Friday, May 9, 2014

Blog Hop Reveal is HERE!!

It's finally time to show what I made with my beads from the Blog Hop!!!!

Okay as a refresher --- I started with these thanks to my lovely partner, Amanda Wacasey. Here's her blog so be sure to check it out! Blog link:

Great stuff about this: I love this color theme! There is a great variety of nice looking beads ---and
a great big glass focal!
Challenges: Okay, I confess, I thought I was going to get a small selection of big beads.
And as you can see this is a large variety, but small quantity,  of  mostly 4-6mm beads!

But this is supposed to be about challenging yourself to try new things! And I took this to heart!

I'm experienced with kumihimo ....a style of Japanese braiding, which in its modern version can also incorporate beads. BUT this takes lots and lots of small beads and I didn't see a good way to use my bead soup in this way. SO, I thought well what about bead weaving? I've always wanted to try this!

Here is my first attempt.....

And then this turned into this pile......

Which then turned into these pieces!

These are earrings with a matching necklace. But as you can see, these are an antique-y brown color and my clasp? Antique silver but never fear....I changed the color to match! I used Swellegant Bronze and I think its a near perfect match! (:

By the way, I enjoyed Bead Weaving so much that I've learned herringbone, right angle weave and peyote.  So for this reason alone, I am thrilled that I joined the blog hop! (:

BUT of course, this didn't use all the for those I practiced some of my basic wire working skills and made this:

This charm bracelet was a perfect way to use the beads, and of course allowed me to make sure there was plenty of sparkle. I have to thank Lori for the inspiration for this piece1 I was feeling stuck and she suggested a few ideas. This bracelet spawned from one of them, and I'm very happy with the result.

BUT if you notice, I STILL haven't used the focal. I was a bit stuck to be truthful --- how DO I use a big focal, display it well, yet make it interesting? Finally I came up with this, and I think it lets the focal shine but still provides some interest.

So, there you have it. I thought this was a very valuable experience that allowed me to learn new things! I hope you have enjoyed the visit. (:

AND Please go and check out the other blogs in the blog hop by following this link:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sometimes we succeed! (:

So not all experiments end up like the bezel one!
Check out how bead weaving is going! (:

The following is based on a FREE pattern by Linda Genaw called superduo Flower Chain Bracelet. I highly recommend it. The instructions are very clear and the bracelet is very dainty but lovely. She also has a pattern for matching earrings.

I made two sets. One emerald superduo and one magic purple mixed with size 11/0 toho beads in bronze. You can see I haven't quite finished the second pair of earrings and bracelet but I am missing the right sized jump ring and clasp.

And I made more beaded beads. Some of these use my bead soup beads, but as you don't know what I am going to do with them, I think its okay to show them at this stage.

I am happy that I've actually made a few of these! Sometimes its hard for me to do the same thing over again! But it definitely goes a lot faster the second and third and forth time!

And finally I made a beaded bezel. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Maybe the wrong color choice???

Anyway, not all experiments turn out badly! (:

Oh, in case anyone is reading this! I'd like to make more of the wire wrapped pieces (see a few posts back)....but I need some medium sized flat oval or circle beads or horse eye beads that can fit a 20 gauge wire through them. I bought the above mother of pearl (shown with the beaded bezel) but unfortunately, it only fits a 24 gauge wire which is way too small for that process.  I'd say anywhere from about 15x20mm (appr) to 30x40mm.  If you have recommendations, let me know. 

Fail is not a four letter word

Fail is not a four letter word. Okay...well literally it is but not figuratively. Over the past week or so, I've certainly managed to botch a lot of projects. I actually got inspired and revisited felting. Chuckle that did not go so well. I made some mutant pods that ended up in the garbage.
I confess that  I sometimes wish I had someone to 'hold my hand' through the initial projects. I think that honestly it would go better. But maybe I'll revisit felting sometime in the future again.

But I also attempted resin projects. You know those beautiful projects where they encase items? And this project failed for an entirely different reason!!

Before I get into that, I thought I'd show a picture.

So I started simple. Nothing like trying to do something way beyond your skill level right???? My plan was to use inexpensive bezels and try some cold enameling, add a little charm, and then coat it with resin. The cold enameling actually went very well. Then I applied the resin.....OMG, the resin is so SMELLY! I used a well known, "low resin" product. I did my research really...this is not one of the toxic resins. It made the whole house smell like chemicals.  And that my friends, was the end of my resin experiments. It's a bit of a bummer because I really like the cold enamel process....I need to find something else to seal it with.  
The big fail for me here is the fact that I spent money on the resin and the bezels and the cold enamel. Not the fact that the artistic process failed.  

But if we don't experiment we don't learn anything --right? SO, for some more successful experiments check out the next blog post! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A great blog....

Happy St Patrick's day!
I thought today I would share a great blog with you -- The Beading Gem's Journal.
Here's the link:

So what do I like about this blog?
One, she always has really interesting creative designs. So it is just a nice place for inspiration.
Two, she advertises many free patterns ---- and free patterns are good right??? (:
Three, about one a week/once every other week, she has a free giveaway.

This week its a gift certificate for Czech beads, so I urge you to go and check it out! (:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bead weaving ... a start

So, I thought maybe I should learn some bead weaving skills. I bought some Fireline for the first time!
Here is my beginner's attempt using Beaded Charm Beads by Claire-Louse Patrick of Ciel Creations on Etsy.

I'm pretty happy with it! It is meant to be work with the side facing out. So...I'm hoping to show you what it looks like in a finished piece some time. 

I might use something like this for my bead soup fire polished beads...

Oh, and the best part...I'm no longer afraid of size 15/0 beads! (:

Do you bead weave? Do you have a favorite beaded bead or beaded pendant pattern???

The bead soup I sent out!

Now that my partner has received it, I also want to post the beads soup I sent out!

This is the bead I sent out --- I was originally going to go with a blue and brown "Wyoming-like" mix but my partner said she worked a lot with muted blues and browns so I changed to this at the last minute. It has gemstone donuts (rose quartz and a mystery one!), little Czech glass moons, a few mother of pearl coin beads, two strands of unicorn teardrops, and a bronze clasp.

I know pink can be hard to work I hope this wasn't too challenging!

Bead Soup is here!

My bead soup from my partner has arrived!

Its got a great oceany feel to it! In the upper left, there are some cool knitted beads.
I don't have specific ideas ....YET!

Some thoughts:
1. Maybe combine the knitted beads with felted beads?
2. Use the fire polished beads and sead beads in some bead weaving
3. Color the metal beads with cold enamel???

What do you think? (: