Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Miscellany - A New Artbeads "Blogging for Beads" Design

Thank goodness my entire weekend wasn't impossible-to-move hot. Saturday the temps were in the upper 90s, maybe even hit 100. By mid-afternoon I was reduced to lying around in the breeze of a floor fan set to high, drinking tall glass after glass of ice water, wearing a sleeveless tee-shirt, shorts and periodically misting myself from a spray bottle. Sunday, thankfully, was much cooler. Started off with an overcast morning, cool breezes and continued much cooler and breezy throughout the afternoon.

My last package of beads from Artbeads for the Beads for Bloggers program was primarily built around some beautiful CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements Crystal Volcano beads (24x12mm teardrop and 6mm 5301 Crystal Volcano faceted bicones). But I also got CRYSTALLIZED™ 6010 11mm Air Blue Opal Briolette Pendant . I should have checked my blog to remind me what I was thinking of doing with them at the time (which now that I've looked again I still want to do) so when I got them out this weekend, I made a pair of earrings.

I took 22 gauge sterling silver wire from Rio Grande, made a three loop dangle and the jump rings. The wire is soft, so I used my new Wire Whacker to harden it once I'd looped the dangle and clipped the rings. I added 5mm white opal Swarovski bicones as well. I used Wig Jig fine step jaw pliers to make the loops on the dangle and the jump rings.

Why did I make these? I was browsing through the Nordstrom online catalog of jewelry and kept seeing things I liked, so I decided to make my own interpretation of a few of them.

The thing that annoyed me were the prices. $38 and up for very simple earrings - I mean, one or two Swarovski crystals on simple plated wire loops and a plated lever back ear-wire. $48 and up for bracelets simpler than ones I've made and display on Art Fire for half the price. Again, they're made with plated or sometimes, sterling and gold filled, wire, with simple loops and Austrian crystals (note, sometimes they specify Swarovski, so I suspect when they don't, they aren't).

Some are strung, just crystals, no metal spacers or charms, and there's no way to tell what kind of stringing material used but there's a callotte or clamshell knot cover at the ends, so I suspect a thread rather than wire. Their 'crystal collection' features illusion necklaces on beading chain (again, plated) with simple designs, for over $80.

I see things that many handmade independent artisans could easily make (and many have). When I see these types of designs online at Etsy or Artfire, often they seem so woefully underpriced in comparison to what people are paying at Nordstrom, it makes me a bit angry and a bit sad that these mass produced pieces sell for 2 to 4 times what handmade artisans charge.

Well, anyway, enough ranting. I also have a 28mm #6723 CRYSTALLIZED™ Crystal Golden Shadow Seashell Pendant with matching CRYSTALLIZED™ 5301 Crystal Golden Shadow 4mm Faceted Bicones still waiting for my muse to inspire me with a design. Hope to do something wonderful and share with you soon.

I've also created my final Trios design, the deadline is nearly upon us! All entries must be received by September 1, 2009. I'll post it as the Tuesday Tidbit, so you should definitely come see!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

It's another Sunday, so grab your walkin' shoes (aka, mouse) and let's go wandering around the beadosphere...
Just A Tish is having a giveaway (and hurry - must comment before Tuesday!), had an ee-piff-any about using tags (the blogging kind) and talked about developing one's own design style.

A Bead A Day ponders how to spice up some wooden crafts bracelets, what to do with curled sterling silver tube beads, and some 5 hole spacer bars (among other posts - she does post daily!). I mention those 3 because I made some suggestions in the comments - you should, too!

Blanche's Sha-sha Handcrafted Jewelry Blog has been quiet this week. I hope she'll be posting again soon!

Jessica at SmuTopia will be at Designer's Downtown Market in Raleigh, NC, Sept. 12th and shared this gorgeous seahorse and labradorite necklace she'll be featuring as well as a peek at some of the earrings that will be there, too.

Over at Silver Parrot, Friday is "New Bead" day - and wow, what a beautiful haul! The earrings she features at the top of the post are really lovely, too.

At This Artist's Journey she shares about easy, safe and natural way to oxidize silver. Anyone know if you can oxidize other metals this way?

