Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal Time!

It's Bead Soup Blog Party time again. You can visit Lori Anderson's BSBP blog for links to all the participants. I am part of the "second reveal". And again, my partner is Julia Gerlach, editor for Bead and Button magazine. In February I posted a teaser photo of what I sent her and here is the real deal:

In that stash are a large dichroic pendant signed "Catharine", a cloisonné bead; two copper clasps, some square and cube-shaped black agate, pearlized glass in pink and green (the pink are vintage), Czech table beads with copper bevels in two sizes, faceted Czech ovals, etched window beads, faceted rondelles, and some 6/0 seed beads in black.I thought you might like to find out a little more about Julia so we did a little interview session:
T: How long have you been working for B&B and how did you get to where you are today? 
J: I've been working for B&B since 2005 and for Kalmbach Publishing since 2002. I started at the company as a part-time administrative assistant in the Books Department and worked my way up to my current position. It's been quite the journey! 
T: Did you bead before the job or did it become part of your life after you signed on with the magazine? 
J: When I started in Books, I had no beading experience but I did have access to all the back issues of Bead&Button, so I would take them home in the evenings and on weekends and I learned the various stitches and techniques that way. I worked on some of the early books and booklets in the category so I learned a lot just by reading through those. By the time I was hired as an associate editor for the magazine, I had a lot of basic techniques under my belt, but I really got immersed in the hobby at that point.
T: I've visited Milwaukee once for the B&B show, but what is it like living and working in that area? Remember, I'm Texas born and bred so the thought of living where it snows that much is alien to me. The year I was there I had to buy a sweater in June because it was so cold there!
J: Milwaukee is a great place in a lot of ways – there are great restaurants, parks, and performing arts organizations. We have an amazing art museum and there are things to do here year-round, as long as you can deal with the weather. For instance, we know that just because March 20 is the first day of spring this year, we may not get really nice weather until early- to mid-June, when it will be perfect for one day and the following day it will be blazing hot and three days later we'll need to pull out our jackets again! But like I said, we get used to it. One of my favorite weather conditions is actually when it is about 20 degrees and sunny with no wind. If I'm dressed properly, it's just awesome!
T: What is your favorite beading technique? Is there a reason why you prefer it over others?
J: I don't know if I have a favorite beading technique – I really enjoy all of it. I stitch, string, and crochet, do wirework, kumihimo, and loomwork, and I even do a little with polymer and metal clay. Maybe it's because I am always trying new things and I haven't really dug in and gotten obsessed with a single technique, but I can't seem to claim a favorite.
T: Working for a major beading magazine, what do you do for relaxation? (I get this question a lot & my answer is usually fishing) Since my coworkers and I work with beads all day, most of our customers think beadwork is what we do to relax. It's difficult to explain sometimes that beads are work; beadwork is still work & not necessarily what we do for fun & relaxation. Is that the same for you?
J: I love to garden. I also enjoy cooking for my little family (my husband and 11-year-old daughter). I do bead at home quite a lot, though, mainly because the beading I do at work is obviously work-related and if I want to create for personal reasons, then I have to do it at home. 
T: What piece of beaded jewelry do you now own that you absolutely could not live without?
J: I made a really cute – and super easy – pair of earrings with some findings that I got in a Bead Hoard Curiosities box (from A Grain of Sand). I've attached a photo of one of them as well as a picture of the findings I used.  

I love those earrings and I really want to visit Milwaukee specifically to meet Julia in person. I'll wait until the blizzards are done though. Too cold for this Southern girl. 

In March I posted a teaser photo of what Julia sent me and here's the real thing:

So, I received a beautiful focal consisting of lampwork leaves and flower by Barbara Svetlick; (oh my goodness, the yumminess!), a sterling box clasp with a peridot, the cutest 3mm green pearls, olivine green dagger beads, some 13x20mm Czech glass goodies in a gorgeous orchid, white 10mm pearls (to die for), 10mm teal and purple died agate, 6mm two-hole lentils in lime (slurp!), 4mm purple fire polished beads, 5x18mm disks in a purple/green/teal (swoon!), 5x7mm curved petals in purple AB and 4x6mm opaque lavender drops. Breathe! It's like she read my mind and discovered my favorite colors. 

I love everything Julia sent me - that was my first dilemma. The second was that I am a bead weaver - I like teeny-tiny beads put together with needle and thread, so I am often stumped by stringing. I did come up with a couple of things. First, the requisite use of the focal and the clasp:

I used the pearls (both the tiny green ones and the large white ones) and mixed them with some "pearl jade" that I picked up from the store. I really wanted to showcase the flower, and the creamy pale green mixed with those pearls really seemed to do the trick, plus I wanted that focal to be off center. It's a bit dressy but I love it. That means I am keeping this baby for myself. The photo does not do it justice - it was really difficult to capture the colors. I may get my friend Jessi to take some better photos. 

Next, I focused on those disks and the agate. I found some nylon cord in a nice teal green and did some knotting:

I had some vintage faceted Bohemian glass in a purple irid but I'm not yet sure if they work. They may be too formal looking to work with the rest of the piece. I'll look at it for a while before I decide. I need to find something to give me four inches on each side of the piece. I might get some lampwork rounds from Pam to finish this. We'll see. 

As for the rest of the stash, I've already got plans for them. Those two-hole lentils will be a challenge but I'm sure I'll figure it out. I'm considering a macram√© piece to work everything into. And those large orchid beads will become the base of another necklace.

And in other news I have some new classes coming up at Nomadic Notions. There will be plenty of eye candy in the next few weeks. I'm baa-aack!