Monday, June 19, 2017

One Year and Two Days

This is not the most exciting picture I will ever post, nor is it a piece of jewelry to oooh and ahhh over.  It is color and design.
A year ago this past weekend, on June 17, 2016 I packed for a Maine vacation.  I was exhausted and worried I wouldn't sleep.  The night before a trip is always a sleepless night.  BirdMan was next to me in bed, watching a movie, passing in and out of sleep.  I got the beads out and beaded this dainty little zigzag stitch right onto my wrist.  No clasp, no beginning, no end.  He didn't even know I was weaving until I sparked the lighter to burn the thread ends a bit.  I figured it would last for the week we were in Maine and fall off, but nope.  Then late August came and we moved The Bug to college and I knew it would break off that day, as we loaded and unloaded a seemingly endless truckload of boxes.  I had a premonition that she would find it in the stairwell and use it as a bookmark.  But when we arrived home that night, it was still on my wrist.  Once September 17th rolled around, I couldn't believe the C-Lon thread endured a whole season of chlorine pools, freshwater glacial lakes, the salty Atlantic Ocean, and lots and lots of sunshine.  And I started to mildly mourn, as I knew the end must be near and I would no longer see it on my wrist.  But months passed.  And on the 17th of each month, Sunshine Girl would tell me that if it lasted a year, I had to do a blog post about it.  So Here We Are ~ Me, Miyuki Seed Beads, and C-Lon Thread ~ One Year Later.  A few times over the past year, I said, "If I knew it was going to last so long, I would have made something fancier or used red or black and gold or something with a bit of punch to it."  Sunshine Girl insisted it was the perfect color and the perfect stitch and nicely understated for everyday wear.  The beads and the C-Lon look as good as they did the night I  made it.  No wear, no stretch, no fray, no discoloration.  I wonder if the end is near or if I will be writing a two year post?

Quickie Nighttime Cell Phone Photo

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Always Ready for Ice Cream

I went out Treasure Hunting with my Dear Friend and her Mom.  One of the places we stopped at had this little sweetie ~ Mother-of-Pearl and Sterling Silver and the price was just right, so it came home with me.  The iridescence on the M-O-P is quite beautiful, though the camera had difficulty capturing that soul.  Fleur was so proud to wear this for a bit!  She often steals the spotlight from the jewelry she models, but we were able to make her beautiful colors work with this photo.

My initial thought was to make as skinny a spiral rope as I could possibly make as the neck strap and to make it  L  O  N  G to triple it around the neck.  I wanted it to mimic the look of the spoon handle.  By the time I got a mere 2 inches into weaving the chain, it was apparent that the chain was going to distract from the spoon.  So I went light and lacy instead.

At this point, Fleur was quite perturbed when I covered her up for this picture.  She doesn't ever feel the need to hide her colors.  She let me snap this one picture then she abruptly ended the shoot.  Diva.

You still cannot see the gorgeous iridescence in this photo, but rest assured it is there!  

Monday, May 1, 2017

UFO Blog Hop ~ May

Karen Williams  put out the call for another UFO Blog Hop and I signed up again.  I had another four projects in mind, but only got one done...and it wasn't even one of the four I had planned on doing.  Ain't that the way beading usually goes?!

A while back, I made this square to send to Amy for her Bead It Forward event.  My square turned out too big to send, as I used size 10 Delicas instead of size 11 Delicas.  So this botched square just floated around my workshop and house, with no particular purpose.  I came across it a couple weeks ago and thought, "Hmmm, I think THIS will be my UFO project!"

