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Friday, May 9, 2014

Bead Soup Reveal Day!

My partner for this year's swap is Tracey Leeder. She is an amazing photographer as well as jewelry artist. We have swapped before, so I knew that she would send me some great beads to work with. I loved the mix she sent me!

One of the main points of this bead swap is to stretch us as artists, to make us think outside of our normal box. This is a color palette that I love to work with so it wasn't hard for me to work with theses colors; however, I didn't know what I was going to do with that adorable bird pendant. The pendant is an UNO game tile.....decoupaged with a cute bird scene on one side and the number 7 in yellow on the reverse. The other pendant is a beautiful ceramic with a lovely blue green glaze.

I haven't worked with a pendant like this one before so I wasn't sure what to do with it. I like working with copper so I knew I wanted to incorporate that element in my design. I thought a swirl bail would be fun, so I made one to attach to the pendant. I took some copper chain that I have, made links with the beads Tracey sent and put it all together. I made a pair of coordinating earrings, of course. I'm pleased with the results!

The first necklace and earrings came together so quickly that I had time to put together a second necklace and earrings with the ceramic pendant and coordinating beads.

For this one I used mostly the beads that Tracey sent, along with a few coordinating beads I had in my stash. I beaded about half of the necklace and added some antique brass chain and toggle. I'm really pleased with the earrings. I repeated beads from the necklace and added a link from some chain I had to the bottom of the dangles. I like the way they swing!

I hope you'll visit some of the other artist's blogs......there's hundreds to choose from! Head on over to Lori Anderson's blog to see the entire list of artists and their blogs. I hope you'll leave me a comment. I do enjoy hearing from visitors!

Thank you to Lori Anderson for her hard work in coordinating this monumental feat and pairing the hundreds of artists, all of this while she is battling health issues. Kudos to Lori!!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Now for something off my usual topic..........

Some of you may be aware that I have taken on a new adventure, into the realm of chicken raising! About two months ago my husband and I became the proud owners of 6 adorable two day old chicks.

Well, chicks have to have a place to live, right? My husband is an amazing woodworker, so I asked him to build a small coop for our "girls", knowing that he would make something wonderful. I looked around the internet for ideas and came across this website that had photos of the type of coop I was looking for. Rick ordered the plans and started building. Now, let me say that I had no idea how involved this coop was. I thought it looked simple enough to me....we should be able to knock it out in a couple of weekends, right? No, no, try a month. A month of working into the dark on weekdays (after putting in a full day of office work) and every weekend. It was frustrating for him at times. (Plans NEVER go as planned) It was a lot of hard work. But boy, was it worth it!! It's gorgeous and the hens love it (how could they not?!)

Anyway, here it is..........What do you think? Isn't it nice?
A peek inside the roosting area. The hens have three roosting bars at different levels. We put in a window for light and ventilation.

Easy access to the nesting boxes and hopefully, eggs in the fall!

Ages has come to see what I'm doing with her nesting boxes.

Our chicken coop started with plans my husband purchased from In the end, Rick changed the construction quite a bit but we did have plans to start with and that helped a lot.

My Bead Soup is Simmering!

My partner Tracey sent me a wonderful bead mix and it was packaged in the cleverest of ways. She put everything a small, portable bead tote! I love it and know I will use it a lot. I have a few ideas simmering on what I want to do with the pretty beads Tracey sent. The big reveal is this coming I'd better get cookin'!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Bead Soup Partner!

I am very happy to be paired again with a former partner, Tracey Leeder of She's not only a great jewelry artist but also an amazing photographer. You really should check out her blog. Her photos are beautiful!

Here's what I sent Tracey for her Bead Soup ingredients:
This is the teaser photo that I forgot to post when I sent her soup.
And here are the unedited photos of what I sent..........

This is how I packaged everything.

I can't wait to see what beautiful jewelry Tracey creates with her ingredients! I just received my ingredients from her and will post pictures of that soon.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It's time for the Bead Soup Blog Party again!!!

Tomorrow is the sign up for Lori Anderson's8th Bead Soup Blog Party. This will be the 6th time for me to participate and I couldn't be more excited. I enjoy meeting new artists and learning about them. Everyone's style and technique is different and I learn new things every time I participate in this fun blog hop.
After everyone signs up, Lori will pair all of the participants. I should find out by the end of the month who my partner is. Once I do, I will contact her and we will share information with each other (favorite colors, beading style, techniques, hobbies, etc). We will send our bead packages to each other before March 14th (my birthday!!) and then get busy working on our creations for the big reveal on May 3rd.
It's going to be fun! I hope you'll check back from time to time to see how it's going.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

I won't admit that I'm a hoarder. I "collect" beautiful bobbles! Some of them I have a hard time using in a piece of jewelry because then I might sell that piece and that would be sad. Lori Anderson came up with an uncomfortable challenge for us in her blogging group: create one or more pieces of jewelry with some beads from our "hoard". I had quite a few beads to choose from! I have a love of lamp work beads. I buy them whenever I can. The more unusual, the better. I have been holding on to this focal lamp work bead for three years. I bought it at a local art gallery in Mt. View, Arkansas. I love the colors and the shape. I'm glad I finally incorporated it into a design. I wanted to create a simple design, so as not to detract from the beauty of the focal bead. I have also been holding onto those pretty yellow "sugar coated" lamp work beads.

