Saturday, August 11, 2012

I think it's time for Bead Soup!

Hello and welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party!  This is the second time I have participated in this wonderful event.  I would like to say a huge "Thank You" to Lori Anderson for all her hard work and organizational skills in putting this event together.  Lori - you are amazing!!!  My lovely bead soup partner is Christina Stofmeel.  She lives in the Netherlands and is a self taught lampwork bead artist.  She teaches classes and has written a couple of books.  Check out her beautiful beads on Etsy.  Yay!  I just received my beads on Thursday evening.  Here is the bead soup I received from Christina :) 

Beautiful lampies in blues and greens

Gorgeous hollow bead, frit beads and pebble spacer beads by Christina  
Beautiful ribbon, Russian amazonite, Mykanos beads, czech glass beads
As you can see I had a wonderful selection of beads and beautiful colour combination to work with.  The hollow focal bead was a bit of a challenge (in a very good way).  I have never made anything with a hollow bead before and I must confess that it had me flumoxed for a a few minutes.  After studying it a bit longer I decided that it looks like one of those glass buoys you see with fisherman's netting around them. I love anything to do with the sea so I set about making the necklace below. 

"Diving Bell" Necklace
I used the Russian Amazonite chips with freshwater pearls and dangled a teensie seahorse charm and an anchor charm.  The chunky/rustic chain reminds me of old treasures from the ocean.  I wound wire and hammered it flat and then added a brass bead I had coloured with patina and then the gorgeous focal bead.  The chain,wire and charms are beautiful Fallen Angel Brass.

The bracelet below also has a beach theme.  I love the frit beads and the pebble spacer beads.  They are such gorgeous blues and greens.  I paired them with silver spacer beads, freshwater pearls and peanut beads.  The starfish charm is pewter and matches the toggle clasp beautifully. 

"Tide Pool" Bracelet
For the earrings I used Christina's gorgeous frit beads and added flattened Vintaj Brass bead caps.  I repeated the look of the bracelet by using the little silver spacer beads and the tiny czech glass seed beads. 
Sea Urchin Earrings

Thanks to my wonderful bead soup partner Christina for sending me such beautiful beads to play with.  Click on a name below to visit other participating blogs.  Have fun!!! 
Thanks for visiting ~ Karen

Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 

 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another Cup of Bead Soup!

Well it is sad to say that I have very much neglected you dear blog over the past couple of months!  Yikes - didn't realize how long it was since my last post.  Hope that everyone is enjoying the summer and keeping cool!
I am excited to be participating in the 6th Bead Soup Blog Hop Party.  You can find out more information about the blog hop by going to Lori Anderson's blog.  399 people signed up and there are three reveal dates.  My thanks to Lori Anderson who organizes Bead Soup so wonderfully - it is a lot of time and effort on her part and it is very much appreciated! Lori Rocks!! :)
Yay!!  My partner this time is Christina Stoomfel from The Netherlands.  Christina is a jewellery designer and a self taught lampwork artist and her beads are just gorgeous!  Check out Christina's work on Etsy and also on her blog.  I am thrilled to be Christina's partner for my second Bead Soup Blog Hop!  I am looking forward to getting to know Christina over the coming weeks. Stop back and see photos of our Bead Soup soon!  Our reveal date is August 11th 2012. 
Thanks for stopping by! 
~ Karen ~

Friday, April 20, 2012

And the Winner of our Giveaway Is ......

Good Morning! 
It's time to reveal our giveaway winner! First we want to say a big "thank you" to everyone who entered.  We had a wonderful time reading everyone's comments and we welcome our new blog followers. was used to draw the winner.  We put in 88 names - minus our one comment - Lol :)  The winner is Kim!!  Woohoo!!  Congratulations!!  Kim if you could please email us with your address at we will send you the earring and necklace set below :) 

We currently have 280 FB fans and will announce another giveaway when we reach 350 fans.  Stay tuned to this page! 
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
~ Karen ~

