Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Soup's On!

It’s that time again –
Time for the Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by the amazing Lori Anderson.

I’m excited to have Jayne Capps as my partner this year. I don’t know how Lori does it, but two years in a row, there’s some sort of connection. Last year’s partner lives in the same town where I own a house and plan to “retire”. And this year, while I have never met Jayne, she has purchased from me during a destash event. Then again, maybe it’s not such a coincidence. It’s amazing all the folks I have “met” through different beading and jewelry making forums and how many groups overlap.

On to the fun stuff…
Jayne has received my soup and posted pictures on Facebook, so I can legally reveal it. Jayne and I "chatted" on-line and found out we have some similar tastes. I had lots of ideas running around my head, but waited to for the partner assignment before finalizing my soup. 

I was happy to see Jayne lives in a land-locked state so I could go with my original idea to send authentic Atlantic Coast beach glass. I dug out a gorgeous piece of cobalt blue and wrapped it in sterling.
(I knew Jayne liked silver because that's what she bought from me.)

I threw a plain piece of white beach glass in the pot for Jayne to play with, packaged it up and went to bed.
 Well, if you've ever simmered soup for a while, you know it always needs more seasoning.
Jayne mentioned that she likes other metals besides silver. When I woke up, I wrapped the white glass with copper and oxidized it. I was so happy to see that liver of sulfur did not affect the beach glass!  Woo Hoo - another new technique!
Then I found some great copper components in my stash. 

Finally, I was ready to head to the post office. 
Here's what Jayne found in her mailbox a few days later.
This is Jayne's photo!

You cannot imagine how hard it was for me to part with that lapis!
And the carnelian thrown in just because Jayne sais that was one color she really didn't like. This is a challenge isn't it???

I can't wait to see what Jayne creates. 
Check out her blog to find out - The reveal is May 3.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inspired By Reading Book Club ~ January/February

Welcome to the latest installment of the Inspired by Reading Book Club hosted by Andrew Thornton.  Once again, we combined two months for our reveal. And even with the extra time, I'm late.

To be honest, I had some difficulty get,ting inspired. Maybe I was preoccupied with my first trip to Tucson, maybe moving my workspace sapped my energy. Whatever it was I wasn't feeling it.

I read as far as page 50 in The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie when my very insightful seatmate on the plane to Tucson told me it was ok not to finish a book. There was so much imagery that I found myself rereading many passages, but I just wasn't holding the meaning. Plus I already had a page of notes of possible design ideas -

*a stone gate with 2 elephants facing each other
*a tiger penis in a golden bowl
*bells on the ankles of dancers

While the tiger penis was tempting, I went with some cloisonne elephants from my stash of charms. I found matching pearls in Tucson (Ironically from a NY supplier - Pearl Conceps)
I used gold filled wire to connect the components and craft earwires. 

Next up on the reading list was Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino. This book is a collection of short stories translated from the original Italian. At times I felt the translation fell flat. I was intrigued by The story titled "The Enchanted Garden", in which two children sneak through bramble into a garden where they picked flowers, swam, played ping pong and had a snack. Unfortunately, they were unable to enjoy themselves because they felt they might get caught. Before leaving they spied a boy inside the villa who appeared to be equally uncomfortable. What caught my attention were the collections of framed butterflies on the wall. I wanted to create something with brambles and/or butterflies, but my muse was hiding.

I was resigned to the fact that I would just skip this book and head off to the Jewels By JAR exhibit at the Metropolitan  Museum of Art in NYC. And wouldn't you know it, Joel A Rosenthal had a designed wall of butterflies and dragonflies.

These are actually jewel encrusted brooches. Finally I was inspired.

I decided to try a new technique at the last minute.
I took and etching class in Tucson. The instructor Amber of String Bead was wonderful. 

So bright and early this morning, I shaped and prepped the copper. 

I drew a sketch, then drew on the copper with a Sharpie. And placed my earrings into the the etching solution.

I am sure I heard Amber say she often left her pieces in solution over night.

I learned a great lesson today - copper pieces cannot stay in ferric chloride for 5 hours. 

Never fear - I will try again!

For now enjoy these pieces I etched in class. They kind of remind me of brambles. What do you think?

Don't forget to check out the other participants.

PS - I've started the new book - An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor and am enjoying it.  
Why not join us next time?!
Check Andrew's blog for details.