Challenges

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When Erin at Treasures Found / Tesori Trovati posted her Challenge of Travel: Staycation challenge, I had just spent my last few weeks exploring Washington, DC.  My house had just been packed up and I was just about to leave for our new life in Brussels, Belgium.  I knew that I wasn’t ready to jump right into this kind of challenge and highlight Brussels (maybe next year) but Washington, DC – oh yes – I could highlight Washington easily.

Photo credit: michpowell, tomlara, davidlat from sxc.hu (along with a few of mine)

 

I have had the privilege of living and working in the Washington, DC are for the last 6 1/2 years.  Who knew that when we said yes to a posting in Washington that I would fall hopelessly, completely, totally in love with the place.  I don’t have enough adjectives to describe how much I enjoy being and living in Washington.  I am getting a little teary-eyed as I write this thinking about all of the things I like about it.  The confident architecture, the stately National Mall, rugged Great Falls, the trees…oh the trees….cherry trees, magnolias, conifers, maples…. so, so many trees. There, I am smiling from ear to ear just thinking about it.

When thinking about what I should make to honor my time in Washington, I thought about what got me started in jewelry making.  Cindy Wimmer, who was first my friend, become my mentor and taught me how to make my first piece – a rosary for my then 2nd grader on his first communion.  When I think of Cindy, I think of all of the things that she taught me and what I saw her wear.  Cindy has a bracelet which she wears over and over again that I love.  It is a simple wire bangle with coiled wire and a lovely large silver heart bead at the hand worked clasp. (BTW, you can find the bracelet in the book Wire Style 2). I love the style of the bracelet and thought that I could do something similar but with a little more color.  When I think of color, I immediately think of Kerry Bogert.  Kerry has a similar piece in Totally Twisted but it uses more colors that I wanted.  I thought I could use the simplicity of Cindy’s piece with some of the color from Kerry’s and this is what I came up with.

 

This piece is made of sterling silver filled wire (14g and 22 g) with beads from HMB studios (I had to use red and blue, right?).  It is a simple bangle to make and even easier to wear.  I love it already.  It now just needs a good pass in the tumbler (I have to figure out how to use it here in Europe) and it will be perfect.

 

 

Thank you Erin for organizing the challenge.  Please be sure to visit all of the artists who will tell you all about their hometown. You can click here for the complete list.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

Well, it is that time again.  Time for the next installment of Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party.  This time around I was paired with the extremely talented Heather Powers from Humble Beads.  I have always been a huge fan of Heather’s work and have been treasuring (err…umm…. hoarding?) the few beads of hers that I own.  This challenge meant that I could use Heather’s lovely beads without guilt.  Here is what she sent me:

Heather gifted me with a wonderful assortment of beads including one of her beautiful pendants, a few of her polymer swirly rondelles, Czech glass,  freshwater pearls, some cool peanut seed beads, a few metal butterfly charms and a really snazzy flower clasp.  I have to say that I really liked everything straight away and that this is soooooo my kind of palette.  In fact, I liked everything so much that I almost didn’t know where to start.  My bead hoarding tendencies were starting to kick in!

I decided to first turn my attention to the butterfly pendant.  I really love the colors and have lots in my stash that I knew would go well with it.  I started playing around with the peanut beads and once that was done I wanted a pop of turquoise to bring together the rust of the seed beads and the green in the pendant.  I first grabbed the turquoise Czech glass, but then thought about the strand of graduated Chinese turquoise that I picked up about 18 months ago.  I thought the colors in the strand would be a perfect match for the pendant.  Turns out I was right.  I quickly made a bail with one of the carved turquoise beads and then thought how cool it would be if this piece could have an optional second strand (I love multi strand necklaces).  A few minutes later I had the second strand put together, added some chain and a few clasps that would enable me to wear them together or apart and viola, my new necklace was born.

I next turned my attention to the floral clasp.  I have never worked with anything quite like this before and I was a bit unsure about how to use it.  I tried lots of different bracelet options — the Czech glass, Czech glass and pearls, a Lorelei Eurto inspired asymmetrical piece (that should be a verb… to Eurto … don’t you think?) but nothing was really speaking to me.  After I took apart the fifth or sixth bracelet (I lost track) I glanced up and a small bag of malachite beads caught my eye.  These are pretty strong beads, and I wondered if they might be a good juxtaposition to the soft and flowery clasp.  A few short minutes later this simple piece emerged and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Thanks for stopping by to see my creations.  Be sure to visit all of the talented artists who are blogging today including Heather.  You can find her blog here and the entire list follows below.  Here is a teaser of what I sent.  I can’t wait to see what Heather creates with this.

