Beads, Swaps and exchanges

BeadFest part 4 — the people and the swaps

One last BeadFest post and then I’m done, promise! This time I want to mention a few of the people I met at BeadFest and afterwards. I’ve been involved in the beading/jewellery design online community for a few years now, blogging, taking part in challenges, swapping beads and chatting on Facebook. So it was fabulous to meet some of the people I have talked to over the last few years.

I took with me a little stash of art beads from some of my favourite Aussie beadmakers—Natalie Fletcher-Jones, Melissa Gabelle (a new discovery), Pauline Delaney, and more to swap with friends I met on my travels (by the way, these three beadmakers are very active on FB bead groups including Australian Art Beads which is a great page for buying beads). I should have taken a picture of it all before I left, but alas, I didn’t.

One of the people I was really hoping to meet was Lori Anderson. As luck would have it, we walked into each other right outside the expo hall, as she was arriving with her son Zach and I was leaving. Of course I knew her immediately from her pink hair! We chatted happily for 10-15 minutes, and had hoped to catch up later that day or the next day, but unfortunately she was unwell and had to leave before we managed to meet up again. Lori gifted me a lovely bag stuffed full of beads and toggles (and I later sent her a bag of beads too, as I didn’t happen to have them on me that day). Sadly, I didn’t think to take a photo of Lori at the time, but here’s a picture of the gift!

Loris gift

I had lunch another day with Heather Powers, who is the creative soul behind Humblebeads. We had such a good chat! Some of the beads I showed in my last post came from a swap I did with Heather.

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At Jenny Davies-Reazor‘s booth, I met not just Jenny but several of the other Art Jewelry Elements bloggers too—Lesley Watt (who came over from the UK to attend the show), Diana Ptaszynski and Linda Landig (who took photos but managed to stay out of one herself!). There were definitely swapsies involved with Jenny, Lesley and Diana, and they kindly allowed me to rest my poor tired feet behind their stand.

AJE swaps

Michelle McCarthy and I had already arranged to do a swap through a swap group we belong to, and decided to do it in person at the show.

Michelle swaps

And here’s a picture of me and Marsha Neal, just because!

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After BeadFest there were a few more chances to meet people and to swap beads via the mail with friends I didn’t get a chance to meet in person.

Lennis Carrier sent me a fabulous selection of art beads, almost all of them with a few coordinating Czech beads as well. We had hoped to catch up in person, but she ended up helping out a friend on the other side of the country instead of coming to BeadFest.

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Cory Tompkins sent me a lovely selection of her polymer clay creations, and a stash of other bits and bobs as well. Aren’t those polymer sugar skulls awesome?!

Corys gift

A few weeks after BeadFest I went roadtripping through the southwest with my family and we had dinner with Gina Hockett, another friend from my bead swap group. She gifted me some lovely turquoise cabs (from Judy McCourt), some lampwork beads, and a bracelet and earrings too, as well as some petrified wood pieces for my kids (collected from outside the national park of course!).

Gina swap

It was wonderful to meet online friends in real life, even if it was only for a short time—I will be back! And of course, I would love to see some of my beady friends in Australia one day…

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Beads

Butterfly Wings

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I love the ceramic beads and pendants made by Natalie Fletcher-Jones at Peruzi. Recently she came up with a new style—porcelain butterfly wing earring pairs delicately painted in her “watercolour” style.

Needless to say I immediately had to have some, and chose a couple of pairs, one featuring an overlaid decal and one without. But then the beads sat there for a month or so while I mused on what best to put them with. And then last week I was sorting through some beads and the perfect match popped out at me. Another recent purchase, this time from New Zealand lampworker Lesley McIver aka Glitz Art Glass, included some small lampwork rondelles in exactly the right hues to go with the wings. I love it when serendipity hands me the solution!

I used waxed linen to join the two components and tied them on to dark sterling silver earwires from The Curious Bead Shop. The ends of the linen have been adorned with seed beads as little antennae.

Butterfly wings

I’m keeping the decal pair for myself, but the other pair will be available for sale at my next market, or eventually in my (currently rather empty) Etsy shop.

