19 August 2011

Of Talent and Challenges

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. 
What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."
~Stephen King
So yesterday you saw the goodies that I cooked up for my partners Beth & Evie McCord. I feel blessed that I not only get to do this Bead Soup party again, but that I have TWO partners! 

They are talented. They work hard at their art. They work well together. They have a joy in creating. They complement each others' strengths. I am fascinated by their working and family relationship. 

I told Evie I wanted her to adopt me. ;-)

I got the nicest note from Evie that they made these components just for me... plus a little surprise.

Beth makes gorgeous lampwork beads, and her newest trick is to use colorful frit on the molten glass, like confetti. I quite think that these are like an impressionistic garden with a cerulean sky and the colors and light dancing in the heat of the day.

Evie is the whiz with the saw, I am told. The original designs that they come up with are carefully sawed out in metal, like intricate coloring book images outlining every detail. But instead of coloring inside the lines, Miss Evie colors on them with brilliant enamels. 
I just received my copy of Barbara Lewis' book Torch Fired Enamels and have devoured that. While I am really looking forward to learning a thing or two about enamels, I am a bit afraid of the flame still and I don't have a proper set up for that. Plus I am a visual and kinetic learner, so I need to see and hear and interact with a teach for it to sink in, so I am a bit nervous to try it myself (pining away for a class with Miss Barbara! She really shouldn't be surprised if I just show up on her doorstep one day and demand to learn! ;-). 
So it makes me so glad that Beth and Evie work together so well, because I can satisfy my love of this art without having to make it myself. Will you just look at that hummingbird? This picture doesn't do it justice. It truly shimmers like the real feathers would. 

To go with it all, there is a pretty sterling silver toggle clasp and some beautiful hand dyed silks from Jamn Glass.

As an added bonus I also received a bouquet of enameled roses. These are really special. I think I will save them for another day...

And they made me a special treat. A beautiful Tiny Dancer ornament. This will be hanging in my studio to remind me of these two special artists. Thank you so much for that!

I am looking forward to getting busy in the studio with these soup ingredients and hope that I can whip up something tasty. This will be my very own "quick fire" challenge because I have several big commitments on the horizon including the Inspired by Nature retreat with Heather Powers that coincides with the Bead Soup Party day on September 17th. Getting the piece made is one thing, but hopping around to well over 300++ blogs will be the trickiest part! So I will have to be planning ahead (that is oh-so-hard for me to do because if you know me.. I am a Last Minute Lucy!).

I will tell you that in addition to my time crunch, I will be challenged by the enamel hummingbird. It is so lovely, and I want to make a design that will show that off best, but it is a larger piece than I am used to. But that is okay... (a) because I love the enamel on it, (b) I love the shape of it, (c) I love the Beth and Evie made it just for me, and (d) I love a challenge. That is why I do these sort of things, to step outside my comfort zone and experience something I have never tried before. 
Thank you Miss Beth and Miss Evie for some absolutely delicious soup ingredients. I can't wait to get cooking!

Your turn!
If you are participating in the Bead Soup blog hop on September 17th, are you excited about the soup ingredients that you have received? Were there any surprises? Any challenges? How will you overcome those challenges and rise above?

If you are not a Bead Soup-er, what sort of things are challenging you right now, making you think, getting you to step outside of your comfort zone and push you off the edge so that you fly?

Do tell!



somethingunique said...

Hi Erin, first of all it feels so awesome to be back at the keyboard catching up with my friends, i have missed everyone so much, i love all of your amazing components for your "Bead Soup" i can't believe they make those totally from scratch wow!!!! I am partisipating in the soup with somone all the way from Africa.....i hope she gets my stuff in time it took poor Patty almost 6 weeks to get her winnings from my Blog giveaway only from Canada LOL anyway i can't wait to see what you come up with and i am sure it will be amazing....i wish i could join you in Heather's retreat it sounds like a wonderful time and not too far from me. I am the same i would die for some hands on workshops.
Have a wonderful weekend & Jack as of Wed. is finally walking on 2 shoes :)

Alice said...


Lucky you to have received such amazing bead soup ingredients. I know you will do something fantastic with it.

I've been wanting to try my hand at torch enameling, but like you, I am still a bit intimidated by working with a flame. I don't have the money needed for the tools and supplies, and also work better in a classroom setting rather than learning from a video or written instructions.

While I didn't sign up for Bead Soup, I've been trying to 'keep in shape' creative-wise by entering several challenges such as Art Bead Scene, Love My Art Jewelry, Vintaj, and Heather Powers Inspired by Nature challenge.

I'm so jealous that you are going to Heather's Bead Retreat!!!! I hope she will do more in the years to come, and maybe I will be lucky enough to attend one of them.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

steufel said...

Oh, Erin - I'm a last minute Lucy too:-) And I can't wait for my beads to arrive, but I'm sure when they do, I will find something to distract me and putting it together will be a last minute thing again. Can't wait for your piece!

moonlitfantaseas said...