One of the designers I follow on Twitter would like you to become a fan: Shiny Adornments on Facebook.

How about getting in on another giveaway? Really fabulous prizes! Jeannetebix gives you 3 ways to enter!

and one more: Art Bead Scene Blog giveaway.
Here are some of the designs created for the Artbeads' Blogging for Beads seen last week
A beautiful design from designer, Staci, Pink Pooch Design, with a beadweave bezel set rivoli.

And Katie Hacker used a Crystal Red Magma disk pendant bead for her Artbeads Blogging for Beads design, with a tubular peyote stitch bail.
Supplier Blogs
The SoftFlex Trios Flex Your Creativity contest deadline is almost here! See Soft Flex Girl's Seven Days of Inspiration.

The Rings & Things blog talked about dapping and hollow silver beads last week.

The Artbeads Blog featured an amazing, gorgeous Montana Sapphire necklace from their Customer Gallery of Designs (I keep meaning to of these days!)

The Beadin' Path's Dara and her Weekly Beadditude talk about collectable vintage beads

Thanks for keeping me company on the journey!


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Supplier Sales Saturday

Power was out here on Friday from 3 to 6pm, temps were brutal outside and without our fans running inside, not much cooler. Didn't get much beading done until very late, nor take any photos. I am working on some 'sea glass' ideas, but not ready to share yet. However, there are some great sales going on, so I'll share the info with you so you don't miss 'em (and I have something worthwhile to post about!):

With summer coming to an end, we are offering clearance discounts on more than 600 summer-themed items along with the existing clearance products. There is no better time to stock up on your favorite beads and jewelry components! This sale ends at 9am (PDT) on Thursday, September 3, 2009. When it ends, the summer-themed products will be removed from the clearance section and go back to their original prices, so shop now!
D&I Beads "Create Your Own Sale"

Rings & Things 5-day Sale - ends tomorrow!!
Wednesday, August 26, through Sunday, August 30, 2009: Create your own beads and pendants without the difficulties of traditional metalsmithing! Art Clay™ Silver and Gold – plus metal-clay tools, books and more – are on sale now for this limited time. Free projects feature some of the sale items.
The Beadin Path
Back to School Supplies Sale! We all need Supplies. And while some of us are shopping for markers, crayons & erasers, other might need clasps, headpins & centerpiece beads. To make that shopping trip even easier, we’re throwing a 10% off coupon at you. Shop away. Get what you need and boom – use coupon code SCLSUPPLY for 10% off your order at checkout.

And we're down to the wire to get our SoftFlex Trios designs photographed and entered - deadline is Sept 1!!

Don't forget to put on your virtual hiking boots tomorrow and go Wandering Around the Beadosphere with me! Post goes up at 6 am Pacific!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Too Tired to do a Friday Pick

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

Yep, long week. Too tired to try and do a pick - really do want to get back to it, but I'm just worn out. So, instead, I'll tell you my books did arrive today - yay! Also thought I'd show and tell about some quick projects I did this week.

On Tuesday or Wednesday, the week's a blur, I tell you, I wanted to wear my charoite and sunstone necklace but I didn't have anything else to go with it. So before I left for work, I grabbed the box lid that all the materials I used to make the necklace (except the chain) were still in, a couple headpins and the chain I'd used, and whipped up earrings and a bracelet. Took about half an hour all told. I again bent one of the twisted wire links into a hook fastener and, voilà - bracelet finished. Earrings were done with headpins and the beads/bead caps.

Then this morning I decided I was going to wear a lanyard with howlite and amazonite to go with a cute camp shirt I had. I had this white turquoise* bracelet and pendant I'd gotten a few years back, when I was still buying jewelry and not making my own, to accessorize with the lanyard.

the lanyard

Couldn't find that pendant for the life of me. Spent half an hour searching before I gave up. Still wanting to accessorize, I grabbed my howlite nuggets and made earrings and a pendant. That took maybe 15 minutes. Sometimes it's just better to make something unique anyway.

