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."