Showing posts with label Lori Anderson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lori Anderson. Show all posts

Soup's On! (Bead Soup, that is!)

If you're looking for Week 17 of the
Focus on Life: 52 Photos Challenge - Click HERE!
And now,...It's time for the 3rd Reveal in
First, a super hearty thank you to our hostess, Lori Anderson who puts together the best "Soup Parties" on the planet!  Lori's knack for bringing people together from all over the world is just phenomenal and with this, the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party, there are 541 participants in 28 countries on 4 continents having fun creating fabulous designs of all kinds with heaps of 'beads soups' that were traded out between partners. With three 'Reveals' over the last few weeks in order to accommodate everyone who wanted to play along, my hat's off to Lori (and her hubby!) for all the hard work and coordinating efforts this huge bead party takes to make it such a success!!

And so now, with out further ado,...

Lori paired me with the uber-talented 
(and super sweet!) Francesca Watson.
My Bead Soup Partner, Francesca Watson
Francesca and I shared our 'Bead Soups' we sent each other in our posts, here and here.  
I'll say it again - she's super sweet - and the Bead Soup Francesca sent me was just over the top, filled to the brim of my bowl with yummy bead-goodness! 
Bead Soup I received from Francesca!
Bead Soup is meant to get you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.  Try as I might to step out of my comfort zone, my lack of skills kept me from accomplishing the things that were inside of my head (which looked really cool in my brain, by the way!) and so my pieces were assembled, taken apart, re-assembled,....  

However, I was having lots of fun playing around with all the beads Francesca had sent and was truly enjoying all their wonderful colors and shapes.
Click Photos To Enlarge ;-)

The first necklace I finished has the beautiful stone pendant that Francesca sent along with several of the gemstone beads she sent as well. I love the colors and texture and how this necklace feels when it's on (it feels fabulous!!).

I really wanted to somehow make a brass backing/bezel for it in order to highlight it a bit more, but I need to get some thinner gauge metal sheet to do this.  The sheet I have is so thick I can't cut it w/anything but a jewelry saw and (luckily) I'm out of saw blades (because my sawing skills are horrible. That's a compliment, trust me!).   My hubby says this one has my sister written all over it - color and texture wise - and I think he's right!

Here's the earrings I created to go with the necklace.
I REALLY like these!
Next, I took the amazing copper enameled (2nd) focal pendant that Francesca sent me and played around with it. I actually thought that most of the beads she sent would look fabulous all knotted in waxed linen in a multi-strand necklace with this focal. They did look fabulous all knotted, but again, the design just wasn't doing it for me, so that's another one of the designs that got scrapped.
Click Photos to Enlarge! :-)

I ended up creating these tube-shaped paper beads from a magazine add that had a picture of the Grand Canyon it - the colors match perfectly and really (my opinion here) let the focal pendant take center stage. I also used the third focal that Francesca sent me - the carved, dyed horn bead - as one of the beads in the necklace - I just LOVE this bead!  It was hard not to make that bead the focal of a hand-knotted/beaded type of wrap bracelet, let me tell you, but I was trying to steer away from my 'usual' here, least a tiny bit anyway!
I'm so in love with this necklace!
These colors,...totally my colors!!
I could wear this every day of the week!!

And then this bracelet is where I used the super fabulous clasp that Francesca made herself and sent me.  These aren't colors I usually work with or wear, but I'm finding them fun and they were much easier to work with than I thought they would be. (Green really does go w/everything!)  
I decided after all the 're-dos' I had w/the necklaces, that I deserved a nice, simple (design-wise) new bracelet all my own! I strung the bracelet on waxed linen and it feels so good on. I'm wearing this one right now, along with the earrings, too. (well, as I write this post I have it on!)

I've got a ton (yes a TON) of beads left over from the wonderful bead soup that Francesca sent me and I've got a couple of bracelets and earrings in the works using them, but nothing to show off as of yet.

I want to thank Francesca for sending such a lovely soup recipe to me and for allowing me to step out of my box a bit and try some shapes and colors of beads that I don't normally try and also for the wonderful focal pendants and clasp she sent me - I couldn't have asked for components that were more beautiful or fun!

Please stop by Francesca's Blog and see what she has cooked up with the beads I sent her - I know it will be wonderful - her designs always are!

