Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party

  A couple of months ago I learned about the Bead Soup Blog Party on Lori Anderson's blog, "Pretty Things." I was immediately interested and counting down the days until the applications opened. This was the first time I had heard of the Bead Soup Blog Party but it is actually the 5th one they have hosted.
On January 15th the participants were announced and I was chosen! So exciting.
  You are probably wondering what a Bead Soup Blog Party is... well, the artists that are chose from the lottery pack up a bag of goodies from their stash and mail them off to their partner and in turn get a bag of goodies back from their partners stash. My partner happens to be Amanda Dittloff of Charlotte, North Carolina.
  The only rules of the party are to make something unique, blog about it, and check out other peoples blogs/creations that are in the blog hop. So, I am off to design something fabulous with my new goodies! Below you'll find pics of what I sent Amanda, what she sent me, and the list of the 198 other people that are participating! Check them out! And, come back here on March 3rd to see my final designs.

Stash I sent Amanda.
Focal Beads and Clasp...
Stash Amanda sent me.
We actually sent each other the same bead!!! The oval, purple, Czech glass beads!
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Kingdom of Bahrain) and Hajer Waheed (Singapore)
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)
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 (Canada) 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)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#bloggersnightout #OKC

  So, I am re-writing this post! Bloggers Night Out was A-mazing! I'll admit I was a little nervous and shy when I first arrived. To my surprise, so were many of the other women in attendance!
The Makeup Bar in OKC is where we all met last Thursday evening. There was a mixoligist from a local restaurant making fantastic cocktails, food from Deep Fork, and lots of giveaways as well as free brow waxes and smoky eye tutorials courtesy of the Makeup Bar. Oh, and the awesome Rex Barrett of Glass Eye Studios was on hand to document the evening!
  I love smoky eyes and of course have never tried to give myself some (I barely wear makeup and definitely don't experiment with it when I do) so, I decided to let them show me how to do it. I also opted in for my first brow wax! It's a good thing I did too, because during it I met one of the owners of The Makeup Bar who insisted they start carrying my jewelry! I'll be debuting my jewelry in their store in March or April. I am also excited to start using some of their services and products.
  I am so grateful to have been invited to this event. I met some new ladies, caught up with some old friends, and made some wonderful new connections. Can't wait to catch up with everyone at the next event.

Bloggers in attendance were:
Danielle from Elleinad Spir

Susan from The Working Closet

Shana from Gorillabuns

Melissa from Pineapple Lily

Alison from Shop Crawlr

Caroline from Greedy Girl

Allison from Feeding My Temple

Kelly from Design Crush

Brigette from Settling West

Evie from Evie-S

Sally from Sally Spins

Erin from Pippin and Pearl

Brandy from Bella Vita Jewelry

Emery from Emery Jo

Stephanie from Stephanie Bice

Kathleen from Jeremy and Kathleen

Marek from Marek Musings

Rachel from Pencil Shavings

Melissa from Sassafrass 2.0

Rachael from Rachael Really

Nikki from Bradley Birth

Kara Kae from The Mom Diggity

Laura from Steen Style

Whitney from Whitney Kolb

Katie from  Dishin and Dishes

Allison from Feeding My Temple and Melissa from Pineapple Lily.

I am out of my newly redesigned business card so I had to hand out old ones. I forgot how cute my old ones by Heather Gerlaugh were!

Me getting smokey eyes.

Erin from Pippin and Pearl, cute shoes!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Girls Best Friend

  Meet Tubby. Tubby is the dog my  parents got to help on the farm when I was about 15. They brought him home and I thought I was too cool for a puppy and that I didn't want to have anything to do with him. But, that was not the case. It was love at first sight, best friends immediately! 
I snapped this photo of him one day when I was practicing for my photography class when I was in High School. I developed the film and the print myself! This was back before digital cameras were available to anyone and everyone.
  The day came for me to move out of my parents house and I had to say goodbye to my loyal, best buddy. Good bye never lasted long because I visited home often, even moved back twice :)
Then, another sad day came (sad for Tubby), the day I brought Arlo home. Tubby never cared for Arlo but I think that is because he had turned grumpy and tired by the time Arlo came around. Tubby was a working cattle dog so he put in many  years of work for my Dad. 
  I have been watching him get older and weaker for a few years now. I got the phone call this morning that he had gone to doggie heaven. The last few times I visited home I took a few moments to spend with him just in case it was the last. 
Tubby Dog, you'll be in my heart forever.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tucson - Day 4

  I started my last and final day in Tucson by having breakfast with Karyn, the lady that I rented a room from. She was so generous and sweet and made me breakfast while I stayed with her :)
  After breakfast I headed back out to wrap up my last minute shopping. I knew I wanted to go back to a couple of shows to pick up some last minute items and that I did. I found all these amazing charms and ordered some last minute Czech glass that I am dying to design with. I have to wait two weeks though! That is how new these glass beads are!!!!
Here is a sneak peek...

