Friday, April 30, 2010

The More BP - The Better

I briefly contemplated not doing the BP this week for two reasons:

1. I already showed all the goodes from the Bowers show and I thought people might be "over it."

2. Last week's installment garnered almost no comments so maybe everyone is just bored with the concept?

Then I thought...naaaaaaah. I mean really, is it possible to have too much BP?

Wait...don't answer that.

Just look at the pretty, pretty pictures instead.

Pretty sterling bead caps in a couple of different sizes and some two-strand connector links from Cathy Dailey.

Sterling silver and vermeil charms and connector links from Sweet Rock Candy Beads.

Clear quartz flowers are from Gemme Tresor. Faceted yellow jade rondelles and yellow chalcedony brios are from Uncommon Beads.

Mystic quartz brios are also from Uncommon Beads.

All of these pretty poly clay flowers are from Barbie's Best on Etsy. The pink ones I just thought would be fun and cheery for summer designs. The other three sets have a vintage feel thanks to powdered pigment accents and tiny crystals. I think it can be hard to pull off that kind of vibe with poly clay so I was excited to see these. Plus, they were on sale. BONUS!

Summertime in the woods courtesy of Summer's Studio, Etc.'s pretty pink sakura blossom and cheerful blue owls.

Did I mention I'm collecting disk beads and I'm not stopping until I have ALL the colors? Well, if I didn't...then consider it mentioned now. Both of these pretty sets - one etched and one not - are from Flamecrazy.

These gorgeous flower beads are from Donna Millard. I've been drooling over her beads for a long time, but sadly most of the sets are out of my price range. So, when she finally listed this pair and I could afford 'em, I went for it. Even if you can't buy, I highly recommend checking out her sight - just for the sheer enjoyment of the designs and colors. Truly outstanding.

I am a sucker for the pixie dust effect on lampwork. I cannot resist it. Because it looks like spun sugar and I can't resist sugar, either. This set is from Bastille Bleu.

This is another beautiful set from Bastille Bleu. I love hot pink and black together so this was a "hit purchase without even thinking" transaction. All I have to do is throw in some pink crystals, black onyx and some silver and va-va-voom!

Okay, that's it for this week. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm heading to my nephew's 1 year b-day party at Seal Beach on Sunday. Hot dogs, cake, hunting for sand crabs on a gorgeous day with the kids - what could be better? (well, okay, making a new necklace MIGHT be kinda up there on the list, but maybe I can do that on Saturday while I'm ignoring the laundry).


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Collaboration Completed

My part of the collaboration project arrived at Lorelei's house yesterday. I can't wait to see what she comes up with to finish off that design. In the meantime, I finished up the piece that she sent me and thought I'd share it:

I didn't change too much of what she'd already done - I liked it as is. So, I just needed to come up with part of a back and side and add the dangles to the pendant.

I still had my ribbon bag out from when I created her piece and I thought it would be kind of cool to have both pieces have ribbon in them so even though they're very different, they still have a connection to each other. I found this really pretty piece of dyed silk from Jody Poesy on Etsy. It has the deep teal color of the apatite nuggets that Lorelei used as well as some of the gold, brown and copper tones in the rest of the necklace so I thought it was a great choice to help tie everything together. It really is more teal in color than it appears in the picture (stupid camera!)

Lorelei is not much for using crystals while I LOVE the sparkle so I thought one of the best ways to add my unique stamp to the piece would be to bring in some bling :-) I'd just ordered some of the new "Greige" color of Swarovski and they turned out to be perfect. They're sort of in between gold and silver and they really pick up on the colors around them. It was a great way to add some glitz without disrupting the rest of the necklace. I put one on the side and a few in the front as dangles.

The other thing I wanted to do was pick up some of the dusty rose color from the pendant and these pink/gold vintage glass melon beads were perfect for that. Again, I added just one on the side and a few in the front as dangles.

A little bit of copper wire-work and a copper lobster clasp and...finito!

I'm still trying to come up with a name for it...

Wish I had something else interesting to write about, but since I quite going to the deli counter at the grocery store (and thereby avoiding the most incompetent group of workers on the planet), my life has gotten so incredibly boring.

Of course, there are still idiots out in the parking lot...

In other news...

The kid came home with a pet worm in a cup full of dirt. Yes, an actual live earthworm. It came with instructions on care and feeding and everything. Apparently, I am now running a home for wayward worms.

And I paid big $$ for him to take this science class. But no one said anything about free worms.

Also, I thought Siobhan got ROBBED on AI last night. And that was even before I found out that she's a lampworker! Did anyone else catch that? Anyway, I am not watching the show any more - which is not saying much because this season was the first time I had EVER watched ANY American Idol. I should've stuck with my original decision on that and saved myself a lot of time.

