Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Beaded Jewelry Item

I've just finished my newest creation, Labradorite Ripple. I was enchanted by the pattern Regal Reiteration in the December 2008 issue of Bead and Button and decided to adapt it a little to accommodate a large labradorite bead pendant I had.

Unfortunately a much better camera and light system, plus more photography know how is needed to catch the chatoyance of the Labradorite.

I found this description of Labradorite at Shamans
"The magicians stone, or the dark side of the moon. This crystal is for transformation of the self. It humbles the ego and reveals the hidden areas of negativity that we all engage in; power dramas and subtle power games that we play in relationships of any kind. It brings to light areas which have been hidden, allowing for more to be understood. Freezes your actions in Meditation; that is slows anger, ego projection and allows the user to see what is present, as is. Anti- Ego Consciousness, Anti-Arrogance, Anti Illusion, Installs humility, anti-haste. Encourages stability in the self, grounding and centering, places the consciousness closer to the true self expression. Good for people nearing the end of the Saturn or Plutonian return. Reveals hidden talents and abilities held within the shadow self for use now. Encourages knowledge and wisdom of the self; purely, and therefore is a means to growth of the personality. Why is it called the dark side of the moon? Because it reveals that which is present but can not be seen by the light of the conscious mind without reflection."

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Bohemian Heart

I've just come from The Bohemian Heart web site. She's only got one "series" of jewelery put up but it's gorgeous!

Are you looking for a unique gift for that special someone? Or planning a wedding? The Bohemian Heart, owned and operated by Wendy Corley, specializes in wedding jewelry and bouquets.

With more and more people developing allergies to plants and pollen, the "forever" bouquets made with silk flowers and/or crystals are becoming more and more popular. As you might expect from the name the items on this site are unique.

Barefoot sandals are becoming very popular with brides especially in warmer weather. Unfortunately Wendy didn't take picture of most of the wedding jewelry she's created before they went to the brides and bridal party, but she will make custom jewelry according to your specifications. If you don't see what you like on her site, contact her and tell her what you want. I don't think you'll be disappointed! The bride in this picture is wearing earrings and necklace by The Bohemian Heart called "White Eyelet". Sorry the picture isn't clear.

You can see more of The Bohemian Heart's jewelry in her gallery.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holiday Sparkle Necklace

I'm trying to get some new kits and patterns up on my Etsy shop. I finished the pattern for Holiday Sparkle today and it's now up for sale. It's the same basic pattern as Round n Round, but has been modified to use different size beads. I hope to get beads sorted and counted and kits made up by Monday.

Like all my patterns and kits, the prices listed are 20% off until the end of December. Click on the title of this post to see the Holiday Sparkle pattern.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas Card Display

It seems we all run out of shelf or mantle space for displaying the Christmas cards we receive each year.

I made this cute Christmas card display out of a few things I already had around the house.

Click on the title of this post to see the instructions for making it, then go through your craft stash and see what you can come up with. Get the family involved and make it a handmade Christmas this year.

Monday, November 3, 2008


It's time to get out your beads and start on those Christmas gifts if you haven't already. I've reduced the price of all patterns and kits in my Etsy Shop by 20% through December 31, 2008, so go take a look and take advantage of the low prices.


Bells Bells Bells!

I'm finally finished with the Christmas ornaments for this year. I can't believe I finished them this early, but it seems that's all I've done for the last two months.

Every year I make Christmas ornaments for my Grand children and Great grand children.

I've made a few extra this year just experimenting with colors and designs.

Some of them are made by the Pagoda Bell design that is in my Etsy shop except I used size 8 and size 11 beads to make them, but most of them are made from a pattern I found on called John's Bell.

I thought they all turned out well and now I'm looking forward to a new project!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Bead Coop

Have you seen the Pattern of the Month collection at The Bead Coop? Seven Beautiful patterns by six different designers for one very low price.

Each month The Bead Coop features the Pattern of the Month collection at a fraction of the cost of each individual pattern. The patterns are all new, never before seen on The Bead Coop.

