Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Variations on a Theme with Pearls, Adventurine, Amethyst and Rose Quartz

A couple posts down I wrote about an amethyst, aquamarine and rose quartz lanyard necklace I strung and then re-strung. I liked the color combination so much I wanted to do another, complimentary piece. The larger beads are adventurine, amethyst and rose quartz. I used small sterling silver rondelle spacers from and silver bead caps I found at Global Beads.

The pearls are very nicely shaped freshwater cultured pearls I picked up last winter when I was down in Orange County. It's about 29" and very light - perfect for an eyeglass lanyard/leash, or just to wear as a necklace with the other lanyard.

I had a large rose quartz donut in my box of pinks and a large snap back bail that fit it, so I thought I'd see how that looked. Not sure it will work - the donut is very pink and the beads in the lanyard necklace are very pale. But the bail slips on and off easily after I rounded it a bit to go over the bead caps, so it's not a permanent addition.

Of course, now I'm thinking that with the right shade of pink pearl...

(This post brought to you via the magic of technology which allowed me to compose and post date so my blog wouldn't be completely dark during my conference week.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Using Carved Beads to Add Texture and Interest

I found some beautiful carved turquoise beads at Global Beads the other day, and was musing on what I wanted to make with them. I remembered some carved jet beads I had and the design started to come together.

I used some tiny turquoise beads I also found at Global Beads, and freshwater cultured 'rice' pearls along with the carved beads and some 14k/20 gold filled rondelles to create this 28" lanyard necklace. It is very light, so it would also work well as an eyeglass leash.

I like the striking contrast of the jet beads to the pearls and turquoise and think that it will look lovely with black and gray outfits paired with a turquoise blouse or sweater (I have several of those and I tend to make things I'd wear).

(This post brought to you via the magic of technology which allowed me to compose and post date so my blog wouldn't be completely dark during my conference week.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Bit of Sprintime as the Days Grow Colder

Maybe this is more of a springtime piece, but as I was poking around my beads looking for something else to go with the turquoise nuggets, I pulled out some chunky rose quartz beads and amethyst nuggets. I'd used these in other pieces, so I didn't have that many left over, but I remembered that I'd seen some lovely necklaces here and there with the pink, purple and a light green.

I went to my green stone box and there were these aquamarine chips I'd bought and also some very pale adventurine that were just the right colors. Deciding how to space them was a bit of a challenge, until I realized I had tiny silver ox beadcaps that would go great with some small pearls for in between the rose quartz and the aquamarine chips.

(Click for larger image)

Since I didn't have enough nuggets to go all the way around, I used the nuggets for the clasp ends and smaller round stone beads (this was how I used the palest adventurine beads, since I didn't have round aquamarines), plus more freshwater cultured pearls to go around the neck.

I did that work (and the post) Friday night and Saturday morning, before I put the hardware on it, I decided I wasn't happy with how it looked - just seemed off balance. So I re-strung it like so:

...and I was much happier with it, so I put on the clasps.

(This post brought to you via the magic of technology which allowed me to compose and post date so my blog wouldn't be completely dark during my conference week.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Stuff on Etsy - Finally! And a Last Minute Lanyard for the Trip

I finally put up a number of new pieces, you'd recognize them as I've blogged about them recently. A few new bargain lanyards are in the mix.

I put together my wardrobe for the trip and figured out what lanyards I wanted to take and also decided that with one outfit, I'd wear my turquoise nugget and tiger's eye necklace. I paired a number of lanyards with it and wasn't happy with them, so I decided to make a new one specifically as a complimentary piece with that necklace. I had a tiger's eye lanyard that I've never been particularly happy with, so I unstrung it for some small tiger's eye beads and used a set of longish, rounded end barrel turquoise beads with them. Also made a pair of earrings with the nuggets and the last of the Pamada beads.

Well, still have more packing to do and an early morning. Hope you have a great week!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting Ready for My Trip

I've done a lot of washing, and between loads completed a couple new lanyards and put the hardware on some others that I'd put aside complete but for their clasps, etc. Got in a short trip to Global Beads this morning, and picked up some new turquoise because I had some ideas and not enough turquoise to make what I was thinking of.