*I very firmly believe this white turquoise is howlite, it doesn't look like any of the Native American pieces purported to be white turquoise, which through Googling, seem to be not really a type of turquoise at all. At the time I bought this for a fairly high price at Nordstrom's, I didn't know anything about semi-precious stones - but I did like the way the stones were set, so I grabbed the bracelet and missing matching pendant. It's amazing how much I've learned in the last year or so! I have to give a lot of the credit to the Rings & Things Gemstone Guide - both the book and online version.

So, who else makes last minute accessories before dashing off to work or out with friends?

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - How My Book Didn't Get Here Yet, So I Imagine a Roadtrip to Dollywood

"Mail Chute" Image from Wikimedia Commons
Image file is in the public domain in the United States

I had hoped to have a very special book review this week, but instead I'm going to rant a bit about my experience with it being shipped via DHL.

I got a gift card for my birthday (thanks, sis!) and went online to get the aforementioned book, plus another one I wanted to read. I also renewed my B&N membership. All in all, just getting the order done was cumbersome with much back and forth and restarts. Perhaps more my problem than B&N's, but really, their order entry site could be easier to use. Anyway, I got free standard shipping for some reason, so I selected that.

Finally, all done and confirmed, I just need to wait for the delivery. Free standard delivery, they say, takes 3 - 8 business days. I made the order on the 17th, today (as I write this the night before posting) is the 26th. That's 7 business days for the books to reach California from Kentucky - which they've done, though I don't have them yet - I'll get to that in a bit.

In that amount of time, I could take a leisurely drive to Kentucky with a couple of day long stops, because, remember, they didn't count the weekend, so it has actually taken 9 real days, so far. I'd have gotten a chance to check out the sights in Salt Lake City, then I think I'd have visited Mt. Rushmore, seen a bit of Chicago, maybe even visited Dollywood before I turned around to come home...perhaps that's what the DHL driver did - and I say driver because it certainly wouldn't take 10 days by air-freight to have gotten here.

Image by Brian Stansberry. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.

To be specific about the routing, it took two of the days for the books to reach the DHL hub in Kentucky and the rest of them to reach Union City, California (this morning) where, and this is what stunned me, at 6 am this morning, they hand over the package to USPS to deliver. Union City is 24 miles away. I could have driven there at lunch (it's even closer to where I work, maybe 15 miles) and picked it up faster, but instead the Post Office gets to haul it the last 24 miles down the road and that, of course, means they will take it somewhere to be sorted first, so it didn't get into today's (the 26th) mail. *sigh*

It will probably show up tomorrow. It just befuddles me. Next time, I either can't care about how long it takes or pick faster shipping.

While this 'review' has nothing to do (at least directly) with beading, although the book I'm waiting on does, there is a valuable lesson (well, for me). I've never had a complaint from anyone I've shipped anything to when I use USPS Priority Mail. It moves much faster than you'd expect - I've heard tell of things getting from coast to coast in 2 or 3 days. It's easy - you can get the boxes free (they'll even deliver them to you), do the postage online and track the progress, too.

I'm hopeful I'll have the book in plenty of time for next Thursday's review.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mid-Week Mutterings - Fable's Rocks Pendants

I've left the picture rather large this time so you can see more detail of these beautiful stones I received from Fable's Rocks. Here's what they say about their stones:

Our pendants are all natural agates and jaspers, cut into freeform shapes and tumbled polished, then drilled for jump ring insertion. We can also supply them without the hole, for glueing or wirewrapping.
I'm not sure, yet, of the types and names of the stones in the pendants above, just that they are beautifully patterned and have such great colors. The center and right pendants use multiple stones, the one on the left uses just one.

I used Soft Flex Emerald and Onyx for the one on the left, Soft Flex Lapis for the middle pendant, Beadalon Satin Copper for the one on the right. I used 22 gauge wire (copper from BeadSmith via The Bead Store in Redondo Beach, and sterling silver from Rio Grande via a group buy through a beading friend with an account there) to wrap the "bail" and create the coil designs around the bead wire for extra security. Before I finish these completely, I'll probably also use a dab of glue here and there on the back to make sure the beading wire doesn't slip.