So, thank you Lori, for pushing me to do something difficult. I realized that its not as scary as I had thought!
Be sure to check out the other beaders to see what they created from their hoards. You can find a list of the blogs at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blue Dome Art Festival

I had the opportunity to have a booth at Tulsa's Blue Dome Art Festival a few weeks ago. I love this festival for several reasons. One, is that the art is always unique and local. Another is the Art Car Show. Here are a few photos of some of the Art Cars that were on display. They were crazy!!

You can always count on seeing unusual people at the Blue Dome!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Reveal!

I am very excited to reveal my finished soup that I created with ingredients from my partner, Denise Milward. Denise sent me many beautiful beads and stones. Look here to see what she sent. I haven't used them all in this project. I will use them at a later time and post photos here. Check back!

In this necklace I used one of the dragonvein agates Denise sent and accented it with a hammered copper coil. It's a beautiful stone so I didn't want to detract from it but merely add a multi-media element.

Other beads used in this necklace are: ocean jasper, fancy jasper, copper flower spacers, creamy czech rounds, bronze pearls, copper daisy spacers, and mother of pearl disks. Continuing with the copper wire accents, I created two hammered copper wire links and a copper wire closure to encoporate into the design.

The earrings I created to complement the necklace have jasper wire wrapped dangles, square copper pillows, creamy czech rounds and copper daisy spacers, hung on copper flower earwires.

Denise sent me a beautiful bunch of crystals that I thought needed to be encorporated into a bracelet! The focal stones are unusual solar quartz beads. (Solar quarts is cut from stalactites and some people use it for it's healing abilities.) The sparkly dangles are made with twist-cut crystal from Germany (sent by Denise), Miyuki cubes (also sent by Denise) and silver daisy spacers. I wish I could have captured the twist-cut crystals better.....they are very pretty! Tying it all together is the pretty silver twisted toggle Denise sent.

Please leave me a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts on my designs. Also, if you are interested in purchasing any of these pieces, they are for sale.

There are hundreds of artists participating in this year's Bead Soup Blog Hop Party. Please visit Lori Anderson's website to see the entire list of participants. The Blog Hop is broken up into three different reveals. This way, people have more time to visit the over 500 blogs! The next two reveal dates are April 6th and April 13th. My partner, Denise, will be revealing her creations on April 13th. She has had some serious health issues that have delayed her joining me in revealing her soup today. I am so happy that she is recovering well and I can't wait to see what amazing things she created with the ingredients I sent to her!

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you'll visit again soon.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Soup is Simmering!

My soup ingredients made their long journey from the UK to my house in Tulsa. I was so excited to have my package arrive! My partner, Denise Milward, sent me a lovely mix..............

You can see that I have a lovely mix of gems to work with. The beaded flower was made by Denise herself. Isn't it a beautiful piece? It will be a challenge for me to incorporate it into a design but I'm going to try! Denise sent me some gold mesh ribbon and I haven't ever worked with that before. I've always wanted to but have never had the guts to try it. Incorporating that element will be a challenge too! This Bead Soup challenge will live up to it's name for me this time! (which is what this is all about) The only requirements for this challenge is to use the focal and clasp/toggle in our designs. We can create more than one design and we can use beads from our own stash. I'm looking forward to trying new materials and techniques and stretching my creative muscles.
There are over 500 artists participating this time! There will be three separate reveal dates so that people have time to visit as many of the 500 blogs as possible. I hope you will check back on March 30th for my BIG reveal! In the mean time, have a look at the beautiful bead inspiration on the 7 th Bead Soup Board on Pinterest

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meet My Bead Soup Blog Hop Partner!

For this Bead Soup challenge I have been paired with an international gal. Her name is Denise Milward and she lives in Nottinghamshire in the UK. It sounds very quaint. Denise tells me that she lives in the geographical center of Sherwood Forest! She creates a lot of different types of jewelry mainly using seed beads. I've had fun creating a focal piece for her Soup ingredients and gathering beads, metals, chain, etc. to send along with the focal and clasp. We are required to use the focal and clasp our partner sends us. We can make more than one piece with our Soup ingredients but we have to use those two items. I usually add some components from my bead hoard to what my partner sends me. For the last Bead Soup I was able to create seven different pieces of jewelry by combining what my partner sent with some beads I already had. I can't wait to see what Denise sends me! I'm not sure how long a package takes to travel from Sherwood Forest to Oklahoma but I hope it's not too long!
Stay tuned for updates. I will be posting again when my package arrives from the UK!

This is a distorted teaser picture of the Bead Soup ingredients I sent to Denise.

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