Monday, September 26, 2011

All Is Not Lost

I promised a story in my Bead Soup Party post about revealing the meaning behind the name of a pair of earrings that I made from my Bead Soup mix.

"All Is Not Lost"

Of all the pieces I created for this challenge, these earrings and "A Touch of Blue" bracelet are my favorite ones, because they are pieces that I would wear.  They are the more simple designs, and I'm all about simple!

"A Touch of Blue"

Bead Soup is all about challenging yourself as an artist, but I decided to give myself an additional challenge...that of a photographer.  I have never photographed my jewelry outside, but instead always inside next to a window.  As a result, there are usually shadows in the pictures and the lighting is darker than I would prefer.  So I gathered up all my props and camera and headed outdoors.  I have read that indirect sunlight provides the best lighting.  So underneath of a tree I went.  Everything was going well, I loved the green backdrop of the grass, the lighting was good, etc.  Then all of a sudden, I saw a nosey muzzle in my viewfinder.

The nosey muzzle found its way further into the viewfinder, knocking down the stool holding the props with the earrings, and finally pushing me from a kneeling position over onto the ground!  My immediate reaction was to say "Bad Goldie!" and then scramble to find the earrings.  Ahh, relief, I found one earring.  Drat, now where was that other one?

Half an hour later, not a careful combing of the area with my eyes and hands, nor a swiping several times with my oldest son's metal detector, and not even a large magnet held over the area could find the missing earring.  I gave up, but hoped that my boys could help me look when they got home from school.  My oldest son, who has a phenomenal attention to detail, couldn't find it.  So my youngest son went outside and scoured the area.  Five minutes later, he came back in, shouting, "I found it!!!"  The day was saved by a determined little boy!

Moral of the story?  Yep, you guessed it.  Put the nosey muzzle and its large fluffy body inside when I'm photographing jewelry outside!

Friday, September 23, 2011

She Would Have Been 100

It's hard to believe that she would have been 100 today.

Today I'm remembering my dear Grammy who was born on this day in 1911.  She lived to be 99, so close to reaching that century milestone.

Although geographical distance kept us from interacting on a regular basis, she and I kept in touch by writing to each other.  I treasured these letters and kept many of them.

Now that she is gone, I feel her loss always, but especially today on this day that marks a celebration of her life.  At her funeral, we (her grandchildren) each sealed our goodbyes with a pink rose.  It was fitting, since she would so often send garden flowers with us as we drove away from her home.

"Bloom Again"
In memory of Gram, I made this necklace for my mom and one for myself as well.  
(Ironically my Mennonite grandmother didn't wear jewelry, so I kept the design simple!)

The rose wooden charm was made by Marie from More Skye Jewels.

"Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness; 
know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, 
before they can bloom again."  ~ anonymous source

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Hop

The day has arrived...I can finally reveal what I have made with my Bead Soup mix!  For a summary of the Bead Soup Blog Party, read this post.  A huge thank you to Lori Anderson for hosting this fun event.

If you recall from this post, these beads were sent to me by Christa Murphy.  Be sure to visit her blog to see what she made from the beads that I sent to her.

Christa knew that my favorite colors to work with are blues and greens, so she took me out of my comfort zone a slight bit by sending me yellow!  Furthermore, she inched me away from all of the familiar metals I have worked with (silver, gold, and antiqued brass) and introduced me to copper.  And THEN, she took me yet one step further away from my comfortable place and threw in some Via Murano twisted crimp tubes to try!  But I took Christa out of her comfort zone as well...I sent her plenty of PINK!  We have enjoyed getting to know each other.  I think we successfully challenged each other, but gave moral support to each other along the way.

Despite the challenges presented, I was delighted with the selection of beads that Christa sent to me.  I made 1 necklace, 2 bracelets, and 2 pairs of earrings using her beads and a strand from my own stash.  And I really liked the twisted crimp tubes which seem to have a more sturdy hold than the traditional crimp tubes.

"Fall A Flutter"
This asymmetrical necklace features a sampling of all the beads Christa sent.  I added the swirly brown round ceramic beads to the mix.  I used the focal stone as the pendant and added some tiny topaz crystals for contrast.  Plus I decided the hook clasp was too beautiful to be at the back of this necklace, so I brought it to the front.  Then I added a copper butterfly charm for whimsy.

"Honey Harvest"
This bracelet is a nice complement to the necklace.  In a random pattern, it features all of the same honey-colored beads as the necklace.  The flower toggle clasp adds charm!  All it needs now is a copper bee charm.  Hmm, maybe I'll add that...

"A Touch of Blue"
Blue makes an appearance, although a small one!  I only used several of Christa's beads for this charm bracelet, but I wanted to include it as well.  Its inception was inspired by the other pieces you see here.

"All Is Not Lost"
For the whole story on the meaning of the name of these earrings, please come back for a future blog post!  It involves a dog and a boy.

"Butterfly on Goldenrod"
We have a field of blooming goldenrod behind our house right now.  Butterflies are often spotted fluttering around in the field.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog to see the creations I made in my first Bead Soup Blog Party.  This experience was fun but not without its challenges!  I tried new crimping techniques, used a new metal, and experimented with photographing outside.  On that note, remember to come back soon for a story about a missing earring!

Please take some time to visit some of the other blog pairs who participated!
Click on each name to go to their blogs.
These are the partner pairs:

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel

140. Mary Hicks and Laurel Steven