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Ancient oceans: Beading Back in Time Blog Hop

A couple of beady friends of mine—Lindsay Starr and Sherri Stokey—recently came up with an idea for a series of blog hops, which they’ve called Beading Back in Time. Each quarter will be devoted to a different time period and the first, of course, is pre-Human.

Conveniently, in my stash I had two beautiful ammonite focals. In case you’re wondering, ammonites were a group of molluscs which populated the ancient oceans for several hundred million years, from the Devonian period until the big extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period that wiped out some 75% of the life on our planet. Although the fossils look similar to today’s Nautilus species, with their distinctive multi-chambered spiral shells, they were more closely related to octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

The first piece features a ceramic ammonite focal, made by Peruzi, with a lovely verdigris-like appearance. I wanted to evoke the feel of the ocean, so I paired it with some aqua beads in various shapes and sizes, and a silk ribbon that made me think of seagrasses waving gently in the water.

Ancient oceans collage

The second focal is a real, fossilized ammonite that a friend gave me in a swap. The front, with its distinctive spiral ranges from a dark olive green to coppery brown, but the back still has glimmering remnants of the shell’s nacreous origins. I found some unusual Czech glass beads with a pitted rock-like appearance and some interesting double coin pearls with a golden shimmer to go with the ammonite fossil. And in case you’re wondering, oysters are a very old variety of mollusk and both pearl and oyster fossils have been found—I looked it up!

ocean fossil collage

Thank you Lindsay and Sherri for the great challenge. Now I need to start thinking about the next time period—early human!

Co-hostess:  Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations

Co-hostess:  Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Kelly Rodgers of Beadin’ Black & Blue

Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio

Caroline Dewison of Blueberribeads

Melissa Trudinger of Boho Bird Jewellery <– YOU ARE HERE!

Sue Kennedy of SueBeads

Stephanie and Chris Haussler of Pixibug Designs

Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions

Jean Wells of Jean A. Wells Artisan Jewelry

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

The 2nd Annual Bead Hoarder’s Blog Hop

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Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m a bead hoarder. Like most of us, I find it hard to part with special beads. And I’ve got a nice little stash of art beads by a few of my favourite makers.

So when Lori Anderson announced her plans for the 2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop, I signed up straight away.

Now, I had grand plans for this blog hop, but let’s face it, it’s a tricky time of year, with the holidays staring down at me, and well, I ran out of time! So I thought I would show you a couple of pieces I made earlier this year using some of my favourite hoarded beads.

First up is a bracelet, using a gorgeous focal from Peruzi. I’ve got a lovely stash of Peruzi pendants and beads, and Natalie keeps coming up with new covetable designs too. This is a bracelet focal from her watercolour series that I’ve paired with some Czech beads and Irish waxed linen.

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Next up is a necklace I made for my Mum for Mother’s Day this year, featuring a pendant from Erin Prais-Hintz‘s Simple Truths series. Many of the beads in the necklace, including the spotted lampwork beads by Helen Chalmers, come from a Curiousity Club kit I received early in the year. I featured this necklace in the Waxed Linen blog hop earlier this year, but I thought it was a fitting addition here too.

Mother knows best necklace Collage

Lastly, I’ve recently made a pair of earrings for myself using some cute copper charms from Kristi Bowman Design, and some earwires by Cheryl Foiles Designs. Although I didn’t hoard these charms for quite as long as the other two above, I’m keeping them for myself, which is also a way to hoard lovely beads and components.

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Well, that’s it from me, it’s time to pop along to see the other blogs in this hop. Thank you Lori, for this fun trawl through everyone’s bead hoard, I’m sure I’ll discover a few new favourite artists!

