Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party REVEAL!

It's been a very busy month and a half since I last posted, working as an admin on the Jewelry Designer Open Market group on Facebook, as well as making work to sell in my trunk shows there. I've also been in overdrive making lampwork to sell in my trunk shows in the sister Facebook groups Artisan Open Market: Lampwork Glass and the Glass Bead Open Market. While that has cut down on a lot of my play time I am pleased to share what I made with the stash I got from my partner Jennifer Van Horn.
Bead Soup Blog Party 8 Bracelet

This bracelet used the bulk of the beads I received from Jennifer and was inspired by the mix of long center-drilled quartz beads and the smaller, but also long, rectangular peridot beads. I knew they'd be perfect for a bracelet, but I wanted to find a way to balance the larger amount of smaller peridot beads with the larger quartz beads without it getting too bulky. Though stringing isn't necessarily the most creative technique, I was pleased with the half-multi-strand effect of this bracelet using a creative wire-spiral-covered knot connection between the two halves of the bracelet.

Bead Soup Blog Party 8 Bracelet

I still have the owl and leaf ceramic beads and the square toggle clasp she sent to make something with. And while I haven't fabricated it yet, I'm thinking of expanding on the design idea I used in this lampwork owl bead design with fabricated sticks, stems, and leaves, forming the back of the necklace - where I can also use the ceramic leaf bead - and a layered, pierced-and-sawed metal tree pendant in which I will set the owl bead.

Since Jennifer was never able to share with you what I sent to her, I think I am finally free to show you myself:
The Soup I Sent To Jennifer

Her blog is

I wanted to send a huge thank-you to Lori Anderson who, despite frightening health issues, has continued to invest a massive amount of effort at the helm of the Bead Soup Blog Party. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! To return to the full list of participants in the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party, please see her Bead Soup Blog Party blog.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Letting My Soup Stew A Bit

Today's mail was super exciting today because I got my bead soup from my partner Jennifer Van Horn
Bead Soup From My Partner Jennifer
Of course I tore into it immediately. Such pretty packaging to tempt me!
Bead Soup From My Partner Jennifer
Bead Soup From My Partner Jennifer
Bead Soup From My Partner Jennifer
I think it's safe to say that everyone loves Gaea's work! And here's a sweet complement of stones, crystals, and copper - in honor of Arizona's rich copper (and silver!) mining tradition!

It's a great selection to start with! They are different colors, sizes, and shapes than I normally use, so it will be a good challenge, but those peridots and coral/copper colors are lovely. So, now I'll have to ponder and sketch a bit to think about what I want to create.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cooking Some Bead Soup

It is that wonderful time of year again when, having signed up for Bead Soup Blog Party 8 and getting matched with a partner, I get to serve up some bead soup.

This year my partner is Jennifer Van Horn from Jennifers Jewels And Junk. I read through her blog to learn more about her and her style and I found these lovelies:

Photo Credit: Jennifer Van Horn

I asked her to tell me a little bit about her style. She wrote back:

The earrings are very me. I love pastels but also black & brights but usually don't work in primary colors. I like earth tones if i can slip some pink or aqua in there. I use wire, silk, cords, leather, no gold. I haven't found my niche but am working on it.

Jennifer sweetly assured me that she'd love the soup I sent. Cross your fingers with me because I definitely sent some challenging materials ... not completely on purpose. I made everything before I knew who I would get. Do you think no really means no? Hopefully it's not wrong to hope there's some wiggle room there!

Want to see what I'm sending? Here's a taste ...

Teaser 2

Those aren't actually *quite* as primary as they might look ...

Packed Up

All packed up ... and heading to Arizona!

Ready To Ship

I'm certainly excited to hear what she thinks of her soup and to see what I get to work with in exchange! Are you excited to see what we'll make? I hope so! I know I am! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Whirlwind Of Activity

My enthusiasm for creating definitely goes in spurts. I do think it's important to work through that, but there's something about unusual challenges and attention that definitely help spark some motivation!

If you follow my Facebook page, then you know that I had some work published in this month's Soda Lime Times, an online publication about Lampwork beads and artists. Imagine my additional joy when, last week, those beads sold!

It's actually been a wonderfully unusual month for sales! And I'm thankful to all of you for helping that to happen! Knowing that I have support and, now, some funds to invest in new equipment is truly heartwarming and uplifting! Thank you!

