Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This summer beading...

This summer, I have definitely still been working on jewelry projects amongst lots of travel!  I love visiting people, but I definitely enjoy being home and just doing the routine stuff too.  And this week will put us back into the routine of school!  I can't believe it's already that time again.
Here's one of the projects I worked on this summer...  the Garden Windows Bracelet**
It was for my Mom, a kind of belated Mother's Day gift.  
I used lighter color Tila Beads than the example and some really pretty Czech Druks as the centers of the flowers.  I had a hard time finding pinkish purple size 15 beads and then finding Tila beads that coordinated well.
The colors are really pretty against skin (they look a little more dull against the white backdrop).  And I love the button closure.  I was worried that it wouldn't be too secure but it really does the trick.

And now I've added ladder stitch and square stitch to my repertoire of beadweaving skills.
I don't know about other beaders, but I definitely enjoy making jewelry much more than taking pictures of them and that is probably why I have a hard time keeping up with the blogging.
**This pattern is by Glorianne Ljubich and originally published in Beadwork magazine June/July 2012. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup is Ready!!!

Yeah!!! It's the reveal day for the Bead Soup Blog Hop Party.  We trade beads with another beader and make something really cool with them. 
My bead soup partner is Denise Petersen from    
A few posts back, I introduced her.  Not only do we both have the same name Denise, but we also both are married to Kevin's and... each have 3 kids and...  are both nurses.  How's that for some similarities?
She sent me some really nice beads.  Here's the soup:
 ***Love the color palette!!! 
Aren't these components so cool (and handmade by Denise Petersen)

Before I get to the reveal, like many beaders, I'm sure, the vision doesn't always translate well. 
First, I had envisioned a lariat necklace with strands of seed beads and the pyrite and turquoise glass beads  and green sea glass winding through the holes of the compass but I couldn't figure out how to not make it too bulky (behind the compass) or to keep the compass from flipping around too much. I also thought of using it like a watch face, but the idea just didn't settle well with me.
So, this leather- compass necklace is a second idea but I think it came together pretty well...  The compass is strung on metallic silver leather and rayon gimp in Grandma Moses color - which is one of those purchases that at first I wondered why did I buy this but turned out great for this project?  It has the green sea glass beads and sea blue glass beads hanging from the bottom and closes with a button clasp.

 Don't mind the pink exercise gear - I think this necklace would look great with a blouse or even a sweater. 
I think it would go with an outfit more like this:
Can't go wrong with white and khaki ever.....:) 
**from Polyvore via Pinterest

On the other hand, this next necklace came out exactly as I wished.  Colorful, earthy, a little funky.  I actually took apart a chain and added the jump rings with silver peanut beads and the small blue and green lampwork beads. These beads look so pretty from all angles that I didn't want to just string them and then not be able to see the sides of the beads.  The key focal is strung on with waxed linen cord.  And the clasp (which Denise Peterson also made) actually goes with the silver chain pretty well. 

It hangs so nicely.  :)

My last attempt was a 'Satin Pillows' crocheted necklace using the pearl beads and a few pyrite.  I honestly thought I would be able to whip through this, since I crochet fairly well, but apparently I am holding the thread too tightly and can't get the tension correct around the beads because they are all floppy.  So far this is what I have....

And this is what it is supposed to look like...
This picture is from the DesigningVashti website where the pattern can be purchased.  My patience wore thin quickly.  I will attempt again when I can find time to focus on figuring this out. 

And now on to my partner....  These are the beads I sent Denise..
 See a resemblance in the color palette?
And a focal that I made...
Check out what she did with these beads on her blog:
And check out what everyone else (almost 500 other beaders!!) did with their bead soup:

Thank you for hopping!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Last Kisses of Summer Bracelet....

I'm still into the beadweaving and my latest (and definitely greatest) beadweaving is the 'Last Kisses of Summer Bracelet' by C. J. Bauschka from the August/September 2012 Beadwork issue.  I liked the picture on the front cover of the magazine so much that I decided to start with making one in those colors....

