Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Spring Cheers ... (Post 71)

I love this time of the year, although it may be a little unpredictable, weatherwise. Funny since I started this the weather has taken a turn for the better - full on sunshine, not that I'm complaining.

I've got a lot to show you, its been a busy few weeks.  Where to start?

Mother's Day Necklace
A Norma Jean Dell Design
Last week I showed you the cute russian leaf earrings I made, what I didn't say they were part of a set that I made for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day.  I held back showing it until now, but it is now with its new owner and was greatly appreciated.

A Norma Jean Dell design, incorporating a few new techniques for me.  A magnetic clasp makes it easier to wear.

The pendant is a beautiful Swarovski crystal rivoli.  This has no holes so has to be captured in a net of beads' it is then embellished with jet dagger beads and beautiful little jet crystals.

The neck chain is a lovely zig zag type pattern, and actually looks like a 'chain' but is made with very small seed beads.  The whole necklace is made with size 15/0 seeds.

I'd never beaded around a Rivoli before and found that you had to really give a tight tension to it or it just wouldn't hold; once it was captured it was further captured with the dagger beads.

A Bit of a Regular Occurrence
I was really excited to be given the opportunity, once again, to be a 'Tester' - this time for the very talented Liz Reed of Crimson Moon.  Liz had created a tutorial for a Beaded Bead called 'Corona'.  I have never done this type of bead weaving before but found it so easy - in the main because Liz produces wonderful detailed and well photographed tutorials.

'Corona Bead' as a Pendant on faux suede necklace
A Liz Reed Design

The Corona Bead is very versatile and is sweet enough to be on its own as a pendant, or perhaps as a pair of earrings.

If you want to make this visit The Crimson Moon for the tutorial; or if you prefer, purchase the finished article - take a look at the wonderful colours that Liz has used.

'Corona Bead' as a Pendant on a silver Snake Chain
A Liz Reed Design

Appeal to the child within .... and read all about the arrival of the 'Corona Bead'

Week 10 Earrings
'Corona Bead' - A Liz Reed Design

Week 10 Earrings
I just had to make the 'Corona Bead' into a pair of earrings, which contributes towards my Earring Challenge.  But ... I'm STILL behind!

This week is Week 14 .... I keep getting side-tracked with so many other beaded wonders!

I'm going to close here but still have updates for you.  I'm NOT going to make wild promises ... as I don't want to disappoint you BUT I will try to make it very soon!

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 19 March 2012

Meandering through March (Post 70)

I was gently 'prodded' today with the fact that there seems to be a shortage of updates from me lately.  (I knew this was the case).  So, time to rectify the shortfalls!

Did you guess what it was?

Some offerings were, Lipstick Holder, Pill Pot ... no - its actually a Needle Case. I currently tend to dot my needles around my beading mat, quite a work of art mind with their twists and turns.  Then I came across a cute little Needle Case holder on R B Beads and decided I just had to make one. Rachel, owner of R B Beads, runs regular workshops and has a great tutorial for this.  Not sure whether its available to buy on her site yet, but I'm sure she'll let you know when it is.

The needle case is wooden with a separate lid.

It was created using circular peyote, and a strip connects the lid so you don't lose it - how neat is that!  A great tutorial.

As always, its the technique which is good to know as you can then adapt it to your own designs.  Maybe do a plain one or embellish it with crystals - possibilities are endless!

You will see some amazing beaded vessels by visiting Eva Maria Keiser. Eva is an amazing artist who I admire greatly.

Ahem ... I have a long way to go to achieve such beautiful works of art; but that said, I am still proud of my 1st Beaded vessel - my wooden needle case.

Earring Beadalong
Have I got away with it, or did you realise I'm behind on my earring self-imposed challenge?  OK, I confess we are now into Week 12 and my last viewing was Week 7 - I know, I know ... but its not something I wanted to focus on.  Good news though ....

Bead Hoop Earring Tutorial
Crystal Star Gems and Jewellery
Week 8 Earrings
These earrings are made using circular peyote stitch using grey Size 11/0 and 15/0 beads and purple crystal bicones.

