Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party TODAY!

It's finally here!! The Bead Soup Blog Party...brought to you by the talented Lori Anderson.

My partner for this swap was none other than the Lanyard Lady hailing from a few states down from me in North Carolina.

She sent me this super colorful assortment of beads.

Some of these beads were 'right up my alley' in the color department - some of them definitely posed a challenge (I'm talkin' to you YELLOW!)

So I put my thinking cap on for several days.

And was relieved to read a post from Lori saying that it was okay to make more than one piece! Whew! Because I had a design idea in mind right away for the focal...but was struggling with a way to bring the colors in. So I took these:

and turned it into this:

I loved pairing the mom charm with the sun focal, because I feel like they are both givers of life!

So then, I had the YELLOWS staring me in the face saying...okay... but what are you going to do with US!?! Although yellow is a challenge for me, the colors in this bead soup were simply gorgeous, brilliant, luscious and vibrant! I began playing with them on an old bead board for a little while and I used most of these:

to make this:

Again, I can't begin to express how scrumptious these colors are!

While I was playing with those richly colored lampwork discs, I couldn't help thinking those discs would be well served as button for a toggle.....which 100% inspired me to make my third and final and favorite bead soup piece. I used some of these:

and made this:

What a wonderful inspiration the Blog Soup Bead Party has been. I have listed below all the participants. Please check them all out! I know I will!

1. Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Kitty Durmaj, Perles and Life
3. Michelle Heim, Life In the Bead Lane
4. Lisa Petrillo, Lucid Moon Studio
5. Anitra Gordy, Leelu Creations
6. Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
7. Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
8. Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
9. Heidi Post, Ex Post Facto
10. Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio

11. Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
12. Rachel Walsh, Balanced Crafts
13. Marian Hertzog, M's Place
14. Mary McGraw, MK's Musings
15. Sarabeth Burke, Chronicles of Sarita
16. Deci Worland, Gem Trails
17. Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
18. Laura Zeiner, Stick Lizard Designs
19. Kristin Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
20. Cathryn Brooks-Williams, Chile Cats

21. Holly Westfall, Silver Rose Designs
22. Janna Harttgen, Palima-Lim
23. Libby Leuchtman, Libby Leu
24. Rebecca Anderson, Songbeads
25. Deb Hunter, Living On Air
26. Diana Ptaszynski, Suburban Girl Studio
27. Jennifer VanBenschoten, VanBeads
28. Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter
29. Cyndi Lavin, Beading Arts
30. Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul

31. Stefanie Teufel, Stefanie's Sammelsurium
32. Patricia Gasparino, My Life Under the Bus
33. Tari Khars, Pearl and Pebble
34. Kristi Bowman-Gruel, Kristi Bowman Design
35. Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
36. Becky Fairclough, Chameleons Designs
37. Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead & Metal Works
38. Lynne Bowland, Islandgirl's Insights
39. Barbara Lewis, Painting With Fire
40. Lorelei Eurto, Inside the Studio

41. Stacy Hartis, Sissy & Jack's
42. Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
43. Marcie Abney, La Bella Joya
44. Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations
45. Nan Emmett, Spirit Rattles
46. Melissa Mesara, One Eared Pig
47. Amanda Davie, Articulations
48. Cherin Poovey, Lanyard Lady
49. Virginia Joste, ViviBijoux

50. Andrew Thornton, The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
51. Lori Dorrington, Lori's Glassworks
52. Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
53. Kate Gardenghi, Tropical Blonde
54. Serena Trent, PinkIce Jewel's Blog
55. Malin de Koning, Beading by Malin de Koning
56. Shai Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
57. Francy Inman, 8 Second Studio
58. Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
59. Lisa Liddy, Joolz By Lisa

60. Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do
61. Mary Harding, Mary Harding Bead Blog
62. Stacey Curry, Star Hitched Wagon
63. Leslie Gidden, Mad Maggie Designs
64. Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
65. Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
66. Linda Djokic, Lutka and Co.
67. Tracy Bell, Copper, Glass, and Recycled Trash
68. Laurel Steven, Rue's Daftique
69. Ingrid McCue, Wrapped In Silver

70. Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
71. Diana Hawkey, Diana Hawkey
72. Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
73. Jeanette Ryan, Jeanette Blix
74. Jackie Ryan, Silver Lodge Gems
76. Debbie Goering, Prairie Emporium
77. Valerie Norton, Hot Art
78. Jana Trupovniece, Stories of the Secret Garden
79. Amy Severino, Amy Beads