The Bead Coop now contains nearly 8,000 patterns by 52 different designers. Get on over there and check out all features of The Bead Coop and all the goodies. It's getting time to do some Holiday beading!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Very Best Delica Bead Source

I love the Delica beads for tapestries and flat peyote pieces. They are so uniform and they just fit together perfectly to form a nice beaded fabric.

When I first started using them I would go to the local bead store and buy them, but they only came in four gram packages and many times I needed only a few. Then I heard about Painters Art Gallery.

Joan Painter is the owner of this wonderful bead store and is a complete joy to work with! She sells quantities from one gram to 10 grams and of course, the more you buy the less you pay per gram.

She has all sizes of Delicas in stock and has a complete color inventory. If you're looking for seed beads, or natural stone, or charms etc. she has those too. Right now, through November 31, she's having a sale on her size 8 matsuno seed beads, so if you're in the market for those get on over there, they're going fast.

She also has a sale on Miyuki size 15 and has added wire wrapping tools and jewelry wire to her inventory. Bookmark this store, you'll return to it over and over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bead Artists Against Breast Cancer

Once again Jeanette Shanigan is hosting the Bead Artists against Breast Cancer beaded quilts to be auctioned off in Milwaukee in June 2009.

Jeanette has collected beaded squares and sewn them together in beaded quilts to be auctioned off to raise money for breast cancer research for several years in memory of her mother who died of cancer in 1985. Read her story.

If you're a beader and would like to contribute to this worthy cause you can find the guidelines here.

Squares that have already been donated

Jeanette already has some free patterns on her website if you can't make your own, and I'll be posting one here shortly.

Every year more beaders join this worthy cause. Last year 960 squares were donated. Every year the number has gone up. Lets make this a banner year!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jewelry gallery

I've just started a jewelry gallery and thought I'd post what I have up so far. To see a full sized picture, just click on the thumbnail.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Red Bell Ornament

Hooray for me! I've finally gotten started on Christmas Ornaments. I've finished this Red "Pagoda Bell" ornament made with size 15 and size 8 seed beads and 3mm faceted rounds. It has a 6mm pearl for a clapper.

I'm working on another similar pattern that uses size 11 and size 8 seed beads. So far I've made three bells and each time I change a little something so the pattern isn't complete yet.

If you'd like to make a beaded bell for Christmas, you can obtain the pattern (instant download) from The Bead Coop by clicking on the title.

The pattern is also available in my Etsy shop (emailed to you when payment clears my account). Just click on my Mini Etsy Shop in the right hand column.

Happy Beading!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rose Bud Scrubber

The other day I was playing in the craft room, trying to get in the mood to bead. It just wasn't happening, but a plastic net bag that fruit had come in caught my eye. I usually just wad these up and use them for dish scrubbers, but I decided to do something a little more creative this time.

I made this rose bud scrubber. One end looks like a rose bud and the other end looks more like a full blown rose. You can find instructions for making it by clicking on the title.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Too Many Things to Do

I've been looking through my beads, trying to come up with Christmas ornament ideas, and have come up blank. All that comes to mind are things I've already done. I usually make all my grand children and great grand children ornaments each year. It's getting to be quite a task. I have 22 to make this year and no ideas yet!

Not being able to come up with new ornaments, I've turned my mind to soap. I have a wonderful trial batch that turned out beautifully. I infused rosemary in extra virgin olive oil and cold processed it at very low temps. I was surprised by the beautiful green! Usually nearly any type of organic green material turns brown in cold processed soap. I've changed the way I make it now.

When I first learned to make soap I was taught that it must cast heat, must go through the gel stage. I've been hearing from other soap makers that it's not necessarily so, so I decided to try it. I stirred it to trace at a bare 100 degrees and poured it into the mold. Then I placed it in the refrigerator to keep it from heating. It made a beautiful soap that lathers sumptuously, and is very mild on the skin. I scented it with rosemary essential oil. I think I'm going to change up the recipe a little bit and make it into a shaving soap. Or I may make some in a round mold and some more in a log mold. I love the scent of rosemary. It's so invigorating!

