Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blue Goldstone Reveal

A few months ago, Liz (of Bead Contagion) announced a blog challenge to overcome the winter blues.  She sent the participants a package of blue goldstone.  I was so excited when I received my package, I ran right to the local bead store to get some matching colors.


I played around with some ideas for the large donut that came in the package.



But finally settled on this color way.

I'd like to add some delicate gold chain to the piece but couldn't find any just yet that match the gold seed beads.

I attempted to make a pair of matching earrings.  They came out a little too much like little angels - not that there is anything wrong with that -  it wasn't quite what I had in mind, but I still think they are cute.

Finally - over the last few months, I have been drooling over Liz's beaded mandalas.  Go check them out if you haven't had a chance yet, she does magical things with those mandalas.  With her mandala's in mind, I used one of the smaller donuts to embroider a pendant.  Consider it a mini-mandala as a nod to Liz's beautiful work!

Thank you Liz, for your generosity in sharing this beautiful stone with us and for the fun idea of doing this hop.  There were several other participants.  Click on their names below to see what they created with blue goldstone! 
Liz (host):  Bead Contagion
Christine:  One Kiss Creations Beaded Jewelry 
Jasvanti:  Jewelry by Jasvant 
Cynthia:  Antiquity Travelers    
Bobbie:  Beadsong Jewelry
Therese:  Therese’s Treasures 
Amy:  Amybeads

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blogging from A-Z • Theme Reveal


I signed up for Blogging from A-Z again!  This will be my fifth (?) year!  I definitely have a love/hate relationship with this challenge.  I am pretty psyched to do it when I sign up.  The first few days...even the first couple weeks tend to go smoothly.  But then, the more difficult letters start creeping up and sometimes it feels like there is nothing to write about!  Also every year, I take a trip back to D.C. at the end of April for a charity golf tournament I work on (it's our tenth year - woo hoo!)...I try to write those posts well ahead of time and schedule for posting...but by the last week I am usually stressing myself out trying to get the posts out! haha!  Really  - this year I am definitely going to be ahead of myself.    


This year the A-Z theme will focus on my latest venture: Bead-it-Forward!  The theme is animals, and between the craft and the submitted animals, I suspect I'll have plenty of subject matter and no problem whatsoever finding a subject to match each letter!  It will be fun to highlight some of the fun squares that have come in for the project!

Blogging from A-Z has over 1100 participants this year.  If you visit the participant list, some have a category designation (mine is CR for craft).   It's a great way to find new blogs/friends that share your interest, or to find something new!   Click here for a list of participants for today's theme reveal blogfest!

Friday, March 13, 2015

T.G.I.F.

It's been a long while since a TGIF post!  It's been a crazy busy and productive couple weeks...my nieces are coming over tomorrow to help me process the remaining packages of squares....but tonight...tonight this gal is officially taking a break!

Those look like nuts in the ramekin, but they are actually roasted chickpeas (garbanzo beans).  Just rinse, dry, toss in a little olive oil and seasoning and bake at 400 for about 40 minutes.  Try it.  You won't be sorry!

In other beady news, I happened upon a fun repair job.  One of my girlfriends back in D.C. told me that a mutual friend of ours had recently gifted her with a beautiful beaded bracelet that he had picked up in Italy.

  She said the minute she put it on, the clasp started to break off and beads fell everywhere!

It was threaded with something similar to Nymo so I can see that the thread likely broke off near the crystals.  I'm hoping there will be enough room in the existing beads to reinforce the whole thing with Fireline. Luckily she was able to recover most of the beads.  And I think it's so cool that this gorgeous woven bracelet ended up in my hands having started over in Italy!  I'm curious to know if anyone recognizes the pattern?

Time to go catch up on some blog reading and enjoy my glass of wine! Happy Friday to all!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Beads, Bead-It-Forward, and more Beads

So.....if you follow the Bead-It-Forward Facebook page, you will see my life has been taken over by this project!! But I'm not complaining!!  I admit, it is a lot of work, but, thankfully my best friend is helping, and my nieces, and even my husband and son.  It is truly inspiring to see all the work everyone has put into this project and it is a delight to open every package!

