Saturday, July 28, 2012

REVEAL DAY: BSBP6 - Bead Soup or Sträng Soppa

It’s our REVEAL day for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party®!

My swap partner is Jenny Vinberg of Sweden. Jenny is a teacher by day. She and her fiancee has two gorgeous daughters! So glad to have her as MY partner - she forced me into new territory!

To recap, Jenny sent me loads of delicate and dainty ingredients – Now I am NOT dainty or into pink so I knew right off that it wasn’t going to be easy. So I did what I usually do – PROCRASTINATE! Until this past Wednesday morning (yes, July 25th!)

The evening before I had made a few bracelets and went to sleep with stringing beads still taking up room in my creative space (Ze brain!) I guess my mind marinated on it overnight because I woke with an idea – yup, ONE idea!
I started with the rose quartz – and made a bracelet

and earrings to match….  

Next, I played with the Czech glass and Lampwork beads…these beads were a mystery (well to me and my granddaughter anyways!).
I had laid out the soup on my bedside table - just hoping the inspiration would jump into my brain while I slept each night. When I first received the beads they were a pink, a slightly deeper shade than the rose quartz – but DEFINITELY a pink. Well, one afternoon I came in and the beads were a light blue. I called in my granddaughter and asked her, “ what color are those beads?” She said they were blue!... but yesterday they were pink! Later that evening they were purple! CRAZY beads!! How the heck can I design something when the beads can't even decide what color they wants to be?!   
Well lucky for me I DID come up with something -

ANOTHER bracelet, which I ended up loving! I LOVE antique copper but have never worked with a metal piece, or with a piece that called for multi-strands. It took a bit of engineering to gather them into a clasp, but I did it!  I ended up feeding all four strands onto one larger jump ring. Unfortunately I can’t show you how it looks on my arm. My wrists are super little and the beads end up falling towards the back, but on a normal sized wrist it would sit just right!
The chains create fluidity to the overall piece that is really nice.  I love when I can hear my jewelry, don’t you?!
And OF COURSE I had to have some earrings too…. WHATEVER color they are, I love them! Look at those nuggets, sprinkled with sugar! SWEET!!


The LAST pieces to use were the Mother of Pearl flower (focal) and the handmade clasp…
I decided to create a necklace. I used a bit of the lace and a few freshwater pearls that Jenny sent and added a few of my own handmade polymer beads (translucent with watermelon alcohol ink and silver leaf). It’s very simple but that’s more me.
                                         And ONE more pair of earrings!!

These items are available for sale in my Etsy shop - Tori Sophia Designs

So that’s my soup! Hope you enjoyed! Special thanks to my partner, Jenny Vinberg and our amazing hostess, Lori Anderson for a great job coordinating this whole party! Can you imagine, 400 guests!

Check out the map which shows where we all live!

Please continue on the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party®!  by hopping to the next “cook’s” table ...


Hostess, Lori Anderson,

Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
Alicia Marinache, All The Pretty Things
Amanda Tibbetts, Amanda Made
Amber Dawn Goldish, Inventive Soul
Annita Wilson, AW Jewelry

Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Birgitta Lejonklou, Create With Spirit
Candida Castleberry, Spinning Spun Sugar
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Cassie Donlen, Glass Beadle
Cheryl Roe, BeadRoe
Christina Hickman, Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Hendrickson, Clamworks
Cilla Watkins, Tell Your Girlfriends
Cindy Wilson, Mommy's Dream
Cindy Wimmer, Sweet Bead Studio
Cory Celaya, Art With Moxie

Cory Tompkins, Tealwater Designs
Cris Peacock, Cris' Page
Cynthia Deis, Shiny Little Things
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cynthia Wainscott, Exotic Peru
Dana Hickey, Magpie Approved
Denielle Hagerman, Some Beads and Other Things

Diane Valasek, Dragonfly Close
Doris Stumpf, Glaszwerg
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell, Dee-Liteful Jewelry Creations

