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The Bead Soup has Landed

It's a tad nerve wracking having a bead soup deadline in less than a month (actually 3 weeks from today!) and having an overseas partner. However, it is totally worth it...you'll understand when you see what Lesley Watt sent me.

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

I love the customs tag. It states simply "beads". Yes, I was beyond giddy when I saw it

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

The bead soup traveled in style inside a gorgeous beaded bag.

Bead Soup bronze components from Lesley Watt

I LOVE the photographic key Lesley sent with the soup. I've placed some of Lesley's gorgeous bronze components next to their picture.

Bead Soup bronze components from Lesley Watt

Here's a better view of the bronze components she sent me. I LOVE them. And she totally spoiled me with 2 focals, 2 clasps, 2 headpins, links galore, charms. I can't even pick a favorite I love them all so much!

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

And as if that wasn't enough, here is a pile of bead soup with sparklies (I love sparkly stuff!) pearls, jasper, fire agate, seed beads, and more.

Bead Soup from Lesley Watt

Not only was there a key to what Lesley sent, but also this gorgeous card with a photo of a local castle. Inside she explained the significance of this place to her. I have it sitting here in front of me while I type and plan to use it as part of my inspiration for the soup. I could probably make soup for weeks with all the ingredients and I am totally excited to get cooking. Make sure you come back for the full reveal on July 28th.

Bead Soup Adventure

Lesley, my lovely bead soup partner lives across an ocean in a magical place called England. Because of this, I was really trying to hustle to ship her package, but at the same time, carefully consider what I wanted to send...I wanted Lesley to love the soup, but also consider it a challenge. I also want her to get it as quickly as possible. The plan was to send it Friday (June 29th) then all hell broke loose in my city. 60 mph sustained winds, 91 mph gusts. Our patio furniture went halfway across the yard, tree tops were almost touching the ground, our grill was pushed across the deck, etc. It was very scary to watch. When all was said and done, our neighborhood was littered with leaves and small branches. However...we were lucky. Only one tree of significance fell in our hood, and we still had electricity. About 100,000 (about half) of the city was without power. I tried to get to a post office, but street lights were down, the PO close to us was closed and without power. I needed to get a prescription and that place was closed, had to drive past 3 grocery stores before we found an open one. Trees and huge limbs were everywhere. It was crazy. We drove past a couple cars that had been crushed. It took about 5x as long to get anyplace (because every intersection was a 4 way stop). Crazy. Needless to say, I was starting to panic because our Bead Soup reveal is July 28th and it has to go to ENGLAND and pass through CUSTOMS. Half the city is without power and I don't know if I can find an open PO. I calmed down and decided to call around and hope at least one was open Saturday morning. I called. And called. No one was answering phones. I decided that surely the main PO was open even if they weren't answering their phone. So I called again and YAY! Open! Hubs wanted to come with, so he drove me down there and the carnage that short storm caused was just amazing. But we got it done and hopefully the extra $$$ I paid for shipping means Lesley will have it by July 5th with 3 weeks to play with and complete her bead soup. Without further ado, I present the soup I sent Lesley: Disguised Bead Soup for Lesley Watt And yes, it is heavily disguised. If you want to see what Lesley sent me, she posted a photo on her blog. ___________________________________________________________

Copper Big Hole Focal REVEAL

Today is the day and I honestly couldn't be more excited. As a refresher as to what I'm so excited about, the fabulous Kristi Bowman is hosting a blog hop with the single rule that you must use the component of the month...a copper big hole focal bead. (Let's call it a donut from now on to make my life easier).

Here's the one I received:

Copper Focal by Kristi Bowman Design

Keep in mind she put each donut in a package before addressing them so that she didn't know who was getting which donut. Let me just say here and now...I probably got the best one. Enough chit chat. Want to see what I made? I hope so...

Handmade art jewelry necklace jennifer cameron glass addictions

This is on a tiny bust. I wish I had the time and the energy to dig out a larger one because this necklace looks much better than this on an actual neck. I love this thing so much, I've been wearing it since I finished it 30 minutes ago. HA! I will wear it for the rest of the day too. Unfortunately, using photo lights doesn't show the pretty colors Kristi gets on her copper pieces. It's better seen in natural light like the top photo before it was made into a necklace. Originally I planned to use the donut to make a bracelet. In fact, I was dead set on making a bracelet. However, I had a dream Friday night as a necklace. And this is pretty much exactly what my dream looked like. Here's a close up of the dangly bits

Bullet casing upcycled into art jewelry jennifer cameron glass addictions

The brass tube thing is actually a bullet casing. A couple nights ago while I was trying to finish up some orders, I saw the bag sitting on my jewelry bench and suddenly had an AH HA moment. I pulled one out of the bag and made a bead on it. The thing is, brass is a soft metal. I am not sure how this thing is going to hold up...but if it does, I will be making more and offering them on etsy. Anyway, in my dream, I used my lampworkified (yes, it's a real word because I made it up) bullet casing as a tassel.  I drilled a hole in the top of the bullet casing so it could be wire wrapped. Yes, I'm in love with it and I don't care who knows. But there's more! When I was prepping the copper wire to make the bail, I thought to myself..."wouldn't it be awesome if I could change the donuts out for different Kristi Bowman design donuts to fit my mood? So I did this:

