Category Archives: Bead Soup Blog Party

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

My partner in the blog party is the talented glass artist Sheila Davis. Just look at the magic she worked with the pieces I gave her. Visit her blog here:

Be sure to check out the other Blog Party Participants as well. There are HUNDREDS of them.

My project is far more simple. I had grand plans for having a canvas painted to mount it on and everything, however that just didn’t come together at all. I am happy with the pieces I have created however. Sheila sent me some beautiful glass beads as well as a few natural stone beads. I don’t recall what they were and I haven’t been able to find the post that said what they were. UGH.

One of the things Sheila sent me was a lamp work toggle that was beautiful. I wanted to have a way to feature it, so I thought I would make it part of the focal. However, as I was attaching the chain, I dropped the toggle bar and it broke. SO SAD. But I still used the hoop in a way that I really like.


Here is a close up of the earrings. I wanted to have them be a little different and not just symmetrical.


And a close up of the pendant portion of the necklace.


Bead Soup Blog Party – Meet My Partner

I have a few things that have been going on. First and foremost, I am finally official. I have my business license in hand with my new official name – Melissa Muir – Metalsmith. YAY. Let the real business begin. My goal this year is to finally make a profit. Even just a little one.


I am participating once again (3rd time) in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party. This one is HUGE, I believe over 500 people participating.

My partner is Sheila Davis who does amazing things with glass. She has some beautiful lampwork beads, clasps, headpins, etc. Just check out her blog:

This is the beautiful soup she sent me. The focal and toggle are both made from glass. I am going to have to figure out a way to feature that toggle, for sure. The funny thing about our soups, we both used similar pallets, though hers featured more blue/green and mine had more purple. I love it, because that is actually the mood I am in anyway.


The soup I sent to her had some fun little things. For the challenge, we are only required to use a focal and clasp. The rest are optional and we can add to it however we want.


I will be back shortly with a few videos and some pieces I have been working on.

All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

First of all, Welcome to all the new visitors. I have tried and tried to turn off the Captcha requirement for comments and on this platform, I have not figured it out. So I really do appreciate the effort and comments you leave.  If you are new to my blog, please take some time to visit my Tool Time Tuesday Posts, there is a lot to learn and I would love to be added to your reading list.

For all my subscribers, I am sorry for the delay in posting. I am excited for school to get back into session so I can get back to work.
I am not feeling very creative right now when it comes to jewelry and I knew I wanted to do something really special with the pieces that my partner, Kumi Fisher, had sent me. While I was in Idaho last week I gave this piece a lot of thought. I was not sure if I would wear the pendant as they are not colors that I normally wear, however, as luck would have it, I went shopping and guess what colors are in my new shirt? This piece will be perfect with it.

Please visit Kumi to see her Bead Soup Reveal with the things I sent to her.

Kumi sent me an enameled pendant and beads and some coordinating beads and beach glass. She also sent three beautifully colored silk ribbons. Now, honestly, it was probably the ribbons that I was the most concerned with. I never use silk cords in my work. I have seen them, but I never knew what to do with them. So this was a challenge for me, but I loved it and love the end result all the same.
Now, like I said, I am not feeling super creative and the necklace and earrings aren’t exactly creative. But I didn’t actually set out to create a necklace and earring set. I actually meant to turn them all into a piece of wall art. As I set to work on that, everything just kind of came together and I ended up with a piece of functional wall art along with two pairs of earrings and a necklace.
I will just say right here and now, I am not an artist and this is a new area for me. But I had a bit of canvas board and some watercolor pencils and I just played. I love what happened.
At first, I thought I would make some wire designs for each of the corners.
But as I played with that, other ideas started to come into play.
Once I got the wire embellishment all soldered together, I added a bit of depth to it by not keeping it flat, but rather pulling all the ends out so that the piece is very 3-dimensional.

This is where I finally thought about actually making the piece as jewelry and functional wall art rather than just a wall art piece. You can see I have the start of a pair of earrings just below the pendant.


I was liking how the canvas had turned out, but it still seemed to be lacking just a little, so I added a bit more to balance things out in the upper left corner.


Once I decided to make the pendant a necklace, I strung it all together with the three strands of silk and 3 different copper chains. I added a heat patina to all the copper in the pieces, both those on the wall art and those used in the jewelry.

