Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits - Two Dressy Necklaces with Copper and Gemstones

While the temps soared in the upper 90s this weekend I worked on some jewelry and avoided heavier work around the house that still desperately needs to get done before my kids and dad arrive for the holiday weekend. I guess I'll be busy on the 2nd and 3rd!

First, I finished the necklace I showed in progress a while back since I got the rest of the Mocca Swarovski briolettes I needed when I was in LA. I think this would work with any number of outfits, especially in the fall and it's a nice length for lower necklines or open collars at 22".

Next is something completely new I did on Saturday morning. It was made with 14mm peach toned pink aventurine coin beads I've had in my stash for awhile and natural peach jade puffed squares (which I got from my first Lima Beads Fresh Pick) which I didn't realize were a perfect match until I saw them together.

In between the larger peach stone beads, I put a 5mm White Opal Swarovski bicone (from the great stash of Swarovski I picked up at the Rings & Things bead tour) and two "American purple shell" roundells also from the same Lima Beads pick as the jade. I used Tierra Cast Raja bead caps in copper with the squares - had to adjust them a bit to fit - and Tierra Cast 4mm copper scallop bead caps with the bicones.

I originally thought I'd make a lanyard necklace, but those just aren't selling all that well and I liked it so much as a necklace, I stopped a bit shorter than the usual lanyard length, 26"1/2 inches and finished it with a Frilly Oval Copper Toggle Clasp I got from Dry Gulch. (Thanks, Tish!). I think this turned out beautifully.

Tomorrow I'll share the blue pieces I made with kyanite and some blue glass beads that look like blue lace agate that I bought down in L.A., and vintage Swarovski Sunshine beads from The Beadin' Path.

Meanwhile, my Jacaranda Blooms Fresh Pick beads arrived today and I need to start tinkering with the design idea for those. Need to go buy colored pencils, an artist's sketchbook, and while I'm there I want to get some of the inks and pens Margot Potter has talked about in various posts on her blog, to experiment with. I'm glad I cut out a nice 15% off coupon for Michael's from one of the bead magazines I get.

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Miscellany - Rings & Things June Blog Partner Review Continues: Three Soft Flex Trios Necklace Experiments

Over the weekend I experimented with my Soft Flex Trios which were my choice for the June Rings & Things blog partner's review. The first one used Amethyst colored wire and an assortment of purple beads I got from a bead of the month club run by Elise Matthesen. I curled a couple of the wires using my round nosed pliers to add a bit of a sculptural look. I also figured out the Figure-8 knot, thanks to the SoftFlex website.

The next one I did using Quartz (white) Soft Flex from the Romance Trio and a number of Swarovski drops, beads and briolettes as well as some glass roundel spacers. I used an Opaline bead in the center, from a strand I got at the Rings & Things bead tour plus clear, translucent white, and opalescent beads I've collected from various sources (including a great Etsy shop, Prolifique) for this one.

The final one uses two shades of green from the Renewal Trio - Emerald and Chrysoprase. I used some sea-green pressed glass and Czech Druk beads, as well as a silver plated shell charm that came with May's The Beadin' Path bead club. I wanted an 'under the ocean' look to this one, so I again used the round nose pliers to curl the wires. I thought that would give the impression of a bed of seaweed and I thought the circles of Chrysoprase Soft Flex, with the Jonquil Druk beads looked rather like bubbles.

As always, I'm very interested in your thoughts about these ideas.

Don't forget to write reviews of products on Rings & Things
to be entered in their June-July contest.
Deadline is July 31.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Congratulations to A Bead A Day for being asked to join not only the Rings & Things blog partners program but also for being asked to join a blog circle that shares links every week - if you follow Margot Potter, The Art Bead Scene or Earthenwood Studios, among others, you'll have seen these weekly promos for each other. Don't miss any of her daily posts, but I really enjoyed the one yesterday about the Swarovski sculpture ring she created, what a cheerful and fun piece!

Just A Tish is running a contest! Enter soon, she picks a winner on July 1st. The whole week was great on her blog, with a game and a Rings & Things challenge post, just to pick two.

I particularly liked Willow Walker's "Peachy Keen" this week - very elegant, and check out the beautiful cabs she photographed on Thursday and Friday!

