Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yea! A Giveaway!

If you like giveaways, and love jewelry making, check out Lori Anderson's latest blog entry, she's reviewing and giving away Lark books!
Stay tuned to her blog, Pretty Things, she'll be reviewing and giving away more books from Lark in the following weeks.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party 6!!! The final reveal

As I posted earlier this summer, I signed up for Lori McDaniel Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party, in it's 6th, and final biannual edition. Since it was the last to be held in it's twice a year form, all who applied were accepted and so 400 participants had to be split into three reveals. Could you imagine hopping 400 blogs at once?!?! Well, then…you still can! All of the participants blogs can be accessed through Lori's blog Pretty Things, under the bead soup blog party tab on the right and through this awsome page put together by Tanya Ozanne of Fusion Muse. AND a Pinterest Board has been set up for participants to share photos of their creations from the BSBP6. Happy hopping!

And now it's my turn to reveal what I made with the bead soup sent to me by Karla Morgan of Texas Pepper Jams, who is unfortunately not well and will reveal at a later date.

Just a slight warning, I use an android powered smartphone as my internet access, and blogger's own app to post, and I seem to have no control over what order pictures are posted and it'll only post my photos at the end of each post :( so I wont go too in depth with my process.

First, the clasp. A beautiful floral toggle in bronze. I've used toggles before, but not one so large or so pretty. I racked my brain for some way that I could use it without hiding it at the back of my neck. I'd done a "floating pearls" necklace before, but I'd been toying with the idea of floating gemstones using these gorgeous micro-faceted gemstones I found at my favorite bead store a couple years ago. But I wanted it to be multi stranded. I thought the two were perfect, because I wouldn't need to adjust the toggle if it slid around to the side.

The focal took me a bit longer to do, I love the color and the weight, but I knew I would need to have someone else in mind for this one. Because of my thyroid disease I've developed a slight goiter and any  heaviness around my neck irritates me. My niece on the other hand LOVES big, bright, and bold jewelry. I'd started on the large bright pink beads first (my mother would not be surprised, I begged for hot pink anything growing up…which she insisted did NOT look good on a redhead :| whatever :P. My solution has always been to pair it with green (nobody denies a redhead green :) But…then I started having some issues with my wrists and hands (and balance, after wasting money for a neurologist to stick my wrists and elbows with safety pins, I fell three times in one week, resulting in a large gash in my palm), and was told to back off the beading for a bit (arthritis…blech) And so I only finished netting four of the eight beads I was sent. But as it turns out four was more than I needed.
I wanted her to have some part in the making of the necklace, so I had her paint a large length of nylon cord with watercolor in yellow and pink so that it would match the shimmery colors of the smaller glass beads in the soup. I then rinsed, washed, and rinsed it again. Dryed it, and then dipped the ends in fingernail polish so I could string with it, and let it dry some more. I had originally intended for her to get to tie the knots, but she was more interested in watching Hunger Games! And even though I had her paint four feet of rope, it wasn't enough, I had to crimp the ends and add chain and a snap clasp so that it would be long enough. But I like that part of it too, to be honest.

I still have a quie a few beads left in my soup, and started on another project using the squares that are some kind of purple died shell, but that one will take me a bit longer. I shall reveal it when I'm finished though. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party 6

For your enjoyment, here is the page the wonderful bead souper Tanya made of the BSBP6 so far. The landing page is a little background of this particular blog hop, the general rules for all of Lori's Bead Soup blog hops, and at the top, tabs that will lead you to lists and a short bio for each of the participants so far. Oh…my…goodness!

Bead Soup Party 2012

My partner Karla and I will be in the third reveal on August 25th. (Ahhhh…I'm not ready!) Watch for a third tab on that Saturday! Till then, happy hopping! :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

BSBP6: What I sent and what I recieved

As I mentioned in my last post…ages ago…I'm participating in Lori Anderson's 6th Bead Soup Blog Party. She kept this one last, twice a year, blog hop open to all interested parties before making it an anual affair next year, so I'm excited to get to participate along with the nearly 400 other beaders.