Lori Anderson PrettyThings  (Hostess)
Audrey Belanger Toki No Hourosha
Jenny Kyrlach Wonder and Whimsy
Kathy Lindemer Bay Moon Design
Lori Schneider Bead Addict
Dee Elgie Cherry Obsidia
Dolores Raml CraftyD’s Creations
Rebecca Ednie Eclectic Endeavors
Lili Krist http://emjestudio.blogspot.com/
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Hannah Rosner Good River Valley
Nicole Prince http://healingbeading.blogspot.com/
Deana Hager http://justdeesarts.blogspot.com/
Jackie Ryan http://kydojewellery.blogspot.co.uk/
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com/
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com
Lisa Johnson http://spudandmrsbutters.blogspot.com/
Terri Gauthier http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com/
Andrea Glick Zenith Jade
K Hutchinson https://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Marci Brooks That Nothing Be Wasted
Jo-Ann Woolverton It’s a Beadiful Creation
Jasvanti Patel Jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Lisa Knappenberger LIRaysaDesigns.blogspot.com
Mary Lindell marylindell.com
Niky Sayers silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Sandra McGriff skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com
Patricia Handschuh thecolorofdreams.blogspot.com
Erin Prais-Hintz treasures-found.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding www.99bobotw.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart www.ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com
Jackie Locantore www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStar
Sheryl Stephens The Babbling Beader
Becky Pancake www.beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott www.bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Michelle Escano www.cabbycraft.com
Denise McCabe www.cabewoman.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Sheila Prose www.catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Iveth Caruso www.CreativeAtelier.net/blog
Deborah Apodaca www.deborahapodacadesigns.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth Bunn www.elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Janine Lucas www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Kari Asbury Hippie Chick Design
Inge von Roos Inge’s Blog
Divya N www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Debbie Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.com
KJ www.kjsbeadaciousbeads.blogspot.com/
Klaudete Koon www.klaudetekoon.blogspot.com
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp www.kruseartllc.com
Ginger Bishop www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Kelly Schermerhorn www.meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Mischelle Andrade www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com 
Sue Kelly Mid-Life Greater Expectations
Rachel Mallis www.mintmonarch.com/#!Blog/c1jlz
Susan McClelland www.mistheword12.com
Mary K McGraw MK’s Creative Musings
Tania Spivey Moobie Grace Designs
Stephanie Perry Mustard Seed by Stephanie Perry
Mitzie Crider www.NeedfulLuxuries.Blogspot.com
Nicole Rennell Www.nicolerennell.com/blog
Nicole Valentine www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
Karen Mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Patty Miller www.pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Blanca Medina www.peru-medesigns.com
Stephanie Haussler www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Roxanne Mendoza www.roxidesigns.blogspot.com
Claire Fabian www.saraccino.blogspot.com
Bridget Torres www.shears58.net
Donetta Farrington www.simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Deb Fortin www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Susan Walls Www.susansartcircus.com/blog
Cece Cormier The Beading Yogini
Heather Otto www.thecrafthopper.com
Lizzie Clarke www.theneedtobead.blogspot.co.uk
Elizabeth Hodges www.thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com
Fay Wolfenden www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Kelly Hosford Patterson www.TravelingSideShow.blogspot.com
Nan Smith Nanmade Jewelry
Jayne Capps www.mamasgototdoodle.blogspot.com
Robin Kae Reed www.willowdragon.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Regina Wood Gina’s Designs
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Two Trees: My Country blog hop

Canadian bead blogger Nan Smith is hosting the My Country blog hop today (which happens to be Canada Day). We’ve been challenged to use our own country as inspiration to make something, not necessarily a piece of jewellery. Australia is my country of birth and of residence, but Australia is a big country, with a lot of potential inspiration, from the beaches to the deserts, cities to bush and more. So I’ve been thinking hard about what I could do for this challenge.

A few weeks ago, we went away for a long weekend, up in Northern Victoria. The drive up, especially once you get off the Hume Highway, is pretty, passing through farming land and wine country. There’s an iconic rural Australian-ness about the scenery, rolling hills, gum (eucalyptus) trees dotted across the landscape, perhaps some sheep or cattle in the dusty green paddocks. The sky is blue, maybe with some high clouds scattered across it. And the landscape is wide open.

By Matilda at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
By Matilda at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
Of course I didn’t get any pictures of the trees at the time, but when I started thinking about this blog hop, the images were the ones I kept seeing in my mind’s eye. So I went looking for some pictures online for you. Here’s another good one! As you can see, the shape is really distinctive.

By Alexander110 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Alexander110 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
With this in mind, I went looking for tree pendants from my favourite Aussie bead maker Peruzi, and found the perfect one. Only, there were two versions that appealed to me, a daytime pendant with the tree against the blue and white sky, and a sunset pendant with a background of vivid oranges and yellows, and I couldn’t decide which one I liked more. So I ended up with two necklaces, each of mixed Czech beads knotted onto walnut brown waxed linen cord. The bead above each pendant is a natural wooden bead made from an Australian timber, although I can’t tell you which one each is made from.

