Friday, May 9, 2014

8th Bead Soup Party Reveal!

This year I had the fortune of being paired
 with Eva Sherman from Eva Sherman Designs
I was sent the most inspiring and delicious soup with which to create. 
It included lamp work beads, blue freshwater pearls, and a bold sterling silver clasp.
 I set to work quickly planning and sketching.
 I know you want to get to the reveal, so
 I'll save the details for the end.

Here is the soup Eva sent me:

And here are the pieces I created with it:

Post-Apocalyptic Bliss Neck Piece

I call this neck piece "Post-Apocalyptic Bliss" because really, the end doesn't have to be ugly.
Scroll to the bottom of the post to see pictures of  how it was made.

My friend Erika from Moonstruck Design modeled for me and she completely rocked it.

She reported that is very soft and light to wear. 

the second piece
Butterscotch Bijou bracelet

The big beautiful sterling clasp had me stumped but after
 all the detail on my first piece, I was ready for some simplicity. 

I connected the acrylic links with simple jump rings. 

It is lightweight and fun to wear. It makes a soft jingle when you move.
 I bent the clasp slightly to form to the curve of the wrist.

 I wore it to the grocery store and felt absolutely maaarvelous, daaarrling.

What I sent to my BSBP partner
Head over to her blog to check out what she created using these beads!

This is the bead soup I sent Eva. Included are hand cast pewter
 charms that were cast and domed by moi, my Bubble pendant,
 Truth button, and a Cherub Heart charm. Antique black iridescent
 nail head beads, a hand drilled Lake Erie beach stone, some
 raku disks I made a few years ago
 during my clay phase, a handmade lamp work cross bead
 and some antique tube beads. I topped it off with a coil of oiled iron wire.  

Now a little about the process of creating the Post-Apocalyptic Bliss piece.

Here is my humble beginning. The sketch on interfacing and adding silk
hand dyed ribbon by stitching the edge in a randomly ruffly way.

A close up of the ribbon work and the color gradient which I was
completely delighted with!

Here I was working out the positioning of the elements so that the
 connecting rings would function properly when in use, on an actual neck.
 I have to confess that everyone in my family wore this
at one point while I adjusted the drape. It looked the best on my husband, but he wouldn't model.

Here is a back view. I used a piece of batik fabric that has
 traveled with me for over twelve years and was given to me by a dear friend.
 I was so happy to be able to use it to cover the back of the piece, close to the skin.
 See the clasp in the background? She's wondering "what about me?"

Pondering chain or links to complete the necklace. In the end I chose five strands of brass chain with the addition of seed beads onto the middle chain links for a little color. They are the same seed beads I used around the focal.

Ta Da!

If you've made it this far and you're totally jazzed about seeing how people take what they've been randomly given and transform it into their own interpretation of beauty, check out all the participants in the blog hop   HERE.
You won't run out of eye candy as the list is 400 people long. I want to thank Eva for her generous contribution and her creative camaraderie and Lori Anderson and her small team of assistants for being the powerhouse behind this grand and beautiful undertaking. There's something about this challenge that gets me fired up and I hope it does the same for you.

Bead Well and Prosper my dears!

Do you want to see my project from last year's BSBP? Click HERE
to follow me on Facebook

Do you want to get your hands on some of my original designs in fine pewter? Click HERE
to purchase on Etsy

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Celebrating Life

In August 2013 my brother in law, Darren Manzella- Laperia, was lifted abruptly into the arms of God.

 Our family reeled. He had been married less than two months to the love of his life. It was a beautiful ceremony honoring everlasting love. 

Darren was a soldier who spoke out against inequality and advocated gay rights. His open admission of his sexuality while serving in the US Army was instrumental in the changing of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. He was discharged for speaking his truth but after the policy change, he wasted no time reenlisting. He spent his days before he left us using both his experience as a soldier and his training in psychology to council troubled veterans and help them find peace and hope in their post-war lives.

Here is a nicely written article written about Darren after his death. There are many more to be found as he touched so many lives with his bravery and kindness.

To honor his life and his memory, his family and friends have organized a 5K Memorial Run in his hometown of Brocton, New York.

Proceeds from the event will go towards Darren Manzella-Lapeira Veteran Assistance Fund through the Chautauqua County Community Foundation. Through this fund, local veterans will be able to seek financial assistance for immediate needs such as rent, groceries and utilities with the help of the Chautauqua County Veterans Service Agency. 