Interchangable necklace focal jennifer cameron glass addictions

And now I can do this if I feel like it (although I doubt I will) Interchangable necklace focal jennifer cameron glass addictions This is my very first time using sari silk that I didn't immediately remove it. Usually I hate how I use it...very messy and out of place. This is perfect I think. And if it isn't, I am not ready to hear about it yet. Give me a couple days first. To keep with the overall style of the necklace, I also made my own hook clasp and hammered jump rings.

handmade art jewelry closure clasp jennifer cameron glass addictions

Because this is a blog hop, (and once you've left a comment below...I'm not above begging for attention!) it's time to move along and see what everyone else made.
Jennifer Cameron <----You are here!
  __________________________________________________________________

The Bubble Room

We went on a family vacation that started the last weekend in May to Captiva Island, Florida. I love that place. The last time we went was in 2004 and I've been scheming to get back ever since. However, there are so many places to go and so little time to go. After 8 long years, we finally made it back. The last time we went, we mostly hung out on the beach and didn't really visit any local places except a shell shop and the grocery store. This time, we went to a magical place called The Bubble Room. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="373" caption="my daughter is on the left, a cousin is on the right"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption] If I were to ever own a bricks and mortar business, I would want it to be like this place. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="My daughter is on the right, cousin on the left"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption]

When hubs and I took a walk and stumbled across this gem, I told him I would be visiting that establishment whether anyone else wanted to go or not.

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The waiting area"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="333" caption="How to control the kids while waiting for a seat...my baby sister is on the left, cousin on the right"]The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron[/caption] I could have taken a thousand photos inside, and you could probably spend days inside that place and not see all the cool stuff. However, only took a few pics because this year I am mostly about experiencing things rather than photographing things. The first couple pics are from the Christmas room. At the top of the stairs is an opening. You look down upon a very detailed Christmas scene.

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron While still standing at the top of the stairs toward the counter, you can see this little scene close to the ceiling

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

And if the restaurant doesn't have enough kitch to satisfy your craving, there is also the Bubble Room Emporium

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

Where you can get all kids of fun and crazy things. My daughter's favorite thing was this Medusa hat

The Bubble Room photo by Jennifer Cameron

Because I think this place is so awesome, this month's inspired by challenge at Art Jewelry Elements is Christmas in July, with photos I took from the Bubble Room.

Curtailing Inspiration Overload: Inspiration Part 2

This week I started a new project because of this: magazine stack   Let's have another look at that...shall we? magazine stack Let me be perfectly clear...this isn't even all of it. Just one section of the mess. I'm amazed it doesn't topple over because I just keep adding on to it. Thus started the cutting out of photos from all those magazines that inspire me, and taping them into this: inspiration journal I have always wanted to do this, but the idea of all that gluing was stopping me cold. I didn't want to get rid of magazines that might inspire me to go in a different direction or think of things a different way. Then I had an ah ha moment...use tape. Such a silly thing to not think of before. So I cut out photos (not just jewelry, but color, texture, pattern, pretty things, etc) that I love. Then I make a very quick jot about why I like that photo. inspiration journal

My Little Black Book: Inspiration Part 1

Tonight I am going to give you a sneak peek into my little black book. It's contents are top secret and I have never allowed anyone to see the secrets it contains. Ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic. I've let my 10 year old daughter doodle in it... Here's the deal. You know how the experts tell you to carry a notepad around to catch floating ideas before they float out of your brain? That's what my little black book is for. Moleskin book for inspired thinking or uninspired because it could go either way Specifically, it's a black Moleskine because it probably makes me look more cool and artsy (in my mind at least) to be using a moleskine rather than a little spiral notepad. I mean, Ernest Hemingway used Moleskine. What better recommendation than that? It's the perfect size to carry anywhere at about 3.5" x 4.5" and is lined. Here are just a few uses for my little black book: -I keep enamel "recipes" in it. -I have written out step by step details for how to recreate my various wholesale pieces so I can reproduce them exactly in case it's a while between production cycles. -I have also figured out the exact cost of each wholesale piece, the amount of time it takes to create each one, and how much I need to charge to make money on each one. -blog post ideas -to do lists -design ideas -customer contact info when I meet them in person rather than online -who I sent Christmas cards to. And so much more. Yes, it's a mish mash. But I love it. Leave a comment telling us if you keep something with you to jot down those jolts of inspiration. What do you carry and what do you use it for? Maybe there's something even cooler than carrying a moleskine?  

Party Appetizers and Drinks

When having a party, I like to keep it simple because I am busy. I don't have time to make gourmet meals and appetizers. Here's what I do... I set out all the wine glasses and a couple bottles of wine. Usually others bring bottles too so that by the end of the evening, we have a lot of wine flowing. For appetizers, I choose quick and easy because I do not want to be stressed more than necessary when entertaining. Chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, fruit are typical. When I have time to make something more complicated, one of my all time favorite recipes is Apple Berry Salsa from the Pampered Chef cookbook called All the Best. The Hot Artichoke and Spinich Dip is a close second favorite.