I've also been working on developing some designs for the Fall 2014 issue of Stringing Magazine. I've missed the e-mail pre-submission deadline, but I've got some good ideas that I'll be sending in for the March 17th deadline. I just feel like I have so much to share and that I need to start making a real effort to SHARE! Doubt is nibbling away at me, but I'm excited about the challenge of creating beautiful work that fits the parameters of being made using basic stringing, wireworking, and knotting techniques.

Today my goal is to replenish some of what's been selling in my store, namely spacer sets. I have several strands of borosilicate spacers that are ready to photograph, so hopefully I'll get a good start on that!

Borosilicate Bead Sets

Speaking of borosilicate spacers ... I have a set up for auction in a new group on Facebook called Lampwork Beads For Sale where bead artists post auctions for artists and collectors to bid in an environment where we get to know each other better. Click on "Join Group" when you get there and you'll be added to the excitement!

Tomorrow I'm hoping to finish a project that I've been working on with Nancy Dale. Last year I sent her a focal bead and asked her to make something with it. She did and her amazing husband, Sherwood, took over 100 photos for me to look at and use to promote Nancy and my work. I'll be honest when I say it has been overwhelming to go through those photos. I don't think my photography eye is refined enough to appreciate the subtle differences between some of the photos, but I'm nearly done and am SO excited to share with you what Nancy made! I know she has a tutorial for the necklace in the works, so that will be another fun thing to look forward to!

Oasis Storm

I had the tremendous honor of meeting one of my favorite jewelry metalsmiths during the Holiday Sparkle Mart last December, Brittany Foster, and when she noticed one of my beads I made her take it so she could make something, too. She says the pictures are coming soon! I have no idea what she's made, but I'm beyond excited to share that with you, too, because I know that will also be awesome.

Photo Credit: Brittany M. Foster

So what are you working on? Has anything inspired you lately? Do tell!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Help Support The Arts!

I encourage supporting the arts in any form possible because I believe that the arts are the core of innovation and expression for humanity. It contributes to expanding our economic potential and connecting our hearts, heads, and spirits. Art is what teaches us that there's more to life than existing, it's about finding and creating beauty in plain sight and in the unexpected. It's important. Vitally so!
Freeform Peyote Choose Your Own Adventure Reveal
My first attempt at freeform peyote beading for one of Karen's challenges.
It isn't great, but it did make me think!

I've said before that seed beading is what rejuvenates my creativity when I feel uninspired. Freeform peyote beading, in particular, is what helps me to push my boundaries and think outside the box. I've also talked about Karen Williams's kickstarter project before, for her newest and most ambitious book project called Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading: Original Art Jewelry & Beyond. She's asking for our help and we've got less than 23 hours to pitch in.

Karen's video introduction about her Kickstarter campaign for her book.

Even if you're not a beader, or a jewelry artist you don't have to help by pledging, but please do help by forwarding this information to any jewelry artists or beaders that you do know! We're so close to meeting the goal. I know that I, for one, have made my pledge and am anxiously hoping to get this book in my hands as soon as possible.

For more information, head over to Karen's Freeform Peyote Beading Kickstarter project, or you can also read more on her blog!

Thanks for stopping by!

UPDATE: She reached her funding goal!!! Thank you so much to everyone that helped! This book is going to be a truly valuable resource, not only for anyone that wants to learn more about freeform peyote beading, but as a new primer in creating texture and form in jewelry making!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Let's Try This Again, Shall We?

First, a congratulations to Tina Wilson for winning a bead yesterday! Of course, I packed it to ship before I got around to photographing it, but it's on it's way. Yay!

Two people did not respond, which means we'll try to find two more today. If this doesn't work, then we'll try something new and different tomorrow!

Today's random numbers are:

Random Numbers - Winners Batch 3

And on my list that corresponds to:

1) Sue Rodgers Studenski

2) Karen Jones

Please don't make me cry, ladies! :)

And for everyone else out there anxiously watching. Let's be honest that chances are good that you'll have another shot tomorrow! :) Thank YOU for keeping an eye out and keeping me company on the internet! I do appreciate it very much! Hopefully I'll have some new beads for you to look at in the next day or two!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

And The 3 NEW Winners Are

Am I wrong to be disappointed that three of the four winners, two of whom were new fans, and one of who specifically wrote to me to make sure she joined in time for the contest, didn't check to see if they won? That makes me seriously sad!

