Bead of Clay Design Team Reveal!

Several months ago the opportunity came to be part of a wonderful design team through Bead of Clay. So many of us wanted to participate that we've been split into teams...each waiting our opportunity to participate in a design series. I was so excited to hear at the end of July that I would be part of the August/September round of designers. Marla was so wonderful to give a sneak peak of all the loot that would be coming our way...the ideas of course began swirling at first sight. So many fantastic beads, components and even fiberwire to work with...did I mention I was excited!Then Marla presented us with a challenge... She asked that we make a pair of earrings and a necklace OR bracelet. The catch, we had to use EVERYTHING  sent to us in our designs...leave nothing out. Did I mention we were getting a TON of stuff? Here's a picture of the all the loot...
I have to take a moment to say I love the color pallette and they all did a fantastic job with coordinating colors to each others items. Now back to that use everything and only 1 pair of earrings and 1 necklace OR bracelet...yikes! Best to just dig in...and take a few progress pictures along the way!
I picked beads for the earrings first. I really liked the purple rounds..I know hard to believe, lol. At first I was undecided about the teal tubes or the green rounds (slightly mismatched). So at this point I set the earrings aside and decided to move on for the moment...
Links, dangles, and more links... It is at this point I will tell you I decided to cheat, just a little, in my design. I actually end up with 2 necklaces, which can be worn together or separately and a pair of earrings that can be worn with either necklace. I wanted to follow Marla's request but felt I also had to let the beads 'speak' to me. Besides I'm an artist, not good at following directions by nature...LOL!
So the first necklace is a 3 strand chain style linked together with one of my hubby's new handmade copper rings...coming soon to our supply shop Asbury Avenue Designs. I love the way this necklace turned out, I was able to use most of the loot in this necklace without having the piece be "too much". wrapped links are spaced out on each strand and I've made this one adjustable to it can be worn close to the neck up to about 18-19 inches.
The adjustable style of this one perfectly compliments the extra lenth in the second necklace. It took me a bit to get past only having one of Kristi's beautiful copper cones...oh what I could have done with two! But the one I decided was perfect to create a focal with a few of the larger beads that just didn't sit right as links for the first necklace.
This simple style also turned out to be a great place to use the fiberwire and not have it get 'lost' in the design.
Right about now you're thinking what happened to the earrings...
and now that I've shown you all these beautiful goodies, in wonderful pictures and collages...I wanted to show how both necklaces can be worn together and how the earrings compliment everything but of course...I couldn't get a good picture to save myself! So pardon this horrible picture but you can atleast see how it all goes together.
My extra long post is almost over...just a little business and thank you left to do...THANK YOU to all the wonderful artists from Beads of Clay...without you we would not have this wonderful design group! I hope you will visit the other designers who participated. Links to their blogs are below along with links to all the bead designers for your shopping pleasure. :)Designers:CillaWatkinsLesley WattMaryLou HolvenstotShannon ChomanczukBOC Contributors:Karen Totten Starry Road StudioJulie Rowe Beads, Birds and BonesJeraLuna DesignsMarla James Marla's MudKristi Bowman KristiBowmanDesignYarn Sweet Yarn

Thanks to our CBC Admins!

Today I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to 5 fantastic ladies! They put in alot of work a administrators for our Facebook group...Creative Bead Chat. We are 1,000+ members and still growing. Help me show these wonderful ladies how much we appreciate all they do to promote, advise and support all of us in this wonderful chat group. Below are links to each of their shops, so stop by and check out all of their great products...I bet you'll find at least one thing you just must have...Marla James of Marla's MudMelinda Orr of Melinda Orr DesignsKaren Totten of Starry Road StudioMarla Gibson of Spice Box DesignsKeirsten Giles of Lune DesignsThis group is so great with it's friendships, advice, encouragement and support...thank you doesn't really seem like enough.

Pay it forward

Challenge of Travel

It's reveal time...but first a bit about the challenge...I saw this challenge just a day or two before it closed, so I didn't really have to time to think beyond sounds fun, I love a design challenge and so I went for it! For the challenge we had to choose a region other then where we live and then pick a nation in that region to use for design inspiration...or we could choose 'surprise me' for the nation...surprise is good, right?I chose Oceania...and was surprised with Solomon Islands. I proceeded to Google it, though I had a pretty good idea of the general information and photos I would find. Tropical, clear blue waters, green forest areas just off of sandy coastlines and many yummy colorful fish...I apologize for not sharing any of the pictures I found but illness came soon after my research began and soon it became more important to try to finish my piece then to re-search for the pictures.I love the bright tropical colors, blues and greens are color favorites to work with so even with the sudden illness I was thinking no problem...this should be a breeze...My first attempt...I purchased a wonderful tutorial from Shannon LeVart of Miss Fickle Media for making a sari silk and stone I decided to give it a try...even though I had no sari silk on hand...
I hand forged my own copper bracelet form from the instructions, not too difficult. Then on to a sari silk substitute...beautiful, hand dyed silk ribbon should do the trick and how perfect! I have some in ocean shades of blue and green. So following the tutorial I begin wrapping my ribbon with wire...I think about halfway through the wrapping I wasn't convinced but continued on hoping it would get better...not so much... I got as far as adding the bead and quit! I have since ordered some sari ribbon in sever beautiful colors because I LOVE Shannon's tutorial and would like to try again with the proper materials...wish me luck!So now we are about a week from reveal time and I have no ideas...time to grope the bead stash and hope the magic happens...I started with the bag goodies I have from Nan Emmett of Spirited Earth I have recently purchased some of her beach style pendants so maybe they will 'speak' to me...and so it's the mermaid. She is not the tropical shades of blue and green. The bead bundle that 'works' with her is not either, rather they are darker greens, with coppery browns...if there is such a thing...and a bit of cranberry. Then I remember seeing just a few pictures of natives to Solomon Islands...beyond the clear blue water, sandy beaches and green forest...were the native huts made from large brown leaves and the native people in there natural colors, just a hint of red, blue or greens beads in the personal adornments. So it was decided...for better or worse...
It works for me...pendant and beads are from Nan Emmett. I used bronze chain and I am proud to say Drew, my hubby, made the beautiful, hand hammered copper ring. He has made several more which will be available soon in our supply shop, Asbury Avenue Designs.A close up of the beads...

