Monday, November 4, 2013

Battle of the Beadsmith 2013

So this year I decided to try and enter the Battle of the Beadsmith!  I was honored to be accepted because there are so many fabulous artists involved from all over the country.  Actually it was quite intimidating to be part of it!  I decided to use emerald green crystals because it was the color of the year...also because they went so well with the beads I had picked up from my local bead store (the round coppery druzy looking beads).
 I was really happy with how it all came together, because I usually start out with no idea of how it will look!  I also beaded a design onto the back, so you could wear it either way.  My friend Jason Armstrong took these great photos for me.  He also supplied the model, which I didn't have.
 I didn't win, but Im not really surprised considering the amount of talent I was up against.  I was just so pleased to be able to participate that it didn't make a difference.
 Ive asked to be a part of next years battle, and Im delighted to say I was accepted!  I already have some ideas brewing, we'll just have to see where the beads take me!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pyroclastic Rainbow

I have been in such a funk.  I haven't been beading as much, and I certainly haven't kept my blog or my etsy store up to date.  After I got laid off from the bead store a year ago in June (right after Bead and Button) I turned into a hermit.  I sat here in my house in a little funk being depressed because I love to be surrounded by beads and beady people and my regular dose (work) was now gone.  How does one get out of this funk?  It has lasted too long, and I am trying to pull myself out of it, so here's a blog post to bring some life to this page.
I made this necklace to go with my favorite pair of socks that my Mom made for me (one of the best sock knitters around, if I do say so myself).  I just love the yarn, and the colors are a little bit of sunshine on my feet. 
I went into my local bead store (where I used to work) with sock in hand, to set out to find some matching beads that would go with my fantastic socks.  I also picked up some Swarovski crystals (Vitrial) from Beyond Beadery that would match, and tried to settle on a design.

 I started with the big 35mm stone, and tried to decide how to arrange the 12 18mm rivolis.  I really liked the way they looked when I stacked them, so I decided that would be perfect to frame the big stone in front.  The other 4 rivolis I scattered throughout the strap for some extra sparkle.
 I wanted to get a good graduation of color in the strap, and also knew I wanted fringe, so I used netting to make little triangles of graduated color to match the shape and color of the fringe in the front.
Of course I finished it off with a beaded toggle closure, because why add metal when seed beads can do the job, right?  It measures 16 inches, and has a wonderful amount of sparkle to it (thank you Swarovski!).  I've gotten a lot of compliments when I am wearing it, especially about the stacked rivolis.  Of course I always show people my socks when I am wearing it, and Mom wins her fair share of compliments too (thanks Mom!). 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sick of looking at the snow? Heres some sunshine for you!

Here comes the sun, (insert music here), here comes the sun... I say.. its alright (more music here).  Sorry, just burst into song sitting here in my office writing this.  It snowed a bunch last night (yay! snow day!) so I thought I would take some time to update again with another piece. 
Last years popular color was tangerine tango, so I wanted to make something monotone in orange.  I used to love orange when I was younger, but alas, growing up made me turn into one of those people that says, "I don't wear orange and neither does anyone else I know, so why is it the years most popular color?"

If you agree with me on that, maybe this necklace will make you like orange a little bit more?  I found some great orange Swarovski stones, the large round crystal is actually called Summer Blush, and the 2 smaller squares were Madeira Topaz. And even better, they looked great with the Swarovski top-drilled Hyacinth beads, and the 4mm round Hyacinth beads (also Swarovski) that I had stashed away after buying them from a bead store closing, long ago.  So I pulled together some seed beads, delicas, and bugles, and stumbled upon this design.
I wanted the focal to be asymmetrical (because I was trying to step out of my comfort zone), so I played with different combinations until this grabbed me! 
The top-drilled crystals always look better as a fringe or drop, so I thought I would try out some netting with them, all I needed was a base row to work from.  So I dug around through some of my books, and came across a necklace in the book Beaded Collars by Julia S. Pretl that had a great base row with bugles that I loved!  And of course the netting hung off of it beautifully, so it was a winner!
At that point, all that was needed was the clasp, so I whipped up a peyote circle, and made a toggle bar with the bugles in the same pattern as the base row.  So now that its done, Ill admit its not half bad color-wise,  and Ive even worn it once (because I do have an orange skirt hiding in my closet that comes out at least once a year in the fall) and received compliments! 
So maybe there are more people out there who are just still in the closet about liking orange, they just need to be stimulated (like me)!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Twins!! (and they glow)