This is a little glimpse of the goings-on.....packages come in....they are numbered, logged, photographed, and uploaded to the Bead-It-Forward website.

And in the 'my-heart-is-so-full' category, I've been the lucky recipient of so many lovely things in the past couple weeks!  Thank you Christine, Therese and Ana!  There aren't evnough words to show my gratitude for your generosity and thoughtfulness!!!!

To add to this - I was also lucky to be included in Liz's Blue Goldstone blog hop!  Participating in this hop meant a wonderful blue goldstone stash from Liz! Thank you Liz!! I've been playing with these like crazy already - and I'm chomping at the bit for the reveal on March 28!  This also gave me an excuse to dash off to the local bead shop to grab some coordinating beads!

I had a few custom earring requests these past couple weeks...

This is a design similar to the above design, except after playing around with the picot edging, it looks like the beads are twisting around the edge...

Finally - this cracked me UP.  Here is a picture of my iPad screen....see anything that doesn't belong?

Yup, it's a 15/0 seed beed statically clinging to the screen!

On a whole different floor than where I even keep my beads.  Haha!  Probably only humor that a fellow beader can appreciate!  Have you ever found your beads in a funny place?






Saturday, February 21, 2015

ZnetShows Icy Reveal

In case you haven't heard.....it's been snowing in Massachusetts!!! 
view of my deck circa blizzard #3

This New York Times article describes it perfectly - and the quote, "Driving is a game of blind chicken, because the intersections are blocked by 12-foot mounds of plowed snow",  really speaks to me! Every time I leave my driveway I fear I will get t-boned and pretty much all intersections really do inspire terror....  And, imagine that, we're getting six more inches this afternoon!   

In any case, being snowed in has done wonders for my beading time!  It was wonderful to be selected to contribute to ZnetShows' quarterly digital magazine Creative Spark (produced and edited by Hope of Crafty Hope)! What was even more perfect, is the theme for this issue was "icy".  Hah!  I didn't have to look far for inspiration!  

The stash ZnetShows sent me was full of gorgeous cultured sea glass.  

I was immediately drawn to the cone shaped cultured sea glass... perhaps because it reminded me a little of icicles.  But the big question loomed, how do I make it 'icy'?  I poured through my stash and saw that I also had clear Chinese crystal from ZnetShows!  

 I struggled with the two holes but then decided to just go for it and started beading around the cone.  Before long, a circular peyote strip formed and as I continued I added Chinese crystal...

I made some components on headpins, added them to some chain and voila! An icy pendant.  

Next up I couldn't stop looking at the long teardrop cultured sea glass.  Again I thought the clear Chinese crystal would complement it nicely and give it an icy feel!  

Imagine my delight when I saw this piece on the cover of Creative Spark!  (thank you Hope!!)

Finally - I just had to do something with those sand dollar and starfish made from cultured sea glass!! They were too gorgeous not to play with.  But let's face it - those were simply too hard to spin as 'icy'!! 

I have a few other pieces in progress, and will share those in the coming weeks.  Thanks again to Hope and to ZnetShows for including me in this icy issue of Creative Spark!   

This issue is full of amazing creations by all the contributors!  And one of my favorite features in the issue is an article called "Yoga for Beaders"!  It's great advice for folks (like me) who spend way too much time hunched over our beady projects!  

Here is a list of products used in these pieces:
S77-B881 Cultured Sea Glass teardrop round beads - opaque seafom color about 39x9mm
S84-B46 Culteured Sea Glass cone shape with double hole beads 46-opaque blue opal about 18x12mm
S03-46-ONE - Cultured Sea Glass round Beads 4mm 46-Opaque Blue Opal
 RS236-01 - Chinese crystal designer glass rondelle Beads faceted 16x12mm 01-Crystal -clear color    
P49-B23S Cultured Sea Glas and sand dollar pendants 21x19mm peridot
S27-B23xs Cultured Sea Glass starfish small beads peridot 20x7mm






Saturday, February 7, 2015

Winter 2015

I haven't blogged in a while, but I have been beading!