One tree paddock Collage

I’m really rather pleased with these two necklaces!

As I said, this is a blog hop, and there are 25 participants. Please take some time to visit their blogs.

Hostess: Nan Smith (Canada)                      wirednan.blogspot.ca

Ana (Portugal)                                                 acbeads.blogspot.ca

Rita (Orlando)                                                 JewelSchoolFriends.com

Dini (The Netherlands)                                 angazabychanges.blogspot.nl

Robin Reed (Indiana)                                    willowdragon.blogspot.com

Lilik Kristiana (Indonesia )                          pcbylik.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan (Texas)                                    texaspepperjams.blogspot.com

Karen Mitchell (South Australia)                www.overthemoon-design.com

Jayne Capps (Oklahoma)                              mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger (Australia)                      beadrecipes.wordpress.com <– YOU ARE HERE

Johana Nunez (Puerto Rico)                         artincendi.com

Kepi (Alberta)                                                   kepirasmussen.blogspot.ca

Deb Fortin (Ontario)                                       studiok24.blogspot.ca

Divya (India)                                                     jewelsofsayuri.com

Tammy Adams (Arizona)                               paisleylizard.com/blog.html

Kay Thomerson (Texas)                                 kayzkreationz.blogspot.com

Bairozan (Bulgaria)                                         bairozan.blogspot.ca

Carolyn’s Creations                                         carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Lecia Woessner (New Orleans)                    copperroses.blogspot.com

Linda A. (Wash. D.C.                                      FromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com

Inge Van Roos (California)                            ingetraud.wordpress.com

Natalie (New Zealand)                                   www.northshoredays.com

Lori Schneider                                                 beadaddicted.blogspot.com

Mary Harding (New York)                            maryhardingjewelrybeadblog.blogspot.com

Bouchra Rebai (Algeria)                                bouchrarebai.wordpress.com

Michelle McCarthy (Florida )                       Fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com

Beads, online shop

Facebook auctions are live

In the last few months, a number of Facebook groups devoted to buying and selling jewellery and supplies have popped up. This week marks the debut of the Aussie Artisan Jewellery Buy and Sell group, which as the name suggests, will provide a marketplace for Australian jewellery designers to showcase their wares.

It’s a straightforward concept with an auction approach to selling. The designer lists each piece with a starting price and a Buy it Now (BIN) price and gives a time and date for the auction to finish. Then potential buyers can bid until the auction ends or the BIN price is reached.

Here are the pieces I’ve listed today. If you click on them, it should open up the appropriate photo in Facebook! They are available until Sunday 15 July at noon Australian Eastern time. And the prices are listed in Australian dollars, but don’t let that stop you from bidding. One other thing—I will always post at the most inexpensive rate available, but due to the fragile nature of the components, I have to package them as securely as I can.

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Dancers’ skirts: Art Bead Scene April challenge

At the last minute I have managed to put something together for the Art Bead Scene April challenge, which features a painting by French Impressionist Edgar Degas as our inspiration. I’ve always loved Degas’ art, and to me this painting captures the dynamic beauty of ballet contrasted with the endless waiting behind the scenes.

april 2014 - degas palette
Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green), 1877-79, by Edgar Degas. Pastel and Gouache on Paper 26″ x 14″ (66 x 36 cm). Palette by Brandi Hussey

I was browsing through one of my favourite ceramic beadmaker’s pages—Peruzi— when I came across a pendant that matched the dancers’ tutus almost perfectly, right down to the flashes of browns and oranges in the blue-green skirts (it’s kind of dark and rainy today, so the photos aren’t the best, sorry!).

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To go with the pendant I selected a collection of beads in blues and blue-greens, ambers and peaches, knotted with denim blue and orange waxed linen cord. Some little dangling flowers in translucent blue-green and peach at the junction with the chain remind me of ballet skirts.

Dancers skirts necklace

I’ll be adding this blog post to tomorrow’s Art Bead Scene monthly challenge post, so pop over then to look at what other people have been inspired to make this month. And make sure you come back on Saturday for my BSBP8 reveal!