Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Study in greys: Gemstone and Metal blog hop

It’s reveal day for the latest of Lisa Lodge ‘s blog hops—the Gemstone and Metal blog hop. In this challenge, Lisa sent us several shapes of one gemstone, and a variety of coordinating metal. My selection included beautiful black-veined jasper in coin shapes, flat ovals and rectangular pillows, and some small faceted square pillows, along with three different shapes of silver plated beads and a silver-plated clasp.


I initially knotted a selection of the beads onto deep red waxed linen, but when I looked at the necklace the small pops of red between each bead didn’t do it for me. I needed a bigger burst of colour to contrast with the silvers and blacks of the beads in the kit. That was on Thursday. After digging through my stash both yesterday and today (Saturday), I finally found a small oval red Czech glass bead that was both the right size to go with the jasper beads, and the right colour red to go with the waxed linen. I don’t have a lot of red beads, it’s not a colour I go to as a rule. And I was kind of bummed that I didn’t have an art bead or focal that worked nicely. The intense blacks and silvery-greys of the jasper were more challenging than I thought they’d be!

But this is where the fun really started. First I didn’t like the spot I had put the red bead into, and pulled it apart. Then I forgot a knot between two beads, and couldn’t undo the last knot I had made, so I snipped it all apart again. Then I thought I had enough waxed linen, but came up too short. So all in all, I started over four times today. And I was very glad to have the “extra” day that comes from being halfway around the world (we won’t talk about how long I’ve actually had the kit)!

I finally finished it late this afternoon just as the light was disappearing, so I was lucky to get a useable photo. But I’m interested to know whether you think there is enough colour in it now? I like it, but it could use a few more red beads I think.


What didn’t I use? The small faceted squares and the tiny silver flowers. I’m sure they’ll find their way into something else at some point though!

Anyway, as always, this is a blog hop and there are a whole bunch of other jewellery designers playing along. Please take some time to visit their blogs and look at what they created! And thank you Lisa for a great challenge!

Hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Marybeth Rich, A Few Words from within the Pines

Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera

Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out

Ann Schroeder, Bead Love

Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall

Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog

Margaret Pelech, Big Margaret

Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation

Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations

Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes <– YOU ARE HERE!!!

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings

Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (May be delayed a few days)

Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life

Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design

Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD

Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry

Cassi Renee Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill

Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons

Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things (May be delayed a few days)

Becky Pancake, Becky Pancake Bead Designs

Judy Campbell, Macmillanmarie Jewellery Design

Nan Smith, Handmade Jewelry Nanmade

Marde Lowe, FanciMarDesigns

Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board

Leithleach Alainn Seodra, Alainn Jewelry

Lisa E. Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs

Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs


Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

The Red and the Blue—the Lampwork and Clay Blog Hop

Today is the reveal date for Lisa Lodge ‘s Lampwork and Clay Blog Hop. Lisa’s challenges always start with a kit, carefully put together by her to reflect the theme of the hop. And for this one, Lisa sent me some beautiful lampwork beads made by Marcia Seever of ShaZazz Creations of Glass, in shades of red and orange with a subtle swirl of dark teal through the largest bead. A challenge indeed—I rarely work with these colours, perhaps because I rarely wear them myself! I have to admit that I did need to purchase a few glass beads in coordinating shades of red, to augment my stash for this challenge.


The second challenging part of this hop lay in the shape of the beads—one of Marcia’s beautiful focal beads is an unusual “vase” shape. The obvious thing would be to use it as a dangling pendant, stacked with the other beads, but I didn’t necessarily want to do the obvious thing. I played around with various layouts until I came up with one I thought would work, using some translucent teal Czech glass beads to pull out the teal in the focal, as well as Czech beads in various shades of red and orange with a golden lustre and brass beads and findings. The only bead from the set that I couldn’t work into the design was the spiky one, but I’m sure it will be used in another design down the road.

the red and the blue necklace

Thank you for setting up such a fun challenge Lisa! I enjoyed working with Marcia’s beads immensely.

Please take some time to visit the other participants in this blog hop:

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes <– YOU ARE HERE!!
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Annette Rivers, MamaOwl’s Mess
Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha’s Ramblings
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Leah Mifflin Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Sharyl’s Jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Linda Aspenson Bergstrom, TBD
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Judy Turner, Silver Rains
Gloria Allen, Gloria Allen Designs
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat’s
Connie Tipton, TBD
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
Michele Dotson, Star Jewels
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Jennifer Clifford, TBD
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyns Creations
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Bonnie Coursolle, Jasper’s Gems

Alice Craddick, Alice’s Beads and Baubles