Tonight's TiVo will feature Monday's episode of "House." Mmmm...I do love me some Hugh Laurie.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This 'N That

Okay, so, I didn't get the rest of the show stuff posted yesterday as promised. That's because I woke up at 1 AM on Tuesday to the sound of the kid crying in his bedroom (note - it's never a good sign when you hear the "middle of the night"'s ALWAYS bad).

Kid was having tummy troubles AND we are going through Round 2 of "The Giant Alien Toe that Interferes with My Sleep." Looks like the original infection damaged the nail which is now splintering into pieces and falling was a great night.

Needless to say, kid and I stayed home yesterday. He needed to recover from the tummy ick and not wear shoes and I just needed to SLEEP.

So, here's what Blogger was TOOOOOOOO SLLLLLOOOOOOOWWWWW to let me post on Monday:

Dyed resin leaves from The Beading Place.

I first discovered them at this same show last year and I was so inspired by their materials that I bought a little of just about everything they had - including a bunch of brass and copper for the first time. It led to the creation of my Memoire Collection.

I love these ruffly leaves. I think they can double as petals or calyx as well.

I almost passed by these rosebuds, but then I saw a couple of really cute examples in the booth of things that could be done with them and I decided to grab a few strands. So, note to all you people who sell your beads at shows - having finished stuff to show off design possibilities is ALWAYS a good idea!

Oh yeah, and I finished a bracelet last week, too:

This is my "Beach Blanket Bingo" bracelet.

The striped and dotted lampwork beads are by I Make Beads. As soon as I saw them, they reminded me of beach balls.

I kept the clasp simple and just used a sterling silver lobster claw.

Accent beads are white shell, various colors and shapes of Swarovski crystals, Czech glass in a couple of different shapes and colors and some Bali silver spacers and sterling silver 2mm beads.

I'm ready for summer and the beach!


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Weekend in Review - Part II

And now for the good stuff...

The small, but prestigious, Bowers Museum of Santa Ana.

10 AM and getting crowded already...

A couple of great lampwork vendors - I could only get pics of their banners because their booths were so crowded I couldn't get in. I bought two gorgeous sea-themed sets from Jujee Beads last year that I am still hoarding so I decided to see what else I could find.

Harold Cooney lampwork glass. These are center drilled and kinda look like jellyfish to me. I thought they might make fun closures for bracelets with a loop of seed beads around them or something.

Speaking of jellyfish - I got this amazing dichroic glass fused pendant from Mingo and Asho of Glasscapes. While they are mostly known for their incredibly beautiful furnace glass (and trust me, this ain't your run of the mill furnace glass - you have to see it to believe it), they've been branching out into fused pieces more and more lately. This one told me it wanted to come live at my house.

What? Your beads don't talk to you? Um...there might be something wrong with you. You should get that checked out.

Some pretty earring pair options from Unicorne Beads.

Cool frosted resin beads on the left and bright resin "nuggets" on the right - all from Natural Touch resin.

And now it's time for the first major SCORE of the day:

Dan Eisner was selling his boro lampwork beads for....$1 A BEAD! And yes, there WAS a feeding frenzy going on.

I mean, really, $1 a bead. I defy anyone to resist that. I certainly couldn't.

I first discovered Lumina Inspirations years ago at the L.A. Gift Show. I became an immediate fan of their marvelous porcelain designs and Russian lacquerwork. I think I'm pretty much topped off on the porcelain for now, but I had to get more lacquerwork and this butterfly was just amazing. I love that it's signed by the artist, too.

Had to get the dragonfly, too.

And I always search their booth for anything with pansies on it. My favorite flower!

Sometimes they're kinda picked over on pansies, but I got lucky and got quite a few - even if I did have to root through a whole tray to find them all.

Second major SCORE of the day came when I found Margaret Zinser's booth - MZ Glass:

Margaret was kind enough to take me at my word that I am not a crazed Internet stalker or a foreign wholesaler looking to rip-off designs and she let me photograph her booth.

Her stuff is just so beautiful and the details on those butterfly wing pendants are to die for. And, since I had promised myself that I would get ONE splurge item at the show if I found something REALLY special, I did.

I bought a pair of butterfly wings.
There are a few more things to post, but Blogger is being slow as molasses today. I don't know what's up, but each picture is taking a good 5 minutes to upload and I just can't stand it any more.
I'll be back with the rest tomorrow.
Edited to add: Okay, so, I lied about "tomorrow." Who knew the kid would come down with tummy trouble and interfere with my blogging schedule? Will get the rest posted soon, I promise!