have never used watercolor pencils, you can give them a try for a very small investment. I took my coupon to Michaels and found them at several different price points. I bought the value box of 24 that cost $3 with my 40% off coupon. They worked as well as the $15 box. 

Just draw or color on watercolor paper. Then brush over the color with water. We used hollow brushes that are filled with water. The water makes the pencil bleed and smooth out. The color will travel a long way across the paper and give you a nice watery look. It is so easy, anyone can do it, and it looks just like you painted it.

Take your Vitamin W! (watercolor!)

Wire Photo Holders

 This week, I worked on a project for my friend Jane Anne. Her Mom is turning 90. How awesome is that? Rightly so, they are having a big party. I made her some terra cotta flower pot jewelry for the tables at the party. I also made some wire photo holders that can stick in the pots.

They are fast and inexpensive. And the little flower button adds just the right touch.

 Cut a length of 18 gauge steel wire. Decide on the length according to how long you want the holder to be. Get the wire at the hardware store. For $3, I got enough wire to make more than my attention span can manage.

Using round nose pliers, wrap a tight loop at one end of wire.

 Hold the loop flat, with chain nose pliers. Wrap wire into a spiral. It does not have to look great, because the button will cover almost all of it.

Adjust the long wire so it looks like a lollipop.

Using floss, or yarn, or string, or elastic cord, knot a flower button to the center loop. Just the center loop. The rest of the wire circles have to be free for the photo to slide in between.

The flower buttons are from Blumenthal Lansing. You can get them at Michaels in a value bag.

I stuck mine in a plant. It would be a cute addition to a plant for a gift or Mom, Auntie, or Grandma.

Use your Vitamin C!

trash to ?

Last week, I left a big pile of trash on the stage at church. It is actually the current stage set, relating and hopefully adding to the summer sermon series. I did light it so it should seem to be deliberate and not just trash that did not get thrown away. Truthfully, it was kind of fun putting trash and fake trash in a pile on the stage.

The series is on Nehemiah. Nehemiah's claim to fame is his obedience in rebuilding Jerusalem. So, my stage theme is recycling, reusing, rebuilding. It has given me inner giggles to think about what some reactions might be to a big ugly pile of junk as a visual that is in the line of sight of everyone. I cannot be ignored. 

In a couple of weeks, I will recycle, reuse, and rebuild that pile of trash into something new. It will be fun anticipating reactions to that too.

Use your Vitamin C!

Button Giveaway Earrings

Not too long ago, I won a giveaway of gorgeous vintage pearl buttons in a button jewelry blog hop hosted by Cindy Wimmer at Sweet Bead Studio. They are gorgeous buttons, and today I used the smaller buttons from the package to make a pair of earrings.

What I wanted, was a flat circle of buttons that I could hook to an earwire. 

My first failure was due to the silver wire I tried to string them on. The buttons are thin and fragile (that is what makes them so pretty), and I broke a button. So disappointing!

My second failure was due to the Soft Flex wire I tried next. The buttons would not lie flat. Fine.

My third failure was due to the beading thread I tried next. The earring was just limp and held no semblance of a circle.

I was close to shelving the whole thing when I wondered about putting them on a hoop earring. Success...kind of.  Not exactly the flat circle I was looking for, but the buttons still show nicely. I used Silamide to tie them on to the hoop. I pulled the thread tightly after each stitch through the buttonholes. It helped anchor the button to the skinny little earring bar. You can see I added some pearls to the button centers. I wrecked a couple beading needles pulling on the thread, but that happens, right?

They are pearly! I am not saying it is a done deal. If I can think of how to make the buttons go in a flat circle, I will probably try it. So, if you have thoughts, please send them over here.  Pearl cotton, maybe? 

Thanks again CIndy. I still have the larger buttons you sent and am thinking about how to use them next.

Use your Vitamin C!

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