Elaine Robitaille, Too Aquarius
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Enikö Fabian, Perl-eni
Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found
Heather Davis, Blissful Garden Beads

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Jami Shipp, Celebrating Life
Jayne Capps, Mama's Got to Doodle
Jennifer Cameron, Glass Addictions
Jennifer Pottner, Rock Candy Beads
Jennifer VanBenschoten, Jewelry, Art and Life

Jenny Davies-Reazor, Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jenny Vidberg, Shyme Design
Jessica Dickens, My Jewelry, My Life, Me
Jessica Klaaren, Beadful-Things by Jessica

Joan Williams, Lilruby Jewelry
Judith Johnston, Judith Johnston
Judy Riggs, Rigglettes
Judy Turner, Silver Rains

Julie Anne Leggett, The Peaceful Bead
K Hutchinson, Jumbled Hutch
Karen Meador, Dreamcatcher Ranch
Karyn Bonfiglio, Plus Size Bangles
Katherine Gale, Terra Beadworks
Kathleen Lange Klik, Modern Nature Studio
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic, Slovonske Technobe

Kelli Jacobson, Creative Moon
Kelly Ramstack, Adventures with Kelly
Keri Lee Sereika, Pink Lemonade

Kim Bender-Hora, KimmyKat
Kirsi Luostarinen, Kirsi Luo Korut
Kitty Bozzini, Kitty Lampwork
Laura Demoya, The Bead Therapist
Laurie Hanna, Laurie's Jewelbox
Leah Curtis, Beady Eyed Bunny
Lesley Watt, The Gossiping Goddess
Linda Inhelder, Must-Haves Jewelry

Lisa Liddy, Metal Me This
Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads
Marge Beebe, Rock Creek Creations
Marianna Boylan, Pretty Shiny Things
Marion Simmons, Shade Tree Studio
Marla Gibson, Spice Box Design
Marta Weaver, Marta Weaver Jewelry

Marti Conrad, Marti C's Clay Blog
Maryse Fritzsch-Thillens, GlassBeadArt, Lampwork Beads
Melanie Brooks, Earthenwood Studio
Michelle Hardy, Firefly Visions
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Mowse Doyle, HoCArt
Nancy Boylan, Snazzy Doodle Designs
Nancy Peterson, Beading From the Heart
Nicole Rennell, Nicole Rennell Designs

Niki Meiners, 365 Days of Craft
Niky Sayers, Silver Nik Nats
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
Perri Jackson, Shaktipaj Designs
Raida Disbrow, Havana Beads
Renetha Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Shannon Hicks, Falling Into the Sky

Shannon LeVart, Miss Fickle Media
Sharon Driscoll, Right Turn Art Werks
Shelley Graham Turner, Fabric of My Life  <<< YOU ARE HERE
Sherri Stokey, Knot Just Macrame
Shirley Moore, Beads and Bread
Skylar Bre'z, Brising Beads
Stacie Florer, Soul to Substance
Stacie Stamper, Park Avenue
Stacy Alderson, Iridal's Attic

Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs
Stephanie Stamper, Rainy Day Designs

Suzette Bentley, Ellie's Bijoux
Tammy Jones, Jewelry Making Daily
Tanty Sri Hartanti, TJewellicious by Tanti
Terry Matuszyk, Pink Chapeau

Vonna Maslanka, Just Vonna

Friday, July 27, 2012

BFF Beading Friend Friday: DONNA MILLARD

Have you ever wondered about the person behind all those luscious glass Lampwork beads? Well today I give you a glimpse, but be warned - though you might find out a bit more than you knew, she seems to still remain somewhat a mystery! With that said, I present - Donna Millard!


     *  Donna Millard lives in the majestic Midwest
     * She has one daughter
     * Donna has 2 dogs, a Bichon and an English Setter plus one cat, a Persian named Mr. Boo
     * When she isn’t creating Donna likes photography, remote hiking, and snow shoeing.

BFF: What is it that you do with beads?
DONNA:  I am a lampwork artist and make an occasional piece of jewelry.

