I have done many Bead Soup Bead Parties and I have to say it's one of the best things I have ever done. I have connected with so many fantastic creatives over the years thru this wonderful blog hop hosted by Lori Anderson. This time my partner is Maria Rios, who sent me a beautiful focal and coordinating beads. I decided I wanted to do a multi strand necklace. I knew one strand would be a piece made with my lucet that I purchased from Cooky Shock. I was practicing with the lucet creating a chain, but had no idea what I would use it for...well the color and texture were perfect for the pendant that Maria sent me. Next I decided I wanted to add some leather or silk and a hand knotted cord with the beads. I am really pleased with the way it came out. My three cords did not line up the way I wanted so I have knotted the ends together and will add a length of chain with simple toggle or lobster clasp.
I was so fortunate to get picked for the Art Jewelry Elements July monthly challenge. Lesley Watt aka The Gossiping Goddess provided use with gorgeous ceramic pendants, you can find similar pendants in Lesley's shop THEAElements.
I've been busy organizing my studio and getting rid of items I don't need. It was fun to design a new piece and I decided to use a tutorial I had sitting on my Pinterest board, which is a tutorial from Cold Feet Studio. I knew I wanted to try making this chain. So practiced on copper then on to sterling. I am happy with how it turned out. I was going to use more pearls, but I could not ream bigger holes, I need an electric bead reamer. The pearls that I loved using with it barely fit 22g wire and I was not happy with that for the entire design.
I just love the pendant that came my way and was able to match some pearls and glass beads with it. I made the chain and the clasp. Trying to decide if I am going to polish it up more or leave the heat patina on it.
Please check out Art Jewelry Elements and the participants below to see what everyone else created, you will find so much inspiration.
Thank you Lesley and the team at Art Jewelry Elements for all the inspiration! Thanks so much for stopping by I hope everyone is enjoying some lazy days of summer.
I am so grateful to be walking this path as a creative, but it isn't always easy. The wealth of information at our fingertips is truly overwhelming. I feel like I am finally cracking the code of inspiration and action. We all need some inspiration, but we also need to take action. Last year I started listening to podcasts with Tiffany Han and wow, they are full of inspiration and I feel like in my head I am saying yes, yes yes. Many of these podcasts motivated me to get to doing the work, but I felt like I needed more.
I had been following Marketing Your Creativity by Lisa Jacobs, but I wasn't engaged. Finally Lisa's voice reached me, resonated with me and I felt like I had a coach in my corner and the marketing savvy that I lacked. I am a maker, I love making, but marketing seemed elusive. I felt like I knew what to do, but it was like a diet I was not following it. I have to say I am not sure why it all seemed to click, but I think it was because I was ready and willing to change they way I am doing things.
I would be remiss if I didn't add the tool that really has helped with my process is, using the Bullet Journal by Ryder Carroll. I have always kept a notebook for as long as I can remember, a steno, a legal pad, my levenger planner...the brillance in Ryders system for me is the index and collection pages. I have my small bright orange leuchtturm bullet journal that I carry everywhere, the color makes me happy and I can add notes easily. I also have a big levenger planner for business and blogging that I am numbering pages and keeping an index. Writing down the actionable steps, not just a to do list has really helped me move forward.
I have always loved simplicity, so finding inspiration, action and a tool to use, I know I will have a great 2016. So I challenge you to find the one person that inspires, one person who helps you take action and a tool to help keep you on track. Let me know where are you find inspiration, action and the tool you use.
If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Ben Franklin.
My post contains an affiliate link to the journal that I use, my blog will only contain links to products that I personally use and recommend.
I have been making jewelry for several years and I have finally found my style and what makes my heart sing. I sell very well at the small trunk shows that I do, but I knew that to get to the next level I had to up my game in taking photos of my jewelry.
I have taken some great pictures, but they were hit and miss. I love taking pictures in natural light, but I needed to come up with a consistent way to take great photos and spend more time creating.
I first went to a photographer friend's house for pointers and she convinced me to nail down the indoor set up with my tent and lights and stick to a gray background.
Pictures definitely improved, but I did not quite have my settings right. I went back to the shop where I bought my camera and finally got my settings and the light set up figured out.
What a game changer. The texture and the color are spot on. Often times our pictures don't do our handmade jewelry justice and if someone is buying online they need to.
So, my top 3 tips would be to
- set up your tent and lighting
- use a gray background
- get to know your camera settings
There are plenty of diys on making a light box, which I did initially, but when my camera broke I purchased a pop up light tent. I bought my camera and light tent at Ace Camera in Ashburn, Virginia. I highly recommend this store they have great staff and were helpful with all my questions when I bought my camera and last week when I was trying to get my lighting right.
My pictures were taken with a Nikon D3100, ISO 400 f/5.6 with 1st picture 1/60, 2nd 1/40, and final 1/50.
I still love taking photos outside on a cloudy day, but love the results I got after putting in some time to learn what settings to use. What are your favorite photo tips?
I am finally back in the studio creating and it feels great. I kicked off this fall by participating in Herndon's Art Crawl in October, it really re-ignited my creative flame. It was fun to chat about my work and I have a clearer vision of what I want to make. I have two upcoming events in December.
