Friday, April 17, 2015

Therese's Lapidary

Therese of Therese's Treasures has been doing her own lapidary work and making cabs.  She had a giveaway for those that signed up for our A Time To Stitch Seven : Bead Embroidery.
Click here to see the giveaway cabs.
And click here to see her latest creation for the butterfly hop.  Jaw dropping beauty!
Who wants to be able to purchase these beautiful cabs?!  I do!  Therese, be sure to let us know when you set up a shop for these gorgeous stones!

Therese sent me a Candy Stripe Jasper cab.  She said when she was making it she thought of me because in her eyes, it looks like an Indian blanket.  I used that note as my color inspiration.  I was going to embroider it (due to the upcoming hop and due to Therese's love of embroidery), but in the end, I stayed true to myself instead.  I hope you approve of how I handled this lovely stone, Therese!

When worn, the neck strap develops a nice, unexpected twist in it, so it looks like a rope.  

All Picasso beads ~ rounds and twin hole 

In making this necklace, it occurred to me that one of the main reasons why I avoid embroidery so much is because I have the need to see the backside of stones, beads, metals.  I will flip a piece of jewelry over and look at what is going on "underneath" before I take in the front side.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pepita Birthday Butterfly Hop

Alenka of Pepita Handmade in Slovenia is hosting a Hop today.  The rules were simple : make something with a butterfly theme.
 I signed up and my mind was blank.  Totally blank.  As fate would have it, I met up with my bead buddy Cynthia, we went to a show, and I got these cool components from Kabela Design for my butterfly necklace.

I should have taken a photo of the completed piece before it went to the chop.  I made little cocoons.  But it was awkward and the proportions were all wrong so it had to go.  This was my second design and I love it!
Fleur wearing the Butterfly 

For these flowers, I did designs on each side of the metal so if is twists, there is no wrong side.  On this side, I put teardrops.  

And on this side, I made a seed bead design.  

I put large Matte beads in these other flower components.  I put the components back to back to there is no wrong side for them either.  I did a spiral for the chain.  

Cynthia gave me this button clasp before I bought the metal components.  I thought it was pretty but wasn't sure what I would do with it.  When the necklace came together, all I needed was a clasp and that is when I remembered receiving this little beauty!  Thanks Cynthia!

Butterfly :-) 

I made two-sided earring with the leftover flower components.

Happy Birthday Alenka ~ sending you loving thoughts for a happy, healthy year!

Please go see all the other Beautiful Butterflies :

1. Alenka (Pepita) - hostess -->
2. Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) -->
6. Christine Altmiller -->
8. Dini Bruinsma -->
9. Cynthia (Antiquity Travelers) -->
11. sheilaposter -->
16. Ana (ACBeads) -->
17. Jasvanti Patel -->
19. Nan Smith -->

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Behind the Scenes

 Magic doesn't just happen.  Well...sometimes it does, but not with my highly inspired necklace for Liz's Winter Blues Blue Goldstone Hop.  
 Upon receiving those magic donuts, I sketched out 6 different necklaces and settled into the one on the left.  I hated it the moment it was done.  I was channeling such a beautiful but brief event in my life and the translation went pretty far wrong.  I was wondering if I chose the wrong man.
I decided to be rational and sleep on it.  Before my head hit the pillow, I came up with a different idea I was SURE would work.  In the morning, I was hesitant to send Old Blue to the chop before I KNEW the new idea would work.  I ventured into my frigid workshop to collect some beads to make a sample necklace ~ the necklace on the right.  I was quite confident this was the way I wanted to go, but needed input before the chop.  So I got my cell phone, snapped the photo below and sent it to Cynthia. She gave positive feedback about both.  So I went for it...TO THE CHOP!

Using the above as my model, the below necklace came to be and did wind up possessing all the symbolism and emotions I was hoping for ~ waves, sound, water, sparkle, movement, peacefulness, and so on (as endless as the lapping waves themselves).

It is always hard giving a completed piece the chop.  There is always the nagging thought of "SOMEONE will want it, even though I think it is ugly."  But it is best to follow your gut when it comes to those pieces that just are not right.  A few times I didn't follow my gut and let the less than inspiring pieces remain as they were.  When I brought them to shows, I put price tags on them that said "Name a Price"  My very first tila bracelet sold that way.  The guy who bought it was giddy at the idea of it and looked at all my price tags to see if they all said that.  He only found one other with such a price that day :-)

For the sample, I will be naming my own price for the tag.  This is definitely one I kept whole because the sample turned out to be a keeper too.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blue Goldstone Blog Hop and The CC7A Circles of Love Blog Hop

Two Blog Hops in one day ~ we are busy beaders!