That Russ Troll really gets around! See him at his visit to Silver Parrot Designs. Then check out what Wendy T. Gibson has done. She's put up a cool Google Map to follow the adventures of Russ Troll. There's a Rings & Things Flickr page with lots of Russ "sightings" pictures, too.

ErtheFae has a lovely blog and designs gorgeous jewelry, if you're not following or bookmarking her blog, I highly recommend it. She works in all sorts of media, too. Very inspirational!

Check out Cindy Gimbrone's (aka Lampwork Diva) post about the Rings & Things Bead Tour stop she visited.

Margot Potter did a post on slick surface embossing - something I would love to try one of these days. It looks like a great technique for making unique and customized focals, among so many other things.

I'm usually a bit hesitant to toot my own horn here, but I certainly was thrilled when I saw that Soft Flex Girl mentioned me on her blog the other day - I'm such a fan of hers!

I completely understood the way Jessica felt in her post "Adventures in Asymmetry" on the SmuTopia blog. It's always a bit scary to move out of ones comfort zone, but she did a beautiful job.

The Daily Jewel posted about the Saul Bell Design contest - I won't duplicate her effort except to say the deadline is September 1st. Please check out her post for more details and also check out the rather sad post about the Japanese cultured pearl industry.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some Fun Stuff - My First Giveaway Drawing!

Played around some more with the Beadalon quick link connector bracelet base pattern from the other day and created this using fuchsia colored pearl or pearl-like chips (they were part of a mix and I don't know what they actually are made of), pink crystal drops, pink lined beads with a crackle or sparkle in them (can't really tell, again from a mix) and some iridescent coated glass fuchsia beads (they are rather large for seed beads, at least as I'm familiar with them, but not as big as pony beads - not sure where from or what size). Wore it to work the other day, seemed to be a hit!

If you'd like to win a bracelet like this, but in your choice of bead color(s), just leave a comment saying what color(s) you'd like and two weeks from today - July 11th - I'll draw a random winner from the comments and post about it here and on Twitter.

I will use a selection of several kinds of very nice beads from my collection - might be gemstones and pearls in it, as well, depending on your color choice(s). The only restriction is that I only have the silver plate base componants right now, so I can't do one in gold plate.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dawno's Friday Picks - Artbeads

Last week I shared a 'Fresh Pick' using the feature on Lima Beads. This week I created a mosaic using the online tool, Mosaic Maker and a wish list of beads, chain, findings, centering around a beautiful painted onyx bead that's on sale right now.

Upper row from left to right: 19x25mm Oval Black Onyx Pink Ornament , CRYSTALLIZED™ 5000 6mm Faceted Round Indian Pink , CRYSTALLIZED™ 5810 6mm Round Pearl Mystic Black, CRYSTALLIZED™ RDS 6mm Silver-Plated Roundelle Jet.
Bottom row from left to right: CRYSTALLIZED™ 5040 8mm Faceted Roundelle Indian Pink, Sterling 6mm Flower Petal Outline Beadcap, 6mm Bright Sterling Silver Roundel, 090 DC Long Rollo Chain.

What I'd like to create with these is a multi-strand necklace with the bead and silver components strung in one strand and then create a second strand with the rollo chain, probably with some bead dangles hanging from it. I really need to get some colored pencils to draw a sketch... I'm really liking this idea!

So what do you think about using the Mosaic tool for spurring creativity? I didn't have anything in mind when I started browsing Artbeads and collecting the pictures for the mosaic, now I have one and a shopping list.

Next week, another one of my favorite suppliers will be featured!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - Soft Flex Trios from Rings & Things

This month Rings & Things provided their blog partners with the opportunity to select what product(s) we wanted to review. I've been reading about the Soft Flex Trios on the Soft Flex Girl's blog as well as at the Flex Your Creativity Contest and the free patterns on the Soft Flex site. So my selection was a variety of Soft Flex .019" diameter, 49 strand Trios. Each Trio has three coordinating colors on 10' rolls.

The wire is color coated stainless steel with a test strength of 26 lbs. They say it can be knotted, which I tried with some light yellow quartz beads and the bone color from the Harmony Trio (Bone, Lemon Quartz and Copper)

The beads curved instead of lying along a straight line when I tie simple knots between them, so I went to the site to see what they recommend, which is a figure 8 knot. I couldn't figure out how to get the knot tight to the bead, however, and until I learn how, I won't be using this for knotting.

