Monday, March 9, 2009

Etsy Beadweavers March Challenge

The entries for the challenge are in! They are as always simply beautiful, creative and amazing! Etsy Beadweavers took the time and have the talent to create these inspiring challenge pieces! Tiny little beads and a needle and thread along with incredible patience bring these selections to you to vote and choose your favourite.
You can click on the item in the text list below the mosaic which links to the Etsy Shop listing of each entrant where you will see more detail of each piece! Be sure to go to the Etsy Beadweaver blog on the 9Th when the poll will be available for you to cast your vote, February 9Th thru the 15Th!
l. Sunset Necklace - HannahRachel
Voting begins on Monday, March 9Th and ends midnight March 15Th. Show your appreciation for the efforts of these amazing artists and take on the difficult task of voting for your favorite. (The ballot will appear on the side bar on the right on March 9Th.) Again, the individual pieces are listed below the mosaic where you can visit each entry for more information by following the link. Thank you, enjoy and be sure go to the Etsy Beadweaver blog to vote between March 9Th and 15Th!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Birthday

Boy my family has a lot of spring birthdays! They have been keeping me very busy making birthday presents. March 8Th is my Aunts birthday, and I made this necklace for her. I bezeled a petoski stone for the focal piece, and a spiral rope for the necklace. It is done with many shades of brown, and padparadscha Swarovski crystals.
I picked the petosky stone, becuase my Aunt , who is from Michigan, now lives in Connecticut. She loves Michigan things, and as far as I know, petosky stones are not available in most other states. I really love how this turned out, and I am really glad that she likes it! This is also the first front closure I've ever done, and I think I like it enough to do it again!
Happy Birthday Aunt Nan!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bead Store Temptation

I had no intentions of participating in the Etsy-Beadweavers March challenge, because I had no good ideas for their theme "Temptation". And then I got my tax return, and took a trip to the bead store! I wasn't even shopping or looking for anything to fit this challenge. And then I saw them. Three 35mm agate beads...and I HAD to have them! I had no game plan or idea for which to use these beads, so I took them home and started to play. The beads spoke to me! They guided my hand as I created this necklace...and this is what it evolved into...I managed to get it done, and get it listed right on the deadline day! WHEW! I think it turned out quite well...don't you? If you LOVE this necklace, don't forget to stop by the etsy-beadweaver blog and give me your vote, March 9Th thru the 15Th. I also whipped up this necklace for myself (I need new jewelry to wear at the bead store while I am working) using St. Petersburg chain, and this lovely focal bead by my brother, Anderson Coats. I used to tell him all the time that there was money to be made in the bead industry (he did glass blowing, and lampworking) but it wasn't a priority at the time. He told me this is the first bead he ever made (he's made lots more now!) and he thought I should have it (yea!).I also got my squares for Jeanette Shanigans bead quilt done, and mailed off. Every year she collects squares from different beaders from all over the world, and assembles them into "quilt" and then they are auctioned off at the annual Bead and Button show. This years theme was hearts.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Products

Have you seen the ads in the beading magazines for this new thread, Wildfire? I was curious, how it would be different from whats on the market right now. I am a die hard Nymo fan, and am not to fond of Fireline, so I wondered whether I would like this product. After much use, I decided I DO like it better then Fireline, but Nymo is still my favorite choice. Wildfire describes itself as "super strong, waterproof, and zero-stretch...will not fray at the ends...features the strength and durability of DandyLine with a smooth, thermally bonded coating". When you look at the Wildfire real close up (much closer then my camera could take a picture of), you can see that it is a nice supple thread, with a coating over it. This coating is kind of "rubbery", making it a little hard to cut through, and a pain to thread a needle with. As I said, I still prefer Nymo (old habits die hard?), but am glad I tried this out.
This was my first time for using the ZambaPro beading wire also. It comes in one of those neat clamshell packages, which are great for storage. I don't really have preference for beading wire, but I did like that this ZambaPro wire didn't feel like it was to heavily coated with nylon like SoftFlex. My sisters birthday was February 3rd, and one of her presents was this beaded belt. I think it was perfect for this application because it is strong, and flexible, which hopefully means she will get a lot of wear out of this belt. I also used it on my nieces Hello Kitty necklace I made in February, but I doubled it up, because I know how hard on jewelry young girls can be. I tried out these new "hybrid" beads at made by Toho. The beads are made by the Japanese Toho Bead company, and then shipped to the Czech Republic where they were given traditional Czech glass finishes. I got a good assortment of colors, finishes and sizes, and decided to embroider an eyeglass case for my sunglasses(I rarely make things for myself). I thought this would be a great way to decide how well these finishes will last when they are constantly being rubbed against.
Since I was making this for myself, I dug around in my stash of turtle beads, and picked out a couple of turtles to use for my case. I also used a cab that I made many years ago when I took a lapidary class(the big green stone on the right). After much beading, this is the case before I put it together.
I really enjoyed beading with these beads. The finishes were unique, and beads were pretty uniform in size. There was not much need for culling. My favorite out of these ten colors would have to be the "copper penny" which was bright and shiny, just like a new penny from the bank. After I glued the embroidery to my old sunglass case, and finished the edges, this is what it looks like. Here's the front...
...and this is the back. I've had this put together, and have been using it for a week or so, and so far no signs that the finish is coming off (and this case gets moved around frequently in my purse). The metallics are still shiny, and the flecks are still discernible on the stone finishes. And if they don't yet have available that exact color , size, or shape that you need(hopefully they will be adding more options for these hybrid beads) you can still get all sorts of other seed beads from ArtBeads, stop by and check them out!