Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Yesterday I spent the afternoon catching up on my blog roll, and was secretly happy to see I'm not the only bead blogger who hasn't posted in a while! Hah!

But I have been beading a lot.  Many people received beaded gifts this year from me, including my son!  Which is unusual because...well....he's a 14yo young man who isn't much into accessories!  Anyway - he received a handful of paper books this year, so he had to put his Kindle aside.  I joked about how he needed a really cool bookmark. He rolled his eyes (impressively so for a boy).   But I appealed to his current obsession, Doctor Who, and made this double sided charm and attached it to a book mark!  Total WIN!  He love it.

Also - not in the beading arena but also a win, were the infused bourbon and vodka for holiday gifts.  Cranberry Lime Vodka and Orange Vanilla Bourbon (super delicious!).

Post holidays I visited my cousin, Abe, who is an artist/fisherman on Martha's Vineyard.  No trip to the Vineyard (yet!), but he was peddling his beautiful artwork at a hunting and fishing expo close to my house so we stopped by and picked up some Lure-Fish t-shirts (extremely popular fashion amongst the men in my house!), and he sweetly gifted me with this gorgeous print! Is he talented or what?!?!?!   

I also had the pleasure of visiting with one of my stepdaughters at the end of the year.  She is getting married in July and I am going to make jewelry for her bridesmaids!  I'm super excited to be able to contribute in this way.  

I promptly ordered a sample of the material from the dress shop. 

Amie, my stepdaughter, had some ideas in mind and even hopped onto and picked out some rivolis she liked!

I headed to the local bead store and picked up some of the prettiest matte gold delicas I've ever seen!! 

And now I am having a ball working up samples for her to review!  Here are just a few samples and there are more in the works! 

In other beady updates... my cyber-friend, Cynthia, of Antiquity Travelers, gifted me with Amee Sweet-McNamara 's book, Soutache & Bead Embroidery!  

Yikes! This craft/technique is harder than I thought.  Here's my first's a little wonky, but I'm not super discouraged (only a little....), and I definitely will be trying again soon! THANK YOU Cynthia!! 

Made this rusty-topazy-browny set to go with a sweater I love to wear!

And have been working on this pretty flower too! 

Hoping this year will bring me back to more beading and blogging! It's so fun to be in a community of other bead folk!

Friday, December 11, 2015

ZnetShows Cultured Sea Glass - Not Just for Jewelry!

A few months back, I was presented with a challenge by ZnetShows to create something with their lovely line of cultured sea glass that wasn't jewelry.

Two ideas came to mind: Christmas ornaments and place card holders.

My stash of cultured sea glass is pretty decent from past design opportunities.  So for my first ornament, I dipped into my stash and selected the peridot colored tusk shaped cultured sea glass and the peridot colored leaf shape cultured sea glass beads! It has been years since I tried to do any netting on an ornament and all I remember was how I kept scratching the finish with my needle when I tried.  I didn't have that problem with the clear glass ornament!  Here is the result of my first attempt.  Basically it was just some free form netting with the leaf shaped beads, seed beads and then I added the tusk beads as fringe:

 Next up it was time to play with the red coin puffed cultured sea glass beads.  Again, I used a clear glass ornament and did some free form netting with amber colored silver lined seed beads and 4mm Tiaria Chinese crystal bicones:

The place card holders were a little bit more of a challenge and there were a few 'fails' along the way.

I used the large starfish cultured sea glass bead for the first one, and worked a free form cubic right angle weave (is that even a thing?) to make a stand for the starfish.  Then I worked several tight rows of peyote in graduated sizes to hug the starfish opposite the stand.  It worked!

For the next place card holder, I used the bottom drilled shell shaped cultured sea glass beads.  First I sewed them together with fireline, adding a row of seed beads in between the holes of the shells  Then I wrapped a row of the pearl colored seed beads around the base of the two shells and through the seed beads that were already there.  I went through this base row of beads several times, and then started doing a circular peyote around and around and around, increasing sporadically, which ended up creating a ruffly effect.

The shells were a little floppy so I added a few peyote rows on the exposed sides of the shells.  It didn't help, and i didn't really want to cover up the pretty shell, so I added a tiny dab of glue between the shells about 10 mm from the bottom and that worked like a charm!

It was a lot of fun working on these ZnetShows cultured sea glass projects!! I enjoyed the free form process quite a bit! Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of times throughout the process where I pulled out a stitch or two and tried a new way, but it's fun to see how well the different bead-weaving techniques shaped into the items I had in mind.

Friday, December 4, 2015

I Get It!

So...a couple weeks ago, I took a little stroll around the craft fair I was participating in (which turned out to be a great event...thanks so much for everyone's well wishes!)....

