The Bead Peeps Blog Hop reveal

So… the time has come to reveal what I have been working on with the generous package I received from my partner team: Dry Gulch:

I decided to go with the romantic theme inspired by the colours of the beads I was sent on most of the pieces. My daughter adored everything in my package and is in a major princess phase right now so I made a tiara for her with the wrapped focal piece I received from the Dry Gulch ladies.  Can’t you tell how much she loves it?


This bracelet was made with a flower component I was sent which I have added a few accents to and made the bracelet part with Candy Jade beads, Irish waxed linen etc. Bow added made with seam binding ribbon sent by Dry Gulch.


Simple yet feminine earrings made using Dry Gulch’s lampwork beads, freshwater pearls and sterling silver ear wires.


This is a necklace featuring a ceramic focal made by Dry Gulch and a ceramic bead made by yours truly. I have yet again used the seam ribbon as an accent.


This is a necklace I made with a Dry Gulch flower, their own lampwork, Sari Ribbon, candy jade, Irish waxed linen etc.


Last piece: a necklace incorporating some copper components and sparkly beads I had received from the girls. I also added lampwork beads from Karin Hruza, the focal was made by another artist, but I cannot remember her name unfortunately.


There was a piece of Rose Quartz included in the package which I have not managed to dream up a design for yet. It could come to me at a later date and if so I will post an update:)

You may wonder: will I give up my comfort zone of rust and rustic for pretty and pink? The answer is no. I have got so much more to discover in my world of ‘organics’. It is likely however that my designs will incorporate more sparkle and femininity from now on:) I like the contrasts and intend to explore this more in depth.

I would like to thank the Dry Gulch girls for a wonderful challenge which I have enjoyed so much! Please do visit the Dry Gulch blog to see what they created with what I sent:

Last but not least a big, warm thank you to the Bead Peeps hostess Linda Anderson and all he helpers for arranging the swap and their hard work. I appreciate all the effort you have put into making this happen!

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop 2015 
Partner List  

 Our Hostess: Linda Anderson from http//


Linda Anderson
Marica Zammit
Jessica Hocutt
Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Debbie Jeffries http://wordpress/debrasdivinedesigns/
Rosantia Petkova
Shalini Austin
Catherine La Vite
Annica Larsson
Lori Schneider
Divya N
Mowse Doyle
Fay Wolfenden
Kathy Lindemer
Claire Fabian
Janice Warden Bergeron
Natalie Davidson
Deb Fortin
Inge von Roos
Karen Mitchell
Robin Reed
Marie Covert
Alicia Marinache
Nan Smith
Johana Nunez
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Lori Blanchard
Sue Kennedy
Shai Williams
Niky Sayers
Melissa Trudinger
Candida Castleberry
Erin Guest
Nicole Rennell
Ien Temaluru
Robin Showstack
Sam Waghorn
Marianne Baxter
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Shai Williams
Lee Koopman
Jayne Capps
Marti Conrad
Tina Bosh
Eleanor Thomas
Jeanne Steck
Gloria Allen
Rachel Mallis!blog/c1jlz
Andrea Glick
Stephanie Stamper
Chris Haussler
Betony Maiden
Kari Asbury
Jenny Kyrlach
Colleen Foley
Marybeth Rich
Marcy Lamberson
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell
Ginny Lones
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Loretta Carstensen
Dolores Raml
Michelle McCarthy
Louise McCormick-Glazier
Heather Richter
Tammy Adams
Shirley Moore
Seed Beaders
Susanne Stelljes
Sheila Prosterman
Pallavi Asher
Jami Shipp
Peggy Kosier
Andra Weber
Catherine King
Krafty Max
Sierra Barrett
Lois Sherwood
Katy Heider
Rebecca Robertson   (White)
Heather Richter
Brandy Collier
Stephanie Haussler
Lori Blanchard
Kathleen Breeding
Becky Pancake
Renetha Stanziano
Tami Norris
Ginger Bishop
Peggy Johnson

Sent and received

The reveal date for the Bead Peeps Blog Hop is almost here and I since I haven’t actually posted anything about what I sent and received I thought I would do so now.

I received a very generous selection of pretties from the Dry Gulch girls. All in very feminine pastels. Although extremely pretty, this felt like a real challenge for me as I have been focusing on organic materials and designs for a long time.


I choose to send earthy and organic beads to the ladies. Some of my Raku beads, traditional ceramic beads, Amethyst, Czech beads etc. It is going to be so exciting to see what they have created!


Partner intro

So sorry for neglecting you, dearest blog!

I started out with the best of intentions but real life, work and young kids had to get priority over you for a while.

I am taking part in a blog hop called Bead Peeps Swap N’ Hop. You will find more info here:

I would like to introduce my partner in this swap to you:

Interestingly, I am not swapping with just one person but a whole three generation design collective: ‘Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry’.

These ladies have been trading since 1994 and sell their jewelry and supplies online as well as in boutiques:

A Dry Gulch creation in lace and leather

Their joint knowledge of techniques is impressive, they make components in everything from lampwork to ceramics.

There is a lot of variety in what they create as well, but I do feel that the love of vintage stands out.

Romantic vintage style earrings a la Dry Gulch

I spoke with Catherine La Vite from Dry Gulch some time ago about the origin or our company names and I love the story of theirs. I think I’ll let Catherine tell you herself:

‘For us, our name actually came from my great-grandpa and grandpa!  It’s an old cowboy saying my great-grandpa named his ranch in Texas.  When his son (my grandpa) moved up here to the Ozarks in Missouri, he named his ranch Dry Gulch Ranch too.  Our property has tons of dry gulches, deep ravines in the rolling hills, so when it rains all the water just goes down the gulches.  So, we kept the name for our jewelry business and haven’t looked back since!’

