Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Watch Bands

Last Spring, I was in an antique store in Milford, PA and bought 4 old metal watch bands.  Two are silver tone, one gold tone, one copper tone.  A week later, I was in Target and saw Timex watch bands on clearance and bought them.  It took a while, but I started what has been simmering in my mind for too many months.  A gentle but unknowing nudge from Liz finally got this project off the ground.

First up is the RED HOT Timex band with a Square Stitch panel:

Size 8 brown seed beads, size 8 turquoise picasso seed beads, size 11 matte cream seed beads, red picasso super unos

Next is a Brick Stitch creation on a silver tone metal band:

size 15 turquoise seed beads, size 11 cream matte seed beads, size 11 & 8 black matte seed beads, size 8 red seed beads, czech beads

The final watch band bracelet for now (I still have a few left and will certainly pick up more as I find them as I am having Fun with this!) is a mix of inspiration from Cynthia.  She taught me a half-hitch knot with hemp and gave me this bracelet bar component from Blu Mudd.

I had no intention to blog today, but...Snow.  If not for snow, January would have only had one blog post.  So I guess it is good for something :-)

Stay warm, dry, and on solid ground, my friends!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Slight Learning Curve

I decided to shrug off responsibility yesterday and had a 15 hour bead-a-thon with myself.  I saw a twisted Brick Stitch on Pinterest.  So I followed the link to a free tutorial in some language other than the one I speak.  The photos were good so I tried it based on photos alone.  I was several hours in, wondering when it would get curly when it dawned on me that maybe I wasn't supposed to use all the same size seed beads!  So I  gently forced some curls with my hands ~ the ribbon of bead work happily submitted to my coaxing ~ then I added some fire polished beads for interest and decided for the first time in my life to make a bangle. Voila!

I went back to the bead table and ran size 15 down the outside and size 11 up the middle, thinking it would bring on an instant curl.  Again, it needed to be coaxed.  I went for earrings this time. 

Nothing but snow so I think it will be a day of beading, cocktails, cooking, and cribbage. Tomorrow is looking like it might be the same kind of day.

What are you working on this weekend?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Time To Stitch 6 : Charts

The first post of 2015!!! If not for this Hop, I am not sure when I would have posted again.  I am not highly motivated these cold, grey days in winter.   But here we all are, ready to Hop around, see some beautiful beads at this Using a Chart Event:

I decided to make a few 1.5x1.5" squares for the Bead-It-Forward charity that takes these little squares and turns them into little quilts, ornaments, and shadowboxes.  Once they are finished, they are auctioned off and all the proceeds go to Breast Cancer charities.   You can find the guidelines for donating here.  Amy of Amybeads now runs Bead-It-Forward and I used her free patterns.  They seemed like charts I could read.  And I could!  
One thing about reading charts, at least for me, was the S.L.O.W. pace of the project...that, and as Cynthia and I discussed for the picture graphs, there is no allowance for the occasional spirit bead!  There is not a more "oh deary, deary me" feeling than when you get 2/3 done with a little square and you see a mistake way back in row 6.  

When I set out to make some of the squares, I instantly grabbed size 10 delicas.  Still not sure why my mind went there, but it did.  Here is what my square looks like:

photographing beads with an AB finish is so AAARRRGGGHHH
When I measured it, it was larger than the guidelines required.  It took me way too long to figure out I needed to use size 11 delicas.  No excuses other than my brain stopped functioning for a few days.  So here is it along side the proper size delicas, so you can see the size difference:

Here are the next few I did, threads still on until I get them mounted on the Lacy's Stiff Stuff, as per the guidelines:

love this AB Matte!!!

All these dragonflies were done in 2 Drop Peyote.  I broke out of that and into Square Stitch to do a Hummingbird.  While the Square Stitch charts are easier to read since the rows line up perfectly, the piece takes longer to do and there is more thread visible.  Here is it held up to a snowy window ~ love the glow it gives :

And it laying flat (which is the last photo of the post so you can move on to the next person on the list ) :

Thank You to Amy for allowing us to use her patterns and for taking on Bead-It-Forward.
Thank you to my partner, Therese.  I couldn't be mildly organized for these hops and I wouldn't grow as a beader without you :-) 
And thanks to you guys who sign up for our challenges.  You make it fun and easy!  It's Just Beads, after all.

