Saturday, August 31, 2013

2nd Annual Challenge of Travel :: Wiesbaden, Germany

I KNOW quite a few jewelry makers who like to join Blog Hops and Challenges because, as they say, it forces them to get creative, to get them out of a slump and DO something. I don’t know how they are doing this, as obviously that doesn’t work for me. Last year I spectacularly failed not one, not two, not three, but four Hops/Challenges, so I was very hesitant to pick up any this year.

However, when I saw the announcement for this year’s Challenge of Travel by Erin Prais-Hintz of Treasures Found :: Inspiration Is Everywhere pop up on my reader (which was one of the four I failed last year), there was no way I could resist at least trying – the theme was simply too intriguing to pass up: Staycation. Or, as we Germans say: Urlaub auf Balkonien (vacation in balconia).

While last year’s theme was a trip around the world, this year’s idea was to explore your own hometown and draw inspiration from this.

SO, herzlich willkommen to Wiesbaden, the capital of the federal state of Hesse, Germany. It is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe, going all the way back to Ancient Roman times, known for it’s numerous hot springs. Their waters are supposed to help with various ailments, such as rheumatism. 

The Kochbrunnen 

The Kochbrunnen Pavillon

The Kochbrunnenspringer, fed from the same spring 

Built up minerals – the Romans actually used them as red hair dye!

THE springs were even mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia. The town’s name actually translates to “meadow baths”, but by the Romans it was referred to as Aquae Mattiacorum, “Waters of the Mattiaci”. At one point Wiesbaden sported as many as impressive 26 springs – most of them are out of order now, or fed into a network which supplies thermal baths or is used to heat the town hall. The ones accessible by the public are certainly among Wiesbaden’s most famous tourist attractions. I even learned about one I totally didn’t know about!

The "Bäckerbrunnen", the bakers' spring  
Housing of the Bäckerbrunnen

The Schützenhofquelle – in ancient times, it was dedicated to the Goddess Sirona

Detail of the Schützenhofquelle

My "secret" spring, the Drei-Lilien-Quelle, the three lilies spring – I pass by there almost every day, yet I had no idea it was hidden there. It's at the back of one of Wiesbaden's most renowned hotels, the Schwarzer Bock. You actually have to ring and have reception open the door for you, but they'll do so without fuss.

Inside of my "secret spring" – and, boy, it was HOT inside that little room! Unlike the other hot springs accessible by the public, the water of this one is not safe for drinking, as there are no filters installed.
ACTUALLY, there’s so much more to see in this town, but I’m already late with this post, so I'll save it for another one … Plus, I remembered about this challenge two days ago? Woops, I (almost) did it again. So, without further ado, my creation “Aquae Mattiacorum”, inspired by Wiesbaden’s hot springs: 

IT HAD to be a fringe necklace. The colors were inspired by the springs and their minerals. Hammered copper wire, bits of "coin" chain I received in a Muse Box from, TOHO beads with a picasso finish from, and coin shaped Czech beads which reminded me of water as well as ancient coins. 

THANK you for visiting. If you want to know more about Wiesbaden, stick around and add this blog to your newsfeed/blogger. If you want to hop along and see what everyone else created for this year's Annual Challenge of Travel, please visit: and scroll to the very bottom to the link list. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Heart Macro

SEE, this is what I get for going on an extended blogging hiatus. One of my favorite weekly blog hops sneakily changes hosts and I only notice the week it actually changes. "I Heart Macro" slash "I Heart Close Ups: Up Close Photography for Macro Makers and the Camerologically Challenged" is no longer hosted by the lovely Lori from Studio Waterstone but from now on by Laura from Shine The Divine.
SEHT ihr, das hat man nun davon wenn man eine verlängerte Blogpause einlegt. Einer meiner liebsten wöchentlichen Bloghops wechselt klammheimlich die Gastgeberin, und ich merk’s erst in der Woche in der es soweit ist. Die Gastgeberin von "I Heart Macro" slash "I Heart Close Ups: Up Close Photography for Macro Makers and the Camerologically Challenged" nun nicht mehr die liebenswerte Lori von Studio Waterstone sondern fortan Laura von Shine The Divine.
THESE little dudes adorn almost all the houses in my new neighborhood, they are window shutter holders.

DIESE kleinen Kerle verzieren fast alle Hauswände in meiner neuen Nachbarschaft, es sind Fensterladenhalter.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BSBP 7 – Welcome to the 3rd Reveal!

SLIGHTLY delayed due to health issues of our hostess, but, what do they say, better late than never. Many, many hugs to you, Lori Anderson, thank you so much for organizing and running this great event. My best wishes to you and your family.
So! As a reminder, this is the bead soup I received from my lovely partner, Merja Sundström from Finland: 

Merja went all out on this, it is a very lovely and unique mix: dyed agate, shell beads, ceramic beads, hand-felted beads, THREE clasps and two focals, one of them a porcelain pendant created by the talented Othel Lehto

That focal has quickly been dubbed the “hippo bead”, though my niece thinks it looks like a dragon. Personally, what with the overall color scheme, it made me think of the Monster of Loch Ness.
Now, without further ado, this is what I created:

The ceramic focal was a bit of a challenge. Bigger than what I usually use, and – on top of it – side drilled. I knew almost immediately this was going to be a choker. Something reminiscent of a torque, and vaguely (very vaguely) Celtic looking. So this is what I came up with:

Two firsts, I used memory wire to string the beads, and aluminium wire for the metal links. One of the links sneakily also serves as a clasp.