Then I had a call from one of my wholesalers for something with tea tree essential oil. I have a recipe that used to be a big seller when I was doing craft shows. I think I'll rework that a little and present it to her for approval. But in order to do all that I have to get off the computer.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Drying Herbs

I just completed a short article in e how on drying herbs. I'd like to invite all my readers to take a look at it. Feedback is always appreciated. Just click on the title above to view the article.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yard Work

I haven't had much time or inclination to bead or make soap the last two or three weeks. I had two huge seep willows that got too much water last year due to unusual rainfall and developed some kind of fungus which killed them. Since I don't have any heavy equipment to remove them with, I've had to cut them to pieces a little at a time. I finally got most of the last one cut down yesterday. I still need to tie on to the base with a chain and my pickup and pull the root ball out.

Other than that I've been kept busy mowing and weeding which seems to be a never ending job.

Right now I've got to get busy and get the Herb of the Month article ready for the Herbal Grace newsletter, so I guess I'd better get out off this blog and get busy!

Friday, July 11, 2008


I've finally got this bead tray down to a "science". Well not really. I've had to reduce the length of the tray. The long side didn't stand up like I wanted it to when I made the tray 9" X 14", so I made it 9" X 12". It works better. Plenty of room to put your beads when you're beading and will also hold your work, needles, thread, scissors when you put your beading away.

The corners can be untied to lay flat for storage. Trays can be stacked with projects on them. If you're like me you've always got more than one project going.

I've listed these in my Etsy shop. Just click thebeaddoodler in the Etsy showcase to the right, or click on a picture in the showcase.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Bead Mat

I've just finished experimenting with making a soft sided bead tray. This is made from vellux. You can tie the corners together to form a one inch side all around to corral the beads.

Working with vellux was a challenge, a sewing lesson I learned long ago but haven't applied in many years. I had a hard time getting the casing sewn down even. Finally I had to go online and find some tips about sewing velvet before I could figure out what I'd done wrong.

Hopefully the next bead tray will be more "perfect". I love this for my lap tray because a flat bead mat on the flat top top of the tray is always tipping and I end up having to pick up the beads from my lap, the chair and the floor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Project in the Works

The yard has been calling. I've been trying to cut down a couple of shrubs that died due to too much rain last year. It's been taking most of my time and energy and I've still not finished.

The credit card holder is coming along nicely, but I've had quite a few soap orders lately and my table is full of curing soap, making it hard to bead. :(

I finally found some vellux. I've made one soft sided bead tray just as a trial run. It turned out very well. I've got 3 more cut out and hope to have them finished, photographed and put in my Etsy shop soon.

That's all for now. Soap, yard and house work are all becoming adamant that I pay them some attention. Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Color Theory

If you're a new beader and have problems with colors I hope this will help you in some little way, if only to let you know you're not alone.

When I start a beaded project, I usually look through my stash of beads, lay out several colors, cull through them and start beading using 3 or 4 colors. As I'm a self taught beader with a tiny little background in art (oil paints and charcoal sketch) I really don't have the whole color theory under my belt or firmly planted in my brain.

The problem that I've run into is that even though the colors may go together when I have them in their tubes laying on my beading mat, when I start working with the individual beads I find that some colors just blend in together and there's little or no distinction between shades and sometimes totally different colors won't show up and "shine" like I had intended them to.

I've found that it helps, especially if you're working in peyote or brick, to make a color swatch with the colors to see how they are going to "play" together. It takes time to make these swatches, but can save you the aggravation of having to take out several rows of your project when you find that the colors just don't work together.

To get me started and remind me how colors can work together I have a color wheel that came in one of my bead catalogs, or I go to Color Theory Basics and study it there. If I print it out, my printer doesn't translate the colors properly, so I have better results looking at it on the computer.

Once I get the colors I want to use in my mind, I have to start looking at finishes. Opaque, matte, silverlined, transparent. Sometimes I think the silverlined will stand out among the others, but in some instances, they tend to absorb the colors around them as the transparent ones do.

I know there is a "science" to color theory and maybe someday I'll be able to use that science to it's fullest, but for right now I just have to start with the basics and go by trial and error.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Realatively Calm Day

Finally the wind has calmed to its normal 10 to 15mph today. I've gotten a few things accomplished. I finished the Body Scrubs for the order I'm working on. Now all I need to make are the balms and nail oil.

