Tag Archives: blog hops

Art of Awareness Blog Hop – the power of purple


Lori Anderson is one of my favourite people – in addition to being uber-talented and creative, she’s a huge inspiration to me. So when she announced she was taking a break from the Bead Soup Blog Hop and changing things up this spring, I knew I wanted to participate. Anything Lori organizes is going to be fun.

This time, Lori teamed up with Heather Millican, of Swoondimples, for the Art of Awareness Blog Hop. Heather made a gorgeous one-of-a-kind awareness bean bead for each participant. Our job was to use our imaginations and make a piece of jewelry (although we weren’t limited just to jewelry). Given M’s challenges, ADHD seemed like a logical choice for me. Except the awareness colour is orange – not one of my favourite colours (I like it on other people but it looks horrible on me). As I was browsing through the list thoughtfully provided by Lori, I noticed that purple signifies migraine awareness. Not only is purple is my favourite colour, but I’m a chronic migraine sufferer.

I asked Heather to print “in the moment” on my bead.


This is a reminder that my headaches, however nasty, will pass. I’m also a generic worrywort, so my bean is also a good motto for every day.

As it happens, I had a particularly nasty migraine the day I planned to make my piece. Normally, I’m not very creative or efficient when I have a headache, but the design came together quickly and relatively painlessly. I finally found my long-lost cache of jump rings, which helped make the whole project go easier.

I originally planned to make a bracelet but when I looked at my bean, I realized that the hole was drilled up and down, instead of across the bead. I decided to go with a mixed metal necklace, with my lovely purple bean as the focal.  I made a series of dangles with little bits of chain saved from previous projects  (you never know when an inch of chain will come in handy) and goodies recently acquired from Yvonne Irvin-Faus of MyELEMENTS, a lovely purple leaf bead from Heather Powers of Humblebeads and a tiny brass key. I added a length of beaded chain that I cut from a bracelet purchased from Michaels and a small piece of purple enamel chain, also from MyELEMENTS, to my “tassel”.


I strung a couple of copper-coloured spacers, a large purple plastic trixie (from Yvonne) and a furnace glass bead with a hint of purple and gold highlights from my stash (origins unknown) with my focal. The chain came from my stash, along with a black enamelled toggle clasp from MissFickleMedia.



It took me about 2 hours, from start to finish, which is relatively fast for me. My headache was mostly gone by the time I finished my necklace, which was a bonus.


While I really enjoyed participating in Lori’s Bead Soup Blog Hops, I think the Art of Awareness Blog Hop is my favourite. Maybe it was the colour of my bean or just taking the time to truly be “in the moment”, but the process of making my necklace was energizing. I didn’t struggle with coming up with a design, nor did I have any problems with execution.  It’s not a super-complicated design. With the exception of my awareness bean, everything came from my own stash. The end result is a funky, one-of-a-kind necklace with lots of movement and texture. I wore it today and I expect it will be a go-to piece for me all year round.


Please check out Lori’s blog, Pretty Things, for a full list of participants and to see what she made. Enjoy your weekend!



Bead Soup to the rescue


I had a long day at work. One of those days where there’s more problems than solutions. When I finally got home, I was thrilled to find that my Bead Soup, from Shalini Austin, had arrived. Definitely a pick-me-up.

Shalini sent me a treasure trove of goodies, all wrapped up in separate bags with a little note. I discovered that she had made a number of the components, including these lovely wire flower links.


Wire flower links

Shalini works primarily in wire and I had admired similar flowers in the jewelry on her blog/website. So I was delighted to receive some od my very own. The photos don’t do them justice – they are very pretty.


Close up – wire flower link


Shalini also sent me a Kumihimo cord made of organza ribbon. I’ve never worked with this type of cord before, but now I have 30 inches to play with. Plus a large S-hook clasp.



I love felt beads and Shalini sent me a bag of tiny wet-felted balls in bright colours.


Candy is dandy…but beads are better

The piece de resistance, however, is the focal – a beaded wire Tree of Life, also made by Shalini. It is stunning.


Beautiful hand-made focal

As if that wasn’t enough, Shalini also included an assortment of Tibetan silver components and a bag of freshwater pearls and glass beads in colours that coordinate with the felt balls and the focal.


More bead sweetness

Lots of colour. The perfect antidote to the sea of white that greets me every time I look out the window (with more snow predicted for later this week – oh joy!).

At this point, I have no idea what I’m going to make with my Bead Soup. There are so many possibilities! I know that I’m going to have a lot of fun. Thanks to Shalini for brightening my day.


A little bit of everything

Please check out Jewellry by Shalini to see what I sent Shalini. I sent along a little card with her Soup – liked the design so much that I’ve copied it for several birthday cards.


The Bead Soup reveal is May 3, 2014. Something to keep me occupied while I wait for the snow to melt.