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


Oh sorry, did I shout?  That was actually a cry of joy.  :-)

Seriously though, I have been trying to get this blog post up for about a month now.  With the end of the school year and our immediate departure on an extended vacation it was hard to have more than 5 minutes to sit and write a blog post.  We are now 10 days into our holiday and my hubby and kids are off fishing.  I didn’t bring any tools or supplies along on our vacation (I know, crazy right?) so I thought I should take some time to get this very exciting post up.

A the urging of my friend Cindy Wimmer I submitted a necklace to Step by Step Wire about 6 months ago.  You can imagine my suprise when they said yes.  I had no idea what was involved but I was over the moon with the idea that they would want to publish my design.  Here is the piece that they published which is called Southwestern Sunrise:

I really love this necklace.  It is very easy to make and is a real wardrobe basic.  I like the piece so much that I have already made another, this time in silver filled wire left nice and shiny and faceted black onyx beads.  Forgive the photo quality – I had to shoot this earlier today with my cell phone.

Please check out the magazine for step by step instructions on how this was made and for loads of other interesting pieces and great articles.  You can find it here.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

The rosary rush continues around my house with the new favorite being rosary bracelets.  It started innocently enough with a request from Daniel to make bracelets with his class for Mother’s Day.  Since it was right after May crowning, I suggested a rosary bracelet.  I ended up making something different with the kids (cost and supply availability were the issues) but this is my prototype which is currently gracing my mother’s wrist (glass rondelles with moonstone spacers):

While making the Mother’s Day bracelets with the Kindergarden class, my son’s teacher commented on how nice they were.  Daniel heard and quietly asked me to make her and her assistant rosary bracelets as end of year gifts.  The two ladies in question are fairly young so I had to really think about what to make for them.  This is what I ended up doing:

Daniel’s teacher is young and dressing fairly traditionally with a slight urban vibe.  I wanted to stay traditional and girly but make the piece interesting at the same time.  I ended up using dyed faceted jade for the Aves, a carved jade flower for the Pater, a sunny Japense seed bead mix with pinks, yellows and greens and bronze components.

The assistant is younger still and dresses very similarly but slighly more edgy.  I was going for urban and fun but still traditional.  For her my choice was rough faceted sapphires for the Aves and Pater, a really fun custom seed bead mix and bronze compenents.

The last bracelet I had been struggling with for a few days.  This one was for my eldest son’s teacher.  He wanted red, so I knew I would use the dyed jade beads.  I happened to speak with her today and she told me she was going to be praying the Our Lady Undoer of Knots novena.  I raced home and this is the bracelet that I had been waiting to make.

The Aves are dyed faceted jade with messy wrapped loops signifying the knots in our life (or in someone elses) for which we are praying for assistance.  I added a jade tube with brass accents for the Pater and used a bronze crucifix and miraculaous medal.  I hope that she will find this useful when she prays this novena.

There are even more rosaries going on in my house but I will save those for the next post.  Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

It’s Cosmo time!

Welcome blog hoppers.  The day has finally come for the Cocktail Party Blog Hop Reveal.  As you can see, my cocktail was the Cosmopolitan.

The recipe:

1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger vodka
1/2 fluid ounce cointreau
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 fluid ounces cranberry juice
1 twist lime zest, garnish

To be brutally honest, I don’t like to drink Cosmopolitans, but I like the thought of a Cosmo.  When I think about them, I think of Sex and the City; fun, carefree women, part sophisticated, part sweet, effortlessly fun and drop dead sexy at the same time.  Could I do this image justice?

I started by finding some deep rose and copper Czech glass flower beads in my stash from The Bead Goddess and some turbine bicone Czech glass from Caledonia March.  I decided I wanted to add an urban vibe to the very girly beads by adding a strand of messy wire wrapped links (in copper, of course) and finished it off with a big copper bead and hand forged clasp.

Here’s the bracelet on my Mom’s wrist.  I couldn’t wear it and take the photo at the same time.  She makes a good model, don’t you think?

