Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Now With New and Improved Loopiness!
I've figured out a few things that are really helping me make neat, round and consistent loops. The how to guides I've read haven't suggested all these these things, but I'm happy to share.
#1 Mark the round nose pliers so you make the loop at the same spot each time. This gives uniform sized loops. I painted the bottom of the pliers up to the point where I want to bend the wire for the loop with some bright pink nail polish I had sitting on my desk.
#2 Before you start the full bend around the pliers, just using the very tip I make a small bend - this way I don't end up with a flat bit in the loop - they're turning out very round.
#3 Measuring to cut the wire for the second loop - this has been a challenge. I used a steel mm calibrated ruler for a while but I've pretty much figured out how to eyeball it using the width of my left index finger. I guess I could put a little mark on my finger with a Sharpie to be even more precise...
#4 I'm using my nylon nosed pliers to bend the loops when connecting them together and avoid tool marks. I bend the loop up from a completed circle, add the loop on the next bead and then bend the open loop down to close it - keeps the nice circle I've created from getting flat or otherwise distorted.
Here's my little practice set up:
And here's a close-up of the most recent loops:
Friday, August 29, 2008
Lovely Robin's Egg Blue Beads
I did take a breather and make a necklace lanyard, though, with these lovely robin's egg blue mottled oval ceramic beads I found at Global Beads last weekend.
30" (although it's still unfinished, and the clasps add about an inch to the total end-to-end length), ceramic beads with a bit of an iridescence in the glaze. I thought the combination of large silver tone (no idea if they're plate or what) filigree beads, small oxidized silver filigree beads, and these tiny Czech druk square iridescent beads with very tiny oxidized silver bead caps is delightful.
Here's a picture of it draped - I got replacement bulbs for my photo lights, but it's still not as good as photography in natural light. I don't know why this one came out so dark and orange-y when the one above came out pretty well - perhaps because the one above is a tighter shot? The color above is very much (at least on my computer) truer to the color of the beads.
Labels: badge lanyards, bead, bead store, beaded badge lanyards, beading, blue, ceramic beads, crafts, Dawno, filagree, Global Beads, jewelry lanyard, photography, silver, sucky photography, unfinished
Thursday, August 28, 2008
What's Your Favorite Color?
So, with green being my favorite color, there are several wonderful green stones to choose from, such as malachite, jade, many agates and jaspers, too. I have some 'camouflage' stone I'm looking forward to using and a lot of moss and tree agate as well. That's why my latest piece was created from a new bunch of glass beads I bought last weekend at Global Beads. They reminded me of malachite, with black and paler green striping in them. Here's the "teaser" shot
(click picture for larger image)
My vintage-look findings and components shipment arrived today (Whoopee!!) and I'll be playing around with designs using them soon. I'm pretty excited about it.
Oh, the shell necklace lanyard - here's a fair picture (it's still unfinished, though)
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Where Did It Go?
Well, today I have 5 necklace lanyards that need hardware and was at the point where I was ready to apply a Scrimp to the first one when I looked around for my screwdriver and couldn't find it. I've pretty much combed every inch of my office now to no avail. So I'm back to using the smaller one that came with the Scrimps and not enjoying it one bit.
Here's my latest necklace lanyard, 30" long, made with frosted colorless glass Czech beads, very tiny, copper colored, glass seed beads, two sizes of lightly satin-brushed copper oval beads and copper bead caps. I apologize for the poor picture quality - I'm definitely going to need natural light and experiment with the background color, to do this one justice.
The picture above shows it draped as a necklace. Below is where I show it with a badge to give you an idea about the way I maintain the pattern idea, but make it just a bit more interesting, (at least to me) at the ends.
You may also have noticed that the lanyard attachment isn't a large lobster claw, like on my silver and gold designs, because I hadn't been able to find the large ones in copper. Until recently! In my post a few days ago about vintage -style designs, I mentioned Accessories Susan, and while she didn't have them posted, I emailed her about the possibility of getting some, and she said she'd order them! I am obsessively checking her 'new arrivals' list for them.
I know I said I'd post the shell lanyard today, but since it's still unfinished, and I'm pouting about my screwdriver, it's not going up tonight.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I Need Patience and Persistance
and then did another one using onyx ovals, black Czech druk beads, more garnets and 14k gold plated beads.
I'm a bit down today, probably because I've got the 'why am I doing this' whisper going through my head. I was all enthusiastic about making a lot of new stuff when I thought I was going to LosCon, but with that pretty much not going to happen (barring another vendor's cancellation, which I just don't think will happen, or if so, not in time for me to re-arrange my holiday plans again), I don't have any venue other than my Etsy store to sell my work and the kind of time it would take (to say nothing about cost) to really market my work online is not available to me right now. I do best when people can actually see my stuff in person.