I finished up one of my repurposed items. It's a small clutch bag crocheted from supermarket produce bags. The closure is an oval lampwork bead with dangles capped with faceted rounds and round lampwork beads. You can see it in my etsy shop. Just click on The Bead Doodler in my shop at the right.

Well back to the "lab" and balm making!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Beads, Beads, Beads

Oh Dear! Beads have taken over my life. Well actually they did that a long time ago. Now they're taking over my whole house! I finished a project and was putting away the remaining beads. I noticed something I'd been oblivious to while focusing on the Spirit Doll.

I have unfinished projects stacked and stashed everywhere! I even found one in the living room. I have a box half full of UFOs (unfinished objects), another box with items awaiting clasps (I can't find just the right one), and 2 beading pads with projects and the beads to go with them stacked. On top of all that is the micro-macrame I'm trying to learn (or relearn with much smaller thread and beads).

As if that wasn't enough I have an order for soaps and other skin care products to get out. I keep telling myself I have to wait for containers, but I know there's only one item that I don't have containers for, so It's just a matter of FOCUS! I wish the wind would stop blowing. It's really messing with my brain!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spirit Doll

I have finally finished the Fairy Spirit Doll I mentioned earlier. My thoughts have been so scattered it's been hard to work on something like this.

She is embroidered in primary and secondary colors. She wears a crown of quartz crystal chips. The fringe is tipped with quartz crystal chips and features frosted tube beads that I got from DJ Beads. I just love these for fringe. It gives it some weight and adds pinache.

Spirit Dolls in one form or another can be found in many cultures. They provide a focus for meditation for some, visual calming, or tactile soothing for others. They can be made from sticks and bits of cloth, dried flowers, gemstones or whatever the artist has on hand, but I prefer to cover a stuffed cloth figure entirely with bead embroidery, then add gemstones or gemstone chips and some lush fringe.

Whether you believe in the spiritual aspects of these little beauties or not, they can actually work wonders on your mental attitude and your physical being. For some the designs in them focus the mind and, if only briefly, allow troubling thoughts to fade into the background. The hands contain reflex points that govern every part of the body, so just running your fingers over the beaded surface creates a relaxing sensation, and, in some cases, can release blocked energy or blood flow, promoting benefits to physical health.

No two people will ever feel the same effect or see the same flow in the pattern. The spirit doll seems to speak to each individual according to his/her own needs at the time. The same person may experience a different effect or see a different pattern each time they pick the doll up, or look at it.

No two spirit dolls will ever be exactly the same. The designs in the artist's mind flow as the doll is being embroidered.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Beads!

I got a package from my daughter today. In it were some new beads. She sent me some size 8 copper seed beads (real copper, not the kind that the color wears off), some green size 11 seed beads and some green size 15 seed beads, but the best of all were these vintage pressed glass two hole discs that she got at Bead Heaven in North Richland Hills, TX where she lives.

I don't know yet what I'm going to do with them. My daughter, Wendy, owner of The Bohemian Heart, loves to find beads like this and send me some so she can see how drastically different the designs we make with them are.

I still haven't finished the Lilacs credit card holder. It seems there are just too many other things to be done. The wind has been blowing for the last week and the house is so full of dust I feel like I need a dust mask to even pick anything up.

I have done a little more on the spirit doll I started quite some time ago. I finally got the body all beaded and made her a crown of quartz crystal chips. All I lack now is the fringe.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Finally Did It

I finally made the Mechanic's Soap I've been putting off for 2 weeks. It's the best looking batch of hot process soap I've ever made. Still need to work on the top. I've been making soap for nearly 10 years and still have trouble making the hot processed soap look good.

Looks isn't everything though. This soap has a rich luscious lather, lots of ground oats to scrub you clean, spices to cut the grease (not to mention it smells good). My "grease monkey" customers couldn't agree more. It's one of my best sellers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Blustery Warm Day

It's Monday and the wind is blowing. I've got plenty to keep me busy in the house so I guess that's not too bad.

I'm still working on the credit card holder. I'm about half way finished with the back and am holding my breath hoping I have enough beads of the right colors to finish it.