I'm also *probably* going to do something with the rest of the necklace wire before I add clasps, but I'm pondering the what of it before I commit.

I have quite a few of Fable's Rocks pieces, including some 'Polish flint' that I am dying to use, but need to figure out how I want to set them. As I mentioned, I'm just now trying to teach myself how to do wire-wrapping and don't have the right wire or tools yet. I think the flint would be great with gunmetal or antiqued brass (or both!) and I have some lovely reds and greens that would be great with copper, too.

You can contact the Fable's Rocks gals if you're interested in some of their stones by clicking here and you can find one of them (and maybe both, but I only know the one) on Twitter @MidnightReading, too.

I'm hoping that a very special book I've ordered shows up tomorrow so I can read and review it for Thursday. If not, I'm not sure what I'll have in store, but I hope it'll be worth your time!

Thank you all, again, for visiting. I really appreciate my 'regulars' and the time you commit to coming back and reading here. I'll be figuring out a new appreciation contest to hold soon and this time with multiple winners so more of you can know how much I enjoy your company!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits - Starring the Rings & Things 7-loop Star Connector Necklace

Yesterday I mentioned the July goodies package and said that I was getting close to finishing some designs for the remaining items. Today I can share what I've been working on with the Gold filled 7 loop star connector and some Soft Flex Trios (Tranquility) from the June blog partner offer.

The pendant and design elements are strung onto 24k Gold Soft Flex Extreme wire (which was part of my Extreme Trios prize in their Twitter contest!). The gleam and shine of the 24k Extreme is really lovely. The beads I used are glass bicones because I didn't have any Swarovski in the right colors. I know those would look better - this "Under the Boardwalk" assortment from Rings & Things would be a good choice, I think.

I wanted to use the Trio colors as embellishment, so I crimped about an inch and a half of one of the three Tranquility colors on either side of a set of bicones, then pinched it to a point to echo the points on the star. This will definitely be re-done, I've learned a number of things that I can do better (to say nothing of using Swarovski crystals instead of glass bicones) in the next version.

I had the day off today and one of the things I tried was to teach myself how to create a wrapped wire cabochon (thanks to Tammy Powley and her 'how to' article). I think I'm getting the hang of it, but it's going to take more time, materials and a couple new tools before they're ready for prime time, so I decided to try a different approach. Tomorrow I'll share some pendants I've made with that approach and some gorgeous free form polished stones I received from Fable's Rocks (@MidnightReading on Twitter), beading wire and silver/copper embellishments.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Miscellany - Another Design from the Rings & Things July Goodies

Back in July I received a goodie pack from Rings & Things and I almost immediately got inspired by the four loop round connector and made a necklace with it right away. However, I stalled out with the other connectors, trying this thing and that. I am very close to having designs figured out for them and copper gluable bail, so I'll be posting about them this week.

This weekend, though, I finished a piece using the Lime CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements 8mm faceted cube crystal, 0.8-1.2mm hole. #5601 and Montana/Aurora Borealis CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements 8mm faceted cube crystal, 0.8-1.2mm hole. #5601. I strung the cubes together with some antique gold colored spacer beads, put french wire around the ends that I crimped to the larger rings and used jump ring connections to complete one half of the chain. Then I used a sheer ribbon for the other half, crimping the end and attaching to a lobster claw to hook through a final jump ring that's under one of the bows to the left, below.

I think this would look great with a little black dress for going out, but I can also see it dressing up a black tee-shirt under a jacket to wear with black jeans to the office come fall.

I'm still dying to find an online supplier for the Beadalon square knot connectors - if you know of one, please comment!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Welcome back! It's been a busy week out there in the beadosphere, and without further ado - read all about it:

  • Tish of Just a Tish explains the artist exchange she's launching at her blog & gives a tutorial on the earrings she's made for the Beading Daily earring exchange.

  • A two for one deal over on Lisa's Friday Bead a Day post about Melissa Lee's designs for Soft Flex Trios over on Strands

  • I'm not the only one wandering the beadosphere! Wendy T. Gibson at Craft Dinner does too, on Wendy's Wednesday Web.