I've always wished I could work in a more creative field, and my headlong dive into this beading has been an outlet for my impulses, but I've made so many necklace lanyards now I could probably wear a different one every workday - I'd rather see them find new homes.
So, I tell myself to be patient and persistant, this is only my first full year of being a business, part-time as it is, and next year I'll scan the web for conventions and register early!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Thinking About Fall Colors and Acting on It
In the first piece I finally decided how to use some ceramic beads I bought in February down at Beadology. I used bright gold tone metal spacers, brown ceramic beads and amber shell beads I bought in Denver (also used in these pieces) and one donut bead from the same batch I used to make the one on the left in this picture.
(click picture for larger image)
I was a bit lazy about the photography, mostly because I have to finish the piece off with its hardware and then eventually I'll do a full shoot for posting at Etsy. Won't be this weekend - it looks like I've got some family visiting up here because my nephew who goes to college at UC Davis will be playing in a football game against San Jose State. My daughter was thinking about coming up, too, so if I get any photography done, it might be Monday.
The other almost finished piece is made with almost entirely new beads. I got a batch of Czech glass druks in a 'tiger-eye' pattern which I've matched up to some beads I found at Global Beads yesterday - they're glass and I love the dark amber and cream stripes in them. I used tiny matte antique gold glass seed beads in this (and the one above) as well. The focal beads are dark amber glass rondells with antique gold tone spacers.
(click picture for larger image)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
LosCon Disappointment "All filled up, sorry..."
(click for larger image)
I heard back from the LosCon folk today, they say the dealer room is filled and asked if I'd like to be on the waitlist, I said ok, but I'm not going to get my hopes up again. I must say I'm pretty disappointed and it's harder having had to wait for nearly a month to get the bad news.
I'll just have to look for another convention to go to - not sure I'll find anything this year, though. It's been mostly a year of spending and not much return. I'll be better prepared for next year, though.
Labels: amber, bead, bead store, bead supplies, beaded badge lanyards, beading business, conventions, crafts, Dawno, designing, garnet, getting organized, gold filled beads, inventory, jewelry lanyard, LosCon, necklace
I used the last of the smoky quartz square cushion beads left over from a necklace you can view here, smoky quartz round beads, 24k gold vermeil rope pattern spacers, 24k gold vermeil disks, and 10k & 14k gold filled beads. 32" long. My scale says it weighs 3.9 oz., so it's not as heavy as I thought it would be, but still a necklace with substance.
As with the previous piece, it's unfinished until I get new fasteners. For some reason I thought of V'ger in the first Star Trek movie, so this one is tentatively named "Silicon Mind" and the quote for it will probably be "Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?" unless I find something better.
Shot with artificial lighting, the beads are a darker, smokier color than my computer is showing.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Yet Another One I'm Going to Hate Parting With
While I was working on this a fun conversation happened over on Twitter - if you look at my sidebar you can see my side of the conversation with folk around the globe (well, most of us are in the US but one of the tweeters is on the other side of the international date line). I finished the stringing part, but I don't want to use my usual gold plated lobster claw fastners on this one - so I'm going to have to put off the hardware until tomorrow when I can go buy some gold filled or vermeil clasps. Finished length will be around 32"
So, here's the necklace lanyard in it's nearly finished state:
Thinking About Vintage Style Jewelry
Here's the lanyard necklace and linked necklace together.
My favorite kind of jewelry has always been pieces with a Victorian/Edwardian retro look, I've been fortunate enough to collect a few lovely silver and sapphire Edwardian pieces, 2 small brooches and a necklace so far. Some other examples of what I like are Michal Negrin (although mostly the simpler pieces - some are too ornate for my taste) and and the 1928 Jewelry Co. styles.
Today I was wandering around the web and happened across Accessories Susan a site that specializes in supplies for making Victorian inspired jewelry. Needless to say, someone should have hidden my credit card. I'm looking forward to experimenting and creating my own designs. If I like what I've done, I may add them to my pieces for sale.
The other place I discovered today was Beading Daily - seems to have some interesting items, so I bookmarked it and joined the forum.
Well, I've got an idea rattling around in the back of my mind and 4 or 5 hours left 'til bedtime, so I think I'll publish this post and get to it.