The pricing at Rings & Things is lower than the list price, but you do have to meet their minimum purchase requirements and there's a small additional cost for purchases under $50. The plus side is a full selection of trios, quantity discounts, and great customer service (plus a candy treat in the package).

By the way, if you do get a product from Rings & Things, there's a contest on this month - you only need to submit a review to enter.

There are several things I want to try, but first I decided to make a quick and fun necklace using some glass beads I'd gotten from various bead mixes. I used three strands, quartz (white) and Rhodocrosite (light pink) from the Romance set and Pink Tourmaline (a bit darker pink) from the Mystical set. I used a large sized tube crimp that all 6 strands fit into (unfortunately, I don't know the exact size) to form the loops for jump rings at the ends so I could add a clasp.

I also knotted the strands as tightly as I could against the last beads on each side and then left the rest of them bare to show off the color. Unfortunately, I had to do some adjusting and one side got a bit kinked. I'm hoping that the weight of the beads might pull out the kink, but I'm not too optimistic. Next time, I'll forgo the knots. The small pink beads between the larger glass ones are strung on just one of the three wires, by the way, to allow some additional color to show.

(click to enlarge for detail)

I'm having fun thinking up new things to try with these colors and may even make something I feel good enough to enter in the contest (deadline is September 1, 2009).

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mid-Week Mutterings - Beadalon Quick Link Connectors Bracelet

Trying to jump-start my creativity, I got out some silver plated jump rings and the large sized silver plate Beadalon Quick Link connectors. It only took a few minutes to make a basic bracelet with those.

The Quick Link connectors just need to be pinched closed with pliers. Beadalon recommends their pinch bail pliers, I used bent chain nose.

Beadalon also makes an EZ Lobster, a quick close lobster claw - again, you just pinch the open end closed over the jump ring to attach.

This made the base bracelet fast and easy to assemble. The jump rings needed a little wiggling to get closed, but otherwise it is just connect and pinch. I'd say you could make a bracelet in 15 minutes or less, but I neglected to time it. The bracelet base used 12-6mm jump rings and 11 connectors for about 7" length.

Then I started adding beads either directly on to jump rings or with simple loops made from head pins.

And this is what the finished bracelet looks like flat -

And hanging on a wrist -

I just got a package from Rings & Things full of Soft Flex Trios, and I'll be playing with them tonight and reviewing them my Thursday Reviews & Interviews post.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits Today

My apologies for posting late to my regular readers - had a busy day yesterday and didn't have time to write and schedule a post for early morning today.

And, today's post is just a tidbit - Earthenwood Studios posted a note on their blog about putting some new items up at Etsy and I just had to have this:

The pendant is from the "Toolbox Treasures" collection and it's gorgeous, and I got those cool gear links as a free gift! I'm really looking forward to figuring out what I want to do and making something very special with them.

I've finished stringing the necklace with the hessonite, pearl, sunstones, Mocca Swarovski briolettes and copper - as soon as I get the clasp done, and if I don't decide to make a multi-strand necklace (which I'm pondering) I'll take a picture and share. Hope you have a great day and a wonderful week. See you tomorrow for Mid-week Mutterings!

Labels: , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Miscellany - Beads from Redondo Beach

I just got back from a wonderful 3-day weekend with my family. On Saturday I borrowed the car and visited a lovely bead store in Redondo Beach called The Bead Store. Found some lovely stuff, too. Blue Rhyolite, Charoite, Kyanite and Turquoise...

Plus some Hypersten/Hyperstene (what a really cool stone) and a bunch of great Czech glass - this is just a part of the glass, a strand of blue coin beads that look a bit like blue lace agate, mixed "Monet" glass, mixed Rivolis and these great lusterous pink and beige beads with a bit of a copper metalic gloss to them that really look wonderful with copper wire or other copper components. Sorry I couldn't get a great pictures, it's late and I don't have the right lighting here at the computer and I'm too tired to go set up the light box upstairs.

Since I had the new beads and had bought some inexpensive 22 gauge wire and we had time before the evening festivities (dinner out with dad, my sister & her family and my daughter), I sat out with my dad on his porch and linked up some of the rivoli's into a bracelet, complete with a clasp I fashioned from the wire.

I also picked up the Mocca Swarovski briolettes I need to finish the necklace I mentioned and showed towards the bottom of my Saturday post.

