Saturday, January 26, 2013

[Bead Soup Blog Party 7] Let's get Cookin'!

Welcome back!

The time has come for you to sign-up if you want to join this awesome party hosted by Ms. Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog.

This is my third time to join and I'm as excited as the first time.  It's fun to meet creative and talented ladies!  The party has allowed me to become friends with these ladies beyond the parties.

I joined the 5th Bead Soup Blog Party in April 2012 where I was paired with Melissa Meman.
The bead soup that she sent was awesome!  I loved everything!  She made the metal focal, enameled beads and the wire-wrapped clasp.  The enameled beads in particular made me jot it down in my "to learn" things.
I loved designing the necklace.  The unused beads will see light one of these days.  Visit Melissa's BLOG see and read about her work.

This was was I sent Melissa - I made a floral focal bead using polymer clay and brass filigree.  
I love her design.

My second BSBP was in August 2012 where I was paired with Sonya Stille.  The bead soup that she sent was gorgeous!  She sent enameled beads and a metal leaf that she did herself.  Read more about it HERE

The focal bead was made of polymer clay using the mica shift technique.  Sonya is very good at seed beading - don't you just love what she did?  Visit Sonya's BLOG.

So what are you waiting for?  You have until tomorrow, January 27 to sign-up.
Get those beads ready and let's parteeeee!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Michelle ♥

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

[Jewelry] Twisted Pearl and Crystal Bracelet

Welcome back!
Two years ago, I wrote a tutorial using these curved metal spacers, pearls, and crystal bicones. 
 Here is a new "twist" to that tutorial.

Materials to make one 7.5 inch bracelet:
1.  Flexible beading wire - you may need 12 to 15 inches depending on how much extra wire you can spare for the project ☺.
2.  Fifteen (15) curved metal spacers.  You can find it HERE.
3.   Fifteen (15) 8mm Swarowski pearls
4.  Thirty (30) 4x3 mm Red rondelle crystals
5.  Two (2) crimp beads
6.  Clasp

1.  Insert the flexible beading wire to one end of a crimp tube, clasp and back to the crimp tube.  Crimp.
2.  With the curved spacer bead in the "C" position, insert wire to the top part from the back.  Add a rondelle, pearl and rondelle and insert to the bottom.  Please refer to the photo below.  Make sure it is snug but not too tight.
3.  Repeat the same order 15 times.  If the flexible wire twists on itself, you can hold the piece lengthwise in order for it to untwist (such as in the large photo below).  I figured that it eases any tension on the wire brought about by excessive pulling and makes the bracelet flow smooth.
4.To finish the bracelet, insert wire to a crimp tube, clasp and back to the crimp tube. 
5.  Trim the excess flexible beading wire.

Try combining pearls with other beads or use a different clasp.

 Now, it's time to iron my white or maybe red dress.
See you again soon!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

[Recipe] Zuppa Toscana

Happy New Year!  
Husband and I ushered in 2013 with much thanksgiving and excitement as we look forward to this year.  We have faith that the Lord will continue to be faithful to us, 
no matter what circumstance we are in.

We had a simple New Years Eve dinner at home.  It rained the whole day and it was cool in the evening - very timely to  prepare the warm and delicious soup that we always order and eat at Olive Garden and at our friends house:  

Zuppa Toscana
Russet potatoes - sliced thinly (1/8 inch)
Garlic, onions
Italian sausage
Chicken broth
Kale - sliced in bite-sized pieces
Heavy whipped cream
Salt and pepper
Chili powder

Zuppa Toscana
I sauteed the whole package of Italian sausage until it was brown, drained the excess oil and set aside.  You must think that we are voracious sausage lovers.. haha.  We used 1/3 of the pack for one  recipe and saved the rest.  Notice that I didn't put the amounts in the list of ingredients - it depends on you.

Saute' garlic and onion.  Add the sausage.
Pour 1 can of chicken stock.  I used Swanson chicken broth and though the label says not to dilute it, I did, 1 can broth:1cup water.  You may add more water if you want it more "soupy."  Bring to a boil.

Add potatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slice.  You wouldn't want it to be too soft as it would crumble apart.. unless that's what you prefer.

Once the potatoes are cooked, add in the Kale. Do you know that eating kale is healthy?  Sources say that it has cholesterol lowering properties, risk lowering benefits for cancer and aids in detoxification.

Finally, add 2 Tablespoons of heavy whipped cream.
Serve hot and with a smile.

Zuppa Toscana
 Bon appetit!
We would like to wish you a wonderful Year 2013:  love, joy, peace and good health for you and your family.

Know that you are blessed!