Labels: bead, bead addiction, bead supplies, beaded badge lanyards, beading blogs, beading business, beading forums, crafts, Dawno, designing, Edwardian, hemimorphite, howlite, inspiration, jewelry lanyard, loops, Victorian, vintage
Seems Like About an Inch an Hour
The loops are getting a bit smaller as I go along. There's no wiggle room between loops for the stones now, either. The other thing that seems to be going well is less wastage of wire; I'm 'eyeballing' the lengths and seem to have figured that out.
I'm using a rather soft 22 gauge "non-tarnish silver" from Artistic Wire, which makes it a bit easier to manipulate, but I'm not sure of its durability. The stones are 6mm round howlite and ~15x8mm amazonite rounded rectangles. This shot makes the stones look more blue than they actually are - they're a lovely pale sea-green color with white streaks.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Sometimes I Think I Should Just Stick to What I Know
I have also been visiting various lampwork glass artisan sites. Somebody hide my credit card - I could do it a lot of damage, the ones I've visited have such lovely beads. One in particular, Air and Earth Designs, by the artist, Kandice Seeber, has me especially ga-ga. The flowers she adds on top of the beads are fabulous - to say nothing of the colors.
Made a necklace lanyard tonight, though, so I did finish something - the wire wrapped loop necklace will probably take several years at the pace I'm going.
I used faceted glass cubes in clear and light blue with an iridescent finish, tiny silver seamless round beads, faceted blue glass bicones and teensy tiny dark blue iridescent seed beads. I think I will name it "Resistance is Futile".
Still haven't heard from the LosCon folk. I hope that doesn't mean anything except they're very busy with Real Life stuff and haven't had time to get back to me.
Labels: badge lanyards, bead, bead addiction, beaders, beading, blue, clear glass badge lanyards, crafts, Dawno, designing, glass beads, jewelry lanyard, lampwork beads, loops, necklace, wire, wire wrapping
Shiny, Shiny Sale at Elise's Live Journal
I bought a couple of her necklaces at Denvention last month - you can see one of them on a few posts ago. Now I'm hoping that the necklace and earrings I just requested haven't already been sold.
And, she has a really cool bead of the month group (botmo) you should check out, too.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Love, in Lavender
That decision out of the way, I now needed to figure out what I wanted to make tonight.
"Hmmm," I said to myself, "you haven't done anything purple in a while."
So I pulled out the purple drawer - oh, that one's the purple drawer with the gray beads, hematite and pearls. See, early on when I was getting my beading area set up, I bought this 10 drawer thing I saw at JoAnn's for my beads, every two drawers is a different color: red, purple, blue, green, orange. The drawers are just the right height and width for a single plastic organizer box with a couple inches in the front and about one inch on the side for other stuff that didn't fit in the box. So in every other drawer the bead color matches the beads inside. Well, except for the red drawers at the top - I have clear beads in the top and white beads and pearls in the second one. At the time I didn't have many red beads. And the orange ones at the bottom - those have pink beads in them. I have a lot of pink beads.
So, back to the story, I pulled out the other purple drawer, and looked at my purple beads. I had bought two strings of tiny, opaque lavender glass heart beads ages and ages ago. I'd used, or thought about using, some of them at one point, because a number of them were loose in the storage box, but I had lots and lots left. Decided I wanted to do something with them.
Poured them out on the BeadBuddy lapdesk bead design board. Stared at it for a considerable bit of time. Lots of little hearts - enough for two long lanyards. I'll just do one for now, I thought.
"What else needs to go into this?" I mumbled. Then I decided on the tiny, dark amethyst purple glass bicone beads between the hearts - nice contrast.
For the center focal, I used a glass bead I've used before as the main detail bead on a lanyard, which has light lavender leaves over a milky opaque color that is just a blush of lavender, put two small amethyst druk beads, and two larger iridescent amethyst glass beads, on either side of it. There, ready to go.
I merrily strung the hearts so the points would face the focal. I finished it, put on the hardware, and realized as I held up the "finished" piece, that worn as a badge lanyard the hearts would all be upside down. As an eyeglass leash, they would be right side up as they ascend to the glasses, that's good, and worn as a necklace, the hearts would all be fine since that's how I designed it on the board. Conundrum. Do I re-string the whole thing and alternate the orientation of the hearts (point-bicone-point, bumps-bicone-bumps, and so on) so it works as a badge lanyard?
I'm putting that decision off for tomorrow. Here's what it looks like now, with the hearts all oriented points toward the focal.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Gift of the Magpie
Well, I've been staring at these beads since they came, trying to decide what I would do with them. I wanted the design to be extra special, since not only were the beads a gift, but the Bead of the Month club is one of Elise Matthesen's endeavors - and you know how much I love her work and appreciate her sense of color, design and whimsy.