BFF: How would you describe your role in the beading world?
DONNA:  I make art glass beads for jewelry designers/collectors around the world.

BFF: How long have you been working with beads?
DONNA: 11 years.

   BFF: What is your style? And what attracts you to this style? 
     DONNA:  I tend to go towards organic for the most part.  They get pretty labor intensive if I create a large focal bead.  By large I mean anything over 40mm end to end.  Usually mine are around 50 to 60 mm.  I do also make some floral beads with specialized glass canes I make.  I am attracted to organic beads probably because of my years living in Alaska, which is a pretty organic place.  I'm not a frilly or blingy type of girl so I never make that type of bead.

BFF: What are your favorite metals to use?
  DONNA: Antiqued brass, copper and sterling.

BFF: What is your favorite stringing medium to use?

  DONNA: I usually use wire for a base of my designs.


 BFF: What is your favorite color palette?

  DONNA:  I really have no favorite.

BFF: Your technique(s)?
DONNA: When I make jewelry I like to weave sterling wire, I do enjoy stringing beads, I etch my own metals, I've done some PMC and electroforming, I solder my own components and so on. 

BFF: What else would you like to try your hand at? 

DONNA: At this point in my life, I've done what I want to do with the exception of doing digital art and maybe designing websites.  Of course, I’d have to go to school and I don't have time or funds to do that.  But maybe one day…

 BFF: Other artist/designer(s) you admire? Any special reason why?

DONNA:  This may come off as being odd, but I really don't even pay attention to what other people are making.  I focus on what I do because this is how I support myself.

BFF: Where do you want to be in 5 years from now?

DONNA: Still making beads and selling like I do now but hopefully back in Alaska where I get most of my inspiration from with a larger studio so I can have a small teaching facility.  And I'd love to teach abroad.
     Editor's Note: From your lips to God's ear, Donna!

    BFF: What’s your favorite quote or saying?

      DONNA: PPP Practice, practice, practice.  I can't stress it enough.

BFF: Any advice you'd give to new artists who are just beginning in your medium?

  DONNA:  Ask questions, pay attention to what you are taught, lots of practice, trial and error.  Make notes of what you do, what works and what doesn't.  Good photography is a must in this medium.  But most of all - enjoy yourself.  It's all about the fun times too.

BFF: What has been your favorite Blog Hop or Challenge?

BFF: If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?

DONNA: A house in Alaska.

BFF: Favorite subject in school? Why? 

DONNA: Art, so I could be creative,
 I also loved psychology.

BFF: What was your favorite YEAR of your life thus far? Why? 

DONNA: 2001, when I moved to Alaska.

In the artist’s own words -

    ”I haven't had an easy life and because of that I tend to be a very serious and private person.  I work 7 days a week and support myself with the glass beads I make.  It isn't easy but nothing worthwhile in life is.  I love my job, but it does have drawbacks.  I don't have a regular paycheck but I can take off whenever I want - though I rarely do.  One thing I wish is that I had more money so I could help people.  Once, when I was in a more financially stable environment I met someone that needed to have her furnace fixed.  It was in Alaska and she didn't have the money and was worried because her house was going to freeze up.  I gave her $600, no strings attached.  It was one of the best moments in my life knowing I was able to help someone.  I would love to be able to do things like that again.”

    Well I warned you. If you read between the lines you can see the  real Donna. She seems to love solitude and natural inspiration. She is a quiet giver and she pours her passion into her work.  I know I speak for everyone when I say we look forward to images of her latest creation. Her posts have ALWAYS elicited loads of “oohs” and “ahhs”.  We love her work, and we love Donna too.

Contact Info:
Donna Millard Art Glass

Website address

Friday, July 20, 2012

BFF Beading Friend Friday: KRISTIN OPPOLD

Well this week I am happy to be visiting with Kristin Oppold of YaY! Jewelry


·          Kristin Oppold lives in Minneapolis. MN
·         She is  Married
·         Kristin has  2 kids
·         She has a dog , her buddy Flint – who is a British Lab and her foot therapy while she creates
·         Kristen’s other hobbies and interests are making things out of peoples cast-offs (more on this later)

BFF: What do you do with beads?

