Beads, beads, beads...

Beads, beads, beads...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Screen Catchers

I had seen "screen bugs"  made out of the glass pebbles that you can buy in bags and came up with an idea for my "screen catcher" dragonflies.  Kind of a cross between a "screen bug" and a "sun catcher". Remember the stained glass sun catchers anyone?

Anyway we were having our Friday Bead Friends day at my house and a friend saw some of my screen catcher dragonflies and had to have some for Christmas gifts.  Their legs wrap around your screen and they look awesome when the sun reflects off of the crystals!


I use swarovski crystals so they really sparkle in the sun.

.. and from the front...

Blues and greens are my favorites!


They are a happy thing to look at especially out of your kitchen window!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Repurposed with Love

As I went through the boxes my son brought home from the end of his four years as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy I came accross his work uniforms.  I asked him if he wanted to keep them and he said no... the uniforms had his name and ID on them so I couldn't give them away.  I looked at the buttons and each button had an anchor on it.  I just couldn't throw them away. (...that is a problem for me...  at least I did something with them!)

I decided to make some jewelry from them for his favorite girl in the whole world!  He wore those buttons through lots of hard work and I knew she would appreciate them. 


I made an elastic chain bracelet and hung lots of buttons on it.  I also added their initials and a few heart and "love" charms.  The "love" charms are appropriate because that is what he calls her..."love"!


I also made some earrings from the buttons and charms.  They are not the same... drives some people crazy but I think it makes life interesting when things don't match!



One has a heart charm...

The other has a "love"charm...( it has "love" stamped on it really... sorry I didn't get that part in the picture)


She loved them and looks lovely wearing them.  We called the bracelet her "hoo-ray" bracelet.  That is a Marine thing.  It makes noise when she moves!

I am a happy momma knowing that someone else loves my boy as much as I do!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kumihimo Fun

I went to a Bead Show this summer and came accross something new to me...  Kumihimo braiding.


I found this at Linda MacMillan's Oak Grove Studio booth.   My friend Mary Lee was looking at the goodies in her booth and I was looking for Mary Lee so I stopped for a minute as Linda was demonstrating how easy it was to braid with a Kumihimo disk.   I thought it looked interesting because I like to have something easy and mindless to do in the evenings while watching television.  I have three dogs who want to be in my chair with me so I can't work on anything too complicated.  My mind is also about mush by then so I really don't want to have to count something...

I have been pleasantly surprised with this!  The first braid I made was with fibers that came with the Kumihimo kit that I purchased from Linda.  I used it in a neckpiece that I did for fall.  You can see it here intertwined in beads and fiber wrapped cord.


I also purchased a kit to make a beaded bracelet using the Kumihimo disk.  I love it!  I did have to count the beads when I set up the disk but didn't have to worry about counting anything after I had it set up!

Here is the bracelet I made.


So now that I have the hang of it I have been trying some other fiber combinations.  So fun!

This one is made with a multi colored yarn.

This one is made with the same yarn and with another similar yarn in a different color.


So then I got creative and added a silk frayed ribbon and some fuzzy yarn to the mix.  It actually makes a spiral when you use a different thickness of fiber.



Here is a photo of the three braids.



They are about a 1/2 inch in diameter.  I am not sure what I am going to do with them yet but I really enjoyed making them.   To learn more about Oak Grove Studio check out her web page.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

ABS October Challenge

I love the artwork for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge!  The picture is fun and interesting.  I know that many of you do not like the literal interpretation of these so much but I work with polymer which so lends itself to being literal.  So like it or not I joined in the challenge this month.  I enjoyed making the polymer hedgehog the most.  So here is my interpretation of "A Hedgehog in a Landscape ".


The painting was done by Giovanna Garzoni who was one of the first female artists to do still life paintings.  She lived from 1600 to 1670 and painted this picture sometime between 1643 and 1651... certainly along time ago!




So I got the hedgehog, the acorns and the snail in there.  I used metal leaves from a recycled necklace.  I also get my fiber from the thrift store usually so this piece is a little bit "green"!





I finished the back with a wooden bead for my Hedgehog in a Landscape neckpiece.