Please go see what all the other A Time To Stitch Sixers made:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Whoops!!! Hop

"Well, I'm Upper Upper Class High Society
     God's Gift to Ballroom Notoriety

And I Always Fill My Ballroom
The Event is Never Small

                                                                     The social pages say I've Got The Biggest Balls of All"

Quote and earworm compliments of Bon Scott, Angus Young, and Malcolm Young.

The glass pearls are from ZnetShows.  Znet sent them to Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers, who didn't realize how big they would be when she placed her order and wasn't sure what to do with Such Big Balls.  So she decided to send her Balls out ~ 3 pairs each ~ to six other jewelry ladies.  Please take the time to check out what they made with their Big Balls.

Christine (c'est moi)

I am sure glad Cynthia is iffy with the size of Balls she gave us all a change to have a little fun :-D

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rocks Off On Hump Day

Hump Day...Happy Accident Hump Day!  This was supposed to be a smooth, thinner black rock, but once I made most of the bezel, it stopped fitting.  So I went through a whole vase full of Lake Michigan Rocks and came up with this one that fit.  I love these moon rocks (actually called Stink Stones, but I like my name better!)

I made this with seed and twin hole picasso beads.  When I bought the seed picassos, I thought I bought more than enough.  That was a month ago...and I am almost out of them. I am not sure how I am going to hang it yet.  But I wanted to do a hump day post so I didn't wait for completion.  Patience is not my virtue.  Not in the least.


Oh Those Picassos!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Lackawanna County

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Feels Like An Old Friend

Cynthia's post with the stacked bracelet sent me out into the workshop to give it a go. I was trying it with some small trade-looking beads she gave me once.  I thought it would look cool.  And it would if someone more competent was making it. For me, it was a colossal fail.
I wanted to keep beading but was at a loss as to what to do next.  Then I had a moment : all I could think about was some leather Cynthia gave me that was left over from a chair she upholstered.  She has been working with leathers a lot and I guess it seeped into my brain.  So I pulled out her leather, cut a swatch, and instantly pulled out these matte cream beads and red beads Liz gave me and started brick stitching.  I doubled my thread and used the thickest needle I had ~ a size 12 ~ that barely got the job done.  I wanted to use a rock for a closure but in the end opted for this mother-of-pearl button from my Gram's stash.  It was the first time I tried beading on leather.  I know it is only edging but I am proud of it anyway.

A few visits ago, Cynthia pulled out a book she wanted me to look through ~ Beading in the Native American Tradition by David Dean.  When I finally looked through it, my jaw hit the floor.  Most of the book is about the beadwork collection owned by Charles Eagle Plume, whose store/museum I had gone to a few times in my Colorado days.  It is located on Route 7 in Allenspark, Colorado.  Charles Eagle Plum was there to greet us and give us ghost beads and show us each item we laid our eyes on.  The beadwork, inlay jewelry, dresses, blankets, pipes were all there for us to gently hold, and a fair amount of it was for sale.  My friend got me a gorgeous turquoise bolo tie there.  It was a magical place, mostly due to Charles Eagle Plume himself.  Cynthia had no idea about my connection to Charles Eagle Plume...she just thought I would enjoy the Native American beadwork and maybe play with some of the stitches.  I ordered the book for myself and have gone cover to cover several times.  It is intimidating to start some of those stitches...even  more so to try them on leather.  So I started small for a change.  I love the results!

If I sew onto leather more, I need thicker needles (if they will go through the beads) and a thimble.  The eye side of the needle went through my finger a few times, mixing my DNA with the cow's, I suppose.
And I will need to figure out what my problem is with the camera/computer sudden incompatibility, because these cell phone photos are not good.  The table cloth doesn't help either.  But I wanted to get this up before I have to bake and shovel snow.  We are all friends here ~ I know you will forgive my crappy photos.

 The more I look at this on my wrist as I type, the more it looks like chair leather.  The creases and give and is the corner chair I would surely claim as my own if it were in my house.  It is the one I would kick people out of if they were sitting in "my chair" and I was ready to rest my weary bones.  It is a warm embrace and a comfort.
It is Cynthia and Liz, Colorado and Charles Eagle Plume, Gram and Beads.