Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Creative Spark Summer 2014 Blog Reveal

(Graphic made from a Graphicstock.com download! I love this site and I'm late also in doing a review for them! Coming very soon though...)

This quote above tells it exactly how I feel lately!! I was lucky enough to be selected to take part in the ZNet Shows summer challenge with the theme of Summer Days & Nights.  I was delighted to receive my package from ZNet which had the most awesome selection of sea glass!

Then I was darn proud of myself for finishing my pieces on time (with even a few days to spare!!)....but then it all broke down and I missed the blog reveal and hop that took place over this past weekend.  So my apologies to ZNet, Hope, and my fellow blogging participants:

If you can't visit their blogs, you may want to check this summer edition of Creative Spark

It's a great piece of inspiration and all the ladies' creations are in this issue...along with lots of other fun tidbits! 

And so, without further ado, I want to share what I made from my awesome haul!  

Here was my evening set....I had weddings on the brain (from work), and thought it would be neat to focus on the crystal sea glass...and I added some crystal, which gave it the bling it needed for an evening feel...  (photographing this color was a bit on the challenging side....so photographing clear crystal, white etc... advice is welcome!)
 Here was my casual set...I have already worn this bracelet and earrings a ton - orange is my favorite color!!! I knew when I saw this strand of orange "pebbles" that I wanted to do something with free form beadweaving and this is the result!
I currently have the purple cylinder beads on my bead table and am working them up with some super shiny, purple charlottes....I can't wait to see where that piece will go! 

In the meanwhile - here are the links to some of the products in my Summer Days & Nights pieces if you are interested in checking them out. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bead-It-Forward 2015

Let's talk about Bead-It-Forward today!!!  I've mentioned this a few times in other posts over the last couple months, but wanted to give this fun and important subject a dedicated post! 

In case you haven't heard, I have taken over the Bead-It-Forward Quilt project!! To summarize, Bead-It-Forward is a project where beaders from around the world donate 2x2 inch beaded squares, which are then put together as quilts, shadow boxes, ornaments, and other crafted objects, then auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer research and care.

There are a myriad of reasons I decided to take on this project.  As a participant, I always thought this was a very fun and cool idea!  I've donated many squares over the last three years.

And I've always enjoyed seeing the amazing creativity of other beaders....
I think it's amazing that so many beaders come together for this project. Seeing groups collaborate to make beaded donations is awesome too (I'm looking at you Bead Soup in Savage, MD, Bead Society of Central New York, Operation Tackle That Bead Stash.....and I'm only scratching the surface here!)

At the heart of it though, I love having the ability to do something (with beads!) to help and honor those who have been affected by breast cancer. 

Friends and family of mine...a precious few survivors ....but there are so many more!!

I'll never forget the day, a few years ago, one of my girlfriends texted me that she needed to tell me something, could she call....I texted back that I was in the forest with the cub scouts at the moment and I'd call her when we were back to civilization in the next hour or so.  She responded with this dreaded text...."I have breast cancer".  At age 36.  Good grief.   Thank God, she is now cancer free for the past two years, but what a scary time. As it is for all victims of this disease.  How many victims can you name?  If you can name one, it is one too many!!!

So it is with great pleasure I took on Bead-It-Forward.  Two of my best girlfriends are officially on board with this project, my husband and son both committed to do what they can as well, I've already had several of my blogger friends offer to help....really a gal couldn't feel more supported than this!  With the help I already have and the hope that we'll continue to get thousands of beaders on board to donate squares, I plan to continue the Bead-It-Forward tradition in full force and aspire to make this project as successful, if not more, in the coming years!!

The theme for 2015 is Animals: "Wild about finding a cure".  There are new patterns on the "Patterns" page of this blog, and also on the "Patterns" page of the new Bead-It-Forward website.  And here are some other links if you are interested in getting involved!!!

Well that's all for now!  I hope to see many square in the P.O. Box in the coming months!!! HAPPY SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Time To Stitch 5

Thank goodness for these challenges to get me back to blogging!! Truth is, I've been beading quite a bit, but every time I think I can get a post written....well, my schedule seems to have other things in mind!!  I should add here too, that I've been terrible on my reading blogs as well!!

So let's get to the challenge at hand, which is the fifth installment of Therese and Christine's A Time To Stitch challenge! This round was a little different, and the directive was to pick one stitch, and do it three times in a different size, shape and/or color bead.

What a wonderful study in design!!! I picked my go-to stitch, peyote. And one of my go-to designs of peyote stitch with picot edging. I tend to always do this design with delicas, since they sit so wonderfully next to each other. But jeesh - when you try other sizes and shapes - all sorts of wonderful things happen!!