My bead swap partner is Karla Morgan, Of Texas Pepper Jams (will add a link later), and I picked out a few late summer early fall colors for her, I think because her blog reminds me of harvest time, my favorite time of the year. There's an agate no hole oval, a yellow disk that is supposed to be yellow mother of pearl (though i suspect it's not, but it's lovely all the same…and I lied in my last post, I bought this to use in a piece while I was doing french bead flowers and decided it was too pretty to hide behind other beads) either of which she can choose as her focal. And for the clasp i sent her a heart shaped goldtone box clasp that I fell in love with. Box clasps are so hard to find around here and along with my girly love of butterflies, I'm drawn to hearts. There were only two, and they were being discontinued, so I grabbed them both and I can't wait to use mine :). I also added aventurine, amethyst, goldtone square metal beads with a celtic knot, a few wooden beads, and a handful of glass accent beads. The picture isn't completely accurate though, I added a couple other beads not pictured after I took the initial photo and forgot to take another.
And the bright spring colored set is the lovely bead soup Karla sent me. Such beautiful shades of pinks and purple. I've never used a large focal bead…or a donut for that matter…and the large togle clasp is a first for me too. I always seem to gravitate to dainty and delicate. In fact, when I received her envelope, I realized almost everything in it was going to require learning a few new techniques…such a burden, right ;) In fact, I've already started with two new bead stitches, new stringing wire, and studied three sources on color theory. Soooo glad I chose the 8/25 reveal.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My First Blog Hop

Soooo excited, I can't wait to get started! I've signed up for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party, wich used to be a bi-anual bead exchange and blog hop, and is now an enormous undertaking by Lori once a year. This is apparently the 6th party, and I'm one of a mere 400 participants. Bead Soup Blog Party The only thing that has me worried is that I might have broken my wrist. Thankfully, it's my left wrist, and I'm mostly right handed. So I guess I'll find out Tuesday if I'm stringing or weaving…'cause if it's broken, I doubt I'll be doing any beadweaving for a while, as I can't twist my hand palm up at the moment :( I'm super excited that I completed a couple of pendants to choose from for this project before my wrist issues since I don't think I've ever bought a focal bead. I'll post photos later, with my get to know the artist post, as Lori has requested from each of us.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

St. Petersburg again

I really like the delicate ribbon this stitch creates, it made me think of those old Victorian chokers with the elaborate ivory cameos. This is my version in a bracelet with a brick stitched button closure.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Awareness butterflies

Yes, I took them apart and redesigned them yet again, I wanted the bail to be in the center since they're smaller and lighter this time around. Then I decided I wanted to donate something for my niece's Relay for Life auction. And, as I've said before, butterflies are special to me, and cancer has taken much of my family. So…cancer awareness colored butterflies. I'm definately going to give her the pink, for my sister, and the green for my father who passed away from lymphoma 20 years ago. I've also got a dark blue for my grandmother who passed away from colon cancer two years ago.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Super simple earrings with lotsa sparkle

These couldn't be simpler. Seriously, the hardest part is holding on to the 3×5 mm little buggers while trying to brick stitch around the short sides…and if I can do it with my fat fingertips and brittle nails, anyone can.
I've been playing around with the idea of adding tutorials and I think this is the one to start with. I get so many compliments on mine and momma and little sister are the best at spotting the designs that are going to be the most popular…and they spotted these immediately.

Picot fringe

I was really looking for a ruffle when I started on these, but then I saw a picture of the pointy three bead edging called a picot fringe and decided to give it a try on a two drop peyote ribbon. I didn't want that zig-zag look that comes with it though, and added a second row, alternating so the points wouldn't meet. I absolutly love the way it looks, but I don't like how long it takes to do one simple bracelet, and keeping the thread from catching on the prickly edge is a pain in the tuckus.

I took it a little further and added it to a brick stitch pendant, which I really think adds a great finish to it. And, since brick stitch shows the stitching along the edge, the double picot fringe is awsome for hiding the thread and possible knots.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First…and second…attempt at hammered jewelry

I used 16 guage copper wire and a concrete block. Very hard on my hands, so I'll have to keep it to a minimum…but sooo many possibilities.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I think it's obvious they're a bit of an obsession of mine. Butterflies hold a significant place in my heart that perhaps one day I'll try to share here, but for now I'll have to make due with sharing my own little  butterflies.

Personally, I think this is my best design so far. It's smaller, lighter, uses less beads, and doesn't fold in on it's self.

I'm not done experimenting on these though, there will be others ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Still beading

The black one was an experiment in a way. Instead of using nylon or polyester monofilament, I wanted to see if I could get nylon coated bead wire to make an acceptable daisy chain…and keep them…I twisted mine apart :(  Admittedly I was absent mindedly overtwisting it while watching a movie (this is why I bead when I'm watching tv)

The blue and white cuff is the one that I learned the net stitch with. I abandoned it about a third of the way through because I felt it was too wide, and didn't want to spend that much time on one simple bracelet. I picked it up again when I was cleaning out unfinished projects.