 

Until next time,

Julie Anne

 

 

Alicia
Marinache
Amber
Dawn Goldish
Barb
Solem
Bev
Breisinger
Birgitta
Lejonklou
Breana
Fry
Brenda
Sue Lansdowne
Bridget
Torres
Carol
Dee Myers
Carolyn
Chenault
Cassi
Paslick
Cece
Cormier
Cheryl
McCloud
Cindy
Wilson
Crystal
Thain
Cynthia
Riggs
Dana
Hickey
Dana
James
Darlene
Fortier
Deana
Hager
Deanna
Cox
Deb
Brooks
Debra
Behrends
Denielle
Hagerman
Denise
McCabe
Diana
Frey
Diana
Welte
Dini
Bruinsma
DiYana
Alcalde
Dolores
Raml
Donna
Millard
Dot
Lewallwn
Duane
Clark
Dyanne
Cantrell
Eleanor
Burian-Mohr
Elisabeth
Auld
Elizabeth
Owens Dwy
Emily
Greer
Enikö
Fabian
Erin
Grant
Eva
Kovacs
Eva
Sherman
Gina
Hockett
Grace
Rotenberg
Gretchen
Nation
Hannah
Rosner
Heather
Davis
Heather
Marston
Heather
Powers
Ingrid
McCue
Jacqueline
Marchant
Jan
Petek
Janeen
Sorensen
Jane-Michael
Stallings
Jasvanti
Patel
Jayashree
Paramesh
Jayne
Capps
Jean
Yates
Jennifer
Cameron
Jennifer
LaVite
Joan
Williams
Jodie
Marshall
Judy
Riggs
Julie
Anne Leggett
Kat
Barron Miller
Kathy
Lindemer
Kim
Hora
Kim
Houston
Kim
Sparks
Krafty
Max
Kris
Lanae Binsfeld
Krista
French
Kristen
Stevens
Kristi
Harrison
Kumi
Fisher
Laren
Dee Barton
Laura
Bracken
Laura
Demoya
Laurie
Hanna
Laurie
Keefe-Cecere
Lea
Avroch
Leanne
Loftus
Lee
Anne Messerschmidt
Leslie
Schenkel
Linda
Anderson
Linda
Djokic
Linda
Murphy
Linda
Sadler
Lisa
Liddy
Lisa
Suver
Liz
DeLuca
Liz
Engriser
Lola
Surwillo
Loretta
Carstensen
Lori
Anderson
Lori
Bergmann
Lori
Bowring Michaud
Lori
Poppe
Lori
Schneider
Lyn
Foley
Maddison
Langford
Magdalena
Sikora
Mallory
Hoffman
Marcella
Austenfeld
Marcy
Lamberson
Maria
Clark
Maria
Rosa Sharrow
Marianna
Boylan
Marie
Covert
Marti
Conrad
Mary
Ellen Merrigan
Mary
Harding
Molly
Alexander
Nan Emmett
Niky
Sayers
Pam
Chesbro
Pam
Farren
Pam
Sandy
Pam
Traub
Pamela
Gangler
Patricia
Buchanan
Patricia
Johnson
Patty
Miller
Paula
Hisel
Peggy
Gabrielson
Perri
Jackson
Rachel
Baron
Rachel
Stanley
Rain
Hannah
Rana
Wilson
Renetha
Stanziano
Robin
Reed
Rochelle
Brisson
Rose
Rushbrooke
Ruth
Szapa
Sally
Russick
Sandi
Volpe
Sandra
Pendragon
Sandy
Richardson
Sarah
Small
Shannon
Hicks
Shari
Replogle
Sheila
Daniels
Sheila
Davis
Shiraz
Biggie
Shirley
Moore
Skylar
Bre’z
Staci
Smith
Stacie
Florer
Stacy
Pomerleau
Stephanie
Weiss
Sumi
Rani
Susan
Sheehan
Suzette
Bentley
Tamera
Norris
Tracy
Choy
Tracy
Stillman
Valerie
Norton
Vicki
Holliday

 

 

The Bead Soup Blog Party is underway again and I am happy to be able to participate again.  Work has kept me away from my bead table for the last few months (I am still exhausted from Inauguration which was 3 weeks ago!) but I am so ready to get back to my table and play.  I am over the moon at my partner who is Heather Powers from Humble Beads.  Heather creates the most exquisite clay beads, organizes the Bead Cruise, is the driving force behind Art Bead Scene and the Earrings Everyday blog.  To say that she is accomplished would be an understatement.