Several weeks ago I started on a Spirit Doll. She has butterfly wings to signify she's a Fairy. I'm almost finished with her, but she seems to have a mind of her own. I've been very scattered mentally lately, and every time I start to pick her up and work on her I either get distracted, or my thread ends up in knots with every stitch, or I can't make a move without sticking myself with the needle. I did manage to pick her up and work on her a little yesterday. That seemed to bring my mind a little more into focus at the time, but I'm still not getting much done.

The stevia and lemon balm I planted in a pot on mother's day has been whipped by the wind so harshly that I thought surely it was dead, but when I went out to water it this morning, there were new green leaves beginning to show on the stevia, and the lower leaves of the lemon balm were still alive.

For the first time since I've lived here, my wild roses don't have thrips on them. I used to keep them pruned back into neat bushes because it was so hard to mow around those long arching limbs. The blooms were always a deep almost black red and the scent was a deep spicy one that just didn't smell like a rose at all, but I loved the way they smelled.

I haven't been able to take care of the yard much the last year or so and they were pretty ugly in January, so I got out and trimmed all the dead wood out of them, but didn't cut back the live branches because these roses bloom on old wood. The first blooms were a pretty fuschia, with a rich rose smell. The more they bloom the deeper the color gets. They are now producing rich, deep red blooms not quite as dark as usual. The scent is definitely rose! I've even managed to harvest a few petals before the wind burned them. Maybe I'll have a few rose petals to put in pampering preparations this year.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bad News

I've been having trouble seeing my bead work and my computer screen. This has resulted in tension headaches. I went to the optometrist today. He said the fluid wasn't draining off my eye and there was a tiny cataract growing in my left eye. He did extensive tests and set up another appointment two weeks from now to do another test before he refers me to a specialist to have it removed.

Time to break out the Dr. Christopher's Eyebright formula and use it regularly. I've heard it can remove cataracts as well as take care of glaucoma and macular degeneration, ease eye strain and so much more, but it is verrry uncomfortable. I think I'd rather do that though, than have the expense of cataract surgery.

I'm still working on the lilac credit card holder. I'm doing the back in netting. I didn't have very much of the purples left so the back is just sort of a dappled shade effect using mostly the green beads.

I sold all but 1 bar of my Mechanic's soap a week ago and have been saying I'm going to get another batch made today. Here it is a week later and I still haven't gotten it made. I also need to get some shaving soaps ready and do a little work on my SilverMist Garden website, but I'm having to just work short periods on the computer.

In addition to working on the credit card holder I've decided I needed to learn to do micro macrame. I ordered a kit from The Knot Gypsy, thinking it can't be that hard. I know the knots. I do know the knots, just have to really think about which way they should go to make them lay the way I want them to. Practice Practice Practice. :). That's always the key to learning something new or re-learning something you haven't done in 30 years.

Time to get off here. It's been cold and rainy after being hot and windy for a few days. I have things to do.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy Thoughts on a Sunny Day

The sun is shining today. Hooray! All this year our rainfall has been below average. In the last two days we've gotten about 2 inches, throwing us above the average. My heart goes out to those who've been devastated by floods. In this area there was no damage beyond a few trees and gardens shredded by hail.

I finished the lilac panel that is going to be a credit card holder. I still haven't decided how I'm going to make the back.
If you'd like the pattern for this you can find it at The Bead Coop .

I had a last minute order for 18 felted soaps last Thursday. I still haven't recovered completely from standing long enough to felt them, but the order was ecstatically accepted. ;)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Random thoughts scattered by the wind

The wind was not supposed to blow today. It is! Well this is West Texas, what can you expect.

Today is my first blog. I'm here to meet other beaders, promote my business and maybe have a little fun.

I'm working on a credit card holder from a pattern I made from a picture I took in my yard. It is even count peyote and is looking good! I'm about 2/3 of the way through with the front. I haven't decided how I'm going to make the back yet. It'll be a surprise!

Working in the yard is a definite need to, but I have so many other things going on, I think I'll just wait out the wind. ROFL I keep reminding myself "this is West Texas!", but the wind will slow down a little.


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