I was sitting in my bead room working on some new projects and got to thinking about how I've changed since I started doing blog hops and challenges. In my Facebook group, Bead Peeps, we've embarked on a HUGE task of asking designers to sign up, be paired with someone they probably don't know, swap beads and make a piece of jewelry with what they were sent. I was thinking about my first swap n hop..... it was an adventure. I didn't know what I really getting in to, but "the whole class was doing it" so I signed up, too. =)
My 2nd partner was a sweet gal from Indiana (Whoop whoop!). She was so wonderful! She sent me a package of beads that I nearly cried in excitement over. She had sent this GORGEOUS clasp, the cutest owl bead I've ever seen and Czech beads. *coughcoughWHAT?!coughcough* I had NO BLASTED IDEA how to work with Czech beads...let alone ordering them, and frankly - learning a new language. Words like "picasso" and "pressed" and "firepolished" meant 0 to me. I just wanted ones like she had sent! So, I learned.....and read...and googled...and asked questions...and ordered. Alot. ;) (Read the full story here: http://fromthebeadboard.blogspot.com/2014/05/bead-soup-reveal.html)
The pieces I made from THAT group of goodies is by far....some of my most proud pieces. I am still COMPLETELY obsessed by them and get compliments EVERY time I wear them. I learned a new language, I learned about a different type of bead and I expanded my skillz by making a wire flower to mimic the clasp she'd sent, using some basic wire working techniques to make my owl into a pendant and made my OWN headpins AND earwires (my first EVER).....
Another example....some have heard references to my "favorite color of gemstone" "baby food orange".... red aventurine. ugh. (and every time I say "red aventurine" "ugh" is immediately followed). I signed up for a blog hop where I would be sent a "mystery" package of beads and metal parts (again...antique brass). Now, for those unaware - I HATED IT! I'm not sure hate is even a strong enough word for my feelings toward this stone. =) After a loooong while of sitting and stewing....the deadline was looming and I had to get my rear in gear if I was going to finish....long story longer..... I pulled out a color wheel and went to town. And guess what? They are AWESOME! Different, cohesive, not too cray-cray....and I'm pretty proud of those pieces, too. (Read the full story here: http://fromthebeadboard.blogspot.com/2014/07/gems-and-metals-hop.html)