Click HERE to go to
Lori Anderson's Blog, Pretty Things,
and see the 3rd Reveal Participants with their links so you can hop around the 'world' (literally) and drool over all the amazing soups that everyone else has simmering!

Have fun!

Thanks again to Lori Anderson for another successful and super fun Bead Soup Blog Party!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Bead Soup Fun!

Yummy Bead Soup Ingredients

I'm participating in Lori Anderson's 7th Bead Soup Blog Party this year.  It's my second time to participate in one of the Bead Soup Blog Party's and I'm so excited!!
Since there's so many people fixing soup and coming to the party, there's three reveal dates and my partner and I are in the 3rd Reveal which will be on Saturday, April 13th, so be sure to mark your calendars and come back and check out what everyone has created!
You might recognize my Bead Soup Blog Party Partner.

Lori paired me with the ever-so-talented
Francesca Watson!  How cool is this?! 

Francesca Watson

I was fortunate enough to already follow
Francesca's blog and know of her beautiful work.

For those of you who don't know, Francesca's one of the jewelry artists and writers who collaborate on the popular
Art Jewelry Elements blog.

Francesca also teaches jewelry workshops in San Antonio, Texas on everything from metalsmith techniques, to etching, embossing, wire work, to mixed media techniques like enameling and resins.  She's got a fantastic array of classes which I'd love to take,...if only I were closer to San Antonio! 
Francesca, along with another jewelry friend of hers, has put together a Metal Retreat September 9th - 15th in Trout Lake, Washington.  It's going to be tons of fun with some very talented ladies! Be sure to go and check it out - I believe there's still a couple of spots open.
Then there's her jewelry - wow!  Her Etsy shop is loaded with the coolest of items.  I'm especially fond of her Studded, Argentium Silver Link Bracelet that she custom makes for her clients. 
Francesca Watson Designs - Silver Bracelet on Etsy :-)
Francesca and I decided to share the soups we sent
each other on our blogs today.

I had played around with many different 'soup mixes' and finally decided to incorporate an 'Arizona' theme and built my soup for her around the 5 C's of Arizona. 


Anyone know what the 5 C's are? 
Arizona's 5 C's are: 
Copper, Cotton, Cattle, Citrus and Climate.  
Nope, I didn't throw in any cows or grapefruit (seriously thought about the grapefruit though!!) but instead based my soup rather 'loosely' around these 5 C's of our state and tossed in ingredients that either represented the actual item or something else from the State of Arizona. 

Bead Soup from me to Francesca!
(with a few things left out of the picture - my bad!!)

There's a couple of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Nuggets from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe, AZ,  and other Turquoise beads/chips to represent Turquoise which is our state gemstone (and one of my all time fav's as well!).

There's some little hand carved clay birds to represent out State Bird, the Cactus Wren, and our climate/tourism/environment.  I tossed in some recycled Sari Silk (not pictured) and waxed lined to represent our cotton, some leather (also not pictured) for the Cattle, some Copper for all the copper mines here in AZ, and some pink-ish/peachy jasper to represent our
ruby red grapefruit (citrus). 

Handmade copper toggle clasp I sent Francesca

I didn't photograph the copper toggle clasp I made her with the rest of the ingredients because it was bathing in liver-of-sulfur when I took the bead soup shots and I was too lazy to retake it or wait.  (I know,....bad me!)

Then, I added a few extra ingredients at the last
moment. Hey, that's what soup's all about, right?

I had a bunch of fun cooking up this soup for Francesca and I hope she enjoys it. 
Now, are you ready to see the soup Francesca sent me? 

How lovely is this package?  And the card?  So elegant!

First, let me show you the clasp and
the three (3!!!) Focals she sent to me:

Beautiful Clasp of Argentium Silver made by Francesca and
Three (3!!!) Focals, one of which she made herself!! 

Francesca was extremely generous with her ingredients.

I'm just gonna say it right now,...I AM SOOOO LUCKY!

One thing most people don't know is that I really like Czech glass beads.  (And  you thought I only had a thing for Pearls, didn't ya?!!)


What I do is look at them, touch the strands, marvel at their finishes and their shapes and colors, thinking of the possibilities and then I usually end up setting them back on the table and walking away with out purchasing them.

Just look at all the colors, sizes, shapes and various textures!!