Many people have wondered why the symbol of a heart with an infinity sign was chosen as a logo for the run. It was also the symbol for Darren and Javier's wedding. I had the honor of designing and producing the wedding favors and gifts for the wedding party.

 The image that Darren and Javier chose to represent their unending love for each other has also become a symbol for our love for Darren.
 And his for his friends and family.
Love never ends.

Last summer, in preparation for the wedding of these two beautiful souls, Darren sent me an assortment of images that he and Javier had chosen to represent their union. Together we chose the symbol you see both for its simplicity and relevance to the quote they had chosen:
"True love stories never have endings" 

Here you see the sketches I made for their approval and the original sculpts in clay.

 This is an image of the mold after it was made with the original sculpts. the lines out to the pieces are small channels called sprues. They allow the pewter to flow out from the center of the mold to the pieces.

 The original sculpt of the pendants given to the wedding party and women in the immediate family. I will be creating two necklaces featuring these pendants and donating them to the Chinese Auction fund raiser during the 5K Memorial Run

And two of the finished pendants cast in fine lead free pewter.

May your light continue to shine in the hearts of those that knew you. Your gift of laughter and compassion radiates long after you left this earth. I look forward to the day I see you again."

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sketchy Soup

Tonight, after a couple days of brainstorming- I got my first sketch out of my noggin for my BSBP design. 

Last year I attempted an embroidered piece for the first time, sewing directly onto the leather. That was a big mistake, and my fingers really took a beating! Because of the difficulty stitching the beads on, my original design was almost lost. I still love the result, but would like more control over placement this time around.
Here is the result from last year's Bead Soup Blog Party:

Egyptian Revival Bib Necklace

This year I bought some interfacing at the fabric shop and will be using that to stitch  the designs on to. I will then back the interfacing with a nice soft leather. I want to embed wire in between the layers for the ability to make loops stick out to connect the pieces. We will see how practical that idea will be!
I'm happy with this first draft and will be sharing peeks into my progress. The full reveal date will be on May 3rd! 

Note* Bead Embroiderers- feel free to send me tips in the comments!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bead Soup Ingredients!

My ingredients are here and I am in love with the colors! The glass looks like a coral reef which pairs perfectly with the blue freshwater pearls.
I think with a mighty clasp like that I will need to go big with my design. I'm thinking fabric, leather, sewing, embriodery....
Thank you Eva Sherman for my delicious bead soup ingredients!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Little Soup and I'm on a Roll

The 8th Bead Soup Blog Party is well under
 way and it is just the kick start I need to get the creative broth flowing again. I've been in a studio deep freeze all winter due to heating issues, unable to cast. I just know one of these days it will warm up! (pretty please)

In the meantime, I've been keeping busy 
and warm with some needle felting,


and sightseeing in the lovely city of Buffalo!

I've been simmering with ideas all winter and now it's time for a bead feast!
If you haven't heard about the Bead Soup Blog 
Party, it's this little fete where 400 or so people
 from around the world swap beady goodness then blog about what they make with said goodness.
 The extraordinary part of this is that there is ONE woman who does the pairing (Sweet Sweet Lori Anderson). She pairs people by visiting chooses partners based on things like experience and medium and location.

This is my second time participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party. Last year Lori let some Facebookers into the kitchen and I was one of the lucky ones. My partner was Claire Hasemeier and it was a great experience meeting her and seeing her creations with the bead soup I sent her! It prompted my arrival into the blogosphere, and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate again.

This year I have been paired with an extraordinary artist, Eva Sherman, of Grand River BeadStudio in Lakewood, Ohio. She owns this teaching facility and Eva Sherman Designs. Here she is with some of her work:

Eva has just recently published a book entitled Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry with Beth L. Martin 
and will no doubt be attending book signings and jewelry making celebrations for a while!
I have a sweet spot for her former life as an architect,(it was my first choice in college) and admire her dedication to her art and travels.
Now she creates in wire and  metals and teaches her skills in classrooms around the country. In fact, she will be teaching a class this summer at Chautauqua Institution and I may need to sign up for that! (If you are interested, follow the link, download the catalog, and head to pg 32. Registration begins April 1st!)

Here is a sneak peek of the soup I sent Eva, I cannot wait 
to see how the collection will be transformed in her style.