And the faceted blue glass is made into a cameo style pendant by wrapping in size 11 white seed beads using a brick stitch and making a bail out of a head pin threaded after the stiching was knotted in place.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ups and downs

I suppose that's just what it's all about, good times and bad…life's a roller coaster.
My mother came out of surgery in record time and within the first three days had all of the dr's and staff amazed at her breakneck recovery, they even told her she could go home 4 days after cracking her ribs open…and then her lungs said "Hold up!" And they kept her for two more weeks. There's been a variety of new and old complications, some serious, some no more than frustrating, all in all though…my momma's still with us…and home.

My baby sister's cancer is a similar story, worse than we'd hoped, not as bad as it could have been. They won't be doing surgery till the end of the summer; the cancer is larger than they'd like to operate on, and has spead to local lymph nodes…but no further…so now they've opted to shrink it with chemotherapy first. I'm scared and hopful at the same time.

The anxiety (and my downstairs neighbor's cigarettes) is doing a number on my immune system. A chronic cold plus middle of the night asthma attack turned into a sinus infection…which began to work it's way into my lungs before I went to the dr for anti-buggie medicine. And telling the doc why I was all stressed out earned me a "women's wellness exam". Let's all keep our fingers crossed.

In all this I did manage to teach myself a new bead stitch. :)

It's called a St. Petersburgh Spiral, it's a flat spiral with a picot fringe… and I like it, I like it a lot!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No time to catch up

I wont be able to finish the Fusion Beads bead challenge, I just have too much stress and serious family illness going on.
I hope to continue working on other project ideas in the future, but for now, bringing my work to the hospital everyday just isn't practical. The first time I brought beads to my mother's room, I dumped half the container before I even completed a row of peyote stitch! I was completely mortified!
She has surgery to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm tomorrow, and my younger sister will have a cancerous tumor removed on Friday. My energy is focused on being there as best I can for both of them.
Thanks, KK

At least the weather isn't as depressing as I feel.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Days 7-10

Day 7: use a new metal. I think the only metal I've never used is platinum, and I wasn't making a special trip tp the craft store for findings I can't really afford, just for a challenge. So I used some green craft wire that id never tried, not a new metal, but a new form of it.

I skipped day 8, I didn't feel well, and there's another social day on the calendar, so I'll just combine them.

Day 9: incorporate beads in a non jewelry project. I was going to add a beaded fringe to a piece of silk I bought at the salvation army store a couple weeks ago, but I need a sewing machine to give it a finished edge first, otherwise it'll fray and come right off. I thought about just heming it by hand, but that'll give the edge bulk when I add the beads…so I made a beaded hearts keychain charm.

Day 10: use a found object in a jewelry design. Technically I bought it, but my nephew found it at the Indianapolis  Children's Museum and begged me to get it for him. The rock is pyrite, or fools gold, and I wrapped it like the shells. The wires are gold colored and I did the frame like the others, but the wire 'rope' is crocheted 34 guage wire…and it didn't hold even for a whole day. So back to braiding, it just looks better than plain straight wire.
Day 11: make a beaded gift. It's not the finished piece for today, but I have to leave it here and head to work in a few minutes, so instead of being behind on my posts again, I'll just post the prototype…I have baby ears, so I can't give that one away…and I didn't make it today.

That's me all caught up on my Fusion Beads 30 Day beading challenge. I posted the link in a couple other blogs if you want to follow along.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 6: make a color pallet

I cheated though.
I usually mix up my seed beads in the colors I want to work with using the old empty tubes. I had to restock and added new colors. So I mixed up a bunch of beads, and now I guess I'm ready for a new batch of beadweaving projects.

Days 4 and 5 of Fusion Beads' 30 Day Challenge

I've been participating in Fusion Beads' 30 Day Bead Challenge for National Craft Month.
I've been working more at my day job this month too, because I'm the only one there that doesn't get paid vacation :\ Yes, I'm that person that stays at a job I hate because it gives me more time for the things I love. More hours for me, but less hours for my love of all things crafty.

Day 4's challenge was to organize our work stations, as I keep mine portable, I don't have a station to organize, so I reorganized my bead boxes…good way to remind myself why I'm too poor to buy a new car…and why I don't NEED to use that coupon for 20% off.