  • A gorgeous Alice in Wonderland necklace from a fellow Artbeads Blogging for Beads partner Blanche at Sha-sha Handcrafted Jewelry Blog.

  • Janeen from Janeen's 365 grabbed a picture of this gorgeous plate with patterns and colors that could inspire all sorts of creative ideas for beadweaving, stringing or polymer clay designs.

  • Zoya Gutina has a blog called Gem and Beaded Jewelry where she's shared how the Artbeads picasso painted onyx pendant necklace inspired her.

  • Silver Parrot's fabulous bead haul - it's all wonderful, but those polymer clay beads are just *wow* -

  • Don't miss Lampwork Diva Cindy Gimbrone's gorgeous Art Nouveau bronze metal clay pendant either. If I had more free time I would so love to start working with the different metal clays.

  • Melanie Brooks at Earthenwood Studios did a Rings & Things 'product playtime' post featuring the R&T copper blanks and had Russ Troll standing by to check out the results.

  • Now and then I sneak in a blog that has nothing to do with beading but another artistic endeavor, like this picture posted by Nikon Sniper - what an inspiring palette of colors - I imagined this inspiring a design in Swarovski colors of padparadscha, golden shadow, chrysolite, olivine, light sapphire, light peach...

  • Magazine posts

  • Katie Hacker shares about her Beading Daily featured download necklace pattern

  • Great article from Bead and Button on using dyed beads

  • Lori Anderson talks about her Beadstyle Magazine 52 Bracelets feautred bracelet which she's now got on sale (as well as a version in coral and turquoise)

  • Suppliers & Manufacturers

  • Want to know more about the Swarovski Create Your Style Ambassadors?

  • Great pictures and story about the Rings & Things Alabaster Anniversary.

  • The Beadin' Path's Dara talks about how to buy vintage beads in this week's Weekly Beadditudes.

  • Sara the Soft Flex Girl with a great new Soft Flex online feature & a post featuring one of my recent re-work designs with Soft Flex Trios Romance colors. Thanks, Sara!
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    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Weekend With My Daughter - No Beading Post Today

    Taking today off - hope to see you tomorrow for our Weekly Wanderings!
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    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Friday Pick Still on Hiatus, So Today I'll Talk About My New Necklace

    Can September only be 10 days away? While I know intellectually the actual last day of summer/first day of fall is mid-September, it still seems in my heart that summer is over when I flip the calendar page away from August. I will have to get the most out of these days while I can.

    I love having new jewelry! This set is one of my favorites. Well, they're all favorites, this is just the latest one. The big disks are bold in size, but the subtle color doesn't overwhelm me. I know some people thrive on it, I'm just not one of them. I do think I should make more big, bold pieces - it's just another hurdle out of my cushie comfort zone that I have to make.

    It's made from The Beadin' Path's light azore 'sea glass' disk beads, Beadalon silver plated square knot links (see G and K - anyone know of an online-source? I want MORE!) and 3-cut round, 6mm window cut Czech glass beads - I sorted them out from a pile of Blue Moon assorted glass packages from Michael's, but you can buy them from Beadweavers (first hit on Google as I went looking for them) and I'm sure other suppliers as well.

    I had finished the necklace Monday night and picked out an entire outfit to wear to go with it. (You don't ever do that, now, do you?) Tuesday morning I decided that I needed earrings and a bracelet to go with it. So I went into my stash and found these cool square knot links I thought would be perfect for putting between the window cut glass beads. Whipped up the bracelet in about 15 minutes. The earrings took about 5. I would love to make a lot more square knot bracelets, but I'm out of the links!

    All vintage images on this page are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

    I did take two of the few remaining knot links to make another pair of earrings with round sea-glass beads and paired them with a small pale blue bicone, which under my Ott lamp looked like a perfect match. Took them upstairs to photograph and put on my Art Fire shop (that one listing a day goal and all). Oops - they're a very pale lavender in the (fast fading) sunlight! I take them into the hall and turn on the light there, which is an incandescent bulb - they're a purple-pink (fuchsia?)! Take them into the kitchen under the fluorescent light, and they're lavender again.

