Thursday, 27 February 2014

Bead & Glass Boutique For The Love of Beads Challenge

My second Bead & Glass Boutique Challenge kit included lots of pink.  Pink, pink, and more pink.  Not one of my favorite colors, but I ran with it.  Had a great idea right off the hop, and started to get into it right away.  Then, of course, life happens right?  The kids have to do this or that, the hubby needs this or that, and then there's work, and my other crafty adventures.  I blame Shelley Graham Turner for this one.  She got me into this Ning Community called My Paper Pantry, and its all about paper crafting, which I also love to do.

That being said, my original piece didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.  So I revised and ripped out, and started again.  HA!  Then I realized that Andrew Thornton's Radiant Orchid Challenge was due the day before this one.  O Boy!

I managed to get the Radiant Orchid Challenge piece finished, but hadn't been able to find the time to finish the Love of Beads Challenge piece.  I am sorry Amy.  I just couldn't get it done in time.  Even after I ordered extra seedies to go with the kit, it still isn't finished.  I know, I am a  I will finish it, it just won't be this week, or this weekend.  I will post when it's done and hopefully Amy and the Bead & Glass Boutique can forgive me.  I just love them to pieces.

Bead & Glass Boutique Dreamweaver Challenge

My first ever Bead & Glass Boutique Dreamweaver Challenge was a challenge.  I wasn't sure what was going to happen with this kit.  Again, I mulled it over for a long time.....before I finally nailed down what I wanted to do.  In fact, this is only the second ever piece that I actually planned out and sketched  I joined this challenge because I loved the colors of the kit (this happens a lot :)).

Purples and blues, what a great combination!  So, I managed to use almost all of the kit.  If you're familiar with their challenges, you have to use 77% of the kit in your piece and only one piece is allowed.  My issue is this:  in all of these challenges they never include enough seed beads for me :P.  I ended up ordering extra waxed linen, and used it to crochet part of the bezel around the cab. So, this is my piece I call it Flight of the Dreamweaver.  Not one of my better pieces (and I'm sure that's because I planned it out hehe), but still I think it's a worthy piece.  The only things I didn't use from the kit were two colors of rat tail cord.  And I used a lampworked dichroic cab made by my friend Judy McCourt, of Annoyed Artist Beads.

Bead Journal Project February 2014

I wanted to do a piece that reflected something in my life, and I wanted to use Shibori Ribbon to do it...hehe.  I had received a gemstone pendant in the BS USA Chinese Auction last month and loved the color, and it went really well with a scrap of ribbon that I had got from Glennis Dolce of Shibori Girl Studios (Beautiful ribbon she has!)

As I was pulling beads and colors, I realized that these colors alone remind me of my parents.  The earthy tones and flow of the fabric shouted to me the name, and the rest came with the flow.  I do a lot of intuitive beading.  I find I have trouble planning things out.  What I see in my head and what shows up on the paper (when I try and sketch things out) are two very different things.  However, I find that once I pick my focal and some of the major beads to go with it, everything else just seems to fall into place.

More on my inability to plan a project later...tomorrow in

For now, let's discuss this piece.  I call it the Pillars of the Earth.  For a couple of reasons.  One, the colors, obviously.  They are beautiful earthy tones.  Secondly, the colors and the stones reminded me of my parents and I thought about them the whole time I was creating this piece.  They are MY Pillars of the Earth.  They are my pillars of strength, of creativity (mom is a painter, dad a woodworker, and both are very musical), they are my grounding influence and have taught me to be the same.  They are love and light and all things good, warm and fuzzy.  So, in closing,  This piece is my tribute to my mom and dad.  Thank you for being who you are, and for teaching me the things I needed to know to be a lot like you.

I love you.

I will be putting this piece in a shadow-box frame for them to hang in their home.

Radiant Orchid Challenge - Allegory Gallery

When I heard Andrew Thornton was having a beading challenge, I jumped right in!  I love Andrew, and although I have never been there, given how Andrew speaks about it, I imagine Allegory Gallery is definitely on my bucket list! So is the Bead & Glass Boutique in New Jersey, but that's another blog post (which I am also writing tonight :)).

Let's get down to business....Andrew sent all the challenge participants a kit which included all kinds of purply goodness.  Purple happens to be my all-time favorite color, so how could I not?  Now, those of you that know me, you know that I am a seed-beeder through and through.  SIGH.  So many challenges I want to be included in, but alas, they focus on a lot bigger beads than I am used to.  I have tried and tried and TRIED to work with the bigger beads, but they just don't speak to me.  So I mulled over this challenge for quite a while.  I spilled the beads on my mat, mixed them, separated them again, sighed a few times and put them away again.  I did this several times, lol.

Lots of big beautiful purple beads!
Lots of medium sized beautiful purple beads
And a few seedies in there too!

Then I received my birthday present from my loving sister who remembered how much I wanted some cameos to try working with.  I received a big baggie full of antique cameos just waiting to be remade into something vintagely modern (yup, it's a word in my world :P) and beautiful.  So I pulled out this gorgeous purple cameo and spilled out the beads again, and ALAS!  This simple but pleasant design came to me.

And as I was putting it together in my head (I very rarely sketch things out -  I can't get the design from my head to the paper), all I could think about was my wonderful mother, and that her birthday was coming up, and that cameos remind me of her.  She is timeless, and beautiful and absolutely an amazing person.

AND, purple happens to be her birthstone, and one of her favorite colors too!  This was perfect!

So, here is my challenge piece.  I used all of the beads that I thought I could use, which was way more than I thought at the beginning, and the really big ones I gave to a very good friend of mine is in love with big beautiful beads.  Win-win!

My mom loved the cameo piece and of course showed it off on her FB page :)

I am anxiously awaiting Andrew's next challenge and what it may entail!

In the meantime, don't forget to visit all the other participants' blogs, as well as Andrew's blog , and Allegory Gallery too!
Thank you Andrew for including me!   I love a good challenge.

Andrew Thornton
Allegory Gallery

And the participants' list:

Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Joanne Goldberg, Julie Katz, Irene Leniham, and Linda Starosciak

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

New friends, new ideas...
I met a new friend on Facebook.  Her Name is Amy, and she owns the Bead & Glass Boutique in Pitman, New Jersey.  We have become fast friends, and seem to have a ton of stuff in common.  I took an idea that I had to Amy and she has run with it's sooo much fun!

I had been ordering a few things here and there from Amy's store, but there are so many more things I want!  I made a list of things that I love, need, or want.  Yes, it's a long list :)

Then I gave Amy a budget to stick to every month.  Now every month, Amy picks out a few things on my list (within the budget of course) and sends me a mystery kit.  The kit consists of things I want, need, or love, and come from my list, yes...but, I do not know what's coming every month :)  It's a like a Christmas gift for myself every month.  I love it!  I am currently waiting for my second package to be delivered.

My first package came in late January, and consisted of ultrasuede, glue (E-6000), some beautiful Shibori Ribbon, and some superduos in awesome purply colours.

So, some of these items I have used already, the others have been put away for future use, but all of them were on my list and I love them!  Amy has been so receptive to this idea, and I suggested she use this as a marketing tool.  She is marketing the mystery kits (after I receive them) on her stores FB page at

Every month or so, Amy holds an online sale on her FB page, and of course it's very VERY tempting to purchase new beads, they are all so yummy.  But Amy will take orders and mail them out quickly.  She is very good with customer service and is so easy to talk to.  I just my new friend!