All in all, a great weekend for family visiting and beading!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

~Happy Father's Day to any dads who happen to be reading. I'm enjoying my dad's company this weekend, but I made sure to schedule this post in advance~

Had a busy week? Not able to peruse a lot of beading, crafting and other artisan's blogs? Dawno's traveled the Beadosphere and has these "catch up on the week's highlights" suggestions for you:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An "I'm Not Really Here" Saturday Post

I'm visiting with my family this weekend and won't be able to do a 'real time' post, so I've prepared this in advance and am setting it up to publish automatically today (same goes for tomorrow's post, too).

On Wednesday I put up a picture of my little laptop DIY workbox with some pieces I was fiddling with. They're still works in progress and here's where I currently am with those same pieces.

This first one is the copper choker frame and peach glass drops. The circles and wire wrapping just didn't work out right, so I unwrapped the copper wire and took off the circles, put on these copper beads as spacers between the peach glass drops on the vintage copper coated steel chain.

It felt unfinished still, so I tried stringing the choker form with chain. Hmmm. Nope.

The beads may have to go...I've put this aside for now so no more version pictures today, will update next week.

The second necklace had one pearl between two copper spacers. Then I remembered I had these gorgeous Swarovski faceted briolette drops in Mocca. I unstrung the beads and put a small middle-amber hessonite bead after a pearl then the briolette, another hessonite bead and another pearl. This I really like. Now I have to get more briolettes, I didn't have enough, on top of wating for the rest of the spacers to come (they shipped today).

Since I will have given these to my sister by the time this posts, here are the earrings I made for her using Champagne color dyed freshwater pearls I bought at the Rings & Things road show in March plus a green coin pearl, also from Rings & Things. The ear wires and eyepins are gold filled and they're set on a gold plated curb chain I got from Rings & Things, as well.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend so far. Come back tomorrow for Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere post!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Fresh Pick" Friday

Free Clipart Picture of a Basket of Red Apples. Click Here to Get Free Images at Clipart Guide.com

I don't know if this will become a regular feature here, and if it does, I hope to be able to create other picks from other suppliers and put them together in a similar mosaic. Just need to figure out how...anyone know of a website or application that will help me build a mosaic-like picture similar to what's shown below? I have Paint Shop Pro but have had a devil of a time trying to figure out how to put multiple images into one frame. Paint Shop Pro is easier to use than Photoshop, but still not all that user-friendly (IMO) to someone who hasn't been working with imagry software for ages.

Anyway, this post was prompted by a comment Dave from Rings & Things left about the picture of my little work-box on Wednesday's post.

Blogger Dave Robertson said...
Hi Dawno,
You & I were discussing how hard it can be sometimes to bead-shop at a distance. The pairings of colors and materials shown in your workspace are a great example of the kinds of stuff someone might want to get in a single order. They all go well together. Love that hessonite!
Here's the "workspace" which is actually one of my DIY laptop beading boxes:

So that got me to thinking about how one supplier I use now and then, Lima Beads, makes it easy for me to 'collect' ideas in a virtual workspace and get a feel for the colors and supplies needed. I thought maybe what I could do would be to come up with a design concept (I don't actually sketch out designs very often, but I'm thinking about getting colored pencils and giving it a try) and then create the mosaic using the Fresh Pick feature at Lima Beads and show you how it works. Please note, I'm not linking to each product, you can click on this "Fresh Pick" link (or the one below) and from there click to any product you want more details about.

So, my design concept was inspired by the incredible blooming Jacaranda tree. I'm not sure where I first saw a picture of one recently, but it just popped into my mind as I was wondering what kind of design I might choose for this article.

If you are unfamiliar with the Jacaranda, this is the time of year they are covered in the most beautiful purple flowers, which are really pretty messy when they fall off, they stain the sidewalks purple for one thing, but as long as that's someone else's problem, I love looking at them!. So I set about thinking of what I might want in a necklace inspired by the Jacaranda.

I went to Lima Beads and started with the bark and found some antique jasper beads I thought were perfect. Then a little bit of green for the buds and leaves that barely show through - the Tsavorite Faceted Rondelle 2.5-3.5mm looked good (wow, pricy, but I'm brainstorming and going with my first reactions).

Some Thin Pillow 36x18mm Dogtooth Amethyst beads 6x9mm Violet Faceted Teardrop CZs, Lilac Faceted Bicone 4mm CZs and some 5-5.5mm Wild Orchid Fresh Water Potato Pearls, for the blossoms.