    Fortunately, I have some really lovely Czech glass in alexandrite, which changes color exactly the same way. I swapped out the blue bicone for some spiral faceted ovals, ran upstairs to get the last glimmers of sunlight (and used my high ISO setting), so the picture on Art Fire right now isn't the best - I'll re-do tomorrow. I also took pictures under the other light to show the color changes.

    Here's the pair under the Ott light

    and incandescent light

    You can check Dawno's Art Fire shop for the natural sunlight picture now, but I'd wait a couple days for the better ones to show up. I haven't had time to photograph and post new listings during the last few evenings before the light disappeared, so I'll have to catch up again. Plus, my daughter is coming up tonight to stay the weekend, so I'll be short of time the next few days as well (and her bedroom is my photography studio, too).

    Have a beautiful Friday and enjoy your weekend! Hope you'll visit if you can, especially on Sunday for my weekly wanderings - I have some really great links to share that you won't want to miss - contest deadlines, gorgeous creations and a couple new (to me) blogs to share.

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    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - - Swarovski Flower Beads and Pendants

    As I've mentioned a couple times, I received a very kind invitation to review the to receive some items with a promotional coupon and then share my impressions with you here.

    I received the email early in August, and had let it sit for awhile, having a lot of things on the to-do list.Then I saw some posts by Lisa of A Bead A Day about her experience and remembered I hadn't gotten back to them! I made my order on the 10th and received it on the 15th, so standard shipping was fast - in fact the follow-up detail indicated that the order was fulfilled and shipped out the very next day. It came securely wrapped and well padded, all the Swarovski crystals ordered were in great shape and also in their consumer packaging, not repacked. The order also came with their color catalog.

    My online shopping experience was a good one. They're a relatively new site which may be why I wasn't familiar with them yet. When I visited I noticed that it had two easy to use ways to navigate, a left side listing of categories (and the jewelry section has a project gallery - more later on that) and tabs a the top of the page that remain visible through out the site. When I entered something in the cart, because of the set up of the site, I never left the page I was on, a small pop up came up to show that I'd added it and could select to keep shopping or check out, so I didn't have to click back to complete my shopping.

    The front page and every section has featured items as well. There is also a search feature with an advanced search. I put 'links' in the non-advanced search field and got no results, so they probably don't carry those, then I tried 'components' but still no results, however 'jump rings' did return their items. I would probably have done better to say 'findings'.

    Drilling down into each section is easy with top level links or the more detailed selections for that category to the left. As you peruse the items you'll get a small thumbnail, some details and the option to put the item in the cart or save to favorites. clicking on thumbnails brings up a larger picture, some "similar products" and a tab to 'email a friend' - maybe a way to subtly hint "I'd like this for my birthday"? On several of the items in the 'specialty findings' area the similar products were always the same two bead suggestions, so I checked some in a different category (glass beads) and it was still the same two. Now that doesn't really impact my shopping experience, but perhaps it's a site feature to look into improving.

    Not only does the site feature beads and findings, but a good selection of supplies for a number of different crafts all in one place - and if you're into multi-media, it's a one stop shop:

    * precious impressions (molding kits)
    * kids crafts
    * paper mache
    * bridal
    * miniatures
    * floral
    * metal
    * ribbon
    * home decor
    * wood
    * basics
    * hot buys
    * art supplies
    * education

    I compared their pricing for 8mm Swarovski bicones and the flower pendants I ordered. I found the bicones at slightly lower price on some sites, slightly higher on others. The pricing for the 12mm flower pendant, though, was much lower on the other online sites (four that I regularly shop from and one that I found on Google I'd not visited before) I checked.

    I would like to refer you to Lisa's blog where if you scroll back over several days you can see the Jill MacKay items she bought - I'm not familiar with how available they are on the web, but it seems like has a great selection.

    This is the retail pricing, by the way. Wholesale pricing would probably be half that at least, and some suppliers provide quantity discounts which I didn't notice them having. They do say in their FAQs that you can contact customer service at a toll free number to discuss some wholesale options.