      KRISTIN:  I make all sorts of jewelry. I have made cuffs with felt, basic necklaces with wire or stringing. In fact I believe I made the first embroidered felt pendant necklace on the Etsy but as things go with me I didn’t stick with that for very long and didn’t establish that as a brand.  I like to try things, they may be popular but if I don’t enjoy making them or they take too long I lose interest.

Coral Cluster Lampwork Bracelet by YaY! Jewelry

BFF: How would you describe your role in the beading world?

      KRISTIN: New and learning and taking my beading to the next level.  I will be published for the first time in Bead Trends in the September,  October, November AND December 2012 issues!  I was amazed that my first submission was a success; I was prepared for many denials.  I still doubt my talent at times but I love jewelry design so much I’d do without breathing if I had to make a trade...

BFF: How long have you been working with beads?
      KRISTIN: 10 years

Kyanite Jewelry Set by YaY! Jewelry

BFF: What is your style? And what attracts you to this style?

    KRISTIN:  I had very humble beginnings.  No money in the beginning and overwhelmed by all the choices.   I started out doing more glam.  My first order of beads was from MuddBeads and it was all Swarovski and it was a birthday present from my husband.  You can barely find Swarovski in my designs today.  It took me awhile to find my niche as a jewelry artist.  My eye tends to gravitate toward more earthy, tribal and rustic styles in mixed media. I love the textural aspect of mixed media.   It attracts me because I am an earthy person and it feels right to me

BFF: What are your favorite metals to use?
KRISTIN: I like all metals but with the cost of Sterling Silver and Fine Silver so high, I have made more with copper and oxidized silver base metals.  I like brass okay but I like the silvers and coppers the best.  

Ginko Bracelet by YaY! Jewelry
Vintage Purple Necklace by YaY! Jewelry

BFF: What is your favorite stringing medium to use?

      KRISTIN: Beadalon 49 Strand or Softflex for stringing.  Love leather for tying.  I just wish it fit through more beads.  I love CLon also…I haven’t used it for a while…I think it is a diamond in the rough!  I don’t think jewelry artists have quite captured its full potential.

BFF: What is your favorite color palette?

      KRISTIN: I tend to gravitate towards teals and oceanic colors.  I like the soothing feel they give my chaotic brain.

BFF: Your technique(s)?

      KRISTIN: Stringing, Wirewrapping, Kumihimo, Beginner in metal working and patina.  I don’t think you have to be chalked full of techniques to be successful at what you do.  A good design aesthetic is number one and if you don’t know how to make components yourself. There is a ton of starving art bead sellers looking to stay alive like you.

BFF: What else would you like to try your hand at?

       KRISTIN: Now that is a loaded and endless list of desires!!!!  Let’s see Metal Etching, Patina, Cold Forming, Enamel, Lampwork, Cold Connection, Electroforming, Soldering, Fine Silver Fusion the list goes on.  What mostly holds me back is time to learn and space.  As I said I already have a felt lined house.

BFF: Other artist/designer(s) you admire? Any special reason why?

      Kristen: I would buy jewelry from these artists -

 Keirsten Giles– Her work is well thought out and designed impeccably.  I find it fun and interesting to look at.

Staci Klinger Smith– Her work is interesting, unique and refreshing.  I feel at peace just looking at her jewelry.  It feels very Zen to me.

Gloria Ewing– Love her tribal jewelry.  Great use of interesting materials.  Unique and original designs.

BFF: Where do you want to be in 5 years from now?  

 KRISTIN:  I would love to have my own working jewelry studio so I don’t have to worry about burning the house down.  My husband doesn’t trust me with fire.  Speaking from someone who was gardening with the teapot on in the house ready to launch off the stovetop and leaving the house with the grill on!!!!  I can’t blame him there.  I would like to make more of my own jewelry components and maybe sell a few.