I will be joining Mary Sears of Glorious Goblets at her open house on December 4, 2015 and December 5, 2015, please email me if you would like more details. I will be featuring both a customized pendant and earring bar, where you can select the perfect color combination just for you or as a gift for a friend.
I am also teaching a Wine and Design workshop at ArtSpace Herndon on December 8, 2015 7-9 p.m. In class you will be designing a metal pendant or earrings, by hammering the metal and shaping the metal and adding beads to it. It will be a fun and fast paced class, no experience necessary.
For more information and to register click here.
I have had this blog topic on my mind for a very long time. I am a firm believer in moving my body and getting exercise. I find that when I exercise, it clears my mind and feeds my soul. I also find when I exercise I eat better and sleep better. I love walking outside, beautiful scene taken on my walk today!
I am going to give you my top 10 tips for moving and what I have learned along the way.
I would love to hear about your exercise routine and please feel free to ask any questions.
Before you start any exercise program, please make sure you have been cleared by your doctor.
- Do something, thats right just get moving, walking, biking swimming. Start where you are and add as you get stronger.
- Make sure you have comfortable shoes, go to a running store to get fitted properly, the wrong shoes will create problems...shoes or equipment is an investment in your health.
- I always regret not working out, so I try to make sure to get it in even when my schedule gets crazy.
- Find a friend, I was a runner, but after knee surgery 2 years ago I could only walk, so I started walking with friends. It is a great way to catch up and I am moving.
- Don't over due it, if you are tired take a recovery day, your body will thank you and your gains come during recovery.
- Plan your work outs for the week. I try to get 3-4 classes in at a local gym and 1-2 walks a week. If the weather is bad or too hot I walk in my house or go to a mall.
- Involve your kids, both human and furry if possible. When my boys were younger I would run to a playground and then they got to play.
- If you get injured, rest and ice your injured body part.
- Thermacare warm patches are always in my house, they are great to wear on my back all day if I have overdone it and my muscles are tight.
- Have fun, find something that you enjoy doing and you will stick with it.
Move your body to clear your mind and feed your soul!
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. -Mark Twain
Sally Russick is one of my first beady friends that I met in class at ArtBliss, she is inspiring and creative. I signed up for the creating with cabochons challenge with good intentions, but chickened out in completing my plan.
I have a gorgeous cab by Kerry Bogart and I am afraid I will mess up setting it, so it sits on my workbench waiting to be finished.
I chickened out, mainly because I have not had a torch out in so long.
I am posting my in progress project and hope to get my torch out and practice so I can finish and have a beautiful new pendant.
If anyone is local and wants to coach me thru my fear or face time me, please let me know.
Thanks for coming by, and please stop by and see all the fabulous creations by the other participants.
I decided to pick Carpe Diem as one of my beads, because every day is a gift and I want to live it to the fullest.
I decided to pick Namaste which means I acknowledge the divine in you, for more information check out the information on yoga journal.
This year has been a difficult one for my family, but I feel blessed everyday by the beauty that surrounds me and the souls I see and touch every day.
I walk with friends several times a week and it has been become a highlight of my week and great therapy...I highly recommend it!
I hope you have a beautiful day and thanks for stopping by.
My beads are a work in progress. Carpe Diem has a knotted head pin and a lamp work bead by OutWest.
Namaste is in the works, I really wanted to make a bracelet with the word going across the wrist...finally decided this morning that tab setting it would give it a base to
make it the way I envision it. They will both go on leather.
I love doing the ornament swap that Sally Russick hosts and was lucky to be paired with Linda Landig this year. I love the ornament Linda sent. Linda made the stone snowflake and topped it with a beautiful lamp work bead.
For Linda's ornament I wanted to make a stained glass type star.
When that was not working I reached for this molten star made by Sharon Palac and left over from my bead soup.
I love the way Sharon added the bit of glitter.
The lamp work I got thru a Bead Fest swap and I am not sure who made it, although I think it is Jan from Molten Mayhem.
I started pairing art beads and decided the blue lamp work reminded me of a beautiful winter night sky and I added sari silk to finish it.
To you and yours I hope you have a wonderful Holiday spending time with family and friends.
A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Take a look at the other beautiful ornaments. Thank you Sally and Linda, the perfect challenge for the end of the year.
I am finally coming up for air after a very difficult summer and fall. One thing I started doing this year is walking with friends. A couple of friends had challenges at work to see who got the most steps. Weekly now I have walked with many friends before school during the week, early in the morning on the weekends and even at soccer games. The walking and talking has deepened my friendships and made this year so much easier to manage.
We frequently walk the paths by my house that have creeks. Lately we have seen a blue heron on our walks. This week I felt like it was posing and we were able to get close enough to take a picture. I love that I have such peace and tranquility that is near me. I have had faith in my journey this year and try to take it one step at a time. Have a great week.
I am jumping back in this week. It has been a flurry of activity in my life and I have spent very little time in the studio or even at my computer.
