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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Artist Spotlight - Szarka Carter

Szarka Carter is an amazing jewelry artisan, instructor, and business owner. Szarka's specialty medium is wire and she has perfected the art of using that wire to highlight the natural beauty of the gemstones she acquires as a gemstone dealer. If you would like to see some of her work you should check out her jewelry page or her jewelry blog.

Szarka is well loved and respected in the community of artisan jewelers. Her gemstone business Magpie Gemstones is a wholesale source for many who desire fine quality gemstones and other jewelry making supplies. I have always loved everything I have ordered and received from her. When I get an order from Magpie Gemstones, I always feel like each stone was hand-picked just for me. They are that good - each specimen, outstanding. She also sells her beads on ebay!
You can also catch some of her designs on her facebook dedicated to her jewelry. If all else fails, and you just need to jump in and join some fun you could always come join us at the Magpie Gemstones facebook page, she also has a blog about her gemstones.

The website has a wealth of resources that enrich and educate the aspiring jewelry designer as well as the artisan. She offers free tutorials and freely gives advice and encouragement for the love of the art. Szarka's attitude about sharing information shows she is an artist first, even though she is also a successful business woman. She even hosts/moderates an interactive facebook page that encourages other makers, designers, artisans to advance their skill sets and learn from each other. The name of the facebook page is Jewelry Makers and Bead Lovers Facebook Group. 

Szarka is such an amazing wealth of information. She knows and understands gemstones. She loves to work with and help others understand how to work with wire. Szarka even has a spotlight area in her newsletters that hosts client's jewelry.

Szarka is as genuine as her gemstones. If you haven't had the pleasure to get to know her you should jump on one of these links and do so. She is is a talent and has a heart as big as the sky... you would be blessed to have her in your circle. I know my life has been enriched by her presence.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kalmbach Bead Soup - 2012

I remember when my Kalmbach Books Bead Soup came in the mail. I was so excited! I couldn't believe that I'd been given such a terrific opportunity. I was elated and honored to have gotten selected. I knew that I was going to be in good company and it would be a challenge. I am excited to see the reveals
I got soup!


I literally ripped open the package in anticipation. I  was thrilled to find that the beads were from a shop in Montana. I contacted them immediately, to let them know I had received my soup and to share my gratitude for their making it possible for me to take part  in this event.


The pendant,I see a bird.

I needed to accentuate the  focal bead and not take away from the wonderful pattern. I went with the spirals to accomplish this. There is movement illustrated in the beads throughout the necklace. I had to go with that flow.

"Freebird" Ensemble

Staying with the theme of movement I added swirls in my wire work. I adorned the triangles with swirls. The earrings,  and connectors had to have swirls too.
The bracelet sports the yummy clasp that was included, handmade links, and the same red accent beads(6), with one swirl adorned triangle bead dangle.
I thoroughly enjoyed making these pieces and working with this soup. I really love what my soup became. I hope you enjoy it too.
I still have some beads leftover - gotta love leftovers... I am beading them and I will post those projects at a later date. I hope you come back for seconds. I just couldn't hold on to this much longer and not share...
Thanks Kalmbach Books for the opportunity and the fun!
Thanks for sharing with me.

Be happy, find your method of expression and go create something beautiful...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bead Soup by Lori Anderson - Book Review

I am honored to be sharing Bead Soup with you. This book is must have for any beader, at any skill level or anyone who admires and appreciates artisan jewelry. Each two-three page spread is pleasantly full of wonderful soups. Each soup, features its own recipe, helpful hints and grocery list - on recipe cards and notes, so cute and fitting. Each artist shares their journey from picking a soup for their partner to receiving their own and the process of creating the masterpieces you will feast your eyes upon, as you delve into the book. You will want to read it cover to cover; finding yourself wanting to do the projects and feeling yourself connected to the artists and their works.