Hope you have a great Thursday!  And check out the other entries at the flickr site for the ABS monthly Challenge!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seasons Favorites

I have to say that fall is my favorite season.  Not sure why because I really don't like winter which comes right after fall.  I sure don't miss the snow and cold of Western Pennsylvania.  We get some winter in Delaware but not so much.  I enjoy the change of seasons and I love the colors of fall.  I suppose I always liked school too so maybe that is why fall is my favorite time of year.
I have been busy in my studio getting some fall jewelry finished.  I made some polymer beads in fall colors and shapes.  My favorite is this blackberry bead!


I put them on a neckpiece and  some  bracelets.... so warm and juicy!


Harvest Owl

I also included a kumihimo braid on this piece. 

The kumihimo braid is really fun and quick to do. 

Harvest Gathering

This bracelet is a chain with elastic through it.  It really swishes around with all of the dangles on it!


Seeds of Glory

These beads are strung on memory wire which always works well to display fun beads!
Happy Fall!  Enjoy the smell of cinnamon and apples and getting out your warm cozy clothes for the months to come!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party Today!

Melissa Mesera sent me some beautiful lampwork beads... so pretty.  She called them "Starry Night" beads which is a perfect name for them.  They are mostly dark blue and silver but there is a streak of green through the beads too.  I was able to make three pieces from the beads that she sent to me.  The first piece that I made was in a style that I have been doing alot of... I know we are supposed to be stretching ourselves and doing something different but I started with a process that speaks to me and then I branched out a bit and made a bracelet that was a totally different from any I have made so far.
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The neckpiece I made using fiber wrapped cord with a wire of beads entwined through it.  The green color of the beads is brought out by the lighter fiber that I used.  I just love this "Starry Night" piece!
Aren't these beads beautiful!

I then made some earrings from the beads as well.  They are simple but will compliment the neckpiece beautifully.

Then I got brave and started working with the rest of the beads to make a bracelet that does not have any fiber in it!!!  I used the beautiful clasp that Melissa sent me on the bracelet.  I am getting better at wire wrapping so I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  My 26 year old daughter liked it too.... for her to say that she would wear this bracelet made my day!




Thank you so much Melissa!  I really enjoyed looking at the beads while I worked with them.  They are mesmerizing and so interesting!  You can visit Melissa's blog here.  Her Etsy shop is  one-eared pig beads.  She has some beautiful jewelry in her shop.

To see what everyone else has done check out the list  at Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party .  Thank you for stopping by and joining the party!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party... I am ready!

It seems that life has pockets of busyness... mine has had a deep one the past few weeks!

 I am one to procrastinate and think that I can finish most tasks in half of the time it really takes to do them...  always ready to pull my hair out at the last minute!  So I am learning to work on projects a bit at a time to keep moving forward with them... and I was successful with this one!

I am ready for the Bead Soup Blog Party this Saturday! I finished working with the beautiful soup that my partner Melissa Mesara sent me.  Her blog is one-eared pig!  


 As it turns out my kids are coming home, we are going camping and I am missing an Art Show and a dinner party on Saturday.  Thanks to technology I  have my blog ready and scheduled to post on Saturday morning.  I won't be able to blog hop much until Sunday evening though.  I am so looking forward to perusing all of the creativity out there!

This is really a fun project! Again thanks to Lori Anderson for hosting this party!  There are over  350 participants from all over the world!  Check it out starting this Saturday.  There will be links to the lists of the blog participants on everyones blog.  Happy Thursday!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

TADA 365 Letters of Adornment

I post my work on Flickr and have joined the TADA365 group.  TADA stands for Totally Addicted to Daily Art.    We have joined together to do a "Letters of Adornment" art jewelry show.  I had the letters "F" and "G".  The reveal date of the show is September 19th and the website is TADA365.

The TADA365 flickr site is worth looking at... You will see a broad selection of creative pieces as you peruse this groups work.

My first piece is for the letter "F".... Flora, Fauna, Fantasy.


The idea for this piece came from a vision of a magical forest and the beings that might live there.  It has been fun working on this piece!  Hope you have a great weekend! 

BSBP coming soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Travels and Surprises

We spent the last ten days traveling to my hometown to attend the wedding of my niece.  It had been two years since I have seen many of my family members so it was really a special visit.  We drove the 350 some miles to get to Saxonburg Pennsylvania with our new camper in tow.  The wedding and visit were awesome.

 I am convinced that the creatures from the other dimension live in Western Pennsylvania... as we traveled the country roads that were lined with forests of trees that canopied over us I was sure I spotted some wee creatures.  We drove through the rain with the sun blinding us as the leprachauns created a rainbow to find their gold.  The roads are winding and narrow with lots of bumps and gullies in them.  My reaction to the terrain surprised me as I spent the first 40 years of my life there. I guess it is the result of living on the coastal plains for the last eight years.  Delaware is very flat and open for the most part.

