Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party: THE BIG REVEAL!

I'd first like to thank Sue Hodgkinson from Hello Gorgeous for her friendship and generosity, this being the first Bead Soup Experience for the both of us ... and I'll say, I'm pretty stuffed from all those delicious beads ... and candy all the way from Wales!

And a round of applause for the bionic crafting woman that is Lori Anderson of Pretty Things!  A lot of hard work went into organizing 210 people from around the world in an international blog party!  Kudos to you, Lori, and I look forward to the next one in August!

The ingredients: Bali silver heart toggle clasp, fancy jasper teardrop focal, pink rhodonite rounds, rainbow flourite polished nuggets, green amazonite faceted coins

The ingredients: lemon jade honey nuggets, polished flourite nuggets in burnt orange, white turquoise mosaic beads, dyed agate rings

I could hardly contain myself, as soon as I received these babies in the mail, I opened up those Percy Pigs and got to work!  Letting the beads themselves inspire me, I tore through my own stash of stuff and put together a few concoctions of my own from these beautiful ingredients.  Here's what you've all been waiting for - let's start with the first 'soup'!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bead Soup a la Gorgeous!

My Bead Soup Blog Partner, Sue at Hello Gorgeous, has been a loving daughter and attending to her father's ailing health as of late, which you may have been following on her blog.  I am sending lots of love into the universe for Mr. Hodgkinson and that his health returns and his recovery is speedy.  Sue, you are a wonderful lady for taking good care of your parents, and we all wish you and your family health and happiness, no matter what the future brings.

With all the attention she's been showering on this dear man, she's finally had the time to photograph the ingredients I had sent her for the Bead Soup Blog Party!  I spent quite a bit of time in my favourite local gemstone bead store, Earthworks, handling beads, trying to figure out a palate that would excite her and challenge her.  Sue had written that she was considering venturing outside of her usual repertoire of summery colours, sterling silver and gemstones.  Although I stuck to gemstones - because gemstones are just so gorgeous! - I thought I would try a different approach to the colour scheme ... or lack thereof!

Here's what's in the soup!
  • black onyx and crystal quartz chips
  • zebra agate rounds and focal bead
  • white freshwater pearls
  • silver triangle spacer beads
  • 'kitty clasp'
The stripes in the focal bead ultimately lead to the purchase of the clasp ... my childhood cat, Thumper, was a beautiful gray-and-black tabby, and the focal bead reminded me of him very much.  The freshwater pearls and chips came from my very own stash, and the zebra agate gemstones, silver spacers and 'kitty clasp' came from Earthworks.  I'm interested to see if Sue will feature other colours or keep the 'black and white' theme going!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making the "Big Move"

Well, it's been in the works for quite some time (at least, in my head, on paper and through strategic planning), and now it's finally come to fruition.  There's a time in everyone's life where it becomes a - pardon my French - a "shit or get off the pot" moment, and I've finally hit it.  At the wise, yet tender age of 30 and still blessed with youthful genes, stars are beginning to align, directing me in a path that had been in front of me all along.  For some reason, I had been rebuffing and fighting this road, refusing to acknowledge it and what possible accomplishments I could achieve.  I could really try, it wouldn't be that terrible, and I would be a better person just for trying.

I'm not going to jinx it and tell you, but I'll at least let you know that I've decided to take back a part of my life that seems to be destined for something great, and most importantly, attainable ... at least now, in my current mood, I'm feeling positive about it.  (You should have seen me earlier today, you'd think you were talking to a different person!

This all still scares me, though.  Ultimately, I don't know what will happen.  I have an idea of what I will be doing, what I want to do - "Get a plan, and make it work," my father always says to me.  Well, I've got a plan, so far.  Let's see how well this works.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Groovy Mood Board!

Some groovy inspirations for jewelry to make for Shout! The Mod Musical!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The "Swear On Chanel" Collection

Those little words uttered by Carrie Bradshaw to Aiden when dishing on Steve and Miranda's breakup seemed to stick to me as a fashion appreciator.  If the art of fashion had a religious following, the House of Chanel would be the most appropriate to lay your hand upon and swear the truth.

I was very lucky to be one of five winners of the book Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life by Justine Picardie from HarperCollins Canada, and it's a mesmerizing read.  Behind such an iconic figure and empire, one wouldn't expect such sorrow and sadness to help propel it to such heights.  I'm not quite done the book yet, and I suspect at the rate I'm reading I'll have it done before the month ends.  Yet so far, from what I have read about this astonishing woman, she was a force to be reckoned with.  Born in a poor house in Saunur, France in 1883, her childhood in an orphanage run by nuns, to her bourgeois lifestyle scorn with heartache, loss and death in her early adult years - and I'm only halfway through!  You can have a read of an except of the book here!

Nick had found a collection of vintage Chanel charms at a garage sale and brought them home for me a few months ago, because he's a good boyfriend. *sigh*  I had also received a $25 gift card from the good people of, and spent it wisely on the beautiful beads used in these pieces.  I had been waiting for the right setting for these charms, and the images in Justine's book have started to craft colours and silhouettes that I could shape around them.  Chanel believed in simplicity in design and well-cut garments.  "Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury," Coco had once said.  These pieces pay tribute to the classic style of Coco Chanel and her contribution to timeless luxury fashion. 

Diamond-shaped white howlite with black veins dangle on gunmetal headpins from a silver-plated square-link chain, and a smokey grey acrylic bead dangles from the end.  The Chanel cut-out tag and Eiffel Tower stamp are both vintage pieces, repurposed from previous lives as souveniers of la vie en rose, n'est pas?  This is all secured around your wrist with a gunmetal lobster clasp.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bead Soup Sneak Peek!

Without giving too much away, I've already made a few pieces from the lovely batch of beads sent to me by Sue of Hello Gorgeous Design!  Here's a sneak peek before the big reveal on February 26th!

No hints!  Nada!  Nothing!  Other than the colours ... that's about all I'll give you.  Keep an eye on the BEAD SOUP! page for more updates!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SHOUT! in the Orangeville Citizen!

If you live in the Orangeville area, betcha you'll seen us in the Citizen!  Click on the article to enlarge!

Blogger's note:  On behalf of the reporter, I'd like to correct the names Josh Priess and Cassandra Watsham.  Onward!

This picture was taken when we were goofing off at the piano between breaks, but we gave it our all with lots of gusto and photo-snapping!  Maybe we'll get a chance to see the rest of the photos!

Brampton Music Theatre's RENT Voted Best Community Theatre Production!

The votes have been cast on's Toronto Awards, and Brampton Music Theatre's Rent wins big as best community theatre production!  Hard work pays off!

Check out the others that made the final cut:

Best Community Theatre Production: Rent, Brampton Music Theatre
*and bonus points for BMT's 2nd runner-up Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat!

Best Leading Actress in a Musical:
3rd runner-up - Erin Hyde for 'Maureen'

Best Musical Direction:
1st runner-up - Josh Priess
*Josh is currently working with us on Shout! The Mod Musical!

Best Performance in a Feature Role/Ensemble (Female):
3rd runner-up - Jamie Birnbaum for 'Mimi'

Click here to see the rest of the winners on! 

Tasty Ingredients for Bead Soup from Hello Gorgeous!

My package had arrived a few days ago, and I couldn't wait to tear it open!  I must say, Sue's just too generous for words - and she knows my weakness for candy!  Check out the surprises in the package!

Here we've got a Hello! British tabloid rag, a package of Percy Pigs, a Galaxy chocolate bar (which I'm told is the best chocolate), and a couple rolls of Love Hearts.  And, of course, not one - but two! - Bead Soups!  Take a look below!

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