Monday, 26 May 2014

My Country, Blog Hop

If you're looking for my reveal for BSBP 8 go here:

My Country Blog Hop

Last summer I hosted my first ever Blog Hop and had a great time so I decided to do it again with a few changes. Please share with your friends.
My Country Blog Hop July 1, 2014

The focus was on making jewelry that was representative of your home nation. That seemed a little limited to me so this year I'm opening it up to all craftspeople.
Most of us know many details about our country, province, state, county or hometown. Imagine you have to show somebody something about your home in a handmade product. It can be jewelry, fabric arts, clothing, drawing, painting, etc. Literally anything you can make which will highlight something about your home which may not be common knowledge to outsiders is acceptable. 
We all love our homes and this is a chance to show off it's best features. 
It is great fun to learn about the homes of our blogging friends and it is a challenge to create a work of art that best tells a story about our homelands.
You don't have to currently live there , either. It can be where you were born, where you once lived, where your ancestors originated or almost any other reason that you are knowledgeable about this place.
Examples from last year's hop include a polymer clay flower that are the provincial flower of a province; jewelry inspired by the corn of Mexico, a bracelet to commemorate the coronation of the new king of The Netherlands, earrings that look like the flags of the Switzerland and Portugal. You can see that there was a variety of submissions and each artist also told a story about their home and their artistic inspiration. It's just for fun as a challenge and we all get to learn something new and see what other craftspeople are up to in their homes.


Please leave your name , email address and location you have chosen to represent in the comments before June 10th,2014. If you prefer not to post your email address you can send  it to me at

By the way, July 1st is Canada Day so you can expect many Canadian references like the following:

I'm looking forward to welcoming all of you to the celebration of my country and getting to know something new about yours. Can't wait to see what you create!!!!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

BSBP 8 Giveaway! and Another Blog Hop!!!

If you're hopping in BSBP8 here's my reveal.

Whew! and Wow! I've barely started hopping and I'm overwhelmed. There is so much artistic talent, warmth and love in this community of jewelry makers in the blogosphere that It makes me feel all soft and fuzzy! Wait....that's my vision after going through so many blogs!!!
Some of you may have heard the reason I'm late to the party is a serious health issue which struck on the day of the party. I managed to post my reveal and check the reveals of my partner, Michi, and Lori ,before I  headed to the hospital where I spent the next week  with no reliable wifi service ( and a few other things on my mind!). It turns out that I am in congestive heart failure and need to take it slow and easy for a few months.
 They never really decided what caused it but I've got it and have to learn to live within it's restrictions and hope it will gradually improve. Apparently it can do that so that's what I'm aiming for. Right now means lots of rest , restricted salt and fluid intake and taking a handful of pills every morning. I've been home for a week and each day has seen an improvement. The hardest part is letting other people "do" for me. I'm such an independent soul that being the passive recipient  of the efforts of others is killing me!! Must be all those years of being a nurse.

The good news is that I can keep hopping until I've read everybody's blogs which I never managed to do before.So much amazing jewelry which keeps inspiring me in my own work. Designing and playing with beads. wire and clay are all things I can do for hours without tiring out so it's really a win-win situation.

Enough about me. I said i was going to giveaway my clothes peg and button necklace away to a commentator on my reveal post. Here is what it looks like:

I used the random number generator and the number that came up is 7! 
The 7th person to comment on my post was Jael!!!!! 
Congratulations, Jael.
If you'll send me your postal address I'll send your fun necklace out to you. 

Thanks, everybody for reading and commenting on my blog.
It's great to get to know the people on the other end  of my blogging madness.
It feels less like I'm talking to myself!!!! (although I do that too!)

I'm also introducing my International blog hop this weekend but I'll do that tomorrow with a new post. See you all then!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

YAY! It's finally here! BSBP Reveal Day

( Blogger is acting up! I scheduled this post for midnight last night because I 've been busy. I just checked and found out nothing happened !Anyway I'll post it live now. Here goes! So frustrating. )
Lori Anderson of Pretty Things created this event several years ago and it has grown exponentially since. Now almost 500 jewelry artists from all over the world come together to contribute and PARTY!!! Lori matches up all participants with a partner and they each send their partners a collection of bead soup including a focal and a clasp both of which must be used in the final design. The most amazing creations will be available for all to see in the blogosphere starting today, May 10th.