The good news is that now there's a chance for three new people to win! It's the benefit for continuing to check in, which I truly and genuinely appreciate. Thank you!!! So, here are the new numbers:

Random Numbers - Winners Batch 2
On my list that corresponded to:

1) Tina Wilson

2) Did Not Respond

3) Did Not Respond

Super Hooray! You all have until 11AM CST Wednesday, February 12, 2014 (tomorrow!) to message me or write to me on my facebook page with your bead choice (and address). It will work like this: Jen, yesterday's only winner to respond, gets her first choice bead, which was this one :)

To The Victors Go The Spoils To The Victors Go The Spoils
Tina gets whatever giveaway bead she wants as long as it's not that one. Winner 2 gets whatever bead she wants after that, and then Winner 3. If I do not hear back from someone by 11AM tomorrow, then I'll randomly choose someone new and update both this blog page and announce it on my Facebook page. If I've forgotten something important, which I likely have, I reserve the right to add caveats, wishes, dirty poems etc.

Don't know what all this is about? Read this post!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 10, 2014

And The Winners Are ...

What? You thought I'd put the names first? That's so silly. :) I haven't even had my coffee yet. Thus, I reserve the right to make you wait until we discuss 

The Small Print 

So, first off, this is all in fun. I'm trying to get more people to follow my page, and spread the word about my work so I can maintain my access to shelter, running water, and food etc. If you don't win something today I'm genuinely sorry. I have felt the disappointment of not winning. But, keep track of the page because you never know when the next giveaway will be!

Second, Facebook's privacy rules have made it impossible for me to access a master list of people who like my page. So, I had to compile one manually. I know who you are if 1) you are Facebook friend of mine that has liked my page, or 2) you are someone that has liked my page in the last month, or 3) you are someone that has ever commented upon or liked a post or picture that I've posted on my page. If you do not fit one of those three categories Facebook assumes you don't want me or anyone else to know you're a fan and does not give me a way of knowing who you are. If you DO want to get page updates more frequently, first make sure that you've added Autochthonous Evolved's Facebook Page to one of your interest lists:

Add Page To Interest Lists

Hover over "Liked" and wait for a menu to appear.

Add Page To Interest Lists - Choose A Lists

Then choose the interest list you'd like the page to join. If you have never created an interest list, then choose "+ New List" and create one. You may need to repeat the process to then add the page to the list. I honestly don't remember.

Obviously or not, the absolute best way to get page updates is to interact. Tell me what you love, what you'd like to see more of - different colors, different sizes - more sets, more buttons, more headpins, more jewelry. Help me help you. Ultimately this contest is an investment in information. The more information I get, the more contests I can hold. That makes sense, right?

Alrighty then! The names. Since I had no way of knowing who became a fan of the page at what time, I just made the list alphabetical by first name. I was able to gather 87 names that fit in one of the three categories above, 132 being lost in Facebook's privacy rules. I used to create a list of 4 random numbers between 1 and 87.

Random Numbers - Winners

On my list that corresponded to:

1) Did Not Respond

2) Jen Geiger

3) Did Not Respond

4) Did Not Respond
Check this new post to see if you're of of the new winners.

Hooray! You all have until 11AM CST Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (tomorrow!) to message me or write to me on my facebook page with your bead choice and address. It will work like this: (winner 1) gets whatever giveaway bead she wants. Jen gets whatever bead she wants after that, etc. So, (winner 4), you'll potentially need three back-up choices in case the other three have your taste in beads. If I do not hear back from someone by 11AM tomorrow, then I'll randomly choose someone new and update both this blog page and announce it on my Facebook page. If I've forgotten something important, which I likely have, I reserve the right to add caveats, exemptions, limericks etc.

Thank you, again, everyone that has been following or joined my Facebook fan page! Keep watching!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Let's just turn this bad boy up to 11. Agreed?

I'm almost at 200 likes for my Facebook page, and while I know that many of you are already fans, if you know someone that might be interested in my rants, tips, and eye candy, then point them in the direction of Facebook and everyone that is a fan of my Facebook page by midnight of the day I reach 200 likes will be in the running for one of FOUR of the lampwork beads I have posted as GOOD BEADS NEED GOOD HOMES! on my Facebook fan page right now. So, four of you will each get randomly chosen to select one of the (remaining) beads. Don't make jewelry? I'll even turn it into a simple necklace for you!

1.25" straight sided lentils. Each of these really only has one pretty side, but are otherwise grade A-1 perfect lampwork beads.
These beads are in the neighborhood of 2" long. Again, perfect quality beads other than I don't want to look at them anymore.
Simple, but would be kind of cute as a muted St. Patricks's Day bead!

Of course, that also means that, if you really want one of these beads, then you should let me know now-ish! :)

One more thing. I'd like to do something special for the person who recruits me the most new people. So, let's say, if I get ten or more comments on my Facebook page from new fans that say you sent them (within 24 hours or so) ... how about I give you the choice of any one bead in my Etsy store.