Finally decided to add some butterfly links, ribbon links, east and west facing bird links and a Stampt Antique Gold (plated) Blooming Flower 21x20mm Filigree to work into a pendant, were the final touches.

I needed one more thing to fill out the mosaic so I picked a tiny brass bead cap, which could be used with the brown beads or the Tsavorite rondelles. Here's my "Fresh Pick"

You can save your picks privately or publicly. There are picks that Lima Beads chooses to be promoted on the home page with 20% off on the items. You can also click on any pick (and there are pages of customer picks and the Lima Beads Team's own choices) to buy the items in it and get a page with the listings of each item and a button to move the item to your cart.

It's really handy. I actually did that with my first Lima Beads pick. May only get a few of the pieces from this one if any - I'm way over budget on bead purchases right now.

One final Lima Beads note, their new Design Gallery has opened - it's set up so folks with Lima Beads accounts can upload pictures of their work directly and comment on other's.

The deadline to order a kit for the Use the Muse II contest is June 27, 2009!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - Lisa from A Bead A Day

One of my favorite blogs in the Beadosphere is A Bead A Day. It's a daily dose of cheer, with shiny beads tossed in! Lisa, the author of the blog, has also been a steadfast commenter here, bringing her enthusiasm and support to my blog and efforts to become better at my craft. I am so grateful for that and her generous feature of my work not that long ago on A Bead A Day.

On February 5, 2008 Lisa said in her first post "This is a new site geared toward all beaders who appreciate the individual beauty of beads and the unique works of art they are used to create." And indeed, each day since she's done just that.

You can also follow Lisa on Twitter. Now, let's hear what Lisa has to say!

Dawno: How did you get started blogging about a bead a day on A Bead A Day? It's a great idea!
Lisa: Thank you! I am working on a jewelry book that is being published by North Light Books at the end of the year. Prior to the Acquisitions Editor presenting my proposal, she suggested that I begin a website or blog. I wanted to get something up and running that day and the first thought I had was to talk about beads since they make me so happy. I didn't realize then how much joy this blog would provide and how many friends I would make in the process. It has been a wonderful experience!
Dawno: Did you have any goals or hopes for your blog when you started? Has that changed? How?
Lisa: I wanted to maintain consistency and produce something the publishing company would think was appropriate. I never dreamed I would get to know so many talented and wonderfully encouraging and kind beaders and crafters! I also had no idea of my potential for rambling on about beads!! : )
Dawno: Have you always been interested in beading and are there other crafts you like to do?
Lisa: I've always loved crafts, but until I started to bead, I had no idea of the wide variety of crafts and products available. I started to bead in 1990 after a vacation to San Francisco where I purchased my first piece of beaded jewelry from a street vendor. It was a strung bracelet using all the same hematite beads. It dawned on me when we got home that I could probably do something like that and I started buying beads at Joann Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics. I didn't have any awareness of swarovski and glass designers, etc. until much later. Several years later I got hooked on memory wire. In the last 8 or 9 years, I have taken classes and started reading every book and magazine I could find about beading techniques.

I also enjoy decopauge and anything having to do with hot melt glue and glitter!
Dawno: What has been your most challenging project?
Lisa: Good question! Sometimes I find projects challenging that do not even appear to be challenging. That's when I know I need to step back and realize this is supposed to be fun! That usually happens when I know I am making something for a specific person or purpose. Otherwise, since I'm not doing craft shows right now, most of my beading is for fun or gift giving.

