Friday, February 12, 2016

Learning Kumihimo - Melange de Perles

This is another kit review.  Yah!  I learned how to do kumihimo.  I've seen a lot of the corded kumihimo and wasn't as interested in the style until I saw kumihimo with beads.  Wow!  What awesome designs out there. 

And this design - Melange de Perles Necklace by Adrienne Gaskell from the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Beadwork is gorgeous! 

I was fortunate to get a kit - because the beads and end result are very drool-worthy! -And they are gone.  When I was stringing the beads on the cords, my kit was missing some of the 3mm khaki rainbow ris magatamas (104 to be exact).  I had some other drop beads in my stash that were a matte purple iris color and would have fit in beautiful with this necklace, so I started adding them or trying to add them to the C-Lon cords.  But even with making sure the tip of the cord had glue on it to make it more like a needle and trying to squeeze the tip into a smaller slant, I could not get my purple drop beads onto the cords.  Why do beads that are otherwise the exact same size have to have different size holes?? How frustrating!!!   Anyhow, I wrote to interweave and got the extra beads (and some) mailed to me so I could finish stringing the beads. 

This was my first time doing kumihimo and I will admit that I should have probably started with something not as beady.  I learned the hard way about the placement of the beads when they go to the center of the disc - the beads need to go under the strings.  I originally put them on top of and in the middle of two of the cords - and, well, after a few rounds, I noticed that mine didn't look like the picture- in fact, the cords show up as a line on the outside of the rope.  So, a look at a video on how to do kumihimo with beads and I eventually figured it out. 

I also learned that if you mess up, its best to go backwards to undo everything - like with knitting.  After doing about 8 rows of beads, to undo the kumihimo, I decided that I would just pull all the cords out the holder and untangle.  But that was a HUGE ever-loving mess that took me quite a while to put back into a workable arrangement. 

It was actually quite fast once all the beads were strung and I stopped messing up!

And the result - the necklace feels as good as it looks. I love wearing it because it is soft on my skin (I definitely have some sensory issues with scratchy necklaces) and it doesn't get tangled with the hairs at the nape of my neck and so far it always stays in place - the back clasp stays in the back and the heavier front stays in the front.  An awesome necklace to make and I'm looking forward to trying some other beaded kumihimo ropes!

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Poppy Bracelet

Last Friday was National Wear Red Day.  That day is a 'massive national public awareness day to "go red" to bring attention to the leading killers of women - heart disease and stroke.' 
I am a nurse and previously worked as a Health and Wellness Planner for a company.  So the reason for this day has a great place in my heart.  To know that most heart disease and stroke is preventable, yet still kills 1 in 3 women, shows how important education and awareness is!  And I can attest that a lot of women don't know their risks nor that it is big killer of women.

Part of my plug for National Wear Red Day ties into jewelry (of course!).

I've been working on a beadweaving kit.  I know that kits are not real popular for people who design jewelry - because really, there is no designing, just making in a kit.  But I'm NOT a beadweaving designer and still trying to figure out techniques - which I think kits are great for.  I learn a new technique and produce a beautiful wearable piece of jewelry - without the pesky annoyances of picking colors that go together and figuring out if I have all the right seed bead sizes (and seed bead brands) that will work in a pattern (and, boy, does that matter - as I'll write about in a future post!).

So, here is the Poppy Beadwoven Bracelet.  This one is by Glass Garden Beads, and I purchased it from Fusion Beads (but they don't have it on their website anymore). The picture on the website was very over exposed and it was hard to tell how it was actually going to turn out.  Here it is in real life: 

 I originally planned on making it for Christmas.  The colors are quite lovely for Christmas but life took me to other things in December and instead the bracelet got finished in January.  It actually worked up a bit faster than I had first anticipated and is really quite a lovely design. Eight flowers fits my 5 3/4" inch wrist perfectly and it stays put when I wear it - which is what I like. 

And the best part -was that the bracelet went perfectly with my red outfit for National Wear Day!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pretty Palettes: January Reveal: Snowflakes!!!

This winter has been very different from the last two (and frankly, I love it!).  Hardly any snow!  We were on the edge of the huge snowstorm last week and while the kids had a Snow Day, we ended up getting a dusting and that was it. 

I really dislike shoveling snow and wearing winter coats and boots, but, if I always looked at a snowflake like the artist of this month's Pretty Palettes Challenge, Alexey Kljatov, I may have different thoughts.