Why?  Because I feel I have to be practical and purchase beads and supplies that I know I will use and already have a design in mind for.  How silly is that?! 

I didn't used to be that way. Nope.
I used to buy beads because they spoke to me.
It didn't matter if I knew what I was going to do with them or not or if it was one, tiny bead or an entire strand - if it grabbed my attention, I usually walked out of the bead store with it.

When Francesca sent me this bead soup and I saw the many Czech glass beads she sent in such lovely finishes, shapes, sizes and textures - I was just beside myself.

She didn't know it, but she triggered that long ago feeling of excitement I used to get when I'd see certain beads and even though I had no idea what I would create with them, I knew I had to have them because I fell in love with them.

That was a cool feeling to have surface again.

I know these beads spoke to Francesca too because they came from her personal stash and she took what she loved (it was in the card, you'll have to trust me on this one) and gave from her heart.  And such a generous heart she has!
(And an excellent sense of color, too!)

The Entire Bead Soup Francesca Sent To Me!

I've got visions of designs that I hope come out
even a smidge close to what I see in my head. 

You know that saying,
"Your eyes were bigger than your stomach"?

Well, I hope that my visions are not beyond my talents,
but they may be! LOL!! 

I hope I can do this great soup the
justice it deserves!

Be sure to stop back by on April 13th to see
how our soups turned out!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Soup-er Amazing Soup Ingredients!!

Quick Reminders

Just wanted to give you a quick reminder of a couple of things happening in the blog world right now,...
First up, don't forget that this weekend (starting January 25th) is Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party Sign Ups - and there's only one Party each year - so don't miss out if this is what you've been wanting to do!
Also, Artisan Whimsy's got a couple of challenges that are sure to catch your eye and it's the place to go to find out all sorts of info and stay informed, so be sure to drop by there this week.

Also, if you're up for a fun photo challenge this year, be sure to check out Sally Russick's Focusing on Life: 52 Photos weekly challenge over on the Studio Sublime - we're on week 4 this Saturday, but you can join in any time!

There's tons more out there this week/month, be sure to share all the fun things you know about here in the comments so other's can find them too!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Fun Things to Do!

Tickle Your Fancy!

It's a new year with all sorts of exciting and fun things to do!
Here's a short list (no, that's not a pun on my height - although it is appropriate!) of a few creative challenges, blog hops and happenings going on here in cyberland.

The Studio Sublime:  Sally's offering up a great challenge called "Focusing on Life: 52 Photos" where she sends you a prompt each week during 2013 and you snap some shots and blog about them or post them over on her Flickr group each Saturday.  This past Saturday was the first grouping and you should see everyone's posts and photos! Very fun indeed!  You can still jump in with both feet on this one - don't miss it!

Tracy over at Make Bracelets is hosting a challenge/blog hop that is super cool!  It's called Inspire Change: Wellness Words Jewelry Challenge. Tracy always hosts up a good time, so you need to go over and read her post and check out the challenge. I read this the other day and was bummed that I can't participate because I might not be here (and I wait until the last minute to do everything!) on the day of the hop.  But, you still have until January 20th to get signed up - so hop on over and join in! (My brain is still trying to figure out how I can squeeze this one in!)

Art Jewelry Elements served up their Earring Challenge this weekend, too. Earring Eye Candy - did you hear me?! Yes indeed - Earrings with art beads and/or charms - sweet! You sign up for 13 weeks at a time and they've got all the details posted on their blog - go check it out!
Don't forget that Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party is coming up here soon, too. Sign ups are January 25th - 27th and there's 3 reveal dates since the party is so big.  Hop on over and read all about it and get in on the fun - this is one party that's sure to stir your creative juices and have you meeting new, fun and like-minded people! 

You can even get a copy of Lori's Bead Soup book to help you get ready for the fun!! 

Okay, I know I'm forgetting TONS of other fun challenges and hops out there that I've seen/read here online and I apologize for that, so PLEASE, PLEASE SHARE any of the challenges and/or blog hops you've seen or that you're having yourself.
Just give us the links right here in the comments below :-)
I hope that 2013 is being good to you so far and finds you happy, healthy and creating beautiful things!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Creatively Fun Things To Do!

*P.S - Oh, and don't forget to check out
Artisan Whimsy,
they've always got challenges, blog hops, events and all sorts of fun stuff going on over there!

In a blog slump? Get over that hump!