Several years ago I made a woven bracelet using hemp cord and wooden beads that required every bead to be reamed in order to get 2 strands through each bead. That was definitely a tad challenging, but it wasn't until a couple of craft night friends admired it and I decided to teach them how to make it that the challenge began! I then had to ream beads and prepare kits for 5 other people. That was a bit of a challenge and my fingers were pretty sore afterwards. The reward was that they all turned out great and everyone was happy!
Dawno: What kind of beading do you like best?
Lisa: I have a love for memory wire. It is easy to use and has so many possibilities. You can make formal or informal pieces with it and technically just need one pair of pliers to turn the ends as long as you have a heavy duty pair of scissors to cut the wire. If you plan to use a lot of it, definitely invest in a memory wire cutter! It's a wonderful medium to teach because it is not intimidating to most people. It is usually adding a clasp and crimping that many people are concerned about learning. With memory wire, you can focus more on your design.
Dawno: You have a great eye for colors - any idea how that developed or if there was an early influence?
Lisa: That is very nice of you to say, thank you! I haven't thought of myself in that way, I just sort of go with things.
Dawno: If I were just starting to think about getting into making my own crafty jewelry, but was on a hugely limited budget, what "must have's" would you suggest starting with?
Lisa: Memory wire!! As I mentioned above, especially if funds are limited, you can get away with using a $2.00 pair of pliers and some kind of cutting tool you might have around the house, if you begin by using memory wire. Once you buy a package of memory wire, all you need are beads! As many or as few as you like. There are just a few limitations regarding beads. If they are too long or too fragile, they might not produce the results you are looking for on memory wire. However, most beads work great and if you are looking for immediate gratification, most projects are quick and easy!
Dawno: Sort of a "desert island" kind of question - you're going away somewhere and you can't buy any supplies while you're gone. You can only take a small tote full of stuff to work with to keep you sane, but you can also use anything you might find in your hotel, as well as your tote stuff to craft with. I'll be kind and let you come back to the world in one week :-) What is in your tote?
Lisa: Lots and lots of crystals!! They don't take up much space, but they provide lots of sparkly happiness wherever they go. You don't even have to make anything with them really, just LOOK AT THEM! I promise your mood will improve!

What do you think you could find to use? Gosh, I'm stumped! All I can think of is taking the laundry bags to put more stuff in! : )
Dawno: You can buy $500 worth of only one type of stone or bead to use in your jewelry - what would you pick and why?
Lisa: How funny, as I just mentioned above, I would buy crystals and for the simplest reason of all, the happiness factor. I don't know how you could look at even $10 worth of them and not become happier. Looking at $500 worth of all shapes, sizes and colors would be heavenly!
Dawno: As a beader/crafter, why is blogging and/or social networking important?
Lisa: Up until a year ago, my world was so much more limited. Once I began blogging I was able to better communicate my thoughts and feelings associated with beading/crafting. I have learned about many more techniques and products available. I have had the privilege to "meet" some of the brightest, and most popular, jewelry designers who are all so encouraging and willing to share what they have learned.

Once you begin meeting others on blogs or through facebook and twitter, you just can't go back! It restores your faith in humanity because everyone who is out there doing self promotion is also willing to take a minute to help you do the same. I would definitely encourage individuals hoping to promote either their craft, their art of themselves in general, to get on twitter and facebook and begin building relationships.

Thank you so much, Lisa, for letting us get to know you better. I hope everyone will bookmark or subscribe to ABeadADay and enjoy her fun and fascinating posts every day!

PS: There are no pictures of Lisa on her blog, so I thought I'd share pictures of her adorable pups, who you can also read about in: "The Magical Doggie Bead"

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mid-Week Mutterings - Copper Crazy

Got on a copper kick tonight. Needed to order more Antique Copper Meadow beads from Artbeads to finish the necklace I was stringing, so that will sit aside until the order arrives. While I was at it, I also got some Antique Copper Woodland beads, too. The necklace uses hessonite and champagne freshwater pearls I got at the Rings & Things roadshow, sunstone faceted roundells from Lima Beads and tiny copper bead caps, which you can also find at Rings & Things, from my local bead store, Global Beads.

The other necklace features an 'add a bead' neckwire in copper and vintage copper coated steel twisted curb chain from The Beadin' Path, some frosted peach glass beads with textured triangular impressions, twisted copper loops, and copper wire I also picked up at Global Beads and copper beads and headpins from Rings & Things. I'm almost done, some minor tweeks still needed.

The vintage chain is really lovely - a satin finish makes it gleam rather than shine, looks great with the peach beads, and since I have 6 of them left and plenty of chain, they'll probably wind up together in another necklace soon.

And that's all for my midweek mutterings, it's late and I'm worn out. Tomorrow I have a great interview feature for you, so don't miss it: Lisa from A Bead A Day!

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

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits - Put on Your Sunglasses!

This is probably the most "glam" piece I've ever attempted. I was dazzled by some chessboard Swarovski rhinestones i saw on Artbeads and decided to grab them back when they were having a great sale. I'd also previously acquired oval sterling jump rings, amazonite cubes (not in stock) and some non-tarnish silver Artistic wire from them. I bought the aqua Swarovski to go with those amazonite cubes as I had a design idea in mind.