80. Emma Thomas, Fred Beans Nook
81. Karen Zanco, Everyday Gypsy
82. Suzann Sladcik Wilson, Beadphoria
83. Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
84. Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Designs
85. Kristina Johansson, Wild Roses and Blackberries
86. CJ Bauschka, CJ Bauschka
87. Angela Barribea, Re: Angela Rae
88. Marcy Lamberson, Studio Marcy
89. Tanya Floyd, Glass Migrations

90. Lisa Kavanaugh, Beading Bliss
91. Sue Hodgkinson, Hello Gorgeous
92. Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Bead
93. Nally Parfyonova, Nally's Creations
94. Karyn White, Releases By Rufydoof
95. Emanda Johnson, Artemisia Studio
96. Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box
97. Cindy Dolezal, Cindy Dolezal Designs
98. Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
99. Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads

101. Nicole Valentine-Rimmer, N. Valentine Studio
102. Jacinta Meyers, Jamberrysong's Creations
103. Charlene Gary, Gray Girl Studios
104. Rubiee Hayes, Glitter and Keys Galore
105. Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
106. Elizabeth Freeman, Turquoise Sky
107. Shelby Foxwell, Sundown Bead Designs Rhetoric
108. Lynda Moseley, Diva Designs
109. Grace Danel, Grace Beading
110. Lois Moon, Que Onda Quitman

111. Agnes Shapiro, Beader Bubbe
112. Terry Carter, Tapping Flamingo
113. Judy Glende, Judith B. Designs
114. Mary Ellen Parker, Bee Tree By Me
115. Barbara Bechtel, Second Surf
116. Charlene Sevier, The Bead Dreamer
117. Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
118. Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie
119. Ronda Adams, The Ravished Heart
120. Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe Designs

121. Anna Lear, The Laughing Raven
122. Susie Hibdon, Vintagesusie & Wings
123. Amanda Austin, Sea Shore Glass
124. Jennifer Velasquez, Jen Judd Rocks
125. Hazel Ward, All Those Things
126. Brenda Salzano, Salzanos
127. Dee Gordon, Runako Designs by Dee
128. Anna Denisova, Anita-M
129. Margaret Saari, Mags-Jewelry

130. Genea Crivello-Knable, Genea Beads
131. Penny Neville, Copper Penny
132. Angela Blasingame, Hopemore
133. Helena Fritz, Beadwork by H's Blog
134. Stephanie LaRose, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
135. Stephanie Haussler, PixyBug Designs
136. Diane Cook, Rosa & Josies
137. Maryse Thillens, Glass Bead Art
138. Jennifer Pride, Jewelry by J.P.
139. Shannon Chomanczuk, For My Sweet Daughter

140. Lisa Godfrey, Bead Happy
141. Heather Pyle, Welcome to My Muse
142. Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
143. Liz DeLuca, Creative Arty Facts
144. Sig Wynne-Evans, Beaded Bear's Nonsense
145. Loretta Carstensen, Loretta's Boutique
146. Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
147. Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
148. Shelly Graves, Stars Dance With Me
149. Jess Italia Lincoln, Vintaj Blog

150. JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
151. Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
152. Staci Smith, Staci Louise Originals
153. Katarzyna Kwiatkowska, Quiet Area
154. Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
155. Magdalena Sikora, Poranna Gazeta
156. Nicole Keller, Nicki's Reef
157. Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
158. Noemi Baena, Fire, Metal, and Color
159. Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman

160. Barbara Blaszczyk, Labotorium Flory
161. Collette Collins, Firefly Myst
162. Carola Greiser, Polymer Clay Shed
163. Joanna Kopijczuk, Bizuteria z Filcu
164. LeAnn Weih, Summers Studio
165. Cassandra Watsham, Design by Cassandra
166. Anna Motz, Stunning
167. Shea Zukowski, Gr8findings
168. Susan Kennedy, Sue Beads
169. Lisa Boucher, Lisa's Clay Happenings

170. Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
171. Alison Crenshaw, Beads by Earth Tones
172. Dorcas Midkiff, Wondrous Strange Designs
173. Melissa Rediger, Sea of Glass
174. Marina Dobrynina, Savon Feutre
176. Menka Gupta, Menka's Blog
177. Patsy Evins, Patsy Evins Studio
178. Cherrie Fick, En La Lumie're
179. Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux

180. Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
181. Lyn Foley, Lyn Foley Wearable Art
182. Tara Plote, The Newbie Beader's Blog
183. Natalie Schuetz, Natalie S Perlen
184. Kim Hutchinson, Running on Ink
185. Haley Frank, Wide Eyed Smilin
186. Grace Caputo, Suddenly Last Summer
187. Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp, Skye Jewels
188. Erin Siegel, Erin Siegel Jewelry
189. Janea McDonald, Organized Chaos

190. Kristi Evenson, Colie Bug & Co.
191. Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
192. Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
193. Whitney Lassini, Whitney Lassini
194. Nancy Schindler, The Rabbit Muse
195. Pam Brisse, The Blue Between
196. Beth Bricker, Vintage Sweets
197. Ruthie Stickney, Rose Works Jewelry and Gifts
198. Rose Noble, Lady Noble Designs
199. Karen Williams, Baublicious

200. Claire Maunsell, The Next Bend
201. Christine Damm, Stories They Tell
202. Kerry Bogert, Kab's Creative Concepts
203. Wendy Blum, Sand & Sea Designs
204. Juli Cannon, Julsbeads
205. Jenny Robledo, La Dona Boutique
206. Krista French, French Elegant Jewelry
207. Pam Krinski, Ewa Beads
208. Melissa Meman, Melissa Meman, Art, Life, Love
209. Dana Jones, Dana's Jewelry
210. Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Please Vote....for my friend!

My usual voting request is typically for a beading competition I have entered that is not juried but instead a public vote. This time however, I am posting a request for my friend and former colleague David.

David Guas and I worked together for just about 10 years for a very popular restaurant group in Washington DC. I was the company's director of sales and he was the company's pastry chef. I can tell you, from experience, he bakes some delicious stuff (and he's a lot of fun to work with too)! For nearly a decade, I had the pleasure of sampling his extensive cache of favorite being his pralines. David is a native of New Orleans and that has inspired much of his recent success.

He wrote a book:

(Yes, the praline recipe is in there...among many other yummies like my second favorite: red velvet cake)

He opened a restaurant:

(I had the pleasure of dining there last week and enjoyed the Veg Head sandwich. Again - yum.)

And now...he has been nominated by Food & Wine as Best New Chef. It would be great to see him win vote for David here!!!

Congratulations David!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Margie & Me Challenge - Madrid

It's Margie & Me reveal day!

I was only able to do one of the color palettes for this challenge, and I selected this one:

I think the photo of this building is just so pretty! And truth is, I don't have a whole lot of yellow beads, so I knew this one would be a bigger challenge than the other palette.

So I whipped up a few beaded beads. I started them in solid white, but then I scrapped that idea and added some off-whites to them to reflect the weathered detail in the photo. I made some blue & black disks. And I put them all together with a yellow stone (not sure what this one is!) and some silver disk accents:

Glad to have worked on a piece with colors that I don't normally use. The yellow stones of these came from a bag of broken beaded necklaces someone gave to me because they didn't want them anymore. I always found those stones very pretty but never found a use for them!

In hindsight the only thing I might have done differently - if I'd had the time - is do a set of blue disks & a set of black disks.

And speaking of having time in the last two weeks - the festival I worked on went great! We sold out both days and it seemed attendees and exhibitors were equally happy. Which is my goal as part of the team putting on the show! Here are a couple shots of my girlfriend Angela with some familiar faces from our demonstration stage:

It was a physically and mentally draining weekend, but I'm finally feeling like myself again and ready to launch into my next set of events and projects!

I am also working on my Bead Soup Blog Party pieces! Yes, pieceS! After much thought and a bit of trial and error, I realized I had several ideas brewing for this bead soup!! So I am putting them together like so:

Two of the pieces are complete and I am about a third done with my final piece. Looking forward to the reveal in a couple of weeks!

Friday, February 18, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner for the One World One Heart drawing is:



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Winter Enchantment"

The current Artbeads Design Partner theme is "Winter Enchantment."

When I think of Winter Enchantment, I think of whites and snowflakes, but also icy grays and sparkly silvers. I think holly green and red berries of Christmastime, as well as pinks and reds of Valentines. Then there are the gorgeous birthstones of December, January and February - blue topaz, garnet and amethyst.

For this theme, I narrowed it down to the sparkly silvers, icy grays and berry/garnet colors. I had tons of ideas when I selected my beads, but when they arrived, I ended up splitting them up and creating two different pieces.

I love the Swarovski glass pearls. Their color is rich and they have a great finish. They paired beautifully with the sparkly Czech fire polish glass beads in gray/silver.

I like these little wheels, reminding me of snowflakes.

They whip up quickly and easily!

I had originally intended to include the garnet colored Czech fire polish glass beads in the above wheels, but it just wasn't working. So instead I did a Right Angle Weave (RAW) variation...but I guess if there are five beads to a turn, that doesn't really make it a right angle?! I also loved the idea of putting it together with pink seed beads! It is my post-Valentine "S" bracelet (any better design names are welcome!):

I love the way the "S" pattern formed when I linked the circles on various points of the seed beads.

Also - on a whim - I decided to make my own toggle with a headpin with some beads on it. I simply wove the attachment into the beads on the toggle!

Thanks for taking a peek at my Artbeads Design Partner creations!!!

Note: As a reviewer of products, I receive no payment from The above post is strictly my opinion and I have not been paid to endorse or their products.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Just checked into my room in DC where I'll be staying for the next 3 days. I'm on the 9th floor - about as high as you can go in DC - and the view is spectacular! What a nice surprise!

I brought a bead embroidery project with me and am excited to finally start playing with these gorgeous cabs! THANK YOU LORI!

And although I already really miss my husband and son, I am enjoying the quiet and solitude of being here tonight!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Under Pressure!'s only 4 short days before the festival I'm working on begins...and I'm feeling a bit under pressure!

So...what's a girl to do, if she's feeling stressed and under pressure about work? Stop everything she's doing and blog about beading (oh! and manipulate clip art to be relevant to a bead blog)! :-) Hee hee!

Anyway - it got me to thinking about how sometimes I feel under pressure when I'm beading. Such as with challenges and contests, I often feel under pressure to pull out some crazy cool new design to impress and amaze!

It's rather silly actually, because in attempting to do something new and innovative, I often end up doing something I'm not particularly happy with. There are always exceptions to that...those are special moments. But I've often felt this way over the last year and ended up with pieces that aren't even really indicative of my own style. They aren't really 'me'.

What I determined in this thinking, is that I should do what I know. This is exactly how new ideas evolve.

Sometimes I chide myself, feeling that the same old thing must get boring to others after a while. (um...apparently I care more about what others think than I realize...) I was feeling that way when I started this month's Margie & Me challenge piece. As I was thinking through the design, I thought to do some beaded beads. Peyote tubes.

I beat myself up a little first and thought, oh gosh, not those again Amy. Then I made myself feel even worse because of that book that came out recently on peyote beaded tubes (Bead Tube Jewelry). And even though I've been beading up these beaded beads long before that book came out(as many other beaders have been!), it made me feel especially unoriginal.

But then I thought about some of the pieces I've made with those cute and versatile little tubes.

And you know, people really like them!

Better yet: I like them!

I make them frequently! I find them in baggies....

I find them in containers of Delicas....

having forgotten that I've event made them!
(there are three beaded beads in this one!)

I guess what I am trying to say, is that I shouldn't try so hard. New ideas will shake themselves out when they are ready.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Gosh - I've been seeing an awful lot of posts in the blog community of fellow beaders having rough weeks, getting icky anonymous comments, losing their inspiration and leaves me feeling sort of melancholy. But I can relate! It's been a busy week what with the festival I'm working on coming up next weekend! I've been working from 8 in the morning til 8 or 9 at night every day. Taking "breaks" of course, to do laundry, empty and load the dishwasher, check homework, and make meals for the family and so on (one of the caveats of working from home!)

I've sadly not spent any time in my bead room in over a week! But I was able to steal away last night (after announcing post dinner - "I'm GOING UPSTAIRS AND I NEED SOME QUIET BEAD TIME!") I started working on my Margie & Me challenge piece. And was happy to have some beads jump right out at me as perfect for this project! After not having been in my bead room for so long, I was grateful to find the creative juices were flowing.

I've been really enjoying being part of the One World, One Heart blog hop. There are over 700 participants. It's a fun idea and I am planing to spend a little time this weekend checking them out.

I don't have any recent bead work to share here today. But last weekend we hit the Maryland Science Center while my dad was visiting. It was a ball and I see that my son looks right at home in the lab! :) So I will leave you with this! (pics are from my phone so they are not the greatest quality!)

Happy Friday to all!