  I got done shopping early so I headed to the house to start packing my loot. My flight was so early on Saturday that I needed to have everything ready to go Friday night so I could just walk out the door on Saturday. 
I got everything all packed up and said goodby to Karyn and then made my way to dinner at Oregano's Italian Bistro (one of my fav's in Tucson) where I met Stefanie. We had a great time talking about our finds for the week and showing off our own designs. I am so glad that Stefanie and I were able to meet up during this trip. Cheers to new friendships!

Stefanie and I at Oregano's.
  I got up super early on Saturday and made my way to the airport. I arrived back in Oklahoma around 1 p.m. Tucson was fabulous this year! The weather was perfect and even though I was traveling by myself I never felt alone. I made every effort to meet new people and to network as much as possible. Until next year! 
  Now I am working on taxes, planning our trip to NYC, and unpacking everything, counting, pricing and sorting it into it's new home. I took a few minutes yesterday to make a pair of earrings out of some of my new materials. Let me know what you think! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tucson - Day 3

  Yesterday I started the day by driving up into the mountains of Tucson. It was a pretty short drive out of town but a pretty amazing view of the mountains and the city. Every year I come to Tucson I wish I could do more outdoor activities but there just isn't time. I hope that Matt will come with me one year and we can go outdoors and play. My short little drive sufficed for this trip. After that I stopped by the Ajo Cafe, a local diner that I discovered a couple of years ago. I stopped in the day before for a soda and got talked into a wonderful piece of Chocolate Pie. The owner insisted that I come back for breakfast or lunch and it just happened to work out yesterday. She even greeted me by name when I walked in! I love seeking out small local joints with loads of flavor and local color!
  After I properely fueled up for a day of shopping I joined all the other crazies at the Holidome. This is a crazy show, and people think you are crazy if you go on the first day. I really only go to visit two vendors... one that I won't tell you the name of because it is my little secret and the other is Nina Designs, who I love very much!
I got some aaaammmmaaaaazing stones - calcite cobalto and silica were my huge splurge then I also purchased a handful of other stones, some new to Bella Vita and some oldies.

Calcite Cobalto and Silica
  I was also very excited to visit the Nina Designs booth this year. I have been dying to hand pick from their new bronze charms, which are of impeccable quality and design and so affordable!

New Charms
 I wrapped up the Holidome pretty quickly, dropped by the Gem Mall for some last minute items then headed back to To Bead True Blue for my 6:00 class. It was a long day and I think I am pretty worn out over all. I've been waking up at 5:00 all on my own which kind of stinks. None of the shows open until 10:00 so I have a lot of time on my hands early in the morning. 
  Today, Karyn (the lady I am staying with) is going to take me to her friends studio. should be exciting! Then I'll head over to The Whole Bead Show, The Gem Mall, possibly GJX and To Bead True Blue. I have to wrap it all up today. Check my lists, check my purchases and make sure I don't need to buy anything else. I am almost to the end of my budget which makes me sad but happy at the same time. I want to get home and make make make!

Class projects... adding color to metals!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tucson - Day 2