I will be posting pictures of the beautiful soup I received and keep you updated on my design progress.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bead Hoarder's Blog Hop!!
  Here are my submissions~


This necklace features a glass heart that I picked up about 12 years ago. I only found a handful of them and have been hoarding them and using them sparingly throughout that time. This is the last one and I wanted to celebrate it with this beachy summer necklace. (Waxed linen, recycled glass beads)

This necklace shows off a very beautiful agate that I have had a hard time parting with. It is such a stunning design that I just let it take the spotlight~ 
 This is a peek at my most prized stash. I won't name the creators of all my lovies, that would take hours of research, but if you are also a bead hoarder you will most likely recognize many of the artists.


Don't forget to check out the other blog posts showing how bead hoarders have given up and actually USED some of their stash!
Have fun~
HERE is the list of all of the participants!

 1.  Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
2. Nancy Dale, NEDBeads
3. Roxanne Mendoza, Roxi Designs
4.  Melissa Trudinger, beadrecipes
5.  Rana Lea, Rana Lea Designs
6.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
7.  Rita Avila, Jewel School Friends
8.  Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
9.  Sharon Palac, Sharon's Jewelry Garden
10.  Erin Guest, Renlish

11.  Joan Williams, lilruby jewelry
12. Diane Hawkey, Diane Hawkey
13.  Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
14.  Sue Kennedy, SueBeads
15.  Lisa Cone, Inspired Adornments
16.  Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design
17.  Nichole Byers, Nichole Byers
18.  Lori Jean Poppe, Adventures in Creativity
19.  Linda Landig, Linda's Bead Blog and Meanderings
20.  Lori Schneider, Bead Addict

21.  Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
22. Cece Cormier, The Beading Yogini
23.  Niki Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
24.  Elsie Deliz-Fonseca, Eliz-Eliz and All That Craft
25.  Amber Dawn, Inventive Soul
26.  Heather Powers, Humblebeads
27.  Sarah Goode, Pookledo
28.  Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
29.  JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
30.  Cheri Reed, Creative Designs by Cheri

31.  Robyn, Museiddity
32.  Catherine King, Catherine's Musings
33.  Jacquie, Bead Gypsy
 34.  Janet McDonald, Singing Woods
35. Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreations
36.  Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
37.  Hannah Rosner, Good River Valley
38.  Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
39.  Nelly May, Smelly Nelly
40.  Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads

41.  Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
42.  Christie Murrow, Charis Designs
43.  Leanne Loftus, First Impression Design
44.  Valerie Norton, Hot Art
45.  Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
46.  Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
47.  Terry Carter,  Tapping Flamingo
48.  Sue, Mid-Life Great Expectations
49.  Nan Smith, Wired Nan
50.  Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck Arts

51.  Marie Covert, Creating Interest
Me!  -----------> 52.  D'Arsie Manzella, This Here Now, Mamacita
53.  Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
54.  Lori Bergmann, Lori Bergmann Design
55.  Johanna Nunez, The Lovely One Design
56.  Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
57.  Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs
58.  Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
59.  Debbie Rasmussen, A Little of This, A Little of That
60.  Nat, Grubbi Ceramics

61.  Marjorie Savill Linthwaite, Bennu Bird Rising
62.  Cheryl McCloud, One Thing Leads to Another
63.  Heather Otto, The Crafthopper
64.  Candida Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
65.  Tracie Dean, Dean Designs
66.  JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
67.  Ginger Bishop, Lil Mummy Likes
68.  Karen Mitchell, Over the Moon Design
69.  Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
70.  Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes

71.  Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
72.  Shalini Austin, Jewellery by Shalini
73.  Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
74.  Ile Ruzza, Ilenia's Unique Beaded Jewelry
75.  Jackie Marchant, Fiddledeedee Jewelry
76.  Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry 
77.  Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
78.  Hannah Trost, PZ Designs
79.  Linda Inhelder, Must Haves Jewelry
80.  Miri Agassi, Beadwork

81.  Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
82.  Dyanne Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations
83.  Susan Bowie, Susan Nelson Bowie
84.  Megan Milliken, MaeMaeMills
85.  Menka Gupta, Menka's Jewelry
86.  Ambra Gostoli, Chic and Frog
87.  Lori Lochner, Bloghner
88.  Gerda Jurimae, Gerda's Crafts Blog
89.  Susan, Mistheword
90.  MaryLou Holvenstot, MaryLou's time2cre8

91.  Mary Shannon Hicks, falling into the sky
92.  Karin King, The Sparklie Things Blog
93.  Christa Murphy, Adventures of One Beady Woman
94.  Jenny Davie-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
95.  Donetta Farrington, Simply Gorgeous
96.  Mallory Hoffman, Rosebud 101 - For the Love of Beads
97.  Danielle Kelley, Imbue the Muse
98.  Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
99.  Dolores Rami, CraftyD's Creations
100.  Marcia Dunne, 13 Alternatives