We drove back east via Phoenixville Pennsylvania so I could meet my bead friends at the Interweave Beadfest show... we stayed at a wonderful KOA campground that was tucked back in an even more remote area than where I grew up.  I love camping!  I also loved the bead show.  My oh my... almost overwhelming!  I bought some fun stuff... like some wool and a felting needle and a kumihimo kit!  I have had some fun with both of them and will post some finished products soon.

When I got home from the trip I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me!  My bead soup partner Melissa Mesara had sent me treasures!  I love her Etsy shop One Eared Pig!  I was excited to see what she sent me.


The box came in the mail!

In the box there was a card and another box!

In the other box were bags of awesome bead soup!


Melissa makes amazing glass beads.  Van Gogh's "Starry Night" was her inspiration for these beads.  I love the color and the metallic streaks.


Definitely "Starry Night"!

 Love these beads and clasp to really make the soup taste good!

More starry night beads to add as well!

 
...and some "just because" beads that are so adorable... the mutant fish has three eyes...


He won't miss a thing with those eyes!

Thanks Melissa!  I can't wait to get started with this bead soup!  I love how creative and eclectic you are!  Even the card was awesome.  This is a picture of Neodymium Chandelier by Dale Chihuly.


Amazing!

Hope you all are having as much fun with this Bead Soup Blog Party as I am!  I am looking forward to see what everyone else creates!









Tuesday, August 9, 2011

BSBP Partners!

It is time to share our beads and get creative!  My partner is Melissa Mesara who makes amazing glass beads and jewelry!  Check our her blog and her Etsy shop One Eared Pig Beads!  Love that name!  Here is one of my favorites from her Etsy shop.

Green Raku Glass Necklace handmade by Melissa Mesara

The Bead Soup Blog Party is so much fun.  It is fun to put together the soup for your partner and fun to get a present from them too!  It is amazing how creative and inspiring everyone is.  Such a big group of participants this year too.  Thanks Lori Anderson for putting this together!  And thanks to Melissa for being my partner!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bead Soup Blog Party Time!

Wow!  362 participants in this Bead Soup Blog Party!  This is gonna be fun! 


Check out the list at Lori Andersons Blog Pretty Things.  Thanks Lori for all of your hard work on this!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Etsy Team Fun

Check out this Etsy Delaware Street Team Treasury...Summer Rainbow  !  My Purple Swirl pendant was included in it.




I enjoy Etsy. I don't sell much on there but I still enjoy it. So much creative energy out there!

Stay cool if you can!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Beads

I have made some big beads with polymer...  This bracelet reminds me of the Flintstones. I can see Wilma Flintstone wearing this with her one shoulder dinosaur skin dress!  These beads were made using cornstarch packing peanuts.  The packing peanuts I found were green not white. You need to read the label and make sure they are cornstarch peanuts if you want to try this technique.


The cornstarch peanuts will dissolve in water.  To make a big bead base you add a drop of water to a few of them and mush them together into a ball... well at least as close to a ball as you can.  Mine didn't seem to get really round.  You let the peanut mush dry.  You can then wrap clay around the peanut.  You need to poke holes through the clay for bead stringing as well as to get water in the bead to dissolve the peanut mush after baking. The hole needs to be fairly big but not too big.

I found that the beads were light weight but also that they could break if not careful.  You can of course make the clay thicker around the peanut mush. 

I also found it tedious to get the peanut mush out of the bead after baking.  It turned into a green slimy sludge that I had to blow out of the beads after soaking them in water.  It took several times of soaking and blowing through the beads... my jaws were hurting like when you blow up too many balloons... not so fun.

I am always interested in trying new techniques. So when I saw the big beads in this book I had to give it a try!  I purchased Ancient Modern Polymer Clay and Wire Jewelry by Ronna Sarvas Weltman.  I love her polymer work.  It is very organic looking. 



I made a necklace and some earrings using the technique in her book with aluminum foil as a base for the big beads. It worked well. The beads are light in weight and I could get a more round bead.


Something else I learned from the book... I used brown shoe polish to antique the beads.  I am thinking that Renaissance Wax and shoe polish are made from the same chemicals because they sure smell the same! It was interesting to learn some new techniques!