Last night I was busy again with the organizing and arranging and *there* were *those* beads. And over *there* were these *other* beads (some favorites of mine that I bought down at Beadology in Huntington Beach back in February) - wait! They would work together really, really well, I thought. And here's what happened:
Now I'm working on something with the aquamarine nuggets, round beads and pale watery-blue chips (glass?) to which I'm adding my own light aqua druk beads, sterling silver beads in 3 sizes and darker aqua glass seed beads. Should be able to post a picture of that tomorrow.
There are still a lot of Botmo beads left, so I'm sure I'll be mentioning them in future designs.
Thank you Mac, Medievalist and Elise!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
OOOOH Goodie! New Beads!
Yesterday what I found was a package from a new place I thought I'd try, beadsonsale.com, which popped up in my gmail header as a 'sponsored link' and I succumbed to the temptation to click it and just peek, mind you, I had no intention of buying anything, really...
I ended up with the beads in the picture below, plus some lovely smooth, round 6mm amber and very nice Lapis (the color is deep blue, and the majority of the beads have a good amount of 'gold' pyrite flecks) 8mm round beads.
The beads below are (starting at the top) 24mm Hemimorphite disks, one was badly chipped and the others may or may not have gotten a bit banged around, I'm not sure how hemimorphite should look, this is my first purchase. But, beadsonsale didn't pack the stones as well as my other suppliers do - and the bits of stone in the bag was the evidence the worst of the chipping happened in transit.
Next is a strand of 12x17mm rectangular blue Amazonite, then 9x10mm Brazilian "flashy blue" Kyanite, which I really like and am looking forward to working with. Then my favorites, lots and lots of simply gorgeous vertical faceted smokey quartz 10 x 15 mm barrel beads - the color and clarity of those beads are stunning and fortunately they weren't chipped or scratched. My fuzzy picture doesn't do them justice, but when I make something from them, I'll make sure I get a really good quality photo.
Before I go, I'd like to recommend my Absolute Write colleague, Jenn Nipps' site Creative Tips, the forum, the blog and on Twitter.
I simply love getting her inspirational tweets on Twitter - they never fail to make me smile and they're all ready encouraging me to try and stretch my self a bit.
If you're on Twitter, you should definitely follow creativetips there. If you're not, well, go join so you can get these wonderful little encouragements on your cell phone or via the web (and you might think about following me too, just for the heck of it).
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Conquering the Chaos!
As for the labeling and re-naming project, the thing that takes the most time is deciding on a name for the piece and then looking up a good quote! I'm using Memory Alpha Wiki a lot, along with the Internet Movie Database which has good quotes and other information on the characters and episodes - including a page of quotes - at least for some of the main characters, haven't looked up more than a few characters so far there.
Each piece, then, gets a tag with the new name and a quote to go with it (see yesterday's post), on one side and the materials, length and price on the other side.
I use my Dymo LabelWriter Pro to make the labels for the tag, which for now, is a simple paper tag I bought at Office Depot. Then I attach two clear badge holder pockets (also from Office Depot - I'm glad I got one of their frequent buyer cards!), a horizontal one to hold my business card, and a vertical one that I'm tucking the tag into for now to keep them clean and unbent. I've seen some lovely tags on fancy paper, but my handwriting has gone to hell from so many years of using the computer. Then there's also the time it would take to make those kinds of tags - well, I'm not sure I'm up for it and I think the ones I'm making look pretty good.
I also put eyeglass loops on the end-clasps of the lanyard, at least for the ones that aren't too heavy to be eyeglass leashes. The end clasps I'm using now are a larger swivel lobster claw clasp that will be easier to manage when taking off the badge or eyeglass hardware, and the swivel will help prevent tangles or the badge turning over to the back. I've also started using a larger split-ring for the loop that attaches the badge hardware to the leash clasps.
Little by little I'm getting more organized - whether or not I go to LosCon, there will be other opportunities and I want to be ready.
Soon I'll start figuring out what I want my display to look like and how to set that up. As for actually beading today - we'll see if I have any energy left after I finish my cleaning and organizing.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
New Names for My Necklace Lanyards
My pieces sold pretty well at BayCon, so I'm (as mentioned on this blog) hoping to be approved as a dealer at LosCon and am going to look into other cons I can attend. Since most of the people at the cons are SF and Fantasy fans, using SF inspired naming seems like a fun idea, and it represents something I enjoy personally, not just a gimmick. So I was pondering where to get my inspiration for the names of my pieces.