Hi Erin......I am waiting on my Painting with fire book right now..but I do have the whole set up for doing enameling, that Barbra also offers, and I am signed up for her class at Art and Soul in Portland, I didn't want to try on my own either, and I need a place set up for it, I am excited to take the class for sure!
Your bead soup is amazing! can't wait to see what you do with it!

Kim Stevens said...

Oh, I am so jealous - I love enameling but I love birds even more!! I also just received Barbara's book and I couldn't put it down - so excited to try her method of firing. I too have a large focal to work with but am looking forward to the challenge.

Maneki said...

What a lovely bead soup! The colours in the silk cord really caught my eye. Very dark and dramatic. And the enamelled components are just fab.

I haven't got my soup yet, but I know it's on its way from Wales. I'm of cause very curious to see what I get. And too see if Sue likes what I put together for her. My soup contained a couple of pieces that might be challenging so I really hope she won't find them too challenging...

I enjoy putting together soups. In a way, I think I enjoy giving away soups is almost more fun than getting some myself -- and that said, I love getting bead mail!

Courtney Breul said...

I can not wait to see what you create! That hummingbird is so beautiful!! Your ingredients are perfect.

I am participating, again, and am so happy. I love this, makes me think outside the box, which is good for me. :)

I can't hardly wait for my ingredients to arrive from Poland.

Have a great retreat - sound so wonderful.

JeannieK said...

Erin I have every confidence in you that you will be able to use that beautiful hummingbird in a very special way and it will be very "tasty." Can't wait.

Those enameled roses are...WOW!

What did Tiny Dancer say when she saw the ornament? That is so sweet and thoughtful of Beth and Evie.

Do Be Do Bead Do said...

It's amazing to me that they cut those lovely shapes themselves... I would have thought they were laser cut or some, such thing. The enamel work is just beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing what you create with these ingredients. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful hummingbird! Can't wait to see what you make with the soup. I am participating for the first time, and just received my soup.. My partner Vintage in Disguise sent me a lovely jasper pendant in the shape of a leaf, a gold tone leaf toggle clasp, and some earthy toned beads. I am excited, and nervous because I am going to attempt my very first triple strand necklace with an offset clasp. (I am fairly new to jewelry making). It will be a challenge, but that's why I signed up!

Heidi Post said...

Oh my goodness, what a stunning soup! That hummingbird is wonderful! I know you'll do something fantastic with it and the lovely lampwork beads :)

Off the Beadin' Path said...

I'm not doing the Bead Soup this time, I just can't face another deadline right now, but YoURS will be a knock-out! Beth and Evie know you pretty well to provide those personally made components that are so "you"! Please make it soon, I can't wait! They really went over the moon with the "Tiny Dancer"! That brings a tear to the eye! As for my recent challenge, I'm experimenting with patinas. I'm just not getting the colors I want yet. Also forming a ball at the end of wires with the Mapp torch. Very useful!

THEAjewellery (lesley Watt) said...

What a fabulous selection, stunning beads and I love that smokey autumnal ribbon. Co-incidentally I spent yesterday at a kiln enameling workshop and had a fantastic time - really loved it. Those pieces you've received are so inspiring and I can't wait to develop my own style. It's my first bead soup and I'm waiting - not very patiently for my beads to reach the UK from Julie Nordine - whatever they are I know I'll love them. I'm also excited to find out if she likes what I sent... her beads are pretty hard to match but I was determined to send something I'd made myself, so fingers crossed.

Jo said...

That is a lovely soup! The enamels are beautiful, such gorgeous colours. My bead soup ingredients arrived yesterday morning, a beautifully packaged and very generous mix. I love the pendant my partner Janna made me, but it is definitely going to challenge me as it is BIG! I'm going to have to let it simmer on my desk for a few days and try my very best not to leave it to the last minute!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous enameled components! I love the bouquet of roses! Aren't Beth and Evie the sweetest! Not only do they make great beads, components and jewelry but Beth's photos for I Heart Marco on Sunday's are fantastic!

Wendy said...

Very pretty bead soup! :) I am excited about the beads I received. They are in lovely fall colors which I don't normally gravitate towards. The biggest challenge is not falling back on the same old-same old as I tend to do when I am pinched for time and my brain is mush, lol. :)

Laura Twiford said...

I envy you that gorgeous hummingbird! I had commented on it when Evie posted it to her blog. You will do wonders with it, i can't wait to see! I am participating in this BSBP and my soup is on the way. This is my first so it is already pushing me outside my comfort zone. You have to take a class with Barbara, she's fantastic! I got the book too and can't wait to get started on a few of those projects!

Michelle Mach said...

Love that hummingbird! I'm sure you'll do something wonderful with it. I'll be posting about my bead soup this Friday--it's just perfect. A little challenging, but not so much that I want to hide in the corner. :)

Shai Williams said...

Wow I love that focal!

I am participating in BSBP for the second time and I have to tell you that I am really being challenged. My swap partner went thru my blog and discovered what I don't do or use and then sent them to me.


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