I thought a lot about what I had to send to Heather.  I wanted to put something together for her that I would enjoy receiving.  I am looking forward to seeing what kind of magic she works with my gift.

Stay tuned for more information about the Bead Soup Blog Party and be sure to check in for the reveal on March 30th.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

I was lucky enough to meet Sally Russick this fall at artBLISS, so when she announced her annual holiday ornament blog hop I jumped at the chance to be part of it.  Sally had a wonderful response, and I was forturnate to be paired with Lola Surwillo of Bead Lola Bead (momentary sidebar – do you love that blog name or what?)

Here is the beautiful ornament that Lola made for me

You must excuse the work weary hands in the shot (mine) but I wanted to show you the scale of the amazing polymer clay bead that Lola made just for me.  It is a beautiful soft green with a bit of shimmer encrusted with snowflake bead caps (brilliant!).  Lola also made me the wonderful beaded beads at the top of bottom of the focal bead.


Aren’t these beads amazing?  I do very little seed bead work (because it is HARD) so I am totally in awe of these little gems.

Thank you Lola for my beautiful gift.  It is hanging proudly on my tree.

Thanks to Sally for organizing such a fun exchange.  Be sure to visit all of the artists who participated.

List of Participants

Sally Russick
Lesley Watt
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Therese Frank
Andrew Thorton
Jeanette Blix Ryan
Maryanne Gross
Rebecca Anderson
Melissa Meman
Veralynne Malone
Miranda Ackerley
Jen Cameron
Sandi Volpe
Susan Kennedy
Kristen Stevens
Shirley Moore
Cooky Schock
D. Lynne Bowland
Tiffany Smith
Patti Vanderbloemen
Pam Ferrari
Kim Hora
Christine Altmiller
Alice Peterson
Bette Brody
Julie Anne Leggett  (that’s me!)
Lola Surwillo
Kathleen Lange Klik
Erin Prais Hintz
Mowse Doyle
Kristi Jaro

Until next time,

Julie Anne

As promised, tonight at 7:00 pm tonight I used random.org to select a winner of my big bead give away.  Drum roll please……..

Congratulations to Lori at http://beadaddicted.blogspot.com/!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

Wow, where has the time gone?  It has been a year since I launched the blog and what better way to celebrate my blogiversary than with a big bead giveaway!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Maruti Beads to ask if I was interested in reviewing their beads.  Their wares are so outside of my comfort zone that at first I didn’t know what to say.  Then I decided that working with something new might be a great way to get my creative juices flowing.  I said yes to the challenge and within a few days I had a big parcel of beads at my door.   I was impressed with the speed of the delivery and the care that was taken with each bead being individually wrapped.  Kuddos to Maruti Beads for treating their beads with such respect.

The first challenge was a repair project from a co-worker.  I was handed a handful of stone, resin and wood beads with a carved stone accent bead and was asked to make a new bracelet from the lot.  The focal bead was a small, carved jade green colored stone and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how it would have worked into the design.  I decided to pull out my box of Maruti Beads and see if one of their beads what might work.  I settled on a turquoise colored Kashmiri bead (made from marble powder and resin and studed with all sorts of accents).  The hole is fairly large – about 3mm- so I added simple bead caps and called it a day.  I think the new bracelet is lovely and the Kashmiri bead really helped to pull all of the other colors together.

My next piece was a challenge for me.  I had made a simple strand of soft grey faceted moonstone and wanted to transform it into something a little more sparkly.  I pulled out the following Kashmiri beads to work with:

I played with a number of options and finally settled on this:

See those pretty little sparkly Kashmiri beads at the top of the strands (again, these have large holes so I used a crystal bicone on either end).  I also added some long Czech glass tube beads from a recent trip to Ornamentea, a vintage pressed glass bead from a bead swap, a faceted black onyx rondelle and an upcycled silver bead from a piece I picked up at a local thrift store.  The result is just what I was after; long and simple with just a little pizzaz.

Finally, I wanted to make a little something as a give away.  I sorted through the rest of the Maruti Beads and settled on another Kashmiri bead.  This bead is a pretty silver with blue chain accents.  I paired it with a simple blue glass spacer from HMB Studios, a little leftover chain and viola, I had a pretty little pendant.