Here you can see a little bit of the mock up. I was trying hard to figure out how to attach the necklace to the canvas and was totally stumped.


In this next picture you can see the detail a little better of the chains with the silk cord.


And in this one you can see a little bit better how I have attached the silk to the clasp that Kumi made. She enameled the tips of the toggle and stamped “Kelsi’s Closet” on the ring.


As I said before, I ended up with two pairs of earrings. I haven’t figured out how to feature the second pair, and I might not. I haven’t decided if this piece is just done or not.

And last but not least…. all of it together. This piece is now hanging on my wall in my studio. The only other thing hanging on the wall in my studio is my wall of hammers. I hope to add a few more pieces soon. I really want to get my saw done up and on the wall soon.


Thanks again to Lori Anderson for hosting the Bead Soup hop. It has been a lot of fun. I know it has been a lot of work.

If you would like to visit the others that are participating, please visit the Bead Soup Blog Party Roster. There are about 400 participants and LOTS of eye candy.


Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs
Amy Schmidt, Amy’s Treasure
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners
Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna’s Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll’s Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead
Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy’s Studio
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes…
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni’s Beads
Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae
Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei’s Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M’s Place
 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK’s Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara,&nbs
p;One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina’s Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It’s a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin’ of Beads
Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese’s Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs



Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Bead Soup Blog Party – Malie Kai Designs

A few weeks ago I announced that I was going to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party again this summer. With all the craziness that has happened lately, I have taken much longer than I should have to post about my partner in this exchange. My partner is Kumi Fisher (I love her name.) Kumi lives in Hawaii and does a lot of really neat jewelry, and lately she has been playing with enamels. She has a fun style and is also learning a lot from various teachers. It is fun to look through her blog and see the projects she has been working on.

Please visit her website:
As you may recall, I sprained my ankle just before my birthday. I was feeling rather bummed on that day because we had a big hike and picnic planned as my husband was off work and would finally be able to spend some time with us. Well, it turned out to be a great birthday regardless. One of the things that made this day special is that I got a big package in the mail from Kumi. I was shocked as the package I sent to her was quite small. What in the world could possibly require such a large box? I mean, we are exchanging a few beads, a focal piece and a clasp. Not only was this box big, but it was heavy too. How can that not get you even more excited to open?
I was thrilled when I opened my box to find a HUGE 2 lb bag of Macadamia Nut Hershey’s Kisses. Did you know, you can only get those in Hawaii? And to top that off, I LOVE Those things.
In addition there was a smaller package which contained some beautiful silk cords, faceted beads, drilled beach glass and 2 large enameled filigree beads. There was also a hand made toggled clasp with enameled ends. She even took the time to stamp Kelsi’s Closet (The name of my company) on the ring of the toggle. The most special part of the package, however, was the beautiful handmade enameled and wrapped heart pendant.
Kumi has taken the time to read through my blog and knows about the story of my daughter Kelsi. She wrote a message about the meaning of the heart and how it represents the healing of broken hearts that happens with the death of a child.
She is so good with the color mixing. That is one thing that I seem to really struggle with at times. So I was excited to see this grouping of items. Not only that, but these are colors that I really enjoy.
This is actually kind of struggle for me as I rarely work with beads, but most of you already know that. I am actually thinking of not using these items to make a piece of jewelry. But you will have to wait until next week (Aug 11 reveal date) to see what I have come up with.
The package I sent to Kumi included a black, blue and gold theme. I also sent her a handful of copper blanks as I knew that she enjoyed enameling. I forgot to take a picture of them before they were all sent off. Luckily she took a picture for me, and she made it all look so good. Thanks Kumi.
I am very excited to see what she comes up with.

Bead Soup and Hiking

Last year I participated in the Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson. I have been in such a rut and having a hard time getting into the groove of things so I thought about it and thought about it and on the very last day of sign ups, I decided to sign up once again for another Bead Soup Blog Party. Last week I received the name of my partner and am so excited to be exchanging beads and findings with Kumi Fisher. You can see some of her great work on her website and blog. and

Kumi, I am very excited to be your partner and so humbled by what you have written about me. Thank you!
You can see our blog reveal on August 11th, so stay tuned to see what crazy things we have come up with to send each other.
And a great big Thank You to everyone that has visited my YouTube Page. This week I hit over 100,000 views on my page. What a milestone and I am so excited.
I am sorry that I haven’t come up with a good Tool Time Tuesday this week. So what have I bee up to? Well, the weather has been fantastic here in Washington and my girls and I have been taking advantage of that.
I have decided that I am NEVER leaving Washington. Just look at these pictures.



