Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kalmbach Bead Soup Reveal

You might remember from this post that Kalmbach is hosting a Bead Soup Party to celebrate Lori Anderson’s new book, Bead Soup. I was the lucky recipient of a bead soup (below) from The Creative Fringe.

The instructions were to make a necklace with the bead soup and other beads from our own stash. The beautiful yellow saffron colored seed beads, teal Czech beads, brass spacers, clay beads, brass button and ceramic pendant are all from the bead soup. I attached the brass button to the ceramic pendant with bronze colored wire from Vintaj. The necklace also includes handmade paper script beads from Gillian McMurray, and finished with a brass chain and lobster clasp from Vintaj.

'Ancient Saffron Scrolls'

A big thank you to Kalmbach for hosting the party, and to The Creative Fringe for the fabulous bead soup, and for Lori Anderson who inspires us all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy Blogiversary to Me

Though I’ve been making jewelry since 2007, I only just recently started my own blog. In fact, today is my one year blogiversary! I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey with you, and it seems like the year flew by. I’ve met so many people who are caring, supportive, and willing to share. I’ve won numerous giveaways, and now it is time for me to give back by hosting my own giveaway. But first I want to share some of my favorite blog posts from the past year. Just click on the photo to be taken to the post.

Favorite inspirational post:

Favorite travel post:

Favorite fun post:

Most all-time viewed post:

And now for the giveaway, the winner will receive a copy of the October Bead Trends because I somehow ended up with two. And I'll throw in a mixed bag of beads just for fun.
All you have to do is leave a comment. And if you pass along the info via social media please let me know in a separate comment for each.  Please make sure your email is available so I can contact the winner. The giveaway is open to anyone, near and far. I'll pick a winner on November 2nd. 

Thank you for following along on my blog this past year.  I appreciate  all of your your sweet comments!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chinook Blog Partner Blog Hop

I was lucky to have my name chosen to play along in Mellisa's Blog Partner Blog Hop. Mellisa sent  this  lovely 'pond' glazed leaf pendant to work with.  The colors are amazing! 

The necklace is made with Mellisa's lovely pendant, and I added a Vintaj Swirl Charm for a bit of contrast.  The tiny fall-inspired lampwork beads are from Pebble Dreams.  I just love these little beads as they make wonderful, colorful spacers.  Vintaj chain and lobster clasp finish the piece. 
I must have taken upwards of 30 photos of this piece and still I did not feel like I got 'the one'. 

'Glorious Autumn'

A big thank you to Mellisa for letting me play along in my very first Blog Partner Hop!
Please visit Lucid Moon Studio and Copper Diem to see what they made.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feast of the Fields-Barn Edition

You might remember this post from June where my husband and I enjoyed a gourmet dinner in the middle of a corn field.  The same family hosts a gourmet dinner in their 1876 stone barn each September and we were lucky enough to snag two seats.  The family enjoys sharing their love for the farm and the bounty it brings. This wonderful meal was served family style, along with Kansas wines, and wines from California. Chef Reagan chose a menu using fresh,  locally grown food.

The first course: Braised Pork Belly and Pumpkin Soup. You won't see the rest of the meal because we were too busy eating to get good photos.

The beautiful barn all  lit up

At the end of the evening we noticed the moon had a large halo around it, which is caused by light reflecting off of ice crystals in the atmosphere. To farmers, this signals rain or cooler weather.

"As a work of art, I know few things more pleasing to the eye or more capable of affording scope and gratification to a taste for the beautiful, than a well situated, well cultivated farm."
Edward Everett 1857

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Photo Area and Other Jewelry Stuff

It's been too long since my last blog post, and after wracking my brain for something interesting I thought I would show you my photo setup and other jewelry related stuff. I work in three different areas; the dining room table is where I make jewelry, our office is where I take photos, and I did have a soldering bench set up on the basement but as of last night that was dismantled (please ignore any dust or clutter you might see).

Normally I like an all white background for my jewelry. I love that clean crisp feeling and rarely use props. Below you can see how I set up to take photos. You can't see it in this picture but to the left is a window that faces north. It lets in the perfect amount of filtered light, unless it's a gloomy day. I use an old parlor table with a white craft paper background. Propped against the desk is a large piece of foam board which reflects the light from the window back onto the table. It's worked very well for me, and with Picasa it's easy to crop, add fill light, highlights, shadows, etc.

With the arrival of autumn I wanted to switch to a darker background. Here I'm using an old crate which is propped up on a plastic tote.

While I was cleaning up my soldering station in our basement I came across this pile of bezels I made during Stephanie Lee's Homesteader's Metalsmithing Class a couple years ago. Unfortunately this, plus a soldered chain is all I made for the class. My mom was very ill and I just didn't seem to have the desire to keep going. It was kind of fun to uncover these, and I can see I have a long way to go in terms of soldering. 

Here's a delicious pile of beads I won from Malin some time ago. The colors are beautiful! Blues, greens and browns are my favorite to work with.

Below are some wonderful enameled beads I won from Keri at Lemonade Stand. I can't wait to use these beauties.
Recently I have been wanting to get my jewelry into shops, so I purchased a Plexiglas display case--pictured below.  It's a bit smaller than I realized but it will do for now.  The first shop I approached told me my jewelry was too expensive for her shop. The second shop was moving to a smaller place and would not have room for anything extra. I'll keep trying and hopefully I'll find a shop that fits my jewelry.

And I just want to say I abhor (my polite way of saying it) Blogger's new interface. No matter how I put together a post, the photos do not stay where I want them, and the text wraps around the photos even though I choose left formatting. There are huge gaps between photos and text, but when I try to eliminate them the photos slide up beside each other or the text splits between the top and the bottom of the photo. I've tried it with formatting, and without formatting. I've tried it in compose mode and html mode. I'm so frustrated with Blogger!!!!  Am I the only one?

On a more pleasant note, October 24th is my one year Blogiversary! I've been the lucky recipient of so many giveaways and now it's my turn to give back. Stop by on the 24th to celebrate with me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I changed my blog header today to represent my favorite season—autumn. Normally I like a white background for my jewelry but I’ve been inspired the darker ones I’ve seen around blogland like Lorelei and Sparrow Salvage. I named this piece ‘Frost on the Pumpkin’.

Yesterday I got a lot of things done; dentist appointment in the city, a trip to Walmart, follow up on a benefit for my best friend’s husband who has cancer, several loads of laundry, dishes, supper, and so much more. But today I was still in my P.J.’s at 10:00 am., and have only cleaned the kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen, lately I’ve felt I’ve done our kids a disservice in the way we eat; mostly processed foods, not much in the way of fruits and veggies, and we have something sweet nearly every evening. I stumbled across a blog that is hosting ‘October Unprocessed’. The idea is to pledge to eat as much unprocessed stuff as you can during the month of October, or at least try it for a day, week etc, or even just be more aware of the food you eat. I took the pledge, but I know that it will be very difficult to make the change, especially when we really have no farmers markets around here, and the produce in our grocery is nearly out of date when it hits the shelves. But I’m going to try and make little changes and just be more aware of what we eat. Click on the ‘October Unprocessed’ badge on the right side to be taken to the site. If you sign up you can make the pledge and sign up for emails for tips on how to eat unprocessed.

I have so many things to share with you like our trip to Chicago, A harvest meal served family style in a gorgeous stone barn, beads that showed up in the mail, and so much more. But creating a blog post with the new interface has been nothing but frustrating to me. It’s part ignorance on my part, and I just need to get used to it. I’d love to hear what you are up to this week. Maybe it will get me motivated.

Remember October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Have you made your appointment? I definitely need to get that done.