I had a lot of fun working with these beads from Maruti Beads.  I was able to incorporate them into my designs which still staying true to my own style.  I want to help one of you to do the same, so I am giving away the following to one lucky reader:

1. The pretty blue pendant above

2. A lot of Lac beads (natural resin and marble powder formed into interesting shapes and swirls)

3. A lot of Kashmiri beads (marble powder and synthetic resin accented with all kinds of sparkly bits)

4. A lot of Maruti beads (Kashmiri beads accented with silver plated caps – pretty, pretty, pretty!)

In order to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog.  How simple is that?  I will draw a random winnder from all comments on Monday, November 5th at 7:00 pm Eastern.  Be sure to share this giveway with all of your beady friends.  The more, the merrier!

Until next time,

Julie Anne

Hello blog hoppers and beady friends.  Today is Reveal #1 for the 6th installment of Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party.  This is my second BSBP and I was over the moon when I heard that my partner was lampwork and jewelry artist Marianna Boylan.  Marianna sent me some wonderful soup ingredients including a selection of her stunning handmade lampwork.  Here is what Marianna gifted me with:

There were so many ways I could have gone with this soup.  I decided to tackle the large focal first.  It is a flower bead handmade by Marianna in dark brown with a pale green center.  When I say dark brown, I mean really, really dark.  It really reads as black so I decided to run with that.  Here is the inspiration piece:

I paired this beautiful bead with with some black onyx lentils and faceted rounds from my stash, a few green adventurine rounds gifted to me from Kelley Fogel from the last BSBP and the small twisted connectors that Marianna sent.  Here is what I came up with:

The necklace is made with sterling silver filled wire and finished with a handmade clasp. Because the connectors were patinaed, I thought the super shiny silver wire work looked a bit off.  Once it was finished in LOS, polished with steel wool and tumbled, it came out just as I imagined it.  I have already worn it out and about and it looks great with a simple black tee and jean skirt. Here it is on yours truly last week:

Since I didn’t use the clasp for this necklace, I turned my attention to that next.  I really, really wanted to use the amazing orange starfish focal with the clasp but I didn’t like anything I was putting together.  I decided to take a break from the bead (nothing ever comes when I force it) and started working on an order for a rosary bracelet that I received on Tuesday.  While I was finishing that order up, I realized that I have made dozens of rosaries in the last year or so but none of them for me.  Inspiration struck and this rosary bracelet, made especially for me, came quickly:

This bracelet is a real testament to who I am as a person and as a designer.  In this piece the beads were all either bargain bin finds (the onyx “Ave” beads and sterling silver spacers) or gifted to me (the silver bali “Pater” bead and clasp).  The only retail items are the Via Dolorosa cross and dove charm which I picked up at Ornamentea a few weeks back.  I love mixing found items with bargain finds and to have those things culminate in a piece of prayer jewelry makes this piece even sweeter.  I made this bracelet last Saturday and have already worn it 3 times.  I think this one will be in heavy rotation in my jewelry wardrobe.

Unfortunately that means that I have yet to find a way to use the amazing starfish lampwork focal that Marianna sent me.  I have another a piece in the works with it but it is not coming together.  I think I may have to set the bead aside for awhile and wait for inspiration to strike at a later date.

Before I sign off, I want to leave you with a little teaser of what I sent to Marianna.  Be sure to visit her and all of the other artists who are participating in the blog hop.

Thanks to Lori Anderson for putting together another amazing blog hop and to you for reading this far.  Don’t forget to visit the other talented artists who are blogging today about their bead soup creations.  You can find a complete list of blog participants on Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party site.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

Hi everyone,

I am finally home from our epic road trip (24 days in the car with our kids and everyone got home in one piece – congratulate me!) and arrived to find a yummy surprise in my mail box.  These are my bead soup ingredients send to me by the lovely Marianna Boylan of the blog Pretty Shiny Things and Star Girl Jewelry.  I was very excited to get Marianna as a partner as I have been drooling over her whimsical and fun lampwork beads for a long time now.  Check out these Minnie Mouse beads; are they fab or what?  She also makes glass headpins, chocolate shaped beads (yum!), other beautiful lampwork and jewelry.  You can imagine how happy I was to open up my package and find these:

Marianna sent me a wonderful selection sea inspired lampwork, a beautiful focal, a few lampwork headpinss, a textured clasp and a nice assortment of glass, metal and lucite accent beads to work with.  Here is a close-up of the sea inspired bead set – I LOVE the colors, they are so me.

 

I can’t wait to get started on my soup.  Whatever will I make?  Hmmmmmmm………

Here is what I sent to Marianna.  I hope she enjoys working with it:

Stay tuned for our bead soup reveal.  Marianna and I are in the first reveal group on July 28th.  Also be sure to check out Lori Anderson’s bead soup blog party blog and her Pretty Things blog.

Until next time,

Julie Anne


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