Another thing I immediately knew I when I first saw the agate beads was that there were going to be bracelets, either Chan Luu or Shambala style. The latter was what I did.

I still had to use the clasp (well, one of the three at least), and I had immediately fallen in love with the dragonfly clasp Merja had added to the bead soup the very last second. This one was easy.

The only qualm I have with it would be that the pretty clasp is hiding at the back.
Now, thanks to the delay I had some time to go to the craft stores again to get some more linen cord to finish the last one of the bracelets, and to pick up some wooden beads that went with the second focal Merja sent me, an artisan made heart pendant crafted from juniper wood. Luck would have it that I had a heart pendant from B’sue Boutiques around that would sit on top of it just perfectly, so I was able to pull off this memory wire necklace basically last second.

A very simple piece that goes with practically everything.

THERE’S still so much I haven’t used yet from this soup, so I’m certain there’ll be “seconds” at some point. I still have to use the felted beads, my innitial plan for them didn’t work unfortunately (hahah, I thought it would be easy to pierce them with wire – NOT!). There’s also still that lovely, lovely fairy ribbon, and a whole bunch of leftover beads. Like, I didn’t make ANY earrings this time around? I need to fix that.
I hope you enjoyed your visit, please take some time to visit my partner Merja Sundström on her blog Suntsan Supersimppelit to see what she created with the bead soup I sent her.
And, of course, everyone else who takes part in the 3rd reveal:
Adlinah Kamsir
Agi Kiss
Alenka Obid
Alison Sachs
Amanda Tibbetts
Amy Sims
Ana Cravidao
Andra Marasteanu
Andria Poole
Angela Perkins
Anja Schultz
Ann Sherwood
Anna Nordeman
Annita Wilson
Arlene Dean
Astrid Boyce
Barb Fernald
Betty James Hoppensteadt
Birgit Klughardt
Bonnie Coursolle
Brandy Thomason McNair
Brenda Sigafoos
Carmen Lau
Carol Wilson
Caroline Dewison
Cassie Donlen
Catharine Temaluru
Catherine Turrell
Cheri Reed
Cherrie Warzocha
Christa Murphy
Christina Hickman
Christina Stofmeel
Christine Hansen
Christine Stonefield
Cilla Watkins
Cindy Cima Edwards
Claire Lockwood
Colleen Vinthagen
Dagmar Liebisch
Dana Fowler
Danielle Kelley
Deb Fortin
Dee Elgie
Denise Milward
Diah Anggreni
Diana Gonzalez
Diane Valasek
Dita Basu
Donetta Farrington
Doris Stumpf
Elizabeth Bunn
Elizabeth Drake
Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Stolarczyk
Ema Kilroy
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Duberry
Fay Wolfenden
Francesca Watson
Gen Smith
Ginger Davis Allman
Giorgia Rossini
Hannah Annear
Heather Otto
Heidi Kingman
Ildiko Jarai
Iveth Caruso
Jackie Locantore
Jacqueline Keller
Jane Pranata Lim
Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Tough
Jenny Vidberg
Jessica Klaaren
Joanna Matuszczyk
Joyce Becker
Judith Johnston
Judy Riley
JuLee Wolfe
June Butt
Karen Mitchell
Kari Asbury
Karin King
Karin von Hoeren
Karla Morgan
Kathrin Lembke
Kathy Stemke
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic
Katy Heider
Kay Thomerson
Kelley Fogle
Keren Panthaki
Kimberly Idalski
Kirsi Loponen
Klaudia Tóth
Krista Quantrill
Kristina Hahn Eleniak
Kristina Johansson
Laney Mead
Lara Lutrick
Laura Guenther
Lauren Potts
Laurie Vyselaar
Leah Tees
Lena Adams
Lesley Watt
Leslie Wayment
Linda Kropp
Linda Newnham
Linda Younkman
Lisa Boucher
Lizzie Clarke
Lora Bright
Lorelle McIntyre
Lori Anderson
Lori Finney
Lucie Bouvier
Malin de Koning
Marina Dobrynina
Marina Kosovic
Marion Simmons
Marita Suominen
Marjolein Trewavas
Marsela Schroth
Martha Aleo
Mary Govaars
Mary K McGraw
Maybeline Tay
Mea-B. Uebler
Melissa Trudinger
Menka Gupta
Merja Sundström
Merja Syrjämäki
Michelle Buettner
Michelle Escano
Michelle Wigginton
Milla Hope
Miranda Ackerely
Mowse Doyle
Mrs M Makes
Nan Smith
Natalie Davidson
Natalie Moten
Natascha Marty
Nikki Banham-Hall
Noemi Baena
Norma Turvey
Pam DeBoer
Pam Hurst
Patti Pruhs
Penny Houghton
Penny Mills
Rachel Van-Walsh
Rebecca Sirevaag
Regina Santerre
Regina Wood
Roberta Fauntroy
Rosanagh Watson
Rose Johnson
Rosemary Cheslock
Rossana De Gaspari
Sabine Dittrich
Sam Waghorn
Sandi James
Sandra McGriff
Sandra Wollberg
Sandra Young
Shai Williams
Sharon Palac
Sierra Barrett
Silke Gröber
Siobhán Keogh
Stefanie Teufel
Stephanie Stamper
Sue Hamel
Sue Rennie
Susan Kennedy
Susan McClelland
Susanna Lehto
Suse Stelljes
Susie Hibdon
Suzann Sladcik Wilson
Tara Plote
Terri G.
Terry Carter
Terry Matuszyk
Theresa Frank
Tina Bosh
Tina Noonan
Toltec Jewels
Facebook Participants
Audrey Allen
Cindy Wimmer Muse
Cynthia O'Toole
Deb Floros
Debbie Jensen
Erin Honeycutt
Kaushambi Shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison
Mary Jane Tanner
Valerie Tilghman