I have one here with delicas and the picot edging is done with 13/0 size beads. For the purple, I used 8/0 matte purple beads with matte a/b finish, and 11/0 seed beads for the picot edge. And the blue bracelet is done with 10/0 triangle beads. Look at how wavy it is!

I had a ton of fun with this challenge and I think it's a wonderful study in the role of size, finish, shape, and color when working a technique! Please visit the other participants in this round of A Time To Stitch! Thanks to Therese and Christine for a fun and useful challenge!



Saturday, May 31, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 22

This week Sally asked us to "focus on what is IN BLOOM!"

This was a tiny bit of a challenge for me this week since all the plants around my house this week are only green - no flowers!  Even the daffodils didn't bloom this year, and the rest of the landscaping is green shrubs and such.  We've got a hydrangea but we won't see flowers on that for a little while.

So I turned to some of my photos from work this week...there were some chives about to bloom on the farm...

 Which we then sent to our catering company to be used as plate garnish for a wedding!  This was one of my faves from this week:

See what else is in bloom with other Focus on Life participants!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 21

Ack! I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last post.  Work has been insane, if you've ever opened a restaurant, you will understand.  My company's newest restaurant is opening this Monday...mock service is this weekend....it is all-consuming! Particularly when you are in a position (as I am) responsible for duties in other restaurants in the company!!  Anwhooooooooooo when my eyes popped open this morning I thought - let me get back on the Focus on Life train and see about this week's prompt. 

This week we will focus on our day, what we are doing or what's happening around us.  Take a moment and pay attention to patterns of your day or the unexpected!  Fill in the blanks:
At or In the _( time of day)_,   I  (say what you are doing or what's happening in a photo)
Here's my fill in the blanks:

In the middle of the day,   I am taking hundreds of pictures of restaurant food, drinks, or interiors or exteriors, then editing, and distributing them on social media and websites.

This past week was particularly busy.  As I mentioned, the new restaurant is opening in a few days and there is so much going on at that site.  I took exactly 2406 photos this past week in various locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  Here are some of my faves from the week!

 See what other Focus-on-Lifers are blogging about this week:

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog.  An event where beaders around the world, swap beads (consisting of a focal, clasp and some coordinating beads) with a partner and today is the day we reveal what we made!  The rules are simple:
You MUST use the focal and clasp (but not necessarily in the same piece) and that you use all, any, or none of the coordinating beads sent to you. You can make one piece or many.

Simple and FUN! 

Let me introduce you to my partner: Annita Wilson of AW Jewelry.  She is a seed beader like myself and creates some pretty awesome free form beadwork.  She sent me an awesome soup:

I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous collection of Delicas that Annita sent.  Totally all "my" colors.  Those pinks were amazing, and I just loved the shade of the greens and that cream colored delica with a copper lining!!!OOOOOOEEEEEEEE!!!  I was in heaven.  I knew I wanted to do something special with those wonderful seed beads.  So I got started with the gorgeous little herringbone flower clusters I saw in Melinda Barta's Mastering Herringbone book. 

Oops - broke a couple needles along the way!

But I kept going and made several of these little flowers, that reminded me of the brass filigree focal in my soup.

Next up was the awesome pink quartz stone.  This pretty stone was so pretty on it's own I didn't want to do much with it so I bezeled it with a some pale pink 15/0's and added a little fringe.

How cool is this clasp?

Put it all together and I have my Bead Soup Blog Party piece!

I have a few other pieces in the works, as my soup was very generous, but this is all I had complete for today's reveal.  A special thanks to my BSBP partner Annita - I truly loved the 'ingredients' in my bead soup!!  And of course a huge debt of gratitude to Lori for hosting this event, even through the challenges of her health issues.  This is an event I look forward to every year, and I'm so glad I could take part again.

Now...time to go socialize with the other party-goers!!!  See below for a list of participants!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Focus on Life • Week 18

This week's topic for the Focus on Life photo challenge is "In Your (Their) Hands"....

Back in the beginning of the year, for another topic, I realized I was quite obsessed with taking photos of footprints in the snow....well, as it turns out, I am also obsessed with taking close-ups of people doing things with their hands!! Must be the appealing tactile-ness of all the things I see in my work, day to day.  How someone is working hard with their hands to make the final product.  I simply couldn't pick just one for this week. From chefs hand-shelling fava beans, to bricklayers adding finishes to the new restaurant, to staff at the farm seeding the crops one seed at a time...I take a LOT of pictures of hands...