Late last week as I was linking together the amazonite bits to the Swarovski's, I realized I needed sterling chain, so I got that as well, this time using one of their coupons to get a bit of savings - be sure you either sign up for their newsletter or check the coupon specials (there's a link on their hone page) before finalizing your order!

Wave the magic wand (well, really work for days on it) and create version 1.

Not exactly there, though, but I took a picture so you could see the changes. A couple hours later, version 2:

Liking version 2 better, so far. Will put aside for a while before deciding if it's done.


I just couldn't stop fiddling - made it a 3 layer necklace by adding satin ribbon tie-back. Added advantage that length becomes more adjustable. Pondering embellishment to ribbon...

Speaking of Artbeads - if you're on Twitter, don't forget to do the "Tweet Your Prize" contests! Today's ends at 9 a.m. Pacific but perhaps there will be another one up later this week, so check that link daily!

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

Bookmark and Share

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Miscellany - Re-work Finished, Maybe...

If you read my Saturday post, you might remember I mentioned I was going to do some re-work on this necklace:


Unlike the gunmetal and garnet, I didn't take intermediate pictures, although now I wish I had. The design went through several trial and error phases before I settled on something. Here's what it looks like now.


I took over half of the lilac cathedral beads off of the necklace, replaced them with round faceted Czech glass beads, added extra vermeil spacers and glass roundell spacers between them to go around the side and back of the neck. Then I positioned and re-positioned those lilac cathedral beads into various configurations using gold filled eye-pin links and a few clear glass beaded links as well.

This was very tedious work, but I think worth the effort. I've put it out of sight for now and will give it a fresh eye in a day or two before I declare it 'done'. Now I have to go de-list from Artfire since the original no longer exists!

Speaking of ArtFire - I posted on Saturday that I'd listed my lava stone and red ceramic necklace and put the word out on Twitter as well. Then I got busy doing stuff (mostly the necklace above) and didn't visit Twitter or check my email for several hours. I took a peek at Twitter and saw that PandorasBones had left me a tweet saying she'd bought the necklace and forgot to ask for the extender chain option. Call me gobsmacked! I'd never sold something so quickly and that I could attribute directly to mentioning a post on Twitter about! Needless to say, I'm pretty glad I use Twitter.

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

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

I'll start off with some of my favorite bead/jewelry/crafts blog posts of the week and wrap up with other sites of interest (I hope!) for you to visit and hope you'll consider adding to your RSS readers or bookmarks.
There is one other post from last week at A Bead A Day that I didn't mention above - it's her Friday Featured Designer post. The designer, Molly, has a lovely banner and does a great job with her Etsy store and photographs of her lovely vintage button (and other media) creations.

Then I visited Whimsy House's blog. I wish three things:
  1. she'd post more - I like her friendly 'voice' and she's got a fascinating niche
  2. she'd change from white text on black background, which is very hard to read, at least for me
  3. she'd not center all her text which is also difficult to read.
Maybe nobody has mentioned it to her so she didn't know? How often do we visit blogs that might have promise but not go back and establish a rapport for any of the above reasons or others? I'm guilty as charged, but working on it.

That brings me to wish #4 but it's for myself - I wish that if you ever have constructive criticism to give me, that you will. I want my blog to be a place you'll keep visiting. If I'm doing something that might prevent that, let me know!

Apparently there's quite an overlap in the tech world and the crafts world - I guess I knew that some techie folk liked papercrafts (my husband helped me realize how many techies are into Origami), and I knew there were a number into Steampunk, but I really didn't know the extent of it.

Take Maker Faire, for example. Since it was the weekend right after Bay Con, I didn't go, but you can see from the Maker links at the 2009 website, where the two interests intersect.

Speaking of Makers at this year's faire, one of the crafters linked above (link: "two") was Absolutely Small who is a new friend of mine on Twitter. Get over to her site and get in the know about Chickenpants!

Another intersection of tech and geek and craft (and so much more) is BoingBoing, where many arts and handcrafts are often featured, like the Trekkie Meerkats or Steampunk jewelry.

Also, this week Wired magazine featured an article about Geek Art: Needlework Brings Together Programmers, Crafters and shows some beautiful embroidery and quilting with a techie slant.