There were 88 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Kim
  2. Alicia
  3. Kimberly, Bakin#39; Goddess
  4. Despina
  5. Quiltingjewel39
  6. Shannon
  7. Ginger Bishop
  8. Lisa Chapman
  9. Melinda Orr
  10. Tumblestone Handmakery
  11. Helen Bowen
  12. Pixiloo
  13. Penny Neville
  14. Shannon
  15. Sandra
  16. Alicia Coats
  17. Kristibasket
  18. Patti Van
  19. Shannon
  20. Sweetrose 74
  21. RoEnchanted Designs
  22. Shyme
  23. Fireflymyst
  24. Lorraine
  25. Sarah Bunney
  26. Pine Ridge Treasures
  27. Cheri
  28. Kashmira
  29. Sweetrose 74
  30. Despina
  31. Cheri
  32. Marla James
  33. Rochelle
  34. Lisa Chapman
  35. Yolanda M
  36. Marla James
  37. Kashmira
  38. Fireflymyst
  39. Pine Ridge Treasures
  40. Marla
  41. Hurrundi
  42. Helen Bowen
  43. Rochelle
  44. Quiltingjewel39
  45. Yolanda M
  46. Alicia
  47. Kim
  48. Quiltingjewel39
  49. Sweet Freedom
  50. Alicia Coats
  51. Sarah Bunney
  52. Kashmira
  53. Patti Van
  54. Penny Neville
  55. Kim
  56. Sweetrose 74
  57. Kimberly, Bakin#39; Goddess
  58. Dreaminofbeads
  59. RoEnchanted Designs
  60. Patti Van
  61. Shyme
  62. Shannon Chomanczuk
  63. Fireflymyst
  64. Shyme
  65. Kimberly, Bakin#39; Goddess
  66. Lisa Chapman
  67. Sweet Freedom
  68. Lorraine
  69. Lorraine
  70. Helen Bowen
  71. Mary Hicks
  72. Marla
  73. Patty
  74. Tumblestone Handmakery
  75. Dreaminofbeads
  76. Dreaminofbeads
  77. Marla James
  78. Quiltingjewel39
  79. Sandra
  80. Lisa S
  81. Ginger Bishop
  82. J-Lynn Jewels
  83. Alicia
  84. Sweet Freedom
  85. Penny Neville
  86. Traci
  87. Marla
  88. Stepha
Timestamp: 2012-04-19 20:16:45 UTC

Monday, April 9, 2012

Woot! Woot! It's Giveaway Time!!

Hello and Welcome to our new blog followers! We've had a wonderful month with some gorgeous weather.   Hope you have all had the chance to enjoy some outdoor time too.

Exciting news!! We hit 250 fans on our Facebook Page so to celebrate we are hosting a little giveaway. If you would like to win the earrings and necklace in the photo below, here's what you need to do :)

You can enter to win up to 3 times. 
1.  Leave a comment on this post.
2. Share on Facebook and leave another comment on this post to say you shared.
3. Join our blog and leave another comment on this post to say you joined. 

We will pick a winner with on Thursday 19th April 2012.
We will post the winner's name on our blog on Friday 20th April 2012.

Have a wonderful day!
~ Karen ~

Friday, March 2, 2012

Yippee! Join us for Bead Soup Blog Hop/Reveal

Hello and welcome to Bead Soup Blog Party!  I am so excited to see everyone's designs.  My blog partner is Helene Goldberg.  She lives in Melbourne, Australia.  Helene has a busy life looking after her mum and her new grandson as well as juggling her own household commitments.  She is a crafty lady - check out her blog - she sews, knits and quilts as well as jewellery making and card making. My beading goodies consisted of two sizes of turquoise beads, two sizes of zebra jasper beads, tiny brown glass beads, silver spacer beads, silver toggle clasp and gorgeous metal flower focal.  I love the flower focal because it is very different from the beads I usually buy.  I haven't designed with silver components for a very long time so I had to venture outside of my sometimes narrow creating box to think of ways to incorporate them with my existing bead stash. This is good!  I like and need to be challenged.  Thank you Helene :)   
Bead Soup lovelies!

Here are my designs.  The first is a necklace using the scrummy flower focal.  I wanted to create a frame for the focal and I love the jingly jangly noise the beads make when you pick this necklace up.

Shabby Chic Rose Necklace
Blue Bear Bracelet
The blue bear bracelet uses turquoise beads, zebra jasper beads,
large silver beads from my stash, brass disc beads and brass bead
caps.  The little blue bear was waiting patiently in my bead stash. I
thought he was ideal for this bracelet.  At first I wasn't sure about
the silver and brass together but I think it works and I won't be
frightened to use that combination again.   
Turquoise Earrings

The turquoise earrings are very simple.  I paired the turquoise beads with a carved bone bead.  

After the Rain Bracelet

I used the silver spacer beads in the "After the Rain" bracelet.  They are paired with Czech glass beads, the small turquoise beads and a blue seaglass bead.  I made a simple S hook for the clasp.  The brass is blank is textured and has a scarab attached to it.  
Shabby Chic Rose Necklace

Thank you so much to Lori Anderson for organizing this amazing Bead Soup Blog Party.  She is truly an awesome lady.  Thanks also to my wonderful bead soup partner Helene for sending such a gorgeous selection of Bead Soup to play with. 

Click on a name below to visit other participating blogs.  Thanks for visiting and have fun blog hopping! ~ Karen :)

Hostess, Lori Anderson Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)
21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)
41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Bead Soup Reveal is nearly here!

Join us tomorrow Saturday March 3rd 2012 for the 5th Bead Soup Blog Hop.  I am so excited to see everyone's designs!

Here are the beads that I sent to my bead soup blog partner Helene Goldberg.  I hope she has had fun creating some jewellery for herself using these goodies. 