Liz of Bead Contagion is hosting the Blue Goldstone Blog Hop.  As soon as I read about the sign ups, I had to be in on it.  I saw two things in these Blue Goldstone donuts ~ one was my lover van Gogh and the other was a magical Fall night with my husband on my parents' lake.  When the beads arrived, I gave Vincent the boot and went with the husband.  Here is a quote by me that I posted on Facebook that September 26, 2014 night :
                      Tonight is kissed by magic...the lake is like glass, the sky is so full of stars and they are all reflecting off the water.  It looks like the stars are coming up from the bottom of the lake.  Bliss.....

So now you know what influenced this necklace.  It was a b**** to photograph, but I did my best.  I deeply love this piece.  Thank you Liz.  Without you, this would have never happened.

In the chain are drops of water, ripples, and waves.  

Look at the sparkle in these Blue Goldstones! 

The whole necklace had the flow of the Lake in it ~ water, waves, ripples, the stars dancing on the water ~ IN the water ~ but it lacked water sounds.  So I had these three smaller donuts lap up against the bigger donut.  

Please go see all the participants in this hop ~ I cannot wait to run around and see what they made!

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


The other Hop I am in today is a kickoff to another round of small monthly hops with the Creative Continuum of Seven Artists.

Alicia of All the Pretty Things put together this group of seven last year.  At the end of the year, she wanted more and we all said, "SURE! We'll do it again!"  She sent out little Circles of Love to each of us and asked us to make something with them for a March 28th reveal (a post office mishap prevented the United States participants from getting their circles, but we rallied and here we are, ready for show and tell!).  We will meet again on the 26th of each month to reveal something we made using our own photos as inspiration.

After you are done looking at my little Circle of Love here, please go see what the rest of the CC7A made:


And now, my Circle of Love with Cherry Quartz ~

After buying those Black Matte AB squares in November, I instantly regretted it.  But when the cherry quarts came into my hands, I knew why I bought those squares.  I just didn't know it at the time!  I like the look of the squares with the circle!  

Y necklace ~ simple chain of black matte and pink beads, with a few more squares thrown in.  

All coiled up with a button closure
Thanks for coming by for both Hops today and Thank You to both Liz and Alicia for hosting :-D

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Little More Freeform

Friday's blog post mentioned how my brother won a giveaway Karen Williams was having a celebration of her new book, Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading.  He generously passed those winnings on to me!  There were some beads left over after the amulet bag was finished, so here is what I made.  Sweet, simple, all Karen's beads (including that beautiful button), and oh-so-comfortable!  When I went to photograph it, I could not find it.  I looked EVERYWHERE.  It was on my wrist the whole time.

Beautiful Grey and a beige-lilac

LOVE that button!  

The waves were a freeform surprise! I intended to make a flat piece.  I am glad it did its own thing ~ it gives it character! 

Once again, Thank You Doug, Thank You Karen!  You made my winter less bleak :-D

Friday, March 20, 2015

Surprise Freeform Peyote Package

Karen Williams wrote a book called Explorations in Freeform Peyote Beading.  She had a blog book tour highlighting the artists that were in her book.  She also hosted a giveaway.  My brother stopped by Cynthia's blog the day of her leg of the blog book tour.  Through Cynthia's blog, he found Karen's blog and left a comment, not realizing it was a blog book tour or a giveaway.  Long story short ~ he won one of the prizes!  I thought to myself, "Well, I know what he will be sending me for my birthday! YAY!"...because what else is he going to do with beads?!  Sweet fella he is, he didn't make me wait and sent me the goodie package a couple weeks ago!  The photo of the winnings should go here...but I forgot to take one.  But before I show you what I did with Karen's beads, I have to tell you that I have been a winner twice before when Karen had a giveaway.  The one time, like my brother, I didn't even know I was entering a drawing!  And to win by association now really lit my fire to try something I have been pondering for twentysomething years now...with a freeform kicker.  To say it turned out like I imagined would be a lie.  But with freeform, that is just the way it goes!

ALL the beads in the amulet came from the winnings.  I added none of my own to the amulet.  It was a beautiful mix of purples and whites.  Gemstones, seed beads, and crystals.  

The chain is made with beads from my own stash.  Various glass beads with shells and flower designs, frosted white seed beads, and crystal AB peanut beads.  I did add the rock to the amulet bag too.  It is from my Manhattan Schist collection from Monmouth Beach, NJ.  

To say that this is difficult to photograph is an understatement! 

When I set out to make am amulet bag, I intended on putting a beaded flap and button over the front.  With it's asymmetry, this didn't seem to need it.  

Backside...which could be used as the front too!

I do not have new book Karen wrote...yet.  I do have her original Freeform Peyote Beading book, though.  I did get to see Cynthia's copy of the new book and holy-all-that-is-good-in-beading is it deliciously BEAUTIFUL!  

Thank You Doug, Thank You Karen.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!  

Next week I will show you what I made with most of the remaining beads!