I came across another bead jeweler who had baskets and baskets full of wire wrapped rings.  She was selling them for anywhere between $9-$13 each.  Wire is not really 'my thing', but seeing her display piqued my interest because she had a LOT of them.  And really they were quite charming. And inexpensive! 

When I got home I looked up "wire wrapped rings"...something I wouldn't normally do because like I said...wire's not my thing.   HOWEVER, I came across many very short videos talking about how simple the process is! 

Well,  I promptly logged onto Amazon and ordered some craft wire in gold and silver, and a mandrel.  The wire came on Wednesday but the mandrel was delayed.  Of course by this time I'd been obsessively watching videos on wire wrapping so I threw caution to the wind and got started....using a taper candle!  Haha!

But it wasn't so bad! I had a couple fails, and a couple successes, and my resulting rings were rather waxy...but here were my first two....

 And then my mandrel came few days later and frankly, I had a hard time quitting! 

These are just too fun and satisfying to make!! Yeesh!  Today I stepped up my game and picked up a bur cup and some nylon pliers.  

I still need to perfect my technique...

But I can definitely see more wire wrapping in my future.  Now I finally get it! I get why people enjoy this medium so much! 

Finally in the Bead-it-Forward world, there is lots happening.  I was inspired by a raffle we are holding at one of my restaurants and decided to hold an online raffle for Bead-it-Forward.  The auction is slow going, and I'd love to make a nice donation to The Healing Garden by the end of the year.  Tickets are only a dollar (less if you buy in bulk!), and you have a chance to win one of five gorgeous Bead-it-Forward quilts!  Click here to see the quilts available to win and to buy tickets if you would like! 

And there are some pretty lovely items in the auction page too!  Click here to check it out! 

Happy Friday everyone! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Time To Stitch 7 --- Bags

It's time for another edition of A Time To Stitch!! This fun concept is brought to you by my friends Therese of Therese's Treasures and Christine of One Kiss Creations!   And the concept is simple - they give you a stitch and you create something with that stitch.  In this case, they veered a little bit away from 'stitch' and more on result - which is bags.  Anything beady that is a bag!

I had a few false starts with this project and even started a needlepoint case that I had grand plans of beading but ......  when it came down to it, I went for something I could bring with me to a holiday craft fair I'm heading to today!

This pattern is an oldie in my files and I can't even remember where it came from!  There was also a cat with a pumpkin and a sort of seasonal!

Please visit some of the other ATTS participants today!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

We knocked out all our Halloween events last weekend and it was tons of fun!  My husband and I dressed as hippies from the 60's...and I realized it wasn't too far a stretch from how I typically dress, haha!  My son went as Doctor Who....if you're a fan you'll totally know which doctor he is portraying!

I signed up for a craft fair in November.  I haven't done a craft fair in years, but it's got me geared up at my bead table!  Here's a few things I put together in the past week:

The view is still glowing out my bead table window.  In spite of the lack of rain, we've really been treated to a lovely autumn so far!

Be sure to check in next week for A Time To Stitch (ATTS) reveal day on November 6!!!   Correction - ATTS reveal day is on the 21st!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sabine Lippert's Lovely Designs

Back in March, I became the proud owner of Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies: 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects ( )! This book is fantastic and has so many great projects and I've been busy dabbling in a couple but haven't had a chance to blog about it. The first project I tackled was Nathalie's Pendant:

Next up was another in blue/silver:

The next one I rushed in making and accidentally did only three sides and inadvertently ended up with a triangle.  I think it made its way into my sons pocket (he loves kidnapping my rejects to keep in his pocket!) and it got a little rough around the edges!

Last week I opened the book again and started trying out the Scheherazade pendants! Once again I am thrilled with the results!

I absolutely love these two projects.  Sabine's instructions are fantastic and these projects work up pretty quickly.  A beautiful combination of cubic raw and netting!

In other news - autumn is presenting itself in its full glory here in New England!  Weather was warm earlier this week so we took the kayaks out and it was really spectacular!

Also - here is the maple tree in front of one of the restaurants where I work.  I feel so lucky I get to work here and see this beautiful scenery!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2015

On the Beading Table

Well...the hurricane I was hoping for never really showed itself last weekend.  In fact, the whole weekend only produced one rain shower.  But beading was in the cards for me anyway and I sure got to it! I'm still obsessed with the Swarovski rivolis as you can see....

I am also proud to say that I got started on my ATTS challenge piece!  It's the eighth round of this fun challenge hosted by my friends Therese and Christine and the theme is "What's Your Bag?":

I love that there is a generous lead time for this challenge and it's been on my here I go!!  Check back on November 21 for the reveal!