101.  Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
102.  Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
103.  Wendy Holder, Jewelry by WendyLea
104.  Michelle Escano, The Cabby Crafter
105.  Louise Glazier, Lily and Jasmine Treasures
106.  Dana Hickey, Wind Dancer Studios
107.  Lennis Carter, windbent
108.  Anne Betenson, Crystal River Beads
109.  Audrey Belanger,  Dreams of an Absolution
110.  Lisa Stukel, Carefree Jewelry by Lisa

111.  Janine Lucas, Travel Stories
112.  Claire Lockwood, Something to Do With Your Hands
113.  Kathy Engstrom, Catherine's Dreams
114.  Paula Hisel, Simply Beadiful
115.  Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
116.  Mischelle Fanucchi, Micheladas Musings
117.  Kim, Cianci Blue
118.  Linda Sadler, Ida Louise Jewelry
119.  Karen, Spokalulu
120.  Jennifer LaVite, Dry Gulch Bead and Jewelry

121.  Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
122.  Karen Martinez, Fairies Market
123.  Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
124.  Amy Bright, LABweorc
125.  Jasvanti Patel, Jewels by Jasvanti
126.  Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
127.  Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
128.  Natalie Moten, Running Out of Thread
129.  Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
130.  Jenny Kyrlach, Wonder and Whimsy

131.  LiliKrist, Handmade by LilK
132.  Jessica Klaaren, The Truth Space
133.  Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
134.  Beth Emery, Stories by Indigo Heart
135.  Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads
136.  Jeanne, Gems by Jeanne Marie
137.  Sandi Volpe, Sandi Volpe
138.  Laren Dee Barton, Laren Dee Designs
139.  Steph, Confessions of a Bead Hoarder
140.  Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

141.  B. R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem
142.  Patty Miller, Cabari Beads
143.  Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
144.  Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
145.  Lizzie Clarke, The Need to Bead
146.  Christina Miles, Wings 'n' Scales
147.  Patricia, The Color of Dreams
148.  Marde Lowe, Fancimar
149.  Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations
150.  Sarah Small, By Salla

151.  Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
152.  Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
153.  Pam Traub, Klassy Joolz
154.  Lisa Harrison, Daisy Meadow Studio
155.  Anzia Parks, Anzi-Panzi's Work Shoppe
156.  Ingrid, Lilisgems Handcrafted Jewelry Inspirations
157.  Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
158.  Kelly Hosford Patterson, The Traveling Side Show
159.  Adlinah Kamsir, Dreamstruck Designs
160.  Marci, That Nothing Be Wasted

161.  Kris Lanae Binsfield,  Cherish Designs
162.  Stephanie Perry, Mustard Bead
163.  Birgit Klughardt, Gites Beads
164.  Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
165.  Rebecca Sirevaag, Becca's Place
166.  Sandy Markley, Gypsy Spirit Designs
167.  Elena Adams, Lena's Beady Blog

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Actual Factual Sale ~ May 24th-31st

  So here's the scoop as of late!
I'm brewing up a sale...
It's called an Actual Factual Sale.
Because only Actual Factual,
 currently cast inventory
will be on sale~
I have always offered casting to order but soon all of my casting equipment will be unavailable as it makes a short and quite complicated trip. It will be moving from my damp shed studio to my new, super awesome, custom built area of The Man's garage.

 Don't be frightened, we will be adding walls and barriers so no 'man space' will be intruded on thus riling up the Man.*

What I will be doing to get ready for this special sale is adjusting my inventory numbers to reflect the Actual Factual quantities.

When the sale launches, all items listed (and only items listed) will be 20% off. For a week!
               A whole seven days!
I will be shipping as fast as the orders come in.

This sale will take place on the full moon- the 24th of May, and last until the 31st of May.

I will be listing everything I have cast right now, some items are experimental and some are just plain odd, but all will be 20% off.

Here are some pictures of my inventory drawers to whet your whistle. That's right, I'm letting you take a peek inside my drawers.
You may see some familiar items and some other bits. The only things not included will be custom work.

I hope you will join me on May 24th for my Actual Factual Sale!
 Until my studio is reset and in functioning order, this will be my only inventory. I know it will be set up before the winter but construction will be taking place throughout the summer months and I cannot guarantee the building speed of The Man.

* The Man really is harmless. He is a sweetie and it is my job to tease him whenever we're not smooching. Don't report him to animal control, please!