--Probably not, unless I was looking at it on a computer while sitting on a warm beach!  :)

Leaves of ice, snowflake desktop wallpaper (explore 2015-08-22)

I DO like wearing bling-y jewelry and the snowflake is a great inspiration for that!

When I saw the color palette, and the beads chosen, I thought of brightness and shininess and reflection...and rhinestones. 

So, together some of the snow-like icicle beads and rhinestone cup chain was paired with a leather bracelet blank. 

More of a rocker look, than a romantic bling-y look but still great.
First, I stained the leather to make it a darker hue - a better backdrop for the bright beads and then poked holes with a leather needle to make it easier to thread the thread through.

The rhinestone cup chain and beads are held in place with a pale mint great silk thread and knotted towards the ends.  This is by no means my own idea - in face, if you follow 'the beading gem' - a very good resource for jewelry making, she had the link for the original idea. 

The beads and leather (and all leather tools used) are from Michaels. The cup chain was from my bead stash.

Thank you Erin for another great source of inspiration!!!

Friday, December 18, 2015

create jewelry, 2015

Previously, I wrote about how my earrings were included in the advertisement for the create jewelry magazine.  Well, I actually had 3 pieces accepted and published in this magazine!

The first were the earrings in the ad.  They are my Daphne earrings and named after my daughter who actually helped me sort through my beads to look for beads and components that fit the inspiration.  She found the bracelet links and I came up with the design. 

Daphne earrings.  Green apple and pale blue brass earrings.  Gift for Her.

The second was a necklace.  I had found the colors in these beads so pretty but in my organizing mind, I definitely liked the look of them in order.  A graduated order of color. Greek ceramic washers separated with sterling silver plated washers make up the front of this necklace.

The third was another pair of earrings.  I like these tiny O beads - they can add just a tiny bit of accent color to all sorts of designs.  The small pendants are handmade ceramic beads by Gaea. 

You can check them all out for sale on my Etsy site here:  Gems of Summer

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

jewelry stringing, Summer 2015

This post has been in draft mode for too long...

A little late is better than never....

This is the first magazine that I was published in:

So excited to be included in here!  (Yes, that is in the Summer 2015 one).

My necklace is the Beading on a Budget item.   When I saw the turquoise palette inspiration, I immediately thought of this chain that I had purchased (awhile back) in several colors and came up with an idea to use all the chains at once and have them visible on the wearer (in other words, not just in the back of a necklace, where chain is usually relegated!)

For sale, click here:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Teal and Coral and Brass Flower Earrings.  Czech Glass Earrings.  Gift for Her.
Huge sale going on in the Etsy shop. 

40% off any jewelry.  Coupon code:  CYBER40

Looking for the perfect gift for the holidays?
Handmade, unique jewelry available in the Gems of Summer Etsy shop.

Check it out!  
Type in 'CYBER40' in the coupon code box at Etsy.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me on Etsy. 
Expires December 12th.  
Poinsettia Earrings.  Silver Flower and Red Beaded Dangle Earrings.  Gift for Her. 
Red-orange, Aqua and Gold Bracelet.  Czech glass Bracelet.  Magnetic Closure Bracelet.  Gift for Her.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Yuletide 2015

For the last few years, I have been fortunate to have some of my items in a Gallery in downtown Cincinnati over the holidays.  The 1305 Gallery hosts  Yuletide during the holidays and has all sorts of artists, crafters and designers contribute their items to the Gallery for Holiday Shopping.  

So this year I've switched up what I am selling again.  I guess that's part of being an eclectic jewelry maker (or schizophrenic jewelry maker) - is there a difference?  I get so passionate about making certain things for awhile and then my passion moves to something else.  

This year, I focused on beadwork and wire-wrapping.  I really do like beadwork but just not the time it takes to make it all.  So, I made lots of earrings.

 It's like a riot of color!  I love all these and hope to do more in lots more different color combinations or my etsy shop. 
 Maybe I'm the only one, but I think a lot of people like a little more bling over the holidays.  So in addition to the beaded Swavorski rivoli crystals, I also added some wire-wrapped frames.

These ones (above) use AB coated glass beads and Vintaj glittery acrylic beads with Swavorski crystals.

For the less blingy, here's some with handmade lampwork beads:

If you are in Cincinnati over the holidays, check out the 1305 Gallery and the adjacent quirky and cool shops - lots of handmade goodness!
Happy Holiday Shopping!