Ooh... isn't it so sparkly and pretty?    So one in this colorway (except I used tortoise colored fire-polished 6mm beads and a matte bronze seed bead) and because it turned out so splendidly, I made another in a silver colorway with blues, greens and purples...
And so this is how mine turned out.  The only other change I made was making it smaller than the pattern called for (made the bronzey one 14 right angle weave squares long and the silver one 15 right angle weave squares long).

I was planning on making this bracelet in all blue crystal colors but ordered the wrong size crystals - ordered 4mm instead of 3mm - which is needed for this bracelet.  Oh shucks, now I'll have to find a piece of jewelry to use the 4mm crystals with.  :)   Anyone have any beadweaving ideas for 4mm crystals?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Epoxy Clay

My friend and I took an Epoxy Clay class this past weekend.  This is my first time using any type of clay.  The results were less than stellar.  I don't know if polymer is easier to work with than epoxy or if it was because we weren't given any tools to use - just told to shape a pendant and earrings with our fingers but the final product kind of looks like play-doh with some crystals on it.  I think it would have looked nicer if we were given stamps for the surface or more cutting or shaping tools but with our fingers and a plastic sheet, it was hard to get the fingerprints out and to have clean shape lines. 
This may not be my medium...    But I'd still like to try polymer clay.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Trying some new Beadweaving...

I've earmarked several projects from Beadwork magazines and Bead & Button magazines and always wishfully looked at them - when I have the time I'll get to them, I think.  Well, now's the time.  5 minutes here, 15 minutes there.  Maybe only time to get one row of beads on between frantic uproars from the kids and eventually things get done.  Here's the first one I tried...
 It's supposed to be a 3 hour, $12 dollar bracelet - I don't know if I totally agree with either of those titles (especially when the project list includes a sterling silver clasp and SS 16 gauge wire - but it didn't cost too much and after figuring out the tension on the netting, I guess it didn't take too long.
 In different lighting, those big crystal beads look much more blue than purple.  It looks kind of cool.  I may even make another with different colors.  Does anyone know if TOHO size 8 beads are smaller than the Dyna-Mites purchased from Fire Mountain?  My friend is making one too and using TOHO beads - the beads seem smaller than the ones I used but it can be hard to really tell.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Soup Arrived!

Well, actually it arrived last weekend but this is the way things get posted around here - in a relaxed way!  
Here are some pictures of the awesome beads I received from my partner, Denise Petersen of Reinvented Objects
 Look at that color palette - one of my favorite - blues and blue-greens and bronzey colors.  Pearls and pyrite and vintage glass and little lampwork beads and sea glass and tiger's eye and handmade components.
**These pieces were made by Denise Petersen.
I told Denise that there are two things I would love to learn to do - soldering and resin - and she does them both.  Aren't the key and compass cool?  It looks the key has been on the piece of metal so long that they "melted" together.  (And she does some resin work - look at her website - there are some really pretty hearts on it!)
Now I just have to get to making something...   I have some ideas, just need to take the time to make them!

Friday, March 14, 2014

What's Cookin'?

 8th Bead Soup Blog Party
It's that time of year again for the Bead Soup Blog Hop, organized by Lori Anderson.  It's my second year participating and its a pretty awesome concept.  Lori, God Bless Her!, takes all the names and sets them all up with partners and emails the information and out and then troubleshoots and makes the final list so we can all hop blogs at the end.  It's a lot of her work on her end but it certainly makes for a very fun hop.  And today is the last day to send out the beads, and so I got mine out yesterday - cutting it close.

I think Lori really picked a partner well for me this year.  My partner is also a Denise and the similarities don't end there.  We both have husbands named Kevin, 3 kids and are nurses.  Denise makes some really neat jewelry with vintage finds and encompasses some things that I would like to learn but haven't taken (or gotten) the time to do just yet - soldering and resin.  Check out her blog at:

Here are a sneak pick of the beads I sent my partner:

A little variety!