Not only have we been hiking but I just got my new bike and this morning my oldest and I took the baby for a bike ride. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. Tomorrow we are hiking to visit two waterfalls and we are all excited to enjoy this new lifestyle we are living. I will be back later this week with a good Tool Time Tuesday, even though it won’t be Tuesday.

Bead Soup Blog Party – The Big Reveal

Well, it is Saturday, at least it is in my time zone. So I will reveal my project. Of course I just finished it up about an hour ago. LOL.

Welcome to all the Bead Soup Visitors. I am Melissa Muir. I am mainly a metalsmith but thought that this project would be a good exercise in creativity for me. I know we have a lot of blogs to visit, but stick around and check things out. I do a couple of fun features on my blog including Tool Time Tuesday (Tutorials and tool reviews, including videos) and Featured Artist Friday (Would you like to be featured?) There is a lot to be learned here on this blog and I would love to have you as a reader. You can subscribe in the upper right hand corner. Just enter your address and hit “Subscribe.” My blog will email you every time I make a post. Don’t worry, I won’t fill your inbox daily. I am lucky to get 2 posts a week at the very most.

This project didn’t turn out quite the way I was thinking it would. I actually went through a lot of wire that I ended up removing because it didn’t look quite right. I am still not entirely sure I like how it turned out, but it is cool because it was such a challenge for me.

The one thing I must say is that my partner Lois Moon, has a great eye for color and putting elements together. I would have never picked out the beads she did. It made this project easier because I didn’t have to do that part. This was very challenging for me and I am reminded why I don’t often work with beads. I still say that I am beading challenged and this project confirmed that once again. HAHA I am very excited to see what she did with the items I sent her. Please be sure to click on her name and visit her blog as well.

Well, without further ado, here is what I came up with. We were required to use the focal and clasp. I added copper wire and a copper back plate, along with a few amber and brown seed beads. The rest of the materials were supplied by Lois.

I forgot to take a picture of everything before I got started. So Here the pendant is mostly done.


the necklace is asymmetrical, and anyone who knows me know that this is very different and difficult for me. But it was kind of liberating at the same time. I did the asymmetry because I wanted to showcase the really neat hook.

The focal is a ceramic/porcelain floral design. I carefully riveted it onto a back plate of 24 gauge copper. I added a couple of hooks of 24 gauge wire and then riveted that back plate onto another back plate using sterling silver wire rivets.




This is actually the third rendition of the earrings. I had some real troubles trying to get them to match. I tend to go complicated and making a matching pair of complicated earrings is rather difficult. but I kind of like this pair.

Here is a close up of that really cool Sterling hook.


A closer look at the “Bead work” on the pendant. I attached the beads to the “hooks” I created in the first step of the pendant. Look, I used seed beads (GASP!!!)


Here is the back. Yes, I know I didn’t do a very good job at getting the spacing right, but it is too late now.


Thank you Lori Anderson for doing all of this, especially when life has been throwing such difficult curve balls your way! This was a great exercise and helped to push me a little when I was feeling sluggish.

Thank you Lois for the great blog feature and wonderful selection of beads. You have a wonderful talent and I look forward to seeing more of your work!

Be sure to stop by the Bead Soup Blog Party and visit the other 300+ blogs to see what others have come up with as well. Eye candy is always good for creativity.

Playing Catch Up

Isn’t it amazing how long it takes to get back into the swing of things after being out of town for a few days? I swear, I am still jet-lagged even. I can’t fall asleep at night (even more so now) and I am dead tired all day and MUST have a nap, even if I try to fight it. So, I am behind once again.

Tucson was wonderful. Kevin Potter and his wife Danielle were amazing! I am SOOOOO glad that I am now able to count them among my friends. I have several projects that I will be doing with them coming up and I am so excited about it. Kevin is as down to earth and caring as he seems. He dropped everything for 2 1/2 days while I visited. He answered all my questions, introduced me to other area artists, some of which I have known online. We came up with new tools and projects. He had me make my own stake (I will post pictures once it gets shipped to me.) I got to help him finish up some other stakes for a large order that he has been working on. I wish I had been able to stay and help him more. It was tedious work, but it was SO MUCH FUN!