Life getting in the way of my art...

Hi All,I know it's been awhile since my last post...needless to say life's been a bit bumpy. Things have been very busy dealing with my husband's disability issues and preparing for his SSI hearings. On top of that I have been having additional health problems and after many years of struggling with illness I am finally getting answers, although they are not quite what I hoped for...and it turns out I am sicker than originally suspected. So needless to say the stress of everything has been weighing heavily and making it difficult to keep up with everything. I am hoping to get back on track with everything soon...and I have been able to create and post a few new things during this time but have many more creations waiting for pictures, listing and in some cases waiting to actually be created. Anyway, that's all for now...just know I'm still here and working on getting back into the swing of things, it's just taking time to get all the health issues managed.~Kari

IT'S REVEAL TIME! Finally today we get to reveal our wonderful goodies from the Art Bead Earring Swap...Big thanks to Diana for putting it all together! Now on to the good stuff...
From Dee Elgie all the way from the UK came gorgeous, long, black and silver earrings...featuring beautiful frosted lampwork beads from Alchemy Lampwork, Dee made the black spacers and earwires, added silver hearts and Swarovski crystals...sparkly gorgeous!
Next up are the earrings I received from Linda Landig from right here in my lovely Pacific Northwest! These earrings feature adorable ladybug ceramic beads from Golem Studio and handmade earwires from Fresh String Beads. Did I cute, perfect for summer!
Thanks Dee and Linda, you each managed to catch bits of my favorite things (without even knowing it!) and create fantastic earrings that I will enjoy wearing and will compliment my wardrobe and personality!Lastly, the earrings I sent to Dee and Linda...along with a shameless plug or two for the artists who made the beads and components I used...
On the left, the earrings I sent Linda feature copper dragonfly charms from Kristi Bowman Design. I have only had a chance to order a couple of things (so far) from Kristi but they have been fabulous and I will be shopping with her again...hopefully soon! The lampwork beads are from Pink Beach Studios, a favorite of mine...lots of selection and Stacy is always great with special requests.On the right, the earrings I sent Dee...she said she likes bright and colorful! Enameled filigree from Sue Beads, another favorite for lampwork beads and enameled goodies. Lampwork headpins from Havana Beads, lots of wonderful goodies. And last but certainly not least lampwork beads from Bubby & McGurk, be sure to check them out on facebook where they run some fantastic sale events!That's it for me but be sure to check out all the other fantastic creations from these lovely ladies...
Diana Ptaszynski
Patti Vanderbloemen
Diane Hawkey
Lesley Watt
Jenny Davies Reazor
Melinda Orr
Cilla Watkins
Stephanie Haussler
Sally Russick
Susan Kennedy
Cheryl Brown

I've been working on earrings for the swap this between doctor appts and the day job. I am pleased to say that even with the busy week and not so good doctor news, I have finished the first pair! Soon they will be making way to UK. I will start the second pair this week since they are traveling in the US. I think everything should arrive to all in plenty of time for the big reveal. So proud of myself pulling it all together before the last minute as I seem to do a lot lately.So that's all for now...but I am also working on some regular weekly posting ideas so look for things to get more active here soon!

I just received my partners for the Art Bead Earring Swap. I am very excited to be participating in the swap. I received my goodies from Martha Eason yesterday and I have several hoarded lovelies from other wonderful the possibilities are almost endless! Now I'm just waiting to hear back from each of my partners so I can start narrowing things down. But for now I'm off to some other projects while I wait. Have a great Sunday!

Calico Collage is having their first giveaway! Ella of Calico Collage is offering the chance to win postcards featuring some of her lovely designs and digital collage sheets!

7000 Bracelets of Hope

I was inspired this week... After seeing all the beautiful bracelets from the 7000 Bracelets for Hope blog hop and visiting the Global Genes Project website I decided that even though I had missed the blog hop I could still create a bracelet for this wonderful cause.While I love blue and it's one of my go to design colors, I don't use much denim I had to look thru the many, many, many beads to find just the right look. I discovered that awhile back Raida from Havana Beads sent me some beautiful blue lampwork beads as an 'extra' goodie with an order...needless to say they were perfect with some Vintaj brass and some pale blue vintage czech beads I had on hand. I also added a Vintaj dragonfly charm, since dragonflies represent the changes in life that we must pass thru and accept rather than being able to ignore or go around...I think that's why I like them so much beautiful creatures reminding us to endure, learn, accept and grow to come out stronger on the other side! It's symbolism seemed perfect for this project. So enough is the bracelet on it's way in today's mail. I hope it provides the recipient much comfort, strength and hope as they face this challenging road.