Soup is Served!

Now that Leslie has recieved her soup, 

I thought I'd share a pic of what I sent to her. I had started picking out her soup before our partners were assigned. I chose an ocean or seaside theme, both with the colors and the shapes of the beads. They are not colors she normally wears or works with, so it may not be easy. But, she has plenty of skill and a bead shop to inspire, so she will be up for the challenge!
Bead Soup for Leslie
Here are the ingredients for Leslie's Soup:
There is a large quartz donut for the focal, and two different toggle clasps, one by Patricia Healey and a copper plated toggle by Tierra Cast. Also, hand-dyed silk ribbon, and a blue/black bead: amazonite with black tourmaline. The photo does not do it's color justice. There's some polymer clay shell beads from Kristy Bowman Designs, a beautiful lampwork ammonite cab and lampwork from Sue of SueBeads, more lampwork from Julie of Studio Juls. I purchased my beads from Lima Beads and Munro Crafts, as well as ordering directly from the artists on Etsy. When I ordered the beads, I indulged my wish for artisan beads, so I kept similar beads for my own stash. They will stay in my stash for a while :), until inspiration strikes!

New Earrings

Back in February, I participated in the monthly Earrings Everyday challenge. I made a pair of earrings inspired by the beautiful Damselflies in Love photo from National Geographic. I shared those earrings in a previous blog post. 
That was great fun to be part of the challenge. In addition, I won a pair of polymer clay Hibiscus charms from Kristi Bowman Designs! Thank you Kristi!
They came in some neat packaging, and the wrapping was as much fun as the prize inside. I love the handmade paper wrapper and the fibers used to tie everything together. The fibers are Sari Silk Yarn from Swallowtail Fiber Arts on Etsy. I'm sure they will find their way into a finished project one day!

Intriguing packaging, beautiful business card!

Polymer clay Hibiscus charms from Kristi Bowman
The charms are beautiful tropical colors,  so I decided to add shell disc beads, bronze Czech glass, and brass wire. I love how they came out, so I'll probably keep them for myself!
Hibiscus discs, with shell discs and Czech glass
I know I will wear these often!
To see the original post with all the challenge earrings and winners, visit Earrings Everyday:
To see Kristi Bowman's creations, visit her blog:

My Soup has arrived!

Happy Bead Soup Week!

My Bead Soup from Leslie Wayment arrived on Saturday, and I had to wait until Sunday to open it. It is beautiful and generous.
Bead Soup from Leslie

Leslie indulged my love of the color turquoise, and sent me a soup with an hand wrapped turquoise focal bead. She also made the beautiful pelican copper clasp. That will have to have a special place in a design. There's enough beads to make an entire wardrobe of beautiful jewelry: Turquoise, mosaic turquoise, howlite, aventurine, coral and Czech glass. Beautiful warm blues and greens, with a touch of hot red and coppery bronze to give it a spark!
Photo collage made at

Now to get started: I plan to make a few pair of earrings to get into the swing of the colors. Thank you Leslie!

Soup is on the way

The soup is in the mail!

My package is sent out this morning (a little late) to my very sweet swap partner Leslie. I was adding a few morsels at the last, last minute. I will show you a hint of what she will find in her package. 
Bead Soup 8 for Leslie
Oh wait, you say that's too blurry? OK, what about this one:
Soup for Leslie W.: wonder what it is?

Bead Soup Partners are all Posted!

Bead Soup Party Kick-off!

I have been in touch with my partner, she is in Florida, lucky girl! and she owns a bead store. Double lucky girl!
Wow, to have all those beads at hand to choose from...must be nice. Well she will be my mentor since this is my first time. I hope Leslie will find my soup tasty! I won't show any pics yet, but looking forward to putting the final touches on my soup.
My view here in Michigan...all set for spring!

This houseplant is how I imagine Florida is like now!

Here is a link to Leslie's store and blog. Be sure to check out her classes if you are nearby! :) Wish I was.

Earrings to summon summer days.

All Ears for Earrings Everyday:

Inspired by the colors of the damselflies photo from Earrings Everyday I created a pair of earrings from Bead Gallery Beads and natural coconut shell shards. I used a reconstituted turquoise stone and some orange glass rondels. The wire is a vintage brass Artistic Wire, used for the wraps as well as the handcrafted ear wires. I accented the ear wires with an orange rondel and a bit of 26 gauge copper wire. The triangular shards of coconut shell imitate the bodies of the damselflies. These were fun to make, though a bit rustic. I may tweak the construction a bit, but I liked the challenge of using the complementary colors, and am pleased with the results.

See the other artist's earrings at this post here: Earrings Everyday We're all ears and winners!

Beautiful Gems at the Smithsonian

At the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC

During our visit last June to Washington DC, we visited the Gems and Minerals area of the Smithsonian Museums. There is so much to see, with four people choosing their favorites, and we tried to pack it all into three days! We would have stayed another day to visit Mt. Vernon, but a heavy rain with flooding sent us driving east towards home instead. I'd like to share some of my favorites. Today, magnificent jewelry: I apologize if the photos are not ideal, they were taken through glass from behind security barriers. Enjoy!
Victoria-Transvall Diamond Necklace
Indian Emerald Necklace  

The Hope Diamond