The Big (Blog Hop) Reveal

It’s time for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal! Here is what I made from the beads my parter Marta Grabalowska sent me. Her blogs are and

My bead soup was not my typical color palate and I consider that a good thing! I realized that I had some pink seed beads in my stash that I thought I would never use. They were almost identical to the ones  in the soup. I mixed them with  beige and tan beads of a similar value  and threw in some turquoise  beads to make a bead crochet pattern. I used the remaining beads as embellishment.


The copper clasp holds the rope closed. I beaded around the focal cameo and went for an asymmetrical look. I am very happy with the result. Thank you Marta!!!

Here are some more pictures.

Thank you Lori Anderson for making another great beading experience possible!! You can find a list of all the participants on Lori’s blog.

My Bead Soup Arrived!!!

My partner is Marta Grabalowska who recently moved from Krakow to the US!
Her blogs are (in Polish) and (English version). Marta’s work is different from mine. For one thing, she makes  Soutache jewelry and I have never tried the technique. She sent me some pretty soutache cord and a lovely pair of soutach earrings along with lots of pretty beads.  I’m looking forward to digging in; here are some pictures  of what she sent me.  The first one is the focal and clasp.










Here are a couple of pictures of what I sent Marta. I etched some copper for the focal and made the clasp too. I included some of my lamp worked beads and had a good time rooting around my stash for the rest of the beads.    I can’t wait to see what my partner makes with them.



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!

Bead Soup Enclosed!


OK, I admit it. I’ve been a little bit frazzled lately. For one thing, my workshop is in chaos following the repair of a pipe in the cement floor. I’m moving old furniture out and new(er) furniture (shelves and table) in and have more plans after that’s done but first we are having some home renovation done which requires major purging (Goodbye Disraeli Gears and 600 other LP’s I haven’t played in 30 years). The only one who seems unaffected by all of this is Plumpton.

So imagine my delight and surprise when I got a little package in the mail with this on it.

A little back story: I participated in Lori Anderson’s 6th Bead Soup Blog Hop this summer and posted prodigiously about my non-linear creative process. I had a blast. I had so much fun that I even filled out a survey that Lori sent around. Me. Filling out a survey. Normally when someone I don’t know (and honestly this sometimes applies to people I know and love) inquires, “Can I ask you a question?” I am tempted to reply (and indeed sometimes do reply) “Yes, but only one and that was it.” I am not the kind of person who responds to surveys. But I was so delighted with the Bead Soup experience that I responded and forgot about it, until yesterday when the package arrived in the mail.

Kalmbach Books, publisher of Lori’s forthcoming book Bead Soup, (Pre order a copy here) selected some beaders from those who answered the survey and paired them with bead stores who advertise in Kalmbach publications for another Bead Soup event. I am delighted that I answered the survey!

I tore open the package and this is what I found

Lots of beady gemstone chips, plus cylinder beads, 3mm beads and a charm all in a warm patinated metal from Your Beading Heart.

I’m not restricted to a particular color pallet and there’s more than enough Bead Soup to get me started.

Some words about my sponsor, Your Beading Heart. Your Beading Heart looks like a wonderful full-service bead store in south western Pennsylvania. They offer classes, room for parties and gatherings and a lot of interesting beads, tools and storage items for sale. And they sell on-line! Since they are 285 miles from me, that’s a good thing. If you are near Irwin PA and want to stop by, go here for directions.

Oh yeah, the due date for our finished projects is October 31 which also happens to be my 25th wedding anniversary. Our work will go up on Kalmbach’s Facebook and Pinterest pages.

Thank you Lori, thank you Kalmbach and thank you Linda Jacobs-Pence, owner of Your Beading Heart for this wonderful surprise.

Maybe I’ll answer more surveys!