Every designer has a blog and posts pictures of the bead soup they received and their final designs. We all hop around from blog to blog enjoying all the original and exciting designs and letting our fellow jewelry makers know what we think. It is soooo much fun and usually takes 2-3 weeks of serious blog reading to see everyone's work. A million thanks to the amazing Lori (and her husband and son) for persevering  with this arduous project despite dealing with some very serious health issues . She deserves all the love AND PIE she can handle!

Here's the link to all the other participants .
Please visit Lori's blog and that of my partner, Michaela Pabeschitz of Austria. I guarantee you'll see some glorious eye candy. Enjoy !!!

Here's the incredible bead soup I received from Michi:
She is a very talented lamp work artist and I am the incredibly lucky recipient of several examples of her work. All the lamp work beads are hers and she added green Czech glass, Carnelian, Agate and Hematite beads  and a lovely sterling silver clasp. She threw in some great shell beads and a hand-dyed silk ribbon to pull it all together. I was overwhelmed with her generosity and hope that I was able to do justice to this collection of bead beauty.
 Here is what I created. This necklace is my first attempt at making an asymmetrical piece, my first handmade bail and the first time I added fabric (sari silk ribbon) to a piece of jewelry! 
The lovely green lamp work glass beads and the flat olive green Czech beads inspired me and reminded me of this fabulous polymer clay sea urchin pendant that I recently bought from Staci L. Smith. The design evolved organically and although it was quite a challenge, I am very pleased with the result and will be keeping this necklace for myself.

This bracelet features more of Michi's wonderful lamp work to which I added some vintage antique copper beads and my own hand-made clasp. (This one already has an owner).
 Look at those lovely beads!

As I continued with the green theme I used the Czech Picasso finish beads and the Hematite discs from my soup to make this fun set and added a ceramic bicycle pendant handmade by Melanie of Earthenwood Studio. I hung this from a pre-made black velvet cord necklace. It's a fun piece for summer.

Michi makes beautiful critters in her lamp work creations including  all kinds of flora and fauna. She sent me a lovely set of floral beads and a matching owl focal which I used in this asymmetrical necklace with some dyed jade beads in pale green. I used the sterling clasp at the front , the silk ribbon around the neck and more of the Hematite beads she sent me. Those black vintage cone beads are from last year's soup from  my fabulous partner, Toltec Jewels.

Both  the focals I received are in this piece as well as the clasp....challenge met!

 A matching bracelet with vintage green plastic beads .

Well that's about all for the green  pieces!
Sorry but there's more! 
Once I got started I couldn't stop. I'm really glad that the hop wasn't postponed any longer because there would be even more. 

Before I show you any more I wanted to tell you about my BSBP 8 giveaway. I will draw a name at random from all the comments made on this post and the winner will get this fun necklace  made using parts of the packaging Michi used to mail my soup to me.
I couldn't resist doing something with these cute mini clothespins.  I found these colored wooden buttons at the dollar store and they looked great together. I'll draw a name for the winner on May 24th so check back then.

 I'll also be introducing my own International Blog hop on that day. It was great fun last year so I hope you'll join in. The reveal will be July 1st...Canada Day! Start thinking now about what you can make to represent your country. It can be jewelry or any other handmade craft. Details on the 24th.

So let's get on with rest of my reveal so you can move on to all the others. After sticking pretty much to the green and black theme in the first pieces I switched  to a gorgeous reddish orange colour  with a complementary colour of pale blue.
A lovely colour combination for the summer.
This is really two necklaces that could be worn separately or together. I really like how they look as a matched set.
"A Walk on the Beach"
Features the seashell beads , Carnelian ovals, and Agate rounds from my soup.  From my own stash I added blue crackled agate beads, blue dyed jade beads, Picasso finish Czech beads, antique copper disc spacers and chains. The ammonite pendant is a ceramic piece  found at Stinky Dog Beads and it pretty much set the mood for the design.

 I made these earrings to match the necklaces but they could easily be worn on their own.

I wanted to use a least one of every bead in my soup so  I made this bracelet using one of the large Agate beads as a focal and more of the Carnelian oval beads. It is finished off with one of my own hand made copper clasps.

Whew! That's all of it! If you've managed to stay with me up to now I hope you'll leave a comment so I can include you in the giveaway draw for the button and clothespin necklace. I'm heading off to party myself and see what beady wonderfulness my fellow participants have created. Please be sure to visit my partners's blog next and see what she did with the bead soup I sent her. To remind you of what I sent to her I've included a picture of it here.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you'll come back again to visit.

Once again here's the link for all of the Bead Soup Blog Party 2014.

Have a great weekend!