Day 5 was to incorporate chain in a piece of jewelry. I do this so frequently I had to think about it most of the day before I settled on the most simple piece I've ever made. I had bought some beads from an artist at the Op Shop (Kokomo Opalescent Glass or KOG), and was disappointed to find that the holes were too big to use in the beadweaving pieces I'd been working on. And even making them wire wrapped links felt awkward and wobbly…but some of the chain I had fit perfectly. And I've decided to learn Viking knit to do the same with the rest of them. Maybe I won't feel so terrible about spending four bucks per bead if I can make something unique out of them.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 2: use leftover beads and Day 3: learn a new beading technique

Yesterday's post wouldn't publish, so now I have two updates.
Day 2 was use leftover beads. I think it's understood that all crafters hold on to leftovers, whether it's scrap, or samples, or fillers, we all have that box or bag or in my case, a little cookie tin, full of bits and bobs that "I'll find some use for, surely." I have lots of those to choose from, actually, being a craft addict, I have a whole 33 gallon tote of bits and bobs I'll find some use for, someday…surely.
Add my first attempt at a cuff that I'd tossed to the side. And well, my niece loved it, lol.

Day 3: learn a new beading technique. I had to work today, stayed up late working on something for work, and had to run errands this morning. So, I was really glad I hadn't gotten around to learning this one yet. It's called a bead wrapped cord technique. But the beads end up center of the cord. And keeping with the recycle theme, the organic cotton twine was leftover from a crochet project; and the butterfly button is actually a cord crimp that was originally attached to a hair elastic I used to pull my hair in bun with :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March is National Craft Month

And I'm psyched. I'm going participate in Fusion Beads' 30 Day Bead Challenge.

And I'm not goin to stop there. I'm preparing to add my handmade items to a shop just north of the town center, and with that, I'm going to have my own giveaway and challenge on my Facebook fan page (if the link isn't around here somewhere, it's accessible through the galleries on the right).
And I'm sewing machine window shopping! At the moment I'm still on the fence about how much I want to spend and how much I need it to do. I haven't used one in a long time, I don't want to go wild with it and discover I could've made do with a simple one, you know?
These earrings are what I made for Day 1:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wire, wire, wire

Oh my poor fingers are sooo sore, but I'm happy with the few things I've learned. I bought myself a small, cheap wig jig, and it's really been awsome for the smaller S links. And a few pendants and earrings managed to find their way out of my wire.
My favorites…so far…are the ear cuffs

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Empty hearts update

Ooooh I like that, empty hearts, I'll have to use that…but not for this one, I already have plans for these.

As I feared, most of the resin sank to the bottom as it hardened, and so the walls were too thin even to remove the the hearts from the mold. But I don't give up easily…and my mother always called it stubbornness, more like focused perseverance :)

It's a good thing I can mix the ice resin in small batches, because as I was brainstorming I came up with a brilliant plan. I just have to do them in six layers. And prop the mold in the direction I want each to settle. And wait six hours between each layer. And then another mix to put them together. And three days to cure before I add the liquid. And another mix to seal it up and add the bail...easy peasy. =|

If you don't hear from me again, I've just lost my mind, that's all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It made me nervous

I ordered ice resin back at the begining of January, and I've been dying to play with it, but it gave me heart palpitations. I know how stupid that sounds, but seriously, everything I read about using it talked about how unforgiving it was…and this stuff isn't cheap.
So I decided to start small, just half an ounce, which as it turns out, isn't so small. I covered four butterfly stickers to give to my nieces and still had a ton of ice resin left over. Since I'd read all about the stuff before I got up the nerve to actually use it, I knew it could be used in silicone molds, and I just happened to have some heart shaped silicone ice cube trays i wasn't using…but they're waaaay to big to fill completely, so I decided to "paint" the sides and bottoms. So far…it's not really working :(

The problem is that silicone works so well with ice resin because it doesn't stick…yeah. Not so smart. So I've been getting up every few minutes to swirl it around the molds hoping it'll get thick enough to stop sinking to the bottom. Right now it's at corn syrup consistency, and I'm hopeful. I'll update in the morning, but it's gonna kill me to have to wait that long =[

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I can make that

My niece never even asked for the one's we had at work. She went straight to feathers at JoAnn's and said, "Aunt Det, you can make those feather things like at your work."

I couldn't resist her big brown eyes or her I-know-you-won't-say-no grin.

So then she wore hers to school on Tuesday, and when I asked her if she liked it…she said "Yeah, we've got three orders." Lol.

I hope her friends like them, I made her help me with them. And for being such a sport I made her some earings.