Hey gang, instead of beads on my bench today I've got
Lori Anderson's new eBook,
Follow The Path, ideas and inspiration for the creative blogger,
on my bead table!

It's packed full of gorgeous photos to inspire you alright, but what's really great is how Lori shares all sorts of ideas and topics to spark your creativity so you can perk up your blog!

One of the things I like most about Lori's eBook are the lists of words she uses to jump start your thoughts.
Powerful words that really make you think. 

I can't give away any more details. 

You'll just have to hop on over to Lori's blog and get yourself a copy!

I want to give Lori a big hug for using one of my photos in her eBook. 

I couldn't believe it when I started reading and came across my corks photo!

Thank you so much Lori - you're the best!

I plan on using several ideas Lori shares in her eBook
here on my blog this year!

Head on over and check out Lori's eBook and get some inspiration flowing through your blog!!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Great Ideas and Inspiration!!


Spreading the LOVE in 2012,....

This is kind of like my Friday's Fab Favorites again.  I wanted to share a few sites that I love to go check out and read - they're fabulous, have great content and some of them are even having give-a-ways and challenges to boot! 

Regina's Writings - LOVE her blog!  She has gorgeous jewelry and shares wonderful content and right now she's having a great Give-A-Way on her blog if you leave a comment and tell her about your New Year's Plans - so head on over there right now.

The necklace she's giving away is beautiful!!

Regina's Writings - Blog Give-A-Way

Michelle Mach's blog Beads and Books is always a fun place to check out and right now she's having a Valentine's challenge and it's not a bead challenge either!

Michelle Mach's Valentine's Challenge

And, it's FREE!  (Can you believe I'm posting something that's not related to jewelry in some fashion?)   Check out the cool challenge she's got going on and join in the fun!

Then, you know what's coming up right? 

Yep, it's the
and registration starts this weekend! 

It's gotten absolutely HUGE the last couple of times she's hosted this awesome event and so this time it's going to be run by a lottery to keep it down to a do-able size for everyone. 

So, head on over to Lori's Blog between 
and then hold your lucky rabbit's foot or whatever else you do for luck and pray you're one of the fortunate 200 who are randomly picked!!  I participated this past fall and had a wonderful partner and a great time!

Lori does an excellent job of keeping everything fair, fun and fantastic!! (what a job though - I cannot even begin to imagine all she goes through to accomplish such a wonderful event!) And, even if I don't get to participate this go-around, I'm really looking forward to the reveal date on March 3rd (Just a few weeks prior to my birthday!) when everyone's creations will be revealed and I can drool over all the fabulous designs everyone creates - that part is SOOO much fun, let me tell you!!

I love sharing what other's are doing out there on the web in 'Jewelry and Craft Land' because there's so many talented people with awesome give-a-way, challenges, ideas and fun parties going on - what's not to love about all of them!

Drop me a line and let me know what you've got going on over on your blog and I'll do a little mention here or on my MiShel Designs Facebook Page and I'll send a couple of Tweets out into Cyberland for you as well! 

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Spreading the LOVE in 2012!!


The Day After,...

Well, it's "Black Friday" today.  The day we're all supposed to go out and 'shop the big box stores'.  I really hope all of you who are out there are able to get what you want for the price you want and with out getting hurt!

I'd like to suggest, if you haven't already finished your holiday shopping, that you support a couple of things that are a bit on the smaller scale, and a smidge closer to "home".

First, there's Small Business Saturday.  Go out and support your local shops shops that make up your community; the small businesses that provide convenience right in your own back yard!

Then, starting tomorrow, over on Lori Anderson's blog, Pretty Things, there's the 1st Annual Virtual Show - for a whole entire week - you won't want to miss this!!  Lovely give-a-ways, great stashes of finds,...oh the goodies to be had here!

And I hope you'll all come back next weekend, Saturday and Sunday the 3rd and 4th of December, and hop around the shops I'll have posted up here for the Holiday Shop Hop  supporting handmade goods here online.

I hope those of you here in the U.S. aren't too stuffed with Turkey from yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner and I also hope you are able to enjoy all the wonderful people you are thankful for this holiday weekend!

I'm thankful for all of you who stop by and comment, for my family who I love dearly, for my friends who are both physically here and those who are online and for all the wonderful moments I've been able to experience this weekend!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Thanks!