I love this story and the fact that their brand name carries a piece of their family history. A constant reminder of the value of family and working together.

Pretty green lampwork leaf head pins by Dry Gulch

I have been a very lucky girl and received a most generous package from the Dry Gulch ladies (so many treasures!).

Saving pictures and further thoughts on this for a later blog post.

Stay tuned!

The reveal…

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Feather necklace

Lentil necklace

Lentil necklace

Lentil necklace

Lentil necklace

Lentil necklace

Lentil necklace



So, the time has now come to reveal what I have been working on…  I have been kind of busy as I have been away to Prague on an enamelling course (but I’ll cover that in another post).

I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you to Lori Anderson who is the organizer of the Bead Soup Blop Hop Party .  She has had to struggle with ill health at the same time as juggling all the practicalities of a large scale event such as this.  Her passion and endless support for creativity in all forms is deeply appreciated:)

The bead soup I received was wonderful with shimmering colours and very elegant lamp work beads. This must have made the creative process easy you might think? No, this was a real challenge for me as the focal pieces (I received two) were large. I am not saying this is a bad thing, it is just that I am not used to making big statement jewellery. There were two options as I saw it: I could make something very simple and just hang the glass on a silk ribbon or similar as this would put the focus on the pieces Silke sent me. The second option: Go big and bold. Just have fun and let the focal pieces inspire me and take me on a creative journey. I chose the second option as this is a challenge which is meant to be about going outside of your comfort zone and try new materials.

I started by making some silver clay component which would compliment the glass. Two of the silver pieces were hand carved.

I created three pieces of jewellery. Each has got its own identity, but I do feel that it is clear that they belong together as a collection as well. Let’s call it the ‘The Drama Queen Peacock collection’.😀

The bracelet: hand made silver clay focal component using one of silke’s glass bead as an accent (I think it looks like an eye). Purple suede, teal waxed linen, mostly gold vermeil beads, Thai Hill Tribe toggle.

Necklace with round focal: clasp and frame around focal plus leaf shape are hand made silver clay pieces made by me (hand carved pattern in the latter two), Silke’s glass beads, Silk ribbon, clasp and Swarovski Crystals sent by Silke, Amethyst, American Turquoise and Thai Hill Tribe silver from my own stash.

Lentil necklace: Focal piece and the purple glass beads sent by Silke, Purple Suede, Waxed Linen in various colours, Swarovski Crystals (sent by Silke), Czech beads, Vermeil, silver beads, Silk ribbon, Hand made (silver clay) clasp made by me.

It has definitely been a very useful exercise in trying something new. I just hope I have managed to make something attractive enough to do Silke’s work justice… I have been working too closely with these to be able to judge myself but I would love to hear what you think (good or bad).

Please do visit my very talented Bead Soup Swap partner Silke’s blog to see what she has made with what I sent her.

This is the soup I received from Silke

This is the soup I received from Silke


Thank you Silke for being my partner in this years event!  It has been an absolute pleasure:)  Wishing you a sparkling future with your beautiful glass creations!

This link will take you to the complete list of participants of this years event:

On a different note: I have just opened up shop on Etsy offering ceramic beads and components (earthenware, stoneware and porcelain).  I used to sell semi-precious beads in this shop some time ago, so it doesn’t look ‘new’, but it has been dormant for a long time now and this is a totally new direction – offering things I have made 100% with my own two hands.  I am a bit scared and excited at the same time.  I would genuinely love to hear what you think!  I have got lots to list and it is going to take me a while to get the volume up, but please do visit and like I said: any feedback you could give me would be so, so appreciated!  Shop web address:

The soup I received

Content yet to be discovered...

Content yet to be discovered…

Small organza bags with labels.

Small organza bags with labels.

The soups out!

The soups out!

My lovely new earrings:)

My lovely new earrings:)

Here it is!

Here it is!

The parcel I received from Silke was beautiful in itself!  The brown rough textured box with spring green ribbons sat there on my kitchen table promising yet unknown delights…  Ah, the sweet anticipation!  

I opened the parcel and found quite a few small organza bags with beads, clearly labelled with the delightful contents.  Once I have picked up all the beads from their bags and get to admire them all together I am struck by the beauty of this symphony of harmonising colours Silke has put together for me!  I am not exaggerating – the collection is amazing!  

Silke has sent two focals which are lampworked beads she has made herself.  One huge lentil and one round bead of generous size.  A collection of smaller lampworked beads to match,  silk sari ribbon which a friend of Silke has hand dyed.  Bright silver beads and clasp, shimmering pastel Swarovski Crystals.  If this wasn’t enough, she also sent an extra gift to me which is a very stylish pair of glass/silver earrings in a cool green colour.  

I just need some alone time with the beads now so I can work out what to create:)  

The soup I sent

Sent soup

Sent soup

Close up of focal and clasp.

Close up of focal and clasp.

I will start off by showing you the beads I sent as both my Bead Soup Blog Hop partner Silke and I have received our soups now.

I sent a focal which features a cabochon made from ceramic clay and tinted with gilders paste.  The actual frame holding the cabochon is made from silver clay.  After firing this has been oxidised to give it more depth and life.  The leaves are also tinted with gilders paste.  The metal clay part is made using techniques invented and taught by the very talented Polish Metal Clay Artist Anna Mazon.  I also included a few other ceramic beads to match the focal, red sponge coral sticks, Apatite rondelles and free form beads.  The clasp is also made from silver clay and it includes a little cubic Zirconia.  I am very excited to see what Silke will make with these:)