Recently, a friend introduced me to this drink and I just LOVE it, and it's so easy to make. So I keep inviting people over so I can make it for them.

Cranberry juice and coconut rum mixed drink

Ingredients: -crushed ice -diet sparkling cranberry juice -coconut rum To make, add a some crushed ice to a glass, then pour entire contents of cranberry juice into the glass. Add approximately 1 oz of coconut rum and stir a little bit. Drink. Leave a comment below telling us what you like to serve at parties.  Links to recipes would be a big bonus!

Welcome to the Party!

Glass Addictions sign constructed of upcycled parts

Welcome! I'm so glad you're here. First of all, I want you to be comfortable. Grab a drink, some snacks, a comfy chair, and your computer. There will be a new post about every 5 minutes. Crazy? Yes. Fun? I hope so...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE interact. I've turned off comment moderation for tonight so I won't be hindering the comment process. But you still need to be nice.

Here's what I'm having. I'll share the recipe in a few because it's DELICIOUS.

Party drink

It's time for introductions. Introduce yourself! I want to know who is here and why. Do you make jewelry? Or beads? Or are you here for the door prizes? Married? Kids? Grandkids? Job outside the home? Self employed? We want all the details.

I'll start since I am the hostess.

My name is Jennifer Cameron. I create with fire, glass, and metal. I started Glass Addictions in 2005 or so. However, back then I was also selling fused glass creations. I am now up to 4 kilns as a bead annealer (my beads are popped into the annealer immediately and not batch annealed if you're wondering) and only use one of them because I no longer fuse glass...just melt it in the flame. Also, I have added a lot of metal work since the early days. Sometimes I feel like I've outgrown my biz name, but it's comfortable to me and feels like part of my identity.

Before my daughter was born I was a surgical technologist (aka scrub nurse) for about 10 years. It was an adventure...and not one I ever intend to go back to. Circumstances were such that I had to be a stay at home mom after she was born. The daycare situation was so bad and so expensive, I didn't go back to work.

I am married to the awesomest man on the planet (in fact, he's being understanding of me partying without him tonight) and have 2 fab kids ages 14 and nearly 11.

We have 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 guinea pig, 1 leopard gecko, and a sugar glider.

We are in the exciting, but at the same time stressful and crazy process of building a lake cottage about 45 minutes from our house.

I color my hair red because hubs goes on and on about how hot certain ginga women are. Plus, people who don't know me think my hair is naturally this color. Awesome. Guess I am just doing what I should have been born with anyway.

I love making and buying jewelry. I don't actually like wearing it and rarely do...which is my #1 business mistake.

Leave a comment below because now it's your turn to tell us about yourself!

Bead Porn (G-Rated)

You can find all these listed on my Etsy shop. Yes, I need to build inventory for Bead and Button. Yes, it's crazy to list these. However, I have adopted a different attitude about my business. And it starts with the sentence "I am the CEO of my company". I will explain further another day. Today I have too much work and a desperately needed massage for the knots in my neck and between my shoulder blades (from lampworking and jewelry making).

Nightmare Insomnia Series lampwork glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Nightmare Insomnia Series lampwork glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Nightmare Insomnia Series lampwork glass focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Smooshed focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Smooshed focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Egg shaped focal bead jennifer cameron glass addictions

Booth and New Jewelry Photos

May 1st? What happened to April? Ugh. My show last Friday was pretty good. It was definitely a different mindset crowd compared to the Indiana Artisan crowd a month ago. The last time I did Tapestry was 3 years ago and I have evolved since then (thank goodness! I would hate to stay the same forever). The price increase was not popular. However, a few shoppers did appreciate the time, materials, design, and expertise it takes to create what I do. Interestingly, those who complained about the pricing ignored my pieces that had a lower price point. (by the way, I will be writing about handling customer criticisms gracefully on the AJE blog and will let you know when that's posted). I actually remembered to get a pic of my booth this time. I wanted to take it when there were no customers. The only time I didn't have customers was during keynote speakers. They turned the overhead lights down to nothing. It was eerie. I was definitely glad I paid to have electrical (the lighting in that room isn't great anyway).  

Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron jewelry booth Tapestry 2012

This next pic is a couple corner unit bakers rack type shelves and a mannequin I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron jewelry booth Tapestry 2012

I also had this mannequin to the front left opening of my booth, but being black and without lighting, it looked like a black hole in the photo

mannequin for art show booth

If you have "liked" my Facebook page, you might have read that I stayed up most of the night before the show trying to finish up some in progress pieces. I sold one of those (which I didn't get a photo of). Here are 3 of my favorites from that night. All of them are listed on etsy.

My absolute favorite bracelet ever. At least, for now. And it doesn't use a speck of glass. The one section is a dragon scale chainmaille weave with niobium rings, flanked by Egyptian coils in sterling silver, and an amethyst box clasp.

Dragon Scale and Egyptian Coil bracelet Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron

The next two necklace designs are the same except one is in copper (with a little silver), the other in silver (with some brass and copper)

Celtic in Copper Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron

Celtic in Silver Glass Addictions by Jennifer Cameron

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