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the other artists participating in the blog hop:

Copper Diem
Stefanies Sammelsurium
Lorelei’s Blog
My Bead Journey
Adventures with Kelly
Mama’s Got To Doodle
Wait Just One More Bead
Cynth’s Blog
Palm Coast  Art
Green Shoot  Jewellery Designs
Cianci Blue
Dreamin Of  Beads / SAS Jewelry Designs
Beads for  Busy Gals
Oregon Made  Jewelry
My  Addictions…Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti
Moods by Mari
Soul of Mine  Embodiment
Uniquely Yunikua
Fabric of My Life
Firefly Visions
Indigo Heart
The Peaceful Bead (YOU ARE HERE)
Casa de Everly
Heaven Lane Creations
Sue Beads
Durga Jewelry
Honey Bijou
A Bird in the Hand Art
Rainy Day Designs
Tell Your Girlfriends

Until next time,

Julie Anne

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have been feeling very uncreative and haven’t been at my craft table much for the last few months.  With Easter and spring has come a few renewed creative spark and I have felt compelled to make rosaries.  I have been posting a few on Etsy and thought I should take a few minutes to show them off here.

This first piece is a commission for a First Communion.  The request was for white glass pearls and gold components.  Given the buyers budget, 14K was out of the question.  We decided to go with gold plate over sterling.  While I don’t ordinarily work with this, it was exactly what the buyer was after – a mostly white, very feminine First Communion rosary.

As I mentioned, the components are gold plate over sterling and are from Bill’s Beads.  Bill himself was nice enough to help me pick them out.  I used 6mm glass pearls for the Aves, 8mm x 12mm AB Czech glass ovals for the Paters which are dressed with pretty floral bead caps and fluted spacers.  The seed beads are a custom mix – white, clear, peach, pink, clear AB, clear with bronze and clear with gold.  As always, this is double crimped for security and finised with fluted spacers.

Here’s a few others that I made over the holiday, all of which can be found in my Etsy shop.

Semper Virgo – Czech glass and bronze

Our Lady of Grace – Sapphire and sterling silver

Mary Full of Grace - Czech glass, artisan lampwork and bronze

 and my personal favorite, Queen of Heaven – Czech glass and bronze

Until next time,

Julie Anne

For those of you who know me “in person”, you know that I love a bargain.  When a bargain is the catalyst to use another bargain and that culminates in a shiny new piece of jewelry, well, that makes me happier than I can even say.  That is exactly what happened with this piece.

A few days ago I went on a little shopping trip.  I stopped at a favorite store and headed right to their rack of sale cardigans (I have a bit of an obsession with the humble cardigan – I own at least 30).  I found a pretty bright green number (I love to wear green – another bonus!) marked down to $9.74.  I had to take it home.  When I got home I decided I needed a new necklace to accentuate the deep-v neckline of the new sweater.  I immediately thought of some orphan lampwork beads that I purchased a few months ago (another bargain) and pulled them out for a look.  The larger beads were perfect – lumpy, bumpy encased lampwork with swirls of blue and green.  I dug some more and found a group of lampwork spacers that I purchased in the same lot.  I knew I could do something with all of them.

To pull the necklace together I added some round, hammered links from an old necklace, some brushed silver-tone lentils, a length of vintage chain from my favorite thirft store and a few faceted czech glass rondelles.  I threw the whole thing together and this is the outcome.  I LOVE it.

I wish I could adequately describe how yummy the encased lampwork are.  Here is a close up of them – they are delish!

I couldn’t help trying to take a photo of me wearing this piece (in yet another green cardigan).  My son rushed over to help.  He decided he needed to be “artistic” so here is his shot.  Gotta love him for being so enthusiastic.

The "artistic" shot as taken by my 9 year old

Until next time,

Julie Anne




I think I need a new name for my blog.  I am considering calling it “The Exhausted Bead” because that is what I am lately…totally exhausted.

I have been so busy since the bead soup reveal that I haven’t had a chance to sit down to create anything.  I have been working a fair bit, been busy with school and I started teaching a few weeks ago.  Add to that a bad head cold, some serious allergies and trying to help my husband dig out our spare room (read: junk room) and you can probably understand why I haven’t created anything lately.

As you may recall, my BSBP partner Kelley Fogle gifted me with an amazing array of beads.  I had wanted to send her a little thank you but couldn’t figure out what to do in time for the reveal date.  Kelley and I have become FB friends and by her posts I can tell that she is in need of a little pick me up (aren’t we all, really?).  That was enough to get me back to my craft table to make a little something to brighten her day.  Here is what I came up with:

Kelley gifted me with the jasper and shell rounds.  I added the focal (from Blue Seraphim), some Czech glass, a few MOP buttons and of course the chain.  The entire piece is created in brass and is finished with a handmade brass clasp.

