Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beading For A Cure 2011

Summer is coming to a close, and boy have I neglected my blog! I had a big case of beader block earlier on this summer, and managed to get a few things done that had deadlines, but I havent stopped to update here. Boy oh boy am I overdue!
I managed to get my BFAC piece done on the due date, and get it mailed off. Thought I would try to get back into the swing of things by posting some pics! I named it 'Xylia' which means woodland, or wood dweller. The colors this year were blue, green and brown which are not my favorites, but I managed to find a stone focal bead that worked well with them. I think it is a Jasper, but I am not sure. I also added a bunch of volcano swarovski rivolis to add that extra sparkle.
It is 18" long, with a 38mm focal piece. The fringe is 2" at its longest. I like the way it all turned out, and the colors ended up being fantastic! I think it has a woodsy, outdoor-ish feel, hence the name.
I bezelled the focal, and all the rivolis with peyote stitch. Then I connected them all with swooping strands of beads (boy that sounds silly). I added most of the odd sized beads to the fringe.
Finished it all off with a peyote toggle using the swarovski sequins on the ends of the toggle bar. I originally thought of bead embroidery because of those sequins, but went the route of beadweaving instead.
I really like to participate in BFAC not only for the challenge, but because of the donation. Cancer (colorectal in this case) has affected almost everyone I know in some way or another, and I am proud to do what I can to help find a cure for it. Please check out the Beading for a Cure website ( for more information on how you can get involved either through participating in the challenge, or maybe helping by buying one of the items when they are auctioned off in March.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grandmas Cameo

When I was notified of Artbeads new design challenge, I was thrilled! "What was old, is new again" gave me the perfect reason to bust out my box of Grandmas old jewelry. There were quite a few cameos, but I chose my focal piece because it looks like it is actually carved and not just molded. As I continued to dig through all the goodies in the box I found a pair of old clip on earrings that matched the colors in the cameo. I clipped off the back of the earrings, and decided that they looked best right under the cameo. Here's a picture of the old parts of my necklace, the cameo in the middle and the earrings right under it (with the three little rhinestones in them).
Then I started to browse the Artbeads website. Boy they have TONS of stuff! I decided (after many hours and what seemed like days) that I needed some swarovski rivolis in light peach which beautifully picked up the same colors of the stones in the earrings. Then I decided to order a pair of their cameos which I placed at the clasp.
I'm very satisfied with how the whole piece came out, and I think that it would make Grandma happy too! She was big on re-using items (in particular, wrapping paper and old greeting cards) and if she could see what kind of company her cameo was with now I think she would be impressed!I set out originally thinking I would make it all shades of brown, because the cameo looked like it was a shade of carnelian. After adding the earrings, and deciding to use the light peach rivolis to match, the necklace started to take on a whole new color. I added some swarovski sun margaritas, some peach pearls and seed beads in every color I could think of including copper, gold, and brown. I think adding lots of lighter colors brightened the whole thing up and I cant imagine what it would look like if I had stuck with just brown. It was so much brighter and happier then I think brown would've been!
Here is a shot of the cameos from Artbeads. They came as a set, one of them facing in each direction, which is one of the reasons I decided to put them at the clasp.
What I didn't mention earlier is that I decided I didn't want to ruin the integrity of the cameo pin. So I didn't cut the back off and glue it down to my interfacing, I left the pin intact and pinned it to the interfacing. I cut out little holes for the working parts of the pin so that when it sits on the interfacing the back is all flush. Then when I glued the Ultrasuede to my interfacing, I just left an open space where the pin is that is glue-free so that if I ever decide I want just the cameo again I can just unpin it!
* disclaimer - all products provided by Artbeads are free of charge for my opinion of said products whether good or bad. No compensation was given.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Turn up the heat!

Back in January, I was contacted by Artbeads letting me know the topic of their next blogging for beads program*, Winter enchantment. We were to design a piece that represented what we found beautiful or inspirational about the winter season. And to me, there is NOTHING inspirational or beautiful about it. I can sum it all up for me with four simple words...TURN UP THE HEAT! I freeze my booty off all winter long, so I made a necklace that would warm things up. A ring of flames! I started with a teardrop pendant (swarovski of course), which I bezelled, and then brick stitched into a flame shape.
Then I took 30 swarovski teardrop beads, and brick stitched around them to make lots of little flames. You might recognize this pattern from Diane Fitzgerald's "Beading with Brick Stitch book." Its the paisley pattern (but I think they look like flames)! I even made a paisley toggle to finish it off! The beads are all silver-lined so they REALLY sparkle, and of course the crystals help the sparkle factor too!
Now this next one is something I made when the etsy-beadweavers were doing their "Fashion through the ages" challenge. I didn't take part in the challenge because I came up with this four days before the deadline. Lots of people were posting their entries which were inspired by the fashion from their youth so I started thinking about what I wore when I was younger...

Everyone wore studs when I was younger. I hung out with the "punk" kids, and lots of people had jewelry or belts made of black leather with silver metal studs on them. I think my husband still has one of these belts hiding in the closet somewhere!
So a band of matte black delicas with silver metallic studs was born...and I really like it (just like I did back then)!

*disclaimer- all products recieved from are free of charge in return for my honest opinion of the product

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Along the Garden Path

In the spring, when the flowers are just starting to bloom, a walk along the garden path is a little different then summer. You can see the cool grey color of the stepping stones, and the pale vines and soft purple flowers come alive against the cold stone finish. The grey color used in this necklace was the color I chose to work with for Margie Deebs spring color report. I'll admit, I wasn't happy the prettier color were all taken, and what I was left with was the color of cement! But I think I did pretty good with it anyway, right?
I was originally going to do the whole necklace using silver shade rivolis, but then I was browsing the Artbeads site, and I found the most perfect thing! The "Divine Rock" is what it was called, and it fit perfectly into my stepping stone idea! So I bezelled the rivolis, and the rocks, and set them up into a pattern I really like!
I added some green vines, with pretty purple flowers (star flowers from Diane Fitzgeralds "The Beaded Garden"). They kind of weave around the stepping stones, and add a little bit of color to the otherwise very boring grey!
And of course I ended it with a beaded toggle, like always! I was happy to send it off, and be done with it (it caused me to lose much sleep!).