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!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some Vintaj Earrings

Have you seen the new Vintaj Artisan pewter?  I like wearing silver jewelry so much more than brass, but I also really like the Vintaj stamps.  What a great marriage of both!  The pewter definitely has a different feel than the brass.  The Vintaj DecoEtch Dies patterns come out much more distinct in the pewter and frankly, I think the embossing looks much better on the brass and copper than the pewter.   

I really like these earrings.  The idea is from Beadaholique.  They used a peacock pattern.
Just a word of caution - if you choose to make these - watch that the pattern doesn't make an 'etch' on the circle loop at the top.  It weakens the tiny bit of pewter in the loop and while mine are okay to wear now, I have a feeling the one loop will end up opening and I'll end up looking the earring.  I darkened the etches with black Vintaj ink.  Swavorski crystals were glued on the front - just used jewelery's cement.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A little more beadweaving.

 The pattern for this stunning bracelet was actually on the front page of a beading magazine, but I've let my friend borrow the magazine for the same pattern and I can't remember which one.  I'll update when I get it back.  And I finished this in one evening.  Not too bad.  The pattern recommended one of those button clasps, which I did not have (at the time) so I added a SAKI toggle clasp.  It is a little difficult to open and close with the thickness of the bracelet but it'll do for now.  I see why the button clasp is better for this kind of bracelet and will use one next time.
Beautiful toggle clasp that is not too functional with this kind of bracelet.  :(

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Love the Beading on a Shoestring Jewelry Ideas from Stringing magazine

I think this page is probably one of my favorites in the Stringing magazine because I like to make jewelry, but don't  always usually want to spend a fortune on every piece.  This bracelet caught my eye right away.  And I wanted a fun accessory for the holidays.
Here it is - lovely - fits so well.  I made each memory wire 7.5" since my wrist is smallish but really, if you make this bracelet and your wrist is small or big, keep the same amount of memory wire as listed in the pattern (8") so it goes all the way around the wrist.  It shortens up a bit with the braiding of the wires.

 The name of the pattern is 'Memory Lane Cuff' by Lauren Ivy from the Summer 2013 Jewelry Stringing magazine.
I used a bead mix from Wildly Bohemian Czech glass beads in Iron Maiden.