Via a tweet from Dave (@Rings_Things), I wandered over to Flapper Girl, where she showcases this wonderful Vintage 50s Bead Kit.

Artbeads "Tweet your Prize" Twitter promotion is going strong - there's a new contest through Tuesday synched up with their Express Yourself sale.

The Beadin' Path has finally opened for business in their new space - here are a couple "work in progress" pictures Heather posted - from the floor and the next day - wow, the colors! I wish it were possible for me to visit in person (and probably break the bank on vintage beads).

SoftFlexGirl Sara posted about Beading Wire Diameters - extremely helpful! Thanks, Sara!

I got a Lima Beads newsletter the other day informing me of the creation of a new community section: The Garden

This week, we launched an exciting section on our web site. It's called The Garden, and it's a community section dedicated to meeting new beaders, sharing ideas, asking questions, and more.

Get started by seeing who's online, creating a profile for yourself, checking out groups to join, or browsing the beader directory.

Ok, I think that's plenty to keep busy with for today - see you tomorrow, I hope - I'll be showing a re-make I've been working on this weekend, if you visit.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Slow Starting and Lazy Saturday

Started off waking up a bit late, was a cloudy morning, I'm exhausted from last week, and the DH planned a movie (Ghost Town - lovely movie, funny and romantic) and pizza lunch, so it's 2:30 now and probably won't get much done creatively today.

I do have my Patti Stoll Starry Night Sunflower beads sitting out, the ones with the bright yellow sunflowers and swirly sky of blue and white above them. I cannot for the life of me decide what to do. I want to use the two small beads as earrings and the larger one as a pendant. Other than that I'm stumped.

Maybe Russ Troll will inspire me? Yes, my Russ Troll bead showed up the other day. Here he is examining my photo studio and being examined by the cats. Lying down and "playing possum" was probably the right thing to do with my fierce felines.

(Pudding at left, Jello at right)

I am got a bit of photography done today and listed this necklace that includes brown lava stone beads from Rings & Things that I've named Hale-a-ka-la is Dreaming. I've had this out at both shows this year, gotten lots of compliments, but no sale yet. Not sure why, but I'm going to put it out on the web, maybe it'll find a home.

Update, Saturday Night: Wow! The power of Twitter - this piece is now sold!

I'm also going to re-work this one, showed it at BayCon and got some positive reaction, but there's something about it that's just not doing it for me yet:

Do come back tomorrow for the weekly round up: Dawno's Wanderings Around the Beadosphere!

Update! Update! Update!
Russ Nobbs shares the Russ Troll Story!
(promoted from comments)

Blogger Russ Nobbs said...

Wonderful pictures of your cats with my ceramic likeness. Literally made me laugh out loud!
Those "russ troll" beads are one of the best and funniest things we've ever done. They've created laughter amongst beaders all around the globe.

Exactly why the the design came about is shrouded in mystery. *we can't remember* Some years ago, Michelle, who now heads our problem resolution and quality control sections, asked her dad to do a caricature of me. No one remembers exactly what for. Just for fun? to use in the catalog? To throw darts at? Whatever..... He did a cute one. I do remember using it in a catalog as a coloring contest. I still have some of the better entries. An airbrush artist even sent in a T shirt with the design airbrushed on it. It happened to arrive while I was in the hospital trying to survive an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs. The wonderful shirt went a long way towards restoring my health and sanity.

I think the hands are behind my back just because it's hard to sketch hands if they aren't doing anything. Maybe I should be fondling some beads?

A few years ago, Kim and a couple of the buyers got together with another strange bead icon, the guy who has the ceramic beads made down in Peru. They thought up what was supposed to be a surprise for me - a hand painted ceramic version of the Russ "troll."

As it happened, when the picture of the prototype bead came in most of the people who were in on the plot were out of town. So they asked me to "approve" the sample for production. After I stopped laughing, I said "Yeh! Sure! Why not?" It took a few months and now we finally have them "in stock" available for sale to anyone. Even our competitors are allowed to buy them for their dart boards or to hang from their cell phones.

There's talk of making a few more styles.... one with the worn out denim cap I like, one with my glasses propped tackily on top of my head, one with our logo on the shirt, one with a huge strand of chevrons, that sort of thing. Then we'll put it out there that it's cool to collect the whole set.

I hope this one inspires you!!!!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Bead Artists who Blog
Powered By Ringsurf