Here's one of the pieces I've made with one of the new turquoise strands, and some tiger's eye beads I've had for ages, it seems. I love how these colors look together - it has a vintage feel to it - and maybe an ancient middle eastern flavor? Not sure why I think "Persia" when I look at it. Used up all of my purchase of that size/color of turquoise with it and *whew* it came in at 28" which is the shortest I find comfortable for a lanyard necklace.

I've 'post dated' as couple posts for next week so the blog won't be 'dark' while I'm gone - so don't stay away! Since I figure I can do one or two more pre-posts tomorrow which will take me through Friday, I'm going to leave this one up for tonight. I've also posted most of my lanyard pictures on my Flickr photostream and decided to send out a Tweet on Twitter to draw attention to it. Might make a habit of doing that, say, once a week or so. Bad idea or not?

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 24, 2008

Turquoise Nugget Mystery Partially Solved

Last night I was wondering what I'd had in mind when I bought the turquoise nuggets, tonight this is what I decided to do (click for larger view):

The gold spacers are Tierracast Pamada Beads from D&Y - they are really lovely gold plate with even and neat antiquing and finished with a bright shine and no tags or snags or seams on them. It's going to be 17" when I put on the final bits.

I still have plenty of turquoise nuggets left, so I may see how they go with the white howlite nuggets and some silver beads next.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Mystery of the Turquoise Nuggets

Got these turquoise nuggets in the mail the other day. They're a pretty good size as you can see from the quarter in the picture for scale. I am fairly certain I had an idea in mind when I bought them. I have no idea now what that was. I think I'm going to have to document my order receipt print out from now on with "I'm buying these to make X"

Normally I shrink the image a lot (and you can always click it to see it bigger) but I left this one fairly large (sorry dial up friends and visitors) because I think the veining and bright mineral specks are very interesting. Also because, see that nugget in between 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock to the left of the quarter? On the reverse it's pretty thoroughly veined, but on the side that's visible in the picture it's almost pristine and I'm almost tempted to see if there's something I can do with a setting to feature that side of that nugget as a pendant.

I have some large white howlite nuggets and also some tiger's eye that I'm now considering using in a chunky necklace with the turquoise. Who knows, maybe that was what I was thinking all along?

Tonight's work in progress is a piece using green ceramic beads joined with a hand made wrapped loop chain - it's time consuming, so I doubt I'll finish tonight or even tomorrow night.

This shows the sequence of the pattern I'm using. I'm also thinking about making it a multi-strand, so it might be a couple weeks (next week I'm traveling out of town and won't be beading) before I have the whole thing done.

If you have been to any really special places in or around Orlando, Florida you think I should visit to bead browse, leave a comment!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunken Treasures

Tonight's piece is made with "fossil coral" per the label on the square beads and more of the amber shell beads, this time both brown and beige, including the oblong ones. It's about 30" and will be finished with gold plated lobster claw fasteners. I have a number of beige and lighter winter white sweaters that I pair with brown cardigans, brown tweed or leather jackets and brown slacks - I think this piece would look fabulous with them as a necklace or badge lanyard.

I made a necklace lanyard not long ago (listed on Etsy) with the brown amber shell beads and onyx that I think would be a great complimentary piece, too.

If the weather around here ever gets cool enough (we've been hitting mid 80s all week) I might even get a chance to wear them and see if anyone takes notice - seems most of my sales come from people asking about pieces I wear and then wanting something for themselves. I'm my own best spokesmodel, I guess.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Autumn Wardrobe Accessories

Ah, the browns, rusts, and olives of my autumn to brighten them up? How about a glittering necklace with richly faceted Czech glass 'gems' linked together with handcrafted silver links?

I'm hoping someone will fall in love with this one. The beads are 7mm faceted Czech glass in lovely shades of amber, olive, citrine, flame and cranberry. Doesn't it remind you of a trip through a New England Forest?

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sticking to a Template

For the most part I don't usually repeat a design many times. Mostly because my supply of a particular kind of bead lends itself to one or two, but not much more that that. Occasionally I will have different colors of the same type of bead and I might do one or two color variations of the same pattern.