I hope that this small gift brings a little sunshine to Kelley this week.  Creating it got me back to my bead table and that definitely lifted my spirits.

Until next time,

Julie Anne

Can you believe it?  Bead Soup reveal day is finally here.  I have had this piece done for a few weeks now and have been chomping at the bit (pun totally intended) to share it.  So without further ado, I give you:


(I must add a “TA-DA” in a 6 year old girl’s ecstatic voice.
Oh, and picture me throwing my hands over my head cheerleader-style too.
Yep, that is how happy I am with this necklace.)


My girly, romantic bead soup - love it!

I had so much to choose from in my bead soup package from my awesome partner Kelley Fogle that it was hard to know where to begin.  To refresh your memory, here is what Kel sent me:

Where to begin?

I was immediately taken by all of the sea and sand inspired colors.  I jumped right into my soup and started making a multi-link hodge podge sort of necklace.  I actually had to stop myself when I realized that I HAD to use the focal AND the clasp.  That was the challenge.  If I did a multi-link necklace (which will probably get finished BTW) I wouldn’t be able to use either.  I had to force myself to stop what I was doing and re-focus.  It was really hard to do that (I go a little ADHD around so many pretty beads) but I turned my attention to the brass ox focal and decided to run with that.

The first thing that I did with the brass focal (which is from B’Sues Boutiques) was to deal with the connectors.  I knew I wanted to bring some strands in from the side, so I borrowed a punch from my good friend Cindy Wimmer (seriously, how would I bead without you?) and punched some holes in the back.  Then I bent down the top and bottom connectors (glad I didn’t lop them off!) and set about putting the necklace together.

I decided to work with the 6mm faceted aquamarine that was in my soup. I like the greeny blue and the brown tones in the brass together. I added some 8mm stones from my stash, used some brass connectors that I have been dying to put to use and wrapped the whole thing up using 18g vintage bronze wire from Fusion Beads.

Could I get it a little closer? I don't think so.

Next I moved onto the pearl and chain strand.  I started out by using some bronze chain (from Beads 4 All) and the pearls that Kelley had sent me.  The creamy pearls seemed to get lost with the brown and blue color palette so I added some brown pearls from my stash.  Those worked perfectly and that strand came together rather quickly.

Now, what to do for a third strand?  I originally thought I would string some seed beads (I had the perfect color mix in my stash) but once I got one strand done the scale seemed wrong.  I eventually decided on a rosary strand (note that if you are Catholic, you need to remove the Pater beads to use these) from Yummy Treasures and the strands were complete.

Wonderful oxidized brass bow focal.

I then started assembling the necklace again using the bronze chain and the wonderful brass clasp.  Once the necklace was assembled I put it on and thought “hmmmmm……it’s missing something.”  Seriously, there is so much going on with the piece but it really seemed to be lacking something.  I decided to pry back down the bottom connector and add a few dangles.  That seemed to do the trick.  What do you think?

So now that you have seen what I made with my delicious bead soup, are you curious about my partner’s creation?  Well, here is what I sent to her to play with (our soups couldn’t be more different, could they?):

Whatcha making Kelley?

Before I sign off, I want to thank Lori Anderson who has worked tirelessly on organizing this exchange and to my partner Kelley for her generosity and over-all awesomeness.  Kelley has inspired me and been very supportive of my creating beautiful pieces with her soup.  I have more to share on that later, but now, I must blog hop!

Be sure to check out all 200 (yes, 200!) blogs to see what other wonderful bead soup creations have been cooked up all over the world.  You can find the other blogs at:

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
56.  Julie Anne Leggett (YOU ARE HERE) and Kelley Fogle
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)


Until next time,
Julie Anne

Over the last few weeks I have been working on sample pieces for the classes that I wanted to pitch at a local bead store.  One of the classes that I pitched was a class on spiraling.  Basically, I wanted to show how you could take a core skill (like wire wrapping taught in another class) and using the same techniques make coils/spirals/etc. to add to any type of project that you would think of.  Once you learn the techniques, then you make and take home whatever you can dream up.  Here are a few samples that I made for my pitch:

Simple little spiraled earrings in copper with glass and copper beads

Awesome glazed ceramic beads accented by patined copper spiral links.

Whaddya think?  Would a class like this appeal to you?

Thanks for reading,

Julie Anne

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