So I took this

And I beaded a cobalt AB back

And I added my Gram's Adventurine Beads as Fringe and on the long neck strap

I had JUST enough of those cobalt AB Delicas to finish the back of the bag and neck strap.  There was not one left when this was finished.  I had them for 10 years and never used them until this UFO project.  It is not a color I am comfortable using.  And obviously, I cannot seem to photograph it too well either.  I am glad I finally used them up.  I do like how Gram's beads are rather washed out.  It makes the amulet bag it should :-)

Here is the list of all the UFOers...we are all trying to get our projects to the finish line, no matter how many years they take :

Karen Williams, Baublicious
Francie Broadie,  FAB
Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Liz Hart, Treetop Life
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Hope Smitherman, Crafty Hope
Christi Carter, Sweetpea Path
Bobbie Rafferty, Beadsong Jewelry
Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It's Full of Books

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rocks Off On The Last Hump Day in April

 I've been beading rocks like my sanity depends on it.  And I do believe it does.

I am currently working on something different from what I have done before.  If it works out, I'll post it in the next couple weeks.  It will either be a Hump Day post or a WhatTheFriday?!? post, depending on how confident I feel about it when it is complete.

These are two of the better ones from the past week.

Lake Michigan quiet beauty.  Side A.  

Side B...or A...your choice! 

Gram's Button, Lake Michigan Rock, Netting, Miyuki Seed Beads and Delicas.

Lake Michigan Rock, Side A

Side A  ~ those lines!  

Side B ~ lots of lines and a little pothole. 

Gram's Button, Lake Michigan Rock, Ladder Stitch, Peyote Stitch, Miyuki Seed Beads and Delicas, Bugle Beads.  

I always bead with an A Side in mind, but often B becomes the A Side for me.  In my youth, I bought 45's by the dozens at Sam Goody's.  I'd come home excited at the prospect of blasting Bruce Springsteen's "I'm Goin' Down" over and over and over again until the record was too scratched and warped, only to find the B Side ~ "Janey, Don't You Lose Heart" ~ was a MUCH better song.  Same with buying "Cover Me"..."Jersey Girl" was the B Side.  Come contest!  My music taste has evolved, but my being seduced by the B Side  of ANY item is as consistent as the day is long.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Say It With Me : Rocks off On Hump Day!

The weeks since the last post have been rough, so when I set my hands to beading again, I had to use rocks.  They are healing.  And we all need healing, whether times are good or bad.  We all need healing.
Settling into rocks, Gram's buttons, simple beading...I feel like I belong in this space, with these materials, using these techniques.  It is not elaborate.  The materials are not expensive.  Each rock is a bit of a puzzle as to how I am going to bezel it.  The chains take ten times as long as the bezel because I can never decide how I want the beads to go together.  But in the end, I am soothed and happy with the rock necklaces I create.

When I started out, that line down the center excited me.  So I considered this the A-Side.

But then the B-Side really started to grow on me.

Lake Michigan Rock, Miyuki seed beads and Delicas, charlottes, Gram's button.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rocks Off On Hump Day

It has been awhile since I got my Rocks Off ~

Here is a dainty little necklace I just finished in time for today.  I snapped a quickie before my day gets ahead of me and I never get this posted.  I need to get back to my real camera for blog photos.  It will never be my strong point, but I can give a little more than the cell phone photos.

Side 1 ~ Seed Beads, Delicas, Gram's button, Lake Michigan Rock

And the flip side, which I think I like better.

I had no intention of doing a rock today.  I was just messing around with beaded chain ideas.  I got about an inch into this chain and thought it would made a good base of a bezel.  I grabbed a rock, wrapped the little piece of beaded chain around it and I was right!  It is pretty much a square stitch chain and has enough give for cabs/rocks that are not perfectly round/oval.  I will certainly use it again.  Maybe I'll be back next Wednesday ~ sure hope so!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

UnFinished Objects Blog Hop

I was looking forward to this Hop, for so many reasons ~
   : I haven't participated in a Hop in 14 months
   : it would bring me back to my blog and to other people's blogs
   : it is a Karen Williams Hop
   : I thought I had SO many UFOs...but it turns out, I had a drawer and a few boxes full of botched stitch              samples OR a pile of pieces that only needed clasps.  There were a few actual UFOs and some were                 finally finished and some are next up on the beading table.

