Reveal day is here and I had a ton of beads to use thanks to my partner My partner is Miranda Ackerley who runs MirandackArts. Miranda’s beads were mostly gemstones. There were a few shell beads, a couple glass and metal. and the yellow focal was ceramic. I used the clasp and the yellow focal in two different necklaces. Oh, and I really got into wire wrapping this time making many many wrapped loops for necklace number one ( below) and making a pearl chain using gold filled wire and the lovely freshwater pearls that Miranda sent (Necklace Two). I had never made a pearl chain before.

Clasp NecklaceNecklace Number One

I used Miranda’s clasp in this necklace and the bit of gunmetal chain she sent. I added brass and copper figaro chains and mixed my metals willy nilly. Miranda included a strand of chicklet-like brown beads with her soup and most of them ended up in this necklace, I had an especially good time assembling the focal and combined the beads in an unconventional way. I like how they look! Besides the chains, I added some seed beads and wire, and the brass, turquoise and red beads which I thought would go well with the brown. This necklace ended up being a lot of work and I had to solve some engineering problems but I had fun and that’s what counts.


Necklace Number Two

Here you see the big yellow focal with one of Miranda’s turquoise beads. The focal frame is an earring I found on the street! Miranda sent a strand of chips which I strung with 0/8 turquoise seed beads. The pearl chain is the second strand and the third strand with the gemstone beads is connected by base metal eye pins that I wrapped with real French bullion gold wire that I’ve had for years. I think it really makes the piece look opulent although I never heard of French bullion being used this way. It’s a bit extravagant but I wanted to try it. I made the toggle clasp from brass (process explained in prior post) and textured it to go with the brass disk Miranda included with the beads. That’s a bullion-wrapped eye pin hanging on the bottom.

Copper Pendant

Necklace Number Three

The only Miranda beads I used here are a gorgeous Biwa pearl (she sent two; the other one is in the focal of necklace number one) and a brown freshwater pearl. The rest of the necklace is street finds: rusty washers, stripped electrical wire and materials discussed in a prior post.



I have a confession to make. When I first saw these wire beads I didn’t like them. They don’t have any holes and Miranda sent three of them. I was stumped until I turned them on their sides, added some of her chips and her purple crystals, and ended up with earrings I will wear!

Silver PendantAnd I made a pendant with the third wire bead and an enameled bead Miranda sent.

Thank you Lori Anderson for another great Bead Soup Blog Party!!!

To see the rest of the participants, press here.

Here’s a gallery of close ups and detail shots.

Sneak Preview!

This Saturday is reveal day for   group three in the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party.    I thought I would give a sneak preview of some of the things I made.  The rule is that you must use the focal and the clasp that your blog partner sends you.  In my case,  my partner Miranda Ackerly sent me a great focal and clasp and I am using them both-but in different pieces.   So decided to make a clasp for one of the necklaces out of brass

Start of Toggle 1The pieces cut out


The brass disk  was part of the bead soup and I textured it and the loop and toggle clasp

Texturing toggle

Another View

Toggle Soldering

Ready for  soldering.  You’ll have to wait for reveal day to see the finished clasp.


This is a clasp I made for another piece you will see on reveal day.   It’s made of stripped electrical wire and a section o ring from a 5 gallon plastic bucket which resembles thick buna cord and it’s free when you find it in the street!

And here are some more preview pix!

The Walk Home

The part of Philadelphia I live in is great for walking especially now that the weather is getting nicer.  Here are some pictures I took one day on my walk home from work.

UntitledA Building. See the camera?

2A Building

FlowerPotA Flowerpot

BarbershopA Barbershop

DoorA Door

CamacAnother Door

DoginWindowA Doggie in a Window

A Building

Delancy2A Decorative Element

My ShoesThe Shoes of the Photographer

Meet the Rilakkuma (Or My Creative Process)

The last two reveal dates for the 7th Bead Soup Blog party have been pushed back a week so I have one more week to experiment with all the beads I got from my partner,  Miranda Ackerley of MirandackArts.      This means you get to be a fly on the wall of my workshop and witness my so-called creative process.     I make a lot of junk when I  work out design ideas.  Read on and you will see what I mean.

Soldered Copper Ring before flatteningI decide I want to showcase some of Miranda’s beads a little differently than just stringing them.  With this in mind, I start with 12 gauge copper wire and solder a ring

hammerflatringI hammer the ring flat

Texturing happer

I add texture with my home made texturing hammer

texture close up

Looks pretty good so far.  I decide to make a multilayer pendant.  (If a little looks good, a lot will look better, right?)    I make another ring and loops for a chain and solder it all together.

pendant polishedGaaaa!  It looks like Rilakkuma.  Oh, dear.  This is not good.  Wait!  Let me send it through the rolling mill!

After Rolling Mill

Now it looks like a teen-aged Rilakkuma.  This is not going well.

Remove punch holes

I take Rilakkuma apart and punch holes in what was the lower ring.


I add a bail and polish.  Now I will string beads and freshwater pearls through the pendant.


Yikes!  Did Plumpton do this when I wasn’t looking???


Second try.  Better.


Second try with a dangle.   Not sure how I like it.  Time to put it away.

To be  continued. . . . . .

A few days later. . .

How do I like it?  Not much, but   I think it’s important to post my failures as well as my successes ( such as they are).  Some say the secret to success is failure.  What do you think?

Don’t forget Beadfest this weekend!