I have been enjoying days spent with family and friends and juggling more than I care too, but it is all good and I am thankful for every single moment of
this beautiful life I get to live.
I am spending a couple of days in the country and hope I will get some great pics to post.
I am writing and scheduling this post ahead of time so I just need to add my pictures on my return on Friday and hope to get back on schedule of taking and posting pics and visiting the weeks I have missed.
Thanks for all the encouragement and comments, they warm my heart and make me smile more than you can imagine.
I hope everyone's summer is off to a good start. I hope to be engaged with my blog and studio once more and plan on getting my boys to help me organize my studio space.
Diana of Suburban Girl Studio is our hostess for this fun blog hop. I have waxed linen and have used it several times, so I knew I wanted to jump right in. My friend Sally Russick gifted me beautiful earrings, but due to problems with my one ear I have only been able to wear posts.
I knew I wanted to make a necklace, so I decided to make two and show how two variations. My only hiccup is I decided to work up the necklaces and decide later how I would finish them.
The first is hand knotted and finished with some silk in a perfect matching color. The second one is crocheted and I need to add a clasp at the back.
I had fun making both necklaces and started a pair of crocheted earrings, but not sure I like how the one hangs so I did not make the second one.
Thanks to Diana for hosting and please visit all the participants listed below.
Have a great day, I am off to soccer early and hope to get hopping later and tomorrow.
Sandi Volpe- You are Here.
I know I have been absent, getting back on track. I have really been focusing on putting better things in my body. Water is the easiest change to make. but can become boring. I have been drinking flavored sparkling water for years. To make my water more natural, I bought plain sparkling water and added lemon. I sometimes add a bit of juice or orange or lime. I have a special water glass that I keep on the counter and refill as necessary. Since we have finally have some really gorgeous weather , I was on the deck enjoying my yummy water.
Here is to a better inside. Have a great week and enjoy the spring weather!
A huge thank you to Lori Anderson for organizing this fun online party. Loved my soup and love what I made. Thank you Sharon Palac for sending such great pieces to work with. As I know that this is a busy weekend for everyone, I will hop as I can but, appreciate each and every comment.
To see what everyone else created please visit Lori's blog for the list of participants.
Thanks and have a great day!!
I am thrilled to be participating in the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson. I do not think I can put in to words how much this party opened the doors to so many online bead makers and designers as well as the amazing inspiration.
This is the my 6th Bead Soup Blog Party to see my other entries please click here.
My partner this time is Sharon Palac, of Sharon's Jewelry Garden.
I have been in a mode of stuff breaking, I will not bore you with the details, but the computer and router were part of the fixes.
So, I am happy everything is back up and running so I can show you the beautiful soup Sharon sent me. It included a hand made focal and clasp by Sharon as well as a Humblebeads focal…great minds think alike, as I sent her a Humblebeads focal as well.
I will be finishing up my design and getting my post ready for the Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal for Saturday May 3.
I decided to send Sharon a mix of lamp work and enamel that I made as well as a Humblebeads focal, 2 clasps to choose from and coordinating ribbon and beads.
I can not wait to see what Sharon has created with the soup I sent her, as well as all the other designers.
To see what I made, here is the reveal.
I think winter will never end, but I know Spring is around the corner. The weeks keep flying by and I am trying to take one day at a time.
It is hard not to get caught up in the little things left undone, but I am trying to focus on the big picture.
I had an enjoyable field trip to Jamestown, Virginia with my youngest.
I planned on packing my big camera, but it was going to be a cold and rainy day.
I am posting 2 pictures, one by my young photographer of the Powhatan Indian huts called yehakins and one of the re-created boats of Jamestown and the shore.
It was a great day and we look forward to going again in nicer weather.
I will be enjoying a great weekend of soccer. My oldest is back playing after a serious injury last year and I am so grateful for his recovery and the joy of watching him play.
I hope Spring is here soon and don't forget to spring your clocks forward tonight!
Thanks to Sally and all the participants you are all so inspiring. I am trying to play catch up although I skipped the collage week 7 I hope to add that some time along the way. I really try to capture a picture of something I did during the week. I picked up more paint to create some paintings, I am sure some paintings will show up in the coming weeks.
March, I love the theme of stepping out. I am trying to get out and connect. This week I went to 1Millioncups in Loudoun to see a presentation and connect with other entrepreneurs.
I also went to an open studio hosted by Mary Kearns of Herban Lifestyle. I purchased some incredible lip balm and a solid hand lotion in a tin, brilliant innovation and the smell is just amazing.
I am finding more and more that connecting with other creatives and entrepreneurs inspiring. I love their energy and creativity and they give me ideas that I may not have considered.
If any of you are local, I am always looking for creative play dates or field trips.
Thanks for stopping by, I am really ready for spring and I hope she shows up by the end of the month.
This is my second year participating in Focus on Life...thank you Sally and all the participants I am stretching myself in so many ways. I took my first paining class last night and it was definitely a quiet calm moment as it started to come together and I got in to refining my painting.
It was just what I needed to add something different to my creative routine. Have a wonderful week and I hope something brought you quiet calm this week.