When the (somewhat new) twin beads had come out, I knew I wanted to play with them to see if they were easy to work into beadwork.  After seeing what colors they had available, I decided to try the glow-in-the-dark twins because I have a strange liking of things that glow-in-the-dark.  Choosing the beads to go with them made me decide that ultra vibrant would be cool, because they would also look especially neat under a black light.  So I picked a rainbow assortment of matte beads, and some fabulous ultra purple swarovski stones for the focal.  I made this necklace, and let me tell you, it is BRIGHT!
I had seen lots of other peoples new designs with the twins, and set out to find my own way of using them (which is much harder then you might think)!  After playing, and ripping, and playing some more, I came upon something I liked that wasnt exactly like anything I had seen someone else do yet.  I started out with a swarovski 8mm tanzanite round, and kind of circled my way around them to make the little medallions that are used in the strap.
For the focal, I bezelled the 27mm and the 18mm stones, and wondered what to do next.  I started to add petals, because I love the way they look like a flower when done, but about halfway through I decided I didnt like it.  Instead of just starting over I decided to try something else for just half of it, and made netted spikes to finish it off.  Well who wouldve worked (I liked it)!  And better yet, they looked good with the medallions!

So I strapped the 2 big stones together, and whipped up a bunch more medallions for the strap.  I finished it all off with a beaded toggle that I think ended up looking great with it!  

At this point, I would like to let you know, that it is very hard (at least for me) to get pictures of glow-in-the-dark beads!  I wanted to get a picture so you would all know that I was telling the truth (not that anyone here has called me a liar before), and thought if I plan on trying to sell this piece, I should at least show the glowing in the dark photos to let you kind of see what they look like.  So heres the best of the 50 or so shots I tried, just so you can see!  I should also say that I dont own a black light, so that view I will have to leave up to your imagination (at least for now).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trying to get back into the swing of things...

  Let me start by saying, that I am so glad 2012 is over.  Last year was not a good year for me, especially in the creativity department!  Right after I returned from my first Bead and Button show, I was laid off at work, and at first it was a nice vacation.  But after awhile, it really started to settle in and I was depressed.  I really enjoy working at a bead store!  Talking with all the other beaders, teaching people how to bead (and getting them addicted, mwa ha ha!) and just being around the beads really helps get the creative juices flowing! 
  I was lucky enough to buy some new things (yay Beyond Beadery!) when I was working the bead shows, and have finally got around to taking the pictures...(I hate taking the pictures!!!)  I was thrilled when the spikes first came out!  I love a good spiked collar (thanks to my "punk rock" days) and thats the first thing I made!  It is a bead embroidered collar, with mostly black beads and a little silver just to stand out amongst the black.  The silver beads are a delica permanent finish, and the silver metal beads are sterling.  The pendant is a Swarovski crystal that I got in Tucson last year.

  Heres a clearer picture, and you can even see the facets on the crystal in this one!  I made it adjustable, because everyones neck is a little different, and I hate things that are too tight on your neck!
  I always like to take a flat picture with bead embroidery, just so you can really see the detail.  And taking this picture reminds me how irritated I was that I had to cut this piece of stiffened felt and the leather for the back on a diagonal across the fabric because of its length.  Now I have 2 triangles of fabric left over...grr, grumble, grumble!
  Of course heres a little bit closer view, and you can clearly see the spike on the end of the chain.  They are very easy to work with (the spikes) both flat on the fabric peyoting around them, or just peyoting them by themselves!

  One last shot of the back when its closed, just so you can see that view too!  I really liked these shiny black spikes (I have matte ones too) but I think I wouldve liked the metallic finishes (silver) even better.  They just werent available when I first got the black ones...
  So, now that it is a new year, I would like to try and get a little better at updating my blog, and listing on etsy.  Ive been slacking!  This is the first one to go, so if your interested go check it out on my etsy site.  And stay tuned for more pictures in the upcoming days of some other things I finished last year that I finally took pictures of!