I love the way the book breaks it all down. Lori explains the different methods and it truly is like making a variety of soups. I will liken it to the differences between a broth base, a cream soup, a bisque, or a stew - all have their places in the arena of dining. Lori uses the terms Leftover Bead, Focal, Color Palette, and Random Purchase Methods. You will have to buy the book to get more details about these methods of bead soup creating(hint, hint). You will want to buy the book anyway. You won't want to miss any of the artist bios, the gallery, or the wonderful feeling of being at home.


The  Bead Soup Book  is written in the spirit of the Bead Soup Blog Party(BSBP) and allows the reader to catch a glimpse of the challenges, triumphs, growth, camaraderie, and the experience of it all. Just like an online BSBP this book has its participants paired off with partners, they swap soups, create, and then share their experiences.  

This book has been a treat and is just a small reflection of the immensity of what the Bead Soup Blog Party events and the impact they still have, have come to be. If you want to join in on the fun and learn more about what Bead Soup and Blog Hopping is all about - check out Lori's Blog
or join the Bead Soup Cafe facebook group.

In the spirit of the book, the event it mirrors, and Lori's generous nature; I am offering a tutorial from the book... Zack's Watercress Soup! This offering is being made with Lori Anderson's knowledge and given with her compliments.

How do you win? I will be hosting a blog essay contest. Topic? How beading/jewelry design has changed your life. All you need to do is blog about the topic and share the link in the comments to this blog. Share your blog everywhere you can... New to blogging or not, writing more and sharing more is always a good thing ;) I will announce the winner next week... Good Luck!

I create to live and Live to Create...
Show the world you care - create with love... Bead Happy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday, Artist Highlight... Heidi Parviainen

Today's highlight is on an amazing and well-versed jewelry artisan who is also an Jewelry Instructor at Michaels. Heidi is the author of a few tutorials on the Michaels website and is highlighted this month in the October is Jewelry Month at Michaels page.

Heidi is from Massachusetts and is steeped in tradition and rich with knowledge of history, both playing a big part in who she is and it shows in her soulful designs. Aside from designing jewelry, Heidi creates with these media and skill sets; metalsmithing, metal clay, wire working, polymer clay, glasclay, mixed media, and she is not afraid to mix it up a bit and throw some steampunk influence into the mix as well. Heidi strives to continue learning more about more methods, skills, media, always stretching herself for continued growth. I admire Heidi and am honored to call her friend.
Here are a few tutorials Heidi has had published for and by Michaels.

Belle Epoque Bracelet                                                                 



                                                                  Belle Epoque Necklace



For more information about Heidi or to see more of  her work check out her etsy shop...

or follow her on  facebook...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Magnificent Monday

Just a little blurb today....

It was a wonderful day today. My granddaughter and I had a great library day. It was good to just get back to the basics and spend quality time, in spite of the demands of the day. It warms my heart to see the love of books and learning instilled in another generation. She was so happy with her selections to bring home - she thanked me for hours. The funniest part... she said, "You know Nana, if these become favorites we'll have to look them up on Amazon or something..." The kid is too smart for her own good and too cute for mine.

Thanks for letting me share my warm fuzzy... what a way to start  the week.

Be happy, live life, mostly - be good to yourself...

Making the world more beautiful one creation at a time...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday, Over the Hump Project Reveal

Today I am posting the results of a fun and enlightening Bead Soup I just had the pleasure to take part in. It's name says it all. It is the "2nd Hand, Bead Soup - Finished Item- Swap".
The point of this swap was that we were to obtain items within a certain dollar amount and present that soup to our partners. We then were to create a piece of jewelry with what was sent us and some of our own stash. I should mention we have never met and know nothing about each other, aside what we dug up through researching shared forum profiles, etc.
After completion of these pieces we were to send them back to our partner, neither knowing how the other would use the items we selected and what they would make especially for us. On the other side of the coin we were trying to take the materials sent us to make wearable pieces that hopefully would appeal to the taste of our partner. The heat was on...
Here is what I found at the 2nd Hand Store for Vicky to play with...