The tutorial is free until the end of March,  and is designed by Tracey Crystal Gwilliams.  I believe you may need to 'Like' her Facebook to access or possibly join ... not sure, take a peek.

I'll also be entering these into the OTTBS March Challenge, whose theme is something Grey/Purple with a Crystal twist.  These meet those requirements.  Great prize this month, Rachel is sponsoring this event and I know its going to be such a popular event.  Have a wander around at all the other entries ... there are so many outstanding projects.

I will be entering another item but I want to 'get into it' before letting on what it is.

Week 9 Earrings
Russian Leaves - peyote stitch Size 15/0 beads - silver/black.

Picture not as bright as it should be ... still banned from using 'The' camera!

So, I'm not as far behind as I was but STILL 3 pairs to do to bring me up to date.

Hello and Welcome ...
I'd like to say hello to two new Friends:

Ironwind - aka Lena
Lena creates a variety of craftwork some of which are: Needlework, Knitting and Crochet - including crochet jewellery.  

Lena is blogs in Russian but there is a translator on the page so you can also view in English or whatever your preferred language is.  

Haptree - aka Hillary
Hillary runs a Craft Blog Site supporting crafters, sharing hints and tips, reviewing books and a multitude of other helpful tasks.  

Before I go, I almost forgot - have a browse over at Wendy's Handmade Monday to see what all my other friends have been up to.  I've actually made it in time today ... I do lapse from time to time but like to pop across anyway to see what's new.  You can be sure to see some great talent!

As you know, I don't like long blogs, so this is where I close for now but not for long.  I'm reluctant to say when, but aim to post again this week. Very last thing ... I have added a Email for update, for those of you who would like to be kept updated on when I DO update my blog.  I have to admit I'm not sure how this works, so be patient with me - or, if you use it maybe you could let me know your views.

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Too Many Moons' Make a Forgetful Memory (Post 69)

Well, as promised - albeit a little late!  I'd like to give a quick run through on my creativity throughout February.

Admittedly, its many moons ago now but I'll see if I can make it brief.

I forecast for February that I would develop my skills with the Peyote stitch which I did very nicely with Celia's necklace and Donna's cuff bracelet.  

February Pursuits were ...

Mistinguette Earrings by Sereine
Bling-ee earrings.  Instructions are in French, but the pics make it easy to follow.

Celia's Deco Necklace at Jencel's UK
A lovely little necklace like a flower bud.  Using the peyote and brick stitch pattern.

Donna's Poppy Cuff
A odd-count peyote bracelet.

Netted Amulet Purse
An Enid Taylor Design.

A Taste of March
Moving swiftly on to March .... next Post will follow very, very shortly!

Can you guess what this is?

'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'


Friday, 2 March 2012

Triangle + Triangle = ? (Post 68)

Since my last Post I have been getting to know Peyote stitch a bit more and feel I'm making good progress. Its one of the most popular bead weaving stitches as its so versatile and strong.  (Not so good if you need to rip it back at any stage though!).

Components is a word I come across regularly on OTTBS and until now it hasn't really meant much to me.  When I hear 'component's, I think about car parts ... but the other morning I woke up literally with a clearer understanding of this 'jargon' in relation to Jewellery Making.  It really was one of those 'eureka' moments.

It was so obvious, I actually felt I must be quite 'dull' not to have understood it before.  Basically, when people say they are 'just working on some components' it means that they are perhaps making up a beaded part which will link in, in whatever way, to a bracelet or necklace etc.  It can take longer to work on a 'part item' than it can the rest of the piece of jewellery ... which is one of the reasons why people 'set it aside' to work on in-between other projects.

This 'new' understanding came about because of the latest pair of earrings I made.

Triangular Treat
Triangular Treat
'Based on a  Diane Fitzgerald Design'
The technique used for these earrings are flat peyote and herringbone stitch. These are a 2d (two-dimensional) design which are joined together by what is know as the 'zip' method.  Its really a very satisfying technique. A bit like doing up a zip ... ha ha - hence the name perhaps!