    Edited to add: I forgot to talk about the project gallery. The plus side is that you can buy all the recommended materials right on the page with the project, separately or as a complete set. Also, they give instructions that are fairly good, although not illustrated or in as much detail as a complete beginner might need. Sufficient for someone with a little experience in the basic techniques. The minus side is there just aren't many projects yet and some of them are photographed as a set of matching pieces which is used in each category for the individual pieces of the set, which I don't think gives enough detail to the actual piece in that category. I hope they'll make improvements and add new pieces to the gallery soon.

    What I did order were 12 and 6 mm Swarovski flower pendants. When I make my planned necklace, I'll be sure to post about it here!

    Well, glad to introduce a new site for craft supplies to you - if you decide to make a purchase there before Sept 2nd you can use this code for free shipping: XPV3CCQ

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    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    Mid-Week Mutterings - Chrysocolla and Copper Necklace Part 2

    Not that long ago I wrote about this lovely chrysocolla I'd received from The Beadin' Path - the large oval from the May bead club and the smaller coins from a promotional package that included vintage Lucite that I blogged about a the end of July and first of August. I'd started stringing it with some copper beads and one half of a flowery copper toggle.

    I was thinking about, perhaps, working some kind of lanyard idea with it, or maybe I'd wrap something to the loop end...then I got another idea entirely.

    The clasp needs some work - it's not yet fully bent correctly because it's a bit DIY - I took another floral toggle part and cut it so it had an open "hook" (now I have the two orphaned toggle bars to figure out what to do with). I'll also need to crimp off the beading wire (Beadalon Satin Copper, 19 strands) when I've finished the hook, but I think I really love this design. Adding the little glass disk spacers and copper wreath beads started me going, but the copper 'shells' beads were the final just right touch for me.

    Do come back tomorrow for my review of the site and promotional coupon purchases I made from them. I don't know if I'll have time to finish a piece with the purchases, if not, I'll save that for another day. On Friday I'll reveal my latest The Beadin' Path "sea glass" necklace (and the bracelet & earrings).

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    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Tuesday Tidbits - Rose Stone and Paper Roses Mixed Media Earrings

    "Attention! Attention!"
    Before I get to my tidbits, I have a wonderful opportunity to share. Tish from Just A Tish has posted about getting an Artist's Exchange going beginning September 1st. You need to get over to her blog, read the rules and comment if you want in. So, what are you waiting for? Go now, I'll wait.

    Welcome back!

    Today's tidbit is about trying something completely different (for me, at least.) I was messing around with some components, trying to come up with more earring ideas, and hung a rose quartz bead on a new Accessories Susan bead cap on a brass headpin with a small brass spacer and matte rose glass Druk, wired it to a bronze loop (by Bead Landing, the Meadow Grove collection, from Michael's) and attached a simple brass ear wire. Too plain - time to go a bit nuts.

    So I looked around the room, just wondering what I should do about the empty loop. My glance landed on a sheet of scrapbook paper covered with vintage-look roses. I put the earring on the paper and traced the loop,

    cut it out -

    and glued it to the hoop. The G-S Hypo Cement may have been overkill as far as a glue selection - but it was handy. Here's the earring with the paper glued in but before I trimmed it - I waited until after the glue dried to do that.

    Then I put some Diamond Glaze and a CZ-gem drop inside the loop directly on to the paper. I put a rather thick layer, so it took maybe 4 hours to dry. It wasn't very level, I added another layer and it's about level with the height of the bronze loop now. I'll let it dry overnight. It's...interesting. I've made the second earring - it's at the stage where I'm letting the glued on paper dry to the hoop right now. It'll be a day or so before I have a finished pair. Since the back is plain white paper, I'm considering what to do about that.

    I have quite a few sheets of pendant vintage prints from Alpha Stamps - I'm pondering how I might use them, perhaps with the brass frames or copper blanks I have from Rings & Things.

    All vintage images on this page are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

    Hope you'll come back tomorrow to see what I've done with some gorgeous chrysocolla beads.

    PS - today's ArtFire listing goal achieved:

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