I have finally made the announcement that I am in the process of writing a book. Many of you have asked and I am finally taking the plunge and going to do it. I actually have a couple of books in mind, but only the first has been started. I even had the opportunity to find the perfect people to work through the projects to make certain they work. Yes! I am insane. Yes! I am going to do this and be a mom to three young girls. Yes! I am going to do all of this while moving. And I repeat, Yes! I am insane. But I am charged and ready to go.

Do you have a project or skill you would like to learn? Let me know what it is. I am looking for more projects for my Tool Time Tuesday posts and new books. Great things are in my future and you can be a part of it too. I love to have company!

While in Tucson I was fortunate enough to have my timing coincide with a gem show. It wasn’t anything near as big as what happens there in February, but it was big enough. I only visited the wholesale show. I didn’t really have enough time to visit the other three venues. But even the wholesale show was big enough for me. I even managed to stay within my budget. I would have stayed under budget, but I went back for seconds before my flight home. HAHAHA. But I found some really good things that I am excited to work with. Want to see?

These are bronze texture plates. They are from Pakistan. There, they use a lead cake and sandwich a thin piece of metal, smack with a sledge hammer and come out with a really cool patterned piece. I am going to try it out with urethane and my hydraulic press before I attempt with lead. If I can get some good impressions with the press and urethane, then there will be no need for lead. I will let you know how it all goes when I get to try it out. The copper balls are SOLID. There were 50 in a package. I wish I had bought one more bag of them. I actually went back to the show before my flight just to get them, but the guy wasn’t there any more. I was so bummed. He had some great things in copper. Oh, if only money weren’t an issue. HA!


I love sparkly things, that would include DRUSY!!!! I am normally not big on the titanium coated pieces, but these just called my name. I also bought a package that had something like 45 pieces in them (that aren’t pictured) but they are so pretty and full of texture. Think of wire settings, tab settings, prong settings, bezel settings….. I can’t wait!

I am a sucker for carnelian. I love it when it is banded and has great colors, and this package had it. They are packaged like this and people go in and pick out which ones they like and buy single pieces. I just took the whole package. The lady kept asking if I wanted them all. She didn’t believe me when I said I wanted them all. LOL.

There were also all these cool little intarsia findings and beads. So I bought a handful for my girls to play with. They were only $1 each. I figured I couldn’t go wrong at that price.

The little white cases have three types of Topaz (The blue is Kelsi and Kiari’s birthstone, the other two are just really pretty.) I cannot for the life of me recall what the little blue/purple stones are, but again, I am a sucker for pretty, so I bought them too.


The red stones are Red Coral. I don’t normally care for coral, but I love the cut and color of these. I have some great ideas for these. Think of bright silver against that dark deep red. POP!!!

I also found some beautiful Labradorite with beautiful flashes of of blue, purple, green, orange and red. I wish I had bought more of those.


I also bought some fun little things for my girls including small half Geodes and watches. They were a big hit and at just a few dollars, I got to be the coolest person in the world for a few minutes. Totally worth every cent. HAHA


Did you know that I have a mailing list? It is different than my blog. I haven’t done much with my mailing list. In fact, it was first designed to let local people know of my upcoming classes. But as things are changing for me, including my location, I figured I would change the focus of my mailing list. I figured I would turn it into a newsletter. I won’t get all spammy, because who needs that? But I figured I could use it to compliment my blog. If you are interested in signing up please fill out my form.


Bead Soup Blog Party – LOIS MOON

You might remember that I signed up for the Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog. This has been quite the challenge for me as I have to use BEADS…. AHHHHHHHHH! But it has been fun. I was working on my piece today. My partner is Lois Moon. She is an amazing beader. She works with the dreaded TINY beads. Check out some of her work.




She also does some amazing photography. She certainly has a blog of eye candy. She also post about great giveaways, so you would do well to check her blog out.

Well, the great reveal of the Bead Soup Blog Party is this Saturday. This is where we all post pictures of what we have created with what we were given. Lois did not send any little seed beads, bless her soul! However, interestingly, my piece does use seed beads. But you will just have to visit me again on Saturday if you want to see what I have made. It has been a challenge, like I said, but it is a fun challenge at any rate.

See you Saturday for the reveal!