  Ahhh! Day two of my trip... lets see how did it start out??? I didn't have time to write yesterday so now I have to remember what I did and write two blog posts this morning. 
I think I started out at The Gem Mall- ah, yes I did. 
I wanted to see all of the vendors that usually exhibited at the "Rodeway" but were moved to the Gem Mall this year. All my "regulars" that I like to buy from. I hand picked seed bead bracelets in an array of amazing color combinations! I can't wait to get home to play with these beauties. Two words - ARM CANDY!
  I spent a lot of time at this show... A lot of the African trade bead vendors are at this show and I have a weakness for African trade beads, especially the old, old, old, dirty ones. I got some pretty cool new (to me) glass trade beads for my Summer collection. I want to buy more, but the styles I select are always the oldest, dirtiest, and by far the most expensive... like $400 a strand expensive. I would love to purchase them and expose my clients to these amazing antique beads but I am just scared to make that investment at this point in my career. So, instead I take pictures and drool over them from time to time. 
  I took a short break to grab some food from one of the food vendors. I sat at a table with some other really nice ladies and did a little networking. I met the owner of Feifish which is a wholesale jewelry company started by a woman that hated her job and started making jewelry 3 or 4 years ago!
  After lunch I headed to the Best Bead Show to visit my friends at Lilly Pilly Designs. I got some great new handmade shell pendants in spring/summer colors. I also visited with Andrew from Green Girl Studios... these two vendors are pretty much the only reason I come to this show. It's a nice show and really fun to walk around and look at all the glass artists, etc.
  From here I ventured over to Electric Park. I had some time to kill before dinner and was a little overloaded with beads/gems/etc. so I decided to go look at the massive rocks and minerals and what not. This show is really cool, massive amethyst statues and other massive stone boulders, any kind of rock you could imagine... finished and unfinished. I passed one booth that had unopened geodes and couldn't pass up the opportunity to open one... actually I opened two. My Grandfather used to open geodes for people at his shop. I spent many summer days watching him do it for other kids that were on vacation... I got my fair share of geodes too though :)
  After my adventures at Electric Park, I headed downtown to Cafe Poca Cosa to meet Stephanie of Stephanie Wolf Designs. Stephanie and I connected on Twitter and had our first "meet up" or "tweet up"... we didn't tweet while we were at dinner so I am not sure what we'd call it! Anyway, this restaurant was crazy! I had called to get reservations because apparently you HAVE to. Well, they didn't have any in the time that we wanted so we opted to just wing it, we got a table after about an hour of waiting. The food was pretty incredible... I can see what the fuss is about. I had a creamy chicken dish with an amazingly fresh salad and beans and rice and homemade tortillas. I think I still have 1/2 a chicken left! I don't remember the name of it and have no way of finding out b/c their menu changes daily! Check out their site, they are award winning and have been published a lot. And GO, if you are in the area.
That sums up day two, I headed home after dinner and c-rashed!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tucson Gem and Mineral (and Bead) show - Day One

  I left beautiful weather in Oklahoma to enjoy even more beautiful weather in Tucson. It's amazing compared to last year which showed us absurd snow storms and record lows down here! All of which this girl didn't really prepare for and with a lot of the shows being outside in tent cities I froze my buns off! Not the case this year, at least so far. Yesterday was absolutely perfect. Highs int he 70's and full-on-sunshine!
I started my day by meeting my host, her name is Karyn, and I don't know her! This is kind of a big deal for me... I am traveling all by my lonesome and staying with a lady that rents a room out of her house!

  On to bead business! 
I started my day at To Bead True Blue, which is one of my favorite shows here. I headed to a fav. vendor as soon as I got there but it turned out to not be soon enough. I was in search of some vintage brass charms that I got last year and when I got to her booth the lady that actually registered for the show in front of me had ALL the little brass charms in her basket!!! I asked if the vendor had anymore and she said she did at her store and she could ship them... blah blah blah... then the sweet lady asked how many I wanted and I said, "one would do me until she can ship the others!" And, she was SO KIND to give me one strand. I know this probably doesn't sound like a big deal but it is. Some people here are cut throat, and can ruin your day just by looking at you!
I ended up spending my whole afternoon here. I met Ellie from Argenta Bead and she generously shared her lunch with me, poolside! I love seeing Ellie and catching up with her.
After that I saw a demo on glass clay... yep glass clay. You turn a powder into a "clay" like substance and then fire it in a kiln and it turns into glass. Pretty crazy if you ask me, fun to watch, but I opted out of the kit. I want to master metal clay first!
  I spent the afternoon leisurely shopping all the vendors. Found a great new supplier for chains, new fine pewter pendants, some crazy kyanite and quartz stones and stocked up on lucite flowers at the Beadinpath (one of my fav's).
After this long day of shopping I met up with Rae Ann of Rae Ann Creations and we had a nice dinner.
Today I think I am going to hit the Best Bead Show and the Gem Mall... 

Vintage brass galore!!
Loving this lucite, and I'm not even an animal print girl.
New colors in the "goddess" or "Venus" beads.
Lovely! Two new pewter charms.
Couldn't pass these happy Buddhas up!
Excited about this quartz.