Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Reveal

Ta-DAH! It's Party Time!! Waahooooo!!!

Today, I can finally share what I created from the fun mix of goodies that my awesome partner, Jill MacKay, gave me to use for the Bead Soup Blog Party! As a refresher to what this is all about, last month I posted about a huge blog hop event called Bead Soup that I had signed up for. It's run by the "Hostess with the Mostest" Lori Anderson of the Pretty Things blog. The premise of this event is we are all assigned partners to swap beads and findings with, then we make something out of these supplies, with the minimum requirement being that we have to use at least the focal and toggle that we were given. Then we post our creations on our blogs on the same day and have tons of fun visiting each other's blogs over the next several days (or even weeks) and getting "eye candy" overload!

Here are the goodies Jill sent me to work with, featuring several beautiful pieces from her own line of silver findings:


And this is the necklace that I created…

I think it turned out rather well, considering I was stumped on what to do until the very last minute!? LOL I used Jill's lovely sterling leaf focal, her leaf connector finding, and the toggle, and combined them with faceted crystal quartz rondelles and some of my lampwork beads. I had every intention of also using the pretty green crystals that Jill sent in this piece and even spent one night making lampwork beads especially to go with them, but then—as it often happens with the design process—I decided to go another direction and ended up with this simpler design instead.

I used different beads I already had in my bead box, which have a mother-of-pearl shimmer with shades of soft aqua, teal, and green. They pick up the soft green color of the little rhinestones in the leaf focal perfectly! I also challenged myself to try something new by using a more rustic wire wrapping technique, where excess wire is wrapped around several times for a more relaxed effect. I definitely had to work at this, since I'm a little anal about getting perfect 3-wrap ends on all my designs. And with the current cost of sterling silver these days ($40.50/ounce, EEK!), I admit it was tough to add on those extra few inches of wire! LOL But I prevailed and think it adds a nice touch to this piece. Plus, I was lazy and didn't feel like using my reading/magnifying glasses like I usually do—so this was a good excuse! ;-D

I planned to use more of the goodies that Jill sent me in at least one other piece, but I ran out of time to finish it before the Blog Party started. But I'll add it on to this post as soon as it's done, I promise! In the meantime, please visit Jill's blog to see what she created using the beads I sent her—I can't wait to see for myself! And make sure to check out Lori's blog HERE for the full list of the rest of the talented participants and get yourself even more eye candy! *Ü*

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Paw Print Customer Necklace Share

Lately, I've been working on a lot of custom bead orders, which is one of the fun things I love about being an artist—the thrill of the design challenge! Amy, one of my customers, just sent me a photo today of the finished necklace she made using custom paw print beads I made for her and I just couldn't wait to share them with you too!


Isn't it gorgeous!?! She asked me to create her beads using her nephew's school colors and their Bearcat mascot paw, which she turned into a necklace honoring his football number. These 13mm lentils are the smallest size bead in this style I've ever made, and boy, was it a challenge to squeeze that paw print on it! LOL But it was so worth it, especially when I found out that she is making these necklaces to help raise money for breast cancer research through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer organization in her local area. Since my mother-in-law, Dora, is currently being treated for ovarian cancer and I know several breast cancer survivors, a cause like this is definitely something I would love to help with spreading the word.

Amy is making these necklaces with a variety of other themes such as baseball, cheerleader, golf, gymnastics, music, soccer, and softball. If you would like to order a similar necklace like this one for yourself, using your own custom colors, please email her directly at asidneybanks@yahoo.com for more info and pricing.

If you would like to order a custom paw print bead separately, I have them available in several styles such as grizzly bear, bobcat, and dog, and can make them in just about any color combination and in several sizes of slim lentil or square nugget beads. Of course, I welcome any new paw print design challenges as well! *Ü*

Friday, September 9, 2011

Customer Appreciation Special!

♥ You know how I "heart" all of you!! ♥


Where would I be without the encouragement and support from all my customers?! So in appreciation for helping to make these past two years as an Etsy shop owner a success for me, I would like to offer this fun little perk to all my returning customers:

All customers who have already placed at least one order in the past, may use the coupon code "SHIPFREE" for free shipping on any new order of $20 or more! 

I don't have an expiration on this special at the moment, and am planning on offering it at least through the next few months, for all of you to enjoy while doing your holiday shopping. International customers will receive a refund for any shipping costs charged since it looks like I set the coupon up for Domestic only and can't edit it now. (eek!) If you're a new visitor to my shop, your first order will need to include shipping, but you could use this coupon on any qualifying order after that! ;-D

I will also offer this same coupon code in my ArtFire shop, but I plan to close this shop by the 14th of this month, so be sure to take advantage of this offer while you can if you prefer to shop through this forum.

Thanks again for everything and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too! I'll be at the Issaquah Farmer's Market over the next 3 Saturdays, so please stop by and say "hi!" if you'll be in the area! ♥

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Craving Chocolate?

*** Warning: If you're on a diet, you might not want to read this particular article!! ***

Too late, you say? Did the word "chocolate" capture your attention like a siren's call like it does me? LOL Oh well, I promise this will be just about zero calorie eye candy! ;-D


For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you may have already seen a past post about the new chocolate glass bead sets that I've been making? Well, they've been so well received in my Etsy shop, I've had a hard time keeping up with new listings, so I thought it would be smart to offer one where customers can choose from these shapes and designs to create their own Custom Chocolate Mix in a Tin:





Are these not totally drool-worthy?!! Even *I* have a very hard time resisting taking a bite sometimes! LOL But I'm not sure yet if this is something that will catch on for customers who would rather see a finished set to buy, so I'll be offering those as well in my Etsy shop. I also have some great new ideas to do with this kit concept that would work perfectly for the upcoming holiday season, so be sure to check back soon! *Ü*
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