Thursday, March 21, 2013

7th Bead Soup Blog Party: Meet My Partner – Darf Ich Meine Partnerin Vorstellen

OH would you look at this,” you’re probably thinking right now, “she’s still alive!”
Yeah, I know, long time no see. Nowadays I only ever seem to resurface when it’s time for the next BSBP, which does not bide well, as it’s become an annual event now. So, after the Big Reveal, see you 2014? Hahah, I certainly hope it wont be that bad.
So … while most of you probably know what the Bead Soup Blog Party is about, some may not, so here’s a real quick summary:

Bloggers from all around the world who have fun beading and creating jewelry sign up for this, and are assigned a partner. Partners send each other a “Bead Soup” which consists of a clasp, a focal, and some beads, and then create something with what they’ve been sent. On a set date the participants reveal their creation via blog post and there’s loads of fun involved hopping from blog to blog admiring everyone’s creations and drinking wine and having snacks. Well, the latter two might be just me.
So, without further ado, my partner this time around is the lovely Merja Sundström from Finland! She herself describes herself a “baby-beader”, but I think her work looks far from being a beginner’s. Why don’t you hop over to her blog, "Suntsan Supersimppelit", and take a look for yourself.

OH, guckt mal da,” denkt ihr euch wahrscheinlich gerade, “die lebt ja doch noch!”
Ja, ich weiß, lange nicht gesehen. Dieser Tage scheine ich nur noch an die Oberfläche zu krabbeln wenn es Zeit für die nächste Bead Soup Blog Party ist. Und da die jetzt nur noch einmal im Jahr statt findet, heißts dann nach der Enthüllung wohl, auf Wiedersehen in 2014? Naja, so schlimm wirds wohl hoffentlich nicht. Hoffe ich.
Die meisten von euch werden wohl wissen worum es bei der Bead Soup Blog Party geht, aber manche vielleicht noch nicht, deshalb hier noch mal eine schnelle Zusammenfassung:
Schmuckbastelnde und perlenfädelnde Blogger rund um den Globus melden sich an und bekommen einen Partner zugeteilt. Die Partner schicken sich gegenseitig eine “Perlensuppe”, bestehend aus einem Verschluss, einem Anhänger, und ein paar schönen Perlen, und verarbeiten diese dann. An einem bestimmten Datum stellt dann jeder seine Kreation im Blog vor, und man hat dann jede Menge Spaß von Blog zu Blog zu hopsen, jedermanns Kreationen zu bestaunen, Snacks zu futtern und Wein zu trinken. Naja, letzteres vielleicht nur ich.
So, um mal endlich zu Potte zu kommen, meine Partnerin dieses mal ist die fabelhafte Merja Sundström aus Finland! Sie sagt von sich selbst sie sei noch eine blutige Anfängerin, aber das seh ich ganz anders. Am besten springt ihr mal auf ihrem Blog "Suntsan Supersimppelit" vorbei und macht euch selbst ein Bild.

THIS is the bead soup I received from her:

DIES ist die Perlsuppe die sie mir geschickt hat:
soup by merja
NOT one, but three clasps, pearls, agate beads, hand-made felt beads, fairy ribbon, and two focals. I love the cool, yet earthy color scheme, and I completely adore the ceramic focal she has sent me – the head of a fantasy creature, created by Othel Lehto.

NICHT nur einer, sondern gleich drei Verschlüsse, Achatperlen, Muschelkernperlen, Seidenband, und zwei Anhänger. Ich liebe das kühle und gleichzeitig erdige Farbschema, und besonders die große Porzelanperle von Othel Letho die den Kopf einer Fantasykreatur darstellt.