That went out the window with the design idea that started with the Chateau Picard badge lanyard necklace. I've now done 14 variations on that theme in different colors. Here's the three latest versions, two in a smoky quartz colored glass (the label says "reconstituted smoky quartz" whatever that means) and one in a lovely chardonnay yellow color. The picture doesn't do them justice as it's a bit blurry and the lamp adds a bit of extra yellow.

The main reason I've made so many of these is that they are going to be the bulk of my 'bargain' necklace lanyard selection on Etsy. They're relatively simple, less expensive, and less time consuming to make than the other necklace lanyards I've done, so I can put them at a very inexpensive price point, $20.00. I'm going to try to get them all listed on or before this weekend.

If you can't wait, and the color you'd like isn't on Etsy yet, feel free to contact me via email and we can work out the arrangements.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

A New Chain Maille Bracelet

Finished the Japanese chain maille pattern bracelet I blogged about on October 11th. It's an inch wide (the larger links are 8mm and the smaller ones, 4mm) and 6 1/2 long (I've got a small wrist).

I'm debating whether or not to add some glass crystals to it - I've got some lovely olivine cubic zirconium 'gems' I could potentially put along the center.

I didn't track how many hours it took to make this, but it is a very time consuming project.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Didja Miss Me?

I can't believe it's been over a week since I had time to post! I haven't done a lot of beading, but I do have a couple things I can share.

First, finished this necklace using copper and red glass and scanned it instead of photographing, mostly because it was easier:

Next I did some more scans instead of regular photos of some lanyards for my Flickr page - here's the alexandrite colored lanyard I mentioned in my last post. You can also see that I'm starting to add my new stamped tag to the necklaces:

Finally, I've created a section on Etsy for 'bargain priced' necklace lanyards - everything there is $20.00 and lowest cost shipping. I'm hoping I can get some sales before the year is out. All of these rondelle lanyards will probably go there - just have to get them photographed. I ran out of light today so I'm not sure when I'll be able to put them up.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, October 11, 2008

After a Very Busy Week, Finally Able to Bead Again!

Wednesday through Friday nights I was just too tired to do much more than come home and crash, so I didn't get any beading done. Today, however I was able to finish a beaded badge lanyard necklace that I think will transition beautifully from fall to winter.

It's 31" long and in addition to the tablet cut rectangles and the two tone faceted rondells there are two sizes of amber shell ("amber shell" is what the label says, not the color) beads.

I also finished my Byzantine pattern chain off as a bracelet. My next chain maille attempt will be a Japanese pattern using two different sized jump rings to make a mesh pattern. Will probably also stop at bracelet length with it.

I think I'll work on more photography and put up a few new Etsy listings tomorrow.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Unwinding from the Day by Beading

Last night I posted about how I didn't bead because of an intense day at work, today I did bead for the same reason - the beading is relaxing for me, and tonight it was the perfect way to wind down for the evening

Back on September 7th I talked about some beads I bought at the local Art & Wine Festival, some of them were lovely tablet cut beads I'd not seen anywhere at the time, but I did finally find a supplier (Mermaid's Cove) and bought more. Tonight's necklace lanyard is from the latter purchases, made from the Seafoam Opal beads.

I haven't measured it yet, but I think it's about 30" long and it's light enough for an eyeglass lanyard, too, if you are ok with something rather distinct that close to your face - this design would definitely stand out.

I also made matching earrings

Now I'm stringing faceted alexandrite colored glass rondelles and spiral cut faceted alexandrite oval beads in a pattern similar to the Chateau Picard and others I've done in a variety of colors. I think I have 6 or 7 in all now.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Gizmo on its Way and Where Do I Find...

It has been a totally non-beading evening. Long and mentally intense work day today and I just don't have any creative oomph in me tonight.

I am looking forward to receiving a new gizmo - I've bought some metal tags and the stamping tool from Infinity Stamps has been shipped. I'll post about my success or lack thereof with it once I've tried it out.