BFF: What’s your favorite quote or saying?

  " I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health."  - Voltaire

Vanilla Chunky Czech Statement Necklace
 by YaY! Jewelry
BFF: Any advice you'd give to new artists who are just beginning in your medium?

      KRISTIN:  Make what you love!  That was the hardest part in the beginning for me as I like to try so many new things.  In order to be successful you have to find your niche and build on that.  If you love it – it will sell, if that is your goal.  Find your style and buy unique pieces and your jewelry will stand out. 
Don’t go for ordinary go for extraordinary.

BFF: What is your favorite blog that you like to follow?

      KRISTIN:  I am new to the blogging community so I am still learning about all of that and reading different ones.  The ones though that I enjoy the most are ones that teach and share techniques in jewelry making.  I also like some of the personal stories people write about their life.  I think those are inspirational.

       BFF: What has been your favorite Blog Hop or Challenge?

      KRISTIN: Well I have only been in 1 challenge so far and that was the Sun and SeaChallenge by Creative Bead Chat ( a Facebook group).  I missed the Bead Soup one this round and feel left out “CRYING OVER THAT”…so next time I am in for sure!!!!

Quirky questions often give us a better understanding of the real person behind the artist, so here goes…

BFF: If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?

      KRISTIN: Selfishly -------My own working jewelry studio decked out with all the latest tools, a couch for a nap and a TV with a DVD player to watch a good movie if I needed a break, a great coffee maker, air conditioning & heating and a front showroom to display and sell my art along with a kitchenette to entertain.  Can’t forget an automatic shut-off valve for all things that have fire!

BFF: As a child what was your favorite cartoon or tv show? Why?

      KRISTIN: You are going to laugh.  I couldn’t wait to get out of church to go home and watch Tarzan & World Wrestling Federation or WWF.  I guess I thought girls got the shaft.  I hated the holidays with the women in the kitchen clucking over Thanksgiving dinner while the men loafed in front of the television.  I wanted to be tough and maybe that was my time to feel like I could live in an altered reality other than the 1950’s household.

BFF: Favorite toy as a child? Why?

Slab Necklace Teal Green - Red Creek Jasper
by YaY! Jewelry
      KRISTIN: I love anything creative.  I grew up in a small town and resources were minimal for the creative sorts.  I used to beg the school to sell me watercolor paper and art supplies.  I also love to rock collect thus my love of stone in my designs. My neighbors used to kick me out of their rock beds.

BFF: Favorite subject in school? Why?

       KRISTIN: Art for me was a way of expressing myself and escaping.  I love my art teacher. She took a personal interest in me and for an overlooked student that really meant something to me.  Thanks Mrs. Buehl! 

BFF: What was your favorite YEAR of your life thus far? Why? 

      KRISTIN: All of my years have presented themselves with wonders and different challenges and I have enjoyed them all for different reasons. 

As promised here is a little more about how Kristin likes to use other's castoffs in her art -

Upcycled Bag purple & Green Shag Bag
 by YaY! Jewelry
"I have a funky wacky side and make Shag Bags out of reclaimed pursed, yarn, fabric and Sari Silk.  I also love to make Sock Monkey Coffee Cozies, pillows, flower pins and cuffs out of felted sweaters.  My husband tells me I CANNOT start another hobby.  I have enough felt to insulate our house!  My insanity to create is all consuming and quite an obsession.  I have to say though that jewelry is one hobby I have really stuck with and enjoyed.  I like the immediate satisfaction. I am not the most patient person.  I tried making a quilt ONCE; I finished it but will never do that again!!!!"


Kristin said that she enjoys blogs where the writer shares their personal stories because from them she receives inspiration. I wholeheartedly agree as Kristin's story has given me MUCH inspiration! Her words, her designs - love them!Thank you so much Kristin for giving us a glimpse into what makes up the artist in you! 

Kristin’s contact information -

YaY! Jewelry


 Address: 8900 Woodhill Circle, Savage MN 55378

Tele: 952-496-9693


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