Flash forward to a post about day lilies I clicked on yesterday. There are varieties of day lilies that have been given Star Trek names. I'm a fan, and I got a kick out of looking at the beautiful Borg Technology and Cloaking Device flowers. I've named my most recent pieces with a Star Trek theme, with many thanks to Memory Alpha Wiki to help me find information and quotes.
Here's Tears of Elaan, a short-ish piece at 24" in frosted Czech glass druk beads and iridescent glass seed beads with a larger iridescent Czech glass bead at the ends, best suited for an eyeglass leash. I'm going to also pick a quote from the episode that inspired the name, for each piece. This one comes with the quote from Spock to McCoy at the end of the episode:
First commenter to tell me the name of the Star Trek episodes the necklace names come from, can claim these earrings (Enterprise-A not included), if they'd like:
Labels: BayCon, bead, clear glass badge lanyards, contest, conventions, crafts, Dawno, earrings, eyeglass leash, glass bead mixes, glass beads, jewelry lanyard, LosCon, naming, necklace, other beaders, selling, SF, Star Trek
Friday, August 15, 2008
Frosty and Foil-lined Clear Glass Bead Combo
I think it's a bit heavy for an eyeglass leash, the foil lined coin beads add a bit of heft to the strand. I used silver plated copper discs around the foil glass coins and silver plated pewter bead caps with the smaller frosted glass coins. In between are frosted glass druk beads separated by clear glass seed beads.
The frosted coin beads were collected from a good number of different Blue Moon Beads "Crystal large glass bead mix" packages with beads from "Czech. Rep. & Asia". I always grab four or five of these packages when I see them, and while I was in Denver, I picked up maybe six or seven. A few of those packages each had two or three of the frosted glass coins in them. So, as I was sorting them out, I pulled the frosted coins and got the idea for this design.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Not Much Beading Today
One of my pre-LosCon goals is to do more earrings and bracelets, whether stand alones or to match my necklace lanyards. I really don't enjoy making loops but maybe with enough practice, I'll get more fond.
I was busy elsewhere on the web tonight, doing a fun food meme, so I didn't do any other beading.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Gearing Up for Fall with an Onyx and Dark Amber Shell Combo
I may hold it out from Etsy to be one of my LosCon pieces - that is if I actually get confirmed. Still haven't heard. I've gone from being hesitant to hopeful - I'll be disappointed if they didn't have any spaces left by the time I sent in my application.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I did an 18" necklace tonight, unfortunately the picture doesn't do it justice - need to get some frosted, lower watt bulbs for the lamps. I'll take another in natural light tomorrow and update with it. The beads are small iridescent-coated clear glass drops and iridescent clear glass mini-hexagons (or "wavy diamonds" as some sites sell them) separated by tiny seamless sterling silver spheres and finished off with very small iridescent clear glass spheres for the last few inches.
Updated picture (on Aug 15th) - not sure it's that much better...but taken in natural light against a better colored background.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Mile High Beading
Monday, August 4, 2008
Picture the Blues
...and the dark blue sodalite necklace lanyard.
Anyone try to take beading with them on their travels? How does that work out, what do you take and how do you pack it? I'm going to answer that for myself tonight as I see if I can figure out what to take along. Then when I get home, whether or not I managed to do any beading.
The one thing I meant to order and forgot was a flexible silicone bead design 'board'. This just rolls up for travel and would have been nifty.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I Have the Blues Today
I also finished a piece with sodalite (in the middle below) and am nearly done with another (at the bottom), but I paused that one with about 10 inches to go to do another blue lace agate piece which is almost at the half way point.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
When I put that one aside, I grabbed the blue lace agate I ordered recently and started working on a necklace lanyard from that. I'm very happy with the results. This picture doesn't do the agates justice - the color is just a bit off.
I also decided to go and submit my application for a table in the dealer's room at LosCon. I got it into the Post Office before the final pick up time in hopes that it will arrive on Monday or Tuesday, at the latest, in L.A.
Spent some time posting new stuff on Etsy, and loading photos to Flickr, too.
Joined Beadfly today and posted one of my items. Got a review almost immediately - got a 6.8 out of ten from the site's "#1 reviewer". My goal shall be to see if I can post something that gets at least an 8. I like the idea of Beadfly. A social networking site that has many web 2.0 ideas - articles, blog, comments and photo posting. You can join (and start) groups, submit articles, vote in polls, list your store and more stuff I haven't investigated yet.