Now that I might have one or two readers who are more bead supply savvy, I'm still looking for a very specific type of stringing cable that's eluding me. A couple years ago I bought a necklace at Nordstroms designed by Dabby Reid. The beads are 'floated' with crimps along a chain/wire/cable/?? thing. It's not like any of the stringing material or jewelry cable I've purchased to date. It comes in a variety of colors, too. It looks a lot like twisted silk, feels very metallic but is pretty flexible. I'd love to know where I can buy this product, heck, I'd just like to know what to call it.

If you know, won't you leave a comment and point me to a way to buy it, if it's out there for sale?

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mostly a Photography Day

Did photography most of the day and got nine new listings up at Etsy. I've set up a fall themed background for my beaded badge lanyards. Of course this means I'll have to de-list them and re-do the pictures in a different theme come December. Probably not limit myself to a Christmas theme except for Christmas items. I'll go with something snowy I think.

Before I started photographing I worked for a little while on the vintage style necklace, a piece of which I posted about last night. Here's my progress - will need to do some tweeking to make it lie nicer, but I'm nearly there.

When I'd grown too tired of taking pictures, I decided to work on a new strung necklace to give my hands a break from the pliers, and also because the design idea I got was more suited for a badge lanyard.

I used prehnite and amethyst beads with antique gold vermeil spacers in this one. I'd also recently received a couple packages of bead caps that fit down over the front and back edges of rectangular or larger flat oval beads and I'm using them for the larger prehnite rectangles at the clasp end of the badge lanyard necklace. I think they give the piece a very lush look.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Winning Design

Wow! I won the Beadfly Fall Design contest! Thank you to the Beadfly folks. I've enjoyed being a member of this new site and its forum. I blogged about the winning design here, too.

So, what is Beadfly? It's a very web 2.0 type of site for beaders. It has an interactive forum, a place to upload and showcase one's work and talk about the inspiration for it, it provides members with opportunities to give and get reviews. It's got a good look, some neat features and I'd love it if you'd join and be my "friend" on the site. I'd also love to get a group going - another fun social networking feature they offer. I was thinking either a regional group (Northern California) or one of folk who do vintage style jewelry would be fun.

Now if I could only find the time to really concentrate on getting my stuff in the public eye and sell some of it! I have a new domain but haven't figured out how to get it on the hosting site account (which is set up under my husband's name with the hosting co.) nor how to build a storefront website.

I've got some good Googlejuice on the search "beaded badge lanyards" since I blog here so often and make sure to tag nearly every post with that phrase, but other than that, I'm still floundering a bit as to how to market my work. I had really hoped to get into LosCon (as I've whined about before) and get a few more sales this year, but absent that opportunity, I'm just not sure what to try next. I tried Google Ads for several months, but tracked no sales from that investment so I stopped it. I love Etsy, but it's a huge site and unless someone knows about me specifically, I doubt if they'll just stumble on my site and make a purchase.

Not going to give up, though! Eventually I'll figure something out, and next year I'll contact some cons much earlier than I did this year.

To cheer myself up, I'm working on a new necklace - turns out these stones and colors I'm using are pretty close to some of the the "Pantone Fall 2008" fashion color report colors. I'm thrilled about purples being 'in' as that's one of my favorite colors to wear.

I'm using 20 gauge copper wire to 'string' and attach squares of hemimorphite, bright, fluted copper beads and antiqued copper bead caps, faceted amethyst colored rondells and oval beads in this one. May not take this pattern all the way around the neck, have some nice antique copper chain I can use, too.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Finished the Snow Inspired Necklace

Between working late and moderating a chat while the VP Debates were on, I didn't get to any beading until rather late tonight. But I did finish the necklace I started yesterday. I had just enough of the rondells to do 20 1/2 inches and have a couple left over for another set of earrings that I think I'll make with smaller beads. Cut off the clasp in my picture, it's a simple lobster claw and link.

I had first thought I'd add some kind of pendant or dangles of some sort, but I like it a lot as it is - simple, but still interesting. It'll be a great winter accessory.

(click image for larger view)

Time to get some sleep, now.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Bead Artists who Blog
Powered By Ringsurf