Here in New England, we've been absolutely pummeled by the latest snow storms.  We measured 30 inches back on January 27, another 14 inches on February 2, and another 6 inches this past Thursday!  And whoa - there is at least another foot of snow forecast to fall on Sun-Mon!!!!    My son certainly loves it....

But the dogs.....not so much!

I've been doing lots of beading.  I have been working on this bracelet from Sabine Lippert's Beadwork Evolution...."

This book is amazing, and it has caused me to develop a bona fide chaton/rivoli/crystal addiction!!

I also received an awesome stash from ZnetShows for an upcoming designer challenge.  I have already created one item and am in the middle of another, and have a third planned for this challenge!

There has also been a ton of Bead-It-Forward square production in my house! (and there is more to come!)

And also a lot happening here at Bead-It-Forward headquarters!   We've received a ton of new patterns over the last couple weeks.  So there is still time if you want to do a square.  This is one my my favorite patterns that came in last week!!  How cute is this little reptile?!  I don't know if I will be able to resist making just one!

Squares are trickling in.  Going to the P.O. Box has turned into a real treat anticipating another package might be there! 
http://bead-it-forward.com/gallery/


I have a lot planned for this storm.  I am going to finish up a couple more squares, finish up my ZnetShows challenge pieces, and work on a repair job from a friend.  Happy Winter!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Time to Stitch 6

It's another edition of A Time to Stitch (ATTS), round SIX, hosted by two lovely and talented ladies, I have the pleasure to call my friends: Therese, from Therese's Treasures, and Christine, from One Kiss Creations.
I was super excited about this round of ATTS because the objective was to follow a chart, and Therese and Christine were kind enough to highlight Bead-It-Forward, a charitable project I took over last year!! Here was a blurb about it in the latest Bead&Button.  Featuring a picture of some squares done by one of the beaders in Operation Tackle That Bead Stash, and the pattern was one that I created for last year's sea them! 
I had the pleasure of visiting one of Bead-It-Forward's beneficiaries earlier this week, the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.  The staff there was very excited to learn about the project and really enjoyed looking at (and touching - no one can resist) the squares.  After I explained that the deadline for squares was coming up in March and I expected to see hopefully hundreds, if not thousands of squares, one woman there asked me, "Who has the privilege of putting the squares together?"  I responded to her by saying, "Thank you for positioning it like that, because I really do feel like it's a privilege and an honor to get to see and touch every one of these squares and then get to help decide which ones will look good together!"  The visit bolstered my enthusiasm for this project, and it was great to have a group of non-beaders ooh and aah over the squares!  Not to mention, the Healing Garden is an exceptional facility providing complementary care and support to cancer patients.  Anyone submitting a square to Bead-It-Forward should feel absolutely great about the fact that the Healing Garden is going to benefit from the square(s) created!!!

Now....let's get back to the business at hand - sharing our ATTS creations!!!  With the holidays in the middle of the announcement and the reveal, I didn't get as many squares as I'd like to get done.... but I did do these two squares.  Each year I create a square in honor of everyone I know who is going through or has survived breast cancer.  Unfortunately that number grew to eight this past year.   I've done two squares already and I recently worked up these two squares for ATTS...


Recently I held a contest for Bead-It-Forward patterns.  One of our hosts sent in a handful - thank you, again Therese!!!  And also another southern gal, Stephany from North Carolina, made some patterns.  Here is her blog http://foggymountaindesigns.blogspot.com/ if you want to check out some of her creations of following her own chart.  In the meanwhile - here is a list of participants for this round of A Time To Stitch.
THANK YOU AGAIN TO Therese and Christine for hosting this FUN blog hop/challenge!