I began to think what else I could use these for, linked together for a bracelet/necklace, a pendant.  Once you learn the technique you can adapt it to so many other projects.

Tumbling Blocks
'A Sue Maguire Design'
That evening set the course of a different way of thinking, which probably related to my sudden understanding of 'components.

Tumbling Blocks
The peyote project I've been working on is a beautiful beaded cuff which Sue Maguire designed based on her daughter's quilt and adapting the triangle shape that she had learnt from Julia Pretl's book, 'Little Beading Boxes'.  

Tumbling Blocks
'A Sue Maguire Design'
This is the biggest peyote project I've tackled, and when I started it I had no clue as to whether I had the 'know-how', (which is different than the instructions), to produce it.  I like to step outside of comfort zones though and dived straight in.

No wonder I woke up designing components from triangles!  Quite a few involved in this design.

Here we have it friends, Triangles + Triangles = Earrings and a Bracelet.

A huge welcome to 'Cat' and 'Anna'

Cat from the United States, (Cat correct me if I'm wrong ... couldn't quite work out where), creates beaded handwoven jewellery and other artworks.  Quite a beadaholique, beading whenever she can.  Cat also runs an online store on Facebook, DCI JewelryDesigns, so why not take a look.

Anna from Belguim, also creates jewellery, mainly bead woven and has a good eye for colour with some beautiful combinations.  Take a look at her blog.  Anna's recently set up a Facebook Page and Etsy shop - so keep an eye out I'm sure you'll soon see some beautiful items for sale.

The OTTBS Challenge for March has started - some great goodies for the lucky winner!  I like the colours for this month Purple/Grey with a crystal twist to it.  I do have a few ideas in mind - but not the beads, (yet LOL).

I think you'll agree I've 'got the hang of peyote' now so I'm now going to be looking at different type of 'tubular' stitches for this month.  My next Post will review my thoughts on February.  

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'

Doors of Technology (Post 67)

The last three months have been a whirlwind of learning.  Just when I think I've caught up with technology, whoosh .... there it goes again, whizzing past me!!  Then my competitive streak races to catch up again! I've gone from a blog to having a Facebook Page, to Twitter and now I have been introduced to the concept of Etsy Treasuries - My 1st Entry.

Etsy Treasuries are another way of showcasing interesting and inspiring art forms; art being in the eye of the beholder.  Yet, they are more than that, they are also a form of socialising of glimpsing the world through others' insights.  They inspire me, set my own thoughts into a fresh way of thinking, nudging new neural pathways to form ... oh, how I simply love technology!

Additional Note: 
Due to media concern over copyright issues on Pinterest I no longer use it.  I hope Pinterest will resolve these issues shortly, as in my opinion it has good potential.  It is just not worth 'unwittingly' infringing copyright laws.

February Challenge
Three Toned Netted Purse
An Enid Taylor Design
This months theme for OTTBS Challenge is something blue and green with an option of adding circles.  I chose to make a beaded purse ... not sure if it meets the 'added twist' - you could say very loosely the pattern has circles? 

The stitch for this is a 5-bead netted weave and has quite a delicate look to it.  Initially I had intended making a peyote stitch purse but didn't have the right beads - that's getting to be a regular story!  

The design is by Enid Taylor, author of 'Decorative Beaded Purses'.  A book that I was 'gifted' by Maureen, a lovely OTTBS friend.  Thank you Maureen x.
I particularly love this book because it covers all the basic beading stitches enabling you to achieve a good 'grounding' of both stitches and techniques.  

I will definitely be making more of these little purses; although it will mean an update of my beading stash!

The top band is created with 'ladder stitch' and bugle beads; the netting woven beneath.  A clever 3-way colour scheme.  It is stitched flat then joined naturally 'in pattern' and the Chain added at the grand finale stage.

Week 7 Earrings and Week 8 to follow.  This week I'll also be getting familiar with flat peyote. triangular really ... that's the plan!  I won't elaborate, hopefully I will be able to surprise you - what am I talking about, surprise myself more like!

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'