The Ocean Blog Hop

First up, I’m sorry I’m a bit late to the Ocean Blog Hop, a combination of busy times at home and some struggles with the muse mean I’m late to the party. Well, better late than never.

Of course, there shouldn’t really be a need for excuses, as Lisa Lodge, the host of the hop, sent these beads out months ago. Look at what she sent me! Cultured (aka faux) sea glass in two shades of blue as well as orange, vibrant orange impression jasper, tiny mother of pearl heishi and some brass starfish, fabulous stampings that look like coral and some tiny brass beads and a clasp!

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So the first piece I made I’ve called Washed Up. It uses some of the irregular sea glass links and the orange beads. I wanted to use an art bead in this piece and I found a great ceramic shell link made by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Designs, that I think I got in a destash from Lisa a while ago. I tried to use brass link the beads together, but the holes in the sea glass weren’t quite in the right places to hold a jump ring, so I ended up using waxed linen, which kind of reminds me of rope or fishermen’s nets on the beach. I added some barrel-shaped sea glass beads in a lighter blue (that I also got from Lisa) and some orange sea glass rounds.

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Then I made some earrings using the brass starfish, and some large aqua blue sea glass charms I got from Lisa a while ago. Very simple, but they didn’t really need anything else!

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My third piece is a necklace, although it started out as a bracelet! I’ve called it Out on the Reef. The brain coral stampings are used to connect a little twisted strand of beads. The mother of pearl heishi beads remind me so much of those shell necklaces I used to wear as a kid, and I love the contrast of the deep blue glass and the orange impression jasper. I toyed with using chain for the back half of the necklace, but in the end I used a gorgeous blue sari silk ribbon (from Etsy shop Ribbons and Silk). The blue sea glass shard on one side balances the clasp on the other side.

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Thank you Lisa for the lovely selection of beads to play with, I’m looking forward to the next hop in a couple of months! Please take some time to look at the blogs of other participants in this hop!

Ocean Blog Hop June 14th Reveal:

Your hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations

Ev Shelby, Raindrop Creations

Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends (Posting Later)

Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams

Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs

Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks

Catherine Yvonne King, Catherine’s Musings

Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes <– YOU ARE HERE!

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings

Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (Posting Sunday)

Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life

Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz

Jill Bradley, Chat 2 Jill

Rebecca Ednie, Eclectic Endeavours

Ocean Blog Hop May 31st Reveal:

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry 

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Marybeth Rich, A Few Words from within the Pines

Karin Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks (moved to June 14th reveal)

Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera

Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion

Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out

Mary Ann Macri Jacobs, Trucksville Crafts

Jeanne Steck, Gems by Jeanne Marie

Ann Schroeder, Bead Love

Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall

Marianne Baxter, Simply Seablime Jewelry

Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog

Margaret Pelech, Margaret Pelech’s Ocean Blog

Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation

Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs

Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations

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BSBP: The other soup!

It’s just over a week until the BSBP reveal. So excited! Not that I’ve finished my pieces, far from it! But I thought I would show you what I sent my partner Sandra Wollberg. It took a quite a while for my bead soup to reach her, in fact, I was thinking I would have to send another soup! I don’t think she was quite so worried though, turns out some strike activity at German airports may have slowed it down a bit.

I took a while putting together this soup. It had to have some beads Sandra might not have been so familiar with, and it definitely had to include at least one Aussie artist. And Sandra and I have overlapping tastes (especially when it comes to Czech glass), so I had to try to challenge her at least a little! In the end this is what I went with.

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As you can see, there are multiple possibilities in this soup, with both a cool and a warm colour scheme. First of all, the focals. The big blue/gold pendant on the right hand side is from Peruzi, my favourite Aussie bead artisan. I love this pendant, but I have never been able to come up with a design for it other than knotting it onto a large piece of ribbon or cord, so I am intrigued to see what Sandra can do with it (and I was very amused to see that another bead soup this year also uses this focal).  Immediately to the left of this focal is a second ceramic pendant by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio. It’s a lovely cheerful yellow tree of life. And just for fun I threw in a third focal, a faux sea glass seashell in a deep red.

I included two clasps in my soup—a gorgeous handmade copper Deco rose button-style clasp by Rebecca Anderson, and a silver-tone leaf-shaped clasp. I popped in a couple of other silver-toned beads and a braided ring, and some copper headpins, and double-ball-ended headpins made by Tanglebeads.

As for the rest of the beads, there are a variety of Czech beads in different shapes and colours, including some intriguing twisted lozenge-shaped beads in a deep red, some faux sea glass in orange, frosted and opaque white, and two big amazonite nuggets. The big swirly orange bead is from Puddle Glass Art, a local lampworker.

Of course, there is ribbon, a lovely sari silk ribbon from Ribbons and Silk on Etsy (also based here in Australia), which I used to tie up the box.

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The reveal will be next Saturday, 3 May. At this point I anticipate that my post will go live mid-afternoon on Saturday (when it is midnight on the East Coast of the USA), at the official start time for the hop. Come back then to see what Sandra and I—and 500 or so other jewellery designers—have made.