Sound good?

Noooooow GO!

Thanks for stopping by!

UPDATE: We've found this batch of winners, but you'll never know when we need a new batch of winners, so stay tuned and keep sending people our way! The more support we get the more we can give away!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

New Lampwork Beads on Etsy!

I had a relatively quiet day yesterday, so I took advantage of the opportunity to post some of my accumulating new work on Etsy! Just click on an image to go to the listing. Enjoy!

I call these three beads my Grunge Valentine collection. They have a tubular base bead made with layered shades of color. I then built a 3D heart on the bottom of each, then embellished the beads with dots, swirls and squiggles. They are meant to represent the idea that love is not always simple; sometimes it's chaotic and messy, but it's still love.

These two are continuations of a series of beads I've been working on for about a year. This is one of my most popular styles at art shows, so I haven't had enough to put online until now. The main flowers are handmade murrini on a blue sky background. I added the stems and grass with very fine stringers of the very rare Green Dalai fron Trautman Art Glass, which I use because of the complex combination of green and blue that it creates. The little embellishments I add change from bead to bead, but small wild flowers and ladybugs are common, like here.

Eggs! These are always fun around Spring and Easter! Of course I had to go festive and bright with the decorations.

And finally a couple large straight sided lentil beads. Straight sided lentils are different from traditional lentil shaped beads because they have a flat edge rather than a thin ridge.

I have eight more lentils to post, hopefully today, so keep your eyes peeled! I also have five beads in a new organic style that I've been developing for a client of mine. They are very feminine, layered, and sparkly!

In other news, the new Art Bead Scene challenge is up and this month's inspiration art is pretty great, so I'm thinking of giving it a go. How about you?!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bravery vs. Stupidity in Jewelry Alterations

Imagine, if you will, that the piece of jewelry you've most coveted from an artist whose work is amazing in every way is now yours.

Now imagine that the fit was ever so lightly off. Not a lot, but enough that you think ... maaaaaybe it should be a little different. The artist would, without hesitation of any kind, offer to resize it immediately. Obviously.

But, let's say that you weren't totally right in the head. Now let's say that person was me and the bracelet in question was this one from Nancy Dale, who was recently featured in Marcia DeCoster's new book Marcia DeCoster Presents: Interviews with 30 beaders on Inspiration & Technique:

Black Ice by Nancy Dale
Photo Credit: Sherwood Lake, Jr.

So, clearly, you'd say, "Oh no. Not a bit of it. I don't want to wait one second more than I have to to wear this magnificent piece of art. I'm a competent beader. I'll resize it myself!" Now imagine the maniacal laughter. Alright, I'll admit it - no one's ever accused me of taking the cautious path.

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale
Just a teensy bit too big.
Maybe I should have given Nancy an accurate wrist measurement ...

Now ignore the part where I've been ill with pneumonia for almost a month and the bracelet would have been there and back already. Details, details. But now that my energy level is starting to come back, and now that today the weather is actually warm enough for Sawer's school to be in session I thought I'd finally get down to it. Fortunately Nancy was kind enough to tell me how she put the components together and where I should nip and tuck.

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

So I was feeling pretty confident. I could totally do this. I had my handy Fiskars snips, my instructions, and a quiet house. What could go wrong?

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

What the f*^# have I done?!!?!?!

Thankfully, however, the reason that everyone loves Nancy's work is because she knows what she's doing. I'm still not sure my cuts were precisely what or where they needed to be, but the toggle loop and the rest of the bracelet were, as she said they would be, perfectly sound. Now I just needed to recreate her loops and connect the toggle loop to the two remaining chatons.

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

Mischief managed! Thank goodness! If I could do it again would I? Yeah. I would. Part of why I was so determined to take this on for myself was to get more familiar with the beaded connections that Nancy's so great at, which I've struggled to wrap my head around. Just the process of following the bead path to anchor and weave in my ends was instructive. Plus, after seeing the cut chaton fall apart, I'm sort of programmed to take a deep breath and git r dun no matter what. So that moment did give me new clarity about how to reconstruct the loops, fortunately!

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

So, do you think I can still show my face to Nancy without embarassment for ruining her work? lol. I know she was concerned about the resulting aesthetic - since the ends wouldn't be symmetric, but I think the two chatons flow into the toggle loop just fine. I love it! I'm so glad that I can wear it in perfect comfort now! Thank you, Nancy!!!

When's the last time you had a panic attack in the middle of a delicate project?

Thanks for stopping by!