Helene sent me the gorgeous beads pictured below. Check back tomorrow to see what I made with these lovelies :) 

Have a wonderful day ~ Karen  
Helene sent me these gorgeous beads

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cakie Fix

Close up of the cakes in my previous post for anyone who needs a cakie fix this morning Lol :) I'm putting on weight just looking at them!   Have a wonderful day ~ Karen

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fun in the sun and a shot of sugar

Osprey with catch of the day
After a week of sun and sand hubby and I arrived back in Iowa to 8F temps.  This was somewhat of a shock since we had been basking in 80F temps all week.  We were in south west Florida on vacation.  Had a great time kayaking in the mangroves, cycling around Sanibel Island and just walking on the beach every day. We saw loads of wildlife, gators, manatees, otters, dolphins, osprey, pellies and loads of seabirds.  Oops almost forgot about the No-see-ums, they certainly saw me Lol.  Now I have to admit to being a bit of a twitcher and have always been fascinated by birds of prey so when this Osprey landed right in front of us on the beach it made my day.  Luckily we had the camera with us and managed to get several good photos.  We also visited Tarpon Springs the Sponge Capitol of the World :)  I had never seen sponges like the ones in the photo before. Some of them are huge. The docks are well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.  There are lots of Greek restaurants and cafes and of course we had to save room for one of the scrummy cakes in the photo!
Enjoy your day ~ Karen
Sponge Vases

Scrummy Cakes and Pastries

Friday, February 3, 2012

They arrived from a land down under!

Hello!  Exciting news! A parcel of beads arrived this week from my bead soup blog partner Helene Goldberg in Australia.  They are gorgeous and I cannot wait to create something with them.  Check out Helene's blog 25 Reasons. I love the silver toggle clasp, tiny silver beads and flower focal.   Helene also sent me a beautiful card and some tags. She also sews and has been busy with her new grandson and looking after her mum. 

I have a few ideas of what I want to make with these scrummies but can't let you in on that little secret just yet :) 

Love the gorgeous handmade card and tags!  Thank you Helene!
Have a great weekend everyone.
~ Karen

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Etsy goodies getting the better of me :)

I had so many things that I should have done this week but didn't Lol :)  I found myself caught up with all the lovely goodies in my favourite Etsy shops.  Oh dear .... I got very distracted.  Does that ever happen to you?  Well it happened to me big time this week!  I have beading goodies coming from J-Lynn Jewels, Indian Creek Studios, White Clover Kiln, and Suburban Girl Beads.  Check out their Etsy stores for lots of scrummy eye candy!  Yippee!  Can't wait :)  Will share photos when I get my stash!  I received some gorgeous boro beads from Christina Burkhart this week and am eager to use them in a new design.  Hop on over and check out her Etsy store for more beautiful beads. 

Today I have accomplished over half of my to do list so I'm feeling pretty good about that. I also sneaked in a bit of beadie time and revamped a couple of designs I wasn't happy with.  I added blue and purple freshwater dyed pearls to the embossed butterfly blank and put a regular clasp on it. The filigree butterfly has Czech glass rondelles and cathedral beads. 
Have a wonderful evening ~ Karen :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Cup of Bead Soup and Winter Arrives

Good Morning! :)  Woohoo!  I am excited to be participating in the 5th Bead Soup Blog Hop.  My blog partner is Helene Goldberg from Australia.  Check out her blog 25reasons on our sidebar.  Can't wait to see what beads I receive and have a pretty good idea about what I am going to send to Helene :)

Well we finally got some cold weather and snow!  Yesterday was very windy.  Snow was blowing across the driveway and I had to shovel for the first time this winter.  Pretty good for Iowa!  I took this photo of our screen door this morning.  It has funky snow and ice patterns on it.  So pretty!

Yesterday I received my package from J-Lynn Jewels.  I love J-Lynn's tiles.  The colours on these latest tiles are just beautiful.  Photos don't really do them full justice.  I made some earrings with the dog tag tiles and have two heart tiles to design with.  Aren't they gorgeous? 

Have been working on a design for "Saving 2nd Base" to raffle at their Relay for Life event on June 2nd 2012 in Shelton, CT.  Will be mailing the necklace this week.  If anyone wants to help out with a donation please visit!/mysaving2ndbase for details. 

Have a great day!
~ Karen :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yay! Clean Studio!

Messy Table #1

A little more light
This morning I decided it was way past time that I cleaned and rearranged my studio area. I started with a very messy table - well actually two very messy tables Lol :) Well no wonder I can never find what I need! I had three bead mats stacked on top of each other with projects at various stages. There was wire, pliers, paints, inks, stamps - you name it was there. It seems the more I create the more mess I create along with it. Here are the before and after photos :) The light in my basement space is not good so I have now turned my main table round to face the window.  I have an Ott lite which is great but a little extra daylight is good too. Wonder how long it will stay this tidy!  Does anyone else have trouble keeping their table clean?  I just can't do it :) Had fun though!  Feel free to leave a comment if you think I could arrange things a little better - feedback is good!  Hope you had a great day ~ Karen 

Aaah blue beads :)

Messy Table #2

This makes me happy :)
More Storage

Some Goodies