 Here is what Vicky found for me to play with from her resource...

 Drum roll please..........................................................

What Vicky created is completely amazing! I just got it yesterday and wore it yesterday until bed time and all day today - LOVE it!

What I made for Vicky, is a bit more casual... but here it is...

So, that was fun... and yes, I would totally do it again. Bead soups are absolutely wonderful. If you would like the chance to participate in events such as these check out these sites...
Bead Swap USA - Home of the Traveling Bead Box and its companion facebook page, brain child of Nicole Weltch. Nicole has been in the world of beading and jewelry design for sometime. She saw a need and answered that need by getting like minded people together with the mission of revitalizing our bead and component stashes by trading/swapping with each other so that we all end up with quality beads to replace the ones we pass on. This eliminates spending enormous amounts of money and having stuff in our stashes that would sit there and not be used by anyone. Now we get beads we will use and what we won't is passed onto someone who will - WIN-WIN!
This is how the traveling bead box system works.  The box is filled with beads and travels to one location. The first recipient then goes through takes what they would like and replaces those beads with some from her stash that she decides she will no longer use of the same quality and value. After this the box is sent onto the next participant. There are several boxes for different types, tastes and styles. For example, seed bead box, glass bead only box, metal beads, etc. This is where I was able to sign up for the 2nd Hand Soup - Finished Item Swap.
I love the challenges and friendships I am making. Whether you are a novice or an expert, if you are ready for more - come join us. Check out the links and sign up!

Make the world a better place, create something beautiful, with love and purpose giving freely of yourself...
What are you waiting for? Go create!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Artist Highlight - Lori Anderson

Lori Anderson of Lori Anderson Designs and Pretty Things is definitely a person to be watching. She is  going places - and quickly. Designing jewelry, organizing Bead Soup Swaps and Blog Hops, hosting groups and forums on facebook, doing trade shows, teaching classes, charity work, writing books and doing book tours - physically and online, and many other things on top of raising a fine young man. In all these hats she dons Lori manages to be kind-hearted and sincere in her dealings. Lori is always there to lend a hand, lead someone on through encouragement and always driving people around her to be better people. She is successful and helping others to do the same. That  is a quality hard to find these days and why she is our spotlighted artist of the week.

With the blog hops, giveaways, and her blog in general Lori challenges people and grants opportunity they may never have been able to realize had they not stumbled upon her or had the good fortune to personally meet her. I am one of those people and I am humbled and consider it an honor to befriended by Lori.

Here is an example of a thought provoking write up entitled Be Good to Yourself & Your Business Will Bloom. She wrote this as a guest blogger on Kind Over Matter a wonderfully positive and inspirational blog focusing on all things handmade and the people behind the making of these products, as well as healthy business ethics. It is a wonderful read on a wonderful blog - check them out!

Her successful online Bead Soup book tour was set up in tradition of the Bead Soup Blog Party . It truly was a perfect way to introduce the book to her following and those who are curious about bead soups and blog hops. All participants that were included in the book took part of this blog hop and hosted giveaways. It was a fun way to celebrate the spirit of the book and the Bead Soup Blog Party.

Lori has hosted and organized six Bead Soup Blog Parties and they have all turned out greater works than the artists themselves could dream possible. The idea is that two beaders are partnered up, they swap beads from their stashes and when they receive what their partners have picked for them to use and mix in a few things  they may add from their own stashes - they get busy creating and then blog about it. At revealing time participants and everyone else who is invited through blogs and other social media outlets visit as many blogs of fellow participants as possible and see what was started with and what it all became. We all come out richer, wiser and more confident. What a beautiful thing, as simple as it may seem, Lori has given us.

This is only a glimpse into who the person our artist of the week is. If you would like to learn more about Lori check out her site, her  blog, look her up on facebook, you'll be glad you did. I will be doing a review of the Bead Soup book within the next week, check back in - you won't want to miss it.

Create something beautiful and make it with love...