So here I am, the day before the Hop, trying to get my crap together with photos.  My daughter and I have whatever crud is knocking people out of commission lately and the 2" of snow that was predicted for today turned into 10".  I did not venture out into the workshop to adorn Fleur with necklaces to photograph them.  Instead, I dragged my sick butt into the window seat and took pictures on the backside of a game board.  Sorry about that, but it was all I could muster.  I did manage to take a selfie because that one necklace really did need a real neck to display it.  That was the only moment I felt human today.

First Up, cabs sent to me from Jasvanti ~ the incarnations they went through, what they finally became :

The left photo is from last March...a bracelet that seemed good in my head, not so good in execution.  It sat on the bead table for several months, was cut apart and turned into earrings.  The earrings were a total bust.  Then I made what you see on the right ~ a beaded chain, some beaded cabs, a pretty component that is either a shoe clip or scarf clip.   It sat in a box for months...until Karen put out the call to F our Os.

To finish it, I made more of the square stitch chain with delicas and size 15 rounds, added a lot of garnets and clipped that clip right in the center.  Check out the photo below ~ I found that interesting.

The next project was one Cynthia and I started and I never finished.  I asked her to teach me how to better fringe.  She gave me this gorgeous leather round with a compass stamp on it and the teardrops on the ends.  All it needed was a chain and I couldn't fully commit to what kind it would be.  The UFO Hop pushed me to finish a chain idea I had.  These crystal rondelles were the right color and size but I wanted them to seem like an old dug up treasure.  So I dulled their shine by filing off a lot of the finish.  Voila! I LOVE THIS NECKLACE and will photograph it again when I can easily and happily get to the workshop and hang it on Fleur.  It deserves a better showing.  I thought about another selfie, but that would have required a bra.  Sickness = NO BRA.  Not even for jewelry display.

Next up : beaded chenille stitch beads.  They have been sitting in an Altoid can for a couple years or more.

For the one on the left, I added matte hematite and garnet beads.  The one on the right got chunky glass beads.  They both got my Gram's buttons.  

Two or so years ago, Cynthia helped me practice bead embroidery around a cab...not my favorite thing to do.  This cab sat in a tin box for the two years.

 Last week, I beaded a garnet and picasso bead chain for it and made a peyote panel to sew it onto.  I finished it off with Gram's button.  I am pleased with this little sweetie!

I am going to stop now.  And take a nap.

Thanks for the push to clear out some projects, Karen...we needed it!

Here's the UFO Blog Hop List ~ Please take a look at what they have finished!

Karen Williams, Baublicious
Christine Van Dyke Altmiller, One Kiss Creations
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Therese, Therese's Treasures
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Liz E, Bead Contagion
Margo Lynn Hablutzel, My World and It's Full of Books
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Cathi Salzarulo Kent, The Cat's Meow
Liz Hart, Treetop Life

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Unfinished Objects ~ UFO Support Group Hosted by Karen Williams

Karen Williams is pulling together a UFO Support Group.  You know you have unfinished objects laying around.  They want to stop being objects and start being earrings, necklaces, bracelets, quilts, pillows, purses, poems, memoirs, recipe books, vases, mugs, trays, sculptures, tiles, wind chimes, mobiles, dream catchers, sun catchers, clothes, tables, benches, and the million other things you might be making.

This is one of my more recent UFOs and even this is nearing a year old.

I have UFOs that go back a decade.  This Support Group will be a great way to properly clear the worktable, unload those drawers, finally send the pieces beyond help to the chop, maybe even let some mediums completely go and let them find another home.  And with some focus and determination, maybe finishing UFOs will follow me into other aspects of my life.  One can only hope!!!

Please go over to Karen's Blog for sign ups ~ I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone brings to the table.

2017...the year of personally getting stuff DONE.